Wyman & Bob: What Seahawks must do to make this offseason a success
We’re less than a week away from NFL free agency, but the Seahawks have already had a busy offseason with multiple coaching changes, a rocky relationship with the franchise quarterback now out in the public eye and, on Monday, the release of the team’s top defensive lineman from last season.
The Seahawks will once again have Super Bowl hopes next season, but to get out of the early rounds of the playoffs, the team has a lot of work to do. That work starts by having a good offseason. But what exactly does that look like? Former NFL linebacker Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob shared what they think will constitute a successful 2021 offseason for the Seahawks.
Dave Wyman: Development of Seattle’s last three draft classes
Rather than talking too much about potential offseason additions in free agency, trade or the draft, Wyman thinks a key focus for the Seahawks this offseason is the development of the team’s three most recent draft classes.
“These guys … L.J. Collier, Darrell Taylor, DeeJay Dallas, Jordyn Brooks of course, Marquise Blair, DK (Metcalf), Cody Barton – these guys have to develop,” Wyman said. “You can only do so much in free agency and it’s usually – unless you get a huge blockbuster trade like (last year’s trade for) Jamal Adams – a one- or two- or three-year fix at most. But for the most part, you’re trying to develop your young guys, and that’s what’s most important.”
When the Seahawks were at their best in the early- and mid-2010s, they regularly drafted and developed top talent regardless of what round those players were selected in. Though the team has drafted some standout players since it went to back-to-back Super Bowls, there have also been some big misses as well as players not reaching their expected potential. Seattle has drafted some intriguing talent in recent years, and Wyman wants to see more production from those young players going forward, especially in 2021 as the NFL’s salary cap is decreasing by roughly $15 million, making it harder to add through free agency.
“You have to have a good core of those guys (and get) major contributions to what you’re doing in the season because of the salary cap, and because you have Russell Wilson (taking up) 15% to 17% of your salary cap,” Wyman said. “You have to have young key guys develop … Those (young) guys have to take a major step.”
In addition to Wilson taking up a good chunk of cap space, the Seahawks will also be trying to sign Adams to a long-term deal that could make him one of the game’s highest-paid defenders. That would further limit the Seahawks’ salary cap flexibility going forward.
“You’re going to be paying those guys a lot of money for a long time, so you’re going to have to have one or two of these guys pop and be (a draft steal) like Bobby Wagner or K.J. Wright where they just light it on fire and are one of your best players on defense or offense if that’s what the case may be,” Wyman said.
Bob Stelton: Extend Adams and make key signings in free agency
Stelton, like Wyman, thinks Adams is a key cog in the Seahawks’ 2021 offseason plans due to the cost of acquiring him from the New York Jets last offseason.
“That’s a big one because of what you invested in the guy,” Stelton said, referring to Seattle sending two first-round picks, a third-round pick and veteran safety Bradley McDougald to New York. “And the idea that, ‘We didn’t work something out so we’re going to deal him and hope to get close to what we spent on him,’ I would think boy, that was a bust.”
Adams set an NFL record for sacks in a single season by a defensive back with 9.5 last year, which also led the team. Making that feat more noteworthy is that Adams missed four games. He was named a second-team All-Pro for his play.
But Adams isn’t the only member of the defense that Stelton wants to see get a new deal.
“I want K.J. back,” he said. “I think the cornerback spot is a tough one. You’re really thin there, so maybe bringing (Shaquill Griffin) back (is necessary).”
And as far as additions go, a favorite of Wyman and Stelton is Green Bay Packers center Corey Linsley, who is hitting free agency after earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2020.
“Then you bring in Linsley? That would represent a pretty nice offseason,” Stelton said.
Listen to the second hour of Monday’s Wyman and Bob at this link or in the player below.