How do Seahawks balance under a salary cap? Like your home budget
If you’ve ever had trouble understanding how the Seattle Seahawks balance out contracts under the salary cap, 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Justin and Gee” figured out the perfect guide – comparing it to a home budget.
Most people pay rent or a mortgage, have to maintain vehicles, and figure out if we want to splurge more on food, entertainment or clothing. When it comes to maintaining a roster built for a Super Bowl run, the choices and responsibilities are very similar.
Here’s how Justin Myers and Gee Scott broke down the Seahawks’ budget.
Quarterback Russell Wilson is the mortgage/rent. Everybody’s budget begins with housing, and for the Seahawks it all starts with their franchise quarterback. And no, Wilson doesn’t have a huge contract just yet, but a long-term extension that will carry the largest salary on the team could come at any point before next season.
Running back Marshawn Lynch is the car payment. Myers has a couple of reasons why Lynch is the second-most important piece of the budget. “It works because the Seahawks kinda rode Marshawn to the Super Bowl last year. And the other thing is without a car, you can’t get to work,” he said. “Without your car, you don’t have any income … You’ve got to have a dependable set of wheels. Talk about a dependable set of wheels on the offense, that’s Marshawn Lynch.”
The Legion of Boom is the utility bill. In today’s world, you can’t really live without energy and water. And on the Seahawks, the defense isn’t up and running without defensive backs Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas.
The offensive line is car insurance. If Lynch is the car, the offensive line is what protects him. It’s a necessary expenditure, even if it isn’t always in the forefront of your mind. “It’s one of those deals you don’t really pay attention to until there’s a problem,” Scott said. “When there’s a problem, oh boy you better have that car insurance.”
The linebackers are the TV package. The thing about a TV package is it’s customizable to your needs, but you have to build around a basic plan. For the Seahawks, middle linebacker Bobby Wagner is the centerpiece. “I put Bobby Wagner as my cable bill,” Myers said. “(Cable) is incredibly important to me, much like Bobby Wagner’s value to the Seahawks is incredibly important.” You can always upgrade your TV plan, too, but considering the Seahawks have weakside linebacker K.J. Wright locked up long-term but not Wagner, they’re in an interesting situation. “I think K.J. Wright is HBO,” Scott said. “Right now the Seattle Seahawks, they have purchased Netflix and they’ve purchased a little bit of HBO on the side, but they don’t have Comcast sewed up yet.”
The wide receivers are the cellphone bill. The Seahawks made due with a cast of supporting characters catching passes last season, but with the addition of All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham, who plays a lot like a receiver, they’ve made a significant improvement this offseason. “Bringing in Jimmy Graham to this wide receiver corps … you went from the iPhone 4s to the iPhone 6,” Myers said. Not everybody agrees, though – Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin texted Scott with his own opinion during the show. “The receivers are the health insurance. You don’t always need it, but you’re happy you have it when you do.”
The defensive line is the food bill, and the special teams returners are the clothing budget. This is where it comes down to personal preference. You need food and you need clothes, but it’s up to you how much you want to spend on those things. The Seahawks clearly like to eat well with big-name pass rushers Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril on the roster, but they haven’t been dressing too flashy since trading star return man Percy Harvin midway through the 2014 season.
To hear “Justin and Gee” break down the Seahawks’ budget, listen to this podcast of their Thursday show.