Why the Seahawks will be aggressive this off-season

January 27th, 2020 | Written by Rob Staton

Russell Wilson and Stefon Diggs are close

We’re nearing the end of January and we’ve had the Senior Bowl. If, like me, you’re ignoring the Super Bowl in order to spend time contemplating Seattle’s off-season plan, here’s where I’m currently at:

1. The Seahawks are going to be aggressive this off-season
2. Fixing the defense will be the priority
3. They will add at least one new weapon for Russell Wilson
4. Trades are likely

Let’s go through them one-by-one…

1. The Seahawks are going to be aggressive this off-season

Pete Carroll has often talked about closing the circle.

But what does it even mean?

A tough, physical running game. Explosive plays in the passing game. A strong defense that forces turnovers.

Ingredients mixed together to create a winning football team.

However at various times over the last decade the circle hasn’t been closed.

A league-worst running game was holding them back in 2017. The solution was a complete coaching overhaul on offense, a new-style offensive line and a first round pick spent on a running back.

It solved the problem. They appeared to be heading towards becoming a complete team.

12 months on, the circle is incomplete again. This time it’s the defense.

Here’s a reminder of just how bad it was this season:

The Seahawks finished the 2019 season with 28 sacks, second fewest in the league behind only Miami (23). Their sack percentage was 4.5% — third worst overall.

They had only 126 pressures, sixth fewest in the league behind Detroit (125), Oakland (117), Houston (117), Atlanta (115) and Miami (96). Seattle’s pressure percentage was the fourth worst in the league (19.3%) behind Detroit (18.9%), Houston (18.1%) and Miami (16.7%).

Seattle hit the quarterback 68 times — fourth fewest. They had 52 TFL’s — again, fourth fewest.

They gave up 55 explosive running plays on defense, seventh most in the NFL. Yet their explosive run play percentage (14%) was the third worst overall behind only Carolina (16%) and Cleveland (15%).

They also gave up 4.9 YPC — fourth most overall.

The other startling statistic is the sheer number of missed tackles. They had 131 during the regular season — the fourth most.

Pete Carroll and John Schneider will be extremely aware of how big this issue is. It threatens to derail their otherwise textbook reset. They simply need to be better on defense. They need more talent. Ready made talent. Impact players.

There will be a sense of urgency here. 100% guaranteed. There’s no ‘waiting for a draft pick or two to work out’. They will know, fully, the scale of this problem. They are in a Championship window.

They have never been complacent. Even through all those years of porous offensive line play. They spent first and second round picks trying to rectify it.

Not every move has worked, clearly. Yet you can never accuse the Seahawks of sitting on their hands.

Now they’re in a position where they have more cap space than ever during the Carroll era. They also have a means to create more cap room. I suspect they will do whatever it takes to max out their spending potential and that could mean some difficult decisions are forthcoming for highly paid existing players on the roster.

They also have a strong collection of draft picks, including three in the first two rounds.

They are perfectly placed to be aggressive. And they will be.

2. Fixing the defense is the priority

There are other things to be resolved but first and foremost the defense needs to be fixed. This will be the major priority and it will start with Jadeveon Clowney being retained.

There’s very little reason for this not to get done. Clowney has talked about signing for a contender:

“I just want to win… I want to get that Super Bowl, by any means. That’s what I’m looking for. Who’s going to get me there? I’m not looking to get on no sorry team for no money. That ain’t gonna fly.”

Of course it’s very possible Clowney’s definition of a ‘contender’ could be quite flexible if a team offers him significantly more money than anyone else is offering. Yet the reality is Seattle’s perfectly placed to keep him.

For starters, they have an existing relationship. They have Duane Brown. They’re not the Texans. They were one of the teams he was willing to be traded to at the start of the season.

They also have significantly more cap space than any serious contender.

The five teams with more projected cap space are the Dolphins, Colts, Buccs, Bills and Cowboys. Clowney reportedly rejected a trade to Miami during the summer. The Colts have a major question mark at quarterback. The Buccaneers are not on the brink of contending. The Bills are not a particularly attractive proposition even though they made the playoffs. Dallas will be using their cap space on Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper.

Teams like the Ravens, Chiefs, 49ers, Saints, Vikings and Steelers simply don’t have the money to challenge Seattle.

So while it will be expensive — surely their first move will be an extension for Clowney either after the combine, just before the league year opens or shortly after free agency officially begins.

They won’t stop there, though. This isn’t a Clowney plus a draft pick fix. They will need more. That means the addition of at least one more pass rusher and further subsequent moves.

This isn’t a good draft class for pass rusher’s. So if the market doesn’t provide a solution, they might turn to the trade market. More on that in a bit.

3. They will add at least one new weapon for Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson made himself heard at the Pro Bowl, noting his desire for the team to add ‘superstars’. He also made it very clear during his exit-interview in the locker room that he wants to be part of a team that is really pushing for titles over the next five years. He wants to be remembered as one of the best and the current roster will not help him reach that goal.

Wilson would acknowledge that the defense needs help, especially the pass rush. Yet it’s incredibly likely he’ll also be petitioning for another weapon.

It’s an excellent looking receiver draft class and certainly that could be an area Seattle attacks. They’ve often targeted the positional strength of a class in the early rounds.

Wilson was reportedly, however, pushing for Antonio Brown during the 2019 season. They eventually signed Josh Gordon. He’s been asked to do more with less for a lot of his career. And while Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf are extremely talented, I get the sense Wilson feels like he deserves one more proven weapon.

That could be in the form of an established tight end such as Austin Hooper (discussed in more detail here). It could just as easily be another veteran receiver.

We’ll talk more about trade options in a moment but it certainly feels like teams will be listening this off-season. Stefon Diggs for example looks thoroughly disengaged in Minnesota and is close to Wilson.

Part of the aggressive nature of this off-season will include offense. Let’s not forget — in 2013 they didn’t just sign Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. They also traded for Percy Harvin — when they already had Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate.

4. Trades are likely

Two days after the Green Bay game, I posted a piece discussing the likelihood of a key trade. It feels almost inevitable.

For starters, the cost works in Seattle’s favour. Take Von Miller for example. Due to the dead-cap on his contract, the Broncos would be paying some of his salary in 2020. They’d still make a saving but the Seahawks wouldn’t be inheriting an obscene cap hit. In free agency, you’d almost certainly have to pay more money for a lesser player.

Yes, this would likely mean sacrificing a high pick. Yet the options at #27 this year will be similar to previous seasons.

Ideally there’s a way to find value for money on the open market, address the pass rush, add an offensive weapon and retain a full quota of picks. It’s not always that simple though.

What is clear is they have to be pro-active. With the information they will gather at the combine speaking with teams and agents in Indianapolis, they’ll be able to come up with a plan. That plan could take on many forms depending on what intel they receive.

Whether it’s for a pass rusher, a defensive playmaker or a weapon for Russell Wilson — some kind of trade seems likely.

It also seems like teams are setting the table to do business.

For example, the Ravens are already touting Matt Judon around. They like him and he was productive in 2019 (9.5 sacks). Yet there’s a problem with pass rusher’s in the league currently.

Nobody is really getting value.

If you have to use the franchise tag (Baltimore probably will on Judon) you immediately set the floor for negotiations at about $17-18m. For a Joey Bosa, that’s fine. It’s expected. For the next tier of defensive end’s, however, that can be difficult to accept.

This is the main reason why Frank Clark departed. Seattle was clearly willing to pay Clark. Yet a combination of the franchise tag and DeMarcus Lawrence getting Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack money changed the game. Now he was set to receive elite-level money. The Seahawks didn’t think it was a wise investment and the Chiefs thought the price of the contract and two high draft picks was worth it.

We’ve now seen Mack, Clark and Dee Ford traded in similar circumstances. The chances are there will be another pass rusher this off-season who is in the last year of his contract or on the franchise tag and a team will be willing to listen to offers.

The trade dynamic could also extend to trading up in the draft. That’s unlikely to mean a big move in round one (something they’ve never done). For the right player though (Tyler Lockett in 2015, Jarran Reed in 2016 and Metcalf in 2019) they’ve been willing to trade up in rounds 2-3.

Expect activity. We could see a repeat of 2013 (pass rusher’s signed in free agency and a big splash for a veteran receiver). Or we could see a big-name defensive player brought in for a high pick.

After all — their best three additions in 2019 were Metcalf (traded up), Clowney (traded) and Quandre Diggs (traded). This is a team that has constantly been looking to make trades and acquire talent. Never have they needed an injection of talent at a more urgent rate.

With the draft being relatively strong on the offensive line they can fill holes if needed. There’s still also a reasonable possibility they simply re-sign the existing O-line at a decent price (and Carroll has talked about consistency within this group). George Fant could be the key here. His flexibility provides a hedge at numerous positions. He could even be a higher priority than Jarran Reed — although both are likely to test the market before potentially re-signing.

You can now support Seahawks Draft Blog via Patreon by clicking the tab below.

Become a Patron!

294 Responses to “Why the Seahawks will be aggressive this off-season”

  1. Matt says:

    Good stuff Rob. What’s your ideal draft, that is fairly realistic that you think compliments an aggressive Free Agency period that addresses pass rush.

    Really curious who you think really puts them over the edge, especially the top 3 rounds?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I need a combine first Matt to go anywhere near ideals.

      What puts them over the edge is a vastly improved defense, starting with the pass rush.

      • Ben Ft. Worth says:

        Give me some Ceedee Lamb!!! He’ll be long gone before we pick unfortunately. However, the 1st rd will be loaded with 1st rd talent at WR. I hope we get a good one.

  2. cha says:

    Pete Carroll has often talked about closing the circle.
    But what does it even mean?
    A tough, physical running game. Explosive plays in the passing game. A strong defense that forces turnovers.

    Rock solid special teams as well.

    Here’s hoping all the speedy players they drafted last year are improved in coverage in 2020.

    Meyers simply must get more accurate.

    And Dickson has to return to his 2018 form.

    • Nick says:

      The lack of explosive returns over the past few years has been jarring.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      ST was average from my perspective. Perhaps the numbers wouldn’t bear that out, but I think if you’re being killed by missed field goals or scuffed punts, your circle was unclosable to begin with.

    • LouieLouie says:

      Hey Cha; Rock solid Special Teams come from a rock solid draft. I hope Carroll and the Schneid don’t trade away too many draft picks to get couple of primadona / superstars. They need to have good young players that can be the “next man up.” That is the product of a solid draft. The team traded away draft picks a few years back to get a Left Tackle (Brown) and a stud defensive lineman (Richardson). That trade didn’t help the team in the long run; the LT position is solid, but the D-Line is NOT. Because of that trade, the Hawks started with only 4 draft picks.

  3. RWIII says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Seahawks will be SERIOUS Super Bowl contenders.

  4. Michael Hasslinger says:

    I had promised more feedback on Stenberg. Below is my assessment of the first quarter:

    – He is awesome going left and straight ahead.
    – He gave up the inside a number of times.
    – His lack of athleticism shows at the second level
    – Solid mid-round inside guard

    1st possession –
    1- turn defender (win)
    2- gets swum inside (loss)
    3- plays goes against grain (win)
    4- stones his man (win)
    5- he is handling Gallimore (win)
    6- stones nebraska dt… gives up some push (win)
    7- turns Gallimore… again… first down (win)
    8- Hamilton gets push, touchdown (win)

    2nd possession –
    1- stones Gallimore again (win)
    2- clears out the DT (win) [Holding on TE]
    3- Double teams on pass (win)
    4- Double team Gallimore with Cushenberry (win) [Holding Defense]
    5- Beaten inside (this is a trend) (loss)
    6- Second level LB block whiff… no lateral movement (loss)
    7- Double team with Cushenberry (win) [Sack]
    8- Double team with Cushenberry (win)
    9- Double team with Cushenberry (win)

    3rd possession
    1- stones NC guy (win)
    2- Double team with Throckmorton (win)
    3- NC guy gives inside move and creates pressure (loss)
    4- NC directed outside (win)
    5- Spike
    6- Almost gives up a sack (Inside move – Hamilton – Ohio State) (loss)
    7- Punt

    • Kyle says:

      Thanks for the play by play. And for the analysis.

    • Michael Hasslinger says:

      2nd Quarter… Stenberg is growing on me… and Gallimore is not interesting at all.

