Seattle Seahawks: Projected Trade Compensation and Replacing Matt Flynn

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Seattle Seahawks: Projected Trade Compensation and Replacing Matt Flynn
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Trade reports and updates trickled in throughout Friday as the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders worked on finalizing a trade for Matt Flynn. While the deal was originally reported by Gregg Rosenthal as being “imminent,” he later reported that the Raiders were working with Flynn’s camp on a restructured contract.

Seahawks fans spent much of Friday eagerly awaiting information on what the team would receive in draft compensation. As it became clear a deal wouldn't be done until Saturday or later, the speculation turned to what would happen if Flynn refused to renegotiate his contract.

Some have mused that the Seahawks might pay part of Flynn’s salary, but there are two issues with that assertion.

First, it doesn’t make financial sense for the Seahawks to spend more when their goal is to save cap dollars. Second, and more important, the NFL doesn’t allow teams to basically send cash in a trade.

Granted, the Seahawks could offer to transfer the remaining $2 million of Flynn’s guaranteed money into a signing bonus prior to the trade. That might draw some scrutiny from the NFL, though, as it would be a direct effort to circumvent a prohibited practice.

An additional $2 million spent on Flynn would also erode Seattle’s financial incentive to make a change. Pete Carroll might as well hold onto his backup quarterback at that point.

News should continue to trickle out from both teams and this trade will almost certainly be settled over the weekend.

Along with details on this trade, information could start to surface about the Seahawks plans for a backup. That could include sending a seventh-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for Colt McCoy or even bringing Vince Young to Seattle for a workout.

Raiders fans have been concerned with just how much the team would surrender in draft capital, along with if they’d save any money with Flynn vs. Carson Palmer.

The simple answer is Palmer is owed $28 million over the next two years, while Flynn’s compensation would only be $11.5 million. That avoids the issue of pro-rated money from Palmer’s contract, but those expenses are already incurred and they will hit the cap at some point.

Oakland can save $16.5 million in future cap hits by moving away from Palmer, either through releasing him or via a trade. Flynn may not be proven, but Palmer hasn’t done much over the prior two seasons to make the organization believe he’ll be a difference maker under center.

For more details on the cap implications for the Raiders, along with my thoughts on what Oakland will surrender in the trade, visit my full article on I also provide further information on backup options for Seattle.

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