After a disappointing 2020 season, amid losing to the Los Angeles Rams in the Wildcard playoff round 30-20, the Seattle Seahawks were looking to make the right moves this offseason to improve in the fall. Unfortunately, their potential reinforcement moves have been limited as the NFL salary cap was dropped to $182.5 million due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To alleviate the financial situation at the club, the Seahawks decided that something had to be done with costly contracts from big-time players like Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner.
“Void Years” It Is
At first, it was rumored that both players, Quarterback Russell Wilson and Linebacker Bobby Wagner would have their contracts restructured. Doing so would’ve opened up $18 million in salary-cap space, but general manager, John Schneider, decided to add void years to the respective players’ contracts. Here’s what Corbin Smith had to say about this decision in his report on Sports Illustrated, and what exactly does voiding years mean:
“Schneider opted for a different strategy, instead adding ‘void years’ to the end of contracts. Adding voided years to the end of contracts allows teams to spread out the player’s signing bonus for salary cap purposes, which lowers the cap hit for 2021 as a result.
As an example, Carson reportedly signed a three-year contract worth up to $24.625 million to stay in Seattle. But in reality, the third year is voided with a $1.5 million dead cap hit, making it a two-year pact worth $10.425 million. The voided year dropped his 2021 cap hit to just $2.5 million”Corbin Smith, Seahawk Maven
Soon after the Seahawks announced this decision, there have been mixed thoughts on whether or not adding void years to Wilson’s and Wagner’s contracts was the correct decision. Yahoo! Sports’ Peter Socotch believes that both Pete Carroll and John Schneider thought about an immediate solution, rather than a long-term solution:
“There’s good reason for the Seahawks to not restructure Wagner and Wilson’s deals and it’s also very on-brand. Carroll and Schneider aren’t one to punt on their salary cap issues, making them have to deal with it in the future. They’d rather deal with it head-on, right now”.Peter Socotch, Yahoo! Sports
This decision could’ve also come with the fear of potentially having to let go of superstars, Wilson and Wagner, after having to deal with rumors back in February about Wilson requesting to leave Seattle. If this were the case and Wilson was to leave, Pete Carroll and John Schneider would have a hard time finding a cheap, top 5 QB to fill in the void.
Only time will tell the meaning behind this decision, and whether or not it was the correct one.
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