Heaps: Why Quandre Diggs, not Duane Brown, could get next deal from Seahawks
The Seahawks took care of a very important piece of business this week, inking All-Pro safety Jamal Adams to a record-setting four-year extension that makes him the highest-paid safety in NFL history.
Before the deal got done, Adams was staging a “hold in” by reporting to Seahawks training camp but not practicing. He wasn’t the only one doing that.
Star left tackle Duane Brown, like Adams, entered training camp on the last year of his current contract and eyeing a new payday. Unlike Adams, though, Brown has not yet gotten a new deal and it’s unclear if he will get one prior to the start of the season. It’s also unclear if Brown, who held out of games in 2017 while with the Houston Texans, would skip regular season games for Seattle this year.
But Brown isn’t the only big-name player who is entering the last year of his current contract.
Safety Quandre Diggs, who led the Seahawks with five interceptions in 2020 and was named to the Pro Bowl, is set to have his contract expire after 2021. He’s been practicing, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s seeking a long-term deal as well. Adams certainly stumped for that to happen when speaking to reporters this week.
“He deserves it. Hopefully we can get that done,” he said. “I’m not the GM so I don’t know when, but his time is going to come and they’re going to do right by him.”
“The reason why is when you look at Quandre Diggs, not only is he coming off his best season as a pro, but you talk about his age (28 years old)… he’s still young and healthy,” he said. “When you talk about this defense and where you put the money and resources, it’s been with your linebackers and it’s been with your safeties and Quandre Diggs is one of those key pieces for you.”
The way the Seahawks are using two young defensive backs also leads Heaps to believe that the team views Diggs as a long-term piece of the defense.
“I just have a hard time believing that you’re carving out this role specifically for Marquise Blair at the nickel cornerback spot and then all of a sudden … you’re seeing Quandre Diggs and saying, ‘We’re good with him walking, we’re good with him hitting free agency because Marquise Blair can play free safety or Ugo Amadi can play free safety in Quandre Diggs’ absence,'” Heaps said. “I just don’t see that playing out that way. I know that they want to have Quandre Diggs here for a number of years past 2021. So I think when you’re looking at Quandre and what he was able to do, the interceptions he was able to create and turnovers and then also just emerging as a clear cut leader on this team from the moment he got here, it makes him a definite candidate to get an extension.”
Quandre Diggs snags the end zone INT on 4th down. #Seahawks
— NFL (@NFL) December 1, 2020
Heaps sees Brown, 36 on Aug. 30, as a critical piece of the Seahawks’ roster, but he thinks there are valid questions the organization is considering in terms of giving Brown a new contract.
“They’re looking at Duane and the question isn’t whether or not they love Duane Brown and not whether or not they think Duane Brown is a vital part of their team and organization, but whether or not A, he wants to continue playing football and B, whether or not he is going to remain healthy to continue to play football past this point,” Heaps said. “That to me is the only two reasons why I would think as an organization you would have hesitation at Duane Brown because the evidence in term of what we saw last year, he’s still one of the best left tackles in the game and as we saw last year, he’s still one of the more feared offensive lineman in the game.”
Heaps thinks there are “way more positives in this situation with Duane Brown” in terms of extending him even despite his age, especially when considering the possibility that he could sit out of regular season games.
But as things currently stand, Heaps wouldn’t be surprised if Diggs is the next major Seahawks player to put pen to paper with a new contract.
“I do believe Quandre Diggs right now in terms of the organization and what they think his long-term future can be with this team, I think it’s in a better place than Duane Brown,” he said.
Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the player below.