The Michael Bennett & Greg Hardy rumor mill

March 17th, 2015 | Written by Rob Staton

Is Michael Bennett really unhappy with the Seahawks?

Well, that was interesting.

The day started with fresh reports suggesting the Seahawks would meet with Greg Hardy (a report later disputed by local media sources). This came amid news that another pass rusher — Anthony Spencer — was meeting with the team today.

Then this bombshell:

The Seahawks can ill-afford to lose Michael Bennett. The Super Bowl was a great example of just how vital he is. He was unblockable. Bennett’s not a sack artist but he’s still an impact player. The type you certainly don’t give away.

Short of the Falcons coughing up the #8 pick, surely there isn’t a deal that would interest the Seahawks? Firstly, you’d need to be able to replace Bennett. You’re not going to find a replacement even if you acquire the tenth pick in the second round (owned by Atlanta). The top free agents are already off the market. It’s the worst possible time to try and force a trade (if that is what Bennett is trying to do).

Secondly, it would set an awful precedent. The Seahawks battled conflict with Marshawn Lynch for two years to avoid a similar situation. They don’t want to give out contract extensions one or two years into a deal. They can’t do it. Not unless they want endless negotiations with Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and others. If you deal Bennett you’re basically inviting trouble in the future.

So basically he’s stuck in Seattle with the contract he signed a year ago. And that should be the end of that, unless the Falcons want to spend the #8 pick on a player who turns 30 this year. Let’s assume they don’t.

So what’s going on?

It’s been pointed out on Twitter that Bennett and Hardy share an agent (Drew Rosenhaus). Some have suggested it’s all part of a clever ploy to drive up the price of both players. Essentially, the only way the Seahawks would surely consider dealing Bennett is if they could land a replacement of similar quality on the open market. For all the off-field concern surrounding Hardy, nobody can deny he’s a top-tier pass rusher.

Even if you believe this fanciful theory, it seems really convoluted. Is an agent really going to instigate a rumor about one of his clients to try and drive a hard bargain for a different player? Leaving a myriad of conjecture and denial along the way?

As the day went on, things seemed to heat up between Hardy and the Dallas Cowboys. Breaking reports claim he’ll take a physical tomorrow morning after dining with team brass this evening. There’s real momentum for a deal suddenly, even though the NFL is yet to judge on a possible suspension for Hardy.

For the Seahawks, it seems like an Anthony Spencer signing is more likely than a Greg Hardy signing right now.

The reporter, Clarence Hill, who initially tweeted about Michael Bennett wanting a trade, stood by his sources during an appearance on ESPN 710.

He claims his source is not Drew Rosenhaus:

It’s all a bit of a mess really.

First and foremost, Bennett needs to clarify his position. If he isn’t seeking a trade, say so. The team claims it hasn’t heard anything. Bennett is the only one who can clear this up.

If he is looking for a move, he’s probably going to be disappointed. He’s contracted until the end of the 2017 season and has zero leverage. He can hold out — but he must know the Seahawks will call that bluff. Even if he sits out the whole year, he’s not going to be any more attractive on the trade market in 2016 approaching his 31st birthday.

He had a chance to cash in a year ago and signed a new contract in Seattle. Really that’s the end of it. Bennett still needs to provide some clarity here. What’s going on?

Tonight I’ve been speaking to Draft Insider.net’s Tony Pauline — one of the best in the business. Expect that interview to be on the blog tomorrow.

145 Responses to “The Michael Bennett & Greg Hardy rumor mill”

  1. J2 MED says:

    Let’s hope nothing comes of this. Literally screamed on the bus when I saw the rumor floatin around.

  2. redzone086 says:

    It’s hard to envision this working out for Bennett if its true. I am completely boggled by the fact that there has been no denial by Bennett which leads to the contemplation that there is a truth here. Any way this ends it’s a black Mark to start the season.

  3. Ho Lee Chit says:

    This one is hard to understand. If Drew Rosenhaus was attempting to increase the value of his clients he probably had the opposite effect. The Hawks certainly do not do business in the press. See the Unger for Graham trade., If he wanted to deal Bennett to the Falcons he just made them gun shy. Atlanta could be accused of tampering if they were in on this and expressed interest in Bennett without going through the front office. Should we really believe that Dan Quinn is going to raid the Hawks D line as his first move? The whole scenario casts everyone in a bad light. I don’t believe it.

    Meanwhile, the Hawks interest in Hardy, if there was any, probably just ended. We should know more tomorrow. My bet is the Hawks won’t entertain Hardy at all. If they do, it probably only comes after he turns down Dallas and his market dries up. How do you justify giving RW3 a little less for Hardy? Sure he is a great talent. He also is a bigger risk than Percy Harvin. Paul Allen probably will never approve the deal after his experiences with the Portland Jail Blazers. Hardy is too radioactive.

    • Jeff M. says:

      I think the Drew Rosenhaus theory would have to play out like this:

      1. Rosenhaus leaks that Bennett wants a trade to Atlanta.

      2. Rosenhaus leaks that Hardy is going to leave Dallas visit to visit Seahawks as potential Bennett replacement.

      3. Cowboys believe that Hardy is in higher demand so they offer more money.

      4. Hardy signs in Dallas for more money, Bennett clarifies that he’s happy in Seattle and never requested a trade.

      So it’s leaking false info about Bennett leaving Seattle in order to drive up Hardy’s price somewhere else. It seems like Bennett would have to feel pretty loyal to his agent to go along with the plan though.

      • Jake says:

        Sounds plausible, but would getting one client a few extra bucks be worth the risk for an agent – especially one with as many clients as Rosenhaus has. If it gets out that this was false information, I wonder if GMs (specifically Atlanta, Dallas, and Seattle who had to deal with this situation) would be as willing to pony up to Rosenhaus’s other clients in the future.

      • Chris says:

        Don’t really buy it. If Bennett doesn’t really want a trade, then Drew would be throwing his own client under the bus. Bennett could deny it later on, but we’ve now already got some questions in our mind whether or not he wants to be here (justified or not). I don’t see how this would do anything but hurt Bennett.

