With this post, I finally wrap up my preview of all 32 teams’ unrestricted free agents and potential cap casualties. And I’ll be posting this minutes after the 2017 tampering period begins so it couldn’t have come much later than this. You would think that 32 is a small number, but in this case it was not.
As of this writing, with the LA Chargers releasing D.J. Fluker, Brandon Flowers, and Stevie Johnson on Tuesday, there are 462 players becoming unrestricted free agents on Thursday. That’s a lot of names to preview. Here are the last of them, the ones you are most familiar with ... the Seattle Seahawks. Will the Seattle Seahawks have any interest in some of these players?
Impending Free Agents
Luke Willson, TE
Since last year when they drafted Nick Vannett, I’ve had little doubt that 2016 would be Willson’s final season in Seattle. He has had some nice moments, improved in some areas, but when called upon to be the starter he has completely disappeared. Willson is not a starting tight end, but if the contracts for Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, and Ladarius Green tell us anything, it’s that teams will pay $6 million/season for number two tight ends with freakish athleticism. That’s not what the Seahawks will pay for Willson, so I’m assuming he’s as good as gone.
Tony McDaniel, DT
McDaniel has said that he will test the market, see what’s out there, and potentially return to Seattle. He also said that the Seahawks told him that they were interested in bringing him back, but I think that’s only (in their minds) after weeks of exploring other options. They’ve already been linked to Earl Mitchell and Terrell McClain, plus the 2017 draft class is very strong at defensive line. Last year they signed him during training camp, and I think they’d be willing to wait that long again. He’s probably not returning.
Marcel Reece, FB
Would love to have Reece back, but he’s an afterthought (as all fullbacks have been) and I think he’ll get a contract elsewhere.
Will Tukuafu, FB
Ditto on not being a priority, but I don’t think he’ll get a contract elsewhere.
Jeron Johnson, S
You have to admit you forgot he returned.
Mike Morgan, LB/ST
I think Morgan is more of a priority to re-sign than any other Seattle free agent, but he’s so limited that there won’t be much competition for his services. I think he comes back on a one-year deal for less than $2 million.
Bradley Sowell, OT
I mean, he did start, so does that mean he’s “capable” of starting? That’s probably not a road they want to travel down again, at least not with Sowell, at least not until it’s very necessary. He probably gets a contract elsewhere simply because he did gain that experience last season.
Kelcie McCray, S
I think he’s also more of a priority than most but the competition won’t be heavy.
Brandon Williams, TE
I think we all like him, but there’s no rush to re-sign him and the team knows who their top two tight ends are supposed to be next season. With a loaded tight end class, the Seahawks could draft an excellent prospect in the third round this year. Yes, it would be two years in a row that they did that, but they also have to consider the possibility of Jimmy Graham leaving in 2018. Williams will only be considered after months have passed, if he’s available.
Neiko Thorpe, S/LB
More of a priority than McCray, I think he re-signs soon.
John Jenkins, DT
Team needs to get younger, rookie-cheap at DT. Jenkins was only a band-aid.
Damontre Moore, DE
Moore played really well when he could play. He might be someone they re-sign, assuming that he’s not going to cost anything guaranteed.
Those are all of Seattle’s unrestricted free agents. The restricted free agents are: Garry Gilliam, Deshawn Shead, Mohammad Seisay, Steven Terrell, Brock Coyle, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Terrence McGee, Tavaris Barnes, Brandon Cottom, Tyler Slavin, Dewey McDonald, Ronnie Shields, Troymaine Pope, and Joe Sommers. It’s already been reported that Gilliam will receive an original round tender, either paying him $1.7 million, or he could sign a contract elsewhere and the Seahawks will have a chance to match it. I think he does sign elsewhere and I believe they won’t match it.
Potential Cap Casualties
Jermaine Kearse, WR
Seattle would save a little more than half of Kearse’s $4 million cap hit if they release him with a post-June 1 designation. I think they should cut him either way. Even if they don’t save anything. He was really bad last year and cost the team points simply by existing in Russell Wilson’s purview. Thank you for playing so well in some of those clutch playoff moments, but it’s time for something new at that position and this draft class/free agent class are too good to pass on.
Jimmy Graham, TE
Kam Chancellor, SS
Rather than being casualties, I think Graham and Chancellor are up for negotiation to see if they’d bring down their 2017 cap hit for more years and guaranteed money. These are elite players for their positions and I don’t think the front office has any designs on seeing them leave. They’re scheduled to make a combined $17.1 million in 2017 and become free agents in 2018.
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