Curtis Allen’s off-season positional reviews: DB

March 6th, 2021 | Written by Rob Staton

This is the eighth part of a guest-post series written by Curtis Allen

#8 defensive backs

Players under contract for 2021: Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, Marquise Blair, Tre Flowers, Ugo Amadi, DJ Reed

Players under contract for 2022: Marquise Blair, Ugo Amadi

Restricted Free Agents: none

Unrestricted Free Agents: Quinton Dunbar, Neiko Thorpe, Shaquille Griffin

Exclusive Rights Free Agents: Ryan Neal, Linden Stephens

Players Signed to Futures Contracts: Gavin Heslop, Jordan Miller

Salary Cap Notes

2021 Cap Commitment: $21.4 million (12.02% of $178m cap)

None of Diggs’ $5.5m salary or Adams’ $9.86m salary are guaranteed in 2021

Franchise Tag — the 2021 numbers have not been finalized yet but we can look at the 2020 numbers for a good idea of approximately what they will be:

Tag for Safety in 2020: $11.4m exclusive, $9.86m transition

Tag for Cornerback in 2020: $16.3m exclusive, $14.2m transition

2020 Season Overview

It was a dreadful season for this group. Injuries, lack of pass rush from the defensive line and lack of chemistry all badly hurt this unit.

Injuries:

– Three of the projected starting four (Griffin, Dunbar, Adams) missed a total of 18 games and had their performance seriously diminished by injury in many others

– Key players Marquise Blair and Tre Flowers missed another 18 games

Bringing Jamal Adams into the defense introduced another set of challenges. The Seahawks blitzed Jamal Adams out of the strong safety position almost as much in only his first three games (31 times) as they had Bradley McDougald in his previous two seasons total (34 times).

That introduced the factor of the corners, linebackers and free safety getting less coverage help than the Seahawks usually scheme for.

Add in the fact that the Seahawks did not add effective pass rushers to an already poor defensive line and this unit was seriously lacking support and frequently left to their own devices. They just could not live up to handling that kind of workload.

The 2020 quarterback ratings allowed by this starting group demonstrated that clearly:

– Griffin 93.3
– Diggs 92.7
– Dunbar 111.0
– Adams 106.3
– Flowers 106.1

If there was ever an offseason that the defensive backs needed to get healthy and on the same page as a group, this was it. Unfortunately, the shortened offseason, injuries and major scheme changes all conspired to make this an historically bad unit in the first half of the season.

At one point in the early going, an exasperated and embarrassed Pete Carroll told reporters the backfield played ‘like they did not practice all week.’ Later he expressed frustration that the players were doing everything the coaches needed to see in practice but could not translate that to the game on Sunday.

In the second half they improved enough to avoid going into the record books as the worst of all time but this unit was adjusting on the fly all season, without a solid base to work from. That frankly caused too many problems to effectively put a cohesive unit together.

There are some bright spots to be found in 2020 though.

Jamal Adams collected 9.5 sacks on all those blitzes and killed some drives. He helped an improved pass rush put up better numbers in 2020.

DJ Reed proved to be an excellent find by John Schneider. Plucked from San Francisco when they waived him with an injury designation, he turned out to be durable, fiery and fantastic in coverage. He brought a spark in the return game as well. He was praised by Pete Carroll for having ‘elite’ foot quickness and acceleration.

He then took another big step forward, taking on the vacant outside cornerback spot and playing very well. Carroll remarked that Reed does not fit his physical ideals for the outside position, that Schneider talked him into acquiring him and he has worked out well for the club.

The Seahawks have Reed under contract for another season. If he can translate his 2020 play into 16 games of 2021 play they will have found a gem and saved themselves a lot of money.

Ugo Amadi was clearly behind Marquise Blair on the depth chart in Pete Carroll’s mind going into the season. Yet when Blair got hurt, Amadi got his shot and proved to be a nice option at the nickel spot, earning praise from his coach and putting his name into the mix for 2021. There were times in 2020 that Amadi seemed like the only corner on the field who both knew what he was doing and was doing it with skill and toughness.

Ryan Neal was an intriguing player in 2020. He went from nearly quitting football to being a valuable piece to occasionally starting in Jamal Adams’ place. He had some key plays early in the season, including an interception to put the game on ice against Dallas and a couple fantastic hits. He also showed some ability when called on to blitz in the Adams role and had a blocked punt in the Giants game. He is an Exclusive Rights free agent and an easy choice to bring back for depth in 2021.

Offseason Questions to Address

1. Are the Seahawks really going to shape their defense as well as their salary cap around Jamal Adams?

We need to talk about the offseason elephant in the defensive room. Jamal Adams.

Absent a Russell Wilson trade, what they do with Jamal Adams could determine the entire direction this team takes this offseason, from how they deploy the players they already have on the roster, to who they draft, to what free agent decisions they make, to how much cap money they have available in the next 3-4 seasons.

It demands the team’s attention. Right now.

The Seahawks made probably the biggest trade splash in their history last offseason, trading first round picks in 2021 and 2022, a third-round pick in 2021 and Bradley McDougald to the Jets for Adams and a 2022 fourth round pick.

Pete Carroll spent all season praising Adams as well as John Schneider for working so hard to get this trade done. Doth protesting a little too much perhaps. It might have been a public attempt to justify giving up such a massive haul to upgrade the strong safety spot.

While he did have 9.5 sacks and a couple of key defensive tackles, he returned a terrible QB rating in coverage, only had three passes defensed and did not record an interception. Put another way, when he was not getting a pressure on the quarterback, he was not much of an asset to this team at all.

PFF was not swayed by Adams setting the sack record for defensive backs, rating him at an uninspiring 64 grade in 2020 (53rd ranked safety).

An acquisition of that magnitude should answer more questions than it raises. Yet the harsh reality is the opposite is true. The Seahawks have several questions they need to work through when it comes to Jamal Adams.

Can he stay healthy for 16 games? He had groin and shoulder injuries in 2020. Given his size, how long can he stay healthy regularly lining up across players who outweigh him by 60-80 pounds and then throwing his body at running backs trying to block him?

Is it acceptable that he only created one turnover in 2020?

Honestly – where does he fit in Pete Carroll’s vision of the defense?

Pete has never blitzed his strong safety this much. Can the Seahawks reconcile the cost of having a safety so frequently blitzing with the results he brings?

