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How we know the Seahawks won’t move on from Bryan Mone

If they were going to do so, they could have saved a chuck of cash by releasing him prior to his June 1 roster bonus.

Seattle Seahawks v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

It’s no secret that the Seattle Seahawks are not exactly flush with cap space with training camp ahead of the 2023 season rapidly approaching. In addition, a new concern that has been voiced by the front office and heard by fans this offseason was that things are also tight when it comes to cash.

This is not an unexpected development, given the way the financials have shaken out in the wake of the owners picking up the tab for the players following the revenue shortfall of the 2020 season, allowing the shortfall to be made up over several seasons. While things may be tight now, this offseason is expected by many to be the tightest from a financial perspective, with the combination of revenue growth from the recent broadcast contracts combining with the shortfall being paid back to make everyone feel flush.

However, in the meantime, the Seahawks and the rest of the teams around the league will need to navigate the 2023 season while still feeling the effects of the revenue shortfall from both a cap and cash perspective. As has been noted here on Field Gulls, as well as elsewhere, at some point the Hawks will need to create cap space for the 2023 season.

Having already restructured the contract of veteran wide receiver Tyler Lockett in May to create $5.69M of cap space, the team does not have a lot of options for creating more space through restructures. It can, but the options are somewhat limited. Alternatively, the front office could look to create cap space by signing a player such as Uchenna Nwosu or Noah Fant to a contract extension, but those are different discussions for a different day.

Today, however, is a day to talk about Bryan Mone. Many fans have already written off Mone as a likely cap casualty, given the projections from that moving on after June 1 would result in dead money for the Seahawks of $1M, while creating $2.6M of cap space. With those numbers in mind, though, turning to the details of Mone’s contract extension, Mone had a roster bonus of $500,000 which was payable June 1. If a team is tight against the cap and running low on cash, it does not make a ton of sense to keep a player on the roster long enough to pay out a half million dollar bonus, only to release the player later and free up the exact same amount of cap space.

In short, if a team is strapped for cash and the plan is to move on from a player, does it make sense to keep that player on the roster long enough to pay a $500,000 bonus out of its precious cash? The answer to that question, of course, is that it does not make sense, and that having spent the cash means there is either a lack of foresight and planning, or that the plan is to keep that player around.

Given that Mone is just one of three defensive linemen on the roster listed at greater than 300 pounds, with Jarran Reed and Cameron Young the other two, it would seem that in spite of the serious knee injury he suffered late in the 2022 season and the difficult surgery to repair the injury, he has an inside track at sticking around in 2023.

Now, that certainly doesn’t rule out a restructure where Mone agrees to a lowered base salary in exchange for additional guarantees in either 2023 or 2024, just as the team did with David Moore on the eve of the 2020 season. However, that’s a bridge the team can cross in late August as roster cuts approach, and not anything pressing enough that it needs to be addressed in the immediate future.