Reports: Seahawks losing Pro Bowl CB Shaquill Griffin to Jacksonville

Mar 16, 2021, 10:27 AM | Updated: 10:35 am
Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin...
Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin made the Pro Bowl for his play in 2019. (Getty)

It appears that the Seahawks will be replacing a key defensive starter next season as it’s been reported that top cornerback Shaquill Griffin is leaving Seattle for Jacksonville.

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According to Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic, Griffin, 25, is signing a three-year deal worth up to $44.5 million with $29 million guaranteed with the Jaguars.

Griffin’s agent seemed to verify the report on Twitter as well. (Note: Jacksonville is in Duval County, Florida.)

The Seahawks drafted Griffin in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft and he quickly emerged as a starter. After Richard Sherman left Seattle in free agency following the 2017 season, Griffin assumed the No. 1 cornerback job and held that position through the 2020 season. In four years with the Seahawks, Griffin played in 57 of a possible 64 regular season contests, starting 53 of those games and recording six interceptions. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2019.

The Seahawks entered free agency with just over $21 million in salary cap space, and NFL Media’s Mike Garofolo reported Monday that Seattle and Griffin were “not in the same ballpark” when it came to a contract offer.

On Tuesday, shortly before word came out that Griffin was signing with the Jaguars, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Seahawks were “making a hard push” to retain Griffin but that he had two strong offers from other teams. One of those teams evidently was the Jaguars. Josina Anderson reported Monday that the Browns were interested in Griffin, as well.

ESPN’s Brady Henderson reported that the Seahawks did indeed make a late push to retain Griffin, and that the two sides got “very close” before Griffin chose to sign with Jacksonville.

Heading to Jacksonville is a homecoming of sorts for Griffin, who is from Florida. The fifth-year pro was born and raised in Saint Petersburg and attended college at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Griffin’s twin brother, Shaquem, has been with the Seahawks as a linebacker/pass rusher/special teamer since 2018 and is a restricted free agent who has yet to receive a tender from Seattle.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Media, the Seahawks aren’t tendering Shaquem Griffin, which would allow him to sign with any other team. That could mean the Griffin brothers each join the Jaguars in their home state of Florida.

Noticing a trend?

The Jaguars and Seahawks haven’t made any trades with each other this offseason, but that hasn’t stopped multiple members of the Seahawks’ 2020 roster from heading to Jacksonville.

Griffin joins running back Carlos Hyde and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett as players reportedly heading from Seattle to Jacksonville. Additionally, the Seahawks’ 2020 offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and former Seattle special teams coordinator Brian Schneider also joined the Jaguars’ coaching staff this offseason. Former Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell holds that same title with Jacksonville, as he too joined the Jaguars’ coaching staff this offseason.

What’s next?

The Seahawks are out on Griffin, leaving D.J. Reed and Tre Flowers as the only Seahawks cornerbacks with starting experience on the outside. The Seahawks could try and re-sign Quinton Dunbar, who opened 2020 as one of Seattle’s starting cornerbacks but played just six games in 2020 due to a knee injury.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Seahawks may be getting another defensive starter back for 2021 in the form of linebacker K.J. Wright, who is Seattle’s longest-tenured player, having been with the team since 2011.

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Reports: Seahawks losing Pro Bowl CB Shaquill Griffin to Jacksonville