Grading the Seahawks four lower tier in-house signings

Will these lower-profile players pay off big?

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The Seattle Seahawks have made some big acquisitions during the NFL free agency period. They also re-signed four of their own restricted free agents. They may not be star players, but they can still make star plays.

The Seahawks haven't made as big a splash in free agency as some 12s were hoping, it's true. But they did address several needs, especially with Rayshawn Jenkins at safety and linebacker with Jerome Baker. Seattle had already re-signed Leonard Williams and Noah Fant, both critical to the team's success this season and beyond.

Those were certainly key figures for the upcoming season, but it takes more than 11 starters on each side of the line of scrimmage to consistently win. A quality team doesn't just need backup players. It needs players who are capable of stepping in as part of a rotation without a big drop in the quality of play. You always hope it won't happen, but at times, that backup has to step into the starting role. Unfortunately, you can count on that happening in the NFL.

Seattle Seahawks addressed depth at three key positions with these RFA signings

Two of the four players are signed and will definitely be back on the sidelines - and often the field - for Seattle this season. The other two have been offered contracts but could still sign with another team. As they're restricted free agents, the Hawks have the right to match any higher offer and retain them. Each of these players has somewhat different circumstances as well, which we'll get to when discussing their grades.

Let me clarify here that these aren't simply players' grades, but the contract Seattle has offered them as well. Hopefully, that makes sense. I'd have a very different outlook on these guys if the Hawks had signed them to three-year deals at $3 million a year. So the contract and the player grades go hand in hand. I won't go into a deep dive on these players, either. If you're a 12, you already know who they are.

Artie Burns, Cornerback

Burns is the first of two players that will definitely return to the Seahawks for 2024. This will be his third season in Seattle, and hopefully, he'll see more work on special teams than on defense. It's not that he's bad by any means, just that the four cornerbacks ahead of him on the depth chart were all clearly better. For depth, I like it. Details haven't been announced yet, other than it's a one-year deal. It's likely to be similar to last season when he signed for the league veteran minimum. This year, that would be $1.125 for a player with five years of experience.

Grade: B+