Seahawks: 6 candidates to be potential salary cap cuts in 2022

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The Seahawks have a healthy amount of cap room in 2022 with somewhere around $50 million in projected space. However, as Pete Carroll has pointed out, much of it will be spent on their own free agents. Keeping Quandre Diggs, Duane Brown and all of the other important pieces to retain won’t come cheap.

With a few ruthless cuts here and there, Seattle could still be near the top in terms of spending money if the goal is aggressively rebuilding their roster this offseason. Here are six veterans who may be salary cap cuts. All salary numbers are from Over the Cap.

DE Kerry Hyder Jr.

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

Seattle needs to upgrade its pass rush this offseason and part of that will mean cutting the dead weight off the edge rotation. After posting 8.5 sacks and 32 pressures last season with the 49ers, Hyder managed just 1.5 sacks and 13 pressures for the Seahawks this year despite being on the field for over 500 defensive snaps.

Cap savings: $2,850,000 (post June 1)

DE Benson Mayowa

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

It’s the same story for Mayowa, who seems to play well for every team he’s been on except for this one. In 2020, he totaled six sacks and 22 pressures. This year, those numbers dropped to only one sack and six pressures. Mayowa played roughly the same amount of snaps as Hyder.

Cap savings: $3,010,000 (post June 1)

K Jason Myers

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The recurring theme here is a strong 2020 performance followed by a major dropoff in 2021, and nobody fell off harder than Myers. After going a perfect 24/24 on field goal attempts last season, Myers only made 17 of 23 attempts this year (73.9%). He could bounce back next season, but Seattle might move on and find a cheaper, younger kicker.

Cap savings: $4 million (post June 1)

RB Chris Carson

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The NFL is a brutal business, especially to physical running backs who get injured. Carson is in a particularly precarious position due to a long-term neck issue that raises questions about his future. He also has to contend with the likelihood of the late-blooming stud Rashaad Penny taking over his spot as the team’s starting running back. Keeping Carson to back Penny up is probably the right move, but it’s far from a sure thing.

Cap savings: $4,925,000 (post June 1)

RG Gabe Jackson

(AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

Jackson did his job pretty well at right guard in 2021, earning decent but not great grades in both run blocking and pass blocking. However, his position and his contract make him relatively expendable. Re-signing and promoting Phil Haynes to start full-time at LG and moving Damien Lewis back to the right side is something coach Pete Carroll should consider.

Cap savings: $6 million (post June 1)

LB Bobby Wagner

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The most difficult call Carroll will make this offseason is what to do with Wagner, a future Hall of Famer who is starting to show signs of decline. Despite everything he’s done for this franchise, Wagner’s contract puts him in a real bind. Unless he’s willing to take a significant paycut, Seattle may decide it’s time to move on and make Cody Barton their new MLB.

Cap savings: $16,600,000 (post June 1)

Total savings

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

It’s hard to imagine the Seahawks would actually cut Wagner – a move that could be costly for their locker room culture if nothing else. Even if they decide to keep him, these other cuts would carve out enough extra cap room to make a run at one huge free agent name, or two medium-sized contracts.

Total cap savings cutting Wagner $37,385,000

Total cap savings keeping Wagner: $20,785,000

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