The Seahawks fans get their wish — some O-line help. The deal for Joeckel is reportedly worth $8m. It’s a substantial prove-it deal — but look at the going rate:
— The Panthers gave Matt Kalil, a below-average starter who missed 14 games in 2016 through injury, a $55.5m contract with $25m guaranteed.
— The Browns are set to pay Kevin Zeitler $60m over five years with $31.5m in guarantees. They’re also giving often-injured guard Joel Bitonio a $51.5m extension with $23m guaranteed.
— The Broncos are paying Ronald Leary $36m over four years with $20m in guarantees. Leary only started in Dallas in 2016 because of an injury to La’el Collins and he was diagnosed with a degenerative knee issue.
— The Rams are paying Anthony Whitworth $36m with $15m in guarantees, including $13m in 2017. Whitworth turns 36 in December.
— Russell Okung has agreed a $53m, four-year contract with the Chargers including $25m in guarantees.
— Riley Reiff intends to sign for the Vikings. Considering Minnesota’s desperate need on the O-line, they’re likely giving him a big contract.
The Seahawks cannot compete in this market — and that’s a good thing.
Before the Joeckel addition, Seattle only had five players set to earn more than $10m in 2017 — Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Earl Thomas and Jimmy Graham. All five justify their salaries. The next five highest earners are Doug Baldwin ($9.6m), Kam Chancellor ($8m), Bobby Wagner ($7.6m), K.J. Wright ($6.8m) and Cliff Avril ($5.5m).
Consider the cap hits for those ten players and then consider what Matt Kalil and Ronald Leary are going to be earning in 2017. Then consider which of the ten above you’d rather lose and replace with Kalil, who would be the third highest paid player on the team.
Like it or not, the Seahawks built their identity on defense and possess a rare, genuine franchise quarterback.
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