After seeing the terms of Kam Chancellor’s contract yesterday, it became obvious to me that there is more at stake in this week’s draft than just filling holes on the roster. The Seahawks need to look ahead to 2014 and find ways to get cheaper.
Luckily, the Seahawks only have one true need right now in the draft, and that’s a 3-tech DT. Every other position has a starter lined up. Depth is needed, sure, and so are a couple of upgrades. With nine other picks, though, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Instead, this is an opportunity for the Seahawks to begin looking to replace some of their more expensive players with low cost rookies. Michael Robinson ($2.5 million), Paul McQuistan ($3 million) and Breno Giacomini ($3.5 million) are all players who could be replaced this year if the draft falls in a way that makes sense. That cap savings would carry over to 2014.
The Seahawks are also in a position to do more than that. They can draft key depth players for 2013 who have the potential to replace high priced starters in 2014. If they can find a replacement for one of Red Bryant ($7.5 million), Brandon Mebane ($5.5 million), or Chris Clemons ($7.5 million), they’d be able to re-sign both Sherman and Thomas next season without it effecting the rest of the team. Replace two of them and carry over the excess, and the team can re-sign Wilson without making additional cuts.
This is a luxury draft for the Seahawks. They can look ahead to 2014 instead of just trying to fill out 2013′s roster.
In a way, they did this last year by drafting and developing JR Sweezy. His presence decreases the value of McQuistan. If the Seahawks can acquire another backup guard, or if Rishaw Johnson shows enough development in training camp, then McQuistan and his high salary becomes expendable.
The contracts of the the defensive linemen I listed above means they’re not going anywhere before the 2013 season. This means that any potential replacements will have a year to develop as a rotational player instead of being thrown in as a starter from day one.
With 10 picks and only 1-2 real needs, the Seahawks have the luxury of focusing mostly on finding cheap replacements for their expensive veteran players.