What if the Seahawks can’t re-sign Pro Bowl FS Quandre Diggs?
The Seahawks have many key players set to hit free agency in just over a week, including someone who has been their best and most consistent defender for over two years.
That would be Pro Bowl free safety Quandre Diggs, who has recorded 13 interceptions since coming to Seattle in a midseason deal in 2019. Diggs quickly became a top playmaker for the Seahawks in 2019, picking off three passes, and he followed that up with-back-to-back five-interception seasons, which resulted in Diggs making back-to-back Pro Bowls.
Diggs broke his leg and dislocated his ankle in Seattle’s final game of 2021, but head coach Pete Carroll told reporters Diggs is on track to be fully ready come training camp.
Carroll and the rest of the Seahawks organization hope that Diggs is back for 2022, but what if he’s in a different uniform when training camp rolls around? That was the question former NFL players Michael Bumpus and Dave Wyman as well as Bob Stelton tackled on “What If Wednesday?” on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob.
Bumpus, Wyman and Stelton all agree that Diggs is Seattle’s top offseason target, but what happens if the two sides don’t agree to reunite?
“I think Quandre is so important because he is one of the top-five free safeties in the league, in my opinion,” Bumpus said. “And if you don’t sign him or you don’t (use) a franchise tag (for around $13 million) … then you’re gonna hit the market and try to find another free safety. If you want to replace a top-notch free safety with another top-notch (safety), you’re gonna end up paying around $12 to $14 million. That’s why I’m just like get it done.”
Diggs is the Seahawks’ top franchise tag candidate and if the team goes that route, Diggs would be under contract for $13.5 million in 2022. But the Seahawks don’t use the franchise tag too often with Pete Carroll and John Schneider running the ship. Since 2010, Seattle has used the tag just twice.
So if the Seahawks don’t tag Diggs and he walks, who do the Seahawks use at free safety next year?
“You’ve got Marquise Blair if he’s healthy and Ryan Neal, I guess. Or you go to the draft and there’s a couple safeties out there,” Bumpus said. “Daxton Hill (from) Michigan, you’ve got the kid from Nebraska Cam Taylor-Britt. Pete also mentioned, too, that he likes developing young talent. So if Quandre is not signed I think they’re going to hit the free safety market in the draft.
Stelton said it’ll be interesting to see how the Seahawks can maneuver the salary cap if they can keep Diggs as he’ll likely command a salary close to that $13.5 million franchise tag number. Stelton also noted that reports have surfaced that the Seahawks and Diggs have discussed a new deal.
“It doesn’t mean they’ll re-sign him,” he said. “But hopefully they can.”
Wyman ultimately thinks Diggs is back in Seattle in 2022.
“I’d be shocked if they didn’t resign Diggs. And also, I think he wants to be here,” he said.
Listen to the second hour of Wednesday’s Wyman and Bob at this link or in the player below.