Wednesday, April 3, 2013 @ 11:05pm
Acquiring Percy Harvin in a trade with the Vikings last month cost the Seahawks this year's first- and seventh-round picks as well as a third-rounder in 2014.
That was a lot to give up, especially for a team whose current regime has valued draft picks and shown an ability to find star players with those picks.
The Seahawks thought trading for Percy Harvin made more sense than moving up in the draft to take a receiver. (AP)
"We really looked at where we were with the 25th pick and just thought that for us to get a difference-maker like this we were going to have to move [up] at least five to 10 spots ... in order to acquire a player that may have a chance to be a Percy Harvin," Schneider said.
"So in order to do that, you're giving up at least a third-round pick, maybe a second-round pick."
The draft-pick value chart backs up the latter contention, assuming the Seahawks would indeed have had to move up to get the player they wanted.
According to the chart, moving up five spots to No. 20 would have a value that falls right between the 92nd and 93 overall selections, which are both late in the third round. The difference between pick Nos. 25 and 15 is equivalent in value to the 57th overall pick, which is late in Round 2.
With that in mind, we can look at the trade another way: Seattle, with its sights set on a difference-making receiver, gave up picks in the first, third and seventh rounds for a known commodity as opposed to spending a first-round pick and potentially trading a second or third to draft an unproven player. The latter scenario would have saved the Seahawks a seventh-round pick, leaving them with five in all.
Of course that player, while unproven, would have been significantly more cost effective given the rookie wage scale and the $67 million extension the Seahawks gave Harvin. And Harvin comes with some health-related uncertainties of his own.
The move to add Harvin was a bold and risky one, no doubt. But to Schneider and the Seahawks, it made more sense than the alternative.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 @ 3:18pm
The Seahawks' search for a backup quarterback following the trade of Matt Flynn to Oakland was among the topics discussed when general manager John Schneider joined "Bob and Groz" this week.
Co-host Bob Stelton asked about the appeal of filling that role with a veteran. He contended that none of the available options – Vince Young and Brady Quinn were the two names he mentioned – come with the same comfort level as Flynn, whom the team considered a starting-caliber quarterback.
Reports suggest Tyler Thigpen is a consideration for the Seahawks, who are in search of a backup quarterback after trading Matt Flynn. (AP)
Tyler Thigpen has been mentioned as an option by ESPN's John Clayton and Chris Mortensen as well as Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. La Canfora tweeted earlier this week that "everything still points to Tyler Thigpen visiting and signing there soon enough."
Thigpen, 28, spent the last two seasons as the Bills' backup. He started 11 games for the Chiefs in 2008, completing 54.8 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a 76.0 QB rating that year. He's made one other start during his seven-year career.
Thigpen's mobility might carry extra appeal. The Seahawks became even more dangerous later in the season as they implemented zone-read plays into their offense. Coach Pete Carroll has acknowledged the benefit of having a backup who could run such plays should starter Russell Wilson go down. Thigpen has a 5.9 yards-per-carry average and three career rushing touchdowns.
Something else to keep in mind: Thigpen's age, credentials and career trajectory would suggest he probably doesn't consider himself an up-and-coming starting quarterback the way Flynn did a year ago. That might be important. While the Seahawks preach competition and valued the luxury of having what they considered two starting-caliber quarterbacks with Wilson and Flynn, perhaps they'd feel better about someone who's more content with his role as a backup.
Flynn "was not a guy that helped Russell. He was not a guy that was into those Tuesday meetings. And rightfully so, he wanted that job very badly," Brock Huard contended during a discussion with his brother Damon and ESPN.com's Mike Sando in February.
Josh Portis is back in the fold after signing a two-year deal with the Seahawks, a move that was announced Wednesday. Portis, 25, was the team's third quarterback in 2011 and was on Seattle's practice squad last season before his release in late November.
Portis has athleticism, a rocket arm and familiarity with the Seahawks' offense. He hasn't appeared in a regular-season game, however, so his signing likely won't preclude another addition.
