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Field Gulls - All Posts
22 March 2023The stupidest name in smart football analysis.
The Field Gulls 2023 Seahawks free agency tracker
All you need to know about Seattle Seahawks free agency.
It is officially the final Monday of the 2023 NFL league year, meaning that the legal tampering period of free agency begins at 12:00 noon New York time. That, of course, ushers in the exciting time of the NFL calendar when fans of teams across the league are filled with hope as their team pursues players on the open market those fans hope can become difference makers.
For the Seattle Seahawks, a team installed with longshot Super Bowl odds according to DraftKings Sportsbook, they have already reached agreements on multi-year contracts for the future with two of its biggest free agents this offseason in Jason Myers and Geno Smith, but the list of players who are set to hit the market is not short. The Seahawks who are slated to become free agents in the coming days include Rashaad Penny, Marquise Goodwin, Cody Barton, Poona Ford, Drew Lock, Artie Burns, Bruce Irvin and others.
Field Gulls will work to keep readers up to date on all the happenings for the Seahawks in free agency, so be sure to check back regularly through the day and through the week to stay up to date on all the news surrounding the team this week.
Unrestricted Seahawks Free Agents
LB Cody Barton - Signed with Washington Commanders
DL Poona Ford
RB Rashaad Penny - Signed with Philadelphia Eagles
RB Travis Homer - Signed with Chicago Bears
S Johnathan Abram
DL L.J. Collier
CB Artie Burns
QB Drew Lock
WR Marquise Goodwin
G/C Kyle Fuller
CB Justin Coleman
OLB Bruce Irvin
LS Tyler Ott
S Josh Jones
LS Carson Tinker
WR Laquon Treadwell
LB Cullen Gillaspia
CB Xavier Crawford
S Teez Tabor
OLB Darryl Johnson
Restricted Free Agents
S Ryan Neal - First right of refusal tender
WR Penny Hart
LB Tanner Muse - Not tendered
RB Tony Jones Jr.
Exclusive Rights Free Agents
RB Godwin Igwebuike
CB Michael Jackson - Tendered
LB Jon Rhattigan - Tendered
WR Cody Thompson
DL Myles Adams - Tendered
Seahawks expected to release Shelby Harris
The #Seahawks plan to release DL Shelby Harris, source says. Seattle has explored possible trades but hasn't found a taker yet for the nine-year veteran who played well last season. Harris, who was part of the Russell Wilson deal, was set to make $9 million this upcoming season.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 13, 2023
Report: Seahawks were interested in former Saints DT David Onyamata, who signed with the Falcons
Garafolo just reported on air Seahawks were also interested in Onyemata.... https://t.co/JI6CYon0RT— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) March 13, 2023
Ethan Pocic is staying with the Cleveland Browns
Done deal for #Browns C Ethan Pocic to stay in Cleveland. He gets $18 million in base value on a three-year deal with more available via incentives. https://t.co/kTlbkE2R2j— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 13, 2023
Cody Barton is leaving Seattle to join the Washington Commanders
The #Commanders are signing former #Seahawks LB Cody Barton to a one-year, fully guaranteed deal, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 13, 2023
Seahawks agree to three-year, $51 million deal with former Broncos DL Dre’Mont Jones
Full terms for the #Seahawks and DT Dre'Mont Jones:— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2023
-- 3 years, $51.53M
-- $23.5M in Year 1
-- $35.02M over two years.
In the wake of signing Jones, Seattle is reportedly set to release Quinton Jefferson.
Seahawks are releasing DT Quinton Jefferson, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2023
The Seahawks have reportedly found their Sean Desai replacement, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
Hearing Seahawks are expected to hire Roy Anderson as their new secondary coach working with defensive passing game coordinator Karl Scott and helping replace the departed Sean Desai. Anderson was most recently assistant DB coach with Vikings, where he worked with Scott in '21.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) March 14, 2023
More a formality than anything, but the team has announced the release of Quinton Jefferson and Shelby Harris.
