2017 moves will be based on 2018 salary cap

Salary cap logoMichael Bennett’s new deal is the first of several extensions John Schneider figures to consummate in the coming months as he presumably focuses on keeping the core of this Seattle team intact.

With no major free agents — Steven Hauschka and RFA DeShawn Shead will be the biggest — Schneider’s 2017 offseason will be more about setting up 2018 and beyond. And, if we’re lucky, he might do something about Seattle’s biggest weakness.

Some fans are giddy about the apparent salary cap boon of up to $38 million, thinking the Hawks can go hog wild on offensive linemen in free agency. But Schneider and contract specialist Matt Thomas know their 2017 offseason is really based on the 2018 salary cap — and they don’t have the flexibility fans think they do, assuming they plan to stick with their MO of keeping their own stars.

With Kam Chancellor, Jimmy Graham and Justin Britt also due for extensions in 2017 and a bevy of star defenders, plus Tyler Lockett, signed only through 2018, every move Schneider makes now has to be made with those players (or replacements) in mind.

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