Seahawks Insider Blog

Morning links: Seahawks and the salary cap

Brian McIntyre of Yahoo Sports joined KJR's Ian Furness and Jason Puckett to talk about the Seattle Seahawks salary cap situation in this audio link, with free agency about a month away.

McIntyre estimates that the Seahawks have about $13 million in cap space.

But that doesn’t mean they will use it. Seahawks general manager John Schneider has been prudent in managing the salary cap for the long-term benefit of the team, which means spending in free agency only when he sees value, and rewarding Seattle’s core players like Chris Clemons and Max Unger when they are nearing the end of their deals.

McIntyre said Kam Chancellor and Golden Tate will be unrestricted free agents, and Brandon Browner and Doug Baldwin will be restricted free agents in 2014. McIntyre also said Seattle might be looking to offer contract extensions to Russell Okung and Earl Thomas in 2014.

I reached out to McIntyre afterward, because I wanted to again briefly address Matt Flynn’s contract. Some in the comments section wondered why the Seahawks would be willing to move Flynn if he was going to count $4 million against the salary cap, even if he was not on the team in 2012.

Flynn would count $7.25 million against the cap if he were to stay on the team at his current $5.25 million base salary, so Seattle would save $3 million in cap space by Flynn not being on the team in 2013, according to McIntyre.

Further, McIntyre said the concern is not so much the salary cap, but how much CASH a team has committed to a player, because the cap can always be finagled by restructuring or cutting players.

“It’s always about cash,” McIntyre said. “When (Seahawks CEO) Peter McLoughlin goes in to talk to John Schneider about salaries, the words cap space never even come up. It’s not a discussion. It’s all about how much they’re going to spend on players in actual cash, not cap dollars.

“The big thing is the $5 million or so in cash that you can use to keep someone like Alan Branch, or bring in a pass rusher like Michael Johnson,” McIntyre said about Seattle potentially releasing or trading Flynn. You can put that money into other resources other than spending $5.25 million on your backup quarterback.”

McIntyre also noted that Flynn would be the 23rd highest paid quarterback in the league at his current salary (Matt Hasselbeck is No. 22 at $5.35 million).

The No. 24 highest paid quarterback makes nearly half as much as Flynn, Detroit backup quarterback Shaun Hill at $2.45 million in base salary.

Wondering if Steve Hutchinson still doesn’t thinks about shafting the Seahawks by signing with Minnesota after the 2005 season, which is now known as the “Poison Pill” contract?

Check out Hutchinson’s Twitter handle below.

Former Seahawks defensive tackle Colin Cole signs with Carolina after sitting out for two seasons.

Clare Farnsworth of catches up with former Seattle running back Chris Warren.

Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports writes that the Seahawks are one of five teams in position to dominate in 2013.

Gil Brandt of takes a trip down memory lane and tells us how the draft has evolved over the years. Good read.

Don Banks of Sports Illustrated gives Russell Wilson to Cleveland at No. 3 overall in this 2012 NFL draft do over. Maybe Mike Holmgren would still be employed in that scenario. Three Seattle rookies go in the top 15 picks, including Bruce Irvin again to Seattle at No. 15.

Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated ranks Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth as his No. 1 NFL announcing team in this look at the top 10.