Would the Seahawks trade Michael Bennett? (No, but…)

April 20th, 2015 | Written by Rob Staton

Michael Bennett disputed reports he wants a trade, but he does want more money

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt following the Carroll/Schneider regime it’s to expect the unexpected. The high profile trades, the intriguing draft picks, starting a 5-10 rookie quarterback and winning a Super Bowl with him a year later.

Nothing is off the table.

Remember how shocked you were when you found out Percy Harvin was going to the Jets for a late round pick? Remember how shocked you were when you read about the Jimmy Graham deal? Remember how shocked you were when it appeared Marshawn Lynch was on the way out, only for a long drawn-out U-turn and eventual re-signing?

Very little about the last five years has been predictable. And that’s why I’m writing this piece today.

I don’t expect the Seahawks to trade Michael Bennett. In fact it’d be pretty dumb. He really is one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL. Possibly top-five. He was probably the best player on the field in the Super Bowl. The image of him riding a bicycle around Century Link Field after the NFC Championship game is one of the most iconic in Seahawks history. A surreal yet fitting conclusion to a weird afternoon in Seattle.

I’m not sure why Clarence Hill’s sources indicated Bennett wanted a trade to Atlanta and a new contract. I do think, however, that it’d be wrong to write off that report as nonsense simply because the Seahawks and Bennett have denied it.

The Alex Boone/Jim Harbaugh situation is a gentle reminder of the type of thing that goes on in the NFL. If you missed the story, Boone gave a passionate defense of Harbaugh during the season, stating:

“I’m really kind of sick of everybody talking about my coach, especially because he’s like a brother to me. So if I were everybody I’d just keep their mouth shut because they don’t want me coming after them. Especially Jay Glazer, Deion, all these guys. I’m kind of sick of it. Leave my coach alone.”

Here’s what Boone told Andrea Kramer following Harbaugh’s departure:

“He does a great job of giving you that spark, that initial boom… But after a while, you just want to kick his ass… He just keeps pushing you, and you’re like, ‘Dude, we got over the mountain. Stop. Let go.’ He kind of wore out his welcome… I think he just pushed guys too far. He wanted too much, demanded too much, expected too much. You know, ‘We gotta go out and do this. We gotta go out and do this. We gotta go out and do this.’ And you’d be like, ‘This guy might be clinically insane. He’s crazy.’… I think that if you’re stuck in your ways enough, eventually people are just going to say, ‘Listen, we just can’t work with this.’”

I don’t think Bennett was lying when he disputed the report suggesting he wanted a trade. I do think NFL players generally know how to play the media game. At least the intelligent ones do. Especially the intelligent ones hoping to be paid more money.

Now we’re being told Bennett won’t attend the teams voluntary workouts. It’s not a big deal. They are voluntary after all. Are we really expecting Marshawn Lynch to show up? Yet there’s still this bubbling unrest it seems specifically with Michael Bennett.

There really is no obvious solution to this. Bennett can continue to be dissatisfied with a contract he signed only a year ago. He can hold out. It won’t change the situation. He’s contracted until the end of the 2017 season. Seattle set a precedent by not giving in to Lynch’s annual demands for more money. The earliest Bennett can expect to get a new deal is late 2016/early 2017 — when he’ll be 31. By that point the Seahawks might have little interest in extending his contract deep into his mid-30’s.

Trading him could create the kind of bad precedent they want to avoid. While they don’t want to be renegotiating deals with every key player a year or two down the line, they also don’t want to give the impression you can complain your out of Seattle. What’s stopping Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Cliff Avril or anyone else pulling a similar stunt in the future?

Even so, it was interesting to see the Seahawks being linked with Mario Edwards Jr recently — a player who can line up inside and out. There seems to be little chance he lasts until #63 — but what if the Seahawks acquired an earlier pick?

Again, let me be clear. I do NOT expect Seattle to trade Bennett. I’m not trying to argue it WILL happen. It’s the 20th April and we need something to talk about over the next ten days. As unlikely as this appears, we would’ve said the same about a “will they trade Percy Harvin?” article after the Cowboys game last year.

You never know what’s going to happen next.

It would cost the Seahawks a dead money cap hit of $6m to trade Bennett. That makes such a move even more unlikely — but it would free up an extra $7.5m in 2016 cap room and $9.5m in 2017. Considering extensions for Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner are likely to be thin up front in 2015, you can probably make a case either way. The Seahawks had no problem taking a major cap hit after trading Harvin — although there’s no evidence to suggest Bennett is the same kind of locker-room headache that Harvin proved to be.

If the Falcons were willing to cough up their second round pick (#42) and a 2016 pick (possibly another second rounder) would it be a tempting deal? Only if you believe you can pick up the slack. Seattle’s depth on the defensive line isn’t great. You’d need to replace your best pass rusher in a draft where the value is at receiver and the offensive line. If Edwards Jr is even there at #42, he’d have to seriously improve his performance rushing the edge. It’d be the same for Owa Odighizuwa.

You also wouldn’t be receiving any immediate benefit for the trade if you used the #42 pick to directly replace Bennett. You’d essentially be swapping a proven commodity for an unproven rookie while paying a large sum of money for the privilege. It could make some sense, however, if you believed you could replace Bennett at #63 (or lower) and the #42 pick enabled you to target a different position of greater strength in this class (eg wide receiver, O-line). In that scenario you might be able to survive on defense, improve the offense and receive cap and draft stock benefit in 2016.

It’s very unlikely to happen. I know it. You know it. We all know it. Stranger things have happened though. You just never know what’ll happen next with this team.

Elsewhere…

— The Seahawks re-signed Lemuel Jeanpierre today. They needed the extra depth at center and this gives them some flexibility going into the draft. It’s fair to say, however, they’ll almost certainly prioritize adding a new center at some point in a loaded draft class at the position.

Tony Pauline published his updated rankings today. Pauline is one of the most sourced draft insiders in the biz, so this is worth noting. It’s interesting he now has Ty Sambrailo graded in round three just behind Daryl Williams. It suggests there’s a possibility he’ll make it to #63 if the Seahawks want to add a tackle/guard/center project. Pauline only has one pure center graded in day two (Grasu) and he has Mitch Morse in round five. Also of interest — Dorial Green-Beckham has a round 2/3 grade.

— Pauline also reports the Cleveland Browns are pressing hard to move up to #2 to draft Marcus Mariota and that Frank Clark will be drafted in the top-125 picks.

— With ten days to go my opinion on what the Seahawks do at #63 hasn’t really changed. If there’s a chance to move up for one of the top-8 receivers I suspect they’ll consider it using the fourth rounder acquired from New Orleans. They could just take a receiver in the late second. If not, I think they’ll take the best offensive lineman on their board.

— Mark Glowinski & Chris Conley visited the Seahawks. For a list of visits (defense and offense) check out Davis Hsu’s Twitter timeline:

177 Responses to “Would the Seahawks trade Michael Bennett? (No, but…)”

  1. David Ess says:

    I didnt see this in the article so i thought id post it here.

    Chris Conley visited Seahawks Last Week @FieldGulls @zjwhitman pic.twitter.com/mzaxWtDpfK— DAVIS HSU (@DavisHsuSeattle) April 20, 2015

  2. bigDhawk says:

    I guess my only question in all of this is why, in the first place, do players even sign contracts they know they will be unhappy with a year later? Was there a gun to his head when he signed this deal last year? If he signed because that was indeed the best he could do at the time, what makes him think he can do better now? Was his performance that much better in 2014/15 than it was in his contract season of 2013/2014 to warrant a huge raise? He had all the leverage as an UFA last offseason and this deal was the best he could do. Why now does he think he can do better with no leverage, under contract? I just don’t quite get any of it.

