Through the madness of the NFL season, it would be tough to find a more whirlwind season than the 2021 Seattle Seahawks. Seattle started 5-0, “Russ for MVP” chants, #1 offense in the league, and top spot in the NFC. Despite the early success, the Seahawks season ended in a disappointing fashion. It was a Wild Card loss on home field to Jared Goff with no thumb on his throwing hand.
Russell Wilson spoke out, being unhappy with the organization. The fan base then debated on how many first-round picks Russell Wilson is worth. If that doesn’t scream whirlwind, what does?
The bright side is the Seattle Seahawks offseason was very successful. Smart cap space-related moves, positional needs, key coaching staff acquisitions. This pleased franchise quarterback Russel Wilson turning the focus to the upcoming season.
Let’s look at the Seattle Seahawks off-season top 5 moves. These will have large impacts on the 2021/22 season.
Seattle Seahawks offseason move #5 – The Draft
Heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks had the least amount of selections with only 3 draft picks. In saying that, on paper, they absolutely capitalized on it.
2021 NFL Draft pick 56 in the 2nd round, the Seattle Seahawks selected speedy 5’9 190 lbs, WR D’Wayne Eskridge, out of Western Michigan. Eskridge received first-team All-MAC honors on offense. As a kick returner. he was also named the MAC Special Teams Player of the Year.
He has a unique skill set as a prolific special teams player which drew the Seahawks to him even more. Eskridge totaled 17 kick returns, 467 yards, one touchdown. He ranked fourth with 130.7 receiving yards per game finishing the season with 34 receptions, 784 yards, and eight touchdowns.
With a revamped Seattle Seahawks offensive style D’Wayne Eskridge, will be a key #3 receiver with big-play scoring opportunities.
2021 NFL Draft pick 137 in the 4th round, the Seattle Seahawks selected 5’10 185 lbs CB Tre Brown out of Oklahoma. In his senior year, Brown led Oklahoma with three interceptions. To follow that, six pass breakups, and also recorded 31 tackles in 10 starts.
Cornerback was a position the Seahawks needed to address through the draft with the departure of Shaquill Griffin. Tre Brown is not your stereotypical Seahawks corner. They tend to lean towards tall, long wingspan, Richard Sherman-like players at the position. The emergence of D.J Reed last season opened their eyes to what a multi-dimensional corner can do for your defense.
Tre Brown is the perfect fit for Seattle right now. He will compete for the second CB spot alongside Tre Flowers and new addition Akhello Witherspoon.
2021 NFL Draft pick 208 in the 6th round, the Seattle Seahawks selected 6’8″ 307 lbs OT Stone Forsythe. Besides having an incredible first name in Stone, this is a player that the Seahawks absolutely stole in this draft.
What was and is always the Seahawks biggest need? Pass Protection. Stone Forsythe’s game is revolved around pass protection. His weakness as of right now is definitely his presence in the running game. However, he makes up for it with already NFL caliber protection in the passing game.
Duane Brown the starting left tackle is at the tail end of his career. He is a perfect mentor to teach this young player to take over at left tackle. Forsythe will be the next cornerstone of the offensive line for years to come.
Seattle Seahawks offseason move #4
Resigning Chris Carson & Tyler Lockett
This might not be the most exciting of moves, but resigning these two players was crucial for the Seattle Seahawks offseason.
Chris Carson resigned on a 3 year, $24.625 million deal, which voids to 2 years at $10.425 million. The first year of the contract includes $5.5 million guaranteed with an opportunity to earn $6.9 million with incentives. Voiding the third year in Carson’s deal allows the Seahawks to spread out his signing bonus over three seasons.
Russell Wilson was very vocal about wanting Chris Carson back, and the Seahawks listened. When healthy, Chris Carson is easily a top 10 running back in the NFL. He is the Seahawks workhorse in an offense that requires a strong and consistent running game.
In 2020/21 Chris Carson started in 12 games, rushing for 681 yards on a 4.8-yard average and 5 touchdowns. He also mixed in 287 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns.
Tyler Lockett signed a contract extension of four years, $69.2 million. Lockett will carry a $9.25 million cap hit for 2021, giving the Seahawks some needed cap flexibility. This extension gives Lockett roster bonuses down the line and a $1.05 million raise on his base salary if he eclipses 55+ receptions, 800+ receiving yards, or at least 8 touchdowns.
Tyler Lockett has been key to the offense with Russell Wilson for years. Bringing him back with a more flexible cap hit was a brilliant move by the front office. Last season Tyler Lockett started 16 games, racking up 100 receptions, 1054 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns.
