Seahawks land Matt Flynn, Dolphins trying to sign Alex Smith

The Seattle Seahawks have found their next quarterback while the San Francisco 49ers are still trying to lure theirs.

The Seahawks signed free agent Matt Flynn to a three-year, $19 million contract on Sunday, with $10 million in guarantees. The initial report was that Flynn received a base of $26 million, but the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel confirmed that the actual number was $19 million.

Meanwhile, the Denver Post reports that the Dolphins are trying to attract Smith with a salary that would pay him $8 million annually. Miami, which was also courting Flynn, is in a major bind at quarterback and is running out of options on the free agent market. Multiple sources tell the Miami Herald that the only way Smith would sign with the Dolphins is if the 49ers (Smith’s former team) agrees to terms with Peyton Manning.

But the two teams that are reportedly the front-runners for Manning are the Titans and Broncos, whom Peyton has worked out for this past week. Thus, if Smith winds up back with San Francisco then the Dolphins could be left with someone like free agent David Garrard, who spent last season out of football following his release from the Jaguars. (Garrard will be in Miami on Monday to visit the Dolphins and then is expected to meet with the Rams.)

Smith completed 273 of his 445 attempts last season for 3,144 yards and 17 touchdowns while leading the 49ers to the NFC championship game. He’s played his entire six-year career with San Francisco after he was selected with the first overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.

Flynn, meanwhile, caught the attention of several teams last season when he completed 31 of 44 passes for 480 yards and six touchdowns in a 45-41 win over the Lions in Week 17 of the regular season. We’ll the Seahawks could allow incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson and 2011 backup Charlie Whitehurst to battle Flynn in camp, the former Packer is favored to start next year for Seattle.

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Manning’s slow decision-making starting to affect other players, teams

Alex Smith will be in Miami on Sunday to meet with the Dolphins and perhaps the only reason he’s paying a visit to South Florida is because of Peyton Manning’s drawn out decision-making.

That’s not meant to be a slap at Manning. Whereas Brett Favre often dragged his feet so that he could stroke his massive ego, Peyton is just thorough. But he’s so thorough that it’s starting to have an affect on other teams and players, such as Smith.

A couple of days ago it seemed like a lock that Smith would return to ‘Frisco. But then the Niners emerged as a “sleeper candidate” to land Manning and now Smith is across the country in Miami. Everyone involved in this situation is essentially doing what he has to do. Manning doesn’t want to make a rash decision on where he wants to play next, so he’s taking his time. The 49ers clearly see Manning as an upgrade over Smith, or else they would have just brought back Smith by now. Thus, Smith is now in Miami, which also needs a quarterback because Matt Flynn has yet to take the Dolphins up on their contract offer.

Hopefully in the upcoming days everything will be sorted out and if Manning lands in Tennessee or Denver, it’s likely that Smith will head back to San Francisco and Miami will still have a shot to land Flynn. But there’s also a chance that someone gets screwed here.

Let’s say Smith does sign with the Dolphins and Manning agrees to terms with Tennessee. Then who starts for the Niners next season? Colin Kaepernick? And if Smith winds up back in San Francisco, Manning signs with either Tennessee or Denver, and Flynn signs with Seattle, then who will start for Miami next season? Matt Moore? Plus, if Manning winds up with Tennessee or Denver, what happens to Matt Hasselbeck or Tim Tebow?

Even though Manning has every right to take his time and not let outside factors determine how quickly he signs, somebody is likely to wind up playing some bad cards in 2012.

NFL Free Agency Update: Forte, Wallace and V-Jax

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (R) is brought down by San Diego Chargers’ Steve Gregory (L) in the first half of their NFL football game in Chicago, Illinois, November 20, 2011. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Bears set to open contract talks with Forte
NFL Network’s Albert Breer reports that the Bears will open contract talks with free agent running back Matt Forte in Indianapolis this weekend. Head coach Lovie Smith believes that signing Forte is “only a matter of time” for the Bears, but the franchise tag remains very much in play.

