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Football Outsiders gives Seahawks best marks in 2023 NFL Free Agency grades

A for awesome!

New York Jets v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks have had a calmer offseason than last year, for reasons I do not think I need to explain. They kept Geno Smith on a very team-friendly contract, signed Dre’Mont Jones to the largest free agent deal the Seahawks have ever put together under Pete Carroll and John Schneider, and parted ways with veteran defensive linemen Shelby Harris, Al Woods, and Quinton Jefferson.

We’re only a week into the new league year and a month out from the NFL Draft, but Football Outsiders is absolutely glowing about the way Seattle has handled its offseason business thus far. These grades are subject to change but through the tail-end of March, the Seahawks have the highest overall mark as the only team with an A. Other top-graded teams such as the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears received no better than an A-, therefore Seattle is number one. Hang the banner!

Here’s the write-up from Vincent Verhei:

Seattle Seahawks

Improved Roster: B+

Used Resources Well: A++

Coherent Plan: A

Overall Grade: A

Step 1 for Pete Carroll and John Schneider: Re-sign Geno Smith to an impossibly team-friendly deal. Smith’s three-year contract includes over $27 million dollars in guarantees, but his cap hit in 2023 is only $10.1 million. That’s lower than Mitchell Trubisky’s in Pittsburgh and barely higher than Zach Wilson’s with the Jets. Smith can earn a lot more by hitting performance-based incentives, but if he turns back into a pumpkin, the Seahawks can easily get out of the deal in 2024.

Step 2: Take the money they saved on Smith and invest in their interior defense like they never have before. Multi-purpose lineman Dre’Mont Jones got $51.5 million over three years, a $17.1-million average that is the highest the Seahawks have ever paid for an outside free agent (though less than half that money is guaranteed). They also brought lineman Jarran Reed back from Green Bay, added linebacker Devin Bush from Pittsburgh, and signed former Giants defensive back Julian Love, who can contribute right away at safety or nickelback. (And they still had enough cash to upgrade at center, taking Evan Brown away from Detroit.) The release of defensive tackle Al Woods was a bit of a head-scratcher, but Seattle could use one of their 10 draft picks to replace him, perhaps with Georgia’s Jalen Carter fifth overall.

Being able to properly assess a team’s offseason (once you include draft classes) obviously needs at least a couple of years to determine how good or bad it actually was, but this is two years in a row the Seahawks are getting praise for sound process. Last year’s draft (outside of maybe not drafting a quarterback) felt like a sensible plan and the results have worked out tremendously thus far. We’ve still got a ways to go in this offseason but I’m leaning more on the optimistic side given what’s already been done.