        • arias says:

          I don’t think Bennett necessarily wanted a trade, but I do think it’s quite feasible that Bennett wanted a raise after seeing the kind of contracts handed out for worse players than himself during free agency. That would be the reason for his silence, he recognized his agent was doing what he could to try to finagle a raise.

          Notice how the hawks front office denied to NFL.com that Bennett had ever requested a trade. The glaring omission there is the lack of denial of whether Bennett ever requested a raise. Wesseling, the author of that article on NFL.com, clearly seemed to think Bennett requested a raise and was deserving of one.

          The scenario above painted by Jeff M sounds quite plausible to me with the only thing I’d add before the first item of leaking Bennett seeking a trade:

          1/2: Bennett mentioned wanting a raise and Rosenhaus said he’d see what he could do.

          3/4: Rosenhaus communicates to Seahawks that his client wants a raise.

          The team might realize Bennett has no real leverage so the leaking of wanting a trade was the attempt to drive it up. All of this would make sense of this whole puzzle.

  4. Greg haugsven says:

    I think you summed it up pretty well…he has absolutely zero leverage. He’s not going anywhere .

  5. Brandon says:

    I don’t think we can afford to replace Bennett. With all that dead money we’ll have it’ll be pointless. Even if Atlanta does cough up their first rounder (which I highly doubt will happen), it would be hard not going for one of the top receivers or O linemen. That might not be a bad idea, but still doesn’t get us to replacing Bennett cause I don’t think there is good enough value at #63. Sure we could sign Hardy, but he is not as versatile as Bennett, plus comes with a bunch of off field issues. The thought of getting a second rounder is a lot more interesting though. I think it would be quite the gamble because it still gets you in place to take a shot at a top tier second round graded prospect at most of the positions (WR, Oline, Dline, Corners maybe?), but then again, could still not be as good as you would see in Bennett. I don’t know what do you guys think?

    • Cysco says:

      It would have to be Atlanta’s first. The deal seattle did with Bennet means his cap hit is only like $2m this next season because of the up front money he got. That up front money is dead money for seattle. There is no way seattle gives bennett to Atlanta, while paying the majority of his salary to play for another team. Not happening. End of story.

      I’m not even sure the 8th pick would be worth giving up one of the best pass rushers in the league while eating all that dead money.

      Doesn’t this have to be in some way related to his agent? His agent would be in Dallas at the moment. The reporter is in Dallas. hmmmmm.

      • Ho Lee Chit says:

        Correct me if I am wrong but I believe his entire non prorated signing bonus ($6M) would become the cap hit for the Hawks in 2015. That is about half of our remaining salary cap.

        • Greg Haugsven says:

          His cap hit next year is $8 million ($6 million base plus $2 million pro ration of signing bonus) if traded we would have a $6 million dead cap charge saving us $2 million against the cap.

          • Greg Haugsven says:

            He’s not going anywhere, if he did it doesn’t take away from our current cap space it would add. But we’d rather have Bennett than the extra $2 million.

          • Ho Lee Chit says:

            But then we have no defensive end. What does it cost to replace him?

            • Greg Haugsven says:

              That’s the problem…you could go after Hardy for one year $5 million and maybe you resign him next year…or get Atlantas pick at #8 and draft fowler, ray, or Gregory…something like that…even go after Kevin White. I’d still just rather have Bennett

              • CD says:

                Didn’t JS say last week that part of the decision to trade #31 (1st round), was that it gave them more flexibility in terms of the cap. #8 overall would be much more expensive.

                I understand that things might have changed since he said that, if a guy wants out, then he wants out, but to think that #8 would be good fit for the team while also taking an accelerated hit on Bennett would hurt the cap for the next year and ability to extend both Wags and RW.

      • Brandon says:

        I completely agree, Bennett will have to stay in Seattle, which of course I am not bothered by at all. He is obviously the best pass rusher we have, for sure, but just thinking bout the possibilities that are out there. With the first rounder, guys like Cooper, White, Scherff, Beasly or maybe even trade down for more picks? The second rounder, Cameron Erving, Hroniss Grasu, Devin Smith, Breshad Perriman, Sammie Coates, DGB?
        Just a thought maybe but i doubt it.

  6. sdcoug says:

    It’s unfortunate, but if true…Bennett has zero leverage and really only 3 choices: pout, holdout, retire.

    If it’s about money, 2 & 3 are highly counter-productive to additional money. If it’s pout for 3 years, so be it. If it effects his play negatively or he lollygags…it’s also highly counter-productive to a pay day.

    I’ve read a lot of comments in a previous post suggesting the Hawks could only get a 2nd rnd pick if they traded him. Why would they? They have a highly productive player in year one of a four year deal.

  7. Coug1990 says:

    Personally, I do not think Bennett is seeking a trade. After the Superbowl loss, he gave an impassioned speech in the lockerroom about the players sticking together. The same source said that it didn’t matter if Hardy was in Dallas because no matter what, the Seahawks would beat that offer. That does not seem to be true.

    The rumor started somewhere, but we all know that sometimes there is smoke and sometimes there is not.

  8. James says:

    Two possibilities: Bennett was drunk and hanging out with his buds and they were giving him the business about the mega contracts by Suh, et al, and Mike said, hell – I want a trade to the Falcons, Dan Q will pay me, and then his friends blabbed to the “journalist”; or, more likely, this rumor was floated by the Cowboys (the so-called journalist is a Dallas beat writer after all), because they did not want competition for Hardy, who was reportedly heading for Seattle today or tomorrow, and the Cowboys knew this sort of story would set a bomb off in Seattle and by the time the smoke cleared, Seattle would have gotten off of Hardy and Dallas would have him. We all know that John would never ever renegotiate or trade a player upon demand entering the 2d year of his contract…never. If so, nice move by Jerry’s son as he takes the reins in the big D.

  9. Trevor says:

    Drew Rosenhaus really is a dirtbag agent and I would not put anything past him. He certainly is not beyond putting a few rumors out there to drive up the market for one of his players. More likely though it is someone inside the Dallas front office that floats a rumor to a local writer to keep the Hawks busy putting out a fire with Bennet and souring them on Hardy.

