Possible free agent targets for the Seahawks

March 2nd, 2015 | Written by Rob Staton

Can the Seahawks afford to land Julius Thomas?

The Seahawks are expected to have around $25m in cap space this year. It’s middle of the pack. In comparison the Colts have $45m to play with, Jacksonville $65m and the Raiders $55m. They’ll be able to spend the big bucks. The advantage Seattle has? They’re in the midst of a legitimate Championship window. Some players will value that over a little more cash in the hand.

The remaining cap space will be slightly impacted by Marshawn Lynch’s pay rise (assuming he agrees to it). They can save over $5m by cutting Zach Miller and Tony McDaniel. If they wanted to be even more ruthless, they can save $5.5m by cutting Brandon Mebane (a possible candidate for a pay cut).

They need to save room for Russell Wilson’s new deal (although the cap hit in 2015 won’t be too extreme) plus, potentially, a new contract for Bobby Wagner and/or J.R. Sweezy.

When you look at the numbers, a move for Ndamukong Suh is a pipe dream. Not impossible, but almost certainly too restrictive. He could easily be the best paid defensive player in the league in eight days time. He’d have to be willing to accept a sensational pay cut or a stunningly creative deal to end up in Seattle.

Suh wasn’t given the franchise tag by Detroit (no surprises there). Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Justin Houston, Stephen Gostkowski and Jason Pierre-Paul were tagged today. Miami gave tight end Charles Clay the transition tag — meaning he can negotiate with other teams and the Dolphins can choose to match the contract or let him walk (Cleveland did this with Alex Mack a year ago). If nobody offers him a contract — and if he doesn’t sign a new deal in Miami — he’ll earn $7.071m in 2015.

So who’s in play for the Seahawks in the open market?

I reached out to cap expert Davis Hsu to gauge what kind of free agents the Seahawks could realistically acquire:

Hsu suggests $6-7m APY as a projection for a medium-to-high type free agent acquisition. As he notes, with further cuts you could stretch higher. For example, if you go after one of the two high profile tight ends you’re unlikely to keep Zach Miller, creating another +$2m. Likewise if you wanted to try and improve the interior defensive line with a big name, cutting Tony McDaniel adds $3m to the stash.

This article on NFL.com lists the top 101 NFL free agents. Here are perhaps some of the more realistic options:

The dynamic tight end
Available: Julius Thomas (Denver), Jordan Cameron (Cleveland)

Ask any NFL fan about this pair a year ago and the response would’ve been extremely positive. Thomas had a breakout season in 2013 as a dominating force at tight end — piling up touchdowns. Cameron put up 917 yards and scored seven times despite playing with Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell at quarterback.

The mere thought that either player would test the market in 2015 was unrealistic. What a difference a year makes. Both players had injury plagued 2014 seasons. Thomas still recorded 12 more touchdowns but halved his yardage total. Cameron spent a large portion of the year out with a concussion.

In terms of pure talent they’re arguably #3 and #4 behind Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. Very few tight ends have their ability to line up pretty much anywhere, create a size/speed mismatch and make consistent plays. Both players are dominant in the red zone — an area Seattle can dramatically improve. The Seahawks have never truly had a dynamic chess piece like this to draw coverage away from the run game.

Thomas turned down a contract worth $8m APY last year because the guarantees weren’t to his satisfaction. He’s likely to receive major interest in the open market. Can the Seahawks compete? And can they convince him to join another contender instead of a team breaking in a young quarterback (Oakland, Jacksonville)? Cameron is likely to be cheaper but carries a greater risk with the concussion problems.

Signing a prolific tight end will take some of the pressure off drafting a receiver early. There’s also a dearth of TE options in the draft. The best way to provide a significant boost to the passing game is probably to sign one of these two (and then hope they stay healthy).

Seattle reportedly tried to trade for both players during the 2014 season.

The young defensive linemen hitting their peak
Available: Greg Hardy (Carolina), Jabaal Sheard (Cleveland), Stephen Paea (Chicago), Karl Klug (Tennessee)

Hardy is going to play football again, although nobody really knows when and who for. He missed last season due to a domestic abuse case, but the charges were dismissed on February 9th. A cloud still hangs over the player and in light of the Ray Rice/Adrian Peterson situation last season — a brave team is going to go all-in on Hardy. Such is the need for quality pass rushers (Hardy recorded 26 sacks in 2012-13) he might get a nice offer somewhere. Or he might be left to prove he’s totally focused on football in the form of a one year contract.

Some fans will not welcome Hardy to their club. I’m not entirely comfortable with it. But if Richie Incognito can get back into the league, so will Hardy. Eventually.

Sheard was a Seahawks Draft Blog favorite going into the 2011 draft. He enjoyed a productive start in Cleveland but is/was an ill-fit in the 3-4 at outside linebacker. He’s a LEO. Pure and simple. He only turns 26 in May and started his career with 21 sacks in three years. John Schneider once stated the #25 pick in the 2011 draft came down to James Carpenter, Andy Dalton and Sheard.

The thing is — Sheard isn’t that far off the talent level of Hardy without any of the character concerns. Teams like Atlanta and Jacksonville would be wise to invest major stock in his ability to rush the edge. He’s likely to garner significant interest, pushing the price up. Aside from the bizarre 2013 free agency where Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett faced an ice-cold market, talented pass rushers have been paid a kings ransom. Even the average pass rushers are getting paid. Do the Seahawks really want to carry three expensive edge rushers on their roster?

Stephen Paea is another favorite from 2011. He entered the league as a powerful brick wall of a run blocker. Last year he added a pass rushing angle — recording six sacks (a career high). He’s a really dependable, consistent force who could excel in the right scheme. Any team missing out on Ndamukong Suh could make Paea their second option. He wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize.

He’s a better player than Clinton McDonald who received a contract worth $3m APY last year. He can expect to earn $4-5m APY on the open market, if not more. He could drift into Brandon Mebane territory ($5m APY). I suspect if the Seahawks are going to add to the defensive line it’ll be for an interior pass rusher. Paea is probably best suited for the Mebane role in Seattle’s scheme. He isn’t a three technique. If Mebane isn’t cut — and there’s no reason to think he will be — Paea might just be a bit of a luxury for this team.

I’ve always liked Klug and he could operate as a hybrid interior rusher in Seattle’s defense. He had seven sacks as a rookie for the Titans but never quite lived up to the early hype. A fresh start is required and he could offer a much cheaper (and potentially much more productive) alternative to some of the bigger name interior defensive linemen.

The veteran pass rusher
Available: Brian Orakpo (Washington), Henry Melton (Dallas), Dwight Freeney (San Diego), Darnell Dockett (Arizona)

Washington would like to keep Orakpo but at what price? Season-ending injuries in 2012 and 2014 have stalled a once promising career. He’s never topped 11 sacks in a season and he turns 29 in July. It’s tough to work out what kind of market he’ll receive.

At his age he really wants to cash in — but he has no momentum after suffering a torn pec in October. He was franchised a year ago at great expense. Now he’ll test the market. A one-year prove-it deal in Seattle isn’t out of the question if he wants to play for a great defense, regain some momentum and take on free agency next year. By that point he’ll be pushing 30, however. And for that reason he might seek less money for a longer term deal elsewhere.

The Seahawks wanted to sign Melton a year ago and at one stage a deal looked close. He eventually chose Dallas and put in a thoroughly mediocre season for the Cowboys. On a no-frills Dallas defense, he barely registered apart from the occasional play. It’s no surprise he was released and is again testing the market. He too is 29 this year and you have to wonder if his best football is in the past. He tore an ACL in 2013. Still, at the right price he could be an option. He fits the three technique.

Freeney is merely a situational pass rusher at 35-years-old and he only collected 3.5 sacks in 2014. He lacks the length Seattle likes at defensive end — but he is one of the modern greats in terms of production (111.5 career sacks). The Seahawks kicked the tires with other ageing pass rushers like John Abraham previously. Freeney needs a team where he can spell the starters and play a support role. In that sense he’d fit, but he wouldn’t be playing for much money. Has he still got enough juice to make it worthwhile?

Dockett is meeting with the 49ers today (having already been released by the Cardinals) and he might not leave. He’s also nearing his 34th birthday and coming off a torn ACL. He might be the most attractive option at the right price. For starters, he’s a fantastic interior rusher who competes like crazy. The type of warrior you need in the NFC West. He’s already stated his intention to win ‘comeback player of the year’ in 2015. The Seahawks will probably need to replace Kevin Williams and Dockett has the experience and talent to make it work. We’ll see if Seattle has any interest in competing with the Niners for his signature.

The veteran stopgap cornerback
Available: Perrish Cox (San Francisco), Walter Thurmond (New York Giants), Charles Tillman (Chicago)

Working out how the Seahawks will replace Byron Maxwell isn’t easy. Will they wait until the later rounds of the draft or be pro-active in the earlier rounds to identify a starter? Will they look for a veteran stopgap? In all cases the options aren’t great. And that’s why they might go the stopgap route.

