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Thursday, February 2, 2012
BBAO: Matt Flynn and Packers cap space

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel provides the hard numbers that will make it so difficult for the Green Bay Packers to use their franchise tag on quarterback Matt Flynn, with the purposes of trading him, rather than simply allowing him to leave via free agency.

The basics: The Packers have about $113.3 million already allocated for a 2012 cap expected to remain around $120 million. That means they have around $7 million in wiggle room. But using their tag on Flynn would require a $14 million commitment, requiring them to clear at least another $7 million -- and that's if they don't do any other contracts all offseason.

Tight end Jermichael Finley and center Scott Wells, among others, are pending free agents. The Packers probably want to keep both, but it would be tough to squeeze in the 2012 cap numbers of their presumptive new contracts while also leaving Flynn's $14 million on the books even in a temporary situation. A more likely scenario would be to let Flynn depart and use the remaining space on a deal for Wells, and perhaps a much-cheaper franchise tag on Finley.

Teams can do any single move they want in the cap era if they're willing to sacrifice in other areas. In this case, would it be worth it to get an extra draft pick or two for Flynn if it means losing Finley and/or Wells in the process? I'm guessing no.

Continuing around the NFC North: