Early thoughts on the Seahawks in free agency

March 15th, 2012 | Written by Kip Earlywine

Wouldn't this have been something...

Written by Kip Earlywine

Nearly forty eight hours have now passed and dozens of NFL free agents have signed with new (and old) teams.  Its premature to opine with any kind of free agency grade, but enough has happened to this point to begin an earnest evaluation.

A couple things to keep in mind, I do not evaluate the front office strictly by results, but rather intentions and philosophy.  Paul Allen supposedly offered Peyton Manning a ton of upfront cash, and yet Manning hardly did so much as return Seattle’s phone call.  Some things are simply out of John Schneider’s control, which is why I prefer to look at the thought process rather than the bottom line.

Once again, Seattle was not front in center when the gun sounded in free agency.  This is hardly surprising given that even in a big spending offseason like 2011 Seattle sat out the first day, signing Sidney Rice on day two and Zach Miller on day five.  Its a cool-headed approach often seen by the elites of the league, the Pittsburgh’s, the Green Bay’s, etc.  I had personally hoped that Seattle would charge hard after Curtis Lofton, Eric Winston, and Jason Jones.  Seattle has yet to show interest in Winston, although for what it’s worth, Seattle’s interest in Zach Miller last year was not immediately evident either.

Lofton’s free agent status is a bit of a riddle.  Early in free agency, infamous twitter user Incarcerated Bob incorrectly announced that Lofton was a done deal in Tampa, and later that same day, Gerald McCoy tweeted in a manner which suggested that Lofton was a done deal in Philly.  Lofton has yet to officially sign anywhere.  Now apparently the Seahawks have some interest in Lofton as well.  Lofton is a similar player to David Hawthorne, slightly more accomplished and a year younger, but both are run stopping middle linebackers who struggle in coverage.  The market is moving very slowly at linebacker, and Lofton continues to look the part of the bridesmaid while his pursuers instead throw big money at other free agents.  If he can be signed for a non-ridiculous contract, Seattle could become more serious in their pursuit.

Seattle is hosting defensive tackle Jason Jones today and tomorrow.  It appears that Jones’ decision could come down to Seattle and St. Louis.  The fact that Jones visited St. Louis first and left town without a contract is promising.  The Rams new head coach is none other than Jeff Fisher, so there is an obvious connection there. The fact that the Rams didn’t pull out all the stops to sign Jones before Seattle might hint at two possibilities.  The first is that their interest could potentially be more about driving up the price for the Seahawks.  The second is that Jeff Fisher’s familiarity with Jones flaws could dampen his enthusiasm and lead to a lukewarm contract offer, similar to Seattle’s lukewarm stance on Matt Hasselbeck last year or John Carlson this year.

Jones is a player Seattle could really make good use of, and I feel pretty good about his chances of signing here.  Jones is still young, but I doubt he’d want to play for a team that might not compete until he nears his 30th birthday and has a bit of a mess at defensive coordinator (their current DC is none other than Gregg “Bounty-gate” Williams).  Seattle can offer a better chance to win sooner than later and doesn’t have the distractions on defense the Rams will have to deal with.

Something I’ve noticed about this current front office is that they hate bidding wars (unless it’s done to hurt a division rival).  Sidney Rice, as talented as he is, was deemed too risky by most of the league.  His services came down to a two team race between Seattle and Minnesota.  Zach Miller was receiving surprisingly little interest when Seattle swooped in and stole him away from the Raiders.  Seattle didn’t have to fight off a ton of suitors for Tarvaris Jackson, Ben Hamilton, or even Robert Gallery, much less guys like Brandon Browner and Mike Williams.  In short, Seattle is the kind of team that hunts for value in free agency, and the more fierce the competition, the higher the price will go, making that player less likely to be a value acquisition.

That’s why I really liked Seattle’s pursuit of Brandon Carr and their current interest in one Steve Hutchinson.

Brandon Carr ranked in the top 10 last year in completion percentage against and passer rating against, just below Richard Sherman on both counts.  For as productive as Brandon Browner was last season, he struggled badly in those areas.  Signing Carr would have been a bit like adding another Richard Sherman to this roster while making Browner one of the league’s best #3 corners.  Unfortunately, Dallas panicked and gave Carr a five year, $50 million contract before he could ever come here.  Even if Carr had declined the offer and paid the Seahawks a visit, any hope of making him a value signing went out the window.  It’s just as well that he signed elsewhere.

Steve Hutchinson would be a neat get.  It would go a ways toward healing what was in the minds of many Seahawks fans the most painful free agency loss in franchise history.  Pro Football Focus ranked Hutchinson the fourth best left guard this past season, despite the fact that Minnesota’s line as a whole was among the league’s worst.  Yet for a team that is clearly in rebuilding mode, paying a 34 year old guard $7 million is hard to swallow.  Age is the last form of sanctioned discrimination in the workplace, and its no more evident in pro sports than anywhere else.  Despite Hutchinson’s terrific career and remaining capabilities, he’s only yet drawn interest from two teams, the Seahawks and the Titans.  It would be pretty ironic if Hutch signed in Tennessee, as the head honcho there is none other Mike Reinfeldt, the same man who planted the idea in Tim Ruskell’s mind that guards were not worth top money.  Hutch makes some sense for the Seahawks, as both Moffitt and Carpenter could be slow returning from injuries and a 1-2 year stopgap option in the interior could buy Seattle’s young offensive lineman a chance to rest and acclimate to the league before being thrown into the fire again.  Of course, as I write this, Hutch signs in Tennessee, hahahaha.

