Marshawn Lynch will return, Julius Thomas to join him?

March 6th, 2015 | Written by Rob Staton

Finally, we have an answer on the Marshawn Lynch saga.

For several weeks during the regular season, it felt like his time in Seattle was coming to an end. Several reports claimed the Seahawks had simply had enough. That was probably an accurate portrayal of the teams position in October.

This is how Chris Mortensen put it:

“The organization has grown tired of his ways, including pulling a no-show at the White House Super Bowl ceremony, his training camp holdout and his possible contribution to locker-room distractions.”

Lynch’s reaction was a not-so-gentle reminder that he’s pretty important. He recorded a career-high 17 total touchdowns in 2014 and a near 4.7 YPC average (second best in his career). He ran all over the Giants and Raiders, helped set up the big win in San Francisco and capped the regular season with Beast Quake II.

Credit the Seahawks for softening their position, albeit at some cost (a $31m, three-year contract), although his 2015 cap hit remains at $8.5m). Many teams wouldn’t tolerate Lynch’s act. There are times when some of us wonder whether the Seahawks should. He has to accept Russell Wilson is going to be the highest paid player on the team in a few weeks. He has to understand Wilson will be the focal point of the offense for the long term.

There can be no more talk of conspiracies. No more unrest. No more hold-outs. One of Seattle’s motto’s is “all-in”. That’s the way it has to be — including with the coaches.

Let’s not downplay Lynch’s importance to the Seahawks, however. They have a star-studded defense but only two genuine stars on offense — Lynch and Wilson. Taking away either player would leave a massive void. It might be easy for other teams to plug in a replacement running back — but Lynch is no ordinary player. This is no ordinary pass-based offense. This is a team built to run and run well. ‘Beast Mode’ is so much a part of the make-up. Replacing him is going to be one of the biggest challenges of the Carroll/Schneider era.

It’s not just on the field either. Letting him walk off into the sunset could’ve caused a mutiny. Look at the reaction of the other players on Twitter to today’s news. Read the quotes when the speculation emerged on a possible Lynch departure.

Whatever possible unrest Lynch dishes out to the ‘suits’ (as he would call them, although he probably has other words in fairness) — not paying him to play in 2015 could’ve created chaos within that locker room. He’s immensely popular.

Now everyone can move on — hopefully — with some degree of harmony. They don’t need to draft an instant replacement in the first two days of the draft. They don’t have to call DeMarco Murray’s agent tomorrow. They can start to add weapons to the offense, not replace weapons.

And that brings us to this:

We’ve talked about this possibility a lot and there’s been a lot of speculation in the media.

There’s often no smoke without fire. Why would it be a decoy if this information is being tactically leaked? It’s not like you can sneak up on other free agents unnoticed. If it’s about the draft, how does this possibly help? I think it’s fair to say the talk of Thomas-to-Seattle is either flat out wrong or completely valid (more likely).

That doesn’t mean they’ll get him of course. There are teams out there (Oakland, Jacksonville) who have to spend big in free agency. Part of the new CBA involves a minimum-spend cash threshold. The Raiders and Jags have no choice but to spend money in free agency. Thomas would be a good fit for both teams.

But look at it this way — unless either is willing to offer ridiculous money (for example — $12m APY) — who are you going to join? The perennial loser breaking in a young, largely unproven quarterback? Or the Super Bowl contending machine planning a third consecutive trip to the big game? If the money is similar, you could even call it a no-brainer.

Adding to the likelihood of a Thomas move is this news:

Miller doesn’t just leave a big hole at the position, he creates an extra $2m in cap space. The Seahawks also waived Jesse Williams and Garrett Scott. Essentially they extended Lynch’s contract, cut Miller, Williams and Scott and gained a decent chunk of cap space today.

And tight end just became a huge need.

For me Thomas is borderline underrated. Fans and the media love to point to Peyton Manning as the reason he was successful in Denver. They also like to highlight how banged up he was last season.

The debate often moves on to reported bad-mouthing by anonymous Broncos players in the uniquely team-friendly Denver media. You know, after it was revealed he wasn’t coming back…

The biggest concern is the injury history. He played very little football during the first two years of his rookie contract. Last year he played in 13 games. Nagging injuries limited his yardage production but he still put up 12 touchdowns. It doesn’t matter what offense you play in — 24 touchdowns in two seasons isn’t easy. He nearly had a touchdown-per-game in 2014 at less than 100% health.

There just aren’t many players like this available. Every team wants the big move-TE. The modern-day mismatch at the second level. The guy who demands attention snap-to-snap. It’s what Seattle has always lacked since drafting Russell Wilson — a target who draws coverage and makes plays even when he’s covered.

Thomas is a 4.64 runner at 250lbs. He ran a 1.62 split at his combine and had a 35.5 inch vertical. He has 33 inch arms and 10 1/4 inch hands. If he was part of this draft class we’d all be touting him as a potential late first rounder or early second rounder. That’s how much the game has changed since 2011.

Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham were both drafted in 2010. They are responsible for this shift towards the phenomenal big athlete at tight end. Thomas is #3 behind those two players. That’s how good he is. And that’s the type of player you’d be acquiring.

A salary worth around $8m APY has been touted. It’s worth noting Gronkowski is earning $9m APY and Graham $10m APY. So really, that’s a fair salary. You get what you pay for.

The injury history means there’s a risk involved. The Seahawks have shown they’re willing to take that gamble. They gave Sidney Rice a $41m contract despite a catalogue of injuries. They awarded Percy Harvin a $67 million contract with $25.5 million guaranteed after spending a first round pick on the often-injured enigma. They recently drafted Paul Richardson, Justin Britt and Christine Michael with second round picks — all three tore ACL’s in college.

When you consider they’re not scared away by injury history, you’re basically left with a dynamic X-factor with unique size/speed and mass production.

The Seahawks reportedly tried to trade for Thomas during the season and that is also understandable. They need a big target to act as a safety net, third down converter, red zone receiver, mismatch at the second level and seam-buster. They need someone who will prevent teams from selling out to attack the offensive line, knowing if they shut down Lynch and pressure Wilson they have a chance to stop Seattle’s offense. The first half against Green Bay in the NFC Championship game probably doesn’t happen with Julius Thomas on the field.

Do they need a blocking tight end? To be honest, no. They coped without Miller for most of last season despite breaking in rookie right tackle Justin Britt. They used an extra offensive lineman to compensate with Luke Willson starting at tight end. The same applies moving forward.

He’s also a good age. Unlike the Andre Johnson’s or Brandon Marshall’s (traded to the Jets today) — Thomas doesn’t turn 27 until late June. He’s hitting his peak. It would’ve cost between $7-8m for a 31-year-old Marshall. it might cost $6-8m for a 34-year-old Johnson. Thomas being in the same salary ballpark if anything makes this even more attractive.

The move also sets up the draft. You can replace James Carpenter at any point. Round one? Jake Fisher or Cameron Erving, if not Ereck Flowers or La’el Collins. Beyond? Ty Sambrailo, Terry Poole. You can afford to use rounds 2-4 to add a receiver or two. You could even go all-in on supporting Wilson with a receiver at #31 to really make a statement of intent for the offense.

The tight end class on the other hand is thoroughly mediocre. It won’t be a shock if Seattle intends to ignore it completely. If they can’t sign Thomas — don’t be surprised if they make a move for Cleveland’s Jordan Cameron.

And let’s be right here — it’s the offense that needs the most attention. The defense, minus Byron Maxwell, is virtually intact. The same defense that ranked #1 in yardage and scoring for the second consecutive season last year. They’ll probably add a veteran corner at some point and probably some defensive line depth too. There are players in this draft that can help the defense without costing major bucks. It’s the offense that needs the big splash if it’s going to happen.

Imagine the defense of 2013 and 2014, supported by an all-firing offense?

The words ‘Win Forever’ spring to mind.

208 Responses to “Marshawn Lynch will return, Julius Thomas to join him?”

  1. Grant G says:

    Thoughts: YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

    • Turp says:

      First thought – YESSSSS. Second thought – hmm, how much??

      • Turp says:

        This also makes Rob’s 7 round mock more feasible (No RB drafted)

        • Lewis says:

          I don’t think taking a running back is out of the question, regardless. It depends on how they feel about Michael and Turbin. I’d be surprised if Lynch were to play beyond 2 years, and I think they are planning for the future as well as the present. Gurley might make a lot of sense in this scenario as a luxury pick, with no expectation he will be needed to fill any sort of major role next year, especially if they land Julius Thomas as well.

          • Volume 12 says:

            Yeah I could still see them taking a HB Josh Robinson or a HB Karlos Williams in the 5th or 6th round.

      • Volume 12 says:

        Personally I could care less how much it’s for. He means so much to this team and city. I’d argue outside of Ken Griffey,Jr. and the duo of Shawn ‘Reign Man’ Kemp/Gary ‘The Glove’ Payton, this guy is Seattle’s most iconic sports figure ever.

        • Turp says:

          I don’t disagree – I’m just looking for what we have to spend on Tuesday, so i can set my expectations accordingly.

          • Volume 12 says:

            IMO I’d look for one of the Williams at CB, a cheap/under the radar D-lineman, and maybe Julius Thomas.

            • Turp says:

              Huge cap hit – 12-12.5m – so I wonder if JT is really in play after Wilson/Wagz extensions.

