With free agency officially underway in a matter of hours, the legal tampering period began on Monday which has seen plenty of players commit to teams all around the NFL.
To date, the two main departures have been Paul Richardson to the Washington Redskins and Jimmy Graham to the Green Bay Packers.
First, let’s look at the departure of Paul Richardson.
Paul got a 5 year, $40M contract with the Redskins, giving him an average of $8M per year. This to me, is too expensive given his production. A couple of weeks ago I was unsure if he was worth it in the $6-6.5M range so $8M is clearly too high and a prime case of what free agency does to players, they tend to get overpaid. I wouldn’t totally discount Paul living up to or indeed exceeding his expectations, but to me, the gamble outweighs the risk vs reward so I’m glad Seattle didn’t stump in this match to match the offer, I suspect Richardson’s agent gave Seattle the chance to match it and they declined.
Richardson started the season off pretty well in 2017, managing 514 yards and 5 touchdowns, however in the final 6 games he only managed 189 yards and a single touchdown, so his production shot down as the season progressed. He has still yet to show he can be a consistent threat for an entire 16 games, likely the most important factor is Seattle choosing to not resign him early.
It wouldn’t be fair to say he was bad, though. I am confident Redskins fans will be happy with him overall, just don’t be surprised if he doesn’t hit 1000 yards and double-digit TD’s, although I guess it wouldn’t be out of the question.
Next up let’s look at Jimmy Graham to Green Bay.
Jimmy was, for the most part, a very poor fit in Seattle. The team lost a first round pick and Max Unger in the trade and it wasn’t really until 2017 that the team finally started using him efficiently on the field. It seemed then offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell just didn’t know how to use him correctly. Had a more ‘savvy’ coordinator been at the helm, Jimmy Graham could have far exceeded expectations as he is quite frankly, tremendous in the correct scheme. Putting him in to block on both rushing and passing downs is not his forte and ended in total disaster. This is probably elements of Pete Carroll’s arrogance shining through as the team were clearly insistent they could turn him into a ‘complete’ tight end. He did eventually develop into the red zone threat he was always meant to be, although it was too little too late in my opinion. It also looked like he had shut off and totally lost interest.
There were too many games where he either simply wasn’t used correctly or didn’t want to be involved. In week 1 he had 8 yards, week 2 was 1 yard, week 14 was 0, week 15 was minus 1 yard and week 16 he managed 3 yards. For a tight end earning around $10M a season, that is seriously bad value. He did manage 10 touchdowns on the year though with 5 coming between week 10 and week 13, so it would be unfair to be too critical. I put far more of the blame on the coaching than I do Jimmy himself. Provided Green Bay scheme him correctly (and I fully expect them to) I’d imagine they will be perfectly happy with their new addition.
Seattle is likely to lose a few more before it’s all said and done, too. With the following names all either unrestricted free agents, restricted free agents or exclusive rights free agents -
Luke Joeckel – UFA
Eddie Lacy – UFA
Sheldon Richardson – UFA
Luke Willson – UFA
Michael Wilhoite – UFA
DeShawn Shead – UFA
Blair Walsh – UFA
Marcus Smith – UFA
Oday Aboushi – UFA
Matt Tobin – UFA
Terence Garvin – UFA
Austin Davis – UFA
Byron Maxwell – UFA
Dewey McDonald – RFA (not expected to be tendered)
Dion Jordan – RFA (Fully expect to tender or extend)
Mike Davis – RFA (not expected to be tendered)
Thomas Rawls – RFA (not expected to be tendered)
Josh Forrest – ERFA (not expected to be tendered)
Quinton Jefferson – ERFA (probably to be tendered)
Paul Dawson – ERFA (doubtful to be tendered)
Branden Jackson – ERFA - (probably to be tendered)
Garrison Smith – ERFA – (not expected to be tendered)
Joey Hunt – ERFA – (possible to be tendered)
J.D. McKissic – ERFA – (fully expected to be tendered)
Tyler Ott – ERFA - (fully expected to be tendered)
Tyrus Thompson – ERFA (not expected to be tendered)
Christian French – ERFA (not expected to be tendered)
Jordan Simone – ERFA (possible to be tendered)
Akeem King – ERFA - (not expected to be tendered)
The likes of Eddie Lacy and Blair Walsh won’t be missed one bit, but losing the likes of Sheldon Richardson, Luke Willson and Byron Maxwell might. I will keep you all updated as to any Seahawks departures and arrivals as and when they occur.