The @Seahawks made two roster moves this afternoon. https://t.co/09A9QIRib1— Seahawks PR (@seahawksPR) March 14, 2023
And 2018 first round pick Rashaad Penny is off to join the NFC Champion Eagles.
Source: The #Eagles have agreed to terms with #Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2023
And now the Seahawks are bringing back DT Jarran Reed on a two year contract.
Deal is now done: 2 years, max of $10.8M, source said. https://t.co/rTycu5lsJY— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2023
According to a report from Tom Pelissero, restricted free agent Tanner Muse will not be tendered by the team.
The #Seahawks aren't tendering RFA LB Tanner Muse, per source. Muse played in every game for Seattle last season.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 15, 2023
And the Seahawks no longer have a hole in the center of the offensive line.
The #Seahawks have agreed to terms with C/G Evan Brown, per source. Brown started 24 games on Detroit's line the last two years.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 16, 2023
Mel Kiper’s 2023 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: Seahawks focus on offense
...So much for trying to rebuild the defense with Round 1 draft picks.
ESPN’s famed NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr has released his latest mock draft, which takes into account moves made during the first week of free agency. For the Seattle Seahawks, they have two first-round selections and before, say, February you probably would’ve been inclined to believe the Seahawks would just spend pick after pick rebuilding an inconsistent defense. Subsequent free agent and cap casualty decisions have made it a bit more interesting as to what they’ll do next, and Kiper believes Seattle will go offense-offense at 5th and 20th overall.
Let’s start off at 5th overall, where he sees Seattle standing pat and selecting Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson.
Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
The finer details of Geno Smith’s new contract show it’s really only a one-year commitment; Seattle absolutely could take a quarterback here. Think of Alex Smith and Joe Flacco when the Chiefs and Ravens, respectively, drafted Patrick Mahomes (2017) and Lamar Jackson (2018) and essentially used the veterans as one-year bridges to the rookies. Then again, I thought the Seahawks might take a quarterback last year, and coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider decided against it, instead turning their picks into the NFL’s best rookie class.
Why Richardson? The upside is so, so high. He’s a 6-foot-4, 244-pound signal-caller who can make any throw and who also ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash at the combine. If he’s given time to catch up to the speed of the NFL, he could be a star. This would be a great situation for him, on an offense that has young stars. Plus, the Seahawks have another Round 1 pick at No. 20 — if any team is in a spot to take a high-risk player, it’s them. By the way, four quarterbacks going in the top five picks has never happened before.
Jalen Carter was still on the board but he bypassed Carter and has him going to the Detroit Lions at 6th. Will Anderson was off the board after going to the Arizona Cardinals at 4th, who traded down while the Indianapolis Colts grabbed Will Levis at 3rd.
Then we fast forward to the 20th overall pick, and Kiper predicts the Seahawks take their first Round 1 wide receiver since Koren Robinson way back in 2001.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR,Ohio State
This was a tough pick for me. It could be a front-seven player; Seattle ranked 27th in yards per carry allowed (4.9) last season, though it added free agent tackle Dre’Mont Jones to help. Edge rushers Will McDonald IV (Iowa State) and Myles Murphy (Clemson) could make sense. I also thought about interior offensive line, but it might be a little too high for guard O’Cyrus Torrence (Florida). So if I’m getting the Seahawks a project quarterback at No. 5, why not add a wideout who could make things easier on offense?
Smith-Njigba has a chance to develop into a true No. 1 receiver. He didn’t run the 40-yard dash at the combine, but he looked effortless in the pass-catching drills and led all receivers with a 6.57-second 3-cone time and a 3.93-second short shuttle. A hamstring injury limited him to just five catches last season, but he caught 95 passes for 1,606 yards in 2021. He could be a plug-and-play starter for a team that already features Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. He could alternate reps outside and in the slot.
