Sometimes players break their own news. Quinton Jefferson posted on Twitter, "It's been real Seattle. Nothing but love," indicating that he's headed elsewhere in free agency.
It’s been real Seattle! Nothing but love 🤘🏾.— Quinton jefferson (@Q_JEFF) March 17, 2020
Ian Rapoport followed up with a tweet that shared Jefferson is on his way to Buffalo on a two-year deal with the Bills.
The reality is that the Seahawks just lost their second-best defensive lineman from 2019. Jefferson's mini-breakout season may have priced him out of Seattle's budget. He posted 3.5 sacks, four tackles for loss, three passes defended and one fumble recovery last season. He was consistently disruptive and helped the Seahawks weather the storm for the first six weeks of the season without Jarran Reed.
Seattle re-signed Reed to a two-year, $23 million deal on Monday and tendered four restricted free agents: Joey Hunt, Jacob Hollister, David Moore and Branden Jackson. Following those moves, the Seahawks are down to $21 million in effective cap space. They're in desperate need of an upper-tier edge rusher and a starting-caliber right tackle. Jadeveon Clowney remains a priority, and you also shouldn't rule out a return for Germain Ifedi.
To make both deals happen, the Seahawks would likely have to part ways with a few veterans to open up some cap space. Ed Dickson is an obvious choice to save a few million. Justin Britt and K.J. Wright would also save Seattle significant amounts of money. The Seahawks could also get creative with potential new contracts and make them more back heavy to keep the team under the salary cap in 2020.
It's understandable why Seattle wasn't able to hang onto Jefferson, but he remains a fairly significant loss nonetheless. The signing of Clowney or Everson Griffin, and to a lesser degree, Markus Golden or Dante Fowler might be the only additions that could appease fans hoping for a splash move from the Seahawks.