End of season SEA-draft status check & Monday notes

December 30th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Hopefully there's another three games before this man takes the spotlight

End of season draft status check

This is a pretty unusual end of season report. Normally there’s at least one glaringly obvious, critical need for the Seahawks.

For the time being, that isn’t the case.

We can make arguments for certain positional upgrades. But the fact of the matter is this is currently the most rounded overall roster in the NFL. The record speaks for itself at 13-3.

That could change very quickly when players start to get paid. And that moment is coming.

This off-season will be the first opportunity to extend Richard Sherman’s contract — and I expect that to happen. It’s unimaginable to think they’ll let Earl Thomas play through the final year of his contract, knowing the 2015 off-season will be the time they pay Russell Wilson.

Sherman and Thomas will get extensions this off-season. I’m pretty sure about that.

Wilson’s second contract is also just around the corner. They’ll have to start making room now for a likely $100m+ deal. If he wins a Championship either this season or next, it’s going to be an eye-watering deal (see: Joe Flacco).

This is why we talk about being forced to cut players you’d ideally keep. It’s unavoidable. There isn’t any scenario where Sherman, Thomas and Wilson aren’t part of this team for the long haul. They are the holy grail of this franchise.

They will have to start making some room and relying on the draft for replacements.

Seattle will probably never have a roster as jam packed as the 2013 edition. Not without world class drafting every year. While it’s not going to be a mass exodus in a few weeks time, the first few painful cuts or walks will be tough to watch.

Right now we don’t really know what Seattle’s greatest need is. We have to wait and see what happens.

Here are a few scenarios to consider…

- What if Michael Bennett walks? He has no reason not to test free agency. He came here on a one-year deal to prove himself. Job done. Nearly every team in the NFL would be stupid not to try and sign him. It’ll only take one team to make a gigantic offer to price Seattle out of the market. I sincerely hope Bennett stays with the Seahawks, but I’m preparing for the worst. He was a true difference maker for this team, the missing piece of the puzzle. Without him in 2014 I fear the pass rush will revert back to its previous one-dimensional status. That can’t be allowed to happen.

- Breno Giacomini is a terrific Seahawk. His attitude, his honesty, his execution. He might be the most under-appreciated player this team has had in my time following the Seahawks. Too many people got bogged down with his penalty trouble at the start of last season. He’s a very good right tackle. Even though his position doesn’t attract a lot of attention in free agency, he might be a painful sacrifice this off-season. It’s hard to imagine how they’ll be able to afford him unless he generates zero interest in the open market, which I highly doubt. Unless they truly believe in Michael Bowie as a starter, it would make right tackle a priority.

- Receivers get paid big bucks in free agency. Golden Tate is the perfect combination of household name and playmaker. Someone will pay him to be part of their roster. Like Bennett, he’ll be too costly for the franchise tag. He was Seattle’s most productive receiver in 2013 and has a ton of chemistry with Wilson. Can they find a way to keep him? Everyone would love to see Tate get an extension. If it doesn’t happen — it’ll create a big hole. Throw in Percy Harvin’s health issues and Sidney Rice’s likely departure and receiver could quickly turn into a titanic need.

- Tony McDaniel has been a revelation this year — a truly underrated signing at a cost effective $600k. Along with the rejuvenated Clinton McDonald, another free agent, we’re talking about two players who will likely need to be replaced. McDaniel in particular has been more than just an impact player. He’s been an absolutely crucial starter. The positive is they plucked him from nowhere to have such an impact. Maybe they can do it again?

These are just four scenarios. Then you throw in all the potential cuts. What if you have to move on Chris Clemons, Brandon Mebane or Red Bryant (or a combination of the three) in order to pay Bennett, Sherman and Thomas? That creates a need for another pass rusher or a run stopping defensive tackle.

Right now we can only speculate on what might happen. Needs will emerge, it’s simply impossible for Seattle to go into next season with everything intact.

For me, it’s all about keeping the defense together. It’s the most rounded group in the NFL.

Some minor changes are unavoidable. I expect we’re coming to the end of the Clemons era and it’ll be tough to hang on to McDaniel. Keeping everyone else is key, without exception. Try to re-sign McDaniel, McDonald and Walter Thurmond. Keep Bryant and Mebane.

To preserve the defense — almost man for man — it could mean losing Golden Tate and Breno Giacomini, which would be tough to stomach. Particularly given the complete lack of payback on the Harvin trade so far and the investment made in him, while Tate is the one out there making plays.

But the defense will make Seattle a contender year in, year out. This isn’t the draft to feel comfortable trying to replace a guy like Michael Bennett, but it is a good, deep draft for receivers and offensive tackles.

Seattle has made its bed with Harvin and if he can get back to good health — that trade can still be a success. Pairing him with Doug Baldwin and a bigger, true #1 will help make up for the potential loss of Tate if it comes to that.

For that reason — as things stand — I’d say a big receiver is the greatest need this team has. But that’s just today.

One final thought on this — what should they do if there’s simply no way of keeping Michael Bennett?

I’d take the money saved for him, put it in a big bag, and hand it to Lamarr Houston. He’s the nearest thing you’ll find to Bennett in free agency this off-season.

Breakdown of the prospective two big needs

Wide receiver

Golden Tate is a free agent. Sidney Rice’s knee injury and huge contract will likely lead to a parting of ways. Percy Harvin’s hip injury remains a major concern, even if he practises this week. This is a big need for Seattle. Even if Tate re-signs and Harvin gets healthy, they need a big bodied wide out. It’s an absolute must. Russell Wilson will thrive with a big target to throw to downfield.

Best early round options: Mike Evans, Brandon Coleman, Kelvin Benjamin

Offensive tackle

I’d love to see Breno Giacomini get a new contract. The guy belongs on this team, playing for Tom Cable. But the reality is the only way he can stick around is with a decent pay cut. His cap hit this year is $4.25m. A rookie drafted in the late first round can expect to earn around $1.2m in year one. The saving is obviously even bigger if you wait until the late second round.

Best early round options: Cyrus Kouandjio, Antonio Richardson, Greg Robinson, Zack Martin, Cedric Ogbuehi, Cameron Erving, Taylor Lewan

Monday notes

Dan Quinn a coaching target?

This isn’t a huge shock.

Assistants at winning teams will always get attention. I suspect Quinn will get more than two interviews. Before anyone panics though, let’s remember — this is Pete Carroll’s defense. And while Carroll remains, there shouldn’t be too much of a drop off.

From Quinn’s point of view, this has to be tempting. You don’t get many opportunities to become a Head Coach in the NFL.

I say good luck to him. But I hope he, Darrell Bevell and Tom Cable remain with the team in 2014.

Jason La Canfora is now reporting Bevell will also interview with the Vikings. He was, of course, formerly an offensive coordinator in Minnesota.

Browns zoning in on McDaniels and Manziel?