Seattle is meeting with Matt Flynn tomorrow.  I wouldn’t have bothered with Flynn at all personally.  Even his statistically insane game against the Lions last year screamed “product of the system” when viewed under close scrutiny.  Still, I’ll give Seattle some credit- they didn’t show any interest in Flynn until his value was established as being much lower than people expected, and on the off chance that Flynn is willing to take a Tarvaris Jackson sized deal, he’s not a bad gamble.  It seems unlikely he’d come that cheap, but Seattle loses nothing by attempting to find out.

Of course, not everything in free agency has been peachy so far.  Seattle has yet to sign any free agent from another team, much less a superstar like Manning or Williams.

I can only speculate, but I’m not convinced Seattle was as desperate for Manning as they would like you to believe.  I think there was some interest there, because obviously, he’s Peyton freaking Manning, but Manning would have been a deviation from the long term plan Seattle has in place.  It wouldn’t have been the kind of slam dunk many fans think it would have been.  Not that I think Seattle has anything against Manning, but if they signed him to a something like a 5 year, $100 million contract, it would have cap implications down the road when Seattle wants to extend their own star players such as Russell Okung and Earl Thomas.  It would also make a big acquisition or trade for a young franchise QB (Matt Barkley) in future drafts more complicated, as evidenced by Manning’s reaction to Indy coveting Andrew Luck.

Still, I respect the front office for at least trying, and I respect them more for having the awareness to play politics.  Had Seattle not even batted an eye at Manning, Williams, and Flynn, the fanbase would likely be in an uproar.  Its no accident that John Schneider has said over and over that he won’t panic at quarterback- its because he’s massaging the fanbase in preparation for what will probably be an unpopular (but ultimately wise) approach to the 2012 draft.   Schneider is not oblivious to the desires of Seahawks fans, but he has a plan and he’s sticking to it.

Regarding the Red Bryant signing, like many fans, I have mixed feelings about it.  Bryant’s value comes from his run stopping and leadership, both of which are difficult to accurately measure in terms of value.  Yet even from a gut-thinking perspective, it doesn’t feel that Bryant was in any way worth $7 million per season.  Seattle overpaid, but unfortunately they had to- as Bryant drew significant interest from 3-4 teams and teams with 4-3 hybrid defenses like ours.  I was actually kind of warming up to the idea of letting Bryant go, as we could have spent that money on another good player and moved Alan Branch to the 5 tech spot for next season, then possibly make a run at Calais Campell in 2013.  Campbell had 8 sacks last year playing a very similar role to Red Bryant.  He’s a guy who would be an absolute beast for our defense.

On the positive side, Bryant’s deal pays him all of his guaranteed money in the first two years, which gives Seattle an easy out by 2014 should things not work out as hoped.  It also makes Bryant a likely target for restructure from 2014-2016.  In other words, Bryant’s contract merely continues the Red Bryant experiment rather than making it a permanent fixture.  Continuing this experiment could make a good deal of sense, as Bryant would be useful for a team showing 3-4 hybrid looks, which could easily be the case if Seattle drafts either Melvin Ingram or Courtney Upshaw.  If Bryant can stay healthy, this contract probably won’t matter too much either way in the long run.

Perhaps the most controversial move made so far in Seattle’s free agency is the surprise release of Robert Gallery.  Pete Carroll has stubbornly insisted on running the football since coming here, and until Robert Gallery returned to near 100% health near the mid point of the season, that goal seemed to be painfully misguided.  Gallery struggled with pass protection and with penalties, but his run blocking is the real thing.  It even rubbed off a bit on Max Unger (a free agent next year- by the way), and the two became a power blocking duo that Marshawn Lynch and the team as a whole benefited enormously from.  Even high school level coaches review game film, so I’m sure Pete and John know fully well what they are doing here, but I have serious reservations about this move personally.  Seattle is not hard up against the cap, and for a team that is built around running the ball, Robert Gallery’s impact on the running game easily justified his salary this year, in my view.  I just don’t get it.  Even the timing was pretty lousy, as fellow veteran Steve Hutchinson was in town talking contracts when it happened.  Think Hutch felt good about signing a two or three year deal here after seeing that?

And am I the only one who finds it suspicious that Seattle signed back Paul McQuistan and released Robert Gallery at the same time?  That would certainly seem to hint at the team making room for McQuistan as a starter on the line.  McQuistan played surprisingly well late last season, but I think I’d feel better about him as a great backup rather than as a fringe starter.  This combination of moves would also seem to hint at the team considering James Carpenter at guard with Breno Giacomini being the favorite at right tackle.  An Okung-Carpenter-Unger-McQuistan-Giacomini line isn’t bad, but where is the depth?  Can Carpenter provide the same kind of run blocking prowess that Gallery provided last year?  Why did we need to free up $4.667 million (the savings from releasing Gallery) again?  Other than a small buyout cost, there was no reason to release him now for the sake of 2013’s cap room either.  Overall, the whole thing reminds me a bit of the TJ Houshmandzadeh release a couple years ago.  The team didn’t save a dime by releasing Housh, but the move did free up opportunities for other players.  The Housh release worked out well enough.  But will the Gallery release be similarly harmless?  I guess we’ll see, but color me skeptical.

