Seahawks’ strange off-season now includes veteran RB’s

May 20th, 2020 | Written by Rob Staton

According to Adam Caplan and then Mike Silver, the Seahawks have been negotiating with two free agent running backs — Devonta Freeman and Carlos Hyde.

Silver has reported Seattle’s offer to Freeman is worth up to $4m.

He also had a fairly interesting review of where the Seahawks are at with the position:

It really speaks to how this is quite an underrated problem.

Just park your own opinions on the value of the running back position for a second and consider how reliant the Seahawks are on a productive running game.

The offense couldn’t function properly when Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny were injured at the end of the season. And while Russell Wilson mercifully rallied against San Francisco and Green Bay — the comeback attempts followed a whole bunch of struggle and strife as both opponents flooded coverage, won with a four man pass rush and ultimately made life harder for Wilson than it needed to be.

The overly simplistic reaction was the brainless ‘let Russ cook’ retort on social media. In reality, even the most prolific pass-centric offense has a reasonable semblance of balance to keep a defense honest. Kansas City, after all, just spent their top pick on a running back. Look how the Rams’ offense struggled as soon as Todd Gurley became less effective. The 49ers and Saints run the ball very well.

Even if the Seahawks aimed to throw 100% of the time — they would face the same kind of issues as experienced in the early stages of the Green Bay and San Francisco games if they trot out Travis Homer and Marshawn Lynch at running back.

The fact that Rashaad Penny is going to start the year on the PUP list puts a tremendous amount of pressure on Carson to stay healthy — something he hasn’t managed to do in his NFL or college career. It’s a nice thought to think Deejay Dallas might be able to fill a void — but he looks very much a Robert Turbin-esque compliment rather than someone who leads your running attack.

So here we are — with the Seahawks trying to negotiate a contract with two veterans. Hyde in fairness enjoyed a reasonable 1,070 yard season in Houston last year at 4.4 YPC — scoring six touchdowns. Freeman was far less successful. He had 656 yards at 3.6 YPC and only two touchdowns in 14 games.

He already looks well beyond his best — so much so that Atlanta preferred to roll the dice on Gurley and take a $6m dead cap hit for Freeman.

A couple of weeks ago I questioned whether Seattle had used the $53.37m they’ve spent on veterans this year wisely. Paying another $4m for Freeman would be another questionable decision — right up there with giving Bruce Irvin a 32% pay increase, bumping Cedric Ogbuehi’s pay from $895,000 to $2.237m, spending $3.259m on Jacob Hollister despite investing $7m in Greg Olsen then drafting two tight ends, using your first round pick on a position where you’re already committing $25m to two players or failing to invest serious resources into your biggest need (D-line) while collecting 18 offensive linemen.

More importantly though, $4m is a significant chunk of cash on a player who looks spent. Would he seriously contribute much at all — other than providing name recognition? If Carson got hurt, is Devonta Freeman going to come to the rescue?

And while many folks like to ridicule the idea of spending a high pick on a running back — it’s worth noting the four-year value teams are getting by tapping into a talented group in the 2020 draft class.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s cap hit this year will likely be around $1.9m. In the final year of his rookie deal his cap hit will be about $3.2m — less than the Seahawks are reportedly willing to commit to Freeman.

D’Andre Swift, the #35 pick, is projected to have a cap hit in 2020 of about $1.4m. In the fourth and final year of his contract, he will cost about $2.4m.

Jonathan Taylor, the #41 pick by Indianapolis, should have a $1.3m cap hit this year. He’ll likely never have a cap hit higher than $2.2m over the course of his rookie deal.

Cam Akers, the #52 pick by the Rams, will have a cap hit of $1m in 2020 and a year-four cap hit of about $1.8m.

J.K. Dobbins, the #55 pick by Baltimore, will have a cap hit this year between $900,000 and $1m. His first contract will likely never cost more than $1.6m.

A.J. Dillon the #62 pick by Green Bay is slated to earn slightly more than the $841,794 Andy Isabella received for the same draft placing a year ago.

It’s indisputable that it’s unwise to invest millions in running backs. The results speak for themselves. The Packers likely picked Dillon to avoid spending big on Aaron Jones. There are very few cases — such as Marshawn Lynch in his peak — where you can justify it.

Yet the extreme value presented with the players above — especially compared to the amount you have to spend for someone like Devonta Freeman — is telling. This was a seriously underrated collection of running backs.

The talent won’t be there ever year. When it is, however, there’s value to be had with the way the running back position is being downgraded on draft boards.

Had the Seahawks’ selected Edwards-Helaire, Swift or Taylor with their top pick — the internet would’ve exploded. Yet going into this season they would’ve had proper, cheap insurance against a Carson injury and a replacement solution when he becomes a free agent in 2021 (if he commands a big salary, which I doubt to be honest).

Not to mention, Edwards-Helaire and Taylor in particular are immensely talented. The two coaches and GM’s who drafted them certainly know a fair bit about picking for value and talent on offense. I thought both players were among the twenty best players in the 2020 draft.

The Seahawks instead picked defense with their first two picks. Which is understandable given their raging need to fix the defense. Yet their inability to properly address it in free agency — despite spending so much money — virtually forced them to avoid the skill position options in the draft. Remember — this wasn’t just a good group of running backs. It was an excellent receiver class too.

It felt obvious that the plan needed to be a defensive splash in free agency then tap into the strength of the draft early. The Colts played a blinder there — using their top pick in the veteran market to acquire a fantastic defensive linemen before using two picks in round two to get a receiver and a running back. Textbook.

Seattle went into the draft with a need at running back (thus the Deejay Dallas pick in round four) but an even greater need across the defense.

If Jordyn Brooks goes on to emulate K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner and enjoy 8-10 years at the heart of Seattle’s defense — it’ll be a moot point. If he spends most of his rookie season learning the ropes behind two players costing $25m in 2020 — while Seattle can’t make life easier for Wilson due to a bad situation at running back — that will only serve to highlight, again, what a confusing off-season this has been at a time the Seahawks really needed a focused and well-executed plan to take the next step.

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110 Responses to “Seahawks’ strange off-season now includes veteran RB’s”

  1. Big Mike says:

    Leaving aside the head scratching moves this offseason for a minute………..Hyde please.

