The December review: Where are the Seahawks at?

December 7th, 2015 | Written by Rob Staton

It’s all smiles in Seattle again

The recent upturn in Seattle’s offense has changed the complexion of the season — and maybe the off-season too. Let’s look at some of the reasons why:

How important is it to re-sign Okung and Sweezy?

It was assumed the Seahawks would need to rebuild their offensive line in 2016. The pass protection was struggling badly, leading the league in sacks. Gradually they improved — to the point that this unit has actually been a team strength in recent weeks.

With Seattle climbing into position to qualify for the playoffs — it’ll also make it harder to draft an offensive tackle in the first round. There are so few good O-lines in the NFL — more than ever tackle is a premium position.

Re-signing Russell Okung and J.R. Sweezy might be increasingly vital for two reasons:

1. Having gone through the growing pains with this group in 2015, do you really want to have to replace your two most experienced starters?

2. Are you going to be able to replace Okung in the draft?

Should Doug Baldwin get a new contract?

Baldwin is on pace for the first 1000-yard season of his career. He’s consistently been Seattle’s best receiver during the Russell Wilson era — and he’s a vital character in the locker room.

His contract is up after the 2016 season. His cap hit is $5.6m next year. That’s a very good deal for the Seahawks.

There are two ways of looking at this. Baldwin’s bargaining position has never been stronger in the midst of a career-best season. However, if the Seahawks continue to evolve their offensive identity, Baldwin, inspired by a contract year, could go a step further in 2016. With such a vibrant market for good, veteran receivers — it might be even more costly to wait until the end of his contract to get serious about an extension.

Have they got the cap room for this?

Reports this week suggested the cap will rise to between $150m-$150.34m in 2016. That would represent growth of around $7m (the cap in 2015 is $143.28m).

The Seahawks can save $6.5m if Marshawn Lynch retires, is traded or cut. They saved just under $4m in 2016 by cutting Cary Williams today.

Despite signing many of their existing players to long term contracts — and trading for Jimmy Graham — the Seahawks are slated to have around $28m in free cap space going into the 2016 league year. If Lynch departs, you’re looking at around $34m.

That’s more than enough to re-sign Okung and Sweezy while giving Baldwin an extension (his 2015 cap hit would probably stay the same anyway). You’d also have enough free cash to consider re-signing Bruce Irvin and/or adding a veteran starting center.

What about team needs?

This is changing quickly but remains tied to the current roster. It’s no shoe-in that Okung will re-sign. Danny O’Neil has suggested Okung might be able to extend his career and stay healthy playing in a more pass-friendly offense. O’Neil has also asserted that the Seahawks have a lot of time for Garry Gilliam and could consider moving him to left tackle.

If that happens, tackle remains a high priority need. Picking between #21-31 (the Patriots don’t own a first rounder in 2016) won’t prevent you from picking a tackle. Last week we discussed the play of Texas A&M’s Germain Ifedi — possibly an ideal fit at right tackle for this team/scheme. He might go in the second half of round one. He also has the upside, character and physical qualities to go in the top-20 (just like Ju’Wuan James, who also played right tackle in the SEC).

There is some depth at the position overall. Pittsburgh’s Adam Bisnowaty is a personal favourite and could go in rounds 2-3. He’d also be a better fit moving inside to guard (he appears to have a similar athletic profile to Evan Mathis entering the league). Bisnowaty’s wrestling background will appeal to Tom Cable.

They could also look at Indiana’s Jason Spriggs or Washington State’s Joe Dahl. There are others too. You wouldn’t necessarily have to take a tackle in round one — and if the good ones are gone anyway, it forces your hand.

For me, Auburn’s Shon Coleman is a top-ten talent. For a lot of other people he’s not even on their radar. For that reason, I’m not going to give up all hope he might fall into range for the Seahawks.

If Bruce Irvin moves on, that’s a position that needs filling. This is a draft with a lot of nice options at linebacker in round one. Expect Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith, UCLA’s Myles Jack and Ohio State’s Darron Lee to go in the top-20. A post-season Seahawks are unlikely to get at that trio.

We explored the possibility of Eric Striker being an option last week. Another name to consider is Southern Utah’s Miles Killebrew (talked about here). He’s a 6-3, 223lbs safety who’s been invited to the Senior Bowl. On tape it looks like he runs in the 4.4’s.

Could he rise like Deone Bucannon in 2014? Don’t bet against it. Bucannon was drafted by the Cardinals with the #27 pick and plays a sort of safety-linebacker hybrid role. He’s 6-1 and 211lbs and ran a 4.49 at the combine.

Could the Seahawks use Killebrew in the same way, with Mike Morgan and Kevin Pierre-Louis used as the more orthodox ‘starter’? It’s an intriguing proposition. And whisper this one quietly — could he eventually replace Kam Chancellor at strong safety when Chancellor hangs them up? Maybe.

A running back will need to be added at some point. As well as Rawls has played, it’d be good to have a mid-rounder working alongside him. This is a good class to target the third or fourth round range. Arkansas’ Alex Collins and UCLA’s Paul Perkins are personal favourites.

Receiver is growing on the list of needs. Jermaine Kearse is a free agent. How much do they believe in Kevin Smith and potentially Kasen Williams? Can they get Baldwin extended to avoid the risk of losing him after 2016? Can Paul Richardson ever stay healthy? Nevertheless, having spent so much on Harvin, Richardson, Graham and Lockett in the last three drafts — anything more than a second rounder seems unlikely.

Defensive tackle is a heated talking point in the comments section. The interior pass rush hasn’t been good enough this season but neither has the secondary. Is it a slump or a more serious problem? It’s not a position they’ve invested high stock in previously. Instead they’ve preferred to add role-playing veterans in free agency.

It feels like part of their philosophy, as Davis Hsu discussed in a Tweet last night:

Of course, if you’re ever presented with a ‘special’ talent — that’s different. I highly doubt the Seahawks would’ve passed on Aaron Donald for example due to an existing philosophy. There isn’t, however, anyone close to Donald’s level of talent eligible for the 2016 draft.

They could re-sign Mebane and/or Rubin and find another player in free agency.

I watched two Baylor games over the weekend and came away reviewing my stance on Andrew Billings. I think he is probably the best pass rushing defensive tackle available. I’m still not sure that a.) I’d necessarily want to draft him in round one or b.) the Seahawks will look to go in that direction over considering a mid-rounder such as Louisiana Tech’s Vernon Butler.

Finally, cornerback. DeShawn Shead is doing an admirable job as a starter — but is he the answer long term? It’s safe to assume something will be done here, even if it’s just adding bodies to the competition. That could mean a veteran, another day three draft pick or two or, for once, a higher pick.

The first round has some options. I’m grading LSU’s Tre’Davious White, Tennessee’s Cameron Sutton and Ohio State’s Eli Apple very highly. Unlike many others, I’m not projecting Vernon Hargeaves to be a first rounder. It’s hard to work out who could be around and whether some of these prospects fit Seattle’s length criteria.

One thing to remember though — the Seahawks are run by a Head Coach who is an old secondary coach and a defensive coordinator who was previously the defensive backs coach. They have consistently found good DB’s even if 2015 was a bit of a down year. While we might presume they’ll go big here to fill the hole Cary Williams couldn’t fill — they might see it differently. Again, it could come down to philosophy.

I’ll have a new mock draft on the way this week and it will include some big changes.

287 Responses to “The December review: Where are the Seahawks at?”

  1. Ed says:

    Nice read. Agree on all points. I am not a huge Okung/Sweezy fan, but as a whole (I really believe because of how Bevell is now calling the offense) the line has looked much better and if not too expensive, sign them.

    Let Bane, Williams and Kearse go.

    I would probably also really push to resign Irvin too.

    Shead has played well and should be resigned to play opposite Sherman.

    I know it won’t happen, but would sending Jimmy somewhere for a DT be an option? Spending $10 million on a disruptive DT makes more sense than on a TE in this offense.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Wilson is getting so much more time in the pocket. The O-line had some serious growing pains to start the year and suffocated the offense. Now? The improvement is very evident and it’s no coincidence the offense looks like a different animal all of a sudden.

      Graham won’t be traded — and I highly doubt you’re going to get a team to part with one of the few elite interior pass rushers in this league for a tight end coming off a serious knee injury.

      • Ty the Guy says:

        I addition to the extra time in the pocket, Wilson has been getting the ball out quicker. I think that is making defenses think twice about sending extra rushers. That and Wilson hasn’t given in to his flight instinct as quickly. It all looks natural right now. Love the efficiency. Because of that I think I can see why you didn’t mock an offensive lineman in round 1.

        How do you think Okung acting as his own agent will affect the resigning process? Will he take less money?

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think it’s good news for SEA. He will do what feels right. And that could mean staying in Seattle.

        • matt says:

          “How do you think Okung acting as his own agent will affect the resigning process? Will he take less money?”

          The second I heard Okung was going to represent himself I felt like this meant that he was going to stay in Seattle. First of all this saves him the 10% agent fee, second Washington state does not have an income tax. Both these points put more money in Okung’s pocket, if he stays. He was paid handsomely on his non capped rookie deal, so signing his first big money deal is not an issue. 8-10 mil/year should be able to get the job done. Okung is the 1 FA that I feel like we NEED to keep.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          Except when the Vikings sent extra rushers, he killed em.
          When they sat back on their heals, he killed em.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I’ll be interested to see how the new offensive line handles Arizona’s blitzes. That should be a real good test of their abilities.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          I wouldn’t expect too much from ARI in what will be a meaningless game for them at the end of the season.

          • Nathan says:

            Will it be that meaningless?

            Losing may mean they have to face us in the divisional round, instead of Minnesota.

            Which of those 2 would you choose if you were Arizona?

          • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

            They could still be vying for the #1 seed, provided the Panthers slip up 2x

  2. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    SEA are creatures of habit when it comes to personnel decisions. They don’t draft CBs or DTs high, they like to find hidden gems in UDFA, and they prefer to reward/resign key players as early as possible to avoid bidding wars in FA.

    IMO that means deals for Baldwin and Shead before 2016 FA opens. It also could mean the same for Irvin, Okung and Sweezy, but I have a feeling each of them will want to test the market. I think SEA will tender Baldwin with an offer he won’t refuse – both in terms of contract value AND because Baldwin wants to be a Seahawk – and Shead is worth more to SEA than he is to any other team.

    I think Sweezy will ultimately resign – he may even get one of those “preemptive” early offers – but either way his market will likely be soft. Okung is having a good year – both in terms of staying healthy and play quality. His resigning depends entirely on his market, not just the contract amount, but the team offering it.

    Irvin is one third of the best LB core in the NFL. He’s versatile and impactive. He will be the most difficult to retain, if for no reason other than he will be well sought after. He will probably be too expensive to keep.

    • mrpeapants says:

      Im just curious but do you think with Maxwell doing poorly in philly that other teams might shy away from our corners?

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        You mean with respect to Lane and Shead?

        No I don’t think it will have any effect on how other teams view them. But at the same time, it’s a different situation for each than Maxi, who was a full season starter last year and often went up against an opponent’s top WR because Sherm played left side only. This year, neither Lane nor Shead have been showcased in terms of playing time and going against top WRs.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          Lane is a very unique player. He showed in the SB how good he was and key to the defense. His ability to get back in the defense and play meaningful snaps …. correlates with the overall better secondary play. I think he will get paid decent coin. Decent slot CBs are hard to find.. and he is a game changer.

          Shead has versatility… ability to play both S and CB, I thin there are some teams who would love to have that….

          3-5M per year for each guy is my take on it… perhaps Seattle can keep em for cheaper
          *crosses fingers*

          • Volume12 says:

            Shead is a RFA. I suspect they’ll slap him with the 2nd round tender. No one will give up a 2nd for him.

            • cha says:

              Shead is quickly becoming a priority. He’s also nice Kam insurance should we have a repeat of this year and Kam needs to go.

