Archive for August, 2021

Thoughts on the Seahawks’ trade for Sidney Jones

Monday, August 30th, 2021

Cornerback is a real issue for the Seahawks.

With D.J. Reed banged up during camp the talent levels were exposed. Pierre Desir didn’t last long. Ahkello Witherspoon has looked average. Tre Flowers continues to do Tre Flowers things. Tre Brown now has an injury.

There’s a distinct lack of quality and depth at the position.

It will be a problem during the season unless they find solutions. No amount of pass rush will completely cover up for being terrible at corner.

It’s not beyond the realms of possibility they find some answers. After all, Reed was an opportunistic pick-up a year ago. The 49ers even admitted they messed up letting him go, hoping to stash him once he’d suffered a somewhat serious injury. The Seahawks took a chance on his health and it paid off. Provided he stays healthy, Reed will be Seattle’s #1 cornerback in 2021.

These situations are relatively rare though. And this is the first time where there’s widespread uncertainty at the position under Pete Carroll. If nothing else, they always had a Shaq Griffin or Marcus Trufant in the past.

The urgency of the problem is evident in how much they’re scrambling around making deals. John Reid from the Texans last week, Sidney Jones today (in a deal for a sixth round pick in 2022).

They don’t have the draft stock to make a splash and readily available quality cornerbacks are not exactly commonplace in the NFL.

Thus, this is seemingly where they’re at. Hoping, praying that a solution emerges.

Jones was once a very talented, highly rated cornerback with first round potential. He suffered a serious injury at his pro-day and his stock dropped into round two. Before his third season in Philadelphia he was cut and picked up by Jacksonville.

By all accounts he had some relative success with the Jaguars last year — starting six games and collecting 26 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble. His PFF grade was a 68.1. Shaquille Griffin, in comparison, graded at 64.1.

It’s just hard to invest much faith in Jones with his career to date. He’ll get his opportunity now though to see if he can make things happen. It might be his last opportunity to do so.

Growing pains at corner seem inevitable at this stage and while you don’t necessarily need elite, top-level cornerbacks to succeed — it’s a position you can’t be dreadful at.

The Seahawks should probably get Geno Atkins back in Seattle pronto…

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Pre-season week #3 thoughts (vs LA Chargers)

Sunday, August 29th, 2021

It’s stating the obvious but this was a vast improvement (well, they won 27-0, duh).

More importantly than any score or victory though was the fact there were legit positives to come out of the performance.

Firstly, some praise for Pete Carroll. I feared he would play key starters in this game after two sloppy, god-awful outings in the first two weeks. He hinted at it after the Denver game and it was concerning. As bad as Seattle were against the Raiders and Broncos, there was absolutely no reason to risk any stars against LA.

Just look at the JK Dobbins knee injury earlier in the day for a case in point.

It was a relief to see Carroll, who has started key players in virtually all of his pre-season games previously, resist the temptation — and be rewarded by those who did play.

The main positive for me was Darrell Taylor. He had an early speed-to-power rush that resulted in a pressure. Then he came screaming off the edge, rounding the tackle for a big sack. Later on he showed great effort to chase back to a pressured QB to share a sack with Kerry Hyder.

This is what everyone has been hoping for. Nobody could be blamed for wondering whether Taylor would ever see the field in Seattle, let alone perform if he did. In this game he looked like a player who can cause opponents problems.

Forget the SAM — they have enough money to go and get KJ Wright and still should do that. Get Taylor off the edge on key downs and let him be in attack mode.

Don’t do what you did a year ago, making Alton Robinson inactive so Luke Willson can be active for zero offensive and special teams snaps. This guy needs to play.

Taylor showed enough in this game to warrant a big role as a specialist pass rusher.

It was also good to see another recent second round pick, Dee Eskridge, looking quick and explosive. He was fluid with the ball in hand and made one typically eye-catching grab (the type he used to make in college all the time). I was a big fan of Eskridge going into the draft and there’s no doubt he can be a very exciting player for Seattle if he stays healthy.

