Robert Woods released: Seahawks would be a fit for former Rams, Titans WR
In the JuJu Smith-Schuster mold, Woods and Seattle make sense, if the dollars are right: Seaside Joe 1451
When exploring the best free agent acquisitions each year, make sure not to forget the afterthoughts. They’re often topping lists over their first-wave counterparts a year later. Just ask Geno Smith.
The Kansas City Chiefs traded marquee receiver Tyreek Hill and sign JuJu Smith-Schuster for only $3.7 million. Though the two receivers won’t be confused for one another, JuJu’s production at 78 catches for 933 yards was adequate as the Chiefs’ top wide receiver en route to a Super Bowl win and his role as a $3.7 million weapon for Patrick Mahomes helped ease salary cap strain for Kansas City in other areas of need.
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Among other veteran receivers who made $5 million or less in 2022 were Marquez Valdes-Scantling (122 yards, 2 TD for K.C. in playoffs), Zay Jones to the Jaguars (82 catches, 823 yards), Randall Cobb to the Packers (only 417 yards but apparently he kept Aaron Rodgers from fleeing dimensions), Jakobi Meyers on the Patriots (67 catches, 804 yards), Mack Hollins on the Raiders (57 catches, 690 yards), Josh Reynolds on the Lions (38 catches, 479 yards), and way way down the list of receiver salaries at $1 million: Marquise Goodwin on the Seattle Seahawks.
For less than the cost of longsnapper Tyler Ott ($1.16 million), Goodwin provided Seattle with 27 catches for 387 yards and four touchdowns over 13 games. He was a nice veteran addition whose 420 snaps far outpaced Dee Eskridge (168), Laquon Treadwell (138), Dareke Young (109), Cade Johnson (56), and Penny Hart (34) in playing time behind the top two wideouts.
After the Seahawks have already agreed to deals with Nick Bellore and Phil Haynes, so too could they be talking to Goodwin’s agent already about running it back with the 32-year-old track star. But after the Tennessee Titans released Robert Woods on Wednesday to free up cap space, Goodwin’s not the only option for a veteran number three option who has experience with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and won’t cost much against the 2023 salary cap.
Hell, he’s even saying he’ll play for free! (No, that’s not what he meant.)
Some of you may be asking, “Wow, Seaside Joe is always talking about Tyler Lockett’s clock is ticking and that the NFL is eradicating receivers over 30, but now he’s bringing up Robert Woods?”
Yes, I’m bringing up Robert Woods. As a $2 million option with a $500,000 signing bonus.
Not as a $24 million player.
The NFL is eradicating over-30 receivers—no, correction….They HAVE eradicated the over-30 receivers…at a certain price point. Don’t take my word for it, come back here and leave a comment telling me which receivers over the age of 29 have had significant impacts & significant salaries on their teams in the last five years.
But as noted previously with some of the value additions like Smith-Schuster, Jones, and Hollins, a wide receiver who can fill a job as a role player, run block, and who you don’t have to spend any more time teaching anything to is something of value to NFL teams. Especially when those teams—such as the current Seahawks—have limited cap space and a concerning lack of depth.
Even when we get to “cautionary tales” like Julio Jones or Jarvis Landry, two veteran receivers who proved to have nothing left in their tanks in 2022, they only cost those teams $2-$3 million. As a whole, this group of veteran super-saver receivers had more reward than risk, even if the reward is no longer getting the next Jerry Rice or Larry Fitzgeralds.
Sorry Seinfeld fans, no more Jerrys and Larrys.
Coming off of a torn ACL in the middle of the 2021 season, Woods was traded to the Titans and played a full 17-game campaign (good) but only had 53 catches for 527 yards and two touchdowns on 91 targets. But in his previous five seasons of working with Sean McVay on the L.A. Rams, Woods averaged 68 receiving yards per game and 8.4 yards per target, adding in a ground element: With all of McVay’s pre-snap motion and end arounds, Woods averaged 142 rushing yards per season from 2018-2020.
It’s an element of the McVay offense that didn’t come with Waldron when he was hired in 2021, but another missing piece could be Woods as a run blocker: Prior to his injury, he was considered by some as the best in the NFL at his position.
Instead of thinking of Robert Woods as the “Robert Woods” that you remember from 2017-2021 (in his last game against the Seahawks, Woods had 12 catches for 150 yards), picture him for what he is today. A soon-to-be 31-year-old number three wideout who run blocks and conservatively if all goes to plan, plays 700 snaps for at most $3 million.
Haynes just got $4 million guaranteed.
Whether Woods could get more than that and would have a bidding war is unclear, but his age, lack of production, and specialization in perhaps one type of offense could limit his suitors to only a few teams. One of those teams should be Seattle and all the Seahawks have to do if he does have a higher asking price than I assume is say, “No.”
But I have a feeling that most Seattle Seahawks fans are hoping that the two sides can say, “Yes.”
You tell me:
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I voted "NO" because I don't see Woods as that much better than Goodwin, Dareke will have an increased role, and I expect us to draft a WR in our top six picks. However, when I consider Lockett's potential for injury and his untradeable/uncutable contract, in would be nice to have Woods as an insurance policy. I guess if it's Woods or Goodwin, I'd go for Woods afterall.
Goodwin was fun to watch but Woods is better at the dirty work and it would have to be one or the other. Tough decision if it has to be made. I would probably hold off until after the draft on either guy just to see how things shake out. If they end up drafting a speed guy at WR then you go after Woods (might still be available after the draft) and if you go after a more physical WR then you run it back with Goodwin. I like Jadon Haselwood as a day 3 pick that is a Robert Woods type player. He loves the dirty work and if you sleep on him your toast. Arkansas used him constantly as a motion man and can handle backfield duty in a pinch or wildcat.