  3. cha says:

    Has there been much coverage on Jordan Hill and why he’s appearing to have such a down year? He appeared to take a big step forward last few games last year before getting hurt. He’s been banged up this year but when he’s in there he doesn’t seem to have much impact.

    • Drew says:

      Injuries has kept him out of games, so who knows that in the games he’s played if he’s been fully healthy

  4. Ty the Guy says:

    I think a lot of 12s have been under the assumption that we may not be able (or may not want) to keep Okung and Sweezy. With the cap room projected I think you almost have to resign them. Okung has been a top 10 LT at worst when healthy and Sweezy is the type of guy you want on your side. Continuity may be our best option.

    You bring up an interesting point with Doug Baldwin. He is the Bobby Engram of his era. That is very high praise coming from me. Lockett deserves a bigger role and we have seen that happening throught he course of the season. The guy just makes plays. They raved about his return skills but when I saw his tape before last year’s draft I saw a complete package. Crisp routes, can beat a guy off the ball, football speed, tough, plays above his size, etc. Kearse knows our system and is willing to do the little things, but I feel like he is upgradable. As for Baldwin, I think it would go a long way for the organization if you rewarded him with an extension. He embodies what the Hawks are about.

    That being said, I am always worried about the cap. We don’t need to go spending like crazy in the offseason. The team responds better to guys like them, low draft picks or UDFAs.

  5. Cysco says:

    Let’s keep in mind that both Bennett and Avril are likely to command pay raises/extensions this off season so there goes a chunk of money. Frankly, they both deserve it.

    So, if were extending bennett, Avril, baldwin and paying sweezey and okung plus filling any other holes, giving Bruce a large deal probably isn’t in the cards. If anyone is going to be a casualty of our cap, i think it’s going to be Irvin. On the positive side, he’ll probably get a big deal from Atlanta and secure the hawks another high compensatory pick.

    For that reason, I like the idea of looking at the possible Irvin type players in the draft.

    • Cysco says:

      Oh, and I forgot to mention Cam. That could be a messy situation. He’s going to want something done to his deal. Unfortunately he’s not worth a pay increase playing at the level he is. It could get ugly again.

    • Drew says:

      Why would you give a raise to Bennett and Avril? Bennett has 2 years left on his deal and Avril has 3. Just because they are playing well doesn’t mean you just redo-extend their contract. They give out extensions with 1 year left on the contract, no time sooner. I can almost guarantee that Bennett and Avril will not get extensions.

      • mrpeapants says:

        but didn’t bennet just ask for a raise this offseason? seems likely he will want one again.

      • Ed says:

        Bennett and Avril will get a restructure at least. They are playing leaps and bounds above the rest of the team (besides Wilson the last 2 weeks).

        • Cysco says:

          exactly. Bennett toyed with the idea of holding out this past off season. He’ll do it this year. Both players are playing well above their pay. I can’t imagine the team NOT doing something about that.

          • Drew says:

            That’s how you start getting into cap trouble. Just because a player is playing above their current salary, or ask for a raise, you don’t just give it to them.

          • cha says:

            Did you not see how the team handled Chancellor this offseason?

            No. They’re not getting restructured deals.

          • arias says:

            I can’t see why Avril would be handed a restructure. He was happy with his contract he signed last year. It’s Bennett that’s been making noise and is one year ahead of Avril.

          • Belgaron says:

            Bennett later admitted he could never actually hold out because his wife won’t let him, he has bills to pay.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Avril signed a contract extension just a year ago. Bennett was 18 months ago. They aren’t getting new deals.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        I can see Seattle trading Bennett in the offseason. The sideshow last offseason was more than enough…. he is at his peak value, trade high! (if you must trade him)

        • Tien says:

          But he’s still one of our best players on the DL and under contract. Why would we replace him with someone inferior? Bennett may still make noise in the offseason about wanting more money but I doubt he’ll be like Kam and hold out and lose money. As long as he shows up and performs, we can live with him complaining about money in the offseason.

        • Belgaron says:

          Nah, they won’t

      • Belgaron says:

        Absolutely correct, they’ll have their hands full re-signing Lane, Irvin, Sweezy, and Shead. They could be in the market for an in-line TE and play Graham more like a WR next year as well.

  6. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    hawkblogger: The Seahawks are ranked 5th in passing yards over the last three games despite being ranked 30th in pass attempts during that time. Whoa.

    Whoa indeed.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      SheilKapadia: On throws from the pocket Sunday, Russell Wilson was 19-for-21 (90.5%) for 256 yards (12.19 YPA), 2 TDs, 0 INTs. 149.2 passer rating.

      Through week 12, Dalton leads the league with a Passer Rating of 107.4. Palmer 2nd with 106.3, Wilson essentially tied at 106.2.

  7. AlaskaHawk says:

    Rob that is a good review of overall team needs. I still have a wait till end of season view of the offensive line, they certainly look better now, but injuries could play a role too. I would like to see Okung, Sweezy and Irvin resigned. Baldwin has to be part of this team going forward.

    One area you didn’t talk about is tight ends. It seems like an easy upgrade, and with Graham’s injury it is a must do sort of upgrade. Who is there in the 2nd to 4th rounds that can both block and catch the ball? I would like to see the Seahawks sift through the road grader types.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not sure on TE’s. Graham and Willson will be back. They could bring Helfet back. It’s not a great TE class and to me in the first four rounds there are bigger needs. I’d try and add a cheap veteran blocking TE in FA.

      • matt says:

        “It’s not a great TE class and to me in the first four rounds there are bigger needs. I’d try and add a cheap veteran blocking TE in FA.”

        I think you’re probably right, but the TE core is no certainty looking past 2016. Graham coming back to 100% is not a lock, and he commands big $ along with a somewhat sketchy scheme fit. Willson will be entering his last year on his rookie deal next season. He should be retained. Helfet knows our offensive scheme, but he’s simply not very good. I’m not saying that TE is a huge need or anything, just that the core could use some attention looking forward. JS/PC, as we know, plan for the future by getting potential long term answers into the system a year before they are thrown into the fire. I haven’t done much scouting on TE’s, but Jake Butt stood out every time I watched Michigan this year. He’d look good in a Seahawks uni!

        • Rob Staton says:

          Butt is very solid. So was Hunter Henry in fairness. They are both juniors so might not declare. I still wouldn’t want to be drafting either early. This is a situation I’d happily sit on until 2017.

          • Belgaron says:

            They’ll put in a call to Ladarius Green unlesshis market goes nuts.

          • RugbyLock says:

            Agreed. Russell’s improvement in passing efficiency will make it less likely that the opponent will load the box with 8 men all the time.

      • Mike B. says:

        This one is easy–David Morgan II from University of Texas San Antonio. He’s a big (6’4″ 260) powerful TE with soft hands who can block. Because he plays for such a small program he should be available late in the draft, and might even go undrafted.

    • cha says:

      I would plan for Graham going on the PUP, PC said he’ll be ready Week 1 but also admitted he doesn’t have solid medical knowledge for that assessment.

      Would expect a Moeaki-type veteran stopgap signing this offseason. Helfet is at the end of his rookie deal and unless he signs for similar or improves his play dramatically the last few weeks and playoffs, is likely gone.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Part of my concern is that Helfet hasn’t been earth shattering. I like Willson and think he could be a useful cheap addition. Graham is an unknown until he can recover from his injury. Who is left?

      Basically they were 3 for 7 in the receptions. I just don’t see the over the top value that a guy like Rawls brings to the team.

  8. Drew says:

    I think Baldwin deserves an extension this off season. I would re-sign Okung and Irvin and let Sweezy walk. I would also re-sign Shead and Lane, both will probably be able to sign for team friendly deals. Shead is the dB swiss army knife and can do so many things. I can see Lane getting a 1 year deal to play a full year healthy and then hit the open market.

    As for addressing CB in the draft, I don’t think it’ll be a priority. We have Shead, Lane, Burley, Simon, Smith and Seisay. I’d like to see them get a guy that can play inside, but unless there’s somebody they love that falls to them, I don’t see them using a pick on anyone before the 5th round.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      But Sweezy could be really cheap to resign, like in the 2-3 million range. He has been a starter and even if he were replaced by a better player he would still be a useful backup. I like the rest of your signups.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        No, he will get 4.5-5M if someone views him as a starting OG. There are plenty of teams desperate enough to pay him that much…..

        • Mike B. says:

          Yep, I’d like to keep Sweezy for continuity, but he might get a James Carpenter-type deal elsewhere if he keeps up the good play. Sebastian Tretola from Arkansas is a big, powerful, and surprisingly quick OG who’d be great as a run blocker, and should be available in the middle rounds.

          • Miles says:

            We already have Sweezy’s replacement on the roster: Mark Glowinski. That’s why I would be okay with letting Sweezy depart especially if he gets starting guard money. I wouldn’t be okay with letting Okung walk. He’d be much harder to replace and there isn’t an obvious replacement on the roster. Your starting LT needs to be a guy you can trust. Despite injury issues, Okung is probably the safest player we could hope for going into next year. It’s a good sign for him and the organization that he’s been generally healthy this year. So I would maybe:

            Keep Okung.
            Let Sweezy walk.
            Sign a veteran guard in the $2-3m range on one-year deal as hedge for Glow.
            Re-sign Lane.
            Sign Brandon Browner on cheap deal.
            Tender Shead.
            Re-sign Irvin.
            Draft for defense or dynamic WR early.

    • david ess says:

      The thing with good portion of those guys listed is durability.
      Lane, Burley, Simon, Smith have yet to see substantial time this season. Simon has been injured more times than games played. Burley while playing good has also faced injury where he has missed time and im not sure whats going on with smith. I think CB is a definitely a need but it can wait till the later rounds

  9. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Looks like Demarco Murray may be a one-and-done in PHI. I could see him being a FA target for the right price.

    • sdcoug says:

      Respectfully disagree. I think one of the Hawks strengths has been the ability to find low-cost gems at key positions (Sherm, Max, Kam, Russ, Baldwin). We’re real close to being able to add Rawls to that list. Every time that happens, those low cost contracts allow the team to spend money elsewhere, whether its extending their studs or plugging roster gaps.

      Not only would I expect Murray to command much more that the Hawks would ever pay, but I imagine the Hawks revel in knowing they have a capable RB answer in Rawls and will look to find a backup mid-rounds.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        If Murray is cut, he won’t get the kind of contract that brought him to PHI in the first place.

  10. KingRajesh says:

    I’m going to wait until the end of the year for the O-line judgment. If they can protect Russell like they have been for the rest of the year and into the playoffs, that’s great. We can talk about re-signing both then. I’d rather only re-sign one, as I think we could find somebody better if we invest a top pick.

    In my mind, you’re looking at a a decent amount needs: O-Line (Tackle and Guard), pass-rushing DT, CB, LB, RB and WR.

    O-line, LB, CB, RB, and WR need to be addressed in the draft, as we can’t really afford to pay big money to people at those positions with how much we have tied up in our stars.

    TE is kind of a need, but blocking TEs are never drafted high – someone like Nick Vannett could be around in rounds 5-6, or Steven Scheu as a UDFA. I mean, ideally you’d get somebody who can both block and catch, like Hunter Henry out of Arkansas, but he’s probably a late 1st – Mid 2nd round pick.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Nobody talking about UTSA TE David Morgan II.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        “Nobody talking about UTSA TE David Morgan II”

        Funny, I mentioned him on another site as a guy that had a Luke Willson type feel. I could see him being ‘one of the guys Seattle can’t leave the draft without’.

        Has absolutely fantastic hands. Probably similar to Graham in that regard. I suspect he won’t test as well as Luke did physically. He’s a bigger guy though who blocks pretty well. He does seem to be a really good inline blocking TE prospect in the 5th/6th rounds though. Probably would be similar to Luke in terms of blocking ability on day 1. Better hands than Luke most likely.

        It’ll depend on how close he gets to Willson at the combine/pro day.

