Monday draft notes

September 23rd, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Vic Beasley continues to make an impression
You can see the tape of his performance against NC State above. What a performance it was too — three sacks, three tackles for a loss and two tipped passes. A couple of weeks ago we featured him on the blog and increasingly I feel the need to put him on Seattle’s radar. How do you ignore a pass rusher with this much speed that has 15 sacks in his last 10 games? He fits into the SAM/LEO hybrid role and while the Seahawks are pretty well stocked at the position for now, Beasley looks so much like a fit in Seattle we have to keep tabs on him.

Dominique Easley continues to rise
Florida’s Dominique Easley is another guy who just looks so much like a Seahawk. Let’s not forget that Michael Bennett is on a one-year contract. The way he’s playing so far, it’s going to be very difficult to keep him in Seattle for 2014 while also paying Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and K.J. Wright. If they’re looking for a cost effective replacement, Easley could be the guy. Hey — I’d extend Bennett’s deal tomorrow given the chance. But we’ve seen over the last few weeks that cap management is crucial to ‘win forever’ and choosing which guys to pay (and ultimately keep) will determine whether this is a short or long term window of Championship opportunity. Easley is a hybrid DE/DT who can line up anywhere. He lives in the backfield and had another big day against Tennessee on Saturday. If they do need to replace Bennett in the off-season, Easley could be the guy.

Brandon Coleman’s going the other way
Another one of the prospects we’re focusing on isn’t getting it done. Brandon Coleman (6-6, 220lbs) had just one catch for 25 yards against Arkansas on Saturday. Five other receivers had multiple catches in the game, and quarterback Gary Nova seemingly keyed in on Tyler Kroft and Leonte Carroo. After a nine-catch, 94-yard season opener (that wasn’t without error), Coleman has seen his production drop dramatically. In the three games since he has just four catches for 70 yards — with zero touchdowns (he had two in the opener). Nobody can question his upside, but he needed a big year after deciding to return to Rutgers. I’m going to try and watch the tape of the Arkansas game at the weekend to see what happened. But Coleman could be drifting towards a mid-round grade.

Eric Ebron is hit and miss
I had a chance to watch his tape against Georgia Tech over the weekend. The one-handed catches and ability to get downfield is impressive. I’ve not seen many tight ends run a sweep. He blocks well on the perimeter. But there’s also something a little laid back about his play. He plays the game at his own pace. There’s no denying his talent and there’s an opening for a top tight end to shoot up the board. But I just get the impression he could be even better. He’s one to monitor.

Anthony Barr is puzzling
At times last year Anthony Barr looked like the real deal. A converted full back, Barr had 13.5 sacks and could’ve declared for the 2013 draft. He decided to go back to UCLA and admitted he had work to do on his technique. He seems to have a good attitude and at 6-4 and 248lbs he has the length, speed and nose for the ball that the modern NFL is looking for in a pass rusher. However, I found his tape against Nebraska pretty vanilla. Other players on the UCLA defensive line impressed me more, he struggled to get much pressure and the big plays he had were a little incidental. I noticed he got his first sack of the season against New Mexico State on Saturday. After assuming he’d grow into a top-ten lock this year, I’m going to keep an eye on him over the next few weeks against Utah, Cal, Stanford and Oregon.

Cleveland Browns situation is fascinating
Peter King has a great angle in today’s MMQB. He discusses the constant regime change in Cleveland and how it is putting the team in an eternal state of rebuild. He also highlighted how important it is for a GM/front office staff to make good decisions early in a tenure. Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert are a poster child for how not to do things. Aside from a shambolic handling of the coaching situation (keeping Eric Mangini against the odds, then making an uninspiring appointment to replace him) they also got big decisions wrong in the draft. Trading down is often considered quite a trendy thing to do among fans. As King points out, 2011′s deal with Atlanta gave the Falcons Julio Jones while the Browns in return received Phil Taylor, Greg Little, Owen Marecic and Brandon Weeden. Cleveland’s new front office will have to do a better job of building a roster at the key positions. And frankly, it’s a bit rich for Holmgren to come out and criticise his replacement — as he did in the Seattle media last week.