      5th possession
      1- double team with Cushenberry… stones his guy (picked)

      6th possession
      1- Double team with Cushenberry (win)
      2- 2nd level whiff, holds but no call (loss)
      3- Good initial block, but Hamilton slides inside and makes the tackle (loss)
      4- Owns Gallimore. I don’t want Gallimore (win)
      5- I have no idea what Stowebridge is doing… but its bad (win)
      6- slides protection right doubles with Cushenberry (win)
      7- blocks wide side for inside run… Gallimore… of course (win)
      8- Turns Gallimore like a pinata (win)
      9- Damn… gets on a michigan backer and engulfs him… do not get blocked by Sternberg (win)
      10- Slides his man right, bootleg left (win)
      11- Ugly… Pressure… Nebraska gets into his chest and bullies him (loss)
      12- field goal

      7th possession
      1- pass pro… blocks nobody (meh)
      2- half

    • Michael Hasslinger says:

      8th possession
      1- stoned Gallimore (win)
      2- Inside move by Daniels of Nebraska beats him, makes the tackle for no gain (loss)
      3- Agim swims inside and applies pressure, (edge sack) (loss)
      4- punt

      9th possession
      1- off tackle, stalemate (win)
      2- pass pro, no block needed (win)
      3- Daniels stones Stenberg, applies pressure (loss)
      4- Murchison stoned but gets hand up and knocks pass down (win… kinda)
      5- Bull rushed back into sack – Hamilton again (loss)
      6- punt

      11th possession
      1- pass pro (win)
      2- pass pro (win)
      3- Syracuse bull rushes him into the QB (loss)

      4th quarter
      4- pass pro – mirrors syracuse guy (win)
      5- washed man out of the run… inside still looks iffy (win)
      6- feels like we are trying not to get hurt. oh look, Gallimore (win)
      7- 2nd level… gets enough of Baun… but it is all arms… his feet don’t go with him… it is forward or nothin (win’ish)
      8- second level… misses again, man gets into the play… yuck (loss)
      9- second level turns Baun… no legs, but he is a big dude… good work (win)
      10- double team Daniels with Cushenberry… (win)
      11- Dominate block of Daniels, and chucks a linebacker. Hell yeah!!! (Big Win)
      12- Pass pro (win) tackles are getting destroyed… not sure any of this is valuable
      13- Pass pro (win)
      14- run block left, back cuts back…nicely done (win)
      15- chucks on his way to second level… Murchison throws him off and makes a solo tackle (big loss)
      16- Beat inside by Murchison… doesn’t hold, but give up pressure (loss)
      17- missed field goal

      12th possession
      1- Agim stones him, but he gets him turned outside nicely (win)
      2- Agim bull rushes him, but Stenberg resets his center and holds (win)
      3- Daniels destroys Stenberg with a bull rush… dude has to be tired (loss)… touchdown

      End of game

      • Michael Hasslinger says:

        I like Stenberg more now that I’ve studied him. However, his needs to get his feet involved at the second level, and he needs better balance again power and swim moves to his right.

        Outside of power inside right, and some tired bull rush, there is some serious power.

        Interesting guy. Not a 1st or 2nd rounder to this amateur. He needs work.

        Thanks for letting me do this, Rob.

  5. Tony says:

    They are close. They are primed for a special offseason. I just hope things line up. I agree that I see a big trade as well. And with resigning key guys. But things have to break right tho. As we’ve seen, bizarre deals and trades have a tendency to happen. This is the year that teams will max there cap cause the CBA expires and rollover wont be gautenteed. So I expect everyone to pile on and crazy money thrown around. Still, it’s great that a young talented team has this much cap space. A real destination for players that want to go to. I just hope that it all works out like 2013.

    The Hooper move excites me the most. He is the perfect bookend TE to dissly. And those 2 TE sets could be huge. You could go jumbo package all day and really get physical late in games. Without selling out run with fant at te. Please JS make this happen. TE to this team is so important. Stack that position!

  6. New Guy says:

    Rob,

    Slightly OT, please forgive me…

    I think it would be good if you created one ‘sticky’ article that goes in detail to explain the type of players the Seahawks are looking for at each position.

    Most of us long-time lurkers know your thoughts on the matter by now, but I bet there are plenty of new people coming for the first time that don’t have the slightest idea of the reasoning behind your draft candidates for the team.

    You could link it up at the top of the daily column and suggest it as ‘required reading’ to get up to speed.
    It would help people to understand the comments in the reply section and get into the flow of the dialogue.

    .

    • Sea Mode says:

      He usually publishes an in-depth, position by position Combine preview piece each year that serves this purpose and keeps up to date with the current trends of the Seahawks’ roster.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I will definitely be doing another massive and updated combine preview. I will try and find a way to pin that on the site. It could go on the sidebar.

        • Ben Ft. Worth says:

          Speak to the boys over at Seahawkstalk.com They put in their own public forum for all of us, by themselves, when the Seattle Times went to crap. They may have some pointers for you, or a way to archive all you’re topics like we do over there.

    • Rob Staton says:

      One of the problems with the blog in its current guise is the inability to pin certain threads for passing readers. You almost have to be a regular to stay on top of things.

      I’ve promised change for so long that I almost feel stupid continuing to promise it. Sadly the cost is ridiculous if we want to preserve all the old articles and data. And I do — because there’s years of articles and thoughts and opinions stored. But this is an 11-year-old site now with 11 years of data attached and it’ll take serious investment to change the site properly. I will strive to achieve that. I want this place to look more 2020 than 2010. So apologies for the dated setup.

      • Ashish says:

        Rob, I hope you have better admin features, like ability to search old article, you are so kind to reply our comment so i think there is better interface to deal comment section for you (Admin). I always thought of asking about it.

        For what it means, we really appreciate your effort. Thank you

      • GerryG says:

        Don’t worry about it Rob. Sure, an update would be great, but now it’s kinda like that dive bar you know and love, that’s perfect. You don’t want those loser riffraff folks that come and ruin your favorite watering hole after they remodel it.

      • Sea Mode says:

        Sadly the cost is ridiculous if we want to preserve all the old articles and data.

        I know it’s none of my business, so feel free to ignore me on this, but with my dabblings in web design, I am genuinely curious in what way designers have indicated this will be difficult and/or expensive because of the data. (sure, custom design and features could add up)

        From what I can tell, your content is mostly just text and the “featured image” (i.e. header pic). Videos and social media are almost always just embedded from other sites and don’t occupy storage. Especially if you would be looking to continue on WordPress, there are tools for the migration of all the posts that can bypass the usual 2mb limit as well as maintain the featured image.

        But, admittedly, I’ve never actually attempted it before and am by no means a professional. Any SDB readers out there in the web design biz and might be able to chime in and help point us in the right direction?

        Once again, just curious and eager to help make whatever you would like to do possible. Don’t mean to intrude.

        • Sea Mode says:

          Oh, and if it comes down to the safest and best option for the new site be to manually copy over each post, re-upload the header image, and even tag player names or whatever else would be cool, count me in for a few hours of helping chip away at it little by little if needed.

        • Rob Staton says:

          They said it was time consuming and the price to do it was significantly higher than without any of the data.

          • Ashish says:

            If you agree to do move to new site, you can have new site build first and I’m happy to help moving content. I’ve experience in content site development too, will be happy to help any possible way, Rob.

          • GoHawksDani says:

            Aren’t everything stored in database? frontend (looks) change shouldn’t be determined by data size.
            Showing 3 comments is the same work as showing 2342423424234 comments. It should just request the data, loop through and show each. This is WP and because of that PHP, so dunno, I don’t really touch that, but the only reason that seems logical is that the developer doesn’t know what he’s doing.
            The only thing that can be a bit pricier is to keep the site smooth and quick. But with good request handling and async loading that shouldn’t be a big problem either.
            If you have a massive change-over maybe the db migration can be a bit more work and push the price a bit higher. But don’t pay too much for WordPress. Especially not for simple work (like changing only the looks of the site)

            • Rob Staton says:

              I don’t know the ins and outs but every company I’ve talked to said there is a huge amount of data on the site because of 10 years of posts and that it would take a long time to switch everything over.

        • McZ says:

          The comments will be a problem.
          I’m not sure, a BlogML export and import will catch that.

          The second best would be to use an advanced HTML-catchup tool that allows for header and footer removal. Spits out a nice set of plain HTML pages including all comments. Place then in a directory and start over, or impprt them as blog posts.

  7. Steve Nelsen says:

    Rob,

    The rumors about Diggs based on his friendship with Russell started almost as soon as Seattle and Minnesota were eliminated from the playoffs. You have been on it since then but I haven’t seen anyone else talk about it. What are your thoughts about the pros and cons? Diggs is a star no doubt but with all the WR depth in this year’s draft, could the dollars for Diggs be better used for DL, RT or TE?

    • Sea Mode says:

      Not Rob, but I think it depends on who ends up being available via trade or in FA. If your other targets get overpaid, then you get more aggressive going after a guy like him. Some talents are just worth it.

      So fast. So sudden. Sharp routes. Sticky hands. So much SEPARATION! He would fit incredibly with RW’s arm talent.

      Stefon Diggs Highlights | 2019 Season
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ6Uki1xDow

      The contract I do believe could be a problem on MIN’s end, though. For us, it would be absolutely amazing:

      2020: $11.5m
      2021: $12m
      2022: $12m
      2023: $12m (29 years old)

      But for MIN, they would carry a pretty decent amount of dead money:

      2020: $9m
      2021: $6m
      2022: $3m

      It’s not an absurd, un-tradeable quantity by any means. But for a playoff team that wants to contend, you would have to send them a pretty attractive package of picks for them to both part with a star and eat that much dead money.

      On the flip side, if there were ever a draft year where a team could believe it could find a WR to replace him adequately, it would be this one. And they’ve got to fix their cap situation somehow, and getting cap relief and picks in return for a (potentially) disgruntled player is definitely a win.

      Also, might the Kubiak to OC move influence this decision at all?

      Yes, there are some attractive WR options early in this draft. But draft picks are always lottery tickets, and you can miss as much as you can hit. If we want to contend now with RW in his prime, we need superstars. And not only is Diggs one, but IMO he may be the one who best fits RW’s play style.

      And because of the reduced cap hit that would result from trading for him, we would still have space to add on the DL and even TE.

      • Jordan says:

        Just read a cap article for Minnesota. It actually makes some sense for the Vikings to trade Diggs. The Vikings are a great running the ball team and have Adam Thielen still. Also trading Diggs would save 11.5 million in cap if its after June 1.

        https://bringmethenews.com/minnesota-sports/vikings-offseason-preview-what-to-do-with-stefon-diggs-and-the-receivers

        They will want a high draft pick and probably a good cheap player of course for such a move. May need something a bit extra as well given that we are both in the NFC conference. The Vikings will have to make cuts / trades this offseason. If not Diggs then Everson Griffin and Harrison Smith could potentially be cut/traded.

        • cha says:

          Also trading Diggs would save 11.5 million in cap if its after June 1.

          Good point, but just a couple things to keep in mind:

          1-that’s after the draft and the bulk of free agency, so (unless players are coming back to the Vikings) the best immediate benefit of waiting until June is gaining cap room to extend players already on your payroll. Draft picks won’t see the squad until 2021 and likely won’t have much impact until 2022. Is that worth saving some cap $ by sitting out a potentially hot trade market for Diggs leading up to the 2020 draft? hard to answer.

          2-All 2021 cap activity is virtually “on hold” until a CBA is signed sealed and delivered. They can’t push cap savings to future years if there are no future years that are collectively bargained.

    • cha says:

      Not Rob but I think it will come down to how badly Diggs wants out of Minnesota and how the Vikings’ FO sees their next couple seasons playing out. Are the Vikings going to scrape all their resources together and try for one last run at the brass ring in 2020 and then burn the whole thing down? Or are they realizing that they better sell off some assets now and turn into the skid?

      That plus the deep WR class will likely drive down his trade value.

      As for Diggs, that sideline tantrum at not getting the ball in the playoffs was concerning to me. Does he understand that if he came to Seattle he wouldn’t be getting an on-demand 8-10 targets every game? That the Hawks have Lockett, DK, and Dissly, not to mention are dedicated to the run game as well? Will it be all sunshine and smiles being united with RW until that first prime time game where he doesn’t have any targets in the 3rd quarter?

      I hope those concerns are totally unfounded. Because I’d love to have him on the team.

      • Michael Hasslinger says:

        Tantrum was the first thought when Diggs came up. I’m not sure we need that drama. There has to be a draftable, #3 wide receiver in this draft in R3.

        • Micahel Hasslinger says:

          I would prefer we not bring in a superstar.

          I think we have superstars, and need better role players.

          Instead of Jimmy Graham, maybe Itula Mili.
          Instead of Stefon Diggs, maybe Jalen Reagor or some other separation WR dude.

          I’m not sold on more superstars on offense. We need better role players.

          I’m all in on defensive super stars. I would say we have none on the roster right now.

      • Jeff M. says:

        Yep, there’s definitely no chance we’re going to have 3 WRs get 100+ targets each, at least until the end of the PC era. This past season is the first time we’ve had 2 do it, and that was only because the cupboard was so bare that Lockett and DK were the only viable options.

        To fit in with the way we’ve structured our passing game, at least one of Diggs/Lockett/Metcalf would have to have their targets cut pretty much in half. You’re either totally killing Diggs’ value by playing him like a WR3 or doing the same to one of your existing guys, which is the same thing from a value standpoint. But you’d have to pay for him (in terms of draft pick value in trade) like a WR1.

        • cha says:

          Your point is valid, but mine was more on his attitude about not getting so many targets. Not that actual lack of targets themselves.

          Good teams stack their rosters and Diggs represents a great skillset fit for the Seahawks offense. I personally have no qualms about the cap and draft trade cost (as long as it doesn’t strip the cupboard bare of draft capital). Diggs is a guy who, 4-6x a year, and into the playoffs, can get white hot and absolutely kill a defense that would be overwhelmed trying to defend Lockett, a more diverse route-tree’d DK, and a seam weapon in Dissly, let alone the run game.

          It’d be more about key catches than volume of catches. And Diggs would probably the one guy in the NFL we could point to who would fill that role brilliantly.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think the pro’s are clearly the addition of a major talent who is a perfect fit for Wilson and this offense. His salary in 2020 would be peanuts because of the dead money. He’s only 26. The Seahawks would have an electrifying trio of weapons. Russell Wilson would love it.

      The con’s are simply the trade price which would likely be high.

      • LLLOGOSSS says:

        Another potential con might be his attitude. For me it was a huge red flag that he was such a prima Donna this year — all while the Vikings were winning games and during a playoff victory. If he complained about not getting the ball enough in a winning MIN team, I doubt the spirit of Doug Baldwin (“no job too big, no job too small”) would sustain him here. Would be nice to have the talent, but he’d be joining a very talented WR room on a team that doesn’t chuck the ball all over the yard. I wonder about him as a distraction.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Diggs isn’t a selfish player. He was, quite rightly, very frustrated with Kirk Cousins at times.

