BY SPNW Staff 12:07PM 03/13/2018

Seahawks to lose TE Graham, WR Richardson

WR Paul Richardson, Seattle’s top deep threat, will sign a long-term deal with the Washington Redskins potentially worth $40 million.

TE Jimmy Graham is off to the Green Bay Packers. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

According to the NFL Network, the Green Bay Packers are poised to sign TE Jimmy Graham to a three-year contract at undisclosed terms, while the Washington Redskins will sign wide receiver Paul Richardson to a five-year, $40 million contract. The offers to the free agents will be signed when the new league year begins Wednesday, taking away two receivers coming off productive seasons with the Seahawks.

Graham led the NFL in red zone touchdown catches last year with 10, but was considered too pricey for the Seahawks, who paid Graham at $10 million the past season, especially given Seattle’s numerous free agents, lack of salary cap space and Graham’s historic lack of consistency. With eight, he had the NFL’s second-most drops.

Still, Graham was the top free agent tight end available, ranked No. 21 on NFL.com’s Top 101 free agents of 2018.  The Packers are apparently so enamored with him that they have released nine-year veteran WR Jordy Nelson to free up the necessary cap space.

Graham caught 170 passes for 2,048 yards and 18 touchdowns in his three years in Seattle. He came over in 2015 in a trade from New Orleans, which acquired C Max Unger in the swap.

Graham was said to be negotiating for a return to the Saints, but his decision to go to Green Bay means the Saints are likely in the market for Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the former Washington Huskies star in whom the Seahawks have interest.

Green Bay’s release of Nelson, 32, immediately set off speculation that the Seahawks would pursue Nelson, who had 1,257 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in 2016, but dropped to 482 yards and six TDs lin 15 games last year in the absence of injured QB Aaron Rodgers.

To sign Nelson, the Seahawks would likely compete with NFC West rival San Francisco, Super Bowl runner-up New England and the Dallas Cowboys. Nelson made $9.2 million the past season.

Richardson, 25, played his first four seasons in Seattle after the Seahawks selected him in the second round of the 2014 draft. The six-foot receiver had his best year in 2017, catching 44 passes for 793 yards and six touchdowns.

He served as Wilson’s best deep option, averaging 16 yards per catch. That pretty much guaranteed Richardson priced himself out of Seattle since the Seahawks enter the free agency signing period Wednesday with limited salary cap room.

Bradley MacDougald agrees to return; Coleman tendered

The Seahawks have agreed to terms with safety Bradley McDougald on a three-year deal reportedly worth $13.95 million. MacDougald started nine games last season, primarily in place of the injured SS Kam Chancellor when McDougald made $1.8 million on a one-year contract.

With Chancellor’s career still in jeopardy due to a severe neck injury, MacDougald’s signing was a priority for Seattle, whose secondary remains in transition after the departures of Richard Sherman (to NFC rival San Francisco) and Jeremy Lane.

MacDougald will sign Wednesday with the start of the new league year.

The Seahawks Monday made an offer of a second-round tender to restricted free agent CB Justin Coleman. That means if accepted, he’ll play for $2.9 million, but if he gets a better offer by an April 20 deadline, the Seahawks will get a second-round draft choice. Coleman was the primary nickel corner after his acquisition from New England for a seventh-round pick and was a pleasant surprise, twice returning interceptions for touchdowns.

The Seahawks have also released CB DeShawn Shead, making him an unrestricted free agent. Shead played in the final two games last season after recovering from a torn ACL. The Seahawks reportedly told Shead that they would like to re-sign him. Shead’s agent, Cameron Foster, said Shead has an interest in doing so.

SEAHAWKS FREE AGENT TRACKER

Unrestricted free agents signed

None

Unrestricted free agents retained

Date Player Pos. ’17 AAV New Deal
Mar 14 B. McDougald S $1.8M 3 years, $13.95M

Unrestricted free agents lost

Date Player Pos. ’17 AAV New Deal
Mar 14 Jimmy Graham TE $10M TBA
Mar 14 Paul Richardson WR $1.7M 4 years, $40M

Remaining unrestricted free agents

Date Player Pos. AAV 2017 Season/Skinny
—– Luke Joeckel LG 8M Missed 5 games with injuries
—– Eddie Lacy RB 4.25M Bust: 179 yards, 0 TDs
—– S. Richardson DT 3.6M Hot commodity after solid year in SEA
—– Luke Willson TE 1.8M Value jumps if Graham leaves
—– Michael Wilhoite LB 1.55M Best beard on team
—– DeShawn Shead CB 1.2M Hurt most of ’17, likely to return
—– Blair Walsh K 1.1M Eight FG misses
—– Marcus Smith DE 990K A serviceable backup
—– Oday Aboushi RG 975K Played 8 games before injury
—– Matt Tobin LT 862K Played sparingly
—– Terence Garvin LB 855K Solid special teamer
—– Austin Davis QB 855K Played two snaps, but a veteran
—– Byron Maxwell CB 755K Played well in spurts

Restricted free agents

Date Player Pos. AAV Last season
—– Dewey McDonald LB 690K Spent most of year on IR
—– Dion Jordan DE 640K 5 games in ’17, impressive pass rusher
—– Justin Coleman CB 615K Received 2nd-round tender from Seahawks
—– Thomas Rawls RB 615K Injured for most of 2017 season
—– Mike Davis RB 615K Led Seattle RBs with 240 rush yards

YourThoughts

  • Howard Wells

    it’s a total rebuild that is starting this year…2018. Why the Seahawks won’t acknowledge the fact is ticket related.