What is Seattle’s biggest need?
It’s something we’ll consider after every game, although I suspect we won’t truly have an answer until we discover who will or won’t be retained by the team. After watching Sidney Rice score two touchdowns yesterday, my initial thought was there’s no receiver eligible for 2014 that I want to see replace him. But the reality is, that might have to happen to keep some of Seattle’s other talented young players on the roster. Despite my reluctance to keep going back to the offensive line well – the best place to make savings next year is going to be replacing free agents Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan. Unless they’re willing to sign terrible deals to stay in Seattle. Which they might. You never know what demand will be like on the open market. I like both Giacomini and McQuistan and I think they get a rough deal from a lot of fans. But again, it’s about determining who you can’t live without, and releasing the ones you can. Right now, I’m not sure you can live without Sidney Rice — even at $9.7m a year. He’s not an elite receiver who’s going to put up 1500 yards, but he’s the closest thing Seattle has to a true #1. Things could change if Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey continue to develop and show they’re capable of starting in the NFL.

One quarterback in round one again?
It could happen. I watched Tajh Boyd’s tape versus NC State and he looks like a solid second rounder to me. Throw in Johnny Manziel’s character questions, the unlikelihood (in my opinion) of Brett Hundley and Marcus Mariota declaring and the lack of alternatives — and we might only see Teddy Bridgewater go in the first round. A lot will depend on need, of course. But I also think there’s enough defensive talent in the 2014 class to feel like teams in major rebuilding mode won’t want to force anything. I can see one team convincing themselves they can turn likely free agent Josh Freeman into a productive starter. Plus, we could see Ryan Mallett and Nick Foles traded. So there are alternatives outside of the draft. For example, three years removed from missing on Christian Ponder (it’s safe to call that a miss) — are Minnesota really going to spend another high pick on a quarterback not named Teddy? Or do they look for alternatives?

Jadeveon Clowney still #1
This is going to be another year, I suspect, where we see a lot of offensive tackles go early. Jake Matthews, Taylor Lewan, Cyrus Kouandijo and Zack Martin could be top-15 picks. Antonio Richardson and James Hurst could join them in round one. I still think Jadeveon Clowney is nailed on to go first overall. Yes, quarterback is a vital position. I’d just have a hard time passing on Clowney and his frightening upside. Watching the Jaguars on Sunday, if you put a rookie quarterback on that roster it makes no difference. They are devoid of talent. As much as I like Teddy Bridgewater, he’s not Andrew Luck. Jacksonville is another two drafts (maybe three) from being competitive. Just take the player who is most likely to be a superstar — and that’s Clowney. And yes — I’m assuming Jacksonville picks first overall.

53 Responses to “Monday draft notes”

  1. Matt says:

    Rob, what’re your thoughts on Donte Moncrief, WR from Ole Miss? He’s not quite as tall as Coleman (6-3) but he’s still a big bodied receiver at 220+ pounds. He also put up solid numbers last year playing on one of the more average teams in the SEC.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not had a chance to watch Ole Miss this year yet unfortunately Matt.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      I like him. Makes a lot of bonehead plays, but then you see a little bit of route savvy with tons of potential to clean it up. He’s got some ball skills, but doesn’t high point it. He’s also got one of the lesser starting QBs in the league, IMO. Great size and speed. Agile. Can tend to body catch.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        He’d be a solid 2nd round guy. I’ve had plenty of discussions regarding him with other east coast draftniks and I’m at odds with most. I tend to try to see receiver prospects through what I believe is the Pete/John lens.

        He’s big bodied, but you watch him on tape and he plays small. He also body catches a lot. The worst thing I can say about him, is that he doesn’t exhibit really good ball skills. I know I’ve harped on this many times but the evidence based on who Pete drafts and who makes the roster is undeniable. If you can’t fight for the ball, you can’t play for Pete. He is ruthlessly consistent on that point. I’d go so far as to say if a prospect you’re looking at has trouble with this, he’s not even on our board.

        Ball skills are kind of like speed/elusiveness for runners. You really either have it or you don’t.

  2. adog says:

    have not watched much college football this year, but one game i did was South Carolina and Georgia. Both of their qb’s impressed me. Connor Shaw really stood firm in the pocket and made some nice throws. I think he could be 4 or 5 round option at the position. I also noticed a huge receiver for Georgia, Rumph, who seems like he could be a Vincent Jackson, Brandon Marshall type receiver?

