Podcast: Dissecting the Seahawks’ off-season

May 19th, 2020 | Written by Rob Staton

This week I was invited onto the Pedestrian Podcast to discuss Seattle’s off-season. Check it out below and post your own thoughts in the comments section…

You can now support Seahawks Draft Blog via Patreon by clicking the tab below.

Become a Patron!

99 Responses to “Podcast: Dissecting the Seahawks’ off-season”

  1. Happy Hawk says:

    Thanks again Rob! I look forward each day to see what new content you bring for us to digest. It has been a bright spot during these crazy times. SI put out an article on off season grades:
    https://www.si.com/nfl/seahawks/news/espn-expert-believes-seahawks-had-seventh-worst-offseason-in-nfl

    Clowney has hurt the process no doubt and the Hawks have had a perplexing number of moves but I still think the off season is somewhat savable: 1: Sign Clowney ( he is still out there) 2: Find a replacement for Woods ( Mebane?) 3: Trim down the 18 Offensive lineman and 8 Te’s and sign a veteran pass catching running back ( D Freeman?) and if humanly possible sign Griffen as well to a 1 yr deal. All this is still available but time is running out. JS put your head down and salvage this off season!

    • Rob Staton says:

      They certainly need to get a few things done.

    • Logan Lynch says:

      Unfortunately with no on-field work, there’s little incentive as a player to get things done right now. I’m expecting these moves to be made, but not for a while potentially.

    • Rob4q says:

      Saw this statement in the Barnwell ESPN article:

      “General manager John Schneider could clear out $5.4 million by releasing backup pass-catchers Jacob Hollister and David Moore.”

      I wonder if those two are the most likely to be cut or restructured to free up money? Seems like they like both of those guys and there are other ways to make it happen if needed…restructure KJ, release TE Willson, sort out the OL group. Moore/Dorsett are probably WR 3/4 and they like what Hollister did last year and what his skill set offers. But it’s been a strange offseason so who knows???

      • Rob Staton says:

        Moore — no

        Hollister — maybe

        Branden Jackson — definitely

        • Dutchenstein says:

          Did you notice the calendar pictures the Hawks released for their primetime matchups? 2 of the 4 had pictures of Jackson spot lighted on them. Wonder if the team holds him in higher regard and thinks he will be a factor this year. Clowney also mentioned him in his interview of players he enjoyed playing with.
          I personally hope we don’t go with Jackson, Green and Collier as our 5-techs this year, but that could be the case…

  2. Rob Staton says:

    Bruce Irvin was asked about the current pass rush.

    He basically said, ‘whoever else comes in’ — practically reviewing the group while acknowledging what we already know — that other moves are forthcoming.

    • GerryG says:

      Yeah Bruce is looking around thinking this is worse, or as bad as his last Raiders team DL.

    • Alec B says:

      With Bruce Irvin confirming in his interview today how much he wanted to be back in Seattle, it is even more of a surprise how much the Seahawks paid him

      • yimba says:

        him wanting to be in seattle doesnt mean he shouldnt be trying to get paid as much as he can. thats why they have agents. im sure bruce couldve made more somewhere else after the stats he had last year.

        • Hoggs41 says:

          I just feel like Bruce is going to have a very good year for us rushing the passer. Hopefully he only ends up playing DE and not LB.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Plus he suggested there wasn’t much of a market for him either.

        So… 32% pay rise.

    • EranUngar says:

      He also said he is coming back to play he old role – “First and second down, (strongside linebacker), and third down defensive end, so it’s pretty much the same,”

      If Irvin will start as as SAM and Brooks wins the WILL position in training camp, it makes KJ A 7.5M backup. They never release their vets late but its too much cap to spend on a backup LB.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Or just because Irvin says he’s playing SAM it doesn’t mean he’ll win the job. Which also means they’re paying over the odds for him.

        Either way, not good.

        But that’s the story of the off-season unfortunately. The plan makes little sense.

  3. dcd2 says:

    Really enjoy the podcast’s. I appreciate the commentary and thoughts that you are able to get to in rapid succession.

