Offseason chatter 2021

The Seahawks want to keep Carlos Dunlap but reportedly have NOT discussed a new deal. It sounds like he will test free agency. Extending Dunlap was at the top of our player to-do list.

J.J. Watt joined Arizona, and even Chandler Jones felt sorry for Russell Wilson. With the NFC West defensive lines stacked, the calls for Seattle to upgrade its offensive line intensified. The Packers are not expected to re-sign All-Pro center Corey Linsley, so John Schneider should go big for the 30-year-old. Seattle could get away with a $4 million or $5 million cap hit in 2021, on a deal worth as much as $13 million a year (which would top the NFL pay scale for centers). Most fans are lobbying hard for this to happen, and there is no reason for Schneider not to do it.

Shaquill Griffin understands he might not be back in Seattle, as much as he would like to be. He told GMFB: “I would love to be back in Seattle, but I know there’s a business aspect behind it. … At the end of the day, I know it’s strictly business. … I’m just excited to see what’s gonna happen.”

There figure to be more street free agents than ever this year, with the salary cap dropping by anywhere from $10 million to $18 million. Expect Schneider and his pro personnel staff to scour that list as they look for a center, cornerback, running back and left guard. If the Hawks cut Carlos Dunlap, add a defensive end to that list. Here’s a good tracker for all of those releases. Early cuts of note included LB Kyle Van Noy (Dolphins), OG Gabe Jackson (Raiders), TE Kyle Rudolph (Vikings) and TE Jared Cook (Saints).

The Seahawks seem to be hunting for big-name tight ends for Shane Waldron’s offense. They reportedly have checked into Philly’s Zach Ertz and are perhaps poised to try to recruit Jonnu Smith from Tennessee. They also apparently are very interested in second-round prospect Brevin Jordan (Miami), a guy we have already mentioned a couple of times as someone who could help the Hawks as a TE/WR hybrid.

K.J. Wright told Jim Rome on CBS Radio that he expects to be paid what he is worth: “I do way too much on the field to take a discount.” And he later shot down suggestions that he is done in Seattle by saying, “Not so fast my friend. There’s time to get creative.” He told Sirius XM he wants a multi-year deal and expects he won’t talk to the Seahawks until free agency begins March 17. The Hawks are unlikely to make any big moves until the salary cap is set.

With Chris Carson unlikely to return, the Seahawks fortified the running back room a bit by re-signing Alex Collins, the 2016 fifth-rounder who returned to Seattle in 2020 and played well when given a chance. He provides good backup ability to incumbent Rashaad Penny, though we would expect the Seahawks to add another cheapish veteran — perhaps bringing back Carlos Hyde or Mike Davis.

Jarran Reed said, “I want to be here long-term for sure. … I’ve been a Seahawk my whole career, and that’s how I want it to stay.” He has one of the top cap hits on the team, so something may need to be done with his contract if the Hawks cannot create space elsewhere via extensions or other moves.

L.J. Collier told GMFB he just had arthroscopic ankle surgery. He expects huge things from himself and the defense in 2021. On himself: “I didn’t even scratch the surface of what I know I can do. Year 3 I’m really going crazy.” On the defense: “I feel like there’s a lot to come. I feel like we’re going to have the best defense next year. We have a stacked team. We’ve got a lot of guys coming back. I’m excited.” Well, we’ll see whether Reed and Carlos Dunlap — both with cap hits around $14 million — are indeed back.

No surprise: Mike Iupati, 33, is retiring, saying, “My body was telling me it was time to close the door.”

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