What constitutes jaw dropping change?

February 15th, 2018 | Written by Rob Staton

Gee Scott predicted ‘jaw dropping change’ during a piece on 710 ESPN recently. Here’s what he said:

“When were the Seahawks most successful? They were most successful when Pete Carroll first got here and he says, ‘hey — I’m going to get a bunch of guys that believe and are all bought into me. So I’m going to draft that way.’ So even the folks that were here, they’re really like, ‘ah this Pete Carroll guy we don’t know about him.’ Well that’s OK because I’m going to draft the Earl Thomas’, the Kam Chancellor’s, the Richard Sherman’s, the Russell Wilson’s and so forth.

“Now with that being said, Pete Carroll’s about to do it all over again. Hence the reason why he made the huge changes with the coaching staff. And remember I said this — I’m going to say it right now. (voice rasies) There are about to be huge changes with this Seahawks team. I’m talking about jaw dropping changes to this Seahawks team. This is going to be a young team, it’s going to be unrecognisable. But at the end of the day, whoever is left still standing are people who I believe Pete Carroll thinks is going to buy in with what’s going on in the future.”

Change is expected. Mike Silver originally touched on it. The players themselves have discussed it. The extent of the churn is yet to be determined.

What would ‘unrecognisable’ actually look like?

There’s already an expectation that Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor will retire or at least move on. A recent report from Ian Rapoport claiming Chancellor intends to continue playing deserves context. There’s a difference between an intention and being permitted to continue. This remains a situation that will be resolved by the doctors. Pete Carroll has stated it’ll be very difficult for either Avril or Chancellor to continue playing.

Michael Bennett has also admitted he doesn’t expect to be back.

These moves wouldn’t be all that surprising or jaw dropping.

Things get serious if Earl Thomas is dealt. He spoke at the Pro-Bowl and at the very least hinted at the possibility of a hold out if he doesn’t get an extension. It does feel like one way or another, Thomas’ future will be resolved before the draft. Either he signs a new extension or the Seahawks look for a deal. They won’t give him away, however. So theoretically he could stay on his current contract. It’s probably not an ideal scenario for either party, however.

Considering the weak options at safety this year, Thomas could be in-demand.

It’s also quite an unspectacular cornerback class which could mean relative interest in Richard Sherman. Considering his injury situation and contract status (one year remaining) he’s unlikely to provide any kind of value. Yet Mike Silver did say this in his piece on the Seahawks when he predicted major change on the defense:

Sherman, who tore his Achilles tendon in November, will be 30 next spring and is due to make $11 million (with a $13.2 million salary-cap number). The Seahawks shopped him in trades a year ago and are expected to move forward without him in 2018.

Sherman and Thomas departing, on top of Bennett, Avril and Chancellor would be major change. The entire defensive core, minus Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, would be out the door. Legends would be departing. It would be the end of an era — for the NFL and the Seahawks.

It would, however, leave them with significant cap room to make moves in free agency. And they would likely acquire extra draft picks, providing an opportunity to address needs (running game) and start the remake on defense.

Not everyone will be in favour of this level of change. Increasingly, however, it feels possible.

A change in approach?

Whatever happens, it feels like the Seahawks are on the brink of going back to their 2010 roots. Competition was at the heart of everything. Constant roster churn, no stone unturned. Carroll and Schneider really went after the roster build.

If you didn’t pull your weight (Lendale White) you were gone. It was a ruthless yet fair approach. It created an immediate culture.

In recent years, Seattle has been less about competition and more about rewarding stalwarts.

Few argued against the Bennett and Chancellor extensions at the time (I certainly didn’t) yet both, with hindsight, were ill-advised. The thinking was clear. This was a competitive team still capable of competing. Change? It wasn’t needed. Rewarding great players felt like the right thing to do.

The cliff face came abruptly as the injuries piled up in 2017. Suddenly Seattle looked like an old team. Not the vibrant, aggressive, energetic bunch that took on the league and won from 2011 onwards.

Both players deserved a reward. Sometimes, however, there’s a fine balance between what’s best for the player and the team. There’ll be a significant dead cap hit when both eventually depart (quite possibly in the next few weeks).

Justin Britt’s extension also comes with a question mark. The Ethan Pocic pick a year ago looked like a hedge. Perhaps even a hint that Seattle was prepared to let Britt test the water in free agency.

Instead, he signed a deal worth $9m a year. It’s debatable whether he’d get $9m a year on the open market after a so-so 2017 season.

His dead cap hit to part ways this off-season is $5.5m more than his cap hit of $6.16m. The benefit of parting ways in 2019 is also minimal. They might be locked into Britt until 2020 unless they want to take on another sizeable dead cap hit.

If the Seahawks want to improve their running game, they need to work on the interior O-line:

That’s not to say this is all on Britt. Competent guard and running back play could be equally as important. Yet the Seahawks wanted to reward Britt for the progress he showed in 2016 and are now committed to another big contract.

Hindsight is a great thing but if the Seahawks had allowed Britt, Bennett and Chancellor to run down their contracts, they’d be about $25m better off in cap space this off-season.

The Seahawks need fewer of these deals and more competition. More players fighting to get the big money. And when those players reach a point where it’s time to talk contract, they need to be ruthless. Fewer third contracts, paying the best big money and being prepared, sometimes, to move on.

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226 Responses to “What constitutes jaw dropping change?”

  1. Nick says:

    The depth in this draft is far greater for OG, RB, and WR than it is for DE, S, CB.

    If Seattle gets a 2nd round pick for Earl (or even a 3rd)—it seems like they would still trade down from 18. You could imagine, because of wanting to get younger on D, they could go:

    2: DE (Arden Key?)
    2: S (Jessie Bates?)
    2/3: RB (Chubb?)
    3: OG (Austin Corbett?)

    You would still address the run game there, while getting some new pieces for a revamped defense. Thoughts?

    • Volume12 says:

      How does moving on from Earl get this team closer to a SB?

      • Nick says:

        I am not necessarily sure that it does, but I’m playing along with the sentiment of “jaw dropping change.” Moving on from Earl seems like the biggest change possible for Seattle.

        From PCJS’s point of view, you know you have a QB that can win big games and can win a Super Bowl. Not by himself, mind you, but he can be a difference maker. He needs a better run game, but the offense has the potential to be excellent.

        They also have the pieces to still be a top 10 defense—even if they let Kam, Earl, Cliff, and Mike B walk. I truly do believe that. Especially if they’re able to bring in some cheap FA’s and fired-up young players.

        Inevitably, this team will have to get younger on D. If not this year, it will happen next year. And so if you know this is inevitable, why don’t you try and get in front of it?

      • Rob Staton says:

        It doesn’t. But the depth of the situation is well emphasised by this case with Earl.

        Do you pay him the third contract and run the risk of having another dead weight contract down the line?

        Or do you move on too early before it’s too late?

        These are the types of difficult decision this team has to embrace and contemplate from now on. It’s just a shame Earl’s the one they have to make a big call on. One way or another they either pay him over the next couple of months or they sadly, have to make that tough call.

      • Hawktalker#1 says:

        I think that exact question is what makes it so hard to figure out what to do with Earl. Personally, I’m a huge fan and think we’re better off keeping him than letting him go.

        For me, the interesting thought, as a driven by this article is, “what is jaw-dropping change”?

        IMO, parting ways with all the players Rob mentioned, except for Earl, would not be that jaw dropping. Which is actually the scary part because that means letting ET go would be about the only thing I would consider jaw dropping. IMO not good for the franchise. I suppose the real decision regarding what happens with ET will be based around what we can get in exchange for him. He has a tremendous amount of value and he is what I would call a generational safety. We are not going to get close to replacing or all the many things he does for us. But, if Pete is truly in an overhaul mode, you never know what could happen.

        • Volume12 says:

          It’s not good. It hurts their brand. Move on from Earl (who’s still in his pime) due to factors that aren’t based around on field performance because Pete can’t handle these personalities as they get older?

          That was the big takeaway for me that’s getting overlooked.

          • Trevor says:

            My big takeaway is that the NFL is that the NFL is a young mans game particularly in defense. How many great contracts can you think of for defensive players 29 yrs old +? Last year Kam and Eric Berry signed big Safety deals and both were epic fails.

            I was all for signing Kam and Bennett but having seen this D age so quickly I think not trading Sherm was a mistake last year and not trading Earl would be a mistake as well if you can get a 1st or 2+3

          • drewdawg11 says:

            His is an incredibly short-sided take on the Earl situation. Keeping Earl doesn’t even get us in the conversation to win a super bowl with the existing roster issues. They are also facing the reality that going for it last year could have cost them their draft this year unless they trade for another pick or two. Aging roster, and Earl is basically the one guy you have that’s a highly coveted asset. So… keep him and extend him into a third contract, (that usually doesn’t work out), and by the way, still not have enough capital to address your immediate needs elsewhere. Or, you can admit that you need to get younger, hungrier and cheaper, and start the process earlier rather than later, (ala 2002-2003 Mariners). You have very few prime years of Bobby and Russell left at their peak athleticism. Don’t waste it.

            • Mark Souza says:

              Earl is still in his prime, at the very back end of it. And because of that, he has trade value. The choices are, keep him, and to do so means overpaying him (or if you’re sentimental, rewarding him for past performance when perhaps he was underpaid), or trading him while he still has value to bring in pieces now to start the rebuild.

