The Seahawks have a lot of tough calls to make among their free agents this offseason. Their decision on Germain Ifedi was the easiest of all.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s followed the Seahawks over the past few years, but obviously, Germain Ifedi‘s reign of terror at right tackle is over in Seattle. By terror, I don’t mean he terrorized opposing defenders, either. It would be more accurate to say his reign has been one of error, not terror. Considering what some pretty reputable sources expect his next contract to be, the Seahawks can find much better things to do with their money.
Allow me to acknowledge John P. Gilbert of fieldgulls.com, who did some very heavy lifting in his excellent article on Ifedi’s expected market value. It’s definitely worth a read, so jump on over as soon as you’re done here. To recap very briefly, Gilbert makes a very persuasive case for Ifedi to eventually sign for $12 million per year, or even more.
Yes, I know that sounds insane, but Gilbert has about a dozen solid pieces of evidence to support his statement. He isn’t the only person to see this likelihood either, but Gilbert is no bandwagon jumper. He saw this coming for quite a while. Considering the dearth of starting tackles and Ifedi’s youth, I’m sure Gilbert’s assertion is correct. In fact, I believe the Seahawks saw this coming as well. That’s one reason they didn’t bother to pick up Ifedi’s option coming into the 2019 season.
There’s a better reason, of course. That would be that Ifedi just hasn’t been a very good player for the Hawks. One could make a strong argument that 2019 was Ifedi’s best season in Seattle. That would be correct, but it’s faint praise. It’s akin to praising Percy Harvin for not getting into a fight after a game. It’s nice to see, but it barely meets the minimum expectations.
That would be Germain Ifedi’s 2019 season. He wasn’t terrible, but he was far from good. Pro Football Focus ranked him 64th among the 81 tackles they rated last year. George Fant ranked ahead of him, and the big man played half as many snaps. As usual, Ifedi led all Seahawks offensive linemen in penalties. For once, he didn’t lead the entire league, as his 13 flags “only” ranked third in the NFL. As you’ll see on nflpenalties.com, he had 10 in 2018, 16 in 2017, and somehow just six in his rookie season, 2016. That’s 45 penalties in four years. I nearly had to break out my slide rule to keep up.
The penalties wouldn’t be such a big problem if he was actually effective when he didn’t get flagged. Ifedi reminds me of one of the best episodes of the original Star Trek, show, “Mirror Mirror”. All fans fondly recall the mirror universe that saw Kirk transported to a parallel reality, where the Federation was evil, and Spock wore a beard. Great stuff. Well, Ifedi is the mirror universe version of Jadeveon Clowney. He’s on the opposite side, and instead of being one of the best players, he’s – well, since we’re talking Star Trek, he’d be in a red shirt, for sure.
That’s tolerable, barely, under the rookie contract that paid him a little over $2 million per year. By the way, the Seahawks would have paid him $10.35 million to stick around in 2020. By the standard of his expected payday, that would be a bargain. By the standards of his performance, it would be a nightmare. At a bit over $2 million, Ifedi was worth keeping. Not that he was great, but you better know you have someone better to step in. For what the Hawks will save, they can definitely improve both the position and the team overall.