    It makes no sense for Bennet to make these demands now after free agency has started and his contract makes it almost impossible for the Hawks to move him even if they wanted to. So logic would dictate that this is just a rumor. The only thing that is a little worrisome is that Bennet has not squashed the rumors. He has had no problem making his thoughts known in the past and his silence now is deafening.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It none of this is true — all Michael Bennett has to do is Tweet there’s nothing in it. Silence so far.

      He is the key here. He can destroy this rumor in 30 seconds. And so far he’s chosen not to do that. Which is interesting.

      • Trevor says:

        Your blog put perfect context around the situation and the fact that Bennet loves the media and is now going silent is the scariest part of all. To me his is the 2nd most irreplaceable part of our defense after Earl. It really is a no win situation for any of the parties involved so hopefully in the morning he will but everything to rest.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        To be entirely fair, he doesn’t tweet much. His last one is about 6 months old.

        • Greg Haugsven says:

          Last tweet was in early November, but your right. He can squash this somehow if it’s false, the longer it lingers the worse it gets.

          • Coug1990 says:

            Not sure I agree it gets worse. I am not sure this is anything at all more than people blowing the situation up more than it is worth. If there is nothing to this, then it is all irrelevant. I doubt Bennett cares much what all of us think, especially if he did nothing wrong. If he is unhappy and wants a trade, then again, this is all irrelevant.

        • Rob Staton says:

          It might be time for a return to social media…

      • lil'stink says:

        I agree with what you are saying Rob, but for all we know there is more to the story. If the Rosenhaus angle is to be believed perhaps Rosenhaus told Bennett beforehand about his “plan” so that Bennett wouldn’t come out and deny it right away via Twitter. Doing so would kill any leverage for Hardy that Rosenhaus was trying to create. I understand this scenario might be a bit of a stretch, but I think there are often slimy games like this that go on behind the scenes that we aren’t privy to. Bennett doesn’t seem to benefit from this situation if it is the case, though. I can’t imagine him being happy if his agent was using him as a pawn to get a better deal for another player. But like I said, this business can be sketchy at times.

        I for one am not sure what to believe. The part about Bennett wanting to be traded to Atlanta and how Seattle would match any offer the Cowboys made make it seem a little too convenient and hokey for me to buy it this very second. Maybe tomorrow will be another story, though.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          Seattle would not match a Cowboys deal for Hardy. I feel strongly about that. They have a number, say 4-5 million / year…. perhaps 2 years with a strong clause for conduct, which would take money away for any issues.. or would automatically void if certain behaviors are displayed off the field. If he keeps his head on straight, there could be a 6-8 million escalator for year 2 and perhaps a mutual optional year 3… of 12 million.

          I kind of see it as a 4, 8, 12 (24M) / 3 years, type of deal. The majority of the total would be optional / incentive based (12 million option year in 2017). roughly 6 Million guaranteed upfront.

          • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

            My guess on the Cowboys deal, they will try to push 30-35 million in front of him for 3 years, guarantee around 12-15 million.

            • Steele1324 says:

              What team could afford not only the publicity fallout, but the probability that Hardy won’t even play for half a season, and might face new trouble related to the case down the road?

              Purely in terms of the football part, the Hawks would be better able to essentially red shirt Hardy than others. What Dallas is doing now is overly aggressive, very Jerry Jones.

        • Rob Staton says:

          The person reporting the story of a trade claims his source is not Rosenhaus. He was chasing the story about Hardy on the Dallas end and was told to keep an eye on Seattle as they might need to replace Michael Bennett, who wants a trade to Atlanta.

          It’s basically up to Bennett to quash this. The longer he doesn’t, the longer it looks like there’s some element of truth to it.

      • Old but Slow says:

        It may be that Bennett knows what his agent is doing, and does not want to spoil the ploy. He can take his time and make a statement in due time. No real hurry.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Maybe. I think it’s pretty important there’s a denial ASAP personally to quash this right now. The longer it lingers, the worse it looks.

          • lil'stink says:

            I agree, and I assume this story will either gain traction or wash away entirely in the next day or two.

          • Ho Lee Chit says:

            Players should not be responding like Pavlov’s dog ever time some member of the media invents a new story.

      • Eric says:

        While Bennett certainly could put an end to all speculation, he also seems like the kind of guy who doesn’t mind letting people twist in the wind for a bit.

        He’s a savvy media guy.
        He’s a team leader.
        He should be smart enough to know Seattle isn’t going to trade him or renegotiate his contract, but maybe there’s something else he’s looking for. Help on the D Line? Keeping Mebane on the roster? More support for his charity? More playing time? Less playing time?

      • David M2 says:

        Could they have pulled this move while Bennett’s on vacation, hence no reply?

  10. Trevor says:

    As for Hardy how can anyone even sign him before they know the suspension? Can contracts be strucutured in a way so that it is pro-rated based on the length of his suspension?

    One a final note for the evening. The one thing about last year that really bothered me about the Seahawks (other than the SB interception at the 1 yd line) was the amount of drama that surrounded the team last year. There were so many rumors and unnamed media reports citing locker room issues. It felt like a soap opera.I was really hoping with Harvin gone and Lynch getting his $ that things would quiet down a little on the rumor front this year. Unfortunately this Bennet rumors makes me think it might be wishful thinking.With big personalities comes big drama in most instances so I guess we take the good with the bad.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      You could give him a small base salary and a high per game option bonus. If the contract was for 1 year $5 million you could do $ 1 million signing bonus, $1 million base salary and $3 million option bonus which would be $187,500 per game active. Something like that.

  11. RyanM says:

    I’m going to assume this was Hardy’s agent putting pressure on Dallas to make him an offer. “You know you don’t want my client leaving and visiting Seattle… not with the Seahawks suddenly desperately in the market for a DE… right Jerry??”

  12. Steele1324 says:

    What this noise does is create new uncertainties. Real or imaginary, we don’t know. Can the Hawks move forward without knowing? Would it be unwise to assume the rumors are bogus, if it leaves them with a Bennett holdout?

