Former Vikings DT Kevin Williams has agreed to one-year contact with SB champion Seahawks for in excess of $2M, according to sources
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) June 12, 2014
Even during the most mundane section of the NFL calendar, the Seahawks find a way to make life interesting.
Kevin Williams is 34 this year and will eventually retire as one of the greats. Six Pro Bowls. Five all-pro nominations. He was named in the ‘all-decade’ team for the 2000’s. Very few defensive tackles play for ten years. Even fewer play for ten years at the level Williams achieved in Minnesota.
Seattle is thinner on the defensive line going into 2014. They’ve lost Red Bryant and Chris Clemons. They’ll need to find a replacement for Clinton McDonald. There’s a lot riding on the young bucks stepping up to the plate.
Yet this is the one area Carroll’s Seahawks haven’t had too much success. They haven’t drafted young defensive lineman and then transitioned them into key role players. Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril were bought in. Bryant and Brandon Mebane were inherited. Clemons was an established veteran even if he carried a journeyman tag.
None of the draft picks — including the likes of Bruce Irvin, Jordan Hill and Jaye Howard — have had a major impact.
Hopes are high for Gregg Scruggs, Hill, Benson Mayowa and co. But with potential comes uncertainty. Even in an ageing frame, Carroll knows what he’s getting from Williams.
Funnily enough I interviewed him last year to get his thoughts on taking rookie Sharrif Floyd under his wing and the Percy Harvin trade:
I see him working inside as a three technique. That’s a near certainty. But it’s going to be interesting to see how Seattle’s line shapes up next year. Carroll has promised evolution — yet he hasn’t stated the scale of the changes.
What we do know is — Williams will be stout, he’ll offer some pass rush and he’ll be a mentor for the younger guys.
And his value in that sense shouldn’t be underestimated.
Marshawn Lynch told 2 teammates last year he might retire if Seattle won the Super Bowl. They did. Asked a source, could he walk? “He could”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 13, 2014
I find this developing Marshawn Lynch saga both surprising and unsurprising.
I’m surprised because of the timing. June seems like a strange time to have an epiphany on your contract situation or even your career.
“Lynch has been telling teammates all season he’ll retire if they win the Super Bowl. Sherman doesn’t believe him. In the lobby upstairs, they put their heads together and Lynch whispers something inaudible through the mask. Sherman laughs and screams, “You reneged!””
This stuck in my memory. I sense Lynch was joking around with the teammates mentioned here, but amongst the laughs was an element of truth. Your body takes a pounding at running back. And nobody’s body has taken more of a pounding than Lynch’s.
The Seahawks started collecting RB’s even after Lynch signed his new contract in 2012. They drafted Robert Turbin in round four that year — and then Christine Michael in round two the following season.
It wasn’t just an acknowledgement of planning ahead, it was a nod to the importance of the position in this offense. Seattle wants a playmaker or two at running back. And they don’t want a sudden drop off if and when Lynch calls it a day.
If — as Ian Rapoport suggests — he is considering retirement, I think he might be better off just making the decision. If his body can’t take another beating in 2014, then why struggle on?
Seattle has a player in Christine Michael who appears ready to have an impact in the NFL. He’s dynamic. He’s explosive. And he’s hungry.
The Seahawks can ill-afford to carry Lynch as much as he can’t afford to struggle through another year if his body screams “no more”.
Of course all this talk could just be a tactic to get a better contract — something Lynch is also after according to reports. His representatives should know there’s very little chance of a breakthrough there. The NFL just isn’t paying running backs any more. Lynch is actually quite fortunate he got a new deal with $17m guaranteed.
If the Seahawks won’t pony up — and they probably won’t — what then?
Of course Seattle won’t waste much time on league-wide trends. If they think he’s just too important to lose, they might be willing to negotiate after all. It still seems unlikely however, given the depth they have at the position.
It’ll be a sad day when Beast Mode hangs up the cleats. To an extent it’d be incredibly Lynch-esque if he did just make a dramatic announcement and walk.No doubt without holding any press conference.
That day appears to be a lot closer than anyone imagined.