    You made about: If the plan had been able to sort out Clowney and maybe still add more DL help (via Bruce/Mayowa/EG or a DT), it would have allowed them to focus on the strength of the draft (WR/OT/RB).

    That is the route I was hoping for, but I wonder if they would have done anything differently in the draft. It seems that they still would have taken Brooks (Clowney and the DL don’t impact that choice). They may have still gone for Taylor, but maybe not. They would have certainly taken Lewis, as having 18 OL didn’t stop them from grabbing another.

    It just seems like there was no real cohesion between FA and draft. I suppose you could argue that they tackled OL in FA, so that they could focus on other needs. We then turned 4 picks into 3 and took an OL and LB though.

    It’s just hard to reconcile the fact that what we are currently looking at seems to be the actual plan from the FO.

    • BobbyK says:

      I agree – makes no sense they turned 4 picks into 3 and still took a couple spots it didn’t seem they needed that badly (OLB, OG) in comparison to the pass rush and other areas of need.

      • Simo says:

        After having more time to process how the draft went, I’ve become less surprised they went LB with their first choice. Of course we all know that fixing the pass rush was/is the #1 priority, but right behind that is the need to improve the run defense. This is Brooks’ primary strength, whether he plays SAM or WILL, and they will try hard to get him on the field early and often. He plays very well sideline to sideline and will add some much needed LB speed.

        PC/JS obviously love Taylor (were even considering picking him in R1), so they were convinced he wouldn’t be there at the end of R2. It’s worth trading up in order to select your LEO of the future, which is what they believe Taylor to be. This was their attempt to address the pass rush early.

        So, two picks on the two highest priority needs on defense! It also feels like a win to trade down into R3 and nab Lewis, who is likely the starting RG this year (and beyond).

        • Rob Staton says:

          Having linebackers who play the run well won’t matter if the D-line can’t keep them clean.

          • Simo says:

            Understood, and agree the DL still needs work! In fairness I did say LB and run defense wasn’t the #1 priority, but still a high priority they wanted to address. They clearly think very highly of Brooks, and Taylor as well, hopefully they are a couple building blocks towards the next great Seahawk defense.

          • cha says:

            $24million in Wagner and Wright, $6m more for Irvin in his SAM role, and high draft picks spent on Brooks and Barton.

            What’s the point if there are no gaps to shoot, they’re wrestling 330lb guards, and the DE’s can’t seal the edge?

            Everyone makes so much noise about getting RW some talent to work with to support him, how about some DL support for the RW of the defense (Wagner) ???

    • Adam Nathan says:

      As one of the hosts of the pod, appreciate you listening and enjoying!

  4. vbullen65 says:

    I don’t get it…I’ve seen several people take shots at you, calling you “negative”. You’re not being negative, you’re being honest.

  5. Darnell says:

    I appreciate Rob’s honesty quite a bit. Calls it like he sees it, on both sides.

    Though reality can hit even harder when you enter the offseason with visions of Von Miller, Calais Campbell, Chris Harris, Stefon Diggs, Jadeveon Clowney, OJ Howard and Everson Griffen dancing in your head.

    Underwhelmed can quickly become disappointed when hopes are set really high.

    • BobbyK says:

      Fans of teams like the Bengals and Lions have it made because they have been beaten down to not have expectations. Reminds me of “Hey Jealousy” I used to listen to in college by the Gin Blossoms, “If you don’t expect too much from me, you might not be let down.”

    • Spencer says:

      We came into this offseason saying the DL needed to be addressed. We talked about how its not unprecedented for a rapid turnaround, citing the Packers as an example. I think that set our expectations too high, as it doesn’t seem like the options were ever really there, combined with Clowney taking longer than expected. You cant just pull available, talented DL out of thin air.

      • Simo says:

        I think you’re right, to a point anyway. Many Hawks fans had extremely high expectations for improving not only the DL, but the entire team. Maybe they were a bit unrealistic, such as thoughts about resigning Clowney, and adding Ngakoue. That was probably just not a realistic option.

        As has been said a number of times now, Clowney taking the stance he has continues to throw a wrench in the Hawks plan. But they could have moved on much earlier as Rob has frequently suggested.

