The Seahawks Extended Uchenna Nwosu

Something had to be done. The Seahawks needed to find some way to free up some cash, and there were really precious few ways of going about that.

I know I wrote about this before, but of course I’m sure I stuffed it into some other Seahawks post, so it’s not easily found without going through a whole offseason’s worth of blogging. The long and the short of it is: the Seahawks don’t really have anyone they can cut to free up money; even designating Jamal Adams with a post-June release only saves a negligible amount (I think). Another way to free up money is by taking someone’s base salary and converting it into a signing bonus (to spread its value across the remaining years of the deal). But, the Seahawks don’t like doing that, and I don’t blame them. Which is what the Seahawks just did with Quandre Diggs. Do it too much and it ultimately leaves you screwed down the line. Seems like the Seahawks are planning on going all-in on Diggs in 2024 (the final year of his deal), as there looks to be upwards of $6 million in dead money tied to it. The plus side, of course, is there’s now upwards of $6 million in free cap space in 2023, so that’s a load off.

The other way to free up cash is through an extension, while lowering the current year’s cap hit. In this camp, there were only a few potential options. Honestly, Uchenna Nwosu might’ve been the only one!

We’re looking at a 3-year extension worth up to $59 million, with $32 million guaranteed. But, apparently that counts his current year’s $8 million salary, plus $6 million in escalators, so it’s actually more of a 3-year, $45 million extension. But, we’ll see what the final details are as they come out. There has to be some way the Seahawks just freed up cap space.

This deal was a no-brainer for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, he was going into the final year of his previous contract (a 2-year deal he signed before the 2022 season). He was far and away our best player in the front seven. His 9.5 sacks tied for the team lead, but he was always disruptive outside of that. More importantly, he was consistent. He always showed up, whereas Darrell Taylor took half the year before he got going.

It’s not like we’re saying he’s Nick Bosa or something; we’re not building our defense around him. But, he’s also not being paid like a true #1 defensive end. I would rather have 2-3 Nwosu types (guys who can get you around 10 sacks) making $15 million per year, over one guy who might get you 16-18 sacks, but he costs $30+ million. While I’m sure it’s lovely to have one of those super-studs along the D-Line, they’re only valuable if you draft them and they develop early. Otherwise, you’re overpaying, and in the pass rushing game, I’m more about spreading the wealth and getting as many quality players as I can, over a top-heavy situation.

It’s also important because even though the pass rush was already a major need for improvement this season, it was going to be that much more challenging heading into 2024. Of course, we still have Darrell Taylor as a restricted free agent for next year, but if he busts out in a big way this season, he might opt to hold out for a big money deal. And if Nwosu is at least as effective as he was in 2022, I’m sure his value on the open market would’ve been off the charts (saying nothing if he actually outplayed his 2022 season).

I just think, all around, this extension is a smart move by a smart organization making a lot of really smart decisions lately. I don’t know what our cap situation is going to look like next year and beyond, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that we can continue on the Best Player Available bandwagon we’ve been on the last couple drafts, which is nothing but excellent.

On top of which, I hope this means in the here and now that we’re able to sign a couple of veteran defensive tackles to plug and play. Not having this part of our team settled this late into the offseason is a little unnerving to say the least.

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