Seahawks reportedly showing interest in Jabaal Sheard

March 9th, 2015 | Written by Rob Staton

It’s no surprise the Seahawks are reportedly showing interest in Jabaal Sheard. He’s very good. Underrated, in fact.

A favorite going into the 2011 draft, Sheard was a great fit for Seattle’s scheme. You won’t find a better hands fighter at defensive end. He was relentless off the edge, knowing how to convert speed-to-power and often winning with sheer effort.

That’s not to say he isn’t a terrific athlete. He ran a 4.68 at the 2011 combine at 264lbs with a superb 1.59 split. He has enough length at 6-3 and 33.5 inch arms.

I mocked Sheard to Seattle several times. He was a player we talked about a lot that year in the late first round range, along with Jimmy Smith and Colin Kaepernick. John Schneider admitted a couple of years later it came down to James Carpenter, Sheard and Andy Dalton with the #25 pick. Seattle chose Carpenter for his track record as a run blocker, helping Mark Ingram win a Heisman along the way.

I expected Sheard to get a big contract offer in free agency. The Jaguars quietly had a very productive pass rush last year, but they could use more. I’d rather overpay for a 25-year-old Sheard than some of the other options out there. So far there’s not been much talk about his market.

With Jerry Hughes signing a 5-year, $42.5M contract to stay in Buffalo, the domino’s will start to fall at defensive end/outside linebacker. There’s still every chance he gets big money. If not, he’s being wildly underrated.

The Seahawks will welcome the competition named by Rand Getlin in his Tweet above. The Patriots are tight against the cap and struggling to keep Darrelle Revis. The Bengals are notoriously tight. The Buccs, on the other hand, would make some sense. They have $34m in free cap space and want to revamp their pass rush. They’re a contender to go from worst-to-first in a wide open NFC South.

If the Seahawks miss out on Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron, however, they too will have some extra money to play with.

The downside is, this isn’t a top priority. They have two of the best edge rushers in the game, both earning a large salary. It’s unlikely you’d see Sheard, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril on the field at the same time outside of obvious passing situations. There will be veteran edge options available at a good price in the second wave of free agency. A much more serious issue for the Seahawks is the interior rush.

It’d also be more money sunk into the defense, which is already carrying several big contracts. There’s quite a discrepancy between the amount invested in defense versus the offense. It’s not a huge issue, but it’s out there. Seattle has almost nothing invested in the receiver or tight end position in comparison.

Still, this is what Seattle tends to do. Let the market come to them. If you can get Sheard at a good price, why wouldn’t you consider it? Acquiring talent is the order of the day, however it comes.

There might even be an opportunity to do a cost-effective one or two-year deal, much like the original Bennett and Avril contracts. Sheard had just two sacks in 2014 as an ill-fitting outside linebacker in the 3-4. He had 15.5 sacks in his first two years playing defensive end in the 4-3. A year in Seattle could allow Sheard to max out his talent as a 26-year-old free agent next year.

It’ll be a real coup if the Seahawks can pull this off. Forget Brian Orakpo and Trent Cole. The best edge rusher on the market is Jabaal Sheard.

165 Responses to “Seahawks reportedly showing interest in Jabaal Sheard”

  1. Mylegacy says:

    Rob – he looks good – but – he’s a LDE, like Avril. If he was a right DE we could have Avril rushing on the left, Sheard on the right and Bennett from the inside with Hill – nice. However, can Avril go to the right? Isn’t Marsh from the left as well? How good is Marsh going forward? Clearly (from what I’ve seen) Marsh is nowhere as good as Sheard looks…

  2. lil'stink says:

    I would love to get Sheard, especially if PCJS see him as a starting LEO. An interior pass rusher like Paea would also be nice, but I think it’s unlikely we could afford both. As good as Bennett and Avril are they need help. And Sheard is young enough he could be a long term option, replacing Avril after 2016 if the team decides to go in that direction.

    Rob, I think your point of “letting the market come to them” is my hope for FA this year. A dynamic red zone target or edge rusher often brings a high price tag, unfortunately. I’m hoping that there will be some deals to be had after all the dust settles – save some money for a Kevin Williams type addition or two. I’m curious if there are any edge rushers that could fall into this category, perhaps that would be the better route to go if a bidding war breaks out over Sheard.

    I’m not sure how much Sheard is worth to us; while I would love to have him, I really don’t want to overpay. And the vibe from the media this year is that there is a lot more cap room than there is talent. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  3. Jake says:

    Yes please!! I need more pass-rush. There’s never enough pass-rush.

    • David M2 says:

      I put my pants on just like you do fellas, one leg at a time. And when I say I need more pass rush… I need more pass rush…(cue Blue Oyster Cult ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’

      • Jake says:

        I haven’t worn pants in over two years now. So, I guess I pull my boxers up one leg at a time. But yeah, once they’re on, I make gold records.

  4. redzone086 says:

    Keapernick trade rumors!!! The Niners appear to be falling apart at the seams.

    • redzone086 says:

      Smith and Willis just announced their retirements with Gore going to the Eagles and Crabtree moving on wow are the Niners falling fast.

    • John_s says:

      Patrick Willis is reportedly retiring as well. This will be a completely different Niners team with no Gore, Davis, Crabtree, Iupati, Willis and maybe no Justin Smith and Kap.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Appears to be nothing in the Kaepernick rumors. But Smith and Willis retiring is big.

    • Belgaron says:

      Predictions:

      “We are not rebuilding. The new fields that I planted at Levi just required a new kind of athlete and we are working extremely hard to identify them” -Jedidiah York, September 30, 2015.

      “Jed take a hike, San Francisco doesn’t want you any more” -Cassie Baalke, October 28, 2015, 12:00 pm.

      October 28, 2015, 12:17pm: After mutually parting ways with Trent Baalke, York has hired Matt Millen as the new 49er GM.