So what could be on the horizon?  Jason Jones will probably reach a decision this weekend.  It’d be nice if it was to play for us.  Kamerion Wimbley is all but guaranteed to be released by Oakland on Saturday.  Given the kind of crazy contracts that are being handed out in this free agency, it might not be a bad idea for Seattle to float a 7th rounder to Oakland for Wimbley’s contract (which would have the added perk of not counting against us when compensatory picks are handed out next year).  Sure, it’s a big contract, but it probably won’t be any bigger than what he’d get on the open market as the best pass rusher available, and this way they could ensure Wimbley’s services.  Wimbley is a diverse player who could fill Seattle’s needs as a speedy linebacker or line up in the LEO role as Chris Clemon’s short term successor (Wimbley is two years younger).  Wimbley has gone on record saying that he’d be open to a contract restructure.  This probably won’t happen, but it probably should.  If Wimbley hits free agency, I’m certainly hoping the Seahawks are at least involved for his services.

61 Responses to “Early thoughts on the Seahawks in free agency”

  1. peter says:

    As soon as I saw the Gallery release, I immediately thought Carpenter in that spot…but then isn’t by Pete Carrol’s own admission Jarriel King soem sort of sleeper talent on the line somewhere?

    I do like the way the seahawks run their FA period and I kind of hate the Grades that are given out…it just seems to strange to grade actions until the season ends. Much like the Draft grades which are amazingly short sighted.

    I’m also a fan of not truly pursuing the Manning/Williams contracts, as you pointed out we will have to pay our own players as well. Okung, I sure hope he can turn a corner on injuries and deserve a second paycheck, but ET for sure will have to get paid, I don’t see a way around that, even Kam at some point…

    I do wish they would at least get Eric Winston to show up at the facilities…if the Gallery cut is strange, then the Texans cutting Winston, makes no sense..

  2. CFR says:

    Flynn meeting with Miami as they are supposedly out of the Manning sweepstakes. There goes us signing him cheaply to compete with T-Jax. They’ll throw money at him and regret it in two years.

    Rob, who else do you think we could we potentially target for a cheap 2-3 year deal to compete with Tarvaris? Garrard, Alex Smith, Vince Young, Josh Johnson, Shaun Hill, Brady Quinn all seem like the most likely options for me. Thoughts?

  3. Ed says:

    I would say we just go with tjack, portis and osweiler (3rd rd).

    Sign james jones (de)
    Trade back to 17-20
    1st Keuhly/Mercilus
    2nd Kendricks
    2nd Perry
    3rd Osweiler

  4. Turp says:

    If Jimmy Clausen can get drafted in the 2nd, there is no way Osweiler falls to the 3rd. Too much potential.

  5. nicky6 says:

    Rob, do you have any knowledge of what their plans are for jarriel king? ive heard hes got loads of potential but i moved away from seattle area so i havent been to any practices or camps to see what he can do for myself

  6. Rob says:

    CFR – Let’s not rule out Matt Leinart. Plus, who knows what will happen to Kevin Kolb?

    nicky6 – I know they like him a lot. He’s been looked at as a possible guard or tackle. A health issue made him an UDFA, but he seemed like a prize capture when he slipped away from the Giants. He could be a sleeper this year.

  7. Stuart says:

    Even though I am luke warm on Flynn, I would admit being excited if we signed him. However, it looks like that wont happen now. Based on who is left, yuck, we better draft Osweiler in the 2nd. Just make it happen JS. This will mean another full season with TJ. At least if we knew we had the QBOTF on our team, it would go down better. Sure it’s fun to predict the 2013 qb’s but there are no guarantees that things will go as we want. If the Seahawks dont draft a qb in the 2nd, Portis might be held in higher esteem than we know?

  8. Rob says:

    I’m not sure, Stuart. I think if (when?) they avoid the QB position in the first two rounds, it’ll be more a review of what they’re planning for the future. Why spend an ‘impact’ pick on a QB if they’re going to be replaced in 12 months?

  9. denny says:

    I was just in cabo san Lucas and matt leinart was partying it up hard in a suit with sandals. No thanks

  10. seattlesetters says:

    I don’t really like any of this year’s QB draft class outside the Big 2. With this FO’s track record, I’d have a tough time using a 3rd rouind pick on a QB and wouldn’t even coniser one in the 2nd. Too many good players who can have an immediate impact will be available in those rounds … I say we go get ‘em.

    I, too, hope the Gallery release turns out OK. I’m a ittle worried, quite frankly. He paved some big holes for Lynch last year and he was obviously instrumental in the development of the younger guys on the o-line. Hopefully, Big Russ can step up into that leadership role this year by staying healthy.

    I’d be OK with Flynn because I know he’s better than T-Jax. But I won’t lose sleep if we don’t get him, as another year with Jackson under center might make it a bit easier for us to get Matt Barkley or Tyler Wilson in 2013.