  2. cha says:

    Is this real or is this another attempt to negotiate with Clowney in the press?

    “Look, the music is about to stop and we’re offering your chair to someone else..”

    Not sure what’s weirder, that the Seahawks reportedly offered $4m with max incentives to Freeman or that he turned it down and wants $5m (at least according to Corbin Smith).

    Corbin Smith
    @CorbinSmithNFL
    My understanding is Devonta Freeman wants $5 million on one year deal. #Seahawks offered $4 million and won’t go any higher.
    3:17 PM · May 20, 2020

    • Rob Staton says:

      I suspect it’s just something that came up in conversation between someone in the league (an agent?) and Adam Caplan and it’s developed from there at a time when there’s very little going on.

      But it speaks to how much the Seahawks have left themselves to do. They still haven’t got a replacement for Al Woods. Clowney’s still out there. They need a RB. And for me it’d be worth bringing back Josh Gordon and some nickel competition. That’s so much for a supposed contender in the second half of May.

      But at least they have 18 O-liners and a whole bunch of LB’s and TE’s…

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      The deal is supposed to be 3M, with 1M in incentives. Total deal would be 4M only if everything is met.

  3. Stephen Pitell says:

    Agreed. Which goes to show that being an elite coach/GM tandem, they still have weaknesses. Only time will tell if we drafted well. I’d just look for help at RB in the UDFA ranks. It’s a temporary gig. As I understand it, both Homer and Dallas are good at pass protection, and third down duties.

    I am a bit astounded they considered Freeman for $4mil.

  4. AlaskaHawk says:

    The frustrating part to me is that I think they could have really got the offense set up with three high picks. A running back, another wide receiver and Lewis the guard. This offense could have taken off (and maybe it will anyway ) .

    Instead they spent first two picks on defense – but somehow it feels like the defense isn’t any better than last year, and the offensive drafts other than Lewis, will have to work to contribute. There were Just to many positions to fill with 6 picks.

    • Rob Staton says:

      A fair assessment.

    • Hojo says:

      I think the front 7 on D was a bigger need than an RB3 and and WR3 with the first two picks.

      I understand the complaints that the Hawks didn’t to enough to address their holes in FA, but it seems like they did a pretty balanced job in the draft.

      I’ve read multiple people complain about the big investment in the LB position, but you can’t get out of that hole financially without investing through the draft, which they’ve done over the past couple of years with Barton and Brooks.

  5. Dave Bara says:

    Spot on again Rob. My mock had them taking Taylor (RB) with their first pick, wherever that ended up being. Just don’t get it.

    db

    • BobbyK says:

      Passing on Jonathan Taylor is TJ Watt, Part II. Gosh, I hope I’m wrong! I so badly hope Brooks turns into a Pro Bowler because I’m not sure I can handle another Malik McDowell/TJ Watt scenario.

      • Henry Taylor says:

        I think it’s pretty much a sure thing Brooks has a better career than McDowell, and Taylor is unlikely to be as big of a miss as Watt (just because Edge rusher is infinitely more valuable than RB).

        So rest assured it won’t be that bad.

      • McZ says:

        Forget any idea of Brooks as ProBowl calibre.

        Watched the game vs Baylor last week. He has one trick… spying on the QB, making occasional rushes if the OL collapses. This won’t happen often in the NFL. His tackling has a lot of misses because of bad angles. Has a lot to learn.

        The teams with good and great drafts generally take the best value player, regardless position. Brooks is not a first round talent, by a healthy margin. Again, we ignore game changers like Taylor for another project.

        This scouting department is just not good, I fear. Or they get ignored, then the FO fails.

        Btw, friends… watch Charlie Brewer.

        • Bigten says:

          one trick? or had one job? Its ridiculous and silly to assert “forget any idea of Brooks as a ProBowl Calibre” before he ahs played a down of football. Dislike the pick, challenge the pick, all reasonable. Asserting a definitive notion is ridiculous. From the sound of it, we DID take the best value player regardless of position, on the Hawks board. Because LB was not a need position. So that argument is bonkers. And from the sounds of what other teams are saying, is that they would have taken Brooks in the first round too. Your opinion that “he is not a first round talent, by a healthy margin” mean s absolutely nothing in reality.

          • McZ says:

            Come on… let’s be honest. What did he do in college that is considered Pro Bowl material?

            All we have is one scout telling us he is a perfect match to the Seahawks, and a lot of people telling us, he is a raw future pick. I happen to agree, to both. I disagree on taking him over DE or OT talent.

            He has a lot of work to do to even make the roster. His play in said Baylor game is not translating well to NFL level. There are no 10ft gaps where you can storm through unmolested. Those NFL run blockers will kill you if your first read is leading to bad angles, whicb he does far more often than not. Plus, I had a debate about this the other day, but if you want to tackle the QB, get his arm on your helmet and he is still able to throw, this has to be a stiff arm. He got that twice.

            He has the tools to make it to a decent player. Almost any top 100 player has, which is what he is.

            But for peace sake, if I’m not right, I will more than happily admit to be an idiot.

  6. Strategicdust says:

    This is, in light of the bewildering offseason so far, just maddening. We all saw the need for RB or two due to the health and contract status of the current group. Yet, with strong, cheap talent At the top of the draft we passed. We can debate the value and places where we chose those players but the Hawks deliberately drafted against the strength of this draft (WR, RB). Sure, we don’t know the heath of Carson or Penney and drafting a minor RB in the 4th would seem to indicate the Hawks thought it necessary to draft anything other than a special teams/3rd down back. Yet now, we’re negotiating with two vet running backs at 4M? What changed? If we’re willing to pay that much, either the need is greater than thought or the front office really were mistaken on the need. I could understand a veteran RB on a minimum deal but this just feels so off. Use the money for Griffen ( still a position of need) A disappointing offseason feels even more troubled.

  7. drewdawg11 says:

    Honestly, if they pay this particular running back $4 million I just have to shake my head. Nice player at a veteran minimum, but he’s not worth half of that with how he played the last two seasons. Honestly, if you aren’t going to sign Clowney, how about cutting ties with Iupati and signing Larry Warford? He’s a pro bowl caliber guard and he’s still in his prime window. He supposedly wants to get at least $7 million per season, and I would feel a lot better about protecting Russell, and opening holes in the running game if they had him playing next to Brown.

