Seahawks Notebook: Adams and Diggs updates, when Seattle could hire its DC
The Seahawks offseason is dragging on with no new defensive coordinator named, nor any clarity on pending free agents.
The good news is that lack of clarity isn’t at all unexpected, and we got a few updates on some of the biggest names and stories this week:
Jamal Adams out of the sling
Safety Jamal Adams tweeted a brief, but encouraging, update during his offseason Thursday.
SLING OFF!! UH OH! #Prez
— Jamal Adams (@Prez) January 27, 2022
Adams, 26, underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on Dec. 8 to repair a torn labrum, which is also his second shoulder surgery in as many years.
It’s encouraging news not just for Adams himself – whom the Seahawks expect to make a full recovery for the 2022 season – but for a secondary full of question marks. Several Seattle defensive backs are hitting free agency in just under two months as unrestricted (Quandre Diggs, Sidney Jones, D.J. Reed), restricted (Bless Austin), and exclusive rights (Ryan Neal, Nigel Warrior) free agents. Seattle’s eyes will be set on Diggs and Reed, their top safety and cornerback, respectively.
An update on Quandre Diggs
Speaking of Diggs, Seattle’s Pro Bowl safety had an interview on the Seahawks’ team site detailing his recovery post-surgery (including the story of his friend and teammate, Tyler Lockett, staying behind with him in Arizona).
Diggs, who like Adams is expected to be ready for the start of the 2022 season, also answered questions about his desire to stay in Seattle, saying there’s “no question” he’d like to return. But he also acknowledged – and this is fair – that there’s an aspect to his decision that must also be about business. You could hardly blame him; the 29-year-old has 13 interceptions since coming to Seattle, including 10 over the last two seasons. He led the team in interceptions in 2020 and 2021, was named to two Pro Bowls, and last year allowed the lowest opponent passer rating of any regular Seattle starter.
The Seahawks have three options here: Let Diggs walk without an offer (which would be insane), make an offer for a new contract (which could be anywhere from $12 million to $14.5 million per year with the former being a top 10 deal and $14 million or more putting him near the top five), or they can franchise tag him (essentially a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $13 million). The Seahawks have only used the franchise tag twice under Pete Carroll and John Schneider: on kick Olindo Mare in 2010 and defensive end Frank Clark in 2019, the latter of whom was traded two months later.
This will be Diggs’ first time hitting free agency.
A DC hire on the horizon?
One of the biggest decisions to make this offseason has nothing to do with the roster itself. After parting ways with Ken Norton Jr, the Seahawks are in search of a new defensive coordinator. They’ve been linked to four candidates, including internal candidate Clint Hurtt, and 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton thinks a decision could be made soon.
“Probably next week,” John Clayton said during an interview with Jake and Stacy on Tuesday. “I don’t see why not. A lot of these guys are already out of work. One of the things that holds things up (is contracts and other hires). Because again, we still don’t know about Gus Bradley, he probably is a candidate, but the Raiders still have him under contract, (Ed) Donatell’s still under contract, so a lot of these guys are still under contract. But once (other teams) start getting the coaching hires… that could speed things up.”
Around the NFL: A shifting NFC
Fans still coming down from the high of a fantastic weekend of football were treated to a flurry of news stories this week: Monday, Tom Brady pondered his own future in Tampa Bay on his “Let’s Go!” podcast, leaving plenty of fans to question whether the most accomplished quarterback of all time might’ve laced up his cleats for the last time this past weekend. On Tuesday, Sean Payton announced his decision to step away from his role as head coach of the Saints after 16 years, leaving New Orleans with a question mark at quarterback and without one of the league’s best coaches. On Thursday, Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was hired as head coach of the Denver Broncos, dousing more fuel on Aaron Rodgers trade rumors, particularly since Denver was a team the Packers star was linked to last offseason. Rodgers has already said he’ll make a decision on his future in Green Bay by early March.
In a week, three NFC teams – including one division winner and the conference’s No. 1 seed – were facing murky futures. It’s a conference whose overall path to a Super Bowl feels just slightly less blocked than that of the AFC, where many of the league’s premier young quarterback talent resides. It would be good news for a Seahawks team looking to rebound after missing the playoffs … if it weren’t for the fact that they’ll have to fight their way out of their own division first.