For the Seattle Seahawks, this offseason is going to be one of the more interesting ones in recent memory.
With about 24 unrestricted free agents on the list, dealing with quarterback Russell Wilson and making sure he is happy, it seems John Schneider and Pete Carroll will be dealing with a lot once the new season begins on March 17.
Protecting Wilson would seem to be priority No.1 after all that has transpired over the last few weeks, but making sure the future of the Seahawks defense is still intact should also be a big priority as well.
But with the recent signing of Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt, It might be harder than expected.
Watt signed a two-year deal with the Cardinals that is worth up to $31 million.
With the price set for Watt that high, figuring out what’s next for Seahawks defensive end Carlos Dunlap is going to be a challenge.
Dunlap was traded to the Seahawks ahead of the 2020 trade deadline, and recorded five sacks in just eight games and was a significant factor in improving Seattle’s pass rush.
He is set to enter the last year of his deal and is set to make over $14 million in 2021.
The Seahawks only have a few million in available cap space at the moment, so they could try and extend him for a smaller cap number or they have the option to release him and try and sign him again to a much cheaper deal.
But with Watt signing a deal worth more than $15 million a year, releasing Dunlap and hoping he signs for a cheap deal might not work out.
Watt making that money makes things complicated because Dunlap’s agent is going to shoot for that payday because he did play well for Seattle towards the end of the season.
If you compare the two: they are the same age, Watt only had five sacks in a full 16-game season while Dunlap had the same amount in less time, and Dunlap has been able to stay on the field compared to Watt.
Dunlap will be looking to earn some money, as any NFL player would. If the Seahawks can’t keep him at the $14 million cap hit and let him walk to explore free agency, it might be difficult to bring him back.
All is up in the air for the Seahawks this offseason, and will just have to wait and see what the organization does on March 17.