The Seattle Seahawks have finished playing a bit early this year.
But what a glorious finish it was. 38 points against the former NFC West leaders, including 170 yards on the ground and another 230+ yard Russell Wilson game on only 15 completions.
The Seahawks played their best football the first two and final two games of the year. In those four games, they beat a team that
made should have made the playoffs in the Indianapolis Colts, an 11-win Arizona Cardinals team, and two kicks and/or some terrible decisions from defeating the playoff-bound Tennessee Titans. The Detroit Lions also made an appearance during those four games.
Though many will still argue for large-scale changes throughout the organization, this piece is a first look at a possible 2022 roster if the Seahawks prioritize making just a couple big offseason signings.
Because they have the money to make a couple of necessary moves, and shore up a few holes in a big way.
That $55 million in cap is going to evaporate really quickly because the team should – and intends to, per Pete Carroll, sign several of their own back to the roster.
QB – Russell Wilson. You’ve gotta keep him if it’s in your power, and I really don’t think he’s about to force his way out. Others aren’t so sure, but let’s be honest: when the rest of the team has a shred of above-averageness to it, Wilson becomes his usual incredible self.
RB – Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer, upgrade? Rashaad Penny now holds the power to make everyone feel incredibly awkward. But the benefit of being a first-round pick is to have the ability to not make an impact for three years, remain on the roster, and then go absolutely berserk for half a season and make a ton of money. Let’s do this.
I will not guess at what he will cost, but the team declined his fifth-year option which would have been $4.5 million guaranteed. That’s basically what Chris Carson is getting, and is in the very large ballpark of a guy with both more explosiveness and more health concerns than Jonathan Taylor.
The other potential upgrade here would actually be at RB2. This is only if the team knows internally that Carson is in big trouble. Pete Carroll said Carson “sounds very positive,” so, he’s either fine or he’s in a wheelchair who knows. But Homer and DeeJay Dallas have specific roles, and they should not be the best guy available if Penny takes a break. A small upgrade here could be feasible.
LT – Upgrade. This is where to put some real money. The last five weeks showed that this offensive line is not devoid of talent. The run game was so good that they clearly don’t need a wholesale change here. Seattle could easily return a solid set of four on the right side of the line, and put a big free agency target at left tackle. It’s not Stone Forsythe.
Terron Armstead will be the biggest name that might come available this offseason. The New Orleans Saints are a cap space disaster, and he’s going to be spendy. Upwards of $17 million or more, which is not something the $8 million-for-Luke Joeckel Schneider dollars generally go towards, but this would be the time to do it.
LG – Damien Lewis. Or Phil Haynes, or however this sorts itself out, but there are two good guards on this roster who just need some time to find the rhythm on the left side.
C – Ethan Pocic.
RG – Gabe Jackson.
RT – Jake Curhan.
TE – Gerald Everett. Would definitely do this again and it shouldn’t cost much more money than it did.
WR – DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Dee Eskridge, upgrade
A Metcalf extension is not off the table, but otherwise they’re going to run with this top three again next year. It’s fine.
DT – Poona Ford, Al Woods! Bryan Mone
I don’t know if this will happen. Woods and Mone are both unsigned, so a shakeup of some kind is theoretically possible. That said, Mone will be an exclusive rights free agent, so is likely to return on a minimum salary contract and Woods was so good this year.
EDGE – Darrell Taylor, Rasheem Green, upgrade
This should be first priority, or 1b with Left Tackle. It’s kind of where this team continues to be since the Frank Clark trade, and generally does nothing about it. In reality this should be one of those very difficult business decisions that meets the personal, because I absolutely love what Carlos Dunlap did for four games. But his complete invisibility in the first half of the season, be it due to an undisclosed injury or age, is not what this team needs. Had the defense (pass rush) been even a modicum better while Geno Smith lost consecutive three-point games to beatable teams…well nothing we can do about that.
Carlos Dunlap still has an elite gear he can reach, but Seattle should find somebody who can play close to that level with more consistency. Trade out Dunlap and Kerry Hyder, and let Taylor and Green run.
I see here Jadeveon Clowney will be a free agent
Randy Gregory from the Dallas Cowboys is 29 and isn’t going to be one of the 2-3 highest paid pass rushers this offseason. He had six sacks but 17 QB hits, and will be up for a new contract this year. It should be over $10 million a year, but the cool thing thing with this team is you don’t need somebody to be a #1 all year. The Seahawks need somebody they can reliably pair with Taylor.
Green is also going to cost a few extra dollars, and they should do it.
LB – Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton
Safety – Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs
Diggs is top priority for the re-signs, by ten football fields. Give him money, give him years, give him a locker next to Tyler Lockett, whatever it takes keep Diggs. There goes $12 million or more, do it.
Corner – Tre Brown, D.J. Reed, upgrade, upgrade?
Cornerback is interesting. I really do think they should take the same tandem as last year. The good one. Not these guys:
Starting cornerbacks in warmups are Witherspoon and Flowers.
— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) August 29, 2021
However, if D.J. Reed gets some good cash that Seattle’s not willing to spend, because they would be comfortable going after a top-tier corner, this would be the third and final starting position they could improve with outside help. If John Schneider passes on bringing Reed back and we go through another 9-man competition, I’m all the way out on that. It’s terrible for the team. (Editor’s note: It was an 11-man competition, just with a pair of the 11 injured much of the offseason and or through training camp.)
The more intriguing upgrade would be at nickel corner, Ugo Amadi’s position. He’s an interesting one this offseason, people seem to be pretty split on him. I don’t want him back. It’s too inconsistent of play at all the wrong times. Remember how fun it was when Justin Coleman was crazy good and on the Seahawks?
Kicker – upgrade
The nice thing is that Jason Myers would make $5 million next year. Don’t do that; do something else with somebody else and for some other cost. Yay. Very rarely is a team staring straight at the near certainty of saving money and getting better. This is the most nearly certain for Seattle.
Essentially, that’s just three starters who aren’t currently on the roster, plus a kicker.