Seahawks looking at Wake Forest safety?

February 7th, 2018 | Written by Rob Staton

Tony Pauline is reporting that the Seahawks are ‘looking hard’ at Wake Forest safety Jessie Bates III:

Eyebrows were raised when Wake Forest safety Jessie Bates III announced he was entering the draft, but this was primarily from people unfamiliar with his game.

Bates’ film is impressive — he’s an athletic center fielder who plays with excellent speed, displays great range and really stands out in pass coverage.

Though he’s just a redshirt sophomore, Bates plays disciplined, assignment football and is never out of position.

There are some who feel his ball skills are good enough that a move to corner is possible. While I don’t necessarily agree with this, I do believe Bates is the type of safety who can line up over the slot receiver when necessary.

While we presently stamp Bates with a fifth-round grade, there are a few teams who believe he could go as early as the third round. The Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers are two of the teams looking hard at Bates.

Anyone getting deja vu?

Back in 2010 Earl Thomas was often described as an athletic centre fielder with great speed and range. Thomas was also touted as a possible cornerback convert and he declared for the draft as a redshirt sophomore.

Bates III is listed at 6-2 and 195lbs. That’s clearly bigger than Thomas. So we’re not talking about a like-for-like player but good luck ever finding another Earl. He’s one of a kind.

People will read the report and automatically make the connection to Thomas’ uncertain future in Seattle. And that might be the right thing to do. Who truly knows what’s going to happen there? It’s impossible to speak with any certainty or authority on that topic. We just have to wait and see. Yet it seems, one way or another, something is going to be resolved in the next couple of months. Either he signs a new contract or he’s moving on.

Yet the reported interest in someone like Bates III could just be a nod to the need to prepare for the future.

So what is he all about?

I quickly went and dug out some Wake Forest games and he is a very interesting prospect. It was hard to believe some of the plays he was making as a freshman. He could read an offense, react to the quarterback and use his range to play the ball. Disciplined, decisive and a player who executes.

He had five interceptions as a redshirt freshman and two touchdowns. Teams seemed to be wary of his presence in 2017.

In one play against Florida State last September, the Seminoles broke off a run from their own one-yard line. The running back gets into the open field and has a clean run for a 99-yard score. Bates III chases him down at the Wake Forest 30 to save the touchdown.

In the same game he also had this excellent play in coverage:

He showed well running upfield to play the run, delivering a number of clean tackles when a back found the edge. Overall his tackling appears sound and he often tries to rip the ball out once contact is secured.

Bates’ is also a finisher when he gets his hands on the ball. He had a return for a touchdown in college and a couple of pick sixes:

There are big differences between Bates III and Earl though as you’d expect. He’s nowhere near as sudden and quick. Earl runs like a heat-seeking missile and plays with a relentless intensity you just barely ever see from players of any position. Bates III is more measured and he’s athletic rather than extremely fast.

Earl’s athleticism is probably his greatest asset. For Bates III it’s the ability to work out the defense and make sure he’s in the right place at the right time. He’ll read the QB’s eyes and break on the ball. He’ll identify a certain route pre-snap and put himself in a position to make a play. His range is good — but Earl’s on a totally different level (again though, that shouldn’t be a big surprise).

Bates III also looks big. Not Kam Chancellor big — but tall and long for a safety. Their body types are very different.

He appears to be a good character:

Pauline says he might be a third round target (and it’s another hint that one way or another the Seahawks are going to be acquiring picks on day two of the draft).

Increasingly I think we could see something like this for Seattle during the off-season:

— Substantial change to the roster as predicted/reported by many. John Clayton said earlier today he expects Michael Bennett to be released within the month. Gee Scott suggested ‘jaw dropping’ changes were coming. It really feels like he’ll be proven right.

— Focus on value in free agency with players being brought in on short-term contracts to see if they can become part of a new core. Possible targets could be people like Carlos Hyde, Eric Reid, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and the large group of talented receivers.

— Regardless of what picks they have, the early portion of the draft could focus on improving the running game (including a high pick on a running back). The second half of the draft could be about finding young defensive talent.

On that final point — it makes sense for a couple of reasons. The early part of the draft provides good value at running back and interior O-line. The defensive options from round three onwards are capable of providing some value. One of the things I talked about in the Field Gulls podcast (listen below) is the weak edge rush options early in the draft and the possibility of some D-line/front seven gems later on:

Kentavius Street (DE, NC State)
Josh Sweat (DE, Florida State)
Duke Ejiofor (DE, Wake Forest)
Chad Thomas (DE, Miami)
Kemoko Turay (DE, Rutgers)
Da’Shawn Hand (DE, Alabama)
Andrew Brown (DT, Virginia)
Darius Leonard (LB, South Carolina State)
Justin Jones (DT, NC State)
Tyquan Lewis (DE, Ohio State)
Marquis Haynes (LB, Ole Miss)
Jeff Holland (DE, Auburn)

This is just a sample too. The combine will reveal more possible/probable targets.

If you missed yesterday’s podcast, have a listen here:

224 Responses to “Seahawks looking at Wake Forest safety?”

  1. Bill says:

    Hmm, when I brought up his name a few days ago the only response was “not impressive”.

  2. Logan Lynch says:

    Is he better than Jeremy Bates though?

    Interestingly enough, he’s the new Jets OC apparently.

  3. Bill Bobaggins says:

    Jesse Bates THE THIRD? Earl Thomas THE THIRD? I mean…are the stars aligning or what?!

  4. D-OZ says:

    I watched 2 Wake Forest games this past season checking out Duke Ojiofor, whom I really like by the way. Bates kept jumping out @ me. A good sound player there.
    Rob, I noticed Kyle Queiro The Big Safety from Northwestern didn’t get a combine invite. Might be a good thing. He reminds me of Kam a bit with some ball skill’s. 6’3″/ 220. Check him out and let me know what you think? Chris Warren from UT is another interesting RB, curious as to what his measurable’s will be. He is a big kid like his dad, who used to play for the Hawks…

  5. KingRajesh says:

    I’m glad they’re looking at replacements for ET. It’s time to prepare for a mass exodus/culling of the defense’s “stars” this offseason.

    Kam is going to stick the Seahawks with a $12m bill (i.e., the Marshawn special – sign a big extension, play 1 year, then make sure he gets his before he gets got tho). I doubt he plays another snap for the Seahawks, but he’ll get his money and hurt our team one more time on his way out the door.

    Earl appears to be mentally checked out. I wish the Seahawks could keep him, but I distinctly remember that he stated that he changed his mind on retirement for two reasons – money and playing with his brothers. I think both Kam and Sherman won’t be with him this year, and the Seahawks won’t (and shouldn’t) give him any extra money, so be prepared for Earl to depart. I hope that its not the case, but it probably is. Plus, his random feud with Bobby Wagner potentially shows that there’s a lot of discord in the locker room and on the defense, and I’d rather build around Wagner, as LBs can play into their mid-30s.

    Bennett has a high salary but is struggling with a ton of injuries. His reputation for jumping offsides has effectively neutralized his talent at judging the snap count. Now, if he’s moving as the ball is being snapped, he’s going to get flagged, even if he’s not technically offsides. This happened last season and will continue to happen.

    Sherman… I feel bad for saying this, but I could quite easily see his career being effectively over. Achilles injuries are noted career killers, and studies show a dramatic decrease in effectiveness even when players are able to come back and continue playing. Sherman was already vulnerable to shifty WRs anyway – and now on a repaired Achilles, he might be a liability. Plus, I don’t even know if he’ll make it to training camp, as the risk of re-injury on a repaired Achilles during rehab or elsewhere is much higher than other leg injuries.

    Avril is probably retired.

