Prediction: A modest off-season and lots of trading down

January 13th, 2019 | Written by Rob Staton

I think I made a mistake a week ago.

Pete Carroll held his usual end of season press conference. It’s often quite revealing. Carroll provides a steer for the off-season, even if he’s not giving away any state secrets.

Initially it appeared Carroll was being quite vague when asked about off-season priorities:

“We’re pleased with the progress that we’ve made with the guys we have. We don’t think there are big voids or big holes.”

In an interview with 950 KJR after his press conference, Carroll was asked what the needs on the roster are:

“Across the board we need to develop our competitiveness. We need to get the young guys who missed out on this season… to come forth and challenge the spots and make everybody better.”

He goes on to reference the returning players — Will Dissly and Jamarco Jones — plus other younger guys like Rasheem Green. Carroll also talked up Delano Hill’s emergence.

At first this appeared to be a fantastic way of avoiding answering the question. I think there’s more to it now.

It speaks to Seattle’s need for depth, although Carroll believes he has a developing core. It’s also hard to say what areas they’ll be able to address.

Let’s take every point in turn.

1. It speaks to Seattle’s lack of depth

Between 2011 and 2014, a second-string Seahawks team could’ve won games in the regular season. Opponents were destroyed in pre-season. It was the deepest, most competitive roster in the league.

That wasn’t the case in 2018. They lost all four pre-season games. The depth was exposed a little. That happened in the regular season too.

Part of this will be solved by players gaining experience, playing time and information. Part of this will be new additions. It is a big priority this off-season though. They need to be deeper and more competitive across the board.

2. Carroll believes a core is there

We’ll spend an off-season debating and discussing Seattle’s greatest needs. It’s worth remembering they have the following:

— A franchise QB
— A legit starting LT
— Two really good receivers
— The most productive running game in the NFL
— Two defensive linemen combining for 24.5 sacks in 2018
— The NFL’s best linebacker

That’s a lot of pieces there. Enough to be among the contenders. Improving the depth and experience around this core group will enable the Seahawks to take the next step and compete for the NFC West (and at least one home playoff game).

3. It’s hard to say what areas they’ll be able to address

They have a lot of work to do this off-season. It starts with franchising or re-signing Frank Clark. It develops into a decision on players like J.R. Sweezy, D.J. Fluker, K.J. Wright and Mychal Kendricks. You’ve got a whole bunch of RFA’s and ERFA’s. You need to fill out the roster similar to last year with some calculated moves in free agency. You also need to think about the future — with Jarran Reed, Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson all out of contract after 2019.

When you think about it like that, it’s a stack of issues to address. Few teams have this much work to do. If your intention is to extend Wilson, Wagner and Reed — you need two out of three extended before the season ends. Otherwise, you’re going to lose one. You only get one franchise tag.

It’s unclear how much cap room they’ll have to spend but the chances are it’ll be severely limited after all the new deals are handed out. It’s very possible they won’t have the flexibility — in terms of cap room or draft picks — to make major additions.

Carroll’s understated words on priorities and needs might actually be quite revealing if you interpret them as I’m considering now. I think he expects quite a modest off-season. One that does focus on re-signing and developing the existing group.

So here are a couple of predictions on reflection…

1. Free agency will be like a year ago

For all the speculation about Ndamukong Suh and other possible additions, the Seahawks stayed well clear of any big moves in free agency. They targeted players like Ed Dickson, Barkevious Mingo, Tom Johnson, Shamar Stephen and eventually — D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy.

Their biggest priority was re-signing and keeping Bradley McDougald.

There’s always a chance an opportunity arises. If there’s a 2019 version of the Michael Bennett/Cliff Avril deals from six years ago, the Seahawks may well go after it. If that doesn’t happen, selective and cost-effective additions in the second and third wave of free agency seem more likely. They have to prioritise keeping their own (in 2019 and 2020) and will not be left with millions to spend, even if $60-70m in available cap room seems appealing at the moment. It will evaporate quickly.

Again, adding more competition and depth could be the key.

2. The draft will involve a lot of trading back

This would be different if they had all seven draft picks and some comp picks were due. Instead they have just four picks. That’s what happens when you’re caught between an aggressive ‘got for it’ approach one year (2017) and then face an immediate reset operation (2018) and aren’t able to trade away players before they reach free agency (Earl Thomas).

While a lot of fans will spend an off-season pitching ‘just take a blue chip guy’ at #21, the Seahawks have to weigh up the options.

I’m going to publish a post this week discussing how many ‘legit’ first round grades will be offered in this draft class. I think it could be around 14-18. So at #21, the options might be pretty similar to the options at #35 or later.

Even if a player drops unexpectedly, trading down might still be inevitable. I know a lot of people like to reference Derwin James ‘being one pick away’ a year ago. I’m 100% convinced they would’ve traded down had James lasted to #18. They had a first round pick then nothing until round four. They had minimal stock. It wasn’t unfair for them, in any scenario at #18, to try and create more and fix other needs (namely what they judged to be their top need — fixing the run — and getting a pass rusher).

I’d expect something similar this year too. I suspect they’ll want to have 7-8 selections. That could mean trading down from #21 two or three times (as they’ve done in the past).

I think it’s highly possible we’ll see a repeat of a year ago (and some longer Seahawks draft trends) of identifying ‘their guys’ in the range they know they can get them. They knew in round three in 2018 they could get a pass rusher with a terrific short shuttle and low and behold — Rasheem Green and Sam Hubbard were available in their range. They took Will Dissly in a place where they could guarantee getting him. They traded up for Michael Dickson, secured Tre Flowers in their typical range for a cornerback (fifth round).

Assess the board after the Senior Bowl, combine and pro-days. Find the guys who ‘fit’. Manipulate the board to get as many of those guys as possible.

I could be totally wrong here. They might be more aggressive than ever. We’ll see. They’re always looking for an opportunity. On reflection though, I think there’s more to Carroll’s words than I first thought. The last time he spoke in this way — 2014 — they had a very quiet free agency period highlighted only by re-signing Michael Bennett. They then traded down twice from #32 and #40 before taking their guy (Paul Richardson) at pick #45. They passed on several of the ‘bigger names’ by moving down.

The big difference is, of course, the Seahawks were coming off a Super Bowl. But Carroll’s words — “(We) don’t see anything we need to add… We just have to get better” — are almost identical to what he said last week.

This is my off-season prediction for Seattle:

— A fairly modest and quiet free agency period similar to last year with a focus on keeping the core together.

— A draft that involves a lot of trading down and a focus on acquiring positional preferences in terms of physical profile and character to add further competition and depth to a 10-win roster.

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162 Responses to “Prediction: A modest off-season and lots of trading down”

  1. millhouse-serbia says:

    Rob, where i can find and listen that interview on 950KJR?

  2. Sean-O says:

    “I could be totally wrong here. They might be more aggressive than ever. We’ll see.”

    My hunch is this off season might be a little different than the last few. The NFC window is wide open, our franchise QB is 30 & Pete isn’t getting any younger.

    I agree that the core is in place & SEA desperately needs to improve it’s depth (especially on D) but I can see the Hawks being more aggressive in free agency. The DE group has some real high-end names available (Ansah, Lawrence, Graham) plus some younger, likely lesser expensive ones too (Fowler, Jr., Trey Flowers of NE).

    It will also be interesting to see what they do at OLB. I too think KJ is gone & who knows what will happen with Kendricks legal situation. Definitely some interesting names at that position too (Barr, Shane Ray, Shaq Barrett).

    If you can add a couple of key free agents on D, re-sign Fluker & Sweezy, focus your draft on defensive players (to help with depth) & continue to develop the current younger players on the roster, no reason the ’19 season can’t be better than the ’18 one.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I just don’t see there being anywhere near the kind of money to go after those players. Not with Seattle’s enormous list of names they need to tie down in the next 10 months and the fact they have the smallest number of signed players to their 2019 roster in the entire league.

      If there’s a Bennett or Avril deal out there, fair enough. A value veteran? Maybe. Big spenders? Not at all.

      • Sean-O says:

        I definitely agree they won’t be big spenders but I do think relatively speaking they’ll target specific guys that fit the scheme & that won’t break the bank ( a value veteran).

      • McZ says:

        I wonder, if Aaron Lynch gets another chance in Chicago. I can easily see him falling out of their depth window, and if we could add him at maybe $3M and coach him to 2015 level, we could’ve found just another Avril.

        • Rob Staton says:

          He’s not a player I’m particularly interested in. Just doesn’t seem like a fit for us. He was only in Chicago because of Fangio so if he goes anywhere I’d guess Denver.

  3. Nathan M says:

    I know it’s not sexy and fun but I think you’re bang on – this team just needs more guys all around. The picks and dollars will be spread to more players rather than a big $$ FA or a high pick.

  4. Coleslaw says:

    Makes perfect sense. We need Malcolm Smiths, Deshawn Sheads, Paul McQuistans, Bruce Irvins, McDaniels and MacDonalds. Quality depth would be a boring, but awesome plan. I’m all for it. As much as I’d love to get a 3 down DL or a legit edge rusher, or to stick a young stud LB next to Bobby, I think this is our best option.

