An early look at Seattle’s challenging 2014 off season

February 3rd, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

Could this man land in Seattle? (and no, we're not talking about Tim Tebow)

The Seahawks are Super Bowl Champions, and now face the first of many challenging off seasons.

We talked a lot last week about how one great player (Peyton Manning) would struggle to defeat a complete team (the Seahawks).

The reason a lot of consistent challengers are based around one brilliant individual QB is simple.

It’s so frickin difficult to possess a complete roster and maintain it for the long term.

When your star players are third and fifth round picks on rookie salaries, you can afford to pad out your team.

But when those tiny rookie contracts turn into superstar mega deals, you run into trouble.

There’s a lot of talk today about a potential dynasty because this is a young roster.

That’s all well and good, but the fact is Seattle won’t be able to keep all of its young players.

Not only will they lose some key contributors and starters, even guys like Jermaine Kearse are seeing their value rise because they’re doing it on the big stage.

By keeping the likes of Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Michael Bennett, Bobby Wagner and a few others — they may face something of a mini rebuild down the line.

Replacing guys they’d otherwise really love to keep.

Here’s an example. What happens when K.J. Wright hits free agency in a years time?

Ideally you’d re-sign him. But he’ll know his value is considerably strong as a Super Bowl Champion and starter for the ‘en vogue’ team in the NFL.

Jacksonville will be waiting to pounce on any players who slip through the free agency net. You can pretty much include every other team in the league with money to burn.

Starters, depth players and even practise squad guys — the sharks are circling around the Seahawks.

And this could be the first year where a few tough decisions needs to be made.

Here’s the list of free agents hitting the market in 2014:

Michael Bennett, Golden Tate, Walter Thurmond, Breno Giacomini, Steven Hauschka, Tony McDaniel, Clinton McDonald, Michael Robinson, Tarvaris Jackson, Chris Maragos, O’Brien Schofield, Paul McQuistan, Kellen Davis, Anthony McCoy, Brandon Browner and Lemuel Jeanpierre.

According to Ian Rapoport, the Seahawks “will” re-sign Michael Bennett.

PFT later disputed this report, saying no deal was close to being finalised.

However, I think Rapoport’s point is there’s going to be mutual interest. Bennett has spoken warmly about his return to Seattle and the Seahawks know how important he is to the defense.

This deal will get done. The question is, how much will it cost?

Rapoport also says they will try and keep Golden Tate if they have room.

This looks like one of the first big decisions they’ll face.

Tate’s most productive year for yardage came in 2013 — with 898 yards. He added five scores — two less than 2012.

Judging his value is going to be tough. On the one hand, his increase in yardage isn’t a total shock given the injuries to Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin. He’s never been a production machine and he does have games where he simply doesn’t make much of an impact.

At the same time, there are plenty of games where he’s essentially been the MVP. The victory in St. Louis in week eight was pretty much down to his huge downfield score and earlier touchdown in the red zone.

He gets under the skin of defenders and has a knack of making big plays when they’re needed.

He appears tight with Russell Wilson and is one of the players who’s shown real progression in the last two years.

The Seahawks don’t have great depth at receiver. If Sidney Rice is a cap casualty and with Harvin’s health problems, would you really want to lose him?

And yet receivers consistently get overpaid in free agency — and there will be teams out there showing interest in Tate. Keeping him might just be too expensive without letting him test the market first.

Essentially you run the real risk of losing Golden Tate. But such is the situation.

With a deep class of receivers in the upcoming draft, they may have little choice but to invest in youth and grit their teeth on this one.

Another thing to consider — Doug Baldwin is a RFA this year and will likely be tendered and therefore kept. But in 2015 he’ll need paying too, and I’d argue he’s shown a ton of value to this team as a reliable third down converter.

With a hopefully healthy Harvin as an X-factor, you can perhaps prioritise a longer team deal for Baldwin over paying Tate.

Unless there’s a way to keep both, but that could be expensive given Harvin’s massive contract.

Breno Giacomini is one of the more underrated players on the team, but he can’t expect to continue on a salary that pays him $4.75m a year. I suspect there’s a deal to be done here, with the 28-year-old taking a smaller annual salary for long term security.

The tackle class in the draft has also been weakened somewhat with a number of players opting to stay in college.

Steven Hauschka had a sensational season, and truly deserves an extended contract.

But here’s the issue. Dan Bailey just signed a 7-year $22m extension in Dallas, setting the market for kickers of this standard. The cap hit for Dallas in 2014 is $1.75m, but it gradually progresses to a peak of $4.2m.

The Seahawks, unlike the Cowboys, won’t be paying their kicker that kind of money.

Like Tate, it might be a situation where you let Hauschka test the market to see what kind of money he can get. He’s at least as good a kicker as Bailey, and yet earned just $620k this season.

He’d have to be crazy not to at least see what’s out there.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Seahawks have done serious due diligence on the college kickers turning pro. The Minnesota Vikings had Blair Walsh tied up for four years earning an average salary of $500k per year after drafting him in 2012.

As good as Hauschka was this year and deserves to be rewarded, you have to pick your battles carefully.

Tony McDaniel and Clinton McDonald had fantastic seasons, emerging from nowhere to be key contributors. Again, you’d be stunned if Gus Bradley and Jacksonville weren’t showing interest here. Other teams will be too.

Jordan Hill might have to step up in year two to replace McDonald, and he’s capable.

I’d love to think they can keep McDaniel, but it might just be too expensive.

Michael Robinson has probably played his last down in the NFL — and what a fitting way to depart. You’d love to see him continue, but I think a career in the media now awaits Mike Rob.

On Tarvaris Jackson — give him a modest two-year deal if he’ll take it and keep a backup who knows the offense like the back of his hand. I think the time has passed where teams will consider giving him a chance to compete to start.

For the long haul though it’d be nice to see the Seahawks drafting quarterbacks and developing their own guys. Logan Thomas’ stock has slipped considerably over the last two years. If he’s available in round four or five, I’d be all over that as a developmental pick.

Chris Maragos restructured his contract in 2013 from $1.3m to $700k plus a $155k signing bonus. He’s a nice special teamer and backup and there’s possibly a deal to be done here too. Demand elsewhere will be limited.

I would expect O’Brien Schofield, Paul McQuistan and Kellen Davis to move on. We may see Anthony McCoy return for camp to compete for a spot, ditto backup centre Jeanpierre.

I’m not sure what the future holds for Browner. I don’t think anybody is.

Walter Thurmond is a tough one to judge. He’s another candidate to be reunited with Gus Bradley — and it wouldn’t surprise me if the 49ers and Rams showed interest to bolster their secondaries.

He’s also coming off a recent suspension which will damage his stock, not to mention all the injuries he’s suffered in his career.

This coaching staff prides itself on being able to find and develop starting corners. So Thurmond might be replaceable.

It’s really about damage limitations in terms of losing starters (eg Giacomini) while trying to keep a high level of overall quality. I’d argue keeping Bennett and Giacomini will benefit the team more than keeping Tate, especially with the great receiver class this year in the draft.

But the thought of losing such a core player who’s been with the team since 2010 is tough to take. This is the kind of heart wrenching scenario facing the Seahawks.

Rapoport also reported the Seahawks will prioritise re-signing Earl Thomas over Richard Sherman this off-season.

Make no mistake, Thomas is getting an extension this off-season. It’s a matter of when, not if.

With Sherman they could theoretically run his contract down. You’d have the security of the franchise tag, knowing there’s nobody else who would really warrant it in 2015. Plus in a years time we might see contracts like Cliff Avril, Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane leaving the books to free up some room.

This might push back an extension for Russell Wilson until his rookie deal expires, but again — you’d have the franchise tag as security in 2016 and it should be a pretty easy deal to negotiate anyway.

There are going to be some cap casulaties to raise cash. Rice is likely a gonner earning close to $10m a year. Chris Clemons’ swansong might be a Super Bowl ring and a sack in the big game. Cutting both saves around $14m.