    • realrhino2 says:

      I also don’t quite understand (okay, I understand what people mean by it, but don’t think they’ve thought it through) when people say things like, “He’s outplayed his contract.” It’s not really possible, absent some undue duress during the negotiation process. Sure, a team thinks a player will produce X, but X isn’t really a point, it’s a range of all possible/reasonable outcomes, and the money is based on the likelihood of those outcomes. Each side chooses a duration they feel comfortable with based on those possibilities, etc. So just because a player performs at a higher end of the range doesn’t mean they are “outplaying the contract,” because the dollar terms included (on their side) all the leverage they had at the time it was signed.

      • arias says:

        I don’t know. By that logic you would also have to say that it’s really not possible for a player to under-perform his contract either. I wouldn’t agree because I think it is possible to either over or under perform a contract. After all, the terms are merely conceptual.

    • Carl says:

      He turned down more money from Chicago, allegedly.

      • BrianH says:

        But isn’t that his choice? Maybe he has some buyers remorse but that sounds like a him problem to me. Unless the team thinks he’s going to become a Harvin sized headache… I don’t see how they deal him.

        • Meat says:

          I agree. Bennett just signed the deal and the ink is barely dry. Foolish to gripe one year into it.

        • arias says:

          It was his choice and one that he might regret now, but personally I’m not so quick to callously write that off as being strictly his problem. Because ultimately he did decide to take a discount to play here and he has been a key piece to 1 championship and two Super Bowl appearances that the team would not have achieved without him.

          I appreciate that he chose to play here for a discount and the invaluable contributions he’s made to all the winning over the last couple years. I also recognize he could get a ton more today on the open market and he’s seeing that in his one shot at landing a big money contract in his prime he’s ending up with far less than he’s worth as a key piece to a championship team.

          I’m sympathetic to the team’s position too, you can’t just have guys wanting to re-up one year into their contracts and trying to accommodate him could put them in a deeper bind at a time they’ve got their hands tied with all the contracts coming up they’ve got to do. It seems like an intractable problem if Bennett remains unhappy enough to hold out, which I can honestly see happening all things considered.

    • arias says:

      “If he signed because that was indeed the best he could do at the time, what makes him think he can do better now?”

      Because that’s just the reality of what an additional 10 mil in cap room added to every team in the league means. That’s 320 million more that teams have at their disposal to spend on free agents this year and Bennett could no doubt easily land a deal for far more than he signed for last year. That’s why.

      “Was his performance that much better in 2014/15 than it was in his contract season of 2013/2014 to warrant a huge raise?”

      First of all, he shouldered a massively increased workload in 2014 where he played in 82% of the defensive snaps as opposed to 59% in 2013 which totaled out to almost 300 more defensive snaps overall.

      And he was every bit as good in 2014 as he was in 2013. He had the 2nd highest number of QB pressures in the league among all defensive lineman next to JJ Watt and once again ranked among the top 10 in run stop percentage among defensive ends, finishing 8th.

      Simply put, he’s elite and it would be next to impossible to find a comparable replacement for him out of the draft unless they received the Falcons 8th pick and that’s not going to happen.

      But it wasn’t necessary for his performance to improve over 2013 for him to get a hefty pay raise in free agency this year. That’s just the nature of the salary cap.

      • bigDhawk says:

        The salary cap increase argument applies to all players, good and bad, so that doesn’t hold water. If that’s the case then every NFL currently under contract player should hold out en masse for a 10% pay increase, not just Bennett.

        My point is, every thing you present here, his eliteness, his stats, his irreconcilability – he was already all those things when he signed the deal. An increase in snaps doesn’t change or effect any of that. And he knew the cap was going to increase one year into his deal. So he was completely aware of all the reasons he is currently unhappy with the deal when he signed it. So why did he sign it? And if he didn’t have enough leverage as a UFA to negotiate a better, back-loaded deal to take advantage of future increased cap space, then why does he think he has enough leverage now, under contract?

        • bigDhawk says:

          *spell check fail –

          “irreconcilability” should read “irreplaceability”.

        • arias says:

          “The salary cap increase argument applies to all players, good and bad, so that doesn’t hold water. If that’s the case then every NFL currently under contract player should hold out en masse for a 10% pay increase, not just Bennett.”

          I’m really have a hard time making heads or tails of what you’re trying to say here bigDhawk. If you’re saying the players should go on strike every time the salary cap jumps so their salaries increase in proportion with the cap jump, it’s hard to understand that logic. Cap increases are based on increased revenue brought in by the league and the cap increases are ultimately designed to share the wealth with the players. All teams spend more and are forced to spend more by the cap floor on signing free agents. Strikes are hard to organize and difficult to maintain because while some guys can afford to lose game checks, other guys can’t. So you could say they should all hold out “en masse” but all that’s doing is taking away money from the guys that just became free agents and were looking to cash in. It seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face. What would be the point? You’re just taking away the potential bonanza you could get as a player under contract once you hit free agency if you’re demanding pay increases in accordance with cap increases.

          Guys that are replaceable under contract aren’t going to want to find themselves out of a job after holding out so they wouldn’t hold out anyway. Stars that are happy with their contracts wouldn’t want to hold out either. So what are we left with? Stars that are unhappy with their contracts that do hold out, which is where we are today potentially with Bennett.

          So you can say the 25% increase in workload doesn’t change anything, but if you were an irreplaceable employee for your employer and agreed to a modest pay raise even though you could have gotten much more on the open market, then your employer unexpectedly increases your workload by 25% while you continued to keep the company afloat with your irreplaceable skills all while they expected you to lead and carry your department, I don’t think you’d be thrilled if you saw guys that weren’t near as good as you are getting double your (guaranteed) salary.

          Ultimately it doesn’t really matter if you don’t think he’s justified in thinking he’s worth more than he’s being paid, or if you think he should have anticipated UFA to negotiate a better contract in future years, none of that matters. All that matters is that Bennett thinks he’s getting short changed, and if it matters enough for him to hold out over because he’s unhappy, then it’s a problem. He’s elite and irreplaceable which is why he has leverage. The CBA anticipates and expects guys to hold out as a form of leveraging renegotiated contracts, which is why all the terms of holdouts are spelled out in the CBA as far as what teams can do. So if he holds out, he’s well within his rights under the CBA to do so.

          • Jake says:

            Perfectly stated: “if he holds out, he’s well within his rights under the CBA to do so” and These guys are paid employees of the Seahawks and they do a job that will decrease their quality of life in old age (if they get to old age). I understand that 99% of us will not earn in a lifetime what Bennett made in guaranteed money upfront, but we don’t have his combination of qualifications. Only one or two other men on earth do (JJ Watt, Greg Hardy). I am really hopeful that its all bluster and he loves the game and the team too much to be selfish, but we’ll see how it plays out.

            I know I’d be asking for a raise if my work hours increased by 25% and I saw employees who produce less than me getting paid more than me.

  3. UKHawkDavid says:

    Thanks for the article Rob. I don’t really have much to add (like you say, we’ve got to find something to talk about for 10 days!) but I did want to ask:

    Are there any fans on this site who are thinking of going to the preseason game in San Diego on August 29th? There are so many cool people on this site and I enjoy a good old tailgate!

  4. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Ah haaaa… OG M. Glowinski being a SPARQ beast rears it’s head (IRL) at Seahawks HQ.

  5. Bryan C says:

    Chris Conley in a Seahawks uniform has to happen, it makes just too much sense to not happen.

    • Screeching Hawk says:

      I’m hoping as well. He could be a real special NFL player

      • Rob Staton says:

        If he ran a 4.45 would we be saying this?

        I’m not anti-Conley. He has some major athletic potential. But he’s only being talked about in this way since the combine. And that’s despite being a senior at one of the biggest college programs in the SEC.

        • H M Abdou says:

          Rob – you’re absolutely right. And I don’t see quickness and route-running in his highlights or his games (I recorded a few Georgia games).

        • peter says:

          True but out of all the prospects…..why would they even bother bringing him in? Smokescreen? For whom not that I can’t see a smokescreen but 63, 95, etc are weird spots to pick so I think they have to open their parameters in case players are gone

          • Rob Staton says:

            No harm in having a closer look. They brought in Cody Latimer last year but ultimately didn’t draft him.