  5. Joseph says:

    One area that needs to be addressed is the secondary. Trey flowed in ok with, Coleman should be a priority, but I’m not comfortable at all with griffin being the other corner. He can be a game changer in a bad way and he showed that in the loss to Dallas. The safety can be depleted with the injuries and poor coverage at times. That’s why earl is very tough player to replace. Deionte Thompson I could see the closest with range and good closing speed. Sadly the cornerback class is not deep and even the corners projected to go high have some durability concerns and not really immediate proven starting caliber corners.

  6. Aaron says:

    A slight continuation from a conversation in the last post. So last night was the final straw for me. I officially divorced myself from all of Seahawks Twitter. I’m still going to follow and listen to Seahawks fans and analysts on social media that are rational, like yourself Rob and fortunately for my sanity a few others. I saw a response to a well respected local sports commentator on Twitter last night from a member of Seahawks Twitter that made my blood boil. Any advice for someone finally leaving Seahawks Twitter cold turkey?

    • Rob Staton says:

      The only thing I can think to say is… congratulations! And well done 👍🏻

    • Southpaw360 says:

      What was the comment? If it can be posted here?

    • Volume12 says:

      Seahawks Twitter has always been trash.

      I just lurk in general. Jim Nagy arguing with former GA-Tech Paul Johnson was highly entertaining for example.

      • Sea Mode says:

        I caught that too. 🙂

        There were some good ones as well after Nagy thanked Schotty for restoring the team’s identity:

        Jim Nagy
        @JimNagy_SB

        Replying to @dr_nate_carlson @Odinbn @Seahawks
        Maybe they didn’t trust the pass protection with straight dropback game. These are smart men. There’s a reason why the game was called the way it was.

        9:31 PM – 5 Jan 2019

    • Volume12 says:

      The ‘draft guru’ shooting his shot on Danny Kelly, who then in return ethered the sh** outta said guru?

    • C-Dog says:

      I just try to say no to Twitter in general. I peak in on Davis Hsu a bit, here and there, because he seems to have some sort of inside team source, and Brian Nemhauser I generally like. But when Hsu says that they should trade RW, and a bunch of folks start backing him up, I gotta tap out. It just becomes kinda Madden nonsense at that point.

      Between sports and politics, I’m grown more convinced that the purpose of Twitter has morphed into a forum used to stir up sh*t. The Seattle Times had an article on Seahawks Twitter the other week that my wife brought to my attention. She asked if I follow, and I said not really, but when I do it, it usually ends up annoying me. She was surprised that I wasn’t a part of it because I have been active in the entertainment scene as a bit of a funny guy.

      She had me read it and the article made Seahawks Twitter to be one of the funnest place to hang out spots on the net. Just a bunch of quirky writer minstrels types having fun with inside jokes unique to the weirdness of the PNW.

      While that is out there with Mina Kimes and folks of the like, there just seems to be way too many know it alls with often enough times an aggressive, non-funny, energy. It’s gross when it goes there, and as I have seen Rob mention, it is difficult to have rash conversation when there are only so many characters to type. It just comes off as extreme hot takes and yelling.

      Just my humble opinion, but my take is that nobody on Seahawks Twitter knows more about football and the Seattle Seahawks than Pete Carroll. Not Kimes, Kelly, Hsu, Hawkblogger, and that dude who’s name doesn’t get mentioned on this site any longer, or any of us who hang on SDB.

      That said, I just want say again, thank you, Mr Staton, for being the Seahawks fan that you are, and giving us this forum to get out are thoughts about this team we insanely and often irrationally love. Thank you for providing the content that you do, and insight, and helping us type out are thoughts in these posts, and keeping things civil when emotions get to raised.

      You are a rockstar. Go Hawks.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Well in turn let me thank you guys, for making this place a frequent antidote to Seahawks twitter.

        (That piece in the Times about Seahawks Twitter really didn’t capture the reality, did it? Kind of made it seem like a happy-go-lucky gang of jokers. Not a social media version of a Skip Bayless argument with Merril Hoge being chaired by Evan from Hawkblogger screeching about burgers and Pete Carroll while a guy with a calculator yells something about EPA in the distance).

        • C-Dog says:

          Nailed it!

        • Aaron says:

          Thanks Rob for your support and of course your antidote to Seahawks Twitter. I could tell right before the Cowboys game ended that Seahawks Twitter was about to go into a whole new level of insufferable, and it hasn’t stopped all the way until I left it last night.

          • Rob Staton says:

            And thank you, Aaron, for reading the blog.

            • Whit21 says:

              I didnt really beat the trade Russell drum but for 1 comment a month ago… It would be madden-esque and i have played my fair share of madden doing 10 year plus franchise mode.. so i do what im talking about… <– that was a joke btw.

              anyway, the only reason i wouldnt object to it if it did happen is that 1 Russell is 30 and this next contract would probably be his last… Its going to be a very expensive contract. PC and JS have scouted other options because they know as special RW can be.. he has certain limitations and in this system if they get another QB they could possibly be just as successful without him.. If they rush, play great D, and execute special teams..

              To be honest, I think scouting josh allen wasnt as bad in retrospect.. seeing how well he ran the ball and throws rockets.. it would have been a cheaper alternative that gives them more capital for defensive players… it wont happen and they will sign him for big money.. and have less cap for other players.. and probably be like every other team that has a huge money QB.. find it harder to compete for a SB..

              Just like Rob said.. They're best years with depth were the ones that had RW on rookie deal.. i like russell wilson.. but not for 25mil or more in cap space per year..

              So.. just as you guys probably didn't want to read.. but here you go.

              cheers

              • C-Dog says:

                I appreciate the way you worded this, Whit21

                I totally get the exploring the possibilities of a RW trade. Franchise QBs are expensive, and you want to sign players in FA and keep certain players from leaving, and it makes managing the roster challenging, but that’s why GMs get paid the big dollars.

                I don’t give the trade RW Camp much weight because I don’t think it’s something that will realistically happen. I don’t think Pete Carroll signed a short extension to then trade away his franchise QB. I think he signed that short extension because he believes this team can compete for another Super Bowl run within the next three years. Carroll just said they are already talking to his reps about an extension. Add in that the GM loves the guy, and I am going to guess that Jody Allen is probably a big fan.. just don’t see it happening.

                I think the Trade RW stuff has been a lot of Twitter speculation from people that value the salary cap and see the challenges with managing it while paying for a franchise QB. It’s an easy scenario for them. I totally get that, especially for a run heavy team, but let’s look at this season.

                I don’t think this roster would have gotten to 10 wins with Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith, or Derek Carr. I think there was probably about 3 or 4 games this year that came down to RW making RW type plays that got them the win in games that were close. That was the difference between a team that went 10-6 and made it to the playoffs and a team that, talent-wise, probably should have been 6-10 and 7-9. That’s what RW bought this year, and probably brings any given year, and that is probably why he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

                I also don’t really fret too much about his age. He’s been an ironman throughout seven seasons, not missing a single game, and he has gotten better inside the pocket (something that will help him as he ages). I think he can probably easily go another 5 to 6 years, especially in an offense that will commit to a run game and use his strengths at play action. By the end of his third deal, they can see if they need to get ready to go younger.

                I think it’s entirely fair to point to his faults, but I would also say that most of the quarterbacks in this league have some warts, even the top tier ones, but it really comes down to what warts you are willing to live with. Can to take your QB taking the stupid odd sack here and there when you know when the game is on the line, he can deliver a beautiful rainbow toss forty yards down field to Tyler Lockett against tight coverage? Because that is what RW can do for you. Not a lot of other QBs make that throw against the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.

                Having said all that, I’m glad the team is still looking at other young QBs coming up. Mahomes is a tremendous talent. Not sold on Josh Allen, but I can understand why John Schneider would look at him. I want a GM that will look at talented players regardless of position. I also have a sneaking feeling that by looking at this guys could also be a bit of a negotiation ploy to the RW camp.

                I think with the whole Seahawks Twitter thing, and that when I’ve looked to get info an insight from some football minds that I kinda respect, I see narratives sort getting beaten to death to prove points, whether it’s Trade RW, or running the ball is outdated, or what have you. That’s when it feels like Twitter is a place to house toxic energy, and feeds it. It’s like road rage on the internet.

                • Whit21 says:

                  I can understand a little.. I dont use Twitter and never even given it a chance.. being tech savvy, i dont actually use much of social media.. That rant is just me voicing my opinion based on all the years of football iv seen with the seahawks and also the other teams that fail time and time again. The only other team that manages their star QB and roster better than the hawks is the Patriots.. They keep Tom Bradys contract the lowest they possibly can. RW is already in his current contract making more than Brady.

                  Also im a firm believer of not paying guys for what they used to do.. Like Earl Thomas.. he was already payed as a top safety during his first 2 contracts.. With a 3rd contract, he would most certainly not out perform his play when he was in his mid 20s.. So why does he think a top 3 or 4 safety salary should be in his future? on a SB competitive team that needs total depth across they entire roster.. its not how winning football teams operate..as much as i hate the patriots, they do things the way you should to keep a balanced and competitive football team.. Luckily for us thats what JS does but they will also pay big money and make it harder to get FAs.. they need to hit it big in the next 2 drafts.

                  we shall see.