    If there is the slightest chance that there is truth to it, then JSPC must make a significant move for a pass rusher. The timing of it is maliciously good (from the Rosenhaus perspective) in that it leaves the Hawks no veteran options that are comparable, and they are out of funds to make big moves. Spencer would only be rotational.

    Draft? I see no one in rd.1 who can replace Bennett, and they are out of rd. 1 anyway. Rd.2 and below, forget it.

    It behooves JS to reach out the Bennett immediately and dispel this now.

    • manthony says:

      Leaornard Williams is MB plus a bag of chips. Idk if he’ll be there at 8, but if he was there at 8 with the falcons on the clock, it shoudnt be ruled out altogether

  13. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Let’s hypothetically say Seattle did send Bennett to Atlanta. I can’t see ATL giving up a high enough pick or set of picks to make sense trade wise. Perhaps a player + picks, but his deal is fair and Seattle would get the short end of the stick on the trade. And what player could Seattle want off the ATL roster…. NONE.

    I guess a 2015 2nd (which would be a high second), a 2015 6th (like getting a 5th) and a 2016 conditional 3rd/4th next year might do it…. but this would not work for ATL… they need good young talent all over the roster. Doesn’t make sense, doesn’t make sense at all.

    • Steele1324 says:

      Looking at the Falcons roster will make you all the more glad you are a Hawks fan. The Falcons are a mess. No pass rushers. Nobody we’d want. (No, not even Julio Jones.)

      • redzone086 says:

        Well getting Adrian Claiborne would be nice with that second rounder.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        It will take 2 years to turn em around, SB contender. They need younger players… and a whole bushel of them. That is why the trading draft picks falls apart for me. Not to mention, Seattle already has a ton of picks in 2015.

        • williambryan says:

          but they (Atlanta) have an owner who wants to win. maybe Quinn is following the apparent seahawk move of preferring a proven player with the first pick instead of the gamble.

        • red says:

          Looking at Atlanta roster that would be available I dont know Rashede Hageman+Levine Toliolo+2nd for Bennett and a fifth.

          • Old but Slow says:

            For me it would have to be a big benefit for the Seahawks, something like a first round pick this year and another next year and a player like Julio. No way Atlanta would do that, so there is no way Seattle should. Seattle has all the leverage.

    • Rob Staton says:

      There’s no deal that makes sense really. Atlanta doesn’t have a comparable player to trade. They aren’t giving up really high picks. Seattle has no incentive to trade financially or in terms of personnel. It’s a ridiculous position for Bennett to take if true.

  14. Belgaron says:

    This is one of the few times of the year that I fire up Tweetdeck because most of the noise is so worthless so I saw this train crash of a story from the genesis.

    I agree that until Bennett speaks it will have legs. I think either he wanted to fire a shot across the bow to see what the reaction would be or he doesn’t like seeing Dan Quinn depart/emergence of Kris Richard/trade for a guy he doesn’t personally like/all of the above. If it was his agent, at a minimum Bennet was willing to have his name used to try to help create a bidding war for Hardy.

    Dallas doesn’t have any money so if they are the lead suitor that should indicate the strength of Hardy’s market. Hardy would be a stellar add in a vacuum but the risk that he would make another mistake is moderately high and he still faces suspension time that could be significant. Not to mention the out-of-the-woodwork negative demonstration he would generate from the distant to non-football fans in Seattle that won’t pay attention until they get wind that the Seahawks have signed a “monster”. I’m not saying there is anything right about the stories of his poor decisions but I think he would stand a better chance working for an organization like the Seahawks than elsewhere, Pete could offer him quite a bit. Ultimately, chances are slim they enter serious negotiations but I would hope they would at least make it difficult for Dallas to sign him by bidding up the low end.

    • Ho Lee Chit says:

      Exactly! Dallas is tapped out against the cap. According to Spotrac, after signing their draft picks Dallas will be $500K over the cap. Seattle is projected to be at $11.3 M under the cap. We can do a small deal with Hardy and re-sign Wagner and Wilson. It may cost us McDaniel.

  15. williambryan says:

    It’s a bit naive of us (anyone) to dismiss a trade based on anything really. Contract length or amount, draft picks, etc. BECAUSE the saints just traded Jimmy Graham for a first round pick, who was in the FIRST year of a four year contract for big money. Anything can happen, and if we have learned anything following this version of the hawks it’s to expect the unexpected (for the most part)

  16. AlaskaHawk says:

    Bennett may be in vacation and not even know what is happening in the media.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think that’s wishful thinking. At the very least one of his team mates or friends would’ve called or text him.

    • JeffC says:

      I know when I’m on vacation I turn my phone off. And I suppose as a marquee player you’d get used to hearing your name called on all sorts of subjects and eventually get desensitized to it. Reporters create dirt. At some point, professional athletes would get used to it. If they answered every single rumor every time it was out there, they’d be tweeting nonstop.

  17. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    AlaskaHawk has a point. Of course, Bennett is the only one who can confirm or deny this. But his isn’t the only voice missing from the media choir.

    I mean, wouldn’t his agent know he wants a trade, and wouldn’t his agent communicate this to SEA? That’s what agents get paid to do (especially when there’s a raise involved).

    And yet, according to Bob Condotta SEA haven’t heard from Rosenhaus (or Bennett). I think that’s pretty telling. Even without hearing from Bennett himself.

    What I want to know is…how the hell can DAL afford ANYONE at this point. Weren’t they chasing AP as well?

  18. Mark says:

    This is the kind of annoying crap that can really mess up the long term plans of a front office. Probably any rumors aren’t due to MB himself, but regardless, I’m annoyed that such talks would even surface. The Seahawks are one of the most intriguing teams in the league right now, especially with the acquisition of Jimmy Graham. So I can’t understand why anyone would want to leave the organization at this point.

    • Steele1324 says:

      Money. That is always a good ‘why’.

    • JeffC says:

      It won’t mess up our long term plans. He’s under contract with no leverage, and at his age, this is probably his last contract with the seahawks. 7 mill is a lot of money to hold out from at age 29 where you are closer to the end of your career than the beginning.

      Bennett is being paid well and won’t make this kind of money ever again. Pencil him in at DE for next season.

