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Finding Free Agents: Devin Funchess would offer Russell Wilson a big-bodied threat

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NFL: Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

In our 2020 iteration of Finding Free Agents, we’ll attempt to answer three questions for each player: Why would the Seahawks be interested? What would their contract look like? What is the likelihood they reach free agency? Throughout the series, we’ll be focused on specific positions of need in Seattle: Wide receiver, tight end, offensive line and EDGE.

After an up-and-down four years with the Panthers to begin his career, Devin Funchess signed a one-year, $10M deal with the Indianapolis Colts. It was seemingly a great situation for Funchess: play with Andrew Luck in one of the league’s best offensive infrastructures and then re-enter free agency with your value reset. Instead, Luck retired and Funchess played just one game before a broken collarbone ended his season. Funchess will again enter unrestricted free agency in search of a value-resetting situation.

Why would the Seahawks be interested?

Seattle was interested in Funchess when he was a prospect coming out of Michigan and presumably would be again this time around, with him on the open market. Funchess possesses the size the Seahawks are missing at wide receiver, at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, and has flashed dominant ability in jump ball situations. In 2017, Funchess’ best season—with 63 catches, 840 yards and eight touchdowns—all eight scores came inside the redzone. Funchess, however, is hardly just a jump ball specialist. He’s a complete route runner, superb at boxing out defensive backs on in-breaking routes and creating separation at the top.

As mentioned in the discussion of A.J. Green, the addition of a proper possession receiver would be fantastic for Seattle’s offense. Though DK Metcalf flashed in that area during the second-half of his rookie season, the addition of Funchess would round out an otherwise talented and complete wide receiver corps. Wilson has previously gelled with wideouts who possess large catch radius’—Sidney Rice, Paul Richardson, Jimmy Graham—and Funchess is similarly an easy target. Even on a one-year deal, Funchess would be able to have an instant impact.

What would Funchess’ contract look like?

Fresh off a 44-catch, 549-yard and four-touchdown season, Funchess had to settle for a one-year deal (granted, worth $10M). Funchess will surely seek out another short-term contract this time around in another effort to land a big-money, long-term deal next spring. After missing nearly the entire season, however, it’s unlikely Funchess will top eight figures again.

Randall Cobb ended his tenure with the Green Bay Packers with an injury-riddled 2018, before landing a one-year, $5M deal with the Cowboys for 2019, with $4M guaranteed. Cobb was several years older—but also considerably more accomplished—than Funchess last spring, but this is a good contract comparison. Funchess undoubtedly has the talent to perform well enough to land a long-term deal, but first, he’ll need to reset his value—with the Seahawks, he can do just that.

Will Funchess reach free agency?

When Indianapolis signed Funchess last spring, it seemed like the perfect compliment to their offense and T.Y. Hilton. In Funchess’ absence, Zach Pascal flashed the ability to be a quality wide receiver, while rookie Parris Campbell was unable to establish himself. The Colts need depth at the position and may be interested in bringing Funchess back for another year, but not before he reaches free agency. With the quarterback position being clouded in uncertainty in Indianapolis, Seattle may be a more appealing destination for a receiver desperate to show his worth in order to get paid.