Underrated players, adding violence & free agent notes

February 15th, 2022 | Written by Rob Staton

Boye Mafe is better than many people realise

— Last week in my three-round mock draft I had Boye Mafe at #17 to the Chargers. I am convinced he will be a top-20 pick. His combination of size, smooth and subtle quickness, power and repertoire is everything you look for at the position. Based on what he showed at the Senior Bowl, he might have the highest upside of any defensive end in the draft.

I’ve read a handful of mocks and top-100 lists recently and it’s incredible to see him being graded in the middle rounds, or at the back-end of those lists.

He needs some technical refinement but he’s what teams want at the position. He makes the difficult aspects of his craft look easy. The way he glides beyond tackles and just slips by with balance, agility and suddenness. It appears effortless. Yet he’s just as good in combat, using his hands and engaging/disengaging, using speed to power or even driving backwards with a one-arm bull rush. He rips away attempted blocks and already has a variety of ways to win.

Reportedly he’s capable of a 41-inch vertical and a 10-6 broad jump. He’s been timed at a 4.56 in the forty. Even if that ends up being a 4.66 at the combine — he has the size where that would be a superb time.

How does this equate to anything other than round one?

Mafe’s personality and attitude are also major positives. Teams are going to love what he offers. After the combine, he’ll be talked about as a top, top prospect.

If he somehow lasts to #41 he would be an ideal complement to Darrell Taylor. I just can’t see it, along with the likes of Abraham Lucas who are equally underrated. Again, how is he being graded as low as he is? He’s a wonderful athlete who has run a 4.30 short shuttle. He has good reps on tape against Kayvon Thibodeaux. He has excellent size and length and looked the part more so than any other tackle in Mobile. Is Lucas flawless? No. But how could you watch the Bernhard Raimann’s out there, think round one, and then place Lucas far lower?

When you see the quarterbacks in this class marked in the top-40 or some of these really overrated players being propelled into the first round range. It’s staggering.

This was always going to be a year with a lot of different opinions, such is the nature of this particular draft. Reading mocks is increasingly an exercise in bewilderment though. I could be completely wrong on Mafe and Lucas. We’ll see. But when you generally combine outstanding physical tools with high-quality reps on tape — then you perform well at the Senior Bowl, you don’t tend to last very long.

— It was interesting to see Jim Nagy note on Twitter that some league sources expect Cole Strange to go in round two. He was one of the players I highlighted in gold on my horizontal board:

He had some bad reps at the Senior Bowl but he often bounced straight back on the next 1v1. He kept improving as the week went on and he fought and battled. He remained upright, locked his back and anchored well. When he gets his hands inside in the right positions, he was immovable. He has the ideal length and frame and it’s worth remembering that he only switched to center for reps in Mobile.

If he tests well in the broad, vertical and bench at the combine — there’s every chance he could do a Quinn Meinerz. I’m not sure the Seahawks would take him in round two but if he lasted into day three — he would be a strong center project with the upside to be a much needed long-term starter.

— I can’t believe nobody’s talking about Arkansas cornerback Montaric Brown. I re-watched the Ole Miss game yesterday and he did a tremendous job sticking on deep routes and breaking up passes with ideal coverage. His mirror is good, he has excellent quickness and size. There are issues biting on double-moves and he needs to lean on his physical traits more than guessing and trying to jump opportunities. Yet overall, he has legit starter potential.

To see so many other cornerbacks get attention and Brown basically be the forgotten man of this class is quite strange. Remember, he had five picks in 2021 — second most in college football. He is a tremendous talent. If he lasts for whatever reason, I hope the Seahawks are ready to pounce.

— The defense hasn’t been aggressive enough for a long time. The more and more I watch of Channing Tindall, the more I think they need players like this. He flies across the field to make tackles. He attacks the LOS, is quite capable of dumping a lineman on his back to get to a ball-carrier. You can’t run stretch plays with him playing in space. As a blitzer he is frightening for opponents — knifing through gaps with incredible speed.

He carries himself with a high degree of confidence without seeming arrogant. I want to see a more attacking, violent unit in 2021 that can rush the passer properly and play with a greater intensity. For me, Tindall is exactly what they need at linebacker.

The most aggressive defenders I’ve seen so far on tape are Tindall, Perrion Winfrey, Lewis Cine and Cam Taylor-Britt. Travis Jones also played with a high degree of power and toughness at the Senior Bowl.

The Seahawks have to find that tougher edge. They’ve been too passive in their scheming and players like Bobby Wagner have become too hesitant. They already have younger, more aggressive players (Darrell Taylor) and now they need to keep adding and complement them with veteran toughness.

