If you happen to pay attention to our NFC West rivals, then you'll know that the Seattle Seahawks are in a somewhat similar situation in regards to their quarterback position. They had a guy they viewed as a veteran with the ability to win in Matt Flynn, but Russell Wilson became the starter and played out of his mind.
Now Flynn is set to be a backup or traded. There have been many who feel that the Seahawks would release Flynn, but the trade talk is starting to heat up. On top of that, the Seahawks are doing whatever they can to try and bolster Flynn's trade value, as Ian Rapport reports the team's "priority" is to have Flynn be the backup to Wilson.
You may recognize those words, as Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers made it abundantly clear that Alex Smith would not be released if a trade wasn't able to be agreed upon prior to his April roster bonus.
Honestly, I'm not entirely sure if I believe that Smith ever could have been the backup to Colin Kaepernick next season, but the move paid off, or seems to have paid off. The 49ers are getting at least a second rounder for Smith, with the possibility of another one the next year. That's good stuff.
And all, presumably, due to the 49ers suggesting that Smith was still an asset to the team.
Of course, there is a bit of a difference to the situations. Wilson's cap hit is ridiculously small in his second season in the NFL, and Flynn is still due money from a signing bonus that would count against Seattle's cap if they cut him.
To make things clear, the Seahawks would only save about $3.25 million in cash assets if they released Flynn, and they'd only free up $1.25 million in cap room. The 49ers, on the other hand, freed up about $8.5 million by trading Smith.
That said, there are some other factors that contribute to Flynn potentially still being released. That is that Flynn doesn't want to be a backup to Wilson. He wants to play, and if there are teams in the NFL who believe Flynn could start, then he'd likely want to take that opportunity. An angry backup quarterback is not a fun situation.
At any rate, it's clear that the Seahawks could definitely hold on to Flynn. I'm not so sure they will, but then again, I think this source "leaking" this information right after San Francisco was able to trade Smith is not at all a coincidence and it will end up working out well in their favor.
Doubt they get a couple second-round picks for him, though.