The Seahawks on Sunday made official what, at the moment, loom as their two biggest offseason additions — the trade for Raiders guard Gabe Jackson and the signing of Rams tight end Gerald Everett.
Jackson and Everett are two of the three players from other teams the Seahawks have acquired since the start of the new league year Wednesday, the other being the free-agent signing of 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon.
Jackson was acquired for a fifth-round pick from the Raiders with the expectation that he will take over the left guard spot manned the last two years by Mike Iupati, unless the Seahawks decided to switch Damien Lewis to the left side and have Jackson on the right. Jackson played right guard the last five years with the Raiders but played the left side his first two.
Sunday’s announcement means that Jackson passed his physical, with the team announcing that “all trade conditions for (Jackson) have been satisfied.’’
Everett, who signed a one-year deal worth up to $6 million, played the last four seasons with the Rams. New Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron was an assistant coach in Los Angeles, including the 2017 season as tight-ends coach and the past three seasons as passing-game coordinator.
The intrigue now is what the Seahawks do to fit in the $15.6 million combined cap hit of Jackson and Everett. Jackson has a $9.6 million hit this year on the second-to-last year remaining on his contract.
With the contracts of center Ethan Pocic — who agreed to re-sign Friday — and Everett not accounted for, but including Jackson, the Seahawks are $1.4 million over the cap, according to OvertheCap.com.
Pocic and Everett would add at least another $7 million to that total (the details of Pocic’s contract have not been revealed), meaning the Seahawks will have to make some kind of moves to fit them in, not to mention creating space to make other moves.
Options include restructuring contracts for Russell Wilson and/or Bobby Wagner to turn base salary into bonus and spread out the cap hit into future years, or redoing the contracts of Jackson or other veterans or releasing someone.
Everett will join Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson in the Seahawks’ tight-end corps, but the expectation is he will play significantly, with the hope he can bolster the passing game.
“Gerald brings versatility to any offense, so we’re excited to be able to get him here and really utilize him as a weapon that can move around and do a lot of different things within an offensive structure,” Waldron said on Seahawks.com.
The Seahawks had no tight end last year with more than the 25 receptions of Jacob Hollister, who signed on Friday with Buffalo.
Everett caught a career-high 41 passes for 417 yards last season and has caught 33 or more each of the past three seasons.
The Seahawks figure to use lots of two tight-end sets to make use of Everett and Dissly, while also sprinkling in some of Parkinson, who played sparingly last season after suffering a broken bone in his foot in offseason conditioning in June.
“He’s got aggressive hands, and he can seem to always find a way to get open versus tight man-to-man coverage,” Waldron said of Everett on Seahawks.com. “Then his ability once the ball’s in his hand to make the first guy miss or break that first tackle has been something he’s consistently been able to put on display since college and right on through at the NFL level. So it’s a big asset as far as his ability to aggressively go attack the ball and then make something happen with it once it’s in his hands.”
Jackson is regarded as one of the better pass-blocking guards in the NFL and did not allow a sack in 1,062 snaps last season, according to Pro Football Focus. And with cap hits of $9.6 million and $9.597 million the next two seasons represents one of the biggest investments the Seahawks have made in acquiring an offensive lineman from another team since the trade for left tackle Duane Brown midway through the 2017 season. The trade comes after Wilson said in February he was frustrated to be hit as often as he has been in his career and that the team needs to get better up front.
The trade for Jackson and the re-signing of Pocic appear to solidify the line for now, with Brown, Lewis and right tackle Brandon Shell all under contract for 2021.
Carson contract details revealed
Full details of Chris Carson’s contract, agreed to Friday, have been revealed.
The contract includes the use of a voidable year in the third year. It’s a tactic used to spread out the signing bonus over three years instead of two and reduce the cap hits for the first year.
That’s why Carson’s contract was reported as being both a two-year deal worth up to $14.6 million and three years at more than $24 million.
With the voidable year at the end, if Carson is on the Seahawks’ roster five days after the 2023 Super Bowl then his contract automatically voids and he becomes a free agent.
That will almost certainly happen, and that would give Seahawks and Carson a month or so to work out a new deal before he would become an unrestricted free agent in March.
The $1.5 million cap hit for that season for Carson’s signing bonus for 2023 will stand regardless.
The Seahawks have not used voidable years before, but teams are increasingly doing it this year with the salary cap down to $182.5 million as opposed to last year’s $198.2 million.
Carson’s $4.5 signing bonus takes up the bulk of the $5.5 million that is fully guaranteed. The rest is in a $1 million salary guarantee for the 2021 season.
The salary and pro-rated roster bonus makes up the $2.5 million in Carson’s cap hit for 2021, far below the $8 million cap hit he wold have had if the team had placed a franchise tag on him.
There is no other guaranteed money in the deal.
Carson has a cap hit of $6.4 million in 2022 when his base salary jumps to $4.5 million. But that base salary is not guaranteed. The Seahawks structured it that way with the knowledge that the cap is expected to up greatly in 2022.