            • CHawk Talker Eric says:

              Read an interesting interview with Latimer. Said his rookie season was a world apart from college – it’s one thing to learn the DEN playbook; but he just couldn’t keep up with Manning’s audibles at the line. Basically screwed up most routes. He thinks he’s much better at adjusting on the fly and expects this year to be much better.

              • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

                HE would be a wise pick-up in FF…. at least a WR3/RB3 type of production, but he might blow the roof off the dump in 2015.

        • Robert says:

          Conley’s exceptional speed is a big part of the package. And so are the height, long arms, big hands, ridiculous hops, excellent intelligence, exemplary character and lunch pail work ethic. I really like the way he plucks and snatches the ball when he catches. His best plays on his highlight film indicate insane potential. He needs to play quicker, run better routes, sell his fakes better etc. But the makeup up the young man suggests he is a good bet to manifest his tremendous upside. And like PRich, he will command a generous cushion because of his speed and that will allow him some opportunities to exploit underneath.

          • Steele1324 says:

            Rob, Conley has game breaking ability. He also has length. Those two alone make him attractive. His game is rough around the edges, but no glaring faults. Upside is high.

            I much prefer untapped upside to a finished product like Lockett, Agholor or McBride, where what you see is what you get, and what you get is very good, but not spectacular.

            • Robert says:

              Me too! All this talk about whether a prospect can create separation, when Conley can simply blow by DB’s, which is why they must give him a large cushion. So he often has separation before the ball is snapped! Another thought I keep having is how PCJS have gone on record saying they are emphasizing character and other intangibles as their player evaluation philosophy evolves.

              • Rob Staton says:

                “So he often has separation before the ball is snapped!”

                This is not what I saw watching him. He flashes at times, but there’s also a lot snaps on tape where he doesn’t get any separation, runs very basic routes and gets into awkward positions. Again, I am not anti-Conley. But he is becoming very overrated because of his combine performance. Nobody was talking about him pre-combine. You can’t hide talented seniors at Georgia.

                I’m also wondering if every thread now has to become a Conley debate. We’ve been there, I think people have made their feelings known.

              • arias says:

                I’m not seeing the consistent separation either when I look at Conley’s tape.

                His upside to me appears limited to a poor man’s Mike Wallace. His speed and quickness are a tad under Wallace, but I personally don’t consider Wallace’s prototype especially ideal when creating separation with his speed in space and outrunning defenders is all he’s really good for.

                Conley can be contained by the press enough that it makes me wonder if he could ever hope to develop as a complete receiver. Can he make the contested catch? Wallace still struggles with that to this day.

                I did find it interesting that Mayock felt that Conley’s NFL comp was Chris Matthews.

                • Steele1324 says:

                  Arias, the way you and some others are talking, Conley should pack it up because “he will never become a complete receiver”. If you apply the same standard to all WRs, then delete this entire draft class, because everyone from the top of the draft class to the UDFAs need development, and all have faults. Devin Smith has far more faults than Conley, to take one example. Coates? Funchess? DGB? All of them are flawed.

                  I see Conley making contested catches and getting separation—major separation. Can he do it consistently? Can all of the things you knock him for be improved? he is going to get stronger with NFL training. He is going to learn. Bottom line, he is far from being a bust.

                  We are talking about a rd. 4 prospect with rd. 1 potential.

                  • arias says:

                    Don’t get me wrong Steele, I’m not at all saying Conley will never become a complete receiver because there’s really no way to know something like that.

                    But when prognosticating in the draft all you can do is try best to assess how each prospect will project to the pros based on the strengths and weaknesses of their game. It’s natural to think that they’ll rely and develop the aptitudes that come most naturally for them in the pros is it not? It’s easy to project that Conley could e a great deep threat some day because of his speed and that’s how I’m seeing him being used on his routes in the film I’ve seen. But is it so easy to project he could be great in the other aspects of his game that aren’t so prevalent because he doesn’t do them as much because he’s not really utilized that way?

                    It was a genuine question because I didn’t really see those types of catches, but maybe he is just as good at it and if you’re saying he is I’ll take your word for it that you saw far more footage than I did and know what you’re talking about. But if you did only see other types of catches from him sporadically it’s fair to ask whether he can be confidently projected to be as proficient at those catches in the pros and I’m inclined to think you can’t be as sure about projecting how he translates in those areas when at the next level. It is natural to expect if he’s far more proficient in one area than another he’ll lean on his strengths in the pros while developing his game, and develop faster in those areas, rather than develop all aspects in unison including areas he struggles with and will take a longer time picking up. Because why wouldn’t he? It would only seem natural to do so.

            • Robert says:

              …and especially when the obstacles to fulfilling the untapped upside seem to be minor coachable details as opposed to physical or mental limitations.

    • bigDhawk says:

      Anyone know if he plays special teams? If he can use his athleticism to be a solid ST contributor I’d be more interested in him than just the athlete-first/football-player-second prospect I see in him now.

  6. Screeching Hawk says:

    Hey Rob two questions. How did the Seahawks become your American football team and what team is your English Premier Football team? Congratulations on your articles making it to the Seattle PI and Bleacher Report. Hope you’ll be making some beer money from all the much appreciated hard work!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I used to live in Vancouver Screeching and traveled to Seattle a few times. Went to a game and got hooked. As for the English Premier League, my day job is I’m a soccer commentator and radio host for the BBC covering the English game. Of the six clubs I cover, you may know Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United. I don’t have a team really — you can’t when you do that job.

      • Screeching Hawk says:

        I don’t follow world football though they are playing it more on the telle in the U.S. these days. I’m a fan of the BBC series “Life on Mars” brilliant entertaining show. So I guess I’m a Red Manchester in a way due to that being my only connection with the game. Sounds silly I’m sure.

  7. Trevor says:

    I am really surprised with Bennett as after the SB he was pretty vocal on everyone sticking together as team and bouncing back. Sounds like something happened or he is getting bad advice from his agent. Even his comments about Jimmy Graham were a little uncalled for.

    That being said there is no way we should trade him. For me he is our one irrepacable player on our DL and he certainly could not be replaced by a 2nd round pick. I think like Lynch we just have to put up with the media crap and hold onto an incredibly valuable player. That being said there is no way I renegotiate his deal.

    • arias says:

      Not really because he was just asked by a radio host if he still stood by his comments of what he said about Graham when he called him overrated after the Seattle beat the Saints after the 2013 playoffs. Remember that was when Jimmy walked over to the Seahawks side for some pre-game smack talk and the Seahawks took him out of the game with a couple hard hits earlier where he finished with one catch for 8 yards and going soft and avoiding contact after getting smacked down hard a few times.

      It’s not like he made those comments for the first time AFTER Graham was traded for.

      I don’t see why Bennett asking for more money contradicts anything he said about wanting to stick together. I’m sure he wants to stay on the Seahawks and get paid more.

  8. Therick05 says:

    A LOT of people here like Chris Conley, but i dont, im sorry, i just dont see a receiver that can contribute to SEA with getting separation from DBs, he is just a SPARQ freak, if we pick him in late rounds, im fine with it, but if he is picked to be the Starter, i dont expect him to be better than PRich was last year.

    • Screeching Hawk says:

      The reality of the trasition of players to the NFL is that none are an absolute guarantee either way. That’s what makes the draft so exciting, the hope of finding another gem! Only time shall tell

    • lil'stink says:

      He certainly seems to have a lot of upside, though. Maybe it’s just me but even though he ran an amazing 40 he doesn’t seem to have that quick burst or instant acceleration from a standstill. Great top end, but the acceleration doesn’t seem to be on par perhaps?

      Regardless, I like Waller better as a WR project, but of course we aren’t privy to all the stuff PC and JS are. Either way if Conley wasn’t high on the Seahawks board pre-combine I would be surprised if he is now.

