Last Thursday the Seattle Seahawks made the return of Justin Coleman to the pacific northwest official, announcing his signing after three seasons away from the Hawks with the Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins. A very large number of fans were, of course, very excited with the return of Coleman, as the nickel cornerback spot has been a rough spot for the Seahawks defense since Coleman’s departure following the 2018 season.
However, what has the possibility to get fans even more excited regarding Coleman’s return to Seattle is the terms of the contract on which he is set to play for the Seahawks this season.
Justin Coleman's contract, as listed by https://t.co/KxgJRVgUcs, is a 1-year deal for the veteran salary benefit of $1.12 million. Deal brings Seattle's cap down to $15.7 million.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) March 29, 2022
As Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times states, Coleman’s deal is for the minimum base salary for a veteran with seven credited seasons, $1,120,000, and also includes a $152,500 signing bonus. With the structure as such, the deal qualifies for the veteran salary benefit under Article 27 of the collective bargaining agreement. What that means is that while Coleman stands to make $1,272,500 during the 2022 season, he will count just $1,047,500 against the salary cap.
The reason for this is because under the veteran salary benefit the player receives their full base salary, but only the first $895,000 counts against the salary cap. Thus, in Coleman’s case the team receives a salary cap benefit of $225,000, giving Coleman a cap hit lower than the amount he is set to earn. This would obviously appear to give Coleman the inside track on reclaiming his role as the nickel cornerback for the Hawks during the 2022 season, and certainly raises questions regarding Ugo Amadi’s status.
As for Coleman, it could be an entirely new experience for him, as he’ll have to learn the new defensive system the Hawks are expected to adopt. In additional, he’ll have to re-learn his way around the city since the team no longer plays at Century Link Field, having moved to Lumen Field in the middle of the 2020 season.