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Seahawks 2021 cap space picture

Seattle Seahawks v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks have had mixed results to open the 2021 season. Week 1 saw the team go on the road and defeat the Indianapolis Colts, while Week 2 saw the team blow a double digit fourth quarter lead on their way to losing to the Tennessee Titans in overtime.

Thus, as the Hawks prepare to travel to the Upper Midwest to take on the Minnesota Vikings in a Week 3 showdown that suddenly carries a significant amount of importance for both teams and the possibility of making the postseason this year, the holes in the roster are starting to show. Just weeks ago many fans were confident the defense would come together as it did during the second half of the 2020 season and become a force to be reckoned with.

Unfortunately, the only reckoning for Seattle fans after the Week 2 loss was to work to ascertain how the group surrendered 532 yards to the Titans. Derrick Henry, of course, ran wild to the tune of 180 yards, but those numbers pale in comparison to the 347 yards that came courtesy of the right arm of Ryan Tannehill. That is the seventh most passing yards allowed to any quarterback in any NFL game so far this season, and the quarterback for the Week 3 opponent of the Hawks, Kirk Cousins, produced the sixth highest passing yardage total in the Vikings Week 1 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. So, in short, the bad news is that the Hawks appear to have some issues in the secondary, but the good news is that three of the four current starters in the secondary are free agents after this season.

In any case, with the dust having settled on the moves and machinations that always surround the early part of the season, a fairly clear picture of where the team stands in terms of cap space is now available. Specifically, since the NFLPA has now updated its system enough to where it has moved from using the Rule of 51 which is applied during the offseason to accounting for all contracted players, how much space the Seahawks have is known, and that number, at least according to the NFLPA as of Friday morning, is:

  • $11,452,475

That’s a decent enough amount of cap space for the team to pursue players to address the needs of the roster, but it isn’t all available to be spent. The team needs to keep a small reserve of $3M to 4M to cover the cost of players who are moved to injured reserve, practice squad elevations and other such moves. However, even taking those into account, there’s likely around $8M that the team has free and available to use.

The question, though, becomes how much of that space do they actually want to use, given the number of holes they are looking at needing to replace in the offseason. Specifically, according to, John Schneider and Pete Carroll are currently sitting on $53.4M in cap space for the 2022 season, but that’s with just 37 players under contract. In addition, as noted above there are several important members of the team who are set to be free agents in the offseason, including Duane Brown, Brandon Shell, Quandre Diggs, both starting corners in Tre Flowers and D.J. Reed.

What it boils down to is that if there are players who could make an immediate impact available as the trade deadline approaches, which is set to be November 2, it won’t be a surprise to see Pete and John make additions. That said, if the value isn’t there, it could be a quiet year for the team, as the front office could be looking at rolling over as much of that available cap space as possible in order to have available to either reload or rebuild next March.