The Seattle Seahawks already have a deep receiving core, but one analyst’s trade proposal has Russell Wilson getting even more help. Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon suggests the Giants may see Sterling Shepard as expendable after using a first-round selection on Kadarius Toney. The trade proposal has the Seahawks landing Shepard in exchange for a day-three pick.
“The Seattle Seahawks have a new offense headed by Shane Waldron, whose former team, the Rams, used plenty of three-receiver sets,” Gagnon detailed. “So did Seattle last season, but former No. 3 receiver David Moore is gone, and rookie second-round pick D’Wayne Eskridge is behind after spending most of the summer recovering from a toe injury.
“Quarterback Russell Wilson would likely appreciate another experienced target in the receiving corps. Like Tyler Lockett, Shepard can contribute effectively in the slot and on the boundary, giving Waldron plenty of options to support Wilson and rising star DK Metcalf. Seattle ought to see if a middle-round pick will do the job for a Giants team that may lack room for Shepard at this point.”
Shepard Was the No. 40 Pick in the 2016 NFL Draft
Shepard was a highly touted receiver coming out of Oklahoma as the Giants selected the playmaker with the No. 40 pick in the 2016 NFL draft. The receiver has yet to post a 1,000-yard season, struggling to stay healthy throughout his career. Shepard posted 66 receptions for 656 yards and three touchdowns in 12 starts last season. The Giants wideout is a solid No. 3 receiver, but the Seahawks are a bit of a peculiar fit.
Seattle just used a second-round pick (the highest they possessed in 2021) on D’Wayne Eskridge who is projected to be the team’s third receiver next to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. The Seahawks also have a solid group of young receivers fighting for a roster spot including Freddie Swain, Penny Hart, Cade Johnson and Cody Thompson.
Shepard is slated to make $6.9 million in 2021 and still has two seasons remaining on a four-year, $41 million contract. The Giants have a potential out next offseason but would have to take on a $4 million dead cap hit. The Seahawks have more pressing holes to fill including improving the secondary.
The Seahawks Have $13 Million in Cap Space to Potentially Make a Deal
A deal for Shepard may be unlikely, but do not be surprised to see the Seahawks make a few significant additions before Week 1. Jamal Adams’ contract extension gave the Seahawks more cap space for this season, moving from $8 million to $13 million, per The Seattle Times.
The Seahawks have been linked to former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins, but also have enough cap space for the team to make a move for a top corner like Patriots Stephon Gilmore. The question is if the Seahawks are willing to give up future draft capital for a player that is seeking a lucrative new contract.
With the Adams’ deal completed, Duane Brown’s future looms large over the Seahawks’ preseason. Brown is “holding in” which means he is not practicing as he seeks a long-term contract extension. The franchise left tackle is slated to make $10 million in 2021 on the final season of his three-year, $34.5 million contract.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider has a history of striking last-minute deals heading into the regular season. See Jamal Adams and Jadeveon Clowney as recent examples, but it remains to be seen whether the Seahawks will keep this blockbuster trade streak alive.