  11. NorthVanman says:

    If they stay at 12 in the draft, and take BPA, I like to see them grab Dontari Poe, the 346lb DT. He’s agile, athletic and a once in a decade talent. Holoti Ngata ran in the hight 5.2s at the combine. Poe ran 4.93. He’d be great for 10-15 years.I realize we need QB, DE LB etc, but great is always right.

  12. dave crockett says:

    Nice work Kip,

    A couple thoughts…

    1. On Gallery — I’m not bothered at all. He is an outstanding run blocker and near disastrous in pass pro. He may re-sign at a lower number. As for depth, even with McQ and Giaco starting we still have youth, talent, and experience in Jeanpierre and King and a reasonably deep guard draft.

    2. On Manning/QB — I just wanted to know our FO isn’t ruling out options for silly reasons. I’m satisfied that they had genuine interest in Manning AND that they set their value. Seattle HAD to make Manning say no, even if he now has Chad Pennington’s arm.

    Flynn doesn’t get me going, but at the right price (TJax adjusted for inflation) I’d be game. I’m glad Henne is off the market. In his career he’s worse than TJax on almost every dimension, and he’s had some injuries. I’d be interested in Leinart.

    In the draft, I just can’t see how this FO isn’t salivating over Osweiler in the 2nd round. I keep hoping that they’re just playing cards close. I don’t know how many opportunities you get to draft a QB with elite potential, even if he is a project.

    3. On Red… I don’t think the team overpaid him. They paid him for performance AND paid for the flexibility to be out of the deal quickly.

  13. James says:

    I want Matt Flynn’s agent! The very day he is negotiating between Seattle and Miami, all of the sudden “insider” reports are oll over nfl.com and espn that there is a feeding frenzy for Tannehill. They are reporting that Cleveland plans to pick him at #4, and Buffalo is talking to the Vikings about trading up to #3 to jump over Cleveland and take him. Therefore, the earlier reports that Miami planned to take him at #8 are trumped, and the idea is planted that Tannehill may not be there for the Dophins at #8. What does this have to do with Flynn? It means that the crazy rich owner of the Dolphins may panic and offer Kolb money to Flynn to land him. Now that is an agent doing a good day’s work….

  14. Belgaron says:

    They did not overpay Red relative to the value the league places on DE. It’s this same valuation of the role that has the franchise value at over 10 million. There were reasonable minded football people who expected Seattle to franchise Red, so from that standpoint they were wise to not go for it and simply match or come close to his other offers and hope his loyalty would prevail. Red also provides real stopping power in goal line situations and threatens to block kicks on any given play. At a time when you often don’t get value for money paid, I think Seattle will not regret keeping Red at the price he received. And finally, they always write their contracts for two years anyway (or 1 in Gallery’s case), so they’ve covered their back ends should he not produce as expected in any way.

  15. Stuart says:

    Dontari Poe-While I was walking on the treadmill I watched the NFL Network and they were mocking the first 12 picks. They had Seattle picking Dontari Poe. On the surface it sounds good based on the fantastic combine…But 3 of the 4 guys on the panel were not on the Dontari Poe bus stating he played at one of the worst schools in all of college football and had something like 32 tackles all year with just ONE sack. He played against no name colleges and did not show “elite” talent.

    Then I started thinking about Fletcher Cox again. He was ranked as the 2nd best DT in the draft by the NFL Network. The Hawks are not likely to go DT in R-1 anyway but if they did, Fletcher Cox is it for me. Only a true junior and he just dominated the powerful SEC. Had he played for Alabama or LSU everyone would know about him. It just doesnt make sense to me to draft based on potential only with Poe. Cox shows the great potential but his play is exciting (proven game day warrior) and has a proven track record where as Poe doesnt.

  16. JC says:

    I’m with you, to an extent, Stuart. Poe kind of reminds me of Alameda Ta’amu with the benefit of a monster combine.

  17. Morgan says:

    No one should be disappointed that Gallery is gone. He graded out as the 72nd best guard in the NFL (tied with John Moffitt. Our line was REALLY bad last year).

    Not worth $5m by a long shot.

  18. Kip Earlywine says:

    @dave_crockett: Thanks for your thoughts. You make a good point about talent on the roster that Pete’s more familiar with than we are (e.g. King). That’s a fair point. That said, I’d be very surprised if Seattle drafts a guard (or any other offensive lineman) in this years draft, based on the info we’ve heard.

  19. Kip Earlywine says:

    @Morgan, I like PFF, but I don’t really trust them when it comes to grading run blocking. Gallery was an elite level run blocker last year, IMO. He was bad in pass pro but not nearly as bad as Moffitt and Carpenter, who were giving up close to a sack a game. For a team like Seattle that values run blocking so much, I don’t see any problems with paying Gallery middle-tier starter money.

    I think what this decision came down to was the team really liked Giacomini’s and McQuistan’s performances last season (and I don’t blame them). I think this move was less about saving money or removing a problem and more about freeing up opportunity for a couple of guys who played surprisingly well down the stretch last season. I don’t think Seattle needed to cut Gallery, but it seems like some of their most needless moves in the past have turned out brilliantly (Tapp/Wilson trades, Housh/Polumbus cut), so I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.

  20. Jeremy says:

    Gallery surprised me, I thought he was Cable’s boy. How likely is it now that if everything falls apart in the first, they draft his replacement?