            • UKHawkDavid says:

              The other Green Bay Packers CB Davon House is testing the market this weekend – if they were both available for a similar rate, would you consider taking the 26 year old House instead? Pakcers fans seem to rate him higher than Tramon Williams.

              • Steele1324 says:

                House has his issues too, with injuries, but he has shown flashes. For GB, it is all about his age vs. Tramon’s, and they are leaning in House’s direction.

                If choosing between the two, do you pick youth, or do you think veteran experience in a slowed down body is better?

                I would go with House, but he wouldn’t come cheap. Something I would guess is in the $5-6 mill range?

        • Alaska Norm says:

          Dont forget Steve Largent….. the real #80

  2. Grant G says:

    FA doesn’t start until Tuesday, and still I’ve been all over Twitter all day looking for updates. Start with Money Lynch, add Julius, find a motivated DT or DE, and depth at CB. Maybe a motivated vet WR. I’d love if we can go best player available in the draft early.

    • Volume 12 says:

      Money Lynch, possibly JT, a Karl Kluge, Parnell McPhee, or a Kenrick Ellis at DT, Tramon or Cary Williams, preferably Tramon and with 11 draft picks/2-3 stud UDFAs… all I can say is WOW! Be afraid NFC, very afraid.

      Not a fan of adding a veteran WR. I think if Seattle was thinking that way they wouldn’t have placed the 2nd round tender on WR Jermaine Kearse. Add a receiver sometime in the 1st three rounds, and then take your slot/returner at receiver in the mid rounds. Baylor’s Antwan Goodley in the 5th round anybody?

      I hate to keep bringing this up, but IF, and it’s a big if, Seattle doesn’t sign JT or Jordan Cameron, I still would love Minnesota TE Maxx Williams. Even though it’s due diligence, Seattle was at his pro day on Wednesday. Other than Mizzou’s DE-LEO Shane Ray, Maxx is my favorite player in this year’s draft.

      • hawkdawg says:

        I don’t think he’s a first round pick, unless the class of TE’s is bad enough that he becomes one by default to a team that really needs one. But I must say watching him at the combine he plucks balls like an absolute pro. Very, very smooth and sure with the ball.

        • Volume 12 says:

          He probably isn’t a 1st round pick.

          But at #31 or if they trade back into the early 2nd round, he’s worth it. And has Rob has so brilliantly pointed out, Seattle isn’t afraid to draft/take a guy a round or 2 earlier than where their projected to go.

      • arias says:

        I don’t think anything needs to be read into offering Kearse a 2nd round tender since the team had absolutely nothing to lose by doing so and are not committed to him next season by offering it. Jeron Johnson had the same thing done to him last season only to be renegotiated for a lower salary shortly thereafter. It was purely a business decision to protect them from losing him for nothing. But I would expect he won’t be playing at that salary for the team next season because it really wouldn’t make any financial sense. So I expect something along the lines of a Johnson renegotiation with the tender offer being done solely to give the team leverage.

        • Volume 12 says:

          Makes sense, but at the same time he’s only getting or going to be making no. 3 or no. 4 WR money and that is what he is after all.

          There’s just not many appealing veteran receivers on the market. Maybe a Randall Cobb? But at what price? Take a couple receivers in the draft.

          • arias says:

            True, although I see the tender as more of an insurance policy. They’re under no obligation to pay him anything if he doesn’t make the roster so they can still go out and sign a vet wide receiver and not be under any obligation to Kearse. I’m just not sure there are any out there that would play at a discount outside of maybe AJ who I wouldn’t mind seeing.

            The problem I have with Kearse as that he’s obviously not a slot guy, he plays on the outside and his presence in their three wide sets takes away key developmental playing time away from their other receivers with higher ceilings. The team will obviously add at least one but probably two receivers in the draft. Even assuming PRich misses half of next season as it stands right now I’d much rather see Matthews and Norwood on the outside getting key reps and field experience than the way too inconsistent Kearse. Add in those additional receivers they draft and that’s an even greater talent infusion that will have a hard time beating out Kearse in camp but would greatly benefit and be better for the team long term if Kearse wasn’t ahead of them on the depth chart.

  3. Alaska Norm says:

    Makes your best deal first round trade down more of a reality if one of the top two RB’s drop to 31. The plan is coming together. Here’s hoping for a New England type deal that would include a first rounder next year. Still think that is a possibility Rob?

  4. Volume 12 says:

    Whoooo! BeastMode! Love this! Could not be more excited.

  5. Greg haugsven says:

    Love me so Ime beast mode coming back…don’t know about Thomas though, he’s going to want to much money. He already turned down 8 million a year from denver

    • Greg haugsven says:

      Damn my phone typing skills are atrocious

    • Volume 12 says:

      I kind of am starting to agree with this sentiment. As much as I love the guy. I have a feeling he may take the money and run. I hope I;m wrong.

    • DC says:

      What JT turned down was all in the details. We have to pay to strengthen a weakness. Defenders will come here relatively cheap. The line goes out the door and around the corner.

      Welcome back Marshawn! Fear the Beast!!

      • Volume 12 says:

        I agree about paying to strengthen a weakness.

        I hope he does come here. What a get that would be! But, at the same time, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him take more money somewhere else.

      • Turp says:

        Yeah, the details being, Denver gave him very little guaranteed. Using the 8m figure is pointless/useless – it was a terrible contract offer.

  6. Bill Bobaggins says:

    Love this.

    The one year deal makes me believe that he’ll retire after this year (unless I’m missing something here). That said, I think you really have to look at gunning for Gurley in round 1. That’s your replacement to Beastmode.

  7. Volume 12 says:

    Sorry to change the subject, but I was worried no one would see it on the last post. I’ve been looking at/checking out LBs for a priority UDFA or 6th-7th round pick, and this kid keeps popping up.

    N. Texas MLB/ST David Mayo-6’1, 240 lbs., team captain, from Scappoose, Oregon

    2014 CFB stats: 154 total tackles, 4.5 TFL, 4 QB hurries, 3 FF, 2 PBU, averaged 12.8 almost 13 tackles a game, Looks ‘Seahawky.’

    Anyone know anything about this guy? I think he could be a steal.

    • hawkdawg says:

      What’s his 40? Hawks will usually not sniff a LB with a slow forty…

    • redzone086 says:

      Looks like Mike backer from stats. Not much room for another Mike we need olb and rush specialists. Imho

      • Volume 12 says:

        If they take a guy who I absolutely love in say, Harvard’s Zach Hodges then they don’t. He can play standing up and with his hand in the dirt.

        And I’m looking at him as a priority UDFA. Why can’t they carry him? He’d bring just as much value if not more to STs than a Mike Morgan would,

        • redzone086 says:

          6`1″ 240 he Wont make much of a hand in the dirt player unless he has top end speed. I just don’t see it even with a motor. Special teams isn’t a need either so no place for a 3rd back up Mike Lber. Not to say he isn’t good just that height/lenght is needed or amazing speed.

          • Volume 12 says:

            Zach Hodges can play in the dirt or standing up. Not Mayo.

            When was STs ever not needed? They’ll draft or take a LB in UDFA.

            • redzone086 says:

              They will get linebackers depth and those players will play special teams but they won’t bring in under 6 ft 3 outside backers/ d ends. They won’t bring in a player mearly for special teams that isn’t a returner. So I don’t believe that Hodges is on their radar.

              • Volume 12 says:

                Hodges may only be 6’2 1/2, but with shoes on he’s 6’3. There’s a reason why they measure these guys in socks. I didn’t say Hodges would be a ST. He’d be an edge rushers and backup LEO.

                As much as I love B-Wagz, he is injury prone. KJ Wright is really out of place at MLB, Brock Coyle is more of a Heath Farwell type. So then KPL becomes your starter at WILL, leaving no depth.

                I think Mayo can be a back-up LB and play STs. Plus as an UDFA it cost you virtually nothing. Being from Oregon, he’s a guy they can bring into the VMAC, and won’t count against the 30 player limit, because he’s ‘local.’

                • Rob Staton says:

                  Height isn’t an issue for Hodges because he has insane 34 1/4 inch arms. Crazy length.

                  • Volume 12 says:

                    Great point.

                  • redzone086 says:

                    No Seattle clearly believes edge rushers need a certain length and weight requirement. I know that I can seem derogatory for no reason but I firmly disagree and I d poo not see him as a Leo or edge rusher of any kind with 50 foot wingspan. Now I also admit to anyone who will listen that I totally disagreed with Rob on the dt scenario last year and was proven wrong. I just can sell so many more Stats that show Seattle prefers long/tall/lengthy pass rushers. I won’t post again on this subject just because I don’t like to disagree this strongly. I’m sorry that on this we can’t agree. I also know that the Hawks love drive and determination so this character is hard to cross off my list just as hearing Rob cross off Nate Orchard from my list.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    Chris Clemons — 6-3, 255lbs, ran a 4.68, long arms

                    Zach Hogdes — 6-2 1/2, 250lbs, ran a 4.68, long arms

                    The difference between the two purely in terms of size is half an inch in height and 5lbs.

                    PS — don’t worry about disagreeing redzone. All opinions and debate welcome.

  8. JeffC says:

    Put off a minor rebuild for one more year. One more clear shot at the lombardi.

  9. Forrest says:

    BeastMode, maybe JT, and then a DT who is young/cheap. If no JT, then get a few quality DTs/CBs. With 11 draft picks: 2 WR (I could see 3, but probably not), 3 OL, 2 CB, 1-2 DT, 1-2 DE, 1 FS/SS.