    • Rob Staton says:

      You can’t add Warford (and they won’t).

      You would be giving up on a DT, Clowney, RB and anything else… to sign a guard. For $7m. Who just got released by a team you hope to overtake.

      • drewdawg11 says:

        Rob, the point I’m trying to make is you can keep spending a few million here, a few million there on some questionable players, or you can combine two of those signings and get a stud who makes your team better. They are obviously not holding this money for clowney. If you’re willing to give $4 million to a washed up RB, around $3 million for a first round bust to be a backup OT/TE, if you’re willing to pay a combined $12 million for the RFA’s who are all underwhelming, and you’re not willing to pay for Clowney… what’s the point? I would gladly release the lot of these guys to gain some impactful players. You’ve made this very point repeatedly. The saints needed cap space. He’s not washed up. I sat and watched the replay of their game against the niners and focused on warford. Man, he’s still good. Better than anyone we had the last few seasons. I think we have enough TE’s that we can cut hollister and Wilson loose. I think we have a ton of average OL that we can not guarantee spots for Iupati, Cedric O, etc. I believe that David Moore is a player we don’t need to pay. I’m wondering when it is that we sign a player who actually makes us better? Cut the dead weight, ask Russell to defer some money, and do both. Sign warford and Clowney. Heck, sign warford for 2-3 seasons and backload it. I don’t really care. I want to see this team improve just like anyone else and what I am suggesting isn’t unreasonable at all.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Warford isn’t making a difference.

          They don’t need an expensive left guard.

          They need to fix the defense.

          • drewdawg11 says:

            I agree with you! But… they do aren’t doing that and the available cap space keeps turning into players are aren’t moving the needle. Better protect the QB better and make the running game stronger since you’re going to need it with that defensive front. It’s just an alternate path based on what you, I, and everyone else is seeing them do this offseason. I would rather they fix the defense, but they can’t seem to figure it out. But yes, we can have a $4 million dollar backup RB who, frankly, isn’t worth even that much. That’s all I’m saying. They clearly don’t seem to have any sense of urgency, or tangible plan and you agree with that. Who are the acquisitions so far this offseason who are guys you point to and say “he’s tops at his position”? Dunbar was the closest thing to that… and well… yeah. Journeyman DE, OLB, 2 tackles, slot receiver, and retained a bunch of Jags for much more than they made last season. Just identify some studs and pay them all the money because most of us are losing faith here. It doesn’t have to be a guard, but someone who doesn’t stink?

            • Rob Staton says:

              I’ll just repeat myself then. The minute you sign Warford there’s no Clowney, no defensive tackle, no running back.

              It’s an impossible and unnecessary addition.

              • BC_Hawk says:

                AND an overlap of position of strength I feel on the line. If we are talking about a bonafide RT….maybe we spin the wheel. On another Guard, I’ll pass.

                Use the Cap on Clowney OR another top tier Pass Rusher acquired through trade.

  8. BobbyK says:

    How they’re handling the RB position going into 2020 reminds me of Tim Ruskell signing Julius Jones, TJ Duckett, and Edgerrin James. Lets give old RBs (or not good ones) millions to not be good for us.

  9. BobbyK says:

    Would giving Freeman $4 million mean Clowney coming back almost non-existent?

  10. mishima says:

    Clayton suggesting Olsen, Dorsett, Hyde, Freeman add ‘star power.’

    Jeebus.

    Might want to ask Wilson about that.

    • Rob Staton says:

      🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

    • BobbyK says:

      That was Tim Ruskell suggesting that. Had to be. Clayton, you’d think, is too smart to believe that.

    • Edgar says:

      Clayton needs to retire. He bashed Cowerd’s take and followed that by saying the Seahawks indeed listened to Wilson and signed ‘stars’. (Not to mention his many filler phrases that basically tell me he actually put little to no thought into what just came out of his mouth)

  11. DC says:

    Man this really is starting to feel like the beginning of the end of this FO. In love ’emz but geez what in the world are they doing?

    • Big Mike says:

      I’ve tried not to go there the last couple of years but this offseason and the mostly poor drafting the last several years has really got me questioning them right now.

    • BobbyK says:

      I know. I actually first felt it a few years ago when I was out in Seattle during the summer. I went to a Mariners game and obviously would walk around the Link and go to the Pro Shop since I was so close. That’s when I saw it.

      One of the main banners hanging around the stadium was Jarran Reed.

      You know, one of the banners reserved for only superstar players. You know – how when you buy a Super Bowl XLVIII poster of players and they leave some greats out because the Seahawks had “too many.” Well, there weren’t a lot of different players so it’s not like Reed watered it down. That just showed me how far the talent level had dropped. No way would you have ever seen a Brandon Mebane (or KJ Wright) over a guy like Avril, Bennett, Clem, Wagz, Kam, Earl, Sherm, Wilson, Lynch, Baldwin… But there it was. A good role player taking center stage. That just kind of spooked me and I wanted to not think about it – but that image has stuck with me. But now that many of the really good talent is gone – we’ve got KJ Wright (who isn’t as good as he used to be) as one of the most highly paid players and guys like Reed are counted on to be more than what they are.

      Say you have 6 banners in their heyday. You choose Wilson, Sherman, Kam, Wagz, Early, and Lynch. But by doing that – you leave out Baldwin, maybe Tate (at least early), Harvin (for one year), Avril, Clem, Bennett, a younger/better version of KJ, etc. And you don’t consider a Pro Bowler like Max Unger.

      You decorate the stadium with your “stars” today and you’ve got Wilson, Lockett, Duane Brown, Wagz, and maybe DK. Who’s the 6th? Carson? Reed? Diggs? KJ? None are bad players, but they are nothing compared to the “second wave” of players when they were good. Going into 2021 they’ve got Wilson, DK, Lockett, Wagz, and maybe Brooks/Taylor if they pan out? Blair (if he pans out)? Heck, a guy like Byron Maxwell would be considered these days.

      The only positives of a Hyde type signing is that it’d be another 1-year type contract where they’d have a lot of marginal players making millions off the books (and DK/Blair/Brooks/Taylor/Lewis… still cheap).