          But he’s not a prima donna. And anyone who thinks Baldwin was a saintly figure who put everyone else first…. yeah. Not sure about that.

    • Jamho3 says:

      Viks salary cap alone strongly suggests they’re likely to be sellers vs buyers.

  8. Airkent says:

    Good write up Rob, very succinct and informative as always. The link you had in there had Clowney as the 4th best free agent according to that writer and I think most would agree he is at the very least top 10.

    From my understanding and all the writing i’ve seen so far he is completely unrestricted. My question to the group is are we willing to make him the highest paid defender in the league? As we all know it only takes one dumb team…. I know in your previous articles you have mentioned we are fine cap wise but are we willing to go that far.

    I know he has mentioned that he wants to play for a contender but if his agent comes to him and says you can be the highest paid defender in the league I don’t know if he will turn that down. Will be an interesting negotiation regardless…

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Not to single you out or anything, but I’m pretty surprised by how much hand wringing there is over whether SEA can resign Clowney. As if the nearly $70M in cap space for 2020 (and more beyond) isn’t enough to lock him up long term.

      The difference between how much SEA would be willing to pay him vs. any other team isn’t likely to be significant. Without knowing exactly how much SEA are willing to pay, I think it’s safe to say they already know he’s a $20M apy defender and they’ve pretty much indicated they’re ok with that.

      How much more would another team be willing to pay? An extra 5%? 10%??? I don’t see him making more money than Aaron Donald, who is making $22.5M apy.

      And even if one dumb team is willing to pay him Donald money, the only teams with enough cap space to chase him like that are IND, MIA, BUF, TBB and DAL. DAL aren’t going to chase him with stupid money because they have Prescott and Cooper to resign. MIA and TBB are not contenders, and I don’t see Clowney thinking an extra $1M or $2M per year is worth being stuck on a dead end team. BUF have the cap space, have spent big on DLers before, and are legit contenders. But are they willing to make him the highest paid defender in the NFL, and is that amount sufficiently larger than SEA’s best offer, to make him leave a team with which he has good chemistry and good friends?

      I guess anything is possible. But in an offseason with a lot of unknowns, the ONE thing I feel most confident about is SEA will resign Clowney.

  9. Zxvo3 says:

    I like the idea of trading for a receiver like Diggs, yet since this draft’s strength is receiver, I expect them to draft one.

    Rob, what’s your opinion on Tyler Johnson from Minnesota? Also what’s your opinion on the recent reports of Jalen Reagor falling; how much do you believe he could fall?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not buying the Reagor fall stuff. Let’s see what people say after the combine.

      I like Johnson but it seems the league disagrees. No Senior Bowl invite, for example. Let’s see how he runs.

  10. Kingdome1976 says:

    I was wondering what you guys thought about moving on from Clowney and replacing him. I don’t believe it’s been said yet but I could be wrong.

    He does for some reason seem to be a bit prone to miss games and not get as many sacks as we would like though admittedly he does cause quite a bit of havoc when playing.

    I’m just considering the possibility of another team paying him more than we are willing pay and using that money on other players.

    Not intended to bash Clowney because I actually love the guy but any thoughts on how this scenario could play out?

    • Rob Staton says:

      1. Clowney has missed four games in three seasons. It’s not many at all.

      2. Sacks are not everything. He has the same pass rush win percentage in 2019 as Joey Bosa and Aaron Donald (25%) and was 1% behind Myles Garrett.

      3. He faced near constant double teams.

      4. If you let Clowney walk what exactly are you proposing? Spending $17m on a lesser player to replace him? You can’t fix a defense by letting your best player walk as your opening gambit. Build around him.

      • Kingdome1976 says:

        I wasn’t asking why or why not we should keep Clowney. I was asking what we could do if we end up letting him go.

        • Submanjoe says:

          They need to keep Clowney and they need a bookend. My guess is (and I’m just a longtime fan) that if Clowney accepts a deal elsewhere we’ll get the ‘we’ve got some good players who want to compete’ talk and the plan won’t change much. They need a speed rusher to compliment Clowney. And depth. And interior help. Whether or not Clowney stays, they still need all that….
          Please though, keep Clowney!!

          • What I hear is Clowney likes it here but wants to “experience” free agency . To me that’s someone still looking for a home .

            • Rob Staton says:

              I don’t think he’s either looking or not looking for a home.

              I think he’s just in the privileged position of being 26, in his prime and able to see what people are willing to offer before making an educated decision. Good for him. I really want him to stay in Seattle but I also expect him to fully live through the experience of his first — and possibly only — chance to test the market to the max.

              And I also expect the Seahawks to bring him home.

        • Jhams says:

          1. They won’t let Clowney walk.
          2. Just to entertain the hypothetical, if they did the plan would be to try to replace him in FA. There’s no one in the draft that would realistically fall to the range they might trade up into. And all the FA options are not as good as him and would cost almost as much.

        • GerryG says:

          Save a little $ and get a lesser and/or older player

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          Spend it on someone worse

  11. Kyle says:

    Thanks Rob. Your offseason material is complete addiction feeding for Seahawks fans. A lot of the other Seahawks journalists seem to be winding down, and you ramp it up. Just really consistent and interesting top notch insights.

  12. Dale Roberts says:

    Is Ken Norton a problem as DC?

    Bradley, Quinn, and Richard and fielded significantly better defenses than we have now but none of those coaches have gone on to field fantastic defenses elsewhere. Make no mistake, this is Pete Carroll’s defense and the evidence suggests that the difference now is players. Our current defensive ineptitude is the result of drafting late in every round for the last eight years and never drafting in the top ten since year one of this regime. San Francisco get’s rightfully lauded for their defensive line but over the last five seasons their average first pick has been #7 while Seattle’s has been #30. During that period San Fran also had two late first round picks. Ruben Foster is out of football and Joshua Garnett is a free agent. San Francisco would not be in the Super Bowl if they hadn’t gotten Bosa at the second pick last year.

    So no, I don’t think Ken Norton is the problem. The problem is that it’s damned hard to field a top tier defense without access to the top rookies year after year. That’s especially true in this era where NFL ready, impact rookies on affordable salaries are a big part of today’s winning formula. The only way Pete/John can get access to those top tier players is free agency, trades, or finding a gem in the draft that everybody else missed. Good luck, and I do mean luck on the latter. Free agency is ridiculously expensive and fraught with peril. So I agree with Rob… trades will rule the day. Pull off a couple of trades to bring in a pass rushing DE and an impact TE while our kids grow up and this will be a Super Bowl contender yet again. Oh, and Pete Carroll and Ken Norton will suddenly be great football minds instead of doddering idiots. Funny that.

    • GerryG says:

      Agreed. And for those reasons I could this being the year they traded up in the draft to get a DL stud…if one existed, which is not the case unless you’re top ten

      There will definitely be some trades, and maybe even a smaller trade up in rd1 if they had a shot to get into the top 20 and get what they saw as day1 starter somewhere after fixing the DL in free agency

    • king. says:

      New England had the #1 DVOA defense this year. They didn’t do it with high draft picks.

      I am not saying KNJ is the problem. I am saying a problem exists and it has nothing to do with where Seattle is drafting.

      • Rob Staton says:

        They didn’t do it with high picks but they do have a lot of talent and the most successful coach in NFL history orchestrating their plan.

        Seattle just need to add more talent. And they will, one way or another. The Pats took a big step forward on defense with a clever addition via trade (Van Noy) and a big free agent move (Gilmore). The Seahawks can do the same this off-season.

        • king. says:

          It seems to me that Pete specializes in creating great defenses out of great talent, but doesn’t elevate average talent much.

          When he has the Hall of Fame players to implement his system, the results are fantastic.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        King, would you elaborate and fill in the subtext here? I haven’t been fond of the KNJ/PC scheme this year, but what is your evaluation of the deficiency there?

        I thought Collier and Ansah (AND REED deserves way more heat than he’s gotten for his absence TBQH) were really painful nonfactors this year, but outside of that I struggle to find the real culprit outside of a scheme that wasn’t designed to mask weaknesses.

        • king. says:

          I don’t know what the problem is, but I suspect it is scheme.

          My point was that Seattle’s defense continues to slide in defensive metrics while being coached by one of the great defensive coaches in the league.

          The OP posited that this was because Seattle annually drafts so high, but I do not find this to be a compelling reason.

          Seattle does lack talent, but drafting in the 20s cannot be an excuse for that when other defenses do well with the same handicap.

          San Francisco could afford to create pressure rushing 4 because of their high end talent. Baltimore and New England created pressure with their scheme.

          So I guess my elaboration would only be that I believe it is a combination of talent and scheme, but both of those issues point back to the execution of the coaching and front office.

        • king. says:

          Your last sentence resonates with me.

          Rob is extremely reluctant to criticize the scheme and the coaching of the players available.

          I believe the hallmark of great coaching is the ability to get the most out of the players at hand, not the ability to get greatness out of great players.

          If Seattle lacks talent, it is because they did not identify the exodus of talent, and execute a viable plan to replace that talent, in a timely manner

          Regardless, I have seen almost no one extolling Pete’s flexibility with regard to his system, which said flexibility I believe to be the most important attribute a coach can have.

          Pete is a visionary. He wants to play the game a certain way, to ‘close the circle’, to play physically, to establish the run, play great defense that rushes with four and keeps the game in front of them, and to do the kicking, field position thing.

          And when it works, it is beautiful.

          Yet I believe an unwillingness to adapt when the talent doesn’t allow for that is his greatest weakness.

          Until the roster is rebuilt in his vision, the team’s success will continue to rest in the hands of its brilliant quarterback.

    • GoHawksDani says:

      Ken Norton is not an awful coach, but neither is a good/great one. Just like Schotty (but Schotty is better).
      He won’t elevate the players talent, but he doesn’t crush his defenses either.
      But he’s not a smart coach. This 4-3-4 defense is the most awful ever.
      Bobby couldn’t play up to his talent because had to clean up after other players. KJ is a good, experienced player, but he’s not the fastest one. Run defense was suspect even with this heavier set. They didn’t blitz that much and TEs were almost constantly successful against this defense. Unless you blitz a lot or have some really fast, hard hitter, good tackler, awesome run defender, good at pass defense trio then a 3 LB set won’t success vs most teams. Especially with the pass-happy NFL.
      3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB who has solid hands…They’ll be able to scheme to either hit holes or match up a quicker player against a slower LB.
      Have really athletic LBs and it might work, but mostly against a team that run a lot and if you blitz a ton.

      And it was an issue even early in the season. They should’ve get an nCB via trade earlier, or try to push Amadi earlier

  13. Getting a higher quality DE via trade seems more like the way the Seahawks do these things versus spending big on a free agent. Personally I would be disappointed if they went after a guy like Stefon Diggs or Beckham. I would rather spend bigger on a TE and get the WR in the draft. We can be patient with a third WR where you would ultimately want quicker return on the TE.

    • Jordan says:

      Aside from Von Miller, what other high quality DE should they trade for?

      • Could be Ryan Kerrigan from the Redskins, Calais Campbell, outside the box would be a disgruntled Joey Bosa

        • Ukhawk says:

          Read recently Kerrigan might be had for a 2nd round pick. He has a reasonable salary and still gets around the corner in a hurry.

          Hopefully he wouldnt come as a spent Patrick Freeney / Grant Wisdom and fizz out too quickly.

          • Michael P Matherne says:

            I assume you’re talking about Patrick Kerney… His first year in Seattle he had 14.5 sacks and was 1st team All-Pro. If there’s a chance to add that kind of production from a guy you only expect to get one year out of, I’d be just fine with it.

      • icb12 says:

        This is the crux of the situation for me.
        For the players that would really put the D over the top.. who else is out there that a trade is feasible for?

    • dcd2 says:

      I agree. I’d much rather get Hooper than pay the same amount plus a top pick(s) for OBJ or Diggs.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        I wouldn’t want OBJ regardless. He’s too much of a head case and SEA have traded for head case WRs before that didn’t really workout. Even if OBJ came here with a good attitude and hit it off with Wilson, how long before he self destructs, because you know he will. He never hasn’t at some point.

        Diggs is entirely different. He’s almost too perfect. Talent level, play style, scheme fit, team chemistry, cost (dead cap with MIN), age — all are ideal for a WR of his caliber. Just imagine a WR group led by Diggs, Lockett and Metcalf.

        Problem with Diggs is they have to trade for him, which makes it harder to also trade for an EDGE. If it comes down to one or the other, I think it’s more important to trade for the EDGE.

        • To me Diggs would fit if we had an offense like the Chiefs but we dont. We are a team that puts a premium on running the ball. Just wouldnt want to put so many resources into an area where there wouldnt be enough balls to go around.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            I get that argument. Though I wonder how run-centric they’d remain with Wilson passing to Diggs, Lockett and Metcalf.

            But like I said, the only way to get him is to trade for him, and I think it’s more important to trade for a feature pass rusher.

        • Tony says:

          What if you get Diggs for a small price? I’d the deal is good enough than it makes a ton of sense. Diggs moves lockett to slot and now you have a huge 3 wr set that will make teams back away from the run.

          What if we sign Hooper and trade for Diggs? Then you can open the playbook to any kind of formations from power run formations to airing it out.

          We need a good 3rd wr. The depth gets a huge boost in case of injuries like lockett’s this year. Also gives us a better rotation. I’m all for Diggs. Even more so for Hooper. Both? Hell yes. Wilson has a full arsenal of weapons. Spend the first and a 2 on atleast 1 OL. And maybe snag a wr that falls to push moore,Turner, ursau. But relying on a draft pick is tricky. So is hoping a young guy goes off like turner.