Cox had a short spell in Seattle before joining the 49ers. 2014 was a career year for Cox — even though he played in 15 games for Denver back in 2010. Last year he took his play to another level and that could warrant a decent short-term contract with a team. He’s 28 years old and unlikely to get anything substantial or long term.

Thurmond possibly burnt bridges in Seattle. Remember, he was the player tasked with replacing the suspended Brandon Browner in 2013. With the team chasing a Super Bowl, he initially flourished. Then he got suspended himself. Byron Maxwell got an unlikely opportunity and never looked back. Thurmond paid for his mistake. Maxwell is now expected to be offered $10m APY on the open market. Thurmond will be scrambling around looking for a team. If the door remains open in Seattle, he has scheme familiarity. He also has a long list of injuries.

Tillman is long, competitive, passionate and an all-time great. The idea he’ll be playing for anyone other than Chicago is almost upsetting. And yet the same was said of Antoine Winfield in 2013 when he departed Minnesota to join the Seahawks. Sometimes the game just moves on. Tillman is 34 and missed most of last season with an injured triceps.

NOTE — I didn’t include a list of receivers. The draft is loaded with depth at the position — there really isn’t much need to consider making a big splash on a veteran receiver unless a player like Brandon Marshall is released by Chicago.

Elsewhere…

Mike Mayock has made a handful of changes to his ‘top-5’s’ list. La’el Collins is now the #1 ranked tackle, while Jaelen Strong is now the #4 receiver.

Gil Brandt says Eli Harold bolstered his stock at the Virginia pro-day: “Harold, who measured at 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine, performed a 34 1/2-inch vertical jump and did 24 strength lifts of 225 pounds at the pro day. He stood on his other numbers from the combine.”

Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch claims Washington is interested in Harold: “They sent three scouts to U.Va. on Monday for the school’s annual pro day, including Director of Player Personnel Scott Campbell, who has overseen the team’s drafting in past years.”

Todd McShay appeared on the Brock and Salk show on ESPN 710 today to discuss the possibility of the Seahawks drafting Todd Gurley.

181 Responses to “Possible free agent targets for the Seahawks”

  1. bobbyk says:

    As usual, great stuff. As the Giants proved twice against the Patriots – you cannot have too many pass rushers. We found out the hard way and that’s a huge reason we lost. Sure, they needed a crazy Tyree reception and a great Manningham catch, but we needed a crazy Kearse catch to get us inside the 10 as well. Still, had it not been for the defense giving up two TDs in the final 8 minutes – we’d still be celebrating and the reason we’re not is the lack of pass rush on Brady especially after Avril was lost.

    It’s not like having two edge rushers is like having two good offensive tackles. They rotate so much on defense that a third great edge rusher would still be a regular contibutor, which would keep the others fresh and more productive on the field, whereas the back-up offensive tackle will never see the field unless for injury.

    The Shead idea is interesting, especially their connection going back to the draft. We do need a Leo. I like Marsh, I just don’t want to have to depend on him.

      • sdcoug says:

        Agree with you the lack of pressure on Brady (and Rodgers a week before) cost us big, but I’m not sure the added rush needs to be on the edge. We really need someone to collapse the pocket from the interior. Both in the GB & NE game, the QB waited until Avril/Bennett rounded the edge and simply stepped up into the pocket and completed a pass. Over and over. If the QB can’t step up, those edge rushers will hit home

        • bobbyk says:

          I agree. It doesn’t have to be on the edge. But if we get a better edge presence, then Bennett can come up the middle more (pressure up the gut) on pass rushing situations. In essence, signing Sheard would make the interior rush better, too (Bennett playing inside in pass rush situations more).

          • Greg Haugsven says:

            How about hardy for one year 6 million…let him get his stock back up. Imagine a quarterback on a third and 8 with avril, hill, Bennett and hardy coming after you. That’s murders row. I remember watching an interview with him recently and they asked him about the seahawks and he wouldn’t stop talking about them, especially the defense. Could get jordan Cameron on offense on a shorter term deal with some games played incentives.

          • lil'stink says:

            I agree about Sheard. He would be a perfect fit; I hope we make him our #1 target in FA. Avril is a better strong side rusher than traditional LEO, anyway. We need to get our pass rush back to 2013 levels. Getting Mebane and Hill healthy will help with our pressure up the middle, and there are any number of DT’s that we can target in the draft. But I doubt we can find a LEO in the draft like Sheard.

            • Martin says:

              Nailed it. I think Sheard should be priority #1 in FA. I’m not in love with paying JT the kind of money he will want. He is coming from a pass heavy offence to the team that has thrown the least the last 3 years, especially to the TE. How much of a difference will he make on 2-3 targets a game compared to Willson and Miller.

              • Rob Staton says:

                I think Thomas would receive more than 2-3 targets a game, but it’s not even about the targets. He would draw coverage in the defense and they’d have to account for him on every snap. Seattle doesn’t have anyone who can do that at receiver or tight end.

                I’m also a huge Sheard fan and think he would excel in this defense. But teams don’t pay three edge rushers premium money. The only time Bennett, Avril and Sheard would be on the field at the same time would be NASCAR and obvious passing downs. And it wouldn’t solve Seattle’s greatest pass rush issue — and that’s the interior rush. As soon as they lost Jordan Hill it disappeared. If they’re adding depth to the pass rush it really needs to come inside.

                Replacing O’Brien Schofield as the third wheel in the edge rush rotation is very possible, but it’s more likely to be a draft pick or a guy on a more modest short term deal. Sheard is going to get a nice contract in the open market.

                • neil says:

                  All these what if,s make my head spin. It will all be mute if RW hurt’s his arm at baseball camp. It is time for him to lose the ego and put the team first. It is a brutal schedule facing the hawks in 2015. Getting off to a bad start won’t be overcome this year.

                  • williambryan says:

                    Why not? Every year the schedule is brutal. Wilson has been playing baseball and football his whole life and it hasn’t hampered him yet… How is a visit to spring training going to all of a sudden be a problem? Ego? He is a human, man… His JOB is to play QB for the Hawks and he does it pretty well and has most likely spent more time on the job than any other NFLer since he has been drafted.

  2. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    If you are willing to upgrade the DL in FA, go for the crown jewel. DT Suh. Very rarely does a HOF/ALLPRO/PROBOWL DT come onto the market….. he would make the defense more balanced and make up for the losses in the secondary. 6 years over 105 million might be what it takes to get it done…. but if you are going to swing big, go for the HR player.

    I’m confident Seattle won’t go for Suh, but it makes so much sense for the team….. dream big!

    • redzone086 says:

      Suh could be all that you say or heard could be the next Albert Hainsworth.

      • bobbyk says:

        There is absolutely no comparison to Haynesworth, imo.

        Haynesworth played hard until he got his fat contract. Then he quit. And that’s exactly what Tennessee expected/feared and the reason they kept franchising him (they knew he couldn’t be trusted after having been paid).

        Suh has been paid thanks to being the #2 overall pick in the old rookie wage scale. Instead of giving a half-ass effort like Haynesworthless, Suh has played like an animal every year he was in Detroit. His passion and work ethic, unlike Fat Albert, cannot be questioned due to his track record. To think that would change now would go against everything Suh has ever displayed even going back to college.

        • redzone086 says:

          I seriously don’t think you can determine a player who has stated that his agent will pick his next team as proof he won’t be less likely to play through injuries or any other number of issues that can come up. The fact that apparently money is more important than winning or being successful.

          • Ben2 says:

            Trying to get paid market rate and on field effort/performance are 2 separate deals. Revis performs AND has chased $$$$.,I don’t see suh going the haynesworth route

          • Ross says:

            I don’t think Suh will be a Haynesworth. He restructured his contract twice to give Detroit more cap room and when the time came for him to earn big money, last season, he was an all pro and one of the top five defensive tackles in the league.

    • bobbyk says:

      I believe that you build through the draft and, for the most part, sign/retain your own. However, every once in awhile there comes along a player so great that you bend the rules for (like what they thought of Harvin). Suh is legitimately the best interior DL in the NFL and in the prime of his career. Players like that don’t hit FA hardly ever and with rumors that he wants to play for a winner and be close to Portland… this could very well be our attempt at Babe Ruth batting and we’re getting a straight fastball down the middle. Are we going to swing for the fences?

  3. redzone086 says:

    Good work up Rob. I’m really leaning towards the idea of defense in free agency and offence through the draft. I’m of the mind that Maxx Williams offers way better upside to any available free agent TE. I’m also of the belief that the more pass rushers the better. The CB situation is the hardest to judge. Do they really believe in the roster they have or are they looking for starters? Will be fun to watch it unfold.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      It depends on what you want in a new TE, be it from FA or the draft.

      JThomas is a rare move TE talent. Take a look at his combine measurables. He’s big, tall, fast with huge hands. He compares favorably with, oh say DGB in every category except 40 time – and even then he was only a hundredth of a second behind DGB (1.62 10yd split vs 1.61). Based on his combine performance, if JT were in this year’s draft, he actually could have pulled off what Funchess tried to do unsuccessfully – work out as a WR instead of a TE.