    • Madmark says:

      I said it 4 years ago that the 49ers would run with the hawks for a bit and then they would decline because they was getting old. It looks as if it happened last year.

      • Volume 12 says:

        I see the Rams as Seattle’s big rival again, just like they were in the Hasselbach & Shaun Alexander years under ‘The Walrus’ aka Mike Holmgren.

        • Coug1990 says:

          To me the Rams have to prove they can win before I believe they are the Seahawks rival again. Every year we hear St Louis is going to make a big jump and every year, they never do. Jeff Fisher is overrated in my opinion.

          In 20 years as a coach, Fishers teams have only six winning seasons. He has finished in first place three times. In the last five years Seattle has three first place finishes.

          I think the Cardinals are still better than the Rams.

          • Volume 12 says:

            They probably are better than the Rams. But we have history with St Louis and they also tend to play us better than the Cards do.

            • AlaskaHawk says:

              We get into debates about whether to pick a quarterback first and build the team around him or build the team first. Unless you get lucky and find one in the third round 🙂 it is easier to pick a great quarterback when you are in top five picks. St Louis kept passing on QBs when they had a good pick and now they will suffer in the mid range without a QB.

  5. Attyla the Hawk says:

    Seems a bit redundant. He’s not a succession kind of candidate. Seattle is still going to need to get a young/rookie deal pass rusher on the roster in the next year or two.

    He’d be a strange signing. A good player no doubt. Avril, like Bennett, was admittedly overused last year by a pretty wide margin. Sheard would at the very least, provide some snap count relief for Avril.

    • John_s says:

      The Seahawks haven’t drafted a productive edge rusher in the PCJS administration. Bruce Irvin was the closest but he’s better out OLB.

      Clemons, Avril, Bennett were all acquired through FA or trade and not drafted. This will be similar to signing Avril when they had Clemons. It allows the team to go back to their D line rotations and a return of their NASCAR package.

      • Jake says:

        Yes it does. Which is why I am hopeful he signs.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        That’s true John, but honestly, I’m not considering that an indictment of the team really.

        Seattle pursues all avenues of improvement. And I think you’d agree, that the UFA options we’ve pursued to address the edge rusher role have been effective.

        It doesn’t make sense to add pricey, but quality edge rush talent in UFA and then also turn around and spend draft capital for the same role. Those UFA additions meant going a different direction with the draft. Irvin was an early round pick — seemingly destined to be a quality pass rush specialist. But I’m of the opinion that Seattle was wise in altering his role and this team is better off for the switch.

        I totally agree, this is a move to get back to a more rested Avril. It was a concern heading into 2014 when Clemons was released and it turned out to be a well founded concern. Avril’s snap counts exploded (along with Bennett’s). Adding additional LEO options to keep Avril fresh has a lot of value.

        Ideally, that option would come via the draft with a cheaper/younger option. But those options aren’t always available. Sheard is a quality option for what we want. He’s still young. But his cost will be higher than ideal. Still, our cap space can absorb that — particularly if the draft presents options to keep cap spend low elsewhere.

        • JW says:

          agree fully. if they can make it fit under their plan, this is a smart move. The pass rush is 1 injury away from disappearing. And we’ve heard PC talk about all of the intricacies that they’re looking for in a pass rusher in terms of skills. There’s a learning curve with pass rushers, too. Sheard is still young enough to be in his pass rushing peak years, plus has spent some time in the league developing those skills.

          • Rob Staton says:

            “The pass rush is 1 injury away from disappearing”

            So is the passing game, running game…

            • JW says:

              well, every passing game in the NFL has to say that. So, that should go without saying.

              I don’t think the running game is non existent without Lynch. Neither does Cable, if you believe him.

              This team is built around defense, and that defense takes a significant step back without both Avril and Bennett in the game at the same time.

        • John_s says:

          The only guys who fit the preferred measurables in the draft who could be there @ 31 are Bud Dupree and Eli Harold. Being pass rushers they always get pushed up the board and could more than likely be taken ahead of seattle.

          If they sign Sheard it would more than likely be on a short term deal similar to Avril and Bennett which would allow Sheard to hit the market again before he turns 30.

          If Dupree is there then I would love him but I could see him go in the 20’s similar to Smith last year who went to the Eagles and was looked at as a 2nd rounder.

          Do you want to sign Sheard or gamble that the pass rusher who fits what you look for #’s wise is there for you?

          If anything, we have seen that Schneider likes to fill the positions of need before the draft so he can keep his options open during the draft.

          • Attyla the Hawk says:

            “If anything, we have seen that Schneider likes to fill the positions of need before the draft so he can keep his options open during the draft.”

            This we agree on completely.

            I simply don’t agree that rotational 2nd line pass rush is THAT big of a need. It’s a need. But seems more of a ‘week 3, let’s see who’s left after the big contracts are gone’ kind of need.

            I would be surprised we’d feel it was such a strong need, that we’d dry up our cap space ( this contract plus extensions to Wagner/Wilson ) and commit a future comp pick to fill it. If Sheard can be had for a 6th round qualifying offer — yeah I think we’d go that route.

            I’d have to wonder if maybe we’ll revive the draft strategy of 2010 — where we maybe trade down in the draft for player and pick. Similar to the Clemons/Leon Washington deals. Get players that are miscast yet under contract. It’s not something we’ve done recently. But would seem to be an avenue worth pursuing again.

            • AlaskaHawk says:

              There were some draft picks from last year that ended up on IR. I would like to see how they perform as edge rushers. Can’t remember names. But when the Seahawks make their 11 picks, just remember that there were lots of players from last year who could still end up as starters.

            • peter says:

              Sheard at 25 is three and half years younger then Avril is actually a pretty good succession plan at the same level of production including a terribly down year his career sacks per game are higher any a tick then Avril.