Seattle Seahawks offseason move #3 – Signing Gerald Everett
Gerald Everett was the perfect player to sign this off-season to round out the offense. Everett’s stats this past season underwhelm the impact he will have on this team since he was playing behind Tyler Higbee in Los Angeles.
Last season he played in 16 games, with 41 catches resulting in 417 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. The Seahawks offense last season got very low production from the Tight End group. Will Dissly the technical TE1 played 16 games, totaling just 24 catches for 251 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Greg Olsen was brought in to be the veteran of the group and provide stable production. Unfortunately his season was cut short by a gruesome injury that limited him to 11 games, 24 catches, 239 receiving yards, and 1 touchdown.
The Seahawks love incorporating tight ends into the offense. With a weapon like Everett at Russel Wilson’s disposal, he is poised for numbers in the ballpark of 50+ catches, 700 receiving yards, and 6+ touchdowns.
Seattle Seahawks offseason move #2 – Trade and Signing of Gabe Jackson
The biggest splash move of the Seattle Seahawks offseason is easily trading for Gabe Jackson. The Seahawks made a deal with the Las Vegas Raiders, sending Las Vegas a 5th round pick in this past 2021 draft. In return the Seahawks received star right guard Gabe Jackson.
Immediately after trading for Jackson, the Seahawks gave their recently acquired star player a new 3-year deal worth $22.575 million. Jackson’s old contract had him earning base salaries of $9.35 million and workout bonuses of $250,000 in each of the next two seasons before entering free agency in 2023. With this new deal Jackson gets $10.075 million this year, a $9 million signing bonus and $1.075 million in base salary along with $6 million in 2022 and $6.5 million in 2023.
Besides the obvious impact Jackson will have on the team and the offensive line, this move is topped by how excited Russell Wilson is. Vocal the months leading up about wanting better protection, the Seahawks listened and got him a monster of a man at the right guard position. Jackson played 1000+ snaps this past season with Las Vegas, only receiving 3 penalties called on him and not allowing a single sack.
#1 – Adding Shane Waldron as the New Offensive Coordinator/Andy Dickerson as the New Run Game Coordinator
Here is the number 1 reason why the Seahawks will have more consistent success this upcoming 2021/22 NFL season.
The Seahawks split with former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who managed the offense for 2018, 2019, and 2020 seasons. His tenure in Seattle was very up and down, with parts of the fan base loving what he did and the other calling for his job after every loss.
His inconsistent game management was the biggest concern around Seattle, along with conservative play-calling with an MVP caliber quarterback in Russell Wilson. The Seahawks would have a game where Wilson throws the ball 35 times putting up 40+ points, to the next week Wilson throwing the ball 15 times with no creativity in the play calling resulting in offensive struggles.
The Seahawks needed a new face and a new playbook to capitalize on this rosters offensive potential and Russell Wilson’s abilities. That is where Shane Waldron and Andy Dickerson come in.
Andy Dickerson served as the assistant offensive line coach for the Los Angeles Rams since 2012. In 2020, Dickerson was crucial to the Rams top 10 offensive line, allowing the sixth-fewest sacks in the NFL.
What is exciting about Dickerson being the Seahawks new run game coordinator is the diverse rushing attack that will incorporate much of what the Seahawks have deployed in recent seasons. As well as what the Rams have deployed against them with major success.
Another element he will bring is integrating more of the wide zone concepts around which Los Angeles built their run game. Dickerson’s fresh and complex style will relieve pressure on Russell Wilson and will keep the opposing defenses on their toes.
Shane Waldron served as the pass game coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams in 2018, 2019, and 2020 seasons. It’s not exaggerated to say that the Rams game plan against Seattle resulted in trouble defensively. It didn’t matter if it was motion plays along the line of scrimmage, clever RPO’s (run-pass options), distracting bootlegs, or the play-action calls Seattle could never truly figure out.
That is Shane Waldron, a brilliant mind that the Seahawks targeted from the start of their new offensive coordinator search. His fresh mind while incorporating more play-action bootleg calls will allow Wilson more time to throw and escaping the pocket away from danger which he already is so talented at in scramble plays.
Along with the creativity surrounding Wilson, his crossing routes with receivers and tight ends next to using every weapon on the field will result in bigger plays downfield and more consistent options for Wilson to get the ball out of his hands.
The Seattle Seahawks open their 2021/22 season on the road in Indianapolis to face Carson Wentz and the Colts Sunday, September 12th. They will look to start the season off in the win column while trying to incorporate new faces into the playbook. The Seattle Seahawks offseason positioned themselves for major success this year and a deep run in the playoffs; now it comes down to executing the game plans and maximizing the potential of the roster.
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