Seattle Seahawks Offseason Analysis: My Favorite Decisions, and What Is Still to Come
The offseason for the NFL is arguably more entertaining than the season itself. It allows fans the opportunity to see the decisions its front office makes, from player personnel decisions (who they will sign to a contract, not sign to a contract, trade for, not trade for, and which players they will draft) and if they deem these decisions successful, fans regain hope that their franchise will be able to compete with the Patriots (I think all rational fans know that their team most definitely cannot compete with the Patriots, ever).
My favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks, came into this offseason after a surprisingly good season (most analysts thought the 2018 season would be a disaster for the Seahawks) and put itself in a good situation to have a great offseason with having a lot of money to spend on key players and free agents.
The offseason is still not done, with the final wave of free agents expected to be signed in the next few days. Here are my top highlights of the Seahawks offseason so far.
1) What they did:
Extended star QB Russell Wilson to a 4 yr $140 million dollar contract, the highest NFL contract in history!
This is a great decision by the Seahawks, if you are going to give a record-breaking contract to anyone, it's Russell Wilson. He is a leader in the community and locker room, and most importantly a superstar quarterback that has consistently demonstrated an ability to make the Seahawks perennial contenders in a competitive NFL. This indicates that the Seahawks are going to need to make good draft decisions, because of how cheap new players are and how stingy the salary cap is, with so much money tied up in the quarterback.
2) What They Did:
Traded defensive star Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs, for a first-round pick in the 2019 draft, a second-round pick in the 2020 draft, and a swap of third round picks in the 2019 draft
This is my favorite move of the Seahawks offseason. As I mentioned, when you give your quarterback a record-breaking contract, you need to stockpile draft picks and fill positions on your team with players that are still on their rookie deals. Well, as it turns out, the Seahawks turned their original first round pick (21st overall), into 8 trades and picks! The Seahawks went into the draft with 4 picks and left the weekend with 11 selections. This is a miraculous job by John Schneider (general manager). Although Frank Clark is one of my favorite players and can't be replaced, signing him to a $104 million dollar deal (which he got from the Chiefs) would have hamstrung the Seahawks.
3) What they did:
Drafting linebacker Cody Barton, out of Utah, in the 3rd Round, 88th Pick
This is a forward-thinking decision by Seattle. The Seahawks have always been known for defense ever since Pete Carroll took over as head coach in 2010, and it was defense (and QB Russell Wilson) that landed the Seahawks its first-ever Super Bowl in 2013. But currently, the star defensive players the Seahawks have are in the back end of their careers, especially future Hall of Fame middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, and key player, KJ Wright. Both are in their 30s and it's time to start thinking about their replacement. Both KJ and Bobby are under contract for at least 1 more season, so it's a smart long term decision to draft one of their replacements this year, maybe even both of their replacements, with the Seahawks also drafting Ben Buur-Kirven in the 5th round, and let him learn behind the current legends. Barton has all the making to be a star linebacker, and if he turns out to be a replacement for either Bobby or KJ, this is a great decision.
What's to come:
1) Expect the Seahawks to sign more players off of free agency, especially defensive lineman (where Frank Clark played). Look out for Ziggy Ansah, Nick Perry, Ndamukong Suh, and Gerald McCoy. With the Seahawks still having close to $20 million dollars in salary space left, hopefully, they can sign two of these guys.
2) The Bobby Wagner contract extension. As mentioned earlier, this is Bobby's last year on his current contract. He is known as one of the best linebackers in the NFL, and he wants to be paid like one. If I was a betting man, I would think Bobby will not get re-signed by the Seahawks, because of there draft capital use on two linebackers in the draft.
3) Who will emerge as the Seahawks wide receivers? After rumors of Seahawks legend Doug Baldwin's retiring, their wide receiver core has serious doubts. We all know Tyler Locket is a shoo-in starter. But then it gets hazy. I expect David Moore to get a larger role this season, after a stellar rookie season in 2018. 2nd round pick DK Metcalf and 4th round pick Gary Jennings, look to be very promising young players. You also have Jaron Brown, Malik Turner, and 7th round pick John Ursua in the mix. Expect this position to be extremely competitive in training camp.
Seattle Seahawks Offseason Analysis: Some of My Favorite Decisions, and What's Still to Come