              Trading him now means moving toward the rebuild sooner. It means avoiding a third contract and dead cap money down the line. And avoiding a situation later when his play has dropped off and he may not want to retire, of having to cut him.

      • FWH says:

        What if taking a step back at FS allows you to take a step forward in protecting RW and asserting a run game? I’d be willing to bet that those two things are worth more points per game than Earl is worth on his own.

      • Mexican Hawk says:

        As with analyzing the “character” part in any draft, besides age and injury it all comes down to how much do they think Earl wants be there and/or in the NFL in general, per an extension. I, like most, long for a second Lombardi for the Legion.

        Teams contemplating pulling the trigger on Baker Mayfield and or Josh Rosen are looking at whether their lapses in judgement translate to a SuperBowl winning QB’s. It’s almost a given that they are going to be volume producers, question is will they consistently put you in SB conversation year in and year out over a 10+year period with no damaging enough side effects.

        With Earl I would just dig in to what is behind his sprint to the Cowboys tunnel to go grab Garrett. Why the public spat between Bobby and him? Not that it’s good or bad, just why did it happen and how does that translate to the rest of the team and its chemistry. Who still can’t get over the Marshawn Lynch goal line situation and how is that affecting the bigger picture? We have no idea, only the guys inside the fence know.

        Earl is a one of a kind person. He plays the way you would want your kid to play. The way he closes in on a ball carrier or a ball in the air is unparalleled. Just as Kam has delivered some of the best hits in recent memory so too are Earl and Sherm not just great but generationally great. Even though the hit on Vernon was more ferocious than the Demaryius Superbowl hit, the later remains my all time favorite play (not just hit) in NFL History. Superbowl was essentially clinched on that single play.

        There are many ways to win a Lombardi, as Rob says most go thru a franchise QB, but the team aspect is the most important. Pete has a dominant philosophy. That is great, don’t change that. He got in trouble in his past stops when he went against that. Can he look back and analyze past mistakes and make a change here and there, of course. I could see what Davis Hsu was getting at when he spoke about this, just not independent of Russ. Russ is the key to all this for the long term. Contrary to most, the Ravens of Trent Dilfer (better said of Ray Lewis, Sam Adams, Siragusa et.al) and the he Bucs of Rob Johnson (Sapp, Brooks, Lynch, Barber, etc.) have been my favorite Superbowl winning teams (similar to Hawks). Problem is they couldn’t extend that because of a lack of QB and the inevitable aging of said dominant defense. We are lucky we have RW, it is up to Pete and John on how they extend this streak as it coincides to his career arc (as Bill has done with Brady). Hope it’s done right and with luck it can last 8-10 more years and for at least the next few some members of that dominant D remain.

      • Patrick Toler says:

        I agree that moving on from Earl would be a mistake. But if you can get a hail for him (1st round plus) there is a thread of logic that you could follow towards a trade making sense. He could fade a bit when his speed goes. He’s not necessarily a big leader off the field. A first round pick could accelerate the reload.

        I don’t see any scenario where it makes sense to trade Sherman. Carroll raves about him as an example for Griffin at the end of the year.

        • Mexican Hawk says:

          I tend to agree on Earl as per leader off the field. Again hard to judge without being inside the ropes. It may just be that Sherm is more vocal and Earl is a leader by example type of guy. Can’t ask for more.

          I will say that even though Sherm may have rubbed some the wrong way in the Erin Andrews interview, that dog in him is sometimes lacking now that he is a bit more mellow. It has tended to come out in the wrong form. Internally as in somewhat affecting the team, running from the one yard line comments and sideline railings. Key is to aim that rage towards the outside (opponents/naysayers).

          I would hate to give Earl to Boys, if so hope return is greater than expected. The Strong Safety in general I feel is a bit easier to replace as opposed to that freaky fast FS that few are like Earl.

          • Patrick Toler says:

            Yeah, you really can’t replace Earl. The defense will look drastically different without him. That being said, I have shifted over the past month from being 100% sure we should do everything possible to keep Earl, to about 80%. He might not age gracefully, might ask for the moon, might again contemplate retirement, and he potentially fetched a rich return.

            Regarding Sherman, I think something was different in 2017 vs the previous two seasons. Whether it was the trade talk or whatever, he seemed to recommit himself on the field and off. Maybe not as fiery, but still intense and seemingly at peace with the team and the past. This is all from a fans POV of course, only speculation as to whether that was true inside the building.

      • Dale says:

        The Patriot template is to trade everyone except the QB. When you get to Earl’s age and status, you’re gone for draft stock. Richard Seymour and Chandler Jones are examples. I don’t know if it’ll work for everyone but in a league that is designed to tear dominant teams apart it allows you to control the roster rather than letting the cap control you.

        I expect them to trade Earl and sign Sheldon Richardson. I think they’ll keep Sherman for at least another year because of his limited trade value (unless Gruden makes us deal we can’t refuse). They may sign McDougal to a two or three year deal because he can play at either safety position. Speed will be the watchword. Thomas to Dallas for the 19th pick and a 2019 second would be a good deal for both teams and it’s the kind of splashy deal Jerry would love. That would allow Seattle to get a quality player like Minkah Fitzpatrick, Derwin James, Marcus Davenport, or Ronald Jones II and still trade down to acquire second and third round picks. If any of the safeties from last year class pan out we’d be in pretty good shape.

        • Patrick Toler says:

          Some good points, but a couple of dissenting notes:

          The Patriots with Brady developed a system that their QB can masterfully execute even with semi rotating personnel. Russell can become that type of player, but he and the Seahawks haven’t developed that yet.

          Carroll isn’t Belichick, and trying to emulate that system would be a mistake. The two have a lot of similarities, but Belichick’s program is largely about treating players like interchangeable commodities. Carroll’s program is largely about treating players like unique individuals. Pete’s had incredible success by understanding who he is and staying true to it. He won’t go away from that now.

          Which doesn’t mean we won’t see significant turnover and change. But it will be done the Seahawk way, not the Patriot way.

          • Fairlawn says:

            You’re conflating the style of managing players within the building with the strategic orientation of roster management — Pete’s job with John’s job. There may be points of contact between them, but they are different spheres. Being judicious about giving second contracts, using draft stock to maximize the talent pipeline, and saying goodbye to veterans without undue sentiment instead of trying to keep the band together every year … all these can coexist with a locker room culture that breathes easier than the Patriot gulag. Heck, “always compete” is a great slogan to cover both.

    • D-OZ says:

      They are not going to move Earl for a 2nd rounder. Maybe a 2nd and a 3rd. To me it would be a 1st and a 4th or 5th minimum.

      • peter says:

        Why though? If earl leaves the following year in Fa, the rising cap could return Seattle as little as a fourth round comp pick the following year.

        I think a second for a 29 year old with back to back seasons of injuries in a one year rental is about the best you can get.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          I agree, second round is as high as anyone will offer.

          • Matt B. says:

            I think I disagree here, look at our own organization for an example: If you can get the best player at a position for a 1st round pick (especially back half of the first round), looking at Percy Harvin/Jimmy Graham, it’s a lot safer than a late 1st rounder if you feel like you are a team that is close to contention for a super bowl. Obviously we don’t know what will be floated around unless they go forward with a trade but I’d be looking for at least a late 1st rounder + another later pick or a player. All-Pro’s don’t come cheap and if not for the retirement rumor from last year then I don’t think we’d be downplaying his value so much. I don’t think 29 years old is that bad for a safety, especially one who is so mentally savvy at reacting to plays and being in the right position.

    • TTownHawk says:

      If the return for Earl is not a 1st round pick (which I agree might be a stretch) I think they are better off keeping him. I realize we need to manufacture day 2 picks, but Earl is too valuable a player to deal for anything but a first. I firmly believe Earl is the second most valuable player on the team behind RW3. A case could be made for Bobby, but I just think Earl is a guy who’s contributions aren’t always felt until he isn’t there. He eats up so much space on the back end, he just makes the field smaller. But I digress.

      Also, I wouldn’t get too caught up in the names that the Seahawks have been linked to, especially this early in the process. I noticed last year that many SDB posters ideal scenarios only included players that the Seahawks had been publicly linked to, whereas the reality is often much different. For example, I think Bates is a day 3 prospect, unless he wows at the combine. Corbett in the 3rd I can get behind, but I just think in general folks get a bit too hung up on certain prospects because of reported interest.

  2. Volume12 says:

    Going back to blocking TEs. Udub’s Wil Dissly is that dude.

    N. Dakota St. WR Jake Weinke is awesome. Day 3 pick and wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up one of the best receivers in this class.

    • Volume12 says:

      And I feel the same way about Marshall’s Chase Litton at the QB position. Although he may not be day 3 when it’s all done and over with.

    • Mexican Hawk says:

      Sounds good. Might end up being Vannett, Luke and a rookie blocking TE in the mold of Zach Miller or another low priced veteran in the role of Luke.

      Jimmy, Earl, Sheldon! So many things up in the air, it’s incredible. Will be an interesting three months for sure.

  3. Greg Haugsven says:

    Wow, KC and LA have monstrous numbers up the middle.

    I wonder if massive change also refers to players not being back vs players being cut. Your right though, Earl and Sherman might be the only jaw droppers, maybe KJ. They can cut Sherman now because he is injured so that leaves Earl.