              I agree with a ton of your posts but not signing sheard for a 6th round pick in the future comp no less seems a bit short sighted. Beyond Maxwell and perhaps sweezy the team hasn’t had any pick in this 6th round or later as productive as Sheard….im looking at you Doug baldwin

              • Attyla the Hawk says:

                I wasn’t clear. I said if we’re talking about a 6th round comp pick size contract (3-4m per year), then I think we’d pull the trigger.

                Any larger, and we’re now eating into extension reserves — assuming we address some other needs in UFA as well. We’ve addressed some CB depth today (Blackmon). Figure we’ll have a few other depth signings too. Sheard could be a priority signing. But that would preclude a TE/WR signing most likely.

                Backup LEO need seems pretty light compared to some of our other needs. Taking Sheard at a higher cost can easily be prohibitive when it comes to filling other gaps in the roster. Those gaps can be addressed via the draft, but you only have so many choices. Realistically anything after round 4 shouldn’t be expected to address a hole on the active roster. If it does, great. But those are going to be low depth/redshirt prospects most likely.

                • peter says:

                  No that makes a sense sorry thought you just hedging against future picks which was confusing to me.

            • OZ says:

              Weper certainly could have used Sheard in the Super Bowl…

  6. MoondustV says:

    First things first. Interior D-Line guys and reinforcement at WR/TEs are the players we should pursue now. I accept the idea that there’ll never be enough pass rush, but after the big $$$ we spent on Bennett and Avril… maybe we should find other solutions in LEO.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      We should. But you have to put names to paper first. Sometimes what you should do, is not try to overdraft for an ideal.

      Consider, that the draft options for interior DL and WR may just be better options in this draft. I think that’s accurate. That’s where you create the cap value. By not signing veteran DL depth (K Wiliams/T. McDaniel) and going with suitable rookie alternatives there. That’s cap spend you can allocate elsewhere.

      Yeah, we’ll be bloated at DE. But lets say we are now shallow in spend at DT. Or perhaps OL/TE by not matching a 3-4M spend on Carpenter and Miller.

      TE seems the most problematic. It was a decent year for UFA TE talent, but it appears that the teams with tons of cap space are turning their piles of cash towards them. We’re a bit unlucky in that regard. It could well trigger a heightened need for TE via the draft if we crap out on the UFA options there.

      Our R1 pick seems increasingly destined to be used on a position that will basically be a lateral improvement, as opposed to filling a hole. That prospect will become more clear as the UFA period unfolds.

      If that does come to pass, then I’d have to wonder aloud if burning the cap reserve on Sheard would make more sense than say adding a bridge UFA WR. If we’re left with the prospect of having to take a Maxx Williams in the draft because we can’t get a UFA TE, then we’re passing on a more appealing WR option.

      Worth noting, Sheard will factor in to a comp pick calculation. Consider that if we lose Maxwell and Carpenter to qualifying contracts, it’d be like signing Sheard and trading a late 6th round pick in the process.

      It seems increasingly probable as the UFA tampering period has materialized, that Seattle is destined to follow a more typical Tier 3 UFA strategy. Allow the markets to snap up the big money prizes and take what’s left. We’ve seen this pattern before, where we are active in talking with prospects but at an under market level price. It’s a strategy that has worked well for us in the past. And it puts us in a position to compete for late cap casualty prospects that aren’t on the UFA lists at this time.

      The signals thus far really seem to point to that being the case. And with so many teams with cash that they must spend this year — that seems almost a certainty. The big prizes are walking off with near QB money.

      I’d be satisfied if we don’t make a week 1 or even week 2 splash. The conditions aren’t right to get players whose spend will be in line with their value. Commit the dollars to the guys we have who are impact players (Wagner/Wilson and Lynch). Get some depth options at depth option prices. Draft for positional need if required.

      This draft is deep enough at WR, that we don’t have to get a Jaelen Strong type prospect early. We can go get a less dynamic/solid pro TE prospect and still get quality WR value later. It’s not the ideal. But it would be a neater fit between UFA/Draft strategy as it pertains to getting this roster ready for 2015.

  7. Ukhawk says:

    I’d love the move. Cannot have too many edge rushers and they are hard to find. It’s one reason we lost SB49 when Avril went out; clearly we need rotation. He’s young, good fit and possibly can be had at a reasonable rate.

    Can’t wait for the Perriman/Strong review; I like Perriman at 31 as I think he is as good as Cooper/Parker

    • John_s says:

      Agree on both. You can never have too many rushers and the Seahawks brass knows that more than anyone.

      I like Perriman a lot. Yes the drops are concerning but he’s got everythjng else that you are looking for.

      • Volume 12 says:

        I wasn’t a big Breshad Perriman fan at first, because of all the dropped passes.

        But, then I began thinking, ‘that doesn’t really seem to turn Seattle off in terms of what they look for in receivers.’ Like I know what they look for? Yeah right. But my point is, I think that they’ll take the drops if he can add an explosive, downfield, type of wideout with good size and speed. I mean look at TE Luke Wilson. Fantastic athlete with subpar hands, but damn if his potential isn’t through the roof.

        He reminds me of a mix between Julio Jones and Sidney Rice, Again, it may just be the dreads.

        • Drew says:

          The only difference between Willson and Perriman is that Luke was a 5th round pick and Perriman is a potential 1st rounder.

        • bobbyk says:

          However, it should also be telling that they must not think the world of Willson and his drops that they are aggressively going to Thomas.

          If we want a big play WR who can drop passes, maybe we should reconsider Sammie Coates?

  8. CD says:

    Rob, any idea why the Browns just don’t keep him, they have a ton of cap space? Is/Was there something wrong with him regarding his relationship with the Browns, he is one of their own.

    • hawkfaninMT says:

      I have heard that he wasn’t a great fit as an OLB in the 3-4… But what do I know?