  19. Steele1324 says:

    So as of now, FA rumors connected to the Hawks are Wiesniewski, Anthony Spencer, Chris Canty, Greg Jennings (and Greg Hardy).

    Is there cap money to more than one of these? It would be nice to do them all.

    I actually think Jennings could be the biggest difference maker of this list. The Hawks need a #1 WR. I do not see many #1s in the draft. Plenty of #2,3 and 4s. I really do not want to start the season with Baldwin as the #1 again.

    • Volume 12 says:

      Greg Jennings isn’t a no 1 though either.

      • Steele1324 says:

        Maybe not anymore, but he certainly was in Green Bay, a clear #1 outside threat. With the Vikings he played with bad QBs. At the very least, he is a veteran who can still make an impact. You may disagree with me, but I am just uneasy not having a clear #1 receiver to can put Baldwin back where he belongs, back at #2 (at best).

        • Volume 12 says:

          I agree that Baldwin isn’t a no 1 receiver, but neither is Jennings. Maybe he used to be, but why pay for what he used to be?

          • j says:

            I don’t think he’s getting #1 WR money though. Honestly a #2 or #3 would be a good addition.

            • AlaskaHawk says:

              Why worry about a #1 receiver when the Seahawks have made no effort to draft a #1 receiver? At least they finally got a #1 tight end, though they still have to prove they will actually throw to a tight end on a consistent basis.

              For now Baldwin or Matthews is the nearest thing they have to a #1. Baldwin because he has been team yardage leader a couple times. Matthews because he is tall and has good hands.

        • John_s says:

          Living in MN and watching Vikings games, Jennings has lost a step or two. He’s not the same guy and I would rather have a young guy on the roster than Jennings taking up a spot.

          • Jake says:

            Hakeem Nicks was a #1 for the Giants a few years ago, he’s a lot bigger too. Michael Crabtree was a #1 before Kaepernick’s offensive line became a sieve and before the book was out on Kaepernick’s one read and run tendencies. Both of those guys are a lot younger too. At least they would offer size and athleticism.

    • Rob Staton says:

      They’re also interested in Dan Connolly the former Pats center. I think you could do a couple of Spencer, Connolly and Canty. We should know about Wisniewski soon.

      • Jake says:

        Do you know what’s up with Wisniewski? He still hasn’t visited anyone else, despite reports that the Rams were next on his visit list.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I suspect we’re going to hear something one way or the other by the end of the week. I wouldn’t be too optimistic considering they’re now meeting with several veteran D-liners and showing interest in Dan Connolly. It seems like they’re preparing to spend what little remaining cap they have on the defensive front, then use the draft to rebuild the interior O-line.

        • arias says:

          He’s visiting the Rams. Last I read he’s in St Louis.

    • manthony says:

      It worked out great with T.O, Braylon Edwards, and Kellen Winslow, so why not? I love the excitement these vets bring in the preseason

  20. Volume 12 says:

    Pure speculation on my part, but perhaps this is why Seattle likes ‘Diggy’ Odighizuwa? Can’t replace Bennett like for like, but this guy is the draft’s closest thing.

    • Steele1324 says:

      Preston Smith might be closer to Bennett. I think. Diggy is not a good pass rusher.

      • Volume 12 says:

        Maybe he is, but that’s not my point.

        • peter says:

          Bennett is a prideful player with a funny but intense ego. Perhaps they looked at Diggy because they could either sense rumblings or I’ve mentioned tho before the current best pass rushers on the team are 29 then Irvin will be 28. Sure Bennett signed a four year deal but four years is more like two and at son point every on will be even older.

          Neither smith nor doggy are exactly Bennett but Bennett is an extremely rare type to find.

  21. Volume 12 says:

    Rove, what do you think of Florida C Max Garcia? He seems kind of ‘Seahawky.’ Great length, big hands, team captain, also played guard, likes to ‘mix it up,’ but I’d love to get your take on him.

  22. rowdy says:

    On what basis does the nfl have to suspend hardy for 6+ games? I understand what’s been said but he wasn’t charged and missed all of last season. It seems more like a witch hunt at the moment to cover up Goodell ‘ s mistakes in the rice case. Not that I care if he is because he probably deserves it but does this mean any accusation can become a suspension. In the end it’s he said she said.

    • peter says:

      They have that proactive policy that domestic abuse is a six game suspension.

      Also I have no idea what in the world goes on in the Carolinas (both) but hardy did lose his first hearing and didn’t exactly win for lack I a better word his jury hearing. He paid the woman civil claims and she never went to court. Now people and business pay civil claims all the time to avoid larger conflict. It doesn’t necessarily indicate guilt to me on the other hand its not quite innocence.

      • hawkfaninMT says:

        The victim did not show up for the trial… No victim equals No crime. Simple as that

        • Rob Staton says:

          Actually the victim didn’t turn up as a “settlement” was reached out of court between the victim and Hardy.

          • Dawgma says:

            Yeah. Hardy was found guilty in bench trial, appealed for a jury trial, and paid off his cause so he could skip out. He’s a dirt bag, and everyone will be happy to rag on whichever gutless, classless organization signs him in the end.

            Unless it’s your team, in which case it’s a smart low cost move to get an elite pass rusher and hey he’s “outer thug” so let’s go team!

            Which is why sadly enough he’ll be on a roster this year when he should be rotting in jail.

      • hawkfaninMT says:

        And definitely not innocence. In the justice system there are several levels of culpability. You could be innocent. You could be not guilty. You could guilty. You could claim no contest… Most of these basically mean the same thing. You did something wrong and you are at least slightly at fault.

        I would put Hardy in the you did something wrong, but were rich enough to buy your way out, and lucky enough to not have the state file the charges against you.

  23. EranUngar says:

    OK,

    Bennett is not going to be traded, Hardy will not be signed. Let’s move on.

    However,

    Carp and Unger are gone.
    Mebane, McD, Okung, Sweezy are on thier last contract year and our future Cap is shrinking with every extension.

    I am old fashioned. I still believe you win football games in the trenches (especially if you build a run first team).

    Is it just me feeling that boosting the LOS on both sides of the ball is becoming a critical need?

