Friday thoughts: QB’s falling, free agency talk & Ryan Shazier

March 7th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

Matt Cassel, here sporting a horrendous moustache, has re-signed for the Vikings

What if no quarterbacks go early in the first round?

Jacksonville re-signed Chad Henne today for $8m over two years.

The Jaguars needed a veteran presence at quarterback irrespective of whatever happens in May’s draft.

But it’s somewhat intriguing that while the Jags made that move, Matt Cassel was linked with the Texans before re-signing with equally QB-needy Minnesota. Josh Freeman’s name comes up when people talk about the Raiders.

None of these players are likely to be long term solutions.

But how about this thought…

Last year the draft community spent a lot of time debating Geno Smith, Tyler Wilson, Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib, Mike Glennon and Landry Jones.

Everyone had a favourite. Everyone assumed at least two or three would go in the first round because of the importance of the position.

In the end E.J. Manuel was the only day one selection.

Glennon — a third round pick — wasn’t too highly rated in comparison to some of the others. Yet he showed the most promise as a starter and has at least a decent chance of developing into a franchise quarterback for the Buccaneers.

You can’t compare one class to another, and clearly last year the NFL didn’t think much of the QB group.

But could it be happening again?

Could we be totally overestimating a quarterback class and the likelihood of a cluster of top picks being spent on the position?

The Houston Texans appear likely to take a quarterback at #1 — and John McClain made some very valid points on NFL AM this morning to back that up.

But what about the rest?

Could the Jaguars be preparing to add a Sammy Watkins or a Khalil Mack at #3, waiting until round two or three to go after a Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, A.J. McCarron or even a Logan Thomas?

Watkins just looks special — a rare talent. For a team that has little to offer a rookie signal caller, could a case be made for going Watkins-QB instead of one of the top quarterbacks and possibly the eighth or ninth best receiver in round two?

Oakland could go in many different directions. Re-signing Jared Veldheer is important. Whatever happens there, how enticing will a Jake Matthews or Greg Robinson be at #5? Or a Sammy Watkins or Khalil Mack for that matter?

The Jags and Raiders are going through major rebuilds. They’ve seen Seattle build around a quarterback and then insert Russell Wilson as a starter to win a Championship.

They won’t feel handcuffed into going QB. If they don’t grade Blake Bortles as much more than a late first rounder, if they can’t trust Johnny Manziel and if they just don’t think Teddy Bridgewater is special enough — they can pass.

The Browns are a bit of a wildcard all of a sudden. They’ve gone from almost certainly trading up to get ‘their’ quarterback, to people now believing they’ll avoid the position altogether at #4.

The Vikings sitting at #8 might wish to avoid drafting another first round quarterback after the disaster that was Christian Ponder.

I’m not saying any of these scenarios are likely, but it’s become the assumed position that the top three quarterbacks will go quickly.

Could we see something like this?

#1 Houston — Blake Bortles (QB)
#2 St. Louis — Greg Robinson (T)
#3 Jacksonville — Jadeveon Clowney (DE)
#4 Cleveland — Sammy Watkins (WR)
#5 Oakland — Khalil Mack (DE)
#6 Atlanta — Jake Matthews (T)

If Clowney, Robinson, Watkins, Mack and Matthews are the top five players in the draft — and you can make a strong case for that — why isn’t this at least somewhat possible?

And how would it impact the draft?

Would we see teams jostling for position, trying to get back into round one for a Bridgewater or Manziel?

Would they simply sit tight, content with the secondary options (Carr, Garoppolo, McCarron, Mettenberger) if none of that trio are available?

How low could two of the ‘big three’ drop?

Could it weaken the options for teams picking late in the first round?

It’d create a fascinating dynamic, that’s for sure.

Doug Baldwin given second round tender

This isn’t a surprise.

Baldwin would’ve been snapped up on the original round tender as an UDFA. Yet with such a strong draft for receivers, it’s unlikely anyone will bite on a second round pick.

It made sense for Seattle to make this move. It’ll be interesting to see if a long term deal is possible, especially if Golden Tate walks in free agency.

Further thoughts on Bennett and Tate

I fully expect Tate to re-sign in Seattle.

It’s a safe bet that the market for receivers in free agency is going to be atrocious. Eric Decker might get a nice deal, but that could be that.