  4. GoHawks5151 says:

    I tend to agree with this. I feel expectations to what will happen have swung so far the other way that the reality of what actually happens may end up being disappointing to some. Jaw dropping changes to me would be trading Russell(No!) or acquiring another big name. Everyone else has been shopped or traded in everyone’s minds already. I still think that everyone goes except Sherm and Earl. Settlement for Kam. Mike B and a 7th for Cameron Brate. Lane, Avril cut. Brown extended and money pushed out. Free agency will set the tone for the rest of the offseason. Gonna be really interesting.

    • Kyle B says:

      I have seen the Brate stuff now come up more and more the last couple of days on here and around. I really think we are giving up way too much with a 7th and MB for Brate. Brate is slowly being phased out and I just think that would be a dream score for TB who could try to RFA him anyways. What I do really like about him is the age and athleticism mixed with (not only his willingness) but success in the blocking game.

      If you can find a team who would deal a late 4th or early 5th I would do it. I would like to package the 7s we have to move up in the fourth or add another 4th. Good value in this round potentially.

      • Gohawks5151 says:

        Yeah. But if we are moving in from MB then I think they will send him to a preferred team if his. Straight up for Brate maybe. 7th was a throw in. I mentioned picks for pick trade in another post.

        • Gohawks5151 says:

          Depth is one thing but If it costs them one of their 5ths to go up and get some one who drops into the 4th like a Leonard, Smyrhe or Shultz you need to do it

  5. cha says:

    “Justin Britt’s extension also comes with a question mark. The Ethan Pocic pick a year ago looked like a hedge. Perhaps even a hint that Seattle was prepared to let Britt test the water in free agency.”

    Does anyone remember this or have I lost it?

    Somebody “in the know” like a Davis Hsu type tweeted when Britt signed his extension that Hawks ownership had intervened and basically ordered PC/JS/Cable to quit tinkering with the OL looking for bargains. Of course we can’t know for sure but it did seem to fit with the “huh, wow” general fanbase reaction to Britt getting such a nice commitment.

    • Kyle B says:

      Unless you can trade Britt for significant draft capital (3 or 4) I wouldn’t be able to justify the 2.3m in dead money. Post June 1 puts you in the green in terms of no dead money, but it is verrrrryyyy low and I think a waste of one of your June 1 cuts.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Plus who would replace Britt? The last conversation this blog had about Pocic was that he isn’t strong enough to stop the bull rush, and he needs to get stronger over the off season. That does not inspire me to get rid of Britt when he is contributing. I’m not even sure if Pocic will get an extension three years from now.

        • Kyle B says:

          If you got a 3 for Britt I would be down to explore. That mostly is not gonna happen though lol

          • Mexican Hawk says:

            On the Oline theme Rob, does George Fant and his skills translate to Right Tackle in the event Duane sticks for a few years?

  6. 503Hawk says:

    Gee has insider info with the players but not management. He also tends to be somewhat hyperbolic.
    Having said that, just look at the defensive side of the ball; there is the possibility of jaw dropping changes.
    Avril
    Bennett
    Richardson
    Chancellor
    Thomas
    Sherman
    (Did I miss anybody?)
    All of them will either be gone before or after the 2018 season. (w/ possible exceptions of ET &^ Sherm)
    The Hawks may have to spend some draft capital on D this year just to fill some holes.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      KJ Wright…Bobby isnt going anywhere and I dont think KJ will this year, maybe next.

    • 503Hawk says:

      I suppose you could add McDowell too. Interesting to note that he isn’t listed on the depth chart.

    • Hawktalker#1 says:

      ET would be the only one in that group that started to approach the jaw-dropping classification to me.

      But as the number of players in the exiting group being discussed start to rise and could (may likely) also include Ryan, Walsh, Lane and Shead, just the sheer size of the group churn starts to get concerning.

      Anyone else hear or have much of an opinion on Shead. Don’t hear his name discussed much.

    • Volume12 says:

      One of the main or big things this team has going for it is Pete’s ability to get day 3 picks and UDFAs up to speed just as quick and in most cases quicker as the day 1 and day 2 picks.

    • cha says:

      “The Hawks may have to spend some draft capital on D this year just to fill some holes.”

      You mean like drafting McDowell, Hill, Griffin, Thompson and Mike Tyson in 2017? They may have gotten bit in the butt by injuries to stars this year but let’s not pretend the FO didn’t see this exodus coming.

      I don’t see any major change in their draft philosophy this year.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        I would for sure like to see Hill get a good shot at that SS spot. Not sure we want Hill and Thompson both starting at the same time as I do like the upside of Thompson.

  7. rdk says:

    How about Earl Thomas to Dallas for a second round pick, and Byron Jones. Jones seems to have fallen out of favor, and down the depth chart in Dallas. He has the speed and size to play deep centerfield, but I guess I’m not sure about his awareness or tackling

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not crazy about it to be honest. Jones, to me, has never really shown to be much more than a tremendous athlete.

      If a 29-year-old Jimmy Graham warranted a R1 trade, Earl really needs to bring in a R1 too.

      • Mexican Hawk says:

        Again I am still not for trading Earl, but taking Jones out of the equation and getting Dallas 1st round pick plus a Day 3 at least makes some sense. Problem comes back to how do you replace Earl in the back end. We have seen the disastrous results in years past when he wasn’t back there.

        With that said getting Isaiah Wynn with our pick at 18 and Ronald Jones with theirs at 19 starts to change the conversation and overall leadership of team.

        For Dallas it makes sense, they have a loaded secondary but no real leader. That move would really solidify them. For Seattle, the risk is higher.

  8. SoCal12 says:

    I think they keep at least one of Earl, Kam, or Sherm. There will be some sort of large turnover on the defense for sure, but I think they’ll need at least one veteran guy to mentor the younglings in the systems. I think part of the reason Shaquill Griffin was able to become a solid starter so quick was because he had the best cornerback in the game as a teacher with Sherm.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      They have to keep Kam unless he retires. I could see them moving on from Sherman once he passes a physical

      • Volume12 says:

        Kam has to send out that message he wants to keep playing so he can get that injury guarantee $ that’s likely part of his deal. I could be wrong though. Been known to happen quite a bit.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I could see Earl & Sherman staying. Or one, or neither. Everything seems on the table at this stage.

      If they both left though — I don’t think we should underestimate Bobby and KJ’s ability to act as mentors.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        I hope they dont gut the whole defense this year, maybe in a two year span.

        Bennett (gone either this year or next)
        Avril (probably gone this year)
        Chancellor (not sure on him)
        Thomas (i would guess extend or trade)
        Sherman (Could be gone this year, could play out deal and be gone next year, could resign)
        Wright (could be gone after next year could resign)

  9. Aaron says:

    My prediction is that the following will be gone in one form or another by the start of the 2018 season…

    Offense: Davis, Lacy, Rawls, Procise, Graham, Willson, Joeckel, Aboushi, Tobin, and Richardson

    Defense: Bennett, Avril, Richardson, M. Smith, McDougald, Wilhoite, Shead, Kam, and Earl

    Special Teams: Walsh and Ryan

    I want younger, hungrier, and cheaper

  10. cha says:

    Ian Rapoport‏

    More
    Source: #Bengals QB AJ McCarron won his grievance against the team. He’ll be a free agent.
    1:53 PM – 15 Feb 2018

  11. Greg Haugsven says:

    When was Gee Scotts piece? Was this the one from awhile ago or was there a second one?

  12. Kyle B says:

    Seeing a few comments on MB and the potential for his departure…

    If there is no trade market for MB that can garner you a 4th I would not do it. I would use one of your two post June 1 cuts and use that money exclusively (which would be around 5.6m for a June 1 cut) for paying Earl/extending Duane, and I would recommend both. This puts you well on your way to getting at least one of them done this summer. Also, if you have the ability to extend Duane using this and prorate the salary you will be able to give yourself a very low (relatively speaking, right?) cap hit for signing Duane.

    With regards to Bennett, I just don’t see the value in cutting him without that June 1 designation. Of course, it will free up 5.6m, but you can’t use it until after the FA period which I still think has huge value considering Earl and Duane’s situation. You cut him now (again assuming you can’t get a 4th), you’re saving in the neighborhood of 2.1m.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      If you extend Brown and Thomas you should actually gain cap space and shouldnt have to use Bennett’s. I agree though, if you do cut him to make him a post June 1 cut. But I would want to keep him but would be OK if they moved on. You make Bennett a post June 1 cut and you would get his $5.6 million available to you on May 12th.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        If you did cut him post June 1 and got his money on May 12th, that is also the day the signing free agents stops counting against your comp picks so you could just use his money for some late shopping.

        • Kyle B says:

          I was under the impression that this $$ becomes part of your cap space June 2nd. Which is still perfectly fine and early. Depending on how they prorate salary as well as roster bonus stuff you should effectively relieve yourself of cap pressure by extending both. It handcuffs you in the sense of FA signing but it’s only about 15% of their cap they could potentially have open. This starts to get complicated when you have separate cap buckets that drop at different times.

          I guess before you get to this part you need to determine how much you want to build and buy in FA and what the value is for some of these guys via trade for draft capitol.