  7. mishima says:

    Great read.

    If they franchise Clark, they have 4 core players (Wilson, Wagner, Reed, Clark) out of contract after 2019. Wilson is a lock at $30m+; Wagner at $15-18; Reed at $12-15; Clark at $18-20. Clark and Reed might use the franchise tag to reach free agency.

    It will be a challenging off-season with some difficult decisions to be made.

  8. Bmseattle says:

    I agree 100% with this, Rob.
    The Seahawks still have a lot of holes to fill, and limited (not enough?) resources to fill them.

    Not only is depth an issue, but, in reality, the core is smack dab in the middle of their prime.
    Despite what Pete eludes to, when mentioning the similarities to 2012, our best players aren’t blossoming into future All Pros… they are at or near their peak… right now.

    It’s such a shame that *this* is the year we have the fewest draft picks we’ve ever had under this regime. Basically, the decision comes down to trading back numerous times, and drafting for depth and value (thus sacrificing potential high impact talent), or just grabbing a few of the best players possible, and being faced with another season of depth issues.

    Everything we think we know about Pete and John says that they will take option #1, trade back, and count of their ability to find value late.
    As fans, we can only cross our fingers and hope that we get lucky with a few of the late round picks again.

  9. JJ says:

    Do you the Hawks have had a change in philosophy in regards to 3rd contracts (qb excluded)? If, yes what are your thoughts on Wagner’s contract coming up?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think there’s a change of heart. I just think they’re going to be VERY picky with third contracts. Duane Brown got an extension. Russell will eventually. Bobby will get one. But they will be very selective.

    • Eburgz says:

      We have 3 legit pieces to build around on defense, Bobby being the most important followed by Clark then Reed. You have to keep all 3 even if you need to pay them top of market contracts at their respective positions (not Donald/Mack money for Clark but you know what I mean). McDougald is a great leader for the secondary and a great player as well but he has chronic injury concerns with his knee and athletic limitations, luckily he’s locked up. This is the core of our defense and it needs to remain intact.

      I’d probably franchise frank (unless he agrees to a contract at 18.5 APY or less) he seems to play well with the added motivation.

      Resign Bobby and make him the highest paid MLB in the game by a wide margin (15M APY). I’m sure Bobby feels he should be the highest paid player on this defense but the market isn’t the same for MLB’s as it is for legit pass rushers.

      Let Reed play out the last year of his contract and see if he can replicate this years pass rushing success (unless he’s willing to take 14M APY or so). He’s worth Geno Atkins money to me (16.3M APY)

      Tough decisions will need to be made with Wright, Coleman & Kendrick’s. The market will dictate whether we can keep them or not. If we can resign Coleman & Wright for around 6M APY they likeley stay, if they get offers for 10M+ then we are gonna have to bid them farewell.

    • DC says:

      Wagner came from another universe. He hasn’t had any major injury issues that I recall, not that that is a guarantee for anything. But Kam, Earl, KJ, Lynch, Bennett, Sherman & Avril have had major ones. Wagner won’t play forever but I sure hope he’s a Seahawk for as long as he does play. Being a healthy + exceptional talent warrants a 3rd contract imo.

  10. McZ says:

    To be brutally honest, next years schedule is so much harder than this years, and SF and AZ will add a lot of talent and maybe a deadly rookie QB and DE. We are facing a couple of guys leaving the team, with KJ being an absolute fix in this regard.

    It is a little disturbing that we didn’t hear a lot about ongoing contract extensions. We are reading a lot into Petes optimistics, which are basically saying ‘we want any of those guys back’.

    I think, accumulating a mid R2 plus three or four picks in R3-5 will return a lot of talent. #50-180 is the drafts sweet spot. The Rams did exceptionally well last year starting in R3. It’s the way to go, even (or especially?) if Hawks Twitter goes insane.

    Still, there is a better than 50% chance that next season will be worse than 2018. IMO, we are only midway into our rebuild endeavour.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s too early to pass judgement on the schedule. A year ago everyone thought San Fran would be a major force. Minnesota had a disappointing season, Seattle achieved above expectations. So did Chicago. Green Bay were terrible. Atlanta flopped. Carolina flopped. Nobody knows how strong or difficult next years schedule will be yet.

  11. Frank says:

    I think it’s pretty safe to assume Wagner and Wilson will be returning to the team. Clark also seems to be given safe passage back on to the team, although I might prioritize Reed over Clark. We have been able to get guys without big names 10 sacks a year from the Leo role, but have struggled mightily finding DT that can compress the pocket. We can find tweeners out there with great short shuttles that can thrive in the Hawks system, but it takes a pretty special player to stand tough against the run and still pressure the QB. I have to think Clark and Green are both meant to be the Bennet role, and maybe he’s a bit of insurance for the possibility of Clark having played his way out of a contract here. My preference would of course be to allow Clark to play the Leo, and have Green playing the Bennet role and remain extra stout against the run, if financial obligations allow. Love KJ, but think the Kendrick gets resigned first, he’ll go cheap and be a pro bowl caliber player. Fluker and Sweezy are a little over rated in my eyes and I think Simmons takes someone’s job away there, but hope both are on the team next year for depth. Griffin is going to be fine, although the growing pains where quite irritating switching sides. There isn’t a place on this roster that couldn’t use better depth, although besides kicker there isn’t a place with a glaring hole. My biggest frustration has too be the lack of return on investment on Thomas, Richardson or Richardson, would love to had a few extra picks this year and letting all three of those out of the building without hurt the general talent lvl of the team. If we aren’t going to resign players to 2nd and 3rd contracts we have to start trading them a year earlier, and maintain the talent pool on the team. Thanks again for all your hard work Rob, and everyone that contributes to this page, this is in my opinion the very sport web site out there.

    • Brashmouse says:

      Why does no one consider the Transition tag for Thomas? I seems to me a prudent situation to either force a team to overextend their budget or allow the Seahawks to get a return on investment better than a end of 3rd pick. I think getting Thomas in the 8-10M range helps the team and getting a pair of mid round (2-4) picks to move on is better than letting him bully his way out to the Cowboys at a discount.

  12. Walla Sean says:

    Hey Rob,

    This seems right on to me. Any thoughts on Schneider playing for compensatory picks in free agency, letting some combination of Thomas, Coleman, Wright, Kendricks, Stephen, Davis, Fluker, or Sweezy take more than they could afford could net two or three picks and they could still find second and third wave contributors. I would like to see them keep K.J. and the linemen, I trust Pete to plug guys into the secondary. Something to consider based on their history and need for depth going forward.

    Best Draft Site Ever

    • Rob Staton says:

      Thanks Sean.

      I think it’s possible they could try and manipulate comp picks for next year. That’ll actually be easier if they keep a bulk of their FA’s and just let the 2-3 most expensive depart. That way they wouldn’t have to replace a ton of players. So maybe they could let Earl, KJ and Coleman walk and sign everyone else to fill out the roster.

      That said, this is still going to be tricky. Because they need more depth and competition. So, like last year, they might lose all the comp picks they could’ve had.

  13. Volume12 says:

    Hopefully this game changes, but these playoffs just have not been good.

    • Sea Mode says:

      I think we’re just seeing what should be expected. The home teams coming off a week of rest are getting it done.

      Let’s see if tonight’s game manages to be any more interesting. (kinda doubt it though, honestly)

    • Aaron says:

      The NFC matchups have all been compelling so far. Once again the AFC is top heavy with only a few elite teams. The NFC has its elite teams but not as much of a gap as the AFC has between them and the next tier. Also, once again the teams that host a game and get a bye usually win. Very hard to be a road team and make it to the big dance. And of course the teams that execute best in the running game and third downs tend to win too.

  14. Tecmo Bowl says:

    “There’s always a chance an opportunity arises. If there’s a 2019 version of the Michael Bennett/Cliff Avril deals from six years ago, the Seahawks may well go after it. If that doesn’t happen, selective and cost-effective additions in the second and third wave of free agency seem more likely.” Rob

    Agreed. The Avril signing was unexpected and a huge bargain. By all accounts he was a top 10 FA, who was coming off the franchise tag, and had reportedly turned down $10m a year from Detroit. Avril was hardly even discussed as a realistic option, surely he would be too expensive.

    I’m not pointing this out to say we have a shot at DLaw or Clowney, nor is it likely we hand out $10+m/year to a FA. Just saying sometimes the market plays out unexpectedly. With the clear strength of the draft being DL, its likely to suppress the pretty deep DL FA market. Thereby giving us better odds at finding a bargain or two. Flowers, Graham, Preston Smith, Suggs, Wake, Fowler, Ansah- not everybody will get long term, big $ deals. Adding 2 impact players, between FA and the draft,for the front 4 is a lofty, yet acheivable, goal for 2019.

  15. BobbyK says:

    There’s no way they’re only going to be making four picks in this draft. We know this. That’s why I’m not too worried they only have four picks currently. That said, I agree that we can 99% expect to see them trade down at least once from #21.

