Discover more from Seaside Joe
Seahawks fans grade Seattle's first wave free agent class
A look at each of the new contracts, as well as who is gone and who could still return: Seaside Joe 1477
The Seattle Seahawks are spending money in free agency like it’s 2001, so go watch Training Day and listen to Gorillaz, because that’s apparently this year’s ambience.
We’ve been preparing for free agency at Seaside Joe for months, we’ve been surprised—sometimes because the Seahawks did what we didn’t think they would (like spend money on the defense) and sometimes because the Seahawks actually did do what they thought they should (like get Geno Smith on a discount)—and we’ve also gotten a lot of what we expected. Like cutting certain players to save cap space and letting others walk so that Seattle could address problems on one of the worst defenses in the NFL.
There’s an important question left lingering: Are the Seahawks markedly better right now than they were at the end of the 2022 season? And what would that improvement actually lead to with regards to next season’s playoffs, if we had to assume that the Seahawks would get very little help from the incoming rookie class?
That’s a question for another day. These, however, are questions for you on this Saturday: Some polls on some of the key contracts that John Schneider has given out in 2023, as well as some of the ones he hasn’t. I’ll go over the answers next week.
So GET SUBSCRIBED to Seaside Joe. It’ll be the best decision of your Seahawks life.
Seaside Joe is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
QB Geno Smith
Contract: 3 years, $75 million, worth up to $105 million
The details of Geno’s contract are unlike anything we’ve seen before and it kind of goes back to a couple of articles I wrote at the end of the season: The NFL needs to create a new salary tier for QBs like Geno and Daniel Jones, as well as “A Geno Smith contract proposal that actually makes sense” which was based in options and incentives more than AAV.
I am not surprised that the contract is similar to Derek Carr’s 2022 extension with the Raiders; I am surprised that the NFL actually did create a new tier with QBs like Geno, Carr, and Jimmy Garoppolo. We did it!
Geno got $27.3 million guaranteed at signing and if the Seahawks decide they want to keep him in 2024, it will cost a $12.7 million base salary+$9.6 million roster bonus with a cap number at $31.2 million. If Geno plays well through 2024, I would not expect him to ever play on the third year of the contract: The Seahawks would probably extend him rather than play out his 2025 contract year, which has a cap hit of $33.7 million.
That being said, the Vikings seem to be letting Kirk Cousins’ play out the final year of his deal in 2023 so it could happen.
The Geno contract gives the Seahawks continuity at the position at a cap hit of only $10.1 million with nothing tying them to Geno past 2023 unless they decide to go in that direction.
I will keep the voting up for THREE days.
QB Drew Lock
Contract: $4 million base, up to $7.5 million with incentives
The most important number on Lock’s contract will be his guaranteed money. Last year, the Seahawks gave Geno a similar deal but it only had $500,000 guaranteed. Seattle could have cut Geno before the season and only owed $0.5 million against the 2022 salary cap.
Did the Seahawks give Lock a guaranteed base salary? That’s the question. If it’s guaranteed, then it would be hard to see Seattle going into the season without Lock as the backup. John Schneider and Pete Carroll have emphasized since the Russell Wilson trade that they see Lock as a “good prospect”, not simply as a failed starter who is now a permanent backup.
Perception is a funny thing; Lock’s contract is basically the same as the one that Baker Mayfield just signed with the Buccaneers. Why should fans dismiss Lock’s deal as simply a “camp body” whereas Baker’s been streamlined to become Tampa Bay’s 2023 starter? I think Pete and John would be happy to find out if several years of development with Lock could work out as well as it did with Geno—which doesn’t mean the Seahawks will take QBs off the board in the 2023 draft.
What’s better than developing one QB? Developing two QBs.
We won’t grade the Lock contract this time, we need a few more details.
DT Dre’Mont Jones
Contract: 3 years, $51 million, $23 million fully guaranteed
The Seahawks went “off-structure” in signing Dre’Mont Jones at the onset of free agency for a deal that comes to $17 million per season, if he plays it out. At worst, Jones will make $23 million for one season. Most likely, Jones will at least play two years for about $34 million—$3 million base salary in 2023, $11 million base salary in 2024, and a $20 million signing bonus.
The deal puts Jones right on the fringes of a top-10 contract for his position, while his $10 million cap hit for 2023 puts him around the 20th-highest paid.
I don’t think that it is a reach to say that Jones is the best “interior” pass rusher that Pete Carroll has had since Michael Bennett, with of course the caveat that positions are a fluid thing. Still, it seems Jones was paid a bit more for what the Seahawks want him to become more so than what he’s consistently done in the NFL thus far.
DE Jarran Reed
Contract: 2 years, $??
If we have the details and dollar amount, I haven’t seen them yet and I apologize. I will update if you have an update for me!
