Ranked: 5 best uses for Seahawks’ salary cap space

Mar 11, 2024, 11:25 AM | Updated: 11:40 am

Seattle Seahawks Danielle Hunter...

Minnesota's Danielle Hunter sacks Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson in 2018. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks have a lot more room under the salary cap as free agency begins than they did just a week ago.

Seahawks 2024 Offseason Tracker: Free agents, coach moves and more

Seattle is releasing Pro Bowl safeties Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs, defensive tackle Bryan Mone, tight end Will Dissly and Pro Bowl special teamer Nick Bellore. The Hawks have also restructured the contracts of wide receiver Tyler Lockett and quarterback Geno Smith.

With those moves, the Seahawks have just over $42 million in cap space, per Over the Cap. What should general manager/president of football operations John Schneider do now with all that available cash to build the roster for new head coach Mike Macdonald?

On the Ranked segment at the end of Monday’s edition of Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk, host Mike Salk put the best uses of the cap space in order.

Here’s the list and what Salk had to say about each option.

What should the Seattle Seahawks do this offseason?

5. Linebacker

Salk put this one on the list because a free agent that Macdonald coached as Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator could make a lot of sense for the Seahawks.

“It’s only on the list because of Patrick Queen, so really it should be ‘Patrick Queen.’ But they need linebackers,” Salk said. “I don’t want to see them spend a ton of resources at the position but right now they don’t have any, so you’re going to have to bring somebody in to play that position. And if it is Patrick Queen, I’m not going to love spending those kind of resources on a dependent position, but I will like the idea that McDonald is so convicted that he’s the guy who can run his system and communicate it, hopefully make everybody else around there better.”

Related: Could Seattle Seahawks sign All-Pro LB Patrick Queen?

4. Ravens

The point about Queen led into the next choice on the list, as Salk said he’d be interested in the Seahawks bringing in some of the players that helped Macdonald’s defense in Baltimore be so dominant over the past two seasons.

“Bring in Ravens. Bring in guys that know Mike McDonald, that he is convicted on, that he really feels good about, who are gonna like him, preach his system. It’s not unlike some of the stuff Pete Carroll did and lots of other coaches do when they first get somewhere. Bring in guys that understand your mentality and can help preach it in the locker room.”

There are several names in free agency that Salk said could fit the bill, including Queen, safety Geno Stone and even edge Jadeveon Clowney – yes, the former Seahawks defender, who had a resurgent 2023 season with Baltimore.

3. Defensive line (specifically Leonard Williams)

The Seahawks spent some serious draft capital to acquire Williams before the 2023 trade deadline, and Salk said shoring up the D-line starts with retaining him.

“Your defensive line, without Leonard Williams, needs serious help. You spent a second-round pick for him last year. Yes, it’s going to be costly, but you kind of made your bed. I would like to see Leonard Williams back here. I’m going to assume that’s going to happen.”

Related: Retaining Leonard Williams ‘definitely a priority,’ says Seahawks GM

2. Interior offensive line

Part of the reason for this choice is the uncertainty with right tackle Abraham Lucas, who has a longstanding knee issue that made the 2022 third-round pick miss 11 games last season.

“You absolutely do need to improve along your offensive line. I’ve got to tell you, I’m really not in love with the idea of committing to Abe Lucas. Not because I don’t think he’s a good player, but that word ‘chronic’ when it comes to the problem with his knee tells me that that could be something that you’re going through every single season. Like, well, ‘They’ll be great if only this guy is healthy.’ Well, if it’s a chronic knee injury, you’re going to say that every year. I like the guy, I don’t know that you can count on him, unfortunately, and I do think that that will be a huge issue. Maybe he becomes more of a guard/tackle, and if you can find the right tackle, you move him inside to guard and it’s a little bit more something that you can replace.”

1. Edge rusher

For the top priority, Salk went with a position that will be very important in Macdonald’s defense. He also had one specific name in mind: Danielle Hunter, a four-time Pro Bowler who had a career-high 16.5 sacks last season with Minnesota.

“No. 1 for me: edge rusher, defensive end, guy who can play the edge,” Salk said. “I like what they’ve had the last couple of years – I don’t love it – and if there’s some value with a Danielle Hunter, who gets to the passer, somebody who can just get to the quarterback and affect everybody else on the field, it continues to be a need. You can never have enough of those guys, you can rotate them through. Just always look for more guys on the edge.”

Hear the full Ranked segment in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

More Seahawks coverage

Huard: Seahawks should ‘do whatever it takes’ to draft J.J. McCarthy
Schneider: Seahawks haven’t ‘shut the door’ on bringing back cut players
This offseason is chance for Seattle Seahawks to prioritize the trenches
Who Seahawks’ safety options could be after cutting Adams, Diggs
Seattle Seahawks Draft: Versatile players for Mike Macdonald’s defense

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Ranked: 5 best uses for Seahawks’ salary cap space