With so many quality players available in the draft, it seems very unlikely anyone will offer Tate the kind of money Seattle would be unwilling to match.

In fact he might struggle to garner much more than $4-5m on the open market.

Often the best deal you’ll get is the one before you start making visits.

I sense Riley Cooper anticipated a flat market and knew he had the best offer from the Eagles already on the table.

It might actually be to Seattle’s advantage if Tate becomes a free agent. If he’s not being offered the kind of money he expects, it’ll suit the Seahawks.

I think it’ll be a very different situation with Michael Bennett.

It’s not a great draft for pass rushers and despite a few naysayers playing down his impact last year — he really had a terrific season.

He can feature in all schemes, he can play inside and out.

He has 21.5 sacks as a versatile starter the last three years.

And with Greg Hardy and Brian Orakpo being franchised, he’s competing with Michael Johnson (3.5 sacks in 2013) and Jared Allen (aged 32) to be the top pass rusher on the market.

I know who I’d rather have.

I’m not surprised stuff like this is emerging…

The Niners are unlikely to be able to afford Bennett with only a projected $10m in cap room available.

A treasure trove of picks in a loaded draft class will likely be their total focus this off-season.

Yet they can help drive Bennett’s price skywards. And there should be plenty of interest elsewhere after such a fantastic 2013.

I mentioned this yesterday and I’m going to repeat it again, because I think it’s worth debating.

Franchising Bennett never appeared to be an option for the Seahawks. It was consistently ruled out, by either John Schneider himself or by the media quoting sources.

Let’s look at the possible scenario that would’ve guaranteed one more year of Bennett for Seattle…

Franchise tag = $13m
Cutting Clemons saves $7.5m

Pass rush includes: Avril, Bennett, Mayowa, Irvin — possibly a draft pick (eg Marcus Smith)

This would’ve cost a cumulative total of $5.5m in extra outlay, with the only loss being Clemons.

It would’ve meant keeping Avril and Bennett at the heart of your pass rush for one more year, while placing the responsibility on Mayowa to replace Clemons at right end.

The financial outlay on Bennett would be substantial, but really it’s only $2m more than the cap hit Zach Miller took up last season.

Here’s the extreme alternative…

If they lose Bennett in free agency, the chances are they’ll keep Clemons on his $9m salary. Seattle can’t force him to take a pay cut. And they surely wouldn’t be willing to lose yet another starter on the defensive line?

With Clemons secure, you maybe look into replacing Bennett with a player like Jared Allen or Lamarr Houston. You’re likely to be spending at least as much as Bennett cost on his one year deal ($5.5m).

This would effectively mean an added cost of $5.5m at best. Exactly the same amount you’d pay in the scenario that saw Bennett tagged.

This isn’t me criticising or challenging the front office. Why would I do that?

It’s merely a talking point nobody else is bringing up. I’m throwing it out there so we can debate this.

There’s still every chance the F.O. re-signs Bennett to a cool four-year deal on $7.5-8m a year after another bold free agency strategy pays off.

There’s even the chance they simply re-load on the defensive line on the cheap and don’t miss a beat.

But the discussion is fascinating to me, because it took a few years to get the D-line right. Blowing it up and starting again (very possible considering the status of Tony McDaniel and Clinton McDonald) will be a real challenge — even for Schneider and Pete Carroll.

Seahawks re-sign Jeanpierre & Johnson

Ryan Shazier could be a top-20 pick

Put a 4.4 alongside these numbers from the combine:

– 6-1, 237lbs
– 25 reps on the bench press
– 42 inch vertical
– 10.10 broad jump
– 6.91 three cone
– 4.21 short shuttle

Shazier gets caught in traffic too easily, but there’s no doubting he’s a truly fantastic athlete. Certainly one of the best in the draft.

At a time when all the focus is on the size of Seattle’s cornerbacks, the speed of their linebackers is very underrated.

Teams looking to mimic the ‘Hawks have to look at this guy. He could be an option at #12 for the New York Giants, at #13 for the Rams or the New York Jets at #18.

It seems very unlikely he’ll make it past the Bengals at #24. That could be a worse-case-scenario for Shazier.

