Considering trades, the Clowney inevitability & more

Why a trade could be on the cards

Seattle’s best three personnel moves in 2019 involved a trade. They moved up for D.K. Metcalf in the draft. They dealt a third round pick to Houston for Jadeveon Clowney. Then they traded a fifth rounder for Quandre Diggs.

The previous big trade they made was the highly successful and underrated move to acquire Duane Brown.

If that isn’t motivation to re-enter the market, what is?

There are very clear benefits to making a trade. For starters, you inherit an existing contract. If the Seahawks wade into the free agent market as an aggressor, you run the risk of being exploited.

Take last year for example. Who expected Kwon Alexander to get a deal worth $13.5m a year? That in turn led to C.J. Mosley getting $17m a year from the Jets.

It doesn’t happen to every player of course. Dante Fowler — a potential Seahawks target this year — had to settle for a modest one-year prove-it deal.

There’s always a chance though that things quickly get out of control, your plans are torn up, you’re forced to look elsewhere or you end up overpaying.

All of this can be avoided if you make a deal for a player who is contracted for at least another year. The Brown trade is a classic example. He had a year and a bit to run on his Texans contract. He came to Seattle, played well and was rewarded with a handsome extension.

So what move could the Seahawks pull off that makes sense in terms of contract and fixing their enormous need on the D-line and the pass rush?

They badly need speed off the edge. They need the next Cliff Avril.

Why not put a call into Denver and see if there’s a deal to be done for Von Miller?

It’s possible the Broncos will just put the phone down. Miller is a Denver legend. They’re a team in transition with a young quarterback but they seem to feel like they’re making strides. They don’t have any cap issues and can easily retain Miller’s large salary in 2020.

That said, there has been some friction recently between team and player. Miller expressed concern after a week-15 loss to Kansas City about the team’s direction. He quickly rowed back on it but you could sense this was a relationship with issues.

As the Seahawks showed two years ago, sometimes you just need to part ways and move on. For both parties.

His 2019 performance wasn’t up to his usual standards. He only had eight sacks — his lowest total since 2013 when he only played nine games. He was working in a new defensive scheme. Some adjustment would be understandable. He did finish 12th for pressures (37), eighth for hurries (18) and 20th for knockdowns (10th).

It wasn’t a bad season, it just wasn’t peak-Miller.

The Broncos drafted Bradley Chubb with a high pick in 2018 so they’re not short of pass rushers. If they trade Miller and make a further cap saving, they’ll have more than enough to go into the market and sign a replacement.

I think it could be a move that suits both parties.

The Broncos receive Seattle’s top pick (#27). They move on from Miller with more than enough money and cap compensation to make up for his departure. The dead cap hit for Denver isn’t insignificant ($11.75m) — but they make a decent 2020 saving ($13.875m).

The Seahawks acquire a speed rusher to compliment the presumably re-signed Jadeveon Clowney. With the Broncos eating some of the contract, they would inherit quite a modest cap-hit in 2020 of approximately $14m. That’s much less than they’d end up paying for lesser players on the open market. He’s also contracted until the end of the 2021 season.

With book-end rushers of Clowney and Miller — the Seahawks’ four-man rush would actually threaten opponents in 2020. They would’ve solved their biggest need without even needing to dabble in the open market. He would provide the quality, experience, production and leadership they’ve lacked since Avril was forced to retire.

Spending the #27 pick would be a high price — but it’s a necessary price. Yes he’s 30-years-old. However, the Seahawks traded for 30-year-old Jimmy Graham in 2015. If they can get 3-4 years of production out of Miller, that’s good value for the pick. The Seahawks need impact this off-season. They need to add players who can produce now. It’s also a poor draft class for pass rusher’s.

With two second round picks, they also might be more willing to trade #27.

The cost would also be worth it to avoid having to shell out $18-22m for an edge rusher on the open market. With the saving, you could actually make some other moves to further improve the roster.

Again, it’s possible the Broncos would have no interest in such a move. It’s equally possible the Seahawks will prefer to stick to their youth movement and acquire someone like Fowler who, at 25, could be a feature for years to come. The Metcalf, Clowney and Diggs trades all provided enormous value. This would be a much more aggressive deal.

The Green Bay Packers fixed their pass rush by signing two free agents (Preston & Za’Darius Smith). They then used their top draft pick to add Rashan Gary. The Seahawks might prefer that kind of plan.

They could also go down the same route as Kansas City a year ago and strike a deal for a franchise-tagged defender. Frank Clark has looked increasingly like a wise investment in recent weeks. Could the Seahawks assess the trade options if tagged players cannot agree long term deals with their clubs?