Kiper’s first mock draft had Seattle taking Kentucky’s Will Levis and Tennessee pass rusher Byron Young, while his previous mock draft had Seattle trading down and getting Anthony Richardson (pre-combine, obviously), followed by Clemson’s Myles Murphy. This is his first offense-only mock for Seattle.
I think I’ve made my thoughts on getting a wide receiver early very clear. You win with passing offense in today’s NFL and Tyler Lockett isn’t going to be around forever. While I like the potential of Dareke Young I am not interested in Seattle’s very familiar habit of hoping a UDFA or late Day 3 pick pans out and then rises up the depth chart. Dee Eskridge might not be working out for Seattle thus far but that doesn’t mean you just stop investing at the position.
L.J. Collier’s agent takes shot at Seahawks on the way out
Collier signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals.
L.J. Collier signed with the Arizona Cardinals as yet another quiet first-round departure for the Seattle Seahawks. I’m not the one who wanted to remind you he was a first-rounder, Adam Schefter was. Or at least, Collier’s agent was.
Former Seahawks’ first-round pick DE LJ Collier is signing a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 21, 2023
Speaking of his agent, Scott Casterline had some choice words about Collier’s departure and apparently finding a far superior fit in his next team.
Scott Casterline @ScottCasterline on L.J. Collier to #Cardinals 'Our main objective was getting L.J. to the right team, right coaching staff and right scheme. Look at what they did last year in Philadelphia. They play upfield. Jonathan Gannon is what you want in a coach.' @KPRC2— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 21, 2023
“Right team, right coaching staff and right scheme” is quite rich in regards to the 29th overall draft pick with a 4-year average of 10 tackles per season, and several healthy scratches throughout his tenure in Seattle.
People weren’t enthralled by the draft pick at the time, but it’s not Clint Hurtt or even Ken Norton Jr’s fault he did this:
LJ Collier apparently played in a career-high 37 snaps yesterday. That's 76 snaps in the last 4 games. His stats over those 76 snaps:— Field Gulls (@FieldGulls) December 16, 2019
0 tackles, 0 TFL, 0 sacks, 0 QB hits, and for now (maybe more details will emerge), 0 pressures
Hard to describe as anything other than concerning
Best of luck to Collier in Arizona, that renowned, proven empire of talent development and culture building.
The Seahawks declined Collier’s fifth-year option and the terms of his contract with the Cardinals are not yet released.
Meanwhile, Collier expressed gratitude as far as his time with the Seahawks.
Just wanted to say thank you to seattle Seahawks they gave me a chance of a life time im forever grateful now cardinals nation lets get to work!! https://t.co/Zngnm8SOwV— Lj collier (@ljcollier91) March 21, 2023
2023 Seahawks Free Agents: L.J. Collier signs with Arizona Cardinals
The 2019 first-round draft pick agreed to a one-year contract with Arizona.
In a move that surprises absolutely no one, the Seattle Seahawks opted not to retain former first-round pick L.J. Collier. Instead, the defensive lineman will stay in the NFC West and play for the Arizona Cardinals next season. Collier agreed to a one-year contract, financial terms not yet disclosed.
#Cardinals are signing former first-round pick L.J. Collier to a one-year deal. Interesting player -- didn't work out in Seattle but has pedigree, and Arizona plans to use him all over the defensive line.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 21, 2023
I don’t think we really need to rehash Collier’s tenure in Seattle in great detail. There were a lot of healthy scratches, injury scratches, and few impact plays that justified what was already a curious selection of the ex-TCU standout. Collier’s departure is a continuation of Seattle’s house cleaning along the defensive line, which includes the release of Al Woods, Quinton Jefferson, and Shelby Harris. Poona Ford remains unsigned and there hasn’t been as much as a report on him visiting other teams.
Only DK Metcalf and Phil Haynes remain from the 2019 draft class, having seen Cody Barton and Travis Homer also leave for other teams in this free agent period.
