Are expectations of the Seahawks spending big in free agency too high?
It has been speculated that the Seahawks will be one of the bigger spenders in the 2020 free agency period due to glaring needs such as pass rush as well as a cap situation that is likely envied by well north of half of the league.
Seattle made its first move of the offseason, signing veteran tight end Greg Olsen to a one-year deal to be another target for star quarterback Russell Wilson. Once that deal is official, the Seahawks should have roughly $53 million in cap space according to 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton.
Any time that a big-name defensive lineman is said to be hitting the market, such as Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, there’s at least some sort of discussion on how whether they would be a fit for the Seahawks.
But are fans expecting too much out of the team once the major free agency window opens in mid-March? That was the question posed by 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Dave and Moore, with Michael Bumpus filling in for Jim Moore.
“Every ailment, there’s the cure in free agency, right?” Bob Stelton asked. “I feel like that’s the easiest way (for fans to look at building a team) because you’ve got names that you’re familiar with as a football fan or (from playing) fantasy football or whatever. You’re just ultimately very familiar with a lot of the prominent names in this league.”
Co-host Dave Wyman said while there are some enticing names out there that would require the Seahawks to spend big, numbers show free agency is not the way successful teams are typically constructed.
“If you go through and look at the gameday roster … it’s (a two to one ratio of drafted players) versus free agents and trades,” he said. “Because that’s how you build your team. You draft guys and (the draft is a huge deal).”
Wyman said free agency is definitely important to adding on to a team and that Seattle should look to improve any way they can, but that trades and free agents are typically outnumbered by drafted players – especially on the Seahawks under head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider.
“You go into this free agent period and yeah, you want to spend a little bit of money and get things right, but for the most part, when you go through and you look at the starters, and (often) eight of them are draft choices and three of them are guys you picked up off the free agent market or you traded for,” Wyman said.
Additionally, the Seahawks should see year to year improvement from younger players like defensive end L.J. Collier, which could deter them from spending too much in free agency.
“I wouldn’t go crazy if they don’t spend up all their salary cap room this year. Are they in the same sort of ‘hey, we’re further ahead than we thought and we’re going to go and get some free agents and do what the Rams did?’ I mean, the Rams traded away their future,” Wyman said, noting the Rams don’t have a first-round pick until 2022 and haven’t made a selection in first round since 2016 when they selected quarterback Jared Goff No. 1 overall.
Former Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson told NBC Sports Northwest’s Joe Fann that he thinks the Seahawks are ahead of where they thought they’d be after a quick rebuild from 2017 to 2018, which saw the release or trades of established players like Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett, as well as the retirement of Kam Chancellor.
Stelton said that is likely true and that the Seahawks never went through a true “stepback year” like people predicted. Bumpus says that’s because they’ve drafted well, which should incentivize them to be aggressive in free agency.
“I’m kind of on the other side (of Wyman’s perspective),” Bumpus said. “I think they need to make a couple big purchases. I think they have some young guys who are going to develop … but I think they need to make a splash in this free agency, and obviously they need to do it on the defensive line … They’re always going to make moves, they’re going to draft well, I just want to see one or two really big moves this offseason.”
Stelton said if Seattle is going to make a splash, it needs to be on the defensive line.
“You get that big purchase on the d-line and I think the trickle-down effect is there,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who’s out there in coverage … they’re going to get burned if you’ve got no pass rush.”
Listen to the full discussion at this link or in the player below at the 22:13 mark.
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