Is Shaquill Griffin or Chris Carson more likely to return to the Seahawks?

Mar 9, 2021, 3:03 PM
Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin...
The Seahawks did not use the franchise tag on CB Shaquill Griffin. (Getty)

The Seahawks don’t use the franchise tag very often, and that appears to be the case once again in 2021.

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It was reported Tuesday that neither running back Chris Carson or cornerback Shaquill Griffin, both of whom will be will entering unrestricted free agency next Wednesday, will be getting tagged by Seattle.

Carson and Griffin have both been key parts of the Seahawks’ success since entering the league in the 2017 NFL Draft, and both could be in line for big paydays in free agency. Seattle could keep either one of them for 2021 by instituting the franchise tag, but it would come at a costly figure.

The Seahawks would likely prefer to have both players back on the team next season, but whether or not that happens remains to be seen. So which of the two is more likely to return to the Seahawks next season? Jake Heaps and Stacy Rost of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy shared their thoughts on Tuesday after the reports that Seattle would not use the franchise tag.

“I would say the one who is most likely to return is Chris Carson,” Heaps said. “Because if the market goes down in the way people are anticipating, Chris Carson is a better candidate and the easier candidate to get back than Shaquill Griffin. I just think that Shaquill Griffin is going to make $10-plus million in free agency and he’s probably going to be somewhere in between $12-14 million, so I just don’t think that the Seahawks are going to be able to afford Shaquill Griffin.”

According to OverTheCap, the franchise tag for a cornerback is over $15 million and over $11 million for a running back. The Seahawks have $18.6 million in salary cap space at the moment, so tagging either one of Carson or Griffin would take away most of Seattle’s current financial flexibility.

“This news of neither one of these players being hit with the franchise tag does not surprise me in the least bit,” Heaps said.

Even though Carson is more likely to return to the Seahawks in Heaps’ eyes than Griffin is, he thinks that’s unlikely as well unless Carson takes a deal in the $5-6 million range.

“That to me would be intriguing if you’re the Seahawks, but outside of that, I just don’t see it happening,” Heaps said. “I think Chris Carson is going to sign for something like $8 million a year or even more than that.”

Rost pointed to head coach Pete Carroll’s comments earlier this offseason about wanting the Seahawks to run the ball better in 2021 as something to keep in mind when it comes to Carson.

“I personally think if you’re going to commit to your run game – not necessarily a run-first offense, but if you’re going to commit to (improving the run game) – then getting back the best running back you have ever drafted under Carroll and (general manager) Schneider would seem like a priority. But they haven’t committed to that,” she said.

Griffin’s status as a free agent, as well as Seattle’s depth at cornerback, could lead the team to prioritize defense over offense, Rost said.

“I wonder if they might be looking at some of the depth they have at corner, and even though Shaquill Griffin is going to cost twice as much (as Carson), they’re going to feel like they need to shore up that position more,” she said.

Listen to the discussion at this link or in the player below.

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Is Shaquill Griffin or Chris Carson more likely to return to the Seahawks?