Are the Seahawks better in 2021?
Shaquill Griffin, Jarran Reed, Geno Smith, David Moore, Carlos Hyde, Phil Dorsett, Bruce Irvin, KJ Wright, Quinton Dunbar, Demontre Moore, Jacob Hollister, Neiko Thorpe, Branden Jackson, Demarious Randall and Delano Hill are gone or could be soon.
Plus the not so missed Josh Gordon and the sadly missed retirees Mike Iupati and Greg Olsen
Eighteen names gone from the roster has got to hurt. Three of these, you could not do anything about though. Of course, there is the chance to re-sign some of these, but those definitely gone are Griffin, Moore, Hyde, Dorsett, Hollister who I covered off earlier.
What about the other ten? Well, firstly according to Spotrac the Seahawks have $6.5 million left cap space-wise, $2.5 million of this will be required to sign the Seahawks with $4 million left to re-sign any of these ten players.
For me, this means looking at which one of these do you most need. One quick glance brings that down to two, KJ Wright or Quinton Dunbar. As outlined in a piece on this site by Geoff Shull, with some creativity and backloading a 3-4 year deal the Seahawks should be able to re-sign Wright for $4 million in 2021. Given his impact on the defense from a leadership point of view, added to Dunbar’s inconsistency and the fact he will be returning from injury. I would do all I can to re-sign Wright.
So you lose a backup QB, RB, two depth receivers, a TE, plus a defensive tackle, three defensive ends, three cornerbacks and two safeties. Three of these can be replaced from the draft, I have it mocked that the Seahawks replace two WR’s and a DE. So the real impact will be on the defense and most notably at cornerback.
However, with what they had to play with the Seahawks have not had much control over what moves they could make, so as long as they re-sign KJ Wright I will give them a C grade for this section of work.
To summarise, let’s review the grades for each section of this piece.
Acquiring Gabe Jackson B-, Gerald Everett D-, Kerry Hyder B+, Akhello Witherspoon C and Al Woods C.
Acquisitions grade: C+
Letting go of Shaq Griffin C-, David Moore B, Carlos Hyde B, Jacob Hollister and Phil Dorsett both C.
Free agency release decisions grade: C+
Re-Signing Carlos Dunlap D, Chris Carson B+, Poona Ford B, Benson Mayowa C, Nick Bellore E, Ethan Pocic B, Jordan Simmons and Cedric Ogbuehi both C.
Re-signings grade: C+
and finally, on the basis that the Seahawks re-sign K.J.Wright they get the following grade:
Pending free agents grade: C
As I said at the top, this has been a hectic ten days and the Seahawks went to the card table having been dealt a pretty poor hand. They have played that hand pretty well overall but I think they could have done better with regard to the Everett, Dunlap and Bellore decisions in particular.
Overall grade: C+
But to continue the cards analogy, The Rams and Cardinals have acquired a high-value card each in Matt Stafford and JJ Watt respectively. Add to that, the 49’ers trading up to take their QB of the future in the upcoming draft and the others have stronger hands in the off-season game of poker.
But the Seahawks hold the stronger hand from last season as division champs when it comes to next season’s performances. The NFC West is certainly going to be one of the most competitive NFL divisions in 2021, and the Seahawks will face a tough battle to retain their divisional title.