  3. kyle says:

    Rob, you are spot on in regards to determining the Seahawks needs next year in the draft, because for every position you could say there’s a need for there are returning starters whose contract expires next year and our draft priority will depend on what we do in free agency probably more than any other year of the Caroll/Schneider regime

    WR: Does Rice keep his contract? Do we re-sign Tate? Do we keep Baldwin at RFA?
    TE: Does Miller keep his contract? do we look for his replacement?
    DE/DT: Do we re-sign Bennett? can we afford him? Do we re-sign McDaniel? Does Bryant keep his contract?
    OL: Do we re-sign Giacomini and McQuistan?
    CB: Do we re-sign Browner and Thurmond?

    One thing we do know is that the answer to keeping all of those players cannot/ will not be …Yes.

    • kyle says:

      From what we have seen from the season thus far, I am tempted to say the biggest need is O-line even if we attempted to re-sign one or both of those two. I am still concerned that we can weather the injury storm and have consistent play throughout. My mind could totally change by the end of the season, but this is my week three perception.

      Also, I have to believe that we make some changes at WR/TE after this year. It’s great to have the big time FA skill players when you are searching for your franchise QB. But once you find him you benefit from the fact that your scheme and his talent makes those skill players better.

      If I had to guess I think we will prioritize signing some of our defensive talent, letting some skill players renegotiate or move on, and prioritize those positions in the draft next year to replace them if need be.

      • Rob Staton says:

        It could be that they see Harvin as the investment at WR and for the future it’ll be a case of drafting smart… using picks in the R2-4 range (like Green Bay) and trying to always find the next Doug Baldwin. It’s a good point Kyle that we could see a major transition moment now at receiver, with Rice, Tate and eventually Baldwin perhaps moving on for the sake of keeping Wilson, Sherman and Thomas long term.

        • Nolan says:

          Does everyone think Tate and Baldwin will get huge deals on the open market? I mean I love both of them I really do but they don’t have numbers and our system doesn’t really give them a chance toget numbers in bunches do you think they just get big deals with teams assuming they can use them more and increase there production.

          • AlaskaHawk says:

            I see Tate and Baldwin as good second receivers. They are probably worth 4-6 million a year. They are such good players, we really need both of them. Also our draft history indicates that we won’t pick a top receiver in the draft (Tate being the only high pick in three years), so we are left with paying for the ones we got.

            I am concerned about the long term effect of signing Harvin. With his injury prone history it appears like a gamble that will probably cost us two other key players next year.

            • Miles says:

              We won’t lose Baldwin for at least a year. He will be a RFA this offseason and I’m sure we’ll tender him at the first round level. I don’t think many teams are down to give up a first + a hefty contract for Baldwin. But since Baldwin is an RFA we can dangle the carrot just for kicks anyway.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’d also include Mebane as a question mark. He has a very cuttable contract after this year.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        If we’re talking contract savings, then I think we are looking at losing some of the following candidates:

        Mebane
        Bryant
        Clemons
        Rice
        Tate (no resigning)
        Browner (no resigning)
        McQuistan
        Giacomini
        Miller

        These are the contracts that are problematic. Now it’s entirely likely, that Bowie/Bailey are the guys that will take over for McQuistan/Giacomini. Obviously they aren’t right now. But we know this is a system that takes a while to develop.

        It’s also possible, maybe even probable that McQuistan and Giacomini will not command even their current salaries on the open market. Realistically one could say the same things about Miller and Rice too. Their production is way below their salary. That’s not to say they aren’t good players. But our system just doesn’t funnel opportunities to a dominant play maker. Rice and Miller are being paid like they are the only options on the team. Regardless if we had a replacement option in place — no other team is going to offer either of those players the same salary we are paying them.

        So it is possible that one or more of these 4 are cut/resigned or renegotiate to a lower figure on their own. Thus retaining them at a more appropriate market value.

        At any rate, our draft needs probably will be aimed at replacing one or more of those salaries. I suspect we’ll have a lot of options available since this candidate list is so varied. I suspect that WR will figure prominently in day one or two, since we have 2 potential expense replacements in that corps and the depth at WR looks to be very very good.

        We have the ability to be fluid again this year and let the draft come to us. I’m guessing we’ll see us trade down again multiple times as a result. Nothing earth shattering I know. But with such a broad list of candidates and no real ‘need’ list as it pertains to absence of talent — I’m thinking it’ll be an even bigger head scratcher than this year was.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I suspect they rate Bowie and Bailey enough to believe they could be the solution for McQ and Breno. And at an UDFA price… cheap too.

