Why did the Seahawks let Garry Gilliam go to the 49ers?
It’s a question some fans are asking, but the answer is simple: They didn’t want to guarantee $1.4 million to a guy they probably were going to ask to take a pay cut this summer anyway.
It was a 50-50 proposition that the Seahawks were even going to tender Gilliam back in March, but they gave him the low tender, $1.8 million, because they were short on bodies.
When they were able to add Luke Joeckel and Oday Aboushi in free agency, it gave them the flexibility to bump Germain Ifedi to right tackle. With the 2016 first-round pick expected to win that job, Gilliam, the former undrafted player who struggled in 2016, looked destined for a backup role.
As they have done with many previous restricted free agents, the Hawks then would have asked Gilliam to take a pay reduction from the $1.8 million tender. So, when the 49ers came over the top with a $2.2 million deal that guaranteed almost the entire amount of the RFA tender, it was a pretty simple decision for the Hawks.