  14. Submanjoe says:

    I wonder if a big trade gets agreed upon in the next few weeks before the Combine. It seems to me if the Seahawks are going to make a trade to add a Diggs or Von Miller or whoever, then a move sooner rather than later would go a long way toward ensuring Clowney stays and potential free agents Seahawks may target that next year is the year of going all in and Seattle is the place to sign. My understanding is that Clowney can sign with Seahawks today if he wanted to. I’d like to see him sign before free agency starts.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Clowney will only sign when he knows what his options are.

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      Seattle is the only team that can negotiate with Clowney until free agency starts in March. The expectation all last season was that Clowney won’t sign with Seattle until he has had a chance to test free agency and talk with other teams.

      I don’t know if Seattle can give him permission to talk to other teams before free agency begins in order to potentially speed up the process.

      • Submanjoe says:

        The combine is the ‘unofficial’ time when back channel talks will occur. Hopefully Clowney and Seahawks will have an idea then what Clowneys market will be like.

        My point is, If the Seahawks can get their ducks in a row, that could speed up things with free agents and with Clowney etc. I think an acquisition via trade in the next 3 or 4 weeks could be huge in showing Clowney that the Seahawks are taking a step forward next year. That move and back channel info could theoretically entice Clowney to sign before free agency actually begins. I’m sure the PCJS already have a number in mind for Clowney, and they way they operate, the sky will not be the limit.

        • Michael P Matherne says:

          What could Clowney possibly gain by signing early?

          • Submanjoe says:

            As a longtime seahawk fan I speak. The Seahawks traded away Clark for some draft picks, such as lj collier. They then traded Jacob Martin another guy (Mingo) and a third round pick for a year and no ability to Franchise tag Clowney. The Seahawks provided Clowney with an opportunity end his holdout and play football. The Seahawks advanced just as far as the the Texans this year. Now the Seahawks are in the position of losing Clark, Martin, Clowney and a third round pick for essentially nothing other than the 32 pick of the second round and LJ collier. To me, it is imperative they do whatever they can to resign Clowney without paying more than necessary. If Clowney wants to be on a contender then trade for some pieces. Show him how serious they are, and offer him what they’re willing to offer him. If Clowney walks in free agency, then the Seahawks front office made a dumb deal trading for him because now we are worse off insofar as giving up all those players and second & third round picks.

            But you’re right, Clowney has nothing to gain by signing now. Other than showing potential free agents that the Seahawks are locked and loaded a little bit more because Clowney is staying and because he’s staying one big piece of the puzzle is here.

            • Michael P Matherne says:

              I don’t think it’s fair to say that it’s a ‘dumb deal’ based on the results. You have to evaluate the process, not the results. Sometimes you can do everything right and it just doesn’t work out. Sometimes you can do something really dumb and everything turns out ok. The fact that Collier has been a non-factor doesn’t have any bearing on whether the decision to make the trade was smart or dumb.

              • Submanjoe says:

                It’s difficult to be in a position with very little leverage. And to be in that position is nerve wracking… to have to wait on other decisions which are beyond the control of, in this situation, the Seahawks.
                They have gone all in with the Clowney trade and here we are, waiting to see his decision, what the market may offer him. It’s easy to say we think the Seahawks will resign him, that the Seahawks are a great organization and many talented players would love to be there. But the reality is, is that is a ‘hope’ over which very little leverage or control exists. Obviously, there is no going back in time. But sometimes a degree of ruthlessness or a cutthroat mentally works well in business or war. Having a great place to be doesn’t necessarily win…

                None of us have any idea what crazy things may happen which may change the dynamics of this situation of retaining Clowney. Across the league, moves will be made which will change cap situations for many teams who may push very hard to get Clowney. Which the Seahawks will have no control over.

  15. BobbyK says:

    What’s up with Naz Jones? I remember thinking he was going to be a future/solid contributor after his rookie year, where he definitely showed some promise, and then year two was pretty worthless. Year three was Pete switching him outside, which I found surprising, and then a knee injury in training camp basically ended his season. He is entering the final year of his rookie deal. I expect nothing from him in 2020, but hope he can somehow harness some of that good looking potential from his rookie year to give this team a bit of a shot in the arm on the DL if things go right.

  16. drewdawg11 says:

    I’m still struggling to see the fit with Miller. He’s not a traditional OLB. He’s not the edge support player to be the Leo. He’s not going to be a situational rusher for the cost. I just don’t think he’s a system fit.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      IMO Miller is the inverse of Clowney. Clowney is a dominant run defending DE who can also rush the passer better than most. Miller is a dominant pass rushing DE who can also stop the run better than most. I couldn’t imagine a better bookend to Clowney. Miller’s only detriment is his age. I think he’s got juice left in his tank, but there’s a shelf life.

      • drewdawg11 says:

        Except, he’s not a DE. He’s a 3-4 OLB. If those two are the ends, I’m running directly away from JC and at Miller.

        • BobbyK says:

          Collier or Green would probably be on the field on first down. When it’s 2nd and 8 (or longer), then Miller would come in to rush. And be on the field in passing situations on 3rd down – or the money downs. If they got Miller, Carroll would make it work! Clowney is so versatile, he can line up anywhere, too. It’d be exciting to have as an option.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          I would too. But Miller is pretty damn good against the run himself, so I’m not sure that’s any better than vs Clowney.

          Miller is pretty similar stature to Avril, but a better pass rusher and run defender. Don’t get hung up on him being a 3-4 OLB. He can play DE in a 4-3.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Von Miller is the perfect system fit.

      • Starhawk29 says:

        He’s obviously a phenomenal player, but I’m curious why you see him as a system fit? In the draft he weighed in at 6’2″ and 240lbs, which matches up with some of the other players you’ve discussed this year as being more of a SAM type (Uche, Chaisson, etc.).

        Miller is of course a likely hall of famer and a fantastic rusher, but how, with his physical profile, is he a perfect fit? Is it a skill level thing (i.e. he’s done it on tape) or am I missing something about his physical makeup?

        • GerryG says:

          You answered your own question, Miller is a pure pass rusher, an ideal 3-4 OLB or LEO in this defense. The guys in the draft while the same physical build are SAM LBs, not pure pass rushers.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Because we’ve seen 12 years of him rushing off the edge with massive success.

          And FWIW he was 6-2 5/8 at the combine, 246lbs with 33.5 inch arms who ran a 4.06 short shuttle a 6.70 three cone and a 4.53 forty. He had 27.5 sacks in his last two years at Texas A&M.

          None of the guys listed above have that.

  17. charlietheunicorn says:

    Hypothetical:

    If you had to give up 2x 1st round picks for Myles Garrett and a 4th, would you?

    (Also assume that you can pay Clowney and pay Garrett fair market value)

  18. Michael Hasslinger says:

    I do wonder, at times, what has happened to 4-3 with 3-4 principles. If that is true, would we not entertain a productive, SAMish, rookie off the edge. Uche certainly is intriguing. I wonder.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s a situational role. There’s no clamour for that and there never was. It’s an overrated position because they ended up putting Bruce there to get him on the field with Bennett and Avril.

    • Starhawk29 says:

      I think it’s mostly because Uche doesn’t fit the profile for an ideal 3-4 OLB. Those guys look more like TJ Watt, i.e. roughly 6’3″+ and closer to 250lbs. Players like Uche and Chaisson are better suited to a 3-4 because they are able to play in space more. Leos are supposed to be ideal 3-4 backers or small 4-3 ends. Uche is too small for that role, so he’d have to be a SAM in our scheme.

  19. Eburgz says:

    Have you guys checked out Netane Muti? This guy has an edge like Sweezy or Q. Nelson. Not much tape to watch on him due to an extensive injury history and he played for Fresno State.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dR34NCgLfFQ

      • dcd2 says:

        Ya, this is one of the more entertaining OL tapes I’ve seen. He wrecks people and drives them to the ground. Serious mean-streak there. Almost all of those highlights are from his Freshman year though. I think he played 2 games as a Soph and 3 last year.

        Here is the game VS MIN (crazy game BTW), which has some good and bad. He gets beat for a sack and a pressure in 1 on 1. Overall he seems to move really well. When he pulls or double teams, usually someone is ending on their backside. Tough to say if he’ll be on our radar. Playing 5 games in the last 2 years isn’t great. Certainly has the attitude we’re looking for, but the injuries and technique are worrisome.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEQDlGHFX1Q

  20. Trevor says:

    Great read as always Rob thanks!

    #2 is the key for me. Fixing the defense and getting it back to being a top 10-15 group is the key to taking that next step and getting home field heading into the playoffs. The Offense is going to be solid with the pieces they have. They need to lock up the RT and TE 2 spot but there are options and it should be an easy fix.

    Fixing the defense will not be as easy and I think everything should be on the table with how awful particularly the DL was last year.

    I view Reed and Clowney as already being gone and like every other free agent in the market place as neither will be tagged. I like Clowney and think he is an elite run defender who provides tons of disruption as a pass rusher. I don’t view him or Reed as absolute must resigns as the DL was awful with them and more needs to be done. If they can sign them both and add another piece like Fowler great. If the want over market value then I hope the Hawks pass.

    If they plan to spend $40-50 mil on the DL this off season I just hope they spend it the best way possible I don’t care who it is as long as the unit is vastly improved next year. For example if they were to bring in Fowler, Quinn and Jordan Philips would we really be upset if they did not bring back Reed and Clowney?

    I agree the solution for the pass rush is not in the draft so free agency is the key.

    • Does anyone knows, can we allready sign Clowney or we need to wait until new league start?

      • Sea Mode says:

        Yes. He has been eligible to sign an extension since after our last regular season game:

        (k) Any Club designating a Franchise Player shall have until 4:00 p.m., New
        York time, on July 15 of the League Year (or, if July 15 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the
        first Monday thereafter) for which the designation takes effect to sign the player to a
        multiyear contract or extension. After that date, the player may sign only a one-year
        Player Contract with his Prior Club for that season, and such Player Contract may not be
        extended until after the Club’s last regular season game of that League Year.

        -Article 10, a, ii, k

        https://nfllabor.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/collective-bargaining-agreement-2011-2020.pdf
        (Pg. 46, emphasis added)

        But it’s probably in both parties’ interest to wait and see what the market dictates as a basis for negotiations.

        • I don’t agree with that. If he reaches FA he won’t be Seahawks imo. And by every next day we are one day closer to FA.

          • cha says:

            The trade to Seattle was conditioned upon the Seahawks not franchising Clowney. He wanted so badly to explore his options he put legal language on it. He has every right to change his mind and sign with Seattle before the FA opens, but I really doubt he would sign before looking around a little.

            As for the chances of him signing with seattle after looking around, I’m very confident. Clowney has said he wants to play for a contender. There aren’t very many with the cap space to comfortably sign him. Dallas’ space is a mirage – they have Dak and Cooper to sign. Tampa, Miami, Denver, the Giants aren’t contenders yet. Buffalo might be. Indy might be a dark horse but they have a lot of work to do.

            • CHawk Talker Eric says:

              IND aren’t contenders with Brissett at QB.

            • McZ says:

              If you look ar the Ravens, they have 30m cap space, and could free up 20m quite easily. Don’t rule them out, 2020 is their SB window.

              Indy needs a new QB. Newton, Mariota, Winston, etc; feel free to choose one below market premium. Beyond this, getting another pass rusher next to Kemoko Turay, plus another WR is the last remaining building block missing for them.

          • Steve Nelsen says:

            This isn’t a case of the Seahawks not trying; the deal with Clowney from the beginning was that he wanted to test free agency and Seattle agreed. Don’t expect Clowney to go through all he did to have a chance at free agency and then change his mind at the last minute.

            • I am not saying Seahawks are not trying. He asked to not be taged, but hat doesn’t mean he need to reach FA. If he gets offer from Seahawks that he likes he will sign it immediately.

              And who is contender in today’s NFL. Seahawks and Patriots are only two franchise which are constantly in PO talks. Look at how much PO teams from this year were in PO last year. And look who plays in SB and who coached senior bowl last year.

              He won’t sign one or two year contract, and literally for any NFL team you could say that will be contander in two or three years from now.

              Of course he will take the team with better chances for SB next season if offers are close but if it’s 3-5 mil per year difference(15-25mil total) I am not so sure.

              We need to sign him before FA if we don’t want to depend from others .

              • cha says:

                So if the Seahawks are trying, what’s your problem?

                Clowney has the right to make a decision and he seems intent on exploring his collectively bargained options. It takes two to tango. The Seahawks can only work with parties that want to work with them.

              • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                How much do you think Clowney will be offered in FA?

                It’s impossible to know what SEA’s apy ceiling is with him, but virtually everyone, everywhere, acknowledges that his market STARTS at $20M apy. And SEA have been unequivocal in their intention to retain him so we know they’re at least willing to go over $20M apy.

                So how much more do you think Clowney will be reasonably offered?

                Aaron Donald, the undisputed best defensive player in the NFL, signed a $22.5M apy contract before last season. Do you think teams will value Clowney at the same level as Donald? And even if they do, do you think any will value him MORE than Donald?

                I think it’s likely Clowney will get offers for a deal similar to Donald’s, maybe even marginally more (~$23M apy). And I expect SEA are willing to pay him that much. But that’s it. He ain’t getting offered $25M apy from anyone.

                • I agree with you that he won’t get offer better than 23mil apy(that is absolute maximum)…also think that if Seahawks are ready to give him 20mil apy, deal would allready be done or will be done soon…he won’t go to free market if Schneider is willing to give him that money…but I am not so sure about it…I think JS won’t go over 18mil…but that’s only my opinion…and as people in my country would sey opinion is just like ass, everyone has it…

                  • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                    I think SEA are willing to give him $20M apy, and maybe even they’ve offered that already. But I also think Clowney is going to test his market no matter what. Why not? Doesn’t hurt him in the least.