      • Mike B. says:

        Thank you for bringing up Morgan the Second. I first saw footage of him early this season, and after watching a bit more (there’s not much available) found him to be a potential steal in the late rounds of the 2016 draft, or possibly as an UDFA.

  11. vrtkolman says:

    My how things change fast in the NFL. Last week I had DT as the biggest offseason priority for the Seahawks, but now with Frank Clark’s emergence I’m not sure. Clark was extremely good rushing from the interior, so good that guys like Davis Hsu claimed he just took Hill’s job. He isn’t a 3 down DT but in pass rushing situations he can be a force inside while Bennett, Avril, and Irvin rush from the edge.

    I think re-signing Irvin, Lane, Okung, and Sweezy would all be good moves. Shead I haven’t seen enough of, but he should come fairly cheap. A run stopping DT would be another need but those are pretty easy to find in free agency. That gives Seattle tremendous draft versatility.

    CB, D line, O line, linebacker, even receiver if a good one falls all seem like possible 1st round possibilities.

    • matt says:

      “Clark was extremely good rushing from the interior, so good that guys like Davis Hsu claimed he just took Hill’s job. He isn’t a 3 down DT but in pass rushing situations he can be a force inside while Bennett, Avril, and Irvin rush from the edge.”

      That pass rushing foursome was dynamite yesterday! Clark proved he deserves more playing time, and he’ll get it. I wonder why this group hadn’t been unleashed before yesterday’s game? That was the group that had me excited last offseason.

  12. line_hawk says:

    With the way Patrick Lewis is playing and if he continues his form, I would give him like 3yr/12-15M and see if he signs.

    Also, why not take the money from Graham and give it to Irvin? It solves two problems at once – they no longer have to worry about incorporating Graham into the offense and they get to keep their best pass-rushing linebacker for the new few years. Also, in that case, they can get a guy like Jermaine Gresham for cheaper who fits more closely with their run-first philosophy.

    • vrtkolman says:

      I still think it’s insane that the team gave the job to Nowak out of camp. Lewis was really good last year, people forget how good the offense was without Unger.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        PFF has Lewis as top rated C this week:

        Center: Patrick Lewis, Seahawks (+3.1)

        Lewis had already proved to be an upgrade over Drew Nowak, but if he can continue to play like this, he’ll be more than that just an upgrade.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Agree on the insane to expect a rookie defensive linemen to start over an experienced offensive center. Sweezy was terrible his first year too, he finally got good around the last two games before the playoffs. Those defensive guys need a year of seasoning on the practice squad.

      • Cysco says:

        I suspect their thinking was to give it to Nowak in hopes of him learning and improving on the job. The team has shown they’re willing to live with the growing pains if it means prolonged success down the road. This year, I think there were too many parts of the O-line learning on the job.

        I’d like to see them retain at least 4/5 of the line. I think the team has proven they can teach an athlete to play a position on the line. It just takes half+ the season to do so.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Lewis is playing well but $5m a year? Woah horsey.

      • line_hawk says:

        I am not that familiar with numbers on the lower end of the free agent spectrum but if he continues to play at an above-average/high level throughout the rest of the season, is 4-5M a lot for a center? Mack will be demanding 8-9M from what I know. What would be a reasonable number according to you?

        • Rob Staton says:

          $5m a year would put Lewis in the top-10 bracket for center’s in the NFL. It would also be ten times his current salary of $540,000 — so I’m not sure he can expect that kind of a raise based on a good stretch of games this season.

          If they were thinking extension a solid $2m a year would probably do it. That’s how much Stefan Wisniewski got from the Jags. It’s also worth noting he’s a restricted free agent so they can keep him next year with a second round tender if they wish.

          • C-Dog says:

            Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. If he stays on this pace, they will just tender him for another year, maybe see how things shake out in the draft if there is someone they like, maybe see how Sokoli evolves, or if Lewis continues playing well enough, they will conclude converting college DTs to Center is a really silly idea, and they will work out a cap friendly extension towards the end of the 2016 season.

  13. C-Dog says:

    Thanks for addressing the pass rush DT concerns, Rob. I know I’ve been a major pain in ### on this board about that. It’s probably a combo of too much coffee and too much coffee. Lo and behold, I think with Frank Clark’s flashy inside play yesterday, and Carroll’s statement post game that they will continue using him there, might end up playing a big determining factor on how they address DT next offseason. First time all season long I jumped out of my seat screaming with joy, thanking the divine, when he collected that first sack. Concerns have definitely been eased.

    As raw as he might be, he kind of looks the part. I thought that when they drafted him. Broad shoulders, long arms, thick legs, with potentially a little more added muscle weight doing into 2016, he could legitimately grow into that versatile DT/DE Anthony Hargrove, Jason Jones, and Mike Bennett have been. While, I would like a more legit base down 3 tech, that’s what I see them needing more than anything on the d-line. Another player that can do what Mike B can do. When I wasn’t seeing that show up throughout the coarse of the season, seeing Clark mainly used outside, Hill not taking the next step, I was starting to loose my marbles. I think I got a few of them back yesterday.

    Carroll just addressed on the Brock and Saulk show this morning Clark’s play inside yesterday. Pretty interesting. He said they got away from playing him inside early in the season, thinking he would be more comfortable outside, and now wishes they would have stayed with it inside because of his speed and athleticism.

    If they go any combo of OL/WR/LB within their first 3 picks, all seems reasonable to me. WR seems to be jumping up my list. I think they need to re-sign Doug, and make him a life long Hawk. Not sure having Doug on a larger deal and Kearse on a larger deal is great for the cap, though, but then again, kind of have a hard time judging what Kearse’s market would be. Maybe he comes back cheap.

    • vrtkolman says:

      It would be an epic steal if Clark developed into a dominant pass rushing DT.

    • Jimmy Chitwood says:

      Clark played inside yesterday because the Hawks got off to an early lead and shut AP down. Bridgewater, had to pass and therefore we could afford to substitute Clark and Bennett into the middle of our D Line to improve the rush. That will not happen every week. We will need big bodied DT’s. The DT position will come off the board early because there are so few good ones. The Hawks have shopped in FA for DT’s because they are not assured of getting one in the draft late. If one falls to us in the first round, that could be the pick. We took Irvin in the first round so it is not like we have an aversion to using that round for a guy we like.

      I expect Okung will re-sign. He has stated he intends to represent himself. If he was going to deal with all of the teams in FA he would need a firm to handle the team contacts, sort thru all of the offers and handle multiple negotiations at once. I believe his commitment to handling the contract negotiations himself is a sign he wants to stay in Seattle and feels he can negotiate with this FO exclusively for a fair deal.

      Grahams injury makes him untradeable. His rehab will determine whether they carry his contract next year. He could get a buyout which might be best for both sides. He would be a FA when he is healed and free to negotiate with any team. As I have said before, I do not think his game fits this offense. RW would be better off with small, quick receivers that get instant separation off the LOS. This is the New England style passing offense. Small, sudden receivers are the easiest commodity to find in the draft. A traditional blocking TE would help the running game.

      • DC says:

        + Gronk

        With complimentary personnel at TE and a solid RT I believe Graham could be a deadly chess piece as long as he doesn’t have to be the star. It’s too early for me to write him off, it’s also too early to dismiss that his injury may alter the length of his career in Seattle.

        • Jimmy Chitwood says:

          Gronk was an accomplished blocker coming out of college. This is exactly what I advocate for … a traditional blocking TE that can catch. Jimmy Graham, is not and never will be an accomplished inline blocker. He is an H Back. He takes one of our smaller receivers off the field and adds nothing to the running game. We are paying way too much for a guy so limited. Gronk was drafted in the second round and we can find several TE’s this year that should be available to us at that point in the draft.

          In the five quarters that Graham has been off the field with his injury, Baldwin has caught four TD’s, doubling his TD production for the year. i would contend Graham has been taking his targets away.

          • Barry says:

            I think that’s a accurate and fair assessment, jimmy. Something I’m interested to see is how Jimmy G handles his rehab mentally. He is a young player mentally, this injury might cause him to have to change his game and add a want and desire to block an make him more of a well rounded TE.

            Only time will tell and it speculation but he is a great athlete that could have a long very productive carrie even slowed by a injury.

            • Jimmy Chitwood says:

              The rehab is going to be critical to him. He is due to earn $9M next year but there is no dead money charge if he is cut. Victor Cruz has missed 1.5 seasons and just went under the knife again for a calf injury after tearing his pattelar tendon. Cruz’ future is also in doubt because of the $9.9M he would receive if he plays but does not perform up to his contract. I am not optimistic about either of these guys continuing their careers with their current team. If they cannot play their teams probably will make a business decision and release them.

              • Rob Staton says:

                People are over estimating whether Graham is likely to come back. A medical study found that 19 of 24 players returned from this injury between 2004-2009 with no issues. There’s a bit of recency bias because of Victor Cruz. Yes it will be a long, difficult recovery. But Graham will be back with the Seahawks. You don’t just give up on a top player. I’m not sure why we’re even discussing this. Seattle has around $34m sitting waiting for them at the end of the year.

                • Jimmy Chitwood says:

                  I saw that study and you are right guys do come back from this injury. The issue is whether they come back and play at the same level as before. If Graham is 100% in July, then fine. Chances are, like with PRich, he may not be. He is a big guy and they usually take more time to heal the legs. The contract is the albatross around his neck. The Hawks have to restock the position in the draft because they will not know his status and are thin there even with him. Once they see they have guys in training camp that can compete for the starting position, it becomes a money issue. I see a buyout as likely. It would be in his best interests not to rush back. Give the legs a year to heal, get in shape and shop for a big FA contract.

      • C-Dog says:

        Not so fast, Carroll said twice today, once in a radio spot, and then in his press conference, Frank Clark will continue playing more inside from here on out. Clark had to play inside yesterday because Hill and Dobbs were out. Clark responded very well. He was getting sacks and inside disruption early in the game before it was out of hand. AP only had 8 carries because once we got 2 TDs early on them, it more or blessed forced them out of what they typically do, and they felt they had to pass more. While I agree they may look to upgrade base down DT, Clark is going to be a very interesting player to watch from here on out. They don’t have another player on the roster who has that kind of explosion and speed that is able to play inside. Mike B doesn’t even have that. That opens things up to do a lot more movement with twists and stunts.

  14. matt says:

    It sure looks like Wilson and Bevell now have complete trust in Tyler Lockett to make plays. Lockett played his best game as a Seahawk yesterday, and man am I excited about it! Baldwin and Lockett are primed to continue making both the big play and the clutch 3rd down catch.

    Last offseason I was one of the minority that wanted to keep Jermaine Kearse. He was a RFA and we basically had exclusive bargaining rights to him, by giving him a 2nd round tender. (I expect us to treat Shead the same way, and will keep him on the cheap) This upcoming offseason we won’t have the same luxury and I’m thinking Kearse is in his last season in Seattle. His play, like his career, has been up and down this year, and I think it’s time to move on. I agree with Rob that an early pick on a WR is unlikely, and think that a bigger(6’2″+) WR will be targeted at some point in the draft. Smith is very similar player and has special teams value, while Williams is wild card. I’d love to see Kasen take a big step forward, being a 6’2″ athletic WR who can go get it-he looked primed to be an early draft pick before his devastating injury. A healthy season on the PS learning the offense could be the stepping stone he needed to take off. Hope so. Still we always add players for competition.

    To those that have been saying that NE does it all with “smurf” WR’s-you are only half right. Remember they have Lafell and Dobson-both 6’3″-and the ultimate weapon in Gronk.

  15. cha says:

    Rapaport just tweeted the Seahawks are cutting Cary Williams

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Further proof SEA aren’t afraid to move on from a mistake.

      And a big endorsement of Shead going forward.

      BTW the release turns Williams’ 3yr/$18mmm deal into a 1yr/$7mm.

      • rowdy says:

        Will we save any money,this year?

        • cha says:

          According to overthecap there will be a $2.3m cap hit for cutting him this year.