        If, however, they are able to get Clowney back, there’s a reasonable chance that they will have improved the DL, the LB group, the TE group, and possibly the OL (although I’m not as confident in this).

        • Spencer says:

          Possibly the secondary as well depending on what happens with Dunbar and if he can stay healthy / adapt to the Seahawks defense.

          I’ve talked about the 2012 Seahawks before as well – their top DEs were Clemons (11.5 sacks) and Irvin (8 sacks), and their next two leaders in sacks was either Jason Jones (3 sacks) or Greg Scruggs (2 sacks). In that year, they had Big Red Bryant at 5T. They lost to Atlanta in the divisional round, but that off-season is when they signed Bennett and Avril to complete the team.

          Of course, we don’t have the benefit of a young LOB, Bobby and Wagner, but it seems to me like they still need another off season to complete the circle.

      • Rob Staton says:

        There were some options though. They just never really got involved.

    • Rob Staton says:

      There was no reason not to have visions of those players. All but Von Miller were a available.

      • Big Mike says:

        Assume they didn’t go after some of those options, e.g. Fowler so they could afford both Clowney and the depth signings, DL, OL and TE. It can be argued, as you have done, that approach is misguided. Guessing they never felt that way. Assuming they do re-sign Clowney, this upcoming season is going to speak to whether their approach was correct or not.

        • Little Mike says:

          I think we all wanted Clowney + 1.

          Prior to free agency, I knew if we only retained Clowney, it wouldn’t be enough and would keep the team terribly flawed. My assumptions were that Clowney would be too pricey us. I also thought there was no way that we wouldn’t spend big FA money on the weakness of the draft, and the dearth of quality veterans hitting the FA market.

          I also thought we’d draft a rookie tackle. Then a rookie WR to pair with Metcalf long term and hedge for when Tyler’s contract is up.

          OG was not the depth area I thought we’d spend money on.

          JPP, Griffen, Quinn, Fowler. I figured we’d get 2 of those, and let some other team spend a fortune for Clowney. Spending here, and filling holes with the draft after.

          Aside from Clowney being too pricey, i got that all 100% wrong.

  6. Paul Cook says:

    Enjoyable podcast. Growing up in Chicago as a Chicago sport’s fan (rabid…I learned to read at a higher level reading the sports pages at an early age), I have often thought of the LOB Seahawks’ team like I do the mid 80’s Bears teams. Great teams that only won one SB when they both should have won at least one more. Your podcast at one point reminded of this.

    You’re a good talker.

  7. charlietheunicorn says:

    Do you guys/gals think that Cam Newton is done in the NFL?

    I seriously doubt he would come in for a vet minimum deal and his ego likely wouldn’t be able to handle a back-up role. Sort of the same idea as Kaepernick in that very specific aspects.

    • Spencer says:

      Once a starting QB goes down, some team will get desperate – he’s the only option available that could possibly salvage a season.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think he possibly is done

        • Mike says:

          75% chance he is done.

          He’s on the wrong side of age, injury, and performance drop off for a mobile QB. Also, it takes specific teams to want to run offenses featuring the mobile QB. There’s more of them now than there used to be, but you need to be “all in” on the philosophy, and in your QB1, to warrant Newton as a mobile QB2. Add in his ego and its a lot to deal with.

          Lets face it, no one valued him for his great intellect in dissecting a defense, or his pinpoint accuracy. He was decent at those, not elite. Those skill types can last longer in the league, e.g. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers?, etc.

          They valued him cause he was “good enough” at the QB skills, but could also be a massive hammer of a runner. Its a shorter shelf life. Taking a young kid with speed, a clean bill of health, a cheaper contract, and no ego.. much better option. See: Taysom Hill

    • cha says:

      Feels like the beginning of the end for him was when he refused to dive on the loose ball in the Super Bowl.

      • Ashish says:

        He should sign somewhere he can learn and improve while waiting for right opportunity. Jamies winston is good example with NO. He is still better than some of the QB. His good days are behind for sure.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Cam’s not going somewhere to learn. He’s a former MVP who’s been to the Super Bowl. He’s 31.

          • Ashish says:

            There is chance NE sign him at some stage, but if he is not flexible with his option he may vanish from NFL soon.

