If you think this offseason has been uneventful and boring, for the most part, for the Seahawks, I can guarantee that the next one will be far from that.
Here is a list of the players set to become free agents in 2015:
- Cliff Avril
- Doug Baldwin
- James Carpenter
- Heath Farwell
- Tarvaris Jackson
- Jermaine Kearse
- Byron Maxwell
- Richard Sherman
- Malcolm Smith
- Earl Thomas
- K.J. Wright
While it is apparent and unfortunate that not all of these players will be re-signed, Seahawks fans hope that John Schneider will work enough of his magic to keep the majority with the team.
Richard Sherman: The Stanford alum will make a compelling case to become the highest paid cornerback in the history of the NFL, and if the Hawks want to keep one of the most talented and popular players in the game, they will have to comply with this request. Darrelle Revis got $12 million from the Patriots this year, so look for Sherman’s deal to be upwards of $13 million per year.
Earl Thomas: The heart and soul of the Legion of Boom is rumored to be the Seahawks’ No. 1 priority and it is more than likely that the two sides will reach an agreement before the start of the season. Thomas has played at an All-Pro level throughout his young career and it isn’t even much of a debate whether or not he is the best free safety in the game. And although he is not one to demand a lot money verbally, the team will reward one of their own with a deal in the $10 million-range making him the highest-paid safety in the NFL.
Cliff Avril: The strip-sack master has become a vital piece of D-line coach Travis Jones’ group. Bringing constant pressure from the outside, Avril had an eight-sack year and made his presence well known throughout the playoffs. John Schneider will look to keep him at a discounted rate similar to the deal Michael Bennett got, around $7-8 million a year.
Doug Baldwin: It’s hard to imagine a Seahawks roster without Russell Wilson’s most reliable third-down receiver. Baldwin was one of the first players to help fulfill Coach Carroll’s philosophy and the team’s newfound character of coming out of nowhere into the spotlight. As an undrafted rookie, he set all kinds of receiving records and has kept his passion alive by being consistent and clutch. He is currently on his one-year, $2 million deal and if possible, the team will bring him back with a long-term contract worth $3-4 million a year.
Byron Maxwell: When a backup player comes in and records four interceptions in four games, you know the coaching staff has done something right. Maxwell came onto the scene late in the year but developed into a vital member of the Legion of Boom. If he continues to play at the high level we saw at the end of the 2013 season, the Seahawks front office will be hard-pressed to keep the young corner as he could see his market value skyrocket in the coming year.
K.J. Wright: While Bobby Wagner is the emerging star, Wright has been a valuable asset to Ken Norton Jr.’s unit since his arrival in 2011. A three-year starter, he has quietly developed into a great cover linebacker and while he does not always make the highlight reel, Wright is usually on top of his assignments day in and day out. Although Malcolm Smith has gained popularity due to his MVP performance in Super Bowl XLVIII, if the Seahawks could only re-sign one of the young linebackers, I would take Wright every time.
Jermaine Kearse: The UW standout had one the best catch-and-run plays in the history of the Super Bowl, and beyond that, had somewhat of a breakout year. While he didn’t put up huge numbers, he came up big when it mattered most and almost always came down with the deep ball. Kearse is not yet ready for a major contract, but it is clear that his ceiling is high. He will not demand a high price tag come 2015 so it should not be too difficult for the Hawks to re-sign him and continue to watch him develop.