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Where Seahawks salary cap picture for 2023 stands as OTAs close

Pete Carroll and John Schneider (2018) Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

With the close of organized team activities, the offseason is now officially over for the Seattle Seahawks. With, of course, the lone exception being the five plus weeks of actual nearly-no-football news of the offseason portion of the offseason between now and the start of training camp in late July.

With that in mind, Field Yates of ESPN tweeted out the official 2023 cap space numbers for all 32 NFL teams as of Thursday, and in what should come as a surprise to almost no one, the Seahawks are close to the bottom of the league in available cap space.

Many are likely wondering what the Hawks might do with the $6,802,095 of cap space that they have available. While the most logical use of the space might be put it to use to fill the empty roster spot they have been sitting on for the past couple of weeks, the reality is that it is earmarked for other purposes at this time.

Specifically, two of the players the Seahawks selected early in the draft, Devon Witherspoon and Zach Charbonnet, have yet to sign their rookie contracts, something that will most certainly be remedied between now and the start of training camp. As for how much cap space will be required to sign this pair of rookies, the answer is, unfortunately, most of the space Seattle currently has available. Turning to, and specifically to the projections for 2023 cap hits of rookie contracts, once signed Witherspoon and Charbonnet will carry cap hits somewhere in the neighborhood of:

  • Devon Witherspoon: $5,792,939
  • Zach Charbonnet: $1,250,197

Adding those two cap hits together obviously yields a combined cost of $7,043,136, which at first glance is more than the team has in available cap space. However, because it is still the offseason, the Rule of 51 remains in place, and signing each of Witherspoon and Charbonnet displaces a player from the top 51 who currently carries a cap hit of $870,000. Thus, reducing the cap hit for each by $870,000 to account for this, the net cap impact of signing the duo is just $5,303,136.

Removing that $5,303,136 from the $6,802,095 available, and the team is left with $1,498,959. That is certainly more than enough to fill out the roster, however, there are more needs for the space than just filling the 90th spot on the roster. Specifically, the team will need to create cap space in the coming months in order to have the space necessary for the practice squad, as well as for an injury replacement pool. That said, those are items that aren’t immediate needs, and which can wait until the eve of the season.