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Projecting Seattle's 2009 Salary Cap (Hell)

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Most Americans don't like saving. They don't like to do it themselves and they don't value it in others. How often do you hear some called "cheap" opposed to how often you hear someone called "improvident"? Still, the hand wringing about the number of Seahawks leaving is, well, especially frustrating. Because we know a player's name doesn't mean that player provides significant production over a cheaper, younger replacement. Despite a big legged kicker, Seattle was below average on kick returns. Why then should Seattle preserve a perennially underachieving unit? Players of or above Niko Koutouvides's and Kevin Bentley's special teams ability are readily available. But we should retain them because they occupied some symbolic role on the team and in our hearts? No.

The already cash strapped Hawks are barreling towards a severe cap crunch in 2009. Of Seattle's starting 22 (listed with 08 to 09 salary change after the jump), only Beck will take a pay cut in 2009, and their cumulative raise equals 10.495 million. Julian Peterson accounts for 3 of that. Compounding this, Rocky Bernard, Marcus Tubbs, Leroy Hill and Marcus Trufant are all scheduled to become free agents.

So, sure, Seattle didn't sign the broken down, post-prime Alge Crumpler. They shed depth at linebacker and thinned their special teams. Seattle lost one of its most popular players, Josh Brown, a quality contributor and worthy fan favorite. But they didn't lose a single irreplaceable talent. They did not, even, become worse for the losses. Good business is ruthless. Kickers, special teams players and broken down tight ends are not fundaments of success. In their place, a league-minimum kicker, undrafted free agents on special teams, a young, cheap and improving tight end plus about 5 million in additional cap space in 2009. If that's the difference between re-signing Hill or not, retaining Peterson or cutting him, locking up Marcus Trufant or preempting Lofa Tatupu's free agency, well, that's why you save for those things worth buying.

Contract details courtesy Rotoworld.com.

Walter Jones: +1.2m
Wahle: +1.2m
Spencer: +150k
Sims: +85k
Lock: ?
Branch: +780k
Burleson: 0
Beck: -500k
Alexander: +1.09m
Tapp: +85k
Mebane: +90k
Bernard: FA
Tubbs: FA
Terrill: +215k
Kerney: +1.25m
Hill: FA
Tatupu: +30k
Peterson: +3m
Jennings: +250k
Russell: +800k
Trufant: FA
Grant: +270k