The Seattle Seahawks have been one of the more successful franchises in the NFL since general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll joined the team in 2010. They have drafted some likely future Hall of Famers and made some trades that led to success. But free agency hasn’t always been Schneider’s forte.
On the list that follows of free agents that Schneider should have never signed, I don’t have a player that shows up on lists like these. That would be quarterback Matt Flynn. The fact that Flynn never was good with Seattle has more to do with the team drafting Russell Wilson in the same year that Flynn was signed. Otherwise, Flynn might have been OK as Seattle’s quarterback.
While the Seahawks did sign some quality free agents early on, players like Michael Bennett, by the time the mid-2010s came around some really bad free agents were signed. Some of those led to Seattle going from a Super Bowl contender to completely missing the playoffs. Here are the four worst free agent signings under John Schneider.
Seahawks’ worst free agent signing No. 4: Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon
Here is the issue with Witherspoon. The Seahawks signed him in the 2021 offseason, paid him $2.5 million in a signing bonus, and then traded him before the season began to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 2023 fifth-round draft pick. Basically, Seattle just gave free money to Witherspoon who never played a down for the team even though the Seahawks definitely had a need for quality at cornerback in 2021.
Witherspoon does get oft-injured and this might be a reason that a team doesn’t want to sign Witherspoon. But John Schneider didn’t care so much about this fact because Seattle did, in fact, take a chance on Witherspoon and never found out if he would get hurt with the team. Instead, Witherspoon went to Pittsburgh, played in nine games for the Steelers in 2021, had 3 interceptions in those nine games, and allowed a quarterback rating when targeted of only 35.1.
Of course, Witherspoon did end up hurt again in 2022 for Pittsburgh but he is still just 27 years old. Maybe Seattle would have been taking a chance on Witherspoon not getting injured had they not traded him. But the fact is, Seattle did take a chance on Witherspoon when they signed him in the first place and Witherspoon would have probably been pretty good for the Seahawks in 2021.