Rob Chudzinski was fired yesterday, somewhat surprisingly.

I have a theory here.

‘Chud’ and offensive coordinator Norv Turner are pretty immovable on the type of quarterback they want. It’s the Troy Aikman, Philip Rivers style pocket passer.

There’s been a lot of speculation for weeks about Cleveland’s interest in Johnny Manziel. The very opposite of what you’d call a Turner-style quarterback.

If the Browns’ front office are pretty much sold on the idea of Manziel, why would they stick with a coaching staff that contradicts that vision? It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they go with a creative offensive mind willing to embrace the much-discussed Texas A&M quarterback — rather than Quinn or Todd Bowles (who they are also hoping to interview).

For that reason I expect Josh McDaniels to be candidate #1 on Cleveland’s list. They tried to get him last year. And McDaniels is the guy who drafted Tim Tebow during his spell in Denver.

Clearly he likes a challenge.

Manziel could be his next project.

And then there’s this…

I’ll be doing a mock draft tomorrow — and guess who the Browns will be taking?

Speaking of the 2014 quarterback class…

… And I totally agree with that GM.

Teddy Bridgewater will be a solid starter with the right guidance, but will he ever be truly elite? I suspect Manziel will be constantly up and down — a bit like Andy Dalton, even if they’re very different players. As for the rest? It wreaks of another Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Jake Locker bunch.

I suspect we won’t see as many going early. Surely the NFL has learnt its lesson?

Maybe not.

2014 confirmed draft order so far

#1 Houston Texans
#2 St. Louis Rams (via Washington)
#3 Jacksonville Jaguars
#4 Cleveland Browns
#5 Oakland Raiders
#6 Atlanta Falcons
#7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
#8 Minnesota Vikings
#9 Buffalo Bills
#10 Detroit Lions
#11 Tennessee Titans
#12 New York Giants
#13 St. Louis Rams
#14 Chicago Bears
#15 Pittsburgh Steelers
T #16 Baltimore Ravens
T #16 Dallas Cowboys
#18 New York Jets
#19 Miami Dolphins
#20 Arizona Cardinals

The Ravens and Cowboys will need to toss and coin to determine who owns the #16 and #17 picks.

Mock draft time tomorrow.

114 Responses to “End of season SEA-draft status check & Monday notes”

  1. Andrew says:

    Rob, what do you think of Jordan Mathews from Vanderbilt (I’m an alum of their law school) in late round 1 or round 2? He might be the big bodied receiver we’re looking for. I think Mike Evans would be ideal but he’s not likely to fall past mid first, IMO.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I really like Mathews, but don’t see him as the style of wide out Seattle truly needs. I’m thinking a 6-5 basketball type who can get downfield, win jumps balls and just be a mismatch terror and third down/redzone demon. Someone who really does dominate the red line. Mathews is more of a classic #2 type for me. Texas A&M’s Mike Evans is a classic example of what Seattle needs.

      • Andrew says:

        I think Evans is a beast and would love him; unfortunately, I think it would take a trade up to get him. On an unrelated note, what do you think of Seantrel Henderson as a possible RT in late rd 1 or rd 2? Bowie and Bailey can be good starting guards in the NFL from what I’ve seen. As you said, Breno might be gone.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Henderson for me had a bitterly disappointing season. I think he’ll be around much later than round two.

          • Miles says:

            I’d be jumping up and down to get Mike Evans. Thing is we will almost assuredly need to trade up in order to get him, and hopefully we’d only have to trade up a few spots. But like Rob has pointed out, if Evans runs in the 4.4s or 4.5s, he’s not making it out of the top 15. Thus there would be virtually no way for us to trade up that high. Seahawks fans should be hoping Evans runs in the 4.7s or 4.8s range so that he’ll fall far enough that he’d be in trading range.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I think he will run a 4.6 personally, maybe edge into the 4.5′s.

            • sdcoug says:

              I may be off-base but I think there’s a decent chance Evans lasts to the bottom parts of round 1. Almost every team drafting before the Hawks will have multiple positions in need of an upgrade. It just seems like every year, he is the type of player/position that is tempting, but maybe passed over when you have a big need on the OL, or a hole in your secondary, at QB, at DE, etc… Unless your name is Calvin Johnson or AJ Green, or you are considered an ‘electric, dynamic, take the top off-type playmaker’ ala Tavon Austin or maybe a C. Patterson, teams may have a harder time using a 1st on a bigger-boddied receiver with mid-range speed. Of course he is a major talent, but will that specific skill-set trump more traditional needs for other teams? Will be interesting to see

    • Madmark says:

      I thinking Kelvin Benjamin from FSU who I know is very raw but I just don’t think we have the draft capital to get Evans. I say draft the raw high potential Kelvin and let RW and the Seahawk program set him on the right path for the next 5 years. Hell I’d even have them as roommates for the road games next year.

  2. Sam Jaffe says:

    I agree with your fundamental hypothesis that good players will walk because of future cap management problems. I disagree on who it will be. Michael Bennett has been a revelation and is one of the most important players on the team. However he is a square block to most teams’ round holes. A hybrid DT/DE doesn’t work for most defenses. Even for those where he does fit, it’s not a position of severe importance. I think he will get paid well, but not as well as Mario Williams or Julius Peppers. I think a 6-8 million per year contract is his top value in the league. And Seattle can afford that (by cutting and restructuring other players). Likewise, Golden Tate’s departure is not a done deal. Few teams will pay top dollar for a short, number 2 wide receiver. I think he might be able to be had for a three year, $15 million contract. If so, will Seattle then consider it worth the expenditure for a guy who gets so few touches? As far as a taller, dynamic free agent wide receiver to pair with Percy Harvin, I think the most qualified prospect is Sidney Rice. He will obviously be cut and my guess is that he will then be faced with a stunning lack of interest on the free agent market, leading him to sign a one-year prove-it deal in the $2-4 million range. Who better to sign that contract with than Seattle? The player that I think is most likely to leave is Cliff Avril. He has been stupendous this season, but his cap hit of $9 million next year is too much for a rotational player. I think that Schneider will play chicken with Avril and Clemons: whoever reduces his contract first gets to stay. The other is cut. Finally, there is the Richard Sherman contract. Sherman is my favorite player on the team and a core part of its identity. However, I think his market value will be $15 million, based on the Revis contract and his superior fan appeal (to his team’s fans–not the rest of the league’s teams’ fans). That’s insane for a cornerback. Sherman also has high trade value. Seattle’s long term interests might be best served by trading him in the same way that Minnesota traded Percy Harvin. Meanwhile, the team can affordably re-sign Maxwell (whose contract expires at the same time that Sherman’s does) and Thurmond and keep together an awfully good cornerback corps, while saving enough money to pay for the Thomas and Wilson contracts. I know it’s sacrilege to the Seahawks fan community to think about trading Sherman, but I’m convinced that it’s the key to keeping the best team on the field over the next five years.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      I’m going to disagree with you Sam. Although we agree largely in principle. I’ll try to make the appropriate distinctions.

