Huard: Why Seahawks are declining LB Jordyn Brooks’ 5th-year option

May 2, 2023, 11:20 AM | Updated: 11:36 am

Seattle Seahawks Jordyn Brooks...

Rams QB John Wolford is sacked by Seahawks LB Jordyn Brooks on Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

We’re starting to see news trickle in about fifth-year options for 2020 first-round draft picks, and for the Seattle Seahawks, it appears they will not be picking that option up for linebacker Jordyn Brooks.

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In the NFL, draft picks are signed to four-year contracts upon entering the league, but first-round picks have a fifth-year team option attached to their contract that the team has to decide upon prior to the player’s fourth NFL season. Brooks is entering his fourth NFL campaign.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Seahawks will not be picking up that option on Brooks, which is worth $12.722 million guaranteed for the 2024 season.

Brooks, 25, was the 27th overall pick back in the 2020 NFL Draft, and after playing off and on as a rookie that year alongside legendary linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, he emerged as a full-time starter in 2021, setting the franchise record for tackles in a season. After that season, Wagner was released and Brooks because Seattle’s on-field play-caller on defense as an inside linebacker in the Seahawks’ new 3-4 defensive front.

So why aren’t the Seahawks picking up Brooks’ option? Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard broke it down during Tuesday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports.

“It’s just too much to guarantee, Salk,” Huard told Brock and Salk co-host Mike Salk. “It’s $12.7 million and gosh, when I was reading that news and that story yesterday and that update, I was reminded it was Jan. 1 when he tore his ACL. It wasn’t Sept. 1, it wasn’t Nov. 1 – it was Jan. 1 … We’re like only four months out from that injury.”

Indeed, Brooks tore his ACL in the Seahawks’ second-to-last regular season game against the New York Jets, and he missed Seattle’s final regular season contest as well as the team’s playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers. It’s unclear whether Brooks will be ready to play come Week 1.

“While ACL reconstruction and recovery has been (for) years and years and years pretty clear – you’ve got a pretty good graph of the progress and the number of guys that bounce back and and come back to near full speed from that – you don’t know with every single guy, how they scar, how that scar tissue (builds up),” Huard said.

Huard had a teammate in the NFL named Dominic Rhodes who was a running back and said that Rhodes tore his ACL and was just never the same, largely because his knee had a lot of scarring and he needed more work done on that knee to clean it up.

“Unfortunately, he was just never physically the same,” Huard said.

Whether Brooks has any complications or not remains to be seen, but it is a serious injury for essentially every player in the NFL.

And when it comes to that much guaranteed money, Huard thinks it’s just too much to pay Brooks at this stage.

“It’s just too much loot. (At) $12.5 million guaranteed for that position, you would rather restructure, right? You’d rather do a new deal,” he said. “And you’ve certainly seen that amongst these rookies. Instead of getting a fifth year, they say, ‘We’re gonna spread that out. We love you.’ If he never tore his knee and if he was totally healthy, I think you’d have been looking at a restructured contract for him, which they have done with some of their rookies over the years – a lot of them, their difference-making players. But with that injury and with just the guaranteed amount of money the minute you sign that contract, yeah, it was gonna be too rich for this case.”

Listen to the full discussion in the Blue 88 segment from Brock and Salk in the podcast below.

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Huard: Why Seahawks are declining LB Jordyn Brooks’ 5th-year option