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Which 2019 Seahawks draft picks will be retained through 2023?

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2022 NFL season just a couple of months away, draft picks from the 2019 Draft are going into their fourth NFL season. This means they are entering the final year of their rookie deals, unless they were a first-round pick who had their fifth-year option picked up. Seattle did not exercise their option for their first-round pick from the 2019 draft in L.J. Collier, meaning every player from that class who is still on the roster is on an expiring deal. In this article we are going to look at the likelihood that each remaining player signs a second contract with the Seahawks.

No longer on the team

John Ursua

Gary Jennings Jr

Demarcus Christmas

L.J. Collier - Round 1 Pick 29

Likelihood - Extremely unlikely

There is a chance that Collier shows flashes at defensive tackle this year that entices Seattle to sign him to an incentive-laden contract for the 2023 season. However, he has shown next to nothing that can make us believe that will happen. Collier only appeared in 10 games last season being a healthy scratch in the other 7 games. He played in 218 defensive snaps and barely touched the field as a special teamer where he saw 38 snaps. When a player is offering little on one side of the ball like Collier on defense, they simply have to offer something in the special teams' game to give them a secure spot on the roster which he has yet to do. In 37 career games with Seattle the TCU product has totaled 33 tackles, 3 sacks (all of which came in the 2020 season), 11 hurries, and 22 pressures. Even if Collier was an early Day 3 selection it would be difficult to be pleased with that kind of production. Hopefully playing in a new scheme will be the key to unlocking Collier as a player but based on his track record it feels like false hope.

Marquise Blair - Round 2 Pick 47

Likelihood - 50/50

Marquise Blair is coming off back-to-back seasons that were ended by serious knee injuries. His 2020 season was cut short in Week 2 due to a torn ACL and his 2021 season was ended due to a fractured patella. As a result of only playing 8 games over the past two seasons Blair’s development as a player has been stunted significantly. He did not play much in his rookie season, nor did he pop enough last year to make us think 2022 will be a breakout season for him. Despite this though there are two things that might help the former Utah Ute stick around past 2022:

1.) He can offer something in the special teams' game. Blair played in 53% of available special teams' snaps in his rookie season and 37% of them in the six games he played in last season. Seahawks fans may remember the forced fumble he created against the Atlanta Falcons in 2020’s opening game.

2.) The Seahawks are going to need cheap players in the secondary come the 2023 season. Seven members of their secondary are playing on expiring contracts in addition to that fact Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams will carry a combined cap hit of just over $36,000,000 for the 2023 season. If he can show any flashes this season Seattle will likely be tempted to bring him back on a cheap 1-year prove it deal.

DK Metcalf - Round 2 Pick 64

Likelihood - Likely

The only reason the likelihood for a second contract isn’t higher is because of how long negotiations have dragged out to this point. Even though negotiations have continued till late June at this point it is still more likely than not that at some point the two sides will be able to reach an agreement. The Seahawks need to keep him as their number one receiver as they do not have a ready-made replacement waiting in the wings and Metcalf has stated his desire to stay in Seattle multiple times. The 2020 Pro Bowler has been a great receiver for the Seahawks, having played in all 49 regular season games, totaling 216 receptions for 3,170 receiving yards to go along with 29 touchdowns. At some point you have to think Seattle is going to get a deal done with number 14.

Cody Barton - Round 3 Pick 88

Likelihood - Likely

Barton has yet to become a starter for the Seahawks, which is something teams hope to find in the middle of the third round of the draft, but that is not to say he hasn’t been a very productive player for them. Despite only starting 5 games on defense, he has played in 48 games, seeing 454 snaps on the defensive side of the ball and 943 snaps on special teams which on its own makes it likely that Seattle looks to bring him back next year.

However, there’s a chance we see Barton break out a bit this season. With Bobby Wagner departing in free agency, it’s expected that he’ll be starting alongside Jordyn Brooks. I am certainly not expecting Jordyn Brooks-like numbers from the former third round pick but if he can make the most out of his increased defensive role it is more than likely Seattle will look to bring him back on a one to two-year deal.

Ugo Amadi - Round 4 Pick 132

Likelihood - Likely

Amadi appeared in all 17 games last season for Seattle. The slot corner had 6 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble, and 54 total tackles (which was the same as his total from the 2020 season). He also recorded his first career interception against the Detroit Lions. When looking at his advanced numbers on his 61 targets against (via Pro Football Reference), he allowed a completion percentage of 78.7% and a passer rating of 97.1, both of which jump off of the screen. However, these numbers are rather misleading as on those 61 targets there were only 144 air yards which comes to an average of 3.7 air yards of target. With such a quick passing game being utilized against the former Oregon Duck there is going to be a high completion percentage and passer rating as they are high percentage throws. With Justin Coleman on a one-year deal, there is a long-term spot for Amadi on the roster and if he can build on his 2021 season it is possible the Seahawks will look to bring him back for 2023.

Ben Burr-Kirven - Round 5 Pick 142

Likelihood - Unlikely

Burr-Kirven missed the 2021 season with an ACL tear suffered in preseason, although prior to that the former Washington Huskies linebacker couldn’t get in any playing time beyond special teams. In two seasons he’s only amassed 14 defensive snaps, 10 of which came in 2020 against the New York Jets. Where Burr-Kirven has made his presence felt is on special teams, with 599 snaps played and a forced fumble in his NFL debut against the Cincinnati Bengals. It is tough to see Seattle wanting to bring him back on the veteran minimum salary next year, which comes in at $990,000, as while he’s been a special teams contributor it appears there’s no path to him getting playing time on defense.

Travis Homer - Round 6 Pick 204

Likelihood 50/50

A lot of Homer’s future with Seattle is tied to the other running backs above him in the depth chart. Rashaad Penny is on a 1-year deal, while Chris Carson’s health could prevent him from playing again. If they were to bring Penny back for the 2023 season it is difficult to see Homer staying, seeing as he would be buried behind the likes of Kenneth Walker lll, Penny, and possibly DeeJay Dallas. However, if the San Diego State product was to leave it makes a lot of sense for both sides to look to extend Homer’s time in Seattle.

Despite totaling only 64 carries and 36 receptions in his career the former Miami Hurricane has shown flashes of being at minimum a very good backup/3rd down running back, and his special teams value has been major — just think of his fake punt and onside kick return touchdowns from the 2021 season.

No longer on their rookie deal but still on the roster

Phil Haynes - Round 4 Pick 124

Likelihood 50/50

The Seahawks waived Haynes right before the season started in 2021, which ended his rookie contract. After waiving him the organization signed him to the practice squad and then promoted later in the season. He ended up playing in five games for Seattle last year, two of which were starts. In his 136 offensive snaps he didn’t record a penalty, nor did he allow a sack. Seattle brought him back this season on an original round tender which carries a cap hit of a little above $2.4M. The reason the likelihood of his return in 2023 is 50/50 is because this is a make or break year for the Wake Forest product. Seattle has already waived him and they only gave him an original round tender. On the flip side they also felt good enough about him to both invest a fourth round pick in him and bring him back on two separate occasions.