NFL free agency is now a few days in. Where do the Seahawks land among the NFC West when it comes to free agency winners and losers in the division? The answer might be different than had the Seahawks been in any other division in the NFL. I say this because while teams like the New England Patriots have basically changed their roster, the NFC West teams have mostly stood pat.
That isn’t to say that the Seahawks and their division rivals have done nothing. Seattle started that way but has been acquiring players in the last few days. They have also lost some key players from recent years, however, and that could impact their chances to win the NFC West again next year.
So who are the winners and losers so far in relatively early free agency? Here are some thoughts.
Seahawks and the NFC West: Winners and losers in free agency so far
Winner: Arizona Cardinals
Additions: Defensive end J.J. Watt, receiver A.J. Green, kicker Matt Prater and center Rodney Hudson (via trade)
Notable departures: Cornerback Patrick Peterson (new team is Vikings), running back Kenyan Drake (Raiders) and linebacker Haason Reddick (Panthers)
Why?: Arizona isn’t making moves to be better in five years; they are making moves to be better in 2021. Signing Watt gives their other end, Chandler Jones, a lot of help and Watt is good against the run too. Russell Wilson will feel the pressure when the Seahawks play the Cardinals. And Green is better in 2021 than Larry Fitzgerald would have been.
Loser: Los Angeles Rams
Additions: No one unless you want to count the trade the Rams made to get Matthew Stafford and give up Jared Goff
Notable departures: Safety John Johnson (Browns), tight end Gerald Everett (Seahawks), linebacker Samson Ebukam (49ers) and cornerback Troy Hill (Browns)
Why?: Well, first of all, the Rams haven’t added anyone to their roster except for trading quarterbacks with the Lions. And Los Angeles has lost two key members of its 2020 secondary in Johnson and Hill, both of whom started every game for the Rams this past year.
Winner: San Francisco 49ers
Additions: Center Alex Mack and linebacker Samson Ebukam
Notable departures: Receiver Kendrick Bourne (Patriots), defensive end Solomon Thomas (Raiders) and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (Seahawks)
Why?: I think that the Ebukam signing is going to be very good for San Francisco. He can supply quarterback pressure and has good speed. Mack has stayed a very good center. Thomas seemed to always underperform. But the re-signing of Trent Williams for six years is a great move as he is one of the best left tackles in the NFL.
Loser: Seattle Seahawks
Additions: Tight end Gerald Everett, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and guard Gabe Jackson (via trade)
Departures: Cornerback Shaquill Griffin (Jaguars), receiver David Moore (Panthers), Carlos Hyde (Jaguars), tight end Jacob Hollister (Bills) and Phillip Dorsett (Jaguars). Also, possibly Carlos Dunlap.
Why?: While Seattle has re-signed Chris Carson, he just keeps the team from not being worse. Losing a known commodity in Griffin and replacing him possibly with Witherspoon leaves a question mark in the secondary. Seattle added Everett but may have overpaid for him at $6 million in 2021 and lost Hollister who couldn’t block but was a good receiver. Dunlap was released and Seattle doesn’t have his replacement at edge rusher yet. Will Russell Wilson be happy?