I don’t care that Calais Campbell is 36 this year. He was on the UK broadcast of the Super Bowl and the guy was practically ready to run on the field and make a tackle, mic in hand. He spoke passionately about his desire to get to a Super Bowl and I spent the entire three or four hours thinking — get this man in the locker room. He was frothing at the mouth, desperate for success.

His PFF grade was 80.8 in 2021 so it’s not like his play is dropping off either. On a one-year deal to add some interior presence, leadership and physicality — I’d be down for that. If he does nothing other than keep your linebackers clean, I’ll take it. Combine him with some of the names listed above and you’ll have a far scarier defense next season.

— Sheil Kapadia has released a very interesting list of prospective free agents. He has 75 names ranked and it helps identify potential targets. I wanted to highlight some of the names that stand out to me.

#6 Chandler Jones (DE)
Kapadia notes his durability (+15 games in five of the last six seasons). People quibbling about his age should remember he’s a year older than Aaron Donald (I’d happily sign him). A salary similar to Shaquil Barrett’s $17m a year is being touted. That’s similar to the $16m I wrote about in my plan on Sunday. To me he just adds class and quality and immediately upgrades your pass rush.

#11 Von Miller (DE)
It’s clear Miller isn’t what he used to be as he approaches his 33rd birthday. Yet he’s already signalled his intention to play on and while he might not take over games like he used to — he guarantees a level of production. Kapadia projects a J.J. Watt style $28m contract over two years. The Cardinals structured that to be $4.9m in 2021 and $15.9m in 2022. Such a deal is the kind of front-loaded contract Seattle needs to make to add talent on the veteran market this off-season. It’s time to be aggressive. Also, what a mentor for Darrell Taylor.

#14 Ryan Jensen (C)
Kapadia calls Jensen a ‘tone-setter’ and ‘arguably the best’ center in the NFL. That alone has me sold. Although it’s worth noting Jensen isn’t listed in the top-10 for pass-blocking or run-blocking win rate per ESPN for 2021 and his PFF grade was good not great at 70.3. Kapadia projects Corey Linsley money. That included $6.6m in year one and a $12.5m average. Why on earth didn’t Seattle top that?

#16 Odell Beckham Jr (WR)
The ACL tear complicates Beckham’s situation. Otherwise, I think he’d just re-sign with the Rams. To be honest he probably will anyway. Provided Sean McVay and Aaron Donald don’t quit — LA may well do what Tampa Bay did a year ago and bring the band back together for another go. Even so, the importance of a quality WR3 has been shown this season. Russell Wilson and OBJ are very close. In a much more aggressive off-season, they might be able to convince him to move to the North West.

#18 Jadeveon Clowney (DE)
I think it’s highly unlikely Clowney comes back to Seattle. Among fans he seems to have become a divisive figure based on the contract saga of 2020. However, he’s still very capable of winning you a game on his own and there aren’t many players like that in the NFL. It doesn’t happen often enough, I get it. That’s why he’s a free agent and not locked up like Aaron Donald or T.J. Watt. However, with no help in 2019, he won you big games in San Francisco and Philadelphia (playoffs). I think he’d be a wonderful partner for Taylor and Carlos Dunlap. He had nine sacks in 2021, he ranked fourth in the NFL for pass rush win rate and his last contract cost just $8m. I’d give him a call.

#19 Haason Reddick (DE/LB)
A former blog favourite with 23.5 sacks over the last two seasons. He has a fantastic athletic profile and while he might be more of rusher from a wide position rather than a pure DE, he would be a terrific addition to a rotation. Kapadia thinks he could get $13.6m a year like Matthew Judon but I get the sense he’s become a shorter-term, rental type player. He’d be a good option if others are unavailable but not my first choice personally.

#20 Harold Landry (DE)
Kapadia says that since 2019 Landry has played more snaps than any other edge defender or defensive lineman in the NFL — tallying 26.5 sacks. That combination of production and availability should be attractive. For me he seems like the 2022 Trey Hendrickson. Kapadia reckons $16m a year is a fair estimate and frankly, I’d seriously consider it. Landry is a good age (26) and look at the impact Hendrickson’s had for the Bengals. Go and get him.

#26 Austin Corbett (G)
I wasn’t aware that Corbett was so highly rated but Kapadia thinks he could get $9m a year. He was a big blog favourite when he was at Nevada. I’m not sold on spending big on a guard but I’m also not a fan of Seattle being wishy-washy with a shift to the Rams’ blocking style. If you want to create a line as effective as LA’s — why not have their personnel? LA’s O-line ranked first in the league in pass-pro.