    • Onur says:

      We should have sign with FA DT and C/G. I think other holes can be filled with draft. We need some veteran help.I hope we will sign Wisniewski and bring back Kevin Williams. I can’t believe Terrance Knighton signs with Redskins 1yr 4M!.Definitely a steal. We should not cut McDaniel. We have only 3 DT, Mebane,McDaniel,Hill.2 of them return from injury and 2 of them will play their last year under contract. Our 2nd and 3rd picks must be OL and DL unless Lockett is available at #63.

      • Onur says:

        They missed Randy Starks but Red Bryant is there. Even if we bring back Kevin Williams, Bryant would be good for depth.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Both Knight and Starks were steals at $4 million a year. Bennett should think about that if he actually wants to be traded. There is lots of money for a few big trades like Suh and then it can fall off quickly. At least Bennett is on a championship team.

        I’m really sad that the Seahawks didn’t at least consider Starks. The offerings are just getting worse.

        • Steele1324 says:

          We don’t know if the Seahawks considered him or not. And who knows what sparked the cheap signings. Perhaps Potroast and Starks, like Sheard, had their minds made on already on where they wanted to go, without visiting around. I’m still pissed that Sheard locked on NE and never left.

    • peter says:

      I’ll bite.

      People say its a need but they were the number one rushing team last year. And honestly I love Wilson but his scrambles and the inability to have hot reads against teams like az and st Louis are a big part of the factor of his sack rate. When teams can freely put 8-9 in a box because you’re designed roll out is a modern 7 step drop on blitz you’re QB is going to get drilled.

      Sure they need a guard and upgrades are going to always happen. But if people think Marpet won’t have a learning curve like Britt, that sambraillo won’t look lost in the second level at times or choose incorrectly in pass pro, etc for any rookie we are being delusional. Its going to be more of the same until they can get through hell at this point 12 games with the same line up.

      • Onur says:

        They were the number one rushing team but Unger and Carp is gone. I think any rookie in round 3-4 can provide same production of Carp’s.Maybe better than him. Replacing Unger is more difficult. Yes he missed 10 games but his presence was good for us. That why we need legit starter at C.If we can’t sign Wiz, Chris Myers would be good.He’ll be cheap.But I think they would prefer Patrick Lewis or Lemuel Jean pierre.

      • EranUngar says:

        My problem is not with past performance. My problem is looking ahead. The more core players we sign to long term contracts the less cap space we will have for the next ones. After RW and Wags get their due contracts which will have a bigger impact on the 2016 cap, how will we pay for sweezy, okung, mebane, McD ? (assuming we managed to replace Carp and Unger)

        We need rookie contract talent to man those positions because we can’t keep paying veterans and extending core players. the cap has a limit. We didn’t do great so far under this FO with stocking the DL. We need at least one key player from this year’s draft class to be a starter next year. We also need a potential OL starter in case we can’t keep both Sweezy and Okung and we still need to add depth/replacement for Carp and Unger. That’s a lot of fresh meat to find and integrate.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          I think the physical breakdown of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor may mean that they won’t be getting the big long term contracts next time around. So those are two you can drop off whenever they turn 30 and their contracts expire. Sherman is harder to project, but it seems like he could have a longer career. I know we will have to sign Wagner our middle linebacker to a big contract. I’m still amazed that they gave KJ Wright more then 4 million per year.

          I know what your saying about rookie contracts. I think the front office would do themselves a big favor in deciding what they will pay the free agents and veterans and sticking to their guns. The annual renegotiating of Lynch’s salary is wearing thin.

          But I trace the whole I want more money attitude back to signing Harvin from outside. He was overpaid and hardly played. It was a good breeding ground for other players salary resentment. Hopefully Graham will turn things around even though it is a similar situation pay wise.

          The big question is Russell Wilson. There is a good chance that he won’t sign anything this offseason and let the free agent market jack his price up to the maximum next winter. I want the home town discount, and considering all the endorsements he gets I think he should give a home town discount for being on a winning team. It would just be hard to compete with other teams for him if it came down to cap space.

          • Steele1324 says:

            The total silence from Russell suggests this could be happening.

            • peter says:

              I can not imagine why a guy getting paid significantly less the say Sherman who gets beats ads multiple times during the NFC championship game would do a home town discount after there was talk that he do less endorsements. The team can’t have it both ways, where a two time super bowl appearing winningest QB in his first three years gets paid less the say Flynn, Orton, etc during that time should ever expect a home town discount. It’d be nice but what’s in it fir him. Rodgers and manning until this dont do discounts they do endorsements and they still win and get players around them.

              • AlaskaHawk says:

                For starters, while highly accurate in college, Wilson has never passed the eye test in the pros. Most people would say that he has benefited from one of the NFLs best defenses ever. The defense has kept the scores low and for at least half the season the offense has won (or lost) some ugly looking games. Now there are lots of reasons for this, including an offensive line that has never played a full season together, and receivers assembled from the dog pound like a bunch of rescue receivers (ha ha)!. Loveable little mutts, one and all.

                But it all gets back to the eye test. What is Wilson worth? I don’t know. Someone will undoubtedly pay him a lot. If he had gone free agent this year he probably could have pulled down 22-25 million per year. You think Seattle has that much money left over?

          • lil'stink says:

            Don’t forget the Seahawks can franchise Wilson if he won’t sign a long term deal. No player likes to get the franchise tag, so the team does have that leverage.

            I agree that we overpaid for KJ, though. I think he might be trade bait in a year or two.

            Also, not sure that ET3’s body is breaking down. Wasn’t his shoulder injury his first real injury in the NFL? He seems pretty reliable to me.

        • peter says:

          Eran I agree they need starters and your points are great. And I agree they need some upgrades mostly I tire of the this oline ducks but the next….thats going to be the good one. .mindset around these parts fir the last four years. But as far as a look contractually you are,spot on.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Bennett isn’t going to be traded (at least that’s where the good money is). But he still needs to clear this story up from his end.

  24. JC says:

    I will hope that this was a agent fabrication to aid Hardy in getting a better deal or Bennett blowing off steam seeing Suh’s contract, the Graham trade and Quinn’s departure to big-mouthed friends.