      1. Talent wins out. You simply need talent to win. Not a shocker.
      2. The cap restricts teams’ ability to keep talent.

      In my estimation, it’s not big contracts that cripple a teams’ ability to stay competitive. It’s big contracts bestowed on players who don’t impact the fortunes of the game that cripple teams.

      In this case, Sherman is a prime example of a superstar worthy of the superstar contract. Not only does he impact the games in a clear fashion. He is the kind of superstar that, if you’re looking at the truly elite players, you want on your roster.

      He is a brilliant technician. His study habits and attention to detail is extremely well known. He is a guy who works for every advantage he enjoys. What’s more, is that he shares this knowledge with his team mates. All of our corners are better corners because he has the ability to confer his acumen to their play.

      He is the kind of super star you want, because he sets the effort bar for the defense. There are many flavors of superstar in the NFL, but Sherman is one of the rare few who is going to set the work effort pace for the group. This also impacts and improves all other players in his position group and on his team. He’s not the kind of superstar who seeks to avoid paying the price of hard work to succeed. And when your best players are your hardest working players, then your lesser players have little recourse but to match that effort expense.

      Is Seattle fortunate to have that kind of combination in it’s stars? No I don’t think so. Because this team has a lot of super stars who share that same commitment to work. Sherman, Thomas, Wilson — all are players who set the standard in that regard. That’s a standard that all of your lesser players can match. These are the kinds of superstars that are worth every penny of their superstar deals.

      Ultimately, big contracts are not evil or the bane of good teams. It’s big contracts to players who don’t improve your team. Sherman’s value goes way beyond simply his production on the field (which at this stage is elite and the very best in the NFL). What you don’t want, are big contracts tied up with players that can’t or won’t produce or improve the team overall. Signings like the Paul Kruger contract of last season. And yes, signings like Percy Harvin and the current contract for Sidney Rice.

      Sherman is the very best, at a position that is probably the 2nd hardest position in the NFL outside of QB. Seattle already went the pound fool route, by attempting the cheap route relative to Hutchinson. At a time when Seattle enjoyed the best OL in the league. Today, we enjoy the best secondary in the NFL. And it’s central to our method of winning games. That kind of talent surplus doesn’t come on demand. Good teams maintain talent advantage and keep winning. Sherman is central to that goal.

      • bigDhawk says:

        Well put. I would also argue that a big reason why we have our current level of CB depth is because of Sherman. He is a genius at his craft and the effect he has on making his fellow CB’s better is profound. As good as Percy was in Minnesota, I don’t think he was anywhere near the mentor that Sherman is. Trade Sherman, and the depth advantage we now enjoy at CB takes a huge, perhaps insurmountable hit.

      • Barry says:

        You are putting too much on talent. Look at the 9ers before Harbaugh, or the Cowboys now. If it was talent in the case you present it Dallas would be in the NFC championship the last few years.

    • LantermanC says:

      I think that most of what you said is possible, and I hope it’s true, EXCEPT the Sherman trade. He’s too popular with the fans, and not having to worry about one side of the field is a big positive.
      For both Browner and Rice, I think that because their value has essentially been tarnished, the Seahawks can hopefully resign them on the cheap. Do we need either? No. but for a low price, can we use them more effectively than other teams? I think yes.
      For Bennett, I hope you’re right. There must be a reason he had to go for 1 year $5 million this past off-season. He was effective last year, so hopefully we can resign him for a reasonable price. Love the Houston idea though, though I think re-signing Bennett should be priority #3, having a contingency plan like Houston, at least maybe for leverage, would be nice.

      Here’s to hoping that Pete and John can find some more diamonds in the rough either through the draft, or through the FA scrap pile (the two McDs), or through the free agent reasonably price pile.

      • Miles says:

        Brandon Browner will almost assuredly be there on the cheap if we’d like to bring him back. This is of course barring he is allowed back into the league, as his suspension is labeled with the word “Indefinite”. When and if he is allowed back into the league, at 30 years old with over a year away from a pro football field, no team is going to pay him more than minimum. The other question is whether the Seahawks will even need him…? They have Maxwell and Lane under cheap contracts through at least 2014, and they are more or less proven starting-caliber corners (Maxwell could be a Pro Bowl-level corner. In fact, I think he’s much more talented than Browner overall). A more realistic scenario for Browner is he’ll be allowed back into the league in 2015, when he can get a shot to make the Seahawks’ roster in training camp. It looks pretty bleak for him but that’s the reality.

        Sidney Rice will undoubtedly be cut, and honestly I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t be able to sign him to a very modest short-term deal. Of course, there could always be that team out there that thinks he could fit a role. However, if Rice thinks he’s going to hit the market and get big bucks, he’s going to be disappointed and a sitting duck on the free agent market, thus Seattle could swoop him back up.

        Absolutely no way you trade Sherman. Though we are destined to lose prime talent in the coming years, I trust the FO to find players who can start through the draft, UDFA, and the free agent stockpile. Pete Carroll has a vivacious coaching style that, I think, will revolutionize the coaching world to instill positivity and constructive development on its players. Not only does Pete and his staff have a good eye for talent, but they have an unprecedented strategy to groom and acclimate players to the NFL game. Though we may lose incredibly gifted players, it isn’t even slightly farfetched to think they will be replaced with others who will succeed in this system. The most important assets on this team for sustained success, in fact, are Pete Carroll and John Schneider, in my opinion. Call me an optimist, that’s how I see it.

    • Michael says:

      I just wonder why new england wouldnt pay sidney starter money? I think that jacksonville would take any player we let test free agency and out bid us on defense. I cant see all these players not want to keep the band together like the miami heat or something like that plus lets be honest a team can always free up money with fixing contract and seattle has the owner with the most money. I just dont see Russell getting more than the Tony Romo type money. Not Flacco money.

      • Michael M. says:

        After Russell wins the next two Superbowls, they are gonna have to start calling it “Wilson Money”.

    • Michael M. says:

      “Few teams will pay top dollar for a short, number 2 wide receiver. I think he might be able to be had for a three year, $15 million contract.”

      1. Pierre Garcon would be described by many as a “short #2 wide receiver”. He also doesn’t average 11.6 yard per punt return like Tate does. Pierre Garcon averages $8.5MM per year on his current 5 year contract.

      2. It only takes one team to price Tate out of our reach, so “few teams” being willing is still a problem for the ‘Hawks.

  3. Stuart says:

    Very interesting idea, trading Sherman. We all love him as a player, no question about it. For the sake of thinking this through, what do you believe the trade value for Sherman would be? Are you thinking a mid 1st R, mid 3rd R and a player? More? I have no idea but it is something to consider. Even though it feels so weird to even contemplate it.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The market on trades for shutdown corners was set by Darrell Revis last year. That’s what we’d be looking at. But there’s next to no chance the Seahawks trade Sherman IMO.