73 Responses to “Friday thoughts: QB’s falling, free agency talk & Ryan Shazier”

  1. Ben2 says:

    So does QBs falling help us- ie trading back if a special talent isn’t available? I still think NE or teams above 32 are more likely trade partners but a trade down option does seem more likely if these QBs fall. I hope Benett signs with us…. I feel like McDonald and McDaniel can be replaced in-house but Benetts pass rush versatility is special

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think it helps Seattle at all. I don’t envisage any scenario where the Seahawks are obvious trade partners unless they’re willing to take an almost pointless deal (eg exchanging 5th rounders). They could do with plenty of QB’s going before #32. Help push other players into range.

      • Ben2 says:

        I agree w/You Rob; Position is just not strategic…I.just think a deep draft like this with so much underclass depth could potentially benefit the hawks due to high upside/good teaching/learning/compete approach- more unpolished picks that can sit for a year. More picks= more swings for the fence… I love it!

    • rrsquid says:

      I think the extraordinary 2012 QB draft left a little hangover at the position. Then the league was blindsided by Seattle (essentially) QB last approach. As everyone says “copy-cat league”.

      • Ray says:

        The “copy cat league” reality is something I posted about a cpl weeks ago. My theory ,such as it is, is that I believe teams will try and emulate the seahawks success by stressing defence early in their drafts this year. There are simply more “freakish” athletes on defence these days. As offences have improved thru league mandated rule changes, teams, college and pro, have tended to place their great athletes on defence to counteract this trend. This years draft class is a prime example of this I believe. Based strictly on merit, non of the big four QBs available are even close to the athletic level of a J Clowney. And, as seattle has now proven, a great defence can and generally will beat a great QB. So in my mind, I can see teams choosing a great or potentially great defensive player over an equally qualified offensive player. Long story short I can see a run on defensive playmakers early in this draft. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if 1 or more of these QBs fell all the way out of the first round this year.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          An exception being OTs. LT still the 2nd single most important position on offense, if not the entire team.

  2. CA says:

    Gotta keep Bennett, but I really don’t see it being THAT difficult to replace him in this draft if we come to a worst case scenario. I know you said that the options in this draft aren’t all that great but certainly there is someone among the thousands of gifted college football athletes for the FO to find and replace.

    If we have to cut Clem in order to pay Bennet, is it really all that bad of a deal? Based on Clem’s age, not so bad; based on Clem’s production, bummer. Whatever we do, I think the Hawks are in terrific shape.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Legit pass rushers are the second hardest things to find in the draft, after franchise quarterbacks.

      • Ben2 says:

        Preach. – pay the man!

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        IF we lose Bennett, and that remains to be seen, what about making a play for Melton, assuming his knee checks out?

      • hawkmeat says:

        Especially guys that line up inside and still rush the passer well. I hope the seahawks don’t get too cute with the front defensive line. Bennett was the cog that they were looking for, and found it. Pay an extra million to keep him, do it. I trust the front office, but if he signs elsewhere for less than 9 million I will be a bit peeved.i would like to see Avril even extended another year and keep him with Bennett. Dynamic duo!

    • Ray says:

      Based on the thought that there could and probably will be a run on the pass rush in this draft I think it will be exceedingly difficult to replace MB thru the draft.

  3. Nolan says:

    Bennett had a good year last year for the bucs and nobody paid him now he had another good year for the hawks and all of the sudden he is going to catch huge dollars? I’m not so sure he is a year older, he played half his games in a stadium that benifits home pass rushers more then any other stadium, he also had the best secondary maybe ever behind him making plays, he still has some shoulder injury that caused teams to not sign him last year, plus his versitility while a benifits in the eyes of seattle might be seen as a detriment to other teams that want a full time DT or DE. I don’t think hell be back at 1 year @5mil but I don’t rink his value more then doubled. I think he is looking at a Paul Kruger contract which I think was a 5 year deal that averages 8 a year with 27 gtd. Kruger is a good comp he was a pass rusher off his best yearand a superbowl title.

    • Rob Staton says:

      “Bennett had a good year last year for the bucs and nobody paid him now he had another good year for the hawks and all of the sudden he is going to catch huge dollars?”

      Very possible. At the end of the day, he came to Seattle on a prove-it deal. And he proved it.

