It's time for another Seattle Seahawks mailbag. Let's get right to the questions.
@SheilKapadia What's Kearse's salary cap impact if released, and is he in danger of losing his spot based on drafted/signed WRs— On tha flipside (@homechix) May 2, 2017
Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was the subject of a bunch of questions this week. He'd likely admit that 2016 didn't go the way he wanted. Kearse was coming off a career season and struggled, catching just 41 of 80 targets (51.3 percent) for 510 yards and a touchdown.
He also led the NFL with six offensive pass interference penalties. Football Outsiders ranked Kearse 91st out of 93 wide receivers in terms of efficiency.
At wide receiver, Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson are locks to make the roster. Amara Darboh, a third-round pick, likely will as well. That probably leaves one or two spots for Kearse, Tanner McEvoy, Cyril Grayson, Kenny Lawler and David Moore.
But given the way Kearse's contract is structured, cutting him wouldn't give the Seahawks much cap relief. They'd save only $366,666 by releasing him.
They could bump that number up to $2.2 million by using a post-June 1 designation on Kearse. But that would defer $1.8M of his remaining cap charge to next offseason.
Bottom line: neither option is ideal.
But there's also the issue of pure cash charge. Kearse is due $2.2 million in base salary for 2017. If the Seahawks simply determine that the other wide receivers are better options than Kearse and replace his roster spot with a rookie, they could save roughly $1.735 million in cash.
So where does that leave us?
My sense has always been that the coaches and people inside the Seahawks' building value Kearse more than people on the outside -- especially when it comes to culture and being a good teammate. Having said that, Pete Carroll did replace him with Lockett in the starting lineup late last season before Lockett injured his leg.
If some of the lesser known receivers outplay Kearse in camp, there is a slim possibility that the team will look to save the cash and let him go. But that seems unlikely, especially considering that Lockett is coming off an injury and Richardson is entering the final year of his deal.
More likely, the team could look to part ways with Kearse next offseason. Doing so then would free up $5 million in cap space.
It's possible that Kearse sees a diminished role if the players behind him emerge. But more than likely, he'll stick on the roster for 2017.
@SheilKapadia Who will be starting on the online next year week one?— Josh Dowdy (@JoshuaDowdy) May 2, 2017
The way I see it, this comes down to Luke Joeckel and the left tackle spot. If that's where Joeckel sticks, from left to right I think it will be Joeckel, Mark Glowinski, Justin Britt, Ethan Pocic and Germain Ifedi.
If the Seahawks decide Joeckel is a better fit at left guard, I think we're looking at George Fant, Joeckel, Britt, Glowinski and Ifedi.
Looking at the roster overall, eight offensive line spots seem set: Joeckel, Glowinski, Britt, Ifedi, Pocic, Fant, Rees Odhiambo and Oday Aboushi. Odhiambo and Pocic are the wild cards. If they perform especially well at camp, the starting lineup could see a shakeup.
@SheilKapadia Can you give a sense of the DL depth and possible rotations now that we have a bunch of new ones? I think there were a couple UDFA ones too.— Ryan Mongelluzzo (@rymong) May 2, 2017
Nazair Jones should fit in as a rotational defensive tackle. The team still has high hopes for last year's fifth-round pick, Quinton Jefferson. Dion Jordan will get a look at multiple spots on the defensive line. And Cassius Marsh could still be a factor on game days, given his contribution on special teams.