Is he going to improve in coverage? Or do you need to blitz him eight times a game to get max value? If that is the case, what do you get with him that you do not get with say Ryan Neal at a fraction of the cost?

If the Seahawks are going to pay Adams like a feature piece of the defense and play him the way they did in 2020, they are going to need the corners to be outstanding in man coverage more frequently than Pete’s system traditionally calls for.

Also, the free safety will not have the freedom (pun not intended) to roam around and make plays – he will regularly be too busy covering deep looks and making sure the region behind the linebackers is not completely empty. Are those factors worth the 9-10 manufactured sacks they will get from Adams, or will it put too much strain on the defense?

Plainly put, if Adams is free to blitz unblocked, that means there is an offensive player that is uncovered. It is very likely that clever coordinators and accurate quarterbacks, having had a season of tape on Adams, can take advantage of these scheme concerns enough to control the flow of the game.

Do they have an answer for these issues?

Adams is highly strung and never fails to speak his mind. While the vibe is fun when he is happy and motivated, it needs to be asked – what kind of effect will he have on the team when he is unhappy?

He will likely require a top market contract and be justified in asking for it since the Seahawks gave up so much capital in trade without conditioning the deal on working out an extension. How much will it be? The floor seems set at Budda Baker’s $14.75million per season but Adams will likely ask for much more, if the leverage wielded by Jalen Ramsey and Laremy Tunsil is any indication.

Brass tacks: Adams played 784 defensive snaps in 2020. He got 25 quarterback pressures in 98 blitzes. So, 73 of those snaps he blitzed and did not record a pressure and the backfield was on their own. The rest of those 686 snaps? He was a league average player.

Are those 25 pressures worth a contract averaging $15million per season? Let alone the $20million he will likely ask for?

Can the team reconcile all these questions and concerns? 

The Seahawks have put the expensive engagement ring on his finger. Are they ready to book the chapel and rent a tuxedo?

If you are going to consider trading him, this is the offseason to do it. His value will never be higher.

2. Do they need to completely revamp the outside cornerback spot?

They have Tre Flowers and DJ Reed currently on the roster with starting outside corner experience but that is it.

Shaquille Griffin and Quinton Dunbar, the starters in 2020, are unrestricted free agents. They did nothing to inspire hope that they will be effective in 2021. Nor did either of those players make the team think of giving them any kind of serious contract in terms of years or dollars.

The Seahawks coaches have been very positive about Griffin but he recorded a 64.1 PFF grade in 2020. He surrendered six touchdowns and was often very open about this awful play. After a very poor performance in the Dallas game, he admitted the Cowboys lulled him to sleep by not throwing his way much and then hitting him with a deep ball.

It was generally thought that Griffin had made excellent progress in his third year but in 2020 he regressed. The best that can be said about Griffin at this point is he has been a four-year starter in the league.

The Seahawks will likely let Griffin test the market and see what his value is. In this depressed market he could need to accept a bargain one year contract and try to reestablish value for 2022. Some team may feel like he is worth a nice contract but absent a serious leap in performance, that team should not be the Seahawks.

Dunbar was clearly an upgrade from Tre Flowers when healthy. That did not last long. His knee was an issue for him all season and the Seahawks finally shut him down. They paid a draft pick in trade and over $3m in salary to Dunbar and got very little in return. He will have to prove his knee issue is not chronic and likely take a veteran minimum deal to prove he can still play in the NFL at this point. With his legal and injury troubles, 2020 was a lost season for Dunbar.

Tre Flowers should not be counted on to be a starting corner in the NFL. The experiment has not produced the results that the Seahawks have hoped for. He openly struggled with his confidence off and on all season and his play reflected that.

He will have one more year on his cheap rookie contract and if he is brought back in 2022, it would likely be for the veteran minimum and the promise he can fight for a spot on the roster, no more. In the meantime, it would not be wise of the Seahawks to consider him a starter in 2021.

So, can DJ Reed take one of the two starting spots? Can the Seahawks go into the offseason thinking they have the right cornerback spot covered between Reed with Flowers as his backup?

If so that just leaves the left cornerback spot to be filled.

Richard Sherman might be a great fit at that spot. He has expressed that he is likely done in San Francisco and a return might be a welcome option for both parties. The Seahawks badly need some leadership in the backfield and with their thin depth, Sherman could assist in grooming the next late round corner find on the roster.

As the Seahawks will likely be still working out their pass rush issues in 2021, there will be games they will need the corners to take their man without help. Sherman could do that.

One of the underrated areas where Sherman could really be a great addition to Seattle is in run support. He is an able and willing tackler in the run game. He is not afraid to take on the pulling blocker and disrupt the play or lower his head and take a runner’s feet out from under him.

Griffin has not been very good in this area. Several games this season he was blocked right out of the play and the ball carrier ran right through the spot he was supposed to seal off and had nice gains.

Sherman has been injured, so the Seahawks would really have to do their homework on him to get him checked out first.

As well his contract demands would have to be reasonable and he would need to desire to play in Seattle again. It still appears to be a fit.

3. What do the Seahawks do with Marquise Blair?

Pete Carroll raved about Blair perhaps more than any other player on the roster in 2020.

He frequently singled him out for praise unprompted when talking to the media.

In his final press conference for the season, Carroll confirmed Blair’s rehab is going well and reiterated how excited he was about having him on the team in 2021. It will be very interesting to see where the Seahawks deploy him next season.

Do they keep the nickel cornerback experiment going? Or do they shift him back to a role as one of the safeties?

Trading Jamal Adams would open up a big, big role at strong safety.

Quandre Diggs is also in the last year of his contract. Would they groom Blair as the free safety to be the first up if Diggs gets hurt and then take the job over in 2022?

Ugo Amadi has impressed with his play at nickel. Would they want to move him back to free safety to get Blair on the field?

Finding out where the Seahawks think Blair fits best will be an interesting development to watch this offseason.

Rob’s thoughts on this draft class and potential Seahawks targets

It’s a deep class with several attractive options. I’ve updated my horizontal board in the last few days and it shows off the depth of talent:

In particular for the Seahawks, I think Benjamin St. Juste has the length, intelligence, run defending skills and attitude to be a project with serious potential at corner. I’ll be posting an interview with him over the weekend.

