It was a first week of free agency unlike most in recent Seahawks history.

Varying from their usual modus operandi of mostly sitting out the first wave and signing veterans to short contracts, the Seahawks struck early and big with a first-day signing of Dre’Mont Jones to a three-year deal worth an average of $17.1 million per year.

In addressing their biggest need — beefing up the defensive line — Seattle handed out the second-biggest contract given so far in free agency to an interior defensive lineman and to date the 13th largest to any player this offseason, according to

The Seahawks then signed four other new players, all of whom could be starters or have key roles in 2023.

As the first week wraps up, let’s review what Seattle has done so far, what still needs to be done and take a shot at answering a few questions.

Free agents gained

DL Dre’Mont Jones, DL Jarran Reed, LB Devin Bush, S/CB Julian Love, C Evan Brown


Comment: So, Seattle landed a starting end in Jones, a starting tackle/end in Reed, a probable starting linebacker in Bush (either middle or weakside depending on how things evolve), a starting center in Brown and a player in Love who could emerge as a starting safety or nickel corner, or a valued player in sub-packages.

Free agents lost

LB Cody Barton, RB Rashaad Penny, RB Travis Homer

Comment: Word is Seattle wanted and hoped to re-sign Penny, but after five pretty injury-filled years with the Seahawks he preferred to head elsewhere and get a fresh start, landing a one-year deal with the Eagles. Barton’s loss created a hole the team hopes Bush can fill. Homer was a valued special teams player as well as a backup running back. Expect Seattle to land an RB in the draft, if not free agency.

Free agents re-signed

QB Drew Lock. Seattle also placed a right-of-first-refusal tender on safety Ryan Neal and gave qualifying offers to exclusive rights free agents DT Myles Adams, CB Michael Jackson and LB Jon Rhattigan.

Comment: Seattle gave Lock as big of a contract as it ever has to a backup QB with a base value of $4 million in 2023, almost triple the $1.4 million he made in 2022, and basically the same contract Tampa Bay just gave Baker Mayfield. But the going rate for backup QBs has been increasing, and it also shows how much Seattle values Lock and wants to keep him around. 

Another mild surprise was Seattle not giving a second-round tender to Neal, which would have meant $4.3 million in 2023 instead of $2.6, but also meant Seattle would get compensation if he signs elsewhere. But maybe the Seahawks also knew at the time they might have a shot at someone like Love, with the safety market turning out to be a bit milder than anticipated. Seattle also didn’t tender ERFA RB Godwin Igwebuike. But he might still figure in the team’s plans.

Players released

Defensive linemen Shelby Harris and Quinton Jefferson

Comment: Seattle cut Harris and Jefferson to create more than $13 million in cap space and then essentially used that money to replace them on the defensive line with Jones and Reed. But, it’s considered still possible the Seahawks could bring back Harris, whose release saved $8.9 million.


Free agents unsigned

The Seahawks still have 17 of their own players who became unrestricted free agents Wednesday who remain unsigned.

Comment: But if you don’t consider center Austin Blythe, who announced his retirement, only four who remain unsigned could be considered starters or had key regular rotational roles last year — defensive tackle Poona Ford, edge/OLB Bruce Irvin, WR Marquise Goodwin and long snapper Carson Tinker. Tyler Ott, who was the snapper before suffering a shoulder injury and going on IR and was replaced by Tinker, also is a UFA. Seattle obviously needs a snapper, so something has to give there at some point. Seattle, though, could be moving on from Ford, though there has been little reported about interest in him from anyone so far. Linebacker Tanner Muse and WR Penny Hart, each not tendered as restricted free agents, could also be back at cheaper salaries.

And now, in the spirit of our regular Four Downs feature, let’s address four big questions.

Q: What has stood out most about Seattle’s free-agent signees?

A: One notable thing is their age. Seattle’s free-agent forays in recent years have at times been criticized for being older players on the downsides of their career. But of Seattle’s five signees so far, four are 26 or younger with Bush and Love 24 at the time of signing (each will be 25 by next season). That means not only is Seattle getting players in their prime but also players who, if all goes well, could be around a while.

That’s also true of Lock, who it might be worth reminding is just 26, one reason the Seahawks want to keep him in their program.

Q: What are the main priorities left for Seattle to address?

A: GM John Schneider said on his radio show last week that the Seahawks are continuing to look at defensive linemen, and at least one more signing there is expected, if not to the salary level of Jones. Seattle might also sign another linebacker (more on that below); and with Penny having gone to Phily, Seattle could also be in the market for a running back (Leonard Fournette anyone? Seattle has been rumored to be interested in him before). And there remain a slew of receivers available in what has been a slow-developing market at that position. Goodwin, recall, didn’t sign last year until mid-May, so the Seahawks could easily wait that out a while again.


But, it’s also worth remembering Seattle’s plentiful draft largesse — 10 picks overall and five in the top 83. That is undoubtedly playing into some of Seattle’s decisions here, knowing what it doesn’t get in free agency it can get in the draft (recall the Seahawks letting both of their offensive tackles go unsigned in free agency last year and then just drafting each of their replacements).

Q: So, does the signing of Love really mean nothing for Jamal Adams?

A: It certainly doesn’t appear to mean what many immediately expected — that Seattle might soon cut Adams. All indications are that’s not in the thought process, with Seattle hoping Adams gets healthy and can revert to his 2020 form and prove worthy of both what the Seahawks gave up to get him and the big contract they handed him. 

But bringing in Love is unquestionably a hedge on Adams having any setbacks in recovering from his knee injury, and once he gets healthy could also allow Seattle to let Adams do more of what he might do best — play closer to the line of scrimmage and rush the passer. Also, it simply might be a lot to ask — even if all goes well for Adams in his recovery — he play every snap of a 17-game season. Love also gives Seattle a lot more flexibility and depth in the secondary and was a good player available at a price Seattle didn’t expect — a deal too good to pass up, basically. For now, that’s all his signing appears to mean.

Q: OK, the big one — is Bobby Wagner coming back?

A: There doesn’t appear to be a clear answer to this yet. The two sides have talked, and indications are the signing of Bush would not preclude a return of Wagner. But whether Seattle can offer Wagner what he wants — or, is used to getting — isn’t certain. Pro Football Network on Friday, though, reported that the market for Wagner hasn’t really taken off — which is in keeping with the position as a whole, as most inside linebackers have signed for less than projected.

PFN wrote Wagner “has seemingly drawn little interest” so far while also noting that “the linebacker market has been moving slowly. Eric Kendricks, Tremaine Edmunds, and Kyzir White relocated quickly, but Zach Cunningham and Wagner are still quality starters. Wagner may need to accept less money from an unexpected team, such as the Browns, Giants, or back to the Seahawks.”

So for now, the wait and intrigue remain.