Thoughts on Khaseem Greene & Senior Bowl links

January 22nd, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Khaseem Greene a mid-round target?

The Seahawks appeared to be sending scouts to Rutgers on a fairly frequent basis this season. Chris Steuber — a draft analyst formerly of Fox Sports — noted Seattle’s attendance on several occasions.

Initially I presumed they were keeping tabs on massive receiver Brandon Coleman. That presumption was probably incorrect. There’s every chance they were keeping a closer eye on linebacker Khaseem Greene.

The Seahawks don’t blitz a lot and rely on a front four to create pressure (with mixed results in 2012). Pete Carroll wants turnovers — and the best way to do this is to create pressure in a base formation allowing your linebackers and defensive backs the chance to make plays. Don’t give up big yardage on early downs. Force teams to throw and therefore make mistakes.

A lot of the time Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Leroy Hill were asked to react to the play, use their instincts and swarm to the ball. There wasn’t much pass rush responsibility on the linebackers last year and it showed — they had only 4.5 combined sacks between them. Mobility, quick reactions, finishing ability and coverage skills appear to be much more important than how well they get to the quarterback.

For those reasons, Khaseem Greene is a likely target in the 2013 draft.

He’s a converted safety without ideal size (6-0, 236lbs). He didn’t switch to linebacker until 2011 and he still flashes some of that safety speed whether it’s running sideline-to-sideline or sifting through traffic to make a play in the backfield. Greene has a real nose for the ball and just seems to make sound judgements most of the time — knowing when to attack and when to sit in coverage. He’s extremely reactive.

Some teams will be put off by the way he approaches the line of scrimmage. I’m tempted to say he’s ‘delicate’ taking on blockers — he just doesn’t show a great deal of vigour or desire to get involved. He gets engulfed by physically superior lineman, he never really engages and doesn’t have a counter. If you were asking him to play a lot up at the line, you’d be concerned. He’ll be a non-factor most of the time in those situations. And it does limit his stock quite a bit.

He also lacks the explosive range we’ve seen from some other prospective WILL candidates in this draft class. Alec Ogletree is another converted safety and a likely top-15 pick — I’ve not seen a linebacker drop 20-25 yards and pick off a deep ball before like he did against Ole Miss this season. Greene isn’t going to be doing anything like that and he also compares poorly against a player like Arthur Brown, who’s quicker and covers ground better, but is also undersized.

However, there’s no doubting he can cover and Greene’s ability to make consistently good decisions on the field gives him an edge.

Seattle’s use of the WILL is perfectly suited to avoid having to do too much at the LOS. It’s a nice fit for Greene. It’ll allow him read the plays, stay in coverage and let his instincts to do the work. He’s better at letting a play develop, getting through the bodies to sniff out a screen or grab the ball carrier. He has the closing burst to execute and make plays. But he has to stay clean.

Greene’s not such a great athlete that you’d feel obliged to keep him on the field in nickel situations. He could be a solid two-down linebacker though, taking away the kind of inside routes that killed this team in some key 2012 losses. He’s incredibly aware of underneath coverage and excels here. While improving the pass rush is key for the Seahawks this off-season, they also have to find a way to stop getting beat by slot receivers and underneath routes. Matt Stafford, Alex Smith and Ryan Tannehill had a field day in that regard. Death by checkdown.

His tackling form is generally good — although as is the norm for the modern day linebacker or defensive back, he sometimes leaves the ground to go for the big hit and it’ll lead to the odd missed tackle. He has solid body control and doesn’t get twisted around or caught off-guard. He rarely loses balance.

Greene’s a fifth year senior with a metal plate in his leg following a nasty broken ankle in 2011. Despite a terrific résumé during his time in college, I just have a feeling teams are going to look beyond Greene. And the Seahawks or another like-minded franchise will take advantage. He’s the kind of player you can just imagine John Schneider and Pete Carroll getting in round three and turning into an instant impact starter.

Although there haven’t been many candidates for this honour, he’s been touted by the Rutgers media as the greatest defensive player in school history. His response to that suggestion? “I just want them to remember me as a great guy, great leader and a great team mate.” It all sounds very familiar. He was a big time leader for the Scarlet Knights during the last two years.

He added some weight prior to the 2012 season and at times during the season it appeared he was struggling to adjust. It’s tough to go from around 220-225lbs then suddenly work at 10-15lbs heavier even though you’re still required to flash mobility and range. By the end of the year he’d got to grips with this and his bowl game performance against Virginia Tech (see above) was impressive.

