The Seahawks start the 2022 offseason

Seahawks helmet lies on the pitch

After the absolutely disappointing season of the Seattle Seahawks and before Super Bowl LVI, we want to start the offseason 2022 and look ahead. The owner and the front office have to make important decisions in the coming weeks and months in order to be able to put a competitive coaching staff and the right team on the field in the 2022 season. Personnel, injuries, finances, game plan - here comes the overview including the outlook.

Free Agents

The good news first: The Seahawks have the most important pillars of their team under contract again in 2022. The bad news is that fans will have to be prepared to see one or two of their favourite players leave Seattle this offseason. S Quandre Diggs has earned his regular place in the secondary with great performances in recent years. But other teams have probably noticed that, which will drive up the price of the free safety considerably. The only question is how much his injury will affect his market value. So the question is: Can the Seahawks afford two expensive safeties next to each other? Both starting tackles will also become free agents, so the question here is how they want to go into the future and who they extend to do so. And then, of course, there are the discussions about possible star departures via trade or cut...

The following 30 Seahawks players will become Over The Cap Free Agents when the new league year begins on March 16, according to Over The Cap:

  • T Duane Brown (UFA)
  • S Quandre Diggs (UFA)
  • TE Gerald Everett (UFA)
  • T Brandon Shell (UFA)
  • C Ethan Pocic (UFA)
  • RB Rashaad Penny (UFA)
  • DT Al Woods (UFA)
  • CB Sydney Jones (UFA)
  • QB Geno Smith (UFA)
  • RB Alex Collins (UFA)
  • DT Robert Nkemdiche (UFA)
  • CB Ryan Neal (ERFA)
  • C Kyle Fuller (RFA)
  • EN Rasheem Green (UFA)
  • CB Blessuan Austin (RFA)
  • G Phil Haynes (RFA)
  • DT Bryan Mone (ERFA)
  • WR Penny Hart (ERFA)
  • WR John Ursua (ERFA)
  • S Tanner Muse (ERFA)
  • CB John Reid (ERFA)
  • TE Will Dissly (UFA)
  • CB D.J. Reed (UFA)
  • T Jamarco Jones (UFA)
  • S Nigel Warrior (ERFA)
  • CB Gavin Heslop (ERFA)
  • DT Marcus Webb (ERFA)
  • LB Jon Rhattigan (ERFA)
  • G Dakoda Shepley (ERFA)
  • RB Adrian Peterson (SFA)

They are divided into Unrestricted, Restricted, Exclusive Rights and Street Free Agents. Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA) can negotiate with other teams without restrictions from the start of the new league year. Players who have Restricted Free Agents (RFA) status can also negotiate with other teams. However, if an RFA has reached an agreement with a new team, the previous team also has the chance to make an offer, offering the RFA the same contract, under the same conditions. In this case, the player is obliged to accept the offer from his previous team. If the offer from the previous team is not as good as the offer from the new team, the previous team will receive a draft pick from the player's new team. The amount of the draft pick is determined by the previous team in the run-up to the free agency phase.

Exclusive Rights Free Agents (ERFA) are players to whom a franchise has special rights. The team can therefore offer them a contract at minimum conditions in order to bind them. Street Free Agents (SFAs), unlike UFAs, can sign with a teamatany time before the start of the new league year once they are no longer under contract. Their old contracts (usually Practice Squad or Injured List) expired when the season ended.

From the Practice Squad of the past season, the Seahawks have already signed several players to a future contract for 2022. These are:

  • DT Myles Adams
  • WR Matt Cole
  • LB Aaron Donkor
  • T Greg Eiland
  • WR Aaron Fuller
  • DT Jarrod Hewitt
  • CB Mike Jackson
  • WR Cade Johnson
  • G Pier-Olivier Lestage
  • WR Cody Thompson
  • LB Lakiem Williams
  • DT Niles Scott