Pass rush is the defining off-season need but they could still trade for another position.

We know the Jets flirted with trading Jamal Adams before the deadline. I’m not sure the Seahawks would pay out to push Bradley McDougald and Marquise Blair off the field but there’s no denying the Seahawks were better for acquiring Diggs and more talent at safety would be welcome if possible.

Russell Wilson, quite rightly, is going to be pushing for more weapons. Reportedly he wanted them to consider adding Antonio Brown during the season and they eventually added Josh Gordon. With talk of Odell Beckham potentially being available, Stefon Diggs looking increasingly unhappy in Minnesota and tight end’s like O.J. Howard and David Njoku having uncertain futures — there will likely be offensive options too.

They have picks and cap space. We can’t be sat here in 12 months time wondering why they didn’t do more. They need an off-season like 2013 when they traded for Percy Harvin and signed Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. They’ll know that.

It should be a fun off-season.

Expect Jadeveon Clowney to be back

Pete Carroll says he loves Clowney and the feeling is mutual. Duane Brown said the same thing on 710 ESPN. Apparently Clowney paid a visit to John Schneider before leaving for the off-season yesterday.

Carroll doesn’t often gush about free agents publicly. Not in the way he did about Clowney yesterday. I think he appreciates this is going to be an expensive deal. However, they can’t start to repair their D-line by losing their top player as the first move.

It’d be understandable if Clowney tests the market first. With everyone talking at the combine, he will know what offers are out there long before free agency starts. That should be the catalyst for Seattle to make him the offer that gets this done.

Then it’s on to stage two — adding a partner in crime to rush from the other side.

The Justin Britt dilemma has layers

Ideally Britt would be back next year and everything carries on. Continuity does matter on the O-line. The group also performed better than I think most people, included any PFF graders, are willing to acknowledge.

Britt in particular has been very steady and a positive leader. He’s aggressive but in a controlled manner these days.

This is a big off-season though where bold moves are going to be required. Their cap space will shrink quickly when they start signing players. Britt’s cap hit of $11.4m looked in danger even before he tore his ACL.

They save nearly $9m by moving on. Building a roster is often about making a hard decision like this. Where is your money best served? Is it on a center returning from a serious injury — or a great pass rusher or weapon for your quarterback? Especially when you look at the draft and see a good looking collection of center’s plus the very realistic possibility that Alex Mack will be cut by the Falcons and could be available on a ‘Mike Iupati’ type deal.

One thing they could do is cut Britt and make it very clear to him they want him back just not at $11.4m. Then, down the line, he could be re-signed at a more realistic price unless he decides to move on or someone makes him a superior offer.

They’d need a hedge. That could be Ethan Pocic or the re-signing of Joey Hunt. It’s not improbable though that Britt is cut and then rejoins the team later.

Prediction — George Fant will stay

A lot has been made of Fant saying he wants a chance to start. You’d expect him to say that, surely? Who wouldn’t? Left tackle is a highly paid position and he’s spent the last two years as a sixth lineman or unorthodox tight end.

However, there’s a big difference between wanting an opportunity to start and actually getting an opportunity or offer to do so.

Carroll said he wants to keep the O-line together. He said that a year ago of course and they couldn’t retain J.R. Sweezy despite a desire to do so. I suspect they will make the moves to retain Fant. They like him and he’s versatile. I don’t think he will receive the offer he’s looking for and the Seahawks will keep him by offering a strong opportunity to start at right tackle and be the eventual heir apparent to Duane Brown.

It might even be a short term deal so he can re-enter the market in a year or two.

That doesn’t prevent them from re-signing Germain Ifedi either. I think that’s a situation they play by ear. Let him test the market and see where it goes. Experienced offensive linemen often get paid. The likes of Max Unger, James Carpenter and Mark Glowinski have all left Seattle and excelled elsewhere. Ifedi might get a shot to do the same on an expensive contract. If not, he could also return.

If neither comes back, there are some appealing right tackle’s set to be available in the draft. So it’s not a position of particular concern. They will have options.

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  1. Lil’stink

    Trading a first for an impact player on defense just seems like it will happen this year. The Rams will be desperate for draft capital, I could see them trying to free some space to tag Fowler with the intent to trade him. I could also see Fowler refusing to sign the tag, but I doubt it would progress to a Clowney like scenario.