Look at the way he recognises the screen at 2:57, doesn’t react too quickly and swarms to the ball. It’s a nice hit too, jolting the ball-carrier as he hits the turf. At 6:28 he makes a nice drop on a blitz look, taking away Logan Thomas’ apparent second read and forcing a bad throw. At 6:59 he dips in-side from a starting position on the left edge, avoids the blockers and makes a nice play to get the quarterback out of the pocket (Thomas still manages to break contain, but it was a good play by Greene). He times his blitzes very well, looking silky smooth attacking the line and judging the snap count perfectly. If he avoids contact, the quarterback’s in trouble. And then of course there’s the first play on the tape — a forced fumble in the end zone which he recovers for a touchdown.

There’s also a lot of snaps on that video where he’s ineffective — getting blocked or just inconsequential to the play. We’re not talking about a can’t miss athlete here that’s going to garner a lot of hype in the first two rounds. He’s pretty scheme specific and fortunately for the Seahawks, he’d look good on their defense. It’ll be interesting to see how he runs at the combine because Carroll is looking for speed at the WILL — it’s why he’s been keen to force Malcolm Smith onto the field in place of Leroy Hill. Smith could get the opportunity to win the job full time in 2013.

Drafting a linebacker still remains a distinct possibility. Greene is one to keep monitoring. At this stage I think it’s most likely they’ll target the defensive line and a pass catcher with the first two picks (unless an Ogletree or Brown is on the board at #25) but Greene would be a nice fit for this team at any stage beyond the first two rounds if he’s still available.

Note – thanks to JMPasq for supplying the game tape as per usual

Senior Bowl links

Jene Bramel of the New York Times asks the question — How relevant is the Senior Bowl?

Stephen F. Holder writes that Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel is determined to improve his middling stock in Mobile

Mike Mayock time. Here’s some thoughts from TV’s best draft analyst courtesy of the NFL Network

Daniel Jeremiah also discusses which players have emerged so far during the first two days of practise — although his suggestion that Landry Jones is helping his stock flies against most other reports so far.

There are so many contrasting opinions from the Senior Bowl — making it almost impossible to know who’s performing well or not. A lot of tweets I’ve noticed over the last 24-48 hours seem to be heavily influenced by preconceptions and favourites.

I would recommend following Shane Hallam for Twitter updates from Mobile

ESPN’s group of scouts including Todd McShay, Kevin Wiedl and Steve Muench had mixed feelings about Margus Hunt and Sylvester Williams

On Hunt: “(He is) just what you’re looking for in a 5-technique (3-4 defensive end) in terms of size, potential and length. He’s disruptive with his strength and long arms. Even when he’s not making plays he can cause havoc, but you worry about the lack of suddenness in terms of his first step and change-of-direction ability. He lacked suddenness on Tuesday. He hasn’t shown up a lot in the limited sample size we have so far, and we’ll keep an eye on this raw prospect going forward to see what he can do.”

On Williams: “(He) was underwhelming in Tuesday’s practice. Williams did well bending the edge and with his body control, and he has explosive qualities to be a good 3-technique in the NFL, but he was neutralized every time we watched him. There were times he flashed his quickness, but he was most effective with his swim moves and you can’t consistently rely on those in the NFL, because offensive linemen will tenderize your ribs. He didn’t make a lot of big plays on Tuesday.”

McShay was also critical of Purdue’s Kawann Short, claiming he took plays off during team drills. “On one play, it almost seemed as if he had a gentleman’s agreement with (Ricky) Wagner, who steered Short inside easily.” This has been a criticism labelled at Short several times during his college career.

They reserved a more positive review for the subject of today’s main piece — Khaseem Greene — stating he had the best day among linebackers. “He jumped an underneath route he shouldn’t have during seven-on-sevens, but otherwise showed great instincts. Greene was always around the ball on run plays, and it was clear he was reacting more quickly than the other linebackers on the field. He also had a nice fumble recovery and matched up one-on-one with Barner in coverage.”

Tony Pauline also shared some thoughts on the North practise today

On Margus Hunt: “Looks the part and flashed ability yet at times was easily handled by opponents.  Needs to really fine tune and polish his game.”

On Alex Okafor: “Like his game and motor.  Uses all his assets to their maximum yet not a great athlete.”

On Sylvester Williams: “Had a lot of good moments today.  Fires off the snap, showed good power in his lower body and got a lot of push up the field.  Must do a better job using his hands and protecting himself.”

On Markus Wheaton: “Really like what Wheaton showed today.  Quick, fast and consistent.  Fast off the line, ran exceptional routes and caught the ball very well.  Did struggle handling jams at the line.”

Pauline also recorded a piece for ‘Inside the Jaguars’ looking at some of the defensive ends in the 2013 class (fast forward to 3:46).

Mike Jones from the Washington Post was keeping an eye on Michigan quarterback-turned-receiver Denard Robinson. “He had more struggles than bright spots today. He did make Utah State corner Will Davis look silly as he shook him with a double-move and was wide open to catch a bomb. But Robinson struggled with some of his route-running on intermediate routes, had some drops, and he also muffed three punts.”