    This is unlikely, but what if they surprised us by sending Clark to some team who has a first round pick to offer? I know some will say this is ridiculous, but when Rob does all of his mocks – he likes to have the Seahawks taking lots of different players for us to consider. On one hand, getting a pick and creating a huge hole doesn’t make sense. However, on the other hand, it’s not so much a 1-for-1 trade off… it’s also opening up about $20 million of flexibility, too. For example, I’m not saying a guy like Shane Ray is anything like Chris Clemons – but what if there is a guy out there they like and target and have the ability to get him in FA or a minor trade (I’m only using Ray as a relatively inexpensive example who really isn’t comparable to a degree with Clem).

    Another thing to consider is the fact that these guys could dangle a 2020 pick for additional ammunition in this draft. It seems they keep doing this every year (trading future picks). They didn’t have a pick a few years ago because they wanted Q. Jefferson from the Patriots so they traded up and swapped fifth round picks with the Patriots and then gave up a fourth round pick the following year. Then last year they were without picks. Now this year they have no second rounder again. Based on these past years, there’s a chance they go into 2020 without a pick in the one of the early rounds. Again. Pete’s not a spring chicken (even though he signed the extension) and if the Packers suck again next year, Schneider might not be around to not be able to make the pick anyway (though he’s under contract, too). Just some different things to consider.

    Personally, I’m more in agreement with Rob about a relatively boring off-season with draft day trades down from 21 but this is the blog to consider all scenarios too.

    I hope there’s a way they can draft a DT towards the end of the first round and then build up that roster depth with cheaper rookie draft picks.

    Lastly, I wonder if they pull another Frank Clark reclamation project and go into 2019 with Carson, Penny, and Kareem Hunt in the backfield. Pete is big on second chances to those with talent and that would give the Seahawks the best 3-headed monster at RB in the NFL. Regardless of what we “want,” this decision will be made by Schneider and Pete and they’ve proven they’ll give guys chances and won’t care what some fans think.

    • Dingbatman says:

      Agree with your thoughts on Frank Clark. I think there is a very real chance that we won’t be willing/able to sign at least one of Clark/Wilson/Wagner/Reed. The question is of course, who is the odd man out and can you get a return?

      • Rob Staton says:

        I think considering the number of teams Pete has gone on the record and said (in as many words) ‘Frankie isn’t going anywhere’ — that to me suggests a trade is very unlikely.

        I actually think the opposite. I think they acknowledge and realise who their core is. And they always sign the core. The key is building greater depth and competition around that core.

        • Elmer says:

          And they will do it carefully. They, IMO, will try to avoid the trap of having too much of the available salary $ concentrated in too few players; limiting the ability to build depth and be competitive throughout the roster. Of course, it’s a very difficult thing to do.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Thanks for the scenario to consider, but I just don’t see the upside of letting 14 sacks, excellent edge defender, and a team leader walk out the door. Teams should want to spend their cap space on a guy like that. [*cough*Kahlil Mack*cough] The problems only come when you start overpaying for lesser talent.

      They paid Wagner/Earl/Sherm/Kam/Bennett/Russ/Lynch before, they can figure it out to pay Wagner/Russ and the new core now. Just stagger the biggest cap hits for each guy in different years and don’t have too many contracts in the $3-6m range (excl. ST) unless they are great value (like McDougald).

  16. Zxvo3 says:

    Rob, if the Hawks were to draft Montez Sweat after trading down from 21, do you think he would be a good counterpart for Frank Clark? Also I’ve heard mixed opinions on his run defending. Do you think Sweat can defend the run well?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not sure. I think Sweat is better equipped for it than Brian Burns is. Sweat has 35.5 inch arms, he does show some ability to keep himself clean and he’s 245lbs not 225lbs like Burns. So there are some things there. The issue is, there are a lot of players like Sweat that come into the league. And they’re all, without fail, major question marks. Because when you’re a pure college speed rusher with NFL quickness, you’ll win a lot of easy battles against bad college tackles. When you get to the next level you’ll need a counter, you’ll need to win with your hands, you’ll need to convert speed to power. It’s really, really difficult to project how these long, lean speed rushers translate.

      If you look at the top-20 for sacks in 2018, only Von Miller, Danielle Hunter, Dee Ford and Kyler Fackrell are what you’d call a lean pass rusher. The rest are a mix of incredible interior defenders or complete DE’s with quickness, size and explosive power. Myles Garrett is 275lbs, Frank Clark is 265lbs, Chandler Jones is 265lbs, Ryan Kerrigan is 260lbs, Bradley Chubb is 275lbs. Khalil Mack is 250lbs but he looks like he’s 275lbs.

      So can I envisage Sweat translating? Yes, possibly. Is it going to be difficult? Yes. Because the odds are Nick Bosa, Clelin Ferrell, Rashan Gary etc are much more likely to succeed because they have the quickness, the power and the size.

      • Volume12 says:

        Leaves me scratching head when some fans don’t think Clark should get paid or is worth a certain amount. Prototype 4-3 DE’s are incredibly hard to find.

  17. mishima says:

    Proposed the same on Field Gulls: If you can’t franchise + re-sign him, trade him for a 1st + $20m in cap flexibility. Franchising him for 2019 is shortsighted and just postpones the decision and/or his free agency to 2020. If he is franchised and insured against injury, do we really expect him to work out an extension? High stakes game of chicken: Can we risk losing him for nothing à la Earl Thomas?

    Extend Reed, franchise/trade Clark.

    That said, I agree with Rob and trust Pete that Clark will be here in 2019.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think you will be able to sign him after the franchise tag. If anything, the tag just kick starts the serious negotiations. At the moment Seattle will be offering a deal short of $18m a year. Clark’s people will be asking for more. The minute they slap the tag on him and free agency starts to play out, you have the framework in place to get serious. And I wouldn’t be surprised at all if a four year deal followed. If not, you play out the year and keep the talks open. I think it’s a very fluid situation with no pressure to trade him. And Carroll has repeatedly said he isn’t going anywhere.

      • Parks says:

        Should they have resigned him last off-season for half of what he’ll negotiate for now? I think so, but it leaves the possibility of another disgruntled player who feels they’re out playing their contract. Another thing to consider is John may have tried to make a deal happen last year, but maybe a player declines gambling on themselves having a great season.

        Either way, it would be a continuation of spending on defense + reed and Wagner coming up. My feeling is Baldwin’s contract is looking heavier than before. He’s getting older, more injuries, production declining. It may be a good time to trade him given the weak draft at WR and get compensation for him. Maybe a 3rd and 4th? That would clear 9.25 million from the cap – 2/3rds or more of what Reed needs to resign.

    • Volume12 says:

      Keeping Clark in Seattle has to be priority #1 above all else.

      • mishima says:

        Agree / 100%.

        I’m sure a fair/competitive offer has been on the table, but Clark wants free agency and will wait out the franchise tag.

        Hope I’m wrong.

  18. Ishmael says:

    Mina Kimes and Danny Kelly are the only good things about Seahawks Twitter. The rest of it is made up of overly aggressive nerds who are happier playing Madden GM than actually watching football, and complete freaks like Stranger.

    • joel says:

      Speak for yourself, buddy. I’m a Seahawks fan, I’m on twitter, I’ve never played Madden and I watch all the games year after year. All the whining and bitching about Twitter on this blog seems to ignore the fact that you can follow who ever you want, mute who ever you want, or simply not use Twitter at all.

      This blog and the comment sections would be better served if it didn’t treat “Seahawks Twitter” likes its only a dozen people with the same opinions on football. There’s a wide variety of opinions and personalities.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Hi Joel,

        Here’s the issue. I personally have unfollowed, muted and blocked people on Twitter. I’ve made a concerted attempt to try and steer clear of ‘Seahawks Twitter’ and in particular, the never ending debate about the running game. It’s not for me. In the past I’ve got embroiled in discussions that got heated, went round in circles and it was a waste of everyone’s time. So I tried to take a step back about three or four months ago.

        Did it have any impact? None at all. I found that people I really respected very highly (and some friends) would still engage in these conversations and they’d still find a way onto my timeline. Tonight, someone has screen grabbed comments from this blog and posted them on Twitter. I’ve gone from sitting, quietly, watching the playoffs and chatting on here to ending up in a Twitter spat.

        So no — sadly — it isn’t as simple as just ignoring it. I think a few of us have experienced that. And really, some of us have had enough of it and enjoy discussing that fact on here.

        And if anything sums up quite what I think the problem is — it’s someone coming on here to tell us what we’d be ‘better served’ doing. We’ll pass on the advice, thanks.

        • Group captain mandrake says:

          Nice reply Rob.

        • joel says:

          Actually I’ve been following you for years, and I also have supported you via Patreon because I appreciate your work. I comment very infrequently because I don’t follow CFB as closely as most of your regulars and I don’t have a lot of value to offer on CFB prospects. So excuse me for “coming on here” to offer my opinion. You don’t seem to have an issue with anyone else offering their opinion, and I would think I qualify, but if I don’t then I’ll stop supporting you.

