While the Seahawks approach this offseason with a goodly amount of cap space, they also need to think about extending players like Shaquill Griffin too.
The Seahawks have some money to play with this offseason. A few good free agent signings with players on other teams could improve Seattle enough to make a deep run in the 2020 playoffs. But Seattle will also wisely keep an eye out on what might occur next offseason. Seattle being the smart team it is, should also be looking at the money it will take to spend to extend cornerback Shaquill Griffin before free agency hits in 2021.
Seattle has been a bit more open to extending their own free agents a year before necessary lately. Last offseason, the Seahawks signed Russell Wilson to a huge contract making him the richest man in the world! (Or maybe just the NFL at the time.) Seattle did the same the offseason before with Tyler Lockett. Both players were worthy of extending early and so is Griffin.
After a not-good second season in 2018 for Griffin, he worked his butt off to make sure the same thing did not happen in 2019. Griffin improved so much that he made the Pro Bowl this past year. And that says a lot since he wasn’t exactly getting a lot of help from the corner opposite him many times.
Griffin had 13 passes defended in 2019, but would have had more except that teams stopped throwing his way. Instead, teams found it easier to throw towards Tre Flowers and not at Griffin. Griffin was the 10th-highest graded player in the NFL last season, per Pro Football Focus. Of those other nine cornerbacks, Griffin is the second-youngest and by only about 100 days. Griffin will be 25 years old when the 2020 season begins.
18 NFL cornerbacks average making $10 million a season or more and Griffin is better than at least half of them. 11 of them are 30 years old or older. Griffin is going to be a good player for a long time yet.
For the Seahawks to wisely sign Griffin before he hits free agency is a win-win. Griffin would know where he will be playing for most of his career and his brother, Shaquem, is still with the Seahawks. And the Seahawks would keep one of the better cornerbacks in the league around for three-to-five seasons at least. After Lockett and Wilson, the Seahawks need to make Griffin the next player they extend before his current contract is up.