  10. rowdy says:

    I wonder if they gave up the 4th rd pick they save by cutting harvin?

  11. Volume 12 says:

    So does this deal include guaranteed money for this year and 2016 if he were to so choose?

  12. Attyla the Hawk says:

    Weird deal. Looks like it’s just a tear up of last year of his contract, replacing it with more.

    If anything, it looks like we might be hard in for Gurley in R1. Maybe even a possible trade up in R1 if he gets past 22. Detroit at 23 has been a willing trade partner for us. Probably have to get in front of Baltimore at 26, Dallas at 27 and Indy at 29 if we want him.

    • Rob Staton says:

      We need to see the structure of the deal confirmed. I think it’s probably up front cash but a bonus spread out to limit the cap damage. He can retire after a year and walk away. SEA can keep him if they wish.

      Gurley would be interesting as a draft and stash. I think he’ll be gone by #31. Dominique Easley was after all.

    • Volume 12 says:

      Why does it mean we’ll be hard in for Gurley?

      Don’t bit emu head off, but I think HBs Ameer Abdullah and Tevin Coleman will better backs in the NFL than Turkey or Gordon. Just my opinion.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        I like Abdullah, but his fumble issues and his physicality don’t seem a match for us.

        Tevin Coleman looks like a Turbin clone. Easily arm tackled and generally goes down on first contact. He’s a good back, but not special and not what I would hope Seattle looks for.

        • Volume 12 says:

          The fumbling issue is so overrated. If they have the work ethic then it’s easily coachable. Abdullah runs angry and mean. And I love his confidence.

          Coleman is alot more explosive than a Robert Turbine.

          Gurley’s not a physical back. Because of his size he is? He may be a man amongst boys at the CFB level, but not at the elite level.

  13. Dawgma says:

    Sorry, still have no interest in a TE who either can’t or won’t block.

    • Rob Staton says:

      He’s scored 24 touchdowns in 19 games and we’re worried about blocking?

      I don’t even think you ask him to block. He’s a mismatch TE.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        I just hope Wilson is a QB that can leverage his quality in similar fashion.

        Watching the all-22 of Seattle games, it’s pretty evident that Wilson pretty much never even looks in the middle of the field. Defenses don’t honor that area either — cheating on the edges.

        Now, there could be two very valid reasons for this. One, we don’t have a quality talent to exploit that area. Or two, Wilson just isn’t comfortable or even can’t exploit that area. It’s not unreasonable to think that despite Wilson’s quality, there is a grain of truth to the limitations his lack of height presents. This could be the hole in his game that he and the team has to live with.

        If so, then that restricts/reduces JT’s ability to impact games.

        • arias says:

          I completely agree with your assessment. Watching All 22 it’s shocking sometimes how many plays Wilson leaves on the field. It’s hard for me to gauge whether he’s just not seeing them or if the conservative approach the team has against turnovers means he doesn’t bother to even look because he doesn’t want to take the chance at a pick. I lean more to your perspective because even if he prefers not to throw to the middle a great majority of the time it makes the most sense to take a shot there once in awhile just to keep defenses on their toes.

    • Ehurd1021 says:

      Agree.

      He doesn’t wanna block, has had issues in the locker room with teammates, makes a offense one dimensional and predictable. I am in the corner of the people who feel he has over inflated stats due to Denver’s ‘pass happy’ offense and playing with Manning. Think he is a waste of money and a horrible fit for a offense thats based on a downhill, zone blocking scheme that throws off play action.

      Unless the Seahawks plan on changing their offensive identity (which i cant see happening with Shawn returning and Pete Carroll being the HC) I think JT is a horrible fit and a complete waste of money for a guy who might get 4-5 targets a game. Just my opinion so if he is signed it is what it is because I believe in JSPC.

      • Grant G says:

        Interesting breakdown on how Thomas affects a defense despite blocking issues : http://alendumonjic.com/2015/03/06/formations-alignments-and-mismatches-te-julius-thomas/

        • Ehurd1021 says:

          I agree he is a mismatch. I also don’t doubt his ability as a offensive threat. What I question with JT is his love for the game and willingness to sacrifice for the overall success of the team. He is horrendous at run blocking, and for a kid his size with his athleticism its clear its a effort issue and his unwillingness to do it. I cant see that flying in the Seattle locker room.

          • Rob Staton says:

            You don’t sign him as a run blocker though. You sign him as a glorified big-WR who draws coverage and attention away from the O-line. You can’t stack the box if the safety is split out wide on Thomas. We saw this with Gronk matched up vs Chancellor and Wright. And if you put your best corner on the TE, that creates problems elsewhere too.

            I keep coming back to this as well — if he was such a bad fit in terms of attitude and run blocking — why were they trying to trade for him during the season? They clearly don’t see it that way.

            • Attyla the Hawk says:

              absolutely agreed. Seattle has already moved away from the heavy formation philosophy. We go 11 personnel at a dominant rate now. We use Russell’s mobility as a weapon which acts like a phantom blocker.

              Seattle would be wise to abandon largely the inline TE and opt for players who force teams to go light along the front. JT is ideally suited for that purpose. And let’s not forget, we have OL talents that CAN come in for heavy set formations (Bailey and Gilliam). And in Gilliam, you can still threaten the pass on occasion.

              It doesn’t mean we’re abandoning the run. But we are creating an offense that between the 20s, must go with fewer in the box. JT slants defenses to him. Just in the same way that Harvin did. But the fit is just much MUCH better.

              And if we decide to go 2 TE, with both Willson and Thomas in game, if you motion them in tight, then you have them blocking safeties and corners on the edges. Willson isn’t a great blocker, but he is good for a move TE. He can and has done well with kick out/seal blocks on the edges which is exactly what we are looking for execution wise.

            • Ehurd1021 says:

              I don’t see Seattle having two TE’s on the roster who cant block. Last year they adjusted with heavy O-line sets and they rolled with the punches once Miller went down for the season. They had no choice. Luke has his own issues blocking which has effected his playing time since his rookie year. Now you go out and sign JT for $9 Mill + who also offers nothing in the running game… in Seattle’s system, I just don’t see it.

              I will keep saying it as well, I don’t doubt his talent offensively or what his talents offers in the passing game. I cant see him coming here for that amount of money and it not drastically having a impact on the philosophy that just put Seattle in back to back super bowls. Players that expensive demand the ball (just like Harvin) and it leads to situations like the one that took place with Harvin. Not worth it to me for a player who IMO has over inflated states and is a Prima Donna.

              And the point you keep making about the FO looking to trade for him is legit. I think the possibility could have been Seattle looking to maximize the trade potential of Harvin as much as possible. The FO could have looked at the possible trade as a low risk, high reward situation. I don’t know and you could be absolutely be right. I don’t doubt his talent and its clear the FO doesn’t either, thats all that the possible trade tells me.

              • Rob Staton says:

                I’ve addressed this a couple of times already in fairness.

                The blocking aspect is being massively over stated. They had three TE’s on the roster who couldn’t block in 2014 when Miller got injured. The offense adjusted and coped just fine. There was no shift in identity. It’s easy to use 11 personnel and put in an extra blocker. Miller was essentially a glorified blocker anyway. The difference between Seattle being power run and smash mouth is not the way the TE blocks. You continue to run 11 and use the TE as a chess piece to draw a safety out of the box or a LB. This actually helps the run game, not hinder it.

                There’s no hard evidence of any prima dona attitude. I don’t think Peyton Manning can suffer prima dona’s. He made Thomas his primary target in the red zone in a team loaded with options.

                As for the trade — for me it’s telling they enquired about three different TE’s (Thomas, Cameron, Fleener) and none of them block very well. The thing they have in common? All dynamic pass catching mismatches.

                • arias says:

                  Marvin Harrison was sort of prima donna-ish. You know how Peyton Manning put up with him? By feeding him the ball.

      • Rob Staton says:

        If he’s a horrible fit and all of the things you mentioned there — why did John Schneider and Pete Carroll try and trade for him during the 2014 season?

        Signing Thomas doesn’t mean changing the identity or anything like that. They coped without Zach Miller last season, using an extra offensive linemen when needed and having Luke Willson start at tight end. Thomas is a chess piece. You line him up split out wide to drag a safety out of the box (opens up the run inside). You put him in the slot against a linebacker. You have him run down the seam to take a backer away from the box.

        None of these things have a negative impact on the running game. In fact it’s quite the opposite.

        I hope I’m explaining this situation because I think it’s important. The identity of Seattle’s whole offense is not based on starting a pure blocking tight end versus a genuine dynamic mismatch in the passing game.

        • Attyla the Hawk says:

          The trade itself, I’m not convinced it was a clear indicator either way.

          We wanted to get 2014 value for Harvin. Denver might have made the deal, on the basis of having a player for multiple years, versus a player likely to leave in 2015 for nothing.

          Of course it could have meant we wanted him badly and would have extended him once here. We won’t know either way but obviously the legitimate case could be made either way.

          I would say, it’s more likely we wanted him long term and if we do sign him, I’d say that would be proof positive that we targetted him well before the UFA signing. In fact, it’s looking right now, that our offseason strategy is based in no small part, to acquiring JT and moving forward with him.

          • Rob Staton says:

            I think — and we’ll find out soon — signing JT might be the priority in free agency. Or at least to get one of Cameron or JT.