Eric Stokes at Georgia could also present a decent option. He was very consistent in the SEC and has the required size and length.

There were a cluster of other defenders with +32 inch arms at the Senior Bowl:

Bryan Mills (CB, NC Central)
6-1, 180lbs, 32 inch arms — flashed some good moments during the Senior Bowl

Robert Rochell (CB, Central Arkansas)
6-0, 195lbs, 32 3/8 inch arms — has been tested and ran a 4.38 then jumped an 11-8 broad and a 41 inch vertical

Mark Webb (CB, Georgia)
6-1 1/2, 210lbs, 32 1/8 inch arms — good reviews from his week in Mobile

Ifeatu Melifonwu (CB, Syracuse)
6-2 5/8, 212lbs, 32 1/8 inch arms — the brother of former combine standout Obi Melifonwu

D.J. Daniel (CB, Georgia)
6-0, 183lbs, 33 inch arms — also received positive reviews from Mobile

Basically if the Seahawks want to take a corner in this draft — they can do.

If they want to shift away from the strict parameters on arm length, Washington’s Keith Taylor had a terrific Senior Bowl. Ambry Thomas flashed cover talent and an aggressive playing style at Michigan.

Elijah Molden is one of the best players in the entire draft. He’s likely to go too early for the Seahawks.

It’ll be a stunning set of events if the Seahawks take a safety in this draft. There are still a handful of options but nobody you’d necessarily want to bang the table for over other, more serious needs.

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129 Responses to “Curtis Allen’s off-season positional reviews: DB”

  1. Mick says:

    Yey cha I was missing this. Nice read.

    Do you think it could be possible that Flowers gets a Pocic kind of change and he is switched back to safety, where he performs better? And do you get a safety if we trade Adams, or we play Diggs, Blair with backups Neal and Amadi?

    • cha says:

      Thanks Mick!

      I think Flowers had a 2 or 3 game stretch where he put in solid play this season, and that was encouraging after a very rough start. The way PC talked about him in interviews this year, it seemed most likely he was having more trouble between the ears than with his skillset. If he can even out that fragile balance he can be an effective backup and spot starter.

      I don’t see any reason to switch him back to safety with what they have on the roster.

      For the safeties all options are on the table. It’s time to see what Blair can do. They drafted him higher than DK Metcalf. PC has raved about him non-stop this year – at one point in camp he was bubbling over and the reporter sort of cut him off and ‘Ok, great tell us about Ugo’ and Pete sort of ‘oh yeah, Ugo is on our roster too. But Blair, oh my god!’

      Turns out Ugo was pretty good. So, does that mean Blair is a prime candidate to really do something in 2021? Maybe.

      And Adams. Cap room, picks, use, other options, all that adds up to cutting bait. But they HAVE to use the return they get wisely. They can’t just assume the DL and OL are fine and Darrell Taylor will replace those 9.5 sacks.

    • dcd2 says:

      If we get a Safety in the draft, Jevon Holland is a nice option. He played slot as a FR and had the best coverage grade in the PAC12. Had 9 INT in 2 years and is a great return man. Disappointed that the opted out.

      Hufanga from USC is another good option. I remember him having pretty poor measurables out of high school, but he was all over the field last year.

  2. Deuce says:

    Excellent write up cha, I really enjoyed it!

    After reading what you had written regarding DJ Reed, makes me curious what he would look like getting some snaps at single high.

    • cha says:

      Possibly.

      But all the options they have at safety + the lack of current options at CB would suggest they wouldn’t go that route.

  3. HawkMock says:

    I for one can’t wait to hear what Big Mike has to say about this positional group. In particular, his thoughts on the Jamal Adams trade, its cost, the ramifications moving forward and hopefully, if we’re lucky, maybe a thought or two on Pete Carroll as well.

  4. SonGoku says:

    Corbin suggested a three team trade with the Bears and Texans, in which the Hawks end up with Watson. Do you think they would try to get Watson if Wilson leaves? If they don’t change the offense for Wilson, I highly doubt they would do it for Watson. And does it even make sense to get another top tier QB (with a certain status and a high salary) the way Pete wants to play?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I would put the chances of a three-team trade at about 0.01%.

      Would the Seahawks try and trade for Deshaun Watson if they get a haul for Wilson? Perhaps.

      But that’s much harder to do because they don’t have their native 2021 and 2022 first round picks.

  5. Russ says:

    Wonderful write-up Cha!

    Thinking about the Adams situation – what are the odds he could slide into the KJ Wright role?

    There were always rumblings that he was more of a Deone Bucannon money backer type. That’d allow him to be more of a LOS player, which is where he excels. And his blitz numbers would line up better as a LB rather than a DB, though I do hope they go down.

    • cha says:

      Thank you!

      KJ Wright has 30 or 40 lbs on Adams.

      To play SAM he’d need to both bulk up AND find ways to avoid being injured. That’s a bridge too far.

      Nor would I be comfortable paying big $ for that personally.

  6. Big Mike says:

    Good stuff as always cha.

    You said: “It is very likely that clever coordinators and accurate quarterbacks, having had a season of tape on Adams, can take advantage of these scheme concerns”

    I think we already saw some of that last year where he ended up in no man’s land around the LOS and his coverage responsibility was all alone in the end zone catching a wise open TD pass. Certainly the chances that those situations arise even more often in ’21 are greater. Please trade the man Pete. Prove me wrong.

  7. cha says:

    Off-topic, our boy’s all grown up *sniff*

    https://twitter.com/NYIslanders/status/1368301645940076546

  8. Volume12 says:

    In terms of what Seattle would want in return for RW. What about 2 or 3 1st rounders, Whitehair, and David Montgomery?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t like that deal personally.

      I want a true, elite-level player like Khalil Mack. Not a guard and a running back. Besides — Chicago will want to protect players like that for the offense/Wilson. Their identity, when they make a trade, is Wilson and building around him.

      Also — Whitehair has short arms and Montgomery had a 28.5 inch vert. So I would imagine they don’t ‘fit’ what the Seahawks want. I’d rather draft a guard, sign a center and add a running back in FA or draft.

      Give me Mack and a bunch of picks.

    • cha says:

      “I’m not trading my best player unless I get your best player”

      • NolaHawk says:

        How about 2 firsts, a second, Jaylon Johnson and Roquan Smith? You could then conceivably move BWagz and his cap hit. The defense gets younger and faster and you maximize your draft haul. Then move Adams to Miami for a first and third and call it a day.