There was actually a running game this week, which was extremely pleasing to see. Alex Collins in particular was agile, explosive and physical. For me he should’ve sealed the RB2 position with this performance, ahead of Rashaad Penny. Collins looks like a player who should be getting a sizeable role to limit the wear and tear on Chris Carson. In fact he looks very capable of leading the rushing attack if needed.

I liked the way Seattle blitzed in this game. I’ve not studied it closely but on first view the timing and variety was pleasing. One big blitz by Cody Barton obviously led to a touchdown for Marquise Blair.

There may be others I’m missing, writing immediately after a first condensed viewing, but I thought Joshua Moon played well.

Overall defensively they made the Chargers look as bad as the Seahawks did in the previous two weeks, so that was a big improvement.

There are three issues I want to discuss too.

I’m not sure why referee’s decide annually to take over pre-season games but someone needs to tell them, finally, to stop. The number of penalties was ridiculous and even watching in a 40-minute condensed replay it was painful at times.

If avoidable injuries are reason #1 to finally get rid of pre-season, then refereeing nonsense is a close #2.

It remains a big mystery why the Seahawks over the years have been unable to find a backup quarterback of even middling ability. Geno Smith, as fun as his scrambling around in this one was, isn’t good enough. Sean Mannion isn’t good enough.

John Schneider arrived in Seattle talking about drafting quarterbacks regularly and yet in the Carroll/Schneider era they’ve selected just two in twelve drafts. One of those, of course, was seventh rounder Alex McGough — cut last week because he’s even worse than Smith and Mannion.

Perhaps Russell Wilson’s consistent availability has made it a moot point? Yet it’s a little surprising that in well over a decade they haven’t drafted a solid, decent backup that you might actually be excited to see in an emergency.

If Smith or Mannion has to start for Seattle, it’ll be ugly.

I’m also not sure we learnt that much about the cornerback position in this one. It still looks like a weak area that will need to be further addressed.

Seattle has plenty of cap space. It’ll be interesting to see what strings they have to pull before week one to ensure Duane Brown and Quandre Diggs take the field.

With Brown, there’s simply no alternative other than making this right.

With Diggs, I’m not sure that’s the case. Seattle has depth at safety and they can’t have every player who is moderately displeased holding out. They don’t want to set that precedent. Calling his bluff might be best. Or even considering trading him. Especially if you can get an upgrade at corner in return.

Quick draft thought from the weekend — I only watched some of one game. UCLA vs Hawaii. If you want a name who shone in that one, check out UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet. He’s 6-1 and 220lbs and ran with explosion, power and quickness. He’s a former four-star recruit who has transferred from Michigan.

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Some thoughts on Geno Atkins (and other topics)

Monday, August 23rd, 2021

Firstly, some welcome news today…

Geno Atkins is 33-years-old. Who can say whether he still has anything to offer? It’s at least worth finding out.

Jarran Reed’s departure has somewhat been glossed over. An argument can certainly be made for his cap hit simply being too high in 2021, justifying his exit.

It’s also worth remembering in his last two full seasons in 2018 and 2020, he combined for 17 sacks.

There aren’t many defensive tackles who can produce those numbers.

It’s certainly not impossible for Poona Ford, Al Woods and Bryan Mone to pick up the slack. I’m just not convinced it’s their game. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Ford in particular was superb in 2020 and elevated his performance to a new level. The Seahawks played a blinder by extending his contract before he reached free agency next year.

He can and hopefully will excel — but I don’t expect that to be to the tune of 6-8 sacks.

Maybe Atkins is too old, too injured and too past his best? I still think for a team intending to seriously contend this year, you might as well give him a few games to find out. They need an Atkins-type, after all.

In a specialist role where you limit his snaps and give him a chance to get you off the field with a sack or pressure, there aren’t any better options out there.

