Analysis: Ranking Seahawks free agent signings
With the league’s new year set to kick off March 16 at 1:00 p.m. PST, NFL free agency is officially in full swing as the Seahawks and 31 other teams work to improve their rosters for the upcoming 2022 season.
Unlike most recent offseasons, Seattle has ample cap space compared to most players in the league. As of March 15, OverTheCap.com estimates the team has $39.6 million in cap. But major holes need to be ironed out on both sides of football, including replacing legendary quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner, who were each let go last week after a decade with the franchise.
It remains to be seen how well the Seahawks will continue the aggression of outside free agents entering a new era with no players left from their previous two Super Bowl teams. But as expected based on earlier comments from coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, they have proactively tried to sign as many of their own players as possible, suggesting they are not entering a rebuild at large scale.
As Seattle begins to build its roster for next season while ushering in a new era, I’ll break down each of the team’s signings with contract length, key financial details and an overall rating. Be sure to check back often as moves continue to pour in throughout free agency and leading up to April’s NFL Draft.
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Contract: Three years, $40 million
To note: A
After undergoing surgery to fix a broken fibula in January, some teams may have been reluctant to shell out a big contract for the 29-year-old Diggs, despite All-Pro votes last season and being named Pro Bowler each of the past two seasons. . But with the safety of the ball peddler, he avoided ligament damage and has already made great strides in his recovery, putting the Seahawks at ease as they made him one of the 10 highest-paid players in the league. his position.
While $13.3 million a year isn’t cheap for a non-quarterback position, few defenders have been as dependable or consistent as Diggs over the past five years. His 19 interceptions since 2017 ranks fifth among all players and he is the only player in the entire NFL to have recorded at least three picks in each of the previous five seasons. He’s also an underrated tackle, throwing his 197-pound frame and dishing out big hits to running backs, receivers and even tight ends.
After Bobby Wagner’s departure, Seattle could also afford to lose Diggs’ leadership. Well-respected by coaches and teammates, coupled with his dynamic all-round skills, the cost of re-signing an elite safety of his caliber should end up looking like a bargain to keep him in the center of the field in Pete’s defense. Carroll.
Contract: One year, $3.6 million
To note: A-
Rectifying his career where he previously played for the Washington Huskies, Jones joined the Seahawks in early September after being acquired from the Jaguars for a sixth-round pick and proving to be a flight back to his old turf. the injury issues that plagued him in his first four NFL seasons, he produced eight pass breakups while playing more than 700 defensive snaps in 12 games.
While he struggled in his first pair of starts after supplanting Tre Flowers in the Seattle roster in Week 4, Jones has found his stride as a full-time starter over the past seven weeks. , allowing just a 58.3 completion percentage, under 8.5 yards per reception, and no touchdowns in coverage. According to Pro Football Focus, he finished with the 10th best coverage rating (79.2) among qualified cornerbacks during that span. He also showed marked improvements as a rushing defender, finishing with a career-high 66 tackles and just six missed tackles on the year.
At just 26, Jones’ injury history likely prevented the Seahawks or another team from committing to him beyond 2022. But he’s played well over time and if he picks up where he left off. was arrested in January while remaining in good health, his contract will be one. one of the biggest deals in the league in this position and he could embark on a much more lucrative contract next March.
Contract: Two years, $9 million
Returning to action after pulling out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Woods came back stronger than ever while providing a solid anchor in the middle of Seattle’s defensive line and proving himself sometimes unblockable. Still, when he was set to turn 35 in May, some wondered how much the team would pay to re-sign him as one of the NFL’s oldest inside defensemen.
But after opting not to bring him back two years earlier, the Seahawks weren’t about to let Woods walk this time around. Rewarding the blue-collar defenseman for his outstanding efforts as one of its most consistent players a year ago, the team presented the veteran nose tackle with a well-deserved raise of nearly $2 million per year with over $4 million in guaranteed money after his career. – highs in tackles, pass deflections and quarterback pressure last season.
Given his age and somewhat one-dimensional skill set, it’s a bit of a surprise that Seattle signed Woods to a multi-year deal with more than double the guaranteed money of the one-year contract he signed there ago. a year. But the team has a consistent history of receiving good production from older defensive tackles and like Diggs, the veteran’s ability to lead by example will be important in ushering in the post-Wagner era, making the deal a solid one in the league. ‘together.
Contract: Three years, $24 million
One of the most respected players in the Seattle locker room, Dissly earned his stripes by bouncing back beautifully from not one, but two serious injuries to open his career. Given his popularity with coaches and teammates for his courage and willingness to do the dirty work in the trenches, his return was predictable, but not necessarily at the price the team ended up paying.
Production-wise, Dissly hasn’t been a major contributor for the Seahawks as a catcher the past two seasons, despite playing in 31 of 33 regular-season games. Although he’s caught more than 80% of his targets since 2020, he’s been a relative non-factor in the red zone with three total touchdowns and was limited to 482 receiving yards. On the plus side, he remained one of the best tight blockers in the game, ranking ninth best running blocker in Pro Football Focus a year ago after finishing 15th the previous year.
Playing in a tight, friendly scheme coordinated by Shane Waldron with plenty of 12 staff, Dissly could be a more important central point in the passing game as he was in his first two seasons before the injury. If that happens, this contract could look a lot more favorable a year from now. But the Seahawks are hoping his numbers will improve significantly given he now makes more money per year than Darren Waller and Tyler Higbee and carries an expensive cap hit north of $9 million in each of the past two years of his new contract.