          • Greg Haugsven says:

            June 1st is an old date that people just call it. The date is actually May 12th now but its referred to as June 1 if that makes sense. Either way you would have some money to spend after the draft if you dont get what you wanted in the draft.

  13. Mike says:

    not sure I would blow up the defense this year..let Sherm, Thomas, Bennett and Kam come back and play one more year (if they can)..work on fixing the running game this year. 2019 is when you turn over the defense I think.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Seattle wants a fast, physical defense. They don’t have it any more. They have an old, banged up, expensive one. It’s a shame but the time for some churn is, suddenly, here.

      • Mike says:

        we might be overreacting though Rob. We got used to seeing a top 3 defense…and then we were number 11 this year (total yards)..so blow it all up??

        You don’t get a lot of salary cap relief…or draft capital from getting rid of the vets. Let them play another year..the ones that really want to play into their 30’s will be super motivated to play well..the ones who are not..that will become apparent early on and we can phase them out slowly.

        To me..job #1 this year is fixing the running game..that solves an awful lot of problems on both sides of the ball.

        • Greg Haugsven says:

          3 can turn into 11 and then 11 can turn into 20. I agree to not blow it all up but maybe some this year and some next year.

          • Mike says:

            what would the defensive stats look like if our running backs weren’t consistently getting pummeled behind the line of scrimmage??

            • Greg Haugsven says:

              Probably a lot better. I agree that a good efficient ball controlled offense can make your defense better.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think it’s trending a certain way though Mike. #11 in 2017. What will it be in 2018? Many of the players don’t practise, or they get injured. Age is a killer in the NFL and it suddenly jumps on you. It’s a young mans game and if they want to keep up with San Fran and LA — I’m not sure just keeping on is going to cut it. Look how much faster LA were on offense vs us. And while Seattle were missing players — they probably will again next year too. Our warriors aren’t going to get younger.

  14. C-Dog says:

    Great write up, Rob.

    I do buy into Gee Scott’s prophetic stance, and I kinda think by the time we roll into training camp, the hold overs of the Super Bowl defenses will be KJ and Bobby, and that’s it. I’ve braced myself for sweeping change, and while I would prefer they hang onto a few of these guys, I don’t think they will.

    I think they look for young and hungry bargains in free agency, and they collect picks for the draft trading some big names.

  15. D-OZ says:

    Bennett to Tampa Bay…

  16. Marc says:

    The only player that would be jaw dropping in my mind is Russell Wilson.

    Heads would be exploding if they sent him packing for a bunch of draft picks. I think Gee Scott might have overstated the changes…

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      What deal would be worth trading him?
      3x 1st round picks? 2x 1st round picks and at least 1 starting player in return?
      The Browns are the only team that might have enough draft capitol to make a run at him…. but they need it to revamp the roster. It would be jaw dropping…. but it would be the last thing I could ever see happening while PC is coaching in Seattle.

      • cha says:

        OK I’ll bite! Pure fantasy.

        You want to be a run-centric bully with defensive firepower? Here we go.

        Trade RW to Cleveland for #1, #4, #33, next year’s first round pick and Danny Shelton.

        Draft Barkley at #1.

        Leverage Denver, NY Jets, Washington against each other for a king’s ransom for #4 for the right to draft their franchise QB. End up with either #5, #6, #13, another 2nd round pick and the teams’ next year’s first round pick (at least).

        Draft Vita Vea wherever you end up.
        Draft Lamar Jackson at #18.
        Draft Wynn or Price at #33.
        Draft Darius Leonard with the other 2nd round pick.
        Draft a mean blocking TE in the mid rounds

        Sign a vet QB as a hedge against Jackson.

        You now have:
        * youth, hunger and energy on both the OL and DL and a 3rd LB that can run with KJ & Wagner
        * a generational RB who will run 25x a game for the next 5 seasons and instantly take pressure off the D
        * 4 seasons of QB play on a rookie deal. Put another way, have 4 seasons of $20m+ of value to spend on Free Agents to stock the rest of the D
        * 3 first round picks in 2019 to leverage as you like

        Flame away, guys. It’s a stupid idea.

        • mrpeapants says:

          that is a lot of potentially great players. plus 3 1rst round picks in 2019? idk it would sure be jaw dropping.

      • C-Dog says:

        I wouldn’t trade him for four first round picks, and Cleveland’s entire draft. Seattle hit the lotto with him. The chances of hitting the lottery like that again is way too slim. Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson haven’t done squat all in the NFL, and none of these guys are a guarantee to be a long term franchise quarterback. Trading Russell Wilson could easier go down as the worst transaction in Seattle sports history.

  17. Dale says:

    It took Britt three years to become a valuable starter and continuity is highly valued on the O-line. He’s only 26, why would you move on now?

    • Aaron says:

      Agreed, Britt has found his spot at center. We’ve got Britt and Brown to build off of, and maybe Pocic too. If we could get one of these top center/guard prospects like Wynn, Hernandez, Corbett, Ragnow, or the Iowa center we might actually have a good unit.

    • Rob Staton says:

      They won’t now because he’s signed. If he wasn’t though, I’m not sure you’d be rushing to give him $9m a year.

  18. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    If they give Earl a 3-4 year extension, they have to be 100% convinced they’ll get 3-4 years of prime Earl out of the deal – Rob

    They have to weigh… will the next 3 years of ET be worth more on the field than the next 3 years with (insert name here). I’m not sure they can find someone good enough to be 80% of ET on the field. By locking down ET to one more deal, you keep the center of the defense intact and can focus on the CBs and SS spot…. the LB and DL will sort it’s self out.

    I would do the deal for ET, 14M range… which would still be one of the highest paid safeties in the NFL. His focus, attention to detail and physical abilities warrant the money.

    I guess, if you knew 100% you have a guy who will be ET2.0 or 95% of what he can do, then you could let him walk or trade him for 1st and 3rd at the min. No way would I trade him to trade him… just a second round pick for example. It is a first and some mid round “change”.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It depends though — because this team isn’t better with Earl. But they’re certainly not better dealing with more expensive injuries or dead cap either.

  19. Old but Slow says:

    I would hate it if we move on from Bennett this season, as I think he still has plenty of performance left. Despite having decent DL talent last season, Bennett, with plantar fascitis (sp?) which I have experienced (very painful), was still taking a vast majority of the defensive snaps. He has a history of being underrated, including when the ‘Hawks released him the first time they had him.

    He can still be a learning influence for younger players, and out play them, too.

    He rubs some people the wrong way (don’t you hate that?), but he does good community work, and is quite articulate.

    • Aaron says:

      Wonder if he wants to continue football. He still has a few years left in the tank imo, but maybe with all the stuff he’s endured the past season in terms of the anthem and Las Vegas incidents he would hang it up early.

      • Old but Slow says:

        It seems likely that he does not dislike the role of social critic, and the stage that gives him a voice. It is a role that he encourages, and may represent what he sees as his contribution to wrongs in this country. Any retreat by Bennett will be because of physical problems.

      • Hawk Eye says:

        I have not seen anything from him that indicates he wants to walk away from football.
        I would hate to see him on the Pats, or Rams or 49’rs.
        get him down to 60% of the snaps and I bet his offsides drop a lot also. Between playing too much and playing hurt, jumping offside was part of how he tried to compensate.
        I would hate to lose a productive, extremely competitive player who is not overpaid.

        Cap room is great, until the guys you sign are not as good as the guys you lose, but cost the same

  20. Marc says:

    I would trade Earl Thomas to Dallas, cut Bennett, Lane, Avril, Britt, Ifedi. Then let Jimmy Graham, Sheldon Richardson, Thomas Rawls, Luke Joeckel, Eddie Lacy, Luke Willson, Blair Walsh and Paul Richardson find their futures elsewhere.

    None of these moves would be jaw dropping, but they are what needs to happen to start the rebuilding process.

    • SoCal12 says:

      Cutting Ifedi makes very little sense. He’s young and deserves a shot with a new O-Line coach. You also have him on a rookie deal, so at the very least try him out back at Guard if you don’t like him as a tackle or as a backup. You save very little money by cutting him, basically threw away a first round pick, and are letting the competition a chance to pick him and build him. I get the frustrations with him last season, but people give him way to much flak IMO.

    • Chris says:

      The cap goes DOWN cutting Ifedi.

      He’s one of the safest players on the roster.

    • Kyle B says:

      Ifedi is going to be the starting RG. Absolutely not cutting him at a loss of (1,052,746) to your cap when you’re already strapped on cap space and have strapped draft capitol.

  21. Coleslaw says:

    I guess I’ll list off some things I want the Seahawks to do.
    -Trade Earl to Dallas for their 1st rounder.
    -Tag/trade Sheldon and a 5th to ______for their 2nd.
    -Take Ronald Jones at 18.
    -Trade back from 19 and grab a 3rd and one of the interior linemen.
    -With the pick from Sheldon, you have options, you can trade back again, take your guy, address the front 7 most likely.

  22. C Dub says:

    Off topic, but what happens if McDowell can’t play due to injury this year? Do they still owe him salary for the next few years of the rookie deal?

    • Old but Slow says:

      Mr Know Nothing here, but I thought that he is only getting his signing bonus until he belts it on. Amirite?

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        I believe that is accurate.

      • cha says:

        The Hawks had every right not to pay McDowell his regular pay in 2017, but I read somewhere they paid him a small stipend as a goodwill kind of thing. Like $5,000 a week or something.