        • Rob Staton says:

          It has to be three firsts.

          That’s the minimum.

          And no thanks on linebackers and cornerbacks. Khalil Mack. That’s the dude.

          • NolaHawk says:

            I think this would be one of those case where I’d had to respectfully agree to disagree. Give me the guys under 25 (one only a year into his rookie deal and fills a need at CB) over the guy on the wrong side of 30 that his presumed production could be replicated via the resources acquired via the subsequent trades of BWagz and Adams. In FA there’s the option of bringing in guy like Van Noy who could fill at least some of the Mack production at a quarter of the cost.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Khalil Mack was PFF’s #1 graded edge rusher in 2020

              He is an absolute beast. An elite level player.

              Kyle Van Noy was just cut one year into a big contract with the Dolphins.

              If the Seahawks trade Wilson they don’t need young players. They need proven quality.

              • NolaHawk says:

                That was last year. Can you honestly trust he can maintain that level of production enough to warrant trading away a franchise QB? The league is filled with cautionary tales of pass rushers after 30 who lost a step when required to play more than 650 snaps in a season. Roquan at this point is a proven commodity and Johnson showed enough in his last 6 games as to why he was so highly drafted. Khalil Mack provides name recognition to justify trading Wilson without the guarantee he’ll be as effective of a player in two to three years as Wilson will continue to be. What’s that old adage? You can’t overpay for past performance.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  Can I trust one of the best players in the NFL over a number of years to be good?

                  Yes

                  • NolaHawk says:

                    But can you trust him to be the difference in getting you back to the SB without a top 5 QB? Cause so far, despite his individual accolades, he’s failed to deliver on that front in both Oakland and now Chicago. I just feel it’s worth rolling the dice in shedding $60+ million in salary between Wilson, Wagner and Adams and making a run at adding the BAMFs needed to ascend back atop the NFC with the financial flexibility and draft capital gained by jettisoning those 3. Adding Mack only makes sense if he becomes the second coming of Reggie White with the impact he had on GB at the age of 32 when he signed with them.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    You’re not trusting Khalil Mack ‘to get you back to the Super Bowl’.

                    I feel like I’ve already explained this.

                    The point of the trade should be to acquire plentiful draft stock and get some serious talent. You are trading a franchise quarterback. It’s only right that on top of a boat load of picks, you get an elite player.

                    From there, you will have to find another QB and build up the roster with the sizeable cap space you have. You attempt to build a competitive roster and Mack would help you towards creating that — all for the price of $17m this year and $12m next year.

                    You know what you’re going to get from him.

                    He doesn’t need to become ‘the second coming of Reggie White’. You’re just getting a quality pro.

                    That’s it.

  9. pdway says:

    Pretty good article on The Athletic running through the causes of the decline in the Hawks offensive play over the 2nd half of the season.

    Runs through the things most of us are familiar with – but the one that resonated w me – was the combo of poorer offensive line play (caused by injuries to Shell and Pocic – w neither one playing nearly as well upon their return), and a sort of under-the-radar sprained knee injury to Lockett in the first Rams game. This all also coincided, of course, with playing against better defenses in the second half of the season as well.

    The premise of the above is that Russ both lost faith in his pass protection, and w Lockett at less than 100% (which his numbers bear out as well), he also lost his most reliable target (interestingly, the article posits that WR2 and WR3’s are actually more important to an offense’s rhythm than WR1’s, in part I’m assuming, b/c those receivers draw the others team’s best CB).

    This makes sense to me. We’ve seen it before w RW, when the pass pro got particular bad, that is when he starts running into sacks, turtling up into pressure, and missing receivers. Early days Russell, could escape a pass rush like few others, but the current version is still a good scrambler, but not an elite one, and so the issue is exacerbated.

    I know it’s been discussed a bunch on here, but personally, I could never really buy that it was PC’s pulling back on the offense that caused Wilson’s play to decline – he’s a 9-time pro bowler, $35M, face-of-the-franchise guy, surely he has enough self-assurance and stature to not let a coach’s directives throw his so far off his game. But crappy protection, and a lack of viable targets – that could explain it.

    Anyway, all of which is to say – assuming the RW leaving town scenario doesn’t happen (and i really don’t want it to – I’ve been in the QB wilderness w this team for too many years) – then let’s get to what has been written about on this blog many times – do whatever you need to upgrade the offensive line this off-season. Make it the #1 priority. There have been plenty of good ideas on here about how to create the space, pick one of them.

    • Rob Staton says:

      A lot of what the article lays out, based on what you’ve said there, makes perfect sense.

      I don’t fully agree with your assertion here though:

      I know it’s been discussed a bunch on here, but personally, I could never really buy that it was PC’s pulling back on the offense that caused Wilson’s play to decline – he’s a 9-time pro bowler, $35M, face-of-the-franchise guy, surely he has enough self-assurance and stature to not let a coach’s directives throw his so far off his game. But crappy protection, and a lack of viable targets – that could explain it.

      Carroll clearly changed the mentality/approach of the team after the first Rams game. When I say that, people misinterpret it as me saying ‘they ran more’. I know that wasn’t the case. I think Carroll told Wilson, in no uncertain terms, that they had to take fewer risks to limit turnovers. I think they turned down the tempo and tried to long-play games. And they didn’t have a Plan B, which Carroll first and foremost is responsible for.

      So yes — I agree with the O-line and Lockett points. But I also think the decision to let Wilson play the way he wanted to, followed by opting to shift the mentality of the offense at the first sign of trouble, also had an impact. And is partly responsible for Wilson’s position today regarding a potential trade.

      • pdway says:

        “But I also think the decision to let Wilson play the way he wanted to, followed by opting to shift the mentality of the offense at the first sign of trouble, also had an impact. And is partly responsible for Wilson’s position today regarding a potential trade.”

        Could also be right. What do you make of the theory that for the first time in his career really, Wilson is getting some real criticism for his play, and a big impetus for his complaints/discontent this off-season is him punching back (and maybe even being a little bit insecure) regarding those critiques. You buy that?

      • Matt says:

        Totally agree with this. I have an analogy a few weeks back about Pete basically saying, “I want you to hit home runs, but your highest priority is to not strike out.” IMO, it explains everything. When you are worried about not turning the ball over – you will not trust your eyes and inevitably will hesitate. What did RW look like in the 2nd half of the season? Unsure and confused.