Carlos Dunlap is only a year younger than Atkins. He hasn’t had the recent health issues but he was invigorated by leaving Cincinnati and moving to Seattle.

Bringing in Atkins would be a smart move — even if it doesn’t work out. Nobody will complain for rolling the dice here.

It’s a win-win. A shot to nothing.

Personally I’d hoped Atkins would be part of a double-veteran signing. It may well be — but not in the way I expected…

I’m confused by Seattle’s approach here. Firstly, their depth is weak at linebacker. Secondly, they’re messing around at the SAM position. Signing K.J. Wright kills two birds with one stone.

I said this on Saturday and in recent podcasts. Put Alton Robinson and Darrell Taylor on the field as pure pass rushers and let them get after the quarterback. Forget about putting them at linebacker or asking them to adapt. They are pass rushers.

Taylor in particular looks like a fish out of water trying to make the switch.

The Seahawks have a habit of shifting players around during camp when arguably they’d be better off just honing in on a specific job. It’d be exciting to see Robinson and Taylor flying off the edge on third down. Watching them trying to handle the running game or cover someone at SAM? That’s scary.

Wright had one of his best seasons in 2020 playing SAM. Even if his contract demands are a little rich, the Seahawks have quite a lot of cap space to use comparatively speaking. They know what they’re getting from Wright and it’s all good.

Instead it seems increasingly likely they might bump Jordyn Brooks to SAM and have Cody Barton play the WILL. That is not an exciting thought.

The veteran who could be returning is, of course, Luke Willson…

I like Willson. He seems like a fun guy and he’s never given anything other than maximum effort.

He also seems very much like a player who must think to himself what he would’ve been doing the last few years if it wasn’t for the Seahawks giving him a job.

Lest we forget that in 2020 they occasionally chose to activate Willson for zero snaps on offense or even special teams rather than give Alton Robinson an opportunity to rush the passer.

As long as that doesn’t happen again, fine. But there’s a part of me wondering whether a 31-year-old tight end who probably wouldn’t be in the league but for Seattle might just get in the way a bit, once again.

He’s probably just a body to get them through a bit of short-term injury trouble at the position. It won’t say much for the much vaunted depth at tight end, though, if he ends up being anything more than that come the regular season.

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Pre-season week #2 thoughts (vs Denver Broncos)

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

At the start of Pete Carroll’s post-game press conference, a loud horn-honk blurted out, presumably from someone’s cell phone.

“I agree” said Carroll, dryly, in response to the noise, after a 30-3 hammering.

I enjoy a bit of gallows humour. So kudos to Seattle’s coach for that, at least.

For the second week in a row my personal business decision not to stay up until the early hours of the morning to watch a pre-season game was rewarded.

I half expected someone to present me with a game-ball when I’d watched the condensed version of this latest enthralling counter, several hours after its conclusion.

‘Well done Rob, you’re the real winner this weekend’

Let’s get the usual caveats out of the way. Yes, Denver played a much stronger team than Seattle at the start of the game. You’d expect them to be superior and that’s very much how it played out.

I still have concerns from these two pre-season games.

Last week it looked like a well prepared, organised, functioning set of backups against a group that had been thrown together in a week or two.

Against Denver it felt like more of the same. The Seahawks barely functioned. They couldn’t get off the field on defense. They seem incapable of putting together a cohesive offense when key starters are missing.

The arguments last week about Seattle’s coaching, development and depth felt validated.

Jon Gruden put together a plan so that Nathan Peterman, Las Vegas’ third string quarterback best known for an embarrassing stint in Buffalo, could play reasonably well.

In two weeks, what have the Seahawks dished up? Watching Geno Smith, Alex McGough and Sean Mannion has been torturous. So either all three are just so bad they shouldn’t be on the roster (which is plausible) or the coaches really need to put them in a better position to succeed.