    From Rob’s article –

    “What if the big four aren’t available? – Even so, let’s contemplate the unthinkable situation where the Seahawks are out of reach for the top defensive ends. What do they do? – I would argue it’s unlikely the Seahawks would make further additions to their offensive line and I don’t expect the team to draft a quarterback at #12 this year, even if Tannehill remains available.”

    Does Gallery being gone change this? DeCastro would look awfully good here. Yes, the clear need is pass rush, but recent changes has me wondering. What’s your take?

  21. seattl says:

    I like the idea of an athletic DT, but Poe hasn’t brought it on the field. Post-Aaron Curry I want to see it at the game, not just the combine. Second-team all-Conference USA, and only 1 sack- can he give standout NFL pass rush from the 3-tech, and would you bet a number-12 pick on it? To me he looks more ‘nose tackle’, Vince Wilfork.

    Coples too, great workout, great athletic tools, powerful, but not a consistent performer like Upshaw. Ingram might fit our system better with his flexibility. I’m hoping for Upshaw or trading back.

    And please, John Schneider, find a QB, I think it was at 17Power someone who said, you can’t win the raffle if you don’t buy raffle tickets. You don’t need to be in a panic to buy raffle tickets. Sometimes it might be worth it to overpay, sometimes not, but procrastinating is never worth it.

  22. kevin mullen says:

    I was kind of hoping that the ‘Hawks would kick the tires on Mike Tolbert, as a “in case shit doesn’t work out for us on drafting a RB in the early rounds.” I live in San Diego and watched (forced) his play, north and south guy, fights for every yard. Not like Ryan “don’t hurt me” Matthews, Tolbert was a no non-sense back. He has soft hands and can pass block, a true 3rd down back that weighs like a freight truck. Kind of disappointed that they haven’t called him…

  23. Jarhead says:

    Okay Rob, come on. Really? Kolb. KEVIN KOLB. Kolb?? The same Kolb who played for Arizona last year. THAT Kolb? Are the seahawks REALLY interested in that bum at all? No way. Are you hearing they are? There is no way they can be interested in that guy. Even Jackson outplayed him last season. That is insane! The Hawks are seriously interested in Kolb? Still? I’m stupified at this news… Hahaha Even more flabbergasted than the idea of any team trading UP to get Tannehill. This is crazy!

  24. Rob says:

    Jeremy – I think the Seahawks may already have their starting LG on the roster. They didn’t release Gallery lightly. They won’t be spending a R1 pick on another OL.

    Jarhead – I’m not saying Seattle will go after Kolb or that he’s the long term answer. I have no info on him. All I’m saying is… there are options out there that wouldn’t break the bank that could come in and compete. Just throwing names out there.

  25. Jake says:

    All in for Flynn! I wouldn’t have said that yesterday, but the guy is in town and he doesn’t cost a draft pick. Looking at the ridiculous contracts around the league, why not give him some money? He’s a QB, they demand more money than other positions and it isn’t mine anyway. Cap’s not an issue, so make it a long one to inflate the number (please the media/agent), but structure the guarantees into the first two seasons so we can get out of it in 2 years, just in case he flames out. He might turn out every bit as good as anyone we would draft, so why not pull the trigger on his potential. No way could he be worse than T-Jack.

  26. Rob says:

    I would guard against that assumption personally Jake. There’s always a temptation to say, “What have we got to lose?” If you get into a competitive market for Flynn (he’s visiting Miami too) then you’re not going to find a bargain. I think we all appreciate that Tarvaris Jackson isn’t the answer for the long term, but they should only consider Flynn on a similar disposable contract. And who’s to say he won’t be worse than Jackson? That’s the unknown.

  27. Jake says:

    I know that most here would not pull the trigger “at any cost”, but his market value is not going to be any higher than Kolb. If it is, I’ll eat a side of cardinal with my crow (if Upshaw is the pick at 12). I would pay Kolb money for Flynn is all I’m saying, maybe even more if required (fake, unguaranteed season 4 or 5 money). Use Red’s as an outline, protect the future cap with a well structured bonus schedule. He’s going to be riding high during the visit for sure, VMAC is the best practice facility in the NFL and Pete can recruit like no one’s business. He’s going to “buy in” and see the young talent on the roster. The receiving threats will make him salivate. If we want him, Miami won’t even factor, assuming we don’t lowball him and come off cheap.

  28. MLT says:

    Flynn hasn’t done anything thus far to deserve a huge contract and get even top 20-25 qb $! I think he still needs to earn it, does he have potential yes but he has done nothing but 2 games to earn a contract. I don’t know why everyone thinks if we don’t get Flynn its a huge mistake? Me personally i wouldnt be that mad if we pass on flynn, roll with TJax get a rookie like cousins or osweiller and let either 1 battle with portis for backup spot. I know some hate the idea of waiting till next year but when you look @ next years draft class it does look pretty sweet. I would be mad if we were tied to flynn and could of had a shot @ barkley or some other riser like griffin,or newton have been.

  29. Ukhawk says:

    Fantastic article, love the analysis

    My take is this is still a young evolving team still requiring 1) better depth & skill upgrades at multiple positions. Once done, at some stage in the near future when they can compete better and more consistently, they become 2) in need of a major signing or 2 to put their talent level toward elite which will in turn finally followed by 3) when they become good enough that a quality Qb who will WANT to come to a potential super bowl contending team (rather then 1st requiring and overpaying for a Qb to get over the hump).

