There was no real surprise when the contract details finally came in for Carlos Hyde, a free-agent running back the Seahawks agreed to sign to a one-year deal last week.
Hyde’s signing became official this week, and the contract calls for him to make a base salary of $1.5 million with bonuses of $1.25 million (including $31,250 for every game for which he is on the active roster in 2020) that give it a salary-cap hit of $2.75 million.
Other incentives of $1.25 million mean he could make up to $4 million, which was the number initially leaked last week when the agreement was confirmed.
But the lower cap hit is in line with what many expected it would be and nearly the same as the $2.8 million he made last season when he rushed for 1,070 yards in reviving his career with the Houston Texans.
Hyde’s signing was announced Thursday with the Seahawks waiving guard Demetrius Knox, who was not claimed and on Friday was waived outright.
The moves mean Seattle has $13.9 million in salary-cap room, according to OvertheCap.com.
But that does not include bonuses for the team’s eight draft picks (who all currently count for the same $610,000 but will have higher cap numbers once they sign contracts), which will knock off another $3 million to $4 million.
Throw in money the team needs for things such as injured reserve and having a little to carry into the season, and the Seahawks have little left to make a significant signing without doing something to create more space, namely cutting other players or redoing contracts to push some cap space into the future.
That there are avenues for creating cap space means that Seattle could still make a move to sign another player, such as a defensive tackle or maybe even reeling in defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who is still unsigned and remains in contact with the team.
Hyde’s signing surprised some who wondered about spending more on a tailback when an area such as the defensive line might seem to be a more pressing need.
But injury questions at the position — specifically, when Rashaad Penny will return from a serious knee injury — compelled Seattle to seek out veteran depth. And after finding that Devonta Freeman wanted more than Seattle wanted to pay (Freeman remains unsigned), the Seahawks sought out Hyde.
His addition means Seattle is devoting $9.7 million of its cap space to the running-back position, which is 15th in the NFL according to OvertheCap.com (Penny is the highest-paid at $2.9 million, followed by Hyde and then Chris Carson at $2.1 million).
Via Spotrac.com, Seattle ranks high in spending among NFL teams at three other positions; quarterback (fourth at $32.5 million); and tight end and linebacker, eighth in each at $13.1 million and $29.1 million, respectively.