I suspect they might keep hold of both Bryant and Mebane for another season for continuity’s sake — especially if they lose both McDaniel and McDonald. If either or both re-sign, obviously that potentially changes the situation.

Seattle has become a very attractive place to play football. Don’t be surprised if there’s a couple of eye catching free agent moves that are pretty cost effective.

My prediction? Jared Allen on a one or two-year deal at a very reasonable price to replace the veteran departure of Clemons.

He had 11.5 sacks in 2013 on a bad team. Reports emerged via Adam Schefter prior to the trade deadline that Seattle was interested in acquiring Allen from Minnesota. Nothing came of the story, although there’s no smoke without fire and all that.

Allen turns 32 in April and hasn’t been to a Super Bowl. He’d likely get better offers elsewhere, but he’s at that stage now where it’s another pay day versus the chance to win a title.

Would he be interested? Perhaps.

Plus, it’d fill the yearly quota for ex-Vikings moving to Seattle.

Lamar Houston might be another one to watch. Like Bennett last year, he might not find an amped market for his tweener skill set. If he’s willing to play on a similar ‘prove it’ deal if his market is fairly cold — it’s a situation worth monitoring.

But hey, we’re a long way off discussing potential free agent signings.

As for the draft — well we’re well under way there. The combine takes place at the end of the month and we’ve already seen in the Senior Bowl.

Tape is starting to emerge from the event in Mobile, so we can finally get into that.

I still believe the #1 priority for this team should be a big receiver, with adding depth to both lines a close second.

The sheer depth of first round talent at wide out makes it an obvious option for the Seahawks, now that we know they’ll be picking at #32.

Here are the last five players taken with the final pick in round one:

2013 — Matt Elam (S, Florida) – to Baltimore
2012 — David Wilson (RB, Virginia Tech) – to NYG
2011 — Derek Sherrod (T, Miss. State) – to Green Bay
2010 — Patrick Robinson (CB, Florida State – to New Orleans
2009 — Ziggy Hood (DT, Missouri) – to Pittsburgh

As you can see, none of the previous five Super Bowl winners made a deal to move back into round two. With it being the final pick on day one, it might be difficult to trade.

If there’s a player you just have to have at the bottom end of the first round, you typically don’t wait until pick #32 to get on the phone. There’s actually been a handful of deals over the last few years just ahead of the final pick, but none of the Super Bowl Champions have moved down.

So let’s celebrate and then get back into it.

Even with that elusive Championship finally in the bag, it’s going to be another very interesting off-season in Seattle.

Would you expect anything else?

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154 Responses to “An early look at Seattle’s challenging 2014 off season”

  1. Chris says:

    What do you think will happen with Walter Thurmond? He probably won’t command too big of a contract, should be an easy re-sign?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ve added a few lines on Thurmond to the piece.

      • CC says:

        Hard to take the chance with Thurmond – he broke the trust and next time he’s caught smoking weed, and odds are he will be caught again – it is a year. I think he wouldn’t fit in Harbaugh’s locker room – Jags yes, maybe even the Jets.

        • Belgaron says:

          Look at this way, choosing between low ball offers for another shot at a ring versus a similar offer for a lesser team, or a team in California with 10% state income tax and higher cost of living? I expect Thurmond is the new Leroy Hill and will be back on the cheap.

          • rugby lock says:

            Top rate in Kalifornia is 13.3%

            • Belgaron says:

              True but you pay different amounts for different parts of your income and it can be reduced if you use a good strategy. So the actual paid all things considered averages closer to 10 but it is true they pay 12.3% on income after the first 500k. For a player signing for 2M, you could buy a really nice vehicle for the difference, or even a modest house for your mom.

              • rugby lock says:

                Add to the fact that the three Kalifornia teams are in SF, Oak and SD which have a higher cost of living than Seattle

        • Steven says:

          I’m not sure the Jags would want another player facing a year-long weed suspension to share a locker room with Blackmon.

      • Greg says:

        Thurmond is expendable. Lane isn’t much, if any of a drop off and he is a beast on ST. Also have Simon from this years draft who may pan out and replace Browner and maybe give Maxwell some competition for the starting gig (hopefully). PC/JS have been pretty good at drafting DB’s so I would say let him walk and draft another stud on day 3.

        • Belgaron says:

          He’s an exceptional athlete with great speed. But with a potential year long suspension a distinct possibility, teams are not going to pay out big bucks on that risk. But on a lower end deal, that’s the kind of risk that helps the Seahawks have talent on the cheap.

    • Mattk says:

      I like the idea of re-signing Thurmond. He’s a starter-type corner, yet won’t demand starter money because of his history of injuries, suspension, and mostly showing himself as a nickel DB. Corner isn’t a big need, but the team would be getting good value and a dependable player which stabilizes the slot CB position for a few years and provides security if they are unable to re-sign Sherman.

      • Nolan says:

        I’m ready to move on he is a good player but he is a big risk. Lane played well in his absence plus tharold simon will be back and there could be another corner in the draft. We can’t commit extra resources to the secondary when both safeties and the top corner getting paid big dollars we need to spread the dollars around.

    • Alexander Hsie says:

      Gut feeling is that he’s gone. Not enough cap room. Jeremy Lane should step right up with Tharold Simon stepping up as the backup corner.

  2. Stuart says:

    The Super Bowl needs to stay in Seattle, repeat! Vegas has a 6-1 favorite with Denver, ok. We will lose players this year but next year will be down right heart wrenching.

    As much at Tate means to us at fans, dollars may not work so, I am thinking now about WR Oddell Becham of LSU. Not sure about R-1 pick but he will be long gone by our R-2 pick.

  3. Dan says:

    Rob, where do you think the redshirt class of 2013 (Tharold Simon, Jesse Williams, and Christine Michael) fit on this roster in 2014?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m interested to see if Simon can step up to the plate and compete for time on the field. It’s the most likely out of the three. I suspect Michael will struggle to unseat Lynch/Turbin (what changes there?) and Williams may never play a down of pro football. We’ll see.

      • Nolan says:

        Micheal has to prove he is reliable that how he unseats Turbin, he didn’t do that year one we will see what he is made of this year. Jesse Williams likely won’t play I suspect simon will get an opportunity unless he can’t beat out whomever is brought in through the draft

        • Belgaron says:

          Michaels has mad running skills and speed but must demonstrate a commitment to the running scheme and show he can pass block and catch.

      • Jarhead says:

        I’m glad to see you are level headed and realistic, Rob. This noise about Michaels is tiresome at this point. People still think that he is some kind of amazing undiscovered talent and continually pine for him to see the field. I absolutely agree with your assessment of his future and find it comical that others are so vehement that he is going to come out and be the number two guy somehow next season. Oy, he’s a bust, people. It’s okay, let’s just move on with a better, more committed guy from this year’s draft

  4. red says:

    Miller has two years 13 million left I would try to trade for a 7TH rounder to see if I can dump the full 7 mil next year if we let him go we save 5 mil. If we can restructure him for 2 years 8 mil I think you do it. Raiders have tons of money to spend and young QB who could use a vet like Miller. Graham will get franchised in NO after that Pita is next best FA if Miller was a FA he would probably 2nd best available after Pita. Draft a TE in the first or second or you can roll the dice on Finley proe it contract.

    • CC says:

      I love Zach, but his contract isn’t cost effective. He made some good money, so I think he either restructures or is cut. If nothing else, we know they will make business decisions – i.e. Mike Rob (who fortunately got to come back).

      • Alexander Hsie says:

        Not sure about Zach. The thing with Zach is that cutting him/trading him doesn’t save much cap space. He’s unlike Rice or Clemons whom can both clear considerable cap space. Personally, I think he’s back.

      • Rob Staton says:

        There would be a financial benefit to moving on from Miller. I suspect they won’t cut him though. I think there could be a re-negotiation of the deal, perhaps adding a year or two to the deal and spreading the cost out.

        • Emperor_MA says:

          I would be very happy if the Seahawks are able to re-structure Miller and keep him here for three more years. He’s tough, durable, a great blocker, has fantastic hands and is a huge plus in the locker room.

