Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
The question of whether or not Seattle will trade Matt Flynn is likely one we'll be asking ad nauseam until (and after, probably) the beginning of the league year on March 12th, when trades can be officially completed. Alex Smith is reportedly on his way to Kansas City for the absurd cost of a high 2nd rounder this year (#34, to be exact, thanks for nothing Andy Reid), and more next year, which makes Flynn the best 'available' quarterback out there, most likely.
With the mediocre talent at quarterback (allegedly) this year, would teams looking for a solution (or stopgap) at that position make a deal with the Seahawks? That's the big question, obviously. There were many reports out there over the past few weeks and months that pointed to the idea that Seattle is going to cut Matt Flynn if they're unable to trade him, which I've always scoffed at a little, just in principle. I like scoffing at reports. It makes a man feel good to scoff at things you read on the internet.
However, these reports were from reputable (sometimes) sources, most recently Peter King. These rumors can and do get started, though, by interested parties and agents of those parties, so maybe Jim Harbaugh and his evil empire found it necessary to tell the NFL that Seattle was just going to cut Flynn anyway so don't give them any picks you guys. This is just one of a myriad of things that could happen. Now, Seattle's front office seems to have fired a volley of 'sources'' information back, via Ian Rapoport.
Per RapSheet, a "Seahawks source says their "priority" is to have [Matt Flynn] as a backup. Remember, Russell Wilson is a bargain, total cost of QB isn't bad. [The] Seahawks know he wants to be a starter, so they are open to trading him. Teams [are] nervous about his elbow, but sources say its fine."
Essentially, and I'm paraphrasing, "If you want him, we're going to need those picks, you vultures. We're not releasing him. Kthx."
Now, you can believe what you want. Maybe the Seahawks will indeed release him. Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way. But the cap numbers that represent the savings you'd see with with a release just don't really add up.
Per Davis Hsu, who broke it all down chapter and verse last week:
If you cut Matt Flynn?
SIMPLE ANSWER - the entire cap hit to the Seahawks for cutting Matt Flynn [would be] $6.0M. ($2.0M guaranteed base salary + $4.0M in remaining signing bonus that had never been accounted for in 2012).
By cutting Matt Flynn, you would save $3.25M in cash, but only $1.25M in "cap" - ($7.25M salary cap if you keep him less $6.0M salary cap if you cut him = $1.25M).
So. IN BOLD PRINT: CUTTING MATT FLYNN SAVES SEATTLE $1.25M IN CAP ROOM IN 2012.*
That's not very much. Especially considering a veteran backup QB fetches $1.5M to $2.5M or more a year. If that's your plan, in essence, you'd be losing cap space to cut Flynn and sign a vet who is worse at football. Cutting Flynn and drafting a backup instead saves you about $750k or so toward the cap, but costs you a Draft pick. Which I no me gusta.
In other words: Cutting Flynn would be dumb.
*Assumes no 'off-set' language in his contract. In which case, I take back all that stuff I said about it being dumb. In that case, it'd just be neutral.
So. Where does that leave us? Back to the phones, Johnny, because it still does make sense to trade him, in theory.
Simple answer - if you trade Matt Flynn, you would save $3.25M in cap dollars in 2013 ($7.25M cap if you kept him less $4.0M dead money charge = $3.25M). You'd also get a draft pick (or picks) or player(s) in return.
The pick is really the nice part of the trade option, not the savings in money, which would be minimal in year one (though if you look at it over the life of the contract into 2014 a trade looks really nice for money saved). So, if you feel that a draft pick - hopefully a highish one - is more valuable in the long run than Matt Flynn is in the short run, pull the trigger. If you don't feel that way, just pay that man his money and let him hang out on the bench.