      • Robert says:

        I see that too. But isn’t that a coachable thing because clearly he has elite acceleration according to the stopwatch – 40 yard and 10 yard split? The things you cannot coach, Conley has in abundance. I am glad they brought him in for a visit, probably to assess his mindset. Because with everything he has going for him, he will be great at whatever he decides to focus on and commit to, imo.

      • Steele1324 says:

        Stink, I cannot get behind Waller. Yes, he would be a good matchup nightmare freak by simply being on the field. If the Hawks took him, I’d accept it with low expectations.

        Because in terms of most of his game, he is a years off. Not just a camp’s worth, but years. He has almost no routes. He has a weird structure, with super long legs but not much wingspan (relative to his leg length). He doesn’t play up to his size.

        There are several tall WRs in this draft who I think are better than Waller.

    • Trevor says:

      I think Conely would be a great pick in he 4th. I think he could be a true deep threat who can high point the ball. If we got the same contribution we got from PRich in year #1 from a rookie 4th pick I think that would be good as there is usually a big jump with WR in year #2.

    • H M Abdou says:

      I think I know exactly what you mean and I agree with you. By your comment you mean that even though Conley can jump very high and he can run fast in a straight line, he doesn’t show quickness and good route-running. At the pro level, he will need those traits to succeed.

    • j says:

      He’s in that third tier to me. Guys who I wouldn’t want at 63, but later is fine.

      • Matt says:

        Conley was the leading receiver on a run based offense in the SEC each of the last 2 years. He’s a 4 year guy(assuming graduate). Obviously his freakish combine piqued a ton of interest. There are other boxes that he checks-ones we have been known to look for in a draft pick. Conley’s test scores will likely lead to him being over drafted. JS/PC haven’t been shy on taking a player they like earlier than the general consensus.

        • Steele1324 says:

          If Conley did not post great SPARQ numbers and I saw Conley’s film, I would still feel strongly about him. What makes critics among you think he can’t separate? That is not the problem! Give him a crease, and he is GONE. He is as much a big play threat as any other WR in this class.

          The technical details with route running, he’s almost there. (I say the same about Ty Montgomery, who is just a bit of time from becoming a very legit WR.) Conley can easily get stronger in the weight room, which will help him with aggressive defenders.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            Just my opinion…

            Conley is a word class athlete trying to play WR. He has no natural instincts for the position. Everyone who says he just needs coaching forget he’s had coaching for 4 years at UGA, as big-time a college program as there is. On top of that, he was the team’s #1 receiving target for 2 years. But despite being the receiving focus on the practice field and in games, he still hasn’t distinguished himself as a true #1.

            I’d rather have an average athlete/natural receiver over a top athlete/_____.

  9. Trevor says:

    I am glad to hear they had Conely in for a visit. Conely, Mcbride, Lockette, Waller and Smelter are my favourites and if got any two of those guys I would be estatic!

  10. AlaskaHawk says:

    I guess I’ll pick at a few nits in your blog since there is nothing better to do and might be good for discussion.
    “Seattle set a precedent by not giving in to Lynch’s annual demands for more money.”

    Did I miss something? I rember PC saying a contract is a contract, a few months later JS rolled over like a dog. The Seahawks have bent over backwards to give Lynch more money rather then watch him walk. Last year it was an extra 1 million dollars guaranteed. This year they totally renegotiated his contract to give him an extra three year contract worth over 25 million dollars. He has been treated pretty well by the Seahawks (though he certainly deserves it).

    “It would cost the Seahawks a dead money cap hit of $12m to trade Bennett. That’s a $4m increase on his existing cap hit just to trade him away. That makes such a move even more unlikely — but it would free up an extra $7.5m in 2016 cap room and $9.5m in 2017. Considering extensions for Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner are likely to be thin up front in 2015, you can probably make a case either way.”

    Ouch that hurts and effectively kills the deal. As for extra cap money in 2016 and 2017, isn’t John Schneider supposed to be calculating cap hits? They just signed a 10 million dollar a year tight end, plus they need to sign Russell Wilson and Wagner and Irvin. Those three signings will cost upwards of 40 million per year.

    So lets get down to brass tacks, as a manager, who will you take in trade for Bennett? That’s the real question right. I’m not talking about some wimpy draft pick in next years draft. I want a first round , top 15 pick now. Or trade for Julio Jones straight up.

    • Rob Staton says:

      “I rember PC saying a contract is a contract, a few months later JS rolled over like a dog.”

      Lynch was entering the final year of his deal. Unless you want to run the risk of needing to use the franchise tag or letting a player test his market, it’s common practice to re-sign your core guys up before it gets that far. Re-signing Lynch two years before his deal expired was pushing it. Now was the time.

      • Jake says:

        Last year, they adjusted his contract. At that point he had two years left, not one. The precedent has been set, whether we like it or not, and agents recognize that and will use it against the Seahawks in the future. They reworked the contract to guarantee him a lot more money (incentives became guaranteed) and he got a good portion of his 2015 money in 2014. This year they re-did his entire deal, which is understandable because his 2015 compensation was all out of whack (exceptionally low) due to the renegotiation in 2014. I have no problem with renegotiation at whatever point makes sense, but they can’t claim to NEVER address a deal until the final year considering they’ve already done it.

    • Hawksince77 says:

      “I want a first round , top 15 pick now. Or trade for Julio Jones straight up.”

      This. Anything less is a non-starter, IMO. Maybe this year’s first and next year’s first or second. This year’s first and next year’s third, minimum.

      And only if Seattle believes that Bennett will no longer be productive for the team, based on his attitude. If that is the case…oh well.

      • Steele1324 says:

        For Bennett, one of the top 5 players at his position, I do not even remotely entertain a trade unless his spot is immediately plugged with an equal. Short of that, forget it. With this defense, which already needs an infusion of pass rush, would suffer badly without him AND with Irvin coming up for negotiation soon, can’t afford it.

        He might be worth a # pick this year and the #1 next year.

        But let’s say there is a shot at #42 this time around. I’d position for Randy Gregory. I’d look at Eli Harold. Preston Smith would be a logical option, but he is Michael Bennett lite. Not enough.

        • williambryan says:

          I like Bennett as much as the next guy but seriously? If we had a top 15 pick would we trade it for Bennett? Heck no! Bennett even had trouble finding a market as a free agent out of Tampa and then only really had one other serious suitor last season (Chicago). A second rounder is probably the very best you could hope for and THAT is what makes the trade not very palatable. If Marsh had a breakout year then maybe.

          • arias says:

            The only reason he had trouble as a free agent out of Tampa was that was a year that there was essentially no rise in the salary cap so a lot of free agents that would have gotten a lot more otherwise had to take far less than they would have gotten otherwise. There was also a little issue with a rotator cuff injury and whether he’d be able to fully recover from it.

            Nor was last season this season. If Bennett hit the free agent market this season there’s no doubt he would have landed a jackpot contract. You can’t expect each free agent season to be the same as far as how much each team has at their disposal to spend. Some seasons teams will have more money freed up from expiring contracts than others and will be in the market for replacements, creating greater demand for the free agents available therefore driving up their price.

            The big thing this year as that teams that carried over cap space from previous years in disregard to the minimum floors they’re required to spend by the CBA must spend up to the floor of 89% by 2016 or be penalized. So you saw those teams blow a wad on free agents this year, driving up everyone’s price. That’s just the nature of free agency.

  11. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Did Bennett ask for a trade? No.

    Did he agree to let his agent “leak” a rumor to that effect?

    In all probability he’s not going anywhere. But JS isn’t afraid to make a move when the price is right.
    #31 + Unger for #112 + Graham? You bet. At what point is the price right to trade your best DL with a thin roster?

    • Rob Staton says:

      “Did Bennett ask for a trade? No.

      Did he agree to let his agent “leak” a rumor to that effect?”

      Bingo… Certainly makes sense.

    • Trevor says:

      Unless you can get Atlanta pick at #6 I don’t even think you can even start to consider it.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Just playing Devil’s advocate but what if they offered 42 and Peter Konz?