          I know folks here tend to get lost in the numbers but a TE in this offense will never put up big numbers. However, Miller has proven he can when given the chance. He is a great TE for our system.

    • Madmark says:

      Don’t forget about Anthony McCoy. He’ll look out there in the market and might come back to Seattle. I kindia wonder if he’d take a 3 year contract for 10 million. I love Zach Miller but he looks a lot slower now.

      • Belgaron says:

        He had some red flags in college and now a major injury, he’ll probably be back on the cheap to compete for TE3

  5. Stuart says:

    Big Ben won Super Bowl in his 2nd season, 2 titles total

    Tom Brady won Super Bowl in his 2nd season, 3 titles total

    Russell Wilson won Super Bowl in his 2nd season, 1 title and counting

    How cool is that?

  6. Ed says:

    First: Thank You Rob!!!

    Second: I almost wish Peter didn’t take the gas off and we broke the scoring record and point differential record.

    Third: Offseason.

    If they can sign to good deal: Giacomini/Baldwin/Bennett/Haushka
    Probably gone for money (too expensive or can’t restructure): Tate/Clemons/Thurmond/Miller/Rice
    Need to think about new deals in the next year: Thomas/Sherman/Maxwell/Wilson/Wright

    Needs:

    Big WR
    DE
    OT
    TE

    • Belgaron says:

      Very few RFAs switch teams, so Baldwin is most likely back even without a new extension. Giacomini and Hauschka are most likely gone. Seahawks will re-sign Bennett. I think they’ll re-sign Tate as well.

      • Alexander Hsie says:

        I think Tate is gone. I would prioritze Baldwin over Tate since Baldwin is the better 3rd down receiver. The idea I think is for Harvin to take over Tate’s spot while we draft a WR early.

        • Belgaron says:

          Baldwin is money on 3rd downs but Tate is above average PR with a great knack for catching the ball at its peak and running back skills after the catch. He does want to come back, but I could see him moving on for a high end deal as well. But would he be happy on a dysfunctional team like Washington or Miami?

  7. Will says:

    I certainly hope the Seahawks trade out of #32. It’s pretty obvious from the players taken there the past five seasons that the spot is cursed! ;)

    Seriously though, NO is the only decent team there and they’re arguably only really decent because of Brees. Hood is garbage, Robinson is mediocre, Sherrod has been unable to nail down a starting job despite GB having an average at best OL, Wilson has found himself in NY’s doghouse on multiple occasions and Elam didn’t play particularly well this season either. It’s pretty interesting when you look at it.

    • CC says:

      Trade back into the second and pick up a third (lost this years third to MN for Percy)

      • red says:

        In a deep draft I would not mind to trade back maybe ten spots and pick up an early 4TH. Trade value chart suggests you could pick up something like the 100TH pick in the draft in this situation. That would give you two seconds two fourths two Fifths a sixth and seventh. Also like some practice squad guys to make this team next year Brooks and Cherrington.

        • Belgaron says:

          They could also look at RFAs with a 1st attached. They’d be giving up a 2nd-like pick or cursed pick anyway.

      • Greg says:

        That worked out well in the past when the team had lots of holes but look at this years draft. Really small contribution to the team. Willson looks promising. Bailey looks to be better than Bowie from my eye test and he was an UDFA. Then the rest of the draft maybe played a combined 80 snaps. That includes Harvin if you want to say he was a round one pick.

        With the new CBA in place I would be excited to see them draft up if they really wanted a top 10 pick. Give up this and next years round 1’s for a top 10. Chances are next years pick will be above 25 anyways.

        I think the Harvin trade was a good trade but another draft pick trade for a veteran seems to expensive at this point.

        I think trading back to hoard picks is just going to lead to Seahawks draft picks ending up on other teams.

    • rrsquid says:

      While true, PC/JS don’t follow conventional NFL wisdom. I think the pick will be universally panned as a reach, but will turn out to have good value. See #51, Bruce Irvin. In the cap era, the draft is the only way to put together a winning team.

  8. Emperor_MA says:

    I think I’d try to replace Tate in the draft. If there is a good receiver in his mold available at #32, I say pull the trigger. I like Tate just fine but I think he’s going to get some offers that will make him rather expensive and I just don’t think he is irreplaceable … in fact, I think he’d be rather easy to replace. I like Davante Adams in this role.

    Let Thurmond walk. Anybody dumb enough to get caught smoking pot while playing in the NFL can’t be trusted. Time for Simon to be next man up….and drafting a corner is always a good idea for a little extra insurance.

    Sign Baldwin and Thomas during the offseason, restructure Rice and re-sign Mike Bennett. Keep Miller and draft a TE in round 4 or 5.

    Re-sign Giacomini, Hauschka (if he is willing to listen to a sane proposal) and Jeanpierre.

    Talk to McDaniel and offer him a reasonable contract. If he hesitates, we have young DTs waiting in the wings … time for them to step up.

    Draft a WR, OG, DT, CB, TE, DE, OLB.

    • CC says:

      I think Rice will be cut – I don’t think you can restructure it enough for such a guy. For several of these guys, they know their windows are almost closed but they got the ring – Rice is one of those guys.

      Thurmond, Browner gone – Simon in
      Margos likely out – Shead in
      Rice out – Baldwin RFA 2nd round tag – Tate – $4m a year or out – draft a tall WR (Kearse and Lockette still around – maybe finally Lockette is a guy you can count on)
      Miller – restructure or cut – McCoy comes back, draft a TE in first or second
      Giacomini and McQuistan – restructure or they’ll be replaced by Bowie and Bailey
      Resign Bennett – restructure Mebane and/or Red – Clem gone – McDaniel/McDonald maybe you can get a one year deal done.

      Use the extra cash from Rice and Clem to get deals with Sherm and Thomas

      • David M says:

        i think they might try to hit Rice with a vet minimum “prove it” contract with big incentives. you know he wants to stay here, but its up to him, the team or money…

        • Belgaron says:

          If they could get Rice and Clemons to renegotiate for closer to the dead money, it’d be win-win. Clemons is 32 after all and Rice might as well be 32 for all the damage he’s taken.

    • Norm M says:

      Percy Harvin is Tates replacement if he goes. Same type of WR but much more explosive… if he can stay healthy.Not that I want to lose Tate but if we do, we have that style filled. Like Rob said, we need a big bodied receiver (Colman??). I’m not sure if Thurmond’s replacement will be Simon. From what I know he is not the slot type. He seems to be more of a big bodied guy who can fill in on the outside. More of a man on man guy who has the size to be physical but might not have the quickness needed in the slot or nickel.

      I agree 100%, must keep Baldwin and Thomas, but we can afford to let Rice go if we find a big bodied guy in the 1st round.

      Draft: Big WR, DT, DE (Leo), TE, OG/C depth, OLB depth.

      • David M says:

        if thurmond is not replaced, i bet Akeem aguste will be that guy who replaces him. Sherman has talked about him in very good ways and he sound like he has learned a ton from sherman. Aguste is also a smaller FAST corner, perfect for the slot receiver

      • Emperor_MA says:

        I’m not suggesting we replace Thurmond with Simon, but Simon replaces Maxwell who moves to the slot.

  9. AgentJ says:

    With any receiving prospect in the draft, I’d wager the ‘Hawks will rate highly their ability to run block. If there’s two similar receivers that look attractive from Seattle’s perspective, that might be the tie breaker.

  10. Sam Jaffe says:

    Two things you didn’t mention Rob:
    *There’s an advantage to letting UFA’s sign elsewhere: compensatory picks. Several of the FA’s you mentioned above are RFA’s, including Jeanpierre and Browner, which don’t get compensatory picks. I think there’s no chance the front office let either of them walk. Meanwhile, if they let the bulk of the FA’s go and replace them with rookies and last year’s draft class, Seattle gets a huge pile of compensatory draft picks in the 2015 draft. That seems like small beans, but has been an important tool used by teams like Baltimore and Pittsburgh to maintain their dynasties.