      • Nolan says:

        I just think the market is very similar to last year with pass rushers you have a couple of aging vets Jared Allen n justin tuck ( last year Abraham and osi) one guy coming off a franchise tag Johnson ( last year Avril) one guy coming off a Super Bowl Bennett ( Kruger last year) and some guys coming off bad teams Houston this year (Bennett last year)…. I think Bennett slots in to krugers role and if that’s the case I don’t see why hawks wouldn’t match that if given the oppertunity… If some team
        Want to make Bennett a double digit paid pass rusher good for Bennett but that’s to rich for my blood I think.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          I agree that this years market is about the same as last years. There are a number of DE that teams are trying to resign who will test free agency. Some are as good as Bennett. Only a few teams have a large cap space, and they probably won’t make an offer (like Oakland, or he might not want to play for them. I have a feeling he will be back and playing on a salary comparable to Clemons. Why not stay with a winner?

          • The Ancient Mariner says:

            This year’s market is nothing like last year’s market, for one simple reason: there’s vastly more cap dollars available to be spent this year.

            • Nolan says:

              The cap is higher but it’s not like every team was broke last year… Lots of teams had money maybe not crazy Oakland or Jacksonville money but certainly enough to get big free agents

    • CC says:

      It goes back to the copy cat league – teams will want to emulate what Seattle’s D did – so you go after MB. The challenge for all of those teams is you have to have great LBs safeties and CBs, along with a scheme and a D line that works together. MB is a really good player, but on a lesser team, he gets double teamed and may become less effective. It happens every year.

  4. The Ancient Mariner says:

    I get the sense that tagging Bennett would have really ticked him off. He wants the multi-year deal, and he knows what happened to Avril, what happened to Melton, etc. Franchising him would have been, in essence, reneging on the deal Schneider offered him to sign here in the first place. I don’t think he had any intention of signing before free agency opened, and I think JS knew it. This is his one big payday, he’s smart enough to know that, and he wants to know for sure that he’s maximized it. That requires going on the open market. In the end, I think he stays — I wouldn’t even be surprised if he leaves money on the table to do it; but then, if he does, he’ll be doing it by his own choice, having made his own decision.

    • rrsquid says:

      I think I’ve heard Seattle has a contract on the table for Bennett. If that’s true, I think it’s a final offer from the team. If Bennett gets a better offer, he goes. I don’t think there will be much matching from Seattle. And it would remove 1 team drafting that position in the 1st round.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I doubt it’s as final as that.

        • rrsquid says:

          The problem I see is that Seattle hasn’t been splashy in free agency. Bennett is definitely the most talked about free agent this year. I’d hate to see him go, but not to sacrifice the team plan.

      • Ben2 says:

        Why would a smart, flexible GM make a “final” offer? Let the market play itself out & find efficiencies. One thing to remember : we were a Lot better w/ Bennett. Replace McDonald and McDaniel and keep MB.

      • MRPEAPANTS says:

        I disagree, mb isn’t going anywhere. he just wants the experience of being a sought after FA. there no place better for mb then seattle. he knows it. now if he does leave (which I doubt), don’t worry cause you know pete and john have a plan. go hawks

  5. Stuart says:

    Bennett;a team may overpay in dollars, years and guarantees. If this happens, Bennett may end up doing what Percy did last season. Have an operation and miss significant time in the regular season. He will have his guaranteed dollars so the pressure is off. You read it here first.

    Clemens; I love Chris Clemons. Up until last season he had been sensational for us. Remember he was coming on an ugly ACL injury that can take up to 2 years to recover from. He was lights out to end the season and throughout the playoffs.

    9 M is a drastic overpay for a player his age. I suspect that no matter what happens with Bennett, PC/JS plan on keeping Clemons next season. Possibly the best time to ask a player to take a pay cut is at the end of the pre-season.

    If his market is 5.5 then that’s what they will restructure it to, with a large sum of cash upfront. Clemons does not want to leave Seattle. PC/JS do not want him to leave the Hawks. The older you get, the more you do not like change. Clemons does not want to be cut loose after the pre-season and have to find a job.

    There is an air of uncertainty right now, sure. It’s the off-season and we love this sh*t. We just won the Super Bowl. We are just reshuffling the deck. In PC/JS we trust!

    • Nolan says:

      Stuart you make a good point once Bennett get the garunteed he might not play through the shoulder injury any more

      • Drew B says:

        Clemmon’s CAP number is 9.6 but we will only actually pay him 7.5 this year.

        In essence we have an option for a 1 year 7.5 million contract…

  6. rrsquid says:

    I love having Baldwin back. I think Tate deserves, but will struggle to get much more than Cooper’s $4M/year. Thinking about the draft and free agent market, I think SF overpaid slightly for Boldin (mostly because of his age.)