      He’s a true mismatch wherever he lines up, and he commands double team coverage in many situations. His presence really could open up SEA’s offense. Is he willing to accept a more limited role? Perhaps if the FO can sell him on that limited role being a highlight reel.

      Maxx Williams is a fantastic prospect who brings rock steady production – as a blocker or a receiver. He’s young and could develop a great rapport with RW over the next many seasons. But he’s not a red zone threat (at least not yet), nor does he really bring anything to the team that isn’t already there, even if he brings it in a more attractive package.

      Speaking of JT – do y’all know he’s a PSU alum? That’s PSU as in Portland State. There’s another PSU alum who just so happens to be a FA this year that I’d love for SEA to get. If they work the roster properly, I think they can net both this offseason.

      • redzone086 says:

        Truthfully if you look at JT at TE he has been eliminated by a strong safety playing physical. If you go watch the last two hawks Broncos games and the patriots game last year you will see JT rendered mute. Again I’m not against but I’m saying again in the draft you get the bargain price as well as youth. JT at 27 & 8 Mil./year not the same value as Maxx @ 24 & 2Mil/year even counting Seattle’s limit pass offense.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          It’s not accurate just to compare the contract numbers. Williams also costs draft capital. He’s the consensus top TE and probably with go before 62 so either you take him at 31 or try trading back and picking him up in the top half of R2. Either way, it means SEA still needs a WR and OG (and also a CB) from R2-4.

          There are ways to mitigate JT’s 8mm apy. Give him a 3 year backloaded deal and renegotiate in a couple of years for example.

          I guess the same logic applies to Cameron, and he’s probably available for a little less than JT.

          I’m not pounding the table for JT. I too think he’s expensive and an injury risk. At the same time, I think he could be a key addition. Using your example, even if he’s negated by a SS, he still draws the defender out of the box, opening up the run/play action.

        • Rob Staton says:

          He wasn’t the only player rendered mute by Seattle’s defense in fairness. Demaryius Thomas has been poor against Seattle too. But how much of that is down to the quality of defense? And Seattle’s strong safety play is Kam Chancellor — a player most teams don’t possess.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I just can’t imagine the Seahawks drafting Maxx Williams early. Very safe hands and I like him, but what unique traits does he offer? He isn’t a mismatch in terms of size or speed.

      • Jake says:

        Zach Miller was one of the first moves PC/JS made and he fits your description perfectly. It could be a bias because we all see how valuable Miller has been and Williams is the closest comparison to him to come along. Maybe this goes back to Tom Cable, and maybe he has a ton of influence on TE prospects, especially those intended to play in-line. Cable has not shown the propensity to focus on specific traits or unique skillsets for most of his early OL draft picks. He has preferred versatile blockers, who can play multiple positions. If he has influence on the TE position, Williams could easily be his preference.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Well, they signed Miller 18 months into the PC regime as a late first wave free agent. He had history with Tom Cable which played a part. I’m not sure I see Miller in Maxx Williams. And I just can’t see this team drafting a tight end in the first two rounds who isn’t a true difference.

          • bobbyk says:

            Williams is nothing close to the blocker that Miller is, but he plays faster/quicker than Miller it seems.

            • Jake says:

              Miller wasn’t the blocker Miller is when he came out of ASU. Every player has to grow, Williams is so young and already so polished. It shows a work ethic to be as developed and advanced as he already is technically. He is a lot more athletic than his combine numbers showed as well.

    • Madmark says:

      I’ve been picking TEs for the last 2 years and here I go again. Clive Walford TE Miami 6’4″ 251lbs, 34″ arms, and 10 1/4″ hands. Pick 96 in the 3rd round

    • CC says:

      I would love AJ as a Seahawk!

      I wonder if there is any way to get a trade for maybe a 3rd rounder and restructure his contract so we wouldn’t have to fight with other teams in free agency.

      • Jon says:

        3rd for a 33 yo wr. no thanks. I would guess the Texans will take any trade offer that comes their way, not many teams will offer anything knowing he will be cut anyway.

  4. Lewis says:

    Rob, thoughts on a modest 1-2 year deal for Andre Johnson if he doesn’t get traded? Not a young player, obviously, but he had a productive season. If he is motivated to play for a championship and the price is right, seems like he might be worth a look.

    • bobbyk says:

      Yeah, there’s no way Johnson is going to get a deal on the open market like he’s supposed to be paid by the Texans this year. I wonder what he’ll get? I’d rather have someone like Johnson at a higher salary than give someone like Kearse a few million (pending the difference).

    • CC says:

      I wonder if it would be worth looking at a trade if AJ is willing to restructure his deal?

    • Rob Staton says:

      He’s 34 in July and his production has steadily declined. I know the QB situation in Houston hasn’t been great, but is he still a difference maker?

      • Volume 12 says:

        Nope

        • EranUngar says:

          OK.

          Just one question…

          You are about to throw a contested 50/50 pass to a covered reciever. Would you rather have Kearse or AJ going for that ball?

          If the answer is Kearse…we ignore AJ, if not then you found a difference.

      • Bryan C says:

        AJK’s production has declined, but is that due to skill or attitude of a hopeless situation at QB? I’d guess it is a little of both. I do not see a trade for AJ. But, if he is cut, I see him as someone the team could be interested in as he is about winning in this stage of his career and is about as competitive as they come without any diva crap that most WR display. Even if he didn’t have a huge on field presence, his locker room presence alone would be worthwhile for $4-5M/year. He is the anti-Percy Harvin and an example for the new WR to look up to.

  5. Turp says:

    Nothing to contribute here but compliments to Rob – another outstanding article. We, the readership, are truly spoiled.

  6. Buckaroo2820 says:

    Cut the baggage of mebane, miller, mcdaniels and maybe some other injury-prone baggage and sign Suh. Open up some roster space and draft the rest.

    • Madmark says:

      Don’t forget Gregg Scruggs and Jesse Williams.

    • lil'stink says:

      The problem with signing Suh isn’t how to afford him next year, but beyond. Cutting all the players you mention doesn’t save us any money after 2015. Despite Suh saying he would like to play in Seattle, he wants to be the highest paid defensive lineman more.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Actually, I think it’s the opposite. Beyond 2015, team cap space goes up enough to accommodate Suh’s salary.

        • lil'stink says:

          There’s also contracts for RW and Wagner to throw in the equation, Irvin too, after 2016. Plus Unger, Okung, Sweezy, and Baldwin will all be up for new deals early on in Suh’s contract if he came here. I honestly think he will be too expensive, we would have to say goodbye to some players we might not really want to.

  7. Raybones says:

    Im curious as to how much coming back from acl surgery contributed to meltons mediocre year? Not every player is able to come back immediately from this injury. He seemed to wear down as the year progressed so its highly possible that he wasn’t fully back in football shape last year. If he checks out medically he might be a bargain. Thoughts anyone?

    • mrpeapants says:

      certainly worth bringing in.

    • Alaska Norm says:

      I was thinking the same. Big guys take a bit longer to fully recover from knee surgery. Possibly another off season removed would allow him to get back to the dominating 3 tech he was prior to the surgery.

  8. RealRhino2 says:

    PLEASE don’t read this and get the impression I’m a misogynist creep. But….

    I’d kick the tires on Greg Hardy and find out from the horse’s mouth what went on. Having been involved in well over a dozen domestic violence cases, I can tell you that some of them are pretty BS. Many are not, but it’s been my experience from interviewing the men involved that you can get a good idea of whether the guy is a liar or not.

    • Mark says:

      The teams will obviously have access to information we never will. With the limited information I have, I wouldn’t want Hardy or Suh. If Hardy is signed, it should be heavily incentive laden (as in per week roster bonuses.)

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Why wouldn’t you want Suh?

      • RealRhino2 says:

        Well, if Hardy did what he was accused of doing, I wouldn’t want him, either. But what I’m saying is that even a conviction or a finding that he did it doesn’t mean that much to me without talking to the people involved. OTOH, clearly it would have an effect for the team and the PR issues involved.

      • JeffC says:

        I think the only way that they get Hardy is if the market dries up like it did to Bennett and Avril, seattle signs him to a one year team friendly deal.

        For the JT vs Cameron debate, if you take either you’ve decided to bear with the injury risk, so go for Cameron.

  9. kevin mullen says:

    Kind of nice thinking about a Paea/Mebane combo with Jordan Hill/Kevin Williams(?)/3rd Rd pass-rush DT rotational to spell…

    Obviously see if KW is willing to come back and price for Paea isn’t out of reach. No one will run through that wall.

  10. Jon says:

    Would we really be able to get Paea for 5/year?

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      That’s to much…I’d rather have Melton for 3

      • peter says:

        Paea is 3 years younger at skills and is not working back still acl injury? I’d take paea at that price

        • peter says:

          Scratch that its all gibberish! I meant younger, good skills, nothing as serious as an acl injury. For paea I think 4.5 per could be great

  11. j says:

    I wouldn’t mind swapping Mebane for Paea one for one.

