Seahawks GM John Schneider might be sick seeing Antoine Winfield Jr.'s new deal

Winfield's new deal could affect the Seahawks in 2025.
Alika Jenner/GettyImages

The Seattle Seahawks know a few things about paying a lot of money to a safety. Seattle let go of Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs this offseason because their contracts were too expensive. Both remain free agents but are still getting paid a combined $31 million for 2024 by Seattle.

On Monday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers paid one of their own safeties a ridiculous amount of money to stay with the team for four years beyond 2024. Antoine Winfield, Jr. will make $84.1 million over four years with $45 million of that guaranteed. The deal makes Winfield the highest-paid defensive back in the history of the league.

To be sure, Winfield is a very good player. He was named First-Team All-Pro in 2023 and has made two Pro Bowls in four years. He had 6 sacks, 122 tackles, and 3 interceptions. In other words, he is a well-rounded safety who can help his team in various ways. He is also only 25 years old.

Seahawks might have issues keeping Julian Love after learning of Antoine Winfield, Jr.'s new contract

Which brings us to the problem general manager John Schneider might have in 2025. That is when Julian Love will become a free agent. Love has not accomplished as much as Winfield, but he might be even better in terms of coverage. The Seahawks' safety had 4 interceptions last season, 123 tackles, and allowed a quarterback rating when targeted of 82.2. In comparison, Winfield's passer rating allowed was 102.0 and has been at least that high in three of the four seasons of his career.

Love made the Pro Bowl in 2023 and he just turned 26 years old. He and Winfield seemingly have a lot of the same qualities. Love is not going to be paid as much as Winfield because Winfield is better at putting pressure on quarterbacks, but make no mistake that Love should get a substantial pay raise next offseason. He offers quality positional flexibility as he can play both strong and free safety and should be a perfect fit in new head coach Mike Macdonald's defense.

The biggest problem for Seattle is they currently have no cap room in 2025. Over the Cap actually has the team listed at negative-$17 million in cap room next offseason though that will clearly change. But change enough to keep Love, a free agent after the 2024 season, around for several more years? Schneider might have thought Seattle could afford Love for a while longer but after learning of Winfield's deal that might not be the case.

Read more from 12th Man Rising