#28 Brian Allen (C)
Kapadia doesn’t give a dollar amount for Allen but his close proximity to Corbett suggests $9m a year might be right (which is also more or less what I was projecting in my article on Sunday). Again, if you want to run LA’s O-line and blocking scheme — steal their players to execute it. Allen is 26 and could be a long term fixture at center.

#29 Bradley Bozeman (C)
I liked Bozeman a lot at Alabama but his arm length and hand size made him an unlikely fit in Seattle. Not to mention he ran an 8.25 three cone and a 5.17 short shuttle. It’s not clear whether he was asked to run these drills while giving another offensive lineman a piggy-back. That said, he’s carved out a decent career and he’s played 48 games in the last three seasons. His PFF grade was 73.3 in 2021. I wouldn’t want to break the bank for him but he’s tough and he’s produced results.

#31 Christian Kirk (WR)
Kirk just has something about him. He’s not productive or consistent enough to warrant star-status but he’s also very capable on a given day of winning you a game. As noted earlier, having three quality receiving options is the name of the game in the modern NFL. Kapadia thinks a deal worth $11-12m a year might be forthcoming. I think that’s a bit rich unless you decide you don’t want to pay D.K. Metcalf, trade him, and then look for a replacement. If Kirk’s market is colder than that, I’d be waiting to strike. It’d be nice for this team to pull off a surprise prove-it deal for the first time in a while.

#32 Akiem Hicks (DT)
He’s missed 20 games in three seasons due to injury and he’s 32. Kapadia suggests a contending team will take a chance on him. I’d love to have him in Seattle but that injury record bothers me. The price would have to be right — yet they’ve needed a player like this for a while.

#38 Trent Brown (T)
I touted Brown to Seattle in my article on Sunday because he’s a highly successful, proven right tackle. Kapadia notes he’s only played 14 games in the last two seasons which I hadn’t noticed. That’s a problem. I kind of feel like it’s worth a gamble though, given what he’s shown when he’s healthy.

#50 Morgan Moses (T)
I had Moses pegged as ‘Plan B’ to Brown but maybe it should be the other way around? He hasn’t missed a game in the past seven seasons. Kapadia is projecting a $7-8m contract which is more than I thought. That said — stop scrimping and saving. Moses has shown he can stay healthy and produce. He’s a good right tackle.

#58 Ben Jones (C)
He isn’t a player I know a lot about or previously thought of. However, Kapadia says Jones has been active for 160 of a possible 161 games since entering the league in 2012. His PFF grade in 2021 was a 77.8 and he had a 78.6 in 2020. I’ll take that level of performance and durability.

#59 B.J. Hill (DT)
Another former blog favourite from a previous draft. He once ran a 4.99 forty and a 4.53 short shuttle at 311lbs. He isn’t an explosive player but he’s quick and he’s starting to make it work. He had 5.5 sacks in 2021 and the Seahawks need some interior pass rush production.

#68 Calais Campbell (DT)
I will never apologise for my Calais Campbell appreciation. The guy is a warrior. He is incredibly passionate about making another Super Bowl and I want his leadership, presence and evergreen performance level in Seattle.

#74 Marcus Maye (S)
If Quandre Diggs moves on, Jamal Adams’ old friend in New York could be available at a bargain price. Injuries hampered him last year on the tag. His stock is lower than it should be. There could be a nice opportunity to be had here — and we know he has chemistry with Adams.

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50 Responses to “Underrated players, adding violence & free agent notes”

  1. Hughz says:

    Coaching changes were officially announced.

    Fun article Rob. I like the options at DE and C. Are there any connections of free agents to Desai that might be targeted? Similar to Waldron and Everett.

  2. cha says:

    Lucas being so low is very strange to me. Just look at him standing next to other OL on the sideline and during drills. He easily stands out, even among the best OL in the college game. You don’t need to be a draftnik to see that he has an NFL-star quality physique.

    • Peter says:

      Some smart team is going to snatch him up and half their fan base and all the draftniks are gonna pull a face.

      Then probably quietly he is going to be an extremely solid, good RT and that team won’t even think about why they drafted him “so high,” for years.

      I’m all defense this draft but if he’s there at 41 they need to run, not walk to the phones and get that pick in.