      • Strategicdust says:

        Amen, Bobby. This front office has fallen in love too much with “their guys”. I understand that a familiarity with scheme can help but it feels like this gone overboard. We’re paying way too much for Irvin, KJ really shouldn’t be paid at his level either and God knows how long they stood with some of their old coaches. Loyalty can be a strength but it can go too far and cloud you as to what’s really going on. I’m really concerned that mediocre teams that have been saved by Russ are being perceived as strong teams that just need a little bit more depth. If neither John or Pete see a problem, that’s an issue. If they do see problems and only patch them, that’s another issue.

  12. BruceN says:

    ATL signed Gurley and his bum knees after releasing Freeman and eating a large portion of dead money. That should tell us something. Devonta scored 57 on run plays according to PFF vs. Hyde’s 77 score. But Freeman is a better receiver who would be a good complement to CC. $4M is too high a price for a complementary back. Do we plan to sign anyone on the DL? A tackle?

    • BobbyK says:

      Unfortunately, it seems that teams who make moves like that are from desperate GMs who are trying desperately to keep their jobs. The Atlanta GM going into 2020 is a prime example. Probably part of the reason they were trying to trade up to #2 so bad (trade future high picks because he won’t be around to use them if they lose anyways).

      • BruceN says:

        Gurley is a shell of the player he used to be and still got a pretty good contract from ATL. And the team is having to deal with dead money. That’s a poor job by a GM. I may disagree with a few moves here and there by JS/PC but their overall body of work is hard to question.

        Lucky for them, they couldn’t trade for the #2 pick. They would’ve had to mortgage their future for years to come.

  13. dcd2 says:

    Hate to disagree with you Rob, but they did in fact tap into the strength of the draft (WR/RB). I hate to make you look silly, but here goes.

    DeeJay Dallas managed 1844 yards from scrimmage compared to Taylor’s 2003. That’s not that much difference really.

    * Hang on, I’m hearing that those scrimmage yards for Dallas are over his 3 year career and that Taylor’s were just the rushing yards for this season.

    Forget Dallas. We nabbed Freddie Swain to tilt the scales. Freddie averaged just under 16 catches per game last year!

    * One sec. I’m now getting confirmation that it was in fact just under 16 catches per year.

    Carry on Rob. Carry on.

  14. Hojo says:

    My top 5 favorite moves of the offseason so far, what are yours?

    1. Moved up in RD2 with conviction to draft Taylor, ideal LEO
    2. Signed Finney to start at C and moved on from the high price of Britt in 2020
    3. Drafted Lewis to anchor an important RG spot for the run game w/ Gluker on the decline
    4. Trade a 5th for Dunbar to add CB depth (would be #2 w/o legal issues)
    5. Invested in TE spot with Olsen and Parkinson to leverage a RW strength

    • dcd2 says:

      With the caveat that I have been disappointed on the whole for this off-season, here are my ‘favorite’ moves.

      1. I’m most hopeful for Taylor as the track record of moving up in the 2nd has been good for us. There was talk that we even liked him in the first, so I’m hoping he shows out.

      2. I like the fact that they didn’t pay Clowney $21M, but wish they could have settled on some number and that may still come to pass.

      3. Dunbar will be a nice addition if he is exonerated. It does fascinate me that we’ve only drafted one CB in the last 5 drafts (compared to 6 RB or 7 WR)

      4. Agree with you, Hojo, that the TE spot looks improved and giving Parkinson a chance to learn for a year under Olsen makes sense.

      5. I liked that we traded down a few spots from 64 to 69 and picked up Alton Robinson as a result.

  15. icb12 says:

    I gotta wonder if Fournette is still available.
    I’d much rather take that plunge than dish out money for Hyde or Freeman.

    I thought maybe they would take a run at Kareem Hunt. But that didn’t transpire.

    Wouldn’t surprise me to see them sign (resign?) Turbin either.

  16. bv eburg says:

    The typical consensus is drafting 3 decent starters per year with one near/at Pro Bowl quality. This was reiterated on the Brock and Salk podcast yesterday with Daniel Jerimiah.
    In the 6 drafts of 2014-2019 Seattle has drafted 9 starters with 2 Pro Bowl quality (Lockett, Clark), 3 if you count punter Dickson. That equates to 1.5 starters per year and Pro Bowl player every 2-3 years depending on if you want to count a punter.
    One thought comparing Seattles early draft success compared to how poor the last 6 years have been is the NFL itself. Seattle in its early years was known to draft AND develop their picks. Those early years teams were afforded so much more practice time both on the field and in pads hitting they could develop. Now they have a lot less of both so can Seattle really afford to draft players when they don’t have the time to develop? With thoughts on dropping pre-season games will this make it worse? Should Seattle look less towards developmental type draft picks especially with franchise qb?

    • cha says:

      They did. That shaped the bulk of their draft outlook this year. JS specifically said they wanted guys that “don’t need hand holding” and could contribute sooner rather than later.

      • bv eburg says:

        The only possible plug and play this year is the gaurd from LSU. Every other player is considered developmental. Maybe the 1st rounder contributes some but their track record says otherwise.
        Just curious Cha, who do you feel “doesn’t need handholding” and is solid contributor year 1?
        Who was the last draft pick before Metcalf that came in day 1 and was a difference maker year 1?

  17. Kingdome1976 says:

    It sure seems like this is a year to figure out who fits on the team and not giving any big contracts to anybody yet. Have we given any long term contracts to any of the new comers? I am assuming at this point that the FO didn’t project this year to be THE year to go for it all. Next year hopefully. I simply don’t have much hope for 2020. This year has sucked anyways.

    • mishima says:

      If “the FO didn’t project this year to be THE year to go for it,’ then why commit to Wright, McDougald, trade for Dunbar, overpay for quick fixes (Olsen, Irvin, etc.)? They’re going for it, their way.

