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Free agency approaches; how might it shake out for the Seattle Seahawks?

Decisions, decisions for the Seahawks in just a few days.

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images

Free agency officially begins next Wednesday, but teams can talk to the agents for players on other teams starting Monday, March 13. Between now and then, teams can re-sign their own pending free agents.

Here is what I think the Seattle Seahawks might do, starting in-house:

Exclusive Rights Free Agents

These players can only negotiate with the Seahawks which means that all of them are likely to return on 1-year deals that will pay them the league minimum (or darn close to it).

  • RB Godwin Igwebuike - he provided a spark to the return team late in the season; bringing him back is an absolute must.
  • WR Cody Thompson - depth at wide receiver is a good thing to have, especially when it’s someone who’s been in the system and won’t cost much.
  • ILB Jon Rhattigan - a lot of folks like him and wish he’d get more playing time; I’m sort of ambivalent, but at the league minimum, re-signing him is a no-brainer.
  • CB Michael Jackson Sr. - he was our starting left corner for all 17 games last year and had a solid season; an upgrade opposite Tariq Woolen would be nice, but Jackson represents a solid floor at LCB and might be even better in 2023 than he was in 2022.

Restricted Free Agents

These players are free to negotiate with other teams starting Monday (and can receive offers from other teams starting Wednesday).

I’m going to try to stay out of the weeds on this next part . . .

The Seahawks have the option to tender an offer to each of these players at a predetermined amount. If they do, the amount of the tender will apply to the 2023 salary cap immediately. If they don’t, the player will be an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday afternoon.

The benefit (to the Seahawks) of applying a tender is that it gives them the opportunity to match any offer the player receives and, if they pass on that opportunity, the player’s new team will owe the Seahawks a pick in next year’s draft. How high that pick is depends on the player and the tender.

Seattle’s restricted free agents are: RB Tony Jones, WR Penny Hart, ILB Tanner Muse, and SS Ryan Neal.

Ryan Neal is an obvious keeper; there is no way the Seahawks will let him leave . . . unless another team gives him a ridiculous offer. Because Neal was originally an Undrafted Free Agent, my understanding is that the most we can get if he leaves is a 2nd-round pick.

Note: Using a 2nd-round tender on Neal would mean Seattle is committing to pay him (at least) $4,304,000 in 2023, That is about 4x what he earned last season and ~$1.32M more than the total amount he’s earned in his professional career.

Tanner Muse might also be a keeper - not because he’s a great player, but because Seattle is in desperate need of linebackers.

Note: If the season started today, Seattle’s starting linebackers would probably be Nick Bellore and Josh Onujiogu (unless Jordyn Brooks is fully healed by Week 1).

Penny Hart is a tricky one . . . sort of.

Hart has appeared in 39 games over the last 3 years and has lined up for 638 snaps (238 on offense, 400 on special teams) so he clearly has value to the team. Yet his career stat line is 11 receptions for 82 yards with 0 touchdowns.

Unfortunately (for him), the cheapest tender would guarantee him a salary of $2,627,000 this season and that is way too high. I think John and Pete will let him test free agency and then welcome him back (at close to the league minimum) if he doesn’t find another landing spot.

Tony Jones won’t get tendered, but don’t be surprised if he ends up re-signing with us at some point this summer.

Unrestricted Free Agents

Here is the current list of Seattle’s UFAs:


  • QB Drew Lock
  • RB Rashaad Penny (IR)
  • RB Travis Homer (IR)
  • WR Laquon Treadwell
  • WR Marquise Goodwin (IR)
  • OC Kyle Fuller


  • DT LJ Collier
  • DT Myles Adams
  • DT Poona Ford
  • DE Bruce Irvin
  • DE Darryl Johnson Jr. (IR)
  • ILB Cody Barton
  • ILB Cullen Gillaspia (IR)
  • CB Artie Burns
  • CB Justin Coleman
  • CB Xavier Crawford
  • S Johnathan Abram
  • S Josh Jones (IR)
  • S Teez Tabor

Special Teams:

  • LS Carson Tinker
  • LS Tyler Ott


Let’s start with the simple one . . .

Special Teams

Our punter and our kicker are signed through 2025 and 2026, respectively, but we need a long snapper.

Tyler Ott has been in Seattle since 2016.