    *Byron Maxwell is due a new contract on exactly the same schedule that Richard Sherman is. Both of them are Pro-Bowl level cornerbacks. The only way that Seattle can afford both of them is if one of them takes a huge dip in production/quality, which is not something we should be rooting to have happen. That is the single biggest problem with future cap planning: figuring out how to keep the cornerback core intact but affordable. That’s why I keep trumpeting the concept of trading Sherman. He’s the only one that could be traded for a large prize and why not keep the cheaper corners (all of whom are extremely good) while getting an extra first rounder for Sherman?

    *Another key to maintaining dynasties is drafting for the present, not the future. In 2013, Seattle had the luxury of an entire redshirt draft (with the exception of Luke Willson). Going forward, rookies have to play significant chunks of plays and have an impact on games. This is especially true for Seattle’s system, which relies so much on rotation and substitution. Rookies can do that these days, but only if they are put on the field under a limited set of circumstances and are asked to do a few simple things. That means no more Christine Michael picks based on potential. And it means valuing someone like Fedorowicz over Amaro, even if the ceiling is so much lower.

    • Belgaron says:

      Comp picks are definitely part of the long term strategy and they will need even the 7th rounders because they are having a harder time talking UDFAs to try to come crack the roster.

    • Belgaron says:

      Extending Sherm is a high priority but if he plans to play the market for the 18M per deal, they will extend Maxwell instead.

    • Alexander Hsie says:

      I just don’t see the Seahawks choosing players with lower ceilings. It’s very clear from past interviews that John Schneider looks for one area that a player is extremely good in (an area that is usually augmented by physical abilities). For pass rushers and Irvin, it was explosiveness and speed. For Earl Thomas, it was range and instincts. I just don’t see Schneider picking someone that is a “jack of all trades, but master of none.” My feeling is that they would rather take the low floor/high ceiling player and develop them up.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Browner is not a RFA. I’m not sure Jeanpierre is either.

      Sherman isn’t going anywhere Sam, you’ll have to trust me on this one. Absolutely no chance. He’s one of Seattle’s ‘Mount Rushmore’ players. He’ll be here a long time.

  11. Ed says:

    I have been saying the same thing. We cannot pay $14 million for Sherman. Obviously Maxwell can play. Lane has shown he can as well. Maybe Thurmond gets resigned and maybe Simon becomes 4th corner. Sherman can get us another 1st and 2nd? If we can do 10/6 (Sherman/Maxwell) that could work.

    One thing that could work, is swapping where we go young. This year, our DB are cheap and the DL has the money. If we drafted right (Hill/Williams to replace Mebane and Red) can make the DL cheap as we invest in our DB (Thomas/Sherman/Maxwell).

    It will be interesting and I hope we continue to find draft gems.

    • David M says:

      i really don’t see sherman making that much in seattle, he and earl already said they would take less $$$ to stay together… they know how well they all play together, thats what makes them so good, there a unit, not individual players

      • Turp says:

        Where did you hear that Sherm/Earl would take less to stay together? Link! :)

      • Jon says:

        Did they actually say they would take less money. I believe they would, but how much less is realistic.

      • glor says:

        But then he also say’s he’s the best CB in football.. so if he expects to be paid that way, I say let him walk. this FO has shown they can find diamonds in the rough in the CB’s coming out. Earl however, that is a generational talent.

      • CC says:

        Sherm remembers what it was like to play for Harbaugh and I’m sure Bennett has told them about playing for Schiano – these guys are smart. Money is important, but you can sign a big contract and get cut – happens every year. If you leave here, you could go to a place where the coach doesn’t want to play you at your best – Revis found that out. It is a fine line, and they should get as much as they can, but this environment will be hard for guys to leave.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I doubt we’ll have to pay $14m for Sherman. He’ll get a $10-11m average type deal IMO. He will be re-signed. Book it.

      • MarkinSeattle says:

        Agreed Rob. I think that Sherman will take less to play with Earl because he knows that Earl makes him a better corner, and that translates into more success and marketing deals. He also seems to like it in Seattle with these guys, and I have a feeling that Sherman will end up making more money per year in marketing than he makes drawing a salary.

        As for those who think that great CB’s grow on trees here in the PNW, I disagree. Maxwell has played quite well, but there is no doubt that Sherman is a notch above. Maxwell may even play up to a Pro Bowl caliber, but when I watch Sherman play, it is obvious that not only is he the best CB in the league, there is some distance to the #2 CB in the league.

        Remember, Sherman sprained his ankle in the first quarter of the SB. In the following two quarters, he still played well enough that Denver didn’t look his way (despite their troubles moving the ball). He completely eliminated one of Manning receivers. That is what Deion Sanders used to do, and is what made him so valuable. In an increasingly pass heavy league, the position of CB is just getting more valuable.

        Also, keep in mind that as more coaching and GM talent leaves the Seahawks, there will be more teams looking for the same types of athletes we target at CB. Which will make it a lot harder in the future to find good talent to plug in there.

        The Seahawks are riding a wave where they have changed the nature of how defenses will be built. They built them with athletes that everyone else didn’t think could fit in the NFL, and they had their choice of those types of talents to sift through and find the best (the fastest LB’s, the longest CB’s, the fastest or biggest safeties, etc). Now everyone else will copy us and instead of finding that type of talent in the garbage pile, teams will overpay for it and soak up all of those players with those physical skills.

        We still have a jump on those teams, but within the next 5 years, the rest of the league will catch up. The benefit of innovating is that you can jump out well ahead of everyone else (although the Niners are still neck and neck with us, and have similar talent except in the secondary). But once everyone else figures out the innovation, you lose that edge.

  12. Cysco says:

    Hate to say it but I can’t see bringing Tate back. Love the guy, but if we’re going to pay up for our guys, those guys need to be consistently great. For whatever reason Tate is off and on. Could be injuries to the WR core, could be teams scheming against him, could be that he’s just an above average #2 receiver who can occasionally have a big day if the match-up is right.

    I just don’t see the Seahawks spending big on a player who isn’t consistently a difference maker. We will lose some of his attitude and intangibles, but his production can be replaced at a lesser cost probably. Baldwin is more valuable to this team.

    So, are there any quality veteran receivers on the market that we could plug into Tate’s spot that would come cheaper?

    • Cysco says:

      forgot to finish my thought.

      or, would we be comfortable rolling into next season with Harvin, Kearse, Baldwin, first-round receiver, and let a few later round/un-drafted FA’s fight it out.

    • Jon says:

      He will not be replace by a veteran. They will draft someone in the Harvin/Tate mold this year or next and will be able to pay that man at the end of his rookie deal as Harvins contract will be up around that time. This all depends on how much he will take.

    • Spireite Seahawk says:

      Robert Herron could be the guy. I haven’t seen loads but what I have seen reminds me of Tate. I also have trouble trying to predict where he will come in the draft. My gut says the 3rd but maybe he will drop.

  13. Jon says:

    It would be hard to see him go, but the reality is that money is going to be hard to come by. There are certainly people who believe that it would never happen. However, as I watch our LOB it seems that Thomas is the most important. Every Corner that goes on the field looks great because of him. Sherman will remain with the hawks in 2014, and he will be franchised before free agency of 2015. I look forward to finding out whether we trade him for a high 1st and 2nd or keep him. He will be over 26 + at the end of next season which is in his prime, so It would be difficult to see him go.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Based strictly on number of tackles we should be paying for our two safeties and linebackers. It’s nice to complement them with lock down corners and a good defensive line.

  14. James says:

    Re Richard Sherman, I don’t believe the Seahawks can afford to pay the 6yrs/$96 million contract that Darrrelle Revis got from Tampa. So the Seahawks can hope for a home town discount that places his cap number more in the $9 or $10 million range. This might appeal to Sherm if it includes a “buyout” of his last year of his rookie contract, and so he can stay with Seattle, of course. If Sherm and his agent decide to go to the highest bidder (which is within his rights), then the Seahawks can play him at his rookie contract next year, and then put the franchise tag on him, which would cost about $11 million, a reasonable number for a player of that caliber. The point is, Seattle doesn’t have to lose him if they don’t want to.