  18. Big Mike says:

    Gonna go against the grain a bit here as it concerns the stockpiling at the TE position. From what I’ve read, RW’s numbers deceased fairly significantly last year after Dissley went down. I think because of that and because Shotty uses the TE in the passing game fairly regularly the team is hellbent on making sure a seam option will be available all season. The spending of 7 million on Olsen can be questioned, but adding Parkinson makes a lot of sense in that context.
    Now about the 18 O Linemen at the expense of other positions…………………

    • Rob Staton says:

      Spending $7m on Olsen, $3-4m on Hollister, bringing back Luke Willson and then drafting two TE’s isn’t necessary. It’s a waste of money.

      Especially when you haven’t signed a single defensive tackle despite losing Al Woods.

      • mishima says:

        TEs without a run game are like LBs without a pass rush.

      • Travis says:

        Now, not being much of an expert or anything, but having gone back and watched some of the more crucial games of last season, I have to disagree much with Hollister being grouped in with Moore and Willson. I have no idea why they are still retaining Moore’s services, but Hollister was a baller last year. He consistently put his body on the line to make big plays and quietly absorbed a lot of punishment to move the ball downfield. He should absolutely be retained as the kind of hard working, gritty player they cover, and I don’t think he should be grouped in with the crowd he is often associated with around here.

        • pdway says:

          agree w you. hollister was productive. became something of a go-to for Russell as the season went on.

        • Edgar says:

          What is with all this love for Hollister? He was the last man standing so he saw a lot of targets/opportunities. He also showed that his talent level is exactly around the Mendoza line. His attribute last season……he was healthy. You don’t start a season paying a borderline roster player 3.25 million because you expect your first 3-4 options to get hurt.

          • TomLPDX says:

            The best ability is availability. He may not be a great blocker but he did make some decent catches. Is he worth his current salary is debatable but he produced. I’m ready for some better, deeper talent for our TEs and we have a pretty strong group right now.

          • cha says:

            One of the strangest decisions of the offseason was to tender him at such a high level.

            He was acquired for a conditional 7th round pick. He didn’t make the team out of camp. The entire league had a chance to bring him in and nothing happened.

            He came in and was a great spot starter and had some key plays when he was forced into the lineup.

            Nothing in that description suggests “OMG someone might try to match tender on him and we might lose him, better tender him at the highest round/biggest dollars possible to scare the rest of the league off!”

            And this was AFTER signing Greg Olsen to a $7m contract and getting good reports on Dissly’s health.

  19. Tree says:

    Signing Hollister, BJack, Moore, etc and not cutting Wright or Bmac before FA or the draft is smarter (draft flexibility, etc) than not doing those things as long as we are willing to now cut or trade them to improve the team if the right opportunity arises. We have drafted potential replacements in the last two years but there is no reason to cut them (e.g., Dissly has a setback in rehab) now until we are ready to sign someone else. If we don’t cut/restructure (we have a lot more leverage post draft)/trade a few of the names above and sign or trade for guys to improve the team (high priced “stars” or even just good players can be had for mid round picks or from cap casualties if you have the cap room) I am as confused as everyone else.

    • Rob Staton says:

      How is that a smart plan?

      – Don’t have the cap space at the start of free agency when everyone is available for the sake of having a load of players you have no intention to keep.

      – Then release those players after the draft, so you can go shopping in the dregs of free agency for the players nobody wants or are asking for too much money?

      That’s not smart. But it likely isn’t their plan anyway. We can safely judge their decision to retain a bunch of below average players at a huge cost.

    • mishima says:

      IMO, cutting or trading Wright or McDougald, now, would be a dick move.

      If they wanted to upgrade LB, they should have created more cap space and went after free agent LBs (Littleton, Correa, etc.). Then they could have used pick #27 to address RB, WR or pass rush.

      Trying to build around an expensive, aging LB unit is probably a bad idea. Makes less sense if you don’t have a decent DL, esp. pass rush.

      Would prioritize pass rush > sticky corners / takeaways > fast / twitched up LBs that can cover.

      • hawkfanforetenity says:

        I can’t understand their logic here. One thing that seems clear is that they didn’t commit to any free agent long term. All the signings are 1 yr deal, other than Shell and Finney. It feels like they felt the off season not going the way they wanted and decided to punt on making any big moves. Instead signing a bunch of short term veterans or gambles to fill gaps. Bu then they didn’t fill gaps like DT or RB.

        I don’t look at the cap space numbers, but I’m assuming they will have a ton next off season. But that doesn’t excuse not making that push this year, and just because they have the cap space next year doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be able to make a splash then.

        • cha says:

          For the record, they have about $67m cap space if the cap is $215m. At the moment that doesn’t include the 2020 draft class players so take off about $5m to be conservative, so call it $62m.

          Griffin, KJ, Olsen, Carson are the big names whose contracts are done in 2020.

  20. Ashish says:

    In all negative news surrounding to Hawks, I’m hoping Jordan Brooks is similar to Isaiah Simmons which Rob showed so much faith that we can trade for him giving up second round. If Brooks is even 70% of Simmons we might able to see good performance on field and our Defense breathe new life.

    I’m just trying to be positive and probably hoping things fall in place. Rob in hinds sight you were on spot on thought process just very different player (which makes difference) i see hope.

  21. Russ says:

    I’m starting to wonder if they are punting their big move to next year and just trying to stay competitive this year.

    They signed a bunch of veterans to 1 year contracts that are over their value, but could contribute this year. Especially with the signings of Benson and Irvin, I’m thinking they want guys who know what they’re doing in this system and can contribute in, what’s hopefully, a final bridge year.

    Looking at next year, there is also really big name looming over free agency – Joey Bosa.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s looking outside of the Chargers considering they’re rarely more popular than the team their playing. If the Seahawks are looking to pay a DE position-changing money, he’s pretty much the poster child to put on the other side of the ball with RW for the rest of his career. Not to mention that brotherly rivalry with the 9ers would be really fun.

    I know you don’t want to punt on a year of prime RW, but if it meant a someone like Bosa over Clowney, that could be worth it.

    This is all (reckless) speculation, but I’m trying to reason what we all hoped would be happening this off-season with what actually happened.

    • Rob Staton says:

      This team will never ‘punt to next season’. It’s not in their mindset.

      Things might’ve gone wrong that were unexpected (eg Clowney) but ultimately they’ll have done what they think gives them the best chance to succeed.

      And we can judge them on those moves.

