Seahawks' Early Report Card for Most Impactful Offseason DecisionsMarch 24, 2021
Seahawks' Early Report Card for Most Impactful Offseason Decisions
The Seattle Seahawks needed to add more protection for Russell Wilson in the offseason.
Three moves ensured Wilson should stay more upright in 2021 and have at least the same amount of weapons to work with.
Seattle took advantage of Las Vegas' offensive line exodus by trading for Gabe Jackson, re-signed running back Chris Carson and inked tight end Gerald Everett to a contract.
Pete Carroll's team only used a fifth-round pick to bring in Jackson, and it signed Carson and Everett to reasonable deals compared to others on the market.
Although the Seahawks got better on offense, they lost a key piece on defense in cornerback Shaquill Griffin, who signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Seattle will be fine in the middle of the secondary with Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs, but it has work to do to improve on the edges with minimal draft capital and salary-cap space to work with.
Trade for Gabe Jackson
Jackson was one of three offensive linemen to depart Las Vegas in the last week. Trent Brown was shipped off to the New England Patriots, and Rodney Hudson was sent to the Arizona Cardinals.
Since Seattle paid such a low price for Jackson, it should come out of the deal as the clear winner.
The team's top priority was to protect Wilson, and it did that by bringing in an interior lineman who can combine with Duane Brown and Brandon Shell to cut down the quarterback's high sack totals.
In the last three years, Wilson was sacked on 146 occasions. He led the league in sacks in 2019 and was brought down at least 47 times in each of those campaigns.
Jackson was part of an offensive line in 2020 that allowed Derek Carr to be sacked just 26 times. Of course, he was not the sole reason that total was low, but that has to be an uplifting sign for Wilson.
The 30-year-old has two years left on his contract. He is scheduled to make $9.3 million in base salary each season.
If Wilson's sack total decreases, sending a fifth-round pick for a player with two years of contract control will be seen as a steal.
Re-Sign Chris Carson, Sign Gerald Everett
Seattle appears to be in good shape at all of the offensive skill positions.
The Seahawks brought back Chris Carson on a three-year deal to be the primary back and landed Gerald Everett on a one-year contract.
Carson turned in 1,000-yard seasons in 2018 and 2019 and he finished with 681 rushing yards in a 12-game season affected by injuries in 2020.
Seattle got a friendly deal for a running back compared to what it may have spent if Carson and Carlos Hyde both departed the team. Hyde signed with Jacksonville.
Aaron Jones fetched a four-year, $48 million deal from the Green Bay Packers. That deal likely would have been out of Seattle's price range.
With Carson back in the fold, Seattle has a reliable primary back and also has time to develop young players behind him without rushing them into the starting role.
At tight end, Everett is a bit of an upgrade over Jacob Hollister, who landed with the Buffalo Bills. Everett recorded career highs in receptions and receiving yards with the Los Angeles Rams in 2020. Seattle had three tight ends combine for 282 more receiving yards than Everett had on his own.
If he can bring in over 40 receptions again and improve his yardage total over 417, he will be an effective tertiary option to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
If anything, Seattle made a slight improvement at the offensive skill positions. It did not make a splashy signing, but it did not have any significant losses either, which has to be viewed as a positive compared to its defensive situation.
Lost Shaquill Griffin, Added Ahkello Witherspoon
Griffin was Seattle's biggest offseason loss.
The defensive back opted to join up with the Jaguars, instead of remaining in the Pacific Northwest.
Seattle reacted to that deal by signing former San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon to add depth. The Seahawks can still re-sign Quinton Dunbar.
Griffin finished the 2020 season with three interceptions and 63 tackles. Witherspoon has four interceptions and over 100 fewer tackles in his career compared to Griffin.
With those statistics in mind, the Seahawks still need to make upgrades at the position, whether it be through the remaining free agents, re-signing Dunbar or through the draft.
At the moment, Seattle has six cornerbacks under contract, but none of them are scheduled to make over $4 million in 2021.
The low spending at corner is balanced out by pricier deals at other positions, but it is concerning that Seattle lost its top corner and has not re-signed its No. 2 at the position yet.
If Seattle fails to reach an agreement with Dunbar, it could face a tough situation heading into the draft, where it will not pick until the second round.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference.
Contract information from Over the Cap.