Flynn’s days with Seahawks appear to be over

Seattle reportedly makes deal to send Matt Flynn to Oakland, but backup QB balking at taking pay cut

eric.williams@thenewstribune.comMarch 30, 2013 

Signed a year ago in free agency as the long-term answer at quarterback, Matt Flynn apparently will continue that pursuit with another team.

The Seattle Seahawks have a deal in the works with Oakland that will send Flynn to the Raiders, giving the 27-year-old another opportunity to earn a starting job, this time with the AFC West Division club.

According to the league’s web site, the Seahawks have agreed to a deal, with Oakland sending Seattle a 2013 draft pick and a conditional 2014 selection for Flynn’s services if the trade is consummated.

Negotiations between the Seahawks and the Raiders reportedly are done. However, a holdup to the deal, according to the report from the league’s web site, appears to be Flynn’s unwillingness to renegotiate his salary.

Flynn signed a three-year, $19.5 million contract in free agency with Seattle last offseason. The Seahawks paid Flynn $8 million in total compensation in 2012 to back up rookie Russell Wilson after the former LSU player lost the battle for the starting quarterback job to Wilson during training camp.

Flynn played a total of 34 snaps in mop-up duty last season as Wilson stayed healthy and started every game on the way to earning an invitation to the Pro Bowl.

Flynn is due to make $5.25 million in base salary this season, $2 million of which is guaranteed. Flynn’s salary bumps to $6.25 million in 2014.

The Seahawks would save $3.25 million in salary cap space by trading Flynn, and would be off the hook for paying his entire $5.25 million salary if they trade him to Oakland.

The Raiders are pursuing Flynn

because they plan to release starter Carson Palmer, who reportedly declined a request to take a $3 million salary reduction. Palmer is scheduled to make $13 million in base salary in 2013.

Flynn likely would compete with third-year pro Terrelle Pryor for the starting quarterback job in Oakland.

While Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider publicly maintained the team would be willing to keep Flynn at his current salary, chemistry in the quarterback room would have been a concern.

Specifically, with Wilson scheduled to make $525,217 in base salary in 2013 and the Seahawks unable to renegotiate a new deal for the rookie starter until the end of the 2014 season, keeping around the player Wilson beat out for the starting job and paying him 10 times the starter’s salary would have created some friction.

Carroll also said he’d like to add a backup quarterback with a similar skill set as Wilson. Possible veterans with the ability to run the read option include Tyler Thigpen, Colt McCoy and Vince Young.

If Seattle wants to find a backup in the draft, possible targets include Florida State’s E.J. Manuel or Arizona’s Matt Scott.

Although the deal is not complete, Seattle teammates already are congratulating Flynn as he appears to be moving on.

“Wishing Flynn the best on his endeavors in Oakland,” Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin said via Twitter. “Sad to see a friend leave, but excited for his opportunity. Great QB, even better man.”

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks

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