          • Attyla the Hawk says:

            Bingo. I’ve said exactly the same thing re: Bailey/Bowie. While I believe Seattle was interested in OL talent — even at 56 last year — I also think hitting on these two will change that thinking significantly in 2014.

            Still, if the right prospect slides for unexpected reasons, I can see us using an early pick here. Obviously this is an organization that doesn’t see need as we see it. But it would have to be a pretty awesome talent and it would likely have to be a kind of Jesse Williams situation where his draft grade dwarfs the other available options.

            This draft I suspect will be even more wide open than last year. But I believe strongly that whomever we select on day one and possibly all of day two will be salary replacement prospects. So I would feel confident that we can put to bed ‘let’s draft a guard in round one’ talk on that basis alone.

            While it’s still early, if Bennett continues to perform I think the chances are high that we aren’t looking at pass rushers early in 2014. That would be a welcome change of events.

      • JW says:

        agree about Mebane.

        There is a lot of money wrapped up in pretty mediocre performers right now.

        I like having Sidney Rice on this team. You have to ignore the yardage and TD totals and just look at impact on the field. Having three or four guys the other team has to respect is huge. And I’m still in the “make the young QB as comfortable as possible” mode. Russell still looks a bit jittery at times. Sidney, Tate, Baldwin, Miller = a really nice security blanket for your young QB. Maybe Percy makes one of those guys expendable. But no more than that, in my mind. Not yet. And Miller takes a 4M dollar pay cut next year so I don’t see that as too big of a problem. He’s a reliable red zone target. Probably worth it.

        If Bowie and Bailey can pan out into serviceable players, the cost savings of letting McQuistan and Breno walk will be huge factor going forward. If they can pan out, they shed about 5.5M right there. That has a massive impact on how signable some guys like Tate, Bennett, or Baldwin are. Or how palatable Rice’s contract is.

        I hate to put that much gravity on a 7th rounder and a UDFA, but this is the strategy they’ve embraced.

        • JW says:

          to add: I really hope they re-sign Tate. He bring a lot to the table, and while he does a lot of the same things Percy does, I see that as a good thing, not a bad thing. I fear him getting a massive offer and not fitting the payroll here, but I hope he can be brought back. He does a lot with a little, which is what this system requires.

          • Michael says:

            I too am afraid of the offer Tate might get if he hits the open market. I see no reason he couldn’t put up Randall Cobb type numbers if he were in a similar scheme situation.

            I really hope Tate is part of the plan going forward. To me it doesn’t really make sense to bring in Harvin as a replacement for Tate. He is more expensive, less durable, and is a true slot guy while Tate can play outside or in the slot. I have to imagine the dream was to keep these two guys together and save money by getting a cheaper big/possession guy.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I have a hunch they’ll be determined to keep Tate as one of ‘their’ guys. He also has a tremendous rapport with Wilson and they’re close off the field. However, Tate will know that the one position consistently getting overpaid on the free market is receiver. So it comes down to his determination to do a deal, whether they’d be willing to cut other guys to keep Tate around and what interest is genuinely out there. It’s hard to imagine they’d be able to retain him, but not impossible.

              • Attyla the Hawk says:

                I simply cannot see us willing to commit 10m/yr for Harvin, 9m/yr for Rice and likely 5m/yr or more for Tate. That’s close to 20% of our total salary cap tied up in the WR corps.

                This is not a passing team. It’s not central to how we go about winning. It makes zero sense to tie up those resources for that function. If we keep Tate, Rice simply cannot be on this team. I think it’s really that simple.

                We’d like to keep Tate. And maybe we’d like to keep Tate more than keeping Rice. But either way, I see WR being our undisputed #1 need in the draft. The salary cap reality is going to force us to lose one or the other. Depending on who declares, this could be an exceptionally deep draft for WR. Which should result in prospects with high relative grades falling to the last picks in the rounds.

  4. Donovan says:

    Josh Gordon is apparently being shopped by the Browns. He fits the dynamic, big play receiver mold and he’s cheap.

    If you were the Hawks, what would you offer up to get him?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not sure how cheap he is after Sunday. The Browns could legitimately quote a second round pick after that performance against Minnesota. He’s a major risk to be suspended long term which scares me off, plus you’d have to plan to give him a new contract down the line if you’re paying anything more than a third.

