The Seahawks are loaded at linebacker. But some one has to go. Will is be Barkevious Mingo or Shaquem Griffin or someone else?
The Seahawks are set at linebacker. Not only do they have the great Bobby Wagner at linebacker but they also have K.J. Wright. And most likely Mychal Kendricks. But depth is a must in the NFL. Seattle will need these three linebackers to be on the field defensively but will need even more linebackers to play meaningful snaps on defense. They will also need linebackers to be impactful on special teams.
One of the biggest battles going into July’s 2019 training cam will be second year pro Shaquem Griffin against veteran Barkevious Mingo. Both players are similar in that they can theoretically get after the quarterback but aren’t great against the run. So far. Griffin is still trying to prove what he can do. Mingo has had a few years in the NFL but hasn’t been worthy of being picked in the first round of the 2013 draft.
If it comes down to money, Mingo is gone. His cap hit in 2019 is $5.3 million if he makes the roster. He isn’t worth that much money to be on the Seattle roster. Mingo won’t be a starter at linebacker and can’t be a starter at defensive end. Griffin’s contract worth is much less. In 2019, Griffin’s cap hit is $649,404. That is a huge difference. One that might make the difference between which player stays and which one goes.
This roster battle for the Seahawks probably won’t come down to which player can help more on special teams, either. Both can do that but Seattle added players this offseason to try to improve their kickoff coverage. These players include Cassius Marsh. Marsh might also stand in the way of Mingo or Griffin trying to transition to defensive end.
Both Griffin and Mingo have excellent athletic ability. Neither has yet shown they are worthy of getting starter-like snaps on defense. Seattle has several linebackers ahead of Griffin and Mingo who are simply better. It could be that neither player makes the roster in 2019. But I am going to say that Griffin stays because Pete Carroll thinks he can mold him into an edge rusher and because Griffin is the cheaper choice.