You’re probably aware that the Seattle Seahawks spend much more on their defense than they do their offense. If you didn’t explicitly know that, it makes sense right? Well, that really becomes apparent once you isolate players by position and 2017 salary.
As the Seahawks assess their needs on the free agent market this year, potential extensions, and where they can get cheaper (or more expensive) at certain positions, it’s interesting to note where their starters rank in the NFL right now. Though there will be some slight changes in these rankings after free agency starts, it won’t change much unless these specific contracts are altered.
Some players on other teams will get released, but others will get raises. It should mostly even itself out. What you’ll find out right now:
Only one starter on Seattle’s offense is in the top-10 for his position in 2017 salary.
Five starters (based on who you consider a “starter” maybe six or seven) aren’t even ranked in the top 32 at their position.
Russell Wilson has a reasonable salary.
Nobody is overpaid. Some are great bargains. Some are too good of bargains. The offensive line is stunningly cheap, even by the standards of how cheap you already thought they were.
Russell Wilson -- 15th-highest paid QB in 2017
Next season’s highest-paid QB: Tony Romo at $24.7 million. That’s obviously going to change, but interesting nonetheless. So too is it interesting who follows him, with Joe Flacco coming in second and Carson Palmer coming in third. How confident is anyone in the three highest paid QBs for next season? By releasing Romo with a post-June 1 designation, the Cowboys will save $14 million, while Romo will sign a new deal with a new team meaning that he may actually get a raise this year. That is unless he is traded, of course.
So there are 14 QBs ahead of Wilson right now, and though Colin Kaepernick will get released and Wilson will move up a spot, he’ll move back down one spot when Kirk Cousins is signed. If the Oakland Raiders come to an agreement with Derek Carr on an extension this year, that could also shift the order of things.
C.J. Prosise - 48th-highest paid RB in 2017
Thomas Rawls - 63rd-highest paid RB in 2017
Prosise is set to make $738,116, while Rawls will get $620,000. The figures are so low that even when certain players are released (Adrian Peterson, $18 million, Doug Martin, $7 million, Chris Ivory, $6 million) they’d still sign new deals for over $1 million. The Seahawks, a team that dominated the ground game with Marshawn Lynch for five years, won’t have a running back who is in the top 50 for his salary next season.
Doug Baldwin - 12th-highest paid WR in 2017
Jermaine Kearse - 37th-highest paid WR in 2017
Paul Richardson - 61st-highest paid WR in 2017
Just a note about the value of rookie contracts: Odell Beckham will make $700,000 less than Kearse next year, barring an extension.
Baldwin’s deal pays him $9.65 million next season and his 2016 campaign was proof that Seattle did the right thing when they offered him the extension a year ago. I wouldn’t say anyone ranked above him is a candidate to get released, but it’s fun to note that Tavon Austin is going to be the third-highest paid WR in 2017 at $14.97 million and there’s no way the Rams are going to release him just to save $3.5 million. It’s such a silly deal that they gave him, but at least he’ll be motivated; there is no guaranteed money on the contract after this year so he’ll definitely be released barring a season at least as good as what Baldwin’s done the last two years.
Baldwin could move down the rankings after Alshon Jeffery comes to an agreement, possibly after Terrelle Pryor does, and if Beckham signs an extension.
Kearse is set to make just over $4 million, while Richardson is a hair under $1.5 million. Tyler Lockett is 76th at $891,688.
Jimmy Graham - 3rd-highest paid TE in 2017
Graham’s $10 million, non-guaranteed salary in 2017 is only behind Jason Witten ($12.26 million) and Greg Olsen ($10.35 million). A note about the Cowboys: Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Sean Lee are all the highest paid players at their respective positions in 2017 as of today.
George Fant - t44th-highest paid LT in 2017
With the release of Branden Albert on Thursday, Fant moved up a spot and is now the 44th-highest paid left tackle in the NFL, tied with Leonard Wester of the Bucs and Pace Murphy of the Rams at $540,000. They will all make roughly 1/30th what Tyron Smith and Trent Williams will make this season ... which sounds completely fair.
Mark Glowinski - t35th-highest paid LG in 2017
Glowinski’s $701,422 salary is tied with Max Garcia of the Broncos. The player right ahead of them, making about $13,000 more? Rees Odhiambo.
Justin Britt - 30th-highest paid C in 2017
Britt will make $1,099,932 next season, assuming he doesn’t sign an extension. He’s supposed to be making $200,000 less than what Patrick Lewis is set to make from the Bills, if Lewis doesn’t get cut. Lewis is Buffalo’s backup center.
Germain Ifedi - 16th-highest paid RG in 2017
By way of being a first round pick at right guard, perhaps the lowest priority on the offensive line, Ifedi actually ranks in the top 16 for his position. Barely. For now. I would think that if the Seahawks sign Ifedi to a second contract, not only would he have to improve, he’d have to move to another position. A $7-$9 million right guard doesn’t seem like a Pete Carroll thing to do.
Garry Gilliam - N/A
As a restricted free agent, Gilliam doesn’t rank anywhere because he’s not under contract. However, a first round tender would come in at $3.6 million and a second round tender at $2.5 million, per OvertheCap. Let’s just say that’s accurate. That would make Gilliam the 16th-highest paid right tackle at the first round tender, right ahead of the Titans’ Jack Conkin, while the second round tender puts him 22nd.
All told, Seattle is set to pay their four returning starting offensive linemen a total of $4,219,787. If they gave Gilliam a second round tender, it would move up to $6,772,787.
There are 42 offensive linemen currently set to make more than next year, including James Carpenter.
If they give Gilliam 2nd rd tender, Seahawks are set to pay entire starting o-line $6,772,787 in 2017. James Carpenter will make $6,805,000— Field Gulls (@FieldGulls) February 16, 2017