          Savings will be $3.8m in 2016, $6m in 2017.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          No. And if he goes unclaimed off waivers, he’ll count $2.34mm against the cap next year.

        • Attyla the Hawk says:

          “Will we save any money,this year?”

          No. Contracts are guaranteed for the year after the cutdown to 53.

          • matt says:

            Wow that escalated quickly! From every game starter to cut in 3 weeks. Didn’t see this move coming before the end of the season. Bummer he didn’t work out, but man is Shead looking good out there!

  16. Jake says:

    One big issue for me is how the Seahawks feel about their understudies. Kevin Pierre-Louis showed flashes his rookie year before he got hurt. I haven’t noticed him much this year, but part of that is that he won’t see the field much while Irvin is beasting out. How comfortable do the Hawks feel running KPL out there as the starter next year?

    Similarly, we’ve got Glowinski and Sokoli hanging around on the roster, learning their trade. Will they be ready to step in if Sweezy prices himself out of the Seahawks’ range? At CB there’s Tye Smith to think about.

    The areas where I feel like they don’t have much of a backup plan are at DT and strong safety. If somebody falls to the Seahawks that has long term starter potential in either area I wouldn’t be shocked to see them go that way.

    • Ukhawk says:

      Nice post. Couldn’t agree more. Need for depth will be one of the big drivers in this draft amongst other factors including the desire to upgrade/replace.

      For depth, I’d love a DT but it’s a very weak position this year esp at 3T. That said I feel they will look for a young Mebane backup and eventual replacement at NT/1. I’m thinking Jarran Reed if he lasts into R3-4.

      At Safety, I think Robs shout of Killebrew could be prophetic. He is everything they need as an understudy to Kam/Earl and would give them loads of flexibility in the nickel a la the Cards. Similarly a speed/cover defender like Striker, Cravens or later like a Jatavis Brown might be on the cards.

      • vrtkolman says:

        I’m a huge fan of Cravens. I think he is a star at the next level, though I doubt we will be in position to draft him. He can play in the box and has legit speed and coverage ability. I think he would be an improvement over Kam with a year of NFL seasoning.

  17. Volume12 says:

    Evey year we hear how Seattle is going to or should take a big receiver, and rhey never do. They like the Baldwins, Lockett’s, P-Rich’s. It’s kinda becoming their thing. Of course it wold be nice to have that big bodied wideout, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Just like a CB before rounds 4-5, or interior D-lineman before the 3rd. I hate going back to this, but they have a model in place now the last 4-5 years.

    Another thing, Seattle is peaking at the right time like they’ve always done under RW. They know this is the time of year to be playing the best football possible.

    • cha says:

      It’s not for lack of trying though, V12. The big WR this year was supposed to be Matthews but it didn’t work out. They looked at Stephen Williams but that didn’t work out. Rice had to retire due to injuries and BMW turned back into a pumpkin.

      • Volume12 says:

        It’s definetly not for lack trying. I’ll give ya that.

        But, most of the time, the smaller reveivers are more talented. They can’t rely on size, so they learn to beat DBs by running better routes, having those COD skills Seattle likes in their receivers.

        IMO they prefer quickness/suddeness.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          Keep an eye on UCLA WR Jordan Payton 6’0″ 210lbs – very similar in stature/style to Kearse. Tough, gritty competitor who blocks well and can catch.

          His 2015 stat line: 75 recs, 1069 yards, 14.3 yards/catch, 4 TDs.

          I could see SEA letting Kearse walk and replacing him with someone like Payton on Day 3.

          • Volume12 says:

            I like Payton. I remember me and you talking about him earlier this year.

            • Volume12 says:

              Very ‘Seahawky’ style.

              I like that 3rd round comp pick-4th round as a target area for receivers this year.

              • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                Right, forgot we discussed him. He’s definitely Seahawky.

                I’m no longer “convinced” SEA will take a RB on Day 2. The draft is deep at RB, and the emergence of Rawls has changed the equation. They may still, but it’s as likely to be a WR or one of those DE/DT types we’ve talking about.

        • cha says:

          I agree. It’s probably not an easy thing to find a WR who is big but also embodies the Seahawks ethos they want in WR’s…scramble drill ability, downfield blocking, the pressure of ‘you better catch this because you’re only getting 4 targets today’ and the attitude of being OK with the fact that you’re never going to put up world-beating numbers in this offense.

        • david ess says:

          another player to look at if you’re going size would be Tajae Harper from Umass and Kayarris (sp?) Garrett from LTU.

          • Volume12 says:

            I like Taj Sharpe. Keyarris Garrett is interesting, but he might be the stiffest WR I’ve seen in quite some time. Dude has no YAC skills.

    • Ukhawk says:

      I agree that’s been the pattern but it also depends on team needs and draft depth and this draft is deep at OL & DB.

      In terms of needs, I think they could change their pattern if someone who is a difference maker or an upgrade at certain positions falls to JSPS. For all their depth they’ve really struggled at the backend of the defence when playing 3-4 deep receiver groups. And for all their recent success, the OL has not been truly tested against a top defensive line and further will be deciding to pay up or turnover the line yet again. Maybe they don’t want to pay premium money for Okung and Sweezy and will choose to invest elsewhere in the team. Needs must when it comes to the draft in this day and age of free agency.

      • Volume12 says:

        I still trust Shead over a day 1 rookie.

        Of course it could change if a guy falls, but I don’t believe for one second that this FO banks on that. They identify their guys, stick to their guns, what’s worked, and if one of ‘their’ guys becomes in danger of getting taken before they select, they’ll pull the trigger to move up and get him.

    • Mike B. says:

      My money is on Seattle drafting their first receiver in round 3 or 4. In that range, I really like Jordan Williams from Ball State. He was the best offensive player on a lousy team. Great size (6’3″ 228), good speed, soft hands, terrific concentration. I think he’d be perfect for Seattle in 3rd downs and in the end zone, but he might be gone by round 2 or early round 3.

      The other guy I like a lot is Taywan Taylor from Western Kentucky. He’s not a big WR (6’1″ 190), but he’s got an extra gear and creates separation. Taylor’s line from this year? 79 rec, 1356 yds (17.2 avg), 17 TDs.

      Also a big fan of Corey Davis from Western Michigan, whose draft stock should rise considerably.

  18. Volume12 says:

    Brought up Charles Tapper yesterday, hoping this guy declares. He’s the closest thing to him.

    Florida St (hmm) DE/DT DeMarcus Walker-6’3, 282 lbs. 2015 stats: 45 tackles, 15.5 TFL, 10.5 sacks, 5 PBU, 4 FF, 3 QB hurries, 1 blocked FG/kick.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      We’ve been trying to figure out who SEA likes on that Seminoles team as they’ve been scouting FL ST pretty hard this season.

      IIRC one of us (probably you) brought up Walker as a possible target. He’s definitely one of those versatile DLers like Tapper who’s quick/active enough to give interior OLers fits.

      • Volume12 says:

        I think they re-sign ‘Bane, draft a guy like this, and then either sign a veteran DT, a bigger body, or target one later in the draft.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          I expect ‘Bane will be back. Rubin too, if he doesn’t expect a pay raise.

          Clark showed a lot yesterday. I hope he can continue to build on that.

          Irvin/Clark/Bennett/Avril – what a NASCAR line!

          • Volume12 says:

            With Matsh as backup. Wow! Their pretty well stacked in terms of pass rushers.

            If Bruce leaves, it shortens that depth, until they select his replacement.

            I kinda like Shilique Calhoun.

            • CHawk Talker Eric says:

              Marsh is still working on his pass rush, but he’s really improved his edge containment. I don’t recall him being beat to the outside yet this season.

              • Volume12 says:

                It fascinates me how similar Marsh and Clark are to Bennett and Avril, but different.

                Clark is more quickness and athleticism like Avril, and Marsh is more effort and hand use/technique like Bennett.

                But, in no way am I saying that Bennett isn’t quick or athletic, and Avril isn’t a hustler with great technique. If I’m making any sense.

                • C-Dog says:

                  Good observation. Clark has the athletic quicks, but size to play inside. Marsh is technically more sound, but no longer has the size or strength to handle inside, handles the edge well. If they can place Marsh’s head on Clark’s body, they’d have a heck of a player.

  19. rowdy says:

    Rob, I talked about wr becoming a off season priority with Richardson being ir’d. I don’t see them drafting a wr high enough to eliminate the need and see a free agent as a likely scenario. Who would be some fa wr this year that would intrigue you?

    • Rob Staton says:

      The options aren’t great. Can’t see them going big on an Alshon Jeffrey. Travis Benjamin is having a nice year but will he be overpaid? There’s a full list here: http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/wide-receiver/

      • Nathan says:

        Perhaps another teams cap casualty.

      • cha says:

        Josh Gordon is only 24? What a waste of size & skill.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I believe Cleveland retains the right to keep Gordon next season because the suspension means he won’t accrue a season this year. So he shouldn’t technically be on that list of free agents.

      • Rik says:

        I saw that the Cowboys picked up Vince Mayle from Cleveland’s practice squad, and now he’s on the Cowboys practice squad. He visited Seattle before the draft last year. Any chance there’s still interest by the Seahawks? He’s solid – 6’2″ and 240 lbs. Had a great senior year even with a hand injury.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I was never a fan of Mayle in college and his start in the NFL was very ugly. I wouldn’t be that interested personally.

          • Miles says:

            I would not be surprised to see the Seahawks one of the top suitors for Alshon Jeffery. They are always down to add a dynamic playmaker. Can you imagine an offense with Wilson/Rawls/Jeffery/Graham? Hard to imagine but it would be overwhelming.

            Additionally I would not be surprised if the Seahawks give Justin Blackmon a shot. His career is probably over but at vet minimum and his talent level the Hawks may decide he’s worth a look.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I would hate both of those moves personally. Blackmon is finished IMO. Jeffery will be extremely expensive. I’d rather try and mimic the Steelers. Extreme speed and dynamism — suddenness off the LOS. Targeting players in rounds 2-4. Look at the success they’ve had:

              Mike Wallace — R2
              Emmanuel Sanders — R3
              Antonio Brown — R6
              Markus Wheaton — R3
              Martavis Bryant — R4

              That, for me, is the way to go. And Seattle’s best two receivers are Baldwin and Lockett — both very sudden and dynamic. I’d like to see more of that. And I speak as someone who has campaigned for a big bodied WR for a long time.

              • Miles says:

                It seems like they will try to identify receiver they like in the R2 – R3 range going forward ala Tyler Lockett. They have seemed to understand that their identity translates perfectly with smaller receivers. And perhaps Wilson has grown accustomed to throwing to that kind of receiver. Perhaps all those toss-ups to big receivers in the Pro Bowl was an outlier based on playing against vanilla defenses that are scheme-free.

                But I do wonder what position they feel they need to commit the high resources too. It seems their philosophy is to acquire these positions with lower resources: CB, LB, DT, RB, and possibly OL. So what position would they go all out for? To me, it’s WR if their is an explosive enough player there. That’s why I can see them being top dogs for Alshon. Also because they did the same with Graham. They risked their identity to go out and grab a dynamic playmaker. It seems like out of all the positions, WR is the one where they would go all out for.

                While the Seahawks have modeled some of what the Steelers do, they are not the Steelers. They are their own organization that has blazed the trail in many ways for various strategies. There are many teams and fans out there that are asking their teams to draft like the Seahawks, too. That’s why I am not sure the Seahawks will look at WR the same way the Steelers will.

                What separates the Seahawks the most has been their willingness to part with high picks. They are not attached to any first round pick. Sometimes it seems like they would prefer not to pick in the first round, and spend the unknown quantity on a known quantity (ie. Harvin, Graham), or in some situations, more unknown quantities (draft picks) for a higher success rate.

                All that to say, I think the Seahawks are flexible with what positions they will target in certain rounds. They will not handcuff themselves to WRs in rounds 2-4. They look at draft picks as unknown quantities that are highly valued by other teams. Thus, the Seahawks gain an advantage by seeing draft picks for what they are: big question marks. They draft for athleticism and potential. They de-value high resources.