Incredibly, Earl Thomas also remains the only first-round pick under Pete Carroll and John Schneider to receive a contract extension and never even test free agency. If you added in second-round picks who were Seattle’s first selections in the draft—Christine Michael, Paul Richardson, Malik McDowell, and Frank Clark—then the Seahawks still pretty much never get anything long-term out of their number one draft choices.
2023 Seahawks Free Agents: Marquise Goodwin visiting Browns per report
It appears the Seahawks might need to find a new third receiver.
Free agency is well underway for the Seattle Seahawks, with the team having already made a significant number of additions through the first week. The new names on the roster include Dre'Mont Jones, Jarran Reed, Devin Bush, Julian Love and Evan Brown. However, there have also been departures, including Cody Barton signing with the Washington Commanders and Rashaad Penny opting to join the Philadelphia Eagles.
In addition, there has been a significant overhaul when it comes to aging veterans, with the team opting to move on from Al Woods, Quinton Jefferson and Shelby Harris, while Poona Ford and L.J. Collier remain unsigned as well. Now, according to a report Tuesday, the team could be in position to lose another free agent veteran.
#Browns may have found one way to satisfy their need for speed. They're hosting former #Seahawks WR Marquise Goodwin on a free agent visit. https://t.co/Ep5JYPJocV— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) March 21, 2023
Marquise Goodwin filled in as an adequate third wide receiver during the 2022 season when Dee Eskridge landed on injured reserve. Many fans have expressed hope that the Hawks would bring back the 32 year old receiver for the 2023 season, but based on the youth movement at other positions that has been seen so far this offseason, it appears that might be an unlikely outcome.
The one glaring head-scratcher for the Seahawks this offseason
The defensive line has undergone a major overhaul.
The Seattle Seahawks broke protocol this year when they signed Dre’Mont Jones immediately to open free agency.
A proven player at a position of need at age 26 for multiple years - what has John Schneider gotten into??
Since then, however, the area of greatest weakness for the Seahawks has not remained the same, in fact it’s gotten a bit worse.
Besides adding Jarran Reed, Seattle has chosen to part ways with Al Woods, Shelby Harris, Quinton Jefferson, and presumably Poona Ford.
Were they collectively good last year?
Besides Al Woods, no.
It’s pretty telling that every DL that played meaningful snaps for the Seahawks last season remains unsigned and available on the free agent market.— Jeff Simmons (@realjeffsimmons) March 21, 2023
Do the Seahawks have replacement answers yet?
It’s really something that Schneider managed to charm us all in the first 48 hours of free agency, only to essentially leave fans where they often are in March - wondering what the plan is.
Jones is an above-average player and an adept pass rusher. But he doesn’t play nose tackle, he doesn’t master in stopping the run. This team cannot survive another year of being serviceable or better in several aspects of football if they’re going to get gashed to pieces by teams that didn’t even bother running the ball before facing the Seahawks (see Tampa Bay, Los Angeles Rams).
Now, as free agency has slowed to a crawl, and Seattle continues to bleed linemen, and Jalen Carter has the question marks that he has at the top of the draft, it’s more nervous watching and wondering for the 12s.
And truly, this is the spot with the most uncertainty. Even linebacker doesn’t hold the same weight, because there’s still all the momentum and history with Bobby Wagner. There’s still the ability to draft one linebacker and at least have a room, shaky as it is, with the obvious return of Jordyn Brooks on the horizon. Defensive tackle needs at least two more guys. We counting on a Myles Adams breakout?
In large part this offseason has been an overwhelming success. The Geno Smith contract is an A+ of A plusses. Jones, Julian Love, Evan Brown, Drew Lock’s deal, all good things.
It’s just this area, making me go “not again.” Hoping there’s something soon, or that Al Woods signs a new deal tomorrow and makes all this go away.
Seahawks Reacts Survey: Will Seattle take a quarterback in next month’s NFL Draft?
