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The cap space the Seahawks will need to sign draft picks

Seattle Seahawks vs Carolina Panthers, 2015 NFC Divisional Playoffs Set Number: X159130 TK1

The 2022 NFL Draft is just over two weeks away, and following the trade of Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, the Seattle Seahawks once again hold a first round pick. That is obviously big for roster building purposes, but it is also significant in terms of the salary cap, as even on rookie contracts higher draft picks earn enough to make a dent in the salary cap.

As such, with the team set to be able to make eight selections in the upcoming draft, here’s a quick run down on how much total cap space with the team require in order to sign its draft class. The best place to start any such discussion is with the projected 2022 cap hits for each member of the draft class, and those cap hits are, as of the moment, as follows:

  • Pick 1.9: $4,452,067
  • Pick 2.40: $1,707,741
  • Pick 2.41: $1,681,911
  • Pick 3.74: $1,029,098
  • Pick 4.109: $942,744
  • Pick 5.145: $810,483
  • Pick 5.153: $802,776
  • Pick 7.229: $735,837

The total of all those cap hits is $12,162,657, however, that is not how much the team will require to sign its picks. During the offseason only the top 51 cap hits count against the salary cap, so for each drafted rookie with a cap hit that falls in the top 51, their signing bumps the player with the 51st largest cap hit to the 52nd, and that bumped player’s cap hit no longer counts against the cap.

In addition, for the Seahawks, the 51st largest cap hit for 2022 currently belongs to Jake Curhan per at $834,500. Thus, the cap hits for both of the fifth round picks and the seventh round pick will not require any cap space whatsoever. So, looking at the cap hits that the top five picks are slated to replace, here is how the math all works out.

2022 Seahawks draft picks cap space requirements

Draft Pick 2022 Cap Hit Amoujnt Replacing Net Cap Impact
Draft Pick 2022 Cap Hit Amoujnt Replacing Net Cap Impact
1.9 $4,452,067 $895,000 $3,557,067
2.4 $1,707,741 $895,000 $812,741
2.41 $1,681,911 $895,000 $786,911
3.74 $1,029,098 $866,656 $162,442
4.109 $942,744 $834,500 $108,244
5.145 $810,483 $0 0
5.153 $802,776 $0 0
7.229 $735,837 $0 0
Total $12,162,657 N/A $5,427,405

Putting the impact of replacement together with the fact that the last three picks will not have any impact on the Seahawks cap space this coming season, and the projected impact for the eight players added through the draft should be $5,427,405.

That number, of course, is subject to change, should the specific picks that the Seahawks hold change. In particular, it’s obvious that the pick the team currently holds at ninth overall is set to make up more than 65% of the cap space required by the draft class, and it would be surprising to exactly nobody if John Schneider and Pete Carroll opted to trade down in order to both reduce the cap obligations of the pick while also adding picks later in the draft. As is almost always the case when it comes to the Seahawks and drafting, the only thing that can be predicted with any certainty is that fans are likely to have next to no idea what to expect from the team.