    With the roster as is, the top needs, as noted above, are OL, DT, WR, TE and S. I would go DT and OL for the first two rounds, but the roster is bound to change significantly, based on players being released, or contracts renegotiated. As Rob has noted before, from here on out, the Seahawks draft needs will be based not on talent upgrades to the roster, but on replacing those players lost due to the salary cap. For example, Seattle has no need for a Leo/DE, but if Clemons and Schofield go due to cap reasons, then a Leo might be drafted. Plus, we tend to think short-term, looking at needs for this coming season, but JSPC may be drafting for needs based on the roster projected for 2 or 3 years ahead (see Christine Michael).

    • Cysco says:

      The Revis deal doesn’t have any guaranteed money, that’s why it’s so high. I can’t see Sherman signing a deal like that. I also think that Sherman is positioning himself for a Deon type life after he retires. (analyst or color guy) His best chance of doing that is to continue to win and be in the limelight. His best chance of doing that is to stay in Seattle.

      IMO 8-10mm a year gets it done.

      • Greg says:

        I kinda hope that the whole LOB family type thing they appear to have leads them to take discounted contracts to keep them all playing together well at least Sherm, Thomas and Chance.

        Maxwell looked good and an improvement over Browner but I dont think he is pro bowl level.

        • rugby lock says:

          Not yet he isn’t but I think he could be. How amazing is it that this team seems to be able to pump out CB’s of at least starting caliber like a production line. Incredible.

      • Alexander Hsie says:

        8-10 million would be a bargain price. For reference sake, look at the last few CB Free Agency classes. You have the likes of Brandon Carr, Jonathon Joseph all getting money in that range. It would almost be an insult to be offered that money.

        Brandon Carr- 5 years/50 million.
        Cortland Finnegan- 5 years/50 million.
        Jonathon Joseph- 5 years/49 million.

        In what world are those players remotely close to Sherman’s ability?

        Nnamdi Asomugha was highly regarded when he became a FA, but he’s by no means a Richard Sherman and he got 5 years/60 million.

        • Turp says:

          Those deals mean nothing without guaranteed money for context

          • Alexander Hsie says:

            Those are all roughly 50 million, 30 guaranteed (or high 20s). That is the market.

            Now if we’re talk about 80 million, 50 million guaranteed (10/year), then we’re on the same page.

            • Cysco says:

              Carr and Finnegan are $26/27mm guaranteed
              Joseph is $23mm guaranteed

              a deal for sherman at 5 or 6yrs at $9mm, guaranteed is a significant deal compared to those guys. Throw in a few million as a bonus and some performance-based incentives and I have a hard time seeing Sherman saying no.

              I wouldn’t be surprised to see Earl get a similar deal, only maybe a million or two less per year. Earl’s extension will be a really good indication of what Sherman will get.

              • Emperor_MA says:

                Sherm is going to want the big number attached to the deal. He is a spotlight kinda guy and he WILL want the “biggest contract for a CB ever” attached to his name. After all, he has marketed himself as the best CB in football and now has the media repeating it for him daily.

                IMHO, this means less guaranteed money for a bigger top-end number.

                • rugby lock says:

                  Then he’ll probably be gone though I’m sure the Hawks will franchise him at least one year while the develop more talent behind him.

  15. CC says:

    Hi Rob,

    A guy I remembered from last year – and hadn’t heard about Keon Lyn from Syracuse. I searched and found out he broke his knee cap last fall. He seems that he has the size and had the speed pre injury. Do you have any thoughts on him?

  16. Jon says:

    So this is how I think we could look at our situation. I am looking at per year contracts vs the savings of cutting a player this year

    If you want to keep Benett 8m/yr this year the cost is Clemons (7.5 save)
    If you want to keep Baldwin (2m RFA tender), Hauschka 2m/yr, and Giaco 3.5m/yr, the cost is Rice (7+)
    If you want to keep Tate (6m/yr) the cost is Miller (5m may not be enough)
    If you want to keep McDaniel 3m/yr, and McDonald 2.5m/yr the cost is Bryant (5.5 save)

    Does this seem about right and were did I go wrong. I think we may end up getting more FAs on veteran minimums instead of keeping the likes of McDaniel and McDonald. Tough decisions ahead.

    • Greg says:

      I love Tate but 6 million a year seems steep for him.

      I agree with cutting Clemons and Rice. Rice is just way to injury prone and even healthy isn’t worth the money. Clemons is getting older and seemed to regress this year with a deep DL rotation even in place.

      Bryant needs to restructure his contract or be cut as he isn’t worth his contract either. Great guy and leader but he is only an early down or goal line DL man.

      I would hold onto Miller or try and restructure. I mean he got 11 million this year and now gets cheaper. Also without him we have a sophomore TE, though promising and some other scrub. Was never a big fan of McCoy either he had episodes of stone hands.

      • Jon says:

        I think Tate will be around 5-7 per year. Not that we should pay that, but what someone will pay.

        Regarding Bryant, Rice and Clemons I agree. This is why I replace Bryant instead of Mebane in my world. Love both though.

        Also agree on miller, I don’t think the rest of his contract is bad. But we must realize that his money is still against our cap even if it is a realistic amount and every penny is significant in years to come. Which is why I don’t think Tate gets his here.

    • Turp says:

      I think Miller is actually harder to replace than Tate.

      • Jon says:

        I think I would rather have Miller than Tate for that reason. I was just wanting to show what we likely loose to get him done. The hard decisions, that the FO has include these types of decisions.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      That’s not entirely accurate Jon.

      Bennett already is being paid 5m this year. If he gets 8, you only need an additional 3m.

      Giacomini is already getting 3.5m. I kind of doubt he can get that on the open market really. But in your scenario, it takes no additional money.

      Also, you have dead money from Flynn coming available (4m).

      I don’t necessarily see Baldwin and Tate both getting paid. This is a year where either (or both) salaries could be plowed under with fresh rookie contracts. Although Baldwin’s spend is going to be minimal. Tate’s would be an increase of 4-5m over the just under 1m he was on the books for. If he gets 6, he has to walk. That’s 11m for Harvin and 6m for Tate. That’s almost 15% of your total cap on WRs. A position that is not vital to our success.

  17. Madmark says:

    Last year Russell Wilson got a performance check from CBA for taking the Seahawks into the playoffs. It was for 220,000 dollars. What do you think Russell Wilson will get this year from CBA for winning the Super Bowl?

  18. OakHarborHawk says:

    While I’d like to keep the Golden Arches of the two McD’s I do remember us all being hyped up about how much of a leap forward Scruggs would take this season. He should be coming back pretty hungry next season and was supposed to have really bulked up pre-injury to play more DT.

    Tate is the only guy we could lose and come out unscathed out of the top starters. Harvin and Kearse both have similar skill sets and I’d rather we keep Baldwin in the long term than Tate. Still be really happy if we can manage to resign him.

    I think Clemons and Sid are goners though. I think we would be able to get some mid round picks for Clemons. Atlanta and Jacksonville are the two that spring to mind for me. Has to be some demand for a pass rusher who can also play the run. Sid is getting cut and I don’t see us bring him back unless it’s on a one year vet minimum. Lockette has pretty much locked down the old Obo bottom of the depth chart ST spot.

    Big Red needs to work out a longer term deal on a restructure unless he thinks he can get a team to swing a trade or get paid elsewhere. I think a 3-4 team might be interested in swinging a trade for him or as always the Jags. Love to keep him though as he’s a great leader.

    Real Rob is going to get paid by a sports station. Guys just a natural media type and he gets a lot of respect by everyone around the league. Would for him to take over for Tim Ryan on Fox and wind up being the guy that seems to call all of our games.

    • Jon says:

      I think we would be hard pressed to get anything for Clem. Old, still not proven much since injury, 9.5m next year and everyone knows he is likely a release candidate. 6th or 7th rounder is a max IMO.

