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PFF lists 5 Seahawks among top 100 pending free agents

Retaining all five could cost the Seahawks almost $150M

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San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

With the NFL season officially over for 24 of the 32 teams, including our Seattle Seahawks, it’s time to start looking forward to free agency and the NFL Draft.

Towards that end, Pro Football Focus (PFF) recently published a list of the Top 100 Pending Free Agents.

It’s important to note that some of these players won’t reach free agency.

Why?

Because their current team has exclusive negotiating rights between now and the “legal tampering period” in mid-March, and some of these players will sign new contracts rather than testing the market.

Additionally, teams have the option of using the franchise (or transition) tag to retain a player’s services if they aren’t able to reach agreement on a long-term deal before the new league year starts.

For what it’s worth, these are the players from their Top-100 list that PFF suggests will be franchise tagged:

Note: Teams can only tag one player which means Jacksonville won’t be able to use the tag on both Josh Allen and Calvin Ridley.

If PFF is (mostly) correct, it could drop the list from 100 players down to 91 (see note, above).

Even so, PFF’s list is as good a place as any to start looking at free agency.

As an added bonus, PFF provides an estimate of the contract that each player could end up signing.


A Quick Overview

The Baltimore Ravens lead the way with seven players on PFF’s list, followed by the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans with six apiece.

The Seahawks are one of seven teams with five players in PFF’s top 100.

Add that up and you have 10 teams with 54% of the top 100 free agents heading into the 2024 offseason.


Seattle’s top free agents

Here are the five Seahawks that made PFF’s Top-100 list, along with their ranking, what PFF had to say about them, and their projected contract:

No. 16: DT Leonard Williams

Williams’ three-year, $63 million pact with the New York Giants in 2021 after he received a second franchise tag is one of the strongest contracts for a player in recent history. The leverage is strongly in his favor once again after the Giants traded him to the Seattle Seahawks at the deadline for second- and fifth-round picks.

After being labeled as a stout run defender with limitations as a pass rusher, Williams has backed up his career-high 74.8 pass-rush grade in 2022 with an even better 77.0 mark in 2023. His pressure rate is above 10% for the first time since 2020.

Projected Contract: 3 years, $51.75M ($17.25M APY) with $37.25M guaranteed.

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No. 50: ILB Jordyn Brooks

Brooks draws tough assignments in coverage, which knocks his grade a bit, but it also illustrates the trust this defense has in him. His ability to return by Week 1 of 2023 from a torn ACL suffered in Week 17 of 2022 was extremely impressive, and he’s returned to post career-highs in pass-rush grade and coverage grade this season. Brooks is a three-down player who could continue to grow with improved health and experience.

Perhaps it would be wise for Brooks to sign a shorter deal that enables him to get back on the market sooner for another bite at the apple, with more good play to put on tape another year removed from his torn ACL.

Projected Contract: 2 years, $22M ($11M APY) with $13.5M guaranteed.

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No. 53: TE Noah Fant

The former Denver Broncos first-round pick was sent to the Seattle Seahawks as a part of the Russell Wilson trade, and despite a decline in receiving yards in four consecutive seasons, Fant has had the potential for more production. Fant has breakaway speed in the open field for a tight end to go with a good understanding of how to let blocks develop in front of him and use the full field to avoid would-be tacklers.

Projected Contract: 3 years, $27M ($9M APY) with $16.5M guaranteed.

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No. 58: ILB Bobby Wagner

The ageless wonder may not be the elite coverage linebacker he was for the better part of a decade, but he is still a tackling machine sideline to sideline with dogged pursuit on every single snap and the requisite strength to shed blockers when coming forward. Wagner has lost athletic ability in space, but he’s made up a lot of that ground due to his play recognition and football IQ.

Projected Contract: 1 year, $4M, fully guaranteed.

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No. 85: LG Damien Lewis

Lewis has made strides over the past few seasons, especially in pass protection after a tough start to his NFL career, holding up fairly well against bigger interior defenders but struggling at times with the quicker, twitchier interior pass rushers. The former third-round pick was a starter for the 2019 national championship LSU team at right guard and has starting experience in the NFL at both guard spots, although he appears to have found a home on the left side.

Lewis is a mauler at 332 pounds but moves well enough in a Seahawks rushing attack that primarily utilizes zone rushes in addition to a healthy dose of gap concepts, which should expand his options in free agency.

Projected Contract: 4 years, $42M ($10.5M APY) with $24M guaranteed.

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If you add up the projected contracts, it would cost the Seahawks $146.75M to retain all five of those players with an estimated $95.25M guaranteed.

It’s probably safe to assume that Seattle will not retain some of those players.

Hopefully Leonard Williams is one the Seahawks DO hang on to.

The rest . . . ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Checking in on Seattle’s division rivals

As noted above, the Seahawks landed five players on PFF’s Top 100 list. The rest of the division has a total of six players on the list.

Arizona Cardinals: 1

WR Marquise Brown is the only Cardinals player on the list, coming in at No. 17 overall.

Los Angeles Rams: 3

The Rams’ top free agent is OG Kevin Dotson at No. 23.

The other two LAR players on PFF’s list are S Jordan Fuller (No. 80) and OC Coleman Shelton (No. 97).

San Francisco 49ers: 2

Chase Young, who the 49ers acquired at the trade deadline for a 2024 R3 compensatory pick, is PFF’s No. 28 free agent.

The only other Niner on the list is DT Javon Kinlaw at No. 100.

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Go Hawks!