                    Like I said, I think it’s probable he signs a deal similar to Donald. But I think it’s equally probable that deal is with SEA.

  21. Trevor says:

    Just looked at Walter Football to check on their Senior Bowl rumours and news and they had a new mock up.

    Hawks Picks in Rd #1 and 2: Delpit, Raekwon Davis and Jeff Gladney.

    Not sure what fantasy world they are living in but at least they nailed three guys who would be great fits for the Hawks even if there is zero chance those three will be available when they make those picks.

  22. Simo says:

    As always, love the piece. Well written and thought provoking!

    If there ever was another year (like 2013) to go all in, this may be that year. There’s just so many different ways PC/JS might choose to improve this team, but they do not generally overspend for players in free agency. If top targets like Fowler, Hooper, Judon, Armstead, etc command market setting deals, the Hawks will move on to the next group players.

    As others have noted, this does seem to lead us towards a key trade or two. Could be someone like Von Miller or Steph Diggs, but could be someone who’s not even on the radar at this time.

    Can’t wait for it all to get started though, more excitement about this offseason than any in the past several years!

  23. Sea Mode says:

    Interesting what happens when someone actually watches the tape…

    https://www.profootballnetwork.com/2020-nfl-draft-musings-falling-draft-stock-alabama-prospects/

    I do have to disagree with Hamler over Ruggs though for now. We’ll see the true numbers at the Combine, but the listed 5085, 176 lbs. scares me a lot more than 5116, 190 lbs. And I think Ruggs is a good hands catcher, more than what I would label just a “decent pass catcher”.

    I’ve taken heat since the preseason for my low ranking of Ruggs, but I still view him as a marginal first-round prospect. Yes – he’s a fast, explosive vertical threat. He’s also a decent pass catcher. But despite these skills, the minimal production disturbs me.

    Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith posted superior pass-catching numbers, and too many times I felt Ruggs’ opportunities came as teams were concentrating on that duo. I think he’s a developmental prospect whose speed and yards per catch mesmerize many.

    Despite being several inches shorter, I prefer KJ Hamler of Penn State to Ruggs.

    And by Tony’s same argument, wouldn’t Jeudy and Smith be just as much a cause of Ruggs’ “minimal production” as they were of his “limited opportunities”?

    • Volume12 says:

      I’ve told ya’ll my feelings on Jeudy. He ain’t a top 5 pick.

      Smith was the best receiver and NFL prospect on that team amo gst the receivers and I saw him nowhere near that range.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Totally agree. To my eye Smith was the best WR on ‘Bama.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        I think Jeudy deserved to be first on the depth chart, though. He was the best College WR on that squad. I really think all 3 of the Bama targets are overrated by most draft fans.

        I think they’re all WR2s tops

  24. EranUngar says:

    JS has always been aggressive with his approach to fixing/upgrading the roster. When you combine his blunt force approach with the abundance of cap space and draft picks – It should make for a very exciting off season.

    A few points:

    Rookies are rookies. Their first NFL year is rarely as effective as their years after it (RBs excluded). With a team in a win now window and “needs” on both sides of the ball, the more prudent approach would be to get proven capability in positions that cry for a difference making starter (I.E. DL, OT) and roll the dice in the draft to bring depth and extra talent were needed (WR3, TE behind Dissly, Guard/Center).

    Currently, The offence is 28M more expensive than the defense so the first step should be investing said difference in the DL. Resigning Clowney seems like a no-brainer but this is exactly where the strategy should begin. The future CBA should increase the cap space in 2021. Signing Cloweny to a nice 4-5 years structured contract with a nice signing bonus that will limit his 2020 cap hit to under 15M would be the perfect firing shot. Once that is done, the next step should be signing another key starter on the DL, either reed on a prove-it one year deal once he finds out there is no long term market for his services at his asking price (way more than 10M) or any of the nice list of candidates (Armstead, Fowler etc.). Again, it is a player you sign for multiple years, structure the contract to leave cap space this year.

    Next – sign a veteran OT – Hopefully Fant but it could be Ifedy or others as long as it’s not a rookie.

    Next, get your difference maker 3rd Defensive lineman. A speedy DE pass rusher or a beast DT inside.

    And…you are done. Pick a WR, G/C and blocking TE early and life is great.

    As for trade – Trade for money (see Clowney deal) rather than for quality. Do not trade valuable high picks for a player you need to pay top market to.

    P.S. – As much as I would love to see a another quality TE on the roster – No to paying him 10M. Bring a blocking vet at Ed Dickson price range in case Dissly cant survive an NFL season.

    • cha says:

      Rookies are rookies. Their first NFL year is rarely as effective as their years after it (RBs excluded).

      Agree 100%. Any draft picks we’re looking at for 2020, it’s best to assume they won’t have any impact until 2021, and when we speculate on roster moves, it’s best to keep that in mind. Expecting a rookie to step in and start 16 games, let alone have a substantive impact, unless they’re a top 5 pick with polish, is sketchy ground.

      • GerryG says:

        For this reason I want us to acquire the third weapon for RW in free agency/trade. Whether that is TE or WR. I dont expect to get Metcalf type production out of a rookie, especially in RD2. I am all of drafting a WR since it is such a good draft, but I dont want to count on that WR to become the the third weapon.

        • EranUngar says:

          IMO, WR3 ios the perfect position for a high draft pick WR. It will not interrupt with DK’s 2nd year growth, will play without the pressure to lead and will; benefit from the attention give to Lockett and DK.

          Also, it’s not really a 3rd weapon It’s a 5th. That WR3 plays behind Lockett, DK, Dissly and Carson and as such a very talented rookie would be perfect for it.

          IMO – The free agency/trade capital should mainly serve for starters in the trenches.

          • GerryG says:

            Dissly cant stay on the field, and the wheels can fall off of a RB at any moment. The passing game only has two threats currently, and if one goes down for a week or so (or longer) the offense can be slowed dramatically

  25. Volume12 says:

    This relate to something Sea Mode said in a post up above.

    It’s the same thing with flavor of the month aka LSU LB Patrick Queen. Does he have great speed? Yes. Phenomenal range? Yup. Will he be the 3rd LB off the board like I think? I’d say the chances are high.

    Watch the tape! This guy has short, stubby arms with no power in them. Never brings his feet with him. Anytime in the “Bama game he was asked to get dirty and physical? He almost seemed to shy away from it. And when he did try? Got his a** handed to him. IMO he’s lazy against the run.

    And why do some guys get knocked for sitting or not starting but Quenn gets a pass?

    • Volume12 says:

      And you might ask, ‘why do you keep bringing up that particular game? It’s only 1 game.’

      It’s the 1 game where you’ll see the most NFL like reps.

    • Matt says:

      I think this is a totally fair take, but are you drafting Queen to stop the run or help in the pass game?

      There are very few linebackers that excel at both of those.

      This is not meant to be a shot, but if you want a guy who is mediocre at both, then Cody Barton is your man. If you are looking for a guy to really excel at one aspect while giving up production in another capacity – Queen is your guy.

      This reminds me a lot of the DK Metcalf pre-draft stuff – “he can’t run the full route tree.” Great, then don’t make him be what he’s not or never will be. I don’t think anybody is drafting Queen to do dirty work in the A & B gap, but rather utilize his speed from sideline to sideline. Your concerns are completely valid but again, it’s a team’s fault if they draft him and prioritize run stopping ability (with him in particular).

      Very few, if any prospects have a complete game. The Seahawks used to be the team that identified a strength and played to it with players. This is an unfair take, but this is how you get an LJ Collier in R1 – he’s not bad at anything, just not that great at anything either – and here we are, fretting about pass rush. More often than not, there is a sacrifice a team makes with every player – it’d behoove a team to have a compliment to Queen’s speed and impact in the pass game.

      • Volume12 says:

        I think the teams that will covet him are due to his athleticism yes. I worry about him taking on blocks for a couple reasons. I worry he might have some low level football IQ. If he’s a coverage ‘backer, then he becomes another one of these situational players.

        Personally? I don’t see much physicality from a spot that requires it. He can still be a good player, but my point was more about some of the glaring issues that pop out when ya actually watch him.

        He’s a traits guy that you’ll trust your coaches to work out the kinks with. Bad habits can be tough to break though.

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          LB one of the positions you have to wait for the combine w the Seahawks. Like you say he’s a traits guy, but is he special in any area?

          I feel like he’s been feasting on what LSU DL been giving him. Especially that DT. Him and Deloitte really were the rocks of that D and both have been undervalued by msm imho

      • Eburgz says:

        I think a key difference here is that you can hide the deficiencies of a WR like Metcalf a lot easier than a LB who doesn’t want to or isn’t able to do the dirty work against the run. The offense can dictate what routes Metcalf is running. They get to choose how to utilize him best.

        On defense you are reacting to the offense. You can’t choose how the defense is going to attack you. Ideally a guy like Queen is kept pretty clean playing WILL but your still going to have to take on blocks and mix it up in the run game. You can’t just use a linebacker against the pass unless you only play him situationally on a small % of plays.

  26. Sam says:

    Stefon Diggs did a thing where he answered people’s questions and was asked about his opinion on Russell. Said he was a 10 out of 10 and that he always does well with a supporting cast. Not saying it means anything but a trade is 100% possible.

    • Dale Roberts says:

      I posited that the perfect compliment to Lockett/Metcalf is a Steve Smith/Golden Tate type of receiver. I made that comment in reference to Jalen Reagor but on reflection Diggs fits that same mold. Okay I’m in, let’s get him.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Me too, provided trading for Diggs doesn’t prevent them from trading for a feature EDGE. I think JS is capable of making multiple big trades in a single offseason, but if it’s an either/or scenario I think EDGE is more important.

        A R1 for Miller and a R2 +? (player) for Diggs would be ideal. There’s no way SEA could get that kind of talent or year 1 impact from their first two picks in this draft so I see it as a wise investment.

        • Michael Hasslinger says:

          Diggs will take more than a r1. Let’s find our own or wait for Minnesota to cut him.

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            Yeah, people shouldn’t hold their breath with these off-season moves. Seattle is gonna look for value in FA and probably avoid bidding wars when it comes to trades.

            I could see them waiting until the week of the Draft to pull anything major as far as trades go.

        • EranUngar says:

          The question abut Diggs has never been about the value he could bring to the offense or even the draft capital you invest to get him.

          The question is the best use of the cap space to improve the team.

          Will this team win more games with Diggs or with Reed/quality DT or with a probowl RT?

          IMO – For Diggs cap cost you are better off trading for Michael Brokers/Linval Joseph/Tuitt/Hicksor or run the offense with La’al Colins or Ja’Wuan James at RT.

          • GerryG says:

            His cap hit isnt too bad, to me its the potential high cost of draft capital. I can stomach losing picks for sacks because the DL is so far away, I cant quite do the same for Diggs, despite loving the idea of him on the team

  27. Trevor says:

    I would prefer the Hawks sign a pass rusher in FA but if they were to trade for one which would be the best option.

    A) Von Miller for a 1st 2020
    B)Matt Judon for a 1st 2021
    C)Ryan Kerrigan for a 2nd

  28. Trevor says:

    Some of these guys are still so young. Here are some guys still 20 yrs old. These guys will be hitting free agency at 25 thats crazy. LJ Collier was 24 as a rookie this year.

    • Chase Young
    • Jedrick Wills
    • K’Lavon Chaisson
    • Jerry Jeudy
    • CeeDee Lamb
    • Mekhi Becton

    • Its something to look at for sure for value. We drafted Bruce Irvin and I Think he was 24 also. Then look at Rasheem Greene. He was 20 when we drafted him. Green will be 24 when his contract expires and that is the same age Irvin was as a rookie.

  29. McZ says:

    “Nobody is really getting value.”

    The reason for this is, that in most circumstances the pass rushers get the glory, but it is the IDL that keeps things together, exerts pressure and provides on field leadership. Ask Nkadumong Suh, who elevated the Rams, and then made the Bucs DL a competent unit. Or Brandon Williams, who lead the Ravens line to excellence, despite losing Za’darius Smith and Terrell Suggs.

    It is on field leadership, that is missing in our DL. This is the reason for being unable to adjust ingame, and it leads to lazy tackling and impotent halves. I just want the FO to fix one single thing; make this group play 30m of decent, spirited defense.

    This is my problem with signing Clowney (which is a must, if the price is okay) and another pricey DE, while we have exactly nothing in the DT department.

    So, would trading a 2nd rounder for Calais Campbell or another lead dawg improve the defense more or less than adding another high profile pass rusher?

    Would adding one or more out of Shaq Lawson, Carl Nassib, Leonard Williams or Danny Shelton, pairing them up with two top dawgs inside and outside, be of better all around effect?

    Finally, taking a chance on EDGE or IDL in the draft outside of R1 and R2 poses no risk. If Bradley Anae is there in R3, or Kenny Willekes, or another lower profile player, should we jump, or not?

    If all this was said and done, and we have 20m in cap space retained, and Fowler or another high profile player is unsigned, then we can still jump.

    • Michael Hasslinger says:

      Great read. Thank you.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      “It is on field leadership, that is missing in our DL. This is the reason for being unable to adjust ingame, and it leads to lazy tackling and impotent halves. I just want the FO to fix one single thing; make this group play 30m of decent, spirited defense.”

      Leadership aint gonna fix what we got fam.

      • McZ says:

        We need a player, who is a sideline presence.