    • art thiel

      Total rebuild would have to include the QB and MLB. Haven’t seen that yet. Seahawks are doing what most teams that missed the playoffs are doing. You’re just not used to it.

      • 1coolguy

        True Art, not a total rebuild, but due to the crappy drafts and trades the past 3+ years, it’s darned close.
        I just wonder whether the “what have you done for me lately?” idea has hit Allen yet about Schneider? If you look objectively at the Hawks, Schneider started out red hot, but everyone must admit, is he anything other than a middle-of-the-pack GM at this point?

        • Theyfinallyfiredcable

          I’m starting to wonder the same thing 1cool .. I’m a Schneider fan but the guy better pull one of his best drafts ever out of his butt next month , he’s had 4 years worth of mediocre drafts . And no 2nd or 3rd round picks to work with this year . Yet ( you know they’re gonna trade down from 18 ) ..

          • art thiel

            Schneider knows he’s on a bit of a hot seat because events have overtaken the team.

        • art thiel

          That judgment likely pivots on this off-season.

    • Husky73

      Total rebuild….not if Wilson remains the centerpiece of the franchise. They will build around him…..a good thing.

  • jafabian

    Darboh and Moore will get opportunities to play after riding the bench for their rookie years. Too bad the club didn’t let Kasen Williams stick around.

    • art thiel

      Coaches seemed to like Moore, but Darboh had a dial tone of a rookie season.

      • Theyfinallyfiredcable

        Agreed ; I haven’t seen whatever it was they saw that makes Darboh a 3rd round pick . I think he had like 5 catches all season . Rookie year is over , he needs to step up big-time in training camp this year and show he’s ready for more snaps . A lot more snaps .

        • art thiel

          Keep in mind that coaches see a whole lot more in practice with first-year players than any of us. Doesn’t mean he’ll turn into a great choice; we just can’t know.

          • Theyfinallyfiredcable

            True that. Paul Richardson didn’t show much his first couple of years either , and he was injured a lot . BTW , love the kid but that was crazy money he got from the Redskins !

          • Ron

            Richardson may be injured even more playing on that crappy turf at Fedex Field.

  • Centiorari

    No real surprises here. Richardson (both of them) and Graham were never going to be in the price range before we started cutting high profile players. Similarly, they aren’t likely to be viable for our next optimistic Superbowl window in 3 to 5 years, so signing them to a high contract on a “rebuild” team seems like a waste for both the player and the team. Not resigning these players is a good sign that PCJS acknowledge the situation regardless of what they may say publicly to sell tickets or keep negativity out of the locker room.

    McDougald seems like a good gap stopper, someone who signed a decent salary and has provided good play for the team. He will keep the defense honest at least and keep the games watchable while not affecting the team’s ability to rebuild. Coleman follows the same mold. Letting Shead test free agency after gifting him over a million dollars seems like a bad situation that should of been avoided, absent that we would have another gap stopper at a really reasonable salary and level of play. Sadly, any payment to Shead at this point will be an overpay.

    • art thiel

      Agreed on lack of need to invest in P Richardson and Graham. No way is Richardson an $8M annual producer, as Washington suggests he is. Regarding Shead, the risk/reward is small either way, although healthy he was good on ST.

      • Effzee

        I do wonder, though, what PR (and others) will do without Bevell and RW. Russ and Bevell were most successful when 1) Marshawn Lynch made the run-pass option go and 2) Wilson was running for his life pulling miracles out of his bottomside. From what I can tell, not a lot of “called plays” appeared on the field as they were designed.

  • Ron

    It’s more than speculation now. Seahawks are interested in age 33 Jordy Nelson. A clear indication that the Seahawks are intent on tanking.

    • art thiel

      If Nelson accepts a reasonable one-year ,prove-it deal, it’s hardly a tank signing.

      • Ron

        Packer castoffs have been so good for the Seahawks, i.e. Eddy Lacy, Matt Flynn, who else ?

      • Ron

        Jordy just signed a deal with the Raiders. sigh of relief!

  • 1coolguy

    Graham = total woos. SO SOFT! He wasn’t a true Hawk – he was a soft WR who didn’t do what the Hawks need most: Improve their red zone offense, measurably, and BLOCK, helping out the horrible OL. When you include losing Unger AND a 1st round draft choice, it was as horrible a trade as the Harvin trade.

    • art thiel

      Actually he did improve the red zone offense. What he didn’t help was the yards between the 20s. Also had eight drops last season. Graham was never a blocker, will never be a blocker, and expectations otherwise were misplaced.

  • Husky73

    Folks are asking WTH with the Seahawks? I’m waiting until after the free agents sign and after the draft. The current era has ended, and I am excited and curious to see what the “new Seahawks” look like and play like. Unlike the “Mariners’ era,” hold onto the leadership. Schneider (Gillick) and Carroll (Pinella) are two of the best in the game.

  • Steed

    Doesn’t Rastafarian Jenkins drop a lot of passes?