Finally, I found this Tweet from Jason Cole fairly interesting tonight:

I’ve long suspected that if Seattle cannot trade Flynn, they’d release him. Aside from the teams likely desire to find a back-up more akin to Russell Wilson’s physical skill-set, they don’t need to be paying a back-up quarterback around $5-7m in 2013. I believe they can make a saving of around £3m by cutting him this year — and that’s crucial money whether you want to invest in free agency this off-season or push unused cap space into next year when key players begin to hit free agency.

A lot of people would frown at such a move, but then I think Flynn is pretty overrated. Apart from there being better ways to spend his salary, it also makes little sense having a dynamic, Pro-Bowl quarterback on your roster earning over seven-times less than the back-up earns.

72 Responses to “Thoughts on Khaseem Greene & Senior Bowl links”

  1. Turp says:

    It would seem like a big steal of Greene lasts till R3. I know you mocked him to the Hawks in R2 a few times; has your rating of him changed at all?

    Cutting Flynn is a possibility I hadn’t considered. I thought Flynn had most, if not all, of that 5-7mil guaranteed.

  2. Bob says:

    Like it in regards to Greene, with big bodies up front for the most part and on the edges in the scondary we need as much speed to terrorize the middle even if that player only play 2 downs or against 3 WR sets.

    As much as I would like to trade Flynn for something (even just draft position in the later rounds) or keep him in case of injury, that is a lot of cash not being used either now on the defensive line or later when we can roll over unused cap space for our starters in FA. Flynn is not the starter and is not more important than keeping Thomas or Okung in Seattle and those are the facts. If it comes to no suitors then just release him, I’m fine with that. Alex Smith certainly mucks up the trade waters for Flynn as well, if I was a GM in need of a starter right now I might try to get Smith over Flynn unless Flynn was cheaper to acquire.

  3. Recon_Hawk says:

    I’ve got Greene rated a little higher, but you’ve captured a lot of the same thoughts I’ve had him and in much better detail than I ever could. Great stuff.

    As to the Flynn situation, I’ve come to feel that moving on from Flynn is more likely to happen than not. Besides me thinking there will be trade value for him, Pete’s program lives on his Earn Everything mantra, and frankly, having a backup make 6m a year doesn’t quite prove that very well, imo. Flynn contract signing was based on him competing to be to be a possible starter. Well, he’s not a possible starter anymore, so what are we paying him so much for? To be a backup? Backups who has yet to prove much haven’t earned the contract he’s getting.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I honestly think we’ll see Flynn depart and some form of ‘camp battle’ to win the backup job. Just to keep the positional competition going now that RW is the clear #1 starter.

      • Recon_Hawk says:

        I agree. A mid-to-late rd QB, an UDFA, and Josh Portis fighting it out would be ideal to me.

        • Recon_Hawk says:

          Although, reading it like that, it doesn’t look so ideal. Maybe throw a cheap, vet into the mix, too, and hope a young guy earns the backup role over the vet, similar to the Redskins situation.

          • Michael says:

            Maybe T-Jack will come back… Seneca Wallace (haha) and Jason Campbell are gonna be available too, and all 3 guys are more mobile than Flynn.

            • Cade says:

              I sorta thought that Seneca was in a real bad system for his skills (with holgrems setup). He could be serviceable.. yes no?

        • Senepol says:

          Portis was cut back in November and wasn’t signed to a futures contract. I doubt he’ll be in camp.

  4. Colin says:

    A certain mock draft had EJ Manuel being taken 7th overall and the 1st QB off the board. Is this realistic Rob? This same mock also has Sheldon Richardson leaving the board at 31.

  5. Zach says:

    Is it true that most mock drafts are only 30% correct in what players make the first round?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Probably less than 30%.

      • Senepol says:

        Are you saying that in most mocks only 10 of the team-player pairings are correct, or that only 10 of the players listed in the first are taken in the first (with the rest presumably in the second, third, etc).

        I can see only getting 30% of the pairings correct, but I’d expect the list of players to be well north of that. Could be wrong, though.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I’ve not done a study but even mocks done a day before the draft are way out there. And I include my own in that. It’s a crapshoot and I only do mine because they’re fun and create debate.

          • Zach says:

            We could pick up Richardson in the second round then, yes.

            • Kenny says:

              Second? he is being mocked between 15-30 in the first. With that kind of knowledge, lets see if we can pick him up in the third. Besides, we want to save that second rounder for Luke Joeckel.

              This is all in jest of course.

          • scott says:

            I agree they are fun, the most fun being mocks where we predict which players the hawks will draft. Let’s all post our best guesses and see who has the most accurate picks come draft day.