        Also IIRC, the years credit towards free agency doesn’t automatically push forward, the Hawks have to petition to get them pushed forward. Involves the NFLPA, etc.

  23. Eburgs says:

    I’d rather trade Wagner and draft Roquan Smith or Rashaad Evans than trade earl and try to replace him with a draft pick or worse McDougald. Assuming earl still wants to be here and doesn’t want to retire soon. Dallas can keep their pick. Getting rid of Wagner, Wilson, Baldwin or Earl would be considered jaw dropping changes to me because I think all would be really bad moves unless we got a ton back.

    also rather have Sheldon Richardson over Sherman if I had to choose.

    • Patrick Toler says:

      To me our best veterans are Wilson, Baldwin, Wagner, Earl, and Sherman. Wright and Brown are on the fringe of that group. These (and some of your young guys) are the core you want to build around. Unless there is a very compelling reason to move on (such as Earl being unreasonable in his contract demands. Everyone else is potentially replaceable, IMO.

      • Mark Souza says:

        To me our best veterans are Wilson, Baldwin, Wagner, Earl, and Sherman. Wright and Brown are on the fringe of that group. These (and some of your young guys) are the core you want to build around.”

        Other than Wilson and Wagner, it’s too late to build around those other guys. By the time you get new young players on the field, those guys won’t be on the field anymore.

  24. FresnoBrad says:

    We need to get rid of the players who bring negativity to our team. Not only guys mentioned above but we must take a hard look at Frank Clark, that sucker punch on Ifeldi was not only brutal but criminal. This draft is interesting, wide variety of different skill sets, I’m dying to get Carroll’s & Schneiders take on the draft, maybe I’m crazy but it sure looks like mid to late rounds will have several future NFL stars. Continued TV ratings decline, & NFLs position on social issues at some point could put a pause on the annual salary cap rise.

  25. No frickin' clue says:

    If they trade Earl, can they still play a cover-2 defense? Earl doesn’t just play FS, he also lets the SS play like an 8th guy in the box, and let’s the corners challenge more. Take him away and you effectively change at least 3 positions. It’s not just about the cap room. It’s about defensive philosophy. I would sooner trade Sherman than Earl, even though Earl would probably fetch better trade value in return.

    • Mark Souza says:

      You are right. Without Earl they need to change how they play. Earl allowed Kam to be a second middle linebacker who help out in the secondary on pass plays. Without Earl, the SS needs to be a truer safety, more dedicated to coverage. Not impossible to do, it’s what most teams in the NFL are running. But definitely a change.

      But by the same token, we’ll likely have to make that change in a couple years even if we keep Earl as he slows down and is unable to cover the whole field.

  26. Old but Slow says:

    Part of me wants to see the old crew go out for another shot at the regatta. But, part of me wants to see a bunch of new energy and hunger, with speed, aggression, and attitude.

    Most of me wants to see a bit of both. Mostly, I suggest that the process should be in stages.

    First priority is improving the run game. An interesting beginning with the replacement of some of the coaching staff, which can start some different approaches, and different assessments of what we have, because we have a lot of athletic, strong players and have not had a different eye on what we have. So, of course, Solari will turn this mess into art!

    And a running back, maybe 2. Maybe a blocking TE, and it wouldn’t hurt to get a big, nasty OG.

    Losing stalwarts like Kam, Lane and Avril, seems inevitable, and perhaps one of Sherman, Bennett or Thomas could work, but beyond that is playing with fire.

    A year or so ago I was looking at our prospects as SB or bust. This year I am looking at a big change in a lot of areas, and some real questions, but on the whole I am seeing a good team with something to prove. This is more comfortable for me. I don’t want to be the Yankees, I want to compete always, but no guarantees.

  27. DC says:

    For folks worried about replacing ET in the lineup should he get moved I’ll just advise that you don’t worry. Because he can’t be replaced. Someone would play the position.
    Tez, Hutchinson, W. Jones, Lynch, ET. These guys were each the best to ever play their position as Seahawks. Most of them reached the end of their primes with the team with Hutch the obvious exception. Still pisses me off, though I wouldn’t change it now after winning a SB. There will be no replacing Earl. It’s just a question of whether the haul you bring in gets us another ring. No one knows.

    • Old but Slow says:

      very true, as we will eventually move past our current stars, as we have. We need to have faith in the guidance of the management so that when Russell and Earl and Bobby are no longer there, we will have others to step in. Scary, isn’t it.

  28. EP says:

    I think Sherman is “all in” to be honest, it might be one of the reasons he stays put. Earl has flirted with the cowboys and with retirement in the last two seasons, to me that doesn’t constitute a guy who is 100% committed to his team. That’s what Pete Carroll needs, just like Rob was saying about the Auburn defence. It’s the way the Philly defence was this year. A band of brothers all fighting for each other. I think that’s Sherman’s mentality to the core and I think that’s why he should stay. The rest of the guys I’m no longer sure about.

    • UKAlex6674 says:

      I agree EP, I think Sherm is all in. However, I think we are not looking at ET’s recent actions in the context I think they are in. He is wanting to get paid, that little exchange of words at Dallas was one way of him getting pressure on the Seattle FO to pony up. I disregard the retirement statements after he was injured – heat of the moment and he is to much of a competitor. I think ET is all in as much as Sherm.

      • EP says:

        I agree as well to an extent. I think on game day and throughout the season there is nobody more committed than Earl. I love Earl and think if he stayed he would give his all but I think the difference between him and Sherm is undoubted commitment on all levels. After his injury (granted they were different) he was straight up about getting back at it for next year, his emotional press conference showed how much he is committed to his team IMO (not that other people don’t). And with all the trade talk etc he was not phased in the slightest. Even this year he seems pretty certain that he’s going to return.

        • UKAlex6674 says:

          EP if you had to choose between keeping Sherm or ET, who would you go for?!

          • EP says:

            I’ll leave that for the front office to decide cause I don’t know 🙂 Sentimentally Sherm. But I think if we keep Maxwell we have good enough corners to limit the damage. There’s nobody like Earl.

        • bmseattle says:

          I couldn’t help but notice that both Sherm and Kam were on the sidelines,.supporting the team this past year, after their injuries.
          The prior season, Earl took off after his injury, and didn’t seem invested in the team at all.
          Could be all sorts of reasons we dint know about….but I remember being disappointed in Earl, and impressed by Sherm/Kam.

      • Mark Souza says:

        I did a little research on achilles ruptures in the NFL.

        “Of the 31 players who sustained an Achilles tendon rupture, 21 (64%) returned to play in the NFL at an average of 11 months after injury. In the three seasons following their return, those 21 players saw significant decreases in games played and power ratings compared to the three seasons preceding the injury. These data indicate that even in players able to return to their former level of play (meaning starters), the quality of play may suffer permanently.”

        • Aaron says:

          Source? If that’s the case, then I think the Hawks would be best served to let Sherm play out his final year and hit FA. Don’t think he has good enough trade value now. He’ll be in the mix to be CB1 this year but isn’t a lock to start imo. If we keep Maxie and Griffin continues to improve then Sherm might be depth this year.

          • Patrick Toler says:

            This was discussed in a previous thread – the data is from 1997-2002. The conclusions from the study are generally concerning, but there are some issues with their data analysis.

            The measure of player effectiveness was “power rating”, a made up metric measuring yards and TDs for offensive players, and tackles and interceptions for defensive players. Certainly not a well rounded description of player effectiveness.

            The study also doesn’t capture that many of these players were likely fringe players who aren’t getting a legit shot to play or start after an injury. Take a player like Shead, for example – even if he recovers, he likely won’t put up statistics like he did his pre-injury season. If he had stayed healthy he would have been much more likely to stay a starter here or elsewhere.

            Also, this data is now 15 years old. I’d like to think rehab and surgery have improved a little.

            Overall the study has some value, but should definitely not be taken as gospel.The link is below. I previously found a more recent blog post by a doctor who felt that start players had a higher likely hood of returning at a high level. Can’t find it now but if I do I’ll repost it.

            https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e317/3ccc09746df5436b59cbc38a135e67e72428.pdf

  29. Trevor says:

    I think the only changes that would be jaw dropping for me are if the Hawks moved Wags on Defense or Wilson on offense. I think these are the two core guys on the roster now that have bought in completely to Pete and the system.

    Everyone talks about not being able to replace Earl and how he is irreplaceable but the team played two games without him last year and gave up 16 points to the Cards 17 points to Wash including that last minute TD on the blown coverage. In contrast the D had its worst performances of the year when Bobby was hurt against Jags and Rams. They looked like a completely different defense when Wags and KJ were not in the lineup.

    I personally think last year was a huge wakeup call for Pete. His message was clearly lost on the Vets and it showed on the field with all the penalties, missed assignments and undisciplined play. That combined with the abysml run game made the Hawks almost unrecognizable as a Pete Carrol Coached team. It had to be incredibly hard for him to watch.

    One thing that Pete is known for is being true to what he believes and being introspective. I think after the season Paul Allen likely said Ok Pete if you are not retiring you get one shot to turn this things around. That is why Pete cleaned house on the coaching staff and went out and got his guys. I think he will do the same with the guys on the roster. Anyone not completely bought in will be gone and replaced by young, hungry committed guys who buy into the Hawks vision and culture.

