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Seahawks extend Uchenna Nwosu on training camp eve!
Now we know how Seattle finds money to sign Devon Witherspoon and Zach Charbonnet
The Seattle Seahawks are signing edge rusher Uchenna Nwosu to a three-year, $59 million contract extension on the day before players report to 2023 training camp, according to Adam Schefter. The deal includes $32 million guaranteed and makes a lot of sense for the Seahawks right now because Seattle needed to create cap space to field a full team this year.
First round pick Devon Witherspoon and second round pick Zach Charbonnet are two of the last three players in the entire NFL to remain unsigned, with the third being Joey Porter, Jr. of the Steelers. Expect announcements on Witherspoon and Charbonnet in the next 24 hours.
For those of you subscribed to Seaside Joe all offseason, you know that I’ve been waiting for this moment for months and I’ve expected it to happen this year for three simple reasons:
1) It brings down the Seahawks 2023 cap commitments and Seattle was out of money with few other options
2) Nwosu deserves it, he is clearly Seattle’s best known commodity at one of football’s most important positions
3) It’s a good faith move to show other free agents in the future that “The Seahawks will pay out a ‘prove-it’ two-year contract if the player actually goes out and proves it”
Nwosu is by no means in the top tier of edge rushers, but the 26-year-old finished with career-highs: 9.5 sacks, 66 tackles, 26 QB hits, three forced fumbles, and 904 snaps in 17 starts. He also opened up opportunities for Darrell Taylor, who went on a sack rampage in the second half of the season.
Pete Carroll has always given out short-term contracts that came with nice bumps in year two and an expectation that Seattle would not let the player reach free agency without a reward if he out-played his deal. One example would be Cliff Avril, who signed a two-year deal in 2013, helped the Seahawks win the Super Bowl, and was given an extension the following December.
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When I mentioned a potential Nwosu extension all the way back in March, I said he was at least as good as Leonard Floyd, who had a four-year, $64 million deal with the L.A. Rams prior to being released this offseason. Nwosu has done much better than that.
When I polled Seasiders in June about a Nwosu extension, and asked if Seattle should give him a three-year, $45 million deal, 68% of respondents voted “Yes”. That was a proposal of $15 million per season, this is a deal worth $19.6 million per season, which ranked eighth in the NFL…right under Von Miller and over $2 million more than Cam Jordan and Harold Landry.
Update: The contract should have a base value of three years and $45 million, so it’s right in line with the June estimate. That’s not mine though, I was using a projection by PFF’s Brad Spielberger. Nice work, Brad.
However, $32 million guaranteed is an interesting add-on and more contract details will be needed; Miller has $51.4 million total guaranteed and $45 million fully guaranteed, while Jordan has $42.7 million total guaranteed.
At $32 million, I suspect that Nwosu is locked in through 2025 and the ultimate average could come down closer to $18 million. It’s not a huge distinction, but puts him on par with Dre’Mont Jones as far as Seahawks contracts to front-seven players this year.
The most important number right now is 2023 cap space: The Seahawks should be able to bring down Nwosu’s cap hit and create enough room to sign Witherspoon and Charbonnet without having to make any tough decisions with Bryan Mone or Jamal Adams or anyone else.
I was expecting a number between $15-$17 million per season and this one goes above that. So I’ll ask again if this is a contract that makes you happy with Seattle players reporting to training camp—almost certainly including the rookies—on Tuesday.