Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin signs pricy deal with Jacksonville

Seahawks
FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2019, file photo, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin (26) is shownduring an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale, Ariz. Griffin was so disappointed by his second NFL season he changed his entire offseason routine. Slimmer and faster, the Seahawks cornerback has been excellent through four games and will get another major test on Thursday against the Rams. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

SEATTLE, Wash. — Arguably the top free agent on the Seattle Seahawks, cornerback Shaquill Griffin has a new home on the opposite side of the country.

As first reported by Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic, Griffin inked a three-year, $44.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. A 25-year-old from St. Petersburg, Florida, Griffin’s deal will include $29 million in guaranteed money. Other reports indicate that his brother, linebacker Shaquem Griffin will also sign with Jacksonville in the coming days.

Reports this morning indicated that the Seahawks were making a late push to bring their 2017 third-round pick back into the lineup. However, their lack of financial flexibility made it difficult for the team to match the Jaguars’ offer.

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Like with each year, Seattle remains extremely quiet at the start of NFL free agency. As teams like New England and Jacksonville spend their cap early and often, the Seahawks are letting the smoke clear before making a push at signing this year’s crop of free agents.

Unfortunately for Seattle, losing your best cornerback for nothing isn’t the best look for a franchise whose star quarterback is applying pressure on the front office. With limited cap space and no first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Seahawks find themselves in flux. Griffin was widely considered the best free-agent corner on the market this year and while it would take a significant financial commitment to keep Griffin, it’s better than being the team that lets its homegrown talent walk when they’re trying to compete.

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The Seahawks also cut edge rusher, Carlos Dunlap, after trading for him midway through the most recent season. Even with their departures, there are still three key contributors on the open market at this time: Running back Chris Carson, cornerback Quinton Dunbar and linebacker K.J. Wright.

Seattle currently has $161 million allocated throughout its roster for this coming season, meaning they’re operating roughly $21.5 million below the NFL salary cap. Some of that will be filled by rookie contracts with the NFL Draft about a month and a half away, but the team has some serious decisions to consider.

Will they manage their money precisely and recover from a slow start to the offseason? Only time will tell.

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