Saturday has finally arrived, marking the end of the first week of the NFL free agency period. The week started off with fans of the Seattle Seahawks upset that the team was not being more aggressive and landing the big names they had dreamed of, including Jonnu Smith, Corey Linsley, Joe Thuney and others. That lack of action came as little to surprise for those familiar with how John Schneider and Pete Carroll have handled free agency for the majority of their tenure in Seattle, and when the second wave started late in the week, Pete and John jumped into action.
The Hawks have made a pair additions from the free agent market so far in tight end Gerald Everett of the Los Angeles Rams and cornerback Akhello Witherspoon of the San Francisco 49ers. In addition they traded a Day 3 draft pick to the Las Vegas Raiders for guard Gabe Jackson, who should step in and be an unquestioned starter for the team in 2021.
So, with that all said, the big question for fans is what these transactions mean for the Seahawks in terms of comp picks. Comp picks are, of course, a series of additional picks given to teams as compensation for having lost veteran players on the free agent market. These extra picks are calculated based on a complicated formula which for decades was kept completely secret, until the publication of the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement last spring shared the details publicly.
In any case, for the Seahawks they have seen five free agents sign elsewhere, including:
- Shaquill Griffin
- David Moore
- Carlos Hyde
- Jacob Hollister and
- Phillip Dorsett
The terms of the contract Dorsett agreed to with the Jacksonville Jaguars have not been made public, but following a season in which he failed to see the field for the Hawks while on a minimum salary contract, it seems likely he signed for league minimum, or at least something close to league minimum. Assuming that to be the case, his contract would be too small to be included in the comp pick calculations, and as Jacob Hollister also signed for league minimum with the Buffalo Bills, his contract is irrelevant to the discussion as well.
So, that leaves just Griffin, Moore and Hyde as having departed. The next step is to cancel out the departures with the signings that the Hawks have made. Taking that step, the following cancellations take place:
- Signing Everett cancels out the loss of Moore and
- Signing Witherspoon cancels out the loss of Hyde.
That leaves Seattle with just Shaquill Griffin as a free agent who signed with another team for a sufficient amount to count in the formula, and whose signing has yet to be cancelled out. So, it then becomes a matter of where the Griffin signing stands in terms of contract size to determine where any associated comp pick would fall. Turning to comp pick expert Nick Korte (@nickkorte on Twitter) of OverTheCap.com, his work currently indicates that Griffin’s departure would likely bring the Hawks a fourth round comp pick in 2022 as of right now.
That, of course, is subject to change. More than six weeks remain in free agency, and while it is unlikely that the Seahawks will make any big splash additions that would cancel out the comp pick Griffin’s departure would generate, it certainly remains a possibility. Which means readers should stay tuned to Field Gulls for news and updates regarding what Seattle does in free agency in the weeks leading up to the draft in April.