by Paul Wanecski
If you are looking for exciting offseason moves, you will not find that in Seattle this year. The team is nearing the cliff of securing all the long-term franchise pieces they have had at a bargain the last 4 years. Any way that you cut it, Seattle has been able to keep the machine going.
Seattle had taken advantage of adjusted salary cap the last 4 season, rolling money into the new league year which allowed them to be able to build through the draft will low cost players, acquire veterans during the building process, then were able to walk away from the older roster players to resign the younger talent to long term extensions. Paying attention to Seattle’s cap space really will not be important; the team likes to build through the draft and the money saved is used to secure long term deals, so anything is possible at any time. Holding the 31st draft pick, the Seahawks in recent years have done a great job of find value; a trend that will need to continue.
RB Marshawn Lynch is now under a new deal. After the fiasco of Super Bowl week it is no surprise that he found his time to be more valuable than the contract he was under previously. He is a candidate to “Ricky Williams” at any moment, which just means he could retire at any time.
QB Russell Wilson is making near nothing in comparison to his accomplishments in his young career. Since he was selected in the 3rd round, Seattle does not have a 5th year option to exercise. This is his contract year. The common comparison is to Colin Kaepernick in regards to possible contract extension; however, Kaepernick’s contract is structured in a way that the San Francisco 49ers can walk away with little future impact. Expect Wilson to command a Joe Flacco-type contract, absent roster bonus and filled with a large signing bonus and a Top 10 base salary. Seattle may move forward with Wilson at the end of the season but that would be inadvisable since he will just be closer to free agency. Even though it will cost Seattle millions to give him a contract extension now, it would be best for the long term success of the franchise not to tamper with the future. The average NFL team spends around $14 million on the QB position. Seattle this year is spending only $1.6 on Wilson.
It is unlikely that TE Zach Miller and DT Brandon Mebane are retained given the injury history. Releasing both players saves $7.2 million.
LB Bobby Wagner is an animal. He will be rewarded handsomely for his contributions to this defense, however, he may be the last long-term contract extension that Seattle can offer on the defensive side of the football.
CB Byron Maxwell is benefiting from being a good player on a great defense. If general managers were to list the top 15 cornerbacks coming into this offseason, Maxwell would not have been on the list. The demand for him will be high which is why the Eagles made a play for him. Don't bother checking, he went to Clemson, not Oregon.
Seattle is always is in the market for cornerbacks and this year will be no different.
Not only that, expect them to start digging for offensive lineman and to handcuff the middle linebacker position since Bobby Wagner is coming up on his contract year and not signed to an extension.
Not much happening here. The Seahawks will dig for value and load the roster with players who had fallen off of an opponent’s depth chart because of injury, like they do every season. They will look for defensive tackles and interior lineman to shore up the roster. Most of these will be players whose names sound familiar, but none of them will be anything resembling a long-term commitment.
Seattle was thought to be a player for some of the bigger named wide receivers in the market. While they could make a play for Dwayne Bowe once he becomes available, Seattle will want to build its receiver group with a bit more muscle. They will also need to get more athletic at tight end.
Quick Guide to the Rookie Wage Scale (First Round Breakdown)