Commentary: No worries! Seahawks success rarely comes through free agency in March

We start with a wild day in NFL free agency, where former Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell is likely headed to the Eagles, and big-time defensive lineman Ndamakong Suh is headed to Miami.

But it reminds me of a familiar Mariners slogan: “Dare to Dream.”

Every March, we “dream” about the Seahawks signing a big-name free agent. But that fantasy often overshadows the reality of the salary cap.

Let’s use Suh as an example. We all became enamored with the idea of Suh anchoring the Seahawks defensive front. But I’m not sure many fans would also be in love with the idea of giving him a six-year deal at average of $19 million a year, with $60 million guaranteed – especially if it sacrificed a deal for Marshawn Lynch or possible extensions for Bobby Wagner or Russell Wilson.

It’s a reminder that, as a collective whole, every March we dream big, but in doing so, we often undervalue the free agent market. We often assume that big names will come to Seattle at a discount – which is rarely the case.

But that could be a silver lining. Let’s go down the list of big-time Seahawks acquisitions – the ones that made national headlines - in the month of March.

In 2013: Percy Harvin.

In 2012: Matt Flynn.

Even prior to the Carroll-Schneider regime in 2009, it was T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

In fact, since Sidney Rice was signed in July and Zach Miller joined in August, and because Michael Bennett had previously played in Seattle, we have to go back to Patrick Kerney 2007 to find a big-name, big contract Seahawks acquisition in the month of March that ended up having an decent impact on the field.

I’m not saying I’m not disappointed the Seahawks weren’t able to acquire Jared Allen last year, or Julius Thomas this year.

I’m just saying, with all due respect to Cliff Avril, who came to Seattle without much fanfare two years ago, Seahawks free agent history in the month of March isn’t a huge reason for this team’s success.

So yes, we can dare to dream. But if we don’t reel in a big fish, it’s not the end of the world.

We know where this franchise continues to be built – and that begins with the draft at the end of next month.