    That’s 5 pro bowlers leaving the defense. A lot of work to be done this offseason.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Just a few thoughts about your list.
      Kam – Yes he’s going to stick the Seahawks for everything he can get out of the injury payment guarantee. I doubt that he will ever play again. Even if he could, are the Seahawks so desperate that they would let him play until he is injured again?

      Earl – to soon to call. Seahawks need to be honest with him over off season. If they aren’t going to extend then tell him. He is an aging safety that will want an injury guarantee and long term contract equals disaster. This sort of scenario has not worked out well for Seahawks. Most problematic with keeping him is that his hands are so battered that he has a hard time intercepting the ball.

      Bennett = not much to gain by cutting him. You are losing his experience and a solid if unspectacular contributor.

      Sherman – he looked slow those last few years and he grabbed receivers a lot. But his hands and interception ability were still elite level. Overall, I don’t think he can recover and be good on the playing field. But his experience is very valuable in a teaching role. And who knows? Maybe I’m wrong and he will recover.

      Avril should retire and enjoy his life before he is permanently hurt by football.

      I see a lot of rotation too, but maybe only 3 of the 5 leaving this year, and the other 2 not being as effective as they were 4 years ago.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Richardson – the other big issue is the potential loss of Richardson at DT. His long term cost will be high. Probably not the thing you want during a rebuild. A few stats about last few signings of DT.
        Cox (6/$102.6m), Malik Jackson (6/$85.5m), Ndamukong Suh (6/$114m) and Richardson’s former teammate, Muhammad Wilkerson (5/$86m). He is likely to sign with someone for 12-15 million per year.

        The Seahawks could use the franchise tag on him, but is it worth it for a one year rental? I would say not in a rebuild year. For those fans saying sign him and trade him for a draft pick. That is a very expensive draft pick.

        • KingRajesh says:

          I would let Richardson walk if Malik can come back and play football again.

          If he can’t… I now think you still let him walk. He wasn’t that effective. Nazair Jones was a better player at a significantly cheaper price.

      • KingRajesh says:

        I just can’t see Pete and John making the same mistake for a fourth time. Paying players for past performance and rewarding them for being locker room leaders just doesn’t work.

        They paid Marshawn. He played for less than half a season, came back healthy, refused to play in the freezing cold, then left Wilson out to dry against Carolina leading to a pick-six, dooming that game. Then, he “retired” just long enough until he could come back and play for his home team, while sticking us with a nice fat cap charge. We should have went after his signing bonus.

        They paid Kam. He didn’t play for a full season (once again – a trend that extends all the way back to 2013… Hmmm…). Now we know he’s probably going to retire, but he’ll make sure that he sticks us one final time with a cap-destroying charge this year on the way out instead of trying to do right by the Seahawks like we did right by him. Selfish.

        They paid Bennett. He DID play for a full season, but looked like a shell of his terror days in 2013/2014. The speed? Gone. Ability to time the snap? Gone because he jumped offsides too much. Power? Still there, but diminished. With his various foot injuries, will he ever be the same? Probably not. Why then, did we sign him to an extension that doesn’t give us an out? They knew about these injuries!

        • Brandon Adams says:

          “Paying players for past performance and rewarding them for being locker room leaders just doesn’t work.”

          Given the eye-raising broadness of this statement, it seems born out of sentiment and frustration rather than any real value assessment. Bennett was 27 and Avril almost 27 when they were signed by Seattle. They played past the age the LOB is now without any issues other than not being on the Super Bowl winning team.

          It also ignores the myriad of players we’ve kicked to the curb on defense. We have most certainly NOT rewarded every single player for past performance or intangibles. We kept back a quality handful and they ran into bad luck with injuries.

          At some point, you just have to accept that there’s a randomness factor with injuries, and that assuming young = better is a logical fallacy.

      • Rob Staton says:

        There’s plenty to be gained by cutting Bennett — it’s the bigger picture thinking vs the short termism of thinking this is all about 2018. It isn’t — this is about moving forward beyond that.

        • LLLOGOSSS says:

          Yeah but Rob, that assumes you can find a guy worthy of starting in 2019 this year. Or how about just scale back Mike B’s snaps, it only costs 2 mil to have a Pro Bowl player coming off a Pro Bowl season… I’d take that in a rotational role, even if you’re desperate to let a lesser player start.

          • Rob Staton says:

            It doesn’t assume anything. It just means you replace him. And you back yourself to find a replacement.

            This about the future, not 2018.

            • LLLOGOSSS says:

              Time will tell, I think this will all shake out somewhere in the middle of how you see it vs. how I see it. I think PCJS will try to put the very best team out on the field in 2018. While they are “turning a little bit,” I don’t think it will be the sweeping changes some are clamoring for, not do I think that’s wise. Make someone take their snaps, don’t just award players positions — that goes for vets and rookies. Competition, competition, competition. If they can’t play their way past Bennet, I don’t believe they will surpass him on the depth chart.

            • LLLOGOSSS says:

              Also, I don’t understand why the expediency to replace an above average player with someone else if you aren’t assuming that player will be a better player in 2019 when you say we will hopefully be ready to compete again. “It just means you replace him,” doesn’t suffice — you don’t need change for the sake of change; you don’t need a JAG. You need a championship caliber contributor. Yes, we SHOULD be always looking for those guys, but if they were easy to find then every Benson Mayowa, Cassius Marsh, or Obum Gwachum would be here already just waiting to lead us as part of the new core. That’s simply not the case. You can’t simply plug in your newest project and hope for the best — there’s nothing wrong with letting a player earn snaps, earn playing time, and force a guy like Mike B to the bench or off the roster. Cutting a player without a succession plan is a strategy for rebuilding teams who don’t have franchise QB’s. I truly, truly think you are wrong if you believe that Pete Carroll won’t put the best players on the field next year, and what about his approach has ever led you to believe he ever counts himself out of the championship hunt? I know you’ve said that they may make the playoffs, but won’t win the Lombardi next year. I can guarantee that the thought of realistically not winning the Lombardi has ever crossed Pete’s mind, even if it’s a pipe dream.

              • Hawk Eye says:

                i agree. I do not see the logic of letting Bennett go. He is not over paid, he plays every game, the cap savings either this year or next year are not big enough. And you are losing Avril, probably losing Richardson, might not have Malik, so where exactly are you getting a d lineman who is pro bowl caliber to replace Bennett? Let him go in 2019 when some kids have played well in 2018? I can see the logic there
                The Eagles were in cap hell 2 years ago, and are going back there next year. You can turn things around fast, especially when you have the QB.
                I don’t see Pete giving up on 2018, just not in his DNA

                • AlaskaHawk says:

                  I agree on keeping Bennett. The savings aren’t great from cutting him, and you lose his experience. I would keep Earl Thomas one more year for the same reasons (though his cap hit will be higher).

              • Rob Staton says:

                I’ve been over this with you before. We’re going to keep going round in circles.

                It’s possible to replace Bennett sufficiently, just as it was to sign Bennett and Avril in the first place, or trade for Clemons, or draft Clark, or sign Dion Jordan.

                I also actually said they can be competitive next year just not be a favourite. Which is what they’ll be with or without Bennett. You lean on Wilson, Wagner, KJ and hopefully an improved running game. Whether Bennett is or isn’t part of the equation is neither here nor there. The Seahawks are at the door of the rebuild. And there’s a very good reason why Bennett has said himself he doesn’t expect to return, and why people like John Clayton and Gee Scott are saying he will eventually move on too, within the month.