  9. Ed says:

    3 I have beating the drum for.

    Sheard
    Paea
    Wisnewski

    Those 3 shouldn’t break the bank, and would help out in areas of need.

    Parker/Thurmond (CB)
    Davis (TE)

    Would allow us to focus on WR and OL

    • hawkfaninMT says:

      Me too…

      I am hoping for 3-4 of:
      Sheard
      Paea
      Wiesnewski
      Andre Johnson
      Cameron
      Culliver
      Cromartie

      • Jake says:

        I would like Sheard (at the right price), Paea (at anything reasonable), Culliver, Wisniewski (at anything reasonable – but quite a bit less than Hudson just got), and Andre Johnson (at the right price).

        Sheard could be the Avril of 2015, if he’s affordable like Avril was back in 2013.
        Paea could be Mebane’s replacement in 2016, after playing one year next to him.
        Culliver could challenge Simon for the starting RCB spot, and possibly play the slot.
        Wisniewski could replace Carpenter in 2015, and slide over to center to replace Unger (if injured) and in 2016 and beyond.
        Johnson is a two-year rental while a rookie gets up to speed (and serve as a mentor to the WRs on the roster).

        If price is an issue, Paea and Culliver, would be my priority.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          I’m afraid that after signings by JJ Watt and Suh the market for Paea will be over 10 million a year. Lucky for him, unlucky for us.

          Sheard would be nice as a rotational edge rusher. Edge rushers need to maintain a mad dog energy, not easy to do over a full game. Sheard would provide vital relief at that position, and would be crucial if one edge rusher gets injured.

  10. JW says:

    I’d rather them spend money on Sheard than on a WR/TE.

    I think they can make it work with what they have, and the draft has some good options. This offense isn’t overly complex, so I think the learning curve of young WRs isn’t as steep as is often assumed. If a guy has talent, he can impact.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      From a quality standpoint, possibly.

      I would go the other way. Get a cap casualty WR to lessen need to take a WR with our R1 pick (or whatever we trade down to). Afford the flexibility of possibly going another position of need. Save the comp pick for 2016 in the process.

      We have to figure we’re going to go WR once, maybe twice in the first 4 rounds. Adding a WR who can figure in the top 3 rotation by UFA lessens the need to go early. It also hedges against the real likelihood that our estimation of what is good isn’t perhaps inline with reality. Our track record for identifying WR talent hasn’t been the best. Or that whomever we draft early will end up having to develop for a year before being high quality.

    • Rob Staton says:

      “I think they can make it work with what they have”

      They can make it work, for sure. But with improvements to the offense they might be unstoppable. The defense is already #1.

      • lil'stink says:

        In all fairness if we don’t have that 6 game stretch where we play 4 backup QB’s and a struggling Kaepernick twice (who seems to never play well against us) I don’t think we end up with the #1 defense.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Maybe not, but it’d still be right up there. Look how they dealt with Rodgers and Manning early in the season.

          • JW says:

            Their offense was ranked 5th in DVOA, near the top in the league in efficiency, and #1 in explosive plays. The offense, and WRs, are not nearly as hurting as some would like to portray, imho.

            The reality is, no part of this team is really weak or in need of dramatic upgrade. But I do think spending money and a pass rusher in FA makes more sense than a FA WR.

            I think the better options for WR are in the draft, in terms of cost/performance and utility.

            • Rob Staton says:

              ” The offense, and WRs, are not nearly as hurting as some would like to portray, imho.”

              I don’t think anyone would say they hurt the team (although maybe in the Super Bowl). The point really is — imagine how good they could be with extra talent at WR/TE? Could be nearly unstoppable.

              • AlaskaHawk says:

                Remember two years back when the offense had a streak where they would put up 40 or 50 points a game? It takes a lot of pressure off the defense when you do that. I like our #1 defense but even they can’t cover for a medium level offense all the time.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  Exactly — and they left a lot of points on the board last season. The Seahawks are a couple of weapons away from being the kind of formidable, nearly impossible to beat opponent we all hoped after SB48.

            • MoondustV says:

              Explosive offensive plays are not the 100% ideal fit for SEA. If you want your defense to be lethal all the time, you need to rest them in the game as much as possible. Look at the AZ defense when we faced them in Week 16, they’re totally tired in 4th quarter. Same for us. If you let your D in the field for 35-40 mins every week… then no matter how strong you are.

              • Rob Staton says:

                “Explosive offensive plays are not the 100% ideal fit for SEA”

                I know you need to rest a defense, but personally I think this is 1B on Seattle’s offensive priority list with 1A being ‘own the running game’.

                • Attyla the Hawk says:

                  This is true. And in this respect, I think Seattle has the pieces on offense to make good on this.

                  What Seattle doesn’t have now, is the reliable ability to extend drives. Baldwin was good, converting 22 of 35 third down targets into first downs. But he had more conversions than the 2nd and 3rd most combined (Kearse and Richardson). And both Kearse and Richardson were under 50% on their conversion targets.

                  It was no small wonder that Belichick opted to have Revis shadow Baldwin all game. Because he is the only wideout who can make plays on the money down.

                  Seattle is an explosive team. But our conversion rates on third down (particularly 3rd and 4 or more) is below league average with just a couple of exceptions. Seattle has a one trick pony passing offense and that’s Baldwin.

                  Consider, that our scoring rate on drives was 42% for the year. On drives where we converted a third down, our scoring rate was 60%. I haven’t calculated how many of the 42% total was attributable to 3rd down conversions. I did note that we had many multiple series TD drives where we didn’t face a third down.

                  But for arguments sake, lets say the ability to convert 3rd down increases the likelihood of scoring by at least 50%. It’s more than that, but lets just go with that. It should be pretty plain, that with the offensive players we have right now — adding the ability to continue drives translates to more chances for explosive plays.