      I could see a Bryant trade though. Maybe bringing in an early 4th late 3rd. I think much more than that would just be frosting, and unreal to expect.

      I hope we can keep one of the McD arches that you speak of. maybe both if we must move on without Bryant.

  19. Mattk says:

    Hey there Rob,

    If the team is unable to re-sign Tate and is forced to cut Rice, does that change your thoughts on drafting a raw, big-bodied receiver with upside and instead focus on Day-1 ready contributor who may not fit that criteria? Example, drafting a Marqise Lee/Odell Beckham Jr./Jordan Matthews over Kelvin Benjamin/Brandon Coleman

    • Turp says:

      If it doesn’t change your drafting thoughts then it probably means Kearse as your #3 wideout is just fine.

      • Jon says:

        It seems Tate is our 4th option when Harvin is around. Harvin, Baldwin, and Kearse were all far more active and effective in the SB.

        • Greg says:

          Tate returns punts though. I think Thurmond is the backup punt returner and that makes both punt returners FA.

          Returning punts and kicks is a more significant part of the game than most think too. I don’t think Harvin returns punts either, maybe he can but I dont seem to remember him doing it as a Viking.

          Eh maybe Baldwin can do it. He had a nice kick return this year. Of course I don’t know if KR skill set is similar to punt returning or not.

    • Dude says:

      Though we will cut Rice from what he is making now, I don’t see him getting a ton of options. I think there is a good chance he test the market and comes back for the league minimum.

      • Mattk says:

        Rice is worth much more than the league minimum. While he hasn’t earned the #1 receiver-type contract he got, he’s a solid #2, imo. It’s a shame Harvin wasn’t healthy during the season to really show this.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think a big receiver is an absolute must whether they keep Tate or not. It might be that Odell Beckham is the best option in R1 if Coleman/Benjamin are long gone. But even then they’d have to go after a big WR down the line.

    • CC says:

      I’m also interested in what Lockette could become – he’s tall and fast, and finally is catching the ball. Plus a good special teamer. If somehow this clicks with him, he could be your 4th receiver.

  20. TJ says:

    I think that many of these players will end up walking when their contracts are up, but don’t necessarily see that as a negative. Carroll & Schnieder are masters at finding undervalued talent, brining it in to play a particular role, and getting the best out of it. I think that instead of paying many of the players mentioned in this article, they are more likely to only re-sign those who they can get for a good price, let the others go, dip into the existing roster’s backups (players who are ready to step in and step up), make strategic FA signings of other team’s castoffs, and get the same results. As long as Carroll & Schnieder are managing the roster, I am not worried about the moves they make. They have earned my trust.

    • Alexander Hsie says:

      I only believe the core players who are absolutely vital are-
      QB- Russell Wilson
      LT- Russell Okung
      C- Max Unger
      WR/PR- Percy Harvin
      FS- Earl Thomas
      SS- Kam Chancellor
      #1 CB- Richard Sherman
      MLB- Bobby Wagner
      DE- Michael Bennett

      While I value the likes of Lynch, Big Red, Mebane, Avril, all of their contracts will expire at a time when they’re leaving their prime.

      Richard Sherman is an interesting case. He is a true shutdown corner and those are really rare. The only corners who can truly lay claim to that title in the last 5 or so years are Asomugha from 2008-2010, Daralle Revis from 2009-2011, and Richard Sherman from 2012-present. In the case of Sherman, he is also a ball hawk. He’s so good now that QBs aren’t throwing to his side anymore (only Revis Island was slightly better). Basically, if he ask for a slightly discounted rate or a reasonable price (13 million/year), then sign him. If he really wants to push the envelope and go for 16+ (which I think someone will pay in the open market), then we can only let him go.

      • Alexander Hsie says:

        As a brief note as to how rare a shutdown corner is, I happen to believe that most of the 00s decade was void of a true shutdown corner until the later end with the arrival of Asomugha and Revis. For all intents and purposes, I consider the best corners in 00s to be Champ Bailey, Ronde Barber, and Charles Woodson. Bailey is perhaps the closest to being a shutdown corner of the 3 and he certainly had the longest period of success, but I struggle to tag him as a “shutdown corner”.

        The 90s was perhaps the greatest for modern day corners (i.e. post-Blount rules) with Sanders, Woodson, Williams, Green, (all 4 are HoFers) etc. It’ll probably remain the golden era for corners, but the current batch is probably as good as there has been since that period.

        Slightly off topic, but it’s kinda the same with tackles. The late 90s-mid 00s saw an unrivaled era of Left Tackles with the likes of Walter Jones, Jonathon Ogden, Orlando Pace, Tony Bosselli, Willie Roaf, Tarik Glenn, Lincoln Kennedy. The only player in the last 5 years that has even remotely played up to that standard has been Duane Brown in 2011 and 2012 (Joe Thomas sucks too much at run blocking). There are just simply periods when a position is particularly strong and then periods where there is a drought for a decade or longer.

        • Belgaron says:

          Woodson is the guy the LOB credit for the style they have emulated. Casual Super Bowl fans probably think it was lucky that Maxwell punched out that ball, not realizing that they do that in practice every day (after they are done practicing assisting interceptions from the corner of the end zone).

          • CC says:

            There is a NFL network video of Pete Carroll’s first year here in training camp where he explains to a DB that exact move to punch the ball out. Great play by Maxie!

      • James says:

        Remember, Sherm can probably be franchised for around $11 million/yr.

        What is impossible to project at this point is who might re-negotiate their contracts. This could have huge consequences on who is released, and what positions will be drafted. Mebane, Bryant, Miller and even Clemons could re-negotiate, freeing $$ for Tate, Brenno, Bennett, etc.

      • Greg says:

        I agree with Wagner. Poor guy seems to get overlooked too often.

        I don’t agree with Unger though. I just don’t feel that the Center position is all that important (especially with a smart QB who can dictate the pass protections protections)

        If I can have 9 core players like yours I would swap Unger for Avril. Heck, I would even swap Unger for money Hauska.

  21. Stuart says:

    This site has great Seahawk minds and you will not find a better place to read the true picture. It will be tough to say goodbye to a lot of these players but moving forward (2015), it’s only going to get much worse.

    Likely most if not all of Bevell, Quinn, Cable will be poached. So will top assistant coaches and vital staff members working under JS too.

    Success in the draft will be the only way we can stay great for an extended period. Next season I really could see a repeat Super Bowl for us but beginning in 2015, things will change in almost every facet of the franchise.

    I bet PC/JS have already been scouting for replacements. Kinda like with Gus Bradley, PC/JS were ready to roll with Dan Quinn and we experienced no drop off in production from the loss of Gus Bradley. Dream scenario for sure.

  22. red says:

    As it stands now we are about 2mil over the cap so if you cut rice and Clemmons we are about 13 mil under the cap with 43 players of current roster. If you cut Miller we are at about 18 under with 42. Thomas is to make 5.5 mil next year restructure a new deal where he makes 7.5 mil for 2014 and 10 mil a year after for 5 years or so for 2015 onward. Tender Baldwin a first for 2.8 mil after this we are at 13.2 under for 43 players. Give Bennett 8 mil a year that gets us to 5.2 under with 44 players. New deal for Sherman 4 mil next year and 13-14 mil a year from 2015 onward. 2.7 mil under with 44 players cut Farwell and now you are at 4.2 now we are at 43 players, say we add 5 draft picks at an average of 600k per player that puts us at 48 players with 1.2 under the cap so to fit the 5 roster spots you cut carpenter to free up another 1.5 or try to trim a mil off of Bryants contract or backload Bennets deal. If you can find a trade partner for miller we can free up another 2mil as well.

  23. JeffS says:

    The most important signing is that of Pete Carroll. It’s disturbing to see Schneider extended without a simultaneous extension for PC.

    In Portland, Allen let go a guy who had re-built the basketball franchise almost single handedly. . Backroom politics. Suddenly I wonder if it is happening again.