  20. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    PFT reporting that CLE has claimed Bills C Gabe Ikard off waivers as possible depth insurance in case Alex Mack opts out of his contract. Lewis may be playing well, but that doesn’t mean SEA wouldn’t be interested in signing Mack if he’s available.

    • Rob Staton says:

      We’ve seen the incredible benefit of improved center play over the last few weeks.

      Getting a chance to sign one of the best — if not the best — at the position has to be enticing.

      • nichansen01 says:

        Utter waste of valuable cap space in my opinion.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Only if you think adding arguably the best center in the game and never having to worry about that position for the next 3-4 years is a waste.

          Lewis is doing a good job but he is what he is. The Seahawks could have $34m in free cap space this off-season and are firmly in win-now mode.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            It’s the best use of $8-9mm/year in cap space that I can think of. Not to mention structuring his contract in a cap friendly way.

            Just today Carroll mentioned Lewis being a “smaller guy” playing well. I think they’re pleasantly surprised by his performance, but by no means are they content to rest on that.

            Signing Mack would be a coup and gives SEA a pro-bowl caliber player at a crucial position of need. He’s an improvement over Unger, let alone Lewis.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I think it’s very likely they’ll register their interest. Whether he signs or not is another matter.

              It’s great that Lewis is playing well but it’s such a small body of work. It’s not that long ago that Michael Bowie was getting praised after starting eight games and the next minute he’s an injured Cleveland Brown.

              Signing Mack means you absolutely nail the center position during your Championship window. And if you combine that with re-signing Okung and Sweezy — which they can afford — you’re looking at a chance to field the best Seahawks O-line in the Carroll era in 2016. That sounds attractive to me.

              • Volume12 says:

                Getting Mack would be huge. Probably the best fit out there in terms of outside FAs for Seattle and fills a need.

                • Ehurd1021 says:

                  Vol 12 did you happen to hear what Pete said about Williams today… and the future outlook on bringing in FA CB’s… Carroll says they “possibly” need to re-think FA CB’s in light of development and technique. Basically what I echoed as a issue with bringing in known commodities and those FA signings not wanting to re just their style to fit the Seahawks standard.

          • Trevor says:

            Agree completely Rob. It is clear the Center spot is critical to our offense with Russ at QB. Really like how Lewis is playing but if you have a chance to get a top 3 center you take it if he fits in your salary structure.

            • Wall UP says:

              “Men of little faith”. Wake up! Watch the poetry in motion that has been going on in these last few games. This OL is gelling. There’s no need for high priced outside FA help. That excess expenditure for FA center help could be used to retain an Irvin, Rubin, or maybe dread I say, Marshawn Lynch.

              Point being, there are better ways of utilizing a 8-9mil cap hit on a position that is right now just ballin’. And they are only going to get better. Watch the culmination of patience succeed as “Cable’s guys” lead the offense back to the SB. When that happens I hope all of those lacking will have Full Faith in what Cable is building, and forget the notion of outside FA help for the OL.

              I’ve stated this too many times, I know. I’m sure Rob may be tired of my spiel over what I would categorize an unnecessary cost. But hey, High Priced FAs aren’t on their agenda anymore. Low cost FAs and the draft, with the possible trade for an unique skill set, has been there motto. I think they stick with their guys and the draft, that’s it.

              • Volume12 says:

                If PC calls Patrick Lewis a ‘small guy’ why would they go after Jack Allen? He’s smaller than Lewis weight wise, and is nowhere near the kind of athlete they like.

                • Wall UP says:

                  Wilson was a “Small guy”, but that didn’t stop them from drafting him. They drafted him because he’s a winner, a bonified leader, and a great QB.

                  There are many that do not approve of Jack’s stature, nor his supposed lack of athletic ability. But, no one can question his leadership, his toughness, nor his mean nasty disposition. That kind of player can only make, not just the OL but the entire team better.

                  What he can also do is bring in competition to an OL that is ballin’, at a far less price. That will enable JS to keep some of their own FAs. You just don’t need Mack. You need to keep Okung, Mebane, Rubin, Shead, Lane, and Sweezy and Irvin if possible.

                  And if they do not bring home the Trophy with him riding off into the sunset. I hope that the Beast is able to come back healthy for one more year, so that B1 & B2 & Co could complete some unfinished business in 2016.

                  They will not be able to keep their FAs by adding a high priced outside FA. Besides, it sends the wrong message to the locker room by not taking care of their own. They need to keep their own and not try to better something that is already doing quite well.

                  Come next spring we’ll see if I’m wrong in this respect. But, like I mention about 3-4wks ago when everyone was calling out Cables’ abilities as a OL coach and the worst OL in the NFL. I said ” Relax, be Patient and in about 3-4wks things will get turned around”. Guess what?

                  Cable is a great coach. He knows what he’s doing and he knows what he’s talking about. This could be the ‘His best group of guys’. Just don’t need ’em. Can do it without outside FA help. Just stay the course by building via the draft.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    With respect Wall Up, the ‘wait and see’ approach to the O-line could only be considered blind faith. I consider myself very positive when it comes to the Seahawks, a glass half full type. But that line was horrendous a few weeks ago and anybody who could honestly see improvement was just around the corner is either looking into a crystal ball or the greatest optimist the earth has every produced.

                    As for Jack Allen — he’s a very fun center to watch at the college level. Everything you say about him is fair. But at the next level, heart and desire will only get you so far. I would have some reservations personally that he can do the same against bigger, better and more athletic interior linemen. I could be wrong. But the last thing this team needs IMO is more uncertainty at center. It’s shown this year how vital it is for the QB and the overall line’s performance. I’d sooner stick with Lewis than throw my lot in with a rookie.

                  • WALL UP says:

                    You might call it “blind faith or looking into a crystal ball or the greatest optimist the earth” or just the preferred term, keen observation. But either case you’d prefer, it has come to fruition. The OL is gelling and the offense is clicking. And this all starts with the OL.

                    As much as you would like Mack at center, they really don’t need him at the cost of losing other FAs of their own.

                    Regarding Allen, he’s just another draft addition to the building process of Cables thru the draft, if they choose to pick him. He would compete with Lewis as well as Nowak and Jeanpierre.

                    Don’t ‘shortchange’ his capabilities. He doesn’t get pushed around regardless the size of his opponent. He has faced quite a few large ones in the last 5yrs in the Big Ten. We’ll see. So far things are looking Good! Stay positive Rob!

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    “As much as you would like Mack at center, they really don’t need him at the cost of losing other FAs of their own.”

                    They could have $35m in free cap space in the off-season. Signing Mack won’t prevent them from keeping the guys they want to keep.

                  • WALL UP says:

                    That 35 is taking Marshawn out of the equation as well as Irvin.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    It’s taking Marshawn out, which seems inevitable and very likely. It doesn’t have to take Irvin out. But they refused to take up the 5th year option on his contract for 2016. Do we really expect them to pay him +$7m a year over multiple years considering they shirked at that figure for one more season?

                  • Wall UP says:

                    You would lose the possibility of keeping Lynch and Irvin, and maybe Rubin or Mebane. Signing Okung, Sweezy and Mack would make that impossible.

                    FA help from outside can also disrupt the chemistry of the locker room. Especially if you spend funds that could be used for someone in the locker room when its not necessary. Players do watch where the $$$s go. They are working to get theirs.

                    This past offseason acquisition is $$$ that could have been spent elsewhere. The players could see it. That’s probably why Kam held out. The FO realized this finally. I don’t think they’ll waste funds at the expense of their own guys anymore.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    Again — Lynch is almost certainly moving on. They turned down the chance to take up Irvin’s 5th year option for $7m. It seems like you’re so determined to argue against the possibility of signing Alex Mack based on anything but his play and I’m not sure why.

                    You also keep making assumptions and determining they are factual. Kam could’ve just as easily held out because it worked for his buddy Marshawn, because he knows he isn’t going to be playing well into his 30’s. We have no idea what his motivations are. What we do know is this front office has repeatedly happily dipped into the outsider market whether it’s Bennett, Avril, Rice, Miller, Lynch, Harvin, Graham, Williams, Gallery. Nothing suggests they are going to go against that now.

                  • Wall UP says:

                    When it is ‘a’ not necessary ‘FA’.

                  • WALL UP says:

                    Rob, “What we do know is this front office has repeatedly happily dipped into the outsider market whether it’s Bennett, Avril, Rice, Miller, Lynch, Harvin, Graham, Williams, Gallery. Nothing suggests they are going to go against that now.”
                    http://chawktalk.com/2015/12/09/big-money-free-agents-havent-paid-off/

                    This article also shows it has not been successful. The only OL FA acquisition was a bust. They have not stepped on that turd since then, nor do I think need to.

                    No, I’m not comparing Mack to a turd, by no means. Just that the outcome of FA acquisitions has been messy. Also, it’s been 4yrs since the Gallery mishap and they have not touched a costly FA to build the OL because Cable is successful without it.

                    ” You also keep making assumptions and determining they are factual.” Probably, could be, does not imply that it’s factual. Sorry if that is impressed upon your thinking .

                    We can’t assume that the players and their agents can’t see where the money is going in an attempt to broaden their paychecks, when there is a limited amount to go around.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    It doesn’t really matter whether some of those moves were successful or not (Bennett, Avril, Lynch were massively successful FWIW). The point is they were willing to do it. The point I was making is they’ve consistently been open to adding outside FA’s. And there is zero evidence to suggest they’ll turn away from that now.

                  • WALL UP says:

                    “Again — Lynch is almost certainly moving on.”

                    I don’t think that statement is factual, but just your opinion.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    It is my opinion. I didn’t say he’s definitely moving on. I asserted it was almost certain. And I think there’s a fair amount of evidence to back it up. His enormous salary, the prolific performance of Thomas Rawls (who deserves to be the starter even if Lynch returns this year) and this report by Jason La Canfora — who has been water tight with his reporting on the Seahawks (really, the go-to national guy for Hawks inside info) http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/writer/jason-la-canfora/25393951/marshawn-lynch-seahawks-likely-heading-for-a-split

                    The writing, as they say, is on the wall.

                  • WALL UP says:

                    http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20151208/SPORTS/151209071

                    I guess PC has that “blind faith” as well.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    PC also sees the line every day, speaks to Cable every day and doesn’t, in fairness, just watch the games on a TV or in the stadium like us.

                    Sorry Wall Up, and I mean no offense, but for you to claim you watched the O-line in the early weeks of the season and expected progress — that’s pure blind faith. I’m as happy as anyone that it’s happened — but there were no signs of any progress and suddenly it all clicked (perhaps not coincidentally when Nowak was benched).

                  • WALL UP says:

                    I agree. It is yours and Jason La Canfora’s opinions. It has not happened as yet. Last yr about this time many were speaking of his demise as well. But, things changed and he signed a new 3yr contract. Point is, we really don’t know. We’re just merely stating opinions.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    And you don’t know with any certainty the teams’ plans for free agency either.

                    I’m glad we finally established that.

                  • Wall UP says:

                    No offense taken Rob. I’m too old for having hurt feelings.

                    The preferred term is “keen observation”. Most look at the obvious, a whiff on a blkg assignment, a hold, a false start and can’t get beyond those fallacies. Few focus on what they are accomplishing and what adjustments that can be made to eliminate mistakes. I could see missteps being corrected and seldom repeated.

                    The 3-4wks back on this blog I elluded that communication was the culprit for their negative play. I knew Cable was on it and would make the necessary adjustment. Sorry man, it’s not “blind faith”. It’s how you focus on fixing things rather than criticizing things. That’s what PC & Cable have been doing for years.

                  • Wall UP says:

                    Rob, let’s agree to disagree and own up to it this spring. If this OL takes the Hawks to the SB for a 3peat or deep into the playoffs, there would be NO need for outside FA help and the focus would be to re-up as many of their own FAs as possible. If they don’t I’ll own up to it. You too will do the same otherwise.

