What the Seahawks’ space situation looks like for 2021 with DE Carlos Dunlap on board


The trade deadline for the 2020 NFL season has finally passed, meaning that aside from injuries or unexpected free agent signings, the rosters are largely drawn for the remainder of the season. This means that it’s now possible to start projecting with some sort of precision what things will look like in terms of the salary cap for teams during the offseason, as well as for the 2021 season. For teams that have made acquisitions in commercial terms like the addition of Carlos Dunlap for the Seattle Seahawks, this is the first real opportunity to see what their cap will look like in the future given the new acquisitions.

So, using OverTheCap.com’s projected 2021 Seahawks cap number as a starting point, OTC is currently forecasting that the Hawks will have $ 19,118,752 in cap space for 2021. This number assumes the salary cap drops from $ 198.2 million to $ 176 million as a result of lost revenue from the lack of fans in the stands due to the pandemic, so if the cap drops less than that, the team would have a space additional. Also, $ 19,118,752 is prior to the $ 3M roster bonus that Dunlap would be due on the fifth day of the league year if the Seahawks do not release him, meaning if he stays on the roster, the Hawks will have about $ 16.1 million available in ceiling space.

That $ 16.1million cap is based on the fact that the squad only has 34 players on contract, which means to complete the roster for the offseason they will need to add at least 17 players on contracts of minimum wage. With the minimum wage for rookies for the 2021 season set at $ 660,000 next season, filling the roster with those minimum wage players would require an additional allocation of $ 11.2 million in cap space.

Once that’s taken out of the $ 16.1 million before, that leaves $ 4.9 million of cap space for free agency. Of course, that ignores the prorated portion of signing bonuses for drafted players, which for the Seahawks isn’t a big number this season. With the Hawks holding only one pick in the first three rounds and likely only four Day 3 picks, it’s likely that no more than $ 400,000 in cap space will be needed to cover the team’s draft picks. , assuming the team drafts are late in the rounds.

Accounting for these draft picks places the team in the $ 4.5 million available cap space range, and from that number, the team will have to cover the salaries of the two players on the team. training, as well as the salaries of players on the injured reserve. If the pandemic is resolved enough by then that teams return to carrying just 12 players to the practice squad, then a minimum of $ 1.877 million will be needed for the practice squad, while if things haven’t been resolved and for the NFL to use a 16 player practice team again, then a minimum of $ 2.502 million is required. Depending on which of those numbers is used, the team would end up with somewhere between $ 2M and $ 2.623M of ceiling space, which is an amount that is unlikely to cover the ceiling space needs of the team for an injury reserve for the 2021 season.

For those who prefer a visual representation of these numbers, here is what it looks like in table format.

Current spatial projection of the Seahawks for 2021

Adjustment Adjustment amount Ceiling space
Adjustment Adjustment amount Ceiling space
Starting point N / A 19,1 M $
Dunlap alignment bonus 3 M $ 16,1 M $
Complete the list 11,2 M $ 4,9 M $
Draft pick 400 000 $ 4,5 M $
Training squad $ 1,877 million to $ 2,502 million 2 to 2.623 million dollars

So in short, all of this means that the team is more than likely going to make moves to free up space, whether that’s freeing up players, restructuring contracts, or signing players to expansions to reduce the amount of space. amount they cost against the ceiling during the 2021 season. This will be necessary as this minimum amount of ceiling space currently only includes Tre Flowers, Ugo Amadi and DJ Reed under contract at the cornerback, and inside the offensive line, none of Mike Iupati, Jordan Simmons or Ethan Pocic are signed for 2021.. Simmons, is expected to be a restricted free agent, so his return could be secured through the use of RFA bidding, but even that would require more cap space than a minimum contract and there could have tough choices for the team in the off-season when it comes to building the roster for 2021.

For now, however, after winning last place from the San Francisco 49ers in Week 8, the Seahawks are moving east to take first place from the Buffalo Bills in Week 9.


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