The Seahawks have hired Matt Thomas as Vice President of Football Administration to replace John Idzik, who was hired as GM of the Jets last week. "Matt is a well-respected salary cap expert and was recommended by many top-ranking NFL executives," said General Manager John Schneider, on the hire. "I am excited to welcome him to our football family."
According to Adam Caplan, who has a very wide-reaching network of contacts and seems to have a strong grasp on NFL pro personnel departments and football operations league-wide, noted that Thomas spent the last four years as the Browns' negotiator and "for the most part, does solid contracts. Agents speak well of him."
For what it's worth, the Browns were the youngest team in the NFL in 2012 on a snap-count weighted scale (Seattle was 2nd), according to Football Outsiders, so that 'forever young' theme that John Schneider seems to espouse should come naturally for Thomas, and might've been part of what made Thomas attractive to Seattle and visa-versa (h/t Mark Dickenson for pointing that out).
More important though, I'm sure, is Thomas' long history in cap management. Prior to joining the Browns (weirdly enough, via a trade with Miami for Cleveland's cap specialist, Dawn Aponte), Thomas spent 12 seasons with the Dolphins (1998-09), including 2009 as Vice President - General Counsel and Football Administration. Per his team bio, "during his tenure with the [Dolphins] he held numerous football administrative functions, which included assisting with the management of the salary cap, player contract negotiations, football budgeting and acting as a liaison with the NFL Management Council on salary cap compliance and other labor and legal matters. Thomas is a graduate of the University of Denver, University of South Dakota School of Law and the New York University School of Law." His bio reads almost word for word what Idzik's read on the Seahawks' website.
According to the National Football Post's Joel Corry, Thomas' main role with the Dolphins was as a contract negotiator, which can be also said of Idzik, for the most part. I don't know a ton about Thomas, but it's encouraging that they've hired someone with over a decade of experience managing salary caps - losing Idzik hurts from this point of view, but hopefully there won't be a ton of dropoff.