The NFL offseason arrives as abruptly as a Monday morning after a weekend bender in Las Vegas. Following their Divisional Round loss to the Packers, the Seahawks must immediately shift gears into planning for 2020.
Seattle went 12-6 overall in 2019, including a win over the Eagles in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs before Sunday’s loss at Lambeau Field.
There’s potentially going to be a large amount of turnover this offseason for the Seahawks as they have 19 unrestricted free agents and four restricted free agents. That’s nearly half of a 53-man roster. Beyond that, Seattle will have north of $60 million in cap space once free agency rolls around in March. That’s ample cash to make significant upgrades throughout the roster.
We’ll eventually do a full free agency preview, but for now, let’s take a look at which of Seattle’s players might remain Seahawks in 2020 and which have probably played their last snaps in the Pacific Northwest. (h/t to my big brother Brady Henderson for compiling the lists.)
DE Jadeveon Clowney
I’ve written all season that the Seahawks need to bring Clowney back. Pete Carroll said on Monday that the goal is to retain Clowney and that the talented edge rusher wants to be in Seattle. Clowney shared Sunday that he wants to join a contender who can help him win a ring as soon as possible. If that desire truly outweighs money, then it’s possible the Seahawks can retain him without completely breaking the bank. Clowney will still be expensive regardless. Where he lands is Seattle’s top offseason storyline.
DT Jarran Reed
Reed told reporters on Monday that he has no idea what’s going to happen this offseason. He added that his goal is to remain with the Seahawks as he considers Seattle home. It would be wise for Seattle to re-sign Reed, especially since his cost should have come down following a subpar 2019 season. Reed posted just two sacks in 12 games (playoffs included), a far cry from his 10.5 sacks in 2018. My guess is Seattle signs him to a cheaper short-term deal at Reed’s request so that the interior defensive lineman will have the chance to reclaim his value in 2020.
DT Al Woods
The Divisional Round marked the end of Woods’ four-game suspension, which means he’ll be eligible to return for Week 1 in 2020. Woods played well for the Seahawks in his 14 games in 2019, and he’s a candidate to re-sign for a one-year deal this offseason. Woods will be 33 by the time next season rolls around, but he’s still a quality option for depth on the interior of Seattle’s defensive line.
DE Ziggy Ansah
I can say with confidence that Ansah has played his last snap for the Seahawks. This was a prove-it deal gone terribly wrong. It’s not like Seattle invested huge money in Ansah, but the team still expected for him to be a much bigger factor in an overall underwhelming pass rush. Ansah posted just 2.5 sacks in 12 games (playoffs included) and struggled to stay healthy for most of the season.
DL Quinton Jefferson
Jefferson was quietly Seattle’s second-best defensive lineman behind Clowney. He posted 5.5 sacks in 16 games (playoffs included). The Seahawks would be wise to bring back Jefferson, and I think they will.
LB Mychal Kendricks
Pete Carroll loves Kendricks as much as any player on the Seahawks roster. He raved about him at every opportunity throughout the 2019 season. For that reason, I could see them bringing him back (assuming his legal trouble doesn’t result in any notable disciplinary action). I could also see Seattle letting Kendricks walk so that Cody Barton can be a full-time starter to open the season. It’s a coin flip, but I’d lean on the side of Kendricks playing elsewhere in 2020.
CB Neiko Thorpe
Thorpe is a locker room favorite and has been a captain a few years running. I think Seattle brings him back for special teams purposes without any expectations of him playing on defense.
CB Akeem King
My guess is Seattle lets King walk.
LB Dekoda Watson
Watson was a last-minute roster filler with all of Seattle’s injuries. He won’t be back in 2020.
LT George Fant
Fant may be a challenge for the Seahawks to re-sign, though there’s no doubt Seattle wants him back. Fant said on Monday that he wants the opportunity to compete to be a starting left tackle. As it stands, Seattle can’t offer that with Duane Brown still under contract. There’s a chance that Fant ends up back in Seattle, but like Clowney, he’s almost sure to test the open market first. He showed he’s a capable option at left tackle in his four starts in 2018 and should have plenty of suitors willing to meet his demands.
RT Germain Ifedi
I genuinely have no idea what will happen with Ifedi. On one hand, he’s a middle of the road tackle. On the other, he’s dependable and played every single snap in 2019. Ifedi is another player I expect to test the open market. I may be in the minority here, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ifedi back with the Seahawks in 2020 on a contract worth about $5 million annually. Carroll indicated on Monday that he doesn’t want to see a ton of turnover on the offensive line during the offseason.
LG Mike Iupati
I’d be surprised if Iupati returned in 2020. I think Jamarco Jones and Phil Haynes will compete to start at left guard for the Seahawks next season.
WR Jaron Brown
I also think Brown has played his last snaps in Seattle.
WR Josh Gordon
Gordon isn’t likely to ever play in the NFL again following his latest suspension.
RB Marshawn Lynch
Lynch won’t be suiting up in Week 1. But will I rule out another late-season reunion with Beast Mode? Absolutely not.
RB Robert Turbin
My guess is Turbin has also played his last NFL snaps.
RB C.J. Prosise
I think the Prosise experiment is over in Seattle.
QB Geno Smith
Smith may return, but my guess is he’ll explore the open market first in the hope of signing somewhere without a franchise quarterback already in place.
TE Luke Willson
Willson may re-sign with Seattle, but it wouldn’t be until a few months into the new league year. My guess is that he begins next season as a free agent and then becomes an injury replacement somewhere.
Restricted free agents:
TE Jacob Hollister
Seattle would be wise to bring Hollister back. Hollister caught 41 passes for 349 yards and three touchdowns during the regular season and showed he can be a viable pass catcher in this league. However, he’s not a true No. 1 tight end. I expect the Seahawks to sign a tight end during free agency and potentially draft one as an insurance policy for Will Dissly (Achilles).
WR David Moore
The Seahawks are likely to want to keep Moore around for one more year to see if he can develop. He was uninspiring in 2019 but is still just 24 years old.
C Joey Hunt
Hunt showed you can do much worse for a backup center. He played admirably well through a stress fracture in his fibula. I expect him back in Seattle.
DE Branden Jackson
He could re-sign with Seattle and would then be a bubble player come roster cuts next August.