                • Hawk Eye says:

                  they signed Bennett and Avril when they had cap room and everyone saw them as a team on the rise. They were also not worried about comp pics for the next draft. I really doubt they can go out and sign 2 pro bowl level d linemen to low cost contracts this year.

                  we are all just guessing. We have very little of the information the Hawks have, and we do not know exactly what they are planning to do, and even they don’t know everything because some of what they will or will not do depends on things beyond their control. Like what players they offer contracts to go elsewhere and what players are willing to play for less than the Hawks thought they would, who will be available when they draft, etc.

                  it does not mean anyone is wrong – or right. Yet. I think the arguments for keeping Bennett and letting him have merit, but for now, all we can do is guess.
                  Nothing wrong with that.

                • LLLOGOSSS says:

                  Rob, there is a reason why it was considered a major coup to sign Bennett and Avril the way we did. Look at the contracts that have been handed out to DL since then of lesser caliber, it’s staggering. If it could be replicated so easily anyone could do it. Same for drafting — there’s a reason we celebrate the early drafts of John Schneider. It’s difficult to do what he did, as evidenced by his last three drafts. I’ll also remind you that the team signed Bennett and Avril when they already had two starting DE’s, and the success of Bennett and Avril is what allowed the team to move on from Red Bryant and Chris Clemons. This is what I’m advocating for: let the competition decide who plays, who stays, and who goes. It costs you nothing in dollars or in development to make people earn snaps. If they can’t displace him, then they aren’t better. It’s really that simple. Will they be better in 2019? They’d certainly get the opportunity to prove it all over again.

                  Say, for instance that the team drafts or signs (with what money, I don’t know) a player to challenge Bennett. Say this player isn’t Cassius Marsh, or Obum Gwachum, and they are above replacement level; they show ability and promise. Say they outplay Michael Bennett, and prove they can be a valuable piece for the next core.

                  Then play them. There is no conflict.

                  Say you’re not sure, and you want them to get snaps and development? Add them to the rotation. Adjust playing time according to who shows better. We all know Michael Bennett is playing too many snaps already. Take him down to 75-, 50-, 25%, whatever the situation dictates. But leave your options open, because there is no value in cutting a good player if you don’t get cap savings and can’t spend the money elsewhere. Your point about 2019 is lost on me; all the same factors still apply: if you have someone better, play him. If you don’t, you still have depth, and the cap savings to cut is minimal. If you can get better by cutting Bennett in 2018 OR 2019, then why wouldn’t you do it? I just haven’t seen a correlation in your argument between cutting him and getting better yet. “Replace him,” is fine, but you have to do it, they don’t grow on trees and you won’t know what you have until they show it. A mid-tier FA is not what this team needs, and if it is, let them prove it here first. I can see them starting Dion Jordan and Frank Clark next year and putting Bennett in the rotation. Why is that unappealing? How would this hinder the team in 2019?

                  Any team would pay $2.2 million for Michael Bennett right now. Even if they have younger, better players, adding Pro Bowl depth for 2 mil is a no-brainer, especially if the prospect of NOT having him comes with a ~$6 mil dead money charge the next two years. Ask any team in the league, regardless of their roster, “You have two choices: Michael Bennett for $2.2 mil, or not Michael Bennett and $12 mil in dead money. What do you choose?”

                  I really don’t get it.

                  As for his comments, that was an interview taken right after a frustrating season came to an end and only moments after being eliminated from playoff contention, and during a year when every pundit took the popular notions of the Seahawks demise and ran with it. Say it was warranted, but we all flit from moment to moment reacting to the latest win or defeat. Remember the storylines after KJ Wright said “Don’t sleep on us?” The national media was calling us the team to beat then, after half a season of calling us DOA. Remember what you wrote then? Remember what you wrote about how Earl going to the Dallas locker room was a non-issue? An overreaction? Earl was being emotional, too. He was reacting to a national narrative pushed by lazy east-coast media types who don’t follow the team, who see it from afar and who want to sound like they have the pulse of the organization. It’s reactionary. Now, maybe he’s manifested what he feared, being “kicked to the curb,” but I don’t think it was decided back then. Remember that all these guys walk around looking over the giant chip on their shoulders — as well they should. Here today, gone the next. That doesn’t mean they understand what’s going to happen or when.

                  As for John Clayton, I’m sorry, but he is wrong so often I don’t understand his brand of credibility (unlike yours, which is well-earned). I can’t explain Gee Scott’s comments, and that, to me, lends the most credence to what you’re saying. He actually does have the pulse of the team. Could be that he’s simply hearing the tremors running through the locker room and doing the same thing we all are: confusing it for news.

                  If it happens as you predict, I’ll eat my hat, and acquiesce that if Pete and John agree with you, then you’re all likely right for feeling that way, even if I can’t grasp it.

                  And if it doesn’t, I hope we could all agree the same — we were right for keeping him.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    I really don’t want this to keep going round in circles — but I’ll just make this one final point, one more time. None of this decision is down to the cap saving in 2018. It will all be about the future. They know it’s time to find a new core. And you can’t have a new core with all of the old faces still in there dominating. It’s quite simple.

                  • LLLOGOSSS says:

                    Rob if you read what I’ve wrote round in circles you’d know that “being in there dominating” is not a requirement in my model. Bennett represents cheap depth if nothing more. We already know this team likes to keep DL fresh in a rotation.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    And that is a secondary point, at least, to the absolute need to get younger and find the next bunch for this defense.

                  • LLLOGOSSS says:

                    We agree on that much.

            • duceyq says:

              I’m not sure Seattle is in rebuild mode. The team was a Walsh from being 12-4 in a season that saw horrific injuries at RB and on defense. This team is not that far removed from the team that beat the Eagles with Wentz, minus Sherman and Chancellor. I could see them tinkering around the fringes (letting Richardson and Graham walk) but keeping the core together. The Kam and Avril situations will resolve themselves imo. I could see them letting Joeckel walk and upgrading the Guard position in the draft or FA and extending Earl and Sherm for cap savings. This defense is still elite when healthy. The Jags only had 3pts at the half against Seattle before both Wagner and KJ went out in the 3Qt along with Kam and Sherm already being out. A healthy Seattle defense caused 5 TO’s against the Rams and held them to 10 points in LA.

              I think the media gets to drastic when evaluating Seattle. Seattle’s depth last year was phenomenal. This team was 8-4 with a sorry ass kicker and no Rb’s and half a secondary. Upgrade at kicker and draft well again this year. Let’s slow down on the rebuild, cut everyone talk please.

              • LLLOGOSSS says:

                100% agree. There is nothing to say you can’t reload while creating a responsible transition while you find the next core. We should be looking for those players regardless of whether we cut our existing players, so it changes nothing.

                • duceyq says:

                  Agreed. I also think Fant coming back opens up the option to move him to RT and then move Ifedi to one of the Guard positions…Let’s…this Seattle overreact is an issue

    • Rob Staton says:

      Kam isn’t going to screw the Seahawks. They’ll sort something out one way or another.

      • KingRajesh says:

        Rob, you honestly believe Kam is going to retire before Saturday and not stick us with his $12m against our cap?

        Honestly?

        Why?

        • Rob Staton says:

          I have no idea what’s going to happen.

          But an awful lot of people are suggesting Kam is going to screw the Seahawks or don’t seem to at least be acknowledging that it’s possible the two parties come to some kind of arrangement. Something will get done. And I’m uncomfortable with the way people assume the worst on this particular matter.

          • KingRajesh says:

            Kam does not deserve the benefit of the doubt.

            He held out in 2015 for 2 games for no reason other than SHEER GREED. He was 2 years into his contract that already made him one of the highest strong safeties in the league. We lost both of those games. I think we at least split against the Rams and the Packers if he played.

            Mike Rob, 2015: “[Kam] really feels that [the Seahawks] have the ability to pay him.” He was the first member of the LOB to GET paid and he wanted more as soon as the guaranteed money ran out!