                • WALL UP says:

                  Baldinger made some good observations about the rejuvenated-offense:

                  http://www.seahawks.com/video/2015/12/07/aftermath-how-far-can-seahawks-go-rejuvenated-offense

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    Baldinger is incredibly underrated as an analyst.

                  • WALL UP says:

                    I agree. He is right on point regarding the improved OL. This also shows the type of lineman Cable covets. Coleman would do well in this scheme. Yes, there is still hope.

                  • Volume12 says:

                    I’d rather have K-St’s Cody Whitehair over Jack Allen. Team leader/captain, played every position on the O-line, was their LT this year, has more versastility, has better size (height and weight), also a former wrestler IIRC.

                    He’s everything Allen is, but bigger and can play 3, possibly 4 spots on the O-line.

                  • WALL UP says:

                    VOL 12 I respectfully disagree. He may be versatile and larger, but he sure does get pushed around a lot. I just don’t see the nastiness in him.
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFfYBjqTvdc

                  • Volume12 says:

                    It’s all good my man. I disagree about Jack Allen. Nice college C, nothing special about him. No length, size, athleticism, or upside. Sure, he’s a leader, as he should be if he’s a C.

                    I like Whitehair’s versatility. I don’t think Seattle will draft strictly a C.

                  • Wall UP says:

                    Like I said, “If they choose to pick him”, and they may not pick Allen. But they will pick someone in the draft to compete at center and probably OT. This would complete Cable’s building process via the draft. I just don’t think outside high priced FA help is necessary. Yeah, we’re all good. Never wasn’t.

  21. Ed says:

    Bye Carey. Didn’t even wait for the end of the season

    • Rik says:

      I wonder if they tried to trade him before cutting him? It’ll be a big cap hit if he’s not signed somewhere else.

    • Nathan says:

      One of 2 things had to be at play here:

      1. He wasn’t the best guy to have around the locker room

      2. There was a cap implication in keeping him around.

      If anyone knows the answer on point 2. It will help us get to the bottom of it.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        No cap implications at all – unless Williams is claimed off waivers. If anything, they may have released him now as opposed to later to increase the chances a CB-needy team might step up and claim him.

        And probably the same for locker room chemistry – nothing to suggest he was a problem in that regard.

        Rather, this was simply a matter of the coaches liking Shead/Lane/Burley more than Williams right now, and hopeful about Simon and Smith going forward.

        • WALL UP says:

          This also shows why signing an outside FA making more than established players may cause conflict in the Locker room. It may have contributed to Kam’s holdout.

      • Old but Slow says:

        Not sure where I read it, but there was a remark that Williams was not able to pick up Seattle’s system very well.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          He knew the system, but he didn’t play with the proper technique every play. If he got beat, he regressed and played his old technique from the Eagles. I think when PC said that the secondary needed to play consistent and within their scheme. This was a harbinger…. by taking Williams out of the line-up, the defense started playing as they are taught, within the scheme and play-call. Less free lancing or trying to do too much by other members of the Legion of Boom. Lo and behold, the secondary has turned it around and is on the upswing.

          • AlaskaHawk says:

            Williams was always a step behind and never made a play on the ball. He looked real pretty running down the field and doing nothing.

  22. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Su’a Cravens will announce his decision on entering the draft next Wednesday.

  23. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    My next door neighbor is from Minnesota and is a life long Vikings fan. He follows them the way I follow SEA – every minute of every game (well, except this last one – he was relieved when FOX cut away from the blow out in the 3rd quarter).

    Anyway, he told me this morning that he’s not seen MIN play a defense this season as dominating as SEA was yesterday. He thought SEA’s offense had a good day because of injuries to Joseph, Barr and Hamilton (I silently disagreed – no need to rub it in), but he had no such excuses for the defensive rout.

    • matt says:

      We played championship quality defense yesterday! We made them one dimensional by taking away Peterson, (8 carries?!) tackled extremely well, and made Bridgewater try to beat us-something he is not ready to do singlehandedly. Truly great performance on every level!

      • Volume12 says:

        Not many teams, if any, have the speed, athleticism, and star power at every level of their defense like Seattle does.

        We al know and have seen how truly special and suffocating they are when firing on all cylinders.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I was impressed by the way Seahawks snuffed the run game. I don’t hold any illusions that the secondary will perform as well against a good passing team, but I do like the way Shead is playing and have high hopes that Lane will return to form and remain healthy. It was an impressive defensive performance against a one dimensional team. Lets continue the dominance.

        And Russell Wilson and offense were great!

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          Shead and Lane are holding their own.. and with more reps as starters.. they will continue to improve. There are only 2 teams Seattle will likely face again with tremendous WR and QB combo… Steelers and Cardinals. As long as the offense is clicking, all the defense has to do is hold teams down, not shut them out. I like the Seahawks chances against anyone. The Boom is back in Town.

  24. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    I think we are looking at this “who will they draft” thing all wrong.
    I suspect Seattle will draft a position of strength, not necessarily of need…. in 2016.

    What are the strongest positions on the team: QB, LB, S, P, K more or less.
    What positions are middle of the road: DL, OL, CB
    What are positions of weakness: RB, WR, TE.

    We have established that Seattle dislikes taking DL talent early, and value would dictate taking RBs, CBs later in the draft. They take OL all over the place, but I somehow think they would skip OL in 1st round, unless an exceptional player (OT) was available.

    To me, a DE/LB or MLB/OLB seem like the logical early round choices (1st or 2nd). I know they like to take CBs later in the draft, but maybe a truly unique CB or S is sitting at their pick in the second round, then I could see them jumping on that… however, I could see them going pass rusher more than likely.
    I think the next target for Seattle is a WR and/or TE… most likely in the 3rd round. And since they have 2 picks and have had some recent success with guys in this round….. double dip would not be a bad idea imo. These are a bit of a need pick, but they could have the luxury at this point, if they hit on their preferred picks earlier in the draft.

    I actually think tney might drfat a punter in the 7th, for some competition. For whatever reason, Ryan has not been as efficient as he has been the last few seasons… and he is making big coin.

    • rowdy says:

      Safety is a big need at this point. Who knows what happens with kam, we will know by draft time though, and the depth isn’t anything to brag about.

    • Volume12 says:

      Better be a damn unique TE if Seattle is gonna draft ya. Only drafted 1 under PC/JS. That ain’t a coincidence.

    • cha says:

      “For whatever reason, Ryan has not been as efficient as he has been the last few seasons”

      His average punt this year is OK, but his net yards are just so-so. I think Lockette and Lane being hurt are a big reason the net number isn’t as good as it could be. Those guys are excellent gunners.

  25. Ehurd1021 says:

    Interior O-line and, interior D-line and CB to me are the most pressing needs to me still looking at this team.

  26. Ed says:

    Bevell interviewing with BYU. Interesting

  27. DC says:

    Proposed Trade in the offseason,

    Jimmy Graham to the New York Jets,

    Brandon Marshall to the Seattle Seahawks.

    Why? Better fit for Seattle’s offense. The Hawks FO have been after Marshall for many years. He’s the “big” target that Carroll really wanted all along. BM will be 32 in the 2016 season. Contracts are comparable, 500k difference in 2016, 2 years left on each and no dead money hit for either. Both are injury risks. Lockett and Marshall on the outside with Baldwin in the slot.

    • nichansen01 says:

      Is prefer Graham to the jets for a draft pick. We don’t need another big headlines free agent call catcher ruining Russel Wilson’s offense. Luke is all the tight end we need, add another in the draft. Maybe two late first round picks if we can coax the Jets into coughing one up, prehaps a first and two seconds wouldn’t be too bad either. Graham has really brought the offense down more than bring it up. He caught two touchdowns in eleven games. That’s disappointing.

    • cha says:

      Marshall could’ve been had this offseason for a swap of 7th & 5th round picks and the Seahawks didn’t get in on that. Doubt they’d be interested in making that deal.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      MArshall has stated he would not play for any other team than the Jets. He will retire rather than move to Seattle. Keep Graham one more year.. give him a chance.

      • Buckeye2015 says:

        I liked the chemistry and demeanor of graham, sure we tried to force the ball but with a year under his belt and understanding the team Wilson will be more inclined to play his football like he is doing now with graham there. And why not just convert graham to a trad WR. He’s got the speed and hands, just call him a WR instead of te. Would prefer that over trading for a diva type like Marshall. Graham might be soft for a TE but he would be a beast as a wr

    • Rob Staton says:

      Nobody is trading for Graham coming off the injury.

  28. Trevor says:

    I have been dead set against cutting Jimmy Graham as has been proposed because that type of elite big target is next to impossible to find.

    After seeing the last couple of weeks I am starting to wonder what is a better use of $11 mil in cap space Jimmy Graham or C Alex Mack + a vet TE like Ben Watson.

    I think it depends on how Jimmy’s recovery goes and how Lewis plays the balance of the year.

    With Carey Williams being cut if the let Lynch and Graham go they would have over $40 mil in cap space.

  29. Trevor says:

    Any new on whether or not Shon Collins has declared for the draft?

    • Rob Staton says:

      No but he will do. They rested him recently to let the eventual replacement have a game. Which to me suggested he was going pro and there was a nice agreement between team and player.

  30. Steele says:

    I am still not confident enough to predict how the team plays for the remainder of the season. A few weeks from now, we could be back again agonizing over a porous o-line, for all we know.

    What we have seen more recently is, I think, a combination of fortuitous things. A reasonably improved o-line, plus a quicker Rawls, plus the absence of Jimmy, plus Bevell and Wilson going to a faster tempo. Plus intensity up a notch across the team.

    The Pittsburgh game was successful on offense, poor on defense. Minn. was the first complete team performance and coaching job, against a good team. Bottom line, we still are not looking at a lot of evidence yet.

    In any case, the offseason is going to be action-packed. I strongly believe that Baldwin and Kearse will go nowhere. They are needed for Russell’s sanity, for better or worse. I predict they will opt for keeping both, even if there are better and more talented receivers available.

    Okung and Sweezy. Mixed feelings about both. Keeping one or both seems necessary, but it is making the best of a less than great situation. I still think Alex Mack and a high draft pick lineman need to happen.

    I think priority needs to be placed on Irvin, and keeping Bennett from bolting, if possible, and keeping Avril from making similar noises. A lockdown corner opposite Sherman and depth at nickel, and interior D-line, should all be high priorities.

    I am among the minority that believes that letting Jimmy Graham go at an opportune moment would be beneficial to the team. Free up more $ to sign more depth elsewhere. Grab a traditional TE with toughness somewhere, keep Willson.

    I am also in minority on Kam. He wants to leave anyway, hasn’t played great. Grant him his wish and move on.

    • franks says:

      There has been a convergence of things helping the offense get untracked but I think the improved line is here to stay, if we don’t revert to deep routes and runs up the middle forever. Novak is gone and Russell is back from Mexico. All the new things we’re doing well look like they’ve come from long-coming, obvious fixes. Better late than never.

      Williams was an obvious fix and I like what that says about Shead. Things are looking up.

      Gotta, gotta keep Irvin, can’t decide on Okung but this talk about putting Gilliam in his spot is compete madness. Didn’t we learn our lesson with Novak?

    • franks says:

      If okung stays I’d be fine just taking biznowitsky and a guard in R4 or 5. Glow will be fine at RG and more cap efficient, Lewis is fine at Center and I doubt upgrading to Mack would improve the team as much as spending that money on another position like DT. Wouldn’t mind bringing Byron Maxwell back, at all. SS depth early in the draft. An experienced tight end who can block and catch the easy passes (sorry mccoy) would go a long way. I don’t think the need at RB is as big as advertised. Bring back Turbo to replace Jackson, get Bryce Brown whose just fine and then you don’t have to pick a RB at all if the right guy doesn’t fall.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Kam doesn’t want to leave. He wanted more dough and tried a power play that backfired terribly. I suspect he’s learnt from that error. He is still a top, top strong safety. Do you really want the same mess before he returned?