  25. The Ancient Mariner says:

    “It’s definitely a business. People hate to say it’s that, but it is what it is. I would love to play for the Seahawks, but they’re going to have to want me back and the numbers are going to have to be right.”

    “There is no such thing as discount. This is not Costco, this isn’t Walmart; this is real life. There is no discount really because you go out there and you don’t give a discount on effort. You go out there and you give the best effort every day and you fight for your teammates, and you want to be compensated for the way that you perform and the kind of teammate you are.”

    –Michael Bennett, 11 February 2014

    . . . and then he signed with Seattle for less than he was offered elsewhere. I’m not sure how all this fits together with the current rumors, but it’s interesting.

    • slothrop says:

      I wonder about his snap counts last year. In 2013 he played in about 57% of plays, but last year it was like 85% due to loss of depth and injuries. Maybe you can justify taking less money if you end up with less wear and tear – $7 million to play 60% vs $9 million to play 80%? Now they haven’t done much to address it except hope Hill and Mebane are healthy – so it’s more of the same. Plus Graham, who he thinks is soft and overrated is valued more financially to the team than Bennett, maybe he is disgruntled.

  26. Meat says:

    If he is unhappy is it a result of the superbowl loss.

  27. Phil says:

    Pure speculation on my part, but Michael Bennett’s brother Martellus seems like a prankster based on what I’ve seen in his interviews on TV with Michael. Any chance he could be the source? But, what would his motive be? Sounds like he and Jimmy Jones may have had some issues going back to his days with the Cowboys, but why would he be pulling the Seahawks’ chain? Is he somehow miffed that the Seahawks replaced Zach Miller with Graham without giving him a thought?

    Forgive my baseless speculation, but until Michael Bennett speaks up, this is what is going to happen …

    • Rob Staton says:

      Absolutely — it’s why he needs to speak up ASAP if it’s all false.

      The reporter is very well connected in Dallas. It appears his source is someone within the Cowboys organisation who expressed Seattle was a major player for Hardy as they might need to replace Michael Bennett. And that’s when the info on wanting a trade emerged. The reporter, speaking in the audio embeded in the piece, is adamant his report is true. Interestingly, all we’ve heard to counter so far is, “It’s news to us” from the Seahawks. But that’s different compared to, “this definitely isn’t true” and that’s something only Bennett can say really.

      • Old but Slow says:

        There remains the possibility that the reporter’s source had the agent as his source. Second hand from the agent, and Hill is able to say he didn’t get it from the agent.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Possibly. We are 24 hours on though and still no denial. So I suspect there’s some element of truth in this — and will do until we hear from Bennett.

  28. drewjov11 says:

    This whole thing is going to blow over and in September, this will be a distant memory.

  29. HOUSE says:

    Like so many ppl have said, “If Michael comes out and DENIES it, end of story”. The fact that we haven’t heard from him is the concern.

    With the acquisition of Jimmy Graham, the NEED of a TRUE #1 Receiving threat has been filled. Unger has a possible cap casualty anyways so we essentially got Graham, a PROVEN commodity in his prime + a 4th rd pick for the #31 pick that we were looking to move out of anyways.

    The 2 BIGGEST needs are OL and DL depth.
    LG: Carpenter was headed out the door and surprisingly enough (after his 5th yr option was declined), he played some of his best football. I think our 2nd or 3rd rd pick (Ty Sambrailo) will address the LG position IF we don’t slot Alvin Bailey there. or sign a vet like Dan Connolly (being looked at to play the play the LG, not C).

    C: Currently Lewis is the ONLY C under contract. Wisniewski would be the ideal signing to fill the hole left by Unger, but $$$ might keep him out of SEA. Dan Connolly (played LG in NE) is being looked at to play the C position as well. Connolly is 32 y/o and would primarily be a groomer/stopgap player.

    DL is where things get interesting. The BIGGEST concern is how do Mebane and Hill comeback from injuries? We currently have 5 DTs on the roster: Mebane, Hill, McDaniel, Staten and Williams (Jesse). Staten and Williams were IR’d early in the year and the losses of Mebane/Hill through the season hurt. Chris Canty just re-signed w/ BAL and the need for DT shows that we are looking to move on from McDaniel and/or Mebane. There are definitely some intriguing DT prospects in the draft and I think we’ll be taking 1 or 2 before the 4th rd is up.

    All in all, the team is in great shape to defend the NFC Championship and show up for the 3rd straight Super Bowl. Finding productive depth is what we need to hit the head on and prepare ourselves for the injury bug that we cannot ever seem to allude

    • Volume 12 says:

      I don’t necessarily think the interest in FA DTs says they want to move on from Bane or Tony McD, but rather, they want depth.

      If Seattle wants a DT in this draft so bad, then why are they trying to acquire veteran D-lineman? This may just be me, but this class is weaker than I thought at the DT position, if we’re to believe that Seattle will hold true to their parameters of not taking one without 33′ inch arms. If they don’t, then there’s quite a few exciting prospects.

  30. Volume 12 says:

    Former Cleveland Brown, current FA Athyba Rubin is visiting Seattle. I always liked this guy and thought he was an awful fit for a 3-4 defense.

    Only 28 years old, and he’s in the mold of a Jesse Williams physique wise, and DT Beau Allen, who they really wanted in the 7th round last year.

  31. Volume 12 says:

    I find it very interesting that Seattle was not only all over Baylor’s pro day, but sent their QB coach to check out/work out QB Bryce Petty. Hmmm.

    QB guru George Whitfield said his pro day was the best he’s ever been a part of.

    • peter says:

      Wilson for a second and next years fourth to Philly? Open QB competition this summer? Maybe a swap with matt Barkley to save about 200k in cap space? All intriguing possibilities’…..

      Joking.

      • Volume 12 says:

        I was going to say.

        • peter says:

          Though petty late id be fine with if tjax sets sail. I’m not one of those guys who thinks every backup QB is tom Brady in waiting just someone smart who can learn, a decent arm, and god forbid can keep it together for a few games in an injury situation

          • Volume 12 says:

            Agreed. But I wonder if Petty gets past Buffalo in either the 2nd or 3rd. He might even end up a 1st rounder.