            Then, the Seahawks babied him by not enforcing the fines during his hold out and paid him more money! Isn’t Pete’s NUMBER ONE rule to “Protect the Team”? Kam willingly and knowingly hurt the team! And the Seahawks still rewarded him! What kind of message does that send to the rest of the LoB and players like Bennett?

            • Rob Staton says:

              He also gave his soul to the team for eight seasons and is highly respected by everyone — players, staff and FO.

              • KingRajesh says:

                I fully understand that. However, what bearing does that have on him not sticking it to the Seahawks one final time for his own benefit? He already did it to us once!

                Marshawn was highly respected and he still “got his before he got got doe” – what do you put your faith on that Kam won’t follow in Marshawn’s footsteps?

                • D-OZ says:

                  That’s funny. this time last year all I heard was re-up Bennett…

                • Rob Staton says:

                  He held out. Lots of players do it. Earl Thomas is threatening to do it. Kam came back and played his heart out after.

                  Kam gave everything to the Seahawks. There’s no need for any angst here.

                  • KingRajesh says:

                    “Kam came back and played his heart out after.”

                    He might have played his heart out, but was that enough? Stats declined significantly in 2015 and 2016 from their high water mark in 2013-2014. AV also correspondingly declined.

                    Where did the big hits go? When was the last time Kam blew up a WR or a TE on the sideline or across the middle? The Super Bowl against the Broncos?

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    “He might have played his heart out, but was that enough?”

                    Yes.

                    I don’t really understand why you’re so negative about Kam.

                • LLLOGOSSS says:

                  You would take one last chance at $12 million, too. You’re upset that he held out because a contract is binding and it should be honored. Well… you can’t have it both ways — his current contract demands that he be paid $12 million and he has injury guarantees built in. Smart. FYI, I don’t agree with his holdout in 2015, but as you can see, he was right to be concerned about putting his health on the line without financial security (i.e., guaranteed money). This is what he was worried about, and it came to fruition. He’s earned Paul Allen’s money, the Seahawks will go on printing dollars, but his earning potential is likely over.

                  • KingRajesh says:

                    I probably wouldn’t have re-signed Kam in the first place, so of course I’m not happy with John Schneider for adding injury guarantees to a third contract for a rapidly-aging strong safety who hadn’t played a full season in years. That’s a separate issue. Schneider has been getting WORKED on contracts by players. It’s actually embarrassing how poor his drafting has been.

                    I’m not mad at Kam Chancellor for taking the money and running out of town back to Virginia. I’m mad that he even has the opportunity to do it. I’m mad that he has the ability to stab the Seahawks in the back one final time and get paid to do it. I’m mad that we won’t be able to fix major holes in the roster through free agency because we have to devote a serious amount of cap space to Kam.

            • Brandon Adams says:

              This is an emotional take.

          • Hawk Eye says:

            why is it “the worst” if the Hawks honour their contract?
            I don’t understand why you think Kam will accept less than his contract calls for?
            I have negotiated deals and contracts for over 30 years and I don’t see Kam taking less than he is owed. You take less than you are owed when the payer has some sort of leverage. A contractor explained this to me as “do you want a legal solution (long court case) or a practical solution (less money now)? The Hawks have zero leverage.
            You take less than you are owed when, um, not sure, never seen it happen.
            Kam is not going to upset Hawks management by getting his money, that is just business. But Kam will be upset if the Hawks ask him to take less, you can write that in stone.

          • LLLOGOSSS says:

            I assume the best: he’ll play again.

        • 12th chuck says:

          part of the reason I loved to watch Kam play, he risked his career almost every game, and the gamble caught up to him. Now you don’t think he should benefit from the contract signed .Perfect example, you think Bennet should be cut while having more years left on his deal. I don’t see how Kam is screwing the seahawks by living up to his part of the contract.

          • AlaskaHawk says:

            Kam isn’t screwing the Seahawks because both parties agreed to the contract. But there has to be some acknowledgement that the longer term defensive contracts for players approaching 30 are not working in the Seahawks favor.

            • KingRajesh says:

              Kam COULD retire before this Saturday and save us a ton of money against the cap.

              He won’t. Instead, he’ll collect his check and retire sometime before the next season begins, and the Seahawks will be all the worse for it.

              He’s well within his rights to do it, but it’s still screwing our cap up.

              • AlaskaHawk says:

                You my as well blame John Schneider the GM. He signed the deal.

              • D-OZ says:

                In the first place Ra, it is not your money. Bennett played too many snaps last year. That won’t happen going forward. He is a warrior, he play’s his heart out for this team. You are totally jumping to conclusions, while you don’t even know what his status will be with this team yet. Lighten up man. The Chancellor thing, wait and see. You will know soon…

              • Mark Souza says:

                This is the reason he held out. He knew he was declining and it was his last chance to get paid. With his playing style, there was a high likelihood his career would end as a result of injury. He’s not going to walk away from the 12 million dollar security blanket he negotiated for himself.

                The only chance Kam retires before Saturday is if something is negotiated like (and I’m not implying this has any chance of happening) Seattle offers him a secondary coaching position with 12 million in guaranteed salary.

    • Dale says:

      The only thing I disagree with is you conclusion on Sherman. Speed was never his primary asset and he hasn’t signaled a desire to move on to other interests. He’s a baller and his intelligence will keep him in good stead for another three or four years. The only question is whether he’ll agree to a cap friendly extension otherwise he could price himself out of Seattle. Sherman does have some leverage because the injury dramatically reduced his trade value. He’s more valuable to the Hawks than any other team.

      • KingRajesh says:

        I don’t care how good your technique is, backpedaling puts a lot of stress on the Achilles, plus then having to explode out of the pedal in another direction with Pete’s Step-Kick technique, might put even further stress on it. He honestly might never be the same.

  6. Patrick Toler says:

    I think draft offense early and defense late makes perfect sense. The Hawks have a fantastic track record of developing defensive talent, particularly in the secondary, but also on the defensive line (more in regards to developing undervauled veterans).

    There track record is less sterling on the offensive side, outside of receivers. Draft guys who are more talented on offense and rely on your coaches to continue to do what they do on defense.

    On a related note, I was wondering if Canales’ move to QB coach has to do with his success developing receivers. Baldwin took a big step forward when Canales was promoted to WR coach in 2015. Lockett made an imediate impact. Kasen made strides. Richardson has been great when healthy…

    • Logan Lynch says:

      There were rumors that other teams were looking at Canales. This move to QB coach could be seen as a promotion as the QB coach to OC path is relatively common.

      Also, I was doing some research on Canales. I knew he was with the team since 2010, but I didn’t realize he was the Asst QB coach 2013-2014. Maybe this move from WR coach to QB coach isn’t as random as it originally seemed…

      https://pro-football-history.com/coach/1770/dave-canales-bio

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        If we are to draft offense early you would have to think guard and running back. Just wonder which one comes first. Maybe OL first if you could get Wynn, Hernandez or Price or maybe Corbett or Braden Smith if you go OL second.

        • Logan Lynch says:

          If that’s the way they go, the decision might come down to talent gaps and cliffs in the individual position groups. Are you better with Wynn/Penny, or Jones/Corbett? These are the kinds of thought processes where I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the war room.

          • Trevor says:

            Wynn, Penney as you get two immediate contributors. I don’t see Corbett as a starter.

            • Greg Haugsven says:

              Wynn and Penney would be great. But is Penney to much like Carson? Do you go with a guy like Michel who has a different skill set? Just a thought.

              • Greg Haugsven says:

                I agree Logan, seems like that cliff of OL goes first so I would think RB second.

              • Trevor says:

                I like Sony Michel a lot more and have him as my RB#3 but think he goes early 2nd.