                  Each 3rd down conversion translated to almost 4 additional plays on average (not including punts) and almost 18 yards per drive. That’s substantial improvement factoring in only one change to the offense.

                  This offense needs a target that can get open and continue drives. The players we already have, can already score. We need to have more chances to let them do their thing.

                  That target can come in really any flavor. Whether it’s another 6′ receiver with the ability to get open, or a TE who can threaten the middle. I am inclined to believe that Seattle would derive the most benefit from a second wideout who can do what Baldwin does. Get open and move the chains.

                  That doesn’t require a tall jump ball guy or ‘red zone mismatch’ prospect. In fact, I think a tall contested catch artist is pretty much a waste of draft capital. Wilson isn’t prone to throwing 50-50 balls if he can help it. He ‘can’ do it, but that aspect really to me is secondary to the ability to get open. Quickness and route running are the tools for that kind of trade. Agholor or Perriman or Dorsett or even a Justin Hardy would be draft picks well capable of working the sticks. There are probably 8-9 guys not slated for day 1 that could provide what would benefit us most.

                  Andre Johnson/Stevie Johnson are cap cuts that could to the same.

  11. Dawgma says:

    Shepard and Paea are the two FAs I really hope they go after. Paea empire call I would love to see sign as thin as we are at Dr and with Mebane getting old and coming off injury.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Only way you go after Paea IMO is if you cut Mebane. Cost not worth it for two of the same — and this type of DT not overly difficult to find.

  12. drewjov11 says:

    Wow, Sheard is exellent at getting off the snap. I think that we could definitely use his talents. Our 3rd down rush package, with Bennett moving inside, would be deadly.

  13. GeoffU says:

    Two sacks is not exactly lighting things up, and most likely the reason (fair or not) why he won’t get a big contract from anyone.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      If this is the case, then it makes sense to let the market cool, like we did with Avril, and get him at a more manageable price.

    • lil'stink says:

      He was playing out of position when the Browns switched to a 3-4. Searching through Browns fanboards I don’t think there is any doubt that he is better suited to the 4-3. He also had a foot injury that slowed him down. He played through it, to his credit.

      • bobbyk says:

        Sometimes people only look at stats and that’s it. They don’t understand that players being used differently can impact their productivity. Sheard would be perfect, imo, as our Leo. He wasn’t playing to his strengths as an OLB in Cleveland’s 3-4 defense. It’s like moving Kearse to TE and expecting him to be our main blocker there. Stupid. In that case, the new defense brought into Cle didn’t fit the scheme to the stengths of its players. They could square pegs and fit them into round holes. That’s fine, but one man’s junk is another man’s gold… just like when we got Clem as a “throw in” in the Tapp deal. That worked out okay.

  14. vrtkolman says:

    Sheard is a big upgrade over Schofield and would be comparable to the Clemons/Avril/Bennett trio of 2013.

    • bobbyk says:

      Agreed. And when Clem left, we lost that pass rush and depth.

      • bobbyk says:

        Not that Clem was “depth.” Anyone who reads into it can figure that part out.

      • DC says:

        We lost Clem & McDonald. I firmly believe that both the 2014(duh) & 2012 teams were capable of winning the Super Bowl had we not lost our pass rushers. Injuries happen. 3 premiere edge rushers is not a luxury in my book. So if the market gives you Sheard, take him! Then you can lay low waiting for that bargain interior guy. Melton? IMO we need to add 2 pass rushers.

        By last year’s Super Bowl our pass rush was healthy and epic against the best offense of all time! Love it.

        • vrtkolman says:

          I like Jordan Hill and Cassius Marsh as interior rushers, but their early injury history is a bit concerning. Hill especially, he’s had what 3 injuries already in 2 seasons if you count injuring himself rehabbing at home.

          • JW says:

            leg injuries, too. Calf, ankle, groin….not a good start for a big guy. He did look explosive for a stretch there, however

        • Dawgma says:

          Hit the nail right on the head.

  15. SunPathPaul says:

    If we can’t afford these D Line guys, would we maybe spend on offensive line?

    Why wouldn’t we consider investing some $ on offense into Mike Iupati?

    Isn’t he a great run blocker? He is 27, and we would be poaching from a divisional rival…
    (Albeit is seems to be a dead rival now)

    • Rob Staton says:

      “If we can’t afford these D Line guys, would we maybe spend on offensive line? Why wouldn’t we consider investing some $ on offense into Mike Iupati?”

      Iupati is not the force he once was, and he’s going to get way too much money. Potentially as much as $8.5m. That’s way too much for what he brings to the table.

      I can’t imagine the Seahawks going FA for the O-line. The only time they really did that was Gallery and it didn’t work.

    • SunPathPaul says:

      Would Terrance Knighton work in Seattle?

      • Rob Staton says:

        He’s a good player but probably a bit too expensive.

        • SunPathPaul says:

          I know we signed Lynch for 3 years…but if we felt he was only going to play one more year, would we consider bringing in CJ Spiller? Then he could take over after? Just a curiosity…

          • Rob Staton says:

            No — not a good fit for the offense. I think they’ll potentially get two years out of Lynch.

          • redzone086 says:

            Reggie Bush is still available and would work in the returner roll as well . Similar to Washington.

            • hawkfaninMT says:

              Yes! This only works if he is ok being signed as a specialist. Similar to what Leon Washington was. he was a PR/KR, that got maybe 8 snaps a game on offense when the RBs are healthy. If Bush is amenable, and his contract is with those terms in mind, then bring him on!

              • JW says:

                Can probably get Ginn for a million a year for the returner role and depth wr

                • Rob Staton says:

                  Ginn has signed for Carolina.

                  • JW says:

                    too bad. He’s a nice role player. good signing for them.

                    Tyler Lockett makes a ton of sense for Seattle if he’s in the right round.

