Though it feels like three months, NFL free agency began eight days ago, with the start of the legal tampering period.
Even with the limitations on physical availability and the availability for physicals (that went better in my head), players have been finding new homes at lightning speed.
We are now up to 127 unrestricted free agents who have moved to different teams. An amazing pace.— John Clayton (@JohnClaytonNFL) March 24, 2020
This most certainly includes the Seahawks, despite the immovability of Jadeveon Clowney casting a long shadow over the week as a whole.
As it stands, Seattle has scored a net positive in the 2020 offseason, and it’s not close.
- iOL B.J. Finney (two years, $8 million)
- EDGE Bruce Irvin
- OT Brandon Shell (two years, $11 million)
- OT Cedric Ogbuehi
- OG Chance Warmack
- WR Phillip Dorsett
- CB Quinton Dunbar via trade
- It happened earlier, but it’s necessary to count TE Greg Olsen at one year, $5.5 million as part of this, because it couples with the Luke Willson retention to negate any need for additional TE through draft or signing.
LT George Fant - New York Jets (3 years, $30 million)
DL Quinton Jefferson
DT Al Woods
How did the Seahawks do?
First, Seattle needed better depth and better rotational pieces in the applicable positions, and they’ve started doing that. Though half of the offensive line signings are a bit puzzling, every other addition feels like a pretty good win thus far.
They’ve added the pieces to move on from expensive OL guys if necessary. They signed Irvin as a significant upgrade over any spot on the EDGE, unless he ends up being their number one. They just grabbed a player in Dorsett who should settle in as an improved WR3/WR4. They’ve improved the secondary.
Unfortunately, the few departures have come from places you’d rather not see athletes depart. Defensive line is still a concern, and both Jefferson and Woods absolutely played well when asked last year. The Seahawks are banking on finding improvements and/or Jarran Reed being better, both of which are not guarantees.
This is pretty typical for a John Schneider free agency, which is to say it is typically quite good. This week is already shaping up to feel better than last year began. No, Seattle still does not run out and get the top guys, and we will never have a flurry of activity like what the Miami Dolphins just did.
But looking only at the new players added and the former players departed, this is a massive win for free agency Week 1 for the Seattle Seahawks. It’s unfair (to a point) to critique them for what they haven’t done, as it doesn’t matter whatsoever.
Before you yell, yes, if the Seahawks come out of the offseason without Jadeveon Clowney it will be a bad thing.
But there’s far more to celebrate at this moment. A guy who
has one career reception functioned as a 6th OL has been paid $10 mil per year by another team, while Seattle added basically Germain Ifedi for half of what Ifedi is trying to make. The Hawks are probably going to enter next season near the top of one those ridiculous ESPN offensive arsenal pieces or whatever. Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Dorsett, Will Dissly, Greg Olsen and Jacob Hollister have massive passing game potential that could prove to be the best that Russell Wilson’s ever had.
Losing Al Woods sucks. It’s not for very much additional money, so it appears the Seahawks were content to let him go.
On the whole, I’d give the first week of free agency - which incidentally might be the last thing to happen for a while - a B+. Remember this does not include things they have not yet done, only the players coming and going.
Wide receiver was a huge need. Edge rusher was a huge need. Secondary was a huge need. Offensive line is a never ending need, and they did some stuff, but the reports on contracts thus far are strangely expensive. Tight end depth was a need by the end of last year and not something Seattle felt comfortable ignoring this year. George Fant at $10 million per year while Ifedi can’t get signed is frankly hilarious, and would have been too much for them to do this year. Points must be deducted for letting Al Woods walk because that was a silly thing to do. Quinton Jefferson played himself right into being too expensive this year, so that move was entirely expected. Finally, the price given for Quinton Dunbar is a full 10/10 if you remember that this trade was not completed with Bill O’Brien.
There’s a whole lot left to do, and they didn’t go get a fantasy football superstar. But the Seahawks predictably went out and did primarily really smart things at positions they needed the most.
Now, if someone will just give them a 4th for Tedric Thompson....