  6. James says:

    The Seahawks have cap room right now, but will need every penny of it over the next three years. Sherman, Chancellor and Wright are playing for the minimum and will be getting huge raises. Golden Tate and Browner are due for big bumps. And then katie-bar-the door when Okung, Thomas and Russell Wilson come due in about three years. RW could be in the $20mil/yr range if he continues his brilliance. No way the Seahawks can carry Flynn next year. His dollars have to roll over onto the cap.

    • Zach says:

      I agree, Flynn has to go one way or another to keep that extra 3 mil for our starters.

      • Cade says:

        Yeah that 3 mill is a big deal if its the difference between picking up a Bleh DT in FA or a stud like Melton. Much as it sucks we if we cant get a trade I see a cut in the future

    • Chris says:

      I think people forget the Hawks will probably want to roll at least 10M of the cap into next year as well. I don’t think they have nearly as much money as people seem to give them credit for.

    • Steeeve says:

      I don’t think Chancellor will get a big pay day. His coverage skills are downright bad, and there’s only a handful of teams I could see committing to a big in-the-box safety. Likewise, Browner will only be valuable to teams that use a press cover scheme. He’s also closing in on 30. I wouldn’t be shocked if he walks, since Lane looks to be a future starter. Wright is an OLB, a non-premium position if there was one. He will get a raise but not a bankroll breaker. And Tate has been wildly inconsistent. He may score a Laurent Robinson type of deal as an UFA if he’s lucky. If he stays here I doubt he will make more than $5M a year.

      I don’t think the cap situation is all that dire, and a lot can happen between now and then. Flynn will be gone either way but I wouldn’t sweat the cap too much.

      • Meat says:

        I agree. I do not see Chancellor getting a big pay day. Tate may get a better deal somewhere else which is a bummer because I have always liked Tate since his college days. I think a WR drafted this year will help fill in the void if he walks. Hopkins maybe. :)

        • SunPathPaul says:

          What about getting Tavon Austin in case Tate leaves. He had 2,910 yards of total offensive this last year. It is like a Sproles/Welker/Leon Washington kinda versatile player. He can do punt/kickoff returns, WR, Slot WR, and even RB! 2,910 yards from 1 guy! I want him AND another tall WR and TE…
          ARM RW to the Teeth!

          • SunPathPaul says:

            …and you would hope Golden Tate would have some love of his team, and just WANT to stay with Russell Wilson and go get those rings! If he gets a decent offer, man, take it! 4-5 Million a year to play for a contender?? Let’s build….

            a Dynasty…

      • James says:

        Whenever you see a player still in his prime drop way off in production on the field, it is usually due to an injury. Chancellor was hurt this past year and has already had surgery in the past couple of weeks. Mebane and Red Bryant were also hurt. We need more depth at those positions so we can sub for them if they are injured and unproductive.

    • Alex says:

      Field Gull blog wrote an article in the summer explaining why they’re seemingly cutting players and saving money when they have more than enough cap room. Don’t remember where it was, but there were two detailed articles. You can probably find them in the archives.

      I can see the Seahawks letting some go and replenishing through the draft. It’s simply unrealistic in this salary cap age to resign every player. You identify your core players and players in premium positions (e.g. Center, Left Tackle, Pass Rusher, QB, #1 WR, #1 CB, or other positions important to the scheme like Free Safety for us) and work on them.

      For our team, it means

      Offense:
      Mashawn Lynch (resigned), Russell Wilson (due for 15-20 million raise in a few years), Max Unger (resigned), Russell Okung (about same if not a 2-3 million raise). Those are the 4 most important players on offense for this team. If push comes to shove, we’ll find a way to pay them. Luckily, Wilson, who we expect the biggest raise for, isn’t due until a few more years.

      Defense:
      Earl Thomas (2-3 million raise), Richard Sherman (10 million raise), and potentially Bobby Wagner in the future. The others haven’t proven yet they’re indispensable while others like Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane will be too old by the time their contracts are up.

      Looking at this, I can see anywhere between 30-35 million needed in the future. Luckily, the time is spread out, meaning it’s fiscally manageable and room will open up as other expensive contracts are either cut or expire.

      • SunPathPaul says:

        Great break down Alex. If we continue to score value in the draft, we can easily make our salary cap work for years to come! Thank goodness for the new CBA rookie contracts! Albeit I wish we could give RW a bonus for kicking ass! If we get a FA DT/DE in the right way for 2-3 years each, we would be in total control…

        I see Melton, a pro bowler, as a good investment. Paul Kruger looked pretty good… and others…

        I just so want them to shift their understanding of their offense, they keep the Bruising run-possession offense, but arm up with another WR and TE and start games in a hurry up offense using RW’s talent completely. Forget this giving him the ball with 2minutes left and a deficit…I want a big lead by halftime, setting up our defense to play they way they play best, with a lead!

        I say they should set it up in 2 ways –
        1)explosive attacking to get the lead,
        2)then pounding the hell out of them with Lynch/Turbin, and play action like they like.

