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The NFL Free Bureau is off and running, and we keep track of all major signatures, trades, and releases of the 2022 offseason, with analyzes from our NFL Nation reporters and ratings from our experts. The new league year begins on Wednesday at 16:00 ET, which means that free agent signatures can be made official thereafter. The first round of the 2022 NFL Draft begins on April 28 on ESPN.
The Seahawks are entering the 2022 free agency in a very different situation than the one they have known for most of the last decade:
Lots of money to spend. No Russell Wilson as a quarterback.
Even with the fourth-most cap space of any team, according to ESPN’s roster management data, last week’s Wilson trade and the degree of reconstruction it signals question how active the Seahawks will be in free agency. A real rebuild would prioritize younger players in the draft as opposed to expensive veteran additions in March, which has not been their MO anyway.
It’s hard to predict without knowing what the Seahawks’ plan is to replace Wilson and thus how competitive they think they may be in 2022.
What is clear is that they have the means to be players in free agency if they choose. The Wilson deal was roughly a net wash in terms of 2022 cap space, but Bobby Wagner’s release released $ 16.6 million, putting the Seahawks at about $ 48 million into the two-day negotiation window, according to roster management data.
It also creates another hole in the middle linebacker that fits in with their other needs at cornerback, edge rusher, offensive line, running back and, of course, quarterback.
Here’s an overview of each 2022 NFL free agent signing of the Seattle Seahawks and how each one will impact the upcoming season:
The Seahawks and Diggs have agreed on a $ 40 million three-year contract, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Diggs will receive $ 28 million over the first two years. The average of $ 13.33 million is more than what Diggs would have earned in 2022 if Seattle had used the $ 12.9 million franchise mark.
What it means: The re-signing of a 29-year-old free agent on the big deal suggests the Seahawks are not in full reconstruction mode, as some assumed they would be by swapping Wilson and releasing Wagner last week. This suggests that they plan to be competitive by 2022 and that they plan to make Diggs a focal point for their renewed defense under the new coordinator Clint Hurtt. The Seahawks struggled to take the ball away in 2021, so unless they tore it all down, they could not afford to lose one of the best ball hawks in the NFL and the player who was without a doubt their team’s MVP last year. Diggs is one of the most respected players in Seattle’s locker room. His return on a big deal places him in filling the void left in the defense leadership that Wagner’s departure left behind.
What is the risk: Diggs is 29 and comes after a serious injury, after getting a broken fibula and displaced ankle in the season finale. Coach Pete Carroll said at the scouting combination that he has no doubt Diggs will be back on the field in time for training camp. Aside from his injury, Diggs ‘deal means two of the Seahawks’ highest paid players are collateral that the NFL generally does not consider a first-class position. It will not be a problem if Diggs continues to play at Pro Bowl level and if Jamal Adams ($ 17.5 million on average per year) can return to his form before 2021. Will they?
Al Woods, defensive tackle
The NFL Network reports that Woods’ deal is for two years.
What it means: The Seahawks bring back what was quietly one of their better defenders in 2021. Stopping defensive tackles are often hard to notice and do not stand out in the statistics sheet, but Woods played what Pete Carroll said was his best football in the last season at the age of 34. His job is to eat space and record blocks, and look no further than Jordyn Brooks and Bobby Wagner, who are second and third in the NFL respectively in tackles last season for proof of how good Woods is. did it. For all the problems the Seahawks had on defense last year, they allowed the second-fewest yards per carry. rush in the NFL. Woods was a big reason for that.
What is the risk: The obvious risk is Woods’ age. He turns 35 later in March and plays one of the most physical positions in football. He’s likely to get a $ 2.5 million increase from the $ 2.5 million one-year deal he played in 201. Woods opted out of COVID-19 in 2020, so his strong season came after a year off. Woods had an average of about 37 snaps per. games, and the only game he missed in 2021 was due to COVID, so durability was not an issue last year. But you can not necessarily assume that it will remain the case given his age.
Burns has agreed to a $ 2 million one-year deal, his agents told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
What it means: The Seahawks are finally on the board. After re-signing four players and losing two during the first two days of the negotiation window, they made Burns their first addition of free agency. He gives them an opportunity to replace DJ Reed on one of the two starting spots on the outside. And his modest price strongly suggests that they see him as just that – an opportunity, unlike someone they expect to win a starting job. At 6 feet tall and 197 pounds, the Burns are the type of corner the Seahawks preferred long before they loosened their size requirements. The 2016 election in the first round has 38 career starts. Six came last year with Chicago, where Burns played under new Seahawks defensive assistant Sean Desai.
What is the risk: For $ 2 million, there is not much of one. Additionally, the Seahawks’ track record of bringing veteran corners to play on the outside is not as spotty as it used to be. The 2015 Cary Williams disaster was long cited as the blatant warning story of a veteran struggling to adapt to the Seahawks’ style of play on the corner. That shouldn’t be such a big deal after the one and a half strong season Reed had in Seattle. And again, these would mean that you have to spend for these processes. If Burns does not beat Tre Brown, Sidney Jones IV and other corners Seattle brings in, he would be a cheap backup.
Sidney Jones IV, cornerback
The NFL Network reports Jones’ deal is for a year.
What it means: The Seahawks have a solid option to either start facing DJ Reed again in 2022 or replace Reed if he leaves it in free running. Jones has made 25 starts in five seasons, including a career-high 11 last year. He played well – though not spectacularly – after replacing a struggling Tre Flowers and later an injured Tre Brown in the starting lineup. Most of his playing time came on the left side. The Seahawks are high on Brown, last year’s fourth round. Getting Jones back in the fold for 2022 does not make their cornerback squad a strength, but it should lessen the pressure to re-sign Reed if the award is not to their liking.
What is the risk: The Seahawks forced just 18 turnovers last season, eighth lowest in the NFL. Although it was largely due to their underperforming pass rush, it was also a function of not having enough ball hawks outside of Quandre Diggs. As solid of a player as Jones is, that has not been his strength. He has four interceptions in 47 career games, even though he had 10 assists defense last season. And that included a major interception in a loss to Arizona that was questionably toppled. Jones, who turns 26 by May, is still young enough to improve his ball skills. A renewed defensive coaching staff – Sean Desai and Karl Scott are newcomers who want to work with the secondary – could help in that regard.
The Seahawks bring Dissly back on one $ 24 million three-year deal, a source like ESPN. The deal does not include incentives, according to the source, so the base value is $ 8 million per season.
What it means: The Seahawks seem to be in a pinch now that Dissly is returning to join Noah Fant, who is coming to Seattle from Denver in the Russell Wilson trade. That means they are likely to move on from Gerald Everett, who is also a free agent. Fant is an athletic, pass-catching tight-end that can move around the formation, a la Everett. So should the Seahawks resign one of their two best tight-ends, Dissly’s blocking ability makes him a better complement to Fant. They have also selected Colby Parkinson in the fourth round of 2020, which they hope can get underway after two unproductive seasons to begin his career.
What is the risk: An $ 8 million APY is great for a player who has missed 24 career games and has not topped 25 receptions in any of his four seasons. On the other hand, Dissly has played in all but two games over the last two seasons after his first two were cut off by a torn kneecap and then a ruptured Achilles. His blocking ability obviously appeals to a team that wants to run the ball and might want to lean more on its ground play in the post-Wilson era. But in order for the Seahawks to get proper value out of the deal, Dissly will also have to produce as a receiver, something he has done lightning fast. The Seahawks’ next quarterback will not be as good as Wilson, but can throw more over the middle of the field than Wilson did. That could translate to more production for Dissly and their other tight ends.