After June 1 rolls around, teams around the Seahawks and the rest of the league may be cutting some of their highest-paid players because they incur too large a salary cap hit in a year the cap went down. This was prefaced by the first of these moves in Chicago, where the Bears announced that they will be cutting left tackle Charles Leno in early June to save money against the cap.
This is a very strange year, and I think lots of teams will make similar moves because they have to get under the cap. With that being said, today I start a new series where I’ll dive into one player from each team in the league that may be cut for this reason, and whether the Seahawks should pursue said player.
Let’s begin in Seattle’s home division, the NFC West.
Seahawks’ NFC West cap casualty free agent targets
Arizona Cardinals: Devon Kennard, OLB: I don’t really think Arizona has one guy who stands out as a potential casualty, but they would save $6.6 million against the cap this year by cutting him after June 1. Kennard would most likely be too pricey for Seattle to bring in, given how much they’re paying Bobby Wagner and the fact that Kennard would likely play Sam linebacker, a role not worth Kennard’s price tag. I would rather have KJ Wright back.
Los Angeles Rams: Rob Havenstein, RT: The Rams would save $6.75 million in 2021 by cutting Havenstein post-June 1, and he’s somewhat intriguing from a Seahawks perspective. He would have a shot at beating Brandon Shell out for the starting job, but if his price is anywhere above $3 million I’m not interested. Bringing him in would mean we’re basically paying for two starting right tackles, unless the Seahawks move on from Shell, which is possible.
San Francisco 49ers: Fred Warner, ILB: I think the obvious name here is Jimmy G, but since clearly the Seahawks would have no interest there, let’s look at Warner. The 49ers love Warner, so I don’t predict they’ll move on from him, but they would save almost $3.4 million in cap money for 2021.
In a crazy world, the Seahawks could potentially pick up Warner and pay him big money if they plan to move on from Bobby Wagner. However, I think the 49ers will fix whatever cap problems they have by trading Garoppolo away this summer, and I think they hold onto Warner for a long time.
I don’t think there are any standout targets for the Seahawks in the summer wave of free agency that hail from their own division. However, we still have 28 more teams to go through and determine if they have assets the Seahawks could use. Next time, we’ll look at 4 players out of the NFC North.