      I’d also plead with people to just forget about Joey Bosa, Myles Garrett and any similar name like this. Please. We’re talking about the best players in the NFL. They won’t be available.

      • Russ says:

        Normally I wouldn’t go name chasing, but Bosa is one that I wonder about:

        -Spanos is not a good owner. Specifically, he’s been accused of being a cheap owner. I haven’t done the reasearch, so this could be more for players at the end of their contracts, but he might not want to pay Bosa.
        -If they put the non-exclusive franchise tag on Bosa, it’d cost the contract and 2 1st round picks to get him. JS has been willing to pay picks in the past for talent (Richardson, Graham, Brown, Harvin)
        -Russell Wilson is a factor. Players know he’s going to keep the Seahawks in a place to compete for a Super Bowl. He’s enough to be a tie breaker for a major free agent.

        Odds are, you’re right and we’ll be seeing Bosa in a fresh powder blue jersey next year on a franchise tag or a massive deal.

        I’m just trying to think why they would have done all these small deals instead of trying to put some capital towards a real game changer or ponying up $2m more for Clowney (regardless of how well they gauged his market)

    • cha says:

      If they were punting they would not have

      -Kept KJ
      -Signed Olsen for $7m
      -traded for Dunbar
      -RFA’d a raft of guys at double or triple the veteran minimum
      -Signed Dorsett
      -Brought Reed back

      There’s about $40m they could have rolled into next season

  22. Tyler Jorgensen says:

    I fail to see how putting the ball in your best (and most expensive) player’s hands and centering the offense around him instead of centering it around running the football is “brainless.” Can you clarify that? I mean that respectfully.

    As Alaska Hawk said and you called a fair point, “The frustrating part to me is that I think they could have really got the offense set up with three high picks. A running back, another wide receiver and Lewis the guard. This offense could have taken off (and maybe it will anyway ).”

    I am frustrated about the gaps in the offense. We KNEW going into the season the defense was unlikely to take a giant leap forward in 2020 through anything but improvement in the players already there and FA. But most agree we didn’t do enough to address it in FA, and used our most significant draft resources to improve it long term not short term.

    We’re an injury from Jamarco Jones on the exterior. We drafted yet another young guard, giving us 3 picks in the top 4 rounds in the last 4 years, at one of the positions that seems most easy to fill relatively cheaply with veteran FA’s. We have a room full of TE’s, but little answer as to what happens to the offense if either DK or Lockett go down. WR3 is not a superfluous position, and is far more useful weekly than RB3, which is really a “break glass if needed” spot. Yes, we might need that effectively filled given Carson and Penny, but it’s still ideally a bench player.

    I just don’t see us improving our chances at getting back to the Super Bowl without truly re-evaluating how to best get there with the talent and financial position we’re in, as opposed to simply “rebuilding the defense and imposing our will in the running game” like Pete seems to want more than anything.

    I’m frustrated, wanting a better offense to lead us. Those who wanted a better defense are equally frustrated with no Clowney and role players as focal points on the pass rush. What are we, really? All I see is a team that barring Russell injury is an 8 win team at worst and an 11 win road loser in the playoffs at worst, and that’s all we’ll ever be unless we revisit how the core philosophy and the QB talent and salary are at odds.

    • Tyler says:

      Sorry, no edit.

      “All I see is a team that barring Russell injury is an 8 win team at worst and an 11 win road loser in the playoffs at best…”

      And I’d add, I feel that’s great when you don’t have a top5 QB. But we do, so I am not satisfied with 2nd in division road playoff loss seasons, even with 10 wins attached.

      Great stuff, as always Rob. I don’t always agree with you, but I appreciate your voice.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The offense is already centered around Wilson. He’s everything. You still need a complimentary running game. Thus, why the Chiefs just used a R1 pick on a very talented back. Having talent at RB especially at a tiny cost is a huge benefit to Wilson, not a hindrance to him or the team overall.

      I think it’s a perfectly fair point that Alaska makes. Adding a RB, WR and OL with the first three picks matched up with the talent value in this draft class and clearly would’ve benefited Wilson. I thought that is what they’d do after bolstering the defense in free agency. I was either wrong or they failed to get it done.

      I think too much is made about Pete’s philosophy. If you speak to any coach in the league, including Andy Reid, Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan, they all talk about the defense and running game. I know it’s popular among some fans to act like the Seahawks are in some way behind the times but I’d refer you to my interview with Scot McCloughan. There are certain things within football that are always important and that does include a strong defense and reliable running game, alongside other factors. It’d be wrong to try and argue otherwise, especially when we witness Jimmy G, Jared Goff and Nick Foles competing in a Super Bowl. Clearly it’s not just down to the QB. And football would be weaker if it was down to just one man, or one aspect.

      I think the offense, mainly because of Wilson but also thanks to Carson, Lockett and Metcalf, is capable. I hope they bring back Josh Gordon if possible too. I think the defense is a major problem though that will hold them back. But yes, ultimately this is a roster that is nothing without the QB. That’s probably the case for a few teams though, including Baltimore (even though they have a superior roster overall).

      • Tyler Jorgensen says:

        One gripe I have that you sort of glance at here but don’t indulge directly is the concept that a lot of the, shall we say, “anti” “let Russ cook” arguments assume we don’t want a running game. That’s not true at all, at least in my place. But I want to run “opposite” a lot more than we do, which is where the Chiefs and Rams in particular have found great success.

        Instead of big sets on 1st down, go 3 or 4 wide, force the defense to spread, then gash up the middle. We like to come out jumbo and pack it all in, limiting our options and the defense knows it and can key against the run. I’d much rather be so dynamic the defense never knows what’s going to happen, and use our great QB and the pass to set up the run, instead of the other way around.

        Too many times we’ve taken the ball out of Russ’ hands due to formational philosophical predictability, particularly during the 1st half. I’d much prefer we center the offense around Russ from the first snap, instead of in the 2nd half when behind.

        I don’t want to “not run” so much as not run so predictably, and not run quite as often. I’d also speed up. No more delay of games, no more letting the defense catch its breath while we “win the time of possession battle” by delaying our own skilled offense. I’d pressure the defense more, get them winded and go go go. Especially given the lack of differentiation between starters and backups with regard to the depth of our OL. Go fast and sub linemen in and out more frequently instead of slogging down the field.

