The smartest thing the Seattle Seahawks have done in some time was to trade Russell Wilson. They not only moved on from a challenging, fading talent, they got a franchise-resetting bounty of assets in return.
What’s next for one of the most surprising teams in 2022? We go through Seattle’s options and explore free agents, cut candidates, and team needs in our Seahawks offseason preview.
Seattle Seahawks Offseason Preview: Set To Soar
Priority No. 1 this offseason is formulating a plan at quarterback. Geno Smith in 2022 was the equivalent of finding a winning lotto ticket in the laundry. But now it’s time to pay the taxes.
Smith is a free agent this offseason, and Spotrac estimates his market value at $36.1 million AAV.
So, the Seahawks have four options:
1. Sign Smith to a long-term deal (four years, $140 million seems reasonable).
2. Franchise Smith at an estimated $32 million.
3. Franchise Smith and trade him.
4. Let him walk, collect a premium compensatory pick in 2024, and use their marvelous draft capital to draft a long-term starter.
The Seahawks own five selections in the top 100, including Denver’s top-five pick.
Seahawks’ 2023 Salary Cap Space
According to Spotrac, the Seahawks were under the 2023 salary cap by $49.4 million as of early January, giving them the fifth-most cap space in the NFL.
That figure reflects $5.9 million in projected dead cap. It is based on an estimated $225 NFL salary cap in 2023.
The exact cap figure will not be known until the NFL announces it in early March.
Seahawks Free Agents 2023
The following Seahawks players are set to hit free agency. (Restricted free agents are noted with the abbreviation RFA, exclusive rights free agents by ERFA.)
- S Johnathan Abram
- LB Cody Barton
- FB Nick Bellore
- C Austin Blythe
- CB Artie Burns
- CB Justin Coleman
- DE L.J. Collier
- DE Poona Ford
- C Kyle Fuller
- FB Cullen Gillaspia
- WR Marquise Goodwin
- WR Penny Hart (RFA)
- G Phil Haynes
- RB Travis Homer
- DE Darryl Johnson
- S Josh Jones (ERFA)
- QB Drew Lock
- DT Isaiah Mack
- OLB Tanner Muse (RFA)
- SS Ryan Neal
- LS Tyler Ott
- RB Rashaad Penny
- LB Jon Rhattigan (ERFA)
- QB Geno Smith
- CB Jalen Tabor
- LS Carson Tinker
Defensive Lineman Poona Ford
Spotrac’s calculated market value: Three years, $27.9 million ($9.3 million AAV)
Overview: Ford is a true NFL success story. He went undrafted out of Texas in 2018, and through effort and excellent play, he has earned $14.6 million in the five years since. He finished 2022 among the team leaders in tackles for loss and quarterback hits, proving yet again that he’s more than just a run-stopping force.
Safety Ryan Neal
Spotrac’s calculated market value: One year, $2.4 million ($2.4 million AAV)
Overview: The injury to Jamal Adams early in the season created a hole in the Seahawks’ secondary. Neal filled it. In his first year as a starter, Neal had his best season in coverage as a pro, posting microscopic numbers in passer rating and yards per target.
Potential Cut Candidates
- S Quandre Diggs ($9.9 million in cap savings)
- DT Shelby Harris ($9 million)
- G Gabe Jackson ($6.5 million)
- DT Quinton Jefferson ($4 million)
- DT Bryan Mone ($2.8 million)
Seahawks’ Team Needs Heading Into 2023 Offseason
- Wide Receiver
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