The Seahawks have lost eight players since the NFL’s free-agency signing period started last Tuesday. No other NFL team has lost more than five. Basically, it’s been a rummage sale on the Seahawks’ front lawn.
Look—there’s the Patriots’ Bill Belichick. He can’t get back to the Super Bowl unless he stops Peyton Manning like the Seahawks did, so he’s plucked Brandon Browner out of an old milk crate. No one has the heart to tell Bill that his new $12 million cornerback didn’t play against the Broncos.
The New York teams are here, offering Broadway-star money to Breno Giacomini and O’Brien Schofield, players the Seahawks got at open auditions. And poor Jacksonville, picking Red Bryant and Chris Clemons from the “free to a good home” box.
Meanwhile, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider lounge on the porch, watching the frenzy. They’ve made their major purchase, and at a bargain price, as Michael Bennett shed lucrative offers the way he does opposing blockers to return to Seattle’s defense.
Contrast the Hawks with the team they strangled 43-8 in the Super Bowl. Denver’s doubled down on the 2014 season, laying out $108 million to sign three veteran players. The Broncos are clearly operating under the nihilistic “championship window” philosophy—after patiently assembling a talented team, this worldview dictates, you are meant to vomit money at free agents until you win a Super Bowl or die trying. It’s like playing blackjack and hitting on 20.
Here’s what usually happens: You patch one hole with cash but another one starts gushing water, and eventually you drown in a flood of bad contracts. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the Seahawks tried it after their Super Bowl loss, committing $178 million to free agents in 2006—including eight years and $62 million to Shaun Alexander.
Pete Carroll’s Seahawks are sticking with the philosophy that got them to the Super Bowl in the first place—staying young, building through the draft, and signing free agents for their value, not out of desperation.
The Seahawks aren’t a dynasty yet, but offseasons like these are what get you there.