      • Layne says:

        Darrelle Revis trade

        1st-13th overall pick , next years 3 or forth. pick conditional selection. The conditional pick fourth-round selection in 2014, but could become a third-rounder if Revis is on Tampa Bay’s roster on the third day of the 2014 league year,

        six-year $96 million, making Revis the highest-paid defensive back in NFL history, but includes no guaranteed money,

    • Michael M. says:

      I absolutely HATE the idea of trading Sherman, and it’s not because he is my favorite defensive player in Seahawks history. I also think it has essentially zero chance of actually happening. Here’s why:

      PC/JS have done a masterful job of rewarding players for their contributions, while still getting market value prices (or better). Ostensibly word has gotten around the league that Seattle will reward excellent play, as evidenced by the Chris Clemons and Red Bryant contracts, the Avril and Bennett signings. Trading Sherman would take all of this goodwill built up with the players as a whole and flush it right down the toilet. I have not ever heard so much as a peep from Sherman regarding money/his contract etc. The guy is one of the hardest workers on the team and perfectly defines what Seahawk football is all about. He has the gigantic chip on his shoulder that this FO clearly likes, and to top it all off, he hates the 49ers as much as us fans do. All that and I haven’t even mentioned that he is the best in the league at his position. This is absolutely the type of player you give a “superstar contract” to. Trading Sherman simply sends the wrong message, even if it were the “smart business decision”.

      • Mylegacy says:

        Michael – i see it quite differently – we signed Bennett and Avril because they were unsigned and had to sign on the cheap. We thought we had a great team (like Ken and Barbie) without those two and signing them was like getting our Ken and Barbie dolls great new clothes.

        No matter what anyone thinks the “CAP” GUARANTEES that the days of a decade long dominate team is a thing of the past.

        As depressing as it is to think about it – by the time Wilson needs to be fed the big bucks (2016 at the latest) – you won’t recognize the team. Hopefully the big brains guiding us will be able to have enough Plan B’s and C’s through Z’s to keep us at – or near – the top of the heap.

      • Chris says:

        Love Sherman, but he would be the most logical person to trade. It’s the deepest position on the team and the front office has a knack for finding talent at that position. Should bring in good trade value at an enormous cap savings.

        I’ve been looking at the salaries and cap #s over the next couple years and this team is going to have to do SOMETHING, maybe even a few things, that fans will just not like.

  4. Hay stacker509 says:

    Rob, what would the legal course be if we tried to get Gonzo to play for us thru the Super Bowl?
    He said he’s retiring so if he retires from the falcons could he be inticed into playing 6 more weeks for us since Willson is done likely? Miller/Gonzo combo on the line with harvin/Tate slotted out wide and lynch single back… That’s a ring for sure!!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I suspect this is impossible without knowing they exact specific rule. Can’t imagine the league would allow this, otherwise what’s to stop any player suddenly retiring and signing for a playoff team?

      • Michael says:

        Retiring players under contract if unretire are still in the contract of that team so a trade or release would need to happen and the trade dead line for this year is over. Gonzalez would have to be let go before the season ended(too late) to pe a free agent now for seattle to sign. Also Percy is going to the IR for the rest of the year.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I wouldn’t be so sure on Percy going to IR. Just today Pete Carroll announced he is expected to practise with the intention of playing in the Divisional round.

      • Layne says:

        Trading Sherman for Evans is it, worth it?

        • Rob Staton says:

          No.

          And again, Sherman is untouchable. He would never be traded.

          • troy says:

            No one is “untouchable”. You cant tell me if a team offered three 1st RD picks that it wouldnt even be considered.

            • Rob Staton says:

              A team won’t offer a deal like that though. Russell Wilson is untouchable, unless a team offers five first rounders. Again, something that won’t happen.

              Sherman, Wilson and Thomas are the heart of this team. They aren’t going anywhere.

              • Chris says:

                If those 3 are the “heart” of the team, then where will an additional roughly $40 million in annual cap space come from out of the current roster?

                I don’t know that keeping all three of them is realistic (at all) unless they totally gut the team. They’d have to draft out of their minds to make up for the exodus of talent that would be leaving.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  Quite easy to find that kind of money. You can get to $40m with Avril, Clemons, Rice, Mebane, Miller, Giacomini and Bryant departing by the time Wilson gets paid in 2015. Avril, Mebane and Giacomini see their deals run out either this year or next. Clemons and Rice will be cut. Zach Miller’s contract only gets smaller from here on in. Heath Farwell won’t keep going forever. Red Bryant’s deal runs out in 2016 and he may depart before then.

                  There are some big contracts coming off the books that Seattle could afford when they knew the value they were getting out of guys like Sherman and Wilson. A lot of those players were going to need to be replaced due to age anyway. Some losses will be painful. But that’s why you have to keep drafting well, keep finding talent.

                  But there’s no scenario for the Seahawks that doesn’t include Wilson, Thomas and Sherman getting extensions. It’s inevitable and will happen. They will be the core this team builds around over the long haul.

                  • Chris says:

                    How would the team have done this year without Avril, Clemons, Rice, Mebane, Miller, Giacomini, and Bryant?

                    Those are cuts just to keep people that are already on the team, to stay on the team.

                    Unfortunately the situation is also worse than that, since this year’s cap is lower than last year’s cap due to the lack of rollover. Some of the guys will have to go just to reach the new cap.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    Some of those won’t be cuts, Chris. Avril is out of contract in a year, so is Mebane. Giacomini is out of contract this year. Bryant goes in 2016. Out of that group of names only Rice and Clemons would be cut. The team hasn’t benefited that much this year from Rice given he’s been on injured reserve and Clemons had 4.5 sacks. And with the others, they can’t re-sign everyone.

                    I’m also not understanding what you’re saying about the cap being smaller due to a lack of rollover. They might not have the rollover, but the cap doesn’t just drop dramatically back to what it previously should’ve been. In fact it’s rising as it does every year. They’re not going to have to cut people just to reach the new cap. They’ll make a few select cuts to be able to re-sign their key players. And as I pointed out, just cutting Rice and Clemons and not re-signing Giacomini saves you almost $20m right off the bat. The sky isn’t falling here.

                  • Chris says:

                    Hi Rob,

                    The cap mechanics are such that any unspent cap room can be applied to the next year’s cap. This year the cap was 123 million, but because we were 14 million under the cap from last year it got added to our cap space this year, giving us an effective cap of around 137 million (123 base + 14 rollover). We apparently spent about 134 million this year, and are only rolling around 3 million into next year, so next years cap is only going to be around 128 million (125′ish base I think … + rollover). The rollover is added to the BASE cap, which was below our current spending levels. We were doing some of our signing with rollover money this year.

