A Seahawks trade scenario involving Stefon Diggs & a pass rusher

February 13th, 2020 | Written by Rob Staton

For a while now, things haven’t seemed right between the Minnesota Vikings and Stefon Diggs.

He’s appeared frustrated on the field. There was talk of a possible pre-deadline trade during the 2019 season. Now he’s posting a series of obscure tweets that at least appear directed to the team (although you can never trust anything an athlete posts on Twitter).

Michael Rand in the Star Tribune predicted the following this week:

I like Diggs personally. As an interview subject, he shows you his personality and engages in a playful way. On the field, his production tends to match his high opinion of his own skills.

But the combination of salary cap, offensive direction and last year’s turmoil seem to make this less than a 50-50 proposition. The smart money is on Diggs not being here at the start of the 2020 season.

Forget all the drama for a minute. We can only speculate on that.

The real, legitimate reason why he might be available via trade is quite simple.

Salary cap space.

According to Spotrac, the Vikings are currently at $-12,330,944 for the 2020 season. Overthecap is projecting $-11,366,514. They need to shed anywhere between $12-13m in salary simply to be in the black.

The problem is they don’t have any obvious cuts. The Jaguars can move Marcell Dareus and save an immediate $20m. The Vikings are going to have to chip away at their debt while losing some starters along the way.

Shifting Everson Griffen saves $13m. That’s fine but he had 35 pressures in 2019 — 14th most in the NFL and only one fewer than teammate Danielle Hunter.

They can save $8.1m by cutting or trading Xavier Rhodes. He’s not the same player these days but he has been a long term starter. It’s also worth noting that Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander are both free agents. Are they prepared to lose three cornerbacks?

They could cut Linval Joseph and save $10.4m. Do they really want to move one of the better nose tackles in the league?

Shifting Harrison Smith saves $8.75m yet he’s one of their most important defensive players.

On top of all this, Anthony Harris is a free agent. They will be absolutely desperate to keep him but he might need a salary similar to Earl Thomas’ $13.75m a year.

The options for the Vikings are painful cuts, gutting the roster or accepting the situation and being smart.

This is the kind of situation a team like the Seahawks need to exploit.

They’ve done it in the past. Marshawn Lynch was out of favour in Buffalo, so they got him for a bargain price. Percy Harvin wasn’t going to be paid by the Vikings, so they traded for him. Jimmy Graham’s relationship with the Saints had deteriorated due to the way they handled the franchise tag, so he became available. Duane Brown wanted out in Houston and so did Jadeveon Clowney. The Lions wanted a fresh start in their secondary so made Quandre Diggs available.

Some of Seattle’s best and most aggressive work has occurred when a team is resigned to making a trade. Arguably their worst move — paying a second round pick for one year of Sheldon Richardson — came about because the Seahawks were buyers in a sellers market.

In this situation — the Vikings have to do something. So rather than cut 3-4 key players without getting anything in return, they should cut a deal.

The Seahawks and Vikings have been trade partners in the recent past. Aside from the Harvin deal in 2013, Minnesota also traded up from #40 to #32 with Seattle to select Teddy Bridgewater in the 2014 draft.

So what kind of a trade makes sense for both teams?

What the Vikings need in return

They need to create some cap space. They also need draft picks to fill some of their holes with cheap talent.

This would be a good year to trade Diggs. The draft is loaded with wide receivers. They would have a good opportunity to draft a legit #2 to play across from Adam Thielen.

At the same time, they’d be giving up a top talent. They might need to create cap space but they’re not going to give up a player of Diggs’ quality on the cheap. He had 4623 receiving yards in five seasons plus 30 touchdowns. Even playing with Thielen, he’s managed back-to-back 1000 yard seasons.

It’s only right that they would receive a high pick as compensation.

What the Seahawks need in return

Although their biggest needs are on defense (clearly) they also need to provide more weapons for Russell Wilson. Patrick Mahomes just won a Super Bowl with Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman to throw to. Wilson in 2019 had Tyler Lockett and rookie D.K. Metcalf.

Injuries (Will Dissly) and suspensions (Josh Gordon) took away two key weapons. Yet there’s no guarantee Gordon will play again and Dissly, after two serious injuries, needs to prove he can stay healthy.

Giving Wilson another proven weapon — especially one as dynamic as Diggs at a great age (26) — would set up the offense for years to come.

Thanks to the dead cap hit, it would also be a cost-effective move. His $9m in dead money would provide the Seahawks with a cheap addition in 2020. So while it would be expensive in terms of compensation (a high pick) — the salary cost wouldn’t be prohibitive in year one.

He’s also signed until the end of the 2023 season, so there’s long term security on the investment.

The loaded receiver draft class offers a solution too. Yet with the Seahawks needing to challenge right now, you have to weigh-up adding a proven talent versus mere promise and potential.

So what’s the deal?

The Vikings only save $5m by trading Diggs. Here’s the proposal.

Considering the likelihood of Everson Griffen being cut in order to save $13m, the Seahawks give the Vikings their first round pick (#27) and inherit both Diggs and Griffen.

This would give the Vikings $18m in salary cap relief. They would also gain a valuable first round pick.

By making this deal and cutting or trading Xavier Rhodes, they would potentially have enough money to re-sign Anthony Harris on a structured deal that limits the year-one cap-hit. They might still need to do more. Yet at least this move enables them to acquire a high pick to start re-tooling in a cost-effective way.

For the Seahawks they part with a first round pick but still have two second round picks, a third round pick and two fourth round picks to play with. They would pay Diggs about $5.5m in 2020 and Griffen $13m. They’d still have ample cap space to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney and a tight end, or re-sign Jarran Reed (assuming they were willing to consider some difficult cuts as discussed in detail yesterday).

Vikings fans could argue the price is too cheap. Unfortunately, their team has done a poor job managing the cap. Their need to create cap space impacts their leverage. Unless of course they want to cut a handful of starters for no return and simply become a worse team.

Even if the Seahawks had to throw in one of their fourth rounders for Griffen as part of the trade, is it not one that makes sense for all parties? If Diggs and the Vikings are facing a divorce, they receive proper compensation. Griffen appears set to move on anyway because the Vikings are in cap-hell. The Seahawks simply inherit his contract. They need a proven pass rusher and a weapon for Russell Wilson.

This is going to be an aggressive off-season for Seattle and this is the type of move that would typify that. With their two second round picks they could further improve the defense. Could they make a small move up the board, just as they did for Reed in 2016 and acquire Raekwon Davis to provide some traits and size to the interior? How early is too early for alpha dog Kyle Dugger? And round three could be a sweet-spot to add to the offensive line, with potential strong options such as Logan Stenberg, Damien Lewis, Matt Hennessy, Tyre Phillips, Hakeem Adeniji, John Simpson, Lloyd Cushenberry, Prince Tega Wanogho and Lucas Niang.

It’s hard to project trades but this at least feels somewhat grounded in reality with benefits for both teams.

Seattle’s best moves of 2019 all involved trades — moving up for Metcalf and dealing for Clowney and Diggs. A deal of some description feels likely over the next six weeks.

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194 Responses to “A Seahawks trade scenario involving Stefon Diggs & a pass rusher”

  1. dan f says:

    You forgot to mention the most important thing – Seattle has squandered every 1st round pick it’s made since Earl Thomas in 2010. (Maybe Bruce Irvin in 2012 although he arguably might’ve been picked too high). Using the 1st round pick for a couple of sure things is a no-brainer, cap cost be damned.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Well, for starters this wouldn’t be the most important thing even if it were true. It’s a nonsense that some fans keep recycling. James Carpenter has enjoyed a near 10-year career in the NFL as a starter. Bruce Irvin has been terrific. Paul Richardson was hardly a poor player, the injuries caught up with him. They shouldn’t have tried to turn Jimmy Graham into a complete tight end but the trade in 2015 created touchdown production that surpassed any draft option. Germain Ifedi has started for four years and will likely get paid this off-season to continue starting. The Malik McDowell pick was an unfortunate bust. It’s too early to tell about Penny and Collier.

      So no, they haven’t squandered every first round pick since 2010.

      • Ben says:

        Splitting hairs but Richardson & McDowell were 2nd rounders. Ifedi was second to last pick in 1st round. Your point still remains though. Also agree with the premise of your post…..Hawks should for sure flip their 1st (and possible 4th) for Diggs & Griffen.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Richardson and McDowell were their first picks after trading down modestly. They were still their first picks, which is why I included them.

          • Largent80 says:

            The end of the first round is equivalent to the second round. I really don’t understand why fans, and even radio people always complain about the Seahawks “first round” pick when it is always at the tail end because of success.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I think it’s because a lot of people enjoy complaining.

              • Mark Souza says:

                I think the trade has merit. And I think criticism of out first round drafting has merit. When you pick in the first round, you’re looking for All-Pro talent, a difference maker, potential for the Ring of Honor, and maybe the Hall of Fame. In ten years we’ve drafted only one who would fit that category, and we’ve gotten a lot of serviceable players.

                Serviceable isn’t what you strive for in the first round, it’s what you draft for in rounds 3-5. So in that regard, the criticism has merit, and with that in mind, I think it makes sense to consider trading our first rounder.

