Clayton: Why Aaron Lynch would make sense for Seahawks and the latest on Doug Baldwin
As the second week of free agency started, the Seahawks were in a waiting game.
The Seahawks opened free agency last week by fixing their offensive line, completing their linebacking corps and solving their kicking issues by signing Pro Bowl kicker Jason Myers to a four-year contract.
The waiting game now is looking for ways to fix other issues as the prices of free agents drop.
Usually after the first seven days of free agency, most players sign for $5 million a year or less – that was the case last year. Not only that, but most of the deals at this point are one-year contracts.
Clay Matthews is believed to have topped that Tuesday when he agreed to leave Green Bay for a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams for more than $8 million a year. Josh Kline, a guard, did as well, going to the Minnesota Vikings for $5.25 million.
The Seahawks had visits from wide receiver Jordy Nelson and pass-rusher Aaron Lynch this week. Those are two areas of need the Seahawks still have along with a secondary that lost slot cornerback Justin Coleman to Detroit and and could use another safety after Earl Thomas’ departure to Baltimore.
Let’s reflect on a few thoughts as the second week of free agency begins.
Doug Baldwin’s health
NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo tweeted about some serious concerns with Doug Baldwin’s health. The veteran Seahawks wide receiver has already had shoulder and knee surgeries, and there are reportedly more ahead. Garofolo said Baldwin is heading to Philadelphia for a possible sports hernia operation, and he would be going to a doctor who usually opts for surgery.
The uncertainty about Baldwin’s health should put the Seahawks in the market for a wide receiver. Nelson is an interesting option because he’s a street free agent and wouldn’t cost the Seahawks a compensatory pick in 2020 if he signs with them. Nelson has five teams interested in him, including the New England Patriots.
The Baldwin news could also re-ignite rumors of Jermaine Kearse returning to the team.
The compensatory pick game
One thing the Seahawks are considering is trying to keep their four compensatory picks for 2020 that they currently qualify for. They would get a third-rounder for losing Thomas, a fourth-rounder for Coleman, a sixth-rounder for offensive lineman J.R. Sweezy and a seventh-rounder for quarterback Brett Hundley.
The Seahawks have four unrestricted free agents remaining but none are expected to get more than the minimum salary, and minimum-salary departures don’t quality as a loss in the compensatory pick concept.
In free agency, six unrestricted free agents have departed Seattle, and the Seahawks have added two. A team can earn as many as four compensatory picks.
What the Seahawks could be weighing is whether to sign a free agent for around Hundley’s salary ($1.875 million a year). That could be Kearse. That could be Lynch. It’s just about waiting for the price to come down.
Would Aaron Lynch be a worthwhile signing?
Lynch is an interesting option. He’s 6-foot-6, 270 pounds. In his first two years in San Francisco, he had 12 1/2 sacks. His play leveled off and he had 5 1/2 sacks over the past two years. Last year he was in a 3-4 defense in Chicago, where he had signed a one-year deal for $4 million.
Some of Lynch’s best games have come against the Seahawks. And while he might not be the best full-time starter who could play opposite of Frank Clark, Lynch could be a good addition at the right price if he could ends up making six or seven sacks in 2019.
Good breaks on the O-line
The Seahawks got some pretty good breaks on the deals for offensive linemen Mike Iupati and D.J. Fluker.
Iupati signed a one-year deal at $2.75 million. Because of missed games, he counts $2.562 million against the salary cap. Fluker signed a two-year deal at $3 million a year. He missed seven games last year, so that takes his cap number down to $2.125 million because of a per-game roster bonus. That means Seattle signed the pair for $5.75 million.
Sweezy signed a two-year, $9 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals that counts $3.968 million against the cap. So for just a little over $600,000 more than Sweezy’s cap number, the Seahawks signed two starting guards.