Geno Smith and Drew Lock are re-signed, but will the Seattle Seahawks still take a QB in the NFL Draft?
Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-inSeattle Seahawks fans and fans across the country.
Sign up here to participate in the weekly emailed surveys.
We’re into week two of the 2023 NFL league year, and so far the Seattle Seahawks have let a few players go and not brought in too many players. Their signings so far consist of center Evan Brown, safety/nickel Julian Love, linebacker Devin Bush, defensive linemen Jarran Reed and Dre’Mont Jones. Meanwhile, they’ve lost Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer, and Cody Barton, and also let go of Shelby Harris, Gabe Jackson, Quinton Jefferson, and Al Woods.
You can view the recap of Seattle’s free agency here.
The first question is a letter grade on Seattle’s free agency haul to date. Like I said, not a lot of players brought in but they have focused their resources on the defense more than the offense.
Second question is about quarterbacks. Geno Smith has a new contract, as does Drew Lock, but does that mean Seattle will skip out on QB in the NFL Draft next month? Smith’s contract is team-friendly, Lock’s is essentially just Geno’s 2022 deal, so logically a rookie quarterback is not off the table.
One distinction to make in the voting is that “Yes” implies the 5th overall pick or somewhere in Round 1, whereas “Yes, but not in Round 1” is literally Round 2-7.
Get your vote on, then when we reach the weekend you’ll have the results available in a separate article.
Should the Seahawks sign Bobby Wagner for a Super Bowl run?
Former teammate thinks signing Bwagz would show team is ‘serious’ about hoisting Lombardi Trophy
Provocative title, no? Serious question though. At least if you ask former Seattle Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright.
In an exclusive conversation with Sports Illustrated, K.J. Wright said this about free agent linebacker Bobby Wagner and the teams he’s currently being linked to:
“The team that signs him will be someone who is serious about holding up that Lombardi Trophy at the end of the 2023 NFL season.”
Alright, K.J., you’ve got our attention.
The Dallas Cowboys are believed to be the front runners to sign Wagner - even though they just re-signed MLB Leighton Vander Esch (2 years, $8M) and have Jabril Cox (2021 R4, #115 overall) behind him.
Per Wright, via SI.com:
“(Bobby) played (in Seattle) under (now-Dallas coordinator) Dan Quinn, who knows how to utilize his skill set to make him dominate for another year.’’
. . .
“He’ll come in and show the Cowboys what a ‘championship culture’ looks like. How to prepare your mind and body. How to study film and how to be a great off the field as well.
The Seahawks are also in the mix, with John Schneider telling Seattle Sports 710 that they’ve been in touch with Bwagz and have talked about a reunion.
Given the way the relationship ended last offseason, the fact that Bobby could return ‘home’ after a year away is, perhaps, a bit surprising. I mean, who can forget Wagner saying that playing the Seahawks twice a year was ‘the cherry on top’ when he signed with the rival Los Angeles Rams?
K.J. Wright appears to think that’s old news though (and I tend to agree). From the SI article:
“When you’ve played a decade for one organization,’’ Wright tells us, “it is your second home. Your home is there. You know what your routine is going to look like, you know everyone in the building.”
“Everything flows well when you’re ‘home.’’
K.J. Wright isn’t the only one that thinks a Seattle reunion makes sense as Quandre Diggs waste(d) no time trying to recruit Bobby Wagner back to the Seahawks as soon as news broke that Wagner and the Rams had mutually agreed to part ways.
Endorsements from former players, notwithstanding, there are some pretty compelling reasons for Seattle to bring Bwagz home.
REASON #1: Seattle has a hole in the middle of its defense.
If the season started today, the Seahawks starting linebackers would be Jordyn Brooks and the recently-signed Devin Bush. Except that Brooks tore his ACL in Week 17 last season and that has put his availability for Week 1 of the 2023 season in question.
