4 underpaid Seattle Seahawks heading into 2023 offseason
By Lee Vowell
Player No. 1: Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen
Someone is going to get a massive pay raise in 2026 and that player is Tariq Woolen. His rookie season was not a fluke. Yes, he had 6 interceptions and proved he could catch like the wide receiver he used to be. But his coverage was also extremely sticky and he had the speed and coverage skills to cover nearly everyone.
Woolen allowed a quarterback rating when targeted of just 48.7. He also allowed an extremely low 6.3 yards per target. Woolen didn’t just intercept passes. The thing is, while he wasn’t as raw with technique as many expected him to be, he was still a rookie and should be even better in the future. Woolen will also improve if the defense overall is better which it should be with the addition of high-quality draft picks.
The highest cap hit Woolen will carry until 2026 is $1,183,054 in 2025. He made his first Pro Bowl this past season (I say “first” because at this point if Woolen stays healthy he should be a Pro Bowl contender every season). He does need to improve his run defense, though. He doesn’t mind contact because he can hit hard when he tackles, but he isn’t Richard Sherman in terms of help[ing stop the run. At least, not yet.
The top 21 highest-paid cornerbacks all have a cap hit of over $10 million next season. By the time Woolen’s rookie contract ends the number of corners that make $10 million or more will likely be quite a bit more than 21. And Woolen will like earn more than $10 million a season beginning in 2026.