                    Basically we need to cut around 10′ish million in payroll (I’m not positive what the base really is next year, these are ballpark) just to get under the cap. All the walking FAs and salary drops from guys like Zach (although there are tons of slight salary increases also) has us currently around our next year’s cap.

                    With the FA’s gone, and current salaries for next year, we’re basically at our cap NOW. At best up to 3 million under, if the rollover wasn’t counted in Sportrac’s calculations.

                    The situation is actually pretty sticky. Next year we should be okay since there is some flexibility in cutting guys like Rice and Clemons and freeing up a nice chunk of $, and maybe waiting to pay ET and Sherman if we want to do things like resign Bennett (although we all know they’ll want their money this off-season), but the year after next looks like a nightmare scenario. This year’s draft is going to be enormous … and it highlights the problems of what happens when a salary-cap maturing team gets almost no payout from an entire draft class (i hope to god Percy becomes fully healthy and plays at a near MVP level for at least 2-3 years).

          • troy says:

            I would entertain the thought of trading Sherm for a player like Patrick Peterson, a 1st RD, a 3rd RD, 5th RD.

            • Rob Staton says:

              A deal like that would never ever happen. Why would Arizona swap Peterson for Sherman, while also surrendering three huge picks?

              It makes no sense.

              • Miles says:

                I would entertain the thought of trading Sherman to the Texans for the #1 pick (which we would use to draft Jadeveon Clowney), JJ Watt, a 2015 1st Round Pick, a second round pick, a third round pick, and Andre Johnson.

                Mine’s pretty funny too. :P Let’s seriously stop talking about trading Sherman. He’s a Seahawk for life, and well deserved.

        • Layne says:

          Trading Sherman for Evans is it, worth it?

          Oops,replied in the wrong thread!

  5. CC says:

    I wonder if they will re-sign Thurmond. I think someone will pay him more than they should and basically we are as good if not better off with Maxwell. I know there has been a lot of hype on Thurmond, but I really like what Maxwell has done, and given the weed suspension, I don’t know if you can believe that Thurmond won’t get caught again. I think we’ll know more about who wants to re-sign based on how the playoffs go. If we win “the game that shall remain nameless” – players may decide it is time to go for the cash. If somehow “the game that shall remain nameless” does not work out, and we are close, maybe a few of these guys stay around.

    • Miles says:

      If I’m John Schneider I won’t re-sign Thurmond for anything more than a $2 million contract. The Hawks have all the leverage in this situation because they already have extremely talented corners on the roster without Thurmond and Browner combined. Thurmond would be nice to retain but he isn’t worth breaking the bank for when salaries are tight.

      It may be possible to get him back for cheap based on how team’s view his status in the NFL drug testing program. If I’m not mistaken he’s at two strikes, and just one more positive test bans him for a year. I don’t think too many teams are going to roll the dice with very much money on that one, which could play into the Seahawks’ favor.

      • CC says:

        Yeah, that was what I was thinking – year suspension would be next. I’m pretty sure Petey was sending him a message by making him earn his spot back from Maxwell – and I like that.

        • Michael M. says:

          I love that Maxwell is retaining the job. His rise this year is almost identical to Sherman’s back in 2011. He goes into the year behind established starters, but due to injury/suspension he is asked to step up. And step up he has.

          2011 Sherman – 16 games (10 starts) – 4 interceptions, 17 passes defensed, 1 FF

          2013 Maxwell – 16 games (5 starts) – 4 interceptions, 12 passes defensed, 1 FF

          He’s got the physical ability, and has been “indoctrinated into the system”. Barring injury, Maxwell is a Probowler in 2014.

          • Mylegacy says:

            Michael – you’re dead on right about Maxwell. Even on the TD he gave up he had tremendous position on the guy and almost made the play. This guy is a keeper – no doubt!

  6. Michael says:

    I just think seattle needs to replace Okung more than anyother oline possition. Im sure Im just used to the way Jones used to shut down his side but for Okung to be a blind side protector the only thing safe from him is the defensive player on the other side. Beside terrible injury history Okung lets way to much pressure come from his way. Im not saying there is a great replacement lined up anywhere but Im more down on Okung than any of our lineman. He is a first round pick with injury issues and looking for a raise and extention with poor play as a bargaining tool.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I can’t agree here. In an era where there aren’t any Walter Jones types in the NFL, Okung is right up there with the best left tackles in the league. Yes, he needs to stay healthy. But replacing him shouldn’t be a big concern right now.

      • Miles says:

        Rob,

        This may be a highly speculative question, but do you think we’ll ever see an era of extremely talented, hyper-athletic offensive linemen in the NFL again? Or has the game been permeated with skill position bias for the extreme athletes out there?

        It seems there may never be another Walter Jones, or anyone close, as long as we live.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think we’ll struggle, Miles. Most of the top college athletes are playing defense. We’re seeing top end schools like Florida State converting defensive linemen to left tackle to try and combat this. That’ll happen at more and more schools. A lot of other potential left tackles are being converted to tight ends. So even the offensive side of the ball is having an impact. Simply put, times are changing.

          • Miles says:

            It’s definitely interesting that in an offensive-powered NFL world, there is a shortage of offensive linemen. Pro football has seemed to evolve (or maybe devolve) into a kind of point-scoring rampage, and defensive battles are few and far between (outside of Seahawks games). If offense is so disproportionately sought after in the NFL, why are offensive linemen evaporating from the game? It would seem college programs would be doing plenty to combat this, but apparently feel skill positions are more important. Perhaps talented offensive linemen are not a pre-requisite to score points. But I don’t think the offensive lineman pool can get too deluded before teams start intervening in the process.

            • Michael M. says:

              I blame Quarterbacks for the downward trend of offensive tackles in the NFL. More specifically, I blame the changes in the game that have lead to it being “all about the quarterback”.

              Over the last 20 years or so, how many “elite” QB’s are there at any given point in time? Five, maybe six or seven? To this handful of teams left tackle should be of paramount importance. If you’re the other 25+ teams in the league, what’s more important to you: Keeping guys like Matt Schaub, Chad Henne and Carson Palmer upright? Or having the players to put Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson on their backs?

              Now factor in the fact that the elite QB’s are often able thrive behind less the elite O-lines, due to their own ability to sense pressure, move in the pocket, and get rid of the ball quickly. Consider the guys like Russel Wilson, Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers who can not only survive, but thrive when protection breaks down. Finally, how often have you heard the old adage that, “you can never have enough pass rushers”? Now think; when is the last time you heard someone say, “you can never have too many offensive tackles”?

              The demand for O-lineman is simply not as great as the demand for their defensive counterparts, and the college game has adjusted accordingly. There are 32 jobs available in the NFL if you want to be a starting left tackle. If you can’t crack into those ranks, you move inside, take a pay cut and still have to compete for a smaller pool of jobs than the defensive line guys. How many teams are running out situational role players along the offensive line? So if you’re a college player who’s dream is playing in the NFL, what gives you a better chance at living that dream? More importantly, if you’re a college coach who’s job security is bolstered with each player you send to the NFL

            • Michael M. says:

              I blame quarterbacks for the downward trend of offensive lineman in the NFL. More specifically, I blame the changes in the game that have lead to it being “all about the quarterback”.