        To make this use of Russell Wilson, our new found lightning rod, we arm him with, yes, another catching TE and explosively fast or versatile WR. If he had Tavon Austin and Deandre Hopkins or Justin hunter?? WOW

        Just imagine little rocket man Tavon Austin underneath like Welker (much faster though), with Justin Hunter at 6-4 / 4.48 / 205 running down the field! Add another mid round catching TE, and what would Defenses do? If you cover all these weapons, then Russell just runs it on you!

  7. John says:

    Rob have you done any film review on Montori Hughes? He seemed to have a good day today. Thanks

  8. stuart says:

    Since Richardson is going to slide to the 3rd for us and we can get Luke Joeckle in the 2nd, would it be too much of a stretch to choose that kid out of USC QB in the 3rd round, Matt something or another? He seems like a decent player….Never mind, all these players sound too risky, what was everybody thinking? Mel Kiper would rip us worse than last year!

  9. diehard82 says:

    Rob, you’re killing me. A year ago you were in favor of the Flynn deal, and you were critical of their decision to hand the keys to Wilson, and now you’re ready to kick Flynn to the curb. Because you can’t pay the backup so much more than the starter? They have no control over the CBA. That would be like saying we can’t draft a DB in the first round with Sherman making so little money. If we have to find a backup QB who makes less than Wilson, it’s going to be a 4th round pick or later in the draft, or a scrub. Any FA QB who is still breathing will cost at least the $3m you propose we could save by cutting Flynn. OK, slight exageration but you get the point. Unless they find Russell Wilson 2.0 in the draft, there is no reason to dump Flynn. He knows the offense, and while he may not be adept at read option, he’s a hell of a lot better option than bringing T-jack back.

    • Cade says:

      I really think its all in context of different situations.

      Our current situation is that we may be one off season of maturation, a draft, and stud DT from a Lombardi Trophy.

      Finding a developmental QB backup that we pay the minimum salary and using the remainder of the savings to help pay for a stud 3 Tech could be the best play right now… of course if Wilson got hurt ( knock on wood ) we might all change our tune.

      No doubt PC/JS will weigh the options and make the best long term decision for this club.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think you must be mistaking me for someone else, diehard82. I was decidedly lukewarm about the Flynn deal and wrote an article immediately after the draft stating they should start Wilson as a rookie: http://seahawksdraftblog.com/the-argument-for-russell-wilson-starting-in-2012

      I have never been critical of the decision to hand the keys to Wilson. In fact, I was very much in favour of it. See this article titled ‘Pete Carroll to start Russell Wilson (and he’s right to…)’ from August 21st: http://seahawksdraftblog.com/pete-carroll-to-start-russell-wilson-and-hes-right-to

  10. Cade says:

    Rob,

    What is it about the WILL position in the Seahawks scheme that minimizes the obvious Deficiencies of non physical guys like Khaseem or Smith?

    Ive been fairly critical of Smith because he looks so bad alot of the time when taking on a big RB like Turner or Jackson.

    In what ways would Khaseem be an upgrade over a guy like Smith? I dont really see a huge difference and I dont see how a 3rd rd pick on a LB with minimal upgrade over what we have would be a good choice because It wouldnt tilt the field.

    We would be better off taking another weapon for Wilson or OL depth or something.. Im happy to hear where my judgement is wrong.

    • Recon_Hawk says:

      Maybe we see things differently, but I think Khaseem Greene is highly physical. He struggles at the LOS at times (part on his size, but also part on his technique and style of play), but in the open field, he plays tough. Remember that Smith missed tackle recently where he bounced off the running back along the sidelines. I think it was against Washington. Greene doesn’t miss that tackle.

      • Cade says:

        The NFL is full of bigger stronger more explosive guys. So you think his play will translate ok to the next level against those sorts of players?

        So your evaluation is that Smith is significantly less effective in the open field than Khaseem? Im not arguing just checking to see if thats correct.

        Thank you very much for your opinion. Its much appreciated.

        • Recon_Hawk says:

          I do think Greene’s skillset translate well. He weighs-in at 236 lbs which is a good weight (Hill came into the league at 229. Smith @ 225), plus he plays stronger than his weight.

          He doesn’t have that top-level speed that Smith does, but he does have a really good burst and gets up to his top speed quickly which fits great in our scheme. Like many 4-3 defense, the defensive line are eating up blockers which creates holes at the line that require linebackers to fill. That’s part of the reason I think Greene would do well with the Hawks. His short burst and solid instincts allows him to shoot the hole and stuff a run before a linemen even gets into a position to reach him.

          His weakness is fighting off offensive linemen. If he gets caught out of position and a linemen sets a good block, he’ll struggle to disengage, but because of good play recognition and instincts, he doesn’t often get out of position. I also think he does well to just outright avoid blockers or just not allow them to get into a position to get a great block on him.

