Need informs decision making, and the Seattle Seahawks have a lot of both to do this offseason.
Here’s a look at who’s locked in for the Seahawks for next year’s starters. John Gilbert already gave us the full list of free agents coming in 2021. This is not to predict or project who will be targeted in the draft or free agency, but instead a look at how many holes we could reasonably expect on the starting rotation that need to be filled.
The defense finished the year with astronomically more momentum than the offense. Therefore perhaps it’s less surprising that there are less empty spaces on this side of the ball.
Here’s the 99% likely to return to their starting jobs in 2021.
DE - L.J. Collier
Defensive tackles - Jarran Reed, Poona Ford*
Linebackers - Bobby Wagner, Jordyn Brooks
FS - Quandre Diggs
SS - Jamal Adams**
Cornerbacks - D.J. Reed, Ugo Amadi, wherever we put Marquise Blair
*Poona Ford will be a restricted free agent, and while I would personally target him towards the top of the list to extend, at the very least the team can put a solid restricted tender on him and match any offer.
**This hesitation would only be if his shoulder injury is catastrophically bad and the team would rather move on than pay $10million for an uncertain final year. In other words the unlikely worst case scenario.
Carlos Dunlap’s restructured contract means it is not a guarantee that he will be here. He sure hopes he is, and I sure hope he is. He’s voiced his business decision that made for a riskier future in order to get here quickly, and will most certainly negotiate in good faith if a new deal needs happening. Benson Mayowa is a free agent after his one-year deal, Bruce Irvin’s contract is up after barely playing in his Seahawks return, and Rasheem Green still has a year left on his rookie contract.
K.J. Wright is currently saying he’d like to be paid like the unique talent that he is, and this scares me. I’ve already said how wrong he proved all of us, and I would take a 35 year old Wright over Cody Barton today, let alone the 32 years he’ll be next year. I think the three LBs found something special as they played together, and this will be a tough negotiation.
Diggs is here, Adams is here, Amadi is here, and D.J. Reed is here. This is where it gets interesting. Shaquill Griffin hits free agency, and I don’t have a shred of evidence that the team wants to try Quinton Dunbar again. At the very least there will be a hole at third corner, if not an attempt to find another CB1 to replace Griffin, trusting Reed at CB2.
I don’t know what Marquise Blair is anyway, much less now that they have Adams. They like him a lot and he’d be a contender to do what Ugo Amadi did this year if nothing else.
QB - Russell Wilson, who will not be traded for Deshaun Watson. Stop it.
RB - Rashaad Penny
WR - Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Freddie Swain
TE - Will Dissly
Offensive Line - Damien Lewis, Brandon Shell
Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde will be free agents. As will David Moore from the receivers. Same for tight ends Greg Olsen and Jacob Hollister.
On the line, Ethan Pocic and Mike Iupati hit free agency. Duane Brown has a final year, but I think sometime after that dude retires we’ll find out that he played through more nagging injuries than we knew. He’ll be 36 and there’s just no guarantees for a guy who essentially doesn’t practice after Week 1.
That means John Schneider and his team will be looking to fill a couple of gaps on defense and a whole bunch on offense, and that’s just looking at starters.
- At least one defensive end, and then hoping for progression from rookies Alton Robinson and Darrell Taylor
- One Linebacker
- One Cornerback
- One running back, either to be in front or behind Rashaad Penny (gulp)
- Three wide receivers, really targeting one to be a meaningful contributor
- One tight end; they’re great at finding the 4-5 backups they like throughout the year
- Two offensive linemen, and it would be wise to have a mid-term plan for left tackle
Carson, Griffin, Pocic, Wright, and Dunlap are the biggest conversations the front office will have. Poona Ford could be an easy one-year fix, but likely also a big conversation. David Moore should be given a deal because he just should.
But as they say, can’t keep everybody.