Seahawks to tag Lynch if no long-term deal is reached
Seattle general manager John Schneider stated that running back Marshawn Lynch would receive the franchise tag if the two sides can’t reach a long-term deal before the March 5 franchise deadline. Schneider remains optimistic that a four-year deal can be reached, however.

V-Jax expected to stay with San Diego?
In somewhat surprising news, NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora reports that “people close to” free agent receiver Vincent Jackson are convinced he’ll be franchised despite contrary reports. The two sides haven’t made much progress when it comes to a long-term deal but it seemed as if the Chargers were willing to let him test the market instead of tagging him. At the end of the day, the Bolts are, and should be worried about trying to replace Jackson’s production. Norv Turner’s vertical passing game would take a hit if the Chargers had to rely on an aging Antonio Gates to carry the load.

Franchise tag still a possibility for Wallace
Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert said on Thursday that the Steelers will extend a first-round tender to restricted free agent receiver Mike Wallace and that the franchise tag remains a possibility. The Steelers clearly want their No. 1 receiver back but they have limited cap space and Wallace is due for a huge pay raise. His contract situation will be one of the more intriguing storylines this spring.

Falcons willing to let Abraham test the market
John Abraham was the Falcons’ lone pass rusher last season but he turns 34 in May and still wants to be paid like one of the best defensive ends in the game. With a slew of other free agents that also need contracts, the Falcons are apparently willing to allow Abraham to test the market. If that’s the case, then Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff has a huge task on his hands in trying to beef up the Falcons’ pass rushing situation for the 2012 season.

Eagles agree to send CB Lito Sheppard to Jets

Lito SheppardThe Eagles have agreed to a trade that would send cornerback Lito Sheppard to the Jets for a 2009 fifth round and a 2010 conditional pick, which could turn into a second rounder depending on Sheppard’s playing time next season.

Some Philly fans will look at the fifth round compensation and scoff, but the Eagles really got a great deal here. Sheppard barely played in 2008, starting just three games and amassing only 21 tackles and one interception. They held onto him last offseason after not attracting many quality offers and still wound up getting a fifth this year and anywhere between a second and fourth next year. It was a solid trade.

The deal isn’t horrible for the Jets, but there is a catch-22. They acquired Sheppard hoping that he would become a starter, which he should opposite Darrelle Revis. But if Sheppard does become a starter and plays most of the snaps in ’09, then there’s a good chance that conditional round pick could turn into a second rounder.

A second and fifth round pick for Sheppard would probably be too much, but again, if he turns into a quality starter than maybe it was worth it for the Jets. And it’s not like they’re getting a bad player. Sheppard is only 27 and before injuries started taking their toll the past two years, he was one of the more productive players in the Eagles’ secondary.

The Top 5 Bargains and Risks of the 2009 NFL Free Agent Class

With free agency ready to kickoff this Friday, February 27, hope once again springs eternal for fans across the NFL.

But it seems like more than any other year, the free agent market this offseason has been picked bone dry before teams have even had the chance to grab their shopping carts.

Nnamdi Asomugha?

Sorry, off the market after re-signing with the Raiders.

Julius Peppers?

Franchised, but teams can probably have him for two first round picks, a gazillion dollars and a six yachts.

Terrell Suggs?

Likely staying put in Baltimore after being franchised.

Karlos Dansby? Brandon Jacobs? Matt Cassel? O.J. Atogwe? Darren Sproles? Antonio Bryant? Dunta Robinson?

All franchised.

Are there any players left on the market to get excited about? Absolutely, there are plenty of quality free agents available and bargains to be had. But as in previous years, there are a ton of risks, as well.

Below are five free agents that might command a decent amount of money this offseason, but will also be worth the heavy price tag in the end. I’ve also complied a group of five free agents that could turn out to be thieves this offseason by commanding big bucks, yet those investments may not pay off once teams start strapping on helmets and shoulder pads again.

Read the rest after the jump...

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