Mortensen also believes USC product and former first-round pick Matt Leinart is a consideration. Leinart, 29, has made two starts over the last five seasons.
"We have a plan in place. It's just not going to develop overnight; you have to take it day by day," Schneider said. "I say that, [but] we might do something at the end of the week, we might do something tomorrow, I don't know. I can't tell you exactly when it's going to happen. It could be in the draft as well.
"We have a plan and parameters for that plan, so we're just going to stick to it and plug along."
The video below includes additional thoughts from Stelton and Dave Wyman about what the Seahawks might look for in a backup quarterback.
You can listen to Wednesday's show here.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013 @ 11:23am
The possibility of free agent Alan Branch returning to the Seahawks seemed unlikely when the team added another defensive tackle, Tony McDaniel, on a one-year deal last week.
Branch and the Bills have agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal that includes up to $350,000 in incentives, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
Branch, 28, was a starter and a solid run stuffer in each of his two seasons with the Seahawks, reviving a career that got off to an underwhelming start in Arizona. He wanted to return to the Seahawks.
"Hopefully they want me here and the whole money situation gets settled," he told reporters a day after the Seahawks' playoff loss to Atlanta. "If not, there won't be a better group of guys than this, for sure. But we'll see."
Branch's two-year deal with the Seahawks was worth $8 million, so the fact that he isn't signing for more money elsewhere suggests that Seattle only wanted him back at a reduced rate. That would be understandable given the money the Seahawks committed to Percy Harvin, Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. Their contracts will count a combined $13.45 million against the 2013 salary cap.
The Seahawks presumably found a cheaper alternative in McDaniel, or at least one option for replacing Branch in the starting lineup.
Perhaps the decision to let Branch leave in free agency was also influenced by the team's hopes for Jaye Howard, a 2012 fourth-round pick who appeared in only two games as a rookie last season. Seattle could also use one of its 10 draft picks on a defensive tackle.
Branch and linebacker Leroy Hill were the Seahawks' only starters unsigned for 2013. Hill is still a free agent.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013 @ 9:26am
With only one quarterback on their roster after trading Matt Flynn to the Raiders, the Seahawks are reportedly bringing back a familiar face.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports via Twitter the Seahawks plan to re-sign Josh Portis, who spent part of last season on the practice squad before he was released.
Portis, 25, hasn't appeared in a regular-season game, so his addition by no means fills the backup quarterback void for the Seahawks. But they're adding him to the mix, apparently still intrigued by his rocket arm, athleticism and the promise he showed during the 2011 preseason.
The Seahawks signed Portis, 25, as an undrafted free agent out of California (Pa.) in 2011. He spent that season as Seattle's third quarterback but didn't make the team out of training camp the following summer as the Seahawks decided to only keep two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. Portis was added to the practice squad and released in November.
Portis signed with the CFL's Toronto Argonauts last month.
Monday, April 1, 2013 @ 1:44pm
The Seahawks won't see any immediate benefits from the two draft picks they're receiving in exchange for quarterback Matt Flynn, but one of them will give Seattle another chance to find a gem in the fifth round.
The Raiders are sending Seattle a 2014 fifth-round pick and a conditional selection the following year as part of the trade that was announced Monday.
The fifth round has been mostly bountiful for the Seahawks under general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll, even despite some misses. That's where Seattle found safety Kam Chancellor in 2010 and cornerback Richard Sherman a year later.
Chancellor is a two-year starter and has a Pro Bowl on his resume. The team is working to sign him to an extension. Sherman was an All-Pro last season and has 12 interceptions in 26 career starts. A case could be made that he's the NFL's best cornerback.
The other two players drafted in the fifth round by Seattle's current regime haven't panned out. Neither safety Mark LeGree (2011) nor linebacker Korey Toomer (2012) made the team out of training camp the year they were drafted. LeGree is with the Falcons. Toomer was on the practice squad before he was placed on injured reserve. He signed a futures contract with Seattle after the season.
The Seahawks own two fifth-round picks in the upcoming draft.
