There was a time when sports were sports. When two teams squared off in competition to prove who was better. And that pure principle of competition was all that mattered.
But at some point we started to monetize that competition, which eventually led to value of said sports participants, which meant fear of losing them to another entity, which meant money, which meant contracts. Unfortunately, for many leagues the only thing that is guaranteed in a contract is the money and the years for the sports participant, not that the sports participant will perform.
Except that the NFL works smarter.
Non-guaranteed deals mean that teams can keep millions and millions of the dollars they "supposedly" once signed away, just because they don't like the dude anymore. The Dallas Cowboys signed prized free agent Henry Melton away from teams like the Seattle Seahawks last year on what may have looked like a four-year, $29 million deal at first glance, but it was really just a one-year deal with a three-year option.
Sure enough the Cowboys were like "eh whatever" and cut Melton before the first day of the league year and won't owe him another cent. It would be really weird if they owed him another cent though, if you think about it. If I was an agent, I would demand a contract that said if you cut my client, you will owe him another cent and then I would take my 10 percent of that cent and show my client that "When you sign the pen with Ken, you'll always get another cent. (Minus 10 percent.)"
Other homies told to find new homes so far this year include Darnell Dockett, A.J. Hawk, Reggie Bush, Jacoby Jones, Steven Jackson, Brian Hartline, Harry Douglas, Tyvon Branch, Ted Ginn, and Chris Canty.
Even when it's expected, getting cut isn't easy and it's serious business for the parties involved. Which is why I want to put the casual in 'casualties.' If the Seahawks decide they need to free up some cap space or a roster spot, these guys could find themselves on the free agent market soon. Or like ... whatever.
Dead Respectfully Expired Money: $1,000,000
When you're keepin' it cazs (the only way I know how to make the proper sound when saying half of the word 'casual' is to write the same sound you make when say 'Zsa Zsa Gabor' so that's why I say we are keepin' it cazs) you don't wanna use words like 'dead' so that's why the money still counting against the cap next year is only 'Respectfully expired.'
Miller kept it like super chill last year when he renegotiated a pay cut to remain in Seattle, but he'd have to take an even deeper cut to stick around this time after playing in just three games last season. Or not. Either way is cool.
Despite his injury, and his lack of production in the passing game, Miller is still the most complete tight end on the roster and only 29-years-old. Unless they know of another way to spend $2.4 million or less for a tight end of Miller's caliber, maybe just like ride it out with this dude.
Ain't nothin' more chiller than a healthy Zach Miller.
Respectfully Expired Money: $625.000
It's enough money for any one of us to buy a dream house and call it a "killer life with my chiller wife" but $625k ain't no thang to a football tang I mean team. Basically, if they cut Mickey D, the respectfully expired money would be the fries at the bottom of the bag.
But is the $3 million enough to buy all the nugs you want with 6,000 hot mustards?
Totes. Or not. Who knows?
T-Mac has been clogging the middle on the cheap for two years now but Jordan Hill is Jordan Chill and $3 mill is hella trill. If they needed the extra space to improve the offense or put towards keeping Byron Relaxwell, would that be worth it? Then again, the DT position could be more like the NT position:
Kevin Williams is a free agent, Brandon Mebane is more like "Me Pain," same as Hill, same as Jesse Williams (just realizing a lot of these homies have 'ill' in their name which is super ill). It's not an ideal position to just start cutting talented people from, but should you spend the $3 million on a rotational defensive tackle that provided almost no pass rush last season just because the players around him got hurt?
I don't know, maybe, it's like whatever. I'm cool either way, bro.
Savings: $4,500,000 (post-June 1 cut)
Respectfully Expired Money: $1,100,000
The guy from Hawaii will be saying "Ha-why-me?" if he gets cut in June, but the answer will be: For $4.5 mill, so stay chill.
Unger is one of the top five centers in the NFL but he missed 10 games last year and three games the year before (and the Seahawks won the NFC both times) and still plays one of the least-valuable positions in the league. Like, don't get me wrong, you're my dude and all, and your presence is way non-lame, but can you name all the Super Bowl-winning centers in NFL history?
(The Patriots center was Bryan Stork, a rookie they drafted in the fourth round.)
When weighing the amount paid versus the amount saved, maybe the Hawks feel like "I don't know if this is chill" or maybe they'll feel like Unger is for real, but either way it can't be a wrong decision. It's all good.
Respectfully Expired Money: $200,000
Ain't nobody go back as far as 'Bane, but then Bane's hammy forced him to fall down like rain. What a shame. Lame.
He only just turned 30 in January but the Hawks rarely mess around with that crowd. They prefer the "Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused" style of roster building. (Coincidentally one of the all-time classic chillers in cinematic history alongside Spicoli in Fast Times and James Franco's character in P-Ex.) This is also the last year of Mebane's deal and saves 'em a lot of scrilla with almost no leftover dilla. If you're being realistic about the remaining years in Mebane's career, a veteran going into his ninth season, then you have to come to terms with the fact that it could already be over.
Remove your personal affections for big worm and see it objectively and then see if it's worth $5.5 million to keep around a 30-year-old defensive tackle coming off an injury.
But then again ... that's my boy.
First of all, we go way back. 'Bane's been here longer than anyone, dating to the James Bond year of '007. This is also the first time he's missed a game since 2010 (The year of our lord, Pete Carroll). And as mentioned with McDonald's, the position group isn't exactly asking to be thinned out even further. You could start anew, release the two and have $8.5 million to bring in some young rapscallions, but is there any guarantee you'll do better?
Like, maybe. I donno bro, it's whatever.
Respectfully Expired Money: $2,280,000
Officially now it's been five seasons and unlike an offensive lineman after breakfast, none of them are full.
Okung missed two games last year and eight the year before. He's also coming up on the last year of his deal and if we're being honest, the best compliment you could give his performance of late is that he might be one of the best 16 left tackles in the NFL. As a whole, Seattle's pass blocking wasn't good and just as a sign of the run game: Lynch ran for 4.0 yards per carry when running off the right side of the line and 3.7 yards when running to the left.
(And another props for the tryin' Hawaiian, Lynch ran for 5.4 YPC up the gut.)
If you're bein' real about it -- and I'm nothin' if not real, especially when I'm cazsKen -- you could do better than Okung.
But if you're being super real about -- and now I'm super cazsKen -- the Seahawks have proven time and time again that they can't do better. (In Seinfeld mode) You ever notice how James Carpenter and Justin Britt aren't that good?
Okung is only 27 and five million isn't nearly enough savings to justify trying to replace a starter-caliber left tackle. It's barely enough to send my kids to college! (Jk, cazsKen has no kids, no wife, and no worries, but is always down to clown.)
(Wait, that's also regular Ken, plus the worries.)
Okung isn't going anywhere. Or he is. I don't know, it's chill either way.
Respectfully Expired Money: $1,500,000
I've heard of Merrill Lynch having problems before, but Carroll-Lynch?!
You'd think a guy with the nickname "Money" would be like "Show me the money!" but maybe his nickname should be "Ball" since he was hammin' it up in Turkey saying "show me the ball," ben hakliyim? (Turkish for 'am I right' according to Google translate.)
Regardless of how valuable he's been over the last four years, Lynch is about to be 29, he has over 2,000 career carries, and he's perpetuating the rumor that the Seahawks didn't want him to score the game-winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. Wait ... 'Perpetuating'? That's not a word used by cazsKen.
Uhhhh ... I mean ... maybe instead of giving him a raise, Seattle should let him be free. It seems like something he might want anyway. Or not. Look, I'm chill about it either way. It's cool. Like, whatever.