        Let’s assume, both Clowney and Fowler will be signed, and they both improve and have an even better season. That’s possibly 30 sacks!? (with the other measures following suit)

        Add to this the six sacks remaining from 2019, and you get to 36. Without improvement coming from other parts of the DL, without more consistent play, that won’t work, buddy.

  30. Madmark says:

    Dear Rob,
    I was just listening to 710 ESPN KIRO when one of our readers got on from here talking about a Von Miller trade. The best part was he actually did the website by making sure he plug your website in on the radio. You should feel good about that. I been thinking a lot about this year coming up. I do love Free Agency and the draft. What would it cost to trade for Calais Campbell from Jaguars? I’ve be willing to give up our 2nd and a 4th next year. I think he be the guy to come in show the young guys like Collier to be better. I sure a Russel Wilson wouldn’t mind since he wouldn’t be chasing him like the old days when he was a Cardinal. What would be the cost of trading for a O.J. Howard. For me the Draft seems to lean more to the offense. I l actually like the idea of a trade back into high 30 pickup a late 3rd or low 4th pick grab Isiah Wilson RT from Georgia. With one of the 2nd round grab Logan Stenburg G from Kentucky and then Cesar Ruiz C Michigan with 3rd Comp pick in the 3rd round. I wouldn’t expect these 3 to start right away but getting them now could help going forward in the next 4 years of RW contract. If I was to drop a OL in the draft it would be Stenburg. I wouldn’t be against trading both 2nds for DL. Late CB and RB in the later rounds.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      If you’ve ever felt weird about doing this, please don’t. I’ve been in my car hella stoked hearing this kind of stuff before.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Sweet, whoever did that — thank you very much. What show was it on? I’ll take a listen.

      I’d be very, very tempted to deal #64 for Calais. I’d need to speak to him first and see where’s he at. Clearly when they traded for Duane Brown he planned to play on for a few years. Is Calais in same state of mind? Because he’s 34 on September 1st.

      I don’t think Isaiah Wilson or Cesar Ruiz will be there at #27, let alone later than that.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        I really think it might be time to let that ship sail. I hate bringing the conversation to “the championship window” but, at 34, I can’t, in good conscience, give up any real capital for a DL at that age.

        Just draft a DT early, right? Maybe we can’t wait for a young DL to develop, but you just can’t expect any long-term value from Campbell.

        Love the player, borderline HoF guy, but we aren’t the “ride-off-into-the-sunset” squad anymore. Let the Bills and Browns and Phins go after a guy like that, man.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I don’t even think he will be available.

          But if he is, I think you have to at least have the conversation. He’s everything this defense needs. The pressures, the production, the leadership, the physical domination. He makes everyone else on the line player better. Bobby Wagner could be the defensive player of year playing behind him.

          You would need assurances over his future, though. I don’t think adding him makes them a ‘ride-off-into-the-sunset’ squad.

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            No stone unturned!!! Maybe I’m insecure over our Houshmanzadeh days, but I love the way we draft.

            Calais is a BAMF and you’d love to have him at the club among the Poona Fords of the world, but I just couldn’t give up that capital for him (that he would deserve)

            • charlietheunicorn says:

              There was a “whisper” on the John Clayton show that BOTH Campbell and Ngakoue might be available, for the right price. They are pretty upside down right now on the cap…. and if they keep both and pay fair market value, they wouldn’t be able to properly fill out the roster, let alone improve the team in a meaningful way.

              I just find it intriguing that some of the premier pass rushers in the NFL might be bought, for the right mix of players and draft capital. (ex: Ngakoue, Miller, Garrett) All have had some rumor attached to them, so take it all with a grain of salt.

          • Madmark says:

            I thinks he got a couple years and the influence on a young Green and Collier would be huge. I have always love the guy and the way he played. He was an absolute nightmare when he was with the Cardinals. A 64 for Calais I’m al in.

  31. Sea Mode says:

    Good news for one of my guys! Hopefully we’ll be able to get him in on a local visit just to get to know him and get measurements.

    Good news regarding Oregon TE Jake Breeland

    Finally, there’s good news surrounding Jake Breeland, the tight end from Oregon. The senior, graded as a street free agent before the season began, was off to a great start until a knee injury cut his year short in mid-October.

    While Breeland will not be able to work out prior to the draft, I’m told he suffered a clean tear and will be ready to go by summer camp. Likely to end up in the late rounds, Breeland could be one of the steals of the draft at tight end once he gets back to full health.

    https://www.profootballnetwork.com/latest-nfl-news-and-rumors-from-mobile-at-the-2020-senior-bowl/

  32. Coleslaw says:

    I wouldnt be worried at all about taking away from DK’s growth if we got Diggs. Look at how many games Lockett and DK were not really used. There is space for another weapon.

    All 3 are unique, all 3 would have their place. Diggs would likely step in as our top receiver, our go-to WR. Lockett is the slot burner, and DK is the X. Diggs is the guy you move all over and have him running underneath Lockett and DK exploiting the massive gaps they will create in coverage. Those 3 together would REALLY open up the passing game. They can all do it all.

    How many teams have 3 CBs who can matchup? I cant think of a single one. That would be an extremely scary sight for defenses with Russ slinging it. Along with a bruising OL and our running game, we may end up like KC when they had Kareem Hunt.

    But, this would seriously limit us on DL options. As much as I want Diggs, the only real positive outcome for the DL that includes Diggs is if we send a 1st (probably more) for Diggs and a 2nd for Kerrigan. Or 2 first round picks (2020 & 2021) for Diggs and say Von Miller.

  33. Rob Staton says:

    A thought sprung to mind today that I thought I ought to share.

    None of you should give a crap about anything I say. My opinions on the draft, the Seahawks or anything. It’s just my view. Everyone has a view and increasingly people share them.

    If anything we have too many ‘opinions’ these days and the ‘experts’ blend in or are even overshadowed by non-experts who shout louder. I am not an expert. I just don’t really shout much either.

    I think in particular with the NFL draft stuff there’s a real dearth of quality opinions and analysis. There’s just a whole bunch of tweets, tweet videos, mocks, groupthink and podcasts. Very few people actually sit down and take the time and effort to craft a long-form article or watch enough games to validate a take. Very few people can afford to spend the time it takes to do that without full-time employment.

    There are so many people out there masquerading as ‘experts’ in a field where there are so few trustworthy sources. For me, it boils down to Tony Pauline, Lance Zierlein and Bob McGinn. Tony has fantastic sources and works his arse off. Lance grinds like crazy to put together NFL.com’s comprehensive and resourceful draft profiles. Bob’s sources within the league provide an inside look at each year’s class.

    Aside from that it’s mainly a bunch of amateur’s like myself trying to feed you a load of information. I do it because I enjoy it. Not because I want you to take everything I say at face value.

    Form your own opinions. Watch the players. Back yourself. Engage in debate but don’t be argued into changing your mind too easily. Don’t let me or anyone else do that.

    You don’t need anyone to tell you how good or bad a player is. Watch them and you’ll be able to do it all yourself. Back yourself.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      This is your blog’s mission statement bro.

      I really believe in thus forum and the way people respond to your ideas, dialogue, and platform

      • I dont think you give yourself enough credit. We do value your opinion as you do put in the work. I think we all just love talking about the Seahawks because we are all 12’s. For the most part and I have said this before, we talk about things that are opinionated and not factual so no one is right and no one is wrong, its just opinion. I love to hear everyone’s opinions because that means I get to talk about the team I love. Ive tried talking to my wife about DK Metcalfs rookie season, my two daughters about the salary cap (which I love the most), hell Ive even dressed up my dogs in blue and green but no one gives a shit. You guys all care which is great. So thanks Rob for giving us this forum to share our ideas and thoughts about the team we all love and keep doing what your doing because it works.

        • Simo says:

          Well said Greg! This is exactly the same reason I keep coming back to this blog everyday!

          Very much love reading what Rob writes, its always well thought out and thought provoking, and often very much on target. But what makes this blog special is the interaction between all the Seahawk fans, the back and forth, even the disagreements (which are usually handled respectfully). As an occasional poster to the blog, I feel some ownership of it and I’m proud to be part of it!

          Keep up the excellent work Rob, and the lively posts as well!!

    • Trevor says:

      That’s what makes this blog so awesome! Great stuff as always. Maybe the blog should be subtitled “a voice of reason in a crazy social media driven world”.

    • TomLPDX says:

      You know, Rob, I’ve been following you on SDB for 10+ years now and the one thing I can say is that I am a more informed Seahawk fan than probably most of the fans for other teams in this country. You bring up a lot of different players each year for us to think about as potential Seahawks. Most of them don’t pan out but we are better for it because we talk about it here and understand what is possible.

      I love this website and the content and commentary that it generates. We all want the best for our Seahawks. Each year we talk about different players and then watch them come into the league and be special as a Seahawk or a Packer or a 49er or whatever…because you give us that discussion.

      Greg said it best…we love talking about the Seahawks and we are all 12s…been one since 1976 when I lived in the heart of Texas and everyone in my family, including me, were diehard Cowboy fans (Tom Landry is GOD!) and I got a chance to really care about a team. Been a fan from the beginning and this site allows me to continue with that and learn, learn, learn!

    • king. says:

      Rob, I butt heads with you pretty much constantly and I have my reasons.

      Yet I intermittently try to take a moment to step back and recognize your intelligence, work ethic, and the consequent ability to understand the collective mind of the Seahawks’ brain trust.

      The work you do is insanely good.

    • McZ says:

      Pretty much nailed it.
      With one adjustment… Kiper & Co are getting paid for being “insightful”. They make a full time job out of this stuff, and are not even close matching SDB content.

      And it is not confined to football, I have to add. Companies pay insane amounts to self-entitled experts, with them handing out some pretty powerpoints, bearing no responsibility in practice.

      So, whatever disagreement we had… highly appreciate your stuff. It’s the only stuff actually worth commenting on. I’m possibly just not the easiest person to get on with (at least my wife says so).

    • Starhawk29 says:

      Speaking of things that should be stickied to the top of the page…

      This is why I love this site. You form opinions based on tape, and generally avoid commenting on players you haven’t watched yet. Thank you so much again for your awesome work, best draft site I’ve seen on the net so far.

  34. Bayahawk says:

    What about a retread like Josh Doctson for WR3? Should come cheap and could potentially be looking to get his career off of the ground.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Wilson deserves and will expect better than a retread.

      • Bayahawk says:

        I’d certainly hope that it was understood that I wasn’t proposing a “let’s get Doctson and be done with it scenario”. I think TE is a much more pressing need than a WR3 and would prefer to see:

        1. Sign Hooper; draft a TE. Less pressure for Dissly to rush back.
        2. Add a WR3 with unproven potential – Doctson. Deep draft for WRs so grab one mid-round
        3. Re-sign Ifedi; draft a C rd 1 or 2 (hope Cushenberry or Ruiz are available early rd 2 after trade back of 1/27); late round G/OT
        4. DL/DE rd 1 or 2; later rd DL project; trade or sign FA
        5. LB – speed is needed based on coverage grades + aging
        6. S – draft a FS. Speed kills

    • TomLPDX says:

      I wish that somehow, we can get Josh Gordon back. He is so close to getting it all back together…

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Breaks my heart. He deserves better than this league.

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          JOSH NEVER HURT NOBODY AND WE GOT DUDES HITTIN ON WOMEN AND KIDS IN THIS LEAGUE (and this team) SMDH

        • Simo says:

          Not sure I understand Kenny? His situation is unfortunate and some may believe unnecessary, but it boils down to being able to follow the rules of your employer…or not in Josh’s case! We all have workplace rules, whether its a dress code, start time, or appropriate treatment of coworkers, and if we repeatedly break these rules we probably won’t be around very long!

          Like many others, I pray that he can handle his addition one day, and perhaps even still have some productive NFL career left…with the Hawks or another team.

  35. Von says:

    The Seahawks seem to value leadership, team captains, and grit. Does anyone have a list of team captains? I wonder if that can narrow the list of possible draft prospects? Just a thought.

  36. king. says:

    Bear with me on this. It is a perhaps tortured analogy.

    I was watching the final episode of David Chang’s Ugly Delicious this evening and, towards the end, Chang is trying to make an Asian tortellini. While the denouement of this scene is rather contrived, the message is poignant.

    Chang admits that his tortellini failed because he was more concerned with the technique than he was with the ingredients. His contention was that Italian food rested on technique applied to perfect ingredients, whereas Asian food was nowhere near so concerned with the quality of the ingredients as much as it was concerned with implementing a technique that maximized those ingredients.

    I thought this was a great analogy for Seattle versus other approaches to football.

    Pete is Italian in that he fervently believes in a rather stringent subset of techniques to apply to the ingredients. As long as the technique is correct, the quality of the product is directly tied to the quality of the ingredients.

    From the Italian perspective, in order to make a great product, you must have the finest quality ingredients.

    The Asian approach seeks to maximize the ingredients, regardless of the quality. And it is extremely effective at creating magnificent dishes out of humble ingredients.

  37. charlietheunicorn says:

    Rob,

    I come here for the takes. I find it much more informative than ESPN or NFL.com when you want to deep dive into a player or coach or scheme or w/e. We are just a bunch of blokes shooting the “crap” in a virtual bar set up by you. Thank you for your time, diligence and care about the Seahawks ….

    *raises virtual pint of ale to the community*

    +12

  38. CaptainJack says:

    Just imagine…

    Wilson throws to open josh Gordon on the second and ten at the end of the greenbay game instead of whoever his name was (I forget) nobody receiver from nowheresville.

    Right or wrong that thought haunts me to this day.

    Id love to see Gordon come back.

    • dcd2 says:

      I’m not sure why Josh Gordon keeps coming up. The reason he wasn’t on the field, is that he was suspended for a 5th time! Why are people advocating for bringing him back and blaming the NFL for his problems?