Monday, April 1, 2013 @ 8:41am
The Seahawks have finalized a trade with the Raiders that will send backup quarterback Matt Flynn to Oakland in exchange for a pair of draft picks – a fifth-round choice in 2014 and a conditional selection in 2015.
The Seahawks announced the move Monday, three days after multiple reports suggested a deal between Oakland and Seattle was imminent.
The holdup was believed to be the Raiders' efforts to trade incumbent starting quarterback Carson Palmer. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Oakland is trying to complete a deal that will send Palmer to the Cardinals.
Matt Flynn's departure puts Seattle in the market for a No. 2 quarterback. (AP)
Jackson was traded to Buffalo and Flynn spent the season as the backup, his only three appearances coming at the end of blowout wins.
Flynn's trade leaves Wilson as the only quarterback on the Seahawks' roster, putting Seattle in the market for a backup either via free agency or the draft. John Clayton identified Tyler Thigpen as a likely candidate. Thigpen, 28, has played for Kansas City, Miami and Buffalo during a seven-year career. Colt McCoy has also been rumored to be an option.
"There's different avenues we can go," Seahawks general manager John Schneider told Colin Paisley and Tom Wassell on Monday. "Obviously, we have a plan in place and it's contingent on who that player is. Obviously, there's veterans that are available now, some very talented guys, actually. Some guys that are all football and that have been down that road before that Russell's previously experienced, and then there's also some guys in the draft we think are pretty interesting.
"We have a plan and we're just going to take it as it comes. We're not going to force anything and we're not going to get in a situation where we have our hands tied."
The trade gives the Seahawks another chance to strike gold in the fifth round, where they've found a Pro Bowl safety (Kam Chancellor) and an All-Pro cornerback (Richard Sherman) in recent drafts.
Flynn was scheduled to count $7.25 million against the Seahawks' salary cap this season and $8.25 million in 2014. His trade clears $11.5 million in cap space over the next two years, savings the Seahawks can use toward a long-term deal with one of their younger players whose contract is almost up.
The team has been in talks with Chancellor on an extension. Chancellor, a fifth-round pick in 2010, is entering the final year of his rookie deal. Schneider was asked if the team wants to get a deal done with Chancellor before the season.
"Yeah, that's a goal of ours, sure," Schneider said.
The situation Flynn is entering in Oakland should feel somewhat familiar. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, like Schneider, was working in the Packers' front office when Green Bay drafted Flynn in 2008. And McKenzie, like Schneider, isn't handing the job to Flynn.
"Matt is a tough football player, and a talented quarterback," McKenzie said. "He will get the opportunity to compete to be a starter with the Raiders. I believe Matt has that potential, but I also know he hasn't had enough experience. We're going to let him compete and battle, and see what happens."
Parting ways with Palmer would leave Flynn and Terrelle Pryor as the only quarterbacks on the Raiders' roster. Pryor has made one start since the Raiders selected him in the third round of the 2011 supplemental draft.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Friday, March 29, 2013 @ 11:21am
The Seahawks insisted all along they wouldn't trade Matt Flynn unless the right offer came along.
It apparently has.
A deal between the Seahawks and Raiders that will send Seattle's backup quarterback to Oakland in exchange for draft-pick compensation is reportedly all but official. No announcement has been made, but multiple reports say the deal is close.
Trading Matt Flynn would give Seattle additional draft picks and cap space. (AP)
"Assuming Palmer stays consistent with what he's been saying, which is that he does not want to take any sort of pay cut, the belief is that they will release Palmer and give the green light on the trade of Matt Flynn," Rapoport told 710 ESPN Seattle Friday afternoon.
It's not known what draft picks the Seahawks would receive in return should the trade go through. The Raiders have only seven selections in this year's draft – none in the second or fifth rounds – so the package they send to Seattle could include a 2014 pick.
The other question is what the Seahawks will do to replace Flynn as starter Russell Wilson would be the only quarterback on their roster following the trade. Trading Flynn would clear up $3.25 million in cap space, some of which Seattle could use toward a veteran No. 2. Tyler Thigpen and Colt McCoy have each been mentioned as possibilities.
