Tuesday marks the sixth day since NFL teams could begin signing unrestricted free agents, as well as pretty much the end of what is generally referred to as the “first wave” of that period — the time when the best players go quickly off the shelf.
According to Spotrac.com, 150 free agents have signed throughout the league, either with their own team or with a new team.
Seattle, though, has signed just one — offensive lineman Luke Joeckel, to a one-year contract worth up to $8 million.
That doesn’t mean Seattle hasn’t lived up to general manager John Schneider’s assertion at the NFL Combine that the Seahawks would be active.
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Seattle made maybe its most aggressive free agent move of any kind since 2013, when the team signed the likes of Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, in attempting to reel in former Green Bay offensive lineman T.J. Lang.
And the Seahawks have made all kinds of headlines for bringing in some of the biggest-name running backs in the league for visits — Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Eddie Lacy and Latavius Murray.
Monday also brought the news of a move some found surprising — that Seattle will get a visit from free agent tight end Jared Cook.
Still, as of Tuesday morning Seattle had just the one signing — which includes re-signing any of its own players. Seattle has yet to do that, as well, though that’s not unexpected given that the team’s list of its own free agents included few starters.
Other teams, though, have done less, according to this list from ESPN.com, which shows that as of Tuesday morning Seattle is 22nd in free agent spending (as measured by guaranteed money) thanks to the Joeckel signing (and to clarify, ESPN’s list, in contrast to the one linked above, shows just players who have signed with new teams since the free agent period begin, a total of 69).
Had Lang signed (let’s assume he would have gotten at least $16 million guaranteed) then Seattle could have been as high as 13th.
As that list shows, nine other teams have also signed just one player so far while four haven’t signed any — Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Houston and Kansas City.
The list of teams to sign just one free agent includes all four teams that last year made it to the divisional round of the NFC playoffs — Seattle, Atlanta, Green Bay and Dallas.
That stat could reinforce the idea that the best teams are often the least active in free agency since their rosters are largely set and they are concentrating mostly on keeping their own teams together.
The two that have signed the most? The Bears with six, and Detroit with five, while the top three spenders are the Jaguars, 49ers and Bears.
That the Patriots are fourth in free agent spending obviously runs counter to the idea that the best teams don’t necessarily need to spend heavily in free agency.
But overall, the list does show that the better teams aren’t spending all that much in free agency — of the 12 playoff teams last season, 10 rank either among the bottom 13 spenders or haven’t signed anyone.
So while maybe it would have been more fun for fans if Seattle had done more to date, the stats also show that the Seahawks are keeping in good company in their relative inactivity.