                • Ralphy says:

                  Thank you Rob. I get so tired of hearing that they are squandered. Hitting on starters is difficult. While they haven’t turned in to All Pro’s, there have been a number of good starters.I would also like to see the picks acquired in the trade backs included in these “squandered” picks.

                  I sent out messages to my buddies several times during the season asking if they are excited for Stefon Diggs to be a Seahawk next year. It’s just had that feel for a while. I love this move, my only hesitation is that you trade for a somewhat expensive player that is at the same position as the strength of the draft. I completely understand that he’s a known commodity but it is a chunk of change towards the strength of the draft rather than putting that money towards solving the D line.

                  • Jordan says:

                    Great take. I really love the idea of Diggs as a Seahawk. Rationally though not sure if its the right move. We need to upgrade the pass rush. And the strength of the draft is WR… WRs are harder to scout. Think there is a good chance of a quality player in the 2nd round.

                    Would Diggs help us win more games than a quality DL player? WR seems more like a luxury instead of need for the team.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    It doesn’t have to be Diggs or a pass rusher. It can be both. This trade proposal actually lands both.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  You see this is the problem. The idea that you should be looking for an all-pro, ring of honour or HOF talent at the end of round one is a major, major misjudgement. Do you realise that an individual draft class has about 10-20 genuine first round graded players? Many of the prospects graded between 25-50 carry the same grades. And they are not top tier grades.

                  To say the Seahawks should be finding even ring of honour candidates here is just not right. You hope they achieve that. What you realistically aim to get are players who can contribute. That’s it.

              • Miami Hawk says:

                You nailed it in 1 Rob. Some people just enjoybeing negative and unfortunately they tend to have the loudest voices. It’s much easier to throw out an oversimplified negative take than to go into the nuances of why the sky has not fallen.

    • Brandon says:

      I like this trade. Take away the 1st and lets give an a 6 instead 4. and i could see our draft shaking out like so. I see schneider trading back to add a couple more picks after losing two picks. Trading a 2nd round pick for a 3 a 4 and a 6.

      2. Terrell Lewis DE Alabama
      3. Hunter Bryant TE/WR/FB Washington
      3. Zack Moss RB Utah
      4. Trey Adams OT Washington
      4. Bryce Hall CB Virginia
      6. Cesar Ruiz OC Michigan
      7. David Moa DT Boise State
      7. Tyler Huntley QB Utah

  2. SwissHawk says:

    Yes please – this makes sense on so many levels

  3. Kenny Sloth says:

    I think that’d be a coup for the price. Two Pro-Bowl level guys for a first and a fourth?

    Vikings are desperate, and Schneiders a genius, so you can’t put it past him

  4. Chase Cash says:

    What is stefon’s current contract? You mentioned we’d pay him 5.5 this season but how much for the remainder of his current contract? I really like this deal because it fixes 2 needs in one go. Do you think they would still target an edge rusher in FA if they did this? As always great write up Rob, we appreciate the work you put in to the SDB.

    • Rob Staton says:

      His APY is $14.4m. That’s 12th highest in the league currently. But considering he’s tied up until 2023, that figure will only look better and better value in the future.

      As for targeting another EDGE — it would depend on what happens with Clowney and how the market plays out. I could live with Clowney & Griffen as a pairing for 2020. It would be nice to get some speed too.

  5. Darnell says:

    Do the Seahawks target their 3rd option enough to justify putting that much capital (financial and draft pick) into upgrading the #3 target?

    I’m not saying Diggs would be the 3rd most targeted player; but either he, Lockett, or Metcalf would be.

    2019 Targets totals:
    Lokcett: 111
    Metcalf: 100
    Hollister: 59

    3rd highest WR was Moore with 34.

    I do think the Seahawks need a better 3rd receiving option, but not necessarily by upgrading #1 or #2 but by adding a higher quality inexpensive #3.

    Percy, Jimmy, Deion Branch – there’s a lesson to be learned from trading first round picks for skill position players from other teams.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Hollister wasn’t even on the roster to start the season and he ended up with 59 targets. I think that tells you all you need to know.

      Not so long ago the Seahawks had Baldwin, Harvin, Kearse and spent their first pick on Paul Richardson. A year later they traded for Jimmy Graham. They are always looking for more weapons.

      • Ralphy says:

        Watch the coverage on Lockette at the end of last season. He was blanketed because we didn’t have enough weapons. Having three WRs that are studs opens it up for everyone, including the RBS.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Very true. People ask why we can’t be more like KC. Four names — Hill, Kelce, Watkins, Hardman.

          The Seahawks have Lockett, Metcalf and a bunch of average.

          • DC says:

            Two more names, Jones, Clark.

            There’s plenty of room to improve this roster. Last night I was pondering how many games we would have won without Russ? Not many.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Sure but that’s the case for most teams. San Fran ended up with the #2 pick without Jimmy G. They get their QB back and draft Nick Bosa and they end up in the Super Bowl. Green Bay were 7-9 in 2017 when Aaron Rodgers only played 7 games.

  6. drewdawg11 says:

    I’m on the fence about this trade, simply because I don’t know what Everson has left in the tank. That’s money that could go to someone closer to their prime. The Diggs part of the deal is wonderful, and I only wonder about how having he and Lockett affects DK’s overall development. Only so many targets to go around, but again, wonderful player at a good contract for a few years.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Here’s what Everson Griffen had in the tank in 2019:

      35 pressures (14th in the league)
      8 sacks (same as Yannick Ngakoue, Frank Clark and Von Miller)
      13 QB knockdowns (one more than Nick Bosa)
      13 hurries (same as Z’Darius Smith)

      Seems like he has plenty left in the tank to me.

      • drewdawg11 says:

        I understand what he did last year and I would guess that he would have similar production if a guy like Clowney is on the other side. He’s just getting older and we didn’t even rehash the possible ramifications for his mental health if he were to leave the Vikings. For $13 million you can put that toward a younger guy who is still getting better, and 7 years younger, (at a greater AYP, I know). It’s a risk, though.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Who are you getting with his production for $13m?

          And who is significantly better to warrant paying, say, $17m?

          • drewdawg11 says:

            We don’t even know what the market is going to be. Still, I acknowledged that you’d have to pay more for a younger player. What if they sign Clowney and then go with a guy like Armstead? Is he going to get $20 million per season? I don’t see it yet, but you never know. The question is, will they be willing to shell out more money if they acquire Everson? Probably not. I would feel better signing someone younger for longer, (you’re right back in the same spot in a year). If you can get a player who can fill the role for 4 years… I don’t know, man. I think you have to kick the tired on other players with youth on their side first. Still haven’t figured out if Everson would want to go to Seattle.

    • cha says:

      having he and Lockett affects DK’s overall development

      David Moore and Jaron Brown couldn’t even put a dent in DK’s snaps last year.

      DK’s already set ambitious goals for the offseason in regards to routes and hanging onto the ball. He’ll be fine.

      • Remember though, we can cut any of these players at any time. If Griffen does fizzle then you basically went 27 for Diggs at only $12 million a year which still isnt bad. I cant see him just disappearing though like Ansah did. though

      • drewdawg11 says:

        Those guys are career backup receivers and Diggs is a bonafide number one. That’s going to affect how many touches the other two get. I can’t believe you compared him with those guys.

        • cha says:

          Poor choice of words on my part, that’s not what I meant. Of course Diggs is worlds better than Moore and Brown.

          My point was DK got nearly a whole year of work with RW at the #2 WR spot. The Hawks typically prefer experience at WR (PC even said last year they really underutilized Brown and plan to rectify in 2019), and DK blew right through that. So even though his route running was pretty basic, he got a whole year of game experience as a starting player.

          And he’s admitted what he needs to work on – route running and ball security, and is going to work on that.

          Thus my thought that Diggs isn’t going to inhibit his development.

          • drewdawg11 says:

            That’s a fair point. Thanks for clarifying. I would absolutely love to see a receiver trio like this supporting Russ. As Rob has alluded to, he deserves it. I like Diggs a lot. That guy just attracts the ball to his hands by some sort of telekinetic prowess.

  7. cha says:

    As long as Diggs understands the Hawks have 3 WR weapons and a TE and still place a healthy priority on the run, I would 100% support this. $5m for Diggs in 2020 and a guaranteed player for the future? A pretty huge step in the right direction on the DL with Griffen? Oh yes.

    If they can swing this deal, sign Clowney and Fant, they can enter the draft without a glaring need, other than building depth on the DL.

    AND – forgive me for harping on this – despite all these moves they could still be in line to pick up some comp picks in 2021 for Reed, Ifedi, etc. Which makes it easier to throw that 4th in for Diggs + Griffen.

    • GoHawksDani says:

      If Reed goes, we have a graling need at DT. When your best DT is Poona Ford (who I like as a rotational piece) you’re in trouble. But if you could keep the guys you mentioned + Reed and land Davis in the draft, you’re at a pretty good position

  8. cha says:

    Rob would it be fair to say the Vikings have to make moves to get under the cap at the start of the league year (March 18)? In other words, they have to reduce their cap by whatever means necessary before the “real” FA signing period begins?