              Over the last 20 years or so, how many “elite” QB’s are there at any given point in time? Five, maybe six or seven? To this handful of teams left tackle should be of paramount importance. If you’re the other 25+ teams in the league, what’s more important to you: Keeping guys like Matt Schaub, Chad Henne and Carson Palmer upright? Or having the players to put Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson on their backs?

              Now factor in the fact that the elite QB’s are often able thrive behind less the elite O-lines, due to their own ability to sense pressure, move in the pocket, and get rid of the ball quickly. Consider the guys like Russel Wilson, Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers who can not only survive, but thrive when protection breaks down. Finally, how often have you heard the old adage that, “you can never have enough pass rushers”? Now think; when is the last time you heard someone say, “you can never have too many offensive tackles”?

              The demand for O-lineman is simply not as great as the demand for their defensive counterparts, and the college game has adjusted accordingly. There are 32 jobs available in the NFL if you want to be a starting left tackle. If you can’t crack into those ranks, you move inside, take a pay cut and still have to compete for a smaller pool of jobs than the defensive line guys. How many teams are running out situational role players along the offensive line? So if you’re a college player who’s dream is playing in the NFL, what gives you a better chance at living that dream? More importantly, if you’re a college coach who’s job security is bolstered with each player you send to the NFL, where are you playing your best athletes?

      • Michael says:

        When was his last dominant game? Ever?

      • JW says:

        Okung is getting 11M next year and 7 in his last year of contract. I doubt he’ll ever see higher than 10M or so, again. Doubt he’ll get a “raise”.

        Hard to see his seemingly chronic feet/ankle/toe issues getting better as he moves into his late 20′s, but he’s a very good player when around.

        He’s probably a relatively fixed cost, and a team should be able to handle a 10M LT.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I suspect Okung’s next contract will merely be an extension in years, very similar money with clauses that protect Seattle against further injury woes.

  7. JW says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how they deal with it.

    Rob, if have to choose, who do you rather part ways with Red or Mebane?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I would prefer to keep Red Bryant given the choice, but I think they’ve played well enough this season that they have to find a way now to keep both. And I’ve talked many times about cutting Mebane because his contract makes it relatively easy. We’ll see what happens there. The defense has played to such a high standard this year I think preserving it is the best way to stay at the top.

      • JW says:

        I tend to agree.

        I think you can pretty much figure 1 of clem or Avril is gone. That saves about 7.

        Letting McQ and Breno walk and letting bowie and Bailey start in their place makes a ton of sense in both performance and money. I figure about 7M in savings there.

        Figure 7 more in letting Rice walk, and 4 more that Miller’s contract does for itself, and you’re looking at 25M or so, ballpark, before even looking at Red or Mebane.

        • JW says:

          sorry- in cutting Rice…shed 9 pay 2, net 7.

          Clem and Avril’s numbers are pretty much the same. (shed 9, pay 2, net 7) I’d choose to keep Avril in that scenario only because he’s 5 years younger than Clem.

          • Miles says:

            Plus Avril has produced so much more pressure than Clemons this year. His sack numbers are pretty high and he’s so fast; knocking the ball out on occasion is a big plus.

            Clemons has 4.5 sacks on the year. Not bad, but a huge dropoff from last year albeit on far fewer snaps. The one part of his game he really seemed to focus on this year was batting the ball at the line. I can remember twice Clemons batted a ball and it resulted with an interception.

            Long story short; Clemons won’t be worth $9 mil. next year. Avril will.

        • Chris says:

          Unfortunately, even letting guys like Breno, Bennett, and Golden all walk the team is already bumping right up against next year’s cap. We had a ton of cap rollover available last year, but very little rollover this year. Our spending this year was unsustainable and we need to now cut spending just to reach the new cap (since it isn’t boosted with rollover this time).

          • Rob Staton says:

            Savings can be made quite easily this off-season. Clemons and Rice will clear $14m immediately. You can clear another $5m by cutting Mebane if you really have to. Giacomini’s $4m comes off the books. Zach Miller’s cap hit is $4m cheaper in 2015. Lynch’s cap hit is $1.5m cheaper.

            Plenty of savings to be made there.

            • Chris says:

              Even with the lower hits for guys like Zach and letting ALL our FAs walk this year (also including guys like Hauschka, Thurmond, McDaniel, etc), the team is right at next year’s cap (according to sportrac, although it looks like they didn’t add in our small rollover yet).

              Cutting Rice and Clem might not even cover Russell’s contract much less ET and Sherman’s.

              • Rob Staton says:

                1. Wilson isn’t getting an extension until 2015. A lot of different contracts will be off the books by then. You don’t have to cover his deal in 2014.

                2. If they’re right up against the cap now according to Sportrac, that’s because it includes all the contracts you listed and the players who are yet to be cut. When those players leave, it’ll free up room.

                • Chris says:

                  People leaving are starters on this team. It’s only okay for them to leave if they are being replaced by draft picks that can play just as well as they. If we start talking about people like Thurmond, Maxwell (who’s also up after next year), T.McDaniel, Tate, Bennett, Breno, Rice, Red, Mebane, Zach, etc, all leaving within a 2 year window, that’s an enormous amount of talent to replace. Unfortunately it might actually take most of them in order to resign the big 3 (ET, Sherm, RW).

                  With a couple years of drafting, and no free $ to sign FAs to truly replace them, that’s almost an impossible amount of talent to truly replace.

  8. KyleT says:

    I have also changed my opinion on Clem vs Avril. I think Avril stays and Clem gets cut. It would not surprise me to see Irvin back at Leo either. We need to get Malcom Smith on the field.

    I think we also cut Rice, resign Tate, resign Bennett, extend Thomas and Sherman. Also redo Okung’s deal. We would be under the cap by 5-6 million at that point, enough to sign draft picks.

    This means letting a lot of other FA’s walk though.

    • JW says:

      I suspect if they keep Avril, they can extend his deal rather than paying him 9 for 1, perhaps lowering his cap costs for a couple of years.
      I just don’t know what kind of money is to be saved in reworking Okung. Good left tackles on their second deal usually get right around 9 or 10. Okung is getting market price right now and has two years left on his deal. \

      But I think there’s a good bit of opportunity out there to cut costs- like Breno, McQ, Rice, Clem, and Red, through various means. Probably 30M of room there, all told.

      I’m not sure they’ll have any leverage with Mebane. He was so good this year, and comes in at 5M. Not bad.

    • CC says:

      How much would your give Tate and would you re-sign Thurmond? I agree on Clem vs Avril – Cliff is younger too right? If Clem would restructure, I’d love to keep him around. Our rotation seems to be pretty good. Bennett is a keeper!