        • Trevor says:

          That does not solve the problem of replacing Bennet. Our pass rush depth was already slim. At #6 we could get Fowler, Beasly or Gregory who could all contribute Day#1.

          I still prefer keeping Bennet. A Top 10 DLineman is tough to replace.

          • Drew says:

            Beasley!!! He’d be our new LEO, man would I love to see that happen. Although we’d still need an interior pass rush to help him be more effective.

          • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

            Mark my words, Beasley goes at #3 in the draft. JAX can’t afford to miss out on one of the most athletic / disruptive players available in the draft.

            • Matt says:

              Fowler is more versatile than Beasley. The Jags are in a great spot sitting at #3.They could take their player or trade down a bit and still get an absolute stud. Cooper, white, williams, Beasley or Fowler among others would really improve their roster.

              • Steele1324 says:

                If you are talking about the likes of Beasley, Fowler, Ray, Gregory or Eli Harold, then I start to get more interested. But the inside game would be missing. Find a way to replace both aspects of what you lose with Bennett, then maybe.

  12. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    I dunno if it’s just me, but I feel way more enthusiastic about the Day 3 prospects than I can remember from any past draft.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      I’m thinking “fans” are more educated on what Seattle might be looking for… and people on here have discussed many-many later round prospects than the “big media guys” normally do. Mock drafts also help raise awareness of smaller school or less well known prospects. It is a win.. because then you might have heard of a few of these guys in passing when the draft is going down.

      • Matt says:

        Chawk-Completely agree! It might have something to do with the fact that we traded our day 1 pick again. haha This looks like a deeper draft this year than last, and we have more picks than any other team.

  13. Ross says:

    Bleacher Report has a massive cover piece about DGB up right now. Cheesy, maybe a little biased, but worth a read. Lots of background information, and I think it gives perspective on how teams could view him.

  14. Trevor says:

    Rob I was just wondering who you view as the best pure kick/punt returner in the draft?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Tyler Lockett or Nelson Agholor.

      • Trevor says:

        I agree 100% .

        If we cannot trade up for DGB does Lockette’s KR abilities give him the edge over the other WR options at the end of round #2 given how weak we were in that area last year?

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          Lockett has a knack for making plays. And that was with a QB like Waters. He grades out at a high R3 at the least. He’d be a good value pick at 63.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think it’s possible, although I think he’s a great option for Cincy at #53. I suspect the Seahawks want to add size at WR.

        • H M Abdou says:

          Just my unsolicited 2 cents: at 63 I definitely think Pete/John should go OL. Forget about trading up for a WR. You can get an EXCELLENT player to do that later (Corey Grant). Grant can be the KR/PR and also be a 3rd down receiving option out of the backfield.

          In other words, Grant could be our Darren Sproles.

          • Matt says:

            I get the excitement with Grant. He’s an explosive athlete. His return stats are pretty good but are being overblown by many on here. Also he didn’t return punts. We need a guy who can do both. Preferably a player who actually contributes on offense along with double return duties. I just don’t see Grant being that guy. IMO

      • Steele1324 says:

        I have to disagree. Montgomery is easily in the conversation with either.

      • James says:

        Lockett and Agholor both look like elite punt returners… I would be thrilled with either one. Lockett has more natural skills to make people miss, but he is one of those spindly-legged guys who tend to get hurt (like Paul Richardson and RGIII)… yet he is electric. Agholor has the right stuff also, just a notch less lightning-in-a-bottle. I must be missing something on Ty Montgomery from Stanford. He is often mentioned as a top punt return guy, but I just don’t see it from the half dozen tapes I have watched. He doesn’t make people miss, and he has far too many drops. I would take Tre McBride any day over Montgomery. On the current roster, why not at least give a shot to Christine Michael to return kicks? And how about Norwood for punts… he has very good hands, and would at least be reliable and would save a roster spot.

  15. Kuya206 says:

    At the end of it all, I honestly do not see a trade. The only thing that I can see this happening is someone overpays in a trade for Michael Bennett.

    I find it concerning that the trend is for players to sign a long-term contract and then become disgruntled after the 1st year… if he doesn’t show up for mandatory workouts, it would be a concern.

    Michael Bennett leverages:
    Snap count was higher than expected (763 in 2014 vs. 569 in 2013) because of injuries to the D-Line, Current depth at his type of position
    Easily Top-10 DE/DT in the NFL

    • arias says:

      I don’t think that’s the ‘trend’ so much as a product of the dollars spent in free agency this year that inflated prices paid more than previous years.

  16. JC says:

    the other issue with trading Bennett would be finding a team willing to renegotiate a contract with 3 years remaining. It’s as bad a precedent with the other 31 NFL teams as it is with the Seahawks. Antonio Brown and Adrian Peterson, also players with 3 years left, are talking about reworking their deals upward, in Peterson’s case showing a ton of chutzpah given the Vikings salary to him last year for 1 game while dealing with a PR disaster of his creation.

    • Matt says:

      Agree about Peterson. Don’t think he’s in any position to be making demands. What’s he going to do sit out another year? How many RB’S are making 8 figures? Keep your mouth shut and go to work. He’s lucky to have such a great job. Ray Rice would be ecstatic to be working. Rices situation is uglier but still you get my point. Don’t take a second chance for granted.

  17. jj says:

    Rob,
    I wanted to offer a correction.

    Bennett’s dead money is 6 million remaining from signing bonus prorated over remaining 3 years (so 2 million per year) and 6 million of 2015 salary that is fully guaranteed. If he is cut, we will owe him 6 million guaranteed and the cap hit from the prorated signing bonus will be 6 million, so a total of 12 million.

    If we trade him, the opposing team picks up the 6 million of guaranteed salary, and we are only on the hook for the 6 million in dead money charges. That would be 6 million against 2015 if he is traded before June deadline and 2 million in 2015 and 4 million in 2016 if he is traded after June deadline.

    If you go to http://overthecap.com/salary-cap/seattle-seahawks and switch the scroll down menu from cut to trade (pre june 1) you’ll see that this is the case.

  18. Screeching Hawk says:

    I can see Dan Quinn being very interested in getting Bennett. From what I’ve read a pass rusher is their target at #8 spot of the first round. So apparently it would mess our cap hit for this year but free up money for Wilson, Wagner, and hopefully Irvin. Send Bennet and next years 2nd round pick with the probability of landing White, Cooper or Parker. I know it’s a risky move but you never know right? Especially if they believe in Cassius Marsh and what they could draft this year. That trade could work out great for both teams.

    • Steele1324 says:

      I don’t believe in Cassius Marsh. Not for anything beyond rotation.

      • Screeching Hawk says:

        Obviously even the Hawks didn’t believe in Michael Bennett his first time around as we released him and he signed with Tampa Bay. So realistically Marsh could become great as well. That’s the NFL, it’s all a guessing game of hope.

        • Tien says:

          But why give up a sure thing (a dominating defensive lineman) to hope that someone on the roster or a rookie can some day provide equivalent performance? There’s been speculation by some but no facts indicating that the Hawks can’t keep Bennett and his salary AND still re-sign Wilson, Wagner, and maybe even Irvin. Getting a potentially great WR in White, Cooper, or Parker might solidify our WR corps but that would leave us a gaping hole/weakness at DL, basically trading one weakness for another. I don’t see Bennett being traded and if somehow, he is, we better get more than some team’s 1st round pick this year.

  19. bobbyk says:

    These next 10 days are going to be hard. I wish we just knew who we were going to get so I don’t have to keep worrying/hoping for certain players that I won’t care about anymore after the Seahawks pass on them.

  20. peter says:

    I have wondered why the interest in players of similar type (size/skills they have been going through with visits. Will it happen? No. Could it? For this team, sure.

    As for Conley if you are looking fir someone to run go’s and outs turn and box out defenders on the red line after the second round who else is there? Waller? Not smelter that’s not his game. Kasen Williams? I Sa that because a lot of TAtes game when he was starting out was the old go up and get it followed by some not always great YAC. Perhaps Conley is someone to continue to consider as a development project?

