The Seattle Seahawks have been among the NFL's best franchises since they drafted Russell Wilson in the third-round in 2012. They have missed the playoffs just once in that time, have an outstanding record of 75-36-1 in those seven seasons, won the teams first Super Bowl in 2013, and nearly followed it up with another in 2014.
Since that 2014 season the Seahawks have not progressed past the divisional round of the playoffs however, and both age and injury have taken its toll on the elite defense the team leaned on for so long. The team has been undergoing a transitional phase of late, but that have been able to maintain their place in the playoffs and are still a very tough matchup for any team that travels up to Seattle.
In Madden 19 the Seahawks are a strong team. They have an 83 overall rating when you start Franchise Mode, made up of an 81 rated offense and an 87 rated defense. Those ratings ring true to the real NFL, but thanks to the quality of Russell Wilson the Seahawks play a lot better than that those ratings. However, they still need some work if you want to take the Seahawks back to the Super Bowl. How can you improve them? Let's start by looking at their salary cap situation.
Seattle Seahawks Salary Cap
The Seahawks start Franchise Mode with 61 players on their roster and $50.3 million in cap space. That's a pretty healthy place to be in as you have to cut 8 players to get down to the regular season 53-man roster. There are 23 players you can cut without any cap penalty, and some of those will free up more than $1 million each. With so much cap space already you don't need to move on from Justin Coleman ($2.91 million) or Dion Jordan ($1.9 million) immediately.
While the Seahawks have a very nice amount of cap space, a lot of it needs to be allocated to retaining impending free agents rather than eyeing up big free agent signings.
Seattle Seahawks Impending Free Agents
The Seahawks have 31 players entering the last year of their contract. Most can be easily replaced but there are several players that are important parts of the Seahawks roster and have to be offered a new contract.
The priority here is free safety Earl Thomas III. Thomas is the best free safety in Madden 19 with his 96 OVR rating. He has been the most important piece of Seattle's defense ever since he was drafted 14th overall in 2010. He is 29 years old at the start of Franchise Mode, meaning there are still some terrific years ahead of Thomas so you should throw as much money at him as it requires to keep him, and if he rejects every offer, then use the franchise tag to stop him hitting free agency. Either option will take a healthy bite out of your cap space but that's the price of having a future Hall of Fame player on your roster.
After you get Thomas signed defensive end Frank Clark and outside linebacker KJ Wright are the next players you need to start negotiating with. Clark is just 25 and already has a 86 OVR rating. Other than the amazing Bobby Wagner he is your best front 7 player. Wright is less vital but should still be re-signed as you have other areas you'd like to start investing in.
Other key impending free agents: DJ Fluker (G), Mychal Kendricks (OLB), Mike Davis (HB), JR Sweezy (G), David Moore (WR)
Seattle Seahawks Roster Needs
The Seahawks have a solid roster, but there are still areas they need to improve. The Seahawks offensive line is not good and both their starting guards are hitting free agency after season 1. Protecting Russell Wilson from hits and creating a solid running game is vital to the Seahawks moving forward, so investing up front is a smart strategy. Your draft class might not have an elite prospect at guard or tackle, but if you can find a third or fourth-round option that can develop for a year or two that would be a great way of improving your offensive efficiency. Elsewhere on offense, another receiving option would be very nice but something of a luxury. Keep your eye out for an athletic late-round option in your draft class at either wide receiver or tight end.
The defense needs some re-tooling though. The defensive line is thin behind Clark and defensive tackle Jarran Reed and a new linebacker to bring up along with Wagner and Wright would be nice too. Madden 19 doesn't recognize it but a new cornerback prospect would be very good too. Shaquill Griffin is the teams best corner and has an 80 OVR rating. While he is 23 and will improve, the depth chart is very thin there and if there is an elite prospect there in your draft class, it would be wise to drop a first-round pick on the position.
While you will be tempted to drop some of your cap space on a big free agent at one of these needs, it is worth realizing that both Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner will be free agents after season 2 so you will have to ear-mark a good chunk of cap space to retaining them.