Following a 2017 season that John Schneider characterized as a major disappointment during his press conference at the NFL Combine last week, the Seattle Seahawks took the first two months of the offseason off. Literally. For the first time since the arrival of Pete Carroll and John Schneider in 2010, the team had no official transactions in the last four weeks of January, and no transactions at all over the course of the entire month of February. (note: the team did remove players from injured reserve on 2/5, the day after the Super Bowl, however, those transactions are league-mandated and happen automatically.)
In fact, the time between transactions got so long that those who cover the team began to take note of the amount of time which had passed without a transaction.
No transactions listed for Seahawks today on official NFL wire. Two months and two days and counting since last official move.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) March 5, 2018
However, that all changed Wednesday, less than 24 hours after Bob Condotta made the above tweet. It started with rumors from Twitter that cornerback Richard Sherman would be leaving the Seahawks then got real in a hurry when news broke that defensive lineman Michael Bennett was being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. Following confirmation of the trade of Bennett, more specific reports emerged regarding Sherman and the team’s intent to release him if it cannot find a trade partner.
That made for busy Wednesday, and Thursday more reports emerged about the likelihood of impending cuts by the team according to the Seattle Times. However, the next move is much more expected and much more likely to be embraced by fans.
Fans have been anticipating a release or trade of cornerback Jeremy Lane for months, and his January arrest on suspicion of DUI did not help build him any goodwill among fans.
With teams unlikely to commit big money to Lane with his legal issues and status for 2018 remaining uncertain, there is a good chance that he will remain unsigned in the coming months. Lane is great on special teams, but the $7.25M price tag he was set to carry in 2018 is far more than even the best gunner should earn.
In any case, Lane’s departure will come as a surprise to no one. He was the team’s fourth defensive back, falling behind both rookie Shaquill Griffin and third year man Justin Coleman on the depth chart over the course of the 2017 season, and fourth string defensive backs simply don’t get paid $7.25M.
Once Lane is released, it will leave the Thorpedo, cornerback and special teams gunner Neiko Thorpe and purter Jon Ryan as the last remaining members of the Hawks’ 2016 free agent group. That group included Lane, Jermaine Kearse, J’Marcus Webb, Chris Clemons, Sealver Siliga, Mike Morgan, Bradley Sowell, Tony McDaniel, Will Tukuafu, Brandon Browner, Christine Michael, and Brandon Williams.
The release, when it happens, will free up $4.75M in 2018 salary cap space, and will give the team some flexibility to play in the market when free agency starts next week. In any case, best of luck to Mr. Lane, both on the field and off, and his contributions to the 2013 team will not soon be forgotten.