                • Attyla the Hawk says:

                  There are a host of tier 2/3 guys in this draft with PR/KR quality

                  Dorsett
                  Lockett
                  Hardy

                  Just off the top of my head. I’d almost expect us to pick one of these guys on day 2, competing for Walters’ roster spot.

                  • redzone086 says:

                    Walter is an unrestricted free agent because he wasn’t tendered anything just like Lockett

  16. Thomas says:

    Davon House? There is some noise we are looking at him what do you think. He does not quite have 32 inch arms but he is 6 1

  17. Rob Staton says:

    Interesting note on Julius Thomas’ blocking according to Rob Rang:

    “The perception is that Thomas is a terrible blocker and, frankly, he was, “earning a -11.5 grade from ProFootballFocus in run blocking in 2013, second to last among all tight ends. He made significant improvement in this area last season, registering a 0.1 grade that ranked just behind some guy named Rob Gronkowksi (0.3). Like Gronkowksi, Thomas has the athleticism, size and mitts to be the featured target in a ball-control offense.”

    http://sea.scout.com/story/1525188-free-agent-buzz-from-a-seahawks-perspective?s=114

    Worth noting 2013 was his first year as a starter. So he made major improvements from years one to two. Rang says he’s still in play for Seattle.

    • Grant G says:

      I really trust Rob Rang as a talent elevator (must be something you “Robs” are all blessed with 🙂 ). I tend to agree that you can coach up some of the blocking, and focus on the mismatches he can provide. Gronk and Graham didn’t get their deals based on blocking prowess.

    • Ross says:

      Very interesting. I’ve heard some people express concern that he’s not a scheme fit because he had the perception of being a bad blocker. Clearly, that is not the case. Personally, I’ve never been concerned about his fit in our scheme in terms of blocking because why would you want Julius Thomas blocking a lot anyway? If you’re using your 6 5′, 4.6 speed tight end to block defensive ends, you’re doing it wrong, that’s not where his value lies.

  18. SunPathPaul says:

    Looks like Paea is signing with Washington…

    • drewjov11 says:

      The redskins is where free agents go to die.

      • John_s says:

        Don’t sleep on McLoughan. He will at least turn the organizational thinking and mindset. He’s going to bring in smart, tough, gritty players which Team Washington hasn’t had in a long time.

        • JW says:

          Yep. McLoughan is one of the best. Hated to see him leave the Seahawks.

          • Volume 12 says:

            Yeah, I think Washington has the chance to be one of the most improved teams this year with Scot McCloughlan running the show.

            If only they hadn’t hired Jay Gruden as their HC. I personally can’t stand the Grudens. Like his brother, he might only be able to win with vets.

  19. Jeff M. says:

    If we do end up making our big-$ signing(s) on defense, it’s probably worth discussing some outside-the-box cheap “TD maker” options for the offense. One idea at TE is Lance Kendricks, who I’ve seen no rumors or buzz about. He hasn’t made a big name for himself on his rookie deal but did have 5 TDs on only 38 targets this year, plus 4 from 46 targets in 2013 (and 4 from 64 in 2012), so he’s pretty consistently produced high TD% on low target volume (exactly the situation he’d face here), despite disastrously bad QB play. He’s a pretty good athlete for the position and had nice college production as well, so there may be some upside left in getting him away from the Rams mess, especially if it’s at a bargain-basement price.

    • Steele1324 says:

      Kendricks is interesting. I’m not sure he is the kind of instant threat that JT is, but there is a lot of potential there. Kendricks is getting attention, trust me. He is next in the group after Cameron and Gresham.

  20. Turp says:

    I am a fan of this headline! Sheard can be the new Chris Clemons in our defense. Plenty of snaps to split between Avril, Bennett, Sheard and Irvin, circa 2013 Hawks d.

  21. […] four top suitors for Cleveland Sheard — along with Tampa Bay, Cincinnati and New England. The Hawks were high on Sheard in 2011, when the Browns drafted him in the second […]

  22. SunPathPaul says:

    It looks like the CB the stuffed Kearse in the end zone, costing us a second SB win in a row might be available. Yes, Brandon Browner might be cut by the Pats to make room for Revis.

    Would any of us like BB back in the LoB???

    • SunPathPaul says:

      Pats are paying him less than Tramon Williams will make, and he obviously knows how to play here?

      Stopgap fix?

      • Cysco says:

        interesting

        • Volume 12 says:

          I’d take him back in a heartbeat. There is no other corner in the NFL that is 6’4, 220 with his wingspan. That’s why I hate when people say ‘as soon as BB was put on Chris Matthews he couldn’t do anything. So why should we assume he can in 2015?’

          Yes, exactly right. He didn’t do anything against Browner, but there’s only 2 corners like that in the league. And we already have the other. Richard ‘Loquacious’ Sherman aka The Mouthpiece of Mt Rainier. I’d almost be shocked if New England released him and he didn’t consider coming back here. He’d be a great mentor for Tharold Simon.

          Bring back ‘The Pterodactyl!’

          • SunPathPaul says:

            I agree he would be great to get back. Do we know if the all still get along?
            Any resentment for being let go? He was suspended for 4 games, so it made sense then…

            Restore the LoB!

            Would we all trade a 6th for him? Trade the Harvin 6th round pick for BB?

          • Drew says:

            He had 2 targets when Browner was on him. The first one he threw BB out of bounds and caught a short hitch route. The 2nd was downfield and incomplete. I don’t think it’s fair to say that he couldn’t do anything.

            Personally I don’t think BB would be a great mentor for Tharold. Sherm is the best mentor he can have.

            • Jake says:

              I’d always pay for a sure thing, like Browner. If he comes free, I think he should become the top FA target.

              • Dawgma says:

                A sure thing. Like the league leading tally of holding and PI penalties he’ll rack up (again) as he gets torched. I do think see him coming cheap enough to be the insurance policy, personally.