            It really sets them up for the draft. You’ve got a proven mismatch/chess piece in free agency. You can go after a guard to replace Carpenter in the draft, add a couple of WR’s in a fantastic class and bring in depth on the DL and at CB.

            • Trevor says:

              Rob I agree completely I think they really want that big mismatch TE in Thomas or Cameron. I think it would really open up so many possibilities with this offense not only in the passing game but also in the run game with fewer 8 man boxes.

              My preference is Cameron Jordan but Thomas would be great as well.

              Those people criticizing their blocking and citing the need for a blocking TE seem to be missing the point. There are 5-6 big mismatch Tight Ends in the League. You can find a good blocking TE on a vet minimum contract as your 3rd TE if you like or better yet use Gilliam as a 6th OL in heavy sets.

              This offense goes to a whole new level with a dynamic TE. I just hope they can get it done. If not I really like Max Willams a lot more than most I think. I think he has the best hands in the draft even for receivers and in a low volume passing offense like ours that is huge. Wish you could give Willson his hands ๐Ÿ™‚ He would be a future pro bowler.

            • Attyla the Hawk says:

              I agree completely. I see a lot of possible acceptable day 1 replacements for Carpenter in R4/5 in this draft. WR is just stacked in the 35 to 110 range. It looks like Seattle should be able to get 4-5 quality players in rounds 1 through 5.

              The only area where it gets tight is DB. I do see some talents late that could be intriguing. Guys with measurables that we might in other years deem 6th/7th rounders.

              I also expect Seattle to take a couple players that weren’t on the combine radar. The individual workout circuit will be worth monitoring closely this year. Particularly with how weak the LB/DB class is. I’d be inclined to think that whomever we bring in to the VMAC for workouts at those positions would be very likely Hawks picks.

            • redzone086 says:

              I find this total discussion fascinating and frustrating. I don’t think Julius Thomas will be anywhere near the threat he is made out to be by the simple fact that Seattle won’t throw the ball enough to make him as dangerous as one would argue he could be and the fact that Russell Wilson will not throw the passes that Manning dared to thread to him because Wilson doesn’t throw over the middle and is very risk averse.
              I think that when you look at the amount of targets the limiting factor that he will actually present versus what he could be in a pass happy offense and the fact that he isn’t an accountable accomplished blocker by any means really makes the cost ways less appealing. Obviously the cost plus the injury risk makes a person even more Leary of that new guaranteed pay he will receive.
              All in all I believe that he interested in a receiving TE in the trade for Harvin seems telling though asking for a player swap and over bidding in free agency are very much two separate things. This really is a great debate player and scheme fit a alike.

              • Rob Staton says:

                Throwing less means you need to maximize the times you do pass. You need even better talent if anything.

                I think they tried to trade for him because, simply put, they really like him as a player.

                • OZ says:

                  Spot-on!!!

                • redzone086 says:

                  But if Wilson doesn’t throw the passes to the routes Julius is running ala Willson then doesn’t that cut his targets to 3 to 5 a game? If you are playing against the run then why would you take a safety out of the box to guard Thomas flanked out? Or are we saying that Russel will be checking at the line ala Payton to get the most out of the offense when defenses stack the box? I think not. We are a running team and a tight end flanked out wide isn’t much help unless he draws a linebacker out and again this isn’t going to happen to play the run you leave the cb and olb to play zone and negate the need to match up with the players one on one and play the run with an 8 in the box defense. Thomas only works to spread out the defense if he is getting the ball and Russel dares throw the tight windowed seems and like passes more often again that doesn’t sound like how the Hawks win. We saw what happened with Harvin and that style of offense. I’m still for the Hawks to bring in JT or any other receiving options and I pray stone hands Luke can learn from him or anyone else they bring in and assist Lynch and Russel to bring the offense on par with the rest of the team. I just think that saying paying big bucks guaranteeing success is awkward at best. If the injury bug breathers a lot of money on the beach. If teams can defend him which they have over the years to a degree. Again Hawk offense will change his effectiveness to some degree because Russel is 5foot 10inches and doesn’t throw risky passes he runs. The same would be said if we were discussing Jimmy Graham though and we need help for Russell. I’m just saying as a conversational piece those pro picking up JT that we shouldn’t put the cart before the horse. Better players have mailed it in with a nice contract cushion.

        • drewjov11 says:

          You always have Gary Gilliam to be that blocking TE, and the other two coukd flank out wide or play in the slot. Willson and Thomas would drive linebackers and safeties nuts. If they go nickel or dime, I think that those two can handle blocking corners. The important thing is to find some mismatches and red-zone options.

          • redzone086 says:

            I don’t see why if they wanted a red zone target specifically you wouldn’t have used Matthews or any other 6ft 5in player on the roster vs throwing fades or screens to Baldwin?

  14. Bill Bobaggins says:

    Sad to see Jesse Williams go. The knees just aren’t on your side kid.

  15. Cysco says:

    So if this really is a 1-year deal for Lynch, that means they’ll be rolling into the 2016 season with only Christian Michael under contract. Seems like they’re going to have to make some decisions on RB beyond this season.

    Maybe a run at Gurley isn’t out of the question?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Essentially there’s a team option on 2016 (would cost a fair sum of dead money to cut him) and a Lynch option (he has to repay $5m if he retires after 2015). Turbin would be out of contract next year, with Michael under contract for one more season.

      If Gurley is there at #31 (or Melvin Gordon) they’re an option. I don’t think either will be, however.

  16. jake206 says:

    We are drafting TE’s this upcoming draft…no doubt about it. Esp. now that Zach Miller was released. No guarantees we’ll sign Julius Thomas (Raiders?)…and Jordan Cameron (meh, color me not impressed). Too many good TE prospect coming from college ranks, Huermann, Williams, Walford…etc.

    • hawkdawg says:

      Actually, it’s the worst tight end group for awhile, or so say the experts…

      • bobbyk says:

        If we draft Maxx Williams and he turns out good… are we really going to care if, overall, it was a bad draft class at TE? Not criticizing your point, just playing the opposite end of the spectrum. And maybe TE gets filled in FA so the draft won’t matter at that position (at least with an early pick).

        • bobbyk says:

          Can legally contact agents tomorrow! Plenty of news to be sure.

          Rob – Do you do this strictly for fun? What you consistently put out is more worth paying for that the ESPN Insider subscription stuff.

    • Rob Staton says:

      We’ll have to agree to disagree on this Jake. I don’t think many people see this as a good draft for TE’s. Personally I think it’s horrendous. Watching them work out at the combine was borderline laughable.

      • BamBam says:

        I have to agree with rob I went into the combine hoping to see some skill from the TEs but it was difficult to watch. Maxx Williams was the only one who looked impressive. I still go back to the biggest loser in that was Funchess he could have really stood out with the TEs. The more I look at this draft the more I am inclined to believe PCJS have something in mind for TEs in free agency

  17. Steve Nelsen says:

    Coach Carroll likes to challenge his players at the end of the season to have a championship off-season. So, I always like establishing my ideas for what a championship off-season would be for the front office.

    For this year, goal 1 was to offer beast Mode a reasonable deal that would get him to play in Seattle with no holdout drama if Marshawn decided he didn’t want to retire. Bonus points if the deal happens before free-agency. More bonus points if the deal is cap-friendly. It sounds like the team has accomplished Goal 1 with bonus points for timeliness. And if the reports that have leaked are accurate about the structure of the deal, then it will be cap-friendly too.

    FYI, here is what else it would take for me to give the FO a “championship” grade for this off-season.

    Goal 2: Work out a deal with Russell Wilson that locks up our young franchise quarterback. Bonus points if the deal is cap-friendly.

    Goal 3: Work out a 4-year extension for Bobby Wagner.

    Goal 4: Add at least one veteran free agent defensive lineman to the rotation; a LEO who can rush the passer better than Schofield or a DT who can add more pass rush than McDonald.

    Goal 6: Add at least one veteran free-agent receiver (either TE or WR) who is a 3rd down/red-zone target.

    Goal 7: Come out of the draft/free agency with improved talent at WR, TE, OL, DL and CB. Bonus points if they add a potential replacement for Marshawn.

    • Phil says:

      Sounds good to me.

      I’d add another goal, but I’m having trouble putting it into words. Something like, “Change the offensive scheme to put more emphasis on playing offense more ‘offensively’ instead of ‘defensively’. That is, prepare for the eventual departure of Beast Mode by putting more emphasis on the passing game, particularly early in games, with the aim of making opponents have to play from behind.” (This goal stems from the fact that with 2 minutes to go in the first half of the Superbowl, Wilson was 2 for 4 for something like 20 yds. I think DangerRuss’ passing is an under-utilized weapon, and it can be a weapon for an entire game, not just during two-minute drills, or when we are playing from behind.)

      I cringe sometimes when the Seahawks lose the coin toss, because I know this means that they will get the ball on their 20-yd. line, run Beast Mode on 1st and 2nd down, then force RW to throw when the defense knows he has to throw.

      I’m not saying that we abandon the running game. I’m saying that giving RW more weapons ain’t gonna help if we don’t give him a chance to use those weapons.

      Some will probably say why change something if it ain’t broke. I just think our offense could be so much better than it currently is.

  18. Adog says:

    Not so sure that they’ll sincerely target Thomas. Seems like they their “move” te already in willson. He’s no Thomas but he has comparable speed and size. I think that any numbers for a wr or te coming from a Peyton manning offense carries some inflation. That said, I wonder what Thomas would bring to bevell’s offense? Will it be a Percy harvin misfit? As in overwrought play calling to get him touches in a offense that is run first and second.