  7. Colin says:

    I think Florio’s article about the Niners involved with Bennett is laughable. It’s pure speculation at best.

    Hopefully Tate gets a flat market and we get him back… but I’ll be honest, I love him more as a punt returner than a receiver. I don’t think, in this offense, you can justify giving him a big contract.

    • Hawks420 says:

      I think Tate is a perfect fit for are offense. He had more YAC than he did yards before the catch and only four drops this year. In are run first offense we need to capitalize on are big plays when have the chance. I think he deserves 5mil a year and I like him way more than any WR going after pick#63 this year….. I remember watching this vid 100 times after we drafted him. Six DB hands on the ball and still comes down with it… Golden was called a robot before Russell Wilson. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Shq4-9Xn5M

    • Matt says:

      The only driving force in the 9ers showing interest in Bennett is to drive up the price for us. They won’t be able to keep all of their core players after 2014 let alone make a big free agency splash.
      I’m a big fan of Tate’s explosiveness both at WR and returning punts. I agree with Colin that in our run heavy offense we should not allocate so much money at WR. Harvin, Baldwin, Kearse and a draft pick/UDFA would yield more than enough production in the passing game.
      I’m worried that resigning both Bennett and Tate will lead to a departure of Sherman, Wagner, Thomas, Maxwell.(obviously not all these players, but 1-3) Wilson is going to be a Seahawk for life!

      • Hawks420 says:

        Harvin, Baldwin, Kearse and a rookie isn’t a bad WR core. But if history was to repeat itself and Harvin was unable to play a full season. We would be Baldwin, Kearse, Lockette/Walters and a rookie. Plus no Harvin or Tate in the return game. That scares me a little.

  8. Miles says:

    I am not too worried about the Seahawks struggling to replace McDonald and McDaniel at defensive tackle. Just a year ago, we were wondering what they were going to do to replace Alan Branch. Also, the Seahawks have plenty of young options on the roster already in Jesse Williams, Jordan Hill, and Greg Scruggs.

    • CC says:

      Think about this though – if we don’t re-sign Bennett, maybe you can use that money get McDonald and/or McDaniel back.

      • DoubleJ says:

        +1 — that’s exactly what we need to do if can’t sign him (get one or both back), then find next best option for Bennett replacement in FA or draft

        • CC says:

          I really trust the FO will make the right decisions. We still have Avril – and on so many of Bennett’s big plays it was Avril who brought the pressure. We’re going to be good with or without Bennett.

        • Dirk says:

          +2

          You may be able to sign Tate, McDonald, and a OT (Breno?) for Bennett $

  9. James says:

    PC&JS have their number in mind ($8 mil? $9 mil?) and should not go over it for Michael Bennett. I know they value him highly, but to overpay ($12 mil, let’s say) would not only impact cap money projected for other players, but would drive salaries up for a lot of our guys that need to be re-signed. If JS caves and overpays Bennett, every agent this side of hades will demand the same overpayment for his clients. If the 49′ers are stupid enough to invest their entire available cap on a player they don’t even need and who doesn’t fit their 3-4 scheme, then let them throw a wrench into their own machine. Bennett was very good this year, and we need him back, even if we do sign Jared Allen, but keep to the plan and do this the right way.

  10. Kory says:

    You mention that if Bennett walks it will be “blowing up the line and starting all over”….. but if Benett were to re-sign, it would be at the expense of Clemons. Yet losing Clemons isn’t blowing the line up and starting all over. Why?

    The question i’ve been asking myself is, is it better to resign Bennett and not extend some ppl, and also lose a few more FA’s…

    Or is it better to let the big fish go, and retain a bunch of these FA’s that we’d love to have stick around. The less roster turnover we have, the less imperative this draft becomes. We can really draft BPA. The less roster turnover we have, the better IMHO. So if we lose Bennett to keep 4 or 5 FA’s, Breno, WT3, Clint Mac Steve Houshka and Schofield, i’m going for the latter.

    It would also be nice to be able to extend KJ and Sherman.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Bennett is the better player who had a much bigger impact. You wouldn’t just be losing depth (potentially Bryant, McDonald, McDaniel), you’d also be losing your #1 guy.

