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How much cap space do the Seahawks have and how might they use it?

Under the management of John Schneider, the Seahawks have pretty much always been ‘close to the bone’ with regards to their salary cap figures. They seem to maximize their allotted amounts and rarely have ‘ample’ amounts of free cash to spend. As I am sure you can appreciate and are fully aware of, John and company don’t tend to hand out contracts for the sake of it nor do they tend to overpay. Of course there’s situations where they did end up overpaying (Eddie Lacy I’m looking at you) but you must appreciate every team hands out bad contracts, it’s all part of the puzzle and signing any player, be it an in-house extension, a draft selection or an outside free agent, there’s risk. Nobody knows for sure if said player is going to live up to the aforementioned contract, that’s the primitive reason I don’t go too hard on John Schneider when players don’t work out. He, like us, doesn’t have a crystal ball. All he has is a bunch of stats, a bunch of opinions and a gut feeling. God forbid he ever be wrong… It does work both ways, though, as I am sure you’ll appreciate.

So… As it stands Seattle has, in total, the grand sum of $12,713,568 to spend.

It can be quite tricky to get a true understanding of the Seahawks salary cap as just about every single website gives off different amounts. Here’s some examples,

(at the time of writing this, the following websites have the Seahawks with the following amounts of available space)

OverTheCap - $14,013,540

Spotrac - $12,819,554

Thefranchiseok - $18,269,645

Hawk-Talk - $12,713,568

Pretty confusing, right? How can 4 websites that keep a track of the salary cap all have differing sums? Let me be the right to say the salary cap, when ‘delving in deep’ is very, very detailed.

There are so many little intricate rules that change the figures. Having to account for the previous years ‘Not Likely to be Earned’ incentives, accounting for offseason workouts (players earn $215 a day for workouts this offseason), the ‘minimum salary benefit’ rule etc. the list really does go on and on but I won’t bore you with the intricacies, I’m merely explaining that it should be no surprise that most sites come up with different amounts.

I keep a very close eye on player contracts and roster moves and in an ideal world, I update my spreadsheet immediately to come up with a true sum however sometimes life gets in the way, I always update my spreadsheet locally but it sometimes takes me a day or so to update the Hawk-Talk website to reflect these changes, I still have Stephen Morris listed as a prime example.

However, it is reassuring to know that my total adds up, to the same single dollar as the NFLPA website. I must stress I am not knocking OTC and the other guys, they keep a track of all 32 teams, not just one so it’s unfair to expect pin point accuracy league wide, but I think it is fair to expect pinpoint accuracy from a dedicated Seahawks website which is why I take great pride in keeping a track and informing you fine folks.

As I said, the true cap amount for the Seahawks, as of right now, is $12,713,568. So what could they do with that money?

Firstly, they will need to account for the transition from the offseason cap structure to the ‘in-season’ cap structure. That includes the following –

Adding the bottom 2 player contracts to the calculator, which will be $1,260,000

Accounting for the practice squad which will be $1,300,000

Accounting for mid-season injury signings – (approximately) $1,500,000

That puts them down to a more realistic amount of $8,653,568 however that doesn’t account for players that will be cut when rosters are moved down from 90 men to 53. A prime example is Jon Ryan is almost certainly gone, saving a decent chunk off the cap so although I say that $8,653,568 is realistic, it is only realistic until we understand who does and doesn’t make the final roster. My realistic opinion is that the number will actually be higher than that when it’s all said and done, assuming the team doesn’t make any ‘splashy’ signings at least. This is purely down to Seattle getting younger and choosing cheaper, younger and hungrier guys over older players. By nature of minimum salaries, older players are always more expensive so replacing them with younger guys will have a positive impact on available cap space.

So back to the original question – Why will they do with that money? One word.


Sure, there will almost certainly be some more free agency additions but they will likely be for relatively low amounts, the bulk of that will be going on extensions in my humble opinion, with two names likely pencilled in on John Schneider’s notebook.

Duane Brown and Frank Clark.

Ever since Brown became a Seahawk this front office has been saying they’d like to get an extension done this offseason, I’d say I am 100% certain exactly that will happen.

Frank Clark is a harder one to gauge, the team has more options with him, they could extend him during training camp, during preseason, during the regular season or next offseason. When (not if) they do pull the trigger will be key for Frank, doing it too early may bring unnecessary risks but doing it too late may cause the price to rise considerably. We will see. My best guess right now is Frank gets extended early to mid-season. I suspect he will be travelling to London for the week 6 match up against the Oakland Raiders a very rich man.

Duane, though, will almost certainly get done way before that. Likely before the third or fourth preseason game. Doing it too early is risky and unnecessary, you don’t want to give him an extension then see him go down to a season ending injury in camp, the team likely won’t risk that. But they also won’t risk upsetting him by doing it too early.

I’d say Duane Brown will be Johns number one priority in the next couple of weeks. I will be doing a more in-depth article specifically relating to Duane Brown shortly, keep an eye out!

If you have any salary cap queries or questions, please do just ask. I am always more than happy to discuss it and no question will be deemed ‘silly’, I promise.

Go Hawks!

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