DANNY ONEIL

O’Neil: Justin Coleman himself is proof Seahawks will be fine without him

Mar 11, 2019, 2:56 PM
Justin Coleman was picked up by the Seahawks when New England was about to cut him. (AP)...
Justin Coleman was picked up by the Seahawks when New England was about to cut him. (AP)
(AP)

Justin Coleman is going to get paid.

A lot.

Good for him.

And while the Seahawks certainly aren’t better off without him, I’m glad the Seahawks didn’t try and find a way to keep him. Not at the price of $9 million per year.

That has nothing to do with Coleman per se, and everything to do with his position: cornerback. Seattle tends to find those guys.

Sometimes it’s in the Canadian Football League (Brandon Browner). Sometimes it’s in the fifth round of the draft (Richard Sherman). Or the sixth (Byron Maxwell). In a pinch, I think general manager John Schneider might be able to scrounge up a suitable cornerback by searching in the crawlspaces around Seahawks headquarters.

In a salary capped league like the NFL, value is determined not just by the ability of a specific player, but the difference between that player’s ability and the effectiveness of the man who’s next up. And in that case, Seattle has been good at finding suitable cornerbacks.

Coleman himself is probably the best evidence of that. Seattle acquired him one week before the 2017 regular season began. New England was going to cut him, and the Seahawks gave up a seventh-round pick to acquire him before he reached the NFL’s recycling bin.

All Coleman did over the past two seasons was play in all 32 regular-season games, pick off three passes and score two touchdowns.

In a league where teams play with five defensive backs most of the time, he was an incredibly effective player, which is why the Lions made him such a priority. After all, it was Coleman whose interception near the goal line was a game-changing play in Seattle’s victory in Detroit.

But instead of finding a way to re-sign Coleman, the Seahawks are better off spending this offseason trying to find the next Coleman, and their recent history shows that’s something they’re pretty good at.

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