      I like Gordon but can’t see a scenario where I’m trading for him in Seattle.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        I’d say definitively no.

        Risk wise as well as club control wise it’s not wise. If you figure he won’t really be effective until after a training camp with Seattle, that leaves us with 2 years of club control, and needing to extend after 2014.

  5. Kenny Sloth says:

    WOW! I wasn’t too impressed by Beasley’s tape from last year, but he absolutely tore it up in that game. That spin move was wicked. He has a great inside move, too. Bull rush looks powerful.

    Really quick. Instinctive. Maybe not as fast as Irvin, but I think I’d grade him higher based on such a substantially higher floor.

  6. JC says:

    I watched the North Carolina game and was impressed with CB Tim Scott. He doesn’t have Seahawky measurables and you can’t judge pass coverage against Georgia Tech, but he was getting off those nasty cut blocks and making plays in the open field all afternoon.

  7. James says:

    Rob, regarding a replacement for Michael Bennett, the way he is currently playing, he is getting darn close to being that long-sought elite interior pass rusher. PCJS had, prior to Michael, found it impossible to find one, so I think they will be loathe to let Bennett get away, assuming his health checks out (word is he might need off-season shoulder surgery?). If he keeps this up, he could move ahead of other potential cap casualties, such as Rice, Mebane, and Clemons or Avril.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Possibly, I just don’t know what scope they have to give anyone a big deal with Sherman and Thomas likely to re-sign next off-season. They might need to cut guys just to keep them. Signing Bennett on top of that might be a luxury.

      • Turp says:

        There are times where Bennett looks irreplaceable on this defense. I’ll be bummed when he moves on.

        • Rob Staton says:

          The way he’s playing right now, he’s almost as much of a re-signing priority as Thomas/Sherman.

          • Attyla the Hawk says:

            Agreed. He’s also still young at 27 yrs.

            It’s going to take the salaries of both Mebane and Bryant to extend Sherman. Bennett is probably going to require cuts from the offensive side of the ball.

            At this point, assuming Bennett is resigned, I would see the following happening:

            Cuts 25m:

            Clemons 9.6m/0 dead
            Bryant 8.5m/0 dead
            Rice 9.7m/2.4 dead

            Extensions (22m):

            Thomas 7m (3.5m increase)
            Sherman 14m (13.5m increase)
            Bennett 7m (2m increase)
            Tate 4m (3m increase)

            Avril’s contract is expensive but also constructed in such a way that he can’t be cut. Effectively, 7m of his 2014 contract will be guaranteed. When he signed and with that structure, that told me that Clemons was likely gone after this season. Clemons’ salary cap hit essentially being usurped by Avril.

            Hill and Williams looked like moves to make the Mebane/Bryant moves possible. It’s also possible that Harper was an attempt to do the same with Rice. I expect Seattle to make attempts again next draft for the same intentions.

            It’s also probable that we relieve ourselves of McQuistan (3.3m) and Giacomini (4.2m). So the Rice cut could be avoided and we’d still be able to extend all 4 of those players. It would only be a one year reprieve as Rice’s money will go to Wilson.

  8. David says:

    i could see Scruggs (if he comes back to form) being a Michael Bennett replacement.

  9. AndrewP says:

    You can add Kirk Cousins to the list of tradeable names too… Washington is a mess, and needs all the picks they can get to rebuild that team around RGIII. If they can get a 3rd/4th rounder to help plug another hole on that D, I think they have to do it.

  10. Jeff M. says:

    A rundown on possible savings from veteran releases next year (best I can figure, all data from spotrac.com):

    Rice would have a 9.7m cap hit and 2.4m dead money for potentially 7.3m savings.
    Clemons would have a 9.7m cap hit and 2.2m dead money for potentially 7.5m savings.
    Red would have an 8.5m cap hit and 3m dead money (I think? depends on the details of his guarantee and his 2014 roster bonus) for potentially 5.5m savings.
    Miller would have 7m cap hit and 2m dead money for potentially 5m savings.
    Mebane would have 5.7m cap hit and only 400k dead money for potentially 5.3m savings.

    Those are the main ones of interest. We can also probably get some decent cap savings by extending Okung (current 2014 cap hit 11.2m but that could be converted to signing bonus and spread over more years), and possibly some slight ones by extending Avril (current 2014 cap hit 9.3m).

    • Rob Staton says:

      Looks like Mebane’s last year in Seattle.

