The Seahawks may not have been overly active since the free agent signing period began three weeks ago.
But Seattle general manager John Schneider said Monday that doesn’t mean the team hasn’t been doing a lot of work behind the scenes. Instead, he said the relative inactivity — signing just two players from the outside — was part of a strategy to focus instead on re-signing some of its own key players as well as loading up on compensatory picks for the 2020 draft, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reports.
“Just being able to be a little bit more selective in how we are approaching free agency,” Schneider said Monday in an interview on the Brock and Salk Show on ESPN 710 Seattle during which he also helped promote his annual fundraiser for Ben’s Fund, which raises money to assist families impacted by autism. The fund is named after the first son of Schneider and his wife, Traci. Ben Schneider was diagnosed as autistic shortly after he turned 3.
Schneider said the team was more active in free agency last year — when the Seahawks signed the likes of Ed Dickson, Barkevious Mingo, Tom Johnson, Shamar Stephen and Jaron Brown — to make up for players it had lost, such as Kam Chancellor, Jimmy Graham and Cliff Avril. That resulted in Seattle getting no compensatory picks for the 2019 draft and, when combined with trading away three picks, leaves Seattle currently with just four picks when the draft rolls around April 25-27.
But this year, Schneider said the goal during free agency was designed to keep the team’s current core intact and load up on picks for 2020 — Seattle has all of its seven original picks and at the moment would also be awarded four as compensation for the loss of free agents such as Earl Thomas, Justin Coleman and J.R. Sweezy.