After posting a disappointing 7-10 record to finish in last place in the NFC West during the 2021 season, the Seahawks made an earlier than expected transition into what will be a critical offseason for the future of the franchise.
When the new league year opens on March 16, Seattle will have 15 players scheduled to hit the market as unrestricted free agents. Three players will be restricted free agents and 11 will be exclusive rights free agents, while several other key veterans such as receiver DK Metcalf will be entering the final season of their respective deals ready to negotiate extensions.
Over the next several weeks, I will break down each and every one of the Seahawks’ unrestricted free agents by revisiting their 2021 seasons, assessing why they should or should not be re-signed, breaking down an ideal contract, and making an early prediction on whether or not the player will return in 2022.
Next up in the series, Rasheem Green enjoyed the best season of his career statistically heading towards free agency. Will Seattle pay up to hand him a second contract?
Season In Review
Entering training camp in July, Green’s status on Seattle’s roster looked to be on tenuous ground at best after the team signed Kerry Hyder and Aldon Smith in free agency. But Smith’s recurring off-field issues led to a quick release and the former USC standout turned in a fantastic preseason to lock up a starting spot at the base defensive end position. Playing in every regular season game for the second time in three seasons while logging 846 defensive snaps, he started 16 games and produced career-highs with 48 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 15 quarterback hits, six tackles for loss, and four pass deflections.
Why Seattle Should Re-Sign Him
After enduring a difficult, injury-marred 2020 season, Green finally took a major step towards becoming a long-term starter at the base defensive end spot for the Seahawks. Taking advantage of his size, length, and versatility, Pro Football Focus credited him with a career-best 34 quarterback pressures while playing more than 200 snaps reduced inside as a defensive tackle and playing close to 100 snaps classified as an outside linebacker. Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. moved him all over the field and he produced regardless of where Seattle utilized him. He also blocked an extra point and returned it for two points in a loss against Washington. Still just 24 years old, he has ample room for continued development and may just be scratching the surface of his potential as a pass rusher, especially if the team shifts towards a 3-4 schemed approach.
Why Seattle Should Let Him Walk
While Green established new career-highs in sacks, quarterback hits, and pressures, his pass rushing efficiency still leaves something to be desired and those numbers seem to be volume-based rather than clear points of improvement. Per PFF, he produced pressures on only 6.6 percent of his pass rush attempts and finished sixth on the team in their Pass Rush Productivity metric behind the likes of LJ Collier and Benson Mayowa. Even after playing extensive snaps over the past four years, run defense remains an area of concern for him moving forward, as he continued to struggle with maintaining run fits and gap integrity in the trenches while also missing nine tackles last season.
Two years, $7.5 million
There may not be a bigger wild card among Seattle’s impending free agents than Green, who could be viewed as an enticing prospect for several teams due to his youth, untapped potential, and ability to play multiple positions at a high level. At the same time, he may never evolve into a great pass rusher and run defense hasn’t necessarily been his forte either, so teams may be hesitant to throw a ton of money at him knowing he’s far from a polished product and needs further refinement . New defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt holds him in high regard and if the Seahawks can bring him back at around $4-6 million per year, the organization will likely make it happen with hopes he can take another giant step in year No. 5. If his price exceeds that point, however, they would be better served to look elsewhere for players who offer more bite in the pass rushing department.