Randy Starks to Cleveland, Greg Hardy to Seattle?
According to Aaron Wilson, Starks signed a two-year, $8m contract with the Browns. It’s a similar deal to the one Terrance Knighton agreed in Washington (albeit for an extra year).
The Seahawks are only likely to add another player if it provides a significant upgrade or fills a key need. The interest in Stefen Wisniewski makes sense because he would slot in at left guard or center. At defensive tackle, you’d have to be adding a vital piece to the rotation. Clearly a 31-year-old Starks wasn’t seen in that light. He’d also cost a little bit more than Tony McDaniel and slightly less than Brandon Mebane. Swapping one for the other wasn’t really necessary unless you had genuine fears over Mebane’s health.
The DT market started to droop when Knighton signed his contract — but it never dipped quite low enough for Seattle to seriously get involved. They can still probably afford to spend $3-4m on Wisniewski. With around $15.5m in cap space remaining (per Spotrac), they’d need to shave a salary or two (Mebane?) and perhaps delay extending J.R. Sweezy’s contract until next year. Remember, they’ll need around $5m for the practice squad, injured reserve and the upper-tier rookies. They’ll also need around $7-8m if they extend Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner’s contracts in 2015.
Given how tight the cap is, Jason La Canfora’s suggestion that Seattle could be in the running to sign Greg Hardy is very interesting. La Canfora and others are quick to stress nothing is imminent. Peter King believes there’s a good chance Hardy will receive a six-game suspension to start the season. It’s unlikely he’ll be signed to a contract before the NFL makes a decision.
How can the Seahawks afford him? If he does miss almost half the season, he’ll be cheap and almost certainly playing on a one-year ‘prove it’ contract. Seattle offers an opportunity for Hardy to max-out his value playing for a contender. We’ve seen the benefit of having ‘Seahawks’ on your résumé during the current free agency market. It could be a marriage of convenience for both parties. Seattle gets a highly controversial yet productive pass rusher. Hardy gets a shot at redemption playing for a winner.
The Dallas Cowboys have also been linked with interest today. They present a similar opportunity. You can play for a contender, ‘America’s Team’. You won’t have the same supporting cast but you also have a chance to shine as a focal point of the defense.
There will be criticism aimed at any team employing Hardy. It won’t sit well with some fans. Per the Charlotte Observer, here’s why:
A district judge in Mecklenburg County found Hardy guilty in July of assaulting and threatening to kill ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder during an early-morning altercation at Hardy’s uptown condo last May.
Hardy immediately appealed the decision and was granted a jury trial, which was scheduled to begin Feb. 9.
The morning of the trial, however, prosecutors told the judge they were dropping the charges because multiple attempts to find Holder – including setting up surveillance at her new residence – were unsuccessful.
District attorney Andrew Murray said Hardy had reached a settlement with Holder for an undisclosed amount to settle any civil claims.
Hardy is without doubt one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. He’s also the kind of player you’d usually run a mile from.
If the Seahawks do pursue this, it’d have to be cheap with strings attached. They’d need assurances from Hardy that he’s a changed man. They’d need to believe any promises were sincere.
Even then they’d be taking a gamble. Not on talent — Hardy has that in spades. It’s the situation. The ugliness that led to him missing almost the entire 2014 season and now leaves him currently unemployed. It’d be a big call.
Meanwhile it appears Chris Canty will visit with the Seahawks on Thursday. He’s 6-7 and 317lbs and most recently played for the Ravens. He turns 33 this year.
Seahawks linked to Dorial Green-Beckham
Yahoo’s Charles Robinson Tweeted today that Seattle was “digging” into DGB prior to trading the #31 pick to New Orleans. He goes on to suggest the Seahawks could be interested if he falls to #63. Dane Brugler of NFL Draft Scout joined in, saying he’d “heard similar”.
Chris Mortensen knew the Seahawks were going to draft Russell Wilson in 2012 — he famously admitted he’d told Wilson prior to the event. For that reason I’m loathe to put the mockers on this. After all, we know the Seahawks were determined to add a big, dynamic receiver or tight end. They went after Julius Thomas before completing a trade for Jimmy Graham. Thomas agreed terms with the Jags and if the Saints keep Graham — DGB is one of the few bigger pass-catchers they could’ve targeted in the 2015 draft.
Images also appeared to show one of the Seahawks coaches running Green-Beckham through drills at his pro-day. It could all be part of an elaborate ploy. An enormous red herring. Or maybe there’s something in it?
Green-Beckham is the hardest prospect to work out in this draft. We’ve talked enough about the off-field concerns — they are legit. You look at his 4.49 speed at 6-5/237lbs and wonder how fast he’d run at 225lbs (a better playing weight). You then take into account he only has nine inch hands and 32.5 inch arms despite the height. He also recorded average measurements in the vertical (33.5 inches) and broad jump (9’11”).
He’s the biggest, fastest, most intriguing T-Rex-who-can’t-jump in the draft.
In won’t be a shock if he goes in the top-15. It won’t be a surprise either if he lasts deep into the second round — or later. In my latest mock draft I had him going to the Panthers with the #57 pick.
You’d have to consider him at #63 if he was there. Of course you would. The risk factor is reduced as a near third-rounder with a salary to match. There’d be much less pressure in year one following the addition of Jimmy Graham. You’d also wonder — why have some teams passed on him twice so that he’s even available at #63?
Adding to the debate is the now critical offensive line need. If Wisniewski doesn’t sign for the Seahawks, they’ll need to draft one starter for sure. It’ll be two if they don’t genuinely see Patrick Lewis as the man to replace Max Unger. It’s a deep draft for O-linemen but you run the risk of missing out on the guys you want when you’re waiting until the end of each round to pick.
For some, getting a player with DGB’s potential at the end of round two would be seen as a dream scenario. That’ll only be the case if they’re still able to address pressing needs at center and guard. While it’s a good draft for athletic O-liners — it’s also a really deep draft for wide receivers.
With Graham on board a more likely target might be Tyler Lockett — a player high in character who set 17 school records at Kansas State according to Sharon Katz. He also ranked fourth in the Big 12 in YAC and led all receivers on passes thrown 15 yards or longer (21 receptions). He’d be an immediate contributor on kick off and punt returns. He was one of the top performers at the Senior Bowl.
The need for a bigger receiver is negated somewhat following the Graham trade. Lockett has the same thick lower body, height and speed of Golden Tate. He’s not as big or as sturdy as Tate at 185lbs — but he’s highly competitive. He high points the ball downfield, consistently finds ways to get open and is one of those players who just ‘jumps off the screen’. The type Seattle usually covets.
Like Dorial Green-Beckham, however, you might only get one shot at Lockett. He probably won’t be there in round three — if he makes it to #63 at all.