    It would be most ideal to have the Hawks make this trade before that time, so they could lock in their weapons and fill two huge needs. Might help convince Clowney to sign as well.

    • Bigten says:

      I think the statement “help convince Clowney” is very important to think about. We are going to have to show Clowney we are getting him help on the other side. One of the bigger deterrents from staying with the Hawks is the fact he has no help and is having to absorb double teams. Showing him that we are being proactive might go a long way. How soon do you think we could attempt this? Would you say that the combine is going to be a good time?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Sure. They could have this wrapped up by the combine if the desire was there to do it.

  9. That seems like a decent trade and that for sure would give Russ another great target and give us help on the DLine. However I believe your numbers might be wrong on Diggs. He has a base salary of $10.9 million, a $100k workout bonus and $500k in roster bonuses so his cap hit would be $11.5 million not $5.5 million. That being said you would basically get him for 4 years $47.5 million for years 26-30 which is way below the going rate and you could move on from him at anytime with no dead money. With Griffen it looks like it would be about 3 years $42 million with no dead money ($13.5 in 2020). Looks like it would be about $25 million cap hit between the two which wouldnt be bad. I ust wonder if we could sign Griffen for less if they release him but then you risk not getting him. All in all I think it would be a win for both teams.

    • cha says:

      He got a $15m signing bonus, $6 of which has been cap-factored the first 2 seasons. He has $9m in bonus $ left that would have to hit Minnesota if they traded him.

      • That is correct. His cap hits for us would look like this.

        2020…$11.5
        2021…$12
        2022…$12
        2023…$12

        4 years $47.5 million and no dead money if we release him.

        • GoHawksDani says:

          If this is right, I’m not a big fan. Just too much money with a good WR draft.
          We don’t necessarily need a WR1 or WR2. I think Raegor/Aiyuk/Hamler could start as WR3.
          And for ~20m (25m minus the rookie contract) we could get Fowler or Armstead or maybe other passrusher(s).
          For 18m I’m game, but 25m is just too much

          • Rob Staton says:

            I don’t understand why people are against Diggs + Griffen, with no long term financial issues because a.) Diggs would be traded and b.) Griffen has one year on his deal — but people are more than happy to throw an elite contract at someone like Arik Armstead.

            • Cyrus says:

              Amen, 2 pro bowlers on what would be pennies on the dime in this new insanely overpriced free agency market….. and you would still have 4 picks rounds 2-4 this would be a no brainer especially since diggs and griffen are both proven players

              • Mark Souza says:

                And amen on the insanity this free agency period is likely to spawn. With the way franchise tags are going to fall, Clowney is likely to be the only truly Top Tier unrestricted free agent DE out there. This is likely to drive DE salaries way up. Clowney is likely to command between 22-25 million/yr. And the lower tier DEs are all going to base what they want off that. So for the kind of talent we’re hoping for in the next tier, we won’t like the price. Or, if we wait for the bargain portion of free agency, we aren’t going to like the lack of talent and production.

                All that said, Griffen is looking better all the time. 13 million is going to be a bargain once things get rolling. And we’ll still have money for one more dip into the insane portion of the DE market.

            • Duceyq says:

              Couldn’t agree more Rob. To trade a first rd pick and get an elite WR on a good contract and a DE who performed at an elite level last year that is also familiar with PC’s system from USC is a coupe. JS should do that deal in a heartbeat.

              Seattle still has draft capital to move up in the draft if needed even after the trade. It also offers them financial flexibility to sign Clowney and add more pieces at the Edge or TE.

              Mind boggling to read the resistance to your reasonable offer..to be honest, Minnesota is in such a pickle I could see the compensationbeing possibly less. Maybe a 2nd and a 3rd or 4th with Seattle still holding onto its 1st..

  10. Replying to Bobby from the last post. I like the trade idea. Collier for Campbell but if we did a trade like this with Minnesota it might not make sense but I like the thought for sure.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I hope I don’t have to keep saying this.

      L.J. Collier will not be traded.

      Look at the sums people. It would literally cost the Seahawks $8m for him to go and play somewhere else.

      Anyone who thinks they will pay that huge sum to write-off a first round pick after one season is wrong.

      • Thorson says:

        Agree. Not only would it be expensive to trade him, it would be very premature. Obviously the Hawks’ braintrust saw something in Collier they liked or they wouldn’t have picked him where they did. In addition, missing the entirety of training camp due to a “unique” ankle injury did him no favors. While it remains to be seen what he brings to the table, I would be very surprised if he doesn’t take on a much larger role next year on this defense after a presumably healthy off-season and hopefully full training camp.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Not to mention who’s going to trade for him? He hasn’t done anything in the pros yet. Why would a team trade Campbell, one of the best DL in the League, for a player who basically had a red shirt rookie season and hasn’t shown much of anything? I don’t care what Campbell’s cap hit is. JAX ain’t making that trade.

        Why would ANY team trade for a player who is a total question mark at his position?

        • Michael P Matherne says:

          ‘Question mark’ is even generous. I know it’s early, but I can’t remember the last guy who was this ineffective in his rookie season. I think we’d be well within reason to label him a ‘reclamation project’ at this point.

      • Duceyq says:

        Agree here again! Must be a record ; ). I really think the Collier pick was a hedge against Reed’s possible departure. Could easily see him playing inside next to Poona.

  11. John Uhrich says:

    I don’t like the deal. Take a Wide Receiver with your first pick and wait for Griffen to be cut. If you want a veteran WR sign AJ Green. 1st round pick is too much to give up in this situation. Diggs has always been a 2nd option. When we traded 1st round picks for Harvin and Jimmy they were big time playmakers. You already have Lockett and Metcalf. Would Diggs be happy playing in a running offense and splitting targets?

    • That is an idea as well but who says Griffen would choose us as his option? We are a team that wants to win now and $12 million a year for a guy like Diggs is way below value. I agree with the WR point as its easier to blend in a rookie but we want to win now and this “could” help. Im not fully sure I would be on it for some reason you point out but it could be a good option for both teams.

    • Rob Staton says:

      1. A.J. Green will not reach free agency. He will be tagged by the Bengals. 100%.

      2. Why should Russell Wilson always be asked to do more with less? The Chiefs went and got Sammy Watkins for Mahomes and paid him top money, despite having Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Then last year they spent their top pick on Mecole Hardman. It’s time to give Wilson his fair share.

      3. Even if it were true that Diggs has ‘always been a second option’ (it isn’t) — he’d be the second option to one of the best receivers in the league. It’d be like saying Julian Edelman ‘was only second’ to Gronk in New England.

      4. It’s funny that people keep referring to the Graham trade like it was an epic bust. They shouldn’t have tried to force him into an unnatural ‘complete TE’ role. Yet in the last two seasons he scored 16 touchdowns and recorded 1443 yards. He set a record for TE yards in a season in 2016. It’s hardly a reason for not trading for a playmaker.

      5. Would Diggs be happy playing with Russell Wilson? Yes.

      • John Uhrich says:

        The Hawks have played the vikings several times over the past few years and I never said “man Stefon Diggs is a difference maker” or “he sure helps them win” and those weren’t the best seahawk defenses. I like the idea of signing Austin Hooper and making a play for some other defensive lineman. I will pass on the Viking option. We have big resources this offseason and Rob you do a great job analyzing how the hawks have capitalized on trades. The Vikings are in a bind I think we are overpaying in this scenario.

        • Rob Staton says:

          So the decision to trade or not trade for a player can only be based on whether they play well against Seattle??

          Michael Thomas vs Seattle:

          5 catches for 54 yards (2019)
          6 catches for 63 yards (2016)

    • Bigten says:

      Think the point is that tho. If we are drafting a WR round 1 anyways, we might as well trade it for a proven WR who has a positive relationship with RW already, and we don’t have to get into a bidding war with anyone for Griffen. I’m not a huge fan of adding the 4th, but this seems like a no brainer way to 1. Get RW the weapons he wants and playmakers he has asked for and 2. Get ensured help on the DLine which will go a long ways in helping retain Clowney (by not only getting him help opposite, but also showing how we are all in on winning a super bowl). If we could make this trade, sign Beasley, Shelby Harris, and Eli Apple, trade a 3rd for OJ then draft Raekwon Davis, JK Dobbins, Rashard Lawrence, developmental Oline, Gabrielle Davis, and Thad Moss. I might will be doing back flips. That would be my ideal “new faces” scenario.

    • GerryG says:

      Wait, wait, wait

      How can you not like a trade that brings two playmakers, pro bowl level, at a decent salary, in two positions of dire need? For only a first round pick, which is a late pick, a spot where most teams each year figure you are not gettin true first round graded talent.

  12. Trevor says:

    I like the trade idea given Diggs age and contract. Seems like a good solution for both teams.

  13. Volume12 says:

    I like Griffen. If Seattle somehow can’t keep Clowney I think he’s a great backup plan. He seems to have lost quite a bit of his speed though and I thought Seattle took advantage of that when they played them this year.

