Step 1: Roster cuts
While no one wants to lose good players, sometimes it’s important to ensure a chance to grab a great player on the open market. Justin Britt has been a staple of the offensive line since 2014, the longest-tenured offensive lineman. He is firmly in his prime at 28 and should have a few good years left.
However, he is coming off an ACL injury and ranked in the bottom third of the NFL in pass protection last season. The other issue is that he holds the 4th largest cap hit in 2020 at $11.4 million. If he were to be released Seattle would recoup $8.5 million of this salary, which could pay dividends later in free agency.
The second roster cut is a fan favorite, DJ Fluker. He is the type of high energy player that every team needs, he is more or less an on the field hype man. The problem isn’t his locker room presence but his significant decline from the 2018 season to last year in on-field production.
While much of the focus lies with Germain Ifedi for penalties/sacks, Fluker was right behind him. Ifedi averaged 1 sack/penalty every 58 offensive snaps, Fluker sits right behind him at 1 sack/penalty every 66 offensive snaps. To put this into perspective, Joey Hunt, the backup center had one every 102 snaps, Jamarco Jones, the backup guard every 106 snaps, and starting left tackle Duane Brown every 264 snaps.
If Seattle were to cut DJ Fluker the savings would be minimal at $3 million. The main incentive is not just the money saved but an opportunity for inhouse player to be inserted here as an instant upgrade to the right guard. This player is Jamarco Jones and Pete Carroll admitted he was a major surprise this past season and is very excited to see him battle for a starting spot.