Twelve weeks ago, the Seattle Seahawks weren’t supposed to be any good. Three weeks ago, they weren’t supposed to lose more than a couple games the rest of the season. Two days ago, well, let’s just say the perspective has changed quite a bit in three months.
Following back-back losses in which the team can neither run nor stop the run, it’s clear there are still limitations with this group. They may still make the playoffs, and I think they will, but opponents have figured out that the Seattle defense basically keys in on one thing for the week and is easily wrecked elsewhere.
However, they’re miles ahead of where they could have been, thanks to one great free agent signing, six awesome rookies, and a still-unbelievable collapse out in Denver.
In short, while they may be close to finished exceeding expectations this season, the Seahawks are set up rather nicely to be elite next year. There’s only three factors at play if coaching isn’t the issue, which some of you say it is, I say it is not. That’s a different article.
A look at estimated 2023 cap space plotted against a teams 2022 record. pic.twitter.com/cFcgQityR8— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) November 29, 2022
We have it!
Seattle, with the 4th-most dead cap money this season, looks at the 5th-most available cap space next season. Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner money is gone, and there simply aren’t very many monster contracts of which to speak.
This does not mean the Seahawks will go all Jacksonville on the free agent market; that’s not their style. But it does mean athletes, players, quarterbacks if you will, could be extended. Add a player or two, lock another up for the future, factor in some escalator clauses, but point being here that John Schneider is not really limited in this regard yet.
It’s close. Areas of strength currently involve:
- Top end WR
- TE unit
- Offensive tackle, and probably one guard
- CB1 and Nickel CB
- Whatever it is they do with Jamal Adams / Ryan Neal position
- One (1) Pass rusher
- Defensive linemen that can knock down passes
Areas of weakness involve:
- Another guard
- Somebody else to catch the ball
- A linebacker to complement Jordyn Brooks
- Pass rush
- Interior defensive line
- Running Back
- Free safety until Quandre Diggs can do that again
The main takeaway here is that the answer wasn’t “quarterback” or “literally the whole offense,” though being this bad across the defensive line for so long is exhausting. In general, there are enough plus talents and elite playmakers on the defense, that it’s more likely they are five improvements away from contention than 15 improvements.
The good news is John Schneider has the opportunity to make 2023 the part II to 2022’s part I and finish the rebuild right here.
Let’s say the five top needs going forward include three on defense and one on offense. Two defensive linemen, linebacker, pass catcher and center. You may disagree, but let’s say it’s those.
If Schneider addresses one or two in free agency, that leaves two or three for the draft.
As of this writing, Seattle has picks number 4, 16, 34, and 49.
If you roll with Geno at QB, that first pick’s gotta be on the defensive line. After that, please don’t draft LB at 16 but basically they’re free to do anything else.
For those still doubtful that this provides any hope, the only teams with rival draft positions in 2023 are the Detroit Lions and the Houston Texans. Those rosters are not comparable to the Seahawks.
I’m still incredibly optimistic that Pete Carroll gets this team into the playoffs. I don’t think they’ll do much there. But still, the future is bright for filling in these holes and making some noise in ‘23.