The Seattle Seahawks have built a team full of talented young players that expect to contend for a trip to the Super Bowl in 2013. One of the benefits of a young roster is that it remains inherently cheap and manageable. However, it could also force difficult financial decisions to be made when those young players come up for big contracts.
The trade of backup quarterback Matt Flynn to the Oakland Raiders Monday for a pair of future draft picks helped to create salary cap flexibility for Seattle in hopes of retaining their key players in upcoming seasons.
The Seahawks save $11.5 million in cap space over the next two seasons and $3.25 million for 2013 by dealing Flynn to Oakland. Seattle now has approximately $10 million in available cap space for this season with the ability to roll over any unused amounts to next year. With Seattle having several young core players that will need contract extensions in the next few seasons (safety Kam Chancellor, cornerback Richard Sherman and quarterback Russell Wilson to name a few), the additional space is a big benefit for the team’s long-term cap health. With the salary cap expected to remain fairly flat with little increase next season, the money saved could prove pivotal to accomplish those goals.
“We’ve talked all along about trying to be able to extend some of our own players and this helps,” Schneider said in an interview with The Ian Furness Show on Sports Radio KJR in Seattle. “[The extra space] is extremely valuable. It just gives you that much more flexibility in terms of addressing any needs you may or not be able to address in the draft.”
Seattle received the Raiders fifth-round pick in 2014 and a conditional pick in 2015. Russell Wilson now becomes the only quarterback the Seahawks have under contract for next year. Seattle will need to likely add two quarterbacks before training camp. Tyler Thigpen has been targeted as one potential backup solution for Seattle. Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com reported the Seahawks plan to re-sign former practice squad quarterback Josh Portis and are also evaluating Vince Young as a possible fit as well.
“It’ll probably end up being a guy that hopefully has an upside and is also a good fit, not only for Russell, but for the rest of the offensive room,” Schneider said.
UPDATE 12:58 a.m. ET: Seattle’s interest in Vince Young appears to have been short-lived. Mortensen is now reporting the Seahawks have ended their discussions about Young and he won’t be headed to Seattle.