Seahawks must extend these three players after 2018

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 15: Outside linebacker K.J. Wright (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 15: Outside linebacker K.J. Wright (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks had little cap space for 2018. Seattle will have more money to spend in 2019. Some of it needs to be spent to extend these three players.

The Seahawks began the 2018 fiscal year with just $3.5 million of cap room. That’s not good. Having such little money forces a team to cut or trade players that have value but the team cannot afford to keep. No team wants to be in that position.

Currently, Seattle has nearly $60 million in cap room for next year. The Seahawks have several players that ideally they would bring back. Those players, of course, would eat up some of that room. Earl Thomas is among these players and he may not even be around to play in 2018 if he continues his holdout.

Trading Thomas remains a viable option. And there is as much chance of that happening as there is to Seattle signing Thomas to an extension. Losing Thomas means missing a big part of the defense. But not having the free safety also means more financial flexibility.

So leaving Thomas out of the mix at this point, here are three player Seattle must sign to extensions beyond 2018.

K.J. Wright

Wright is part of the best linebacker duo in the NFL, along with Bobby Wagner. The linebacker will also be just 30 years old when the 2019 season begins and should be good for several more seasons. Coach Pete Carroll also mentions Wright as one of the core group of leaders currently on the team.

And when was the last time you heard Wright complain about anything? He does his job and he does it well. He should continue to do this for several seasons in Seattle. An extension for Wright would be around the $10 million per season range.

Duane Brown

Brown will be 34 years old when the 2019 season starts. But this isn’t old anymore for an NFL offensive lineman. I am not saying the Seahawks should sign Brown for four or five years. But an extension of two years or so would be a good fit.

Brown made it to the Pro Bowl last year and is still an excellent left tackle. More importantly, like Wright, Brown is a leader on a retooling Seattle team. And he can teach younger linemen like Ethan Pocic to be very good pros.

Frank Clark

Clark may have taken a hit in public perception when he appeared to holdout for part of Seattle’s OTAs this offseason, but he is still an emerging talent at a needed position. Clark will be able to determine how much he makes, though.

The former second round pick has 22 sacks in three years as Seattle third best pass rusher. In 2018 he will be expected to be the Seahawks best at getting to the quarterback. If he gets to 13 or 14 sacks, he could earn himself a paycheck of about $15-17 million a year.

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The Seahawks have several other players who could warrant extensions. Tyler Lockett could finally have a fully healthy season and his production could explode. Justin Coleman might have another excellent season as the slot cornerback and Seattle could lock him up for multiple seasons. For the Seahawks’ playoff hopes in 2018, let’s hope all the players on this list are great.