Time for Seahawks to pay Jordyn Brooks? K.J. and Huard weigh in

Oct 26, 2023, 11:33 AM | Updated: 11:33 am

Seattle Seahawks...

Seattle Seahawks LB Jordyn Brooks looks to tackle Detroit's Josh Reynolds on Oct. 2, 2022. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks have seen their defense play much better this year than last season, and a few young players are right in the middle of it.

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Rookie Devon Witherspoon has been stellar for the Hawks since making his NFL debut in Week 2, while another young cornerback, Tre Brown, has stepped up to make some great plays, too. Second-year edge rusher Boye Mafe leads the team with four sacks, as well.

And then at inside linebacker, Jordyn Brooks, the team’s first-round pick in 2020, has been playing at an extremely high level. He ranks second on the team in tackles, first in tackles for loss and third in sacks through Seattle’s first six games.

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What makes Brooks’ play even more impressive is he tore his ACL at the end of last season, yet despite that Jan. 1 injury he was ready for action Week 1.

Brooks is on the last year of his contract after the Seahawks opted not to apply a fifth-year option to his rookie deal. But a pair of former Seahawks players, including a linebacker that played alongside Brooks, think Seattle should work to get him a long-term deal.

“I’m gonna just say it. When I say it’s time to pay the man, it’s time to pay the man,” former Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright said during his weekly Seattle Sports show on Wednesday. ” … Jordyn Brooks needs to be here for the next four to five years. You drafted him in the first round. He’s playing, in my eyes, top five linebacker-caliber.”

Wright played with Brooks during the latter’s rookie year in 2020 and said in addition to being a great player on the field, he’s “a great guy in the building,” too.

“I love everything that Jordyn Brooks is doing,” he said.

During Thursday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports, former Seahawks quarterback Brock Huard said he agrees with Wright’s sentiment.

“I think it is time to pay Jordyn Brooks,” he said.

At the same time, though, Huard outlined why that could be difficult for the Seahawks, and he used Wright as an example.

“K.J. got paid in December (2014), and I think K.J. will tell you in the same breath that he shouldn’t have done that and that he should have gone to market,” Huard said. “Jordyn Brooks, it will be very interesting what his representation and agent and what Jordyn feel. Do they want to go to market? (The Seahawks) didn’t pick up his fifth-year option. He will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. He’s got to gauge the market.”

What makes it hard for Brooks, Huard said, is that last year’s free-agent market didn’t pan out well for linebackers. Returning Seattle star Bobby Wagner is a prime example of that as the perennial All-Pro defender and future Hall of Famer signed a one-year, $5.5 million deal with the Seahawks last offseason.

“So do you want to take that risk possibly of what the market is going to be and (bet that) the market is going to be better as the (salary) cap goes up?” Huard said of Brooks. “Or do you want to say, ‘Man, give me my generational money now.'”

There’s another challenge for Seattle in the way the team typically likes to do contract extensions.

“They love to wrap in an extension around a current deal. Well, this current deal expires, so there’s not really that savings, that opportunity, that advantage,” Huard said. “But as far as what K.J. said, man, the way this dude is running and hitting right now, and as hard as it’s been to find that next Bobby Wagner, to find that next game-changing, difference-making linebacker, there’s a ton of merit to what he’s saying.”

Listen to the full second hour of Thursday’s Brock and Salk at this link or in the player earlier in this story.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

• Bump: How much should Seahawks play Frank Clark right away?
• Seahawks Instant Reaction: How will Frank Clark fit back in?
• Salk: Seattle Seahawks’ best trade route to help D may not be at edge
• Football 101: Where Seattle Seahawks’ defense still has holes to fix
• Booger McFarland: Seahawks, 49ers ‘mirror images of each other’

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