    I thought we should have tried to pry Miller away from Denver this year. His cap number is kind of high for his final two years, though, given his age. I assume we would have to soak all of it up? NFL contracts can be a bit confusing at times.

    As for weapons for Wilson – Emmanuel Sanders still has some gas in the tank. If you think he will have Steve Smith-like longevity, would it be worth it to go after him? I hope we stay away from the divas like Odell and AB. It simply won’t end well, a lesson I hope PCJS learned from Percy Harvin.

    Njoku and Howard are athletic freaks but I’m a bit wary on using a first for either.

    Anyway, it kind of feels like the off-season after 2012. A team that could be primed to make a run if they make a move to shore up their most glaring need (pass rush). I think they must, without question, be aggressive with either a trade or free agent pass rusher (in addition to locking up Clowney). Then try to make some solid bargain signings after the initial frenzy dies down.

    • Rob Staton

      The Rams have no means to create cap space AND they have to pay Jaylen Ramsey.

      Fowler will not be tagged by the Rams. They’ve made their bed.

    • Submanjoe

      Seahawks wouldn’t give the Rams a first round pick. I hope they wouldn’t anyway.

      • Greg Haugsven

        I think Ramsey is on his fifth year option so he is technically on there books for about $13 million. Not sure they could lower his cap hit very much at all by extending him.

  2. Submanjoe

    I agree with trading their first round pick for a speed rusher.
    And Jamal Adams would be fantastic, yes please!
    What I never read or see, is what is the price for Clowney. He’s such a ‘tweener’ of sorts.
    Good analytics, but only 3 sacks. What is the price on the open market for him. Houston wasn’t paying him. They did just fine without him this year. I don’t think he’s worth 20 plus million a year. Even 18 seems high. He’s a great disrupter though. The Seahawks are in the tough spot of having to pay him because he may be more valuable to them then any other team. Not an ideal bargaining position.

    • Rob Staton

      Forget the sacks.

      He’s not a tweener. He’s a BAMF and a player they have to retain (and will).

      • Submanjoe

        I agree they have to keep him. I agree he is a Bamf. The team is in the unfortunate situation of having no choice but to keep him at whatever the cost. Isn’t that what you’re saying?
        I think that’s why Jamal Adams would be a great pick up, he too is a Bamf.

  3. Zxvo3

    Von Miller and Clowney would the perfect pair. Both would compliment each other. Be bold and add in a free agent signing such as Jordan Phillips and you have a great D line. Miller, Reed, Phillips, Clowney. Rotate in some of the current players on the D Line and you have a great defensive front.

    If we traded our first round pick for Miller, then they could use their 2 second round picks on a WR and an offensive lineman. They could pick a center if they don’t address it in free agency or they could pick a future tackle to replace Ifedi while Fant starts.

    • All I see is 12s

      So, unfortunately I live in Denver now. I drive by the Broncos facility every day….(it’s painful as I used to have a beautiful view of the Clink from my desk but I digress.) It’s hard for me to imagine them trading miller. You have to understand, they still view themselves as an elite team and org like they were under Pat Bowlen. The org and the fans expect to win EVERY year. No one will listen to anything else. Shoot, even the most die hard fans were ready to run Elway out of town- right before their new qb started showing promise at end of season. They should Have traded Miller at the deadline. They didn’t. They should have traded Harris at the deadline. They didn’t. The same with Wolfe and a couple others. The only reason they traded Emmanuel Sanders is that he’s a weird dude who has been an annoyance to the team for years. Many in the organization wanted him gone. – That one I do have a bit of inside information on…

      My point is, despite the clear need for a serious rebuild here in Denver I think this organization may be too proud to make hard and wise decisions for the future.
      Even the intelligent fans can’t come to grips with the idea of miller leaving…

      • mishima

        Just moved out of Denver. Agree: Miller is their Wagner.

        • BobbyK

          Except Miller probably takes 19,382,943 trips to the stripper bar more than Wagner each year.

          • mishima

            Weird take.

            • BobbyK

              Just saying he’s probably not the pro’s pro in his personal life in that regard as a guy like Wagner who seems to be a stellar citizen, too. I’ve always heard the rumors of a guy like him specifically who does that (I know many pro athletes do/and regular people) but the funniest moment was when (in his excitement) after the Super Bowl win – someone asked him (and it got caught on tape or something) about Disneyworld or something and he said something like screw that – I’m going to the strippers. It was funny. In a sad way.

              • Greg Haugsven

                If you are going to sign Phillips you might as well just resign Jarran Reed.