      • Nick says:

        Not sure I understand all of the Mebane hate. Sure maybe he hasn’t looked as dominant as he did last season to start the year but I don’t think he is any sort of liability or playing that poorly. For what you would save with him I would rather keep him especially if you are going to lose Bennett, or at least until we draft a capable replacement.

        • Cameron says:

          Hate is a pretty strong word to be throwing around. Everyone here wants the best team money will buy. The question will always be ‘who would you rather have?’ There are many factors including player age, positional importance, and availability of cheaper, younger talent. Frankly, if I had a choice between keeping Mebane or one or both of Thomas/Sherman, it’s not even a question.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I dislike the use of the word ‘hate’. I don’t ‘hate’ Brandon Mebane. But they just drafted a prospective one technique (Jordan Hill) in round three. You can make a tremendous saving by cutting Mebane, around $5m. The Hill pick to me looks increasingly like planning ahead. As we’ve discussed here, it’s about managing the situation. Keeping the ‘must keeps’ and letting go the guys you can live without. I’ll be stunned if Mebane is in Seattle next season.

          • A. Simmons says:

            Until I see someone step up and do what Mebane does, I don’t see us cutting him. That big man that can hold up at the point of attack against double teams is hard to find. So far Mebane has been pretty rock solid at the position.

            I think we’ll see Red gone first. He’s have too much trouble staying healthy. I think they can find a replacement for Red easier than Mebane with as much or more upside. I like Red. But we’ve seen how this team operates. If you can’t stay healthy, you don’t stay on the team getting paid big money.

            • Rob Staton says:

              In fairness, they’ve cut other guys without knowing if the replacement can get it done. Mike Rob saw that. They drafted Hill in round three for a reason and IMO there’s a reason why Red is a captain every year and constantly praised by PC.

              • Kenny Sloth says:

                Isn’t Jesse Williams a 5/3 tech guy? I think we’ll see Big Red for another year, but that’s it.

                • Miles says:

                  It seems Jesse Williams is a prospect to fill that 5-tech and possibly the 3-tech role once Big Red goes. But by no means are the Seahawks sold on Williams in that spot. Whoever steps into that role will have survived a fierce training camp battle to acquire it. So you can look at guys like Sealver Siliga to compete for that role, as well as a rookie or two. One piece of news from the VMAC today: former Niners DT/DE Will Tukuafu visited the Seahawks after getting an injury settlement and release from SF. He seems to have the measurements to play that 5-tech role.

                  Of course, the visit may not mean anything and may not lead to a signing either, but it’s an indicator the Seahawks are already turning over rocks to find competition for the 5-tech.

                  I think Mebane goes after this year as we’ll have plenty of players next year who could potentially play 1-tech.

              • A. Simmons says:

                MikeRob held a similar position of leadership on the team. Mebane plays more snaps than Red. He has been the one solid rock on the defensive line holding that point. There is no bigger drop off in the run defense than when Mebane is out. I think some folks are underestimating Mebane’s value to the defensive line. He’s one of the blue collar D-line guys that make this thing work.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. Mebane’s salary has cap casualty written all over it and we’ll see many cases like this over the next few years. You simply cannot pay everyone. Replacing Mebane with Jordan Hill’s third round salary is extremely viable and enables you to have a better chance of keeping Sherman and Thomas long term. That’ll be the priority next off season, not keeping Mebane on $5m.

                  • A. Simmons says:

                    We will have to disagree. A defense doesn’t work if you don’t have an anchor on the defensive line, a guy that can hold the point versus double teams in the middle of the line. If you don’t have that guy, then teams will blow you off the line and run it down your throat. I have not seen Jordan Hill prove he can hold that point. You absolutely do not get rid of your anchor unless you have another guy in place who can do what he does. At the moment there is no proven guy on the roster that does what Mebane does. I haven’t heard a single thing from Pete or John that Mebane’s job has even been under competitive pressure from another player. His job appears to be one of the safest on the team. He is modestly priced for a one tech in a 4-3. Has show good durability. And is one of the better tackling DTs from what I have heard.

                    Not sure why you think Mebane is easy to replace. I’d like to hear a football argument rather than a salary cap argument, because you don’t hamstring your defense for salary cap reasons, especially when you preach stopping the run first as one of your defensive philosophies. Do you think Jordan Hill is a proven enough player to become the rock Mebane has been on this defensive line? What’s your football argument?