                • Logan Lynch says:

                  I just picked random names for the guys based on late 1st/early 2nd and late 2nd/early 3rd which is what I’m assuming we’d get in a trade back scenario.

                  I agree though, I think the OL cliff is much steeper than RB. That might have to be a consideration. It’s a bit tough to swallow for me though considering the heavy draft capital investment in OL already that hasn’t worked out for one reason or another. I guess you have to fix it somehow.

    • KingRajesh says:

      “The Hawks have a fantastic track record of developing defensive talent, particularly in the secondary.”

      I’ve been saying this for months in response to moving on from the aging LoB.

      If Pete can’t develop another set of Pro Bowlers in the secondary, a position group he’s coached for over 40 years, then he should retire.

      • Patrick Toler says:

        Pete and his coaches have developed a bunch of players into good NFL players – Browner, Maxwell, Shead, Kam, among others. Only two – Earl and Sherm – are HOFers. I expect Pete to be able to keep developing players to replace that first tier. But I think Sherman and Thomas are still exceptional, and you can’t count on being able to replace them.
        The argument is, I suppose, that you can save a lot of money there and still be decent, while throwing those saved resources elsewhere on the roster. Not sure I’m buying in on that, unless your hand is forced.

        • KingRajesh says:

          I think that Sherm’s career is probably over and that while Earl could be a HoF player, I wonder if his mental state is secure enough to play another 5 years to have a shot at making the hall.

          • LeoSharp says:

            I think it’s too early to say his career is over. However, I doubt he will be a pro bowl level corner ever again based on all the research around achilles injuries. IMO Sherman should only be on the roster if:

            A) The team can realistically compete for a Superbowl in 2018
            B) They believe they can sign him to a very team friendly extension less than 7 million

            Neither option seems very likely but a comp pick could be what they’re hoping for at the end of his contract. It’s debatable whether that is better than the cap relief of cutting him.

            • Patrick Toler says:

              There is absolutely zero chance Sherman signs for $7 mil. Are Achilles injuries that much of a death kneel? I’ll have to do some research.

              • Patrick Toler says:

                Hard to see how you could think Sherman’s career is over. A cursory review of what’s been written about Achilles injuries in the NFL shows that it’s certainly a serious injury (duh) but not necessarily a career ended for a top player still in their prime.
                The only real study came up with some scary numbers, but there are some issues with how they measured results (they measured “Power Rating”, lol), and that was 16 years ago. Here is a 2014 article by someone who should have a knowledge of the injury in athletes, that paints a reasonably optimistic picture: mhttp://insidethepylon.com/football-science/medicine/2014/09/15/achilles-tendon-ruptures-in-the-nfl/

                • Mark Souza says:

                  “but not necessarily a career ended for a top player still in their prime.”

                  I’d say it’s more like near the end of his prime.

        • Dale says:

          …and let’s not forget that Earl was the 14th player taken in Pete’s first draft. We took Irvin with the 15th pick but otherwise our picks have been in the 20’s and 30’s. You don’t get players of Earl’s pedigree outside of the top 15, I was amazed he lasted to 14.

          • KingRajesh says:

            That doesn’t mean you need to draft Earl’s replacement in the first round. The NFL has more than a few top Free Safeties that were not drafted highly.

            Adrian Amos, one of the best in the league right now, was drafted in Round 5.

            Glover Quin, Round 4.

            Andrew Sendejo, undrafted.

            Antoine Bethea, Round 6.

            Tashaun Gipson, undrafted.

            • JimQ says:

              Here is a real sleeper” FS that has been compared to a “poor mans ET” at this site:
              https://hawktalk.net/2018-safeties-top-15-prospects-seahawks/
              “”Reaves is probably the most like-for-like player to Thomas in this draft class. It goes without saying that he’s a much poorer-man’s version, however he’s severely underrated by top media evaluators right now””.

              FS-Jeremy Reaves, So. Alabama, 5-105/204, 4.52/40 +/-, (need to check pro day 40 time)
              Currently ranked #9999, projected UDFA with an up arrow.
              Plays deep safety very well, can also play closer to LOS, + ball skills, CB experience. Sun Belt conference 1-st team & DPOY-2017. It is hard to watch his tape and not instantly think of a slightly slower ET including his attitude & body language.
              2017: 12-games, 104-tkls, 70-solo, 7.0-TFL, 1.5-sacks, 3-INT, 8-PD, 2-FR, 3-FF
              Career: 45-games, 301-tkls, 208-solo, 20.5-TFL, 1.5-sacks, 8-INT, 22-PD, 2-FR, *8-FF*.
              TAPE– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDq_Bysx9-s

      • D-OZ says:

        ???????

        • KingRajesh says:

          You have to believe that Pete has enough gas in the tank to turn another crop of young guys in the secondary and make them into the next group of stars. He’s been doing it for over 40 years.

          If he can’t do that, why even try to keep coaching?

  7. Volume12 says:

    Nope. Wasn’t a fan.

    I did however say that Seattle was gonna chase a safety and was told no so….

    • Volume12 says:

      Watch the Clemson game. It’s not a good look. Looks like a draft and stash type guy to me.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q91Stt9x6Hs

      • Joseph says:

        I see what you mean. Has great coverage skills but lacked aggression in run support. But at some point we have to replace earl. This is gonna be a very intriguing situation

        • Logan Lynch says:

          My question is whether they’ll stick with the same “type” for FS and SS as Earl and Kam. By that I mean go with speed and range at FS and a bigger body at SS. I know the talent level with Earl and Kam allowed them to do some switching and have Kam cover deep in some cases.

          Maybe they’ll look for interchangeable types like McDougald and run some schemes that way?

          • Joseph says:

            Well for thing Pete is definitely not gonna change his scheme. Cover 3 is a big part of his defense but it’s gonna be extremely rough to replace Thomas. Earl has the speed and range and plays great in run support. Finding someone to replace him has to come soon, maybe it could be bates. If he can be coached up with aggression in the run support he could be a replacement. He looked afraid at times to go in and make a tackle. From what I was remember that skill was similar to Steve Terrell who’s a disaster, for having so many miss tackles. I like bates ball skills but does he has full range and closing speed to cover ground remains to be seen. I don’t think there’s a safety in this draft that has the speed to replace Earl’s caliber if they were to trade Thomas. To find someone in recent years to compare to earl is tough. That’s why I’m not a big fan of cover 3 at all cause there’s so much spacing and large gaps. That’s why teams have been exploiting us for quite some time.

            • LLLOGOSSS says:

              I don’t think you can coach aggression… Unfortunately. Your makeup comes from within, technique can skulls can be coached, but not desire.

              • LLLOGOSSS says:

                *skills, jury is still out on whether one can coach a skull…

                • I love his ball hawking skills. I think he can be solid if he can learn the fundamentals of rugby tackling and learn from Kam

                  • LLLOGOSSS says:

                    Not saying he won’t be a good player, but Kam is Kam, and nobody could have taught him how to be Kam. I doubt he could teach anyone how to be what he was/is. It’s in your bones.

              • HawksBill says:

                If you can’t teach aggression, the military would be trouble.

                As far as teaching ball skills, if a player can’t judge a ball flight or has bad hands, coaching won’t help much.

          • D-OZ says:

            I think they will look at someone with more length and assignment sound. Too many times ET failed in the red zone due to length and miscues.

            • Joseph says:

              I agree I’ve noticed there have been times where’s missed assignments. I noticed his lack of awareness at times. Saw in Texans jaguars eagles games. It’s concerning!

        • HawksBill says:

          Maybe aggression can be coached up in a young player, I doubt that ball-skills can be.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m confused… we kind of have people sub-tweeting each other in the comments section today.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Remember that post from 5 days ago.