    Alaska hawk has made this sentiment about securing the future oline this draft…i concur and think its possible with what we have, what’s behind that and all these picks. What I dont think I can tell is if its necessary for any oline/wr pick in any specific round. Meaning if they picked 4 oline in a row in the fourth they could all be the line of the future.

    • Steele1324 says:

      Peter, for flat out deep speed, the guys in rds.1 to the top of rd.2 have it. After that, Conley is the only remaining WRs with that speed, along with a height above 6-1. Then you hit the conundrum: WRs with size but only adequate speed (4.5 or slower), or smurfs (Mario Alford and JJ Nelson have 40 times of under 4.3). So for anyone without a first round pick, the choice is mostly either size or speed, not both. Conley offers both. It is just logical for the Hawks to consider him.

      • peter says:

        I like Conley. And agree its size or speed. I guess I was trying to comment on those who doubt his route skills…..and saying that if you want a redline target who may do simple routes early on….and maybe more…conley’s the guy.

      • Robert says:

        Adrian Coxson has Conley speed, maybe faster. Although Conley is a little taller and might have the stride advantage in a 60 yard dash. I’d be elated if we took a late round chance on AC!

  21. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    For discussion sake, what if Atlanta offered 2x 2nd round picks…. 2015/2016 for Bennett?

    I think you would HAVE TO think about it as the Seahawks GM.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      Perhaps, then you could use the 2nd round pick you acquire to grab… DT “Mike” Bennett in the draft LOL

      • Trevor says:

        The odds of replacing a Top 10 DE/DT with a 2nd round pick are pretty slim!

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          But you get to keep the name on the team!!!! Woot!!!

          • Screeching Hawk says:

            Plus the new Bennett would take Beardy Bennett’s jersey # so fans with his jersey wouldn’t feel as bad. That would be a topic of conversation for sure!

      • Screeching Hawk says:

        That was a brilliant response there Charlie, gave me a chuckle. When it comes to replacing him who knows after all Bennett was not drafted. Also goes to show it does take time to develop in the league.

    • JC says:

      He’d take it in a second. We are one year removed from Bennett being available to whomever wanted him and were willing to pay significantly more than the Seahawks. He had a good 2014, but not to where he’d suddenly command multiple high round picks and fulfill his demands for a reworked higher value contract despite having 3 years remaining and the precedent it would set for the acquiring team’s existing personnel.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I doubt that any other team will offer him significantly more. Bennett made his deal, I think both sides will honor it. If he was traded I still think I want a first round pick this year. That is fair if some other team wants him that bad.

  22. Cal says:

    So…Kristjen Sokoli would not be a 1:1 replacement for Bennet, but he’s SPARQy as hell, and has visited VMAC recently…

  23. Jon says:

    So lets say it does happen and Bennett leaves Seattle.

    We ultimately would have paid Bennett 15 Million in exchange for 2 years of his services 2 SB appearances 1 victory, 15 regular season sacks and 2 second round picks. That seems like a pretty good 15 m dollar investment.

    Not saying I like the idea of loosing him, but much worse things have happened to the Seahawks organization over the years.

  24. Lil'stink says:

    Rob, glad you took the time to address the Michael Bennett issue. It’s been something that has stuck with me since the rumors first came out. It certainly isn’t outside the realm of possibility that MB did give the ok for his agent to leak the rumor, as CHawk Talker Eric mentionedand that you also seem to agree with. This makes me think that MB’s apparent dissatisfaction could become a real issue.

    I think not having Bennett would have a negative synergy sort of effect on our defense. I don’t think we can afford to be without him next year if we are to make another SB run. Maybe the positive point differential Jimmy Graham brings could offset the extra points we would give up without Bennett, I don’t know.

    My concern is what happens if Bennett becomes increasingly dissatisfied with his contract as the season wears on. I don’t see him having a Percy Harvin effect on the locker room, but I don’t like even having to think about it.

  25. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    If you want a good read (besides Rob’s blog) check out the article about the Marshall QB Rakeem Cato running on ESPN right now written by Elizabeth Merrill. Not saying he is Seahawky, but he is the essence of being Seahawky. Extreme adversity, dynamic play maker and has not given up on his dream to play in the NFL. He may not get drafted, but very inspirational for on and off the field.

    These are the stories that make someone fall in love with sports and stay in love with them.

    • hmabdou says:

      I saw Cato play a little bit. He is waaaay to thin to play QB at the NFL level. Decent arm. Can be a Tyrod Taylor type of backup. For his sake I hope he catches on with a team, if not, play Arena, Canada, or in Europe, get some good tape, and see if an NFL GM will be impressed enough to give you a shot.

      • Matt says:

        Tom Brady was rail thin when he got drafted. Not saying Cato is Brady or anything crazy like that… just sayin.

  26. Jeremy says:

    Interesting note on receivers: He has Conley in the 5th and Bell & McBride in the 6th-7th range. I’ve seen these guys much higher in the comments section. Love the value that late in the draft. There are always droppers that we tend to overrate because we like them. Wonder who those guys will be this year? Matt Barkley a couple years ago, Jesse Williams a couple years ago are a couple examples that come to mind immediately.

    • Matt says:

      Who’s the “he” that has these ratings?

    • realrhino2 says:

      If you go by the comments section in this blog, every guy the Seahawks might be interested in will be gone by pick #63. Heck, now even JAG Mitch college-guy-who-already-looks-38-years-old Morse will be gone by the 3rd round! I think Pauline might be a round low on those guys, but I think we’re probably a round high a lot of the time here.

  27. Ed says:

    Bennett wants to B and moan, I would take 2 #2’s for him.

    2nd Edwards
    2nd Marpet
    3rd Shaw
    4th Clark
    4th Waller
    4th Montgomery
    5th Riddick
    5th Mason

    • Rik says:

      Oh man, that’s a heck of a draft! I think Edwards and Clark together have the potential to replace Bennett. Not to mention Riddick as a speed guy on the edge. And Montgomery is a powerfully good KR/PR.

      • Steele1324 says:

        Guys, I don’t see anything in Edwards. And Clark doesn’t get around the edge.

        You’d need some combination like Eli Harold and Preston Smith or Marcus Hardison.

  28. matt509 says:

    Julio Jones for Michael Bennett. The thing is we have looked for a defensive player like Bennett for some time. Quinn knows how disruptive he can be. We can’t replace him. Not in this draft, by the start of the season. Maybe half way through the season, or next year, but not the start of the season. Bennett would instantly give Quinn a building block to start his pass rush. Arguably the most valuable piece of the pass rush. The NFL breeds outside pass rushers, but inside pass rushers are hard to come by. Especially ones as versatile as Bennett. I believe Bennett is arguably the best interior lineman not named JJ Watt. I think he’s our most disruptive player. ATL could add a very good pass rusher or get lucky with Kevin White. Everyone knows what Seattle could do with Jones, but him and Graham? It’s the only way I am getting rid of Bennett. I don’t even like the idea of getting the #8 pick. Beasley and Fowler are nice but they won’t replace Bennett, and that’s if they are even there. Shelton won’t help as much, and neither would Armstead. Any other Dlineman are too much of a reach for me. White is nice but I am not gambling this much for him. I would like the chance of getting Cooper, but again it doesn’t answer the Bennett hole. The only way I see this working out is if we get another first rounder or if we have a plan in place to trade that pick and stockpile on picks. Even that seems extremely unlikely.

  29. john_s says:

    A QB that I would love to see the Seahawks give a shot to is Rakeem “Gumby” Cato. The knock on him is that he’s 6’0 178lbs and that he’s a product of the system.

    I see a guy who has a good arm and good touch. He’s from Liberty City, Florida which if you’ve ever seen documentaries on is one of the hardest areas to grow up. He looks like he’s 30 years old and I wouldn’t doubt that it’s because of all that he’s witnessed and had to endure.

    If you’re looking for grit and determination Gumby is your guy.

