Prioritized 2012 Seahawks Free Agents

50 yard line on an american football field
Ask most Seahawks fans who is the most important team free agent for the team to re-sign, and they would list off names like Marshawn Lynch and Red Bryant. Push for more, and they probably would say David Hawthorne and maybe Leroy Hill. If you were one of the select few Seahawks fans that jumped for joy when the team re-signed Breno Giacomini yesterday, pat yourself on the back. When factoring in team need, player fit, player talent, options to replace the player, and potential of the player, Giacomini arguably becomes the Seahawks most important free agent to re-sign. It is no wonder he was the first one signed, and that the team paid him a premium to keep him off the market.

James Carpenter should not be counted on to be back from injury by the start of the season. There are very few free agent options that make sense, especially considering the team has its starting right tackle of the future already on the roster. Add in that Giacomini is already well-versed in Tom Cable’s system, and played at a reasonably high level while filling in last season, and it becomes clear Giacomini may have been in a class by himself. The front office continues to make wise personnel choices.

I decided to take a stab at prioritizing the Seahawks free agents using a formula. It is not meant to be exact, but provides some classification of the value of each player. Here’s how it works:

Each attribute is given an equally-weighted score of 1-10.

TEAM NEED – How important is it for the Seahawks to address that position? Linebacker was treated as one need, as opposed to nickel LB vs. back-up WILL vs. starting MIKE. Linebacker is major team need, so it gets a 10.

PLAYER FIT – How well does that player fill the need for the team?

TALENT – How talented is the player?

TOUGH TO REPLACE – Are there easy free agent options or draft options or players on the roster that can fill the role?

PLAYER POTENTIAL – Can this player still get better, or have they reached their max already?

Each attribute was multiplied by the other for a total score. Here are the results:

Giacomini rates right up near the top by this measure. He gets the highest score for being tough to replace. He also it tied for highest potential for growth of the current Seahawks free agent crop. He could end being the future starting right tackle, and Carpenter could shift to left guard eventually.

David Hawthorne shows up high on the list, but his Player Fit score is the lowest in the top six players. Both he and Leroy Hill are not exactly what the team is looking for. This doesn’t mean they won’t be re-signed, but is the reason why they won’t be signed quickly.

Paul McQuistan also shows up higher on the list than most might expect for the exact opposite reason. His ability to sub at LT and both guard spots while being a veteran of Cable’s system makes him a near-perfect fit. And given the propensity for injury on the offensive line, that’s a big need to address.

Some will argue with John Carlson’s score. Another TE is not a big need on the team, Carlson’s fit is just average given his inability to block, and there are a number of replacement options if the team did want to add another receiving tight end.

Where do you think the ranking is right? Where is it wrong? Would you score by different criteria?