How much in dead money do the Seahawks owe in 2022?
Seaside Joe 1180: Who will Seattle retain past next season?
Have you ever heard anyone point out that the Seahawks are paying Rashaad Penny a $5.8 million cap hit in 2022? Or that they have a $6.1 million cap hit on Chris Carson, if they don’t release him, with $3 million in dead money left over if they do? Or that Jason Myers will cost $5 million if retained for the 2022 season?
People can be very choosy with what facts they decide to highlight as opposed to adjacent facts that they either ignore or remain unaware of.
A difference of $1-$3 million in paying a running back or a kicker can be isolated as a “big deal” or a sign of some incompetence by Pete Carroll. If those numbers are bothersome, surely Seattle’s list of dead money cap hits would be just as irksome.
The Seahawks carry $44.6 million in dead money for 2022, ranked as the fourth-most in the NFL behind the Falcons ($63.1), Bears ($52.8), and Texans ($52.2). It’s not encouraging to be lumped in any category with those three teams at the moment.
Atlanta is eating $40 million in dead money on Matt Ryan and all they got in trade return was one third round pick. Chicago has $24 million on Khalil Mack, $7.6 million on Nick Foles, $5 million on Eddie Goldman and $5 million on Andy Dalton. Houston is paying Deshaun Watson $16.2 million to not be there, followed by $12.8 million to linebacker Zach Cunningham.
By comparison, Seattle’s $44.6 million dead money hit is $8 million less than the Bears and Texans, and also the hits for any player other than Russell Wilson are fairly edible.
Wilson’s dead money hit is $26 million, which is more than the entire 2022 dead money hits for all but six other teams in the league. But the Seahawks are only paying out $18 million spread over 10 other players, and that total on its own would sit in the middle of the league.
Some of the players are even still on Seattle’s roster: Quandre Diggs and Phil Haynes.
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The Seahawks are paying out a little more than $7 million combined to Bobby Wagner and Duane Brown (for clarification, Seattle isn’t “paying out” anything anymore, these are just the leftover prorated signing bonus cap hits that the Seahawks will be held accountable for), which is more than the combined salary cap hits of Penny, DeeJay Dallas, and Ken Walker III.
The Seahawks are off the hook to Wilson and every other player on this list by 2023, with the only scheduled dead money hit to be a $4.2 million cap hit for Carlos Dunlap.
Hence, Seattle is set to have between $60 and $70 million in salary cap space, top-three in the NFL next to the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots.
Which players will the Seahawks be targeting for extensions between now and free agency next year? DK Metcalf tops a list that mostly includes players who are hoping to cash-in on their one-year opportunities next season: Sidney Jones, Poona Ford, Rashaad Penny, Austin Blythe, Marquise Blair, Ryan Neal, Cody Barton, and Phil Haynes.
Geno Smith and Drew Lock will also be free agents in 2023. Earning a long-term contract in 2023 would be surprising, but if that happens, Seattle has the cap room to do it.
Who do you expect to get another season with the Seahawks after 2022? Let me know in the comments. There were a ton of great comments in Saturday’s post about September’s schedule.