It’s not just the quarterback play though (although it was horrendous — and I don’t want to see another checkdown ahead of the LOS on fourth down ever again). There were major, back-breaking penalties. The running game was abysmal. The turnovers and decision making farcical.

The Seahawks looked hopeless, disorganised and incoherent on offense. They couldn’t get even the basics right in order to sustain a few drives to properly evaluate the roster.

It’s not about being brilliant and impressive with backups in pre-season. It would be nice to see evidence though of a team that can at least function to a basic level. Gruden got a tune out of Peterman. Frankly — a performance 50% as good as the Raiders on offense last week would be appreciated at this stage.

It was also a night to think about, once again, what could’ve been. As Rashaad Penny ran for eight yards on five carries, falling down on first contact, the name ‘Nick Chubb’ once again filled my brain.

I’m sure it was the same for John Schneider too. It’s long since been revealed how much they regret the decision they made in the 2018 draft. Chubb is fresh off a big contract extension in Cleveland. At least the Seahawks won’t have to worry about that with Penny. He’ll only be on the final roster by default at this stage. Given the way Deejay Dallas played against Denver, he might be for the chop anyway.

On defense, many key starters were also missing. Yet a number of players they’re clearly relying on also played. That includes Ahkello Witherspoon — who was beat by Jerry Jeudy early in the game for a big fourth down conversion before settling into a role on special teams.

Consistently Denver managed to move the chains on fourth down — converting three of four times.

Of course this will be a different team with Carlos Dunlap, Bobby Wagner, Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs starting. Yet short of Rasheem Green — who is an expert in flattering to deceive — there wasn’t a whole lot to take away from this game in a positive sense.

The cornerback position feels like a major problem waiting to happen. Witherspoon left San Francisco without much of an attempt to retain him. He’s been, at best, a middling starter who the 49ers clearly saw as replaceable.

Suddenly we’re left pining for D.J. Reed’s return, while hoping he can stay healthy. Even he alone might not be enough — he was a pleasant surprise a year ago and who can say whether he’ll be reliable as the de facto #1 corner in 2021?

I’m also concerned that as Seattle evolves the scheme defensively that they’re going to try and plug square pegs into round holes. I haven’t studied either player specifically against Denver but I did notice Alton Robinson listed as a linebacker on the depth chart pre-game. A week ago he was listed as a LEO.

Robinson and Darrell Taylor, for me, should do one thing in 2021. Rush the passer on passing downs. Let them get after it. That’s what they’re good at.

Trying to fit them in at SAM feels like a mistake.

If you need a certain type of ‘SAM’ to play this way, go and get K.J. Wright.

Robinson has shown flashes as a pure pass rusher and that’s what Taylor was drafted for. Let them focus on that, where they can truly impact games.

I’ll finish with a reinforcement of what I said last week. I have concerns about the way this team develops players and I don’t think they’ve done a good enough job there for a few years. I don’t trust Ken Norton and Pete Carroll to get the most out of their defensive personnel. I think there’s a lot of pressure on Shane Waldron, as a rookie offensive coordinator and play caller, to deliver on offense.

There’s a lot of hope for Waldron but the reality is, he’s a total unknown.

I also don’t think this team has drafted well enough or used its resources properly since the re-set in 2018.

The end product is a top-heavy roster that relies on star players to cover coaching, development and depth warts. And this pre-season, we’re seeing the roster ruthlessly exposed.

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New podcast: Reacting to the Jamal Adams deal & more

Thursday, August 19th, 2021

Today I was joined by Robbie Williams & Matt Mikolas to discuss the Jamal Adams contract and other Seahawks topics going into the second pre-season game…

Some voiced concerns

Monday, August 16th, 2021

Here’s a clip from my recent appearance on the brilliant Pedestrian Podcast. It explains why I have reservations about the direction of the Seahawks and their 2021 prospects.