Oakland wasn't considered a likely trade partner until earlier this week. No team was, in fact, as the trade market for Flynn had seemed weak until a report from Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com on Tuesday said the Raiders, Jaguars and Bills had all talked to the Seahawks about a deal.
The Raiders' pending acquisition of Flynn comes as the team attempts to reduce Palmer's $13 million salary for the upcoming season. Palmer, according to reports, has no intention of agreeing to a pay cut. If their impasse results in Palmer's release, Terrelle Pryor would be the only quarterback on Oakland's roster.
That would give Flynn an inside track at the starting job, something he appeared to have when he signed a three-year, $19.5 million deal with Seattle last offseason after spending his first four NFL seasons as a backup in Green Bay.
Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider insisted at the time that Flynn would have to beat out incumbent Tarvaris Jackson for the starting job, but Wilson, a rookie third-round pick, forced his way into the competition and emerged the winner during the preseason. Wilson then took the NFL by storm while leading Seattle to an 11-5 regular-season record and a road playoff win, the team's first in 29 years.
Outside of the preseason, Flynn didn't see the field until the final month of the regular season, his only three appearances coming late in blowout wins over Arizona, Buffalo and San Francisco.
While Wilson's emergence made Flynn expendable, the Seahawks were still content to keep him around, even though that would mean paying $5.25 million in base salary to a backup. The Seahawks said they would listen to offers but insisted that Flynn's contract was in no way prohibitive.
"We've structured ourselves in a salary-cap manner where we're in a very good position with him," Schneider said of Flynn during an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle in January. Schneider added: "Having two quarterbacks like that's pretty special."
The trade would leave the Seahawks with just one quarterback but it will save them a decent chunk of change and recuperate some of the draft picks they relinquished in the trade for Percy Harvin. Seattle has 10 selections in the upcoming draft after giving up first- and seventh-round picks – along with a 2014 third-rounder – in the Harvin deal.
Friday, March 29, 2013 @ 10:36am
Update, 11:57 a.m.: ESPN's Ed Werder reports via Twitter that the Seahawks are engaged in trade talks with an unknown team and a deal involving Matt Flynn "appears imminent".
A possible Matt Flynn trade dominated the discussion when John Clayton, Jim Moore, Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton got together for another edition of "Cold Hard Facts" on Thursday.
A day earlier, Clayton had been skeptical of reports that the trade market for the Seahawks' backup quarterback was heating up, though he conceded that a deal with the Raiders would make sense if Oakland parts ways with starter Carson Palmer.
On Thursday, the conversation centered around a hypothetical trade with the Raiders.
The Seahawks would save $3.25 million in cap space by trading Matt Flynn. (AP)
Oakland owns the 66th overall selection, while Seattle has pick No. 87. The difference in those selections, according to the draft-pick value chart, is equivalent to an early fourth-round pick. Clayton thinks that and a 2014 conditional pick -- a fifth that could upgrade to a fourth -- would be enough for Seattle to part with Flynn.
Any trade with Oakland would only happen if the Raiders can't renegotiate Palmer's salary and decide to release him. That seems like a likely outcome based on the stance both sides are reportedly taking.
"Their priority is to try to work out a deal with Carson Palmer. They will not, under any circumstance, keep him on the roster at his current salary of $13 million, and he says he's not taking a pay cut," Clayton said.
What the Seahawks would save. The Seahawks would realize a cap savings of $3.25 million by trading Flynn (his 2013 cap number is $7.25 million, but Seattle would be on the hook for the remaining $4 million of signing-bonus proration).
The Seahawks could carry that money into next year or use it toward an extension for one of their young players they've been working on re-signing. Safety Kam Chancellor is one of those players. He's entering the final year of his contract.
"You may not be able to do a Kam Chancellor deal if you don't get this deal done with Flynn," Clayton said.
Jags out? A report from Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com earlier this week named the Jaguars as the most likely team to trade for Flynn. According to Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville "explored the possibility" but has decided to not make a run at Flynn.