          In the broader ecosystem of blogs and paid media that report on and support the Seahawks, this is the only place where the fan base is regularly complained about (the evil Seahawks Twitter). Even over at Field Gulls the commenters rarely complain about it. It makes your blog less enjoyable to read and the comments are often a chore to wade through. It’s your site, you built it, do what you want with this dialogue you facilitate, but just realize not all of your readership enjoys this aspect of your recent work.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Here’s the thing though Joel….

            How is me, and a few others, discussing Seahawks Twitter (when it comes up) even part of my ‘work’?

            I write blog posts about the team. I’ve never written one about Seahawks Twitter. If, as sometimes happens, a conversation breaks out among the 100’s of comments about Seahawks Twitter, I’ll sometimes join in. Why not? It’s going to be a pretty sterile place if we demand everyone ‘sticks to the football’. Personally I don’t enjoy Seahawks Twitter and there are some others on here who feel the same. We occasionally talk about it. Not often. I’d say it might come up every couple of weeks. That’s not often given the frequency of articles and comments.

            It seems like you have a different take, which is fine. I don’t have any issue with people, in response, sticking up for Seahawks Twitter. Feel free to defend it if you wish. I do have an issue though with people advising us on what we should avoid discussing. And I would also say — if a couple of comments from me on Seahawks Twitter spoil your enjoyment of reading this blog, I find that pretty hard to believe. I think we/I do a good job creating good talking points during and after the season. We discuss a lot of topics. We avoid the knee-jerk nature of Twitter and try and look for perspective. If I regularly visit a blog, read the occasional comment I don’t like — is it spoiling my enjoyment of a blog? Of course not. I’d just disagree with that one comment.

            Yours is the only complaint I’ve seen so far. There may be others. They may well speak up in response to this. But overall I think people enjoy the blog posts (what we’re here for) and don’t really care what I or anyone else says about Seahawks Twitter. I’m very happy to take your points on board but I’m not going to change anything.

      • GerryG says:

        Social media brings out the worst in many.

        Some of these folks on Seahawks Twitter act they are award winning journalists, and a celebrity. Clamoring to fire a coach just puts you on the same level as the annoying guy at the bar watching the game, but social media gives that person an audience.

    • Volume12 says:

      I like Mina. A lot actually. Mookie too. He’s a bit of a smart a**, but so am I. Probably why I like him.

      Danny I don’t soon look at too much of anymore, but I enjoyed him when he was running FG’s.

  19. Matthew Sanders says:

    For Rob and others…If we trade back two or three times back from our 1st round pick; who are five players you want think may be there for us that fit our player profile in the 2nd round. In this scenario our first pick would be in the middle to late part of the 2nd round. Maybe a player like FSU DE Brian Burns falls due to possibly being seen as a situational pass rusher.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s a difficult question to answer Matthew. We don’t fully know which players fit the profile yet (and won’t do until after the combine). For some it’s easier to project because of SPARQ and pre-college testing. Others it is tougher. But after the combine we’ll have a clearer view.

  20. FresnoHawk says:

    100% agree with Rob. Despite what many folks say Pete speaks the truth! Salary Cap rules require teams to have 60% guarantee cash in the bank, high draft picks lock up too much cash on teams that sign big contracts for star players. I don’t think the success rate of 1st round picks is high enough to justify the risk of the guaranteed $$$ in our situation. Pete is telling us our current players will be good enough to win the SB and we need to “tweak” a few guys (improve, add, subtract) here & there. Observations: I think Offensive Lines & QB’s are doing a great job combating outside pass rush but are horrible stopping inside pass rush. I found it interesting that Dallas’s solid DT play & star LB’s could not stop Rams rushing attack. Also it looks like modern passing attack requires minimum 3 receiving stars on the field at the same time with a run threat to be dominant.

  21. Sea Mode says:

    Interesting perspective on the Kyler Murray decision taken from a former two-sport athlete who ended up choosing baseball… and failing.

    http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/25729395/inside-kyler-murray-football-vs-baseball-decision

    “A lot of it comes down to what’s in your heart, what’s your passion, what you can be excited to do for this next chapter of your life,” [Drew] Henson told ESPN in a phone conversation Thursday. “Do you like watching film more than you like hitting in the cage? Are you willing to give two seasons to staying in small towns and hotels and grinding it out and struggling and playing in front of 500 people when guys you dominated in college are playing on Monday Night Football?”

    • Whit21 says:

      Its a tough decision to make.. Whichever choice is made, its hard to go back to the other sport… Especially in Drew’s case.. Russell made the quick switch back to college and luckily worked out for him, even though it was an easier choice for him since he sucks at Baseball.. It does come down what hes more passionate with.. he could be successful for a few years on just talent.. but beyond that it matters how much passion you have.. just like personal relationships.. you can get away with a few years but after that.. if its not there.. it never will be.. 1 exception.. Donald and Melania Trump.. she has to stick it out it seems…

    • Eli says:

      More recent news: https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/01/latest-on-kyler-murray-athletics.html

      Reports coming out that the A’s may offer Murray a Major League Contract extension, and that MLB would sign off on it. Murray is said to be seeking $10-$15 million in new money guarantees from the A’s. This would boost his guaranteed money to roughly $14.7-$19.7 million before playing a game with the A’s. What’s even more important is that this new pact would require the A’s to place Murray on their 40-man roster, and 2019 would be the first of what are his three option years. Here’s how the next six years could play out if he plays baseball (underlying assumption here that he’s good at baseball):

      When a player has “options” he can be sent between the major and minor leagues freely by his team, but once a player is out of options he has to be exposed to waivers. Essentially his new contract will somewhat force the A’s hand to get him to the majors within 1.5-2 years so that if he initially struggles they can still option him back to the minors. Once in the majors he’d start collecting a major league salary (~$535k currently) and his arbitration clock would begin.

      After three years of playing at the league minimum Murray would be eligible for three years of salary arbitration. Based on what I’ve seen and considering a range of outcomes I think you could reasonably expect in this scenario he’d earn $1-3 million the first year, $4-7 million the second year, and $8-13 million in the third year. This would put his earnings over his first six seasons at the original $14.7-19.7 million + ~$1.5 million + $13-23 million in arbitration = $29.2-44.2 million. If he ends up being a superstar his arbitration earnings could also be significantly higher (ex. Mookie Betts, who earned $10.5 million in his first year, will make $20 million in his second, and probably $30-$35 million in his third year if he doesn’t sign an extension before. Total earnings of potentially ~$60.5-65.6 million).

      Now it could turn out that the contract Kyler signs ends up buying out some of these arbitration years at a slight discount but that seems unlikely since his agent is Scott Boras, who is probably the best agent in baseball at getting his players paid. Since baseball also doesn’t really do signing bonuses my example of contract structures is more meant to just paint a picture of how his first six years would look and what his potential earning power may be. In this case Kyler would pretty much need to be a Top-3 draft pick to make playing in the NFL worth it money-wise.

      Apologies for making such a long-winded post about this, but his decision here and what the A’s end up doing will be pretty monumental from a baseball perspective. I know my scenario is a big “what if” but I figured it might be somewhat useful to go through it and see it from the baseball angle.

  22. EranUngar says:

    Thank you Rob for putting it all together so accurately.

    During preseason I was alerted by some overconfident statement made by coaches a few of the team veterans. It sound like they know something the rest of the NFL doesn’t know.

    When the season started (poorly) I tried to pay attention to a process rather than the immediate results and I mentioned it here a few times. It made me optimistic regarding the team very early but as much as I loved what I saw, it felt like they are missing another key player or two to be a contender. It was part of the narrative I started the season with and I didn’t see why I should abandon it. I saw many here and elsewhere share the same view.

    During the whole season everybody was 2-3 behind the ball. We did not predict the process and where this team is heading and only recognized in retrospect. The same is still happening. It took Pete’s very clear statements for me to look back at what this has achieved this year and the process they went thru to understand why Pete believes that this group of players and coaches should be much better. Maybe good enough to challenge for the top. I can look back at the team group by group and see a way they could/should be good enough it win it.

    A lot has to happen for it to work out but it could. It changes some of my viewpoint regarding what needs to happen in the offseason. It’s more about nailing most of the little things (resigning most the list of mid/low contract players (Sweezy&Flucker, Coleman, k.j./Kendricks etc.). It’s not about the big name in FA/Draft, The Pillars are there, it’s about matching stones.

    There is always the question when you talk about draft Gems (K.J., Sherman, Kam, etc.) – Clearly they made it because they had the talent for it but how much did the coaching and the team identity around them made them who they become.

    Looking at this this year its hard to ignore that the team around them (coaches and players) may be playing a very significant roll.

  23. Trevor says:

    Rob I think the scenario you have outlined is certainly the most likely scenario for the draft and free agency.

    That being said if a legit game changing talent like Derwin James or Vander Esch is on the board and the Hawks trade back I will be very disappointed again. Say for example a Lawerence or Wilkins some how fell to us as unlikely as it may seem.

    With limited cap space to be active in Free agency it would be the only way to add an impact player to the roster. If they were to nail that 1st pick with an impact player then you add competition all over the roster later in the draft, udfa and the second/third wave of free agency.