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    So much for agreeing to disagree then eh?

                    I’m not sure what you expect to hear because Pete Carroll isn’t likely to come out in pre-season and say, “Yeah… we’re cutting Mebane next off-season. He’s earning too much.” In fairness there were reports by Ian Rapoport during the summer that a veteran defensive lineman went to Carroll and asked whether he was about to lose his job. Nobody confirmed who it was. I think we have a decent idea with all the snaps Hill and Jesse Williams received.

                    We have to consider the cap, unfortunately. We’d all love to focus on just the football (certainly within the FO) but that is impossible if we want to stay competitive. If it was all about the football, Mike Rob is the full back on Sunday and not Derrick Coleman. Unless we want to see guys like Sherman, Thomas and others walk — Mebane’s $5m is likely going off the books. Unlike many players who carry dead money, Mebane is very moveable. And they just drafted a defensive tackle who has, in fairness, been described an ideal one-technique.

                    There’s no more risk than starting a rookie quarterback who hasn’t proven anything. Especially over a guy earning an absolute wedge (Flynn) and a guy who led the team the previous year (T-Jack). Starting a relatively untested one technique is small fry in comparison. It wouldn’t surprise me if they just drafted a random guy in round four or five next year and they started him at DT over Hill or anyone else. They frequently just allow competition to thrive and the best man wins, regardless of experience.

                    Cutting Mebane next year makes absolute sense unfortunately. And that’s how they (and we) have to think now. Who is replaceable, even if ideally you’d keep them? Who is earning a contract we can remove to keep our stars on the team? Mebane won’t be the only one. We’ll probably see another high profile cut (Rice? Miller?). We’ll see veteran guys like Giacomini and McQuistan probably move on. We might have to let Golden Tate walk.

                    Such is the salary cap era. If we want to stay good and pay Wilson/Sherman/Thomas/Harvin and others… then guys like Mebane are ripe for cutting. C’est la vie.

                  • Colin says:

                    I’m not sure I agree with “Mebane is solid as a rock”. His played declined big time as the season went on last year, although he’s been pretty good this year (minus the Carolina game). I don’t see the value in paying a 1 tech DT who gets absolutely ZERO pressure on the QB a sizeable chuck of money.

                    Mebane is a nice player, don’t get me wrong. But he is NOT worth sacrificing Richard or Earl for.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    This is exactly how I feel. He’s a decent player (although a little overrated IMO). But ultimately, needs must.

        • Attyla the Hawk says:

          It’s not hate Nick at all.

          Simply, one cannot pay all of them. By design, our roster will require that we let guys that are productive and guys we love walk. We are a great drafting team. In order to keep the really crucial players, we have to be wiling to trust our draft process to replenish/churn positions or players that are not crucial.

          If we didn’t have more critical resigns on the clock, keeping Mebane is a no brainer.

        • michael says:

          It isn’t hate. We’d all love to keep Mebane, but he is expensive and has likely already played his best ball. Guys like Thomas, Sherman, and Tate are 24-25. Pay those guys and have them play their prime years for you. Also, dropping Mebane would make keeping Bennett a realistic possibility.

          I think the development of Jesse Williams and Jordan Hill is an important factor here.

          No question though that Rice is the most obvious cut. Everyone on the list is similar in that that they are very good, but not elite players at their positions. The Seahawks have been very fortunate in this regard. We have gotten solid contributions from most of our large contracts. If he was willing to restructure that would be nice, but I am not betting on it. In my mind, cutting Rice to clear space for Tate is a no-brainer.

  11. Kenny Sloth says:

    As far as Mebane goes: I’m under the impression that Jordan Hill is his replacement. He’s lined mostly up at 1 tech his whole career.

    • A. Simmons says:

      Jordan Hill does not hold the point like Mebane does. He is smaller and less capable of doing so. Mebane is a powerful, squat D-lineman. He isn’t easily moved and he anchors that line. I think he is harder to replace than Red.

      • michael says:

        Good points. Mebane is a very unique player, like a little bowling ball. When he is playing well our DL is pretty formidable. Inconsistency has been a problem for him, possibly due to injuries from time to time that he plays through. I only watched him closely @CAR, and I thought he was getting pushed back pretty consistently. Not a good showing.

        So far this year I think Red is making a stronger case to keep his contract.