Over the past couple of years, the Seahawks have used second-round tenders on three restricted free agents (RFAs) — valuing Doug Baldwin, Jeron Johnson and Jermaine Kearse at over $2 million each.
This year they have no RFAs worth that, so it’s no surprise the Seahawks didn’t use a second-round tender.
It wouldn’t have been a surprise if they hadn’t used any tenders, but they apparently want Patrick Lewis back enough that they gave him the lowest offer — $1.67 million. That means the Hawks can match an offer he might sign with another team by the April 22 deadline, but it also means they would get no draft compensation for not matching (he was undrafted when he entered the NFL with Green Bay in 2013).
Lewis helped steady a shaky offensive line last season when he finally was inserted into the starting lineup at midseason. But he is still a limited player — he and the guards struggled against the excellent defensive fronts of St. Louis, Minnesota and Carolina — and the Hawks have to do better at that position (along with most of their line). They seem likely to draft a center prospect in the second or third round, so Lewis figures to have competition.
It is doubtful any team will try to sign him — he’s just not good enough to merit $3 million or more per year.
It also remains possible the Seahawks will not end up paying Lewis the full $1.67 million. They have reduced a number of tender salaries in the past: Chris Maragos, Clinton McDonald, Clint Gresham, Johnson.
The Seahawks have six other RFAs, but don’t expect tenders for Christine Michael, Alvin Bailey, Derrick Coleman, Ricardo Lockette or Nick Moody before the deadline Wednesday.
As for exclusive-rights free agents, the Seahawks reportedly have made the procedural tenders to bring back DeShawn Shead, Mohammed Seisay, Eric Pinkins, Steven Terrell, Cooper Helfet and A.J. Francis.
The Hawks will get one more “cheap” year out of Shead ($760,000) and still have the right to RFA tender him in 2017, if he continues to merit it.
For some reason, Marcus Burley was not on the list of tendered ERFAs, but he should be. It’s a no-brainer to keep minimum-salary ERFAs.