One of the first questions we all ask when a team wins its first Super Bowl is whether that team has the potential to become a "dynasty." Fair question, I suppose, because everybody wants to believe they're watching the beginning of something extra special. We're all wondering who the next 1970s Steelers, 1980s 49ers, 1990s Cowboys or 2000s Patriots will be.
So, can the Seattle Seahawks build a dynasty out of what they have in place? Nobody knows for sure, but the odds aren't in favor of that happening. Why? Because it's nearly impossible to build a dynasty in the salary cap era.
Dude, it's now been a decade since somebody has successfully repeated as a Super Bowl champion. And in the last 10 years, we've had eight different champions. The Steelers and Giants are the only teams that have come close to resembling dynasties during that span, and Pittsburgh won their championships with two separate coaches, while the Giants won in rather surprising fashion four years apart.
Maybe that means we're due for a dynasty, and the Seahawks are young and balanced, so they'd be a much better candidate than, say, the Giants or Ravens, who won the previous two Super Bowls but weren't even in the playoffs this season.
But maybe teams can't maintain dynasty status at all anymore. Maybe it's impossible, what with cap restraints and all. Parity is now the name of this game.
This offseason, Seattle will have enough trouble with the post-Super Bowl open-market demand that lures unrestricted free agents Walter Thurmond, Golden Tate, Michael Robinson and Michael Bennett. All are key players.
Next year, it gets worse. Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Malcolm Smith, Chris Clemons and Cliff Avril are all slated to become free agents at that point.
And then Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, Bruce Irvin, Russell Okung, Marshawn Lynch and Brandon Mebane are due to have their contracts expire in two years' time.
The better the team performs — and they're expected to keep performing quite well — the harder it'll be to keep that core together.
It's encouraging that this was the second-youngest Super Bowl team in NFL history, but it's going to become overwhelmingly expensive to maintain this.
It also has a lot to do with the quarterback. When was the last time you saw a dynasty without a complete stud under center? Yes, Wilson has a triple-digit passer rating two years into his career, but while this Seahawks team does bear some resemblance to the early-1990s Dallas Cowboys, the reality is that the jury is still out on whether the 25-year-old can become a modern-day Troy Aikman.
So the Seahawks have more dynasty potential than anybody else in the league right now, including Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, but I still wouldn't get my hopes up, because dynasties in general might be dead.