It feels like there are a few layers to this news.
On the one hand, it’s perfectly understandable to extend the contract of a player who won’t even turn 27 until late December. He’s a good age, appears to be emerging as an influential contributor and he produced 9.5 sacks last season.
The other side of it though will be the timing and the raw numbers. $32m in guarantees and $59m total over three years looks steep but we’ll need to see what the reality is. If we’re being honest, Nwosu is a good not great player at a position where they’ve heavily invested through the draft.
Having spent three second round picks on his position recently, this further investment is interesting. Nwosu will presumably tie up one of the outside linebacker/EDGE spots now at this cost. He will need to justify the salary — and the Seahawks will need to find a way to get the most out of their investment particularly in Boye Mafe and Derick Hall if both are set to be rotational cogs.
The timing, too, is notable.
At the start of the year his 2023 cap hit looked like a clear lever to create more cap space through an extension. However, coming off a productive 2022, it also felt like the player had all of the leverage.
An extension now feels slightly odd for both parties. The Seahawks will probably get some cap relief but without any obvious ways to improve their biggest flaw (interior D-line). A deal done in March, however, could’ve provided much needed money to spend.
Nwosu, meanwhile, doesn’t get to feel the benefit of reaching free agency and testing the market. Another productive year could’ve sky-rocketed his value even further.
It’s possible both parties have simply reached a happy medium. Nwosu eliminates the risk of having a down year and reaching free agency with a reduced market. The Seahawks retain a player they like now without any chance of him going somewhere else next March.
This will significantly impact the Seahawks’ cap space for 2024. They only had a projected $23.1m available before this deal was announced. There are ways to make savings (Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Geno Smith, Will Dissly) but it’s worth noting that, already, they’re going to be up against the cap next year.
If there is a decent financial saving in 2023, it will open up the possibility of a roster move over the coming weeks. It’s just really difficult to identify a hulking defensive tackle who can solve what is clearly Seattle’s biggest need — a veteran nose tackle presence. That makes me think the Nwosu extension is simply a sign the team really rates him and sees him as part of their core group moving forward, with the timing of the deal being an irrelevance. It happened when it happened — and it’s not likely to be a precursor to anything else.
If you’ve enjoy the blog and want to support the site via Patreon — (click here)