Fann Mail: A possible explanation why Seahawks didn’t restructure Russell Wilson’s contract

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Joe Fann
·5 min read
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Fann Mail: A possible explanation why Seahawks didn’t restructure Wilson’s contract originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

We’re just two days away from the 2021 NFL Draft. While there is plenty of intrigue surrounding the three-day event, particularly as it pertains to which quarterback the 49ers select at No. 3, this weekend figures to be a quiet one for the Seahawks.

You know by now that Seattle has just three picks this year: a second-rounder, a fourth-rounder and a seventh-rounder. This week’s mailbag covers the top storylines facing the Seahawks. Thanks, as always, to those who asked questions.

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This is a fair topic to wonder about. It might not mean much that the Seahawks didn’t restructure Russell Wilson or Bobby Wagner. Seattle may have viewed that as a last resort. Clearly John Schneider preferred to use void years on new contracts rather than restructuring these two in order to create immediate cap space.

The Seahawks were able to have a busy and productive offseason without having to do so. It may be as simple as that. However, avoiding a restructure for Wilson specifically will help make Seattle more flexible when dealing with the quarterback’s uncertain future. It wasn’t long ago when Wilson’s agent shared four teams the QB would accept a trade to. While tensions have subsided, meaning Wilson will almost assuredly be with the Seahawks in 2021, there are no guarantees for 2022.

That will all depend on how well he jives with Shane Waldron as well as the overall success of the team this season. Without knowing for certain that Wilson will want to remain in Seattle long term, it doesn’t make sense for the team to kick the can down the road in terms of his dead cap hit. Restructuring Wilson now would make a future trade even more cost prohibitive.

Finally, if Wilson ends up wanting out and the Seahawks have to trade away their star QB, it would make sense for Seattle to want as clean a slate as possible in order to rebuild into the next era of Seahawks football.

For now, this isn’t something I would make too much of at this point other than keeping it stored away that Seattle had the option to restructure Wilson and chose not to.

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Part of the reason why the Seahawks only have three picks in this year’s draft is because they feel like it will be more of a crapshoot than normal due to COVID-19. That line of thinking helped them feel comfortable shipping two first-round picks to the Jets in exchange for Jamal Adams.

Thus, it’s hard to imagine the team deciding to trade a player currently on the roster in order to acquire additional draft capital (especially one with enough value to get a Day 2 pick). Instead, if a prospect that Seattle is fond of lingers on Day 3, I could see the team using a 2022 pick in order to go get them.

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Let’s go with 60% that Seattle stays at No. 56. The issue is that selection is already a borderline third-rounder. Moving back much further would make it even more likely that the Seahawks fail to get a single impact player in this year’s draft.

Unless they, a) absolutely don’t love anyone on the board at No. 56 or, b) get an offer they can’t refuse to trade back, I think it behooves the Seahawks to stay put.

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It’s pretty easy to spot Seattle’s biggest draft needs. The Seahawks lack quality depth at wide receiver and corner. Additionally, only Damien Lewis is a safe bet to be a cornerstone along the offensive line.

A tackle of the future or a starting-caliber interior offensive lineman would be a huge get for Seattle with the 56th-overall pick. The same goes for a receiver or corner that John Schneider and Pete Carroll falls in love with. Drafting a second-rounder at either of those two spots would create immediate competition for playing time.

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This assumes that Jamal Adams would play in 2021 under his fifth-year option, a scenario I don’t view as a possibility. Schneider and Carroll speak to reporters on Wednesday for their annual pre-draft press conference. This will be one of the main topics we’ll look to get an update on.

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Put briefly, no, it is not possible for the Seahawks to trade into the first round. The only way this happens is if Wilson is somehow moved this weekend.

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Not only can Cody Barton play SAM, but the team should be banking on it. The Seahawks currently have a 2019 second-rounder and third-rounder without a secure role. How Marquise Blair and Cody Barton fit into Seattle’s defense will be a storyline to follow once training camp rolls around.

Barton should be penciled in at SAM for now, but there’s still a chance that K.J. Wright returns if he ends up signing a team-friendly deal. As the roster currently stands, the Seahawks are as thin at linebacker as they are at receiver and corner.