        To your point Rob – this has nothing to do with playcalling, running more, etc. it was a mandate to protect the ball at all costs and to slow everything down.

  10. Rob Staton says:

    I would like to personally thank Cha for these great breakdowns. There are still a couple to go and they’ve been brilliant.

    We’ve published an article every days since late January. The site has been updated more or less daily since August.

    There’s never been more content on SDB and Cha has played a big role with his guest pieces.

    Given this is an independent site with no money behind it, that’s pretty great.

  11. Happy Hawk says:

    This is a proposed/fictional LV Raider offer:

    2021 1st and 3rd
    2022 1st
    2023 2nd
    2024 1st
    QB D Carr
    OL T Brown

    For Wilson

    Would anyone take that deal?

    • Rob Staton says:

      You can only trade into the next three drafts (so up to 2023).

      I would not take this deal.

    • Dingbatman says:

      Raiders trade Carr for package similar to Stafford. 2 1st’s 1 3rd and one starting player

      2021 1st and 2nd
      2022 1st plus 1st (Carr)
      2023 1st (Carr) + 3rd (Carr maybe this could be 2021 or 2022)
      Mariotta from Raiders + starter from Carr trade (o line?)

      Sign Alex smith, draft rookie QB to groom. Smith and Mariotta compete to start.
      4 1st
      1 2nd
      1 3rd
      2 players.

    • Brik says:

      I would, but I’d prefer Josh Jacobs over Brown

  12. JimQ says:

    Sorry, Off the DB subject of the day, but in – the major subject of the season.

    In the event that RW is traded (as now seems – ?likely?) and a lot of new players and draft picks come the Seahawks way, my research for a RW replacement has started to get serious. After looking at a lot of the top draft-able QB’s stats & watching some tape on each, I’ve come to a conclusion on which college QB would be the best possible Seahawk pick in the high end of the draft. Mac Wilson has my vote. I think, in addition to his very, very good stats (see below) he shows a level of maturity far beyond the normal QB of his age. His very calm demeanor and obvious confidence show up consistently on tape and was evident at the Sr. Bowl as well. In addition, I think his outstanding stats are being way overlooked by nearly everyone.

    QB-Mac Jones (a JR), Alabama, (SEC), 6-025/217, (Note: 9-3/4“-hands)
    2020 Stats per: cfbstats.com/National/passing
    311/402/77.4%/4500/11.2-ypa/41-TD’s/4-INT, 203.6 passer rating (Note: on just 30.9 att./game.)

    #1 in FBS – completion % with 77.4%, #2 was Z. Wilson with 73.5. (Note: T. Lawrence 69.2%, #9)
    #1 in FBS – passing yards with 4500, #2 was Trask with 4283 (Note: T. Lawrence 3153, (#8)
    #1 in FBS – yards per attempt with 11.2, #3 was Z. Wilson with 11.0 (Note: T. Lawrence 9.4, #11)
    #1 in FBS – QB rating with 203.6, #2 was Z. Wilson with 196.43 (Note: T. Lawrence 169.18 (#12)
    #2 in FBS – passing TD’s with 41, #1 was Trask with 43 (Note: T. Lawrence 24, #12)

    For comparison purposes: Mac Jones beats the other top QB’s in 4 of 5 categories & RW in EVERY category (see below), AND: Jones has 4“ in height over RW to boot!!!!

    For comparison purposes: Russell Wilson (a 5-th yr. SR), Wisconsin (BIG-10), 5-10-5/8“/210
    2011 Stats: 225/309/72.8%(#3)/3175-yds(#28)/10.3-YPA(#2)/33-TD’s(#8) 4-INT, 191.78 QB rating (#1)

    As I recall, RW played behind a “good” OL that was larger than many of the NFL OL’s and even though he played in the BIG-10, RW was deemed exceptional, just too short for the position. In the case of Mac Jones, doubters would surely point out…. yes he’s good, but he did play behind an Alabama OL that was the best in the NCAA, with great skill players so maybe he’s just lucky. IMO, the comparison of numbers show more realistic positive expectations than conjecture that he’s only decent because of his fantastic OL, etc. I say BS on that thinking. Mac Jones would be my #1 pick for a drafted QB to replace RW, followed by Mond (however, I have concerns over Mond’s 9-1/4“-hands) But, to draft Jones, it would probably require a 1-st round (top – 18-25?) pick to get him (and I’d suspect he’s also high on the Patriots radar, but who knows?)

  13. charlietheunicorn says:

    Cha,

    You da man. I’m sure Rob appreciates your hard work and dedication to pumping out quality content. We, the readers, appreciate your hard work and dedication to covering the Seahawks.

    You need a press pass, so you can ask some hard hitting questions about Jamal Adams fashion coach to PC during a pressor…… I would die laughing if you did that. In all seriousness, You, Rob and others have really put the nose to the grind stone and kept producing content, sometimes in a crazy world (COVID)…. under highly unusual circumstances.

    Thanks to everyone involved with SDB from everyone who reads SDB. 🙂

  14. Trevor says:

    Russ to the Bears for :

    Khalil Mack
    Jaylon Johnson
    2021 1st, 3rd
    2022 1st
    2023 1st

    If the Bears offer this I hope JS pulls the trigger.

    • Jordan says:

      Leaves you without a QB that you can compete for a championship with.

      • Trevor says:

        They have not competed for a championship for 5 years with Russel Wilson I would take my chances with a better roster and young QB on a rookie contract and a chance to win in 2-3 years than continuing with the same status quo 10-6 seasons and 1st round loss.

        • Mike says:

          A secondary of jaylon Johnson, shaq griffin, Jamal adams, marquise blair/diggs/dj reed
          A pass rush of Mack, Dunlap, reed, Poona
          Line backers of Bobby and brooks

          And first round picks for the next 3 years

          You get an average quarterback and that team is competing for a championship.

          I still don’t think they will pull the trigger though…

      • Rob Staton says:

        Please, people, let’s get out of the mindset that any trade must come with a championship ready quarterback.

        It isn’t happening.

        You have a choice. You either make things right with Russell Wilson or you embrace the alternative. Which is a lot of unknown at QB.

