The NFL free agent signing interval formally begins March 17, although you may count on information of signings to start trickling out a few days prior when the authorized tampering interval opens March 15.
Teams may also re-sign their very own free brokers at any time, in addition to sign so-called “avenue’’ free brokers who’ve already been launched by their groups, as opposed to gamers who grow to be unrestricted free brokers when their contracts expire on March 17.
And as Free Agent Frenzy (we don’t suppose the NFL is charging us to use that phrase) approaches, there figures to be an rising variety of gamers who’re launched from their groups, particularly this yr with the wage cap happening from final yr’s $198.2 million (possible to the $182-183 million vary) due to COVID-19– income losses.
It guarantees to be a wild journey.
So, as it begins to actually get entering into earnest, it’s time for our annual position-by-position preview assessment of the Seahawks as they enter one of many main intervals of the offseason.
We’ll begin with a place that has already elicited its fair proportion of dialog — quarterback.
Players beneath contract
Russell Wilson: Wilson has three years left on his contract at a mean of $35 million by 2023, with a assured base wage in 2021 of $19 million which is already assured. Before Wilson and his camp’s seemingly well-orchestrated nationwide media blitz to clarify his unhappiness with the staff, the very last thing the Seahawks had been fascinated with was his future. But because the NFL Network’s Michael Silver said Wednesday in noting that the Seahawks proceed to get commerce calls about Wilson, the Seahawks at this level can be doing “malpractice’’ not to hear. Wilson commerce rumors possible aren’t going away anytime quickly, particularly as free agency approaches.
Alex McGough: A seventh-round choose of Seattle in 2018, he has since been with each Houston and Jacksonville earlier than returning to the Seahawks late final season on the apply squad after which re-signed on a futures deal after the season. McGough, who has not performed in an NFL sport, figures to compete for the backup job, or as a minimum once more being on the apply squad as a third/emergency QB choice.
Danny Etling: Claimed off waivers from Atlanta throughout coaching camp, Etling spent the whole 2020 season on the apply squad after which was signed to a futures deal after the season. Put him in the identical class as McGough of competing for the backup job, however possibly more possible a apply squad spot because the third QB.
Impending free brokers
Geno Smith: Smith will once more be an unrestricted free agent after spending the final two years with Seattle on one-year offers — he had a veteran minimal cap hit of $887,500 in 2020. Smith performed simply 18 snaps final yr, all coming within the blowout of the Jets. But the previous second-round choose remains to be simply 30 years previous and appears as if he’d once more be a lovely choice to return, assuming he’s inquisitive about remaining a backup.
Possible free agent targets
As we word yearly when speaking in regards to the QB spot, that Wilson takes up as a lot of the wage cap as he does — a projected 17.7% in 2021, probably the most of his profession — means Seattle can’t actually spend a lot on a backup.
That’s made Smith the proper type of backup to have the previous couple of seasons — somebody who has some expertise (in his case, 31 NFL begins) but in addition somebody who’s taking on as little cap area as doable.
But two gamers who’ve ties to new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron may additionally make sense — Sean Mannion and Blake Bortles.
Each frolicked with the Rams in the course of the Sean McVay period, and as such have ready-made data of the Rams’ elements of the offense that Waldron figures to implement with the Seahawks.
Mannion, a former Oregon State standout, was with the Rams in 2017 and 2018 and spent the final two seasons with the Vikings, making the identical veteran minimal wage in 2020 as Smith did with Seattle.
Bortles, the third general choose of the 2014 draft, has thrown simply two passes the final two seasons after his profession with Jacksonville flamed out. But he spent all the 2019 season with the Rams after which re-signed with Los Angeles late final yr after Jared Goff’s thumb damage.
Assuming Wilson isn’t traded, then Seattle’s solely goal at quarterback this offseason will once more be in search of a cheap vet to compete as a backup.
What sort of offseason program groups suppose they’ll have might play into selections. The standard knowledge is the offseason will once more in all probability be all digital. That might once more put more worth in having gamers skilled within the system already.
But as famous, Seattle might be going to principally need a backup who will price the minimal.
Next: Running backs.