In 2016, the Seahawks will allocate just $63.4M salary cap dollars to the offensive side of the ball.
The only teams spending less? The Bills, 49ers, and Browns. On the other side of the spectrum, the Vikings and Panthers sit at the top of the offensive spending column, spending $83M and $79M respectively.
To some of you, the Seahawks' offensive cap number may come across as surprisingly low. However, if you're one of those guys that like to study and analyze how rosters are philosophically built, then this number makes sense. In order to prioritize defensive spending while paying an elite quarterback in Russell Wilson, you're going to be forced to neglect paying big money to other key position groups.
Now, there's an important distinction here. I'm not saying the Seahawks completely neglect a certain position group with all their resources - but they definitely neglect to spend big money at a certain position group. That position group is without a doubt the offensive line.
In order to spend big money at the corner, safety, quarterback, and tight end positions, you're going to have to forfeit spending money elsewhere. It's a game of prioritization. What types of players do you want to build around? How much money do you want to pay these players? Should they all be in one position group? Should we spread the money around? What type of tiered talent should we build around? Do we like mid-level players or do we build around elites?
A key component of Seattle's cap prioritization process is banking on cheap, productive labor from undrafted free agents and draft picks. When it comes to this strategy, the Seahawks elect to bank on it when it comes to the offensive line. The Seahawks will spend $11.6M on the offensive line in 2016 - dead last in the NFL. Despite this minimal allocation of monetary resources, the Seahawks boasted one of the top offenses in the NFL in 2015.
In 2015, per ESPN, the Seahawks averaged the 5th most points per game at 26.4. Seattle also posted the 4th most total offensive yards. Football Outsiders also rated them the #1 weighted offense in their advanced DVOA metric. Additionally, they ranked Seattle with the #2 passing offense and the #3 rushing offense.
Despite the numerous injuries in 2015, our constant complaints of the lack of resources dedicated towards the offensive line, and our general gripes - we've got to hand it to them. I'm genuinely not quite sure how they do it...but this offense is elite. A combination of a little Russell Wilson magic (actually a lot of Russell Wilson magic), some Pete Carroll magic spells, and an infusion of cheap, youthful talent has landed Seattle as one of the NFL's best offenses.