At the NFL Combine, Pete Carroll said:
“(Brooks is) doing really well.”
“The process is happening, the whole rehab process, but it’s going to be a while. A healthy young kid, he’s going to be able bounce back as fast as you can come back, and he’s a hard worker and pushes himself and all of that. But you’ve got to just hope for a smooth process along the way so there’s no setbacks.”
“(A)ll the indications are going really well so far.”
Pete Carroll’s guarded optimism aside, there’s a HUGE difference between returning to the field by Week 1 and returning to the field at 100% (whether that’s Week 1 or not).
Just ask Devin Bush . . .
Bush tore his ACL in the 5th game of the 2020 season (Week 6 vs. the Cleveland Browns). He returned to the field in 2021 and had “a season to forget”, telling Behind The Steel Curtain (on 12/14/2021):
“It was my first time going through an injury like that, first time getting surgery, first time doing rehab and first time being away from the game for a full year. So it definitely was a learning experience for me.”
“My first day of training camp until now (mid-December) I think I progressed tremendously.”
“The biggest part is mental. If I had to make a good example it would be like, if you get bit by a dog who’s to say the next time you go pet a dog?”
Assuming Brooks isn’t ready to go Week 1, the starter next to Devin Bush, given the roster’s current construction, would either be Nick Bellore, Jon Rhattigan, Josh Onujiogu, of Vi Jones.
REASON #2: Bobby Wagner is still one of the best linebackers in the league.
If you look around the internet, you’ll see lots of folks saying that Bobby Wagner has “lost a step” and/or that he’s “no longer a 3-down player.”
And so does PFF, although we’ll get to them in a minute cuz I’m going first.
Per Pro-Football-Reference.com, Bobby Wagner recorded a career-high 170 tackles in 2021, his final season with the Seahawks. That season he played 1,128 snaps on defense, which is an average of 6.64 snaps per tackle.
The year we won the Super Bowl, Bobby played 860 defensive snaps and recorded 120 tackles. That’s an average of 7.17 snaps per tackle.
In 2016 and 2019, he led the league in tackles with 167 and 159, respectively. In 2016, he played 1,073 defensive snaps (6.43 per tackle). In 2019, he played 1,054 snaps (6.63 per tackle).
Last year, with the Rams, Wagner played 1,080 snaps and had 140 tackles (7.71 average).
Some of you are probably thinking that tackles isn’t a great way to measure a linebacker’s performance.
If so, here are some other measures for you to consider:
- Percentage of defensive snaps, by season (2012-2022): 85%, 94%, 95%, 98%, 99%, 93%, 100%, 98%, 99%, 95%, 99% . . . average: 95.9%
- Sacks, by season: 2.0, 5.0, 2.0, 0.5, 4.5, 1.5, 1.0, 3.0, 3.0, 1.0, 6.0 . . . average 2.7
- Quarterback hits: 5, 6, 6, 4, 18, 13, 8, 4, 11, 3, 10 . . . average 8.0
- Tackles for Loss (TFLs): 9, 4, 10, 2, 7, 13, 6, 7, 7, 3, 10 . . . average 7.1
- Passes Defended (PDs): 4, 7, 3, 7, 3, 6, 11, 6, 8, 5, 5 . . . average 5.9
By every measure, except PDs, 2022 was an above-average year for the future Hall of Famer, with a career-best 6 sacks and his second-most TFLs.
Still not convinced?
Let’s look at how he did in PFF’s view last year:
- Overall defense: #1 at 90.7
- Run defense: #2 at 91.1
- Tackling: #1 at 91.0
- Pass rush: #7 at 79.6
- Coverage: Tied for #13 at 77.9
That doesn’t strike me as a linebacker in decline.
Granted, he played with the Rams in 2022, not the Seahawks, so maybe those stellar results should be discounted (so to speak).
