So what happened to the Seahawks, who, at 3-7, have already tied the most losses since Russell Wilson’s 2012 draft?
The success or failure of the season for any NFL team is, of course, always rooted in what happened in the spring when the major roster decisions were made.
Keep in mind that Seattle, after a 12-game winning season in 2020 and relatively little cap space and little draft pick, seemed to have an overall philosophy of keeping as many gangs together as possible as the season approaches. off-season.
But Seattle’s descent is worth revisiting some of the major decisions the team made along the way, which with the benefit of 10 games played – and it’s true that retrospective coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider did not have at the time – can be assessed more accurately.
Here we go, in no particular order …
Let Shaquill Griffin walk in free agency
What did they do: Instead of trying to match or exceed the three-year deal Jacksonville gave Griffin, worth a total of $ 40 million with $ 29 million guaranteed, Seattle decided to sign several cheaper veterans. , notably Ahkello Witherspoon, and also tackle the position of cornerback in the draft (ultimately drafting Tre Brown), to fill the position of left cornerback.
The verdict: Like most of this season, little has happened here. Witherspoon failed to secure the job during the preseason and was traded ahead of the season, and Brown – who showed a lot of promise and evidence as to why Seattle was high on him – was in IR when the season was over. started due to a knee injury. The result was a misshapen corner wedge with Tre Flowers on the right side and DJ Reed on the left. And it’s safe to say that it cost Seattle a loss to Minnesota before Seattle put Flowers on the bench and moved Reed to his most natural place on the right side. But, if Seattle had matched what Griffin got from Jacksonville, many other holes might not have been so easily filled – Griffin has huge dead caps in 2021 of $ 24.5 million and in 2022. of $ 19.5 million. The verdict is that the issue wasn’t with letting Griffin go, but how Seattle went about replacing him, at least initially. Brown looks like a goalie but is unfortunately again injured and out for the year.
Signature of Gerald Everett
What did they do: Seeking to give Russell Wilson another receiving threat, and as an added bonus, one who knew about offense from new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, Seattle signed former Los Angeles Ram Everett to a one-year contract worth of $ 6 million.
The verdict: While Seattle has spent more on Everett than any other offensive free agent this offensive, his cap is only 23.e among all the tight ends of the NFL. Unfortunately for Seattle, Everett missed two games (49ers, Rams) after testing positive for COVID-19. But he’s been productive otherwise, with a career-high 3.1 receptions per game and 8.1 yards per target. Everett’s signing was good. But now try to involve him even more.
Let KJ Wright walk
What did they do: Instead of re-signing 10-year veteran KJ Wright, the Seahawks decided to let him go in free agency and cede the full-time linebacker job to Jordyn Brooks and have a player committee to fill the position. linebacker, including runner-up. player of the year Darrell Taylor.
The verdict: A really mixed one. Wright now plays part-time with the Raiders, playing 30% of the season’s snaps, and the question the Seahawks obviously grappled with is whether he was the same elite player he had all been. throughout his career in Seattle if he returned. Brooks has proven to be good against the run – he has 99 tackles for the season – but continues to learn against the pass, allowing for a 123.3 passer rating. Veteran Benson Mayowa, also resigning in the spring, became the strong main linebacker with Taylor playing more on the edge. Mayowa has 72 cover shots, via PFF, but has only been targeted six times, allowing six receptions for 39 yards. A one-year buffer season before handing things over solely to Brooks at WLB might have made sense. But Seattle also seemed eager to find out what he really had in Brooks after taking him 27e globally in 2020.
Signature of Kerry Hyder
What did they do: Hyder was Seattle’s big away addition to his top squad, signing him to a two-year contract worth a guaranteed $ 3.65 million after posting a career-high 8.5 sacks in 2020 with the 49ers.