    The highly likely scenario you outline means they add depth and hope young players but really adds little in the way of impact to the roster and I don’t see how that takes them from 10 wins to a legit SB contender. I think a dominant addition to the DL could.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The thing is Trevor — and I think some will disagree with this — I don’t think they will feel like they need one potential ‘gamechanger’. And that’s the issue. A perceived gamechanger is just that. I really liked LVE but was sceptical on James. But I didn’t see LVE as a sure thing or anything. It’s hard to feel that good about anyone — and there’s usually at least one or two reasons why a guy like those two last.

      So are you going to be prepared to put all your eggs in one basket? On one player? Knowing after that, you only have three picks? Or are you going to trust yourself to find your guys? Especially when the coach is talking about greater competition is the key need, not a specific void.

    • Eburgz says:

      If Ferrell, Bosa, Wilkins or Devin White drops they better run to the podium. Everyone else I’d be ok passing on for more picks. All those guys go top 10 in all likelihood, we probably won’t even sniff em.

      Idk if you (Rob) should be telling everyone how low you were on James haha. He definitely wasn’t “boring” this season. A couple teams with needs at DB were sleeping on him and made a mistake not drafting him, at least to my untrained eye. Just poking fun. Seems safety’s just aren’t valued as much as other positions for whatever reason.

      • Eburgz says:

        Forgot Q. Williams on the list of guys we should take but won’t be available. only shot at these guys is medical red flags or if someone posts them smoking a gas mask bong minutes before the draft.

  24. Volume12 says:

    Looking through my notebook and Seattle scouted NC 3 outta 4 weeks, including 2 in a row, and I thought maybe it was for DE Malik Carney or one of the DT’s (Dalton & Clarke) and it still could be, but then I found out about LB Cole Holcomb (6’0-6’1, 230-235 lbs.) who it also could be.

    Former walk-on, as a HS FR he was 5’6 and a 115 lbs! Described as, ‘physically the most impressive player on the team in the weight room, has a high IQ for run fits and has been a key ST’s contributor.’ Former NC HC Larry Fedora said ‘he’s all grit and grind.’

    Runs in the high 4.5’s, has a vert right around 40″ inches (rumored to be the highest on the team), 10″ broad. Led the ACC in tackles 3 years in a row.

    2016: 115 tackles, 5 TFL, 5 PBU
    2017: 93 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 3 PBU in 11 games
    2018: 105 tackles, 8 TFL, 4 FF , 4 PBU in 11 games

    Watch how active he is ⬇

    Cole Holcomb vs Miami (2017):
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=auOnLIWgK2Y

    • DC says:

      Oh man I read that wrong. Thought he walked on at a buck fiteen’ and grew that much in 3 years! Was thinking ‘holy hell’ that’s a growth spurt!

  25. millhouse-serbia says:

    It seems Mack Wilson declared. What are your thoughts on him?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I will study him now he’s declared. Some think he’s a R1.

      Alabama valued his coverage ability so much they often had him as the deepest player on the field for key downs.

  26. millhouse-serbia says:

    I just saw it become hot on tweeter with no real reason. One good joke (and he deserve it 🙂 ) and…

  27. Golfstud84 says:

    Trade scenario:

    Trade Clark for picks to replenish the draft capital and eliminate a huge salary demand which you can flip to Wilson.

    Possible fits:
    -bears
    -chiefs
    -colts
    -eagles

    Go young on the DL except reed who is becoming a monster!

    • Lil'stink says:

      I wouldn’t trade Clark before the season starts unless someone gives us a crazy offer. Franchise tag him with the hopes of extending him. Wait and see how the season progresses. If we look like a contender with Clark, you keep him. If not, explore trade options before the deadline. I’m sure there will be a team that would be willing to offer decent compensation.

      Of course, it all depends on how FA, cap space, and the draft pan out.

    • BobbyK says:

      Bears can’t be a fit for Clark because they have no first round pick for a couple years and they already invested in Mack financially. There’s no way they are going to have $45 million tied up in two DEs.

      Can’t see the Chiefs doing it with giving Houston all that money, but you never know.

      Colts? Perhaps.

      Weren’t the Eagles tight against the cap last year?

      Seahawks already are young on DL with sophomores-to-be in Martin, Ford, and Green.

    • cha says:

      And then do what? Go spend even more in FA to replace Clark with a lesser version of Clark?

      Or draft a DE to replace Clark and wait a season and change while he develops?

    • DC says:

      Possible fits for a 14 sack, 27 QB hit, 4 FF & 1 interception making 25 year young 4-3 DE???!!!???

      That list would include any team interested in winning football games. Frank is just getting started! He’s the best DE on the FA market and he’s going to get paid a lot of dinero. It’s supply and demand. It’s okay to have great players on our team who get compensated well.

    • Eburgz says:

      Or, pay him and reap the benefits. And Reed and Wilson and Wagner. got to have good football players to win football games. Draft picks and cap space are great and all but blue chip players don’t grow on trees.

    • JohnH says:

      There’s a reason people killed the Raiders for trading Mack. After QB, good edge rushers (esp ones that do well against the run etc) are among the most hard to find and valuable of all players. Unless some team was willing to give us more than the Bears gave for Mack (and they were in the top 10 for this year’s draft) it’d still be a loss.

  28. DC says:

    Our 4 best players were all selected after round 1.

    Russ, round 3 #75
    BWagz, round 2 #47
    Clark, round 2 #63
    Reed, round 2 #63

    My advice looking at the above trend is to trade down to pick #63 in the second round if we are going DL. It’s not fun on draft day initially but the shotgun method has served this team well.

  29. brendon light says:

    I listened to Jim Nagy talking draft and Senior Bowon the Locked on NFL Draft podcast. He mentioned LB depth would be great in RDs 3-5 this year. I definitely think SEA trades back to get more ammo in that range.

    Whether they take an edge or impact DT I think they go DL first then fill in the needs with whoever they like best.

    • Matt B. says:

      Just to second this, I would definitely recommend people looking this episode up. Really one of the better interviews I have heard on a podcast, Jim was willing to share a lot of his thoughts on the class and guys he likes. Worth checking out.

  30. Eburgz says:

    Anyone have an opinion on Dre’mount Jones? Watched a bunch of him, Simmons and Tillery the last couple days. I like the latter two much better. Jones flashes but he also gets HANDELED often. Can’t see him playing inside for the Seahawks. Maybe at DE? Not a big fan.

    Simmons won’t be drafted by the hawks unless Schneider wants to make a hipocrit of himself. “In my opinion, if you strike a woman, you are off our board. I’m sorry, there’s just no two ways about it” & “suffice it to say, we would never, ever take a player that struck a female.” There is no grey area in those statements. Simmons is off the board guys.

    Tillery probably isn’t going to be a target either. He is definitely not “all ball” as rob has mentioned, he’s got lots of interests outside of football. Nasty Suh like temper on the field (kicked a guy in the head and stepped on a guy in the same game). I looked into his so called twitter rant and I guess he just liked some tweets saying Les Miles should take Kelly’s job. He’s friends with Les’s son and Kelly speaks well of him so I’m not so worried about the twitter thing anymore. Looks like he would make a good 3T, big time length and athleticism which Pete says he loves at that position.

    Basically I feel like I wasted a bunch of time and none of these guys are likely to be hawks. Of the three I think Tillery is most likely. Anyone have any other 3T type prospects that are expected to go around the end of the first/beginning of the 2nd? Or a different opinion on Jones?

    Shifting my attention to DE types. So far I like Z. Allen & J Ferguson best of guys that might last. I notice Rob is much higher on Ferguson than a lot of other places (although seems to be rising) maybe he lasts?

    • C-Dog says:

      Miami’s Gerald Willis is a 3T guy that I think is pretty interesting.

      One DT that has recently caught my attention that I think might be a fit for Seattle is LSU’s Ed Alexander. Massive space eater at 6-3 330lbs with a quick first step and big long arms. He’s more of a nose, but the way Seattle likes to play size at 3T, he might be able to fill in there, as well. Tony Pauline seems pretty high on him, and thinks he’s second round material. He can get upfield a bit for a big guy.

      Just a hunch, but with the league worst yards per carry Seattle gave up in 2018, I would imagine Pete Carroll wants that cleaned up and I think they might be more attracted to a guy like this.

      Here’s highlights from his game against Georgia.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfwtFxYzpcA

      • Sea Mode says:

        Hmmm, maybe I’m not used to looking for the right things in a big nose, but didn’t see Alexander shed his blocker even once and take down the ball carrier in the whole game. You say he has long arms, but it looks to me that he might have shorter arms as he was swallowed up by the blockers on most plays. Not sure if this photo helps give perspective:

        https://editorial01.shutterstock.com/wm-preview-1500/9991811s/9d98f0a7/ncaa-aggies-vs-tigers-houston-usa-shutterstock-editorial-9991811s.jpg

        Open to be shown otherwise, but for now I’m not seeing it.

        • Eburgz says:

          Thanks for the replies guys. I’ll give Willis a look. In fairness to Alexander he gets in the gap and makes the tackle the first play of the game. Doesn’t exactly shed his blocker though. He doesn’t get pushed back which is cool. But I tend to agree with you Sea Mode, based on this one game atleast.

