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Seahawks fans grade free agency: Dre'Mont Jones signing draws split reaction
What fans say about Geno Smith, Jamal Adams, and Poona Ford: Seaside Joe 1481
Spending money is nothing new to the Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll and John Schneider twice made Russell Wilson one of the highest-paid players in NFL history (at those times). They have the two richest safeties in the NFL. They’ve “set the market” with contracts for players like Bobby Wagner, Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, and Kam Chancellor.
There is no aversion in Seattle to paying players—teams have to spend money on players, it’s in the dang rules!—the Seahawks only have an aversion to paying free agents.
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I believe the reasoning behind this is simple: Great players stay where they get drafted OR they get traded, good and/or replaceable players hit free agency. The Seahawks have sometimes wanted to take great players off of other rosters, such as Percy Harvin, Jamal Adams, Jimmy Graham, Jadeveon Clowney, Sheldon Richardson, Duane Brown, or Quandre Diggs. In all cases, it has come through a trade because players like this do not tend to hit free agency.
Diggs is maybe the only one who really could have, but there were likely other teams ready to trade for all of these players when Seattle did it. In most cases, the Seahawks then paid him as handsomly as they would if they were free agents.
Pete and John tend to like available players who are 26 or younger. This takes a lot of free agents off of their board. The Seahawks rarely have early draft picks, so finding disgruntled players on the trade market is sometimes their only opportunity to add talent worthy of a first round pick. Perhaps part of the reason that so few of these trades have worked out is that word: “Disgruntled”
That could have played a part in Seattle’s off-brand decision to get involved with the first week of free agency, as Pete and John attempt to plug holes on one of the NFL’s worst defenses. The Seahawks have not made any trades yet. They have four of the top-52 picks in the draft. They’re looking at all of their options, including a top-five quarterback.
They have also made one of the most underrated moves of the offseason (same player as last year’s most underrated move) and avoided adding another disgruntled talented by keeping one of the most gruntled quarterbacks in the NFL: Geno Smith.
And yes, I looked it up: Despite how it sounds so negative, “gruntled” means to be pleased, satisfied, and contented. I asked Seahawks fans to answer five free agency poll questions over the weekend and 99% of you are no less than pleased, satisfied, and contented with Geno’s new three-year, $75 million contract.
Now that’s what I call Gruntled
With only a $10.1 million cap hit in 2023 and an easy out for the Seahawks in 2024 that keeps their options open if they want to draft a quarterback next month, 89% of Seasiders voted that the Geno contract gets an “A”. Another 10% voted “B” and the poll doesn’t even show me who voted for anything else.
Who cares? This is a landslide.
But the results on Seattle’s biggest outside free agent splash in years—the left turn that few predicted (although I did get a little lucky in this January article)—had closer to a split decision among the Seahawks fanbase.
The Seahawks gave former Broncos defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones a three-year, $51 million deal that at the moment makes him the 10th-highest paid player in the NFL at his position. As I mentioned earlier, Jones ticks the boxes because he’s 26 and though he wasn’t a first round pick, he’s been playing like one. As I suspected when the contract was announced, Seattle tried to trade for Jones in the Russell Wilson deal, which could have made Dre’Mont Jones just another talent who the Seahawks traded for instead of adding in free agency.
Perhaps if Jones had played last season with Seattle and proven himself to fans, the grades on his contract would be slightly more positive. As it is, 49% of you voted that the deal is a “B” grade, with 47% more than gruntled as an “A” grade:
Substack also gives 5% to a “C” grade and why that adds up to 101%—I don’t know. I’m not very gruntled about it!
Another position that you all wanted the Seahawks to hit in free agency, whether Austin Blythe returned, retired, or retreated, was center and Seattle complied by getting one of the best value picks on the market. He’s not Garrett Bradbury, but Evan Brown’s one-year, $2.25 million contract could end up as a steal.
Still, 80% of you want the Seahawks to draft a center anyway and I’m assuming you want one on day two.
Nobody felt that the Seahawks should have done more in free agency to add a center—it seems you are more fans of the development route with the position.
Anyone have the number for Anthony Richardson’s center at Florida?
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Another interesting move by Pete and John was signing the leading tackler off of the New York Giants defense by giving Julian Love a two-year, $12 million contract. Pete has always been a big fan of versatility and that’s makes Love both an intriguing signing and an enigma.
Where he plays on defense could depend entirely on the draft and the rehab of Jamal Adams. Though most of us have never watched Love play (maybe you’ve turned on a Giants game here and there, but how often have you watched Julian Love?) we also haven’t seen Adams play except for 15 snaps in the last 15 months.
Therefore, 74% of you believe that Love will play more snaps than Adams for the Seahawks in 2023:
Tell me in the comments (this is the best community on Substack, we can tell by how much more engaging you all are than almost any other newsletter community) whether that’s because you believe Adams will start on PUP, end on IR, or not play a single down for the Seahawks ever again:
Finally, the Seahawks do not have much cap space left until they make another move. After recently cutting Al Woods, that opened up a bit more space. There are more moves available to them—Pete was open about the fact that he thought this year’s tight end class in the draft was exceptional at the combine and trading Noah Fant saves almost $7 million if they find a taker—but whether Seattle is settled or not is unclear.
That doesn’t mean that they couldn’t afford to bring back one or two of their former restricted free agents and 43% of you want that player to be Godwin Igwebuike:
Marquise Goodwin is meeting with the Browns on Wednesday. There’s been no word on Godwin though. He’s a return specialist, period. Not a running back. Perhaps the team wants to remain open for a return specialist who can also play offense or defense?
Poona Ford, who some wanted to see extended for more money last year, remains a free agent.
Certainly, Poona is not a bad player. He’s an NFL player, at least. Why unsigned? Perhaps for the same reason that Poona wasn’t drafted, if teams are skeptical about his size and he’s asking to be paid like a starter. The Seahawks were the only team willing to do that when they gave him an extension in 2021, but then they also had an abysmal run defense.
Even if Poona has had too high of an asking price and brings it down, whether Seattle wants to actually keep him—after parting with nearly the entire defensive line already—is another question. It doesn’t seem they do.
But there’s a little more free agency left to go.