        Who was talking about the OL from State College? I disagree

        • Thy Hawk is Howling says:

          I Disagree also Kenny!

          I was going to bring it up but ya beat me to it.

          What a player he is, so Seahawky!

  8. Duck07 says:

    While we’ve often talked about DL to OL converts, I’ve always thought that Oregon WR Charles Nelson looked like he could be a potential Poor Man’s Earl. He’s got the speed and shown the knack on ST and in limited time as a S (as part of an atrocious defense without any real coaching). He’s not going to get drafted but I wonder who the coaches feel might be the next project DB to take on?

  9. Volume12 says:

    Did you guys know that Josh McDaniels was HC of the Colts for 15 minutes and had one less win than Hue Jackson has had in 2 years as the HC of Cleveland?

    • cha says:

      Just long enough to get a look at x-rays of Luck’s shoulder.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        What a disaster. He will never get a coaching job again outside of New England.

        • cha says:

          McDaniels’ agent just dumped him. When your lawyer wants nothing to do with you, that’s not good.

          • Dale says:

            If he stuck with McDaniel his career in the NFL was over. What GM or owner would feel like they could trust him? I think LaMonte should sue McDaniel for damaging his career. I doubt the Pats will be doing much business with LaMonte once McDaniel takes over for Belichick.

            • cha says:

              I do think the Colts deserve some blame for this colossal screw-up. How do you not know a basic principle of any business, that nothing is done until you get it in writing? How do you sign assistant coaches to contracts, rev up the PR machine and schedule a press conference without having the HC locked down?

              We can talk all we want about McDaniels being slimy and the Pats messing with the Colts but they handled this stupidly.

              • Mark Souza says:

                ” How do you sign assistant coaches to contracts, rev up the PR machine and schedule a press conference without having the HC locked down?”

                You assume he’s a man of his word and will honor his agreement. The thing that will follow McDaniel wherever he goes from now on, is that he’s shown he is a man without honor.

            • Hawk Eye says:

              if I recall correctly, McDaniels left Denver with a reputation of having a difficult personality.
              I cannot believe that spending a lot of time with Belichick did not improve his “people skills”.
              I mean, all the time the Belichick spent with Parcells is what made him the warm, cuddly human he is today.
              No matter why McDaniels changed his mind, it is not a good look. A bunch of assistants already accepted positions with Indy. And Indy is not a great place with their owner, but McDaniels should not have accepted the job and then pulled out after the last minute. The detail of him not yet signing the contract is because of the NFL rules regarding working for a team that is still playing. The fact that his hand picked assistants already signed with Indy means it was a done deal.
              I hope he becomes the coach in NE when B and B retire, along with Gronk. That will be worth watching.

              • bankhawk says:

                Not to mention that should the day actually come when McDaniels takes the helm in N.E., he might have a teensy bit of trouble attracting the assistant coaching staff he desires due to having hung these folk he recruited for the jobs in Indy totally out to dry?

        • D-OZ says:

          McDaniels is a putz!!!

  10. Nick says:

    Wonder if they see Bates similarly to how they viewed Melifonwu.

  11. Greg Haugsven says:

    Russell Wilson traded from the Texas Rangers to the New York Yankees….stop it.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I just read that, I had forgotten he is a two sport player! Too bad Derek Jeter isn’t still playing.

      • Hawk Eye says:

        is it too late for the Montreal Expos to trade Brady?
        I was listening to an ex baseball player talking about Vlad going to the HOF and they switched to talking about Brady. This guy took Tom around the clubhouse as an Expo draft pick and told him not to play baseball, he should try to get the starting QB job at Michigan, even though he was only the back up at the time.

    • RealRhino2 says:

      My son texted me while I was at work that Russ had been “traded to New York.” Didn’t believe him, of course, but for the next five minutes (until he gave up the joke) I have to admit I was intrigued by the idea of Russ to NYG for Eli, the #2 pick and additional picks.

      • cha says:

        I got some mileage out of freaking out my coworkers yesterday. Nobody threw their #3 jersey in the trash but one did bite pretty hard for a minute.

  12. Kenny Sloth says:

    Ducks just lost Devon Williams to USC

  13. Mexican Hawk says:

    So many good players to choose from. Options abound mainly for sticking with pick or trading back (more likely scenario). Hope we get a 3rd. Trade up highly unlikely though a trade of a veteran could provide a little ammo for such a move (even so not likely). Draft day trades of players not very common. At least significant players.

    Leader in the clubhouse for me is still Isaiah Wynn. Even though I dislike the thought of drafting OG’s and RB’s in the first round. Trade back and pick from him, OSU Center or one of the RB’s. If they like Derwin James enough and he is there, have to pull trigger.

  14. Mark Souza says:

    Great write-up, Rob (as usual). To me, this smacks of one of two things. First, it’s a smoke screen. Are they utilizing all the draft pundits who have them linked to Derwin James to give the impression that they are drafting a safety? Seems like something JS would do?

    Second, if they are serious, it signals that after a year of review, they feel Earl’s replacement isn’t currently on the roster. It will be an interesting draft with lots of messages implied for the surviving Hawks who make it to next year’s camp. Big changes coming.

    • TTownHawk says:

      I think you are right and if that is the case, I agree. I don’t think ET3’s replacement is on the roster. I was skeptical when they drafted Tedric Thompson and I still am. I loved his game in college, but I just don’t think he has the speed that the position requires in the NFL. He is a decent center fielder, but just lacks explosiveness. I still get sad that we took him 1 pick ahead of Eddie Jackson who looks like a budding star.

      I do have faith in Delano Hill though and think he could eventually be the guy at SS. It is hard to know with either of them since they haven’t seen the field much, but I just know I am a bit higher on Hill than TT. Hopefully I am wrong and we see a second year leap from both.

  15. HawkfaninMT says:

    Wonder how he compares to Tedric Thompson? Wasn’t Ted supposed to be the up and coming replacement for ET in defensive backfield after the draft last year?

    • Thy Hawk is Howling says:

      He still could be Montana Hawk. Alot of people have already written him off due to his poor preseason and less quickness/spead then Earl.
      I myself am stil holding on to Hope for Tedric!

      Go Hawks

  16. Adog says:

    From my perspective…the seahawk organization(Carroll era) have always conducted their business with mutual respect and fairness to the player. This is a positive anomaly in the league. The lob was generally used to descibe the “whole” defense…and then regressed to be inclusive of just sherman, thomas, and kam. As a rabid fan…i feel disenfranchised with the “selfish ” behavior of thosr players…kams holdout, shermans sideline tantrums, and now thomas going public with his contract business in the middle of a season…unwarranted distractions. However as a millworker myself…i absolutely relate these men.

    • KingRajesh says:

      “The seahawk organization(Carroll era) have always conducted their business with mutual respect and fairness to the player. This is a positive anomaly in the league.”

      This is why its an anomaly. Once Schneider didn’t crack down on Marshawn’s foolish antics and then later rewarded him, the patients knew that they ran asylum.

      We needed to crack down on these players YEARS AGO. Should have went after Marshawn’s signing bonus when he pretended to retire. Should have charged Kam his fines from holding out. Should have forced Kam and Bennett to play out their deals and hold one of them hostage under the franchise tag. Should have reprimanded Sherman when he started to speak out against Pete and the team.

      If we did all of that, do you think Earl is out of line this year? Brock Huard and I would say, probably not. It all goes back to Pete and John’s mistakes with Marshawn. It will cost us Earl Thomas.

      • pran says:

        Its part of Pete’s philosophy. It has good ( a SB, success year over years) and not so good(issues you mentioned). Let’s accept and move on!