    • Palatypus says:

      Cha said:

      “Lucas being so low is very strange to me. Just look at him standing next to other OL on the sideline and during drills. He easily stands out, even among the best OL in the college game. You don’t need to be a draftnik to see that he has an NFL-star quality physique.”

      I was there and he certainly did stand out physically.

  3. cha says:

    Chandler Jones only played 5 games last year and had a season-ending biceps injury.

    But 10.5 sacks, 36 pressures and 12 TFL while playing 85% of snaps says he’s fully recovered.

    • Zxvo3 says:

      Idk why but I just can’t see Jones in Seattle. I think if they added Harold Landry and Calais Campbell/Akiem Hicks it would be enough. Maybe if they did that they could cut Bobby Wagner and draft Tindall at 41. Those additions would make this team young and violent, with a bit of experience to help along the way.

  4. bmseattle says:

    For being such a perceived “weak” draft, there sure are a lot of guys I’d be excited for us to aquire.

    • Peter says:

      Weirdly i feel the same. I think it’s quite possible to get contributors in their first four picks if they lay off some head scratchers (pocic,) and projects.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s only weak at the top. It’s always had some nice options later on

      • bmseattle says:

        Yeah, I get that.
        Though, there are guys you are talking up that make me really wish we had our #10 pick.

        • BobbyK says:

          I have a former student who is a scout and he’s told me this is the best draft in years for mid-round talent. He says there’s some guys who would have been in the 4th in years past who may end up as 7th rounders this year.

  5. Seattle Person says:

    I’m glad you mentioned B.J Hill. He might not be a big name but as a rotational pass-rusher he does pretty well. That was what he did this season with the Bengals. He can be the 2022 season’s version of Clinton McDonald. CM ran into a lot of sacks his last season here because the edges collapsed and he was able to get a decent push in the middle.

  6. Bankhawk says:

    ‘Oh Magoo, you’ve done it again! ‘ Another nice one Rob; reading your columns leaves me feeling reinvigorated, like a Blue Tit who’s made off with the cream from the neck of the bottle (UK reference there😉).
    I would like to ask (knowing first and foremost you’ ve got to wait and see how things actually play out) do you, in general, subscribe to the “O-line in free agency/defense in the draft’ formula?

  7. Blue says:

    Hi Rob,

    Pete Carrol is doing exactly what you outlined as one of the options for change and success. He is surrounding himself with good, possibly great young talent and he is going to be in charge of the culture.

    This really should be a fun ride with all the new input. Kudos to you for your visionary process of seeing a way for change and success for the Seahawks. It’s as if he read your articles. I only hope that is is the case cause your batting average for predicting success in the NFL is pretty dang high.

  8. cha says:

    Peter King talks QB trade market.

    Says he’s talked to a GM of a team that would love Deshaun Watson but need to know what is going on with him by draft day in order to feel good about making a trade. Including something from the NFL about how many games he might miss on suspension.

    Sees no problem with say Pittsburgh trading #20 or so straight up for Jimmy G.

    https://youtu.be/hOkpuj7LtTg

  9. JJ says:

    I still see mocks with way to many qbs. I hope it happens because some good players are going to drop

    • Seattle Person says:

      Me too. I’m hoping teams are forced to take QBs in the 1st. This pushes some much more underrated Dlinemen and TEs further down.

  10. no frickin clue says:

    Rob,

    Very much enjoying the horizontal draft board. That’s a tremendous amount of work, so thank you.

    Have you seen any of Logan Bruss at Wisconsin? He played mostly at RT but maybe could work at guard – not sure he’s fast enough to stay out there in the NFL. Seems tenacious to me, very competitive, sustains his blocks.

  11. Palatypus says:

    Very nice work Rob.

    Again, I think your board is just about dead on.

  12. Palatypus says:

    I noticed you have a third-round grade on DeAngelo Malone. This is what Jim Nagy said about him:

    ““DeAngelo Malone is a pass rusher from Western Kentucky who’s the two-time Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year,” he said. “Really explosive edge player … Just a really twitched up, bouncy, explosive athlete that I think will appeal to kind of what they’ve always looked for in Seattle like going back to Frank Clark. Just an explosive edge playmaker. DeAngelo Malone kind of fits that as well.”

    https://sports.mynorthwest.com/1573414/jim-nagy-senior-bowl-standouts-who-could-help-the-seahawks-defense/

  13. MychestisBeastmode says:

    Rob, you’ve got me salivating at the potential additions via FA and draft.