    With this in mind:
    Trade back and pickup a 2nd rnd pick ( value chart says back to 20-26 gets a 40-50 pick)
    Draft 2 front 7 in first 3 picks
    Trade extra 2nd rnd pick this and next year to Titans for Locker
    Sign Hasselbeck when he is cut to mentor Locker & maybe start
    Extend our own 2013 FAs this year
    Go big FA signing next year

  30. Ukhawk says:

    Ps
    and continue to sign quality mid-priced free agents who upgrade depth & skill at a moderate cost. Eg OLB/ILB,DL line rotation, backup rb, 2nd te

  31. Jake says:

    MLT – Contract structure is the key ingredient. Besides, if he sucks – we’ll end up with T-Jack playing and a high draft pick. What exactly have we lost? Our cap space this year is not going to be a concern…

  32. JC says:

    That’s assuming he’ll sign such a deal. Even if there are only two teams in the market for Flynn’s services it wouldn’t be hard to see a Miami guarantee a little more and a little more after that to turn a comparatively risk free contract into mistake.

  33. James says:

    Injuries are a part of football, but the Seahawks offense was just battered last year. Okung, Carpenter, Moffitt, Gallery, Williams, Rice, Carlson all out for extended periods, and T-Jack playing hurt badly enough that it seriously impacted his game. Not sure what Pete can do, but the Seahawks passing on Gallery and Hawthorne tells me that they are letting go of the guys with chronic concerns. Lemuel J-P and McQuistan clearly outplayed Gallery anyway, and ultimately Carpenter at LG, when he recovers from surgery, will provide massive force on that side with Okung in the run game. Brenno is solid at RT.

    I tend to agree with those above who say go ahead and sign Flynn to a Kolb-like contract. If structured properly, somewhat back-loaded, it is still a “prove-it” contract. Look at Kolb…the Cardinals are thinking of letting him go after only a year, without major cap repurcussions. We have to face it, the Seahawks are never going to land a Luck, RG III or Barkley. John and Pete need to bring in a steady stream of QB’s until one of them proves to be the long-sought prize. But they are running out of time. They swung and missed on Whitehurst, Jackson and Dalton. They simply cannot go into year 4 of their regime with the position so unsettled.

  34. Ben2 says:

    Stuart, glad to see you too on the Fletcher Cox bandwagon if no pass rushers are available at #12….I was disappointed in the performance of Carpenter last year and have to admit am getting a little excited about King as a PC/JS sleeper find to shore up RT ala Brandon Browner!

  35. Phil says:

    If Flynn chooses Miami, what will happen to Matt Moore? I think he would be a better choice for us, but I think Miami will be asking too much for him.

    If the front office is serious about going after Barkley next year, I don’t see us picking a QB in free agency unless it’s an absolute steal. And, I don’t see us picking a QB in the draft unless it’s a very late rounder (e.g., Kellen Moore).

  36. JC says:

    Carpenter was showing solid improvements prior to his injury. I’m more concerned about his fitness. It’s no great secret he came into camp woefully out of shape and took him time to get back into playing form. This extended layoff could be equally problematic.

  37. peter says:

    I’m pretty excited that the seahawks resigned Robinson….good leader, good to great special teams, and as much as things change in the NFL it seems pretty helpful to have a Fullback that you can count on to run the ball

  38. Doug says:

    Exactly Phil,
    Moore was good enough to make the fins NOT offer Flynn the moon. I personally doubt they sign the unknow and reject a proven commodity. And if they do, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sign with us. I also love the K Moore late, I still think the guy willl be a successful player…

    James, I like how you sneak Barkly in with Luck and RGIII as someone we have no chance with. But I don’t think that’s an accurate statement IMHO.

    I saw a good article somewhere stating that the really good teams rarely make a big FA move, as they are usually team disruptive. Only a Reggie White type works. In todays market, that’s a tough pull. I have been seeing a lot of analysts poo-pooing the Mario deal, not enough of a player for that amount of money… I love all the talking heads this time of year…

  39. peter says:

    Doug,

    anyone who dismisses the move for Williams is on drugs….if the dude can avoid injuries and play at around the level he has already played with, that team’s defense could be something….plus any move to stop the never ending Tom Brady train is fine by me……

  40. peter says:

    Doug,

    I also like your thoughts on the Moore situation in Miami, it almost seems absurd to get Flynn for them, simply because they need to do something. Matt Moore wasn’t all that bad and between the two it seems to be a case of 6 of the same half a dozen of the other..

  41. AlaskaHawk says:

    Good teams normally have a good QB and don’t need to make a big move at FA. Since we don’t have a good QB and don’t have a plan for getting a good QB – other than maybe we will pick one in 2013. I don’t see the harm in going after FLYNN. And I would give him a choice. One -two years high salary and see how it works out, or 5 years backloaded and we cut him if he doesn’t perform.

    I would applaud PC finding some good FA as that would cut a year off the rebuild schedule.

    Are willing to start Flynn? Every backup QB wants to be a starter. PC has said he is sticking with Tevaris another year and then finding a draft QB. I don’t think Flynn will like that, he wants to be a starter without looking over his shoulder at the next draft.

