It’s been three years since the Seattle Seahawks selected Germain Ifedi in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and the team now has just two weeks remaining before the May 3 deadline to pick up his fifth year option should they decide to do so. While many fans would be more than happy to move on from Ifedi, there is debate about who would step in and take over in 2020 if the team decides it’s not in their best interest to keep Ifedi around.
There is, of course, George Fant, who has signed his restricted free agent tender, so is now under contract for 2019, but just like Ifedi is schedule to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2019 season. Fant is extremely gifted athletically, but as I’ve looked at multiple times in the past, the amount which he could command next spring could be prohibitive, especially for a player who has barely eclipsed a thousand offensive snaps played during his career. Specifically, I’ve looked at how contracts other tackles have signed could afffect the market for Fant, starting with the Cleveland Browns signing of Chris Hubbard, the three year extension given to Ty Sambrailo by the Atlanta Falcons and the three year contract that Isaac Seumalo signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.
In short, Fant could be very expensive next season, especially in the wake of the right tackle market having been reset during this year’s free agency. For years right tackles have been paid less than left tackles, and while that remains the case, right tackle Ja’Wuan James completely blew the top off the market for that side of the line when he inked a 4-year, $51M deal with the Denver Broncos. That’s a whopping $12.75M for a player who did not grade out materially better than Germain Ifedi by most available pass blocking metrics, and represents the type of contract Ifedi is likely to be looking for.
And that leads to the question of whether the Hawks will exercise the fifth year option. If they decide to exercise the option, it gives them Ifedi for the 2020 season at somewhere in the neighborhood of $10M. That means that Ifedi would be under contract for two more seasons at roughly the cost of James to the Broncos for a single season, somewhere in the ballpark of $12.75M.
Last year the Seahawks drafted Jamarco Jones, who many fans seem to love. I have made my opinion well known on Jones, as I was not impressed with his college tape against top tier competition, though I am, on occasion, wrong. So, while other fans may be higher on Jones than myself, the coaching staff gave him an opportunity at right tackle during training camp last season that lasted all of a portion of one afternoon.
In any case, the clock is now ticking and Seattle has until May 3 to decide to either pick up or decline the fifth year option. If they do decide to exercise the option, it is guaranteed for injury only, so they could still move on from him during the next twelve months unless he suffers a severe injury during 2019 that would prevent him from passing a physical next spring.
And now it’s time for fans to weigh in.
What should the Seahawks do with Germain Ifedi?
This poll is closed
Pick up 5th year option
Decline 5th year option
Trade him during the draft for whatever they can get
Move him to guard