    Ben Jones is a sneaky add to this list and I approve. Also, love Kirk as a hedge for DK or just in general — he has WR2 upside. Never apologize for Calais – he’s always been a Seahawk in my heart. And Maye criminally underrated – go get him! (If things do not work out with Diggs of course, as he’s a leader and I’d love to keep him if possible).

    As for draft targets, we just need 6 or 7 picks between 25-65 and this roster is set for the next decade (jk). I have a hard time getting excited because I feel like it’s inevitable some or most of these guys, especially the likes of Mafe and Lucas will be gone by #41, but I still hope. Plus the CB Montaric Brown and LB Tindall just feel like they’ve got the fire this team needs.

    Question about Reddick, is it realistic or misguided thinking that he could step in at OLB, to then kick Brooks to MLB after we cut BWagz? (LOVE Bobby, but that contract absolutely has to get off our books).

    • BobbyK says:

      Kirk is just a good football player. He’s the type of guy you want on your team. He doesn’t have the body of Doug Baldwin or anything, but I see some similarities in their being good football players. I’ll take him anyday at $12 million per year over a guy like DK at $25M+ per year in his upcoming/probable contract. The attitude alone is so significant in Kirk over DK, not counting an interview your agent coached you on prior to signing your big money deal. The fake stuff I fear is DK.

  14. Forrest says:

    Rob,

    I would be interested to get your take on ZaQuandre White and Ronnie Rivers as a late round or UFA pass catching, change of pace back.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not watched Rivers. White is long legged, unusual frame for a RB. Great cuts, has some sharpness as a runner. But there aren’t many NFL running backs with his frame.

  15. swedenhawk says:

    It’s official, with Sean Desai and Sanjay Lal both on the 2022 coaching staff, the Seahawks are doubling down on coaches of Indian descent. Rooney Rule aside, as a Desi person myself, I find this a welcome development. Now, if only Shad Khan could get his sh*t together in Jacksonville…

  16. D-OZ says:

    Another FA I would like the Hawks to bring in is James Conner RB from Az. I believe he was on a one yr. deal with the Cardinals. Run’s hard and is a good receiver out of the backfield.

  17. Happy Hawk says:

    Calais Campbell – sign him as soon as you can -and that sends a message to everyone on the team to get nasty or get out. Also sends a message to other defensive FA that something big and exciting is happening on the Seattle D>

    • Ben says:

      Love this. Aggression is the name of the game, for the off-season and how the team plays.

      As mentioned by you and others Calais would be a great get. Seems like there are a lot of mid tier upside plays in free agency than usual. If they spend 8 million on a guy it can’t be a Greg Olson, it needs to be someone who has a much higher ceiling or be a true game changer/leader like Calais.

      As much as linebackers are probably the least important defenders on the field, there’s something about having explosive, sideline to sideline hitters that makes a defense so much harder to play. Getting another young linebacker, even if later in the draft, feels like a must.

      The FA safety class is fascinating, typically they are undervalued and that’s in a regular group. It’d be great to add a 4th guy, maybe with some slot experience.

      Final thought. They need to pay the hell out of Russell. If they aren’t gonna trade him, they need to open some cap space and sign him to a you’re retiring with us, Mahomes style contract. I know neither party seems to want a marriage, but they need to commit if they aren’t gonna trade. Playing this waffle game hurts the FA process whether through cap issues or confidence for incoming guys. Russell is only getting older, playing chicken is a bad idea for both parties. Give Russ more control and money and ride with it.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Can a cap expert (cha?) explain how much Seattle can open up by working with Wilson’s contract?

        • cha says:

          With his current contract they can convert as much as $17m of his $19m salary in 2021 to bonus. That allows them to free up $8.5m this season to spend (I’m using whole numbers, might be slightly less).

          That would push his cap hit in 2023 to $48.5m. The dead money would be $21.5m and the cap savings if cut or traded would be $27m which to me is not bad at all in terms of 2023 cap dollars.

          ****
          For an extension, it’s tough to really think the Seahawks would go way out. Their org policy is 4 year contracts max, and I’d doubt they’d approach Russ now, and Russ wouldn’t want to sign it anyway before seeing what Rodgers, Lamar, Kyler, and even Cousins and Jimmy G pull down.

          They also like to absorb chunks of money the first couple seasons to gain flexibility later. But they’ve backed off that stance with the Jamal Adams extension.

          However, at this moment I think the market dictates a RW extension would be approx 4yr/$200m with something like $112m guaranteed and a $75m signing bonus.