  11. Ray says:

    The people who write in saying that because JS/PC found Bennett last year should mean that they will find another player to replace him don’t really get it. What they found was EXACTLY the right player to make their scheme work. The players available this year simply don’t have the unique abilitys that MB brings to the table. Bringing in a replacement, however talented, would force a change in scheme. Red B will also bring about a change but I don’t believe that his role is fundamental to the success of this defence. His role was more a case of creating a role for an existing player but MB was a player they scoured the league for to fill a vital missing piece. If he goes, he goes, but they will suffer for it.

    • Belgaron says:

      They didn’t really scour, it was more a case of him falling into their laps. Many lists last year had Bennett ranked highly but teams were leery of his bad back or were strapped with contracts that didn’t allow them to make a significant offer. Bennett accepted a little less for a ‘show me’ deal, hoping to have a shot at a ring and score a major payday. It’s worked out very well for him and this could encourage others to try it in Seattle’s favor.

      There were many who believed Browner (when he was playing at his best) couldn’t be replaced in the LOB. But Maxwell is so clean in his technique (less flags) and is faster than Browner. They may not have a perfect replacement for Bennett at the moment but the ‘Hawks have some potential guys on the roster who could take a step up this year in Scruggs, Mayowa, Hill and even Brooks. They will be interesting to watch. If Bennett jumps for the Raiders, ‘Skins, or even the 9ers, the sky won’t be falling. It will just be time to improve the team in other ways. He’s worth being a high priority to bring back but not worth overpaying. It would be very risky and could leave them high and dry if he gets injured after claiming a large chunk of cap space.

  12. David Ess says:

    i didn’t see it mentioned anywhere in here about the whole niners and hawks bidding war, but i was listening to the Radio today and i think it was Puckett talking with Maioco (sp?) niners beat writer, and he says that drew rosenhaus is a very clever agent and that there is no where bennett would fit on the niners, he is too small for a 3-4 DE and too slow for a 3-4 OLB. so the thought of him going to the niners is kind of absurd cuz i was kind of thinking the same thing. they don’t run a scheme that is friendly for Bennett. I dont fear the Niners driving his price up, they have Kaepernick to worry about, i only worry about teams like Oakland, Jacksonville among others.

    • James says:

      …and the Bears, where his brother plays.

      • David Ess says:

        yeah couldn’t remember, but that’s why i said among others.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Wouldn’t it be a strange twist if Bennett goes to CHI and SEA signs Melton in FA? If Melton is healthy and can play at his previous level, I’d be okay with that swap.

  13. House says:

    I love the Baldwin tender and the re-signing of Jeanpierre. A versatile interior OL that can play C/OG and look good. I have a feeling that Jeron Johnson could still be possibly moved.

    Bennett: I think he will probably be priced out of re-signing with SEA. We’ve got some young/hungry guys and FAs could have a higher propensity to come to SEA for a bit less than playing for a non-competitor (just like Tate stated).

    Tate: I hope he comes back. He has great chemistry w/ Wilson and is a reliable target. A healthy Harvin will keep defenses honest. Although Dougie was tendered and Kearse continues to grow, I think Tate’s return is vital

  14. Cysco says:

    I have to trust that JS knows what he’s doing. The dude is probably the best GM (or at least top-3) in the league. If he didn’t slap the franchise tag on Bennett, then he must be pretty damn sure he can get him for less.

    These guys know what a player’s value is and what he’s likely to get in free agency. I can’t imagine they’re going to get caught off guard.

    I’m sure our front office put a “fair deal” in front of him and said, “if you want to come back and win a couple more while making 7-8mm a year, our door is open.” His agent will sniff around and see if anyone is willing to offer him a “stupid” deal. Unless someone offers him something substantially above what Seattle is, I assume he’ll be back.

    • Rob Staton says:

      “I have to trust that JS knows what he’s doing. The dude is probably the best GM (or at least top-3) in the league. If he didn’t slap the franchise tag on Bennett, then he must be pretty damn sure he can get him for less.”

      This is what I’m banking on.

  15. Michael (CLT) says:

    Perhaps Seattle had a gentleman’s agreement not to franchise him. I actual think that would be a deciding factor for Bennett last year.

    Maybe Seattle is just honoring there word.

    • Belgaron says:

      Maybe. They also just prefer to not do business that way. They don’t want to get stuck the way Carolina is with Hardy.

