Question about Matt Flynn as market moves

March, 8, 2013
3/08/13
10:37
AM ET
Eddie from Lancaster, Calif., read the item discussing NFL contracts and wanted to know the salary-cap implications facing Seattle if the team traded backup quarterback Matt Flynn.

Flynn
Flynn
Sando: Seattle could realize a $2 million gain against its cap for trading Flynn relative to releasing him. That difference represents the portion of 2013 salary that is guaranteed. Seattle would be on the hook for that money if the team released Flynn. The acquiring team would pay the guarantee if Seattle traded Flynn.

There are no indications Seattle would release Flynn. We're simply using his contract to illustrate how such a move would impact the cap.

Flynn's contract currently counts $7.25 million against the salary cap in 2013. Releasing Flynn would give Seattle two options for handling the cap implications. Flynn's contract would count $6 million against the cap this year under one scenario. It would count $4 million this year and $2 million next year under another scenario, but the 2013 savings would not be realized right away.

Flynn's contract would count $4 million against the 2013 cap if the team traded him.

The quarterback market is moving quickly. Kansas City has already lined up a trade for Alex Smith. News broke Friday that the Miami Dolphins were re-signing Matt Moore. Quarterbacks such as Matt Cassel could still reach the market, but supply is limited. Jason Campbell, Bruce Gradkowski and Derek Anderson are the highest-rated unrestricted free agent quarterbacks in our Free-agent Tracker Insider if Moore comes off the market.

Seattle is in position to sit back and see whether demand increases for Flynn. Trading Flynn could free up cap room for the Seahawks to use this season or push forward into 2014. A deal would also give the team additional draft capital.

The Seahawks and Dolphins were the teams expressing interest in Flynn last offseason. Both have subsequently acquired starting quarterbacks through the draft. There might not be much of a market for Flynn, in other words. Keeping him on the roster would give Seattle a backup it feels good about, at least.

Creating salary-cap room isn't all that important to the Seahawks right now. They don't need to move Flynn for cap relief, in other words. The gains wouldn't be as large as one might anticipate from afar, anyway.

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