        Again, that’s a philosophy thing where I disagree with Pete. But I don’t believe slogging it down the field works unless you’re the most talented team. And we aren’t. So I prefer playing faster and more aggressively.
        And I believe our offense was an offseason from being able to successfully do that, without question. Meanwhile, we’re two years (and after this offseason, probably STILL two years) from being talented enough to win by “slogging it out.” So yeah, in that I see a failed offseason,and a philosophy that could use some re-imagining…

        • Michael P Matherne says:

          I’ve never been a big fan of the hurry up offense as a philosophy. Not saying anything about its effectiveness, I just would rather watch a game where both sides are able to put the players they want on the field, and execute their plan. I know it will never happen, because the NFL loves offense so much, but honestly I would like it if there were some rules in place that kept teams from living in the hurry up all game long. Obviously you’d put mechanisms in place to remove any restrictions when a team is down by a certain amount, or it’s near the end of the game.

          • Tyler Jorgensen says:

            Ew. I don’t want to allow the team to do anything they want to do. Part of that comes from my background – I was a college basketball player and paid coach for a decade, and I always played up-tempo. Get the other team uncomfortable and tired and be okay with less than perfect from your own players, because the other team will be even more less than perfect out of there comfort range entirely.

            It takes a little more… tolerance to coach and play that way, because you will make more mistakes, but the key is while your mistake level is slightly higher than if you slowed, the opponent’s is far greater. Billy Donovan called it “controlled chaos” and I see a direct comparison to RW in clutch time, where many times already he’s shown himself to be cool under pressure and come up big in those more chaotic moments, hence the desire to create that level of tension ALL the time instead of only when we’re desperately trying to make up for long periods of inefficiency while “establishing identity.”

            As for restrictions, they are already there. You cannot sub without the defense being allowed to sub. So you can’t no huddle substitute. That being said, I would never want to allow the defense to put in specialty players constantly to minimize my offensive advantage if I can help it. And that’s a benefit of the no huddle. And of course no huddle is not hurry up, where the defense CAN sub, they just have to be quick about it.

            I think the rules are fine. I’m all for more dynamic play, less specialization. In some ways, no huddle is more akin to old school football, where the majority of the team were two way players. Now there’s specialists for everything, and it is in some ways too tactical. Huddle. Plan your attack. Have a single play. Reform to plan based on last play and new information. Rinse, repeat. It’s fascinating, but leaves room for teams to adjust and throw off the other team’s rhythm I think that’s great and would hate rules to eliminate the opportunity to do so.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Well — in fairness — the ‘let Russ cook’ comment is closely associated to those who argue ‘running backs don’t matter’ or that running doesn’t matter. Even you mentioned about taking the ball out of Wilson’s hands as a negative. Some of the noisier elements on twitter have even, quite regularly, argued to never run the ball. So you can see why some of us make that connection.

          Personally I find the whole argument so utterly boring and frustrating. I get labelled ‘pro-run’ or a ‘run game truther’ simply because I think it has a place within a balanced offense (which is only the same thing all the modern offensive coaches believe, as noted previously). I couldn’t actually care less how Seattle plays as long as they win. If they never run and win, fine by me. If they run all the time and win, fine by me. Given that the Seahawks had the #5 offense in 2019 per DVOA I think it’s pretty clear whatever plan they have has produced results. That’s only two places below Kansas City. If you offer me the #5 offense in 2020 I’d take that right now. It’s not a problem to me, even if they can always do more to add weapons and O-line to help Wilson. I think it’s clear the bigger problems lie with the defense, which is why I keep repeating the laundry list of horror stats.

          If the Seahawks have the #3 offense and the Chiefs the #5 offense instead in 2020, I still think KC would be the better team. That’s because Seattle needs to fix the defense.

          • Yeah, I agree, most of us are far more in a spectrum but “sides must be chosen” so we end up opposite despite not being miles apart.

            I do think we lean too heavily to the run, to the comfort of Pete but detriment to our offensive ceiling. That will not change in my opinion as long as Russ is elite. But I’m not in the “never run” camp (which I find ridiculous, and didn’t realize that is how some people view my more aggressive offensive perspective.)

            As for number 3 vs number 5 in DVOA, there is the fact that Russell was playing sublimely until the overall offensive injuries and banged up players slowed us to a halt. The injuries stacked, and were felt at all levels of the skill positions. However, KC still beat us by two slots despite Mahomes missing two games completely and not being fully healthy when he returned. I can’t imagine we would have held our 5th place slot with Russ missing two games, since he carries us so far yearly.

            Also, I recognize the defense is going to continue to be an issue. I just think we went the wrong way this off season attacking it with rookies and the offense with vets. I would have done exactly the opposite to further bolster the offense in a loaded offensive draft, then next year swung the other way to defense first.

            But, that’s no longer relevant to where we are today, and I think we both agree we are caught in the middle unless we do SOMETHING. We’re going to compete, but unless something strange happens we’re not going to win the division, and we should make the playoffs, and make yet another early exit.

            I want more, and like you, I don’t care how we get there. I just question the validity of us getting there by running through people.

            Good chat, sir.

  23. Patrick_in_Orlando says:

    Rob, you mentioned previously the amount of slack you’ve been getting for your “negativity.” Please know that many, MANY of us thrive on your style and transparency. I personal find your commentary to be the best there is in regards to the Seahawks. I come here everyday and find so much comfort in your reality doses for this off-season and just where we are (and unfortunately) what could have been.

    I’ll echo what others are saying as well. I’m a UCF Alumni and wear my Shaquem Griffin jersey with pride. But if you go on NFLShop right now, Griffin is one of the jerseys readily available and promoted alongside Wilson, Wagner, and Lockett. I love it for Shaquem, but at the same time, it does speak volumes that a backup LB is up there for the Seahawks in terms of marquee status. I think we have some underrated players, but to think we could have gone out and made a splash this offseason. This offseason feels eerily similar to our Eddie Lacy/Luke Joeckel days… and I hate it.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Thanks Patrick. I just try to be honest and offer perspective. I used to be called a cheerleader, now it’s the other way around. But I’ll just say what I think.

      I love Orlando. Favourite holiday destination.

