Preseason Cut/Trade Candidates for Seahawks to Track in AFC South

The Seahawks are no strangers to adding talent after the third wave of free agency. They could do it again this offseason as other teams start to cut and trade players while finalizing 53-man rosters.
Publish date:

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 swing to the AFC South.

Houston Texans

The Texans have already made a lot of major moves over the past two years. They have traded away Deandre Hopkins and Jadeveon Clowney while acquiring Laremy Tunsil as well. Bill O'Brien isn't afraid to make moves, even if they are largely panned. But Houston is in a solid position against the salary cap, so there won't be much reason to cut salary.

You never can tell what Houston is going to do, but one player who may get cut and could make for an interesting target in Seattle is receiver Kenny Stills. Stills is a talented deep threat who is set to make $7 million in 2020. Acquired via trade, Houston can cut Stills without any cap hit, and even after trading Hopkins, they have some depth at the position.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans had a big offseason. They re-signed Ryan Tannehill, franchised running back Derrick Henry, and saw tackle Jack Conklin leave in free agency. They don't appear likely to bring back Logan Ryan at this point either. But the Titans did invest in the cornerback position, drafting Kristian Fulton and signing Jonathan Joseph in free agency.

This leads me to wonder if the Titans may actually dangle, or straight up cut, cornerback Malcolm Butler. Seahawks probably remember Butler for his championship-clinching interception back in 2015. He had a decent season in 2019, but at 30 years old and carrying a $13 million cap hit, the Titans are looking for more than decent.

If the Titans cut Butler with a June 1 cut designation, they can save $5 million, which isn't tremendous savings but certainly isn't small potatoes. Even if Quinton Dunbar is cleared of the current charges, Seattle needs more depth at the position, and Butler could make the most impact at nickel corner since Justin Coleman left.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts actually have a couple of bigger named players who could be cut, but neither make a ton of sense for the Seahawks. Last year's starting quarterback, Jacoby Brissett, currently has the third-highest cap hit on the team. Indianapolis brought in Phillip Rivers and drafted Jacob Eason, a clear sign that the organization doesn't see Brissett as the long-term answer.

The Seahawks were reported as having offered a second-round pick to the Colts to acquire Brissett in 2018, but there were conflicting reports about the actual offer. With Geno Smith and Anthony Gordon on the roster behind Russell Wilson, it seems unlikely they'll spend more to bring him in.

Marlon Mack, who rushed for 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns last season, may have made some sense before the Carlos Hyde signing. Mack is just 24 years old, but Indy used a second-round pick on Jonathan Taylor, which can't be a good sign for the ex-South Florida standout.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Similar to the Colts, Jacksonville has several big names that may soon be looking for work or be available via trade. In this case, both Yannick Ngakoue and Leonard Fournette have both been linked to the Seahawks in trade talks and neither player seems especially eager to take another snap for the Jaguars.

Fournette would have made a good deal of sense before the Hyde signing and unless the Jags are willing to lower their asking price on Ngakoue, it seems likely that ship has sailed. But one defensive lineman who could make some sense is former two-time Seahawk rusher Cassius Marsh. He signed with Arizona after being cut by Seattle last fall and racked up 33 tackles and 4.0 sacks.

The Seahawks have a "Wolfpack" mentality towards their pass rush this year and have already invested in former players like Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa. If Marsh can't crack the roster in Jacksonville, Seattle could come calling once more.