The Eddie Lacy, Blair Walsh and Luke Joeckel signings were $10.7 million worth of Seahawks mistakes last year that you don’t need magnifying glass to see.
But the overlooked deal Seattle gave Jeremy Lane a year before hasn’t been any better. In fact, because his deal was for four years instead of the one, lost year Lacy, Walsh and Joeckel each got, Lane’s is worst.
I mean, the only thing Lane hasn’t done to pave his way out of Seattle is lay actual asphalt.
The 2017 opener at Green Bay in September was Lane’s first game of his new job as starting right cornerback, filling in for DeShawn Shead. Shead was recuperating from two knee surgeries since January of last year. Eight plays into his new job, Lane got ejected. He launched an elbow into Green Bay’s Davante Adams along the sideline well away from defensive tackle Nazair Jones intercepting a pass by Aaron Rodgers pass and returning it for a would-be Seahawks touchdown, if not for multiple penalties by Seattle on the play. It wasn’t the punch referee John Parry ruled while disqualifying him, but it was absolutely selfish and unnecessary.
Lane soon lost his job to the much more impressive and consistent Shaquill Griffin, the rookie third-round draft choice and undeniable future at the position. Then Lane lost his other job, the one he’d had for years as the fifth, nickel defensive back. Justin Coleman was a revelation as the new nickel. His trade from New England for a seventh-round pick days before the regular season began was maybe general manager John Schneider’s shrewdest of 2017.
Then in October, Lane went on an odd and dumb Twitter rant against his coaches and the Seahawks. By complaining online for all to see about losing his job, Lane violated coach Pete Carroll’s first rule: Protect the team.
The Seahawks showed what they thought of that a week later by trading him to Houston along with draft picks for 10-year veteran standout left tackle Duane Brown. But Seattle waited too long to get rid of Lane, after he had missed two games with a groin strain, returned to play against the Texans, then injured his thigh. So Houston failed Lane on his trade physical. That sent Lane and his approximately $2 million salary-cap charge back to Seattle. The unexpected, added cost put the Seahawks in a salary-cap mess the rest of 2017. They had to waive future Hall of Fame pass rusher Dwight Freeney soon after signing him, just to save a couple hundred thousand bucks. They had to go weeks with only 52, and fewer, available players on the 53-man roster because they couldn’t afford to put Kam Chancellor on injured reserve until mid-December.
Now, this: Lane got cited this past weekend outside Seattle for investigation of driving under the influence--then disputed his blood-alcohol content on, yes, Twitter.
And, even more troubling, this: Lane reportedly told the arresting officer suspecting DUI “I was more high than anything” and admitted to smoking marijuana before he allegedly drove 80 miles per hour in a 60-mph zone.
As the kids today say--that is, text: smh.
Lane could face NFL discipline including a possible suspension over this latest incident.
Don’t expect any punishment to come with Lane still a Seahawk.
The only reason he is still on Seattle’s roster is because all of his $4 million salary in 2017 was guaranteed. The Seahawks were going to be paying him this past season whether they cut him or kept him. They decided they were already in enough cap hell than to have to pay Lane to sit at home or join another team, too.
That’s not the case now. The Seahawks could save $4.75 million of his $7.25 million charge against their 2018 salary cap by releasing him this offseason.
Yes, the Seahawks would be squandering $2.5 million in sunk cost; that’s the amount of the last two years of signing-bonus proration left on his bad-idea extension. But Coleman, 24, and Griffin, 22, are three and five years younger plus millions of dollars cheaper than Lane. Plus, Coleman and Griffin will remain under club control for years. Coleman is a restricted free agent this offseason. Seattle needs to only tender him a qualifying offer to keep him, as they almost assuredly will.
Meanwhile, Lane keeps giving the Seahawks reasons to part with him sooner than later.