        • JJ says:

          That is one thing that bugs me when people say if a deal happens we need acqb back. I would rather get a rookie or a stop gap. Run with Geno Smith, rookie, and Alex Smith. Take as much draft stock as you can.

        • Happy Hawk says:

          Rob is right. Fix the problem with RW or move on with a significant drop at QB. The QB of the future is most likely not in the NFL yet. But stop talking about Alex Smith as a starter for Seattle – he was jettisoned by a horrible team who doesn’t have a QB replacement and still cut him. Plus he is literally playing on 1 leg and he is old.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Alex Smith is merely an option. But it’s worth looking into the reasons he left WFT. There was serious bad blood there.

            Without him they don’t win their division and get back on track. As competition or as a bridge, you could do worse.

            • JJ says:

              Not like we are going to have him as a starter for 3-4 years. You are just looking for one year.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’d rather have a R2 this year and let them keep Jaylon Johnson. Plus maybe another pick in 2022.

      • Bankhawk says:

        Cha; another great piece in a series of great articles. Count me in the camp that wants to see us recoup as much as we possibly can on the haul we gave up for Adam’s and move on. No shade on him as a player or a man, but it just doesn’t seem to have gelled, and to give the experiment further time seems to be something they can ill afford at present.
        Also, I’m so, so down with the ‘Bring Sherm Home’ line of thinking. Love to see them ‘Make it so’!
        In closing, Rob thank you for your incredible hard work through the past 14 months or so (okay-always, really) and for having the presence of mind and the confidence to recognize how much features like Cha’s contributions, the podcasts with Robbie (always good chemistry there!) and the interviews add to the blog. You’re a great talent and an innovator to boot!
        SDB makes being a Hawks fan a great and stimulating experience, even when the team falls a bit short of greatness!

  15. Paul Cook says:

    Another great write up, cha. It’s hard for me to even think about the secondary until we know what’s going to be done about Jamal Adams. I don’t really have a good feel about where PC/JS stand with him, as in whether or not they see him as an all but certain re-sign candidate. Is Blair really a slot or outside corner? Why do we keep playing guys out of position? I think they do it too often.

    I’d be fine with trading Adams for a couple of decent picks. I’m okay with Diggs and Blair as safeties with Neal as a backup. I’m fine with letting Griffen walk unless we get him on a favorable shorter term deal due to this strange year. I’m fine with Amadi in the slot and DJ Reed outside. I suppose I’d be open to Dunbar on a one year deal. It would be nice to have some draft capital to invest in another outside corner. That’s about where I’m at.

    I would do that RW to Chicago for Mack and draft capital, but on the condition that we make a serious effort to draft a QB prospect this spring, and sign a Minshew and/or another vet to fight it out for the starting job in the summer. And if we move RW, then why not Jamal Adams and Bobby Wagner as well and load up on picks. We’d have picks and CAP room aplenty to rebuild.

    Anyway…great job.

  16. Paul Cook says:

    There is little doubt in my mind that were Paul Allen alive today this RW/PC thing would be well on its way to a solution by now.

  17. Charles Hirsch says:

    Great read enjoyed the depth of analysis! Well done.

  18. cha says:

    Corbin Smith
    @CorbinSmithNFL
    There’s been plenty of speculation about Carlos Dunlap’s future.

    Per a source, discussions are ongoing between #Seahawks and the veteran defensive end on a multi-year extension. They hope to avoid going cap casualty route before March 17.
    3:10 PM · Mar 6, 2021

    Corbin Smith
    @CorbinSmithNFL
    Replying to
    @CorbinSmithNFL
    Source indicates John Schneider and front office do not want to enter free agency without proven vet rusher this time around. An extension could save team several million against the cap for 2021.
    3:12 PM · Mar 6, 2021

  19. Rob Staton says:

    Tommy Tremble is an absolute killer

    I’ve moved him into round two on my board purely for the sheer devastation he causes

    • GoHawksDani says:

      He’s the TE/FB guy, right? I don’t even care about positions I want guy described as “absolute killer” and “sheer devastation he cause”. If we trade RW lets get back to being a bully

  20. TheOtherJordan says:

    Got to believe some team will look at Sam Darnold who isn’t yet 24 and think they can salvage him. I’m curious what others far more knowledgeable than me would think of him compared to the other QB’s in this draft class. I suspect that athletically he would be on par or superior to any other QB prospect in this class not named Lawrence. A coach somewhere is going to believe they can turn that potential into production and a huge reason for his current state is he plays for the Jets. I’m intrigued by the prospect of Darnold. The question is, is Pete Carroll?

  21. TomLPDX says:

    Cha, excellent rundown of the DB situation. Thanks for all of your contributions to this site. Rob, I honestly don’t know how you can keep up this pace of putting out top-notch content on SDB plus your interviews.

    Thank you both!

  22. Trevor says:

    Russ wants to get traded because he wants a better OL, weapons and input on play calling and the offense.

    No doubt the Bears will give him more input but do they really have a better OL and weapons? I certainly don’t think so.

    • TomLPDX says:

      I guess he thinks the grass is greener in Chicago (or Dallas or NO or Vegas!)…hate to tell him that it’s actually greener in the PNW…year round.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Well the biggest issue seems to be Pete Carroll first and foremost. Wilson no longer believes in his way of doing things.

      If the Bears are willing to do what he wants and actively work with him to sign the players he wants to play with — that’s a bit more significant than saying their OL and weapons currently, pre-free agency and draft, aren’t better.

      There are a lot of strands to this.

  23. Trevor says:

    If there was a draft today and teams could pick one QB for the next 4 years to try and win a Super Bowl taking in account their current cap hit this upcoming season who would be the top 10 picks.

    #1 Pat Mahomes ($24.8 mil cap #)
    #2 Deshawn Watson ($16 mil cap #)
    #3 Josh Allen ($7 mil cap #)
    #4 Justin Herbert ($6 mil cap #)
    #5 Trevor Lawrence ($4.5 mil cap #)
    #6 Kyler Murray ($9.8 mil cap #)
    #7 Arron Rodgers ($37 mil cap #)
    #8 Lamar Jackson ($3 mil cap #)
    #9 Russel Wilson ($32 mil cap #)
    #10 Matt Stafford ($20 mil cap #)

    Did not include Brady or Brees because I don’t think they play 4 more years.