        I am perfectly fine with Kam taking his money and walking away..he earned it and its a football injury.But i expect Kam to take a settlement and work with organization for his future.

      • SoCal12 says:

        “the patients knew that they ran asylum.”

        I really hate this phrase and ones similar to it. The attitude that comes with it grinds my gears as well. These are grown men putting their bodies on the line day in and day out for our entertainment. To put them in the terms of ‘inmates’ or mental ‘patients’ is incredibly denigrating. You can criticize a players play and and coaching decisions and what not all you want, but to talk about players as if they’re ‘hostages’ and ‘patients’ for you to control from the comfort of your seat cushion and keyboard is not okay to me.

        • some dude says:

          +1

        • Hawk Eye says:

          this is the amazing part of sports, average Joes side with the billionaires against the “spoiled millionaires” who end up with broken bodies and damaged brains and are treated like trash the minute they have nothing left to give. Now I do not like it when a player wants $10 million instead of $8 million because he is “just trying to feed his family”, but the behaviour of ownership tends to be far worse as they get government to pay for their stadiums, or they will take their team elsewhere.

          • KingRajesh says:

            “this is the amazing part of sports, average Joes side with the billionaires against the “spoiled millionaires” who end up with broken bodies and damaged brains and are treated like trash the minute they have nothing left to give.”

            This is probably because we’re all fans of the team first and the players second. I was a fan of the Seahawks going back to 1995 when my dad took me to my first game against the Eagles for my birthday. We’ve all seen hundreds of players come and go. I’ll be a fan of the Seahawks long after Kam Chancellor leaves town. That’s why people mostly side with the team – because Kam won’t be here next year, but we still will.

            • SoCal12 says:

              Speak for yourself. I’m a fan of both the team and its players. I continue to support Marshawn after he left, and I wish the best for guys like Golden Tate as well. It’s not mutually exclusive.

              Even if you prefer the organization to the players, that’s no excuse to demean and belittle the humanity of the players playing for the org. It’s a symbiotic relationship between the org and the players working with each other, not a dictatorship.

      • Patrick Toler says:

        I 100% believe you can do business in the NFL or anywhere else while treating your employees and coworkers with respect and fairness. I respect the way the Seahawks do business and would have a hard time rooting for a team owned by Bob McNair, for example.

        Of course that doesn’t mean you don’t need to hold people accountable, and dealing with people in this way can make walking that line tougher – you want to give them the respect to allow them to go their own way. There are also unseen benefits when you’ve earned your employees’ respect by treating them respectfully.

        • Hawk Eye says:

          and in no way is Kam “screwing the Hawks” if he makes them pay him the $12 million. They all agreed to the terms. Are the Hawks screwing Bennett if they release him? Why is it ok for the Hawks to make a business decision but not the players?
          Put me in the camp that says Kam gets his $12 million and there is no settlement. They ALREADY AGREED to it. It is called a contract. Why should Kam be worried about how the Hawks feel about it?

          • Patrick Toler says:

            I think there could be a small settlement – perhaps they would be willing to give him a decent salary as an assistant to help him to agree to it…if he’s willing to retire. I’ve certainly got no hard feelings for him if he wants every penny he’s entitled to.

            • Hawk Eye says:

              cannot give him a salary to coach if it appears to be a salary cap violation. That is a fine line and the other teams will not let them do it.
              I say he gets the $12 Mil, just business. If they ask him to settle for less, there is no way he coaches for them because he will see it as they are trying to screw him. The Hawks have no leverage and Kam has no reason to take less.

  17. Nathan W. says:

    A little off topic, but any thoughts on RB Ryan Nall from Oregon St.? Could be a late round / UDFA pick up.

    • Thy Hawk is Howling says:

      Nall is my Fullback of choice Nathan!

      Go Northwest

      Go Hawks

    • GoHawks5151 says:

      Big guy. Had many break away runs, and may be faster than people think. Also formerly played TE (and LB), making the H back a real possibility. Great pass catcher and screen runner. Though he runs strong as a ball carrier not sure he is a hammer as blocker. Been nicked up with little injuries the past 2 years.

  18. Dale says:

    Rob, do you think the Hawks view any of the DB’s they drafted last year as an eventual ET replacement? The development of last year’s picks should have a significant effect on this year’s draft. Other than Griffin who you expect to make the roster in their second season?

    • Del tre says:

      I would say Tedric Thompson but the problem is you can’t teach speed and it usually doesn’t get better with age. If somehow he does improve his speed, i would say his ball skills and knack for getting interceptions would be of huge value. That being said the glasses I’m wearing while doing that analysis are rose colored.
      I think Hill can fill in for Kam, but beyond that i dont see anybody on the roster who could effectively fill in for Earl for 16 games. It’d probably be best to just keep him, especially if sherman can still be a pro bowl level corner because i expect big things from Shaq Griffin next season.

  19. Kenny Sloth says:

    Tom Brady walks off field without shaking hands: “fierce competitor, hates losing”

    Cam Newton walks off field without shaking hands: “classless thug, doesn’t get it”

    • cha says:

      Who’s saying that about Brady? I haven’t read extensive coverage but everything I have read, it’s being spun more “no-class spoiled brat” than “fierce competitor”.

      • Vista says:

        I too have been seeing it as more of Brady having no class. I know this was a talking point on the NFL subreddit after the game. I have to say that Brady didn’t shake Eli Manning’s hand after both losses to the Giants as well as last Sunday.

    • Patrick Toler says:

      Thank you!

    • Hawk Eye says:

      guys who win a lot tend to be sore losers
      Jordan was brutal. One of the coaches for the Dream team (I hate that name) beat him at golf and told him, I am never playing you again and I beat you. Jordan was banging on his hotel room door the next morning at 6 am looking for a rematch. The coach said he went and played him and made sure he lost, did not want to get stalked by him.
      Sherman and Bennett are bad losers, Russell is a little too upbeat after a loss. If you want to win, you need a team of players who hate to lose rather than guys who like to win.

      but all that said, shame on you Tom Brady! All the guys you beat looked for you and shook your hand.
      just another example of why the Pats are hated, and deservedly so

  20. D-OZ says:

    Primodona may be the word.

  21. DC says:

    Another way to improve the back end of the defense is to have that coveted interior penetrator disrupting everything.
    Pauline has Tim Settle listed as a 3rd round pick. Rob do you see any way he actually lasts to pick # 18? I don’t but if he did he’s a guy that I would take at that spot.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I could see him lasting. It’s possible that I’m overestimating his stock, even if I don’t think I’m overplaying his talent. He’s really good. If he’s there in R3, fill your boots Seattle.

      • Del tre says:

        I’ve got so much respect for the way you conduct yourself and this site Rob, really a class act through and through. The daily articles, the high quality of the content, and the conversation you foster by taking all options into consideration. Thank you for all the hard work.

  22. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    It is hard to match-up as a FS against ET. He might be one of the best FS in this generation.
    Perhaps they are looking to evolve the defense a little bit… more multi-tools and less specialized guys in very specific spots. I;m pretty sure you have to kick over every rock on every guy to see if someone would be a good value… when and if ET got traded (or even if he stayed).

    • Volume12 says:

      Good points.

      It’ll be like Marshawn Lynch all over again. Some will always want the next ET and still want the next Lynch.

    • HawksBill says:

      As great a FS as Earl Thomas is, he doesn’t have the best hands in the league. I have seen him drop a number of potential interceptions.
      Its not likely a FS with Earl’s speed, heart and desire will ever be available again, but getting a FS with good hands and size might be the only way the Hawk’s defense does not suffer a big setback after a loss of a talent like Thomas.