    Mebane is 30, coming off a pretty serious injury, and has little dead money. Gotta think regardless of the history he could get cut.

    Might be better to restructure and keep both, if Mebane is up for it.

    • Alaska Norm says:

      See my comment on Melton. As much as I appreciate Mebane I am not sure he will be at the level we have had the pleasure watching. Big guys just don’t bounce back as quick as the lighter athletes.

      • Volume 12 says:

        Not so sure about that. By all accounts Mebane is feeling great and is said to be ahead of his schedule into terms of rehab.

        • Jake says:

          He had a hamstring injury, not a knee. He’ll be completely healthy when the season starts. I would hope a restructure is coming for Mebane, it would be nice to extend him a year or two and lower that cap hit to allow us to sign Sheard, Suh, or Paea.

          • AlaskaHawk says:

            I’d like to have both Mebane and Paea for 10-12 million total. That should lock down the interior of the defensive line.

  12. dave crockett says:

    I don’t know that I would spend any money on these WRs either, Rob. Good call. Seattlle’s pass game is likely to be a spread-it-around attack as long as RW is in town. I think I would always prefer another young guy who hasn’t been used to having an NFL passing game wrapped around his talent, all else even close to equal.

    I also think what Seattle values at WR is just as likely to be found in a young guy as a vet, namely run blocking and the ability to get himself open wiithout a lot of help.

  13. Ben2 says:

    I’ve been commenting on other posts but I have to go with the swing for the fences crowd- go big on Suh, cut mebane, McDaniel and miller and draft offense big time in the draft. If the Hawks are in a super bowl window (I know, Pete would say Win Forever) what will get us over the hump? Suh collapsing the pocket with avril and benett in the edges with the LOB and our linebackers….wow.

  14. HOUSE says:

    I know we talk about $$$ in the FA market and I think what David Hsu said in regards to “at least one medium to high one on either side of ball (with more possible)” is pretty spot on. My money is on Jordan Cameron and Jabaal Sheard BOTH coming to SEA.

    Cameron: I think that Cameron will not command anywhere near what Julius Thomas will due to the concussion history. My guess for Cameron is a 4 year deal at about $3-4M/yr (4 for $15M).

    Sheard: I see Sheard as an upgrade over Schofield. He is CLEARLY a great fit for the LEO and would bring great pressure off the edge. I’m not too sure what his contract parameters will be, but I say he’s worth a 3-4 deal as well.

    Bargain vets: I would like to see us go after Darnell Dockett and Charles Tillman. I think they both are HUNGRY and at the ripe ages of 34 y/o, they both want to prove they can still play and SEA is the perfect place for them to contribute to a championship team. Dockett brings great interior pass rush and Tillman brings the size and coverage skills that are needed. I also think that CJ Mosley is a good signing for DT depth.

    With luck, we pick up these guys and it gives us the capability to go after the likes of a Gurley in the 1st rd. I think an OL to replace Carpenter (compete with Bailey) is where we need to move forward within the first 2 rds.

    • bobbyk says:

      Maybe a guy like Sheard will take a short “prove it” contract if he sees how he could put up great sack numbers playing a position that suites his strengths the best. This could/would help him get to that big payday he’s probably looking for.

    • Steele1324 says:

      Rob, you did not mention who I think is the most obvious free agent corner that the Seahawks should pursue: Will Blackmon. He is a former LOBer, knows the system, very solid player. He and Thurmond should be considered. Perhaps Alan Ball, who came up in Gus Bradley’s D, also should get a look. As for other CB free agents, it is very slim pickings. I think Tillman is past his prime, and it might be an awkward fit in any case, especially if he is asked to take a short veteran minimum contract (which is all he would deserve). Cox is mediocre, and there are red flags with his off-field history also. If you want a quality old veteran who can actually still play, Cromartie and Rashean Mathis should be approached, although they may ask for too much.

      Sheard is the most logical pass rusher from the standpoint of fit and likely asking price. I would love seeing a Jerry Hughes/Jason Worilds/Pernell McPheee, but I suppose they are top tier. But then again, so is Suh, and we’re here tossing that around.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Two problems with Blackmon for me — he wasn’t considered good enough for Jacksonville to keep and he’s 31 this year.

        • Jake says:

          I know it’s not a very “PC” move – but what about Chris Culliver? He’s a better player and better fit athletically/physically than Perrish Cox.

        • Steele1324 says:

          Yes, Blackmon is 30, but he still looks like a solid player. He was out last season because of a broken finger, not something worse. The reason Jags didn’t need him is because they are stacked. If we are talking about a plug-in short term stop gap, his familiarity with the LOB is a plus.

          There aren’t many good alternatives. Zach Bowman, Pat Robinson, Tarell Brown, Culliver, Skrine, etc. Not exciting.

          You might get something good out of the former Patriots, Sterling Moore and Darius Butler, I think Moore the better of the two.

          • SunPathPaul says:

            Between Blackmon at 30, and CB Cary Williams at 30 (who played every game as the Eagles #1 CB the last two years), one of these guys surely could be a stop gap help, or quality depth. At 30 I doubt either will cost super bucks.

            Tillman sounds nice, but he is 4 years older coming of an injury…

            I’d like to see a CB and OL picked up in FA for depth and competition. It would set free our draft picks!

            • Volume 12 says:

              CB Cary Williams is so inconsistent, but his size, aggression, attitude, and his ‘grabbing/handsy’ nature seem like he could be a good fit in the LOB. Especially with the coaching and tutelage of PC, KR, Bam Bam, ET, and Sherm.

              There’s quite a few people who don’t like Williams, but he’s an intriguing stop-gap or ‘prove it’ type of veteran. He’s on my radar now SPP.

          • Rob Staton says:

            They might go CB earlier in the draft than I thought. Maybe round two?

  15. SunPathPaul says:

    Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron feel too risky and expensive to me. I’d rather go after Paea, Perrish Cox and others to flush out the defense. Then I’d love us to pick heavy on offense in this draft. WR, TE and OL…

    Whether we pick at #31 or trade back, I’d just like to see us target good quality WR’s, and get at least 2 of these, one of each group: A) Agholar, McBride, Conley, B) Lockette, Dorsett, Goodley…

    Then I would be stocked… They would genius to add Stephan Diggs or Smelter in the later rounds as icing on top! I’d rather let Zach Miller finish out his contract and spend that pick on a WR this year in a bad TE draft class, and use FA money on defense to open up picks for offense…

    Infusion time! Can’t wait for the draft! (or FA)

    • Jake says:

      I love Smelter as much as any WR in this draft. Diggs is an exciting bundle of athletic/physical qualities. If you want to win forever sometimes you have to let a guy heal up (Smelter) or get coached up (Diggs).

      • Volume 12 says:

        I love Stefon Diggs too. Then I noticed his broad jump and vertical and it would appear he doesn’t have the lower body explosion that Seattle covets in their receivers.

  16. MoondustV says:

    Reality is not Madden 25, but I will swap Mebane for Paea. In fact, does anyone think that Mebane will have a future with Seahawks after 2015? So just do it. And Mebane is not a good pass rusher either. IMO we need 2 DT players, a Paea and a veteran could be great to replace McDaniel and Mebane. Edge rushers are also needed badly, but I prefer to do this in Draft.

    A team cannot win forever, so they need to clinch now. Add a few big-name FAs and I can simply dream of another SB presence in Levi’s.

    • SunPathPaul says:

      I agree. Mebane has been a long time contributor, but at 30 off a nasty hamstring injury, can we really expect his lack of pass rush to ‘improve’? Most likely not.

      Cutting him is without hardly any pain. $5 million is saved, and if we get Sheard or Paea for $4-6 APY, then we simply upgraded the position long term, and got younger at the same time!

      Bring in defensive FA bodies, then draft offense heavily!

  17. peter says:

    This is going to sound silly but I’d like Sheard and Paea. Together they would be cheaper the Suh plus both are younger then Bennet/avril/irvin/ etc. Currently in this draft there is not enough top tier talent to last towards our first pick and second pick for de/dline. You could maybe make a case for a Preston Smith or Owa in the second but neither are currently better rushing inside then Bennett, hill, Mebane, and maybe even marsh and both offer outside support less then then the current roster. With paea sheard you upgrade and allow for a serious offense draft with room for projects as well as perhaps a Gregg scruggs esque defensive pick. You could craft the contracts to avoid bloated final years that have to reworked at the same time and you could get two good/great players squarely in their prime.

    As for jt….Robs made sound cases but for me I assume his production is halved immediately by coming here which is 6 tds a year. Great. I just think Luke Willson is closer to that then we are aware. Add to that he’s bigger , faster and has already grown with this system I feel that dropping 8 mil on a guy who will probably be about as effective as the third year TE is not the strongest use of resources. I get he has been a game breaking TE in Denver but I wonder if he’d be that here with this scheme? As for Cameron…nope…dudes with that serious of concussion problems are to be avoided. Nothing against it but this community argues the virtues of Okung who got judo’d and missed Tim like it was an indictment on him. What would we say when someone got a concussion and couldn’t come back for 3-6 weeks. You can’t control how long those take to remedy.