After listening to it, check out the full podcast (which is conveniently available right underneath the YouTube vid…)

Pre-season week #1 thoughts (vs Las Vegas Raiders)

Sunday, August 15th, 2021

What a joyless experience that was.

Admittedly, a number of key players were missing. That really just highlighted an issue that has existed for some time in Seattle.

The Seahawks rely on quality players. Their stars — Russell Wilson, D.K. Metcalf et al — elevate the team.

When’s the last time a brilliant piece of scheming or coaching won the day?

Both teams rested starters. The Raiders gave a whole game to the much maligned Nathan Peterman.

Yet they were able to put together a coherent plan for a quarterback who has been the butt of many jokes. He finished with 246 passing yards and 32 rushing. They ran for 158 yards. They moved the ball relatively well, all considered — collecting 385 total yards and converting 11/17 on third downs.

The Seahawks, in comparison, delivered a total wet fish of a performance. As has been the norm over the years, the offensive play in pre-season whenever Russell Wilson isn’t on the field has been abject.

They had just 194 total yards. They ran for 68 — 25 of which came from Alex McGough. None of the quarterbacks looked comfortable. They were 4/13 on third downs.

Here’s the yardage split in the first half:

Raiders — 290
Seahawks — 44

I could sit here and talk about Cody Barton’s two sacks (well collected, yet mixed in with a poor first half performance). Yes, it was nice to see Darrell Taylor on the field for the first time (albeit in a largely unspectacular debut). Good for Deejay Dallas to take his opportunity to make a big play when the Raiders defense fell asleep.

Yet all I could think of as I watched the game on replay this morning (having rightly decided not to stay up until 2am to watch it live) was the stark difference in coaching.

Jon Gruden had his team functioning and ready to play. The Seahawks were not.

Part of that will be growing pains with a new offensive coordinator and scheme adjustments. I’m sure the Seahawks are also keen not to tip their hat for the Colts game.

Yet so often in recent years this team hasn’t been particularly well coached or prepared. They’ve failed to adjust in games too. And they rely on Wilson to execute, on Metcalf to use his insane physical skill to make a difference.

This is a team without particularly good depth across the board that relies on a handful of stars. If/when those stars underperform, the Seahawks look incredibly ordinary (as we saw at times at the end of last season). They haven’t been able to coach around those occasions.

Regardless of who did or didn’t play — Las Vegas looked reasonably well-tuned in this one. Seattle looked like they were still in the first week of camp.

And while there’s understandably a lot of excitement around Shane Waldron’s arrival — he’s still a rookie play-caller on a new team operating for a Head Coach known for meddling. It feels like everyone is pinning their hopes on Waldron to offer the kind of coaching chops that have been lacking. That’s a lot of pressure on his shoulders.

The other key takeaway was the O-line.

I’m not sure what needs to happen with Duane Brown. However, there is absolutely no way the Seahawks can afford to go out to Indianapolis with Stone Forsythe starting at left tackle. There has to be concerns about a line that is already being impacted by injuries to Damien Lewis and Ethan Pocic.

Finally — short of a quick recovery for D.J. Reed — Tre Flowers and Ahkello Witherspoon will be Seattle’s starting cornerbacks in Indianapolis. Based on the evidence in this game, that’s a scary thought.

Not good enough… on both sides of the ball” was Pete Carroll’s assessment afterwards. And he was right.

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New podcast with Jacson Bevens & Seahawkers UK

Saturday, August 14th, 2021

If you’re looking for something to do prior to (or even during) the first pre-season game against the Las Vegas Raiders, check out this podcast I was part of this week along with Adam Nathan, Stu Court and Jacson Bevens…

Live stream with Joe Fann & 710 ESPN appearance

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021

There are two pieces of audio to share today. I was invited onto Jake & Stacy on 710 ESPN and you can hear the segment below:

I also hosted a live stream with Joe Fann to discuss the big talking point relating to the Seahawks. Check it out below:

Some thoughts on the Jamal Adams/Duane Brown holdouts

Monday, August 9th, 2021

Jamal Adams isn’t practising during training camp

Let’s just be honest about this.