            I actually like Alabama QB Blake Sims quite a bit as a 7th rounder, or preferably a priority UDFA.

  32. Steele1324 says:

    I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at the draft O linemen. (It is tougher, isn’t it, because these guys often don’t have their own highlight films, forcing you to watch generic game footage for them).

    We are looking for guys to play in Unger’s and Carp’s spots. Should we also be looking for Okung’s heir apparent also? Who is best, and for what:

    Sambrailo- consensus favorite LT or LG?
    DJ Humphries- I see his projection veering from rd. 1-2 to 3. If available, take him?
    Laken Tomlinson- same as above
    Marpet- G or C? Most athletic of all of them. Do you trust him to make transition from div.3?
    Grasu- Injury concerns, but might be the most solid of all Cs.
    Finney- C. Tough but he looks unathletic and ponderous. Short arms.
    Gallik- C. I prefer him to Finney, seems more technical, Boston College is good for O linemen
    Tyrus Thompson- LT/LG. Big dude, effort a question mark?
    Daryl Williams- another name that is floating between rd 1 down to 3. RT/RG?
    Crisp- A smart late rounder, seems very coachable
    L.Gibson- Like many, needs a lot of work

    Rob, it’s time to do an O line piece!

    • peter says:

      Robs favorite style of write up. I just hear a groan from rob when carp signed with the jets and then Unger got traded!

    • Trevor says:

      Nice write up on the OL situation. I feel exactly the same way about most of the guys you listed.

      I would add Terry Poole and Morse out of Missouri as two other guard prospects with a good chance to be above average starters long term.

      If Humphries or Tomlinson is on the board when we pick at 63 I think they are must picks. Humphries in particular. I think he will be like Jwuan James last year (one of Robs guys) and go a lot earlier than expected.

      The only guy I really don’t get the hype about is Sambrailo. When I watched him at the Senior Bowl he looked awful and I saw nothing to get excited about. Maybe he is a lot better game practice player but he is definitely not someone I would even consider till the 4th.

    • Volume 12 says:

      Your right about finding good footage on these guys. This is just my take:

      Sambrialo- Don’t think he’s a LT, but a perfect LG for what Seattle runs. Just seems like a Seahawk.
      DJ Humphries- No way this dude gets past the middle of the 2nd. He’s a fantastic LT.
      Oaken Tomlinson- I’d take him. Love this guy.
      Ali Marpet- Someone will over draft him.
      Hroniss Grasu- Agreed. Will probably go sometime in the 3rd.
      BJ Finney- Pretty ‘Seahawky.’ Old school type of O-lineman.
      Andy Gallik- Really like this guy. Just a mauler in the run game. Love his attitude.
      Tyrus Thompson- Meh. I’d hope not.
      Daryl Williams- Like him a lot too. All business, intense, great size, leads by example, plays ‘pissed off.’
      Rob Crisp- I think this guy is going to start to rise. There’s some buzz on him right now.
      Laurence Gibson- What an athlete! The type they tend to target starting in the 6th round. High ceiling.

      I’m really starting to dig Florida C Max Garcia. Seems incredibly ‘Seahawky.’ Leader, big personality, trash talker, will fight at the drop of a hat.

      No Terry Poole? He might be the best O-lineman that nobody is talking about.

      TJ Clemmings and Ereck Flowers are probably my 2 favorite O-lineman in this draft, but there’s absolutely no way either lasts until the end of round 2.

      Arizona’s 2 O-lineman Fabbians Ebbele and Mickey Baucus are also of interest. Baucus has a little Giacomoni to his game.

      Overall, just an incredibly deep class of offensive lineman of all shapes, sizes, and styles.

      • Steele1324 says:

        Terry Poole. From what I have watched—LT film—he didn’t seem to hold up very well. Not good laterally. A bowling ball kind of build. As a guard, he might be fine.

        • Steele1324 says:

          Finney. Looks solid in the box, but has short alligator arms, which I think makes him vulnerable. At second level, he is a heavy, squat dude, doesn’t move very well. He does have a wrestling background, and Cable likes that.

        • Volume 12 says:

          Yeah, he’s definitely not a LT. But as a LG, I think he’s an extremely high upside, athletic O-lineman. And if I’m not mistaken, he will be playing LG in the NFL.

  33. Steele1324 says:

    I am looking forward to Rob’s work on Zack Hodges. He is a Harvard philosophy major. From the quotes I’ve read, he comes across like one. Some scouts seem off-put by his personality. Well, as a philosophy major, I am guessing he questions everything and thinks in a way that is very unlike your average football jock.

    That, plus issues with his workouts, might drop his draft stock.

  34. Trevor says:

    Looks like Hardy has signed with Dallas. One less bit of drama to worry about. Wish he had signed in the AFC though because he is a beast and will really help that defense.Should be a perfect fit in Marinellis scheme.

  35. Volume 12 says:

    Peter, this one’s for you buddy. Yesterday I think it was, we were discussing the difficulty of finding DTs if Seattle sticks to their standards, arm length wise.

    Well here’s my choice for Seattle’s DT selection in the draft. I’ve brought him up before. They did attend his pro day and were pretty focused in on him. He’s a sleeper and IMO will be a steal from the 5th-7th round range.

    Buffalo DT Kristjan Sokoli- 6’5, 292 lbs., 4.84 40, 38′ inch vertical, 9′ 11 foot broad jump, 7.19 3 cone, 31 reps on the bench press, and the all important 34′ inch arms.

    • peter says:

      Thanks for relisting him. I’m definitely on a dl/de hunt right now. I’ll check out some more on him. Thanks!

    • John_s says:

      I was googling the kid from Clemson and the DT from UNI – Xavier Wiliams came up. 6’3 300lbs 33″ arms. He’s supposed to have a quick first step but needs to be stronger at the point. He looks like a sleeper

      • Volume 12 says:

        I like him as well. Heard nothing but good things about him.

        Another guy to keep an eye who’s from the LA area and killed his pro day is Idaho DT Quayshawne Buckley. He’s got a unique build. Doesn’t really look or move like a DT at all.

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