          My Smith missed-tackle example wasn’t really an evaluation, just proof that Greene is a physical player. I wouldn’t say Smith or Greene is more effective than the other in the open field. They’re just different. Smith has some great speed, so he’ll make some tackles that Greene can’t, like reach a fast running back on the opposing sideline. Greene is the better tackler, with both is power and his technique. He’s a guy who makes a tackle in 1-on-1 situation, whether that player is a shifty Russell Wilson or a bruising Michael Turner.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Smith flies around and I really like his potential, but he doesn’t have the nose for the ball or the instincts of Khaseem Greene. Not yet, anyway. Seattle asks the WILL to do a lot more coverage and read/react than other teams. That favours cover guys more so than the bigger, thumper type linebackers. In a lot of other schemes, the WILL rushes quite a lot. But not in Seattle.

  11. stuart says:

    The upcoming draft with the Hawks holding 10 draft picks comes down to choosing between quantity or quality. PC has already stated that he doesnt see all these draft picks making the roster. Thats fine as we didnt expect they would anyway. How rare is it that any teams entire draft makes the team?

    Quantity argument: Draft 10 players and bring them all to camp to compete, PC’s mantra, always compete. Realistic best case 5 players make the team and can contribute, obviously some more than others. With that many picks JS is sure to hit as history fully supports. We will have added depth to the team as well as the practice squad for developing talent. We all trust PCJS and given this many bullets I feel good about our chances to have a great draft, again.

    Quality argument: Aquire more high picks using Flynn and our 10 picks to move up. It’s pretty much a given that round 1- round 4 players make the team. Maybe this means we gain more 2nd’s and 3rds by trading out of the first. Or maybe it means we now have a our 1st, 2-2nd’s and 2-4ths. However it plays out we come out with 5 players, same as the quantity argument. Which 5 players from these two styles yield the biggest gain for our Hawks?

    • Cade says:

      If I were JS I would have to look at the two rd 6 and two rd 7 spots and ask “are there any guys in these rounds that will likely make our team”. If the answer is no, I would package them all up and get the best pick possible that is likely to contribute. Maybe thats only a low 5th rd or high 4th.

      In the past the answer was always yes, there is a decent chance. Now that we are a strong young team the answer may be no.

      There could be a good player available but if he cant make our team he doesn’t have value to us.
      The end goal is to upgrade the team and cycle in depth for those projected to be lost to FA. Im sure JS can figure out the best way to go about it.

    • Chris says:

      Don’t forget door #3, which is my favorite …

      Trade a couple of the picks for a couple higher picks in next year’s draft. Wilson is still a very young buck, so there’s no reason not to use a good long term strategy that maximizes the value of each pick over the long haul.

      • SunPathPaul says:

        I think the best value would be in swapping up in round 2 using Flynn and our 6th & 7th picks(we have 2 in each round). That way the team taking a chance on Flynn feels good about the deal, and we get to chose at 25, and early round 2! That way we get real value… ie. Margus Hunt at 25, Tavon Austin/ DeAndre Hopkins at the early 2nd round pick?? YES YES YES

        Ideas?

  12. Rock says:

    Flynn signed for $19.5 million over 3 years. $7 million of his deal is tied to escalators or incentives. Escalators typically are a clause that increases his base salary for each start or number of snaps taken. Incentives are for accomplishments like making the Pro Bowl. He will never get the $7 million. His cap hit will be close to $4 million per year unless he starts. Releasing him implies we take a cap hit of $6 million in 2013 for the remaining guaranteed portion of his deal without the benefit of his services. Then we have to sign another backup to take his place. Not a good idea.

    • Rob Staton says:

      He actually received a substantial signing bonus meaning he is guaranteed just $2m this year. His salary this season is not $7.25m due to escalators. He has a roster bonus that he would receive. To cut him would cost us $4m this year making a saving of $3.25m overall. It is not a $6m cap hit.

      I’d be prepared Rock because this is a distinct possibility.

      • Rock says:

        The contract contains a prorated $6 million signing bonus. $2 million counts toward the cap each year. If he is released the remaining $4 million in signing bonus is accelerated to the current year. The 2013 cap hit would be the guaranteed portion of his 2013 salary $2~ million + 4 million in bonus. There is no additional savings since he is not likely to play or ever receive the escalators and incentives. The $7.25M salary is a cannard. After releasing him we then have to sign a veteran backup for $1 -$2 million. Releasing him is a bad business decision. A trade would be the best solution for all even if we need to eat a little of his bonus money against our cap.

        • Rob Staton says:

          As far as I’m aware there are no accelerators. He would cost $2m salary + $2m signing bonus this year, a saving of $4m. He would cost $2m dead cap the following year. The grand total saving you would make would be $3.25m this year and $6.25m in 2014. There’s a reason why — per Jason Cole’s tweet — some teams expect Flynn to be cut. It’s not because it’s a terrible deal for the Seahawks excellent front office.

