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Seahawks could have the most money coming off of their books in 2018

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NFC Divisional Playoffs - Carolina Panthers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

When sorted by current APY, three of the top 16 free agents for 2018 are Seahawks:

Jimmy Graham, $10 million

Luke Joeckel, $8 million

Kam Chancellor, $7 million

Coming in shortly later is Eddie Lacy, who has a cap hit of $4.25 million. In total, that’s almost $30 million of cap room. Now, does that mean that Seattle will have the most cap room? Of course not. The Seahawks currently have about $8-9 million in cap room and with certain raises, are only set to have $35 million in space for 2018. If they re-sign three of those players, then the cap room quickly disappears.

Where could more room come from?

Assuming everyone is healthy and has an expected amount of production, the most likely cap casualty candidates are Jeremy Lane ($4.75 million saved if released in 2018, $6 million with a June 1 designation) and Jermaine Kearse ($5 million). Additionally, if Seattle opts to part ways with Richard Sherman in one form or another, that would be an additional $11 million off of the books.

The Seahawks also have some interesting one-year buy-low contracts that, if they put in their best case scenario season, would be in line for a huge raise a la Michael Bennett in 2014. There’s Lacy, Oday Aboushi, Dion Jordan, Blair Walsh, Bradley McDougald, Arthur Brown, and Michael Wilhoite. Players already on the roster prior to 2017 who are set to become free agents include DeShawn Shead, Justin Britt, Luke Willson, Cassius Marsh, Paul Richardson, and Kevin Pierre-Louis. Thomas Rawls will be a restricted free agent.

In my opinion, the most likely player to be extended or re-signed is Chancellor. The 29-year-old safety has spent his entire career in Seattle and despite some recent nagging injuries, is still an integral part of the defense who should have some more good seasons left in the tank. The front office has never hid their desire to keep Chancellor around for the longest haul possible, even when they denied his bid for an extension and forced a two-game holdout in 2015. With a healthy campaign, Chancellor could get his new contract in December.

Graham isn’t far behind. The team re-signed Willson and drafted Nick Vannett last year, but neither is close to being the type of player that Graham is, and he’s the type Pete and John were searching for since they arrived in 2010. I could see the scenario where Graham opts to test free agency and leaves for more money, but I definitely think they’ll try hard to prevent that from happening. Graham could have another 4-5 successful seasons left in him.

I don’t know that the team would re-sign Joeckel even if he did have his best career season. If Joeckel comes in and solidifies the left side of the line, then he potentially prices himself out of the Seahawks desired price range for an offensive lineman. They’d need to sort out their philosophies on offensive linemen and monetary value for that to happen. Hypothetically speaking, if both Joeckel and Britt were to have Pro Bowl seasons, which do they keep? The center with two good seasons who might be a little cheaper, or an above-average tackle who had four highly-disappointing seasons prior to this? It seems unlikely that they could keep both. And possible that they retain neither.

Seattle’s free agency next season could be a little more complicated than usual. Not only do they have some of the top-priced free agents hitting the market, but a lot of one-year deals that they need to re-sort out next March. And we know that the Seahawks always prioritize taking care of their own before going outside the family.

Poll

Who is the Seahawks priority free agent next year?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Kam Chancellor
    (1580 votes)
  • 23%
    Jimmy Graham
    (702 votes)
  • 19%
    Justin Britt
    (577 votes)
  • 0%
    Luke Joeckel
    (25 votes)
  • 1%
    Other
    (53 votes)
2937 votes total Vote Now