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Seahawks salary cap picture a week into free agency

The Seahawks were uncharacteristically busy in the first wave of free agency, and now they’re likely to need to create additional space in the coming months.

NFL Combine Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

A week into free agency, the Seattle Seahawks have addressed several holes on the roster and set themselves up for success in the 2023 NFL Draft by eliminating most major needs. It’s certainly true that the team is still in need of bodies at certain positions, most notably running back and linebacker. However, those are positions that can be more readily addressed on Day 2 and Day 3 of the draft, and it seems likely that that is how the Hawks will opt to fill the voids at those spots.

As for where the team stands in terms of the salary cap with five and a half weeks left before the draft, as always Field Gulls turns to as the starting point for that discussion. OTC currently lists the Seahawks as having $11,908,554 of cap space available for the 2023 season, however, as of publication that number does not include the cap hits of either Julian Love or Devin Bush. The signings of both Bush and Love were made official late last week, and the specifics of their contracts should be available sometime Monday or Tuesday. Should that prove to be the case, this post will be updated to reflect the numbers, but based on how the team traditionally structures contracts and using best guess, it’s likely the two carry a combined cap hit somewhere in the $6.5M to $7M range for 2023.

Based on that assumed cap hit, the Seahawks currently have roughly $5M of available cap space, which, of course, is before the team must account for several cap expenses. The most noteworthy of the cap expenses the team will incur in the coming months are:

  • 2023 Draft Class: $8.741M net cap cost as of writing
  • Practice Squad: $3.456M
  • Injured Reserve Pool: $3M-$5M

In total, those items combine for somewhere in the neighborhood of $15M, give or take some on either side. And, as astute readers will surely point out, $15M is larger than $5M, meaning that the team is not only effectively out of cap space for 2023, but will likely need to take steps to create additional space at some point in the future. However, for the time being the Seahawks effective cap space is well into the red, which means the speculation can run rampant regarding how the Hawks will go about creating the space needed between now and next January.