The Seattle Seahawks may have a chance to bring back a former Pro Bowler as Jaguars cornerback Shaquill Griffin is being labeled as a potential cap casualty this offseason. Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay pointed to Griffin as a potential cut candidate who could be a “steal” for another team if he hits free agency.
“The Jacksonville Jaguars splurged to sign Shaquill Griffin in the spring of 2021,” Kay wrote on February 6, 2023. “The move didn’t quite shore up their secondary the way they had imagined, but Jacksonville still managed to become a contending team this past season without Griffin playing a major role.
“…The UCF product will soon enter the final season of his three-year, $40 million contract, although the Jags could free up some much-needed finances by releasing him. The defensive back has a cap hit of $17.2 million, but Jacksonville would only take on $4 million in dead money if it cuts him.”
The Seahawks selected Griffin in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft with the No. 90 overall pick. Griffin spent the first four seasons of his NFL career in Seattle, including a Pro Bowl campaign in 2019.
Shaquill Griffin Left the Seahawks to Sign a $40 Million Deal With the Jaguars in 2021
Griffin signed a three-year, $40 million contract with the Jaguars in 2021, a move that proved to be beyond what Seattle was willing to spend on the star corner. The former Pro Bowler is slated to have an $11.5 million salary for 2023, but Jacksonville has an out in Griffin’s deal this offseason. The Jaguars would still take a $4 million dead cap hit by cutting Griffin in the coming months, per Spotrac.
The former Seahawks star played in just five games in 2022 after sustaining a season-ending back injury that required surgery. During his two seasons with the Jaguars, Griffin has yet to record an interception.
Griffin earned a dismal 61.8 grade from Pro Football Focus for his brief play last season. The veteran had much better numbers in 2021 earning a 72 score from PFF.
Would the Seahawks Be Interested in Bringing Back Shaquill Griffin?
It remains to be seen whether the Seahawks would have an interest in bringing back Griffin if he suddenly becomes a free agent. Seattle appears to have found their lockdown cornerback of the future in Tariq Woolen. The Seahawks also received solid play from fellow rookie Coby Bryant. That said, nickel corner has become more important in an increasingly pass-happy NFL and adding Griffin would give the Seahawks a solid trio in the secondary.
Few teams have shown a willingness to reunite with former players quite like Seattle under Pete Carroll who has consistently brought individuals back to the Pacific Northwest. The Seahawks have made it clear that the priority this offseason is to bolster their defensive line. Given his recent struggles, signing Griffin would likely come at a fraction of the price of his current $40 million deal.
The Seahawks Are Unlikely to Release Jamal Adams
One of the big question marks in the Seahawks secondary is Jamal Adams whose tenure in Seattle has been defined by injuries. Adams has played in just 13 games over the last two seasons, but the star safety’s contract likely means he will remain with the Seahawks. Seattle would take a $21.3 million dead cap hit by moving on from Adams this offseason, per Spotrac. Adams’ salary for 2023 is $11 million meaning it makes more financial sense for the Seahawks to retain the veteran.
“But Adams’ four-year, $70 million extension makes it difficult for the team to move on from him this offseason, even if he’s designated a post-June 1 release,” The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar detailed on February 8. “And there’s no indication the Seahawks would consider such a move.
“They traded two first-round picks for Adams and made him the league’s highest-paid safety the following summer. When healthy, he’s been effective at all three levels of the defense, and Seattle entered the 2022 season with a plan to shape the scheme around his unique skill set. It would likely take more than a handful of injuries for the team to just punt on such a player.”