Seahawks outlook for 2018: Cornerbacks and safeties
By Lee Vowell
The Seahawks star is descending. Or is it? Several players for Seattle are young enough to keep the team good for several years. But changes are needed. Here’s a guess at what happens with the LOB going into 2018.
The Seahawks are in good shape next season at corner. Sure, there is a chance that Richard Sherman might not be back, but I think Seattle learned how much they miss him when he can’t play. And Sherman showed he was a good teammate when he’s staying on the sidelines after missing the rest of the year after he tore his Achilles.
Sherman is signed through 2018. Rookie Shaquill Griffin, though, is in Seattle through at least 2020. In his second year he should be even better, and he was very good in 2017.
Justin Coleman may have been Seattle’s third best corner this season. He will be a restricted free agent this offseason, but I think Seattle should make a real effort to re-sign him.
Jeremy Lane needs to be cut pre-June 1st. Lane’s contract is ridiculous and he isn’t earning the base $4 million his is making this year. In 2018, Lane will make a base of $6 million. No. Just, no. Cutting him prior to June 1st saves Seattle $4.75 million.
DeShawn Shead is obligated to Seattle next season as he played less than six games this year. But he will be due only $1.2 million. Shead should be kept as depth behind Griffin and Sherman.
Byron Maxwell is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He failed with the Dolphins and Eagles, but has been pretty decent with Seattle. If the Seahawks can bring him back at little expense, they should.
Neiko Thorpe shouldn’t be brought back, simply because he will save $1.85 million if he is cut prior to June 1st.
Mike Tyson and DeAndre Elliott are still under rookie contracts and will probably be back. But Tyson needs to show improvement.
This is where there are question marks. Earl Thomas will return but has only one year left on his contract. Beyond 2018, Thomas might be too expensive to keep but 12s can worry about that another day.
Kam Chancellor is the biggest unknown. After missing half the season with a stinger, Chancellor has allegedly hinted that he has thought about retirement. Seattle’s run defense suffered after Chancellor was hurt; He makes such a big difference in support and simple intimidation. As good as Bradley McDougald has been this year, Seattle has no real answer for Chancellor’s absence. Nor will they next year if he doesn’t return.
Chancellor’s cap number is $9.8 million. If he is healthy and if he wants to return, the Seahawks should have him back.
It would be great if McDougald could return, too, but he has played so well he has probably priced himself out of Seattle. Seattle will need to find a comparable replacement.
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The Seahawks have a concern with depth, though. Unproven rookies Delano Hill and Tedric Thompson will be back. But what that means is anyone’s guess. How good can they be? Hill and Thompson will have a say in whether 12s can keep calling the secondary the Legion of Boom or not.