                • Jake says:

                  Haha, penalties… Yeah, he draws PI and he holds and it doesn’t matter. It works, it worked before for Seattle and it worked last year for New England. They won’t call them all, so the penalties are no big deal. His intimidation, physicality and intensity would be a welcome sight back at LCB. Yes, Maxwell was an upgrade overall, but he’s gone and he isn’t coming back. So, between Cary Williams, Tramon Williams, Will Blackmon, and Brandon Browner… I’m taking the devil I know – BB back in the LOB. A 5 yard catch for a 1st down and a holding call for a 1st down are the same thing – which is why Pete doesn’t typically worry too much about penalties during a play, especially the aggressive type.

            • Volume 12 says:

              Your probably right in terms of Sherman being the best mentor. But in terms of style of play, I think Browner could be beneficial to Simon.

              That was my point I was making about Chris Matthews. I don’t think it’s fair to say he couldn’t do anything either, Hence why I said ‘I hate it when people say…’

              I’ve never seems a receiver physically man-handle Brandon Browner the way that Matthews did.

              • Jake says:

                You’re right, he did out muscle Browner on that comeback route. Too bad he didn’t get a second chance to prove he could out muscle him again…

          • GeoffU says:

            Simon doesn’t need a mentor. He need to be healthy and playing.

    • Grant G says:

      No, I’d stay away. Personally while I liked his physicality, I was always waiting in fear of the next PI call, and I think one of these seasons soon he’s going to start getting burned regularly by faster receivers.

      • Steele1324 says:

        With him, obviously it’s how he’s used. As the damned Pats showed, he can be a difference maker situationally.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        Never bothered me. The attitude he helped establish was so central to our core identity.

        The PI tendency was similar to the knock on Giacomini for getting stupid personal fouls called. They had those issues early on. Then reduced them drastically. But because of the early reputation, every subsequent violation tended to ‘confirm’ selective bias.

        Browner is going to get some PI calls. But he’s also going to make some good plays. And he’s not the PI machine he was when he first started here.

        • Volume 12 says:

          Great point about him helping establish our core identity. And as others have said, it would be pretty nice to have the original LOB back together.

          • Dave says:

            Definitely agree with you on keeping our identity. The Hawks have the most physical defense. BB was a big part of that. Maxwell is a better cover corner, but he can’t hit like BB. There was a play in 2012 when he hit Welker. He about killed him. Welker got up pretending to be okay but he didn’t look right.

        • Grant G says:

          I get what you’re saying about selective memory and agree with how it applies to Breno, but not with BB he had 15 PI calls on 9 regular season games last year

          • Jake says:

            And his team kept winning… Sounds like a team in Seattle that keeps leading the league in penalties I know. Forget the PI and holding calls he gets flagged for, he holds EVERY play – and gets away with it a ton more often then he gets called for it. Sherman does it too, he’s just better at hiding it.

  23. drewjov11 says:

    TAKE HIM BACK, assuming it is a team-friendly deal and draft a young guy to take over in a year or two.

  24. Steele1324 says:

    HIgh on my wish list is for the Hawks to bring in a pass rushing terror who not only replaces Schofield, but spells Irvin. Sheard is the guy to do it. He and Irvin can play either side. Actually I think Irvin might be better, more natural, opposite of where he is. The ability to move pieces around is a big plus.

    I hope this is more than just rumor. Sheard is not at the top of the list of big names, but a notch below. In this insane FA market, the Hawks may be wise to start targeting this tier now.

  25. Mark says:

    Until I see what they do about the offense and cornerback situation, I’m not really too interested in the other stuff. Hopefully they can pick up a decent FA weapon soon before the draft.

  26. SunPathPaul says:

    Andre Johnson said this, “Wherever I go, I hope I can play with a great quarterback. I don’t know. I’m just going to wait and see what happens. A lot of these teams want young players; so we’ll just see what happens. I am open to visiting teams.”

    I think Russell Wilson, the most winning QB ever in history through 3 years might count…lol

    Get BB and AJ!!!

    • Steele1324 says:

      I think he is talking about Brady. This is not the first season NE has wanted him. Like any star WR, especially in his last run, he wants it easy in a pass oriented system. NE is dumping Amendola, which opens up a roster spot.

  27. Steele1324 says:

    If the Hawks miss on the likes of Sheard/Cole/Worilds etc. I think Akeem Ayers would be a great value signing. He’s very young, showed clear starting ability for NE replacing Chandler Jones, and is on the verge.

    • Volume 12 says:

      I like Jason Worlds and his upside. But being only 6’2, I wonder if they’d consider him for the back-up LEO role or rotational rusher. Unless he has some impressive length. IDK what his arm length is.

  28. mobilero says:

    If the 49ers where to cut Vernon Davis is there any fit for him in our offense? I have always liked his play both blocking and catching. His tank might be near empty but if we have missed out on JT would Davis serve? Great blog Rob thanks for all your insights and the fostering of an excellent community.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Certainly wouldn’t rule it out, but he can be difficult to manage.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I really admired Vernon Davis when he was in his prime. Not sure how well he has held up. He did have a few concussions along the way. But great hands, man he killed teams with speed and ball catching. I wonder what he is worth? Anything below 6 million? 4 million would be a bargain. We do need a tight end.

  29. Trevor says:

    I think Andre Johnson would be a great signing despite his age on say a 2 year 10 mil deal He still has gas in the tank and would be a perfect leader in that Wide Receiver’s room. Angry Doug just is not that guy and his act is growing old.

    Then add Cameron on a 4 year / 28 mill with low guarenteed # because of concussion issues.

    How would this as a TE / Receiving Group

    WR- ADB, Johnson, Matthews,Norwood, Mcbride, Waller and PRich on the PUP. If they only keep 6 Kearse would be the odd man out.