          • Rock says:

            The minute Flynn went to the bench he lost the $7 million in incentives and escalators. You can see this in Rotoworld. He will never get this money unless something bad happens to Wilson and Flynn plays great as his replacement. Therefore, it only costs us about $4 million per year toward the cap to keep him on the roster the next two years. Without the incentives his deal is $12.5 million over 3 years.

            A bigger issue is what do the Niners do with Alex Smith? Smith’s 2013 salary of $9.75 million is guaranteed if he is on their roster 4/1/2013. Do they cut HIM to avoid the cap hit or trade him?

            • Rob Staton says:

              With the greatest respect to Rotoworld, that is not the information I’ve read elsewhere.

              I think Alex Smith will be traded — for a modest outlay — as a bridge QB. It’ll be an easy deal for San Fran knowing the cost of keeping him so they’re unlikely to barter hard. And someone will give Smith a job after he started this year strongly and has enjoyed relative success the last two seasons in a much more settled environment.

  13. Charlie says:

    Are we all so positive the hawks won’t be looking for an upgrade at SS? Kam looked bad in coverage, seemed like most of the long passing TD’s given up this year were kams responsibility in some way. What are the chances we spent maybe a 3rd or 4th round pick on more of a coverage SS for some competition? I’m not ready to say Kam can’t still be a good player, im just a little afraid of giving him a huge contract after what may have been a one hit wonder year with some highlight hits.

  14. stuart says:

    Charlie, since Kam is not playing that well at SS and we are even thinking about upgrading the position, what would you think about moving him to WLB? JS has already stated he wont move Pro-Bowl players but Kam’s play is far from last year’s Pro Bowl play. I love Kam dont get me wrong but if he is going to be an avg SS he could at worst be an avg WLB but it seems alot of the WLB we keep hearing about were former safeties…Maybe just maybe this is the fresh start that revives’ Kam’s career and now we are looing at drafting a SS instead of WLB.

    Please no one use the tired reasoning that he can’t learn the positon. I am a college student and pay good money to learn everyday. My motivation to learn would be excellerated if I was getting paid around a million dollars a year to do this. For all us former football players who played D, we know the transition is doable.

    • Senepol says:

      Last year Kam was first alternate for the Pro Bowl. This year he’s second alternate.

      I’ll grant you that his play in 2011 was better than 2012, but I hardly think he had a disastrous year that should have PC considering moving him to LB.

  15. A. Simmons says:

    The Cole tweet about Flynn is as much BS as Schneider talking about a 1st or 2nd round pick. No GMs are giving away their actual opinion of Flynn to the media or anyone else. The market for Flynn is not yet set and won’t be set for a while. A Flynn trade could happen draft day for all we know. Right now is the period where all GMs and management teams are wheeling and dealing and playing games in the media trying to overhype, underhype, and basically hide their intentions. We’re not going to get any honest assessment of Flynn’s value at this point in time.People are trying to justify their opinions of his value good or bad.

    I think he’s worth at least a 3rd rounder. Obviously Rob thinks he’s worth next to nothing. We wont know a thing until this market plays out. All I know for certain is I’m not taking the word of any anonymous individual that spoke to Jason Cole or John Clayton or anyone else at this point in time. No management department is going to make some anonymous statement about his true intentions. That would be a massive leak of information and a management team with that kind of information leak isn’t very good

    • Rob Staton says:

      There is absolutely no reason why GM’s or NFL personnel wouldn’t discuss their views on Matt Flynn. It is completely plausible that Jason Cole has spoken to his league sources, polled their opinion on the value of Flynn and been told the opinion that they expect Seattle to cut him if they can’t do a deal. You can undermine the report if you want, but this is the second similar reaction following on from Adam Schefter’s discussion that the market will not be what some people expect for Flynn. I’m tempted to say no smoke without fire.

    • Rock says:

      Simmons, your assessment of GM behavior is correct. It is the agent that has the incentive to make Flynn untradeable by spreading rumors. If the agent can get him released into free agency he can once again negotiate a deal with any team. The market may be better this year than last. Flynn would get his guaranteed money from the Hawks and a second deal from whomever picks him up. It is all just business.

  16. pqlqi says:

    to clarify Flynn’s cap numbers…

    If we outright cut him, we will still lose 6 million of cap space in 2013, or spread out over 2013/14 (depending on the timing of the cut. This would save a total of 9.5 million of cap space over the next two seasons.

    If we trade him before the start of the league season, we will lose 4 million of cap space (distribution again depending on timing of the trade). This would save a total of 11.5 million in cap space over two seasons.

