UPDATE 11:45PM: Pat McManamon was at the Canton Browns Backers meeting tonight, and reports that Phil Savage said that the team did not extend a contract offer to Boulware today. According to Pat, Savage appeared "cautious" about Boulware's health.
Linebacker Peter Boulware escaped Cleveland today without signing a contract with the Browns. According to our sources and friends at Seahawks.net, Boulware has landed in Washington and will be talking to the Seahawks tomorrow.
The Seahawks may have helped themselves afford Boulware on Thursday as they cut both troubled wide receiver Koren Robinson and cornerback Bobby Taylor. Neither cut was unexpected, and should provide the Seahawks with some room to maneuver as they negotiate with Boulware on Friday.
The Seahawks would still be challenged to pay Boulware in a manner commensurate with the Browns, as Seahawks.net has calculated that the team likely only has $2.2 million in available cap space to sign the linebacker. The Browns have significantly more cap space to use, with estimates ranging from $5 - $7 million available under the cap.
Prior to being released by the team, Boulware rejected an offer from the Ravens which was worth considerably more than the Seahawks available cap space.
Most likely, the only the Seahawks can compete with the Browns financially would likely be to give Boulware a long-term contract with a sizeable signing bonus spread out over four or five years. While this opens up the Seahawks for future issues with dead cap space, it would allow them to chase Boulware now.
A factor the Seahawks have in their favor is Michael Boulware, Peter's brother and a 2004 draft selection. The Browns have to hope that their financial flexibility helps overcome the Seahawks familial advantages.
A third factor in Boulware's decision his his desire to be used on nearly every down rather than as a situational pass rusher. Most analysts feel that the Browns are more likely to use the linebacker in this capacity.
The Browns were going to make a determination about Boulware's ability to play throughout the game based partly on his physical condition. No substantive word has been forthcoming from the team regarding the discussions, although Savage will speak with reporters briefly this evening before a function with the Canton Browns Backers.
Boulware has said that he hopes to make a decision about his new team soon.