Jamal Adams and Duane Brown are holding out. This isn’t a ‘hold-in’ as many are saying. The new CBA rules dictate that this is the present and future of NFL hold-outs.

You attend but don’t practise.

Financially it makes no sense for players to stay at home. Instead, they will report to camp and simply refuse to train.

Adams and Brown aren’t alone. T.J. Watt is doing the same in Pittsburgh. It’ll become a common occurrence.

What we don’t know is what happens if these situations are still unresolved by week one. Are players prepared to miss games?

In the case of Brown it’s unclear what his game-plan is. He turns 36 at the end of the month. At the end of the season he will be a free agent — yet he’s unlikely to get big money at the back-end of his career.

Trent Williams agreed a deal worth $23.1m a year in San Francisco — yet he’s three years younger. The Niners are also transitioning to a quarterback on a rookie contract, making it easier to reward players like Williams.

I suspect the Seahawks are simply prepared to call his bluff. Pete Carroll has been dismissive of the situation in press conferences, hinting at a desire to give Brown’s hold-out minimal oxygen. It’s a dangerous game though. If he does indeed miss games — as he did with Houston in 2017, when he sat out half a season — then it will seriously impact Seattle’s offense.

Already Russell Wilson can sense the danger:

“I mean, not having Duane Brown out there is a pretty significant deal… He’s one of the best left tackles in the game. The guy’s—there’s no argument—is as good as it gets. There is nobody more athletic, more talented, than he is.

“Age is just a number. It looks like he’s 28, 30 out there. He’s really exceptional. So smart, physical. Understands the game. And I think people fear him, to be honest with you, when they are rushing him, playing against him.

“We definitely want to get him back out there.”

“We need him game one, that’s for sure.”

These quotes passed through the media with little fanfare but this is essentially a bit of a warning shot from Wilson, who is clearly emboldened to speak up in a year where he’s already flirted with the idea of playing elsewhere.

The issue for the Seahawks, however, is obvious. They only have $44m in effective cap space for 2022 according to Over The Cap. That doesn’t include any salary for Jamal Adams currently. It doesn’t include Quandre Diggs either — another 2022 free agent.

They have only 50 contracted players for next year and face the prospect of needing to pay D.K. Metcalf in the next off-season.

Committing extra money and years to a soon-to-be 36-year-old Brown is probably not on Seattle’s agenda, despite his clear importance to the team in 2021.

Thus, they’ll likely take a risk that he decides to start the season. It’s interesting how much they’re talking up Stone Forsythe though. That’s not to downplay how he’s performed in camp so far — but it’s perhaps indicative of an awareness that they might be facing the prospect of needing a cheaper alternative in the near future.

I wouldn’t expect a new deal to be forthcoming for Brown unless the team panics. It should be an interesting week leading into the Colts game.

With Adams the Seahawks have put themselves in a self-created mess.

The trade itself was an act of desperation. A quick reminder — a year ago their attempts to improve the defense equated to swapping Jadeveon Clowney for Benson Mayowa and Bruce Irvin and trading for Quinton Dunbar. They hadn’t added any impact players.

The extreme expense of the trade was indicative of a team doing what it took to get a deal done because they ‘had’ to have someone. Adams was available, thus he became the someone.

It was a deal concluded as camp started, despite Adams appearing to be readily available in a trade dating back to the previous trade deadline.

You have to seriously suspend reality to think a trade like this couldn’t have been concluded weeks (if not months) earlier. Can anyone say with a straight face that the Jets wouldn’t have accepted the offer at any point in the prior eight months?

It was further evidence of a reactive franchise, operating on the hoof. They waited for Clowney and when that deal drifted away — they spent a fortune on the one impact defender who happened to be available, right before camp.

