JULY 25: Financial details of the deal are in, courtesy of NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link). Nwosu will see $45MM in base earnings across the three new years of his contract, with the potential to see as much as $59MM. That will represent a sizeable raise for the 26-year-0ld, allowing him to join the 15 other edge rushers around the league who average at least $15MM per season on their current deals. Continued progression from last season’s success will be beneficial for both team and player over the next several years.
JULY 24: After a slow start to his career in Los Angeles, edge rusher Uchenna Nwosu really found his footing during a breakout season in Seattle last year. As a result, the Seahawks have decided not to let the 26-year-old even sniff free agency, extending his contract for three years, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Nwosu, a former second-round pick out of USC, stayed close to home for his first stop in the NFL. He played sparingly as a rotational pass rusher for the Chargers. Nwosu only made 10 starts in his first three years but contributed when given the opportunity, delivering 10.0 sacks, as well. Finally given a chance to start more regularly in a contract year, Nwosu gave his best performance to date, recording then-career-highs in total tackles (40), sacks (5.0), tackles for loss (8), quarterback hits (17), and forced fumbles (2).
The new highs were a good audition for free agency, but the numbers didn’t quite match what a full season of starting should produce. Regardless, the Seahawks took a chance on him, signing him to a “prove it” deal while still awarding him enough money to entice him to Seattle. Nwosu immediately rewarded the Seahawks for their investment. Starting every game of the season for the first time in his career, Nwosu delivered new career-highs of 66 total tackles, 9.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, 26 quarterback hits, and three forced fumbles.
After such a stellar season that finally saw a production that matched Nwosu’s level of play on the field, Seattle saw no use in allowing Nwosu to play out his contract year in 2023. Instead, they signed Nwosu to a three-year extension that can be worth up to $59MM. Schefter also reported that Nwosu will receive a guaranteed amount of $32MM in the new contract. The deal doesn’t pay him as much as the top pass rushers in the league, rightfully so as he has yet to see double-digit sack totals, but if he can realize the full value of the contract, he would be a top-eight earner at the position.
Nwosu will now comfortably return to what is continuing to look like one of the NFL’s best all-around linebacking corps. He’ll lineup opposite Darrell Taylor, who also totaled 9.5 sacks last season, with Jordyn Brooks and Bobby Wagner between them. The Seahawks don’t lack depth at the position either as Devin Bush and Boye Mafe wait patiently in the wings. With contract worries now behind him, Nwosu can concentrate on continuing to progress in his NFL development for his team of the next several years.