  42. Jarhead says:

    Oh okay, Rob. I suppose every player will be looked at, I was just shuddering to think that you had some inside info on our interest in Kolb. If that was truly the case, it’s time to start questioning this FO’s ability to grade a QB. Honestly at this point, I say just stand pat at the position. We could only get marginally better at best, and we could end acquiring less talent than we already have at worst. Focus on running and defense.

  43. Jarhead says:

    We didn’t get a good draft pick with T Jack starting THIS year. Why will we get a better draft next year when our whole team is improved? T Jack is not Curtis Painter or Blaine Gabbert. He will not account for enough losses to get us in the top 10. We need to go all in with players and picks for Barkley next year regardless. Flynn is a wasted commodity. Give him a Kolb contract? The Cardinals saw how abyssmally Kolb played last year and they are probably STILL going to give him that roster bonus, even knowing he is not the permanent answer and that Skelton is the superior QB. Flynn and Flynn’s people are not stupid, they will not fall for some trick contract to bump him to the curb after the undoubtedly horrendous one season it will take to see that Flynn is not anywhere near an NFL caliber quarterback. Cause that’s all it will take, so to sign him at all is futile. He won’t sign a prove it deal, a Fitzpatrick contract would be a waste, so forget it. He will want big guaranteed money up front- mark my words. So we should forget it and focus on signing some quality o-line and d-line FA’s. And I think we lost a real opportunity on letting Hutch go…

  44. Rob, how could you skip the Marshawn Lynch signing?! I appreciate the effort that Lynch puts forth on every attempt, but we paid nearly as much for Lynch as Houston paid to resign Arian Foster. Downside – we only get about 60% of Fosters production out of Lynch. What say you about this signing?

    I would have liked to see the ‘Hawks bring in Michael Bush or Mike Tolbert at a fraction of the cost of Lynch and then make a run at Lamar Miller or Chris Polk in the 2nd Round.

  45. That should have been addressed to Kip, not Rob. Sorry.

  46. Steve in Spain says:

    Flynn really worries me. Two NFL starts is next to meaningless. Leaf and Mirer got off to hot starts before faceplanting. The true test is what happens after teams acquire enough tape on you to start gameplanning your tendencies and weaknesses. Only then do we see if the QB has the acumen and resourcefulness to go along with his athleticism to overcome these kinds of weekly adjustments at the NFL level. To my eyes Flynn’s still the green seventh-rounder he was four years ago. Now that Miami’s reeling from their disappointment over Peyton, surely they’ll panic and overpay the boy.

    Meanwhile, with Peyton having narrowed his choice to Denver and Tennessee, the chances of Tebow ending up a Seahawk have shot up enormously.

  47. Derrick says:

    Nick – what are you talking about, the Lynch deal was great for the Hawks. And vis a vis the Foster contract, Lynch’s contract was for less overall money (half the signing bonus), less guaranteed money, and less years! Not to mention, the FO is sending a positive message to its young team that they will take care of their own.

  48. Lenny253 says:

    Flynn will be a dolphin. I wouldn’t have let Flynn leave WO a contract. Look how many picks it took for the skins to move up 4 places do u really think we will lose enough games to get Barkley? I love what Carroll has done with the D but they are too scared to take chances. Whats the point of sitting on 20 m in cap room? And if you are going with T Jack, at least go get him another good target. I dont get sitting on cap money.

  49. Rob says:

    Lenny253 – you sit on cap room so that when your best players hit free agency, you can re-sign them. Houston tried desperately to create cap space to make an offer to Mario Williams, but couldn’t because their cap management is a mess. It is always wise to be below the cap, planning one step ahead – not throwing money away chasing the dream. As for being scared to take chances – they are right not to blow a wedge of cash on middling prospects like Matt Flynn and the draft hasn’t provided any answers so far. There will come a time when this franchise goes big on a QB and people will love what they’ve done when that happens and the Seahawks become a very succesful football team.

  50. seattlesetters says:

    The only problem I have, Rob, with this franchise looking to “go big on a QB” is that proven NFL QBs don’t usually leave their teams and drafting #1 is the only to guarantee you can get what you want through the draft.

    If no proven NFL signal-caller becomes available (Drew Brees was the last one), and we’re constantly drafting 8-15 (I’m just projecting where we should be with Jackson at the helm), how on Earth would Seattle hope to land such a QB? There is simply no way to say the Seahawks will be allowed to move up in the draft to the top three spots, which it what i t will take, or to project that a great QB prospect will land in their laps a’ la Aaron Rodgers to the Packers.

  51. Colin says:

    In regards to the idea of Kevin Kolb coming in and competing, I don’t think it’s the earth shattering hideousness some people believe it is. He wasn’t exactly put in a great situation in AZ. They don’t value running the football as highly as we do, and they haven’t put much stock into rebuilding their offensive line- we have. I’m not making excuses for Kolb, but AZ right now is a one trick pony on offense that is clearly centered around passing schemes.

    2013 has to be the year to get a franchise QB, and I won’t be convinced otherwise that Seattle isn’t going to make a play for Matt Barkley.

  52. seattlesetters says:

    Colin – The issue is, will those in place to affect a play for Matt Barkley (the teams drafting ahead of us) be willing to let the Seahawks have him?