    • Rob Staton says:

      This team needs a mismatch at TE or WR. Luke Willson can be a nice compliment, but he’s not the answer.

      • Ehurd1021 says:

        Luke has flashed several times since his rookie year. He might not be Gronk (who is?) but he offers the same kind of mismatch that you keep talking about with JT and he does tilt the field. He needs to work on his hands and physicality. Too early to write him off as not the answer IMO.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Nobody’s writing him off. But in the same way there are a big, fast receivers in the league who are million miles off Calvin Johnson, Luke Willson is no Julius Thomas.

      • peter says:

        I’m not totally sure on that. Again he’s basically at a further point production/in system player then JT plus bigger, faster. Sure he could up his game but a TE in the fifth round with sub 50 catches his whole career will need to do that.

        You and Attyla have made excellent points in regards to how a mismatch would benefit the team but in Denver after two years of Thomas pundits and fans alike were wondering if Thomas would get, be an injury problem, ir just one of those forgotten picks like a Jameson konz all show no go.

        Then rode in the Peyton manning train.

        To assume he would be good in our system is fair, but lets at least,adjust our frame to include that Seattle chucks the rock some 30-40% less then Denver and at least not write off Wilson as not the answer until he gets through his third year as that’s when JT turned it on.

        • Attyla the Hawk says:

          That’s a legitimate risk.

          I’d go the other way though. Thomas was, even at draft time, a project. And here in Seattle, we know full well that taking projects means development time. Thomas needed that. But he also flashed the potential even early. I would submit that Thomas’ development more or less coincided with Manning’s arrival. A happy intersection between quality QBing and a talent that needed development finally arriving.

          Thomas was, even against Seattle, a mismatch. That’s saying something. Obviously, Seattle was able to counter Thomas effectively for the most part. But no team in this league has our secondary.

          It’s totally fair to assume that Thomas’ numbers will be significantly deflated. We don’t pass like Denver does.

          But that’s not Thomas’ only additive value. Thomas is a threat. A very real threat that requires that teams NOT cheat on other players. Obviously with our offense, teams cheat first on Lynch, second on Wilson’s mobility, and third on Doug Baldwin. Thomas in the lineup means teams can’t do that. So our runs with Lynch, our scrambles with Wilson and the coverage that Baldwin receives is all lessened. It’s a cascading effect that — while not clearly attributable to Thomas — would be nonetheless real.

          Harvin, as much as he was maligned, did provide those things. The problem was simply that his use didn’t fit neatly with our base offense. We had to manufacture and even abandon our bread and butter to make him a threat. Thomas isn’t like that at all. He is a credible threat in the base offense that teams must honor. Thomas makes what we do from a base perspective more effective by his mere legitimate threat and presence.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            I would add that, even though the LOB was able to minimize JT, it came at the cost of Kam not crowding the box and keying the run. This didn’t impact SEA much because they have ET3 and DEN doesn’t really have a running game. But imagine JT on SEA’s offense, with Lynch and RW as run threats, against defenses without either a Kam or an ET3.

            Also, the difference between JT and Willson illustrates how SPARQ can be misleading. This is no dig on Willson at all – I really like how his game has developed. He took a big step forward this season in Miller’s absence and I’m sure SEA feels good about him at the position for the future.

            Yet despite his raw athleticism, he lacks consistent hands and hasn’t shown “gracefulness” for lack of a better term – all hockey bruiser – compared to JT who is much more of a refined basketball forward type. Both larger athletes who measure similarly, but play differently.

          • peter says:

            No doubt. Attyla. I think it would be a great move for all those reasons. I am in all honesty if a move like this pushes Wilson to up his game. And you’re right Thomas flashed in Denver camps and preseasons but there was legitimate concern that he would put it together as shown that he can.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Nobody is writing Willson off but it’s fair to say he’s not as good as Julius Thomas. I mean, he just isn’t. They might have similar size and they can both run — but there are players with Calvin Johnson’s size who are quick. They aren’t Megatron, however.

          • peter says:

            Yeah he’s not as good as Julius Thomas at this point in their careers. I’ll agree. I’ll agree that he’d be a major asset. But to say he’s not as good as Julius Thomas as declarative is sort of negating that Julius Thomas gets to do his work along side Welker/ An 87 catch Decker/ and Demaryius Thomas…and of course an MVP caliber Peyton Manning.

            Sure Wilson and the drops but let’s call a spade a spade his catch rate is not extremely far off of THomas’ and the Seahawks have a just barely above 50% red zone efficiency as a whole compared to Denver with a 63% last year and a 71 % in 2013.

            I am truly hoping that Julius Thomas joins the seahawks like a ton of posts and prospects you bring up I see the logic in most if not all of them and you and attyla have made strong cases for Thomas, but saying he’s better then Wilson is to ignore or down play slightly the massively superior cast he’s worked around.

  19. Attyla the Hawk says:

    Miller gone. Guess JT is really on our radar.

    This just in folks, Staton knows his football (not futbol — although possibly that too).

    Great stuff. Looking like you have just plain nailed it this year.

  20. MJ says:

    The more I’m reading about the Lynch deal, the more it seems like a one and done type situation. That said, I agree with Attyla that this looks like it is setting us up to go after Gurley or Gordon to stash for a year. I’m on board with that.

    • Volume 12 says:

      I’m not sold on that one and done. Obviously he’ll play next year and the money’s on the table for next year if he wants to. I think he’ll play for 2 more years.

      • Volume 12 says:

        2016 I meant to say

        • Attyla the Hawk says:

          And that’s cool. If he does stay, and we still take Gurley — there isn’t any reason they can’t be additive.

          Cap wise, you’ll be fine. Gurley would be a cheap rookie. Even if we’re talking 2016 — having the ability to spell Lynch as age inevitably takes it’s toll keeps Lynch fresher. And doesn’t change a lick the play style or book that Seattle wants to run. Older backs have difficulty handling the 300 carry/year load. But if we had the option of 180 carries at current Lynch quality while offloading those 120 carries to a back equal to the task — that results in a better, more effective Lynch for more years.

          It’s a fallacy to think that if you take Gurley, that means you have to drop Lynch. You don’t. Even if Lynch proves to be an ironman who bucks the over 30 decline — you’re extending that quality even further. I’d love to see Lynch in 2016 and 2017. But I don’t think that’s very likely if he keeps the carries load he did in 2013/14.

          • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

            Let’s be real. 2016 is the last year Lynch will be in Seattle, no matter what. He would be 32 and have a ton of miles on the tires. Get ready to cheer your heart out for him in 2015 (and maybe 2016), because he will be gone before you know it. One of the most exciting RB to come along in a very long time. Not because he will make you miss (like Barry Sanders), but because he can run you over and it takes multiple defenders to get him down.

            Should he make the HoF, it would be well deserved. Here is to a 2015 season for the ages!

            • CHawk Talker Eric says:

              I dunno. Maybe they use him more like they did in the last half of this year – Start with Turbin/CM and let them wear down the D before bringing him in.

              If his body is willing, I think he’ll take the $12mm and join the chase for another championship

            • Attyla the Hawk says:

              “Should he make the HoF, it would be well deserved. Here is to a 2015 season for the ages!”

              I’m there. I’m already in!

          • Steele1324 says:

            Stashing the heir apparent, and letting Lynch play for 1-2 seasons is perfect. Lynch phases out, heir apparent phrases in.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      It’s crazy to think that you’d have that many offensive weapons in the prime of their careers during the 2016-2019 years.

      Should that come to pass, Seattle is really looking at complementary pieces, with maybe the need to add additional pass rush occasionally. At some point, Avril and Bennett will need replacing. But you’re talking 2017-2018.

      If you’re putting together a 3 year plan, then adding the RB successor this year really fits neatly in that. Add a RB and additional WR talent this season with Thomas at TE, and you’re setting up a very strong offense in the immediate and ongoing future.

      It’s very exciting to think about the possibilities of having Lynch/Wilson + Thomas and some additional WR talent this year, with the prospect of a Gurley/Wilson/Thomas for the next 2-3 years. It’s still fantasy right now, but damn if that doesn’t look like you’re set up for a 3-4 year championship run with sublime talent at their peaks.

  21. sdcoug says:

    What does size and speed matter when you can’t catch the ball? Clank Willson should not block an upgrade like Thomas

    • peter says:

      As the Wilson apologist today Thomas’ catch rate is 68% to Wilson’s 62%. Thomas’ injury shortened first year was 1 catch on 7 attempts and fir fun his injury shortened second season was 0 for 0.

      His third year was pretty good getting into the high 70’s and last weirdly his fourth in the season is back down to 62%. Dude is a TD machine but if you’re looking for volume catches and moving the chain without “d’oh” drops id almost look to Jordan Cameron for that.

    • Steele1324 says:

      Agree. Luke’s hands of stone are the issue with him. Is there more upside, meanwhile, with Helfet? What’s up with A. McCoy? And Moeaki, if healthy, is a good player.

      • peter says:

        luke and Kearse need a jugs machine in their houses and just every spare minute…bread in the toaster ten catches, shower warming up ten catches, coffee brewing ten catches and maybe do that old school high school thing where they carry the ball every where to the bank, on a walk, hold it in bed, until those damn things become one with their muscle memory.