      In Gordon’s own words (via interview) here is a breakdown of his past:

      Expelled from 2 middle schools for stealing
      Thrown out of HS for drugs
      Joined a gang, stole cars, dealt drugs, carried a gun, scammed businesses with counterfeit money
      Smoked pot and drank vodka every day
      Started drinking cough syrup, taking xanax, oxy, etc. at every opportunity
      Chugged mad dog 20/20 before football games

      Went to Baylor, as his supervised probation from felony theft at age 17 prevented him from leaving the state
      Only passed his court ordered drug tests because he diluted the sample to the extent they weren’t flagged
      Sophomore year, arrested for passing out in a Taco Bell drive through with pot. Suspended by Briles (1 game)
      Passed drug tests at Baylor with help of staff, by taking detox cleansers
      Failed another drug test and suspended indefinitely
      Smoked blunts and took adderall on the way to transfer visits
      Transferred to Utah, started doing cocaine, got kicked off the team for failing a drug test
      Sold drugs while waiting for the supplemental draft

      Took bong hits and/or drank liquor before every game as a Brown (as well as college and HS)
      Frequently missed meetings or showed up late
      Suspended 2 games for violating NFL drug policy
      PLAYS 14 GAMES, RECORDS 87 CATCHES FOR 1,646 YARDS AND 9 TD: NAMED 1ST TEAM ALL PRO
      Arrested for DWI
      Fails another drug test and suspended for the year (reduced to 10 games)
      Played 5 games and was suspended for one for violating team policy (7:30am walkthrough, but he slept until after 10am coming off of a blackout)
      Suspended the entirety of 2015 for NFL substance abuse violations
      Application for reinstatement denied due to failed drug test
      ENROLLS IN REHAB
      Celebrated 6 months sober by doing drugs and getting drunk
      RE-ENROLLED IN REHAB
      Warrant issued for failure to comply with paternity test.
      Reinstatement to NFL denied and later granted conditionally
      Suspended from the NFL for a 5th time last year with the Hawks

      I truly wish him well, but if you can’t see a pattern and certain outcome here, I don’t know what to tell you.

  39. Levi says:

    Rob –
    I’ve seen you mention multiple times that Uche is not a good fit because he is a SAM, which is not a high priority need currently. Why couldn’t he try to bulk up a bit and transition to a LEO? He has the arm length and the quickness.

    • Rokas says:

      Then it becomes kind of a project, doesn’t it? Do you want to spend a first round or high 2nd round pick on a project.
      Flowers transitioned to CB (5th round pick), Sweezy transitioned to offensive lineman (7th round pick).
      Transition is neither simple, nor automatic.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Because his frame won’t take much more weight if you want to retain his quickness. He’s just more suited to SAM.

  40. Sea Mode says:

    Adam Schefter
    @AdamSchefter
    7h

    Calgary CB Tre Roberson, thought to be the top CFL free agent this year, will sign with the Chicago Bears, per a league source. Roberson chose the Bears over nine other offers. Bears are expected to give Roberson the largest CFL-to-NFL compensation since Miami signed Cameron Wake

    Wonder if we were among the interested. Probably not since he’s already 27 and sounds like he got an expensive offer: Wake signed a deal worth $4.9 million in 2009.

    At the Senior Bowl it was reported that Robinson was drawing interest from several teams and had worked out for the 49ers, Vikings, Lions, Bears, Chargers, Buccaneers, Colts, Patriots and Cardinals, with still more scheduled. According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, 14 teams were slated to work Roberson out.

    Roberson originally played quarterback at Indiana, but lost the starting job to Nate Sudfeld, who is now a backup for the Eagles. He then transferred to Illinois State and was their starting quarterback for two seasons. As an undrafted rookie in 2016, Roberson signed with the Vikings [as a CB] and spent most of the 2016 season on their practice squad. He then spent the 2017 offseason on the Vikings’ roster before being cut just before the start of the season.

    Roberson started every game for Calgary over the past two seasons, recording recorded 95 tackles and 10 interceptions while helping the Stampede win the 2019 Grey Cup.

    2016 Pro day results:

    5117, 196, 9 3/8 hand, 31 7/8 arm, 77 5/8 wing
    4.52 40yd, 37.5 VJ, 10’1″ BJ, 4.20 SS, 6.79 3C, 14 BP

  41. Since we have been spending some time talking about Austin Hooper and Stefon Diggs, who would the people in here rather have on the team? Putting draft picks aside do you think having a guy like Hooper or Diggs would make our offense better? Personally I would go with Hooper.

    • Simo says:

      Tough call here, as either player would significantly help the team going forward. I think it boils down to the cost it would take to acquire Diggs from Minn, where no draft pick compensation is required to bring in Hooper. Now Diggs might actually be the more impactful player, as he is more of a downfield threat than Hooper, and of course this plays to Russ’ strength.

      I’d be stoked if they brought in either player though, but suspect Hooper may make a bit more sense by allowing them to use a high pick for a def line trade.

    • Henry Taylor says:

      Hooper, a TE is more important to this team than a 3rd wide receiver.

    • Eburgz says:

      I think Diggs is a more impactful player. I think hooper is a solid TE but he isn’t a game changing player. If he was a top 5 player at his position the falcons wouldn’t let him out the door.

      I think TE is a bigger need than WR though.

    • GerryG says:

      Hooper.
      1) We have two really good WRs, another strong potential young guy (Ursua, Turner)
      2) We basically have nothing at TE aside from Hollister (who is a decent contributor) and a guy that unfortunately cant stay on the field thus far

  42. Zierlein gave us AJ Epenasa in his mock 1.0

    And he didn’t have Delpit in first round.🤐

  43. Still thinking about a crazy outside the box trade for a DE. Maybe Danielle Hunter as the Vikings salary cap is a disaster. I give it about a 1% chance but just a thought. More likely it could be Griffen.

    • They would only save $5.5 million against the cap trading Hunter so I just dont see it happening. They save the exact same amount trading Diggs as well. Looks like Griffen and Linval Joseph are the two that could be gone.

    • Henry Taylor says:

      Given that they would only save 5m with a 9m dead money hit I’d say 1% is generous.

    • john_s says:

      If you want to get really out there I am calling the Browns to gauge their interest in trading Myles Garrett.

      He will be eligible for the 5th year option and with what happened at the end of last year, they may be inclined to see what’s his trade value in the open market.

      two 1’s plus other picks for Myles Garrett?

      • Henry Taylor says:

        Even if that were possible can you trade for him before you find out what kind of suspension he’s gonna have for the next season.

      • I suggested that one a couple posts ago. We went from Joey Bosa, to Myles Garrett, now to Danielle Hunter. All with the slimmest of chances. A little more inside the box is Von Miller, Calais Campbell, and Ryan Kerrigan.

        • Steve Nelsen says:

          It is fun to make a wish list. And I remember last year when folks were talking about adding Clowney to replace Frank Clark and got hit with, “that isn’t realistic.” I myself was skeptical about being able to add Clowney but JS pulled it off so I’m going to be more open this offseason about possibilities.

          That being said, there is nobody in Denver talking about trading Von Miller. They compare it to the idea of Seattle trading Bobby Wagner. He is well respected by the organization, he is beloved by the fans, they can afford to keep him and they feel they can compete for a playoff spot next year and he can help. I think that the only people talking about Von Miller being available is us.

          • I think he might be more of a mid season trade option if the Broncos struggle early. You right though as its great to wish and you just never know who could be made available.

            • That could be. Miller is a franchise icon. Tough to compare him to Wagner though, who is on a team that always contends. With Lock only entering his second year at QB and Miller at 31, they might be willing to do a deal now while Miller will still fetch a decent haul, if they don’t think they’ll be contending in the next two years or so.

          • McZ says:

            Well, last year the Jags were viewing themselves as contenders with a SB winning QB.

            This year, they are a rebuilding team accumulating lots of draft capital, in a position to draft Kinlaw. Plus, they have Taven Bryan, who is gradually improving and should have a breakout year in 2020.

  44. Trevor says:

    My Seahawks Free Agency Wish List

    #1 Jadaveon Clowney (If Chis Jones is not on market. If Jones is available, he is #1)- Elite 5 tech and run defender who causes major disruption in the passing game. Never seems to be able to put up the big sack numbers but his pressure rates are solid. Been talked about enough on the blog so I will leave it at that. ($20 mil APY)

    #2 Dante Fowler (DE/ Rams) – The Hawks have never replaced the speed off the edge they had in Cliff Avril and the defense has never been the same since his injury. Even in the Super Bowl loss they were dominating in the first half then he got injured and everything changed without that consistent speed off the Edge. Fowler is not Avril but he is the best speed rusher in the free agent group and has an Avril type physical profile. ($18 mil APY)

    #3 George Fant – Just brings so much versatility being about to play both OT spots. Let him play RT for a couple of years till Brown moves on then switch to LT. ($7mil APY)

    #4 David Oneymata (DT/ Saints) –Young athletic run defender who call also provide some pass rush. He is one BAMF and would bring a real edge to DT rotation that I think we could use. I would take Onemayata over Reed even if Reed was not getting a big $ deal. ($5 mil APY)

    #5 Kendell Fuller (CB/ Chiefs) – He was an elite slot CB prior to going to the Chiefs and I remember Scott Mcloughin raving about him. The Hawks struggled in the slot this year and Fuller with an improving Amadi would be a nice competitive situation. (1 yr Prove it deal)

    #6 Trade for OJ Howard or David Njoku. I like Hooper a lot but his injury history scares me and he is going to break the bank I think. Do you really want to pay $10 mil + for a TE 2?

    #7 Restructure and Extend Britt at a lower cap # if his recovery went OK

    Wildcard is Stephon Diggs. If the Hawks really could trade for him I almost think you have to pull the trigger and figure out what to do after that. Diggs, Metcalf and Locket would be the best WR trio in the NFL and give Russ elite weapons for the next 3 years plus. It might even cause Pete to re-think the run first offense a little.

    • I dont like rethinking the run first option as that formula wins championships. Look at the Steelers since they went away from it and went to a pass first team. Zero SB appearances and have barely won a playoff game.

      • Trevor says:

        I think the run will always be a huge part of Pete’s philosophy and part of that “closing the loop” but when you have the highest paid QB in the league and an MVP candidate and then give him 3 weapons like that it would be crazy not to be more innovative in the pass game. I an not saying switch to pass first offense. Ideally you have an offense that could adapt week to week based on the situation and team they are playing.

        Might also help with the slow starts.

    • Henry Taylor says:

      If they did add Diggs it would make me wonder what kind of offence they’d be planning to run next season. Their offensive line is built to run the ball and Pete’s whole philosophy is built around that principle. I also think Russ is at his best when he’s asked to be efficient and not pass the ball 50 times a game, but can you really keep the ball away from those 3 guys?

      • I agree, that is the reason I would want Hooper VS Diggs. Hooper can help as a run blocking TE as well and doesnt need as many targets. I would rather just draft the third WR and just ease him in.

        • Trevor says:

          I like Hooper but I just don’t see him as being worth $10 mil + APY

          2016: 19 receptions / 271 yds / 3 TDS
          2017: 49 reception / 529 yds / 3 TDs
          2018: 71 receptions / 660 yds / 4 TDs
          2019: 75 reception/ 787yds / 6TDS

          Those are good but not great numbers and the Falcons with Matt Ryan love to target the TE. Also he is a good not great blocker. I like him and think he would make the perfect TE 2 but not at $10 mil + as I think we see what his ceiling is already.

          • dcd2 says:

            Howard is worse in every measurable metric: yards, TD, games played/missed, run/pass blocking…

            Yet you want to give up a 2nd rounder for him.

            Talk me through why you think the trade off for Howard is worth it, but getting Hooper as FA is not. Howard will get his payday next year, so we save $6M this year, but lose the pick.

            • Trevor says:

              -Howard is a better blocker
              -Hooper played with Matt Ryan and they feature the TE
              -Save about $7 mil next year and Hooper in singing a 4-5 year deal it is not a 1yr deal.
              *Biggest reason is I just don’t think Hooper is a dominant mismatch TE who deserves top of the market TE money. Howard could be if he plays up to his potential.

              Once again I like Hooper a lot he is just not a top of the market TE IMO but he will get paid like one because it is a weak TE draft and free agent class.

      • Ashish says:

        Adding Diggs WR is no brainer, I will trade him now. Yes, Locket and DK are great, adding Diggs will add more options to offense which is always good.

      • Trevor says:

        The OL has been built to run the ball but next years OL could easily be a better pass blocking than run blocking unit by switching out Jones for Fluker.

        LT : Brown
        LG: Haynes
        C: Britt
        RG Jones
        RT:Fant

  45. Bankhawk says:

    I’về made SDB my ‘football home’ since sometime just this side of the dark ages-that would be the time otherwise known as ‘the Mora Era’. Back in the day, I went with a more or less even split between Field Gulls (that being before Danny went off to The Ringer) and SDB. Not so much these days.
    Now, just on a whim, I ‘stopped by F.G.s on the way home from the office’ and If I needed any reminder why it is that Seattle Draft Blog is the place I prefer to be, I sure got one with that ‘Let Russ Cook’ piece they ran today. Judging by the way it read, it sounds like it might be a meme from Twitter (never had it, never will) or some such thing.
    As polemics go, it was not too salty, really. But I like Peteball. I love a team that plays tough D and can intimidate with the run like we do when we’re in top form. It feels like the right way to set up Russ’ lightning bolts that drop from Valhalla. Sure, I would like to see the team start faster more often, but they’về practically got me trained-I almost get to feeling uneasy if we’re up by too much at the half.
    Okay-this is getting too long-what I meant to say was how much I appreciate you Rob, and all the regulars and all the commentary based on solid knowledge of the Hawks and directions the team is most likely to go in. That’s my fan-site version of’We all we got-we all we need’!

