The Seahawks signed four more of their 2019 NFL draft picks on Tuesday.
So let’s recap where the Seahawks stand with that as well as a few other items.
Four more draftees in the fold
The four picks Seattle signed Tuesday are receivers Gary Jennings and John Ursua, running back Travis Homer and defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas.
Each gets the standard four-year rookie contract with money based on where they were selected, all determined via the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
Jennings gets a deal worth up to $3.2 million with a bonus of $713,356; Homer gets $2.6 million and $143,356; Christmas gets $2.6 million and $127,832; and Ursua gets $2.6 million and $82,672.
The four signings mean just three of Seattle’s 11 picks are unsigned — first-round defensive end L.J. Collier, second-round receiver DK Metcalf and third-round linebacker Cody Barton.
But with pre-determined terms, signings are pretty much a formality. Details such as when bonus payments are made (over the life of the deal or all at once, or something in between) and so-called “off-set language’’ — basically, whether the team would have to pay out any remaining guaranteed money if the player is released before the end of the deal and then signs with another team — are the only real negotiable items.
Teams also sometimes simply need to stagger signings for salary cap purposes.
All draft picks count on the 90-man roster the minute they are selected, though, whether or not they are signed.
Salary cap wiggle room
The Seahawks have had a dizzying last few weeks — really, about four, since quarterback Russell Wilson re-signed, Frank Clark was traded, the draft and signing other free agents and then defensive end Ziggy Ansah signing.
But with all of that heavy lifting now completed, the Seahawks still have a reasonable amount of salary cap flexibility heading into the heart of the offseason at $26.4 million, according to Spotrac.com.
That puts Seattle eighth among all NFL teams, though that number doesn’t account for a few other contracts signed or agreed to in the last few days, notably that of nose tackle Al Woods, a one-year deal said to be worth $2.25 million.
Still, Seattle should still have in the $22 million to $23 million range after accounting for Woods and other free agents who have signed in recent days, enough room to continue to be in the mix for players who may become available later, as well as pursuing extensions for the likes of linebacker Bobby Wagner and defensive tackle Jarran Reed.
Ansah deal reveals heavy roster bonuses
Ansah officially signed a one-year deal worth up to $9 million with a salary cap hit of $7.875 million, according to Spotrac.com and other sources.
The cap number is culled from the guaranteed base salary of $2.5 million, a $3.5 million signing bonus and roster bonuses of $1.785 million that are considered as likely to be earned. Ansah can earn up to $9 million if he is on the 46-man active roster for every game in 2019.
Seattle built in the heavy roster bonuses — which account for one-third of the total — due the fact that Ansah is coming off of a surgery to fix a shoulder/labrum issue. The team is confident he will be ready for the start of the regular season, but as noted, he will have to be available to play in every game to earn all of the potential $9 million in his deal.
Bellore deal signals confidence
Another contract that has become official that is worth noting is that of fullback Nick Bellore, who played the last two seasons with the Detroit Lions before agreeing to a deal last week with the Seahawks.
As revealed by ESPN’s Brady Henderson, Bellore signed a two-year contract worth $2.23 million with $600,000 guaranteed. The guarantee comes in the form of a $300,000 signing bonus and $300,000 of his $930,000 2019 base salary.
That guaranteed money seems a pretty strong indicator the Seahawks expect Bellore to make the team and be a pretty significant contributor this season.
Bellore is the only fullback on the roster, and Seattle has always had one in the Pete Carroll era, so that also says something about Bellore’s chances to make it.
Last year’s starting fullback was Tre Madden, who played just 86 offensive snaps in 14 games, missing two others due to injuries.
But Madden was also one of the team’s core special teams players, with 254 special teams snaps, fourth-most on the team despite missing those two games, according to Pro Football Reference.
Seattle is obviously expecting a similar special teams contribution from Bellore, who played 238 special teams snaps last year for Detroit, and has been a significant special teams player every year since 2012 — he played a whopping 384 special teams snaps for the 49ers in 2015, 85.7 percent.
So at this point, it seems you can pretty much pencil Bellore into a spot on the 53-man roster.