    We know Seattle has to get speed off the edge. Desperately bad
    Them not being able to line up anyone wide created a mess defensively. There was literally no room for error because it caused issues with their spacing.

  14. Coleslaw says:

    Rob, trouble in paradise.. Tony Pauline is saying Damon Arnette is not taking combine training seriously. Missing workouts is not a good look.

    Might make him fall but then again do we really want someone like that? Disappointing, but we probably wouldnt have drafted him anyway so I guess it’ll be someone else’s headache

  15. Eburgz says:

    I really like this trade idea. Both players are obvious fits from a personnel perspective. I also like the idea of a late rounder for Griffen and using out R1 pick on a wide receiver. Not 100% on either guy off the field (and on the sidelines in Diggs case). But you have to be willing to take that risk for 2 pro bowl level players at reasonable rates.

    Diggs temper tantrum in the playoffs (I think they were even winning or a 1 score game) was an especially bad look. Griffen leaving the team to deal with mental health issues is something that obvious needs to be looked into (wq seems like he has a great attitude though when he’s out there!)

    Funny video that may (or may not) shine some light on diggs character

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iYY4eP-IOSg

    For #27 I’m 95% sure I’d do this trade

  16. RWIII says:

    Rob: Sign me up for that trade.

  17. Zxvo3 says:

    It would be great for the Seahawks to make a move for Diggs. Especially the trade Rob is proposing. You get Wilson an actual “superstar” on offense while also getting Griffen in the deal.

    If Raekwon Davis is there in R2 I would definitely trade up to get him. You have to take a chance on his potential. If he’s not then maybe we could get Hunter Bryant with one of our 2nd’s and Willie Gay with the other.

  18. Ronny Bostromi says:

    Brilliant, Rob. I’d absolutely love to see this happen. Meeting 2 key needs w one pick! I think Diggs is a perfect fit for three reasons. 1. He’s really good, and whoever the D would focus on would leave the other two receivers with an advantage. 2. He seems like a good compliment to Lockett and Metcalf. Kind of in between and able to do things others can’t. 3. He excels at the deep ball. Imagine 3 legit receivers who can all go deep! Game changer.

  19. Darnell says:

    Oh, absolutely and they should be looking for more weapons. And you’re certainly correct in identifying that pattern of aggressiveness.

    My concern with a 1 for Diggs would be proper resource allocation. Their sweet spot for WRs tends to be the Tate,Lockett, Metcalf spot where round 2 bends into round 3. And I think I would prefer to go that route with a rookie who is a Seahawk from day 1 rather than someone from elsewhere who comes in with ideas about how things should go. I think there is always a risk of trying to ‘force it’ when bringing well compensated weapons from elsewhere

    DK is well on his way to being a high end #1 WR and I am not sure how that hierarchy would sit with some. Lockett seems to have the personality to take that in stride, but most WRs don’t share that attitude.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I have no problem with them drafting a WR from this excellent draft class at the position.

      But eventually RW deserves more than just an endless stream of rookies and no names. He deserves some proven experience to be added to this offense too.

      • Duceyq says:

        Also, trading for Diggs would allow Lockett to move to the Slot, which may be a much more dangerous position for him. With DK’s growth and Diggs talent Seattle could immediately vault there wideouts into a top 5 unit with one trade.

  20. RWIII says:

    Rob: You mentioned the Jags may be cutting Marcell Dareus. Any thoughts of bringing in Dareus?

  21. Rob Staton says:

    The ultimate BAMF line.

    Jadeveon Clowney
    Calais Campbell
    Raekwon Davis or Jarran Reed
    Everson Griffen

    You could even tempt me to invest in one of these SAM/LEO’s then.

    • Donovan says:

      And the theory on how we get Calais and Raekwon is using both our 2nd Rd picks? Calais in trade, and Raekwon in a pick. With your Griffen/Diggs notion, I think we’d have the cap space. Super Bowl here we come!

      (I doubt though that Raekwon lasts to end of 2nd.)

  22. Zxvo3 says:

    Two mammoths in the middle in Raekwon and Calais… sign me up!!

  23. ivotuk says:

    I would be in hog heaven if we got Linval Joseph! I like Shelby Harris too. Here’s some stuff I Posted at .NET

  24. ivotuk says:

    Shelby Harris caps ‘amazing season’ with game-saving pass deflection

    After the Broncos’ 16-15 win over Oakland, Shelby Harris breaks down his game-saving play and shares why 2019 meant so much to him personally.

    https://www.denverbroncos.com/video/she … deflection

    Intercepts Ben Roethlisberger! Bwhahaaha!

    https://www.reddit.com/r/DenverBroncos/ … olor_rush/

    “Speaking of Shelby Harris, he is one of only five players to have tallied at least six sacks and six passes deflected this season.

    He leads all defensive lineman in passes deflected and his set a new career high with six sacks.”

    When he was kicked off the football team at Illinois State during his senior season, Shelby Harris took a job as a waiter at Biaggi’s, an Italian restaurant.

    Harris was determined to keep chasing his NFL dream amid the setback, so he trained on his own for the NFL combine while his teammates took the field Saturdays. But he also had to pay the bills, so he dished out pasta and poured wine to keep food on his own table.

    “Every snap out there is a blessing. There’s people out there that have regular jobs,” Harris said. “Come on, man. I love this game of football. There’s not something different I would want to be doing.”

  25. ivotuk says:

    Hey Rob, have you checked out The Athletic? Really good writing, none of that high school “Must write 5 paragraphs’ stuff full of fluff.

    I like the quality of writing, and was holding out until they offered me a year at $33

    Ray

  26. astro.domine says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised if someone offered more than a 1st for Diggs, the phenomenal talent that he is.

  27. Cluff says:

    I hate to shoot down this fun idea, but Griffen’s deal apparently will void and he will become a free agent (unless he redoes his deal again to stay in Minnesota). Since the trade period begins at the same time as free agency, March 18, the Vikings cannot trade him.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I thought it was a player option that he would have to choose to void his deal which presumably he wouldn’t do if someone was willing to keep it at current value.

      • Im pretty sure it became a player option once he hit certain numbers which he did. I dont know how it works if he is traded. Ill send out a tweet to Joel Corry and see if he can answer it.

        • OK Joel Corry got back to me and he said Griffen has until 2/25 to void his contract. If he doesnt it just stays the same. We wouldnt make a trade like this until early March (after the combine) anyways so it doesnt appear his contract would be an issue. I dont see him voiding it as he probably would get that much again.

          • Cluff says:

            Good info sniffing, Greg. Joel knows his stuff.

            So we will know by 2/25 whether Griffen will decide his fate or let the Vikings decide it for him. If he does not void it, the Vikings then could (1) keep the deal as is and find cap space through other moves, (2) work out a new deal with him, (3) talk to teams at the Combine about a possible trade, (4) simply cut him (assuming they got no bites and chose him as a cap casualty). If a trade is the option, it couldn’t happen until March 18, officially.

    • cha says:

      I would think all that could be worked through before the trade is finalized. Minnesota would be incentivized to facilitate the completion of the deal.

  28. BobbyK says:

    Rob, I live in Minnesota and remember what you said about how you could/should judge a player by what the hard core fan base thinks of them (Lions mad Diggs was gone; happy Ziggy was gone)? Most of my friends here acknowledge that Diggs is good/great and talented – but most of them want him gone. This slow divorce started early in the 2018 season. They’d love getting a 1st round pick for him (lose the attitude, save money, and get a cheaper WR in a rich draft class at that position). Sure, he may simply need a change of scenery – but the Seahawks aren’t exactly a run-and-shoot offense and we’ve always talked about the need to maximize the targets that WRs get since they don’t throw as often. And Diggs would definitely help with that.

    But Diggs has a track record here of basically not caring (actions speak louder than words) about winning as much as his individual targets. Everyone here knows that. I know Diggs would enjoy a good 2020 but when he becomes comfortable after he’s a Seahawks veteran – he’ll be “too good” for others again when things don’t go his way.

    The only guy Viking fans would rather get rid of is Rhodes. That guy is hated maybe more than the Packers in this part of the world. I do know Viking fans would be mad if they got rid of Joseph and many want to keep Griffin – but they do understand the cap situation, too. But it’s not because they hate him and want him gone (see Diggs and Rhodes).

    In this scenario, I’d rather keep pick 27 and take a rookie WR and have, what, about $15 million extra (Griffin and Diggs will cost financially and the rookie will cost about $3 million) for a player to sign (if Griffin is released – he won’t get $15 million on the open market).

    I just have flashbacks to the Dolphins trying to win now and always getting older for Marino with Byers, Keith Jackson, Irving Fryer, etc. I’d rather potentially draft another DK Metcalf (young, team controlled player at a small salary) and risk him being a bust than drafting a proven (talented) malcontent who makes more money (and, yes, I know his salary isn’t as prohibitive as, say, a Percy Harvin contract).

    If we get Diggs – great. I’ll root for him. And he is good/great. But I’d rather have the ability to draft a young guy.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Great insight.

      I can see the merits of both sides in this. The only thing that gives me pause is precisely the amazing WR class, which will likely leave a very enticing talent available to us for cheap in late R1/early R2.