As has become the norm for this team — they were reactive not pro-active, trusting too much in their own process and recruiting ability. The Seahawks haven’t had a Championship off-season since 2013 yet they speak and act like it’s an annual occurrence.

Nothing emphasises this more than the fact they didn’t have a contract ready to go for Adams when the trade was concluded. Everyone knew he had to be paid. And everyone knew by not having a deal in place, they were surrendering all leverage to the player when talks eventually happened.

Act now, worry about everything else later.

The Seahawks had already seen this play out with the Texans (Laremy Tunsil) and Rams (Jalen Ramsey). They had been warned.

As time passed, the situation worsened. Budda Baker quickly re-set the market for Adams’ position. Joey Bosa and Myles Garrett smashed records for defensive average-per-year. Ramsey earned a $20m contract. Justin Simmons was paid. And now, more recently, Fred Warner and Darius Leonard have received contracts worth around $19m a year.

It’s become virtually impossible to pay Adams what the Seahawks clearly want to pay him. They are prepared to make him the top-paid safety, that much is evident. Yet they don’t want to stretch to a Ramsey-type contract or get near the Warner/Leonard average.

Yet Adams, quite rightly, should expect to be in that range. The amount the Seahawks paid for him via trade and the nature of the contracts being dished out suggest he has every right to expect more — regardless of his 2020 performance or fit in Seattle.

Thus, a stalemate occurs. And while Carroll attempts to play the situation down and an accommodating media allows that to happen — the reality is he’s two weeks into a hold-out now and the only obvious way to get this deal done is for one party to cave.

I suspect, from Seattle’s perspective, they are hoping to smoke Adams out by just waiting. They know it’ll cost him financially to miss games and he has little freedom or choice given the protection of the franchise tag in 2022.

This all sounds fine and dandy. However, as we’ve seen with Xavien Howard, forcing a player to sign a deal he isn’t happy with isn’t a precursor to harmony. Creating resentment would be unwise. Yet it appears to be a gamble they’re willing to take.

And yes, resentment is a distinct possibility. Think of it from Adams’ perspective for a second. They traded the house for him and made a public statement that this was a franchise player. Then when it comes to talk contract, they play hardball.

Ramsey, Bosa, Garrett, Warner, Leonard and others were all paid and all re-set markets. No delay. No resentment there. Browbeating Adams into a contract with the threat of financial penalties and the franchise tag simply doesn’t feel right.

Frankly — the Seahawks made this expensive trade and should be forced to live with the salary cap consequences if they intend to keep Adams. They have a duty to make this right. If they didn’t want to pay him, they either shouldn’t have bothered with the trade or they should’ve got what they can in a trade months ago and moved on.

They didn’t do that and appear to be rejigging the defensive scheme to get the most out of his abilities. They might as well call their bear fronts ‘Adams fronts’ because the change is inspired by one player. Although why they didn’t at least try and bring in a new defensive coordinator or consultant with a lot of recent experience in the system remains a mystery.

It also remains to be seen if they can find a way to make him effective without simply needing him to blitz 8-10 times a game — or whether they have the creative chops to deliver attacking opportunities without requiring an $18m linebacker to fill the A-gap as a decoy. Remember, Bobby Wagner blitzed a staggering 100 times in 2020 — fifth most in the league. In 2018, arguably his best season in Seattle, he blitzed just 41 times.

My prediction is a deal will get done before the season starts and one way or another it’ll be painful. Either Adams will be left feeling cold about the negotiation and the delay in completion. Or the Seahawks will end up spending more than they wanted to simply to nip this in the bud.

It doesn’t feel like a plan is being executed. Once again, it feels like the Seahawks are bumbling along — trying to stick everything together on the run.

It also still seems a little off to me that they’ll be paying a safety and a linebacker as much as they are — while playing hardball with the left tackle and lining up a rag-tag bunch of defensive linemen that some people describe as a deep group and I’d describe as a unit lacking game-changing talent.

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