Saturday, January 21, 2023

The $39 million Seahawks pro bowler is considered a “potential” cut candidate

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The Seattle Seahawks have a difficult decision to make when it comes to one of their highest-paid players on the team.

As the Seahawks enter the 2023 offseason, their number one priority will be re-signing quarterback Geno Smith. Seattle isn’t exactly desperate for cap space — they have over $31 million in offseason space available and rank eighth among all teams — but considering Smith’s deal costs up to $40 million a year could, they might need to clear up some cap space.

Pro Football Network’s Adam Beasley points out that Quandre Diggs, three-time Pro Bowl safetyman, is one of Seattle’s biggest potential cap casualties. Diggs could be short of $9.5 million in cap savings and is due over $18 million in the 2023 season. Cutting Diggs would result in an $8.2 million dead cap hit.

Diggs, 29, suffered a serious fractured ankle and fibula in the final game of the 2021 season. After a four to five month recovery schedule during last year’s offseason, Diggs bounced back and appeared in all 17 games for the Seahawks this season, recording 71 tackles, seven pass deflections and four interceptions. In fact, he was named to his third straight Pro Bowl campaign last season, one of only four Seahawks named for the game — Smith, Jason Myers and Tariq Woolen were the others.

According to Pro Football Focus, Diggs has a 73.4 defensive rating and 76.4 coverage this season. Despite suffering the worst injury of his career, Diggs bounced back onto the post better grades than last season when he posted a 71.2 defensive grade and 72.3 coverage.

Diggs ranked 21st in defense class and 10th in cover class among all safeties with at least 500 defensive snaps.

While the Seahawks could certainly save money by firing Diggs when he turns 30 in January, it makes little sense considering he’s arguably their best defensive backfield player. It’s especially important to keep him considering the Seattle defense was ranked 25th last season and cornerbacks in all starts are under 25 years old.

RotoWire pointed out how unlikely the Seahawks are to part ways with Diggs given how durable he is and given he’s a “crucial” part of the defense system.

“Diggs has played every regular-season game in Seattle for the past three seasons. He recorded 229 tackles (158 solo), 24 pass breakups, and 14 interceptions in 50 games at the stretch. He will later turn 30 in January and has two years left on his contract, though he could be cut in 2023 for nearly $10 million in cap savings. Don’t expect that to happen, however, as Diggs is a critical part of the Seahawks’ defense system.”

As the Seahawks look to build on their surprise success from the 2022 season after securing a postseason spot, bringing back so many key veterans will be imperative for next season. Barring something unexpected, it’s hard to imagine Seattle deviating from Diggs, who is one of two defensive captains in the unit.

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