    We will need willing partners for any play for Barkley to work. Without them, no amount of wishing or money or draft picks will land him here.

  53. Colin says:

    Seattlesetters- I think Jacksonville, Cleveland, Minnesota, Indianapolis and Oakland will be the top 5 draftees in 2013. Jacksonville, Cleveland and Oakland would all be happy to land Barkley. Will he be seen as a top 5 pick? I don’t know. What about Landry Jones and Tyler Wilson? Lots of factors to consider.

  54. Rob says:

    seattlesetters – all fair points my man. I would say this – there’s going to be more than one solid option in the draft next year, and as we’ll discuss after this draft – there’s going to be more opportunities to get those players. If the Seahawks can’t get to their guy – and they’d probably try everything to get that guy – then they move on to the next option. But there’s one guy they like enough to make a big move, I suspect.

  55. Lenny253 says:

    Rob,

    I get what your saying regarding cap room but the time is now. The defense is good and with a good draft has the potential to be SCARY, very SCARY. Who is to say the Defense will not be Injury ridden in 2013. You gotta strike while the Iron is hot. I dont see us ever being in a position to draft in the top 5. Is Flynn proven? No. But he is more proven than any rookie QB out there. Also he comes through a Packer Franchise known for producing good QB’s. Its not gonna matter how good our D is when our offense cant even put up 20 points. There is not one offensive player on our team opposing defeses have to plan for, lol. That is very problematic to me. If you are going with Tavaris this year(SMH) lets get him some stud WR’s. We need something on Offense to put some pts on the board or that good young D will go to waiste.

  56. Lenny253 says:

    For the record I do love what the FO office is doing in General minus the “Safe” mentality. But I would have loved to see V Jack in Hawk Blue lining up with Rice and Baldwin and Beast Mode. A move like that makes us instantly cometettive NOW, even with Tavarvis at QB. It makes Defenses have to play us honest. Lynch did what he did last year facing 8 in the box constantly. A move like that would have took 10 mil in cap room a year. With the release of Galery we gotta have over 20-25m left. There are many ways to manipulate a contract. Paul Allen is our Owner, sheesh. Why are we scared to take chances? Why wait til next year when we could be good right now? Its too late most FA’s are gone, we just sit back like we always do. We are not keeping pace with Frisco.

  57. NickW says:

    I don’t really understand the fans who think we have to spend big in free agency, especially after the debacle with Rice still fresh in our minds. I am very happy with the way our FO is doing everything. I keep seeing on Field Gulls and other places where fans are angry and frustrated with what they are doing, but then during the season they are cheering JS and PC for what they have done and accomplished. I don’t understand it at all. PC and JS are doing a wonderful job. I for one am a huge fan of this FO and the way they are building this team. Why do we need to rush and panic? Why do we need to waste all our Cap space on one person? I can understand being frustrated with the QB situation, but don’t you think that PC and JS are too? I’m pretty positive they don’t want a second rate QB like T-Jack. I’m pretty sure they want their own elite QBOTF. Man I wish people would settle down and just enjoy the ride.

  58. Frank says:

    I had alot of doubts, but I couldn’t be happier with PC and company for redefining this team roster into a more imposing force. Maybe we haven’t turned the corner yet but talent pool on this team has grow leaps and bounds. Am I the only one hoping Manning goes to Denver? This may be the only team in the league that really fits Tebow. Tjak and Tebow could even run a scary wild cat. I wouldn’t think Tebow would cost a first round pick anymore in that even’t.

  59. Jarhead says:

    As for field gulls and other populer media sites for the seahawks, they are full of honks and idiots. This is honestly the only seahawks site with any intelligence that has parody with well thought out discussions. The FO is doing just fine, my only criticism is their lack of acquiring some veterans. You can’t have a team of players all in their first nfl contracts. Let’s some solid vets on reasonable contracts to help teach and guide our young players. But as I’ve said, I’d rather have no FA qb and 4th rounder or lower than someone who commands high money with no talent. Let’s go for it next year, when we can protect him with solid O and shut down D next year

  60. NickW says:

    I used to really like Field Gulls but since John Morgan left I can see a definite change there. This is by far my favorite Seahawks site now. Thanks Rob and Kip, I love all the rational thought and talk on here!

  61. Nick in Pullman says:

    @Derrick –

    Lynch got $18 million guaranteed on a 4-year contract. That’s $4.5 million/year if he plays all 4 years. Obvoiusly, more/year if he plays less.
    Foster received $20.75 million guaranteed on a 5-year contract, or $4.15 million/year if he plays all 5 years. More/year if he doesn’t play all 5 years.

    As for their production, here is a comparison based on the 2010 and 2011 seasons:

    Lynch: GP: 27, 450 RuAtt, 1,777 RuYds, 18 RuTD, 49 Rec, 350 RecYds, 1 RecTD
    Foster: GP: 29, 605 RuAtt, 2,840 RuYds, 26 RuTD, 119 Rec, 1,221 RecYds, 4 RecTD

    Clearly, Foster has been the better back. Based on the gaurenteed money, it appears as though we may have overpaid. I’m just curious if people think it was worth it when we could have signed a Mike Tolbert/Michael Bush (or addressed the position in the draft) for far less money.