Seahawks now have to save for Julian Love after Kyle Dugger extension

Dugger reportedly signed an extension with the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Jane Gershovich/GettyImages

Kyle Dugger has to be a happy person right now. He wanted to work out a deal with the New England Patriots after receiving the transition tag this offseason. The player and the team did finalize a deal that will keep Dugger in New England for four years beyond 2024 for four years and a maximum of $66 million. The deal should also make Seattle Seahawks safety Julian Love happy as well.

Dugger and Love have had comparable careers so far. Love entered the NFL a year earlier than Dugger and both have shown a versatility to play either safety spot. Dugger has been a full-time starter in the league for three years and Love for two. But Love should be happy with Dugger's deal because Love should be asking for even more to re-sign with Seattle.

Love is entering his final season with Seattle. His current deal plays him for two years and a maximum of $12 million. That is just an average of $6 million per season, while Dugger's contract will average $16.5 million a season. But if Love's agent is smart (and I am sure he is) then he will make several arguments to general manager John Schneider on why his client should get paid even more than Dugger.

Seattle Seahawks safety Julian Love should be thankful for Kyle Dugger's new deal

One is that Dugger is 28 years old. He came into the league at 24, so older than most. While he should still have a number of years left to play at a decent level, by the end of his new contract, he might not be as productive. Love, though, only just turned 26 years old. The safety should have another 5-6 seasons to play at a Pro Bowl level.

This is another point Love's agent should add. While Dugger has been solid, he has not made the Pro Bowl and Love did in 2023. There is no reason to think that with new head coach Mike Macdonald in charge of the defense Love's efficiency will decline. In fact, Love could be even better beginning in 2024.

Love's overall numbers are better than Dugger's too. For instance, Love misses fewer tackles (in the past four seasons, Love has missed 7.5 percent or less of his tackle attempts in each year while Dugger has missed 8.2 percent or higher of his tackle attempts in three of his four seasons). Love also has a lower passer rating allowed when targeted in each of the last two years.

If Kyle Dugger is going to get paid as much as he is for an extension, Julian Love deserves to get paid more. Love is a great fit in Seattle and hopefully, the Seahawks will keep him. If the team does, however, the organization needs to be planning on saving quite a bit of money to bring him back in 2025.

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