    On offense I think Graham, Joeckel, Lacy were almost anti-Seahawks in attitude and are 100% gone.

    On Defense Earl going into the Dallas Locker Room is brushed off by everyone here on the Blog but I assure it was a huge deal for Pete who always preaches rule #1 never hurt the team. Even Cliff Avril said in an interview all the Hawks vets had a sit down with Earl to see WTF was going on. Remember the Hawks were still in the playoff hunt when he did this. I know I am in the minority but I think the odds are 90% or better Earl is gone.

    On defense Chancellor, Lane, Avril, Bennett and Sherm all sound like they will be gone. In hindsight Sherm should have been traded last year and Kam, Bennett should never have gotten extensions but hindsight is always 20/20 vision.

    I personally hope that Bennett and Sherm are back as they have little trade value and always seemed like good mentors / teachers for the young guys but PC/JS would know the locker room dynamic best.

    The two wild cards IMO are the Richardsons on offense and defense and my guess is that it all depends on the market for these guys once free agency opens.

    I think the 2018-19 season will be a year of transition as Pete adds youth, rebuilds the culture and fixes the run game then the Hawks will be contenders again in 2019-2020. I for one look forward to seeing a young passionate team flying around on defense and smash mouth run focused offense.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      Im all for a little gut but not a whole gut. I could go either way on Earl but it would have to be a first rounder in return or maybe an early second and third. Its hard to say which ones to go. I agree Avril and Lane are gonzo, Bennett and Sherm not sure and I guess we will see about Earl. If they traded him it might not be until close to the draft Im guessing.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        My predictions:

        Avril…gone

        Lane…gone

        Bennett…gone

        Sherman…asked to take a pay cut from $11 million to $7 million

        Thomas…traded

        • Greg Haugsven says:

          If you gave Bennett a post June 1 you could open up about $29 million in space. You could then sign or tag Richardson, maybe sign McDougald to fill Earls role, extend Frank and have some to play with.

          • Greg Haugsven says:

            Plus net your original #18 pick and either have another 1st or maybe a 2nd and 3rd to go along with your #18. Just some thoughts. Trying to think of jaw dropping changes.

            • Trevor says:

              Greg you are good with the cap / contract stuff. Can you explain the difference between cutting or trading Bennett pre or post June 1?

              I still hope he will be back next year but agree most likely he is moved.

              • Greg Haugsven says:

                If you cut Bennett with a “Pre” June 1st designation he is immediately a free agent and all of his dead money goes to your cap and you get his freed up cap space immediately. If he is a “Post” June 1st cut he becomes a free agent immediately but he stays on your top 51 just like he was a part of your team until June 1st (its actually May 12th now as they changed it a few years ago) and you only eat this years dead money from his signing bonus.

                Here are the two options.

                Released Pre June 1st:

                Dead money is $5,212,500 in 2018 and $0 in 2019 and you gain $2,175,00 in cap space that you can spend right away.

                Released Post June 1st:

                Dead money for 2018 is $1,737,500 and dead money for 2019 is $3,475,000 and you gain $5,650,000 in cap space but its not available to you until May 13th.

                Making him a post June 1st cut gains you that extra $3,475,000 but you have to wait until May 13th to use it and you push that extra dead money to 2019. Just depends on what you want to do.

                • cha says:

                  So basically the June 1 cut doesn’t help you with the initial FA rush, but it does help with guys already on the roster you want to extend, the secondary FA market and the injury nest egg.

                  • Greg Haugsven says:

                    Correct, It could help you a little in the initial wave of free agency because you could get your cap space down lower knowing you have some in reserves coming later. May 12th is also the day you can start signing UFA’s and it doesnt count against your comp picks. This year though you might not see them sign many UFA’s at all because it can take away from there comp picks.

                • Trevor says:

                  Thanks Greg for the explanation. Helps a lot. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. I would still prefer to keep this year playing 40-50% of snaps as an interior pass rusher but seems like he is on the way out.

    • C-Dog says:

      Nice writing, Trevor.

      I, for one, was not cool with the Earl Thomas Dallas locker room incident, and he has long been one of my favorite players of all time. I don’t believe it was Earl just being Earl. I think there was probably some premeditation involved. Things had already gotten publicly weird and crunchy between him and Bobby. I have mixed feelings about trading him, but I definitely feel the likelihood is stronger that he is dealt than not. I actually think he’s forcing it a bit.

      I totally am with you on wanting Bennett and Sherman back, but don’t think it’s going to be. I just see a turnover my close to 2010 than anything else. Kind of why I don’t see Carroll hanging it up anytime soon. I can see him being into a reboot.

      And of all these pending free agents, I don’t see any of them as a must sign. Not a one. Sheldon and PRich at the Right prices, sure, but none of these guys are worth breaking the bank for.

    • Del tre says:

      You’re not representing those numbers well and you know it, we gave up 14 points in the first game Terrell started and look how that turned out, you can mask guys weaknesses for a few games but McDougold doesn’t have the speed to play single high safety, the only guy who’s value could possibly compare to Earl is tedrtic Thomspson if he can get faster. Losing Earl and replacing him with McDougold also makes the defense slower, Pete Carroll specifically said he wants to get faster and the Hawks have 0 options for guys who will have good enough instincts and enough speed to compensate for Earl. If we replace Earl i highly doubt its someone who has already been on the team.

  30. Trevor says:

    I just did one of those mock draft simulators for the Browns if they were to sign Kirk Cousins at QB. How much fun would their draft blog be this year.

    1: R1P1 RB SAQUON BARKLEY PENN STATE

    4: R1P4 LB TREMAINE EDMUNDS VIRGINIA TECH

    33: R2P1 EDGE MARCUS DAVENPORT UTSA

    35: R2P3 DL TAVEN BRYAN FLORIDA

    64: R2P32 DT TIM SETTLE VIRGINIA TECH

    65: R3P1 WR JAMES WASHINGTON OKLAHOMA STATE

    103: R4P1 C FRANK RAGNOW ARKANSAS

    125: R4P23 S Jessie Bates Wake Forrest

    140: R5P1 CB SIRAN NEAL JACKSONVILLE ST.

    161: R5P22 TE DURHAM SMYTHE NOTRE DAME

    178: R6P1 EDGE KEMOKO TURAY RUTGERS

    219: R7P1 WR ANTONIO CALLAWAY FLORIDA

  31. Sea Mode says:

    JustBombs put up new Auden Tate highlights yesterday:

    Redzone NIGHTMARE || Florida State WR Auden Tate 2017 Highlights ᴴᴰ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoTlCwc5euQ

    • Trevor says:

      I have been banging the drum on Tate as the big red zone target to replace Graham but I think he ends up as a top 50 pick so I am not sure how we get the draft capital to get him.

      On Offense if the Hawks could somehow get the draft capital to pick

      Ronald Jones RB
      Isaiah Wynn LG
      Arden Tate WR
      Durham Smythe TE

      I think our Offense would be set for the next 3- years and be legit SB caliber.

    • House says:

      He reminds me of Sidney Rice

  32. Hawk Eye says:

    Bob Condotta reports that Cable was going to put Ifedi at RG this year. I can imagine Pocic and Ifedi in some combination at RG and RT, along with Fant in competition at LG and RT. No idea if it is harder or easier for Fant to switch to RT or to LG as he has such limited experience. I think Rees is strictly left side, maybe Roos competes at both guard spots. With limited cap space, I doubt they bring in a highly paid FA, but I can see a couple vets like Aboushi coming in. Hopefully better than Webb and some of the other turnstiles they have brought in recently.
    BC also thinks Bennett stays this year.
    Everyone is just guessing, someone has to be right (if only by accident), more people will be wrong.
    Sit back, get some popcorn and enjoy the drama that is the NFL offseason.

    • C-Dog says:

      If I were to bet, I would go with Cable shifting Fant to RT, and Pocic to LG. I think Fant’s trajectory feels somewhat like Gilliam’s, former college TE with athletic upside to be tried at LT, then shifted to RT. It’s going to be interesting to see how things shake out with Solari. I’ve always felt Ifedi would be better served at guard than tackle, but that’s just me.

      • Logan Lynch says:

        My question is how much of Ifedi’s improvement (and let’s be honest, he was better this year) was due to more experience in the NFL and how much was due to going back to playing T like he did in college?

        • Patrick Toler says:

          Ifedi was better in 2017 and I think he has a reasonable chance of being a solid to good tackle. I’d prefer to have he and Fant compete at RT. But if Solari thinks he’s a guard in his system, move him inside. We just need to make sure we have multiple players competing at LG, RG, RT.

  33. Sea Mode says:

    For me, jaw-dropping at this point would only be:

    -Offense: Wilson, Baldwin
    -Defense: Wagner, Clark, (Griffin)

    But maybe we are more prepared to move on from the LOB because we’ve been talking about that possibility for so long now. That’s probably what Gee was referring to anyway, which for some more casual fans might shock them (especially Earl).

    I imagine the dominoes will start falling around combine time, when some deals can start to take shape.

  34. Sea Mode says:

    On Britt’s deal: yes, $9m/apy sounds like a lot, but that number only comes from the 3-year/$27m extension added. If you look at the structure, it’s actually a LOT less than that.

