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The Seattle Seahawks may have made one of the worst decisions of the offseason.
According to Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, the Seahawks made a “baffling” move by re-signing tight end Will Dissly to a three-year deal worth $24 million. The 25-year-old Dissly has never caught more than 24 passes or 262 receiving yards in a single season during his four-year career.
“This was a baffling move, as Fant—who has topped 600 receiving yards in each of the past two seasons—should step in as the primary receiving tight end,” says Knox. “It’s also a bad value because Dissly hasn’t established himself as a notable piece of the offense.
He has never reached 30 receptions or 300 receiving yards in a season. He showed flashes in his first two years, but they ended in knee and Achilles injuries, respectively. Over the last two seasons, Dissly has been a minor role player.”
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Seahawks Overpaid For a ‘Part-Time’ Player, Says Knox
The former fourth-round draft selection has started 36 of his 41 appearances in a Seahawks uniform and has yet to make a major dent in the receiving game. Knox argues that Seattle overpaid for a “part-time” player with their new deal for Dissly.
“This isn’t a knock on Dissly, who is solid,” says Knox. “However, the Seahawks erred by overpaying a part-time player they likely could have replaced in the 2022 draft.”
It’s hard to argue Knox’s point. Noah Fant — who was acquired in the trade for Russell Wilson from the Denver Broncos — should immediately step in as the go-to option at tight end. Fant has excelled as a receiving option early in his career.
According to Pro Football Focus, Fant’s 69.5 receiving grade ranked 16th among all tight ends with at least 50 receiving targets last season. By comparison, Dissly posted a 58.2 receiving grade, which was actually the lowest of his career.
Perhaps most concerning is the fact that Dissly has never established himself as the Seahawks’ go-to option at tight end despite a wealth of playing time. Furthermore, he’s played alongside less-than-stellar tight ends in Jacob Hollister and Gerald Everett over the years and failed to outperform them in any single season with the Seahawks.
While it’s clear the Seahawks intend to use Dissly in two-tight end sets with Fant, paying $8 million per season for a “part-time” player is more than egregious. Dissly’s new deal actually will make him the sixth-highest paid tight end in the league for the 2022 season.
Dissly’s new deal is definitely one of the worst moves of the 2022 NFL offseason.
OTC Player Evaluation Tool Justifies Dissly’s Contract
According to another observer, Dissly’s contract is actually of sensible value.
As noted by John P. Gilbert of SB Nation, the OTC player evaluation tool provided by Pro Football Focus determines Dissly’s value to be just under $24 million across three seasons.
The OTC calculations for Dissly comes out as follows: $7,170,578 for the 2022 season, $7,749,184 for the 2023 season and $8,816,849 for the 2024 season.
Over the Cap explains how the OTC player evaluation determines a player’s contract value.
“OTC’s player valuations are calculated using proprietary formulas to more accurately depict the value being provided by a player based on his on field performance relative to the current market for his position. The calculations utilize a number of statistic and performance evaluations that are provided by Pro Football Focus. Positional valuations use a number of factors including snap counts, PFF grades and statistics to determine the player’s primary valuation.”
Despite Dissly’s lack of production, the assumption that he’ll replace Everett’s snap count — Everett played 650 snaps to Dissly’s 512 snaps in 2021 — combined with the salary cap increase ultimately give Dissly roughly a $24 million value across three seasons.
The move may not make sense at first glance, but this advanced analytics tool seems to do just that.