  22. Thomas says:

    Why not Jermaine Gresham or Virgil Green instead of Thomas?

  23. Steele1324 says:

    Rob, you have been stumping for Julius Thomas, and for some good reasons. Yet I have to wonder if Virgil Green provides the same potential, plus blocking.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Virgil Green has 206 yards and one touchdown in four years though. Let’s not forget that. He’s been buried on Denver’s depth chart behind people like Jacob Tamme.

      • Steele1324 says:

        I think with Green, you would have the equivalent of a first round TE, with potential to be a future star and all-around TE.

  24. bobbyk says:

    I want a TE who can block and block well. However, thinking outside the box, what if they envision Gilliam to be that guy next year? I’d say a former TE turned tackle would be a good “blocking TE.” Maybe he’d serve as blocking TE specialist and back-up tackle. Just throwing it out there.

    • bobbyk says:

      In absolutely NO WAY am I saying I wouldn’t welcome a pass catching TE like JT or Cameron. I would. Our offense needs improvement there AND WR, too. We all know that.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Gilliam is a great option for Seattle. He’s a possible target (more often than not he won’t be), but he fits 11 personnel so Seattle can run with six OL but draw a safety/linebacker out of the box if Thomas motions.

      • peter says:

        That’s a great call. I’ve been wondering if it’s time for seattle to move a bit away from the blocking TE, I know heresy, but perhaps with Thomas in the fold (ideally) and some other weapons they could still run as well if not better when the box isn’t stacked to the gills.

        • peter says:

          I meant Gilliam when they actually needed that blocker but as a rule use the TE’s to catch a bit more

  25. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    I seriously doubt Seattle will make a run at Julius Thomas. However, the Cameron Jordan rumors seem much more plausible… he might be had for a very reasonable deal, if his noggin checks out.

    The guy mentioning V. Green is onto something, he has been a solid under the radar type of guy worth checking out…

    • bobbyk says:

      We will find out soon enough.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Why is Cameron a more plausible option than Thomas Charlie?

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        J Thomas will command 8+ mill a year, if the rumors are true. I do not see C Jordan costing more than 5 million, due to injury concerns. Heck, J. Thomas has only been truly healthy 1 season out of 4…. spend less money and get a productive player… win/win.

        I see J Thomas going to a more prolific passing offense, a team which will also be able to break the bank… to the tune of 4 or 5 years ~ 35-45 million bucks.

    • Ho Lee Chit says:

      Virgil Green was known as a pass catching TE in college that could not block. Now he is known as a blocking TE that cannot catch. One thing is for certain, he will be a lot cheaper than Julius Thomas.

      • Steele1324 says:

        Actually, VGreen was the favorite of Manning, Gase and Elway down the stretch, while JT wound up in the dog house due to disagreements with Manning, who accused JT of being soft, making mistakes, etc.

    • LadyT says:

      I haven’t seen any Cameron rumors at all besides idle speculation. His connection with Pete Carroll at USC and the obvious TE/pass catching needs of the team.

    • DC says:

      Offensively Lynch was the first domino to fall. So now, skill position wise, what would we add to achieve perfect balance? The big red zone target and the home run threat. A feature back to back up Lynch and spell his aching back would be welcome too.

      So the next domino is the FA TE. JT or JC, relatively healthy of course, would be most welcome by me. If we sign one of them then we have our ready made red zone/mismatch target.

      Then the draft. Trade back and take RB Tevin Coleman in the 2nd as our future feature back and current backup. Trade up or cross fingers that WR Devin Smith is there at the end of the 2nd as our home run threat and gunner extraordinaire.

      Defenses now have to respect the deep speed of D Smith & the intermediate middle(if Russell can hit that throw) opening up the line of scrimmage that much more for our Beast/Coleman show.

  26. Ben says:

    I’d love getting Thomas. He’s a mismatch, and that’s what we need on this offense. He’d be a red-zone target that we really don’t have at this point. He’s not a great blocker, but I’m willing to overlook that because of what he offers in the passing game.

  27. Cysco says:

    Seahawks just confirmed on twitter, the deal is done.

    Yay!

    More 24! @MoneyLynch is back for his 9th @NFL season. No word yet on media availability.

  28. HOUSE says:

    He essentially gets $12M and can walk away after 2015… Let’s get him another ring!!!

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/03/06/lynch-agrees-to-three-year-31-million-deal/

    • Jeff M. says:

      If he retires after 2015 he essentially won’t have received any raise at all. Under his previous contract he would have gotten 7m this year and then been UFA. Now he gets 12m this year but would have to pay back 5m if he retires, so in that scenario there’s no change to his total $ (or his cap hit).

      It’s only if the team wants to move on after this year that it makes a difference (if they cut him he’d keep all 12m for one year’s work and 5m in dead money would go on the 2016 cap).

      The biggest thing this deal does (beyond showing Marshawn some love and convincing him to play this year) is make him more likely to be on the team in 2016, since you can essentially think of it as making it so either side has to pay 5m to get out of the deal after this year.

  29. CC says:

    My one concern is JTs injuries – but he has an upside and stretchers the field. Zachary just couldn’t stay healthy.

  30. Ross says:

    I have way fewer concerns about Julius Thomas after watching more of his film. Previously, I was concerned about how truly good he was, that maybe his quarterback and the system were what generated his big numbers more than anything he did individually.

    Whilst he did have a great supporting cast in Demaryius Thomas, Welker and Decker, and then Sanders this past season, Peyton Manning isn’t dropping the ball in a bucket twenty yards down field ever play, he lacks the arm strength. Thomas has to work for his catches. He gets separation, even if it’s just by using his height. He competes for the ball in the air and for yards after the catch. He’s not just some big, athletic guy out there, he’s got good football skills, he’s competitive.

    Does he get a lot of favorable looks against linebackers and safeties? Who wouldn’t, with compatriots of such high caliber on the field. I don’t think that would change much in Seattle. We may not have a great group of receivers but the defense still has to account for Wilson and Lynch, the two most dangerous rushing threats at their positions. Even then, I think Thomas is capable of winning his fair share of double coverages.

    I’d be all in on him, to be honest. Surely his connection to Pete Carroll and his experience on a winning team will count for something. You could probably say the Jags and Raiders are slowly on the rise but by the time they ever get there, JT’s prime could be over. Is the biggest contract really worth it then?

  31. red says:

    If the Seahawks fail to sign JT and Camerons concussion are to much of a risk I like Rob Housler as a back up plan think he is a little undervalued 3RD Pick in 2011 4.46 forty 37inch vert. Then maybe draft a more well rounded blocking TE in the 3RD or 4TH Round like Ben Koyack. Two move TE guys that can attack the seem and line up in the slot and a developmental guy who can grow and give us good depth and save us money for some D Line and O Line help going forward.

    • Steele1324 says:

      I agree. Rob Housler is an excellent plan B. Housler is fast (4.46), and has some Jimmy Graham to him. I don’t think the Cards utilized him to his best advantage. I hope he is in the Hawks sights.

      • Colin says:

        Rob Housler sucks. Hardcore. He’s a holdover from the Whisenhunt era and he’s never, ever come close to being a great player. There is no reason to pursue that option.

        • Lewis says:

          I disagree. He’d be a cheap signing. Bring him in and see what he could do during camp. If he has potential, keep him. If not, cut him loose.

          • Colin says:

            He’s had potential for the last 4 years, and under two pass happy coaches, hasn’t made it work. That signing would be dead on arrival.

  32. AlaskaHawk says:

    My concern with paying JT 8+ million is the resentment that other receivers will have for his big payday and for sucking up all the money devoted to wide receivers. When the Seahawks signed Harvin they lost Tate. Same thing with JT except they will be stuck in a cycle of draft picks and low cost free agents.

    Also the Seahawks haven’t shown any need for a tight end, they hardly use Willson or Gilliam, so why bother? Maybe with new coaching staff they can actually design plays that use tight ends. I would just like to see some consistent passes to TE before overpaying a player we will only throw to 4-6 times a game, and then zero times the next game.

    • Steele1324 says:

      A good point. Can they afford both JT and Andre Johnson, or is it one or the other?

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I am mostly worried about resentment in the locker room over bringing in an outsider and paying him 2 to 4 times more then any other receiver. If he is worth 8 million then how much are Matthews, Baldwin and Kearse worth. They probably won’t pay the last two even 2 million.

        • Rob Staton says:

          “If he is worth 8 million then how much are Matthews, Baldwin and Kearse worth…”

          Not $8 million. And if they don’t like it, good luck finding that somewhere else.

          • Onur says:

            We can always find players like baldwin and kearse, they are not irreplaceable. Actually i think 4m is too much for Baldwin.We should use rookie WR as starter.

            • Steele1324 says:

              Doug and Jermaine are overpaid as it is. If they resent higher paid competition, they had better get used to it.

              • Steele1324 says:

                Anybody have thoughts on my original question: is there money for both JThomas AND Andre Johnson?

        • John_s says:

          Kearse got the 2nd round tender and will be getting paid over 2 mil next year. Matthews hasn’t done anything to warrant a 2 mill contract. He had a great game in the Super Bowl but so did Larry Brown. He needs to do it over a whole season. Baldwin is paid 4 million. That is more than enough for an appetizer. Yes he’s an appetizer an expensive one at that.

          If these guys get pissy over a guy getting paid 7-8 mil then don’t let the door hit them on their way out.

