So who thinks Matt Flynn should have been franchised now? I will be the first to admit that in my heart, I desperately wanted Flynn to be tagged and traded, and maybe while I’m dreaming some idiot team like the Raiders would offer a first rounder. My head of course said otherwise, sure the potential reward is high, but so was the risk; what would happen if the Packers were stuck with a $14 million guaranteed check?
In the end, general manager Ted Thompson was right in letting Flynn go without a fight and Flynn signed a very conservative 3-year $26 million deal with $10 million guaranteed with the Seattle Seahawks. More money that you or I will probably make in a lifetime, but loose change in comparison to the 5-year $90 million contract Peyton Manning just signed, or even the 5-year $60 million contract that Kevin Kolb signed last year.
My question is why fan perception of a player so different from a NFL GM? Even the media, which presumably has a better idea of what NFL GMs are thinking are still more like fans when it comes to predicting player value (although this might have to do with the fact that the media caters to fans and not to NFL GMs, so they could be deliberately doing this). Answer, the endowment effect.
Simply put, the endowment effect is the theory that there is a difference between the price of buying and selling a good when you own that good. A more academic explanation would be that: “This effect is a manifestation of “loss aversion”, the generalization that losses are weighted substantially more than objectively commensurate gains in the evaluation of prospects and trades (Kahneman and Tversky 1979; Tversky and Kahneman, in press). An implication of this asymmetry is that if a good is evaluated as a loss when it is given up and as a gain when it is acquired, loss aversion will, on average, induce a higher dollar value for owners than for potential buyers, reducing the set of mutually acceptable trades” – Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem, Kahneman et al. 1990