    Curious how other people would rank the QBs given their age, cap # and ability to lead etc.

    • TomLPDX says:

      I’m a Josh Allen fan myself.

    • Rohan Raman says:

      IMO – speaking as a Clemson fan – I’d put Trevor at the bottom of the list. The man hasn’t played a down in the NFL and I’m not sure he’s a better option than the current MVP, a under-25 former MVP and a perennial Pro Bowler even if you consider age.

      Personally, this is my list.

      1) Mahomes
      2) Watson
      3) Allen
      4) Herbert
      5) Kyler
      6) Lamar
      7) A-Rod
      8) Russ
      9) Burrow
      10) Lawrence

      I would take Burrow over Stafford b/c he’s younger, cheaper and has sky-high potential. Anyone who can put up respectable numbers in their rookie season behind the pathetic trash heap the Bengals call an O-Line has special qualities in my book.

      • Trevor says:

        You have seen more of Lawerence as a Clemson fan so I can’t argue with that or the addition of Burrow over Stafford really.

  24. Jeffrey W Spencer says:

    You guys do great work at analyzing multiple complex options. Perhaps this is not as interesting of a discussion, or not as easily answered, but I would think that there is a very pivotal question that is not being discussed, that is:

    How is the value of the Seahawks franchise impacted with RW(w/o PC) or without RW (keep PC)? It is often commented that Jody Allen will likely sell the franchise in the not too distant future, if so, this brings the PC or RW question into high relief.

    If the Seahawks go into rebuild mode, how does that impact the value of the franchise?

    Is the franchise worth more with RW and without PC?

    What is PC’s winning percentage before Russ? after Russ?

    Would the value of the franchise be as strong if they get a haul of picks for RW and kept PC on?

    I may be totally wrong, but it occurs to me that the franchise value is very high as perennial playoff contenders, maybe as high as if they SB contenders. From a franchise value perspective is there incentive to actualy win championships, or are they maintaining a similar value by being perenial contenders?

    Where does Vulcan come into play in this question? Clearly they stay out of foootball operations, however they would have to be in some sort of stewardship role in terms of the health and value of the franchise.

    jws

    • Rob Staton says:

      The Panthers were sold for a record price without a long term franchise quarterback in place and very little in terms of playing assets.

      Whenever the Seahawks are sold, it will break the record again.

      The value with or without Wilson will remain intact.

      • Jeffrey W Spencer says:

        I agree that it will remain largely intact, and I would guess that regardless of who is sold next, it will likely be a new record.
        But clearly, different franchises have different value accroding to expert analysts. Does the team itself and the team performance have an impact on that value? Are the Seahawks worth more with RW than without RW? Would the Panthers hav commanded a higher price if they had a franchise QB?
        jws

        • Rob Staton says:

          I don’t think so. Value is set really by precedent not by individuals temporarily contracted to the team.

        • Denver Hawker says:

          The Dallas Cowboys are consistently referenced as the most valuable franchise in the NFL.
          The Dallas Cowboys have not played in the NFC championship games since 1994.

          Russell Wilson has zero impact on the franchise value of the Seattle Seahawks.

  25. Jeffrey W Spencer says:

    I did some quick maths:

    PC record without RW 47 – 49 a win percentage of 0.489 regular season; 2-3 in playoff games combined win percentage 0.485

    RW regular season record 88-45, win percentage 0.657; 9-7 in playoff games for a combined win percentage of 0.651

    We have massive nuanced data on players, what are the metrics to evaluate coaches? I love and ascribe to the culture that PC creates, but I have to question the 80’s offense, the trade for Jamaal Adams, the obvious game management and early game strategy deficiencies, the nepotism in his hiring of his son’s– these are not reflective of a high perofmance organization at the highest level. He gets the best out of the players, but is he getting the best out of himself, is he willing to learn and evolve. It’s very clear that the referees is calling the games different than the glory LOB years — has he adapted? If he is at the highest level, shouldn’t he be ahead of the curve rather than behind it? Accountability, competition, for everyone but PC — that’s a problem to my mind.
    jws

    • Mike says:

      Also his record without Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright

      Let’s not lie about the stats an average qb would have made it to the Super Bowl in 13/14.

      • Jordan says:

        I’m not sure an average QB wins either NFC Championship game given how tight the margin was in each.

        • Martin Toohey says:

          I know what you mean Jordan. Of course just looking at the overall game stats doesn’t tell us everything but just looking at those I wouldn’t say Wilson set the world on fire in those games.

          2014 Season NFC Championship

          Russell Wilson 14/29 209 Yards 7.2 YPA 1TD 4 Interceptions 5 sacks

          Wilson rushed for 25 yards on 7 attempts. He fumbled once but the Seahawks recovered it.

          2013 Season NFC Championship game

          Russell Wilson 16/25 215 Yards 1TD O Interceptions 8.6 YPA 4 sacks Wilson fumbled twice – losing one. He also rushed five times for zero yards.

        • Mike says:

          Dude russ was a below average qb in those games. He fumbled the opening snap of the sf game and through 5 picks against gb

  26. Rob Staton says:

    Gregg Bell at it again on Saturday 🤦‍♂️

    It’s just getting uncomfortable now. I don’t even follow him any more but I keep seeing his tweets denying there’s anything in this Wilson saga. It’s embarrassing

    • Sea Mode says:

      The worst is if it happens, he will explain it off cheaply somehow. Oh well…

      • Rob Staton says:

        And if a trade doesn’t happen, it doesn’t mean he will be ‘right’.

        He’s treated this like a non story. Failed to properly report on it. Been dismissive and condescending on twitter. And shown himself up.

        And for what reason??

        • Big Mike says:

          “Been dismissive and condescending on twitter”

          That’s the worst part. You wanna play ostrich about all this so be it. But to act the way he has imo kills every ounce of credibility as a supposed journalist he may have had.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Yeah… it’s not good

            Not a good look at all for him

          • TomLPDX says:

            I decided a long time ago that he hates his job and it shows, especially the past few years. He should go to Pittsburgh and cover the Steelers or something.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I also get the sense he just thinks he knows better than everyone about pretty much everything.

              I stopped following him during the Seattle ‘CHAZ’ story. He was lecturing people on that because he had to be right and he’s doing it on this topic now.