      Yes, Diggs Is proven in the league and we would get him on a steal of a contract until 2023. A draft pick is un-proven, but Reagor, Ruggs, Aiyuk, Hamler all have star potential in my eyes and seem to have the competitive, gritty personality we love.

      What an interesting off-season this will be. Can’t wait to see what JS cooks up. I have a feeling none of us will have seen it coming and it will be even sweeter than we could have imagined!

  29. Spencer says:

    Would love this. Re-sign Clowney (22m), bring on Griffen (13m), and sign one of the DEs who maybe doesn’t find the market they were expecting for around 4-5m (Golden, Beasley, Irvin, Frackrell, Vernon, Ogbah). Bring back Fant or Ifedi (7-8m) and restructure Britt. Let go of Dickson. Sign a DT like Jordan Phillips or bring back Reed (8-9m). Possibly bring in Olsen if we can afford it.

    Thats around ~56m. Backload some of the contracts to leave room for the draft. Bring in depth at DT, CB, and OL in the draft.

  30. Outfrigginstand!!! Could definitely see the 1st and 4th rounders, beingvenough. I know it’s all speculation, but love the idea. And reasoning behind it.

  31. Outfrigginstanding!!! Could definitely see the 1st and 4th rounders, beingvenough. I know it’s all speculation, but love the idea. And reasoning behind it.

  32. Brazilian Hawk says:

    I would honestly prefer it if the Seahawks targeted Von Miller + OBJr. Von Miller is my favorite non-Seahawks player.

    It’s interesting to take in perspective that a Lockett + Diggs duo would cost much less against the cap combined than Julio Jones or Mike Thomas. Also, if you take account that Kittle and Kupp are in for mega deals, they might as well be cheaper combined than them.

  33. Davido says:

    As expressed before this would not be my favorite scenario. Very plausible tho, good job on making the reasoning that clear.

    I think there is a high chance of Griffen becoming a free agent and a reunion with Pete would make too much sense. He has the chance to win a ring while playing for Pete again? I don’t know what other teams could offer that sounds better. Besides throwing a lot money at him ofc. But I think the teams that want to spend big on DE will do that elsewhere.

    Banking on (Clowney) and Griffen to start at DE would remind me a bit of last season with hoping that Ziggy would do his job. Sure Griffen is healthier right now but there are also concerns (age mental health) especially the second one would be more of a doubt if he is traded right?
    I would much rather bring in Griffen as an additional piece similar to Bennetts role lately.
    If he pans out? Awesome you have a very good rotation. If Clowney moves inside for passing downs you could even have Griffen, Clowney + x on the field.
    If he doesn’t pan out? You have at least two starting caliber Ends unlike last season.

    Diggs is very talented player and I would love to have him. I just don’t know if the Seahawks will use Diggs, Metcalf, Lockett, Dissly and e.g. Hooper all to maximum efficiency. As I said before I don’t agree on the KCC comparison since their offense is so different.

    All that being said, just like the other trade options this is very logical and well thought off. Will be interesting to see how our front office thinks about this. I could definitely see all of Robs scenarios happening.

    • cha says:

      Diggs is very talented player and I would love to have him. I just don’t know if the Seahawks will use Diggs, Metcalf, Lockett, Dissly and e.g. Hooper all to maximum efficiency.

      I don’t understand this line of thinking. You don’t want to have too many offensive weapons?

      It’s not about making sure guys get the number of catches we all expect him to. It’s about overwhelming a defense. Think about that. By the end of the season DK was towering over DBs on shorter routes and running past them on longer ones. Whatever way the CB decided to play it, DK had an answer. Now imagine that, only the CB is always on an island because the deep safety has to keep an eye on Diggs and Lockett. And if all 3 run deeps, whoopsie there’s Dissly running a seam for 18.

      It wouldn’t be about numbers, it’d be about RW identifying the mismatch. And there’d be one on nearly every play if they somehow landed Diggs.

      Now if the concern is Diggs knowing he’s not going to post eye-popping individual numbers, and making nice until the first game he isn’t targeted by RW until the 3rd quarter, that’s a different discussion. That’s the one I’d be more concerned over.

      • dcd2 says:

        Nice thoughts from both sides. Well said.

        I tend to side more with Davido, but the idea of a best case scenario playing out with a happy and productive WR corps of those 3 is sexy.

      • Davido says:

        Okay let me try to explain. I will use the Graham example again, sorry Rob. Graham was probably the second best TE in the league when we got him. Just behind Gronk who was incredible.
        Was he the second best performing TE when he was with us? I don’t think so. We used him differently. He was expected to block which he was not very good at. So while he was still a very talented player and a weapon for Russ he was not as efficient as he could have been for a different team. This didn’t make the trade bad, value wise back then. We still got that very talented player for a fair price and he definitely added value. Looking back: Did the trade work out positively? I don’t think so. To some degree he was wasted in our scheme.

        By using the “adding weapons” logic you could also argue for 5 good WR because every additional weapon counts. I know we only play 3 at a time that’s why none of you suggests to add 5 but still the question for me is: does this offense need all 3 Lockett Metcalf and Diggs? How much better would Diggs make this offense compared to a different serviceable WR3 like Gordon was for us last year. I don’t think the difference would justify the price. You can always add more weapons but there is a reason there are no teams with 3 legit WR1 on the roster. And for me Lockett is a WR1, Metcalf shows all the signs that he could be and Diggs is a WR1 for me too. This would not only equal what the Chiefs had, it would be even better imo. Keep in mind the Chiefs have the most passing heavy offense. We won’t pass that much with Pete.

        To bring all this theory crafting to an example: Lets say you can get Von Miller for our first rounder or Diggs. I believe Miller would make this team far better than Diggs would. Not only because he is a better player but also because he is exactly what this team needs and could turn the Defense from lets say #20 to #10 which would have a much bigger impact than improving an already good offense.

        Sure adding weapons for a very good QB is fun and good. I just personally want this defense to be fixed. This is where I want to see resources invested. If they find a way to fix it while spending their first draft pick for Diggs I am definitely in!

        • cha says:

          We still got that very talented player for a fair price and he definitely added value. Looking back: Did the trade work out positively? I don’t think so

          So you grant it was a fair price and Jimmy was productive but don’t think it worked out positively? I think you need to reevaluate your standards. You’re just going to be disappointed time and time again.

          JG logged 16 TDs his last 2 seasons once the Hawks decided to stop making him a traditional TE. That’s a good return.

          And if this helps you feel any better about the trade return – the pick that came with jimmy from NO was used as ammo to trade up and draft Tyler Lockett.

          The Hawks need a 3rd weapon badly. If they get Lockett, Diggs, and DK for all 16 games in 2020, that would be amazing. But if 2020 is anything like 2019, the Hawks will have to deal with injuries to star players. Having serious depth means the offense can keep chugging along without too many adjustments and limitations to the game plan. I like Jacob Holliser, but good grief, 59 targets is NEVER the number I’d peg for him if I was forecasting positive scenarios in the preseason.

          The Hawks have lots of cap room, draft capital and RW has requested more help. Let’s go get him some!

          I just personally want this defense to be fixed. This is where I want to see resources invested. If they find a way to fix it while spending their first draft pick for Diggs I am definitely in!

          Agree 100%. Fixing the D is priority #1. Griffen is included in this trade talk. That’s a huge step in the right direction.

        • GerryG says:

          Good defenses were able to really slow this offense down once it was just Dk and Lock, and when Lock got hurt this offense was nearly pedestrian.

          Three dynamic weapons in the pass is critical to becoming a championship caliber offense imo (especially since they are not going to become an all time legendary D next season).

          Who knows what those threats would do to the playcalling as well, they will never abandon the run, but the aggressive big plays would increase most likely

          • Davido says:

            Its very hard to argue if you go around my point all the time by keeping to insist that DK and Lockett are not enough. 100% you are right! We saw that last year.
            The option is not Diggs or nothing. They could also get a good TE to add to their arsenal. They could add a TE and a WR in the draft in round two. They could add a TE and another solid veteran WR that becomes available. Im not saying that they have enough weapons and that they shouldn’t add any. Im just saying that the same resources could be spent more wisely elsewhere, look at the Miller option.
            There is a reason teams don’t usually have 3 good WR. The Chiefs are not the average and they are not the only team to look at. The 9ers have a worse WR room and were still a better team, the Packers only had Adams, The Ravens don’t have better receivers neither. The Titans had nobody besides Brown. All those teams were more successful without having endless amount of weapons.
            Lets not be black or white about all this. I never said the trade was horrible. I only said it was not my favorite choice.
            Same goes for Graham. Did the trade ruin us? Hell no. Would I do it again, knowing the outcome beforehand? I don’t think so.

            • Rob Staton says:

              The option might not be Diggs or nothing but it doesn’t mean you need to keep arguing specifically against the Diggs option in an article designed to bring it to the table as a talking point.

              • Davido says:

                I can’t follow that logic. You bring it to the table, for what? Just so everyone agrees and loves any scenario? Isn’t this the exact right place to express that the option you suggest might have flaws?

