Obviously the circumstances surrounding the recent Seahawks Super Bowl loss is quite devastating, but I think what has to make Seahawks fans, players, coaches, and management feel even worse is that this might have been their last realistic shot at a Super Bowl for a few years? While it is true that this team has a great young core, the Seahawks have been making a living by paying star players their rookie contracts. However, that luck is about to run out. Plus, this could be the end of the Beast Mode Era in Seattle. Follow us after the jump to see why we think this was the Seahawks last real chance at a Super Bowl for the foreseeable future and then let us know what you think in the comments section.
First, lets start with the obvious. While Russell Wilson is not a free agent, he is not going to play next year on his rookie contract. Given his performance in his first three seasons, Wilson is going to require a huge contract. While the Seahawks have a good amount of cap space, they are going to have to pay Wilson something like 5 years and $100 million even if he takes a discount. More likely then that, they will have to pay him 6 years and around $125 million for the life of the contract. Even with some creative working of the contract, that is going to seriously restrict their ability to retain key players.
The second key issue is what will they do with Marshawn Lynch. Lynch has one year left on the contract for $5 million and it is unlikely he will play that out. While the Seahawks would love to keep Lynch, I just don’t know if it will be possible. He could likely fetch $6-8 million a year for two to three years but it is also possible that he could retire. Lynch is a humble man who doesn’t like being in the spotlight and the media scrutiny recently might have been enough to push him over the edge. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Finally, there are several other key players that either need new deals or need extensions. Key backup defensive end O’Brien Schofield needs a new deal as his depth and pass rushing ability is a much needed boost for this team. Starting cornerback Byron Maxwell is also up for a new deal and he will likely be able to fetch at least 5 years and $30 million on the open market. It is highly unlikely that the Seahawks can afford to retain him, although second year corner Tharold Simon showed a good amount of promise this season. Starting defensive tackle Kevin Williams is likely to retire after this season and the Seahawks don’t have great depth at DT. Starting wide receiver Jermaine Kearse is a free agent who will likely cost about $3-4 million a year to keep. And then finally, you get to the issue of other players on their rookie contract who will want to be paid.
Starting left guard James Carpenter is an unrestricted free agent who will become one of the highest paid guards in the league for another team. It is almost impossible for me to see Seattle retaining him. That will be a huge loss as Carpenter does a great job opening up holes. And then finally, All Pro middle linebacker Bobby Wagner is likely going to require a deal worth around $10 million a year.
Simply put, it is highly unlikely that the Seahawks will be able to get through this offseason without losing at least two to three key starters, and more likely up to five or even six. This team had its chance to build a dynasty but failed at doing so when Pete Carroll inexplicably passed the ball at the one yard line. For Seahawks fans, they are most likely going to see a serious regression to the mean as they have to now pay key players what they are worth.