Russell Wilson's bargain-basement contract has been a tremendous competitive advantage, allowing general manager John Schneider to sign impact free agents such as Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. Now that Wilson is set to become the league's highest-paid player and Marshawn Lynch has been offered one of the NFL's most lucrative running-back contracts, the Seahawks will be forced to make tougher decisions in constructing their roster.
Biggest free agents
»*CB Byron Maxwell:* Speaking of difficult choices, Schneider has acknowledged Maxwell will be a hot commodity on the open market. Maxwell understands he's "the prettiest girl at the dance" coming off a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance. Will Quinn succeed in luring him to Atlanta to implement a new defense?
On the way out?
What they need
If questionable speed and shaky route running render Chris Matthews to one-game wonder status -- as NFL Media's Gil Brandt suggests -- the top need is for a wide receiver with size. Malcolm Butler's Super Bowl-winning interception and Seattle's Week 11 loss at Kansas City shined a light on the need for a wide-bodied go-to target in the red zone. The Seahawks will also be in the market for a starting guard and defensive line depth, especially if Mebane is jettisoned and Kevin Williams isn't re-signed.
Offseason crystal ball
Wilson and Lynch will be rewarded for their work in lifting the Seahawks to a second consecutive Super Bowl. Lynch is under contract for another year, so he's not going anywhere regardless. That means the uber-talentedChristine Michael will languish as a third-stringer for a third consecutive season. Keep an eye on middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who is another candidate for an extension.