Snaps Lost: Seattle Seahawks
The “Snaps Lost” series is a detailed look at the playing time void created by players that have left each team this offseason, whether they were traded, cut, left in free agency, or retired.
Because each unit plays a different number of snaps over the course of the year, we have created the “Full Time Equivalent” metric. FTE is the total number of missing snaps divided by the number of plays the team ran on that side of the ball. This is an equivalent measure of how many full time players (100% snap count) the team would need to add on to make up for their offseason losses, even though very few players actually play a full snap count.
For example, if a team had 1,100 snaps on offense and then lost seven players who combined to play 2,200 snaps, their FTE would be 2.0 (2,200/1,100). This ensures that a team who lost a high volume of players only has a high FTE if those players racked up some significant playing time. FTE can only fall between zero (no players left the team) and 11 (fire everyone!) for each side of the ball.
Each team will have a ranking following their FTE, with the first-ranked team in each category (offense, defense, and total) representing the team with the smallest portion of their playing time in need of replacement.
A few caveats before getting into the good stuff:
-Suspensions and injuries that may limit 2015 snap counts are not considered.
-Biggest Losses are purely in terms of snap count, not necessarily in terms of impact.
-All snap counts are Regular Season only.
Overall FTE Lost: 3.82, 7th
FTE Lost: 1.93, 11th
Biggest Losses: James Carpenter (846), Max Unger (385)
Summary – There were two big losses along the offensive line for the Seahawks. Carpenter took a four-year deal with the Jets after failing to really impress much in the four years since Seattle spent a first round pick on him. Though he spent less time on the field in 2014, Unger’s departure should have a more profound impact on the offense. His +12.4 regular season grade was fourth best at the center position despite a comparably small snap count. He was shipped off to New Orleans as part of the unexpected trade for Jimmy Graham.
Replacement Plan – As of right now Lemuel Jeanpierre is penciled in as the starting center, but Seattle is hoping he’ll improve- he earned a -6.7 grade for the three full games he started at center last year. At guard, the relatively unproven Alvin Bailey will gear up to start, and if things go poorly for him fourth round picks Terry Poole and Mark Glowinski could get a shot there as well.
FTE Lost: 1.90, 8th
Biggest Losses: Byron Maxwell (717), Kevin Williams (445), O’Brien Schofield (341)
Summary – Good news again for Seattle fans, as the losses on defense are fairly minimal. Maxwell signed a huge deal in Philadelphia, one that the Seahawks were smart not to outbid. Williams continues his lengthy career with a one-year deal in New Orleans after a single season in the Pacific Northwest. Schofield’s presence on the edge will be missed, but after playing a hair over one third of the team’s snaps, having him follow Dan Quinn to Atlanta isn’t going to by any means break the defense.
Replacement Plan – After being cut by the Eagles, Cary Williams found his way to Seattle looking to lock up a starting role. Jeremy Lane could be a bigger part of the defense this year, and between the two they’ll have Maxwell’s snaps locked down. If Brandon Mebane can recover fully from a torn hamstring he could add a couple hundred more snaps, with the likes of free agent signing Ahtyba Rubin picking up any slack. The rotational role of Schofield seems a perfect fit for a late second round pick like Frank Clark, as the options behind Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril are all relative unknowns.