    I doubt he would be drafted, but as a free agent, it doesn’t hurt.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n05xRojLuao

  30. Nichansen01 says:

    I’d trade Bennet for Julio Jones and ONLY for Julio Jones. Not that it is going to happen, but Michael Bennet would bring Atlanta’s defense to the next level and with Graham, Jones and Marshawn, Seattles offense would suddenly go from top ten to top three, if not number one. Julio Jones could have had the most receiving yards last season if he hadn’t of injured his hip.

    I wouldn’t even trade Bennet for the 1st pick of the entire draft, there have been so many 1st round busts. Losing Bennet immediately downgrades our defense, and we won’t be able to replace him in this years draft.

    • Steele1324 says:

      Is there anyone in the rest of the NFL who could replace Bennett, player for player?

      • Robert says:

        Watt…nobody else has that special blend of abilities to be that effective inside or outside vs run or pass and keep the pedal to the metal for that many snaps all the way to the whistle on each play. Bennett is GREAT!

  31. realrhino2 says:

    On the subject of trades such as a Bennett deal, interested in Mariota and Rivers.

    1. If you are Cleveland, do you give up your two first-rounders for the #2 pick?

    2. If you are Tennessee, what do you give up for Rivers? What do you think the right trade value is at that spot for Rivers?

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      If I was Cleveland I would give up the first two picks to get Mariota. I think Mariota will be a starter, at least an average QB in the NFL. I would like to see how he does his rookie year before predicting better performance. He has the potential to be really good.

      If I was Tennessee I wouldn’t give up much for Rivers because he will be a free agent anyway in another year. So you are getting a year head start in the competition for who can pay him the most money. What do you think Rivers will get as a free agent? Maybe 15 million per year? Maybe more? I guessi would be willing to give up a third round draft pick for him.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Rivers won’t get traded to anyone unless and until he signs a new contract. That’s the single biggest impediment to any deal getting done.

        Rivers is from Alabama. He has family in the Nashville area. He has good history with Ken Wisenhunt. He’d probably play for TEN, the only issue their being a perennial non-contender.

        If he gets traded (which is predicated on him signing a new deal), he’s a top 5 QB with plenty left in his gas tank and easily worth TEN’s R1 + R2 + 2016 R?

        • realrhino2 says:

          That was my thought, so perhaps I’ll add it as a qualifier. What would the rest of you give up for Rivers (if you were TEN) if he agreed to a market-rate 3- to 4-year extension as part of the deal?

          I would give up quite a bit, I think. Short-term gain, maybe, but doesn’t Rivers almost put you in the playoff hunt all by himself, provided you can get guys in the 3rd-6th to help the rest of your roster?

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            TEN visiting with Breshad Perriman today. He’s widely regarded as the 4th WR to be taken (although Agholor is gaining some steam). IF TEN were to trade with SD for Rivers, they’d be picking at 17 – and Perriman is expected to go top 20. Not a bad combo to go forward with.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          I’m not sure how Rivers is a top 5 quarterback, I don’t think he is that good. What metric are you using? In 2014 he had a 67% completion rate, with 7.5 yards/attempt, and 31 TDs with 18 Interceptions, and 4,286 yards passing. They are average to good numbers for a quarterback in the NFL. Also he is 33 years old so you might get 5 years out of him. His current contract with San Diego is worth just over 15 million a year and ends after this season. League pay for average Qbs is probably more like 17-20 million/year now.

          I wouldn’t pay over a 3rd rounder because he will be a free agent in another year. There is no reason to pay a first rounder for him when he will be in the bargain discount bin. Also San Diego could save about 17 million in cap space by unloading him, so why should you compensate San Diego with high draft picks?

          I just see him as another Jay Cutler, Tony Romo type. They play pretty well but never good enough to get you to the superbowl.

    • Nichansen01 says:

      I would love to see Mariota reunited with Kelly, since I’m an Oregon Ducks fan (Huskies first, Ducks second), but, I wouldn’t mind him going to Cleveland so we get to see him play at the clinc this season. We would probably get to see him in the preseason if San Digo gets him.

  32. Zorn is King says:

    Ugh…

    “It also all but guarantees Detroit is going to look at the interior line during next week’s NFL draft — perhaps as early as the first or second round depending on who is available. Depending what happens in the draft, and that the Lions have yet to make a veteran move to solidify the left guard spot, this could also signal the possibility of Riley Reiff moving inside even though Caldwell downplayed this at the league meetings last month.”

  33. Trevor says:

    My new Mock focussing on guys we have shown interest in. Does not include trades but I think we could move up for DGB if he is available mid 2nd round.

    Rd 2 Donovan Smith OT

    Rd 3 H Grasu Center

    Rd 4 D Waller WR

    Rd 4 Shaq Riddick LEO

    Rd 4 Ty Montgomery WR/KR

    Rd 5 Christian Covington DT

    Rd 5 Frank Clark DL

    Rd 6 Nick Marshall CB

    Rd 6 M Glowinski OG

    Rd 6 Trey Walker CB

    Rd 7 D Smelter WR

    We can find some depth at LB, Safety in the UDFA market as there should be some good options available.

    • James says:

      Donovan Smith is an interesting prospect, who grades high for athleticism despite his massive size, and is often projected as a potential starter at LT. The universal knock on him is inconsistent effort and lack of competitive fire, who only seemed to produce at the Senior Bowl where his dollars are at stake. This is a three-strike situation with John and Pete if true, with both of them stating more emphatically than ever that maximum effort will be their key attribute in their draft picks. So, unless these reports of Smith’s attitude being soft are untrue, he probably won’t be their guy.

      I do agree with you that a developmental LT could be the surprise pick. Seattle will have to let go of at least two of their high salary guys after this season, and Okung is at risk, to say the least. If the Seahawks could replace his likely $8 or $9 mil contract with a $1 mil rookie contract, they will leap with both feet. Earlier Rob projected Ogbuehi in R2, if he is still there at #63. He is a clear R1 LT, but who will need to take the year off to heal from major knee surgery. He certainly has the talent to man LT for us, but do we roll the dice on another injury hobbled LT?

  34. Kuya206 says:

    Rob,

    Daniel Jeremiah released his latest Mock (2-round):
    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000486692/article/tworound-mock-draft-jameis-winston-cedric-ogbuehi-to-bucs

    DJ has the Seahawks choosing AJ Cann, OG, Georgia. Solid pick IMO. Value and Need are met.
    HT: 6’3″
    WT: 313 LBS
    Arm Length: 32 5/8″
    Hands: 10 1/4″
    40: 5.47 & 5.46
    Vert: 32 1/2″
    Broad: 9 ft, 1 in
    Bench: 30 reps

    Interesting notes:

    STL picks Scherff OG & Jaelen Strong WR, SF picks Armstead DT & Stephone Anthony LB, and Randy Gregory DE/OLB falls to AZ at 24 & get Jordan Phillips DT at 55 (Yikes)
    Dorsett goes to NO at 31
    DGB goes to the Jets at 37
    Jalen Collins falls to the Vikings at 45
    Shaq Thompson is still available at 63

    10 WRs taken before 63: Amari Cooper (9 NYG), Kevin White (11 MIN), DeVante Parker (12 CLE), Nelson Agholor (16 HOU), Breshad Perriman (20 PHI), Phillip Dorsett (31 NO), DGB (37 NYJ), Jaelen Strong (41 STL), Devin Smith (57 CAR), Devin Funchess (58 BAL)

    • Rob Staton says:

      Expect a post on Jeremiah’s two rounder coming up in the next hour or two.

      • Kuya206 says:

        Thanks, Rob. Looking forward to it.

      • Steele1324 says:

        Jeremiah’s mock is interesting but it’s one generalist’s opinion.

        AJ Cann has been routinely listed as one of the top two or three OGs in this class. I wonder about his fit in a zone blocking scheme.

        Should the Hawks be moving away from the huge/fat/slow prototype to the more athletic, technical, SPARQier model—Marpet, Glowinski types? I even put Morse more in this category.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Jeremiah’s mock appears to be well sourced. I think it gives us a good indication of the challenges facing Seattle at #63.

