What the Seahawks have done so far as Day 4 of NFL free agency draws to a close

Thursday marked the fourth day of NFL free agency and what is beginning to be the end of the so-called “first wave” when most of the biggest moves tend to happen.

Here’s a review of what the Seahawks have done so far.

Free agents signed

Seattle has signed/agreed to sign three free agents from other teams — edge rusher Uchenna Nwosu (Chargers), center Austin Blythe (Chiefs) and cornerback Artie Burns (Bears).

Seattle has re-signed four of its own free agents — tight end Will Dissly, cornerback Sidney Jones, defensive tackle Al Woods and safety Quandre Diggs.

By the end of Thursday afternoon, the Seahawks had made all but the Burns and Blythe signings official.

Free agents remaining

Of the 15 players Seattle had who became unrestricted free agents this week, nine remain unsigned — left tackle Duane Brown, running back Rashaad Penny, center Ethan Pocic, defensive end Rasheem Green, right tackle Brandon Shell, quarterback Geno Smith, defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche , running back Alex Collins and tight end Gerald Everett.

A few others became free agents when not tendered qualifying offers this week, notably receiver John Ursua and cornerback Gavin Heslop, center Kyle Fuller and cornerback Bless Austin.

Seattle has lost two free agents — cornerback DJ Reed (Jets) and offensive lineman Jamarco Jones (Titans).

cap space remaining

The Seahawks had $33.6 million in cap space as of Thursday afternoon, via OvertheCap.com. But that did not include one significant contract yet to be processed, that of Diggs, who signed what has been reported as a three-year deal worth up to $40 million.

The big question

Of the remaining free agents, Penny might be as big of a priority as any with the Seahawks facing an uncertain quarterback situation, which would make keeping as much of the running game that thrived at the end of last season as intact as possible an important goal .

But speaking of quarterback, that remains the biggest question for the Seahawks, and the rumblings Thursday that Baker Mayfield wants out of Cleveland and that Seattle might be interested could eclipse all else.

Seattle may not be connected to just Mayfield, though. Reports Thursday night that Deshaun Watson continues to consider waiving his no-trade clause for Atlanta and reports that the Falcons have pushed back a $7.5 million roster bonus for Matt Ryan to Tuesday as Watson makes up his mind, may also spur rumors that Seattle might be interested in Ryan should he become available.

Seattle also remains in pursuit of at least one other significant outside free agent — offensive tackle Trent Brown, who last season played with the Patriots and who was reported to be visiting the Seahawks Thursday.

With both Duane Brown and Shell unsigned, solidifying the offensive tackle spots also stands right at the top of Seattle’s remaining to-do list.

The wild, wild (AFC) West

The big story nationally Thursday was the news that Green Bay is trading star receiver Davante Adams to the Raiders for first- and second-round picks in the 2022 draft.

That continues what has been an explosion of talent heading to the AFC West — that whole Russell Wilson thing right at the top but also including the Chargers trading for Khalil Mack and the Raiders earlier landing edge rusher Chandler Jones.

That’s relevant to the Seahawks in 2022 since the NFC West plays the AFC West next year, with Seattle hosting Denver and the Raiders while playing at the Chiefs and Chargers. And the AFC West is a division that suddenly looks like the best in the NFL (and yep, things are only getting more challenging for Wilson in Denver, as well).

Also Thursday, the Rams added free agent receiver Allen Robinson. The rich in the NFC West only get richer, and Seattle’s schedule only gets tougher.

The big domino effect

Speaking of Adams, he was reported to have agreed to a five-year deal worth $141.25 million with the Raiders, or a whopping $28.25 million per year, making him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL.

That surely caught the attention of Seattle’s DK Metcalf, who is now eligible for a contract extension having played the first three years of his four-year rookie contract.

Metcalf wouldn’t be able to logically command what Adams got. But any time the top of a position market is raised, it tends to raise the rest of the market with it.

The Seahawks have typically waited until late spring or summer to do extensions, preferring to get past free agency and the draft first.

But they might want to get Metcalf on the phone sooner rather than later.

top quote

Nwosu, who signed a two-year deal worth $19.05 million overall and $10,535 million guaranteed, so far ranks as Seattle’s top free agent addition. He’s a 25-year coming off his best NFL season in 2022 with the Chargers and expected to give a significant boost to the team’s pass rush. He had five sacks and 17 quarterback hits last season, the latter of which is two more than any Seahawk had in 2021.

Seattle is expected to use a 3-4 more next year under new defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt. Nwosu thrived in that scheme last year with the Chargers, lined up opposite Joey Bosa. The Chargers’ addition of Khalil Mack helped lead to Nwosu looking elsewhere.

But Nwosu, who played at USC, seemed to allude to Seattle’s plan to go to more of a 3-4 in comments he made to the team’s website, Seahawks.com, after signing his contract Thursday.

“The scheme,” he said of what attracted him to Seattle. “I feel like the best thing for a player is not always the best amount of money, it’s about the scheme, being able to fit in. and I hear the culture here is really good, which fits me. There’s also a lot of ‘SC alumni, which makes it very comfortable for me, and it’s not too far away from home. The city’s great. So I just felt like it was overall the right move.”

And then there was none

On Thursday, Seattle officially announced the release of defensive end Benson Mayowa, a move revealed on Wednesday that saves $1.45 million against the cap (and already accounted for by OTC in the number above).

The release of Mayowa, though, had greater symbolic meaning as he was the last player on the roster who was with the team when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl in 2013.

The longest-tenured Seahawk now is receiver Tyler Lockett, drafted in 2015.

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