  46. Anyone watching the Derby today? Monster late goal from United last game to get it within two even though they are still in trouble.

  47. Volume12 says:

    Paul Alexander says Andrew Thomas has 36″ arms!

    • Rob Staton says:

      And yet a bunch of ‘draft media’ keep telling us he’s the 4th best offensive lineman in the draft.

      What a load of tosh.

      • Volume12 says:

        Yeah, that’s strange to me. Is there something they don’t like about him off the field?

        I’m gonna take coaches word (who used to be one of the best btw) over theirs.

        • Henry Taylor says:

          I’ve seen vague explanations like “he doesn’t always get it right” and “doesn’t always look pretty”. It’s all very strange, he was the consensus number 1 guy for the whole season and now it’s becoming a trend to see people mock projects like Becton and beige players like Willis ahead of him (who fwiw I read on an Alabama page somewhere the comments of fans who were delighted to be rid of his penalty tendency).

          To me, he’s the cleanest tackle prospect in a long time and lock for the top 10.

          • Volume12 says:

            If we’re not talking QB’s, pretty and the game of football shouldn’t have to go hand in hand.

            The only thing I’ve noticed is he has a tendency to get a little high in his stance and he might, I stress the word might, have some problems with speed rushers.

            Having said that, I still see a top 5 prospect. The Giants would be foolish to let him get by.

  48. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Can someone help me understand Tony P’s comments yesterday about Oregon TE Jake Breeland?

    From Pauline’s PFN article yesterday:

    “Finally, there’s good news surrounding Jake Breelend, the tight end from Oregon. The senior, graded as a street free agent before the season began, was off to a great start until a knee injury cut his year short in mid-October. [emphasis added]

    While Breeland will not be able to work out prior to the draft, I’m told he suffered a clean tear and will be ready to go by summer camp. Likely to end up in the late rounds, Breeland could be one of the steals of the draft at tight end once he gets back to full health.”

    My question is, what does a grade of “street free agent” mean for a college prospect? I mean, I know what a street FA is, but I’m not sure I understand what that means with respect to an NFL-eligible college prospect. Does it mean Breeland was graded as an UDFA?

    And if that does mean Tony P graded Breeland as an UDFA, why would Breeland move up in rating to a late round prospect after missing most of his senior season because of an injury?

    • Volume12 says:

      Yes. UDFA. Free to sign with whoever.

      Misevaluation. What he did put on tape or what scouts saw from him is enough to move him up.

      It’s ok to be wrong. We’re all learning right?

    • dcd2 says:

      Breeland had a really good start to the year and looked to have taken a big step forward. I don’t think he did much VS Auburn, but he had: 4/122/1, 5/49/2, 5/78/2, 5/87, 3/53/1 (injured in the 1st half)

      He was leading UO in receptions, yards & TD. He was also Herbert’s favorite target, and likely would have had a huge year if he didn’t get hurt.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Tony reported in pre-season he was graded as an UDFA but I believe then said he’d boosted his stock during the season. I seem to recall him saying it was a big blow that he got injured because he was rising.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Thanks all. For some reason I thought Breeland was rated at least a Day 2 TE prospect going into last season. My bad. I think I misconstrued the praise he had received early in the season that he was rated higher than he really was.

        We haven’t done much of an evaluation of the TE class — not the top prospects like Trautman or Bryant, but an in depth look at some of the potential hidden gems. But so far, there seems to be some consensus building around Stephen Sullivan as a Day 3 target. Any preference between Sully and Breeland? Anyone else on your radar as a possible Day 3/UDFA TE target?

  49. cha says:

    Anyone in the know. I don’t watch a lot of Chiefs football.

    Does Andy Reid still have issues with clock management (or perceived issues, whatever you want to call it)? Or does having a weapon like Mahomes make that somewhat irrelevant?

    • Volume12 says:

      I do.

      It’s still an issue even though he’s improved a little bit. Having Mahomes has certainly masked it.

  50. RWIII says:

    A couple questions for Rob
    1st Question: How long does it take to swim the English Channel?

    1st Important question: If you had your choice. Would you prefer the Hawks acquire Austin Cooper or Stephon Diggs.

    Last question. What are the chances that Arik Armstead hits free agency. Armstead lead the 49ers in sacks in 2019. He also has two sacks in the playoffs. Arik Armstead is listed as a defensive end. Do the 49ers use him as an interior pass rushers on passing downs?

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      1st question: I believe the record for swimming the EC is just under 11 hours. Rob’s performance may vary.

      1st important question: Based solely on the players (and not at all on the circumstances surrounding how SEA might acquire them), I’d much prefer Diggs. Although they don’t play the same position, they serve similar roles at times. And Diggs is a vastly superior pass catcher to Hooper (I assume that’s who you meant). Also, from a cap space perspective, there’s not much difference between Hooper’s cap hit vs Diggs’. IMO that means SEA would be overpaying for Hooper.

      Last question: I think Armstead is virtually guaranteed to reach FA. SF don’t have anywhere near enough cap space to resign him, especially considering he’s likely to get at least $17M apy. Even if SF could work his contract to minimize his 2020 cap hit, it would still eat up ALL their remaining cap space. Armstead is a true inside-out 4-3 DE along the lines of Calais Campbell and Michael Bennett. IMO he’s got Calais Campbell level potential, and I would prefer SEA sign Armstead with a 2020 cap hit of $17M (regardless of whether his contract apy is higher) than sign Fowler with a 2020 cap hit of $15M.

    • Rob Staton says:

      1. Too long

      2. Diggs

      3. Armstead will be a FA because they can’t afford to tag him and he’s a dynamic interior defender who does everything well but he can also handle some snaps at DE

  51. Hawkhomer1 says:

    First time poster although I have lurked on your site for some time. I did something you never should and have fallen in love with a potential draft pick. Chaisson out of LSU looks like the EDGE we have needed since Avril left. He has some holes in his game but at 20 he has a lot of time to plug those. He has great bend and a good motor. Any chance he will realistically still be on the board at 27. Most mocks have him in the 2nd but I think he could be special in a couple years and would like to tie him up for 5. What do you all think?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Chaisson is a player we’ve discussed a lot. I think the perception of Chaisson is turning into a tsunami that threatens to demolish reality as it reaches the shore.

      People think — fast, speedy, twitchy pass rusher. He looks athletic but how quick is he, actually? He ran a 4.67 at SPARQ at 217lbs. I suspect he will run faster than that at the combine. After all, Brian Burns ran a 4.76 at SPARQ. But until a player actually proves how athletic he is, it’s hard to project.

      His best season at LSU was a 6.5 sack season in 2019. Two of those came in one game against Oklahoma. On one of the sacks, they literally had a wide receiver try and block him off the edge.

      Stats are not everything, of course. The manner of the production is though. Nearly all of his sacks and pressures at LSU were on stunts. Not beating guys 1v1 off the edge. They were plays where LSU deliberately schemed to get him into designed situations to enter the backfield.

      In the NFL you can’t stunt your way to a pass rush. You’ve got to be able to win off the edge. You mention Cliff Avril there. Cliff rushed the edge time and time again. When I watch Chaisson, I do not see that.

      To me he’s a SAM linebacker who will need to learn that role (at least someone like Joshua Uche has background there) and he can be a situational rusher. Which is fine. But if anyone thinks he’s this dynamic EDGE who is going to come in and solve Seattle’s pass rush woes — I think you’ll be disappointed.

  52. Rob Staton says:

    Quick reminder of how pointless these mock drafts are saying this or that player will go early…

    Daniel Jeremiah’s first 2019 mock http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001011490/article/daniel-jeremiah-mock-draft-10-kyler-murray-lands-with-patriots

    Lance Zierlein’s first 2019 mock http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001014266/article/lance-zierlein-2019-nfl-mock-draft-10-kyler-murray-to-raiders

    Mel Kiper’s first 2019 mock https://www.boltsfromtheblue.com/2020/1/28/21112424/mel-kiper-mock-draft-2020-nfl-espn-2019-last-year-review-49ers-cardinals-kyler-murray-order-preview

    None had Kyler Murray at #1.

    Jeremiah had Josh Jacobs at #5 overall, Jawaan Taylor at #9 and Cody Ford at #11. Greedy Williams and DK Metcalf were both in the top-20. Nasir Adderley, Jaylon Ferguson and Trayvon Mullen were in round one. Christian Wilkins fell to #25 and Dexter Lawrence fell to #31. Jeremiah had Kyler Murray at #32.

    Kiper had Murray at #13. He had DeAndre Baker at #10. Oshane Ximines was in round one. He had Dexter Lawrence at #26 and Irv Smith at #27 (one too late, one way too early). He had Dre’Mont Jones and Taylor Rapp in round one. Most shockingly, he had Deionte Thompson in round one. He eventually went in round five and never looked like a R1 pick at any point. Draft media loved Deionte Thompson. It was a mirage.

    Lance had Josh Allen as the #1 pick in his first mock with Rashan Gary at #2. Kyler Murray was at #4. He had DK Metcalf and Drew Lock in the top-10 plus Greedy Williams and Jawaan Taylor in the top-15. Devin White fell to #17 (#5 overall in the real thing). He had Greg Little at #23, Jaylon Ferguson at #24 and Dexter Lawrence at #25. TJ Hockenson and Ed Oliver were at #27 and #28 respectively — yet both went in the top-10. Christian Wilkins — the #13 pick — lasted all the way to pick #32 in Lance’s first mock.

    So when we look at these projections and see what these guys are saying — it doesn’t really mean anything.

    And in fairness to this blog — we had Kyler Murray projected as the #1 pick in December, we consistently said Wilkins and Lawrence wouldn’t fall and that TJ Hockenson would go very early. We don’t get everything right but we get a fair amount right.

    • TomLPDX says:

      Hey Rob, one thing I’ve learned from you over the years is that when you put out a mock you seem to do it to generate discussion among the gang about different players leading up to the draft. I appreciate that because we are focused on the Seahawks and looking to generate what-if scenarios so that, in the end, we are better informed about the players available and the needs that the team has. For these guys that are basically unaffiliated with a team and hence don’t really understand the requirements of our team (or any team for that matter), I don’t even read their mocks anymore. I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t even compare them to you for information about players and what not. Please continue with your process of vetting players for the Seahawks and let the blowhards spew forth.

  53. Kenny Sloth says:

    Via Chris Mortenson

    Hall of Fame GM Ron Wolf said the Browns and others who embrace an analytics-driven model are “out of control.”
    Wolf: “When something goes wrong, who takes responsibility?
    “Their answer: `Well, that’s what the data told us.’ What a crock. That’s what got ’em 1-31.”

    • Volume12 says:

      Ron Wolf was incredible. He really set the table for how teams scout and the whole process itself.

      Rumor was, even though he was a tape grinder he could watch tape on a prospect for 5-10 minutes. If he shut it off? Meant he didn’t think the guy had it.

      The list of guys he helped draft for the Raiders is jaw dropping.

  54. Dale Roberts says:

    Who else will be available as a value free agent that could fill a Golden Tate kind of role? Was Doug Baldwin the same type of receiver as Smith and Tate? Are we still missing Doug Baldwin? Here are some ideas on free agents receivers:

    1. Amari Cooper would be the super star Wilson wants and he’s only 26. However he would command a $20 million/yr salary. Not sure that’s feasible or wise.

    2. AJ Green – no questioning his talent but his recent injury history and age would make this a gamble. Signing Green would also force Lockett into the slot since Green’s impact is down the field.

    3. Emmanual Sanders – He’d be valuable for his grit. He completely changed the SF offense. He seems like thing closest to a Golden Tate of the free agents.

    4. Brashad Perriman – Elite speed/size;ran a 4.24 forty. Struggled to produce for 4 years on 4 teams, after being 27th pick in the draft. His first 48 games he didn’t have a 100 yard game. After Mike Evans was injured for Tampa Bay Perriman had three in a row to end the season. Made $4 million on a one year prove-it deal. Still only 26.

    5. Larry Fitzgerald – Amazing. His play doesn’t look like a 36 year old. Love to see him as a dependable slot and outlet for Russ. I think he’s got another three years especially if he’s competing for the Super Bowl.

    6. Correy Coleman – Had the misfortune to be drafted by Cleveland. Cut by Buffalo, and NE but became a contributor for the Giants especially as a returner as gunner. Has great talent and YAC.

    7. Pharoh Cooper – A gamer who comes from a military family. Reaches top speed after three steps and is adept at changing his route on scramble plays. Really hasn’t found his footing in the NFL yet.

    My dream would have us add Fitzgerald and Reagor to Lockett and Metcalf. Now that’s a receiving corps.

  55. Chris says:

    I think my dream off-season would be as follows with the draft capital and cap space:

    Free agent splash for Austin Hooper. We’ve seen the different level this offense is with a difference making TE. Dissly at that point would be an added luxury.
    Check into Christ Harris Jr. if the money works out. Not as high a priority though, hoping Flowers can make a 3rs year jump like Shaq, and I like Ugo in the slot.

    Retain Clowney, Reed, Gordon (with the assumption of zero gaurantees) and Fant. The thought being Fant could take over at RT.
    Retain all RFA’s.

    Trade 1+ whatever to land Von Miller (Everson Griffin as a cheaper fallback)
    Trade 2+ (probably both and more) to land Stefon Diggs
    Use the rest of the picks to fill out the roster.

    Splashy enough for Russell, Rob?