          • peter says:

            And I think that 2nd round tender is too high. I know many of you cross reference and view other sites check out FIeld Gulls for a break down on players who get paid the same or even a little less then Kearse it’s pretty interesting and a definite head scratcher why the FO thinks Kearse is aworht even the amount they gave him.

          • AlaskaHawk says:

            Fans are undervaluing the every day contributors on the team. Baldwin has had the most yardage per season for a receiver twice. Kearse has had good and bad days but he has been key to a few wins last year and this. Yet you want to cheap out on them and pay 4 times that amount on a tight end when the Seahawks hardly ever throw to the tight end. I am still gunshy from the Harvin bust, he was expensive and they never used him as a downfield threat even though he was the fastest receiver on the team. Now you want to bring in a tight end, well how about they design some plays for the tight end and make a committment to passing 10 times a game to their new superstar. Because it will kill me if they don’t pass to him all game long.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Gilliam is a tackle. Willson, they used plenty.

      • Robert says:

        Gilliam is a SPARQ freak with tremendous upside. I predict he is working hard this off season to gain 20 pound of good weight and a lot of functional strength. Sweezy really took his game to another level last year after a great off season where he put on 20 pounds and added strength with the strategic program the Seahawks customized for him. My question is: what are your thought on Gilliam and his upside? Could he be a serious contender for the RT position, which would allow Britt to take over at LG?

  33. I'm Replying... says:

    Paying for Thomas or Cameron is gonna cost the team a lot….. What do you guys think about J. Thomas’ teammate Virgil Green?? He’s a really good run blocker much like Zach Miller. He’s also very big, athletic, and still young. He hasn’t been given the opportunities to produce big numbers and hasn’t started many games. Someone to keep an eye on. He has a good attitude, not going to break the bank, and not going to demand the ball.

    • Rob Staton says:

      There might be a reason he hasn’t had those opportunities in four year with Denver.

      • Steele1324 says:

        Green only got opportunities last season, when Thomas became out of favor, Pey Pey froze him out, other teammates questioned his toughness.

  34. Jeremy says:

    I read through the comments and saw a lot of talk about what Julius Thomas can’t do. The Seahawks don’t think that way. Also, while I do not condone any of the crimes that Aaron Hernandez likely committed, the on field combination of Gronk and Hernandez was lethal for Brady. The Seahawks needed a career best game from Chris Matthews to stay in the Super Bowl and Ricardo Lockette was far more prominently featured than he needed to be.

    While I’d like them to continue building depth, I’d also like to see them try to get true difference makers to increase the top end talent on the roster. Guys with a smaller spread of production outcomes cost more and we don’t have the access that the Seattle medical staff does to project future injuries based on physicals and testing. I’ll defer on trying to predict which players are likely to be healthy and which players are likely to be injured.

    I’d like to see them be aggressive in free agency and the draft to add increase the offensive talent on this team. Always compete. Go Hawks!

    • Rob Staton says:

      “I read through the comments and saw a lot of talk about what Julius Thomas canโ€™t do. The Seahawks donโ€™t think that way.”

      Nailed it.

    • peter says:

      excellent perspective. The above post is exactly why the pro’s of Thomas out weigh the cons. Seattle actually does pretty well in offensive efficiency/ranking categories but if they could bring in a real deal weapon like JT it would give them something now and as for the draft a way to let some players realistically grow into the team. Most of the WR prospects I can think that ROb has referenced realistically in Seattle’s wheelhouse Waller, Mcbride, Dorsett, Smith will all more then likely have a curve to get over before contributing immediately.

      If Thomas would play for a lower volume though no less diminished role as a Pass catching TE then I’d be stoked. I’m pretty sure that a blocking TE was brought in 5 years ago in Miller because that Oline was garbage. People can say what they will but without Miller last year the running game proof was in the pudding and anyone with eyes could see that Willson had way to long in the pocket during the SB to not have someone throw to and make something happen.

      • Volume 12 says:

        Well said Jeremy and Peter.

        As we know, it’s all about what a guy can do. Maximize and focus on those attributes/skills.

        A blocking TE should not be a priority. Can easily find one of those guys late in the draft (day 3 or UDFA) and or in the ‘bargain bin’ of FA.

  35. JaviOsullivan says:

    Rob, what do you think about Chris Culliver?

    Too expensive for Seattle?

  36. Hawkfaninmt says:

    My thoughts on JT:

    The money at 8M is what you pay for a top 5 TE in the league and that is what JT has been. I know it’s easy to say Cameron is as good but may 2M per year less, but we don’t know that. I feel like being lost in all of the JT is a product of Manning, is the idea that maybe JC is a bit of a product of Norv and Chud. He was ok before them, great with them, and back to ok without them. I think the talent gap between JT and JC warrants an extra 2-3M towards JT.

    Now my only concern with JT, and it is one that we can’t KNOW for a certainty, is his mentality. JS has pointed to the psychological side of players and whether or not their mentality fits in the locker room. The interesting thing to me is that they could not have known this info during trade time without violating tampering rules. In any case, I don’t think cost/value, or “the Manning factor” is the issue with JC. I think if his personality is considered a fit, he will be the next big puzzle piece for the Hawks.

  37. John_s says:

    Andre Holmes got the low restricted tender meaning the raiders will not receive any compensation if they don’t match an offer since he was an UFA. He’s a very intriguing WR who is just now coming in to his own.

    • Dawgma says:

      And if you’re wondering why Kearse has a 2nd rd tender scheduled to overpay him at 2.something million, here’s the reason.

  38. peter says:

    Volume12, just was catching up on pro days and saw one of your early mentions Marcus Hardison had himself a good one.

    Just read there were a ton of scouts for Rakeem Nunez-Roches and other pro day for southern Miss. Wonder if his stock creeps up a bit higher now if medicals clear.

    Are teams allowed to do medical testing on prospects further at their facility after the combine testing and/or if someone wasn’t invited to the combine?

    Also that their were lowing reviews for all Dline men at Clemson’s pro day. I know Seattle isn’t in the Market yet for interior and exterior d line I think with the age and injuries, Williams/Mcdaniels/Mebane again Mebane/Hill any time may be the right time to start looking to the future at those positions. And not trot out old MMA enthusiasts for one last go around.

    • peter says:

      I don’t know what a “lowing review,” is…but I know what a Glowing review is! and I know the difference between their and there…sheeesh

      • Volume 12 says:

        I am not surprised one bit about DT Marcus Hardison Peter. This should be the guy they target early at the the DT position. He’s just scratching the surface of his potential.

        SO Miss. DT Rakeem Nunez-Roche is another guy I like, He’s from Belize, was homeless for awhile growing up, great motor, engaging/big personality, gritty. But I wonder if not having 33′ inch arms worries Seattle. I know he he has like 32 1/2′ inch arms, but Seattle hasn’t drafted a DT with less than 33′ inch arms just like the 32′ inch arm cut-off at CB and DE-LEO.

        Clemson has a couple appealing D-lineman that. ould be had in the mid rounds. DE Corey Crawford who has impressive length, and an under the radar guy in Travers Barnes who’s kind of along the lines of DL Michael Bennett and could be a nice upgrade for Demarcus Dobbs, Landon Cohen, etc.

        • Volume 12 says:

          Should say Tavares Barnes not Travers.

          Peter, one guy I personally love is Nebraska WR Kenny Bell. So gritty, probably the best run blocking receiver of this draft class, tough after the catch, can highpoint passes, contributed in the screen game, not afraid of getting hit over the middle, fantastic athlete, huge personality/character. What are your thoughts on him? I’m just curious what you think, because I love bouncing ideas off of ya.

          Really strikes me as a guy that could grow with RW and be his ‘dude,’ as HOUSE brilliantly put it.

        • Steele1324 says:

          I love Nunez-Roches. Hope nobody notices him (except the Seahawks)

          • peter says:

            Sadly the word on his pro day was that 20 teams were there and I honestly can’t think of anyone else on that roster that would garner 20 teams interest

  39. bobbyk says:

    Some good/interesting dialogue on whether we need a good blocking TE. I’m leaning towards a guy like JT or JC not being able to block is perfectly fine for the many above reasons mentioned (especially with a guy like Gilliam being able to come in in certain packages).

    With all of this being said, I do believe that a Willson/JTorJC combo at TE (neither of whom can block well) means that we need a much better right tackle in terms of being able to pass protect. Yes, Britt will improve, but he has to and I don’t know that he has the potentil to ever be competent there if he’s going to be on an island all by his slow feel and two inch arms. I’ve said this before, but he seems like a guard. With that being said, does anyone think there’s a chance we move him to LG (he did play on the left side at Mizzu) and draft a RT? Or do we continue to try to get by with a pair of turnstiles at tackle when Wilson drops back to pass?

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      The Seahawks would be wise to draft two offensive linemen like they did last year. The line has to improve. I am still on the fence about Britt at RT because he was schooled by the good defensive ends. Maybe he will make it, maybe not. Seahawks need a better left guard, need a better backup center, and I pray every day that Okung stays healthy. Lots of good choices this draft.

      • Volume 12 says:

        Absolutely. One in the first 2 rounds and another somewhere in the 5th-7th round range. Also would be nice to bring in an UDFA or two.

      • Ed says:

        Okung/Sweezy/Unger all up in 2 years or less. Okung and Unger miss a lot or play sub their talent level. I would say take 2 OL in first 3 rounds. 1 G/C type and 1 T type that could possibly go from RT to LT if they decide to part with Okung.

