What does Uchenna Nwosu’s Seahawks deal mean for Darrell Taylor?

Jul 29, 2023, 9:15 AM

Seattle Seahawks Darrell Taylor...

Darrell Taylor reacts after a play against the the New York Jets on Jan. 1, 2023. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Just days before training camp officially kicked off, the Seattle Seahawks were able to lock up one of their best players.

Edge rusher Uchenna Nwosu, 26, was set to enter the final year of his two-year deal he signed last offseason in free agency. But on Monday, the Seahawks and Nwosu agreed to a three-year extension that will keep him in Seattle through 2026. The three-year deal is worth up to $59 million, with $32 million of that guaranteed.

Seattle Seahawks sign Uchenna Nwosu to 3-year extension

The move has an impact in many ways for the Seahawks in addition to keeping Nwosu in the fold for three more years.

The deal is expected to open up salary cap space for Seattle for 2023. So do the Hawks have another big move in the works?

Related: After Nwosu deal, is time right for Seattle Seahawks to bring back Harris?

Additionally, it could have an impact on other edge rushers on the roster, as Brock and Salk discussed this week.

“I got a text here. The 509 says, ‘Did the Seahawks just decided who they’re keeping between Taylor and Nwosu?'” Mike Salk relayed. “I mean, in some ways the answer to that is an obvious yes. They’re keeping Nwosu. But I don’t know if that’s the real choice. To me, it’s more of a (Darrell) Taylor-(Boye) Mafe conversation, right?”

Taylor, the Seahawks’ second-round pick in 2020, missed his entire rookie season due to injury but had 6.5 sacks in 2021 and tied Nwosu for the team lead with 9.5 last season. Mafe, meanwhile, was a second-rounder in 2022 and had three sacks as a role player last season. The Seahawks also drafted Auburn’s Derick Hall, yet another edge rusher, in the second round this past April.

“I mean, they’ve drafted a guy in the second round in three straight years to play that outside linebacker/defensive end spot. And I felt like Nwosu was always kind of gonna be here. He’s the one who’s been starting,” Salk said. “Maybe this is sort of a wake-up call to all of those guys of like, ‘Hey, one of these spots is set, so who’s going to compete for the other one?’ Just as much as they take care of the guys who succeed, they still want competition with everybody else.”

Brock Huard thinks it impacts Taylor the most, but not as you might expect.

First off, Huard noted that because Taylor missed his rookie year due to injury, he’ll be a restricted free agent come year’s end – not an unrestricted free agent.

“His contract (rolled over) another year, so he would become an exclusive rights (free agent). They’d be able to put .. a tender to him and have his rights for another year,” he said.

Instead of this being a fight for your job-type of event for Taylor, Huard thinks the young edge rusher should be very happy by what transpired.

“It actually to me is Darrell looking at it going, ‘Good. I’m glad (Nwosu) got his money, man. He deserves his money. He’s been a pro in this league. He’s been a contributor. He had an excellent year last year. If I go out and I do what I’m capable of doing and I add on my sack total and I become a 15-sack guy down the road, that bag of money is here in Seattle,'” Huard said. “And they’ve shown that over the years.”

Listen to the full second hour of Tuesday’s Brock and Salk at this link or in the player below.

Huard: Why Seattle Seahawks’ Uchenna Nwosu is worth his extension

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