Heaps: Expect the ‘status quo’ from the Seahawks in 2021 free agency

Mar 10, 2021, 8:15 AM
Seahawks GM John Schneider, HC Pete Carroll...
Jake Heaps expects the Seahawks to not be very aggressive in free agency. (Getty)

NFL free agency kicks off next Wednesday, and when it comes to the Seahawks, there are a lot of expectations as far as how the team will operate.

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

With Russell Wilson’s comments regarding the team’s pass protection, many expect the Seahawks to try and sign a premier guard or center to help make Wilson happy heading into the 2021 season. On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks have already made a key move of sorts as they released defensive end Carlos Dunlap to open up $14 million in salary cap space.

Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy said that he’s received responses on Twitter in the wake of Seattle cutting Dunlap speculating that the Seahawks freed up space to go after a big-name offensive lineman while still hoping to bring Dunlap back on a cheaper deal. Heaps also said that people have been surprised when he suggests that neither of those moves will likely happen this offseason.

“I have a hard time seeing Carlos Dunlap come back at a price point that would be very team friendly to the Seahawks. I think he can command more on the open market,” Heaps said. “I also have a hard time seeing the Seahawks go and make that ‘splash signing’ that they never typically never do at the beginning of free agency.”

Heaps said that the Seahawks don’t “typically operate” in that way under general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll and that this offseason especially, it’s unlikely that Seattle approaches free agency in a different manner as the NFL’s salary cap is going down and many veteran players likely will have to take cheaper one-year deals.

“In a year where there’s going to be so many players on the open market that normally would not be there before, it gives them even further credence to be patient through the process and see what they get,” Heaps said. “Can they maximize talent and price point (this year) more than any other year? I think from Pete Carroll and John Schneider’s perspective, you’re looking at this like, ‘This might be a year where we’re able to capitalize in a way that we’ve never done before and we don’t need to sign (All-Pro offensive linemen) Joe Thuney or Corey Linsley or any of these other guys potentially (who are) top-level guys. We can sign somebody at a relatively easier price point that’s going to be a good, quality player.'”

So how does Heaps expect the Seahawks to go about the upcoming free agency cycle?

“Status quo,” he said. “I expect them to go through free agency, approach it the same way they always have, and that is to find good, quality talent at a relatively easier price point and to spread it out.”

A big reason why Heaps expects the Seahawks to approach free agency as they typically do is because of the number of holes on the roster.

“Look, they have a lot of needs … and now you have Carlos Dunlap gone, so you have to find a top-tier pass rusher, you have to find a guy who’s going to replace Shaquill Griffin because I don’t think he’s going to be back, you’ve got left guard, center, tight end, your third receiver, your running back,” Heaps said. “… And another one that people overlook is defensive tackle. That’s another position they have to address along the way, as well. So, they’ve got to find a way to spread that (money) out. They don’t have a lot of draft capital to go and find those guys in the draft … They have to maximize as much as they can through this process unless they make additional moves to open up further cap space.”

Listen to Heaps’ full thoughts in the second hour of Tuesday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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Heaps: Expect the ‘status quo’ from the Seahawks in 2021 free agency