  27. SonGoku says:

    Seahawks draft meetings until today:

    DT Darius Stills, West Virginia
    TE Brevin Jordan, Miami
    CB Greg Newsome, Northwestern
    RB Javian Hawkins, Louisville
    CB Benjamin St.-Juste, Minnesota
    WR Rondale Moore, Purdue
    LB Jon Rhattigan, Army
    CB Asante Samuel Jr, Florida State
    OG David Moore, Grambling State
    S Joshuah Bledsoe, Missouri
    DB Trill Williams, Syracuse
    WR Anthony Schwartz, Auburn
    TE Landon Rice, Jacksonville State
    WR Dax Milne, BYU
    LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa
    RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
    WR Connor Wedington, Stanford
    LB KJ Britt, Auburn

    Hope I got all and didn’t forget anyone

    • Rob Staton says:

      In fairness, there’s no limit on meetings this year. Jim Nagy said all teams will meet with all players.

    • Mick says:

      Looking forward to see some QBs appear on that list. Now seriously, I’m glad they look at CB, RB and TE, not so happy to see LBs (luxury pick, don’t have that now).

      • SonGoku says:

        It was interesting to see only 1 OL there. But I don’t read too much into that list.

    • Rushless pass says:

      Didn’t they meet with Alim McNeil? Also, one of the DT from Ohio state?

  28. charlietheunicorn says:

    Rob, I think Greg Bell just trolls everyone… only way to read anything he write for the press or on twitter. Hell, he gets paid for “this rubbish”…. you (Cha and other contributors) have done a much better job with way fewer resources and have more accurate takes on various timely topics.

  29. GoHawksDani says:

    Thanks cha!

    On another note:
    If Hawks wants a QB what are we thinking about trading for Minshew?
    Jags will draft Lawrence, so they probably won’t need Minshew. If we could get him for a 2nd would it be good for us? Or is that compensation too low? Or too high?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Too high. But they could do worse than add Minshew into a competition at QB.

      • bv eburg says:

        Minshew would be a solid choice to compete with a possible draft pick. He had a very positive influence at WSU so has some local ties. Teammates love him and would run through a brick wall for him. Down to earth attitude that people gravitate towards. I think in a Rams style offense he would do quite well. Would also love to see the fun he brings mixed in with DK and Tyler. Talk about some spontaneous fun and vibes.
        It’s one of those things that gets infectious and just starts rolling. Remember he came to the Cougs as a graduate transfer and the whole Minshew Mania was based on his first and only year there. Could he do the same for the Hawks?

        • Big Mike says:

          Count me in on The Stache

          • pdway says:

            I am a realist and understand things are in a super fluid state right now re the RW situation .. . but man, I get hit with a pang of depression when I picture us trotting out Minshew, or Alex Smith, or pretty much any of the other journeyman names mentioned as our starting QB on opening day.

            I know all eras have to end, but it will be tough to come into a season with that level of expectation.

            • AlaskaHawk says:

              Can the Seahawks draft Mond and be done with this search? He’s way better than Minshew or
              Smith or half the other older names that are being dragged around this board.

            • GoHawksDani says:

              I’d be pumped if Hawks go out with an offense of: DK, Lockett, Javonte Williams, Minshew/Mond, Cleveland, Brown, Meinerz, Lewis, Shell, Freiermuth
              And on defense: Mack, Dunlap, Taylor, J.Reed, Ford, Brooks, Sherm, St Juste, DJ Reed, Blair, Diggs.

              Young, hungry, vicious offense with ton of speed and strength.
              Powerful, fast, young defense

              Unlikely that it’d be the ’13 team, but much closer to it than now

  30. Bankhawk says:

    Nice one with Benjamin St. Juste, Rob. Where could you see him going in the draft? Sure would like to deal Adam’s for picks and cap relief, extend Dunlap, bring in Sherm, let Shaquille test the market, and turn this lanky lad over to Sherm for some major mentoring. 😏

  31. Gaux Hawks says:

    SDB is my one-stop-shop… thank you Rob/Cha!

    I am getting very excited about this:

    QB: Alex Smith, Alex McGough
    RB1: Javonte Williams, Alex Collins
    RB2: Rashaad Penny, Tommy Tremble
    LT: Duane Brown, Jamarco Jones
    LG: Ben Cleveland, Phil Haynes
    C: Corey Linsley, Quinn Meinerz
    RG: Damien Lewis, Phil Haynes
    RT: Brandon Shell, Jamarco Jones
    TE: Will Dissly, Colby Parkinson
    WR1: D.K. Metcalf, David Moore
    WR2: Tyler Lockett, Phillip Dorsett

    DE: Khalil Mack, Rasheem Green
    DT: Jarran Reed, L.J. Collier
    NT: Poona Ford, Bryan Mone
    LEO: Carlos Dunlap, Darrell Taylor
    SAM: K.J. Wright, Alton Robinson
    MIKE: Bobby Wagner, Cody Barton
    WILL: Jordyn Brooks, Ben Burr-Kirven
    RCB: D.J. Reed, Tre Flowers
    LCB: Richard Sherman, Benjamin St. Juste
    SS: Marquise Blair, Ryan Neal
    FS: Quandre Diggs, Ugo Amadi

    K: Jason Myers
    P: Michael Dickson
    LS: Tyler Ott

    P1: Williams
    P2: Cleveland
    P3: St. Juste
    P4: Meinerz
    P5: Tremble

    Focus on OT and DT in next year’s draft.

  32. Why not show RW the cap space next season and explain they can customize the team in a way RW likes…..next season. Think just seeing the possibilities think RW could be swayed.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Wilson doesn’t believe in Carroll any more

      If they had $1bn to spend it wouldn’t make much difference

      Besides, without trading one of Wilson, Wagner or Adams, their cap situation isn’t great next year or this year

  33. IDK how you can claim 2022 cap space isn’t great. 141 million with RW. If they move Wagner they can add 16 million in cap space. In fact using your idea, why not see if they can sign the best OL on the market and construct the contract so 2021 hit is small but made up for in 2022.
    There are all types of moves to be made without considering moving the best QB in Seahawk history. Kind of aggravating to see you beat the drums to trade RW and/or fire PC. None of your trade RW ideas would leave the Seahawks in better situation IMO. It’s change for the sake of change. You stating Wilson doesn’t believe in Carroll is a opinion stated as a fact. Again really aggravating.