    • Rob Staton says:

      That just seems like a really unlikely conversation. I’m not even sure Bennett would be against earning $13m for one years work. It’s nearly three times the salary he agreed to be paid in 2013.

  16. Belgaron says:

    If Bennett wanted to get the absolute highest paying contract, he would do what he’s doing.

    If he absolutely wants to come back to Seattle and he wants to use the market as leverage, he would do exactly what he’s doing.

    So, you can’t read too much into it. He still could be back but ‘Hawks just have to plan what they’ll do either way.

  17. Jon says:

    M Brooks, K Boatright, G Scruggs, J Williams, J Hill, B Mayowa.

    6 D line players that I can name off the top of my head that are 24 or younger and I and many others have been very high on in the past.
    Hill can Replace McDonald
    Scruggs can replace McDaniel
    Mayowa may replace Clemons
    Boatright is about the size of Bennet last year?
    (If Healthy) Williams will be like Red, as a run plugger.
    Brooks cracked the roster a couple of times last year because they did not want to loose him and needed a fill in for a game.

    • CC says:

      I really think we’ll be okay even if Bennett doesn’t re-sign. It also frees up some money to possibly resign McDaniel and/or McDonald and I’d like Schofield back too!

    • Mylegacy says:

      Boatright is the “Dark Horse” of this group. If you haven’t done it yet – do it – watch this guys tapes. WOW. In Uni he was a 252 pounder with blindingly quick moves – now – he’s over 270 and had a year working with the team. I seriously think he’s the guy who takes the biggest move forward this year. Also – Clemons got better and better as the year went along – he’s fully recovered from his injury and should be the monster at DE we knew before the injury.

      • Jon says:

        correct on Boatright.
        Hope Clemons does get back to previous self. If he is, then we may see an extension at the end of camp if they think he will last another couple years. Maybe restructure/extend to a contract that looks like this.

        Take his 9.5 contract from this year the guarantee stays but the 7.5 turns into 3 m base a 3 m Signing bonus over 3 total years and 1.5 m in guaranteed money in 2015 as well as the 2014 base being guaranteed.
        Contract ends up
        2014 6 m cap (3m base) (3 m sign bonus Old contract and new combine)
        2015 5.25 m cap (4.25m base with 1.5 gteed) (1 m sign bonus) 3.5m dead
        2016 6.25 m cap (5.25m base) (1 m sign bonus) 1m dead

        This would be a 3 m savings this year for seattle and a 2 year/8 m extension for Clemons who will be 33 next offseason and would be pushing it to get that offer on the market at that age. Before the 20016 season Seattle will be able to release him and save 5.25 m. This means that the next two years of Clemons would cost 12.25 m instead of one year at 9.5.
        Total contract is essentially 3 years 17.5 m with 9.5 m gteed

      • Robert says:

        I am excited about Scruggs, Hill and Brooks. But Boatright was just ridiculously effective in college. Like Bennett, a lot doesn’t show up in the stats. But he alters plays.He is a master at defeating blockers with stunning efficiency. He has great burst and a full repertoire of moves, footwork and violent hands that allow him to immediately gain a slight advantage over the blocker, which he then leverages to great effect. I am sure the Seahawks were very careful to add the 20 pounds without diminishing his quickness. In the off season, I dabble with likelihood. But I like to spend a lot of my Seahawks time entertaining possibilities because that’s where fairytales like Sherman and Maxwell come from!

    • Robert says:

      That’s what I’m talking about. A big part of the Win Forever philosophy is the ongoing development of young players who eventually replace the older fan favorites who were thought to be indispensable. We have numerous references with the latest being Maxwell. He is not a fluke. He is another example in a long parade of mostly undesirable prospects that the Seahawks have developed with stunning efficiency. I keep hearing little leaks: Scruggs and Boatright have added 20 lbs of muscle etc. And that ain’t just puffy biceps. They are working around the clock at a very sophisticated program created by the Seahawks and customized specifically for each player to maximize their potential. These kids are enrolled and committed in PC’s system because it provides them their one opportunity in life to turn their childhood fantasies into reality. They will play their hearts out this summer and a couple of them will will ascend to greatness! We are better then 31 other teams at the foundational element of developing young players and maximizing their potential…very inspiring!

    • Rob Staton says:

      Hmmm….

      Mayowa had a nice pre-season, but now he’s replacing a guy who’s had three +10 sack seasons in Seattle in Clemons?