    Cap hit:
    2017- $2.3m (increased from the $1.1m of final year on rookie deal)
    2018- $6.1m
    2019- $7.9m

    2020- $11.6m (with only $2.9m dead money if cut)

    As with most contracts, there is little to no chance it is played out all the way through. So basically it is a 3-year deal for $5.4m/apy. That’s a good–if not great–deal for the level of play he is giving us, especially in this OL market.

    IMO this is a perfect example of why the apy number means little without context, even though it’s the one the media likes to throw around when new deals are signed.

    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/seattle-seahawks/justin-britt-14474/

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      Yeah, he would probably either be released or extended and wouldnt have a cap hit that high in 2020.

  35. KingRajesh says:

    “Few argued against the Bennett and Chancellor extensions at the time (I certainly didn’t) yet both, with hindsight, were ill-advised. The thinking was clear. This was a competitive team still capable of competing. Change? It wasn’t needed. Rewarding great players felt like the right thing to do.”

    I raged against this line of thinking for YEARS on this site and others. It’s NEVER a good idea to pay players for past performance. You pay them for what they can do for you in the future. It’s killed this team’s cap. Marshawn, Bennett, and Kam all served as albatrosses that dragged this team off the pedestal it once was on.

    The entire defensive core, minus Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, would be out the door. It would, however, leave them with significant cap room to make moves in free agency. And they would likely acquire extra draft picks, providing an opportunity to address needs (running game) and start the remake on defense.”

    YES! YES! YES!

    Get these overpaid and underperforming guys out of here and lets get some fresh guys—maybe we take a downgrade in talent, maybe Pete coaches them up to be stars—and do it all over again. Fresh guys will buy in again in Pete’s system and you excise the cancers in the locker room who call Pete’s meetings
    “ineffective” “kumbaya” events.

    I think getting rid of most every player that was here when Marshawn was here would go a long way into fixing the locker room. Kam, Sherman, Earl, Bennett… they all were Marshawn guys. They watched Marshawn bend the front office over a barrell. Watched Marshawn do what he wanted on his terms. Now they think they can do the same – and they’ve been right! I agree with Brock Huard that “all of our problems go back to 24.” Jettisoning that mindset and getting the new young, hungry rookies behind Wilson and Wagner and the FO? Please God, let it be true.

    • Ed says:

      I was one of the few wanting to move on from the RS, MB, KC, ML, etc… When you get sentimental, this is what happens. You get old fast.

      I’m still on that wagon. In life as well as sports, sell high, buy low. The Hawks got 1 SB because they did that, they should have kept with that philosophy. They didn’t wait too long, but long enough for me.

      Outside of maybe McDougald, let all FA go. Trade ET (1st/2nd), RS (4th), MB (5th).

      The defense played ok without RS/KC and a hobbled MB, so it shouldn’t be that big of a dropoff. Spend the draft on getting RW some help (RB/WR/TE/OL). With maneuvering, come out of the draft with:

      1 starting RB
      1 wr that can challenge Lockett and Darboh
      1 te that can block and make first downs (don’t need a hybrid, need a te that can move the chains)
      1 ol that can push for either guard spot or a rt that can move to lt in 2019

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        Also improving the running game/being a clock controlled offense can help your defense. Keep them off the field and also limit possessions.

    • sdcoug says:

      I advocated over and over to let Kam play out his contract and then reevaluate. He was the poster-boy for wait and see.

  36. EP says:

    Didn’t realise that Beastquake was so strong it managed to hypnotise half the team and bend them to his will.

    • KingRajesh says:

      It’s Marshawn’s antics in 2013, 2014, and beyond that hurt the team. How many people skipped OTAs in 2012 or 2013?

      Once Marshawn started skipping OTAs, doing everything on his schedule and on his terms… the other players saw him get away with it. Pete didn’t stamp down and nip this in the bud – and thus, the selfishness spread from Marshawn to Kam, Earl, Sherman, Bennett… they’re all tainted by the fruit of Marshawn’s influence.

      Brock Huard, John Clayton and tons of others who have behind the scenes access to the Seahawks have all come out and said recently that letting Marshawn do what he did, and allowing his successors to continue his legacy (i.e., being selfish and placing your own money/success above the team through “getting yours before you get got doe”) has damaged the Seahawks’ core significantly.

      • EP says:

        Fair I suppose. When he was at the top of his game it’s understandable that he would get away with a bit more, which he shouldn’t because it’s unprofessional but I suppose that’s the burden that comes with certain personalities. But I just can’t imagine it would influence the rest of the guys to that extent. Just my opinion tho, I totally see where you’re coming from.

      • Gohawks5151 says:

        Def not the first time a superstar was treated different. Most vets phone in training camp. If that broke the culture it wasn’t much to start with.

  37. Sea Mode says:

    Once again, absolutely amazes me how many rookies ended up injured this year. Maybe it’s just normal and I had never noticed…

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000916324/article/2017-rookie-grades-saints-earn-top-grade-raiders-class-lacking

  38. Sea Mode says:

    Vol, on Dissly you mentioned up above. Mayock has him as #5 TE in draft in his “position rankings” piece published yesterday:

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000916367/article/mike-mayocks-2018-nfl-draft-position-rankings

  39. HawkfaninMT says:

    I just don’t see it… maybe I’m wrong, but preparing for the cap with the assumption that players are not going to succeed does not sound like the Win Forever” mantra.

    I think most on defense stay, including MB. Sheldon will probably leave for “greener” pastures, unfortunately. McDougals market will decide if he is back (I sure hope he is). I think Cliff is shown the door with either an injury settlement or retires. Would be cool to see him come back as a coach of sort.

    On Offense, Richardson is going to be moving along I think. If they wouldn’t pay for Golden no way they pony up for PR. Rather pay less for a guy like Tyler Gabriel to come in, be a deep threat, and allow Darbogh a shot to succeed. OL will remain relatively the same through FA. My guess is they will attack RB and Ol heavily in the draft. Idea being a running game will keep the defense fresh and ready.

    I don’t think this is a top 3 defense anymore, but so think 11 is the floor for their ranking this year. If running game is going that’s all rW needs to bring the Hawks back to super bowl contender status. He doesn’t need the top 3 defense anymore like in 2013

  40. Trevor says:

    4 trades that make a ton of sense if a jaw dropping off season is going to happen.

    #1 Bennett + a 5th #159 to TB for a 3rd round pick #69. The Bucs need pass rush help. Bennett likes the TB area and a trade like this gives JS a Day #2 pick he can use to start the reload.

    #2 Sherman to Pats for a 3rd round pick #95. The pats need secondary help as was clear in the SB and are obviously moving on from Malcom Butler. Sherm seems like the type of smart player BB would love and Sherm has already stated he would like to pay for the Pats. A 3rd round pick may not seem like much but Sherm is coming off the Achilles and on only has one year left on his deal. The $11 mil cap Savings and 3rd round pick are enough for JS to pull the trigger.

    #3 Earl to SD for pick #17. The Chargers are in win now mode with an aging Philip Rivers and need to generate some buzz in the LA area. They have a great young D but need help desperately at Safety. With Gus Bradley as DC it is a match made in heaven. Earl is a Hawks legend and cannot be replaced like for like obviously but pick #17 and $8.5 mil in cap space sure helps.

    #4 Franchise Sheldon Richardson and trade to Raiders for 3rd round pick #75. The raiders are interested in Richardson and need help on the DL the trade makes a ton of sense for both sides and the Hawks pick up an early 3rd round pick this year instead of next year as a comp.

    #5 Hawks Trade 3rd Rounder from NE #95 + #17 to Cle for #33 and #35. The Brown have tons of draft capital and Derwin James seems exactly like the type of player the new front office would love to help turn the culture of that team around.

    End result #$21.5 mil in cap Savings from Earl, Shem and Bennett.

    2018 Draft

    #18 Isiah Wynn (LG/ Georgia)
    #33 Ronald Jones (RB/USC)
    #35 Tim Settle (DT/ VTech)
    #69 Lorenzo Carter (LB/ Georgia)
    #75 (Raiders) Jesse Bates (S / WF)
    #116 Durham Smythe (TE / ND
    #132 Kemko Duray (Edge / Rutgers)
    #117 Shaqueem Griffin (LB/ UCF)
    #200 Darius Fontaine (WR/ N Iowa)
    #209 Michael Dickson (P/ Texas)
    #222 Azeem Victor (LB/ Wash)

    Free Agency

    Eric Reid (Safety / SF)
    Trey Burton (TE/ Phil)
    DJ Fluker (RG/ Giants)
    Terrell Pryor (WR/ Wash)
    Bradely Mcdougald (S/ Sea)

    • Kyle B says:

      What are the financials for your FAs?

    • Kyle B says:

      Also I like the idea of #4 as well as the partner. I think this really only works if you can get an extension in principle agreed to with Oakland. 14.5 is looking like the potential cap dumber for a DT franchised. If the market is cold and sits at 12.5 to 13 I’m not sure how this works out. If they cut Marshawn and Crabtree I think this idea has seriously weight.

  41. NickLOB says:

    Huge changes? I think Gee Scott really means Jon Ryan is gone

  42. FresnoBrad says:

    Over the years Patriots have won the SuperBowl different ways ie great defense, great offense, average D, etc.. But they never changed team culture = dynasty. We need to get back to Pete’s culture & consider emphasizing different strengths, we must work with what’s available. Furthermore the lack of OL talent due to players preferring defense at some point should affect the player market. At some point there should be an over supply of DL talent = reduction in DL salaries, at that point do we want to be tied to huge DL contracts?
    What does it indicate if Pete & John are ready to move on from Fant at LT after betting two previous seasons on him? I’m wondering how I would feel if we trade D. Brown?

