The Seattle Seahawks have a lot of defensive decisions to make this offseason, and tagging Sheldon Richardson isn’t going to be one of them.
The Seattle Seahawks have had one of the leagues best defenses for the past several years now, and it’s been players like Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Michael Bennett and Richard Sherman that made them what they are.
Last season they made a bold move by acquiring Sheldon Richardson and his expiring contract. Now that he’s a free agent the Seahawks have to make a decision whether to use the franchise tag on him or not. Even though the team really wants him back on a long-term deal, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport the Seahawks aren’t likely to use the franchise tag on Richardson.
If they were to use the franchise tag on him it would cost the team about $14 million to do so, and the Seahawks are a team with very little wiggle room when it comes to cap space. They already paid a high price trading Jermaine Kearse and a second-round pick to acquire Richardson so tagging him might not be in their best interest.
Another reason it wouldn’t be worth it to pay Richardson that kind of money is his lack of production. He finished last season with only one sack, and he’s only recorded two and a half sacks in the last two seasons. Granted he’s been playing out of position for the majority of the time, but that’s still not enough production for someone of his talent.
He is a very stout run defender, and the Seahawks have been one of the better teams against the run. They have made it clear they want to bring him back, but it’s going to have to be at a cheaper price or structured in such a way that they could make it work with their cap space.