The Seahawks are releasing DJ Fluker. Reports have surfaced that Justin Britt is likely to be released as well. Is this a signal of a signing to come?
With the draft concluded, the Seahawks have turned their eyes solely on the roster at hand. The decision was made today to release DJ Fluker after 2 years on the team. He was a solid guard in 2018, however, he took a significant step back in 2019. The release is not a surprise. However, the timing is.
Shortly thereafter, reports came out that this may not be the only release. It now appears Seattle is preparing to release Justin Britt as well. The pair of moves would save the Seahawks roughly $12 million in cap space. This brings me to the main question, why now?
The Seahawks only drafted one offensive lineman, Damien Lewis. Sure, they signed a slew of aging veterans and former busts. However, none of them are sure-fire to make the roster outside of BJ Finney and Brandon Shell. Bob Condotta with the Seattle Times says the team has been struggling with this decision for a while now, regarding Britt’s future. Something must have tipped the scales, in favor of releasing him.
My theory would be that after the draft, Tennessee (or another serious contender) submitted a new offer sheet to Jadeveon Clowney. The Titans didn’t address the need at all in the draft and they have the cap space to make a deal work. It was reported before free agency, Clowney and John Schneider had a handshake agreement in place. If Clowney were to receive a serious offer, he would allow the Seahawks an opportunity to match it.
It’s no secret that this process has been very difficult for Clowney and his camp due to the virus. The pandemic has dragged out the process and reduced the potential suitors dramatically. With Seattle and a few other teams feeling good after the draft, in the win-now phase, and having the compensatory pick deadline pass Monday at 4 pm. It’s no surprise that a serious offer would show up now.
The next question would be, for how much, and how long. Given the need to clear cap space, and a lot of it, it leads me to believe it will be a short team deal. Perhaps something in the realm of a 2 year, $33 million contract. This would give Seattle a year one cap hit ballpark of $13 million, with a year two number at $20 million. Clowney’s deal would net him an average of $16.5 million per year, which would be a great deal for the Seahawks.
I suspect, if Clowney were to be re-signed, Brandon Jackson’s restricted free agency tender would be rescinded. This would free up an additional $2.1 million. The numbers work, the logic works, but are we on the right trail? I expect we will find out in the next couple of days.