  43. Volume12 says:

    Eric Reid’s little brother, Justin Reid from Stanford might be the best safety in this class no one is talking about. Playmaker, good eyes, big hitter. What a stud.

    2017 stats: 99 tackles, 5 INT, 6.5 TFL, 6 PBU, 2 QB hurries, 1 QB sack

    • Sea Mode says:

      Just watched his highlights today when I say Mayock has him as #5 safety. Needed to watch more though.

      Do you like him better than Kyzir White? (I think his brother WR Ka’Raun is worth a look too: 1000yds/12TDs, speed and hands)

      • Sea Mode says:

        *when I saw

      • Volume12 says:

        I do. More versatility. Can play corner or in the box. I think his tackling effiency was the best of any safety in the country.

        I like White a lot. High effort guy, the right attitude, but I don’t think he’s gonna be very atheltic.

        Speaking of athletes. Keep an eye on NC St HB Nyheim Hines. He’s gonna blow the roof off the combine.

        • Sea Mode says:

          That’s funny, I thought the Whites would be some of the most athletic (at least fastest) prospects. Hard to tell on tape.

          Have you seen this guy? Not as shifty like Hines, but man does he have a 2nd gear.

          Jeffery Wilson || Most Underrated RB in America || North Texas 2017 Highlights
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIZOHZOvhTU

          • Volume12 says:

            I haven’t seen him. There’s a ton of day 3 RBs this year that will end up being very good pros.

      • Volume12 says:

        And I still think Siran Neal and Kam Kelly are 2 day 3 guys that Seattle will or already does like.

      • Volume12 says:

        Watched some more of Jessie Bates against A&M and defiantly see the upside in him. Still not my favorite safety, but there’s a lot to work with there.

  44. Sea Mode says:

    Haha, we are:

    2 Months
    1 Week
    2 Days
    2 Hours
    57 Minutes
    17 Seconds

    away from the draft!

  45. Misfit74 says:

    I think Earl, Bennett, and Kam return in 2018. I think we re-sign S. Richardson. I think we try and retain McDougald, but he could get too rich of an offer elsewhere. Avril, Lane, and Graham leaving will free up some space.

    I’m hopeful we address LG with a reasonably high draft pick. This is a great class to have that problem.

    Same for RB.

    We have several young secondary players developing, but we will probable stick to the philosophy of churning mid/late picks there. Trading down will allow that once again.

    I’m hoping the big change is getting with the times and fielding an explosive offense. Passing correlates to success. What do we do at WR and TE?

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      I think if Bennett is here then Richardson walks, Im guessing its one or the other. Older guy who is still productive (but his snaps should be lowered) that has a lower cap number. Or a younger guy with a high cap number.

    • FresnoBrad says:

      Misfit great question! What do we do if we like a WR &/or TE? If Fant is legit I dont see how we can afford to keep D. Brown. I view that as a good thing because a LT is of high value in 2018 at a minimum we should be able to require spent draft picks.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Brown isn’t going anywhere.

        Even if they really like Fant, he’s coming off a serious knee injury.

        • FresnoBrad says:

          I’m cool with that, now that George Fant has decided to enter the BLOOD SPORT of politics! I hope he gets cut! I love the fact Seahawks are looking at high character OL prospects like the guy from Nevada.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think there’ll be bigger changes to the defense — and the offense, if anything, is going to be more run centric than it’s ever been.

  46. DC says:

    V12, any insights/thoughts on Martinas Rankin? Iirc you had mentioned liking him.

  47. Old but Slow says:

    The Combine is approaching, only 2 weeks, and we can begin the scrupulous, minute, rating and scaling that will happen when we have numbers. Forty times, short shuttles, 10 yard splits, SPARQ, and so on. Give us the measurements, give us some meat, and the draft will become a science again, and we faux GMs can be completely off base again. I can’t wait.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Good one. 🙂

      I am trying to get through film study of all the position groups this year before the combine so that I at least get a first impression before being swayed by the metrics, but I’m definitely guilty of loving to crunch those numbers! Spreadsheet scouting!

      • Old but Slow says:

        Spreadsheet scouting, I like it. Spreadsheet is a little precise for me, as I am more in the piles of slips of paper blood group. I had a problem in college in an accounting class when I discovered that you did everything the same way every time. Heresy.

        Seriously, though, the numbers can give weight to what we see on film. And, almost immediately we will see the changes in the rankings, as the combine results come in.

        I love football season, but I am also staunch draft nut, and the combine is a pinnacle of the off season, along with the draft.

        This blog has been a great resource for me, and I give thanks for it every day.

        • Patrick Toler says:

          I’m looks my forward to seeing how some of these guys who look similar test to see if that can differentiate them. Then you’ve got to go back and watch them again to see if their athleticism (or lack of) shows up in their play.

          The two guys I’m currently curious to compare are Derrius Guice and John Kelly. They look like almost the same player to me. Guice is maybe slightly quicker and more manic, but Kelly has better feet and is maybe better in the passing game. Guice is listed as bigger but doesn’t look so to me. Looking forward to see if the measurements and tests show something different than I’m seeing. Then I’ll have to go back to the video and see if I can see it.

      • peter says:

        seamode- I’m with you. this year I’ve churned through almost all prospects I’m interested in and many I’m not prior to the draft.

        will say it’s tough with juniors and the freaky sophomores not seeing any measurements until the combine so it’s tough for me to get to stoked by defensive backs. it basically the inverse of getting stoked by measurements where you see a player that intrigues only to have them with short arms, middling vertical…etc.

        • Sea Mode says:

          There are certainly some positions where measurements/testing is so important for the Hawks that it’s almost not worth watching guys before you have the list of those that meet their criteria (CB, LB, DE).

          I do have a feeling though that, this year in particular, backstory will play an even larger role than athleticism. It actually always has. Find the guys with the real adverse backstories and the requisite measurements (even if they aren’t tops in the class), and you’ve found your future Hawks.

          • RealRhino2 says:

            Is this a philosophy that Pete or John has espoused or expressed? I’ve heard it several times, and frankly it just sounds, well, shortsighted if I’m trying to put it politely.

            Not only is it very subjective and thus easily manipulated data, history is littered with great players without any real adverse backstories.

  48. Hawk Eye says:

    with all the talk about changes to the players, after we have had a lot of changes to the coaching staff, I wonder how much the offense and defense will improve by being less predictable to their opponents?
    I figure the D will follow the same formula, so I expect improvement, if any, to be personnel based.
    There were lots of people last year saying they the Hawks offense was predictable and defenses knew what they were going to do. So I am hoping that the change in OC and OL coach will make the other team guess more rather than know what the play is and what the OL will do and just meet the RB in the backfield as we have seen too many times the last few years

  49. Henry says:

    Rob is it fair to say the Patriots will be Manchester United after Sr Alex left. When Belicheck leaves? whats your soccer team anyways Staton?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Quite possibly. I think that’s a very apt comparison.

      I don’t have a soccer team I follow specifically. I have to cover six in a local region at work and doing this job you can’t have a ‘favourite’. Not if you want to do the job properly. So when anyone asks me which is my team I answer ‘Seahawks’. And that’s the honest truth anyway. There’s only one team in the world I care passionately about and it’s the team in the Pacific North West.

  50. Trevor says:

    Went back and watched everything I could find on Derwin James last night and the more I watched the more I think he is a top 5 player in this class and definitely the best secondary prospect. I take him over Minkah Fitzpatrick all day.

    I think he is going to be an impact player early and the leader on defense for the team lucky enough to get him. I see him mocked to the Hawks all the time but there is zero chance he is on the board at 18. If he is run to the podium JS!

    My top 5 prospects for 2018

    #1 Quenton Nelson
    #2 Saquan Barkley
    #3 Termaine Edmunds
    #4 Derwin James
    #5 Vita Vea

    • Rob Staton says:

      I find watching James’ tape thoroughly boring personally. And his highlight videos are equally dull. He just doesn’t make many interesting or impactful plays. You sit there waiting to see something special. It never really comes. Good athlete, good size. They say he’s a leader in the locker room. But I find it hard to get excited about the tape.

      • Trevor says:

        Have you watched his freshman tape? I will try and do a little hi-light clip up tonight. I guess he is one of the rare guys I will disagree with you about. I feel like Minkah Fitzpatrick is the guy who is over rated but that is what makes the draft so much fun.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I also think Fitzpatrick is overrated — but I think both top safety’s are. I have seen James’ freshman stuff and my opinion remains largely unchanged. Good athlete, good size but I’m not seeing a difference maker on the field. And that’s why, for quite some time now, I’ve been saying he’s more Eric Reid than Eric Berry.

        • RealRhino2 says:

          But are you taking into account positional value? Even if he’s your #4 guy, hard to see how there’s “zero chance” he’s there at 18 if he’s ultimately a SS. If he can’t play single high safety, isn’t that what we are talking about? Melifonwu was also a great athlete, and he went 2nd round. Jabril Peppers seemed like a similar role and he lasted until #25.