          LSU gets gashed up the middle time after time in the gap right next to Alexander while he is left playing patty with a blocker or grasping at straws. I’m assuming he is 2 gapping most of the time based on the way he is playing and position, getting a yard upfield and holding onto his guy rather than shooting gaps. Either it’s a lack of awareness or he has a tough time disengaging plus lack of lateral mobility to make a play. Or all of the above? Only 1 game but I don’t see R2.

        • C-Dog says:

          To me, he appears to be controlling his blockers as opposed to shredding. It’s tough to evaluate not knowing his gap responsibilities. Maybe I have to check my eyes but I thought I saw long limbs with meat hook hands.

          • Eburgz says:

            He’s definitely a big strong dude and controls guys well, but he didn’t show in that game that he could get off his blocker to make a play. Definitely a nose tackle type to me.

            Just watched Gerald Willis III against LSU (wow) & Boston College (meh) and I like him as a penetrating 3T but he’s a total mixed bag. Love his ability to penetrate and relentlessly chase guys down. He won’t be able to do that swim move successfully time after time like he did against LSU in the nfl. He showed an ok anchor at times but mostly is just trying to fly into a gap and blow shit up in the backfield. Other times guys get under him and he gets totally washed out of the play, then he tries to spin out of it when he’s getting dominated, ending with mixed results (mostly negative). Has to get lower or stronger or something and he need a counter and another move besides that swim. The good stuff is really good and the bad stuff is really bad I think. A player to watch.

            Thanks for the other recommendations guys. I’ll give Wren, Dogby & Omenihu a look when I get a chance.

    • Sanders says:

      Eburgz, I would recommend taking a look at Texas d-lineman Charles Omenihu and Arizona St DT Renell Wren. Omenihu is 6-6 275 lbs, he plays DE and DT. Wren is 6-5 297 lbs and is supposed to be a freak athlete. Wren stats are underwhelming, but his draft stock may improve after the all-star games and combine.

      • WALL UP says:

        I like Wren as well for the 5th pick from a trade down. He does have long arms, and steal able to squat 600. Rd 5.T(142) Renell Wren 6 – 5 300lbs DT (rSr.) Arizona St. #95
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jkrrb404eo

        The UDFA class offers some opportunities to fill that foll for run stuffing DTs. FA Julian Rochester DT (Jr.) Georgia, 6 – 5 320 lbs is one that may be available.

    • Volume12 says:

      You checked out Temple’s Michael Dogbe?

  31. millhouse-serbia says:

    I studied our cap space a little bit and I think we are in good position.

    We have 60.455.232 million for 2019 and 108.000.000 for 2020.

    If we cut Kam, Mingo,Ed Dickson and Jaron Brown before june 1st we will have 77.335.232 for 2019.

    Frank – 18mil
    Reed -10.5mil (12for new contract – 1.5 for existing contract)
    DJ Fluker – 5mil
    Sweezy – 5mil
    Kendriks – 4mil
    Coleman 4.5 mil

    After that we still have 30 milion. And 35 players under contract. But all of starters exept maybe one DE.

    6-7mill for seven rookies and that’s 23mil and 11 empty spots for 53.

    So 23 mil for Davis, Fant, Moore, Simmons, K, QB, Q Jeff, and 4 more.

    And if we keep them all for 2020 (for ex) we will need 10 more milion for Russ (25+10=35) + money for RT (Ifedi or somebody else). And with potential cutting Baldwin befor june 1st 2020 we can save 11.000 and with Britt 8.75 mil. An maybe salary cap will be higher for 2020.

    So I think we are in good position but we don’t have money for big spendings out of 2018 locker room.

    I would love to here your opinion for potential salaries for Frank, Reed, DJ, Sweezy, Coleman and Kendriks.

    • cha says:

      Those numbers seem within the realm of possibility. Nice job, although I doubt Mingo, Dickson and Brown get cut.

      Keep in mind, those are annual averages and likely not the actual cap number. Reed and Clark will get big bonus $ as this is their first extension so that can be spread over the life of the deal if the Hawks choose. A franchise tag for Clark however would hit the entire number on the cap next year.

  32. Largent80 says:

    This would be a GREAT year for Seattle to once again strike gold in UDFA, or snag another teams UDFA in cut downs.

    Look at Poona Ford, what a diamond in the rough he turned out to be.

  33. Georgia Hawk says:

    I haven’t seen anybody else bring this up yet, but it was reported (Condotta I thnk?) that Wagner fired his agent and is repping himself now. Personally, I think this is bad news for both the Hawks and Wagner. He is getting advice from Sherman and Okung, both of whom had a “Thanks and have a great life” type conversation with the Hawks during negotiations.

    While I understand the athlete’s desire to take home all of their contract and not shell out some for a broker, but agents wouldnt exist if it worked well for athletes to rep themselves to begin with. really hope this doesnt lead to another divorce from a HOF player.

    • Ishmael says:

      Agents exist because lawyers find a way to squeeze money from every angle, not because they want what’s best for the players.

      Hopefully this works out for everyone

    • DC says:

      Ultimately it’s Bobby’s choice what he does and where he plays. He did mention he will be watching closely as to how Seattle handles K.J. this off season. Wagner will be the last remaining defensive starter from the championship team if K.J. moves on. That’s got to feel a little sad when all if your original buddies are gone.

    • C-Dog says:

      I don’t think it hinders the team’s ability to reach a deal with him. I think the Sherm and Okung situations were different. The team was ready to move on. I don’t see Pete moving on from the best LB in the game who wi still be under 30. If anything, negotiations might actually move faster without the agent factor.

    • JohnH says:

      Wagner modeling his contract on Okung and Sherman’s deals would be great for the Seahawks. Both signed extremely incentive laden contracts with little protection for the player case of injury. It’s the most team friendly deal possible: pay the guy market rate if he balls out, or cut him if he drops off or gets hurt with little/no dead cap.

  34. Volume12 says:

    Albert Breer, who I’m not really a fan of FWIW, said he’s gotten feedback from multiple scouts that Kyler Murray is seen as a ‘Friday pick (rounds 2-3).’

  35. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    My 2019 FA watch list:

    WR: Golden Tate. He fits the mold of a successful Seahawks WR. Heck, he basically set that mold, and was followed by Baldwin and Lockett. Tate has familiarity with Wilson and a whole new set of play experience from DET and PHI. He’s +30, and may be inexpensive enough to bring back home. A WR corps of Baldwin, Lockett and Tate could give a defense fits. I also would be interested in LAC Tyrell Williams. A bigger target with durability (never missed a pro game) and sneaky production (17 TDs in 3 years). Plus at 26, he’s still young enough to grow with Wilson.

    TE: I like the idea of Tyler Eifert, but not the reality. The single most important attribute of any NFL player is availability, and that’s not Eifert’s forte. I do like Maxx Williams though. Largely considered a bust in BAL, I think he has a second life waiting for him on another roster. Dissly’s return makes TE a lower priority, but if SEA signs Williams I’m not sure there’d be a better TE group in the NFL than Dissly, Vannett and Mad Maxx.

    OL: No new additions. Extend Fant, resign Fluker and Sweeny.

    RB: No new big additions. Few NFL backfields are as complete as SEA’s 3-headed Cerberus of Carson-Penny-Davis. It might be worth a late round flier on a prospect, or even bringing in a FA on a team-friendly deal. Isn’t Spencer Ware a FA?

    DE/LEO: Extending (or tagging) Clark is the single most important personnel move SEA can make this offseason. Get ‘er done JS. I’d take a long look at bringing back Bruce Irvin for the right price. Fowler Jr. is also someone who hasn’t yet reached his potential, who might be had for a 2013 Cliff Avril type deal. What about Dion Jordan? Should SEA resign him? To me, it depends entirely on price.

    DT: For me, this is SEA’s biggest position of need this offseason. Would love SEA to make a splash acquisition like Jarret, or to a lesser extent, Richardson (who I think SEA should never have let walk). Richardson had an excellent season with MIN, showing renewed ability to penetrate and sack. But we all know SEA don’t spend big in FA, so those two are likely pipe dreams. More realistically, someone like Darius Philon, Johnathan Hankins or even David Irving could make an impact on SEA’s defensive front. Upside-wise, I like Irving the most. But he has injury concerns and one can question his desire to be great. IMO, Philon or Hankins have the ability to be SEA’s next Mebane/McDonald.

    LB: Resign Wright. It’s a no brainer. The defense really suffered without him in the lineup. Just like with DT/DE, SEA won’t spend big here, so no Clowney or Dee Ford. I wonder what Eli Harold’s market will be?

    CB: No big additions. I think Flowers will be the #1 CB over Griffin at some point before the end of next season.

    S: I’d take a long, hard look at Mathieu, Dix and Vaccaro, and sign the least expensive of the 3 if the price makes sense.

    ST: I’m ambivalent about SeaBass. He had a decent season, despite missing some crucial FGs. Gould has the highest accuracy percentage of any FA K, but he’s 36 and likely to be costly. Same with Gostkowski. What about Jason Myers? Is he an improvement on SeaBass?