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      “keeping Bennett from bolting”

      What’s he gonna do, hold out like Kam?

      SEA didn’t blink when Kam tried a showdown. Why would anyone think they’d cave in for Bennett or Avril?

      • Rob Staton says:

        I keep reading in the comments section about Bennett and Avril.

        Avril signed a new deal one year ago. Bennett 18 months ago.

        They aren’t getting new contracts. They know it.

        • Volume12 says:

          I can’t figure that out either. Or the Kam nonsense, or the trade/cut Jimmy Graham stuff. It all seems like misplaced expectations.

          There ain’t a rookie or FA that’s gonna help this team more than Kam, Bennett, or Graham. Why would you let them go? To save a few bucks and replace them with downgrades?

          There’s a reason blocking TE’s are 3rd on depth charts. Could Seattle use one? Sure. It is a priority or need? Absolutely not.

  31. Steele says:

    Cutting Cary Williams was overdue. He was a clear liability that compromised the entire defense. A consistently inconsistent and flawed corner, who should never have been signed.

    • Belgaron says:

      His market value went high because he could be signed and not count against the compensatory picks. They took a shot on him and it didn’t work out, they do that a lot and make guys compete to stay on the field.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      It was a bold move to bring him in to play preseason, it was equally bold to cut him week#13. PC/JS we trust

    • WALL UP says:

      This also shows why signing an outside FA making more than established players may cause conflict in the Locker room. It may have contributed to Kam’s holdout. Cutting him now shows that the FO got it and is willing to correct the mistake. I doubt that they make the same mistake again. They’ll just stick with their own.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I have to agree with you on that Wall Up. It was even more obvious with the signings of Percy Harvin and Graham. If the Seahawks are willing to spend 10 million a year plus on them (and we are still paying for the long gone Harvin) then why are they to CHEAP to pay their regular guys? It just causes discontent in the locker room. Who knows how much that influenced Kam Chancellor? .

        I shudder every time I see talk about bringing in someone for 10 million and a first round draft pick. Usually rationalizing it by saying no one as good as them is available in the first round. Well so what – pick someone anyway. It only adds to the team no matter what value they think there is at end of first round.

        Anyway I’m done ranting about high priced free agents. I just hope the Seahawks learn from their mistakes.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Nobody has proposed spending picks and $10m. The talk has been about whether the Seahawks would consider trying to sign prospective free agent centre Alex Mack, one of the best in the game.

        • Wall UP says:

          8mil/yr is nothing to sneeze at. Mack is in his 2nd yr of a 5yr contract @ 8mil/yr. He potentially can op out of that contract with the hope of finding work elsewhere. I doubt that he would be asking for less than that, especially with his age being 31yrs when he ops out.

          Mack is a great player as was Unger. Cable and PC decided that they could do without that of player @ center. And what they have would perform well enough for success to occur. The present OL has proven that as the right move.

          So, why take on 8-9mil/yr for OL help you proved you didn’t need, especially when that 8-9mil/yr could be used to facilitate keeping some of their own FAs? That’s just not a sound FO move. JS & PC won’t go down that road again.

          • matt says:

            Would signing Mack affect potential comp picks? I’m not sure if players who opt out of an option are treated as true FA or a cap casualty-like Cary Williams or Fred Jackson. I think it’s likely that Irvin is gone, and would reap a 3rd round comp pick. JS/PC have really been banking on these comp picks recently. Also in the 2017 draft comp picks become tradeable, which is a cool change.

            • WALL UP says:

              Yes. If Mack does op out, Cleveland would receive a comp pick for Mack. That would affect the pick that would come from Irvin if we would loose him. This is some info on his contract.

              http://fansided.com/2015/04/07/browns-expect-alex-mack-opt-next-season/

              • Rob Staton says:

                Let’s be right here, they aren’t going to be put off signing Alex Mack through fear of not getting a late fourth round comp pick. If they want him — that almost certainly won’t be a deciding factor.

                • WALL UP says:

                  You can better your team where it is needed, plus add to your roster. That’s a decision that the FO would have to make. We’ll see what that is this spring. I’ll own up to it if I’m wrong.

                • matt says:

                  Rob- I’m not suggesting that losing a 3rd-4th round comp pick would be a DECIDING factor in a potential signing of Alex Mack. I get that you’re tired of talking about Mack, but I haven’t really chimed in much about it. I do think that comp picks factor in on who we do or don’t keep, and also with signing UFA’s-whether or not they affect comp picks. Letting Maxwell leave and replacing him with Williams got us a 3rd round comp. We didn’t really shop for a FA that would have affected that pick last year. Securing that pick was by design, and affected JS/PC’s decision making. Was it the DECIDING factor-probably not, but it was definitely a factor. Mack is a great player and our OL would be improved in the next few years if we got him, but the contract he would get would cripple the chances of keeping our own. Lets see how we continue to play down the stretch before we say that we absolutely should make a big splash acquisition on the OL, which would affect our draft capitol a bit. Lewis has proven to be an average starting center and is a RFA who we can keep on for a cheap deal. Having Cable assemble a capable OL while not allocating much cap space to the unit, is the strategy that JS/PC seem dedicated to use-and it’s been working pretty well.

                  I fully understand your view point and excitement about the possibility of getting Mack-he’s a helluva player. Personally I don’t feel as though it’s the right move…no big deal. We will see how the roster shapes up during the looong offseason. This is easily my favorite site to freely post my opinion on-one where the vast majority are well informed. We all differ in opinion all the time in this stellar msg board, and have some fun debating just about every minute detail. Without differing opinions what is a msg board?

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    I’m not excited about the possibility of Mack per se — I’m just willing to consider they might pursue him.

                    I’m also happy for opinions to differ. This blog has had some terrific debates since 2008. What I’m not really that keen on is the same poster posting the same thing multiple times a day making the same repeated points, leading to a never ending debate about Alex Mack that dominates every posts comments section. It was getting too much and the point was made.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Wall Up — I think we get the gist now. You don’t want them to sign Alex Mack. We don’t need to hear it ten times a day.

            • Wall UP says:

              I’m surprised that you’ve decided to remove my post when they do not agree with your views. I thought better of you as a professional. I think your forum is the best blog around. But, come on man, you’re better than that.

              Like I said,” I’m too old for hurt feelings “. I’ve learned to set emotions aside and accept when I may be wrong in my views. I have faced discrimination in various forms of my life, so this shouldn’t surprise me. But, you’re better than that man.

  32. david ess says:

    I didn’t get to read the entirety of the comments but talking about DT’s.

    A player I really liked in the pre-season/training camp was T.Y McGill (colts currently)
    He unfortunately was cut I think in place of Jordan hill if I remember correctly. and ultimately signed with the Colts. the speculation least among some was that they cut him because they don’t like a lot of short DT’s (they had Hill, Mebane)
    McGill was an UDFA and was a very interesting prospect. I think Dline will be another priority probably more so than Oline. Jordan Hill is often injured. Mebane is gonna be a FA along with Rubin. I think they like Glowinski and Poole on that Oline but I don’t think they really have any DT’s in waiting.

    • John_s says:

      I remember from what I read was Pete Carroll wants his DT’s to play a certain way and they have certain responsibilities. If they are supposed to crash they need to crash. If they are supposed to take a certain gap they have to take the gap. Pete hates guys who freelance and TY McGill had a tendancy to freelance. Jaye Howard was another guy who tended to freelance and ended up being released/waived as well.

  33. Therick05 says:

    DAMNIT, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report just mocked Shon Coleman in the first round in a top 25 pick. Bye Shon, it was good while it lasted.

  34. EranUngar says:

    Great article Rob, this year, with all the players ending their contracts, the only way to analyze the situation is by looking at the big picture and prioritizing the needs and options.

    My 5 cents:

    Just as we learned that Cable can take “garbage men” and mold them into a functioning OL, we also learned how painful this process is. I think the Seahawks will do their best to keep at least 4 of them (including Okung) so they do not have to do it once more. Sweezy’s future with us depends on his demands versus the potential they see with Glo/Soko. As much as i’d love an upgrade at Center it’s a cost issue. Paying 3-4M over the cost of Lewis is the cost of Lane and Shead that we need more.

    If we assume keeping Okung and having to pay 6-8M for the DTs we are left with 15M to pay for Irvine, Lane, Shead, Sweezy and Lewis not to mention Kam/Bennett/Avril or Kearse or extending Baldwin etc.

    The blanket is just to short. The hard calls that they’ll have to make will have a very big effect on the draft and until we know who leaves we won’t be able to predict the top draft needs.

    As for WRs – I have been very vocal in the past regarding a big tall Target. After 2015 i have let that pipe dream go. The main advantage of those targets is winning the high contest ball and the Seahawks are not inclined to fire those passes. If they didn’t use them with JFG they will not do it with a rookie WR. The type of WRs that can flourish within the Seahawks offense and contribute as rookies are the Lockett/Baldwin type. Consummate route runners fast and quick with great hands. The search for that 6-3 and above target should be over.

    We currently have one healthy TE (Willson) and Graham with medical question marks. We need at least one good blocking TE in the mix.

    • Jimmy Chitwood says:

      I agree with you on everything except the DT’s. They will not keep two DT’s at $6-8M each. They could let Rubin go and re-sign Tony McDaniel. McDaniel worked for $1.5M this year at TBay.

      I would contend the smaller WR’s have a bigger catch radius since you can throw low and let them go down and get it. RW is so accurate but careful. I think he was reluctant to throw to Jimmy Graham because there is never any separation. To a big man you must throw high and risk the ball going off his hands into the waiting arms of the FS.

      For a TE I see them being interested in: Hunter Henry, Jake Butt are the classic blocking TE’s. Dillon Gordon, is a devastating blocker that rarely catches. They could work him out. I see him as a late round or UDFA guy they would want. He could be a LT convert project, too. He is up over 300 lbs. Devon Cajuste is a guy that could add a little weight and do the job. He has 4.5 speed like Luke Willson but at 230 lbs is a little light.

    • Steele says:

      EranUngar, I remain one of your staunchest allies regarding the idea of tall targets and their proven (and I think obvious) effectiveness, and built-in mismatch potential. The problem is, it largely does not apply right now with Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense, for whatever reason. We all saw that he CAN do it with Matthews in the Super Bowl. He was fine throwing to 6-4 Sid Rice, but struggled to make it work with Jimmy G. Matthews is gone, the taller WRs in camp never made it.. It is not clear whether it is a matter of a lack of chemistry with individual receivers, rather than the concept being abandoned entirely. Because there are scores of examples of tall receivers being highly productive on other teams with other QBs.

      I am not going to give up on the idea. Maybe some day, a tall WR will once again click with Russell. Meantime, it is smurfs and more smurfs.

  35. cha says:

    I’d just like to drop a quick rant here that is neither Seahawks nor draft-related.

    Last night’s DAL-WA game was an entertaining train wreck to watch. I really hope the Hawks get the #5 seed because they’ll tear though the NFCE winner like tissue paper.

    Dallas nearly blew the game with bad clock management. Ball at the 15, 1:20 or so to play and WA has two timeouts. McFadden gifts them by running out of bounds. McFadden gifts them again by scoring. Plenty of time to come back and preserves their timeouts.

    (Alternatively, 2 runs in bounds to burn WAS’s timeouts, a kneel down to burn :45 off and a FG. True WAS gets the ball back but with no timeouts and about :35 to play.)

    Then they allow a great return and tack on a personal foul. Then they fail to contain the best deep threat in Desean Jackson.

    They deserved to lose this game.

    • matt says:

      That was an ugly game one team had to win.

      Things are looking good for us to secure that #5 seed, which would be huge! We are only 1 game back behind GB and Minny going down the stretch. Matching up against the crap shoot that is the NFC East in the first round, is easily the better option than going to GB or Minny. Winning the tie breaker against Minny is a big deal.

