Salk: Three veteran Seahawks players whose futures in Seattle are unclear
As it currently stands, the Seahawks are in a bit of a bind when it comes to the rest of the 2021 offseason.
After signing cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and reportedly signing tight end Gerald Everett in free agency, re-signing defensive tackle Poona Ford, center Ethan Pocic and fullback/special teams ace Nick Bellore to extensions and trading for guard Gabe Jackson, Seattle has just under $500,000 in available cap space per OverTheCap, but maybe more notably, the Seahawks currently have just three draft picks.
— Seahawks PR (@seahawksPR) March 19, 2021
The Seahawks entered this offseason with four picks, largely because they’d traded this year’s first- and third-round picks for safety Jamal Adams, but acquiring Jackson from the Raiders cost Seattle its fifth-round pick.
Ahead of the 2019 draft, the Seahawks were in a similar position as they had just four picks. But Seattle traded defensive end Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs for a first-round pick, then general manager John Schneider did some trading down and maneuvering, resulting in the Seahawks making 11 total selections that year. This current situation is obviously different, though, as the Seahawks’ best pick to trade down from is the 56th overall.
But the Seahawks do have some players whose futures are uncertain that could potentially help the team clear cap space and acquire more draft picks. Mike Salk shared his thoughts on that matter on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy on Thursday.
“I do still think there are some guys on the current roster that are (potential trade chips),” he said.
The first guy? The Seahawks’ captain on defense.
“We still don’t know what’s going to happen with (All-Pro) Bobby Wagner,” Salk said of Wagner, who is on the second year of his three-year deal that’s worth an average of $18 million a year.
What makes Wagner’s future hard to read is the fact that his longtime teammate remains unsigned.
“We haven’t heard yet what’s going to happen with K.J. Wright and whether he’s going to be returning to this team,” Salk said. “I still think it’s a tough fit given what you drafted in (2020 first-round linebacker) Jordyn Brooks and the need for him to step up, but is he a person who ultimately a person that takes Bobby Wagner’s spot and is that a conversation? So do you need to either cut, trade or just re-do the contract with Bobby Wagner.”
Wagner isn’t the only star member of the defense with an uncertain future who could wind up on the trading block.
“We still don’t know what’s going to happen with Jamal Adams,” Salk said. “That’s still lurking out there.”
Adams, a 2020 Second-Team All-Pro, is entering the final year of his contract and not only is he expected to look for the largest salary ever give to a safety, but he likely will seek a deal that blows top safety contracts out of the water as he sees himself as more than just a safety due to how he can rush the quarterback. He set an NFL record for sacks by a defensive back in a single season with 9.5 in 12 games last year.
And as far as the offense goes, one of quarterback Russell Wilson’s top weapons is entering the last year of his contract and could potentially net the Seahawks some notable 2021 draft picks.
“The other name I know that’s been brought up before is (receiver) Tyler Lockett,” Salk said. “Is he still a long-term fit or is that a way to go about acquiring some of those picks? I’m OK with that. I love Tyler Lockett and it’s not a shot (at him), but at some point you’re going to have to figure out the future while dealing with the present.”
The 2021 NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 29, and ends Saturday, May 1.
Listen to the first hour of Thursday’s edition of Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.
Jake & Stacy