        1st OL (Fisher/Erving)
        2nd WR (Dorsett/Agholor/Perriman/McBride)
        3rd OL (Sambrillo/Jackson/Grasu)

  40. Trevor says:

    I think our first priority in Free Agency should be a mismatch Tight End #1 Cameron, #2 J. Thomas. If we cant then I think a trade down in the early second and picking up Max Williams is now a viable option with the Beast back in the fold.

    That being said will really miss Zach Miller. Warrior on the field, dirty work blue collar player who did his job with class & selflessness. Salute you & what you did for the Seahawks. Wish you could stay. One of my favorite players & one of the best blocking tight ends I’ve seen play the game! I think he exemplified what it means to be a pro. I was really hoping he could get healthy and come back on a restructured deal.

  41. bobbyk says:

    I think it would be cool if the Hawks called the Vikes about Kalil (who played for Carroll at USC). Viking fans here in Minnesota are really down on him and he’s become a whipping boy. He showed so much potential as a rookie and got dinged up last year and played anyway. He’d make a good RT for us and Okung insurance should anything happen to him (which usually does). That’d open LG for Britt, where I think he should be anyways. What would it cost to get him though? Idk.

  42. Ho Lee Chit says:

    Doug Hendrickson, Marshawn’s agent, reports that Marshawn has no plans to retire and will play out his 3 year deal in Seattle if the team wants him. So, we can forget about Gurley or any other RB being drafted early to take his spot.

    • Colin says:

      I really doubt he plays all 3 years, to be honest. Now if he’s got his eye on the HOF, three more typical Lynch seasons would probably get him there, even if the senile Peter King (among others) won’t acknowledge it.

      • Volume 12 says:

        I could see Lynch having another fantastic year like last year, in 2016 he starts declining some, having a good year again, but not like 2014. And then if he so chooses, in 2017 could be used as a weapon and red zone threat while mentoring the young bucks behind him at HB.

  43. smitty1547 says:

    I recently read on BR that Pete coached Thomas father, and that he had tweeted out that he would look good up in Seattle or Oakland. (his father tweeted)

  44. Ben2 says:

    I was reading some qotes from JT’s dad that criticized manning for being unapproachable. I think having an age contemporary franchise qb who is known for being collaborative will help is reel in Julius Tomas this year for about 9 mil apy

    • Steele1324 says:

      Get on Peyton’s bad side, and he is a real a-hole. There is footage of him raging at Thomas on the sidelines, after which JT wound up in the doghouse. (Peyton is the coach of that team, really.) It is no surprise that Greg T was upset and wants his son somewhere else.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        There is a reason some guys are HoF QBs.. attention to detail. Brady, Manning etc expect perfection every series, every snap, every down. RW might be the best at going “off schedule” and “backyard” football. If JT is comfortable with that type of offense, then he should come to Seattle. If he is looking for a more structured offense, go somewhere else.

        Something of note, mentioned by J Clayton this monring… Seattle is place to come play, because the guys make good money and have FUN. What is the point of playing football, if it is boring, a chore or otherwise a crappy team environment. If JT wants to take a little less, but have a lot of fun playing football, then Seattle might be a good landing spot….. better than at least 20 other teams in the NFL.

  45. Madmark says:

    Well now that Lynch will be resigned we need to keep him happy by improving the OL at the LG spot. I would give Tom Cable any draft pick he wants for a LG position after all he has had some great success with what he’s been given to date. Here’s an interesting stat I came by. Seattle when running the ball to the left side last year average 3.7 YAC. Going to the right side they averaged 4.0 YAC and going up the middle they did their best with a 5.4 YAC. Say what you will but Carpenter wasn’t a complete bust. After 2 injured plague years he did start 2 superbowls but we can do better. I have 5 different candidates to look at and if Cable wants him I would go out of my way to give him what he wants.
    31 Cameron Erving G/C Florida St. 6’5″ 313lbs. 34 1/8″ arms, 10 3/8″ hands, 5.15-40, 30 reps, 30.5 vj, 112″ bj, 7.48- 3cone, 4.63-yd shuttle. Like Sweezy, who we need to extend, Erving was a DL but unlike Sweezy he has 2 yrs playing on offense already. If Unger should go down well we slide Erving into C position and plug good old Bailey into that LG spot. What a find he has been filling that 6th man role. If its possible I would extend him also not only as a reward but because we know what we have there.
    63 Ali Marpet G/C Hobart 6’4″ 307lbs. 33 3/8″arms, 10″hands, 4.98-40, 30 reps, 30.5″vj, 108″bj, 7.33-3cone, 4.47-20yd shuttle. Division 3 but you got to love his potential and I get a feeling that 2 years from now he be a Gem to have play for you. I know he’s a reach here but he’ll be long gone somewhere in the middle of the 3rd round and they ‘ll reach like britt if that’s the guy they want.
    97 Ty Sabrilio T/G Colorado St. 6’6″ 311lbs. 33″arms, 10″hands, 5.36-40, 23 reps, 29″vj, 97″bj, 7.54-3cone, 4.58-20yd shuttle.
    127 Daryl Williams T/G Oklahoma 6’5″ 327lbs. 35″arms, 9 3/4″hands, 5.34-40, 27 reps, 26″vj, 97″bj, 5.15-20yd shuttle. What stood out for me was he’s physical at the point of attack and comes off the line with bad intensions. That’s a Cable quality if I every heard one.
    159 Terry Poole T/G San Diego St. 6’5″ 307lbs. 33 1/4″arms, 9 1/2″hands, 5.09-40, 25 reps, 31″vj, 113″bj, 7.9-3cone, 4.66-20ys shuttle.
    What ever happens a OL is going to get drafted and I’m sure Cable has the best idea of who it will be. I ‘d go even futher to help Cables line with a TE. Even if we sign a Thomas or Cameron we will still lose a Zach miller and his blocking ability. I see Anthony McCoy gone also but I had always rooted for him. I’m not sure about Tony Moeaki whos a UFA. This is my typical TE pick like 2 years ago when I wanted Travis Kelce of the Chiefs. I think this guy goes in the range of pick 100 to 120
    Clive Walford TE Miami 6’4″ 251lbs. 34″arms, 10 1/4″hands, 4.79-40, 20 reps, 35″vj, 120″bj, 4.57-20yd shuttle. I like this guy cause he blocks, has a NFL run after the catch, and throw in long arms and big hands he make a nice number 3 TE.
    If Erving isn’t there at 31 why not do what your 4th of March draft does and trade down and get a Marcus Peter CB Washington 6’0″ 197lbs. 31 1/2″arms, 8 3/8″hands, 4.53-40, 17 reps, 37.5″vj, 121″bj, 7.08-3cone, 4.08-20yd shuttle, 11.26-60yd shuttle. No matter what I’m sure a veteran safety from FA will be brought in. So instead of Marcus we go ahead and get another talent in that 40 to 50 range.
    Carl Davis DT Iowa 6’5″ 320lbs. 34 5/8″arms, 11″hands, 5.07-40, 33″vj, 103″bj, 7.91-3cone,4.47-20yd shuttle. Scruggs back but Williams is gone. Could be other Williams is gone also. Mebane has 1 year left why not draft his rotation guy and eventual replacement. I actually loved your WR pick in the 4 March draft.
    Tre McBride WR William&Mary 6’0″ 210lbs. 32 1/8″arms, 8 3/8″hands,4.41-40, 16 reps, 38″vj, 121″bj, 7.08-3cone, 4.08-20yd shuttle, 11.7-60yd shuttle. He” could be a taller version of a Golden Tate and he can take Lockett place on the special teams but on the offensive side. He will defiantly be better than Walters LOL. I can see this guy in the 75 to 90 pick range. I’ll be watching FA about Jeron Johnson also.
    Kris Drummond S Michigan St. 6’1″ 208lbs. 32 1/2″arms, 10 3/8″hands, 4.65-40, 39.5″vj, 119″bj, 7.09-3cone, 4.33-20yd shuttle, 12.03-60yd shuttle. You had him as the 5th round comp pick. I don’t think he’ll last that long. I think he’s off the board by pick 130 to pick 150. After our 3rd pick at 96 the 4th round isn’t going to be 127 due to 3rd round comp picks being added and by the time 5th rd comp comes up we could be looking at a pick 170. Something to think about. But for this next year we do not need a RB and there is no question about our group of RB will be for next year. I can live with that.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      Cameron Erving G/C Florida St. – Loved him since mid of NCAA season. He has the ability to play C,G and T .
      Ali Marpet G/C Hobart – Can’t say I heard much of him, but his Combine was worth noting. If the SPARQ numbers line up close to where I think they might, he is an OBVIOUS Seattle choice in the 3rd or 4th round.
      Daryl Williams T/G Oklahoma – The nasty streak is what you are wanting…. think Hutchinson in disposition on the OL at LG… if so, in 2015 you could see Lynch rush for 2000 yards with that type of OL to run behind.
      He would also be stamping his ticket into the HoF. ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. vrtkolman says:

    Yes yes yes for JT. He doesn’t have to block to help out the run game. The defense would have to key in on him meaning less defenders in the box. Really, ever since Hasselbeck left every single team has played Seattle’s offense the same way – stack the box and man up on the receivers. It would be nice to change that next season. He would be the perfect receiver for Russell Wilson’s deep lob passes.

    In addition, Draft a WR (or two) from this great class and hope one can start on the outside. Then you are looking at a very scary offense.