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How much cap space the Seahawks will need for the 2023 draft class

Four weeks left until the draft and the Seahawks are in a position where they’ll need to create space for the players they select.

Texas A&M v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Four weeks from Thursday the Seattle Seahawks and the rest of the league will be in Kansas City for the 2023 NFL Draft. There is extra excitement for the draft this season among Seahawks fans, given that the team holds a pair of first and second round picks, courtesy of the Denver Broncos and the Russell Wilson trade.

With that in mind, the question is, of course, how are the Hawks planning on creating the cap space necessary to sign the rookie draft class. After accounting for the $5.5M cap hit for the recently returned Bobby Wagner, Seattle is left with somewhere in the ballpark of $4.168M of 2023 space per With that in mind, the question obviously becomes exactly how much space the Hawks will need for the draft class, thus here are the projected rookie year cap hits for the 2023 draft class by pick:

  • 1.5: $6,183,723
  • 1.20: $2,766,341
  • 2.37: $1,727,696
  • 2.52: $1,288,958
  • 3.83: $1,009,086
  • 4.123: $945,971
  • 5.151: $836,759
  • 5.154: $835,247
  • 6.198: $979,087
  • 7.237: $774,472

Summing all those yields a cumulative total of $17,347,340 for the players the team will draft, however, that total is prior to taking into account the top 51 rule used during the offseason. From the start of the new NFL league year in March until after roster cuts at training camp, only the top 51 cap hits on the roster of a team count against the cap, which greatly reduces the cap space necessary for the Seahawks draft class.

Per OTC, again, the 51st largest cap hit for the Hawks in 2023 is set to be $830,243, and each time the team adds a player with a cap hit larger than that $830,243, the 51st largest cap hit becomes the 52nd largest cap hit and drops out of the calculations. It’s not a difficult concept, but it’s boring, so skipping the machinations and getting right to the actual amount needed by the team, here is how much space is currently projected to be necessary for each of the picks.

Net cap space requirements needed for each Seahawks draft pick

Pick 2023 Cap Hit 51st cap hit displaced Net cap needed
Pick 2023 Cap Hit 51st cap hit displaced Net cap needed
1.5 $6,183,723 $830,243 $5,353,480
1.20 $2,766,341 $870,000 $1,896,341
2.37 $1,727,696 $870,000 $857,696
2.52 $1,288,958 $870,000 $418,958
3.83 $1,009,086 $870,000 $139,086
4.123 $945,971 $870,000 $75,971
5.151 $836,759 $870,000 0
5.154 $835,247 $874,333 0
6.198 $979,087 $895,275 0
7.237 $774,472 $940,000 0
Total Needed $17,347,340 N/A $8,741,532

That total of $8,741,532 is much smaller than the $17,347,340 noted above, and could become even smaller in the coming weeks should Pete Carroll and John Schneider further shuffle the roster. In any case, while the team will obviously need to create cap space to sign its draft class, that cap space won’t actually be needed until training camp opens in July, meaning there is absolutely zero rush for the Hawks to extend or restructure a player anytime soon.

In addition, with the draft coming up in a matter of weeks, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Seattle free up cap space through a trade of any of a number of players. In short, the Seahawks have the ability and the means to create the necessary space through any of a number of available methods without too much hassle, making this need something to be aware of but nothing worth fretting over.