STACY ROST

Rost: 4 big questions after Seahawks release Diggs, Adams and Dissly

Mar 6, 2024, 10:06 AM

Seattle Seahawks safeties...

Quandre Diggs of the Seattle Seahawks with Julian Love after an interception on Oct. 2, 2023. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

(Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks’ decision to release safeties Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs and tight end Will Dissly on Tuesday didn’t come as a surprise to many. All three were cap casualty candidates entering the offseason and Seattle’s front office badly needed money to spend.

Seattle Seahawks cut Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams and Will Dissly

Even if freeing up more money is the right decision – and it is – it doesn’t make the path forward easier just yet, because there are still a few major questions left in the wake of those roster moves:

What do Seattle Seahawks do at safety without Diggs or Adams?

Really, without Quandre Diggs. Adams brought plenty of promise in his first season with Seattle, but appeared in just 34 games as a Seahawk across four seasons, including just 10 total games over the last two. They might not have liked the punch to their pride, but the Seahawks were used to finding answers without Adams on the field. One of those answers, Julian Love, remains rostered and is likely a starter here in 2024.

Diggs brings a different challenge. Acquired via midseason trade for a fifth-round pick in 2019, Diggs brought excellent play and veteran leadership. He was a three-time Pro Bowler, finished with at least three interceptions in all but one season, and started every game over the last four seasons. He and Bobby Wagner were, unquestionably, the defensive leaders last season. Diggs was released not because he can’t help the Seahawks, but because he’s a soon-to-be 31-year-old with a massive cap hit on a team that desperately needed more flexibility. Had he been 27 and coming off a career-best year, this decision might’ve instead been an extension; instead, Seattle decided to take a risk with a younger and much cheaper player – TBD who that becomes.

Jerrick Reed, a 2023 sixth-round pick, was a promising addition to special teams and provides a young option alongside Coby Bryant, who’s also worked at nickel. But Seattle could also bring in veteran help. One option? Ravens safety Geno Stone, who recorded seven interceptions last year under then-defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald.

How do these moves impact the draft?

Even though we knew all cuts were possible – and we certainly expected Jamal Adams to be among them – that leaves tight end and safety as completely dark voids on the roster, in addition to the huge question mark that already existed at inside linebacker.

Does Georgia tight end Brock Bowers become a more intriguing option? The Athletic’s Round 1 mock draft has him at No. 5, so be prepared to trade up.

Bumpus: Two offensive players Seattle Seahawks should target in first round

Perhaps they trade back into the second round to take a safety like Minnesota’s Tyler Nubin? Interestingly, I think this might be the most null and void point (though it’s a very fair question!) because of Schneider’s philosophy: draft the best player, not the position you need.

Drafting for need has gotten this team into trouble before, whereas drafting a player they loved (Devon Witherspoon) has been a recent success story. I’m not in the war room with these guys, but I wouldn’t expect this to drastically change their draft approach if they’ve already fallen in love with a few prospects.

We could learn more here on Thursday when general manager John Schneider joins Wyman and Bob at 4 p.m.

What do you do with all this money?

You know what I don’t love? The Seahawks setting a new record for dead cap carried for a safety and ranking first in dead money (have fun with that one eventually, Broncos!).

That said, they’re working with $36.2 million thanks to Tuesday’s moves and have a long shopping list to address: Sign Leonard Williams, bring in Geno Stone or Patrick Queen, re-sign Jordyn Brooks or Colby Parkinson. Whatever the path may be, Seattle has flexibility that it didn’t Tuesday morning.

My approach? The gross dead cap is like the cake you already ate. You meant to be healthier today, but it’s too late to undo it, so focus on hitting the gym tomorrow.

Writer’s note: I’ve never eaten an entire cake, but would like to state for the record that I’ve tried.

What happens to Tyler Lockett?

Fans are split on this one and I am too.

On the one hand, Tyler Lockett is a reliable veteran who can help be a loyal, mature tone-setter for a new head coach. On the other hand, it’s been DK Metcalf who’s led the team in receiving yards in three of the last four seasons, and the team added a first-round pass catcher last year in Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Lockett has the biggest cap hit of any Seahawks player right now. While he’s been one of Seattle’s most important players, he’s also got the biggest target for the time being.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

• Salk: Do Seahawks’ 3 releases signal a big change?
• AP Mock NFL Draft: D-lineman to Seahawks in 1st round?
• What stands out after Seattle Seahawks’ 3 big cuts
• Huard: How Seahawks can still benefit from Russell Wilson trade
• The one UW Huskies player Seattle Seahawks shouldn’t pass on in draft

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Rost: 4 big questions after Seahawks release Diggs, Adams and Dissly