    If we employ him for the 2013 season, he will cost a minimum of 9.25 million in cap space over the next two seasons. If we cut or trade him after the 2013 season, it would save a total of 6.25 million of cap space vs employing him as the backup through the end of the contract.

    Here are a few scenarios…

    Cut Flynn now. 6 million cap charge. Sign cheaper veteran backup to a 2 year, 5 million contract (anything less and you are getting nightmare scenario backup). Draft late round QB to develop and replace cheaper veteran backup, pay around 1 million in salary over 2 years. Over 2 years, this would cost 12 million. Even if you cut the veteran after 1 year, saving around 2 million, you still end up with a cost around 10 million.

    Keep Flynn for 2013 and cut/trade him after the season. 9.25 million cap charge. Draft mid round QB this season to develop and replace Flynn as backup in 2014, would cost around 1.5 million in salary over 2 years. Over 2 years, this would cost around 10.75 million.

    Cut Flynn, draft a QB in the first round. 6 million cap charge. 3 million cap hit over next 2 seasons for 1st round
    QB. Total cap charge 9 million over 2 seasons. This would come at the cost of not drafting a solid DT, WR, or TE which are positions most of us would like to see targeted in the first few rounds.

    When we compare these scenarios, I prefer spending essentially the same amount of money to keep Flynn as the backup for the next season and save the first round draft pick for an area of need. It’s essentially impossible to find a backup FA QB that is both 1) better than Flynn, and 2) that will end up with lower cap charges than staying with Flynn.

    Obviously, a trade or renegotiation of Flynn’s contract may be more attractive alternatives.

    • Zach says:

      Thx. Someone please take over his contract. We can always take two QBs with our four picks in the sixth and seventh rounds. Remeber PC is awesome at grooming young QBs.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It will not be a $6m cap charge to cut him. Only $2m of his contract remains guaranteed. With a roster bonus it would cost $4m, a saving of $3.25m in 2013.

      • pqlqi says:

        he had a 6 million signing bonus, and the cap charge for signing bonus is prorated evenly over the first years (up to 5) of the contract, so we have pending singing bonus cap charges of 2 million in each of 2013 and 2014. he also has 2 million of guaranteed salary in 2013. If he is cut before the league year starts, all of the signing cap money is accelerated into 2013 for a total cap charge of 6 million. if he is cut after the start of the 2013 league year, he will be a 4 million cap charge in 2013 and a 2 million cap charge in 2014. Either way, it’s costing 6 million going forward to flat out cut him.

        If we trade him, we are not responsible for the 2 million in guaranteed salary, but we will still have to deal with the signing bonus cap charges in a similar way, either 4 million in 2013, or 2 million in each of 2013 and 2014.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Sure, but if he’s not going to play much (if at all) anyway in 2013 and 2014 any saving you can make is worthwhile. Cutting him after the league year starts means a $3.25m saving in 2013 and a $6.25m saving in 2014. That’s not to be sniffed at if, like I say, he’s not going to be on the field anyway.

  17. Jeff M. says:

    Rob-

    From reading about senior bowl practices so far, there are three guys I find intriguing for the Seahawks that I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned on this blog so far. I’d love to know if you have any thoughts/insight into them.

    The first is Datone Jones from UCLA–he played everywhere from 5-tech (in both 3 and 4 man lines) to 3-tech to nose for them. He measured at 6’4″ 280lb and seems to have pretty good burst and disruption. He seems to me to have the frame to add another 10-15lbs of muscle and play 3-tech full time for us, but he already looks like a good Jason Jones replacement. I think he had been projected for the 2nd, but I saw multiple reports saying he could end up in the late 1st. Would he be worth it at 25 (if so, I think we’d have to see him as the answer at 3-tech, not just a rotational guy)?

    The second is Aaron Dobson–WR from Marshall at 6’3″ 203lb and described as a real deep-ball and jump-ball threat. I know there are some other guys you like in the top couple rounds, but he sounds like he could be projected for right around our 2nd-rounder depending on how he runs, etc.

    The last is Blidi Wreh-Wilson from UConn–a CB at 6’1″ 192lb who sounds like he fits our mold as a big, long physical press guy. It doesn’t sound like an immediate need, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we spent another mid-round pick for depth there.

  18. Zach says:

    Just watched a bunch of film on Greene and Brown. Brown is just awesome side to side and can cover massive ground. I almost stopped watching Greene after about 1 minute but decided to give him a chance, man am I glad I did. This guy is a ball ripping/turnover machine and has a bit of a mean streak. I say pick up Brown no question in the first if we end up picking up a DT in FA. But I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up Greene in the second.

  19. Will says:

    I think you could get a faster version of Greene in the later rounds. Florida OLB Jelani Jenkins, 6-0 237lbs. Yes, he was injury prone this past year, but when on the field he is a dynamic tackling machine. Better in coverage than against the run.