            • Rob Staton says:

              New England would’ve signed him by now.

              There’s no way Belichick, mid-season, suddenly brings in Cam Newton. He’s going to roll with what he has.

              • Mike says:

                Newton humble enough to “just do your damn job”? Unlikely. Unless its to be the towel boy. Cam definitely knows his way around those.

                He needs a coach that likes big personalities, not one that wants to sculpt everyone into a cog of the machine. Maybe if Rex Ryan becomes a coach again he’ll get a shot.

                Oddly enough, the Steelers seem to stand out as a long shot maybe. They got Mason already though, so it’s unlikely. Big Ben loves to get injured, so maybe they think of rolling with 3 QBs? Tomlin knows how to handle divas at least. Plus having just struggling through a season with a great defense hamstringed by their backup QB, the pain of that is fresh, so recency bias could help.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  I think it’s more likely he sits a year and then maybe a team like Pittsburgh considers him if Big Ben decides to retire or something.

    • Gohawks5151 says:

      Dak just turned down 5 yr, 175M. Bring in Cam. Why not?

    • dj 1/2 way says:

      Cam Newton-Male model!

  8. Hoggs41 says:

    I think he needs a Ryan Tannehill situation. Go somewhere where he could look to win the job mid-season and push the team towards the playoffs. For me the Broncos could be a good option. Let him sit behind Drew Lock and wait for his turn.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The problem is Cam isn’t Ryan Tannehill.

      He’s larger than life. The day he walks into a locker room, people will see him as ‘the man’.

      He’s not going to come in and settle in the background like Tannehill, waiting for a possible opportunity.

      Having him lurk behind Drew Lock would probably destroy Lock.

      • dcd2 says:

        Ya, it’s going to be tough. He’ll be a distraction and media focus at best, the first time a starter struggles.

        “Should the ______ give Newton a shot?” “Is it time to bench ______?” type of headlines with all of the talking heads putting their spin on it.

        Baltimore, KC or even Arizona would kind of make some sense, in that the QB’s are established, young and the future of their franchise. Baltimore could use him in some goal line sets to try and limit hits on Lamar maybe.

        I could see a team like Tampa or Indy giving him a shot if Brady/Rivers got hurt early. Pretty limited options though, all in all.

      • cha says:

        The other problem is he is really banged up. His prime years there was highlight after highlight of him getting hammered in the pocket by defenders and refs keeping the flag in their pocket – not his runs and goal line plunges, just his movement in the pocket. That’s having a cumulative effect, even though he isn’t very old.

  9. Jace says:

    Supposedly we offered Devonta Freeman a deal? Not a big fan of this, but if it’s for the vet minimum then I could possibly get behind it.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Where was that reported?

      • @corbinsmith
        #Seahawks have been trying to sign Devonta Freeman for a while now. But the money isn’t lining up. Seattle wants insurance with Rashaad Penny likely out first six games on PUP list. Freeman wants more money than they’re willing to offer.

    • cha says:

      Michael Silver
      @MikeSilver
      The Seahawks’ offer to free agent RB Devonta Freeman is a one-year deal that would be worth up to $4 million. He has also attracted interest from the Jets and Eagles.
      1:51 PM · May 20, 2020

      • cha says:

        Michael Silver
        @MikeSilver
        The Seahawks have also had conversations with free agent RB Carlos Hyde

        • cha says:

          Michael Silver
          @MikeSilver
          To clarify,
          @caplannfl
          (who initially reported the Seahawks’ offer to Freeman) is correct: Base salary would be less than $3 million, could be worth up to $4 million

          • Hoggs41 says:

            I know Crowell ruptured his achilles last season but it was in April. Think I would rather go that route as you can probably get him for an MSB deal.

  10. Mike says:

    Ohhh man. When you connected Seahawks and Arsenal..it just all clicked..and was crushing at the same time.

    Huge fan of both teams. I guess I like teams that are good enough to bring hope, but ultimately deliver playoff losses.

    I need a whiskey.

    • Rob Staton says:

      This Seahawks team are almost exactly the same as the latter Wenger years at Arsenal.