    • CD says:

      Jeff, you must have missed this last week. While I am paraphrasing, Pete was asked last week during the many interviews about his contract status, he smiled and said that he was well looked after and there wasn’t an issue.

      I’ll take him at his word which was direct.

  24. Belgaron says:

    The one topic I didn’t see anyone mention unless I missed it skimming is teammate-friendly deals. While I expect Kaepernik to demand $22M and implode that team, who would be shocked if Wilson says he’s fine with his endorsements and wants a strong team and signs for $12M? He is very smart, very generous, and a team first guy–what if Scheider went to him and said we’d be thrilled to pay your $20M per year but here’s the roster we’d build around you —or— we could help you win more Super Bowls with “this” roster if you signed a teammate friendly deal and get you more rings (which of course means more endorsements).

    The same is true for Sherman. He could take $16M and hate life everyday while his friend Kam/ET/Maxwell are heading to another Super Bowl while he’s stuck playing in loserville. Or he could help build the team, his legacy, and get some endorsement deals. The media loves him, he just needs to manage his brand.

    • Turp says:

      The NFLPA would take issue with that. They have more incentive to get Russell paid than he may have himself. It sets the bar for high performing players and they don’t want it that low. I expect 17/18mil a year and would be happy with it. We may get away with that much because he’s not throwing up gaudy passing yards and TD’s (just gaudy efficiency numbers).

      • Belgaron says:

        Two words…Tom Brady.

        Last February he negotiated down to $9M per year and left $30M on the table. I don’t think he or Wilson cares what the NFLPA thinks, they like to win.

        • Turp says:

          Slightly different situation – Brady wasn’t coming off his first underpaid rookie CBA contract. The NFLPA will want to set a precedent.

          I’m unable to find where I read this before, but there were some strong reasons for the NFLPA to make sure Wilson gets paid, and Wilson had reasons to listen to them.

          I get what you are saying though, and no argument from me if that’s what happens :).

          • Belgaron says:

            Yeah, I hear ya…. but he doesn’t owe them any favors as they are the reason why he has to wait till next year to renegotiate.

            Another example is the Miami Heat. Maybe ET, Sherm, and Wilson pull a James, Wade, Bosh and shock the world. It would certainly only add to their notoriety and get them even bigger name brands. Hey, we can dream right. How fun would it be to watch a $10M 10Y deal beat a Kaep $22M 6Y twice a year because “somehow” Seattle just seems to have more talent every single year!

            • Alexander Hsie says:

              Personally, I feel the Miami Heat thing about the Big 3 sacrificing money is overrated. If you really looked at the difference between the max contract they could have got and what they actually got, it wasn’t that large. The reason the Big 3 structured the contracts the way they did was because it was the only way to fit all 3 under the relatively small cap (I think ~49-54 million). That basically left around 5 million for Mike Miller (who didn’t live up to his end of the bargain) and all cap space is gone.

              • Belgaron says:

                Agreed, it wasn’t a huge difference but if three players even sign moderately teammate friendly deals, that is enough to sign another exceptional player and one guy can make a difference if it is the right guy, look at what they got out of Bennett for his money last year.

    • LantermanC says:

      That attitude towards Kap may just be Seahawks bias. Kap has said publicly that he realizes to keep such a talented core together, that he would have to take a less than max contract.

      http://www.ninersnation.com/2014/1/30/5361504/colin-kaepernick-contract-miami-offseason-training-knbr

      “More importantly, he had some comments about his contract situation. He acknowledged wanting to be paid fairly for what he does compared to his peers, but he also recognized the need to not suck up too much cap space. He talked about bringing back guys like Anquan Boldin and Donte Whitner, and what that could mean for the team moving forward.”

  25. Don says:

    I want to keep everybody and win it all again next year. The talent is there. But you can’t blame players wanting to make the most dollars as they can., so tough decisions have to be made.

    I want to keep Tate forever, but if he walks then the Hawks need a replacement. Enter Odell Bechham LSU. R1

    Does Brandon Colemen have the talent to be converted into a TE as Miller’s replacement, a 6’6″ Joker like Julius Thomas of Denver?

    Coleman could line up as the tall receiver to replace Rice on one play, and a TE on another .

    • Belgaron says:

      Even if everyone went “business” and wanted to go to the open market for max deals, Seahawks could still hold them to play out their final years and have several more years with this core. But the word is out that there is a high desire to return. And there are other guys that could do what Bennett did last year if they don’t.

  26. Siva says:

    Do you think giving a Sherman a deal first as franchising Earl if needed will be cheaper(safety over corner back…4 million difference). Ideally it would be better to get Earl first as he is clearly the point guard of the defense but financially the other way be better. What do you think?

    My other question is regarding the draft, Does it make sense for Seahawks to trade back in both the 1st and 2nd rounds to make up for the lack of 3rd round pick. Will we be able still get Brandon Coleman if we trade back into the middle of the 2nd round? ; most of drafts i have been tracking are picking him going middle or late in the 2nd round.

    Will Seahawks still go for volume of picks like they always do or time has come with the roster being so full that they trade and pick fewer higher picks?

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s a fair point regarding doing Earl before Sherman. Although there might be a plan (eg, keeping Thomas is cheaper, enables them to re-sign Bennett perhaps?).

      I find it difficult to consider trading down any more than trading up to be fair. Without knowing who is on the board at #32, it’s very difficult to project whether you’d want to move down.

  27. Phil says:

    Rob – thanks for providing a forum that has given me hours of fun to read for the past few years — I bought a couple of T Shirts using your link, as a way of showing my gratitude.

    * * * *

    I agree with the thinking that managing the cap will be the biggest challenge for the Seahawks in the next few years. But, not far behind is the challenge of finding an eventual successor to the Beast. IMHO, he’s the Seahawks’ MVP and if Turbin/Michael are not going to eventually fill his shoes, then the Seahawks have got to find a guy who will.

    I’ve made this point before and asked that you give us your thoughts on the top RBs available in this year’s draft. I don’t think I’d use our #1 pick on an RB, but if the right guy is available in any round other than the first, I’d go for it. Then again, maybe waiting until the Beast is a little longer in the tooth, and then finding a FA replacement for him is the way to go.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Really appreciate that Phil, thank you.

      As for replacing Lynch, I do think they’ll wait on this. They clearly like Turbin and only drafted Christine Michael in round two a year ago. They also brought in Spencer Ware. I’d be surprised if they draft another RB this year considering the insurance for Lynch (Turbin + Michael) is relatively strong.

      But long term (a year or two) they have to think about life after Marshawn in a much stronger way. By then we’ll know more about Michael, who was really redshirted as a rookie it seems. Right now though I think they’re OK.

      • LantermanC says:

        How “cutthroat” do you think Pete will be on the RB transition in terms of “always compete”? RBs especially seem to “lose it” really quick. Basically, how bad does Lynch have to look, or how good does Michael have to look in practice, for Pete to actually give Michael more carries (or make him active for the game)?

        • CC says:

          This training camp will likely be the key – as a rookie, CM had a lot to learn. We’ll see if he has applied himself or not. If he hasn’t, don’t expect much change. If he has, it could be interesting to see what happens. Marshawn has 2 more years left on his deal – they’ll be looking to replace him at some point. It is the nature of the business.

  28. John says:

    Im a Giant fan and have watched my team fall apart because they stopped drafting well. It is very hard to stay on top especially when u have not only good players but maybe the best in the entire NFL at some positions like the Seahawks do. Its tough watching your depth get signed away for a million more per than your team can afford. An extra starting receiver like Manningham , a very good 1 tech in Barry Coefield.=, an extra swing Tackle. The pieces you take for granted start adding up and if you dont keep replacing them in the draft you get what the giants are after winning 2 Super Bowls in 5 seasons

  29. John says:

    Congratulations Seahawk fans Ive been rooting for your team since week 7 . I respect the way this team has drafted and built this roster. I enjoyed the physical dominating play all season and to watch you pummel a soft Bronco team made me absolutely giddy. As much as Goodel wants to stifle defense and celebrate the weak brand of Football the average fan embraces Im so happy to see the most physical team in the league swat the Broncos away like a Fly.

