Preseason Cut/Trade Candidates for Seahawks to Track in AFC West
The Seahawks have a history of adding significant talent late in the offseason, at the end of the preseason, and even during the season. John Schneider may have done most of his heavy lifting already, but the esteemed general manager will not sit idly. Seattle still has needs to address and if the Jadeveon Clowney trade last August has taught us anything, it's that they'll be aggressive to make it happen.
Every preseason, veterans are cut and or traded, giving teams an opportunity to make late improvements to their roster. In this series, I will look at one player from each of the other 31 teams that could come to Seattle via a late trade or as a free agent castoff. Continuing the eight-part series, let's head to the AFC West division.
Kansas City Chiefs
Fresh off their Super Bowl victory, Kansas City appears to be primed for another trip to the big game. But the Chiefs haven't left themselves much margin for error. They currently have just under $5 million of cap space, so they'll need to create some more.
But they have a bit of a predicament: they don't have a lot of options. They aren't going to cut Chris Jones. The next "big money" cut they could make would be Eric Fisher, the starting left tackle. So that's probably a no go as well.
After that, names like Alex Okafor and Damien Lewis are the most likely candidates. Okafor has found some success as a rotational pass rusher, collecting 9.0 sacks in 2018-2019. Another name to watch is Damien Williams. The Chiefs spent a first round pick on Clyde Edwards-Helaire and cutting Williams would save them $2.18 million.
The Seahawks have a lot of runners on their roster, but none of them are without major questions. Williams wouldn't be ruled out if he hit the market and Okafor would be a veteran well worth looking at if available.
Las Vegas Raiders
This may have been the easiest name to peg for the Seahawks of all 31 we will name. Gabe Jackson, the starting right guard for the Raiders, could have saved the cap-strapped Raiders $9 million in cap space.
The Seahawks already cut D.J. Fluker and drafted Damien Lewis in the early third-round, so on paper, Jackson may no make sense. Still, he played his first two seasons at left guard where the current starter for Seattle is Mike Iupati. Jackson fits the profile that Mike Solari loves at 335 pounds and if released to create nearly $10 million in cap space, he could be a target.
Aside from Jackson, there are not a lot of players that may interest the Seahawks. Erik Harris might be the best player who has a small fraction of a chance to be cut. The safety is coming off a strong season but the 30-year old isn't a clear upgrade over Bradley McDougald or Quandre Diggs.
The most obvious cut candidate on the Broncos is a tight end, Jeff Heuerman. The 30-year old could save Denver $3.875 million and with Noah Fant, Nick Vannett, and Jake Butt on the roster, Heuerman is redundant. The Seahawks also have a glut of tight ends on the roster, so it seems unlikely they'd try to sign him.
Despite this, the most interesting player to watch in Denver is a tight end, just not Heuerman. Jake Butt was a talented player coming out of Michigan whose career has been completely derailed by injuries. Butt is entering his fourth season and has played just three games. But his size and speed are intriguing and may make for a better, and cheaper, third tight end than Luke Willson or Jacob Hollister.
Los Angeles Chargers
The player most likely to be cut by the Chargers is linebacker Denzel Perryman. Perryman isn't a fit in Seattle. Mike Pouncey may have made some sense, but after a severe neck injury, it's possible he may never play football again.
But perhaps this is an instance where the trade route is the way to go. There have been murmurs this spring that Los Angeles may be open to trading veteran cornerback Desmond King. The 25-year old Iowa product is coming off a solid season. But he'll be a free agent after this season and while he's been good, he hasn't been irreplaceable.
King has only missed one game in three years, but he only has four interceptions and none came in 2019. King made the 2018 All-Pro team as a punt returner and Seattle's drafting of Freddie Swain appears to indicate the team is looking to take Tyler Lockett off of punt return duties.
King would immediately improve the Seahawks secondary and special teams. A nickel corner by nature, King doesn't fit the athletic profile for a Seahawks corner, but Seattle will make an exception for slot defenders. King won't be cheap, but if Quinton Dunbar does play this year, adding King alongside Dunbar and Griffin could lead to one of the best secondaries in the NFC.