Written By: Peter Vandeventer | @PeteVandeventer
As Senior Bowl week ends and we get close in on the SB, it’s time to take a look at what free agency has in store.
Though the season didn't end the way we wanted it to be, it is how though a great building block for the future. In a way similar to the 2012 season.
The 2019-2020 season saw players like DK Metcalf, Shaq Griffin, Will Dissly, and Rasheem Green have breakout seasons. The Seahawks were also able to capitalize off of standout seasons from veterans such as Jadeveon Clowney, Quandre Diggs, Russell Wilson, and KJ Wright.
To get over the hump, the Seahawks have $57.9 million in cap space with eight draft picks to spend.
Important NFL Dates
February 14th - March 2nd | NFL Combine
February 25th | Franchise tag/Transitional tag deadline
March 16th | Contact between teams and free agents can start
March 18th | Teams can officially sign unrestricted free agents
April 23rd - April 25th | NFL Draft
Right now, the Seahawks have the 9th most cap space with $57.9 million in cap space but have a shot to push $70 million. Cutting Ed Dickson and Justin Britt would free up enough cap space to make a huge splash in free agency.
Without further ado, let’s look at some possible options.
Jadeveon Clowney - DE | Seattle
Clowney is target number 1. Free agency being dubbed successful or a failure is pretty dependent on Jadeveon Clowney. Yes, they would get a 3rd round comp pick for losing him but a loss of his magnitude will do even more damage to the already shaky pass rush.
Clowney is such a unique talent with freakish athleticism that makes everyone around him better. He will likely get a contract that will pay him ~20 million per year and will want a nice chunk to be guaranteed.
The best thing going for the Seahawks is that Clowney loved his experience in Seattle and raved about the culture built by Pete. This might be the deciding factor for Clowney who is looking to win now.
Prediction: resigns w/ Seattle Seahawks
Jarran Reed - DT | Seattle
Reed didn't have the year he wanted by no means. He got a late start after having to wait six weeks for suspension and just wasn’t able to find production that was remotely close to his dominant ‘18 campaign where he notched 10.5 sacks.
The fact that he has shown what he can do will keep his value high but I’m sure both parties have more interest in a short term deal so they can assess what they’re best options are. Seattle doesn’t want to allocate too much to an interior defensive lineman, while Reed doesn’t want to settle and undercut his own value.
Prediction: Resigns on a 1-year prove-it deal
Quinton Jefferson - DE | Seattle
Now, I do think Seattle is intending to resign Jefferson but I’m afraid they won't be willing to pay what other teams are going to try to give him. He hasn’t really stuffed the stat sheet but he was a force along the line (when healthy) all year. His market value is ~5 million but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see it end north of $6 million, close to $7 million.
Prediction: Signs elsewhere
Germain Ifedi - RT | Seattle
Germain, more than likely, is going to cash in this offseason. He hasn’t been that great but he has shown continual growth as he ages. Also being in one of the most inflated markets in the league, a tackle with Ifedi’s skillset will likely get a little bit of a bidding war going on for him.
Ifedi won’t be the first (or last) player that is overpaid on but each offseason, you find some NFL GM who will risk it for a question OT. Ja’Wuan James got his payday with the Broncos so I expect Ifedi to do the same. I just don’t expect Seattle to be the team to back up the brinks truck for him.
Prediction: Signs elsewhere
George Fant - OL | Seattle
George Fant said that he wants to prove that he is a serviceable, starting, offensive lineman. Something that is commendable for the 27-year-old, former basketball player.
The deciding factor for Fant is that Seattle will let Ifedi walk in this scenario. Fant has shown more promise at points this season and can be a bit of an under-the-radar type of player. If Seattle can lock up Fant for a multi-year contract for a fraction of Ifedi then I don’t think they blink twice when making the decision.
