Now for maybe the easiest question to answer about the Seahawks and this week’s NFL draft.
Do the Seahawks have a need for a kicker or a punter?
No. No they don’t.
Seattle is set not only at kicker and punter but also at long snapper with all three players at those spots under contract for at least two more years.
Still, even if the primary special teams roles don’t need addressing as the draft begins Thursday, it’s an area worth reviewing.
So, here’s a look at Seattle’s special teams units to conclude our pre-draft review of the Seahawks roster.
Kicker: Jason Myers.
Punter: Michael Dickson.
Snapper: Tyler Ott.
Key offseason losses: None.
Maybe some Seahawks fans might wonder whether there would be any competition for Myers after a first season in Seattle in which he was solid — 23 of 28 on field goals in the regular season — but missed a couple of critical ones, including a 50-yarder late in the first half of the playoff loss to Green Bay when the score was 14-3 (though it’s worth remembering he also made game-winners in back-to-back weeks against Tampa Bay and at San Francisco in November).
But the Seahawks made clear he’s their kicker for 2020 when a March 22 deadline for Myers to get $1.5 million of his $2.6 million base salary for this season guaranteed came and went.
The guaranteed salary means Myers has a dead cap charge of $4.5 million with a cap hit of just $3.6 million and is basically a guarantee that he is on the roster this season.
Dickson, who didn’t make the Pro Bowl in year two as he had as a rookie but still ranked among the better punters in the NFL. is entering the third season of his initial four-year rookie contract while Ott also is entering year two of a four-year contract he signed last summer early in training camp.
In other words, those three are here to stay for this year.
Draft need (on scale of 1-10): 1 for kickers.
Potential draft fits
So, the above should make clear Seattle won’t be drafting any kickers. And signing any for any reason would mostly be to have an extra leg in camp for workload management reasons.
Seattle, though, has made special-teams coverage and return units a priority in drafts in recent seasons — sixth-round pick running back Travis Homer was taken last season in part due to how the team felt he could help immediately on special teams. Homer ended up being the personal protector on the punt team, among other duties.
In fact, of the seven players with the most snaps on special teams for Seattle last year, five were rookies — Homer, Marquise Blair, Cody Barton, Ben Burr-Kirven and Ugo Amadi.
As some of those players morph into more pivotal position roles in coming seasons Seattle will need new young players to play some on special teams. Especially among late-round picks, what they can add on special teams will again be a focus.
Seattle could particularly look for some return candidates to take some of the work off of receiver Tyler Lockett, especially in a year when the Seahawks didn’t rank real high in either return category. The Seahawks were 24th in yards per punt return at 6.1 and 29th in kickoff return average at 19.6