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John DeShazier: Matt Flynn was always on the Saints' radar

Coach Payton has been following his career since he left LSU

Matt Flynn's familiarity and history put him at the top of the New Orleans Saints' list when the team needed a quarterback in the wake of season-ending back surgery for backup Luke McCown.

Flynn, a former LSU standout who was a seventh-round pick by Green Bay in 2008, has not played this season after being signed and released by the Patriots and Jets this offseason. The Saints sought an experienced backup for Drew Brees; rookie third-round pick Garrett Grayson was Brees' sole backup for last week's game against the Titans.

Flynn, in previous stints with the Packers (2008-11), Seahawks ('12), Raiders ('13), Bills ('13) and again with the Packers ('13-'14), completed 219 of 357 passes for 2,541 yards and 17 touchdowns, with 11 interceptions, in 51 games and seven starts.

His most memorable game was Green Bay's regular-season finale against the Lions in the 2011 season, when he threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns – both franchise records at the time – in a 45-41 victory.

"I think we want to just follow the week here and just see where those two are at," Saints Coach Sean Payton said of Flynn and Grayson. "Obviously, I've got a pretty good idea, we feel like, where Garrett's at, and (we'll see) how Matt progresses.

"He's someone that I would say, we followed closely over the years and he's been with a few different clubs. I think we know the player pretty well. He worked out, did a good job. He's someone that understands the system, there's some carryover where maybe he's been some other places.

"He kind of fit what we were looking for. Those guys will get some work this week, predominantly with scout team, and they'll also be heavily involved in what we're doing gameplan-wise."

Payton said that McCown's back injury was not the result of a single play, but that the veteran began feeling discomfort that had to be addressed. McCown started one game this season, completing 31 of 38 passes for 310 yards and an interception in a 27-22 road loss against the Panthers.

He also threw a 25-yard pass to Benjamin Watson off a fake field goal attempt to help set up a touchdown against Indianapolis in the Saints' 27-21 victory against the Colts.

"He began having soreness and tingling in his left leg and went and saw a specialist, and went ahead with the procedure," Payton said.

He said the Saints have had Flynn on their radar since he was at LSU, where he led the Tigers to the 2008 BCS national championship.

"All the way back to when he came out, he was someone that was a targeted player out of college," Payton said. "He had a great career at LSU, someone that over the years, I've seen him a few times and just kind of kept up with his career and at different times through these offseasons, I know he's been a guy we've discussed."

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