              • Miami Hawk

                Interesting take on going to strip clubs. That just seems like kind of weird and that you would find it “sad”. A lot of places outside of the no fun Seattle area it’s perfectly normal to go to strip clubs. Down here in Florida you will find lots of women that go there as well as couples on dates of all ages.

                The point is that these are football players and don’t confuse moralistic issues with actually relevant football “character” issues.
                Defensive players should have a lot of testosterone and as long as they take care of business it’s not a concern.

                • Kelly

                  hummm, no

                  Girls do not like to go to strip clubs. The ones going are going because the boyfriend wanted to go and they have no spine to say no. If a guy took me to a strip club for a date, that would definitely be the last date. I am pretty sure I am in the majority on this one

                  • Kelly

                    Wait a minute. Who are you?

      • Denver Hawker

        Agree here. I thought it likely midseason especially with the Fangio drama, but they need Von.

  4. cha

    Any reading between the lines on PC’s comments on Jarran Reed? Basically said he didn’t have a good year because of the edge pressure wasn’t there.

    Sounds like to me PC is saying that Reed is a good 3tech but not a single handed game-wrecker OC’s have to scheme for. So while you hate to see another spot go from the DL they might have to let him go shopping and see what kind of offers he brings back.

    • Ishmael

      From memory, Reed is highly regarded as a team leader isn’t he? You need guys like that, especially the younger crowd. Can’t keep relying on Wilson, Wagner, and Brown forever. Wouldn’t want to pay overs for him, but with such a weak DL I think they’ll be pretty keen on keeping him around.

      • mishima

        What do you think he will get? 4/48+ would not surprise me, but hoping his market settles around 4/38.

        • Ishmael

          I think you’re pretty close honestly. The cap’s only going up, and there just aren’t that many DTs around who are hitting double digit sack numbers. Maybe a down year helps lower his value, but all it takes is one slightly silly team and everything blows up. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if he ended up getting 4/50.

          • JC3

            Jurrell Casey’s 4 yrs/60 mils is the starting point for Reed.

            • Rob Staton

              No it isn’t

        • Rob Staton

          I think he’ll be a lot cheaper than that.

          • BobbyK

            I believe so too. I don’t know what he did exactly domestically to get a 6-game suspension, but he’s also on a shorter leash (at least from the commissioners office) than most and I don’t think that will be overly attractive to teams. It might not be much of a deterrent to some teams, but certainly isn’t a bonus. Plus, he’s not a dominant type. Just good (and no shame in that).

            The Bengals don’t exactly trade tons, but they do have a player (Atkins, Geno) who’s on the wrong side of 30 on a team not competing for at least another year. A dominant DT is something the Seahawks could consider, in addition to whoever their edge acquisition is going to be. They’re not just going to add 1 body to Clowney/Reed and foolishly think they’ve fixed the DL issue. The Bengals could win by gaining a draft pick to get another weapon or protector for their first round QB investment. Could be a win-win.

            • Greg Haugsven

              It will be interesting to see what Reed will get. Grady Jarrett just got $17 million a year which is way out of our range I believe.

              • relaxxin

                17mil?! I had to check on that one. DAMN thats a lot for DT.

          • GerryG

            Yeah he’s had one good sack year, was real quiet this year, and has a record so to speak of DV with a suspension history. He’s not getting top tier $.

      • Miami Hawk

        To me the biggest disappointment this year was Reed disappearing in his contract year. Sure he was OK but I think everybody had pretty high expectations that he was going to get a lot of push in the middle to free up Clowney.

        It cost him a lot of money and hurt the team. I can’t see him getting a lot unless somehow it was a scheme change such as having him 2 gap all of the time. If that isn’t the case then do we really want him back that much or just not want to have to replace him.

        • GerryG

          Seattle was just too easy to block this year (on DL). Reed proved he is not a one-man wrecking crew, but he didnt have much help. There was that interview Mark Schlereth did mid-season where he alluded to the base D making it easy for OL to pass block. Then you add in the fact that no OL had to worry about any sort of speedy edge threat for the first ten games and there just wasnt much room for any interior push. Griffin came in and added some speed and pressure at the end of the year, but for 10-15 snaps a game, and at least half of those snaps he landed on the turf due to his lack of size.

          As long as his contract is not >10 he is worth retaining.

          • JUJUS

            Reed could get 6-8 mil on a short term deal. But I would prefer a long term deal.

  5. Zxvo3

    Any thoughts on Devin Duvernay? Looks like a receiver who the Seahawks could target. He has YAC ability, route running, and speed.