                • Rob Staton says:

                  No, not so that everyone can love it and agree with it. And lose the snark by the way, it’s not appreciated.

                  You have constantly just repeated the same negative reaction. We know where you stand on this matter. Let people debate it without wading in every time saying the same thing.

  34. Denver Hawker says:

    Nice trade proposal Rob- considers needs on both sides. This is how the rich get richer in the NFL- exploiting mismanaged teams.

    Seems like it’d still take some draft trade magic to secure Raekwon/Dugger/Sternberg, but a boy can dream, right? Still would love to draft Gay though- too hard to tell where he goes in the draft I imagine.

    Where would this leave the TE need? Doesn’t seem like much cap left after paying Clowney, Griffen, a Right Tackle and another Dlineman. Perhaps Diggs fills a need for middle field zone buster and we just need another good blocking tight-end.

    • Davido says:

      Signing a good third WR might decrease the need for a TE.

      • LLLOGOSSS says:

        It’s a numbers game at TE, though. Similar to RB’s we can’t find ourselves in a situation where we can run our offense if someone (or two or three) goes down. Not to mention that as much as we love Dissly we aren’t merely talking depth right now — it’s the starting TE spot that is open until further notice.

        • LLLOGOSSS says:

          *can’t run our offense.

          When the blog gets updated I’ll be thrilled if we can edit comments 😒 proof-reading is not a discipline I’m familiar with.

  35. KD says:

    Let us suppose that this scenario does play out (and I would be thrilled if it did), how do you see this shifting the focus of the draft? Do you stay on offense and shift the focus to TE, OG, or even yet ANOTHER receiver like Hamler?

    Also, I am loving what I am seeing out of Stenberg. Would it be wise to try him out at center or is his place solely at guard since Britt may end up being a cut?

    • KD says:

      Just to be clear, I wasn’t ignoring the end of the article where you suggested some draft names. I’m not very good at fully articulating my thoughts. I should have been more clear by asking if the Hawks stay more focused on the strength of the class by staying on offense, or does this trade scenario fill enough of a need to take a risk on defense despite that fact that this is not a great defensive class, at least IMO. Shifting to a defensive focus fills needs, but is riskier. Doubling down on offense seems safer, but there is a diminishing return aspect to it.

      • Sea Mode says:

        Well, we would still need to get a serviceable TE, figure out the OL, and pick up a RB3. But at least the superstar weapon Russ has been asking for will be checked off, so we can go cheaper for those other needs either in bargain-bin FA or later in the draft and focus on defense with our two R2 picks.

        Raekwon (send R4 to trade up into mid R2) and Willie Gay Jr. would be nice pieces to add to the defense. Then maybe Duggar or Chinn in R3 and a project CB (I’m liking Iowa CB Michael Ojemudia) later on.

  36. Kingdome1976 says:

    Sorry, I haven’t read any of the comments…yet.

    After reading this article my first 3 thoughts are these:

    1. The Vikings have drafted really well the last 4-5 years.
    2. Diggs would be sweet but it seems to make more sense just drafting a R1 WR.
    3. I didn’t think we had a 3rd round pick.

    Please correct me. I’m tired.

    • Rob Staton says:

      They will receive a third round comp pick for Earl Thomas.

      I like this rookie class at WR but Russell Wilson has constantly been asked to work with less. He equally deserves a proven quality veteran addition.

  37. EranUngar says:

    Thrilling idea, killing two key birds with one stone, but – NO.

    I can get behind a 4th for Griffin if they vetted him properly (mental+age) but I can not see see Diggs at 12M a year even if he was the most team friendly WR eager to block for the running game and share his targets with DK and Lockett. (Which he definitely is not…).

    IMO, we do not have the cap space to cover all bases. The number seems big but the cost to just get the DL to what it was last year would be >25M and if we want to get better it would take over half of the free cap after various cuts.

    I want RW to get more weapons but I do see it coming at WR with >10M cap cost, especially considering the talent available in this draft class. DK should be better next year (2nd year leap) and a talented WR3 drafted in the 1-2nd round would be the perfect solution.

    If the FO has 12M cap space to invest in helping RW – the best place for it would be in the OL.

    I fully understand the need for a TE due to Dissly’s previous injuries but at 10M a year I’d rather have a monster DT than TE injury backup. We’ll have to roll the dice somewhere and I’d rather gamble that Dissly stays healthy than gamble that Jones/Mone/Christmas can become a solid starter. A blocking vet TE at Ed Dickson’s salary level would be enough.

    • EranUngar says:

      Also,

      If we are in the business of signing a 31yo big (275) pass rusher with 8 sacks a year and some mental issues, we can get JPP in the free market for half the cost.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Pressures:

        Griffen — 35
        JPP — 24

        QB knockdowns:

        Griffen — 13
        JPP — 6

        QB hurries:

        Griffen — 13
        JPP — 9

        Not to mention JPP was playing in Todd Bowles’ all-out attack, blitz every down defense and Griffen plays in a conventional ‘rush with four’ attack.

        • EranUngar says:

          All true. But, JPP did it in 8 games coming back from a broken neck and Griffin did it in 15 games.

          https://www.espn.com/blog/tampa-bay-buccaneers/post/_/id/23237/buccaneers-jason-pierre-paul-overcame-the-odds-again-but-future-is-uncertain

          Is this not a player you’d love on your team?

          • Rob Staton says:

            No, not really. I just don’t see JPP as the answer. Griffen was coveted by the team a year ago apparently and aside from one challenging mental health issue has been a pillar of consistency in Minnesota, a team legend and a terrific pass rusher.

            • EranUngar says:

              I agree that JPP is not “the answer”. Neither is Griffen on his own.

              We need to replace (or resign) Clowney and Reed just to get to what we had last year and still need one more key player on that DL to improve on what we had. That’s 3 big salaries that will eat a huge chunk of the cap before we set to man LG, RT and resign various ERFAs, RFAs, TE etc.

              To me the question is how to put together the whole puzzle knowing that at some points we’ll need to role the dice to save some cost for other positions. With that in mind I keep looking to find cost saving alternatives (knowing they come at a cost in quality). I do not think JPP is the better player for the position, I’m just wondering if at his reduced cost he may not be just good enough…

    • Rob Staton says:

      Diggs’ cap hit is completely manageable and comparatively tiny compared to the top receivers in the league. The dead cap hit means it wouldn’t be expensive in 2020 either.

      A lot of people are asserting what Diggs will/won’t be able to do. I’d suggest he’d be very happy playing with his friend and elite QB Russell Wilson.

      You’re not getting anything on the OL for $12m. Nothing worth having.

      • EranUngar says:

        “You’re not getting anything on the OL for $12m. Nothing worth having” – Really?

        Since you have to pay someone to play RT (and possibly LG), 12M is the difference between a 3-5M hole on the line and ANYBODY YOU WANT…ANYBODY….

        • Rob Staton says:

          No, you probably won’t get anything for $12m. Aside from an overpaid waste of money. The best OT’s are not going for $12m in free agency. They either are retained due to the dearth of OT talent in the league or they will be overrated and get OTT contracts in FA, such as Nate Solder.

          Don’t understand how unnamed offensive tackle is better than one of the top receivers in the league at a cost that makes him about the 15th paid player at his position (a rank that will only get lower between now and 2023).

          • EranUngar says:

            OK, I’ll bite. We get Diggs and Griffin at 25M.

            Who plays RT for the Seahawks next year and how much do they pay him?

            How much do we have left for Clowny, DT?

            • Rob Staton says:

              It could be George Fant, who I don’t think will break the bank, or a draft pick, or a cheap veteran in the mould of Sweezy/Fluker/Iupati.

              They would have more than enough to re-sign Clowney because as I’ve said a few times now, even if you sign him for $23m a year — that doesn’t mean his first year cap hit is $23m. Khalil Mack’s cap hits have been $13.8M in 2018 and $11.9m in 2019. Frank Clark’s cap hit in 2019 was $6.5m.

          • Duceyq says:

            Rob, what are your thoughts on Seattle trading for Trent Williams? I’m really in favor of that with Ifedi likely walking. Maybe Seattle can move a still good but aging Brown to RT and RW would have the best bookends of his career.

            Thoughts?

    • GoHawksDani says:

      We don’t need a backup TE. We need a starting TE. We rolled basically a ton with 2 TE sets. Where the other TE was Fant. There are 2 possible scenarios:
      A, We keep Fant and slide him to RT
      B, We keep Ifedi
      In every scenario we’d likely have some sort of help next to the RT.
      Dissly could be that but that way he’d have less receiving opportunities.
      I feel there are 2 possible scenarios:
      1, Use Dissly in place of Fant. He can have receiving opportunities, but he’d have to do a lot more inline blocking. And we’d need a good receiving TE (Hooper?)
      2, Use Dissly as we used him and get/draft a really solid blocking TE with receiving upside

      • The cap hit for the Hawks would be $11.5 million in 2020 if this trade happened and $12 million the other three years. Minnesota’s dead money doesnt factor into the equation to drop it down to $5.5.