      Minn:@ Arizona, Chicago, NYG, @ GB
      GB:Dallas, @ Oakland, @ Arizona, Minnesota
      Sea: @Ravens, Browns, STL, @ Arizona

      I’d have to favor GB to take the NFC North looking at the remaining schedules. The Vikings are almost certainly going to lose to Arizona on Thursday. Chicago and NYG are no push overs, then the big matchup in GB. Assuming both teams lose to the Cards-all GB would have to do is beat either Dallas OR Oakland, then beat Minnesota to secure the division title. It seems likely that GB will make it happen- they do have Aaron Rodgers after all. We could win out, but even if we go 3-1 down the stretch the odds are we get into that #5 seed.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Unless Hell freezes over, MIN will lose to ARI on Thursday night. BAL will lose to SEA on Sunday morning. By this time next week, SEA will hold the first NFC WC berth.

        • Volume12 says:

          We want GB to win the division, because if they don’t, and end up with the same record as us, they get the #5 seed, due to having the tiebreaker over us.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            GB has one tough game remaining on their schedule – @ARI on 12/27

          • matt says:

            Vol12- Exactly. Depending on how it all goes down Minnesota might have to play in GB 2 consecutive weeks. Doesn’t happen very often!

          • nichansen01 says:

            I thought it was record against NFC opponents, instead of tiebreaker.

            • matt says:

              Pretty sure the tie breakers are 1-H2H record 2-divisional record 3-points scored(?). #3 won’t factor in for us- we lost to GB and beat Minny.

  36. Buckeye2015 says:

    When talking about getting a WR later in the draft and FO loving guys with special skill sets and traits, what about a guy like Braxton Miller? He’s a special type of athlete that could be what Percy harvin could have been without the locker room/off field/attitude issues

  37. Volume12 says:

    Seahawks signed former Baylor WR Antwan Goodley to their PS.

    He was one of my favorite receivers last year. Hope he can make it, however doubtful.

    Just another 5’10 receiver, that is a freak athlete and unqiuely built. Also can play some RB too.

    IMO, he’s they type of weapon or receiver they’ll target in the draft.

    • Rob Staton says:

      He ran a 4.44… interesting.

      Was never a big fan personally but know you and others liked him. No harm in a little look there. Would love to see even more dynamism on this roster at WR.

      • matt says:

        Cool! Goodley is worth a look. Don’t know about freak athlete, but he’s got some explosion and versatility. Was surprised he and McBride went undrafted.

        • Volume12 says:

          Well, he’s rumored to be, I shoulda said.

          Yeah-no harm in seeing what he can do. Not expecting much from him, but it would be nice if does develop into something. Has RB size too which is intriguing.

        • Volume12 says:

          I suspect he was an UDFA due to his agility not being good, but he did have a bad quad which might’ve been why.

          Wasn’t WR Tre McBride selected in the 7th by Tennessee?

    • Steele says:

      Antwan Goodley was one of a short list of smurfs with speed and special teams ability.

      So here they go again. Another smurf, another Lockett type.

  38. Jimmy Chitwood says:

    Here is an idea. What it we trade Jimmy Graham to the Bears for Martellus Bennett. Both are injured and out for the year. The Bears are probably going to lose Bennett for nothing in a year. I would make his brother Michael happy. Martellus is just the type of traditional TE we need. The Bears could probably renegotiate a contract with Jimmy. Jimmy has no dead money but is under contract for 2 years. Martellus has 1 year left on his deal at 6 million with 1.1 of dead money. He too, is going to need a new contract.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Nobody is trading for Jimmy Graham given the severity of his injury.

      The Seahawks won’t be cutting him either.

      Can we stop with the Madden stuff, people?

      • Jimmy Chitwood says:

        That is your opinion. As long as this remains an open forum you should respect the American tradition of freedom of speech and stop trying to control the narrative. You had your say when you wrote the article. Let the rest of us have ours.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Nobody’s freedom of expression is being denied on this blog. But I also think we’re smart enough to know nobody is trading for Jimmy Graham after surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon.

          As for controlling the narrative — I kind of do that every time I write a blog post, seeing as it’s purely my views that are being put out there for people to debate. I’m happy for people to disagree and counter. But I’m also going to try and shape the debate away from stuff that is highly, highly unrealistic. Such as another team trading for Jimmy Graham after he suffered a torn patellar tendon.

          • Steele says:

            Rob, you are adamant about them not moving Jimmy Graham, but how do you/we/anyone know for sure? It depends on how his recovery goes. it also depends on how the team performs for the rest of the season.

            Many ifs. If the offense performs lights out without JG, if Russell Wilson shows or voices a much greater freedom in his game without JG, why won’t there be an honest discussion? More ifs include if JG’s extremely serious injury leaves him compromised, to the point of ineffectiveness. This is not inconceivable. Few if any have come back 100%. The final if is if there are urgent needs that require them to free up money. This is also pretty likely, if they want to keep guys like Irvin, extend Avril, address Bennett and his position, etc.

            Until there is some official decision set in stone, JSPC declaring “We will not touch JG no matter what, even if he never recovers”, then why shouldn’t the subject be discussed? It is no more unrealistic for us to have discussed N. Suh coming to the Seahawks, or even mock drafting at this early stage.

            • CHawk Talker Eric says:

              The ONLY factor in Jimmy’s future with SEA is his knee. And if his knee isn’t good enough to let him to play for them, he won’t be playing for anyone else.

              SEA can run the table on the rest of this season, right up to another SB championship, even do it on the strength of the offense, and it won’t mean a thing where Jimmy’s future as a Seahawk concerned.

              Talk about it all you want, but it’s a discussion best had on a fantasy football site.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Steele — If you don’t like how we role, that’s cool. But there are too many fun things to discuss right now that don’t involve the Seahawks’ highly unlikely cutting of a player they clearly have a ton of time for (see: Rawls’ celebration in Minnesota). What’s more they don’t need the cash (estimated $35m in free space for 2016) and Carroll is already saying, on the record, Graham will be here for a long time.

          • matt says:

            Trading Graham, directly coming off this severe knee injury, makes no sense. His trade value couldn’t be lower than it is right now. If Jimmy comes back in time for camp and plays well early-raising his value and proving his health-then we can talk about trading him. Jimmy was a force the last few weeks he played, and he and Russell were clicking when JG went down. All I’ve heard from players about Graham have been positive…things we didn’t hear about Harvin.

            • nichansen01 says:

              The thing about trading Graham is that it makes no sense and would only mess with the offense further, and Pete has stated explicitly that Graham is on the team for the next few years.

  39. Nathan says:

    Watched the pittsburgh game again last night.

    Noticed one thing, they went long to graham immediately after getting the picks.

    It seemed like a delibirate tactic to take the wind out of pittsburgh.

    One was the catch he hauled in about a yard short of the end zone, the 2nd one was when he got injured.

  40. Darnell says:

    Guys that are growing on me:

    OL Dahl WSU
    G Elfein OSU
    CB Tankersly Clemson
    WR Cooper S Carolina
    WR B Miller OSU
    DT Rakins Louisville
    DE Fields Louisville

    Rob, curious if you’ve had a chance to look at Tankersley and what you think?

  41. Miles says:

    But we should also be having conversations based on facts and history. Trading Jimmy Graham while not impossible would be an unprecedented occurrence given facts and history, and require teams to go way outside the boundary of what makes sense. I would appreciate talking about things that could actually happen. Not saying you can’t say what you want, there is freedom for you to do that. But it’s important for people to recognize what is realistic and what is not.

    Also Jimmy Graham will still be a monster next year. It would be cool to talk about how we can incorporate him into the offense better, perhaps. I wonder if the Hawks will try to line up with more 11-personnel so he doesn’t have to line up as an in-line tight end, then incorporate a more well-rounded tight end like Zach Miller to give the offense its identity while still having the presence of Graham.

    The Seahawks gave up a lot for Graham and they are not about to change their mind, in my opinion.

    • Steele says:

      Miles, few if any have come back from his type of injury. Add to that the struggles they had incorporating him to begin with. And, in my opinion, inherent flaws in his game (blocking, physicality).

      JSPC and Kris Richard were pretty insistent that Cary Williams was a great addition to the LOB, too. They thought Harvin was a godsend.

      Minds and circumstances change.

      • matt says:

        I don’t disagree with you Steele. It’s just that Graham’s trade value couldn’t be lower than right now. Our cap situation is not dire enough to simply cut a player of Grahams caliber. I highly doubt we could get as much as a 3rd rounder for him.

        It did take awhile to get Jimmy incorporated into the system, but he and Russell were really clicking the last few weeks before his injury. His #’s were pretty darn good too-in our offense. We couldn’t expect the huge #’s he was putting up in NO in our run first scheme. I must admit the lack of red zone targets was frustrating and a bit confusing, although he was becoming a 3rd down chain mover.

      • Rob Staton says:

        “Miles, few if any have come back from his type of injury”

        This is simply not true. I’ve shown you the data. Between 2004-2009 19 of 24 players came back from this injury and just continued their careers with no side effects. And medical science has moved on rapidly in terms of knee injuries since 2009.

        They didn’t spend a first round pick on Cary Williams. Cary Williams isn’t one of the top two most freaky TE’s in the league. Please can we just wish JG the best and look forward to having him back? It’s just not happening.

  42. Miles says:

    One aspect on the options of Patrick Lewis I don’t get is that it seems like his value is completely dismissed despite the fact that he’s proved himself during multiple stretches of multiple seasons. How much do you have to consistently play well, before people take notice and decide you have value? The fact that we have Patrick Lewis who is playing great and communicating with the line is a huge benefit. Every time he’s been passed the starting buck, he’s helped do something great. Last year he helped run over the Cardinals to the tune of over 300 yards rushing and played solid over the course of 4 games. This year he has helped revitalize and organize the offensive line again. And, he’s made Russell’s life easier by making all the line calls.

    I understand that Alex Mack is a great player, but you can have Patrick Lewis at like a quarter of the price and keep Okung and Sweezy if you want to! That seems like a huge coup for the Hawks and I don’t understand why that aspect doesn’t get more attention. He’s proven himself to be a more-than-capable starting center. He might not be the most optimum one, but $7m APY per year is not worth the upgrade you would get with Mack. Especially if Lewis can continue this level of play. It’s a no-brainer for me.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      The same argument could be applied to Baldwin who has been our leading receiver, though he is gradually getting paid more.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The fear I have Miles is — they didn’t trust Lewis to start the year (I’d love to know why when he’s clearly superior) and I remember Michael Bowie starting eight games in 2013 and looking like he was set for a nice career. A few months later he’s in Cleveland. So while I love what Lewis is doing, I still suspect they might want to tie down the center position with a top player if possible, given that it’s proven to be so vital in 2015 for the success and failure of this line. And they have the cap space to make it work. So we’ll see.

      • Miles says:

        The reason Lewis hadn’t started, Carroll said, is that he wasn’t vocal enough at the line. He wasn’t making line calls. They said he learned how to do them and it made them more confident sticking him in there. Speculatively, it seems they thought Nowak could be a great center, so they decided to roll with him and stick through the learning curve. When they didn’t see the improvement, they went to Lewis. I suspect sometimes Pete creates a narrative to make sense of personnel moves. What he said sounds believable, but it could have just been that they just don’t see a lot in Lewis.

        If they don’t see a lot in Lewis, which I don’t really get, then I’m sure they will go after Mack. I wouldn’t be unhappy if the Seahawks signed Mack. Theoretically it would really improve our running game and stabilize the OL. I just also like cap room, and I feel the best case scenario is that Patrick Lewis ends up being the guy, we pay him $2.5m next year to be our starting center and we put the rest of the savings into the defense and Okung. I would like them to re-sign Sweezy but I can understand if they don’t too.

  43. Robert says:

    I’m stoked that Brandon Cottom is back on the Practice Squad. He’s a 6’2″ 260 pound RB/FB that destroys defenders in his way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsJ1mrz3ySQ