Injuries

  • SS Jamal Adams: Our strong safety was able to play most of the season without any complaints and also showed appealing performances, both in the box and in coverage. The many tackles, pass breakups and, surprisingly, two interceptions speak for themselves. However, week 13 came against the San Francisco 49ers and Adams tore his labrum (so-called glenoid lip in the shoulder) again, which was already affected last season. We have to hope that he recovers completely and that this injury is not permanent.
  • RB Chris Carson: Unfortunately, our first running back did not have a good season. Already in the game in week 4 against the 49ers he injured his neck and couldn't play anymore after that. In week 9 it became clear that he would have to have surgery on his neck and that this procedure would end his season. Whether and how much this procedure will affect him in the future is still completely unclear. Carson's injury misery of the last few years unfortunately continues, so far he has not been able to play in any of his five seasons for the Seahawks. The four games from this season are the negative highlight so far. Let's hope for the best for the future!
  • CB Tre Brown: The patella tendon prevented the dream rookie season of our fourth-round pick from this year's draft. After strong starts in the preseason and even stronger five appearances in the regular season, Brown unfortunately suffered a serious injury and had to have surgery right away. Patellar tendon ruptures are one of the more complex injuries in football, with recovery times of up to half a year. We have to hope that he will have fully recovered by the start of the training camps and will be able to train again without any problems.
  • FS Quandre Diggs: In the last snaps of the season, Diggs dislocated his ankle and broke his fibula. The operation went well and - luck of the draw - it was probably a smooth and therefore not very complicated fracture. According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, he could be back on the field in four months, just in time for the first training camps. Particularly bitter for Diggs: He is going into free agency - a similar situation to that of Earl Thomas.
  • Other injured (no claim to completeness): DB Marquise Blair unfortunately suffered another serious injury early in the season - this time tearing his kneecap. Particularly unfortunate because Blair had actually played a good season so far and had his regular nickel spot. LB Ben Burr-Kirven also suffered a serious injury early on. A torn ACL is not an injury to be trifled with. And so it remains to be seen if Hometownkid BBK can come back fully in 2022. WR John Ursua suffered the same injury - in the same week. Nothing further is known about Ursua's healing process so far either. Hopefully, he can make a full return in 2022. The injuries to LB Bobby Wagner and QB Russell Wilson appear to be less significant going forward. Wagner strained several ligaments in his knee, but they will heal normally. Wilson's injured middle finger looked better by the week. For both, it was simply time for an offseason.

Coaching Staff

More than a week after the end of the season, the first rumours about the Seattle Seahawks' coaching staff emerged: According to insider Corbin Smith (Sports Illustrated) - and this is the most important news - Head Coach Pete Carroll will stay in Seattle. Whether this is the right decision by owner Jody Allen remains to be seen. However, she seems to remain confident in her vice president of football operations even after a bitter season.

Instead, defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. seems to have been hit and will have to leave the Seahawks. For the defence, the season was a rollercoaster of emotions. Although they allowed relatively few points compared to the other teams, they allowed short yardage and kept drives alive. The "bend but don't break" mentality seemed to have been Norton's top maxim and led to adventurous time of possession statistics. That's exactly what wasn't enough. After three years as defensive coordinator (and six years as linebackers coach before that), his chapter in Seattle ends.

On the other side of the ball, the front office seems to have been rather satisfied with the developments of the offence. Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron's ideas for the game flashed through again and again (e.g. games against the Colts, 49ers, Cardinals). On the other hand, our new OC was not able to sustainably improve the construction sites on 3rd down and the creativity in playcalling. He seems to have been given a kind of puppy protection here (also due to the two OC changes in the two years before), which secures his place on the sidelines for now. One thing is clear: a clear improvement in performance must be visible here in 2022.

Among the assistant coaches, (Defensive) Passing Game Coordinator Andre Curtis will have to take his hat off. Originally a secondary coach, Curtis has been on the Seahawks' coaching staff for six years in various positions. Now his position is to be filled. Another name is being bandied about elsewhere at Lumen Field: D-line coach Clint Hurtt seems to be a contender for the now vacant defensive coordinator job. While the Seahawks also want to consider outside candidates, the front office appears to want to promote the four-year assistant DC. Other changes in the assistant coaching ranks are possible, this will largely depend on how the coaching search goes with the other NFL teams. In any case, there are no rumours yet.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, the separation of Ken Norton Jr. and Andre Curtis is official. Rumour has it that Seattle has also asked to interview Ed Donatell, the current DC of the Denver Broncos.