  23. Coleslaw says:

    I think that when we look at possible free safety targets, we can’t understate Earl’s greatness and uniqueness. You can’t just replace him and what he allows you to do. So, I think we should count on Seattle running a cover 2 and/or 3 safety sets much more often if we lose Earl.
    Afterall, every time Carroll or anybody talks about what Earl brings, they always say he allows us to play a safety down in the box. Well that box safety has been Kam Chancellor, and hes probably gone too.
    So, would you rather stick with a single high/box safety combos with obvious downgrades from earl/Kam? Or do you want to get a mixture of skill sets among 3 safeties and create a new core. 3 safety sets allow you to get the most out of your players and lets them play to their strengths, that’s big since we’re looking at players like Delano Hill and McDougald starting next year.
    FS: McDougald, SS: Hill… or … FS: Bates III, SS: McDougald, DB: Hill/Tedric/ another late rounder in this class.
    If the roster is truly gonna get blown up, especially losing sherm, Earl and Kam, we’re gonna need a kick

    • Volume12 says:

      They lose Sherm, it’ll be tough running a Tampa 2. Your CBs are your responsible for setting the edge. Love Shaq and J-Cole, but can’t seem them taking on a guard pulling across the formation.

      Then finding another CB that excels in run support would become paramount. You need corners with LB like mentalities. Strong, physical, hard hitting safeties are a must to run it as well roaming down the halves of the MOF.

      The biggest flaw in Tampa 2 is Pete’s pet peeve. The explosive plays. It’s highly effective in stopping the run and limiting the undeneath stuff as I’m sure your well aware. However send 3 WRs deep and it can become pretty easy to beat.

      BWagz would be amazing in a Tampa 2 though. We think he’s special now?

      In theory, it was created to combat the West coast offense.

      • Sea Mode says:

        Holton Hill is the most aggressive tackling CB I think I’ve ever scouted. Almost might end up a box safety because of limited speed.

      • HawksBill says:

        Agree on the value of physical CB. When Sherman and Browner were at there best, you could turn the corner or run a bubble screen against the Hawks.

  24. SkoEags says:

    John Kelly out of Tennessee seems like the type of late round running back Seattle loves. Physical and explosive with an aggressive play style and started out 3rd string fighting his way up the roster. Deserves a little bit of attention in my opinion. Any thoughts?

    • Sea Mode says:

      Definitely runs hard. Not sure if his being undersized is an asset or a disadvantage in the NFL though. Seems like very few other guys have made it work into more than being just a rotational scat back piece.

    • LeoSharp says:

      He can do it all. If he was 5’11 220lbs he’d be drafted a lot earlier.

      Key skills/traits:

      – Above average route running for a RB
      – Ability to create yards in open space
      – Balance through contact
      – Lower limb flexibility

      He’s probably at least a split stater, similar to Devonta Freeman. They’re actually about the same size (always thought Freeman was bigger).

  25. Logan Lynch says:

    SEA has shown a penchant before for drafting guys that had good tape early in college, but maybe tailed off a bit the following season or 2 (ex. McDowell). They may get on a guy early and stick with him when others write him off a bit and find value that way. Is there anyone like that in this draft besides Derwin James? Good 2016 or even 2015 tape, but not a lot of production in 2017?

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Its just not a projection that is unique or thoughtful.

      The only DB we’ve taken before round three has looked like a hall of famer ever since.

    • vrtkolman says:

      There are differences between the two situations though. McDowell was playing way out of position his last year in college, and literally was the only impact player on a terrible defensive roster. Whereas, James is coming off a significant injury and didn’t look the same athletically.

      • Logan Lynch says:

        Agreed, totally different situation. James was literally the only guy I could think of. McDowell’s situation was much closer to Bruce, playing out of position.

    • H says:

      Arden Key is probably the closest to this description. I hope we stay away though.

      • Logan Lynch says:

        He was one of the names I came across. Basically, I looked at 2015 and 2016 stats on a few key categories so far to see if there were underclassmen near the top those seasons that weren’t there in 2017. Not the best method I know, but it’s a starting point. I’ve just looked at YPC (SEA loves explosive receivers), passes defensed, and Sacks so far.

        Slightly off topic, but is Tre-Quan Smith good? I just noticed he’s had 3 pretty good years prior to declaring and had nearly 20 YPC with over 1,100 yds and 13 TDs this season.

    • Volume12 says:

      Derrius Guice. Although still productive and falls in line more with the Derwin James situation.

    • Sea Mode says:

      WR Antonio Callaway from Florida.

      TE Chris Herdon V from Miami.

      LB Andre Smith from UNC.

      RB Kamryn Pettway from Auburn.

      S Rob Rolle from Villanova.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCAWbIHOC2s

      DT Derrick Nnadi from FSU (a little bit at least).

      A lot of these are injuries though so I’m not sure if that was what you were looking for, but inasmuch as forgotten men they fit. I do really like the first 3 a lot and would be stoked if the Hawks got them.

    • Trevor says:

      I liked that! A lot of the picks and trades actually make a ton of sense.

    • lil'stink says:

      John Clayton mentioned using the franchise tag on Sheldon Richardson and using it as leverage for a trade. With all the picks Cleveland has I wonder what we could get for #18 and Richardson. #33, #35, #65? They have plenty of money to give Richardson the contract he wants.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        What if the other teams won’t trade for Richardson? Maybe they prefer that Seahawks suffer from expensive free agents. That would slow the rebuild process down and there will be one less team in competition for other players.

        • Rob Staton says:

          If the Seahawks franchise him and nobody will trade for him, they either keep him for one more year or remove the tag. Carolina did it to Josh Norman. He’d become a free agent.

    • LeoSharp says:

      That mock would be absolute gold for the Browns. Prefer them taking Josh Jackson over MInkah Fitzpatrick but either way that would make them one of the best young rosters in the NFL.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I have a hard time seeing how Cleveland can screw up this draft. With the high multiple picks they have this should be a slam dunk for them. No trades, just pick the best players available. Two picks in top five and another two at top of second. Wow! It pays to be lose = year after year.

  26. Aaron says:

    Jimmy G getting $27.5 mil/yr to be the QB of the Whiners. Man…Russ gonna get prob $30 mil/yr minimum in his next deal.

    • KingRajesh says:

      I think Kirk could command $30m APY on the open market. The Falcons have to top Kirk to pay Matt Ryan.

      Rodgers probably signs a new deal next season, the same time Wilson’s contract has 1 year left. 2019’s cap is projected to be as high as $190m.

      Rodgers got 17% of the cap when he signed his deal. I don’t expect him to get less in 2019. That means he’s making $32.2m APY, unless the glut of QBs that need to be signed between now and then push that percentage even higher. Remember, Matt Ryan, Big Ben, Blake Bortles, Jameis Winston, and Marcus Mariota all could be signed before Rodgers and Wilson get done, meaning the APY number could be higher than projected.

      Even if disaster doesn’t occur (QB APY at like $35m) however, Russell got just under Rodgers’ APY number when he signed his contract, meaning that could be $32m if all things go as planned.

  27. Volume12 says:

    Just heard about Frank Clark’s sad news. Couldn’t imagine something like that. Prayers up for him and his family. 🙏

  28. Kenny Sloth says:

    Jimmy G definitely not gonna blow up in 49ers face.

  29. HawksBill says:

    Does anyone know if Kentucky RB Benny Snell Jr. declared for the draft?
    I did not see his name on the combine list.

  30. Greg Haugsven says:

    Report from John Clayton that Hawks will cut Michael Bennet sometime in the next month. Not sure I agree with it, maybe if they make him a post June 1st (really May 12th) cut. Making him a post June 1st cut takes his created cap space from $2.165 million to $5.65 million which makes it more worth it. We wouldn’t actually get the cap space though until May 12th which is OK.