This is an off-season unlike any other. The NFL and NFLPA agreed on a $175 million floor for the salary cap in this upcoming season. This number can increase slightly depending on new TV deals and if gambling agreements are put into place (the newest estimate is $180 million, per Adam Schefter). Because of this, the majority of the NFL is going to be struggling to find funds and this includes the Seahawks.
This is the largest drop in cap space since I started tracking the salary cap in the mid-2000s. A drop of over $25 million after it has increased nearly $10 million every year for a decade. This is where the issue lies.
The Seahawks are currently slated to have just $1 million in ’true’ cap space. They are also slated to have the 6th most free agents hit the market. This includes a number of starters. Players like K.J. Wright, Shaquill Griffin, Quinton Dunbar, Chris Carson, David Moore, Mike Iupati, Ethan Pocic, Benson Mayowa, and Pro-Bowl special teams ace Nick Bellore.
The Seahawks have a rough few months ahead of them; Tough Decisions are looming.
Ordinarily, when a team is in a tough spot financially, with a lot of free agents, they look to the draft. The only issue here is that Seattle has only 3 draft picks in this upcoming season. They traded the farm to acquire win-now players thinking this year’s college football season wouldn’t occur. Meaning, the draft would be a complete crap-shoot.
However, low and behold, many college teams performed. Players developed and this draft now looks to be one of the best in recent years. The hardest part about it, the draft is stocked with all the positions where the Seahawks need fresh talent. Positions like the offensive line, wide receiver, and running back. It also has some sneaky talent at cornerback and defensive tackle.
This is where the tough decisions come into place. The Seahawks already drafted Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright’s replacements. They selected Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton, and Ben Burr-Kirven with first, third, and fifth-round selections. The team has tried investing heavily in the linebacker group. It hasn’t worked.
Something has to give. In order to get value, the team needs to give something that holds value up. For the Seahawks, there are only 5 players I believe hold enough value in the market to make a trade worthwhile. Wagner is one of them.
This is the third article in the series.
Continue with me on the next slides where I dive into why a trade might occur, what a trade could look like and a mock draft (post-trade).