Carson Tinker filled the role after Ott went on IR last season.

Both have played well for us.

Ott is more expensive, but not inordinately so (+$314,722 in 2022).

Were I John Schneider, I would invite them both to Seahawks HQ, sit them both down in the same conference room, set an offer in front of each of them, and tell them that the first one to sign gets the job.

And I’d livestream it cuz that would be extremely entertaining.


Drew Lock would seem to be a goner after the Seahawks re-signed Geno Smith, but John Schneider and Pete Carroll have both said (repeatedly) that they’d like to re-sign him. I believe they mean that, but I also believe they’re omitting the words, “after the draft.” And if Seattle selects a quarterback in April’s draft (especially an R1 quarterback), the desire to re-sign Lock will likely disappear.

Rashaad Penny is worth re-signing, despite his extensive injury history, but I wouldn’t give him any more than half of what he got last season ($5.63M for 5 games - ugh!) and I would limit my expectations to “league-best RB3” with a goal of getting him through the 17-game season healthy. We’ll see if John and Pete agree.

Travis Homer has proven his value on special teams (721 snaps over 4 seasons) and is a quality depth piece at running back (568 snaps). He’s also the RB you want on the field on passing downs to help protect your investment at quarterback. I think JS should offer him a 2-year, $6M deal with $3,084,242 guaranteed at signing. Why not just $3M even? Because for an additional $84,242, they could match his career earnings which seems like it would be a pretty cool gesture.

Marquise Goodwin is on the wrong side of 30 and is just as likely to retire as to return to Seattle, but he had 27 catches for 387 yards with 4 TDs last season and I suspect he could match (or exceed that) if given the opportunity to do so in 2023. He’s a veteran-minimum player at this point in his career, which helps, and my guess is that we’ll give him the option of running it back with us.

Laquon Treadwell was the 23rd overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and has a career stat line of 110 catches for 1,226 yards and 5 touchdowns, including 6 catches for 42 yards last season. It won’t be a surprise if he’s on the roster when training camp opens, but I doubt the Seahawks offer him a contract until just before then.

Kyle Fuller isn’t someone whose re-signing will excite the 12s. But it sort of feels inevitable, doesn’t it?

Right now, the only Center on the roster is Joey Hunt and the best available free agent Center is Ethan Pocic. Given that Pete Carroll has never started a rookie Center, we probably shouldn’t count on finding our 2023 starter in the draft.

My offer to Fuller would be 1 year at $1.5M +/- $300k. I expect the actual offer will be considerably higher (à la the 1-year, $4M deal they just gave Phil Haynes) and/or multiyear.


Rather than writing something specific about each of the 13 defensive UFAs, I’m going to pare the list down a bit first.

There should be zero interest in re-signing Artie Burns, Justin Coleman, Johnathan Abram, or Josh Jones. Each of them were liabilities when they were on the field last season and there is absolutely no need to repeat that experience in 2023.

I’m basically ambivalent about Darryl Johnson Jr., Cullen Gillaspia, Xavier Crawford, and Teez Tabor. They’d probably only cost about $1M each to re-sign, so no harm no foul (so to speak); they’ll either return and act as depth pieces, or they won’t.

That leaves half a dozen defensive players . . .

LJ Collier is an experiment that went on a year or two longer than it should have - presumably because he was on a guaranteed contract and the Seahawks failed to find a trade partner for him. I almost included Collier on the zero interest list, but . . . I can see a scenario where John and Pete might decide to re-sign him if he doesn’t sign with another team and the draft doesn’t break the way we want it to.

Poona Ford was our most expensive player in 2022. That won’t be the case in 2023. Even at his 2022 cap amount, Ford would be no higher than 8th. Part of me thinks he’s gone, but he’s only missed two games since his rookie year and I could see John and Pete wanting to bring him back on another 2- or 3-year contract. That said, I think another team will outbid us for his services.

Note: Poona Ford had a subpar season in 2022, but I’ve read multiple reports that chalk that up to Seattle playing him out of position.

Myles Adams is worth re-signing for the league minimum, or close to it. He’s only appeared in 12 games over the last 2 years and was a healthy scratch a number of times last year, but depth is depth and maybe he’ll have a breakout season in 2023.