    • Volume12 says:

      Nice to see a post from ya.

      Seattle wouldn’t trade for Antonio Brown would they?

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Thanks brother. Went through a rough stretch. Things are smoothing out though.

        Short answer is no with a but…

        Long answer is yes with an if…

        Either way it comes down to price.

        I think it’d be a helluva matchup — the best deep ball thrower in the League with the best deep ball WR in the League. Split Lockett wide opposite and Baldwin in the slot, let Dissly roam the flats and intermediate seams…watch out.

  36. JohnH says:

    I think resigning Fluker and Sweezy is a priority, and I think they’ll be relatively cheap. It would be good to grab a late round/UDFA/cheap vet interior lineman who fits the road grader model as depth given their injury history. Jordan Simmons looked really good, I’d love to see another addition like him.

    Thinking about the O-line, I wonder what’s going on between Pocic and Hunt as backups, and what Britt’s future with the team is?

    • Aaron says:

      Resigning both Sweezy and Fluker will be the most important offensive moves this offseason right after locking in Russ to a third contract. I don’t see a lot of glaring needs on offense, just depth. We need another good road grader interior OL like you mentioned. We likely need another WR to complement Baldwin and Lockett. Maybe that’s Moore getting more consistent or Reynolds, Darboh, and Turner developing. I’d like to see another addition personally. The defense needs more work and that’s likely the focus in FA and the draft.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I think the offense is worse than the defense. But It’s the defense that gets the attention on this blog. Perhaps that is because PC has a knack for finding great defensive players.

      To hold even on offense, the Seahawks have to sign Fluker and Sweezy, and need to consider Ifedi’s fifth year. That may be enough for a similar 10-6 performance next year.

      What the offense needs besides those signings: I agree that they should sign two road grader guards in the late rounds/UDFA. Fortunately the draft is breaking out that way, with most guards rated in round 3 or later. The only two backups who have looked decent are Simmons and Fant. Neither of whom are a guarantee yet. Build the line from the interior out, instead of their usual search for a tackle that will become a guard. This gives Schotty a chance to build up some home grown offensive linemen.

      Seahawks needs another receiver, someone to spread the load beyond Baldwin and Lockett. I’m assuming the tight ends will be healthy next year, as Dissly is a force.

      Seahawks need a return man. Lockett is getting older and doesn’t always catch the ball, letting it bounce for additional yards against the hawks.

      I’ll leave the running backs alone for now, just hope Carson holds up, Penny continues to improve, and the rest can stay healthy.

      Oh and one final need: a field goal kicker. Will he stay, do we want him? Or is Seabass past his expiration date?

      • JohnH says:

        We averaged 26.8 ppg, 6th in the league. We were 9th in DVOA. Best rushing team in the league. A career year for Wilson, even with a couple of terrible unforced error type turnovers. I agree the offense needs to improve, but it’s hardly an albatross. I’m also excited to see a healthy Dissly, Moore continuing to grow etc.

  37. Volume12 says:

    Trev, Tennessee DE Kyle Phillips is dominating the Shrine game practice. Glad ya had me take a look at him.

    • Trevor says:

      Any word on how Canadian kid Mathieu Betts performed? Wish NFL Network had practice coverage like Senior Bowl.

      • Volume12 says:

        Killed it.

        My cable package dropped the NFL network unless I pay extra and… UHH UHH! So you and others will have to keep my updates unless I find a live stream or something.

        • Largent80 says:

          We ditched cable over a year ago and I watched every Seahawk game for free out of market in Texas. Also got Sling for $25 a month and it has NFL network. My total tv bill is now $5 a month and I have more channels than I did with cable (just sayin’).

  38. Volume12 says:

    Did Seattle clean up during last year’s Shrine Game of what? Tre Flowers and Poona Ford.

    IDK if he’ll fit their threshold for a draft pick, certainly as an UDFA, but they scouted James Madison multiple times this season and CB Jimmy Moreland sounds like he’s impressing those in attendance. More of a Coleman type.

    In 4 seasons he totaled 210 tackles, 18 INTs, and 45 PBU! lol

  39. cha says:

    Kyler Murray
    ‏Verified account
     @TheKylerMurray
    Follow
    Follow @TheKylerMurray

    More
    I have declared for the NFL Draft.
    12:23 PM – 14 Jan 2019

  40. Matt B. says:

    And there it is, looks like Kyler Murray is declaring!

    • Hawksince77 says:

      Do the Seahawks draft him?

      • Hawktalker#1 says:

        Is that a serious question?

        • Hawksince77 says:

          Yes, it’s a serious question, and now that he has declared we can discuss it as a genuine possibility.

          Let’s say the Hawks trade down a couple of times, and Murray is there in the middle of the second. If they draft him, a couple of possibilities open up.

          1 – they have negotiating options with Wilson, and are not forced into a club-hampering contract
          2 – if they resign Wilson for what they want, and if Murray is good, he can be traded
          3 – or, they don’t resign Wilson because of the cost, and they have Murray in his second year and they might have a Mahomes situation for a low-cost QB
          4 – if Murray pans out, they could tag Wilson and then trade him – ala New England with (forgot his name – guy never started a college game, played one season for New England, and was traded to Kansas City)

          If they evaluate Murray in the same terms that Rob does, it could be similar to when the Packers drafted Rodgers. If it works out, Seattle has another shot at multiple SBs running the offense/defense that Carrol really wants, because he is paying almost nothing for his QB.

          • Hawktalker#1 says:

            Hawk77

            Very nice response, thank you.

            I see so many proposals for trading Russ and drafting a rookie replacement I had to ask.

            I’ve even seen a posted where anyone’s grandma could QB this team as often as they run the ball, which is obviously a problematic opinion.

            If he is available on the second round, I could sure see some heavy and justified interest in him, however I think the other 31 teams out there are going to see his value as well and will likely pick him up before we do. Especially since there are other teams that have significant quarterback needs, where we really do not.

            However, I really believe the Seahawks will be trading down multiple times and likely all the way out of the first round. I’m not sure there’s any player on the board that will get them off of that relatively established tactic, especially since they only have four picks this year.

            Since I think he will go in the first round and believe Seattle must trade out of the first round to get the additional draft assets they need, I have a hard time seeing anyway Seattle would or could draft him.

            Go Hawks

      • Aaron says:

        Rob wrote about this a month or so ago. If we address the defense first and don’t pick him before the 4th then I’d say it’s worth a look. We need a backup to develop behind Russ and also a guy who fits our system to fill in should Russ miss some time. Russ is our guy, make no mistake about that, and if he went down for the season we’re done, same with every team. I like Murray but not as our first pick or maybe even second pick.

  41. […] Prediction: A modest off-season and lots of trading down […]

  42. Volume12 says:

    Anyone ever checked out Kansas DT Daniel Wise?

  43. Jamho3 says:

    SEA having a “moderate” offseason in 2019 makes almost zero sense to me.

    For just this opportunity. SEA made significant cuts this time last year

    We have 3 of our own that WE NEED to resign for relatively big $$$

    QB1 RW3
    DE Frank Clark
    DR Reed

    They will take up plenty of cap space. None the less. I doubt all want to sign now.

    Clark rolled the dice and came up big. Reed could duplicate his 2018 success next year and reap the reward in ATL where he likes to hang out or nearer his home in Carolina.

    SEA has 60m in projected cap space and is probs among the top in the league in money to spend.

    in 2018 average cap room was 11m

    So even if SEA leaves 20m in 19

    Thats 40m divided between those 3 bonuses for 2019 and whomever else we decide to pay.

    That’s a good # of contracts like McDougalds, Dickson, etc all

    SEA in my opinion WILL Target:

    DL
    OL in the draft

    And pursue an edge in FA as a priority and probably a couple of solid starters based on SEAs evaluation.

    Makes no sense not to considering the circumstances.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It might not make sense to you but that’s because you’re thinking about what they need to do in an ideal situation. This article clearly isn’t arguing that they just need a moderate off-season because everything is hunky dory. It’s laying out the facts.

      You say they have $60m to spend. They have to franchise or sign Frank Clark now because he’s a free agent. So wipe $18m off the $60m right off the bat. Remove a further $10m for injured reserve and the draft class. You’re already down to about $30m.

      They have a large number of ERFA’s and RFA’s to sort out. They need to make a decision on K.J. Wright and Mychal Kendricks, plus J.R. Sweezy and D.J. Fluker.

      And any of the players from the long list of ERFA’s, RFA’s and the four names above you don’t sign — a lot will need to be replaced because you’ve only got four draft picks.

      That is why I’m saying they will likely have a modest time of it. They won’t be able to make a big splash in FA. They’ll have to do what they did a year ago, be calculated and try to find cheap value. They’ll also almost certainly then trade down from the #21 pick in order to turn their league-low four picks into at least 7-8.

      When you take all of this into consideration, a moderate off-season isn’t just a projection. It looks like a near certainty. And the only thing that’ll change it is if they manage to pull another rabbit out of the hat and repeat the great Bennett/Avril heist of 2013.