    • Madmark says:

      I love Malcom Smith but I just don’t see him as a starter all season long. He’s not the biggest linebacker and just can’t endure a whole season of pounding.

  9. cliff says:

    If M. Bennett is lured away by another team what about signing H. Melton as a low cost/short term replacement? He’s the type that deserves 9+mil/yr but will he get that after tearing his ACL? He might be inclined to sign a one year prove it deal like so many others have.

    • OakHarborHawk says:

      That would be a good backup plan. Forgot that the Bears only franchised tagged him and didn’t sign him on a new deal. We would be an attractive option for him since we constantly rotatate players in and out on the defensive line.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s an option, although I prefer Lamarr Houston.

  10. OakHarborHawk says:

    I think Clem and Sid are goners for sure. I would to keep Bane and see if Red wouldn’t mind a restructure to lower his cap hit and extend him out. I think we lose both McDaniel and McDonald unless we’re unable to resign Bennett. Lane has looked good in the slot and the linebackers have improved on coverage that unless he’s cheap let Thurmond walk. Of course you got to sign Sherman and Thomas they’re the core of the defense.

    You have to try and keep Tate since you don’t want you’re young QB to have a lot churn in his receiver core. I think Miller is safe for the same reason and he only gets cheaper year after year.

    Only bold prediction that I’m willing to make about the draft is we’re going to be picking at #32. Would be really happy if we could manage to get ASJ and Brandon Coleman both in the second round. Would go a long way in solving our third down problems.

  11. SG88 says:

    Rob,

    I know you were high on Patterson, but how do you feel about this season he had/his current potential?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think he’s been pretty much as expected. An X-factor weapon that is a threat to score every time he has the ball in his hands. But at the same time he can have games where he’s completely anonymous and doesn’t have any impact. He can be frustrating, just as he was in college. So while he’s a nice flashy weapon for Minnesota, I doubt he’ll ever be consistently productive as a receiver.

  12. Stuart says:

    ASJ and Coleman both, sign me up! To me, that would be a dream come true.

    • Miles says:

      I think ASJ is a pretty good player but he has a lower ceiling in my opinion. I think he will be a solid tight end but he’s never going to sniff all-pro like you’d hope. I think his career will look more like John Carlson than Vernon Davis, in other words.

      But I could be drastically wrong.

  13. Clayton says:

    Rob, what are the chances that the players choose winning over money, much like LeBron James in his decision to go to the Miami Heat? I mean the players have to know that there is something special about the culture of the organization and the chances are much higher than most organizations to win multiple championships. Surely the Seahawks can use this as leverage, right?

    • Michael M. says:

      Lebron was filthy rich already, and has a legacy to worry about. Plus with all the endorsements he has a chance to out earn our entire football team. 99% of football players are in vastly different situations, so the two are not terribly comparable.

      • Clayton says:

        Ok bad example. Maybe there is no example to illustrate my point, but if the free agents are happy to be in Seattle, and they understand that there is a winning formula going on, then maybe hometown discounts?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Playing for a contender is a huge pull, it’s why Bennett and Avril came here in the first place. But it’s also a short career and Bennett will realise his earning peak is right now. It’s really his only shot to get a career deal. So he has to balance those things up.

      • Madmark says:

        I’m not sure but doesn’t Bennett have to have surgery at the end of this year. I don’t think its major but I thought I heard he had something minor to take care of?

        • Rob Staton says:

          I’m not sure to be honest.

          • Miles says:

            Yes, Bennett has a shoulder that will require surgery. But it’s one of those surgeries that is not pressing and can be likely handled when his career is over. When asked about the shoulder, Schneider said doctors gave him the impression it wasn’t a concern, especially on a one-year deal.

  14. Vin says:

    This is why i was never a fan of the Percy signing. And this isn’t some kind of hindsight thing. It’s about how we use our WRs and what players were coming up that were due for big paydays. If RW Sherman and ET were already locked up, then I would’ve been fine with it. Or if Offense would move away from being run-centric and start airing it out, then I could see paying Harvin. But neither is the case. So there’s every possibility that some solid starters will get the boot so we can keep some other starters. I sure hope the team wins it all this year, as I see a significant player/staff exodus.

  15. Michael M. says:

    “Or if Offense would move away from being run-centric and start airing it out, then I could see paying Harvin.”

    I would argue that Harvin is exactly the type of receiver you want if you have a run-centric offense. From what I’ve seen he is a good blocker, and has a chance to make an explosive play every time he touches the ball, thus maximizing his “value per touch” to compensate for not getting a ton of touches.

  16. Nolan says:

    For me the easy cuts/non resigings are : Sydney Rice, Giacomeanie ( no idea how to spell i know) and mcquiston. Rice skills have diminished I think as well as not being worth his contract anymore makes him an easy cut. Gicomeanie while I think he is good, I don’t think he is millions and millions of dollars better then Bowie so while it sucks to see him go I think it is an obvious move. Mcquuiston is a versitile vet that I’d love to have but again he is a million dollar player who is not a full time player even if the hawks want to keep roatitng with Carp I think Alivin Baily would be just fine, and Baily can also back up Okung in my view so mquistion is out.

    Tony Mcdaniels and Clinton Mcdonald hopefully we can keep both these guys but if they can get opaid we will have to do what we can to replace them probably in the same way we found them off the scrap heap, guys like greg scruggs and jordan hill are already on the roster and may provide the help we need here.

    Clemons will probably have to go he is older and his impact just hasnt been there this year, I love the guy, you love the guy and we all love him. He will be one of the most difficult cuts in my view but we already have Avril who is younger and more productive under contract and a couple more developmental guys in the pipeline to replace clem so he probably moves on.

    Mebane and Red Bryant I would love to keep both and hope they can figure out away to do it, both have been very good this year and I would love to keep them both around. Realistically though we may need to move on and if we do we will probably need to find a prove it vet guy like Tony Mcdaniel this year and a highish draft pick to replace either one if they have to leave.

    I do not think this will happen but maybe we should look at Max Unger and how much dead money veruse saving would be there if we cut him… He hasn’t played nearly as well as last year while battling injurys all year, Jean Perrie has played well as his backup and I think would be a more the capable starter, Im not saying do it but we could at least look into it right.

    Tate I think you have to keep unless you plan on spending dollars and draft picks on the WR position. Even with tate we have seen our WR stuggle in games this year, Russle needs weapons and Tate has been his best one this year. I don’t think that you can just replace him with a rookie either as even the most polished rookie reciever useually provide little to no impact immeditly with very few exceptions to that rule. So if you lose Tate I thibnk yoiu need another FA WR maybe one who is a little cheaper like an aquan boldin type vet and a high draft pick.

    Micheal Bennet I definitly want to keep him and I think that we should do everything we can, if we get priced out of his market I think your right we need to have back up plans ready and we need to move quickly the Defense has been so much better because of our ability to get after the QB and noboday has been better and more important to that effort then Bennett.