          Using their last 4 year RW contract spread as a model, that lines out to cap hits of about:

          2024 $44m (age 36 season)
          2025 $46m
          2026 $53m
          2027 $57m

          Without the bonus conversion I mentioned above his current caps are

          2022 $37m
          2023 $40m

          If they signed him today to that deal, and structured it as eye-wateringly aggressive as possible, I’m guessing they could open up as much as $17-18m in 2022. How?

          Writing RW a check today for $102m.

          They’d have to convert $17m of his salary to bonus, lump it in with that new signing bonus, convert the 2 $5m roster bonuses in 2022 and 2023 to signing bonus and prorate that all over six seasons ($17m+$5m+$5m+$75m signing = $102m/6 seasons = $17m/year proration)

          Salary of $2m+$17m proration = $19m cap hit.

          $19m off $37m = $18m.

          That’s very generic and VERY aggressive.

          • Ben says:

            Ha! We came to the EXACT same bonus number. Excited to read through your thinking. My version ends up an extra year, but also shifting some savings to 23.

            I agree, it’s definitely out of the Seahawks comfort zone. But half-assing the commitment to not only the best player on the team but also the costliest player seems bad for success.

        • Ben says:

          An amateur cap journeyman over here, but just ran some numbers.

          Russell’s current contract is two years, cash flow is 49 million with a cap hit of 37 and 40 million respectively.

          You could write him a new 7-year contract buying out 2024-2028 to age 40 with major guarantees.

          His new contract starting this year could be 318m, 232 million in guarantees, 102 million due at signing. Putting his APY smack dab at 45 million. This includes his 2022-2023 dollars.

          For comparison Mahomes got only 63 million gaurenteed at signing, with future guarantees as roster bonuses etc.

          New cap hits:
          2022- 28 million, savings: 9m, cap 13%, current is 17%
          2023- 33 million, savings: 7m, cap est: 14% (based on 225m cap)
          2024- 44 million, cap est: 17 % (based on 256m cap)
          2025- 49 million Cap %: 17% (Based on 275m cap)
          2026- 54 million
          2027- 55 million
          2028- 55 million

          This would be a historic contract, bring his career earnings at signing to 283 million in cash, with another 130m guaranteed. Do the guarantees have to be set up like that? No. But Mark Rodgers has adamantly pushed for a guaranteed type deal You may even be able to push down the APY.

          Important note. The current cap is 208m. If cap gets to 275 million by 2025, 3 seasons from now, 49 million would represent 17%, Russell’s current slice of the pie. This makes the contract honestly look small. The Seahawks would be taking on massive risk, so there could be a lot of changes to APY/guarantees etc. But if Russ wants to go all in for a Superbowl, this is a shot. He’d be set up to be a future minority owner with the right investments.

          Alternatively, an option could just be void years. But you are sacrificing future cap without the rights to Russell as opposed to having rights with a big contract. It could also slightly up his 2023 trade value, though the new team could easily write him a new contract, and he’d probably demand it. You could achieve the same result as the mega contract, by adding a few void years and converting salary to bonus money.

          Converting 21 million of his ’22 and ’23 salaries to a bonus and adding three void years could get Russell’s cap to 28m, 36m respectively. Saving about 9m this year and 4m next year (or however you want to split it). You’d be paying another 4.2m in each 2024, 2025, and 2026. Which to be honest is pretty minimal.

          If I’m Mark Rodgers, I’m having to compare inflation (salary cap and real world) with injury/skill risks as well as flexibility for Russell if he wants a trade. The best-case scenario for Russell’s camp is probably void years. It gives Russell money upfront AND more resources for the team to win while giving Russell max flexibility to pursue a new team or contract. However,if the Seahawks are willing to guarantee historic cash, I don’t think he’d say no, removing the question of Russell leaving until he’s getting a few gray hairs.