The Seahawks are essentially replacing Shelby Harris and Quinton Jefferson with Jones and Reed. Rather than a poll, just let me know in the comments: Do you think that Jones, Reed is a significant upgrade from Harris, Jefferson, and Poona Ford?
I’m looking to the draft for when the Seahawks will get an official roster replacement for Ford and yes, I think it could be “that overweight guy in trouble” with the number five pick. Controversy!
LB Devin Bush
Contract: 1 year, $??
We haven’t the details, but it’s probably not an expensive contract with many guarantees. I do see the Seahawks addressing linebacker in the draft.
I would like to make a joke about Bush’s beanie, but I’m afraid this tweet beat me to the best one:
C Evan Brown
Contract: 1 year, $2.25 million
Essentially, Brown gets a one-year “prove it” deal and he is well-positioned to get an extension, if he does prove it. The contract appears to have $1 million guaranteed, certainly leaving the Seahawks open to draft a center who wins the job and pushes Brown to a reserve utility role, which would also be quite valuable to Seattle right now. Brown plays center and guard, with the preferred position being center.
DB Julian Love
Contract: 2 years, $12 million
While the Seahawks seem to be keeping many of their contract details hidden for as long as possible, we’ve always known what Love got paid. Isn’t that a little weird, to say the least? Or maybe it’s just a vote of confidence in Love.
Another safety who got a two-year, $12 million deal was Marcus Epps, who went from the Eagles to the Raiders. It’s low-tier starter money, but it is kind of “starter” money nonetheless. Love should give Seattle options at safety and cornerback, potentially pushing Jamal Adams into more of a linebacker role.
What I don’t see it doing is hedging the Seahawks into a situation where they release Adams. The only reason that Seattle would release Adams is if they flat out felt his career was over and not just because there are always fans who get tired of seeing him on the roster without playing. And I can’t rule out that the team has lost some hope that Adams will be an impact player, so I’m not going to do that either. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team pick a safety on day two even with this many players, including Ryan Neal, set to be on the roster.
I’m going to make this poll question a little different. Rule of thumb: Don’t worry about trying to get poll questions “right”. There is no right answer, it’s just sharing your gut feelings.
Why Seaside Joe?
If this is your first time at Seaside Joe, or you haven’t subscribed yet, please consider joining the Seasiders! Here are some reasons why it’s a good investment, whether that’s for free or at $5 per month!
Thursday and Friday were two of our three biggest days of all-time in page views! And basically 12 of our biggest days yet have come in the last month, which means that Seaside Joe—as we expected—is catching on. We’re climbing towards 1,800 total subscribers and we blew past 400 paid subscribers this week. It would be great to be at 2,000 and 450 by the 2023 NFL Draft, so please share with Seahawks fans and hit subscribe!
Join the community and always feel free to share your thoughts on the Seahawks—I know from reading your comments that Seaside Joe is much more welcoming community than some other blogs (particularly ones that start with “Seahawks Draft”) out there and we strive to keep it that way.
Seahawks free agents yet to be signed
DE Poona Ford
LB Bruce Irvin
WR Marquise Goodwin
DE L.J. Collier
DE Darryl Johnson
LS Tyler Ott
LB Tanner Muse
KR Godwin Igwebuike
WR Penny Hart
C Kyle Fuller
The Seahawks let Muse and Igwebuike hit unrestricted free agency rather than offer them tenders, but the expectation is that Seattle wants to keep them. Just on contracts that aren’t as expensive. I expect that to happen. The Seahawks may also choose to keep Irvin, Goodwin, Collier, Johnson, and Ott once free agency cools down some more. Irvin could be a free agent all the way until September, so what’s the rush?
As far as Poona Ford, I don’t see the team bringing him back. The Seahawks are clearly rebuilding the line from what it was in 2022, so why would that include paying Poona again and taking reps away from a fresh start?
Seahawks FAs who have left
LB Cody Barton
RB Travis Homer
RB Rashaad Penny
We didn’t expect these players to return, but the one who I thought might have the greatest odds was Penny. I think the Eagles are getting an upgrade from Miles Sanders, with the caveat that of course he must stay healthy. Homer was a special teams player, first and foremost. Barton had to be replaced.
Which free agent loss do you think hurts the most?
Thank you to the newest members of the Regular Joes club! I’m grateful for your support and the support of all Seasiders. New signups in the last two days alone is a long list: Seasiders Don and Dennis! Thank you both for joining the Founding Members club! In the future, I will have definitely create some additional content for that club! Thank you Seasider Craig, good to see you buddy! Seasiders Mark, Kirk, and Lakehouse! Welcome! Seasider Barbara—I’ll only call you Seasider Barb if you like the shortened version! And thank you to Alaska and James! Great state, great name of a guy who fought a peach!