          In fairness they have gone for size at left guard under Cable. We’ll see if that trend continues. They seem to have a type for each position.

          • Robert says:

            Yeah, the RG is the athlete that can pull or get to the 2nd level and strike moving targets. The LG is the road grader.

  35. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    KC officially kicking the tires on DGB.

  36. Ho Lee Chit says:

    Just to give us something to talk about … suppose we trade Bennett to Jacksonville for the #3 pick in the draft. Then either thru trade or because he drops we select Marcus Mariota in the draft. Following that selection, we trade Russell Wilson and his demands for a cap killing contract to Cleveland for a bundle of picks like what RG3 costs Washington (3 firsts and a second). With that, the Seahawks could reload the defensive line, keep their cap under control, and get another five years of a QB on a rookie deal. It is certainly fun to speculate on what the Hawks would do with Mariota and Cleveland’s first round picks.

    • Tien says:

      That is a fun scenario but look at where the Rams are after the RGIII trade:), great D but still no QB & with holes in other areas (OL/WR) and no playoff appearance since then. PC/JS have done great in the draft thus far but there’s no guarantee, they’ll have the same success moving forward even with an abundance of high draft picks. A franchise QB is not easy to come by and now that we have one, we need to keep him.

      • Nichansen01 says:

        With clevelands two first round picks, their second, and their third, we could do some real damage in this draft. We could draft DGB with clevelands second, then have two strong defensive picks in the first. Draft Hronnis Grasu at the end of the second to reunite him with Mariota, and then half way through the third draft Ali Marpet. Then trade Christine Michaels for Cordarelle Patterson and have a legitimate return game, shore up the defense with the remaining 10 picks and select another running back somewhere along the way, with the cap savings resign Irvin and Wagner with ease and pick up anther free agent wide receiver, like Greg Jennings, trade away Jermaen Kearse and Doug Baldwin for late/mid round picks, and use them to draft Darren Waller and Chris Conley.

        Then the offense has Marcus Mariota, Marshawn Lynch, and with Dorial Green Beckham, Greg Jennings, Cordarelle Patterson Chris Matthews Chris Conley and Darren Waller sorting it out at the wide receiver position, while you have three legit new linemen in Hronnis, Ali and Mitch. Then use the two legit defensive picks from Cleveland to make up for Bennets departure.

  37. James says:

    Michael Bennett strikes me as an emotional and off-the-wall personality, not a team-first type of leader, but someone who plays hard and knows how to produce on the field. Of course, he has been a key component of our Super Bowl runs the past two years and there is no way our D would be as strong without him. His salary is already darn good, and he is fooling himself if he thinks he can and should be paid at the statospheric level above $10/mil/yr. He is very fortunate to be making the dollars that he is, and he should be set for life unless he makes a bunch of foolish decisions. His cap numbers for the final three years of his contract are $8/mil, $7/mil and $9.5/mil. I seriously doubt that, even were he a free agent, he could do much better than that on the open market, his buddies in J’ville and Atlanta notwithstanding. This is probably much ado about nothing, and Michael just being Michael (somewhat akin to Marshawn just being Marshawn). That said, he had best be careful. The Seahawks can only carry so many contracts over $7/mil/yr, and look to have too many already (according to Prof Clayton, et al), with RW and B-Wagz about to join the club. One or two of our $7/mil men are going to have to go after this season, and Michael is dangerously close to placing himself at the head of the line (perhaps along with Okung, due to health issues?). If Cassisus Marsh emerges, or if John and Pete draft a DT/DE hybrid pass rusher, then Michael may have found that he just did himself a great dis-service.

    • Steele1324 says:

      I just don’t believe in Cassius Marsh emerging. He may be “pretty good” but not a starter. If there is any realistic issue with Bennett and JSPC would entertain losing him, is there any other inside+outside rusher like Bennett in the NFL to trade for, a one for one swap? I don’t see one, do you?

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I totally agree that Bennett is getting paid what he is worth, and that he won’t get more money from another team. Every year at free agency the top 1 or 2 players in each position get an obscene amount of money. The middle of the field (like Bennett) is lucky to get 6-8 million per year. The rest struggle against the rookies to get a contract. Witness that center (Wis??) getting 2.5 million. Bennett is getting paid a good salary for a good effort.

      I think the Seahawks will keep him as long as he stays healthy. A major injury will change things. If I had to choose between keeping Okung or Bennett, that would be a tough choice. I want to watch both players this year before making a decision.

  38. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    @LanceZierlein 1h1 hour ago
    Based on what I’ve heard, P Dawson will not be 1st ILB off draft board, M.Morse is shooting up boards & K.Johnson goes ahead of J.Collins

    • Steele1324 says:

      To me, Morse is the most Seahawky O lineman and I hate seeing him moving up the board. Taking him at #63 may or may not be a reach in a few days.

  39. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    A lot of rumbling out of CLE re whether or not they’re moving on from Manziel. If they intend to do that by moving up for Mariotta, how does that affect a SD-TEN trade for Rivers in the days leading up to the draft?

    If you’re TEN, would you take Rivers or the draft picks?

  40. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    In all likelihood AP remains in MIN this season. But there are still several teams in the hunt for him, including ATL, ARI & DAL.

    What a coup if Quinn could land AP (assuming he doesn’t have to spend too much to do it). Suddenly they look like the clear favorites in the NFCS.

    Not liking the idea of AP to ARI.

    • vrtkolman says:

      I think Carolina is the clear favorite in the NFCS no matter what. An influx of rookies were responsible for their big winning streak to end the season (although their schedule during that time was cake). Their roster looks pretty strong, though I’m still not a huge fan of Cam Newton. I don’t think they can rely on Johnathan Stewart either due to his history.

      I wouldn’t want ADP anywhere near Arizona or Dallas.

  41. Therick05 says:

    Seahawks schedule-

    Home- ARI, STL, SF, DET, PIT, CHI, CLE, CAR.
    Away- ARI, STL, SF, GB, MIN, CIN, BAL, DAL.

    My predictions: win all home games, is defeated Away by GB, ARI/STL, BAL/DAL.
    Making it 13-3 and having #1 seed, What You guys think?

    • williambryan says:

      My prediction- Going into the season, everyone will say it’s a treacherous schedule… After claiming the top seed in the playoffs, everyone (nationally) will say it was an easy schedule ….

  42. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Stephen Cohen reports that Sambrailo worked out at C for SEA.

  43. Steele1324 says:

    Does the resigning of Lemuel Jeanpierre suggest that they are content with Lewis/Lemuel at center for a while?

    The Bennett problem does seem to have legs. He is openly disgruntled about his contract with noises like
    “nobody is happy with the money they are making…but I’m just trying to be a good Seahawk”. That’s pretty disgruntled, especially given that he is making plenty. And then he skips the workouts. Okay, in the voice of Iverson, it is “just practice” and a voluntary one, but I can see this stretching into the summer.

    So the worst case scenario is a Lynch type holdout drama? It sets a very bad precedent. They are not in a good negotiating position. Marsh is not Bennett, and there do not appear to be one for one replacements.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I swear this all started with Percy Harvin and his mega million dollar contract. The Seahawks went from blue collar to auction style bidding on contracts.

    • vrtkolman says:

      I think LJP will end up being a training camp body and nothing more. Lewis is better than him and I think they will draft a center. Trading Bennett during a Super Bowl run seems like it would be a catastrophe and probably would be, but remember in 2012 the Seahawks defense still led the league in points allowed with pretty much no pass rush. Carroll knows what he’s doing and could probably keep the D intact until the new crop of pass rushers develop. It’s hard to think of a reason to break up one of the best pass rushing trio’s in football in Bennett/Avril/Hill during a Super Bowl run.

    • arias says:

      Actually I think the LJP signing that came the day after Wisniewski went to Jax indicated they were still holding out hopes for Wisniewski.