I’ve heard of a bananagram, but a Kam-and-a-Graham?
With fifth-year options being discussed right now, like the rumor that the Bills might actually not pick up one for Sammy Watkins (doubtful), I figured it would be a jumping off point for a Saturday post on the Seahawks free agents for next year. After all, Seattle does not have to make any decisions because like most years, they traded out of the first round in 2014. Instead, they traded down twice and selected Paul Richardson at pick 45, and Richardson is among their 2018 free agents.
However, unless he finally has a breakout season, Preach won’t be a heavily discussed free agent next year. Especially given that Terrelle Pryor and Alshon Jeffery just signed one-year contracts; receivers aren’t exactly hot commodities right now because there are just so many good ones. It’s harder to find transcendent safeties and tight ends.
That’s why Kam Chancellor and Jimmy Graham will probably be engaged in extension talks with the Seahawks, if they aren’t already. Graham’s four-year, $40 million deal will be expiring and the discussion of “pay him like a tight end or like a receiver” will be had once again. Graham is already the highest-paid tight end in the NFL at $10 million/season, but that’s still more than Jeffery’s $9.5 million salary for next season, so it’s reasonable for him to stay where he’s at or even come down a little. After all, he’s 31 in November, though he did just set franchise records for catches and yards by a tight end, without showing any negative side effects from his knee injury in 2015.
Chancellor may also see his price tag come down, an unexpected thing he may have to accept after holding out for two games in 2015. Chancellor just turned 29, but he’s missed nine games over the last two seasons due to injury. He’s making $7 million a season right now, which is more than what Eric Weddle got ($6.5 million per) from the Baltimore Ravens last year when he was 31. And Weddle was dynamic again last season.
Next up is center Justin Britt. He’s by far the best player on Seattle’s offensive line, but I still don’t know if that makes him one of the 10 best centers in the NFL. J.C. Tretter just signed a contract with the Cleveland Browns for $5.58 million a year and Tretter had only 10 career starts. The problem there is the Seahawks doing anything based on what the Browns did. Cleveland has to pay those prices. Seattle wasn’t willing to pay Max Unger (currently at $7.4 million) a high price. I’m of the mindset that fans may have to start coming to terms with the idea that Britt could walk in 2018 and that the Joey Hunt era will then begin. I could be wrong, but it would really be a chance in organizational philosophy for them to start allocating $6 million+ to the center position. Only nine centers in the NFL make that much.
Other Seattle free agents include players they just signed: Eddie Lacy, Blair Walsh, Luke Joeckel, Oday Aboushi, Arthur Brown, Bradley McDougald, Luke Willson, Perrish Cox, Terence Garvin, DeShawn Shead, and Michael Wilhoite. Whether or not they stick around after their one-year deals, we will see, but past one-year deals have included Michael Bennett and Ahtyba Rubin. Also Cary Williams and J’Marcus Webb.
There is also the rest of the remaining 2014 class: Cassius Marsh and Kevin Pierre-Louis. Marsh seems like he would be a priority, since he’s a valuable asset to Pete Carroll on special teams, we’ll just have to wait and see if he develops as a pass rusher. He’s flashed signs of being good in that area before.
Cornerback Pierre Desir, who declined an NFL roster spot to stay on Seattle’s practice squad, will also be a free agent if he can make the 53 this year. Otherwise, he will be a free agent this year. Thomas Rawls is set to be a restricted free agent.
There are also some others, and if I felt like they were highly worth mentioning, I would. Tyler Ott and Will Pericak headline the guys I won’t mention.