    TE- Cameron, Willson, Mcoy

    Wilson would have to get a little creative with his extension to make the Cap work but I think they could make it work

  30. John_s says:

    Looks like Seahawks got their CB in Will Blackmon. He played well in preseason for Seahawks 2 yrs ago and played well for Jags this year. He also returns punts.

  31. Ehurd1021 says:

    Seattle just signed Will Blackmon — and It makes the most sense out of all the possible FA CB’s they got linked to. Now if they can bring back BB and/or a possible solution in the slot (Thurmond) and get a quality CB in the draft I think the secondary is in good shape.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Good depth signing. They’re short on numbers at CB. Worst case scenario is he’ll provide some depth.

      • Volume 12 says:

        Not a bad signing. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him get beat out again in training camp. He is a nice insurance policy for the nickel/slot role though.

  32. Ehurd1021 says:

    Rob what are the chances Seattle can pull off AJ/JT or AJ/JC?

    • Trevor says:

      I would love your thoughts on that too Rob. Seems like the best possible outcome then go OL or CB with the 1st pick and Mcbride or Agholor in the 2nd round as WR and kick returner.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Nil I would say. Think it’ll be too costly. I’m not convinced Seattle will even seriously look at the veteran WR market with the vast options in the draft. You could get two contributors in 2015 in this draft class, seriously. The key is landing one of the top two TE’s. I have a hunch they might pull it off for one of them.

  33. drewjov11 says:

    So, is Thomas a done deal to Jacksonville? I can’t imagine he would turn down $10 million per. The jags really need to make a push or Gus may not survive the rebuild, which is a shame. He’s a good coach and a good man. That team was putrid when he got there. I really don’t think we want AJ at this point in his career.

  34. smitty1547 says:

    Old as he is AJ becomes are best WR the minute he gets here as long as price is reasonable u get that done ASAP. Throw in the intangibles and leadership and were automatically better.

    • Steele1324 says:

      But any talented WR that arrives next in either FA or the draft becomes the best WR on the roster.

      I doubt AJ will be reasonable.

  35. Ho Lee Chit says:

    I could see the Hawks making a move to acquire Sheard. Andre Johnson is out of the question. This is the second year in a row we have had a deep class of WR’s to pick from in the draft. It makes little sense to spend our precious free agent dollars on the WR position. AJ is talented but too old to make a long term partner for RW3. We need to add a pass rusher and use our draft picks to help the offense. Case closed!

    • Rob Staton says:

      You can also find, IMO, impact receivers in this draft. Taking Johnson would be a costly move that stops a younger guy making the field. Although they might go for a proven commodity if they miss out on the top two TE’s. I still think the key to this free agency period for Seattle is to land one of Thomas or Cameron and then see what else you can get in terms of value.

      • Ho Lee Chit says:

        We have to have rookie contracts make this team or we will be in big trouble soon. In a couple years we will have an old, expensive team. Keep some spots open for rookies. That is the best way to ensure we can keep the core guys a bit longer.

        • Trevor says:

          That makes no sense to me. The Seahawks are primed to go on another Super Bowl run but you would prefer to leave a roster spot open for a rookie instead of Andre Johnson?

          If we get Thomas or Cameron then fine spend the money elsewhere but if not he is exactly the type of big red zone and 3rd down conversion reciever we need. As long as his contract demands are reasonable it is a perfect match.

          Think about how desperate we are for receivers we are willing to put a 2nd round tender on Kearse and pay him 2.2 mil next year. He made some big plays and is a good special teams player but he would not even make most NFL rosters.

          If we don’t get one of the two big tight end targets I would not want to have to rely on a couple of rookies to significantly upgrade our wide receiving corp. I want either Mcbride or Agholor in the 2nd and then Waller in the 4th and think they can be great pros but to count on them being big contributors next year is asking a lot.

          Why not get a proven commodity with great leadership and productivity if we can? If we can’t make it work with the Cap then sure look to the draft but at least give it a shot.

        • Steele1324 says:

          I think there are plenty of roster spots in play, even if they bring in FAs. This upcoming camp should be spirited.

          • Ho Lee Chit says:

            When you sign a FA you give him guaranteed money. The bucks pretty much ensures he will be on your 53 man roster. The rare exception becomes a major mistake like Harvin where you get next to nothing and carry a big $7M cap hit into the next season. Just think what we could have done with that $7M spent foolishly pursuing the last free agent WR.

  36. smitty1547 says:

    Losing Walters and probably Lockett , Prich more than likely on IR and if you tell me you would rather have Kearse catching balls over A.J Id call you a fool. I to would like to draft a couple of WR in this draft and who better to mentor all the pups than AJ, I can’t think of anyone.

    • Trevor says:

      I agree 100%

    • Steele1324 says:

      Lockette isn’t gone. Yet. I don’t like him, and hope he is beat out in camp and cut loose.

      The notion of AJ coming to a run-first team like the Hawks for cheap, and mentoring young guys is a nice dream that assumes AJ is a going to be a giving philanthropist in his declining years. If you are AJ, wouldn’t you much rather have fun in a pass-first offense, finally be a superstar in a big market,and make tons of loot?

      • Grant G says:

        He’s made a ton of loot, he’s been a superstar in a big city (Houston ain’t exactly Buffalo), and he’s been to the playoffs. I’d want to win, and win it all if I were him. Realistically of the championship caliber teams, he has to be looking at:
        – Patriots
        – Colts
        – Seahawks
        – Eagles
        – Bengals?
        – Maybe Falcons?

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        He’s been in a run first offense for most of his career. He wants to be a starter on a contender. Not a lot on this roster to keep him from doing that.

  37. Steele1324 says:

    Brandon Graham signs 4 yr deal with Eagles.

    There’s one pass rusher gone.