It’s no secret the Seahawks don’t have a lot of cap room. Even more so than usual, it’s critical they select the highest value players to retain.
There are some pretty spectacular free agents on the market for 2018. Need details? Just take a look at this Sports Illustrated list of the top free agents for 2018. You know, just in case you’ve been under a rock. You’ll see more than a few Seahawks on the list. Jimmy Graham and Sheldon Richardson are both listed as difference makers. Paul RIchardson, Luke Willson, and Bradley McDougald are also highlighted in the article.
But we’ve already talked about those guys. I’d rather talk about five more free agents on the Seahawks roster that I see as critical to their success in 2018. Okay, maybe critical is overselling it a bit. I’ll go with really really important to Seattle’s playoff hopes for this coming season.
I want to talk about five players that may not carry nearly the name recognition of the players above, but could play key roles for a lot less money. And when you’re talking about Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson, I mean a lot less money.
The five bargain Seahawks
Dion Jordan. I mentioned him briefly when discussing Michael Bennett. It’s certainly worth repeating that Jordan had four sacks in five games. That’s four sacks in just 135 snaps. Sure, it’s a small sample size. But if Frank Clark had dumped the quarterback at the same rate, he’d have totaled 22 sacks last year. Clark had nine, and is a legitimate beast. If Jordan can perform close to that level for a full season (and he was the third overall pick, so he’s got the pedigree), he’s a no-brainer. He shouldn’t come close to breaking the bank, either. Those four sacks last year were one more than he had with three years in Miami.
Mike Davis. The big fella could move. Am I right?
Very similar to Jordan, in that he produced well in limited action. That equals a low dollar, high value contract. I mean, it’s not like Eddie Lacy will be back, so if nothing else, Davis adds much needed depth. I can’t wait to see the competition between Davis and Chris Carson.
Justin Coleman. A premium slot corner to cover premium slot receivers. Yes, Byron Maxwell graded out just a bit higher on Pro Football Focus, but at 81.8, Coleman was no slouch himself. Compared to the bigger names, he’ll come relatively cheap, too. If you somehow thought the Seahawks might keep Jeremy Lane after all his foolishness, he graded at 37.8. Which gives him a trade value of two loaves of day-old bread. As for Coleman, rumor has it the Salvation Army will cover ten percent of his salary.
J.D. McKissic. Not a big name, I get it. Certainly not a three down back. When you get to it, he’s a wideout that loves the backfield. He also happened to be the only guy not named Wilson that scored a rushing touchdown for the Seahawks in 2017. He was what C. J. Prosise was supposed to be, more or less. And he’ll be…relatively cheap. Maybe by now you’ve noticed a theme.
Byron Maxwell. Psych. You thought I was going to skip him since I’d already mentioned him in passing. Like I said, he graded out higher than Coleman, at 84.0. That’s actually even higher than Richard Sherman, who will probably cost just a little more than Maxwell. Like the other four players here, Maxwell has a record of underperforming in the past. And that translates into… yes, another high value, low dollar player.
When you only have about $14 million in cap space, you have to spread those dollars as thinly as you can. With these five players, the Seahawks should get a great return on their investment.