Bruce Irvin will be 36 in November. What’s interesting is that Bobby Wagner, who was drafted the same year as Irvin, is 3-1/2 years younger. I’m rooting for a reunion and Irvin is a vet-min player at this point so . . . c’mon John and Pete, re-sign him already.

Cody Barton is one of the best special-teamers in the league. That alone should warrant an offer. Add in the fact that Jordyn Brooks may not be ready to play at the start of the season and it seems like an absolute certainty that the Seahawks will at least try to re-sign Barton (much to the chagrin of a lot of 12s). Sadly, I suspect that he’ll get a better offer from another team.

External Free Agents

While it’s entirely possible that John and Pete could go against their historical tendencies, like they did when they signed Uchenna Nwosu last season, I believe that they will once again eschew the “big name” free agents and largely sit out the first few days of free agency (except to re-sign their own).

With that in mind, here are a half dozen players that I could see the Seahawks making a run at:

C Ethan Pocic: The former-Seahawk is widely considered the best available free agent center, but his 2022 performance could be a mirage given that he had two of the NFL’s highest-paid guards flanking him (Joel Bitonio + Wyatt Teller). Right now, the only center on the roster is Joey Hunt and Pete Carroll has never started a rookie at the pivot, so if we’re going to grab a starter in free agency, why not grab the best one available, who we just so happen to have history with?

MLB Bobby Wagner: Speaking of history, a reunion with our former team captain is in order. He may be a step slower than he was in his prime, but with the current state of our defense (and our LB corps in particular), there’s no one I’d trust more than Bwagz to help us pull things together. For their part, John and Pete have made it known that they are “keenly interested” in speaking with Bobby once the Rams officially release him.

DT Jarran Reed: Sticking with what could become the 2023 Seahawks reunion tour, how about bringing back Jarran Reed? Admittedly, his departure was ugly, but his asking price should be about half of what it was when he left, and he can still get pressure on opposing quarterbacks (4 sacks in each of his seasons away).

Note: PFF projects that Reed will sign a 2-year, $7.5M contract ($3.75M APY) with $4M guaranteed at signing.

RB Jamaal Williams: If the Seahawks want a change of pace back behind Kenneth Walker III, Jamaal Williams would be an ideal target. Last season, he had 262 carries for 1,066 yards (4.1 average) with a league-leading 17 touchdowns. All of those numbers were career highs, and by considerable margins. PFF projects that he’ll cost about $4.5M per year on a 2-year contract.

RB Jerick McKinnon: Another option for Seattle at RB2, McKinnon wouldn’t “steal” too many carries from K9 as he only had 92 carries in 17 games last year, totaling 350 yards (3.8 average) and 1 touchdown. McKinnon would, however, help open up the Seahawks’ passing game. Last year, he 60 receptions on 75 targets (80%) for 545 yards with 9 TDs. As with Williams, 2022 is an outlier for McKinnon but, other than the touchdowns, not exponentially so as he had 65 receptions on 77 targets (84.4%) for 513 yards and 2 TDs in 2017.

EDGE Justin Houston: Some will scoff at the idea of signing a 34-year-old EDGE rusher, but hear me out. His pass-rush win rate (18.4%) and pressure percentage (14.6%) were both top-25 marks last year, and he had the same number of sacks (9-1/2) as Darrell Taylor and Uchenna Nwosu, who would remain the starters in 2023. Houston’s 2022 cap hit was $3.5M and while PFF expects a modest raise (1-year, $4M), that won’t break the bank. With 111-1/2 career sacks, Houston is a veteran presence the Seahawks’ defense could benefit from - especially on passing downs.

Cap Space

After re-signing Geno Smith (as well as Jason Myers, Phil Haynes, and Nick Bellore), the Seahawks don’t have much cap space, and most, if not all, of what they do have will need to be set aside to sign their draft class.

Fortunately, Seattle doesn’t need the money for their draft class until May (or June) which means they could use that money now and replenish it in a couple months. The Seahawks also have a number of players they could cut (ex. Gabe Jackson), trade (ex. Noah Fant), or restructure (ex. Quandre Diggs) to free up some cap space.

Creative accounting is also an option (ex. adding void years), but that’s something the current regime has generally avoided - except for the COVID season.

At the end of the day though, Seattle does have the ability to sign some free agents. Just don’t expect any big splashes, especially in Wave One.