Signing Schwartz will not be cheap, but it will be worth every penny
Mitchell Schwartz will not be cheap to sign despite being this late into free agency. However, if you can gain his services on a multi-year deal, the team can reduce his cap hit in year one exponentially.
I would also argue that the team could lessen the initial blow by either trading or cutting the current starting right tackle. Brandon Shell was a solid addition last off-season. His late-season injury didn’t allow him to play at full strength against a very potent Rams pass rush. This left a sour taste in many fans’ mouths. However, he was a player that surprised many with his level of play.
I wouldn’t be surprised if some team offered a day three pick in 2022 for his services on a very team-friendly deal. He has far surpassed the value in which Seattle signed him for just a year ago. Trading or cutting Shell would allow the Seahawks to recoup $3.35 million in cap space.
What a contract could look like to sign Mitchell Schwartz:
Terms: 3 years, $24 million
Average salary: $8 million
Guaranteed money: $11 million
Cap hits by year:
- 2021: $5.25 million
- 2022: $8.25 million
- 2023: $10.5 million
There would be specific language in the contract that voids all guarantees if the back injury doesn’t heal right. The majority of the guaranteed money would also be front-loaded. More or less, the final year (age 35 season) would be a team option with a small dead cap if released/traded.
How this all could work out (hypothetical): Seattle trades Brandon Shell to the Cincinnati Bengals for a 2022 6th round selection. This move saves Seattle $3.35 million. The Bengals get a solid start to help protect their franchise QB for just $2 million in 2021. Seattle signs Mitchell Schwartz to a 3-year deal with a year-one cap hit of $5.25 million.
This move costs Seattle an extra $1.9 million in cap space. However, the overall ceiling for the offensive line just sky-rocketed into the top 5. Given the strength of the NFC West, investing in one of the most durable and dependable right tackles in the NFL is money well spent.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll will turn 71 in the 2021 season. At some point Seattle will have to replace him and here are three coaches who could.
Even if Schwartz needs a few weeks into the season to get back to 100%, Cedric Ogbuehi is just a half step behind Brandon Shell in production. The playoffs aren’t won in weeks one or two. Let Ogbuehi play and have one of the best offensive linemen when it counts. In the playoffs.