    • SunPathPaul says:

      I agree Peter. Leave the TE’s alone and go after Paea and Sheard. One or both would be awesome. Suh sounds great, but his salary would crush future options for this team…then yes, draft offensive weapons!~

      • peter says:

        I’d love suh but how do you make a contract of his size work? I just can’t see it

        • Radman says:

          I’ll be disappointed if they brought in Suh. I don’t think it’ll happen, and I hope it doesn’t. The cost is just too high in terms of cap, depth, and risk (unlike some here, I think Suh’s most valuable years are behind him).

          • Ed says:

            Disappointed to sign the best DT in the league. Wow. I would love it. A push from the middle. Something we hardly get and would make the LOB that much more dangerous.

            However, I have said for awhile, would love to sign both Sheard and Paea.

            Not a fan of either Cameron or Thomas

            • Jake says:

              I’m completely aboard the Sheard + Paea > Suh or either TE ship. Sheard alone would make a terrific offseason as it would fix the biggest issue from the NFCCG and SB. If Paea joins the team it probably comes at the cost of either Mebane or McDaniel, so that is a bit more of a wash for 2015 – but a very good long term investment. Sheard is a player we don’t currently have on the roster. We lost that when Clemons was injured in 2013 and then cut in 2014. Irvin did a very nice job filling in, but that left Schofield as a regular contributor in pass-rush situations and he did not impress. For the price, he was a good foot soldier – but Sheard is an assassin. Sheard, Avril, & Irvin off the edge would be a beautiful thing. Suh is a nice player, he’s a huge difference maker – but the cost is astronomical.

              • peter says:

                To follow with Ed’s comment a bit I wouldn’t be bummed if they got its just so cost prohibitive to me in making long term plans.

                Jake I agree it’d be a bit of a wash but it’d be great to get four years younger at DT to help carry the defense as they constantly morph players but try to keep one identity.

              • Rob Staton says:

                I’m not sure the biggest issue in the Super Bowl was the lack of a third well paid pass rusher. There’s not much you can do when Avril goes down. If Wilson had been injured we wouldn’t be saying the issue was a lack of an elite backup QB after all.

                • Jake says:

                  Apples to Oranges. No one in the league can replicate what Russ does. There are at least a dozen pass rushers who can do what Avril does as well or better than he does. Sheard is close to being in that group.

                  • lil'stink says:

                    I also get the impression that Sheard would be a better, more natural fit at LEO than Avril. Last year opposing offensive lines could focus so much attention on Avril and Bennett because we were missing that third guy. Sheard could have a synergistic effect for the DL.

                    We were 3 feet from scoring 31 points in the SB. I’m ok with just using the draft to try and shore up what we already have on offense. How do you make Tom Brady lose the SB? You do what we did to Peyton Manning the year before, which is something we struggled to do in the 2014 season. We need a guy like Sheard.

                  • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                    @lil’stink: The 3rd guy missing from SEA’s DL isn’t another outside rusher. It’s a pocket-collapsing 3T like Suh.

                  • lil'stink says:

                    @ CHawk Talker Eric:

                    Sheard is over 2 years younger than Suh and will be much cheaper.

                    Go watch the SB against the Broncos again. A healthy Clemons was the perfect complement to Avril and Bennett. Sheard could be the next Clemons. I think you are placing too much emphasis on where the pressure comes from. When you collapse the pocket from both edges the tackle in the middle just needs to stop the QB from moving up, something Hill improved upon as the season went on. I also think we can find DT help in the draft before we get help at LEO.

                • bobbyk says:

                  I remember plenty of times/games last year when our supposed great defense/pass rush wasn’t generating much pressure on the QB with both Avril and Bennett on the field.

                  • Jake says:

                    The pass rush was inconsistent all year long. Bennett and Avril played too many snaps this year in my opinion and I think adding Sheard would greatly help keep them both fresh, as will the health of Cassius Marsh.

                  • Phil says:

                    Pretty hard to get an effective pass rush against a team (Patriots) who decide that the way to beat the Seahawks is to throw a bunch of dink-and-dunk throws to slot receivers and RBs. I think teams have decided that this is the way to beat the Seahawks and I’m not sure how to counter.

                  • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                    @Phil: you counter it with a relentless pass rush that knocks the QB on his ass every pass play, regardless of whether or not it’s a sack.

                  • Ed says:

                    That brings up another upsetting point with the SB loss.

                    We got outcoached.

                    With so many injuries to the LOB going into the game, why not have more DB’s (Burley) active?

                    What also stops dinks and dunks is zone. But for some reason we were playing a lot of man and the crossing routes killed us.

                    Poor tackling, which is a lack of discipline.

                    That doesn’t even touch on the offense, just some frustrating stuff with the D. We had a 10 point lead late in the 3rd, it should have been over.

                    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

                  • Jake says:

                    @phil: On the key 3rd down conversion, and on a few other plays, Brady held the ball, and held the ball, and held the ball and went through about five different receivers before throwing. Generally, yes the ball was out quick – but on the few times in the 4th quarter that he held the ball there was no one to rush him and cause mistakes.

                    That dink and dunk stuff only works when our Safeties are not 100%, otherwise Kam and Earl make tackles/big hits and before you know it, it’s 4th down. That approach has been tried over and over and so far, only NE and SD have made it work. SD also had an on-fire Phillip Rivers and a fountain-of-youth Antonio Gates while playing in 100 degree heat. Both times Kam was significantly injured and trying to play through it.

                • peter says:

                  Rob its your fault. Sheard was the first player you ever targeted when I started paying attention in earnest with the draft.

        • Radman says:

          yeah, not disappointed they brought in the “best DT in the league”, disappointed in that they likely paid franchise QB dollars for it.

          Focusing on his talent alone and not the cost of the talent is not very smart, is it?

          • Ed says:

            Agreed. But I think they can work it out so it wouldn’t.

            Paea and Sheard would work for me too, but if getting Suh is a possibility, got to explore it.

  18. EranUngar says:

    It starts with Lynch. If he is questionable then boosting the offense becomes a do or dies need. If that is the case we’ll fight to get JT/Cameron, go for Gurley in the first round and add a receiver or two later.

    However, if Lynch is on board for 2015-16, I think going for Paea at 4-5M a year is obvious. He is a Mebane against the run, a Hill against the pass and possibly a McD too. (Red wasn’t a 3 technique till he became a great one)

    Paea will enable us to save a part of his cost by releasing McD. He can step into Mebane’s roll next year. He is a proven, health risk free, young player entering his prime. He can end up costing 2-3M tops against the cap and still allow us to get the TE of our dreams. What’s there to think about???

    Melton/Freeney/Dockett – if any of then is ready to embrace a rotation roll at a team friendly low cost – You can never have too many pass rushers.

    CB – how about adding the 30 y.o. ex Seahawk Blackmon. He had a good 2013 season at JAC and could be a decent alternative as backup at min cost.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Ultimately though not a good enough 2013 to avoid being cut.

      • EranUngar says:

        True. But JAC is building a future team and has cap space to look for a starter. We just need added backup in case Simon/Burley/Terrell/rookie are not there….(we won against GN/DEN with Burley/Simon…)

        It’s a cheap backup to compete for a roster spot…

      • j says:

        Its Jacsonville – they are building for the future, and they have a bunch of young, well thought of, high drafted CB. No reason to keep him as he is not a long-term solution.

        We don’t need a long term solution. We need a short-term patch.

  19. Volume 12 says:

    Give me DT Karl Klug. Love this guys passion and work ethic. Seems very ‘Seahawky’ to me. A versatile interior pass rusher that will come cheap and hasn’t peaked in terms of talent. Typical Seattle DT. Sacrifice size for either length or quickness. Really hoping we can land this dude.

    Sheard, Paea, and others will be too expensive for such a marginal/situational role. Remember, when we signed Avril, we weren’t sure what we’d be getting back in an ‘over the hill’ Chris Clemons, and really had no one at the LEO spot since Irvin was focusing on transitioning to SAM LB. We may need another rusher, although I have faith in Marsh, but sign an expensive FA to be our 4th or 5th edge rushers No thanks. Not unless Mizzou DE-LEO Shane Ray falls to us. We can find an adequate/back-up LEO in the draft.

    I don’t care what others say, TE Jordan Cameron is a very god fit for Seattle. IMO Seattle and teams like Philly are so far ahead of the curve in terms of monitoring players health, not rushing them back, etc. unless TE Maxx Williams is their guy. Which he very well could be.

    • peter says:

      I honestly don’t think SHeard would be the 4th or 5th edge rusher. I love the players we have now but last year Our two best pass rushers combined for 14 sacks all season (regular and post season) Bruce Irvin who doesn’t even play as a “pass rusher,” per se had 6.5 sack and Jordan Hill had 5.5.

