Trades have been aplenty this NFL preseason, and the Seattle Seahawks are now dangling wide receiver Jermaine Kearse.
Trades involving recognizable names are not typical in the NFL, but this preseason has brought a shift in dynamic. New rumors seem to surface every day, and on Wednesday, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported the Seattle Seahawks are looking to move wide receiver Jermaine Kearse.
Kearse signed a three-year, $13.5 million deal with the Seahawks last year, and he’s due to make $2.2 million this year. That’s hardly a huge investment, but a regression to 41 catches for 510 yards and just one touchdown last year after his best season in 2015 (49 receptions for 685 yards and five touchdowns) created doubt about this roster spot back in May.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson recently said this is the most talented group of wide receivers he has had. While he’s a master of flimsy hyperbole, based purely on numbers Wilson may not be totally wrong. Doug Baldwin is clearly Seattle’s No. 1 receiver, and after him Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson seem locked into significant roles. Beyond that, Kasen Williams and Tanner McEvoy have made a case for a 53-man roster spot with strong preseasons, and 2017 draft picks Amarah Darboh and David Moore are also in the mix.
Not coincidentally, Seahawks head coach Pete Caroll said on Wednesday that he’s not concerned about Lockett’s status for Week 1 as he works his way back from a broken leg last season. Also not coincidentally, Kearse is coming off his best preseason performance with three catches for 59 yards against the Chiefs.
The Seahawks can save all of Kearse’s $2.2 million base salary for this year against the cap by simply cutting him. Perhaps more importantly, they can also avoid his $5 million base for 2018 by unloading him, even with some of his cap charge being deferred to next year. Exactly what they expect to get in a trade is unknown, but it’s clear Kearse is not long for a Seahawks uniform.