  18. The Tez says:

    Overall, Sea needs to very much get away from essentially failed roster building philosophies of last 5+ seasons. Get away from quantity over quality, getting tunnel vision on players/prospects they like as PC admitted publicly they have a problem with doing a couple years ago, adding guys who’s physical traits and or skill sets don’t really fit schemes very well and or are not well suited to intended position in today’s NFL (similarly with changing guys positions), priority of & assessment of positional value with resources (or lack there of) invested into positions (like LT, starting Outside CB/#1 OCB, etc Vs off ball LB, box SS, RB, etc), pretty poor use of cap space (especially in Free Agency, and similarly in what positions, their age, etc they’ve spent larger Avg Per Year salaries on), the connections/background story effect (often putting too much added value upon coming from a certain NCAA school or played under certain coach/scheme, connections to PC, JS, the Seahawks org in some form or the PNW, having some sort of hardship they’ve overcome or similar story and allowing that to push a player higher than other players who’ve demonstrated better football abilities & skill sets, similarly with regularly taking chances on players with some concerning character, maturity, decision making, work ethic/passion for football and or criminal “red flags” because they see a perceived value in raw talent & potential they always believe they can rectify & consistently get the most out of them, which more often than not has sort of to badly backfired on them 1 way or another), relying too much on analytics, physical measurables & very often fairly to very coachable skill sets 1st over proverbial tried & true eye test (should always start with which players clearly jump out at u 1st & the most when watching their play, strengths & weaknesses and what can, might be & can’t be coached up, augmented by acceptable to prototypical physical traits including size, length, athleticism for position in NFL & scheme, instincts & football IQ, play style of football desired for position & scheme, analytics & stats, along with the essentially final ranking & whether to keep or be removed from board work ethic, maturity, leadership/intangibles, toughness, etc), very much need to get away from relying so much on, signing, drafting and retaining players who are injured or recovering from major injury/surgery with uncertain/unclear definitive full recovery date or 1 that’s bit too far off, and guys who have fairly to very regular, concerning durability/injury issues (far too much of overall roster, starters & backups, younger & older alike, have been made up of guys with concerning durability track records, especially when Sea has in some cases kinda concentrated them in position groups where the starters & backups both have concerning durability issues, such as RB group, OG, O Center, OT, Edge, etc especially last 3 years. It’s wasteful, short sighted and generally has poor effect on continuity & chemistry, etc), bargain basement shopping & always trying to find a way to squeeze 1 additional perceived drop of value out of something to own significant detriment most of the time passing on players who most think have clearer much better value just so PC/JS can save a little bit of cap or gain an extra 5-7 round pick, often ending up with at best mediocre to pretty sub par players instead of decent to kinda good players, the short sighted basically revolving door roster building philosophy (like so frequently opting to add/retain 29/30 to mid 30s year old players with primary focus on current & some small extent following season with guys who are at end of prime or past it & declining as short term, mostly avg to sub par solutions, somewhat similarly with seeming preference to draft players who are 23-24 & even 25 years old while not often drafting 21-22 year olds. For all intents & purposes, always choosing to opt for in their opinion “good enough” option for 2-4 years to save some short term asset investment costs, instead of investing a bit to solid amount more in immediate asset/resource costs to get the best possible, right, more likely/definitely longer term option who could/will lock down position as a quality to star quality starter & perform better, and overall assets/resources cost is more likely to essentially end up roughly comparable to asset/resource costs from using multiple draft picks in draft and or trade and cap use cumulatively over 4-10 years on lesser quality options, though there are exceptions like when non earlier picks & less costly vets surprisingly way outperform initial assets invested, but statistically odds are still much more in favor the other way. This is especially true IMO for franchise QB & good to franchise caliber starting LT, and decently solid extent for #1 Outside CB and a #1/Alpha starting Edge, in regards to essentially “complete package”, playmaking/difference making cornerstone type players. Some positions it’s far better to make bigger initial investment to have a good, long term starting, foundational player locking that position down instead of frequently having to invest draft picks, cap and or other assets trying to find just good enough players with cumulative asset costs & instability it also brings). Besides needing to far better understand positional & overall value, Sea also must take a fair bit harder, business minded in best interest of franchise approach to manufacturing & maximizing value in assets & opportunities they might or do have,. Value in pretty much all aspects, is something they’ve generally been pretty terrible at, more or less, for at least the last 6+ years.

    If I truly, intellectually honestly & objectively thought our coaching staffs, O & D schemes, personnel fits for O & D schemes, starting roster talent, quality & amount of depth/rotational players, durability, amounts of cornerstone, playmaking/difference making/game changing players, etc were all very nearly at or just over the levels to legitimately be on the cusp of being a real potential SB winning team 2022-23, and adding a couple more of older, probably in last portion of better performing part of career, but not all that less expensive salary cost players like a Chandler Jones and a Calais Campbell, etc could truly help get us to & push us over the top in pursuing SB, I’d be for it…. but IMO I don’t think we’re really all that close at the moment, and we’d very likely be much better off by either investing a portion of that money to improve roster with bit younger help that still has a solid 3-6 years in essentially physical & playing prime, and or either in 2022 or 2023 offseason, using it to pay a legit upper tier guy at position of higher positional value, scheme value & somewhat pos of need who still has 3-6 yrs left in physical & playing prime to help significantly bolster foundation for longer term success. So even though Chandler Jones has been 1 of “my guys” since the 2012 draft process (I was very irritated & disappointed that after trading back in 1 Round, we selected essentially a 34 OLB they had some intent on being a capable 3 down or at least regular situational pass rushing DE in Bruce Irvin instead of Chandler who IMO projected far better as a potential legit 3 down DE with huge pass rushing upside), and similar long in the tooth, likely 5.5-18 mil Avg Per Year salary guys likely wouldn’t be my top choices nor strongly considered outside of potential right combo of necessity & discounted salary with right contract structures.