Prediction: Resigns with Seattle on a multi-year deal
AJ Green - WR | Cincinnati
Outside of Metcalf and Lockett, Seattle had a lack of playmakers in the passing game for Russ. Adding AJ Green to the equation brings in experience and lethality. The question with Green is available though, if he can stay healthy, then his price tag would be worth it.
But with an EXTREMELY deep receiver class and what might be too high of a price tag, we might just be better off dreaming about AJ in a Seahawks uni than actually going through with it.
Prediction: Green leaves Cincinnati but doesn’t sign with Seattle
Yannick Ngakoue - DE | Jacksonville
Yannick Ngakoue, a Seahawks Twitter favorite for quite some time might just be coming to Seattle.
Yannick has a market value of ~17 million which would be pricy for Seattle if they try to keep both him and Clowney. Tying up close to 40 million on pass rush for 4/5 years into the future may look like an issue at first glance but I’m here to convince you otherwise.
Frank Clark is getting paid $20 million a year by KC while Yannick will most certainly get paid less. Yannick has recorded at least 8 sacks every season in the league which would compliment Clowney well on the edge. To top this off, Seattle will be paying for a pair of pass rushers who have proven to be productive in the passing game and have options behind them that can stand in during obvious rushing downs (specifically for Yannick).
In the end, pass rushers are gifts that keep on giving because they help elevate the play of the secondary and make it easier for the LBs. But this is an issue that plenty of other teams will want to address (most namely the Giants, Dolphins, and Bills), John Schenider is not really known for bringing in top free agents and I don’t really see him partaking in a bidding war for him.
Prediction: Signs with Giants after strongly considering Seattle
Jack Conklin - RT | Tennessee
If Seattle doesn’t convince either Ifedi or Fant to stay, they have several options in free agency, most notably being Jack Conklin.
Being a RT warrants a huge payday, but especially for one of the best options around the league. Looking at a ~15 million market value will pique the interest for all teams (especially Seattle) but I’m pretty certain that he will push over that mark easily.
Prediction: Conklin signs with the highest bidder
Austin Hooper - TE | Atlanta
My personal belief is that Seattle shouldn’t even get close to signing Hooper. I feel like they going to be spending money that they won’t end up seeing enough in return for.
Seattle has seen Hollister do a decent job in the back half of the season after he took over the starting TE job. He, of course, isn’t TE1 material but with Will Dissly still on the roster, I don’t think it’s best to splurge on a valued TE… but clearly, the Seahawks know more than I do. It was reported earlier in the week that the Seahawks were going to target Hooper, so what are the chances that is a sign about their confidence in Dissly?
Dissly has had a pair of season-ending injuries in back-to-back seasons and has only 10 career games. Whereas Hooper can come in and produce in Schotty’s offense which has proven to be able to get the ball to TEs.
The Falcons will attempt to resign him but with a current cap issue, I don’t think that they’ll be able to compete with Seattle and other teams.
Prediction: Signs with Seattle
Graham Glasgow - OG | Detroit
Seattle will have to put some work on the OL this offseason, no matter how much Pete Carroll wants to say otherwise.
With an aging Duane Brown, FA Mike Iupati, FA Germain Ifedi, FA George Fant, injured Justin Britt, and a question mark about DJ Fluker, Seattle has to do something. The answer to the interior could possibly be solved with Graham Glasgow. He is strongly rooted in the run game and can be serviceable for several more years as he is just 28.
Glasgow is exactly what Seattle looks for in the way of physical interior linemen. Bringing stability to the interior will be key in protecting Russ and keeping the dominant run game.
Prediction: signs with Seahawks
Michael Pierce - NT | Baltimore
If Seattle chooses to let Jarran Reed leave and can’t bring back someone similar to Al Woods than a good option is Michael Pierce. Pierce is stout and can clog rush lanes pretty easily.
I expect Pierce to stay quiet for the start of FA but he’ll have a market for him.
Prediction: Resigns with Ravens.
Without a doubt, how Seattle maneuvers through the free agency will dictate how they tackle to 2020 draft.