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How Does the Salary Cap Look in 2019?

Whenever someone is involved in a discussion surrounding the Seahawks cap and how it looks next year they will always say ‘were fine in 2019, we’ve got like $75M”. And that is kind of true, however...What are the roster numbers like? There’s little to get excited about if the team has $75M to spend but 30 roster spots not accounted for. Lets take a close look at where the team will stand, what their options are and how they may go about next offseason.

It is worth noting that I have to make a few assumptions to calculate this, let’s break them down.

I am assuming that all of the drafted players in 2018 make the roster

I am assuming that a total of 4 UDFA’s make the team and stick in 2018.

I am assuming that Seattle makes 9 draft picks in 2019 and 8 of them make the team

I am assuming that a total of 2 UDFA’s make the team and stick in 2019.

To keep things realistic I am also going to assume that one of the 2018 draft picks doesn’t make the team in 2019 and 2 of the 2018 undrafted guys don’t make the team in 2019.

I am also going to assume the following players aren’t on the team in 2019 –

Malik McDowell

Jon Ryan

Cliff Avril

Kam Chancellor

So based on those assumptions how does the cap look?

In total, Seattle will have 41 players on the roster and a total of $81,604,374 in available room. That accounts for the 2018 draft class, the 2018 UDFA guys, the 2019 draft class and the 2019 UDFA guys, as well as the 4 players listed above that are no longer on the team.

On the surface of it, that looks to be pretty good if you ask me. They still have 12 open roster spots so if those 12 guys all received the same contract the average would be a whopping $6,800,364. Of course, it won’t work like that though. Lets take a look how it might look.

With the roster set at 41 players, we haven’t yet taken a look at players that become either unrestricted free agents, restricted free agents or exclusive rights free agents yet.

Those players are as follows –

Earl Thomas

Duane Brown

K.J. Wright

Justin Coleman

Tom Johnson

Shamar Stephen

Sebastian Janikowski

Dion Jordan

Neiko Thorpe

D.J. Fluker

Marcus Smith

Mike Davis

Dontae Johnson

Frank Clark

Austin Davis

Mo Alexander

Tyler Lockett

Jason Myers

Jalston Fowler

Isaiah Battle

Branden Jackson

J.D. McKissic

Joey Hunt

Tyler Ott

Quinton Jefferson

Paul Dawson

D.J. Alexander

Willie Beavers

Akeem King

Stpehen Morris

George Fant

DeAndre Elliott

Tre Madden

Tanner McEvoy

Marcus Johnson

Michael Tyson

David Moore

Alex Carter

Cyril Grayson

Noble Nwachukwu

Tyrone Swoopes

That’s 43 guys in total, quite the list. However when you consider that all those are from the 2018 90-man roster, many of those names won’t actually be Seattle free agents in 2019 as they will no longer be on the roster in 2018. However, quite a few names jump out, namely –

Earl Thomas

Duane Brown

K.J. Wright

Justin Coleman

Frank Clark

Tyler Lockett

Many of the below guys could well be in line for an extension, too. Depending how they perform in 2018. In my opinion, names that could fall under that category are –

Sebastian Janikowski

Dion Jordan

D.J. Fluker

J.D. McKissic

George Fant

David Moore

Let’s assume that all 6 of the first group of names get an extension, how may those contracts look?

Earl Thomas – 4 years $50M with an $18M signing bonus

2019 cap hit – $8,500,000

2020 cap hit – $12,500,000

2021 cap hit – $13,500,000

2022 cap hit - $15,500,000

Up yours, Dallas. The guarantees will be key here, I suspect the team would bite the bullet and hope and pray he remains consistent up until at least the 2021 season. Guaranteed money in 2022 would be very likely be $0 so it would free up $11,000,000 in cap space with only $4,500,000 in dead money for 2022.

Duane Brown – 3 years $31.5M with a signing bonus of $9M

2019 cap hit – $8,000,000

2020 cap hit – $11,000,000

2021 cap hit – $12,500,000

Duane gets a slight bump in salary here and will all but surely retire a Seahawk. They will very likely get this contract done this offseason so the above will likely look pretty different, but the 2019 cap hit is the main focus here and that will likely be around the same regardless if it’s a 3 or 4 year deal.

K.J. Wright – 4 year $25M with a signing bonus of $7.5M

2019 cap hit – $4,875,000

2020 cap hit – $5,875,000

2021 cap hit – $5,875,000

2022 cap hit - $8,375,000

I suspect this contract could end up being more than this but I don’t think it’s unrealistic at all. K.J. strikes me as someone that would want to stick around in Seattle for his whole career, and this contract would take him up to age 32/33.

Justin Coleman – 5 year $27.5M with a signing bonus of $9.5M

2019 cap hit – $2,900,000

2020 cap hit – $4,900,000

2021 cap hit – $5,900,000

2022 cap hit - $6,900,000

2023 cap hit - $6,900,000

This may seem a strange one on the surface however Justin Coleman is currently only 25 so a long-term deal does make sense. With nickel becoming used more and more in today’s NFL, it makes sense to lock up your nickel corner long term.

Frank Clark – 5 years $67.5M with a singing bonus of $21M

2019 cap hit – $7,200,000

2020 cap hit – $10,200,000

2021 cap hit – $16,700,000

2022 cap hit - $16,200,000

2023 cap hit - $17,200,000

If Frank has another season in 2018 like last season he is going to get paid. Pass rushers are earning an awful lot of money and this contract could end up being a bit of a bargain. I still think Frank gets extended at the start of the 2018 season, that will likely bring down the overall price but a few million.

Tyler Lockett – 4 year $30M with a signing bonus of $6M

2019 cap hit – $4,500,000

2020 cap hit – $6,500,000

2021 cap hit – $8,500,000

2022 cap hit - $10,500,000

This is a really hard one to project. The wide receiver free agency market is pretty crazy right now but Tyler hasn’t really put the number together to earn a decent second contract yet. However, I expect that to change. Will will get more snaps this season and I expect him to force the team to pay him.

Now those 6 are covered, lets take a step back and see where we are in terms of roster numbers and cap position.

With all the above done, the Seahawks have 47 players on their roster and a total of $43,629,374 in available cap space. That’s looking really, really healthy. Out of the previous Seahawks players, Dion Jordan is the only one that strikes me as a player that could earn mega bucks in 2019, but that is very much dependant on how he plays in 2018. Even if he excels this season, I’d expect him to take a bit of a discount considering what the team has done for him in the past. He seems loyal so I’d imagine a contract that suits both him and the team would be struck.

It is also fair to assume Russ will get extended after the 2018 season but before the 2019 season. Considering his cap hit in 2019 is currently $25,286,766 I wouldn’t expect a huge change to his cap hit that year after an extension. Maybe a few million more, but nothing crazy.

Seattle will have some roster spots available to outside free agents and the cash to spend it, even after handing out some huge contracts to existing players.

For anyone that loves the ‘inner runnings’ of the roster, 2019 is going to be a very exciting year to watch unfold. There will be little time to wish the offseason away and the best news is, John Schneider and company have flexibility to do, pretty much, whatever they please.

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