  38. GoHawksDani says:

    I would hate giving up 1st round for Diggs. But…for Diggs and Griffen? Sign me up.
    I feel like this is a potential scenario. I’m a bit torned, because would be more fun to have a young passrusher and a young talented WR (like Raegor or Aiyuk), so I’d take Fowler/Armstead/some other younger UFA rusher + Raegor/Hamler/Aiyuk in the first round. Roughly the same price, so it’s experience vs longevity, but both path seems fine.

    On another note:

    Some NFL players will come to Hungary because of American Football Without Borders. Austin Hooper will come too. What should be my pitch for him to come and play for the Hawks? 😀

    This is the list who’ll come:
    Brett Hundley, Todd Gurley, Mike Davis, Roosevelt Nix, Austin Hooper, Alex Mack, Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Barkevious Mingo, Joshua Kalu, Kenny Moore, Nate Hairston, Chris Milton, Damarious Randall, Matthias Farley, DeAngelo Williams, Gary Barnidge, Jordan Cameron

    Unfortunately no current Hawks player, but that’s OK, I like Mike and Mingo and Hundley also comes 🙂

  39. Eric says:

    Hi Rob, everything you say makes sense especially if the team doesn’t know anything about Gordon’s future. But it could be possible that either the team already knows something that the league has not made public, a bit like it seemed the front office had much better information regarding Mychal Kendrick’s legal issues.

    Unlikely, but if the front office knew that Gordon would be cleared to play (maybe with a short suspension) do you think this would be enough at WR (given they can add something in the draft) not to trade for a WR? Or do you think at this point Gordon is not someone the team could rely on even if he was reinstated?

    • Rob Staton says:

      You can’t rely on him. Just look at his career. There’s no way they can welcome him back as anything more than a ‘play it by ear’ basis.

    • Von says:

      Even if Gordon was reinstated, I don’t think he’s eligible until December.

      • Ashish says:

        Gordon, Lynch we can’t plan for these folks when we preparing for season. They can help if you don’t have any option left.

      • Mark Souza says:

        And even if he was reinstated for 2020, from his history you can’t even depend on him to pass his next piss test. How many games would he get in before his next suspension? Sad, but true.

    • Chancellor Hawk says:

      If the new CBA is finalized soon, there is talk of drug policy changes. NFL could then revisit the suspension on Josh Gordon and possibly reduce it to time served. Majority of his offenses have been for marijuana, which sounds like would no longer be a violation of the new CBA. If this does happen, it would also significantly reduce the risk of Gordon being suspended again in the future.

      Also, why is no one exploring Robert Quinn as an option? He turns 30 in May and I believe he is a potentially perfect blend of LEO skill set and value. A perfect compliment to Clowney.

      Keep up the great work Rob. Appreciate all you do!

  40. mishima says:

    Why would Minnesota throw in Griffen?

  41. Phil says:

    Rob,
    You are the only person on the internet whom I think John Schneider ought to look into hiring.
    >Especially for your creative thought. This deal just makes way too much sense.
    >>I’d use your idea as a starting point; but even consider throwing in more as a sweetener.
    >>>In fact, I’d be willing to part with up to another 3rd this year or 2nd in next year’s draft.

    *This trade would allow them to still sign Clowney and launch them right back into contention. They could then just focus upon extensions and filling out the middle class.

  42. Rob4q says:

    I love the outside the box thinking here as well as looking at a team that needs to ahead salary! As far as Griffen, it’s a no brainier he would instantly make our defense better! The only question I really have in this scenario is whether Diggs truly is a superstar? Sure he’s a good receiver with decent numbers over the last few seasons, but is he really a superstar? How does he compare physically with our other receivers? What are his strengths and weakness?

    Another great read Rob and you’ve had a few this week! Thanks again for doing what you do!

  43. Brazilian Hawk says:

    Seahawks Mock 2020 FA:

    Free Cap: 50.8 mm
    Cut Britt (save 8.75 mm)
    Cut Fluker (save 3.7 mm)
    Cut Dickson (save 3.25 mm)

    Restructure Wilson (free 10 mm)
    Restructure Lockett (free 5 mm)

    Extend Clowney (3 years, 23 mm apy, 18 mm against the cap)
    Extend Ifedi (3 years, 10.5 mm apy, 8 mm against the cap)
    Extend Reed (1 year 9 mm)
    Sign Thuney ( 3 year 44 mm, 12 mm against the cap)
    Sign Olsen (2 year 10 mm, 4 against the cap

    Trade 1st + 6th for Diggs + Griffen (18.6 against the cap)

    Final cap before the Draft:
    12.5 mm.

  44. Grant G says:

    I only like this trade if we move up in the second round and draft Trevon Diggs so we can go 3 Diggs deep in our roster. Schneider, make it happen!

  45. Lewis says:

    I’d be happy with that trade, though I do wonder:

    If Minnesota would make that trade for the reasons you mentioned, what are the chances of getting Hunter instead of Diggs, presumably giving them a DL body in return? Obviously this isn’t what they would WANT, but could they be forced into it because of the cap situation?

  46. Looking at Everson Griffens contract. It might even be best to try and trade for him versus waiting for him to be released. If you sign him most likely its for 2 years $24 million or so. If he didnt work out after the first year you could release him but Might have some dead money depending on what his signing bonus would be. His current contract looks like this if we traded for him.

    Year…Base…Roster Bonus…Workout Bonus…Cap Hit

    2020..$12.9……$500k…………..$100k………….$13.5
    2021..$13.4……$500k…………..$100k………….$14
    2022..$14.9…….$500k………….$100k………….$15.5

    It would basically be a two year deal for $27.5 million as he would most likely never see year three and no dead money for cutting him. Plus if he hits the open market you never know if he would choose Seattle. Just a thought.

  47. Kenneth Trudeau says:

    Not like it’s been done before (Clowney, Clark, Mack, Ford) more wondering what it would cost to get something we want, instead of Griffen.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Clowney was tagged and unhappy. Clark was tagged and Seattle decided to move him. The Raiders decided they didn’t want to pay Mack a fortune so moved him. The Chiefs didn’t want to pay Ford so moved him. All were in the last year of their deals.

      18 months ago Hunter signed a five-year, $72m extension.

      Very, very, very different situation.

  48. Simo says:

    Thanks for putting this piece out for the SDB group to digest and discuss! Trade options like this are fun to think about and discuss, so keep em coming.

    IMO this is an entirely plausible scenario, by helping the Hawks on both sides of the ball. It seems Pete has coveted Griffen almost as much as Campbell, and EG would be a good fit on the Hawks playing for his college coach. I wonder if there would be an opportunity to extend him by 1-2 years to spread out his cap hits?

    Also curious if acquiring Diggs takes the place of adding a top flight TE such as Hooper or Howard? I have been of the opinion that adding a dynamic TE would be more valuable than adding another top WR, but perhaps it doesn’t really matter where they add offensive weapons. Adding a top TE really adds to the two TE sets, and also adds another valuable blocker who can also catch.

    I would probably still make this trade if it was a realistic option, as it adds proven talent to a team in need of just that!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I still think they need to add a TE.

      This is a busy off-season with a lot to get done. But it’s now or never really. This is the window. And you can structure additions to work around the cap.

  49. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    I’m in favor of this trade scenario. I think adding 2 players of the caliber of Diggs and Griffen for a R1 + is a slam dunk of a deal for SEA.

    Reading through the comments against it, the most common objection seems to be, why trade a R1 for Diggs when this draft is so flush with top quality WR prospects? Why not just spend that R1 pick on a Jalen Reagor or KJ Hamler or Brandon Aiyuk?

    My response to that is, I’m sure there’s at least one WR prospect in this draft who will eventually develop into the same caliber of a pro as Diggs. Maybe even a few. The problem is can you determine to a certainty which one(s)? And can you determine how long it will take for that prospect(s) will reach the same level of play as Diggs is now?

    Diggs is instant offensive weapon. No guess work, no uncertainty, no development time. He’s plug and play. And that’s what this team needs next season.

    Ditto with Griffen, even if he is closer to the end of his career. He’s instantly better than any DE/EDGE prospect SEA could hope to draft this year.

    • I don’t know if we can definitively say that Griffen is better than any end the Seahawks would get this year, but there is a better possibility he would be. Every year players comeout of the draft and over exceed expectations. There will be D-liners this year that do the same thing. No one would have thought Michael Bennett would have turned into the dominant player he became when he came out of the draft. So it is possible the Seahawks could get that guy that outperforms in the league, that we all missed, but again not likely.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        That’s why I said “hope to draft”

        For sure there’s a sleeper pick or two in this class. There usually is. This year maybe it’s Strowbridge. Maybe Zuniga. Maybe Highsmith. Maybe someone else entirely. But that kind of find is like a winning lottery ticket. You make a pick hoping it pays off, but the odds it will are extremely remote.

        Also I’m talking about impact next year. There really isn’t a prospect in this class not named Chase Young or Javon Kinlaw who could reasonably be expected to have the same impact in their rookie season as Griffen could have in his 11th season.

        Michael Bennett was a UDFA. He took a couple of seasons to develop into the kind of prospect that interested SEA enough to bring back in FA on a 1-year prove it deal. And he became the brand name DE he is/was during his second stint with the Seahawks.