      • I think you’re pretty consistent.

        So am I, albeit in a different direction.

        Cheerleader or Negative Nancy monikers I guess depend on if you agree with the moves or disagree. Cognitive bias and all, you then complement or insult the person whose opinion you disagree with. Seems to be the zeitgeist of the times.

        As I said above, I don’t always agree with you (though we’re often different shades of gray, not black and white disagreement), but I respect your takes and especially your volume of detailed material. I couldn’t do it… it’s truly impressive.

    • cha says:

      I love it for Shaquem, but at the same time, it does speak volumes that a backup LB is up there for the Seahawks in terms of marquee status.

      He was one of the top rookie jersey sellers – for a 5th round pick! – the year he was drafted.

      It’s got nothing to do with the lack of stars on the Seahawks roster. He’s an inspirational player and a role model for overcoming adversity.

      • cha says:

        A great Seahawks memory I’ll cherish.

        I got to attend the official Seahawks draft party that year (got on camera a couple times).

        When Lawyer Milloy announced the pick, the crowd just exploded. It wasn’t manufactured enthusiasm. The pride in seeing him get drafted, and being united with his brother, mixed with the ‘win forever’ mentality was just overwhelming.

      • Patrick_in_Orlando says:

        Oh I certainly don’t want to take anything away from Shaquem. Like I said, huge fan of his and I bought his jersey the minute he was drafted. He probably wasn’t the best example because you’re right, he is an inspiration to many. It did just catch my eye on many jersey sites he’s one of only a few Seahawks available to purchase and there definitely feels like a lack of superstars right now. Maybe just was spoiled in 2013 and 2014, but I definitely miss the swing for the fences mentality used to get Percy and Jimmy Graham (both jerseys I also purchased).

  24. Gaux Hawks says:

    i’ve gotta say… this is a very dangerous group of receivers:

    Tyler Lockett, Phillip Dorsett, John Ursua
    D.K. Metcalf, Josh Gordon, David Moore

    followed by a potentially a sneaky good tight end room:

    Will Dissly, Greg Olsen, Colby Parkinson

  25. Logan Lynch says:

    If they do bring back Gordon, I think that puts Moore in jeopardy especially if they want to save some $.

    Let Moore, Ursua, Swain, Sullivan battle for 2 spots.

  26. Paul cook says:

    Boy you’re preaching to the choir here. Can’t believe we didn’t walk away with at least ONE of the highly skilled WR’s or RB’s in the first two rounds that were there to be had, some with possibly a bit of haggling. I was going to be deflated about this draft if that turned out to be the case. Some combination of one the top RB’s/WR’s, an OT, and possibly a DT/DE for the right value was what I was looking at going into this draft in the first three to four rounds.

    Just an unexciting/uninspiring draft for me, even though I do like some of our picks.

  27. Paul Cook says:

    PS> You do make a couple of good points about money/capital spent. They did seem to slightly overpay a handful of FA’s that when added up has constrained our CAP situation a bit. Also, if you value the RB position, in the majority of cases you DO get the best value from them during their first contract. So in a sense it does seem a bit money foolish to be throwing money at Freeman like that when you could have had much better potential value just picking up one of the top RB”s in the first few rounds.

    Anyway…

    • Rob Staton says:

      I just can’t believe what they’ve spent their money on.

      The extent of the pay rises, the vast sums invested on mediocrity or loading up at certain positions — while leaving others (DT) completely untouched.

      Everything about this off-season has felt confused and haphazard. And despite having so much resource, they don’t look any better.

      • Paul Cook says:

        I’m trying to be a good sport, but, like you said, there was a lot of money spent on mediocrity this off season, and a lot of draft capital spent without drafting some kind of exciting talent to get fns like me enthused about.

        You made a good point on the podcast. For heaven’s sake, wouldn’t we have been better off just paying/perhaps overpaying Clowney the big money for, say, three years or so than tossing all this money around on such mediocrity?

        Boy, the Seahawks are REALLY relying on a few things happening…

        –RB’s being healthy
        –A handful of draft picks from the past few years forming some kind of nucleus of talent
        –Clowney coming around and signing with us
        –A few decent DLmen becoming available for whatever the reason
        –etc…

        We’ll see…

  28. Roger Davis says:

    We’ve all spent this internment of our discontent comparing the value, utility and comparative necessity of position groups and the physical particulars, degree of development, and performance parameters of each candidate in each group against what we know to be “Seawhawky traits.” We’ve done this ad nauseam.

    I get that. I agree with doing that. i do that myself.

    BUT – in the distant past: a Super Bowl, a 10 point lead, our team cruising, literally cruising to win its second SB in a row. Then Cliff Avril gets a “concussion.” Bennett gets double teamed, our rush dies, Brady exploits the respite and the rest is history. A history of what could of been, should of been… sigh.

    Fifty three players, 46 can dress, one goes down. The beauty, the majesty of this sport we love is that there are “schemes” and “players for schemes” but in the end a blue butterfly in Brazil gets a runny nose, and a brain in the US gets concussed, and a team loses, and generations mourn.

    32 teams, each trying to find the brave 53 from which they run with the valiant 46. Permutations beyond computation even by a super computer – and in the end – a f*ckin’ butterfly with a runny nose turn the universe upside down.

    Don’t get me started on a Clown… from Rock Hill SC, who decides he’s always wanted to collect blue butterflies in the amazon forests more than he wants 10 million big in his bank account.

    Sigh…

    • TomLPDX says:

      For some reason, I just really liked this post! The “internment of or discontent!” and you threw in chaos theory on top of it! Awesome! And let’s not forget the broken arm of Jeremy Lane after that spectacular interception and return out of the endzone. If he had only taken a knee the whole future timeline would have changed….

      • Bmseattle says:

        So true.
        My recurring nightmare from that game is not the infamous interception, but Tharold Simon getting schooled by Edelman, over and over again.

  29. Geoff says:

    This is the most confusing offseason I can remember. I can almost sort of understand the Jordyn Brooks pick sort of but I can’t figure out what their plan is. Two tight ends? Why? Someone talk me down. I tend to defer to their logic but this was such a golden opportunity to get an amazing WR at the least. Again just incredibly confusing.

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