We will be breaking down the Seahawks' free agency situation in-depth during the offseason but as a quick reference guide, I wanted to list out Seattle's impending free agents and make note of which decisions the Seahawks will have to be making over the coming months.
First off, there's the free agents.
Seattle has 17 unrestricted free agents hitting the open market in early March. Of those, the key guys to keep an eye on, in my opinion, are left tackle Russell Okung, cornerback Jeremy Lane, punter Jon Ryan, receiver Jermaine Kearse, linebacker Bruce Irvin, right guard J.R. Sweezy, and defensive tackles Ahtyba Rubin and Brandon Mebane. That's eight guys to watch.
The rest of Seattle's free agent list are back-of-roster types.
Guys like Michael Morgan, Tarvaris Jackson, Anthony McCoy, Bryce Brown, Chase Coffman, Lem Jeanpierre, Will Tukuafu, Demarcus Dobbs, and Fred Jackson are secondary or backup options, and will not be heavily prioritized.
For the most part, they may be back next year on league-minimum style deals, but will not feature prominently into Seattle's plans, I don't think. Tarvaris Jackson might be an exception here, and having an established backup quarterback is certainly important. T-Jack didn't find much of a market last year, though, so I am assuming he won't find much of one this year either. Another exception might be Tukuafu, who started at fullback and provides nice emergency depth on the defensive line. I don't think he'll be a big ticket guy though.
Here's the full list of Seattle's free agents, courtesy of OverTheCap.com.
List via OverTheCap.com.
When you see "RFA" and "ERFA" next to these guys' names, it's moderately safe to assume they will be back with the team in 2016. The two exceptions are Ricardo Lockette and Jesse Williams, who have injury/health issues to deal with.
Potential cap casualties:
In addition to the Seahawks' decisions in free agency, a couple of players run the risk of being cut for cap purposes.
Marshawn Lynch Cap Savings if cut: $6.5M
Kam Chancellor Cap Savings if cut: $4.1M
Jimmy Graham Cap Savings if cut: $9M
That's really it. I think that Lynch is gone. I think the Kam Chancellor situation during the offseason will be very interesting, and the ramifications from the holdout at the beginning of this season will still be in the front of his mind. With Seattle finding a guy in Kelcie McCray that could start at the safety position for them, Chancellor's future with the team is at least something to watch.
Finally, I don't think the Seahawks will cut Jimmy Graham, but his $9M cap number is a big one. We'll see how he does in the rehab of his patellar tendon injury.
2016 is Doug Baldwin's contract year. Would not surprise me even a little if the Seahawks look to extend him this summer. Michael Bennett's deal isn't up until 2017 but with the way he's played, it wouldn't be super surprising if the team approached him with an offer for a raise and extension this offseason. Pretty much the rest of Seattle's core group is under contract through 2018. Incredible, really.
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