I firmly believe the Seahawks front office has a 2-year plan in place to bring Seattle out of mediocrity and back to greatness.
Looking at the NFC West, you have the Rams that are now a strong, young team and the 49ers who are young, but with the greatness very much in question until they prove it. Seattle doesn’t want to be the old guy on the block within the division and with the age of their core players rising (damn nature) now is the time to get back to being young, hungry and cheap. I’m not saying for a second that I don’t think Seattle will be competitive in 2018, however it may be slightly biased to have the upmost confidence that they’re going to win the Super Bowl. This team, like most, has holes and needs. Now is the time to change, adapt and get back to what made Seattle so successful in prior years.
I’m mainly going to focus on 2019 in this article as this is where the most changes can take place. With limited cap space and limited draft stock in 2018, it’s fair to assume that this team is not going to be perfect in 2018 and that’s fine, but how do things look for 2019 and beyond?
I'm going to estimate the 2019 salary cap at $190M as per OverTheCap.
Seattle has 22 players under contract already. leaving 29 roster spots that count against the cap to fill.
With that said, it's almost a given that the following won't be on the team in 2019 - Michael Bennett, Jeremy Lane, Kam Chancellor and Jon Ryan.
So actually, there's 18 players under contract, leaving 33 roster spots (not including the two free ones).
Assuming a cap space of $190M that leaves the team with a staggering $114M to build the team. That's a lot...Having just about every major contract barring the likes of Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin and Bobby Wagner come to an end is no mistake. This front office has planned changes in 2019. Obviously there are players on the 2018 team that will be extended beyond that, however a lot of their statuses are not clear yet. As an example if Paul Richardson is resigned, Tyler Lockett likely won't be on the 2019 team. There's a high chance Frank Clark gets extended at some point this year as well (he was eligible for an extension as of several weeks ago).
Dividing that up equally between all the players needing a roster spot makes it $3.45M per player, but obviously it doesn't work out like that.
Let’s assume 5 drafted players make the team in 2018, 2 UDFA's and 6 drafted players in 2019 with, again, 2 UDFA's.
As a pretty accurate estimate, that'll cost the team about $12M in cap space for 2019. Now the team has 18 roster spots and $102M in cap space.
Dividing that up equally again, and that’s $5.66M per player, looking a lot better now.
Obviously, some of those will be vet minimum. Let’s say the Seahawks sign 4 vet minimums with 4-6 years’ experience and 1 with 7-9 years’ experience, that will cost the team exactly $4.075M.
Now the cap space is at $97,925,000.
Now that’s $7.5M per player. 13 players earning $7.5M.
Player 1 gets - $4M
Player 2 gets $4M
Player 3 gets $4.5M
Player 4 gets $4.75M
Player 5 gets $5.25M
Player 6 gets $5.25M
Player 7 gets $6M
Player 8 gets $6.25M
Player 9 gets $8M
Player 10 gets $10.5M
Player 11 gets $10.5M
Player 12 gets $13M
Player 13 gets $16M
That would mean 7 players are earning over $10M a year, a fair number of rookies, some depth players and a good chunk of impact players.
That MUST make you feel better about the team going forwards.
I don't want people to think the Seahawks are in a downward trend due to their cap issues in 2018, the reality is, barring one single year, they are in a fantastic place to reload old talent and pay the existing rookies that are worthy and deserving of a second contract.
It's no mistake that John has all this cap space in 2019 and firms up my belief that they are in a 2-year plan to churn the roster and still put out a truly fantastic team in 2018, 2019 and beyond.