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Another look ahead to the Seahawks cap space situation

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NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s May. The Seahawks still have plenty of cap space. So what happens now?

The excellent overthecap.com has Seattle’s current team cap space at $32,966,165. From a team that looked like it was heading into cap trouble, the re-building job of John Schneider plus the retirements of Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor have dramatically freed space up.

Free Agency, however, is not over. There will be eagerness from some for the Seahawks to splash their remaining cash. Having already paid their franchise quarterback, adding more talent feels appealing. 3 technique Ndamukong Suh is still unsigned. Gerald McCoy, of the same position, will soon become available and figures to be a better signing.

Yet Seattle needs this cap space. It feels obvious to state that bad teams spend their cap space badly, but it’s so true. Cap hell is a surprisingly easy depth to sink to. And it’s hard to claw your way back up. Overpaying or even rewarding mediocrity is never the right approach.

In 2020, the temptation to make a flash free agency addition will further rise. OverTheCap projects Seattle’s cap space at a staggering $81,395,444. Whew. Looking at the effective cap space in 2020, which “represents the maximum cap space a team will have when it signs at least 51 players to its roster for that season”, OTC has it at $77,315,444. That’s the second highest total in the entire NFL.

However, it’s here that key re-signings must be factored in. All-world defensive leader Bobby Wagner will be considered for an extension. So will 3-technique Jarran Reed, one of the few proven quarterback disruptors on the team. Heck, the Seahawks front office will probably try and get these deals done mid-2019 season, as has been their modus operandi in years past.

Schneider getting Seattle back into a relatively healthy cap situation should not escape notice. It now feels unlikely that he will go all-in on the level of 2017 with Sheldon Richardson.

Even after re-signing Wagner and Reed, the Seahawks still figure to have some spending money in 2020. The hideous C.J. Mosley $17 million per year deal—which seems to be why Adam Gase hoisted Mike MacCagnan from the Jets’ General Manager position—raises Wagner’s price, but Seattle’s mike will likely be 30 years old when it comes to proper negotiations.

At this moment, the wonderful Spotrac has Seattle’s roster number for 2020 at 47 players, so some cap space must be factored in for draftees and reaching a 90-man roster. The team right below the Seahawks in cap space, the Houston Texans, is currently projected to have around 17 more players signed through 2020. That said, in 2020, around $50 million should be there for the Seahawks if Wagner and Reed re-sign. Currently, pass rush and receiving talent feel like the biggest needs. Adding talent in general is a must.

The wider point is that the money available in 2020 is another reason for halting any late big business this offseason. And why Schneider was savvy in avoiding bad, panicky deals. (Don’t @ me regarding Jason Myers)

Cap money rolls over into the next year. ‘Thanks’ to a few years of bad drafting, Seattle doesn’t have that many players warranting extensions. This isn’t a situation a front office wants to be in, but having the space gives them the opportunity to smartly add some free agents. Looking even further ahead to 2021, decisions on players like cornerback Shaquill Griffin and center Justin Britt will need to be made.

The aforementioned situation on the green side of New York is a reminder of how fortunate Seahawks fans are. Whatever the front office decides to do with their dollars, we can be thankful that general manager John Schneider will be in-sync with head coach Pete Carroll; the key to NFL success.

“I’ve always believed the biggest dysfunction in NFL buildings is an inability for the coaching staff and the scouting staff to be on the same page philosophically consistently,” commented Raiders GM Mike Mayock.

The vision for this new iteration of Seattle will be made in harmony.