      Jabal Sheard had 9 playing out of position for Cleveland. I know stats are not movable but where I’m going is we have an adequate back up leo/pash rusher in Schofield and he could be let go to go after a valuable pass rusher. Sheard is three years younger then Avril so it’s a nod to the future as well as it has the direct benefit of two things 1: Increasing Avril and Bennett’s presence and ability by putting pressure form the opposite side or spelling Avril or stacking a ridiculous wide 9 formation of avril/sheard/Bennett/Hill for third and longs

      and 2: They are some players later in the draft that are intriguing, but just intriguing, Sheard/Paea are known knowns as it were and strengthening the Defense in Free agency is what the team does whether it’s Bennett, Avril, K Williams, Mcdaniels, Branch, etc it allows them to set their sights squarely in a ton of offense in this draft form Oline to WR’s to project TE’s.

      As for Marsh I think he’s got something I just don’t know if we or they know what it is yet. Is he a Stand up DE? is he a sub for Bennett? I think it’ll be this season barring no more injuries through the beginning of next before everyone really sees his role with the team.

      FInally TE Jordan Cameron could be great. Could be great for this team even. My problem is when you look at Zach Miller as my reference you see that he was a good Pass catching TE with blocking skills who had his numbers basically cut in half upon arrival in Seattle. If you take Jordan Camero’s absolute best year and halve that you have numbers that are basically less then in yards and Td’ to and greater then catches of Golden Tate’s time in Seattle. Which is to compare a TE to a WR which isn’t the pass catching structure in Seattle.

      With the way Seattle spreads the ball around and still has it’s WR make up the bulk of attempts/catches/yds/ tds vs. TE’s I just have a hard time paying a TE who is going to be looked at 40-50 times in the season for 4 td’s and 500 yards (numbers extrapolated and made higher then average for the sake of positivity of what the best years a TE has had in Seattle under Carrol,) it just doesn’t seem like a wise move. I’d rather roll with WIlson and honestly go after one of the project TE’s such as Jesse James then look towards Free agency.

      • SunPathPaul says:

        I agree Peter. We stubbornly refuse to let our TEs flourish every game, as in the SB, so why drop so much loot on someone barley used…

        • Volume 12 says:

          Why drop so much loot on a DE that will be the 4th pass rusher? Are they really going to sign Sheard and give him more reps than Irvin, Bennett, and Avril? Didn’t we just go through this with Harvin?

          It’s not all about sacks. No one complained about the pass rush when Jordan Hill was healthy and that’s what Seattle is missing. Interior pass rush. As for Marsh, I see him being used like Bennett. He had a role with this team before his inury. IMO he was the most impressive guy in the pre-season.

          Jordan Cameron is one of the more dynamic TEs in the league. Again It’s not all about numbers. The pass blocking aspect is a little overrated. He would open up everything for the receivers, and give Seattle someone the opposing defense would have to game plan for. And if they do sign Cameron or JT why couldn’t they still draft a developmental TE on day 3 or in UDFA?

          • SunPathPaul says:

            I thought Sheard was an interior DL…hmmm… then Paea I guess is better for us…

            As far as spending on Jordan Cameron, if he had any other injury issue besides concussions, then I’d be more open too it. Even though we are not the defending champions, teams will still play us very hard after another SB appearance. I’m scared that teams will head-hunt Cameron like the Saints did to Percy Harvin. They knocked Percy OUT!!!

            This is my biggest fear with Jordan Cameron. We get him, he shows promise and helps us score points, only to be hit hard and concussed again…then lost for the season, or multiple games…

            Then that $ and roster spot becomes null and void… Healthy he’d be great! But he isn’t…

          • peter says:

            See this is eye of the beholder and I know people will disagree but I don’t think Avril is that great. Clemons was older more productive before and after injury and Avril is closer to 30 then 25. I can literally say that of the “assumed” quality pass rushers in this draft none are in reach and those that are in reach are not as good as Sheard in a pure Leo role.

            We agree on this I think Marsh is more Bennett the Avril. But Bennett plays inside as often as he rushes outside. Oddly depending on how,you want to slice it inside bennett/hill//mebane/williams/mcdaniels have as many sacks pressures what have yous as outside rushers. Think our problem is the outside game with good inside players returning you’re still left with Avril good but not great. Irvin who is,great since he doesn’t just rush but does a,ton of everything and Schofield who’s a JAG. The entirety of the outside pressure is Avril with help from Bennett if he’s not inside. I just think that can be improved on and Sheard I a better option “on paper” then Preston smith Mauldin etc. Maybe those guys are better. No one knows yet.

            As for Jordan Cameron I’m all about it. Cut miller, moeaki, say goodbye to McCoy, and roll with Wilson/cameron. I just don’t know if one season is enough to go on. Sure he was great in that season bit I that an aberration? Are the seasons that bookend that more indicative of his skill level in an offense that doesn’t chuck it much? That’s all I’m asking

            • Volume 12 says:

              I think that Cameron hasn’t reached his full potential and may just now be scratching the surface of what he can be. I get the concussion issues, but you have to roll the dice on dynamic players and his concussion ‘problems’ will more than likely make him affordable.

              Avril may not put up ridiculous sack numbers, but he’s one of the best DEs in the game at getting QBs off their spot. D-lineman and QBs are like a fine wine. 9 times out of 10 they get better with age. Had Avril not got knocked out of the SB, I think we win that game hands down. There’s a reason Seattle locked this guy up and didn’t let him leave town.

              Avril, Bennett, Irvin, Marsh, and a rookie pass-rusher like say Harvard DE-LEO Zach Hodges would be so exciting and more than a sufficient enough rotation of edge rushers. Add in Jordan Hill and a Karl Klug, or Darnell Docket type of signing in FA, all of a sudden Seattle has one of the most feared pass rush units in the NFL. Maybe Greg Scruggs finally gets going too.

              • peter says:

                I like Hodges quite a bit but the jump from ivy league to the pros will be a learning curve without a doubt. I’m looking forward to hill, could see klug, and am off dockett. I love him as a player but the knee…

                • Volume 12 says:

                  Your right about the jump from the Ivy league to the pros. Again he’d be the 4th or 5th edge rusher so he could be brought along slowly.

                  However, I don’t worry about Hodges in the slightest. This is a guy who said he was the best player at the combine, gotta love that confidence. He’s extremely competitive, is a self professed perfectionist, and it pisses him off when he misses an assignment or play. Extremely hard-working. He could have gone to Stanford, Georgia, or Georgia Tech, but choose Harvard, He says his playing style is ‘like a shark that smells blood in the water.’ What a fit for this defense.

                  No one can question this dude’s toughness. He lost his dad to a brain tumor at age 6, which led to him and his mom roaming the streets of Charlotte and then she passes away when he was 16. So he moved to Atlanta to live with his grandma, and was very close to his grandfather, but he passed when Zach was 14 and on the streets of Charlotte.

                  He’s a guy you don’t have to ever worry or fret over. His spin move is nasty and could become a signature rush move. He reminds me of a raw version of Dwight Freeney. This guy has ‘Seahawk’ written all over him.

  20. Ross says:

    I’m struggling to stop myself from falling too far into the Ndamukong Suh hype. Just imagining the possibility of having him line up on the interior with Bennett and Avril to his left and Irvin to his right when it’s a passing down, or even at defensive end with Jordan Hill on the interior, makes me salivate. What offensive line could stop that?

    All that money though. We’d need to cut guys. He’d lock down and dominate the position for years though. It might actually mean we’d save resources in the long run.

    Of course, the Raiders are going to sell him Khalil Mack and give him way more than we ever could.

    • Robert says:

      With the CAP rising, he might be locked in at a bargain rate. We might look like geniuses a couple years from now. The LOB deals are starting to look like bargains already! Suh dynamically improves every other aspect of our D and every other player! And that is difficult to quantify, but in my imagination the addition of Suh makes our D legendary and he makes up the difference in salary through endorsements, championships and historical relevance!

  21. Trevor says:

    If Lynch is coming back our Free Agent strategy should be very simple.

    1) Cut Mebane or restructure
    2) Cut McDaniel
    3) Sign Paea 4-5 mil per
    4) Sign Sheard 4-5 mil per
    5) Sign Cameron Jordan 5-6 mil per
    6) Sign Thurmond or Peanut 1 yr deal
    7) Cut Miller or Restructure
    8) Resign Carpenter at 3 mil per or less. If he wants more than 3 mil per then let him walk.

    I think the market will be strong for Paea, Sheard because so many teams are flush with cash but if they get these two guys I think the defense is set for the next 3 yrs once they extend Wagner.

  22. Trevor says:

    You are probably right Rob but my hope is that is down year because of scheme last year will drive down the price a little.

  23. Trenchtown says:

    Never heard anyone say that Sheard doesn’t have por Ethan character issues. He threw a dude through a window and beat the crap out of him right before the draft.

    • Volume 12 says:

      LOL. Also doesn’t strike me as a guy with a very high football IQ. He should have 7 sacks in a 3-4 scheme at the least.

  24. Mike says:

    Rob,

    Any reason you didn’t include Will Blackmon on the veteran stopgap corner list? I’m not sure how much he’s got left in the tank, but he was in Seahawks camp in 2013 and has been with Gus Bradley in Jacksonville since then.

