With just about $51M estimated in salary cap space, the Seattle Seahawks can afford to loosen their purse strings to make a splash in free agency. Who could potentially be on the Seahawk’s radar?
GM John Schneider is no stranger to making big acquisitions via free agency. His works include the signings of Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Jimmy Graham and a bevy of others that have contributed to the Seahawks in a major way. With an estimated 50.7M in cap space, and a roster full of immediate needs, one would like the chances of Schneider making a go at another splash signing this off-season. The Seahawks have already proven that they were just a play or two away from competing for it all, or at the very least, came within inches of shaking up the entire NFC Playoff picture against their division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers. As we all now know, the 49ers went on to play Super Bowl LIV.
Here are a few key salary numbers to keep in mind (courtesy of Over the Cap):
Total Cap Liabilities: $152,315,124
- Top 51: $151,492,957
- Team Cap Space: $50,775,222
- Offense: $92,140,284
- Defense: $54,045,135
- Special: $5,307,538
So, what does it all mean? Well, it gets is confusing, but let us simplify what we can and stick to what’s available of the team’s cap space, which again sits roughly at around $51M. This fact alone places the Seahawks 7th overall in the league in available cap space. However, a few more things play into effect here and will alter the final count. First off, the current roster has 48 players listed, meaning it will eventually need to sign 3 players to round off the 51 players needed to count against the cap. Let’s aside about $2M for that. Next, a full practice squad and/or injury reserve money set aside, it’ll more likely be at or around $4-$5M. Also, Seattle has 11 picks in the coming draft, but for the sake of averages, let’s take into consideration that the league average of players drafted to a team is 8. So, with possibly 8 rookie contracts to hand out (which for the purpose of this study, I have again run the numbers against the league averages in such contracts), we’re looking at around another $3.5M. That brings the total deductions to about $10.5M and leaves just a little over $41M in remaining cap space. And whether they re-sign DE Jadeveon Clowney or DT Jarran Reed, this number will drastically change also. It could cut in half should they sign both at the league averages. However, even with these adjusted numbers, it leaves Seattle with a good pot to work with. Schneider has done more with less in the
Whom should the Seahawks pursue in this year’s Free Agency? Here are a few players who may just be the right fit in Seattle:
Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE
Yannick Ngakoue is testing free agency for the first time in his career, and whether the Jaguars prioritize him as someone they bring back waits to be seen. At 25 years old, however, Ngakoue has upside and the time on his side. A talented pass rush is something the Seahawks lacked last season, ranking 30th in the league with just 28 total team sacks. Ngakoue will almost certainly contribute in this category, as he’s averaged more than 9 sacks a season since being drafted in 2016.
Jack Conklin, OT
This seems to be a yearly team need for the Seahawks. Depending on what they do early on with their draft picks, and/or if Germaine Ifedi is brought back on a new contract, having Conklin shore up an offensive line that ranked 27th in overall blocking (per PFF) couldn’t hurt more than it would help.
Brandon Scherff, OG
Another offensive lineman, another and/or/if scenario. Seattle could very well bring back guards DJ Fluker or Mike Iupati, but both are on the downsides of their careers and may also not be worth the money they’ll be asking for a second time around. Brandon Scherff won’t be cheap either, but outside of Martin, Nelson, and DeCastro, he is one of the best guards in the NFL. No offensive guard on Seattle’s roster comes close.
Amari Cooper, WR
This would be a luxury signing if it were to happen, seeing as the Seahawks seemed to do just fine with their starting wide receivers this past season. I would love to see Tyler Lockett go back to his strength and play slot receiver full time. With Cooper and the up-and-coming star DK Metcalf playing outside, Lockett would carve up defenses in between the hashes. This will also allow him to go back to his kick returning duties full time, a position in which he was selected an All-Pro as a rookie.
Jadeveon Clowney, EDGE
I will be the first to say that this will be Seattle’s most expensive option at a free agent, but also the most likely to occur. Seattle has had a sample season from Clowney, and although his sack numbers are not up to par with many of the elite pass rushers, statistically, he is nonetheless a wrecking ball. His presence is felt almost every snap he played, as is evident by his hits, hurries, and consistent presence in the backfield. I say pair him up with Ngakoue, and things might get interesting for the Seahawks dormant pass rush.
Seahawks in Free Agency: Who Fits in Seattle?Tweet