      Scruggs, coming off a major injury, is just going to replace McDaniel? Hill, also dogged by injuries, is just going to slip in and replace McDonald?

      And Boatwright, a player none of us really know anything about, is replacing one of the best defensive lineman in the league?

      Williams is a long shot to ever play football again until he proves otherwise.

      There’s some major optimism there.

  18. CC says:

    Rob – what do you think about Taylor Martinez? I was intrigued to see that Seattle was working him out. He obviously is a fantastic athlete and I love that Seattle is checking him out. It will be funny if some team drafts him just because Seattle has shown interest. I can only imagine how Seattle would use him – it could be offense or defense. He’s a smart kid who is a football player. I just love how the FO thinks.

  19. EranUngar says:

    Just to make it simple -

    At 9-10M a year or more if you franchise Bennett you can get -

    Allen/Houston (4-5M) + Philips (at 1-2M with his 10 sacks last year) + Thurmond.

    As much as i love Bennett i’m not sure which deal to take.

  20. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    As others have mentioned, Bennett had a fantastic year, but it’s not like he’s a sure thing going into next year. There are legit questions about his shoulder and back, and although that didn’t affect his play last season, it will need to be addressed at some point in the future. This might temper some of the offers he receives in FA, as well as the one he gets from SEA.

  21. Madmark says:

    I just so happy that we aren’t one those teams looking for a franchise QB. The whole decade of the 90′s was a total heartbreak looking for a QB. I’d feel even better resigning a Tarvaries Jackson for our 2nd and keeping B.J. Daniels on the PS. I mean look at Cincinnati, they could really be pushing in the playoffs with a better QB. The rest of the team is very talented.
    What I love and hate about this team is they are prepared to let their coaches and players succeed here or on other teams in the NFL. Gus Bradley in Jacksonville is a good example of getting a promotion that wasn’t possible here. I think its the biggest reason we don’t Franchise our players which allows them to move on if they can get more money. They are still our family who even if they move on we hope for the best for them. If they don’t find anything out there, well then we have an offer on the table for you to play here. It’s not perfect but seems to be more honorable than what other teams are doing. I think if Big Red and Rice don’t find any bites in FA they know they can always come back here with open arms to compete.
    This front office puts up options behind options just in case things don’t work out. David Hawthorne was offered a contract by Seattle but got a better offer in New Orleans. During the draft it really looked like they was going to pick Kendericks but traded down a few spots and just before we pick he came off the board. The next option up was grabbing Bobby Wagner and thankfully we were rewarded with I think a much better player. The offer for Bennett I’m sure is fair but not ridiculous.
    If he gets a better offer I’m sure he’ll let us know so we have the option to bump our offer or pass. Either way we done all we can do at this point. The next move is FA and Bennett decision.
    I wouldn’t be to upset with keeping Clemens another year since he has done everything we have asked of him and more. He really came on late last year after his injury the year before and he’s such a proven LEO that doesn’t just rush the passer but plays the run really good. I still like a Jared Allen who I think would thrive for a couple years in a new locker room and a winning environment. The question there will be if the price is right.
    I like the fact that we will be keeping 2 more familiar faces in the locker room and I’m still optimistic there will be more. I’m excited to see this week after March 11th when we will see a flurry erupt and then I expect a let down following up to the week just before the draft. It feel the same as last year and then again it doesn’t because we are the super bowl champions.

  22. Vin says:

    As much as I’d like Bennett to stay, I would hope they don’t break bank for him, even if estimates of cap jump are true. And like others have said, if he didn’t get the big $$ last year, it’s possible it doesn’t happen again this year. I just read on profootballtalk that Randy Starks may be moving on from Miami. I remember talking about him last year before he was tagged. Is he someone that could potentially fill Bennett’s role, or is he just a run stuffer? Either way, I hope it brings the market down on Bennett. Also hoping they find a way to bring in Jared Allen to rotate with Clemmons. Go Hawks!

  23. Vin says:

    Nice to see that Big Red landed on the Jaguars. I had hoped that he wouldn’t sign with KC, considering that we face AFC West next year. Hoping the jags make some noise, except in the event they face us in Super Bowl, hehe.

    • Belgaron says:

      Makes sense, he won’t need to change to a new role, he knows the scheme very well. He’ll make them better for sure.