he Seattle Seahawks appear to have plenty of wiggle room to make significant signings this offseason. As of Feb. 16, Spotrac reports the Seahawks have the eighth-most salary cap space in the league.
But there’s a lot less favorable report about the Seahawks salary cap situation from Over the Cap.
OTC projects the Seahawks can save $24.2 million in simple contract restructures, which is not much compared to the rest of the teams in the NFL. For instance, the Los Angeles Rams could skim more than $71.5 million from its salary cap with simple restructures.
Overall, OTC ranks the Seahawks’ $24.2 million in potential savings from simple restructured deals as the third-lowest possible saving in the NFL. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns have less of an opportunity to create salary cap space with contract restructures.
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Seahawks’ Cap Space Could Dry Up Quickly
In early February, Sports Illustrated’s Corbin K. Smith also reported Seattle’s lack of restructure candidates as a potential problem.
While the Seahawks have about $37 million in salary cap space even before any attempt at restructuring current deals, Smith expects a lot of that available money to go towards Seattle’s own free agents.
“If they intend to re-sign players such as Pro Bowl safety Quandre Diggs, left tackle Duane Brown, cornerback D.J. Reed, and others, cap space will evaporate into thin air, leaving limited money available to acquire quality outside free agents,” Smith wrote. “They also have a trio of restricted free agents, including guard Phil Haynes, who could receive a tender for the 2022 season, which would further cut into available cap room.
“It’s possible, if not likely, depending on which free agents Seattle chooses to retain, that the team could have less than $15 million in available cap room once free agency kicks off.”
The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia ranked both Reed and Brown in his top 50 on his list of 75 best NFL free agents this offseason.
New Contracts for Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner?
As free agency approaches, all eyes in the Pacific Northwest will be on Seattle’s two best players of the last decade. They will be the center of attention for different reasons, but the main question is the same — is either player’s future with the Seahawks?
That’s not likely to happen, though, if there’s any chance of the team trading the quarterback. Restructuring his contract would create more cap room for the upcoming season, but it would increase Wilson’s cap hit to an unrealistic level for 2023.
The only way to alleviate that next year would be an extension. Restructuring Wilson’s contract and trading him next offseason would result in a huge dead cap hit for the Seahawks in 2023.
Linebacker Bobby Wagner is arguably an even bigger question mark. Although he’s a six-time All-Pro, he turns 32 in June and will have a $20.35 million cap hit this season under his current deal.
After less than stellar (to say the least) finishes in Seattle for other Seahawks legends such as Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas, it would sure be nice to see Wagner finish his career in the Pacific Northwest.
But there’s no doubt his contract is currently a hindrance to the team — an organization that despite a decent amount of cap space, might need more salary relief soon.