Review and analysis

Around the Super Bowl LIV, the editorial team takes a detailed look at a few topics that were the talk of the Seahawks in the past season. Here is the overview (will be expanded as soon as the texts are available):

Finance

The Seahawks are currently around 56 million US dollars under the salary cap for 2022 - if this is increased to 208 million for the coming league year, as Over The Cap currently forecasts. Seattle would then be in 7th place in the league in purely financial terms, but that is also sorely needed with the extensions that are pending.

Fortunately, the contracts of S Jamal Adams and P Michael Dickson have already been extended and are not up for renewal this year. But especially the extensions in the secondary (S Quandre Diggs and CB DJ Reed, possibly also CB Sydney Jones) and in the O-line (T Duane Brown and T Brandon Shell) will be expensive and the question arises who actually earned what money from this list.

With a view to the 2021 season, it is also urgently necessary to strengthen the squad in terms of width and depth. A new centre is desperately sought and the third wide receiver is not yet ideally filled. There are also gaps to be filled on the defence side. Especially in the rotation of the D-line, at linebacker (regardless of all considerations, Bobby Wagner is not getting any younger...) and at cornerback, there are still gaps open.

Over the offseason, we will probably be haunted by the following two rumours that already emerged at the end of the regular season: Russell Wilson will leave the Seahawks via trade and/or Bobby Wagner will be cut. The former is mainly due to the discussions from the previous offseason, the latter is due to the age of our star LB. Wagner's performances have continued to be good, but not as top-notch as they have been in recent years. He is trending downwards rather than upwards and the contract is very expensive at around 20 million dollars. A cut could save over 16 million. That has to be at least worth thinking about.

It is also worth taking a look at the rather expensive contract of K Jason Myers, who could save around 4 million dollars in the event of a cut. The performances this season were simply too weak and you can always get a halfway solid veteran kicker at the minimum.

NFL Draft 2022

After a disappointing regular season, it's clear that the Seahawks would be picking 10th in the 2022 NFL Draft if they hadn't given their first-round pick in the trade for Jamal Adams to the New York Jets. As it is, however, the situation isn't particularly pleasant, as such a high pick (quite unique in recent years after all) would have given them the opportunity for super support from the start of the upcoming season. The pick in round six was also given to the Jaguars (trade for Sydney Jones).

So we have a total of six picks available in the upcoming draft:

  • Round 2, #9: Seattle
  • Round 3, #8: Seattle
  • Round 4, #4: Seattle, via New York Jets (part of Adams deal).
  • Round 4, #11: Seattle
  • Round 5, #10: Seattle
  • Round 7, #8: Seattle

Compensatory picks for the 2022 NFL Draft will not be released until early March, as usual, so the final draft order has not yet been determined and we only know which picks we will have in which round.

Season 2022

Let's now look ahead. These are the opponents in the coming season:

At home in Lumen Field, the Seahawks will host the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders*, New York Giants, New York Jets and NFC West rivals. Away from home, Seattle will play the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers*, Kansas City Chiefs*, Los Angeles Chargers, Detroit Lions and, as always, NFC West teams in 2021.

The final fixture list is usually published in mid-May and then promptly posted here on the website. After the 17th game in the past season was the away game at the Steelers, we have one more home game this year.

*Playoff teams 2021

Timetable

Finally, here is a plan with all the important dates for the 2022 season:

  • 22 February to 8 March 2022: Franchise Day Phase
  • 14 to 16 March 2022: Negotiations with Unrestricted Free Agents
  • 16 March 2022: All contracts expire; free agency, trade phase and the new league year begin at 9 p.m. German time
  • Mid-May 2022: Announcement of match schedule
  • 18 April 2022: Start of offseason training activities
  • 28 - 30 April 2022: NFL Draft
  • July/August 2022: Training Camp
  • 4 August 2022: Preseason kicks off with Hall of Fame Game
  • 3 September 2022: Final Roster Cuts to 53 Players by 10pm German Time
  • 4 September 2022: Appointment Practice Squad (10 players)
  • 8 September 2022: Kick-off of the Regular Season
  • 7 January 2023: Kick-off of the playoffs
  • 12 February 2023: Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

Y'all hyped and stuff 'bout dem Seahawks?