Here’s where he ranked in each of the PFF categories his final 4 years in Seattle:
- Overall defense: #1 in 2018, #19 in 2019, #5 in 2020, #28 in 2021
- Run defense: #2, #8, #1, #17
- Tackling: #1, #7, #3, #18
- Pass rush: #2, #8, #5, tied for #32
- Coverage: Tied for #2, #62, tied for #30, #62
Obviously 2021 was his worst year during that stretch. However, PFF graded 199 linebackers in 2021 which means Bobby was in the top 10% in run defense and tackling, the top 20% for pass rush and overall defense, and the top 1/3rd in coverage . . . which ain’t too bad for a “down” year.
REASON #3: The money will make more sense than it did when he left.
Ignoring for the moment, the fact that the Seahawks are effectively out of cap space after their recent spending spree, the question that needs to be asked is: What would it take to get Bobby Wagner to return to Seattle?
Some think that it would take same deal he signed with the Rams last offseason. That deal was reported as a 5-year, $50M contract ($10M APY) with a max value of $65M if he hit all his incentives.
Obviously it only ended up being a 1-year, $10M deal (with the Rams taking a cap hit of $2.5M in 2022 and eating $7.5M in dead money in 2023).
$10M was arguably a bargain though.
Especially when you consider that Bobby’s final contract with the Seahawks had an APY of $18M (the highest in the league at the time).
Bobby took a huge pay cut when he agreed to the deal with the Rams, but it really wasn’t a bad deal for him when compared to the rest of the league.
In fact, if Wagner signed the same deal today, he would be tied with Bobby Okereke and De’Vondre Campbell for the 10th-highest linebacker contract (based on APY).
But . . .
Bobby’s age is working against him.
- FACT: Every one of the linebackers with an APY of $10M+ is younger than Bobby Wagner, and only C.J. Mosley (#5 at $17M APY) is older than 30.
- FACT: Of the 28 linebackers with an APY of at least $5M, only 6 are in their 30s, and only Demario Davis (Saints) is older than Bobby.
- FACT: A bunch of linebackers have signed new deals this offseason and only 1 of them (Nick Bellore) is older than Bobby.
- FACT: Per OTC’s free agency tracker, there are roughly 50 linebackers left, and Bobby Wagner is the second-oldest one in the group (Tampa Bay’s Lavonte David is 155 days older).
Also working against Bobby is the fact that neither the Cowboys nor the Seahawks have much cap space.
As of Monday, OTC shows Dallas with a little over $16M in available cap space and Seattle with a hair under $12M. And, after subtracting the money each team needs for their draft class (plus practice squads and contingencies during the season), the effective space ends up much lower.
Could either team “find” the money to sign Bobby Wagner? Absolutely! Where there’s a will, there’s a way - especially when it comes to the NFL’s salary cap.
However . . .
Between Bobby’s age, the fact that he didn’t sign with anyone during Wave 1 of free agency, and the sheer volume of “other options” that teams have available to them at the linebacker position (including a decent draft class), Bobby’s next contract could end up being less expensive than a lot of people think.
No, it won’t be a veteran-minimum deal like some 12s (or their Cowboys counterparts) might hope.
But it should be less than $10M.
In their 2023 Free Agency Rankings, PFF estimates that Bobby Wagner will sign a 1-year deal for $6.5M with $5M guaranteed at signing.
If PFF’s estimate is accurate, it would be about 60% less than the Seahawks were slated to pay him in 2022 ($16.6M cash with a $20.35M cap hit).
I love K.J. Wright but I’m not sure that bringing Bobby Wagner back gets the Seahawks to the Super Bowl, nor do I think it shows that the team is “serious” about making a run at the Lombardi Trophy - in part because Pete is “serious” about making a run at the title every year . . . including last year when the team was “retooling” and he didn’t have Bobby Wagner in the middle of his defense.
I do, however, think that a reunion would make the Seahawks a better team than they’ll be without Bobby Wagner.
And I would be thrilled if his contract ended up around $6.5M.
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