    • hawkfaninMT says:

      I think he addressed that above…

      Age being 31, if Bradley is letting him walk, there must be a reason. It isn’t as though they need the extra cap space, and if he isnt a good fit in the Defense there, he probably isn’t here

  25. Jeff M. says:

    I think we’ll make a few different stopgap veteran signings before the draft (low $ value, one or two years, no guarantee of a spot) in order to plug the current holes and not go into the draft forced to fill specific needs. That seems to be this team’s MO, to add a cheap veteran first, then go after good value in the draft, but be ready to cut the veteran if he gets outplayed by the rookie (a la Antoine Winfield, TO, etc.). That probably means someone like Tillman/Cox/etc. at corner, a guy like Dockett inside (or another one year deal for Williams), maybe a Jacoby Jones to fill a hole at WR/KR/PR, maybe a Schofield replacement if he leaves…but none of them for more than $2-3m. And in each case also an addition in the draft to compete for the spot.

  26. lil'stink says:

    In 2014 we had 4 players in the top 150 for QB hurries. In 2013 we had 7 players in the top 150. I think getting back to a deeper DL rotation like we had in 2013 should be our main priority this offseason. Getting Mebane and Hill back will help; but Bennett and Avril need more help in the pass rush. There seemed to be too many escape routes in the pocket for opposing QB’s last year, especially in the games we lost.

    You can never have too much of a pass rush. No matter how good your pass coverage is any decent QB will pick you apart if he gets enough time. And if your goal is to win the SB, you are bound to run into quite a few good QB’s on the road to getting there. Jabaal Sheard could be the LEO we have been looking for – no more trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole with Avril, Irvin, or Schofield.

    I can’t think of a better fit for what we need in FA. Paea would be nice, but if we play our cards right we should be able to get at least one quality DT in the draft. With all the WR’s in the draft I’m cooling on the idea of going after a pass catcher in FA. Suh isn’t realistic; we can’t afford him. Are there any LEO candidates that will be available at #31 that could come in and start in September like Sheard could?

    • bobbyk says:

      I agree. A “backup” pass rusher is going to see serious playing time and the starters will remain more fresh which will make them moe effective, too.It’s not like a backup right tackle who won’t see the field if the starter doesn’t go down.

      • Lil'stink says:

        I love Avril but I wonder if Sheard wouldn’t be a better option as an every down type of player. I would want to bring Sheard in to compete for starting snaps, not just as a situational guy. He’ll probably make too much $ to justify that.

        It also frees Irvin up to be more of a pure LB. I’m starting to wonder if he couldn’t ultimately be better in coverage than KJ.

    • hawkfaninMT says:

      I feel like Eli Harold has been thrown around a bit as an ideal Leo candidate. Will he be there at 31? Maybe, maybe not

  27. Steve Nelsen says:

    Taking a big picture look, I am excited about the possibilities for Seattle upgrading the defensive line.

    There are free-agent defensive linemen in all 4 categories: All-Pro (Suh); immediate starters (Paea, Sheard); veteran rotational players at low cost (Melton, K. Williams, Dockett) and a Pro-bowler looking for a 1-year deal to restore his value (Hardy).

    Plus, this is a deep draft for defensive linemen including LEO and DT.

    So, that tells me that McDaniel and Schofield are gone. There are better players available for less money. Mebane is probably gone too if Seattle spends for Suh, Paea or Sheard. Or, Mebane does a restructure and plays here for one more year.

    Paea and Sheard could have the same impact to this team as Bennett and Avril did. And they could both have a similar cost. Are they worth it? I think so. Seattle’s pass rush is better when they can bring in an extra outside rusher like Clemons and move Bennett inside. Sheard could clearly fill the Clemons role which Schofield was unable to do. Hill has already moved ahead of McDaniel in the rotation and I would be fine if we started the season with Hill at 3T. Paea could replace Mebane at 1T and improve the interior rush. I would happily bring back Kevin Williams for another year if he wants to keep playing.

    What about Suh? If you tell me the choice for spending cap space is between Suh or Zach Miller, Mebane and McDaniel then I think that is a no-brainer. You add the All-Pro in his prime and replace the older situational/rotational guys. His contract would not impact Russell Wilson or Marshawn Lynch or Bobby Wagner or J.R. Sweezy or Bruce Irvin.

    If we miss out on Sheard and Greg Hardy wants to come here on a 1-year prove it deal, I would be interested but cautious. Let someone else have him if they believe that the legal issue was more fire than smoke. He will face a league suspension to begin the season.

    This may be a tough year to make an immediate upgrade to TE. I think many of us think of 2012 Zach Miller instead of 2013-14 Zach Miller when we consider him a potential starter. His time here may be done. I am not excited about the injury risk/cost of either Julius Thomas or Jordan Cameron. Seattle was interested in both of those guys last year partly because they were looking to move Harvin and those guys were in the last years of their contract. I wouldn’t assume that the past interest indicates a willingness to make a long-term commitment.

    There does not seem to be any clear impact starters at TE in the draft. But, if we are looking for a guy who can block and displays enough size and athleticism to project as a 3rd down receiver/possible red-zone target then I think we could find that guy.

    I am not thrilled about any of the free-agent cornerbacks. I think in general the free-agents will be overpaid relative to their value because of the lack of talent in free-agency. I don’t like Perrish Cox because of the character issues. I was glad when he left Seattle. Walter Thurmond is a slot corner and we have that position covered with Burley. Frankly, in my opinion the only free agent CB that makes sense is AJ Jefferson if he is healthy. I don’t think Tillman can start but if the Hawks think he can start and he is willing to take a deal like Antoine Winfield did a couple years ago, then I would be fine with that move.

    I wonder if some of the cap space might not go to an offensive lineman, particularly if Carpenter moves on. I am not comfortable with counting on either Alvin Bailey or Justin Britt as a replacement for Carp.

    • bobbyk says:

      Dockett reportedly turned down $4 million from AZ so I don’t think he’s as cheap as we initially thought.

      • Volume 12 says:

        If you sign Paea and then release Mebane and Tony McD, that’s cutting your margins very slim. It’s not like this team is ripe with interior D-lineman. Paea, Jordan Hill, and a rookie?

        You need cheap vets like McDaniel, Klug, CJ Mosley, etc. to plug in and do the dirty work. Sure Paea is a young stud, but is he that much of an upgrade from Mebane? Everyone seems to think that Mebane is done or something. This is the 1st time he’s missed a game since 2010.

        • SunPathPaul says:

          Mebane is now 30, and the hamstring injury he had was supposedly a very bad one, not minor at all.
          So at $5.5 million a year for a 30 yo DL coming off a nasty injury seems unwise.

          Plus, from what I remember seeing and the radio hosts bringing up, when Mebane went out, our D-line rush got much better with Hill. So why risk $ on an older off injury fellow. I agree we could use that $5.5 million on Paea, Klug, etc…for depth.

          • Volume 12 says:

            Paea will cost much more than $5 mil. Karl Klug on the other hand will be even cheaper than that. Yea, Mebane’s injury was bad, but he’s way ahead of schedule, and Clemons was also an aging, over 30 D-lineman that came back from a gruesome injury and was still effective.

            Of course when Mebane went down the D-line got a better pass rush. Bane isn’t a pass-rusher, he’s a run stuffer. Paea isn’t a pass rusher either. Although IMO Mebane is a very underrated up field/penetrating DT. You need big bodied DTs in Seattle’s 4-3 scheme, because it allows our speedy LBs like B-Wagz, Bruce, KJ, and KPL to roam free and make plays.

            • MoondustV says:

              If Mebane restructed his contract, reduced his salary to $3M, I’ll take him for run defense in 1&2 downs. More than that? Just step aside.

  28. Madmark says:

    I’m in for Suh and I really don’t think his contract would hurt as bad as most people think. The cap was 133 million last year and this year it will be a 144 million. I’d be willing to drop Miller, Mebane, Williams, McDaniels, and Scrugggs. Hell I’d even bring in Dockett for a look to see and kick the tires and if not Suh then he would be my next target.

  29. drewjov11 says:

    Does anyone know how much cap rollover we get from the previous year to this off-season?

  30. byron says:

    Everyone talks about Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron. No one talks about Jermaine Gresham, who is also a great athlete, and could be signed for a considerably smaller cap hit. He had drop issues early on but the past two years has been reliable. I think he suffers from Red Rocket syndrome, and could be a great addition to the Seahawks.

  31. bobbyk says:

    I want Suh more than anything, but I think a DL of:

    Avril, Bennett, Mebane, Hill, Sheard, and Marsh is a fantastic start and maybe Kevin Williams on another one-year and relatively low cost deal. This would be pretty ideal, too. And a lot cheaper than adding Suh.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love Suh first and foremost. You don’t get many dominant players like this who become free agents still in their prime.

    However, in pass rush situations, I see Sheard and Avril coming from the edge and Bennett and Hill coming up the gut. I think that would be pretty lethal. And then when 1-2 of those guys get hurt, you still have 2-3 legitimately good pass rushers.