The verdict: From a simple bag count perspective, it didn’t go as hoped – Hyder only has half a bag. And via PFF, he’s had 18 presses in 245 quick passes this year, up from 55 in 437 quick passes in 2020. But as Carroll noted this week, the Seahawks have asked him to play many different roles on the line. “We have to release him,” Carroll said. “We need to cover him better so he gets another beat to rush at him.”
Cut the Jarran Reed
What did they do: Soon after, the Seahawks made the surprising decision to remove Reed, a five-year stalwart of the defensive line, in a deal that saved $ 8.5 million but created a hole in the defensive tackle.
The verdict: Seattle simultaneously signed veteran Al Woods to take his place for $ 6 million less. While some / more decisions of the Seahawks can be called into question, this one should not be. Seattle’s defensive tackle trio of Woods, Poona Ford and Bryan Mone have been one of the best positions on the team. As for Reed, he ranks 121st out of 129 tackles by Pro Football Focus, a career-high 42.3, with 1.5 sacks in 11 games – he had 6.5 in 16 games last season.
Re-sign Chris Carson
What did they do: In a move they hoped would solidify their running back body for the next two years, Seattle signed Carson to a two-year contract worth up to $ 10.425 million with $ 5.5 million. guaranteed.
The verdict: It should be remembered that Seattle was reportedly briefly in contention for Leonard Fournette, who signed a one-year contract with Tampa Bay worth $ 3.25 million. Sadly, Carson only played four games before being sidelined with a neck injury that required surgery. The Seahawks say they are confident he will return in 2022. That he does will provide the final verdict on his re-signing.
Cut then re-sign Carlos Dunlap
What did they do: Dunlap, acquired in a trade from the Bengals in October 2020, was cut in March in a move that saved $ 14 million over the cap, then re-signed Dunlap to a two-year deal with a cap $ 2.9 million for 2021, spreading success through 2025 via voidable years.
The verdict: It was one of Seattle’s most savvy offseason selection moves and needed to perform many other moves. Still, Dunlap has a cap of $ 6.5 million in 2022 and $ 5.6 million in dead money. Seattle was hoping to get a lot more production from Dunlap than it has. Dunlap has only played 17 snaps against Arizona and only has a half-sack this season after making five in eight games for Seattle last year.
Trade for Gabe Jackson
What did they do: In what was Seattle’s only real change to its offensive line, the Seahawks traded a fifth-round pick to the Raiders for Jackson, then re-signed him for a new contract that lowered a cap to 9.6 million. of dollars for this year to $ 4.075 million, although the cap reaches $ 9 million in 2022 with $ 6 million of dead money.
The verdict: Seattle is getting its money’s worth as Jackson – who was brought in due in part to his reputation as a pass-blocker – played every snap to the right guard and he has the 26e best pass blocking rating of 75 guards via PFF – after dropping a sack – and is rated 34e from 78 in total. Seattle trades for Jackson after running for Kevin Zeitler, who instead signed a three-year contract with the Ravens. Zeitler has not allowed any bag in 722 shots and is ranked 12e among the guards passes the blockage and 17e globally.
Extension of Michael Dickson, Tyler Lockett and Jamal Adams. Do not extend Duane Brown and Quandre Diggs.
What did they do: By largely keeping the gang together, Seattle revived Lockett (four years, $ 69 million), Dickson (four years, $ 14.5 million) and Adams (four years, $ 70 million). The deals make those three players the only three on contract throughout the 2024 season, save for the three 2021 draft picks on rookie contracts.
The verdict: The real accounting for these deals will come years later when the cap really hits the ball. The Lockett and Adams deals are structured in such a way that Seattle can get by after the 2023 season. As for Brown and Diggs, each wanted new deals and eventually got a concession where Seattle added an empty year so that everyone qualifies for injury protection should either get injured and be unable to play next season. Diggs leads the Pro Bowl vote and has a season that should make him a flagship in free agency. Brown, 36, has had an eventful year, allowing seven sacks – his combined total from the past three seasons. But if Seattle doesn’t re-sign it this offseason, it becomes a big hole to fill.