    TBH I am having a hard time trying to figure out what type, skill set, physical attributes, etc will be best suited to whatever variant and or combo of D scheme for both the starting base D front 4-5 basically DL and the essentially 5 starting DB. There’s the direct Fangio D in LOB era in SF (had all pro/pro bowl 5T DE/3T DT, 34 OLB/DE, FS, Outside CB, both ILB, plus pro bowl SS & 34 OLB/DE all on same roster), Chi (high quality NT, 5T DE/3T DT, FS, SS, #1 ILB, OCB, a borderline pro bowl level 34 OLB/DE and a all pro/pro bowl 34 OLB/DE) and then Den (all pro/pro bowl level FS & 34 OLB/DE, pretty solid 5T DE/3T DT, solid 34 OLB/DE, kinda decent ILBs, a too 15 pick on #1 OCB, etc). All seem to have a good #1 Outside CB & FS or S pair, a solid to upper tier 285-300 lbs ish 5T DE/3T DT type, an upper tier 34 OLB/DE usually in 250 lbs ish range with decent length, solid to great bend, decently solid to better fluid athleticism & ability to move in space, very solid to good burst & quickness, like 65/35 to 70/30 Edge/LB mix, a solid to borderline pro bowl 34 OLB/DE that’s some what similar to top guy but may be a bit more powerful & not as good in space type and seems to try to have 1 ILB that’s more athletic, rangey, good in space & pretty solid in coverage for LB pos type.

    LAR maintain the upper tier #1 OCB, upper tier 5T DE/3T DT type along with the 2× 34 OLB/DE types, but instead of investing in/prioritizing a good to upper tier FS & a quality, better in coverage ILB, they opt to go for having pretty solid+ #2 OCB, Nickel CB, FS & SS and having 2-3× stronger run stopping Interior DL to go with upper tier 5T DE/3T DT.

    So will we take on more of the original Fangio D approach, or more of the LAR/B Staley approach, and or how much should or will we focus on most common NFL D alignment, the Nickel, and focus building around that, or more or less retain the PC 43 Under hybrid D front & personnel/position types but adopt partially (certain positions play 1/1.5 gap & others 1.5/2 gap, or situationally play them) or entirely the Fangio tree Den/Chi/LAR D front games, concepts & scheme? These all have pretty significant impact on what roster, FA, draft & potential trade choices Sea should & shouldn’t make… particularly with Edge & Interior DL decisions, not far behind is DB decisions.

    Besides the obvious need to get better quality, durable talent that fits schemes we’ll be running well… we do definitely need to significantly boost our BAMF, toughness, physicality, aggression, confidence/swagger & energy/passion levels, really overall edge & nastiness to their play on both sides of the ball quite a bit, and it can’t wait until like week 12 when team is bordering on elimination from potential Play Off birth nor after essentially been eliminated & playing for pride & jobs to finally start showing up in any meaningful way, that’s unacceptable. While his projected draft value & NFL position varies, the authority, aggression, dominating violent power, imposing of his will, nastiness to his play & how dominant his run blocking has consistently been, either future 2022 NFL rookie OT or OG (or maybe he has the mental acuity & ability to convert to OC) Icky Ekwonu embodies that BAMF stuff we need much more of (I’d love to see him in Sea uniform battling LAR DL A Donald, wearing him down into a speed bump late in games with a bigger, physical, tough, hard nosed, powerful RB charging right behind Ekwonu, bursting into 2nd level & knocking defenders over like bowling pins). I’m personally very tired of this progressive passively aggresive approach, I’d rather occasionally give up 5-15 yards & a 1st down playing physical & hitting hard defending every blade of grass again rather than consistently letting opposing O gain 5-15 yards nearly at will, giving up 1st down after 1st down without paying a physical & mental toll really at all most of the time while expecting our D players to constantly switch the compete hard switch on in red zone then off again until in red zone again. Need to make opposing O earn their TOP, 1st downs, additional O plays & yards too, not just their scores.