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Looking beyond the end of the current CBA and into 2021

Boise State v San Diego State Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images

Over the past year I’ve noted multiple times that the Seattle Seahawks had yet to sign a single player past the end of the current collective bargaining agreement and into 2021. With the team signing the players added in the 2018 NFL Draft, that changes, as the standard four year term of the rookie wage scale puts those nine new members of the team under contract past the end of the current CBA.

I mentioned this topic specifically two weeks ago as a potential factor in the Seahawks perhaps using the franchise tag on Russell Wilson after his contract expires in 2019, and it will certainly be interesting to see how the team handles things moving forward.

However, at this point, it is getting to where the fact that the Hawks don’t have any players on a second contract into 2021 is starting to look less and less like a coincidence and more and more like it is deliberate. Specifically, of the 32 teams in the league, all but one of those teams has at least one player on a second contract for 2021. The lone team that does not have any players on a second contract for 2021? The Seahawks.

Here’s a look at how many players each of the teams currently has on a second contract past 2020 and into 2021.

Contract players not on a rookie contract for each team in 2021

Team Players on second contract for 2021
Team Players on second contract for 2021
Jacksonville Jaguars 7
Minnesota Vikings 7
Cleveland Browns 6
Philadelphia Eagles 6
Chicago Bears 6
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6
San Francisco 49ers 6
Tennessee Titans 5
Kansas City Chiefs 5
Washington Redskins 5
Carolina Panthers 5
Pittsburgh Steelers 4
Houston Texans 4
Atllanta Falcons 4
Baltimore Ravens 3
New Orleans Saints 3
Buffalo Bills 2
Miami Dolphins 2
New England Patriots 2
New York Jets 2
Oakland Raiders 2
Dallas Cowboys 2
New York Giants 2
Detroit Lions 2
Green Bay Packers 2
Arizona Cardinals 2
Los Angeles Rams 2
Cincinnati Bengals 1
Indianapolis Colts 1
Denver Broncos 1
Los Angeles Chargers 1
Seattle Seahawks 0

Now, that list is certainly likely to change in the coming weeks and months as teams extend their in house players and look to ensure their homegrown talent does not leave in free agency. In addition, while part of the reason the Seahawks don’t have any players on a second contract for 2021 likely has to do with the fact that there may not have been any players worthy of a contract that runs into 2021, there are enough circumstantial pieces that it could be considered deliberate.

For example, nearly every time a player has been signed to an extension coming off their rookie deal, it had been a four year contract, until last summer. That list included Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, K.J. Wright, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Bobby Wagner, Marshawn Lynch, Jeremy Lane and Russell Wilson. However, when the team extended Justin Britt during training camp last summer, they did so with a three year extension which only put him under contract through 2020. The only other players the team extended with a three year contract were Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, both of whom joined the team originally as UDFAs, so were in a bit of a different situation than Britt.

In any case, at this point the Seahawks are the only team in the entirety of the NFL that has exactly zero players on a second contract for 2021. Whether that is simply a result of circumstance or the result of a deliberate plan we can’t say with certainty. However, with every new contract that teams across the league hand out that runs past 2020 and leaves the Hawks further behind in post-2020 commitments, certainly seems to add weight to the idea that it is deliberate.