    Doug Baldwin I think is the easy one to keep because you just put the max protect on him and you either keep him or get a 2nd rounder. Nobody was willing to give up a 2nd rounder for Victor Cruz who is at least high profile then Baldwin so I don’t think you will see someone offer the second for Mr. Baldwin. Same thing with tate if you lose Bladwin you need to replace him with a draft pick and maybe a cheaper vet.

    The most important thing for this team to do is not get wrapped up in past success ala the seahawks resigning Shaun Alexander to the massive deal based off of what he had done previously. This team will be spending so much on its core it also must continue to be creative in finding players via undrafted free agency, late round picks, scrap heap FA’s, and anywhere else they can find talent.

    • bigDhawk says:

      According to Spotrac, Unger’s cap hit for 2014 will be 5.6M with 3.3M in dead money. So cutting him does not save you a ton, if anything at all after you factor in bringing in another center to back up JP or worse, sign another starter. I agree hi play has dropped off this year, but hopefully with improved guard talent around him next year via the draft/FA he will look better.

  17. Adam S says:

    Is there any possibility of trading Harvin? I understand that would be contrary to the Schneider/Caroll MO, and would seem insane to our collective Seahawks fanbase. I’m under the impression that money owed to Harvin for next season is different if he’s placed upon the IR.

    I agree with the sentiments to keep Wilson, Sherman, and Thomas. My hope is that Wilson’s contract doesn’t exceed 15mil/season. I have this crazy hope that Wilson would be sympathetic to the Seahawks cap limitations, and not opt to devote 1/7 of cap space to his yearly contract. But, I do respect a winning QB’s desire of a “IM GETTING PAID MUTHAF**KA” contract.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Harvin’s trade value would be almost non existent right now. Coming off a big injury, huge contract. Seattle can’t give up on that deal after one year.

  18. bigDhawk says:

    Doomsday, contrarian question here just for the sake of argument:

    Any concern/doubt that Russell will not be worth a 6yr/$100M-ish elite QB contract through its entirety? Suppose for whatever reason he loses some of the effectiveness of his scrambling ability…injury, the defenses in our division being built specifically to stop him. Is everyone confident that his pure pocket passing ability will be worth that kind of money and cap commitment for the long haul? Any chance the Seahawks don’t pay Russell but rather keep drafting QB’s (Mettenberger ?) in the hope of them stepping in and playing well above average like Russell has done and instead use that elite QB money to keep a roster full of elite skill position players in tact as a long-term roster philosophy? I know the answer to this but it’s just a thought that has crossed my mind and I’m a little curious what others think about it as well.

    • Andrew says:

      That is playing with fire my friend! Seattle went through quite a stretch between Krieg and Hass where they spent picks on QBs hoping that they would magically be the one. We missed, and when you miss the penalty is McGwire, Mirer, Huard, Booty and Wallace. Not pretty. Sure, if Seattle could hit on another QB, that would be ideal. BUT, the odds are not in our favor. Of the current QBs on the Pro Bowl, half of them were drafted in the top 2 picks, the others were Wilson, Brady and Brees. I would much rather pay Wilson a premium then go looking for the next Wilson. Put it this way, would you rather have Wilson or have to face him?

  19. Andrew says:

    I agree that most scenarios this offseason will end with Tate going to another team. If that happens, what do you think about Seattle kicking the tires on a “tate-light” player like Josh Huff. He is built very similar to Tate, has the same type of return skills, fights after contact like Tate and is a decent run blocker. I know that Seattle will be looking for a “stretch” receiver but I would be happy if Huff were available at the end of the draft or as a free agent and Seattle rolled the dice on him.

    • Rob Staton says:

      If they lose Tate it’d be worth keeping their options open later on and Huff is a decent shout. I think Cooks at Oregon State is another one, and of course I love Odell Beckham but he’s a first round talent for me. Javis Landry, the other LSU receiver, is another player I like. Paul Richardson at Colorado, Devante Parker at Louisville, Michael Campanaro at Wake Forest. This is a loaded receiver class.

      • Andrew says:

        I agree. It seems like Seattle would be able to add a couple guys from this year’s draft and hope that one ‘pops’. It will be interesting to see how Richardson tests out. If he is cleared medically, it would be hard to overlook him in the mid round. My problem is that I see all of these skill position guys and I know deep down in my heart that Seattle needs help on the O and D lines in the draft.

        • Rob Staton says:

          There is some depth on the O-line thankfully, there should be some options there. Also worth keeping an eye on Dominique Easley and Chris Whaley. Two great D-liners who got injured in 2013. They will fall as a consequence, but both very talented.

  20. Madmark says:

    I love Clemons because he did everything and more that they asked of him. They did him right and gave him the nice contract which he collect the 1st year of but you can see now that the injury and the years have caught up to him. So he’s my first cut.
    Sydney Rice is my 2nd cut due to knee problems before the year and now the ACL. It was evident he had lost a step and to be quite honest he received the majority of that that contract you would give to a receiver putting up better stats.
    I’m ready to let Brandon Browner go and I’m sure I don’t have to give a reason for that.
    I liked versatility of Paul McQuiston but I think we have a few players on the roster now that can take his place and do the job he did cheaper and maybe even better.
    Probably the biggest decision that may surprise some people is that of James Carpentar who I’m ready to let go so I can replace his position with someone more consistent and can stay in the lineup.
    These are the will happen picks.
    The have to wait and see market thing to unfold would be players like Breno Giacommi, Tony McDaniels, Michael Bennett, Clinton McDonald, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, Walter Thurmond, Anthony McCoy(remember this guy he’s a FA and was coming into his own), as I’m not ready to mortgage the farm for any of them. If the price is right I’d bring them all back but I just don’t know what other teams are going to offer these guys.
    I am going to resign Sherman and Thomas and set my secondary up for the next 3 to 4 years.
    So far as for the draft WR in the 1st and OG in the 2nd.
    I truly believe that Harvin and Michaels will be suited up for the playoff games and if Seattle needs that momentum there going to see some time. I just can’t believe Harvin wouldn’t talk himself onto the field to help be in on a Superbowl run.

  21. Stuart says:

    This will be the most interesting off season in team history, in every way. Love this community of like minds, yet we all add different ideas on how to accomplish it!

  22. Chris says:

    Great post btw Rob.

    It’s hard to find serious discussion anywhere about the “GM” side of things. I know a lot of us want this team to be very good for a long time, and hopefully become one of those “dynasty” teams. I’ve posted before that I thought Schneider was a fantastic drafter, and was interested to see how he would start to handle a maturing team that all wanted big contracts. With a very different set of problems for him to solve, the next couple years might be his biggest test in determining whether he is really one of those “great” GM’s or not.

    So far, there is very little to complain about. The game HAS changed though. Let’s hope he continues to do a great job!