It's official, Shaquill Griffin will become an unrestricted free agent on March 17 when the NFL's new league year begins. Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday that the Seahawks will not use the franchise tag to ensure that their top corner will remain on the roster in 2021.
That's hardly a surprise given Seattle's cap limitations. Tagging Griffin would have cost the Seahawks around $15 million, an expense that would have consumed all of the money saved from cutting Carlos Dunlap.
This news confirms that the Seahawks will be in need of another corner. How they opt to find that corner will be interesting. Don't be surprised to see Seattle look for value at that position with other roster needs potentially taking priority, namely left guard, center and defensive end. That means the Seahawks could re-sign Quinton Dunbar on a cheap one-year prove-it deal to pair with Tre Flowers and D.J. Reed.
Rapoport did say that the Seahawks will "work to retain" Griffin in free agency, but that feels like a long shot unless the corner's market is far lower than anticipated. He'll be one of the top cornerback options available.
Nagging hamstring injuries limited Griffin to 12 games in 2020, but he still set a career-high with three interceptions. He made his first-career Pro Bowl in 2019. Health and consistency are the factors that would keep Griffin from reaching his ceiling. Should he remedy both of those, he has the tools to be one of the best at his position.
Griffin's twin brother Shaquem may have also played his last snaps in Seattle. He's scheduled to be a restricted free agent and is yet to be tendered by the Seahawks.
Adam Schefter has followed up with news that Seattle won't tag Chris Carson, either. That also isn't a surprise, but it does confirm that the Seahawks will need a running back to pair with Rashaad Penny, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer and Alex Collins. Tagging Carson would have cost Seattle around $11 million.