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3 weeks until Friday after the Super Bowl vesting for key Seahawks players

As is an annual occurrence, several members of the Seahawks will see various guarantees vest the Friday after the Super Bowl.

Philadelphia Eagles v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images

The offseason has begun for the overwhelming majority of the NFL, as just four teams remain in contention to hoist a Lombardi Trophy at Allegiant Stadium. For the 28 teams not playing in the conference championship games Sunday, the focus is on the needs of the team heading into the offseason, including building out the coaching staff and making preparations for the combine, free agency and the draft.

With those things in mind, Friday marks three weeks until one of the big early days in the offseason for the Seattle Seahawks, and that is when many veterans have vesting guarantees in their contracts on the fifth day of the waiver period. For those curious, the waiver period begins on the Monday after the Super Bowl, meaning the fifth day of the waiver period is, obviously, the Friday after the Super Bowl, and for certain players who are on the roster on that date it means portions of their 2024 earnings become fully guaranteed.

For 2024 the Seahawks have four players who have guarantees that are set to vest from injury guarantees to full guarantees on Friday, February 16, with quarterback being the most widely discussed of the four. So, with just three weeks left before the Friday after the Super Bowl, here’s a brief look at the four and what their contract situation entails.

Geno Smith

There’s been no shortage of discussion regarding Smith and his contract with the Seahawks. Smith is set to carry a base salary of $12.7M in 2024, a salary that is currently guaranteed for injury. Now, since the season is over and the offseason program does not start until April, it would be effectively impossible for the injury guarantees to trigger.

However, as noted on his contract page at OverTheCap.com, if Smith is on the roster of the Seahawks on Friday, February 16, that $12.7M becomes fully guaranteed. That means that even if the new Seattle coaching staff were to opt to move on from Smith prior to when his March roster bonus of $9.6M is due, the Hawks would be on the hook for the full $12.7M of Smith’s 2024 salary. Obviously, the Seahawks would have the ability to trade Smith to another team, and the new team would take on that $12.7M salary, but the trade would in no way impact the guarantees of the contract.

DK Metcalf

Metcalf is set to enter the second season of the three-year contract extension he signed during training camp in 2022, and the $13M base salary he is set to earn in 2024 is currently guaranteed for injury. However, just as with Geno Smith, on the Friday after the Super Bowl that injury guarantee will vest into a full guarantee.

Uchenna Nwosu

The loss of Nwosu was greatly felt by the defense, and while the decline in performance of the group can easily be ascribed to the increased difficulty of the schedule over the second half of the season, losing Nwosu certainly did not help.

With Nwosu’s injury in mind, Nwosu has two portions of his 2024 earnings that are currently guaranteed for injury, but which are set to vest to fully guaranteed on February 16. The first of those is his 2024 base salary of $1.125M, and the second is the $8.75M option bonus in his contract. The severity of his 2023 injury likely means the injury guarantees are already protecting these two items, but even it not, it seems unlikely that the Hawks would opt to move on from one of their best defensive players just as he is set to enter his prime.

Dre’Mont Jones

Lastly, Jones represents the biggest free agent splurge by the Seahawks in a long time, and many fans were underwhelmed with his performance in 2023 to the point that they are ready to move on.

However, like many of the other members of the team on big, multi-year contracts, Jones has a portion of his 2024 base salary which is injury guaranteed and which will vest into a full guarantee on the Friday after the Super. In Jones’ case, that amount is $7M. What this vesting guarantee means in Jones’ situation is that if the Seahawks were decide to move on from Jones, they would have to recognize $13.33M against the salary cap, representing the 2024 and 2025 portions of his $20M signing bonus, along with $7M of salary they would be required to pay him.

Now, for any fans who would like to posit the the Seahawks could do a post-June 1 release of Jones, the reality is that league rules do not allow a post-June 1 release until after the new league year starts in March. That, of course, means that it is impossible to do a post-June 1 release prior to the vesting into a full guarantee of that $7M of base salary, and means that a post-June 1 release would save the Seahawks $4.51M of 2024 cap space at the expense of $6.66M of 2025 cap space.

So, while the Seahawks continue to work through the details of the search for their successor to Pete Carroll, these four members of the team are set to see the injury guarantees in their contracts vest into full guarantees three weeks from Friday.