  30. david M says:

    i heard it on 710 espn, when there at the VMAC during the week, interviewing players around noonish.. it was several months back, sorry no link, but im not messing around

  31. glor says:

    Okung = 11 mil cap. Personally, seeing how the offense performed without him, vs with him. I say let him walk, next man up.
    Also, I’m not sure if Sherm is a must sign next year, this FO has shown they can find CB’s all over the place.. Why pay 10mil a year for sherm when you can just replace him? No thought Maxwell would be this good, until he got to play, no one thought sherm would be this good, until get let him play. I have faith in the DB’s the the hawks target. Same goes for KJ, easily replaceable with this FO.
    I’m more concerned with D-Line and Offense, places this FO has shown they don’t have a knack at.. spend the FA money there, and draft the for the positions you know you can fill.

    • phil says:

      What kind of message would it send to the team if they don’t pay big $$ to “one of their guys” (Sherman) but they do pay big $$ to a FA with a history of injuries (Harvin)? I think JS/PC will try to do all they can to show devotion to the guys that have paid their dues and are now ready to reap the rewards. I know it is impossible to keep thrm all, but Sherman epitomizes this team in many ways and I don’t see him playing elsewhere unless his demands are unreasonable.

      • glor says:

        I agree to a certain degree, but again, he is not worth 16+ mil. If he is willing to do a contract similar to the other CB’s (9-10mil average) then I could see it.

        • Alexander Hsie says:

          Okung is staying. Unless something catastrophic happens (career ending injury), we’re resigning him. Left Tackles are just not found wandering around. Beyond the fact that it’s a premium position, it’s usually a position that can only be found within the top 10 pick (a place the Seahawks will hopefully not pick in a long time).

          Contract wise, I wouldn’t be surprised if his salary hit actually went down because he was part of the last big rookie contracts. When Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford signed their extensions, their salary cap hit actually went down because of how ludicrous their original rookie contracts were.

          Sherman is definitely worth 16 million/10 guaranteed. He would be worth it for about 25 teams (there aren’t that many good, much less greater corners). The problem is paying what he’s worth for the Seahawks and all the other players they need to keep.

  32. LantermanC says:

    If we do cut Miller, would simply drafting ASJ at TE kind of help kill 2 birds with one stone (TE + “big” WR)? Assuming we lose Tate, having Harvin, Kearse, Baldwin with Willson, ASJ, and McCoy seems ok to me, especially if we can draft a WR late to develop or maybe re-sign Sidney Rice should he find it hard to get more than a $2 million dollar offer anywhere.

  33. Ed says:

    I hope you’re right Rob. It seems to go against both personalities. Sherman is big and feels slighted. Not sure he will give in too much. Also, JS/PC have the montra next man up. We have Maxwell/Lane. Would love to keep Sherman, but as I said before, to do that, our backup lineman (Hill/Williams) will have to replace Mebane/Bryant by next year.

    This year: Thomas resign. Bennett too expensive? Giacomini too expensive? Tate gone (too much). Miller gone. Clemons gone. Rice gone.

    Next year: Wilson resign. Sherman resign. Wright resign? Wagner? Okung too expensive? Avril too expensive? Bryant/Mebane/Unger/Lynch might have to restructure or go. .

    Thanks for this site Rob, makes the offseason bareable

  34. James says:

    Re trading down from R1 (#32)….knowing John Schneider, he can hardly enjoy winning the Super Bowl knowing that he has no R3 pick. I expect him to trade down, and according to the draft pick trade chart, JS can trade his R1 pick (590 points) for the #18 pick in R2 (400 points) and the #18 pick in R3 (180 points). So, my guess is the Seahawks trade with Idzick and the NY Jets, and give up our R1, for the Jets R2 and R3 picks. This would give the Jets the R1 #18 pick and #32 pick, giving them the infusion of top talent they need, and John would get his R3 pick back that he gave up for Percy.

    • Rob Staton says:

      In fairness, prior to his first draft in Seattle he traded his third round pick for Charlie Whitehurst. I think it’s overplayed the notion that GM’s think about picks they don’t have a ton. He knew what he was doing with that Percy deal.

      A deal like that doesn’t seem that appealing to me. It’s such a significant drop down the board. You might be getting a third rounder back, but for the sake of it you’re also sacrificing the chance to get anything like a first round talent. Plus as noted in this piece, teams picking at #32 have not been moving down recently. The break between day one and two after the pick is counter productive to a deal IMO.

  35. James says:

    According to the Over The Cap website, here are the cap savings to cut the following players:
    – Sydney Rice: $7.3 mil
    – Chris Clemons: $7.5 mil
    – Red Bryant: $5.5 mil
    – Brandon Mebane: $5.3 mil
    – Zach Miller: $5 mil
    ….I believe this means that, by cutting Rice and Clemons, the Seahawks could re-sign Golden Tate, Brenno Giacomini and Michael Bennett. By re-structuirng Bryant, Mebane and Miller, Earl Thomas can be re-signed. I don’t see the cap dollars to sign Sherm this year? But if Marshawn retires after the 2014 season, this would provide the bulk of the dollars to sign Sherm, or franchise him. To sign Russell Wilson in two years, Avril, Mebane, Miller and Bryant would be off the roster. At that point, Percy might be up to be re-structured to provide more cap dollars, plus the cap is projected for a big bump in 2016. Okung, if he can stay healthy and prove his value, is already making so much money, I don’t see a huge cap hit to re-sign him. How this impacts the draft…we will need to draft the following positions as potential starters two years down the road: DT, Leo and TE. These could therefore be the positions taken in the May draft.

  36. AlaskaHawk says:

    Rob- Just heard a rumor that Seahawks stole Peyton Mannings hand signals. Apparently it started with something Sherman said. Heh heh, and so the rumors begin.

  37. Greg says:

    This is off topic a bit but who all gets rings?

    I mean do guys who never played but who were on the active roster get rings? Such as that OL guy from the Browns, Hauptman (I think) get a ring? Do guys who were on the active roster who played but finished on the PS get rings? Example Brian Walters and Kellen Daivs, Bowie. Do guys on the IR get rings. Example Tharold Simon, Toomer, Rice. Do suspended players get rings? Example Browner.

    Out of all these guys, I think only Browner, Walters, Davis, Bowie and Rice should get rings. Along with the active SB players (minus Hauptman, oh and Mayowa). I mean they didn’t play a regular season snap.

  38. red says:

    I also think maybe we look at drafting a LT/RT in the first with the intention of letting Okung walk after 2015 or trading him after 2014 to free up the money for Wilson and Sherman. I think we can keep Sherman Wilson Thomas Harvin Bennett going forward if we shift money right a couple of tackles that are solid might be there at 32 Martin or Kouandijo. If the draft is deep with tackles and WR could be a perfect draft year for us. Have a tackle start at RT in the short term and switch him ti LT in the long run. Also wonder if we can flip Okung for a first rounder after 2014.

  39. Hay stacker509 says:

    Rob, great write ups all season long and what a wonderful way to welcome in your son! Please keep up all the info and opinions coming.
    What are the odds Seattle Might look into James jones as a fa wr? He’s tall, fast, agile, incredible hands and the way he’s made Rodgers look he would be great in Seattle… Just how much do they want to pay for him is the question

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think the receiver market in FA is notoriously expensive. Personally, I’d rather ignore it completely (with the exception of possibly re-signing Golden Tate) and just use this excellent draft class to stock up on WR talent.

      And thanks for the kind words. I cannot wait to tell my son about this Super Bowl season when he gets older. It’s funny to think he’s entered a world where his team are already WORLD CHAMPIONS.

  40. Madmark says:

    I just had to state that the lyrics in the Red Hot Chilli Peppers song at halftime explained the Super Bowl for Denver. Give it away, give it away, give it away now. Give it away, give it away, give it away now. Sorry it just been stuck in my head since halftime.