Calls from fans for the Seattle Seahawks to move on from right tackle Germain Ifedi, who is set to play his fourth season in the NFL in 2019. However, the moves the team made in the draft and the reports on the undrafted free agents that have been brought in have so far left the position short on any depth beyond that which the team already had. This fact brought speculation to social media over the weekend that Ifedi could be here to stay.
#Seahawks didn’t pick a single OT and passed on paying an elite pass rusher $21 million. That means the draft has two clear winners: Germain Ifedi’s bank account and his future in Seattle.— John Fraley (@johndavidfraley) April 27, 2019
The reason why an extension could be seen this week is the deadline of this Friday for the Seahawks to exercise the fifth year option that comes with Ifedi having been a first round draft pick. If Friday comes and goes without an extension, and without the team picking up the fifth year option, all of a sudden the team could find itself in a similar boat with Ifedi that it found itself with Frank Clark.
Now, I’m in no way trying to say that Ifedi has performed at a level anywhere near what Clark did through their respective first three years with the team. However, as was seen in free agency, the market for offensive linemen is out of this world. In 2018 Ja’Wuan James allowed more sacks and just three fewer pressures than Ifedi on fewer pass blocking snaps, and yet he garnered a four-year, $51M ($12.75M average per year contract).
In short, if Ifedi hits the free agent market, that’s likely the type of contract he could command with an additional year of salary cap increasing added into the equation. Looking at it from that perspective, the price tag for 2020 on the option is all of a sudden far more attractive.
No update from John Schneider on whether the Seahawks will pick up RT Germain Ifedi's fifth-year option. The deadline is May 3. The price would be $10.35 million.— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) April 28, 2019
If the team exercises the option, then all of a sudden the floor for Ifedi’s 2020 earnings is set at $10.35M. On the flip side, as long as they do not exercise the option the team retains some level of negotiating leverage based on the fact that Ifedi still needs to play through the 2019 season and avoid significant injury in order to fully capitalize in free agency next year.
Putting all the pieces together, it seems that the Seahawks are content to keep Ifedi at right tackle for the foreseeable future. Without having used any draft capital to address the position, the Hawks seem content with their options at the position, including George Fant, Jamarco Jones, Elijah Nkansah and Duane Brown. So, while fans may not like it, the more evidence accumulates, the more it appears that fans should get used to Ifedi at the spot for the next several years.