Seahawks' Top Contracts to Consider Cutting Ahead of NFL Free Agency

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2021

Seahawks' Top Contracts to Consider Cutting Ahead of NFL Free Agency

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    Scott Eklund/Associated Press

    The Seattle Seahawks are not in dire straits when it comes to making salary cap room to spend money this offseason. 

    Seattle currently has $177 million worth of contracts on its books. The projected salary cap for the 2021 season is around $176 million.

    Even though the Seahawks do not have to do too much to get under the cap, they could cut one or two big-name players to open up more space. 

    The two main candidates to be released are both scheduled to be free agents in 2022 and would open up over $10 million in cap space. 

Duane Brown

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    If Seattle needed to open up a large amount of cap space, Duane Brown could be one of the first players it turns to for a release.

    Brown is 36 and is slated to hit the free-agent market after the 2021 season. He is in line to make a $10 million base salary next season.

    If the Seahawks wanted to move on from Brown this offseason, he would open up $11.5 million in cap space and only cost $2 million in dead money. 

    Brown was part of an offensive line that failed to protect Russell Wilson properly throughout the 2020 season. Wilson was taken down on 47 occasions. 

    Releasing Brown would signal a shift to a younger offensive line, which may be mobile enough to keep Wilson upright more in 2021. 

    Seattle could always improve around the experienced offensive lineman, but there is a chance it looks at his contract and feels it can get better without him.

Carlos Dunlap

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    Scott Eklund/Associated Press

    A potential Carlos Dunlap release would not cost the Seahawks anything in dead money.

    In fact, it would open up $14 million in cap space for an offseason in which the team has to make some critical defensive decisions.

    If the Seahawks opened up that much money, they could distribute it to Jamal Adams' new deal, or use it to keep Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar in free agency. 

    Dunlap recorded five sacks in his eight games with Seattle. He was traded midseason from the Cincinnati Bengals

    Seattle sent B.J. Finney and a seventh-round pick back to Cincinnati, so it is not like it would be kicking itself for paying a high price for Dunlap and then releasing him. 

    If Pete Carroll and his staff feel comfortable enough with the state of their defensive line, they could let Dunlap walk, distribute some money to the secondary and then select a reinforcement or two in the 2021 NFL draft.

         

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

    Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference.

    Contract information obtained from Over The Cap.

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