      Always good enough for the top four. Play with some style at times but don’t have enough physicality to scare teams and compliment the skill players. Never in contention to win anything. Always behind a superior top two or three. Always retain hope next year will be different, while never making the moves to change anything. Ageing legendary coach.

      • EP says:

        I can testify to this comparison as an Arsenal fan. And to further the point, as far the current structure may continue to be a source of frustration, upon its removal, the walls can fall down.

  11. Hoggs41 says:

    The more I read about Dee Jay Dallas the more I like what he can bring. For teams that love that one two punch like New Orleans had with Ingram and Kamara the more I could see that whether it be Carson and Dallas in the future or Penny and Dallas. Now he is no Alvin Kamara but his ball catching skills combined with his blocking/blitz pickup ability is intriguing.

  12. Big Mike says:

    Just heard on Cowturd’s program that over the last 3 years Wilson has 15 more TD passes than the next QB on the list (Brady). Wow.
    Really points to the need for this damned franchise to take the next step.

  13. Paul G says:

    Rob,

    I keep coming back to something you touched on in another thread. You mentioned something about you had an idea or guess as to why the Seahawks have had the type of confusing offseason they’ve had. Do you think their offseason would have been different if we weren’t in a pandemic? What I mean is do you think they are looking at possibly no season this year, or a massive issue with the 2021 cap because of revenue loss and making their current FA and draft decision based on that?

    • Rob Staton says:

      No. Not really.

      My thoughts are more linked to their expectation on Clowney, a more conservative approach to team building, self-confidence which may be increasingly misplaced and the fact that we don’t really know how things are operating from an ownership level and how it maybe differs from Paul Allen’s days in charge.

  14. Logan Lynch says:

    If Aldon Smith can get reinstated, hopefully it’s just a matter of time until Josh Gordon is too.

    • Rob you probably have answered this question a lot but at this. you think J Clowney would settle for 10 million 1 year deal?my question is if. You are going to pay Bobby Wagner you might want to get more and better guys in front of him. J Reed and Ford are good but not enough. More run stuffers. more big bodies

    • Rob Staton says:

      These are very different situations though.

  15. Hoggs41 says:

    Report that the offer the Seahawks offered Freeman could be up to $4m. Please no as that is way to much for a possible third stringer come week 7. Im all for adding depth there but that is a lot.

  16. Volume12 says:

    North Carolina has some firepower on offense. QB Sam Howell has a chance to be a top 10 pick in ’22. They have one of the better WR duos in Dyami Brown & Jazz Newsome. But the guy who caught my eye was RB Javonte Williams.

    https://youtu.be/u_5WmWOl3Qk

  17. Volume12 says:

    Oh my goodness! Who is this Josh Johnson cat? ULM RB, 5’9, 215 lbs. This dude has traits galore. Athletically gifted.

  18. Gaux Hawks says:

    QB: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith
    RB1: Chris Carson, (Free Agent)
    RB2: Deejay Dallas, Travis Homer
    LT: Duane Brown, Cedric Ogbuehi
    LG: Mike Iupati, Phil Haynes
    C: B.J. Finney, Ethan Pocic
    RG: Damien Lewis, Jordan Simmons
    RT: Brandon Shell, Jamarco Jones
    TE: Will Dissly, Greg Olsen, Colby Parkinson
    WR1: Tyler Lockett, Phillip Dorsett, John Ursua
    WR2: D.K. Metcalf, Josh Gordon, David Moore

    DE: Jadeveon Clowney, L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green
    DT: Jarran Reed, (Free Agent)
    NT: Poona Ford, Bryan Mone
    LEO: Darrell Taylor, Benson Mayowa, Alton Robinson
    SAM: K.J. Wright, Bruce Irvin
    MIKE: Bobby Wagner, Cody Barton
    WILL: Jordyn Brooks, Ben Burr-Kirven
    LCB: Shaquill Griffin, Neiko Thorpe
    RCB: Quinton Dunbar, Gavin Heslop
    NCKL: Ugo Amadi, (Free Agent)
    SS: Bradley McDougald, Marquise Blair
    FS: Quandre Diggs, Chris Miller

    PUP: Rashaad Penny