  50. Russ says:

    This would be an exciting trade if it came together.

    One thing I wonder about is if we could keep our first and do something like Rasheem Green and a 2nd or 3rd for Diggs and Griffen.

    He had a solid year last year and is really young, but he seems to fit more of the role that we’d expect for Clowney as the Michael Bennett type. Unless heIf that’s what the Hawks envisioned, maybe they could use his good year and 2 years of team control as an opportunity to get good value for him in a trade. They’d also still have Collier (I know he hasn’t proved anything, but he’s still on the roster for 3 years, is a high pick, and is another player at that spot) and could keep their first.

    What do you think?

  51. Andy J says:

    This would be a bad idea.

    – we are a run 1st team
    – this draft is loaded with WR talent
    – there are high-quality WRs available in free agency

    • Rob Staton says:

      1. The Seahawks are not a ‘run first’ team. They are a balanced offense that values explosive plays. They have constantly tried to add what Pete calls ‘touchdown makers’. In the space of three years they traded for Harvin and Graham and drafted Paul Richardson with their first pick. I shouldn’t have to keep mentioning this.

      2. The draft is loaded with WR talent but why should Russell Wilson constantly be asked to do more with less? Why does he have to suffer through rookie growing pains all the time rather than giving him a proven talent? Mahomes inherits Hill and Kelce, who they pay to keep, and then they splurge on Sammy Watkins and draft Mecole Hardman in R2.

      3. No there aren’t. A.J. Green will be tagged and they aren’t going after Amari Cooper.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Better WR make us a better run 1st team

      Please provide the WR prospect you GUARANTEE will be equal to Diggs (that’s rhetorical; you can’t)

      Name one WR available in FA who’s of the same caliber as Diggs (AJ Green won’t reach FA)

  52. Rob Green says:

    Why all the fascination with another wide out receiver? Here’s what I believe needs to happen: 1. Tie up Clowney (not cheap) 2. Re-sign Jarron Reed. 3. Tie up George Fant if he’s reasonable about it. 2. Dip into the FA market for a wide body O lineman that fits Schneider’s criteria. 3. Keep your draft picks and (in order of selection) draft an edge rusher to compliment Clowney, a center/guard, a cornerback (nickle?), a right tackle, a wide receiver (This is how low my priority is at WR), a quick RB that can catch, an OLB, a safety and finally a QB project like Utah’s Tyler Huntley… I’m of the opinion that NFL teams fill glaring needs via FA if they can and grow a strong foundation through the draft. You can’t build that foundation if you insist on trading your draft picks for older players. These older players may be losing a step and yet, just like the hungry rookies, have to learn your system…

    • Rob Staton says:

      You want the Seahawks to fill their glaring needs in FA… then you don’t have them adding any new defensive linemen and then want to use the crappiest D-line draft in years to fill the absolute #1 clear off-season need?

      I also love how proposing Seattle trades for a receiver is labelled a ‘fascination’. Like it’s all we talk about.

  53. WALL UP says:

    It takes (2) to facilitate an equitable trade. This may be a bit one sided in terms of talent leaving one team for another. One of the glaring reasons Thielen had such success could be Diggs’ ability to stretch the field, allowing cross routes, seams and curls for Thielen to feast on. It’s doubtful that they’d disrupt their passing game, especially with such a reasonable contract they’re paying Diggs.

    Griffen also poses a challenge to overcome in losing his pass rush threat ability. But, his contract spikes up to $13.8 from the $7.8 he was receiving last year, which they obviously do not have. Trading Griffen would be a more prudent move, along with releasing, or trading Rhodes. This may be a bit more manageable for the Viking to sustain their offense, and work with shoring their already strong defense.

    It would be nice to have both in a trade, but it may be a bit unrealistic for the Vikings to take important clogs on both sides of the ball. A 2020 4th rd pick just may facilitate a trade for Griffen, since they’re in need to free up cap space.

    Signing him to a 3yr $30 mil with $15 mil signing bonus having the 3rd yr as an option just may make it palatable for Griffen to go to Seattle.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Read the piece again. The Vikings are -12m in the red for the 2020 season. They literally have to part with good players. If they cut Everson Griffen they will simply be back at $0 cap space. They have no choice. They are in cap mayhem.

      This is a first round pick for Diggs and acquiring a pass rusher they’ll almost certainly have to cut anyway. In that scenario they get cap relief and a high pick. They can’t expect any better than that. Manage your cap better if you don’t want to screw yourself.

    • WALL UP says:

      As I mentioned Rhodes impending release, or trade, will also free up $8 mil. Trading Diggs only frees up $5.5 mil from their cap difficulties.

      Trading Linval Joseph would free up $10.48 mil. But, we all know that will never happen. The defensive production will surely struggle without him holding up the middle. He’s a beast.

      Another candidate to consider is Kyle Rudolph. They were successful while he was injured, and David Morgan is set to return from his knee injury by the start of training camp. With he, Irv Smith and Tyler Conklin on board trading Rudolph might be a better solution. It frees up only $3.65 mil, but it would put less strain than losing Diggs on their offense.

      Griffen———–$13 mil
      Rhodes———–$8.1 mil
      Rudolph———-$3.65 mil

      Total———–+$24.75 mil
      -$12 mil
      +$12.75 mil cap space

      Doesn’t look like much, but they’ll be 28th instead of dead last in the league against the cap. Griffen and Rhodes may just be all that they cut to survive for a while. But, for this year they may just hang on to Diggs.

  54. Wiggetymac says:

    Here is my realistic take compiling the different ideas, suggestions, etc I have read from Robs articles or through the comments. By realistic I mean what will fit under cap.

    Offensive line
    Ifedi Back
    Cut Britt
    Cut Pocic
    Iupati back
    Keep Fluker and obviously Brown
    Draft center.
    Joey Hunt back
    Draft Tackle/Guard.
    Haynes, Jones, knox, Fuller, wheeler under contract.

    WR
    Stephon Diggs in trade proposed by Rob.
    Draft another WR in a very deep for WR draft class.
    Attempt to sign Paul Richardson to Seahawk friendly prove it deal with no guarantees.
    Metcalf, Lockett, Moore, Ursua, Turner already under contract

    TE
    Cut Dickson
    Attempt to sign Greg Olsen or Tyler Eifert to Seahawk friendly contracts of draft another TE.
    Will Dissly and Hollister under contract.

    QB
    Find a suitable backup
    Wilson under contract

    RB
    Draft a big back as insurance.
    Carson, Penny, Homer under contract.

    Defensive line
    Clowney back
    Reed back
    Cut Naz Jones
    Draft DT
    Everson Griffen in trade proposed by Rob
    Attempt to sign a veteran minimum prove it deal for speed DE or draft a Speed DE
    Poona, Collier, Green, Christmas under contract

    LB
    Cut KJ Wright
    Kendricks back
    Draft speed LB
    Wagner, Barton, Griffen, Burr Kirven under contract

    CB
    Attempt to sign Chris Harris to Seahawk friendly deal, or draft a slot corner.
    Draft an outside CB
    Extend Griffen
    Flowers, Amadi under contract

    Safety
    Cut Thompson
    Cut McDougald
    Attempt to draft Delpit, or Duggar
    Diggs, Blair, Hill under contract.

    Special teams
    Dickson
    Myers
    Ott

    In this scenario we start with 50 million in current cap space while freeing up roughly 25-30 million with difficult cuts suggested by Rob of Britt, KJ, and McDougald, along with cutting, Ed Dickson, Pocic, Thompson and Naz Jones. That gives 75-80 million in total starting cap space. We spend roughly 70-75 million on resigning Seahawk free agents and adding new free agents. With some potential maneuvering with how new contracts are structured in the first year, this could allow for roughly 10 million in cap space left over in 2020 for draft picks, injured reserve, bonus payouts, etc.

    Draft needs or non drafted Free agents in no particular order under this scenario
    1. Safety
    2. Center
    3. DT
    4. Guard/Tackle
    5. RB
    6. Speed LB/DE
    7. CB
    8. WR
    9. TE if veteran not signed

  55. Zeke says:

    If a player like Laviska Shenault or Grant Delpit are still on the board at #27, do you still make this trade?

    It’s tempting to get a proven player’s contract for below market value for the next few seasons though

  56. Jordan says:

    Highly doubt Chris Harris will be added. Why mess up progression of Flowers?

    McDougald is solid and on a reasonable contract. KJ may be cut but is a great leader and role model in locker room. Also not that bad of a season. Lack of a pass rush makes everything look worse.

    Reed not worth it.. He wants $$$.

    Interesting take, but dont see this happening nor think it would be a good move.

    • Wiggetymac says:

      I believe you are right about Chris Harris. The thought is that Harris would play slot DB, which he has shown to be successful at in the past. Still I agree it’s unlikely he signs with Seattle. The corner depth seems pretty thin, just saying it’s going to cost for an upgrade. No doubt KJ and McDougald would be tough calls, I wouldn’t be shocked to see one of them not return, but it’s safer bet they stay. My guess is that they figure something out to resign Reed.

  57. Jeremy says:

    Inject this into my veins,,