    Either way, I’m still pretty adamant that we need pass rushing help because, as I’ve said before, it’s not like you only play 4 players on the DL. You play more due to keeping guys fresh and more effective when they aren’t on the field. It’s not like a back-up OL who won’t ever see the field unless a starter goes down.

    The reason we need more than two CBs is because you need more than the two starters. And, yes, I realize we need to replace Maxwell AND add talent/depth. I *almost* equate that to needing pass rushers like the Giants had when they beat the Pats twice in Super Bowls.

  32. JeffC says:

    I think to get back to the sb, seattle needs to make one impact FA signing filling something that they don’t currently have. Something at the Michael Bennett impact level either on offense or defense.

    Draft choices are fun, but they rarely have immediate impact in our system. I can only think of RW as having the type of first year impact. Even Earl had trouble adjusting and was almost benched. Rookies can and should provide nice depth, but we need someone who can pencil in immediately and make coordinators game plan for.

    Our window is still open and I don’t want to lose at least one more shot before we go by way of the niners who look to be in serious decline.

    • Volume 12 says:

      I hands down agree. That’s one reason why Seattle does bring guys along slowly. So in a year or two, even three, they have a handful of young up and coming players that equate to signing FAs. Maybe not impact or tier 1 FAs, but having 4-6 young prospects ready to bust out of their shell. They always draft with an eye to the future.

      I think Marsh, KPL, Jordan Hill, yes even Tharold Simon, and possibly Eric Pinkins will really add to an already elite/no 1 defense. I’m hoping Pinkins can become our 4-3 defensive ‘chess-piece’ with Bam Bam size and strength. All of Jordan Hill’s comments this off-season lead me to believe that this guy is going to have a monster year, if the injury bug doesn’t bite him.

    • Ho Lee Chit says:

      IMO, to get back to the Super Bowl all we really need to do is get our injured guys healthy and keep them healthy. We were hit pretty hard last season with injuries and still ended up 1 yard from SB victory. Add back Mebane, Richardson, Miller, and a healthy LOB and we would have won going away. In 2013, we were fortunate to avoid injuries. Not so, in 2014.

      What we need to do now is avoid self inflicted wounds to our roster. Only if it is determined that our injured guys are never going to regain their former form should we gut this roster for another, more attractive free agent piece. Suh, is a great player but a healthy Mebane is not far behind.

      • SunPathPaul says:

        Sorry, but a healthy Mebane doesn’t even come close to Suh. Have you ever seen Mebane tackling RB 4 yards behind the line? No. Never…

      • Volume 12 says:

        I think so too. And possibly only losing 2 starters this year in FA? Losing Lane and Avril in that game were the daggers.

        I get what your saying about Mebane not behind far behind in Suh in terms of stopping the run, clogging lanes, and occupying multiple blockers, but Suh is much more than that. I’d love Suh like everyone else, but at what price?

      • JeffC says:

        Normally I’d agree with this assessment, all things being equal. And if we look at the final result, we can draw this conclusion. The problem I have is that at 3-3 our season was skirting on the edge of disaster. It truly was not playing well, the Harvin debacle had divided the team, and it took some time to recover. The defense when we were 6-4 was not sb calibre. It ended up being sb calibre, but things finally fell our way, Wags got healthy, and Hill stepped up.

        But how we finished leads me to concern. RW really didn’t play his best from St Louis to the sb. The offense all thru the playoffs couldn’t get started for the first half in every game. In the packers game, until the last 5 minutes. And even though we will get injured players back, you can’t expect this team to remain healthy all thru the 2015 season. Injuries will take their toll. More is needed than just injured players coming back.

        The super bowl is not an easy shoo-in as you’re making it seem. Ask Dan Marino. We need an impact signing and the window is open NOW.

        • bobbyk says:

          The Packers clearly outplayed us in the NFC Championship Game and will be a very formidable opponent again ’15. This time Rodgers might even be able to scramble and make it much harder on us. You can’t count on getting onsides kicks to win games. It’ll be a huge accomplishment to get back to the Super Bowl and it’s not going to happen if we don’t improve.

          There are lots of ways to improve. I just don’t know which route we’ll take. Maybe we go all in on Suh. Maybe we go in on a lesser DL like Hardy, Orakpo, Sheard, etc. Maybe we to offense, as we know our offense was pathetic for 55 minutes against the Packers and too much of the game against the Patriots. Wilson needs a weapon – will it be a TE? WR? Stronger OL?

          I am one who thinks the OL will improve by losing Carp. I’ve hated that guy for a long time. Whoever signs him will see their odds increase of having the most false start penalties in the NFL. Of course, with Okung and Co. the Hawks will still be the favorites.

          • Volume 12 says:

            The offense definitely needs to be upgraded. More is needed than injured players coming back. And they’ll address that and have these young guys and players coming off of IR to boot.

            Worrying about a 3rd year QB who’s made back to back SBs, won 1, lost the other, and was 34 seconds away from being in 3 straight NFCCGs, maybe even 3 straight SBs is just ridiculous IMO. He’s only going to get better.

            Every team that’s won the SB in the last, IDK how many years has had a bit of luck on their side. Why won’t this team improve? No one ever said that PCs brand/style of football was going to be pretty or ‘ease concerns.’

          • Attyla the Hawk says:

            That Packer team is basically going to have to recover/reload like we will in 2016. Rodgers won’t likely be gimped — but that roster is going to be a shadow of it’s former self. They will probably have no less than 12 total new faces starting next year. And very likely won’t have Randall Cobb catching passes.

            This past year was generally considered their best shot in the next few years.

  33. Jon says:

    Even If Paea at 6m/y and Sheard at 8m/y (these I think are the high end of the Paea Sheard markets respectively) were both signed in FA we likely come out ahead financially of signing Suh (Spotrac has his estimate at nearly 17m/y) alone.

  34. Attyla the Hawk says:

    Looks like the WR market will be heating up.

    I am in no way interested in Vincent Jackson. I think he’s a terrible receiver. Who makes stats by a sheer avalanche of opportunities.

    However, I am as interested in Andre Johnson as I am disinterested in V-Jax. Andre has a very good catch/target ratio. It’s comparable to Dez Bryant and a shade lower than Doug Baldwin. Reliable outside threat who still knows how to get open and more importantly as much better ball skills than Jackson does.

    Another good option could well be Stevie Johnson. I’d expect him to be cut by SF shortly. A real quality route runner who gets open marvelously. Just as Sherman — he’d easily endorse the addition. Stevie abused Sherman repeatedly in our game in Toronto 3 seasons ago. He suffered from Kaepernick deflation this past season.

    • SunPathPaul says:

      I agree with getting Andre Johnson. He would be perfect! He would give our young guys a veteran presence that Doug Baldwin cannot do or provide. He would give us a big target that is consistent and a perfect security blanket for Russell Wilson.

      This is my number 1 priority over signing Jordan Cameron or Julius Thomas. He can do similar things without the injury risk, and at his age encourage and help our wide receivers grow.if we could get him in draft two wide receivers, we could let Paul Richardson rest for 2015, and have Andre teach this young group how to be professionals…

      This would be his long term value! Not to mention how many awesome catches he would catch from Russell Wilson!!!!

      • Ho Lee Chit says:

        I hope you realize that Andre Johnson is expected to get paid $10m per year. Suh is expecting a $100M over five or six year. Together that is more than our $24m of available cap space. Not only will we be getting rid of Mebane, Miller, Kevin Williams and McDonald but there will be no money for Russell Wilson, Wagner or Lynch with your plan.

        You advocate for Andre Johnson to teach our young receivers to be professional while bringing in Suh, “The Leg Stomper”, and perennial bad boy. I find this to be a bit of a contradiction.

  35. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    PHI trades McCoy to BUF for Alonso?

    Interesting. If PHI can sign Maxwell in FA, they’ll have a right proper defense going into 2015.

    What does this do to the draft boards?

    • SunPathPaul says:

      Buffalo has no 1st round pick, and Philly wants to trade up for Mariota. I seriously believe the Jets would be foolish not to take a trade from the number sixth pick to the 20th in exchange for a proven NFL quarterback like Nick Foles, plus other picks. They finally get a real quarterback that can play, and at 20 can still get a good cornerback, plus all the other pics they would receive…

      Why risk drafting Marcus Mariota, when you know that Nick Foles can play. Take the proven guy and the pics. Move forward. Geno is the back up… Done

  36. Jon O says:

    I think Sheard is a no brainier with huge upside. Quickly makes us best pass rush team in the league if Hill and Marsh come back healthy.

    The Broncos TE to watch is not named Thomas (due to $$$), but Virgil Green. Athletic freak with more in-line blocking ability. Swoop him away from Denver before they see it coming!

    I think they sign a veteran DT after free agency cools down a bit.

  37. smitty1547 says:

    I agree I think Virgil Green could be future stud.

  38. jake206 says:

    I don’t think Julius Thomas is coming here…he’s going to sign with Raiders. But Brandon Marshall might sign with us…quite possible and if he comes back from his rib injury. He’ll contribute in a big way.