  6. Kenny Sloth

    Luke Kuechly retired! What a loss, was hard to see him take all those injuries

    • mishima

      Concussions. Brutal.

      I respect him for making a smart decision.

      • Carl

        Gotta take care of ya’ll mental

  7. Ishmael

    Just saw Kuechly’s retired.

    I’ve got a terrible feeling about how that story is going to end. Seemed to be one of the good guys, can only hope he hasn’t done too much damage to his brain but…

    • charlietheunicorn

      He left it on the field, for sure. HoFer might be in his future.
      Him and BW were some of the best MLB there have been in a very long time.
      Probowlers, AllPros and both have been to the SB.

  8. JC3

    high draft pick and high salary for a 30 years old is not a good combo, they won’t trade for Miller unless Denver is willing to take a second then it makes sense.

    • Pickering

      30 and I wonder with the huge money he’s already made how hungry he might still be, whether he feels any need to compete at the elite level, further risk his health. He likes the limelight, maybe he sees himself next in a broadcast booth instead. With Kuechly retiring, I wonder whether he thinks it’s also about time for him to step off the field.

    • Rob Staton

      Yeah I mean it’s not like they traded a R1 for a 30 year old on a big salary in 2015 or anything.

      • Miami Hawk

        I would make the the deal. In a heartbeat. We have the money and it’s there for a reason. We have a massive problem.
        Bang- problem fixed! Now let’s go get another dual purpose tight end and figure out how the OL is gonna shake out.

        • Mountainsage

          Sorry, problem not fixed just kicked down the road a year maybe two. Paying a player at the end of their career has worked out so well for the seahawks. Giving up draft picks for old players always works to build a better team in the future. Ask the Giants or Redskins or maybe the Bills a few years back; There quite a list.

      • Bug Juice

        True, but let’s analyze how well that worked out. I would hope that our front office is learning their lessons.

        • Rob Staton

          Well he didn’t have a good rookie year. It happens. Not sure there’s any big lesson to be learnt or any reason to react too much to it.

    • GerryG

      I’m fine with him being 30, assuming you have a deep enough line that he doesnt have to play >80% of snaps.

  9. SeahawkeyezSubj80

    Well thought out and I would love for it to play out with Miller and Clowney. Its going to be real interesting how PC/JS play this. Based on end of year presser by Pete, he was clear about how much better and easier it is when you have good consistent pressure with your front four. As you have said many times in the past, Pete usually always follows through in the offseason with end of year assessment. I feel real confident if nothing else we going to have a BAMF front four on defense.

    As far as offensive line, I really hope we retain Fant, play RG until Brown moves on. Re do Britt deal to lower cap hit and still draft center inside of first 3 picks, feel positive about Phil Haynes (LG), RG? What do you think of Ifedi if we bring him back on a team friendly deal at RG?

    • SeahawkeyezSubj80

      My bad Fant at RT

  10. One Bad Mata'afa

    Clowney, Reed, Armstead, Fowler.

    Cut Britt or try to bring him back at a much lower salary. Draft Ruiz at 27, even if you have to use a later pick for ammo to move up.

    Two 2nds to use on a WR, OL or best value

  11. king.

    English/American English query

    Rob, you consistently use compliment (to praise or admire) where I would use complement (complete or enhance). Is that a British thing?

    Wilson complimented Sherman’s prowess, but Richard refused to reciprocate.

    Seattle’s running game perfectly complements the defense, as both serve to set the tone for the culture of the club.

    • evan

      The extra apostrophe(‘)s are somewhat distracting, is that an English English thing?
      no offense meant…

  12. Bigten

    Love the idea of trading for a player. Especially D-line. I think your assessment is great. Would add that it seems like by the time one of our draft picks gets going, he is in in the last year of rookie contract anyways. So might as well trade for studs.
    My desire trade tho is still OJ Howard. Not a first for him, but third, maybe second.

    • Trevor

      I agree Howard is #1 on my Trade wish list as well. I think TE is a huge need but if you bring back Hollister, Dissly gets healthy and they they trade for Howard it might be the best TE group in the league.

      Calias Campbell is another guy who I have always hoped they would take run at.

  13. LouieLouie

    Hey Rob:
    Great article. When discussing letting Brit at Center go I can’t help but to think back on what happened when the Seahawks traded Max Unger away. The O-Line went in the toilet for a few years. That wasn’t all because of Unger, but he was the leader of that line and it suffered greatly with his loss.

  14. Greg Haugsven

    I could for sure see them testing the waters with the Broncos. It seems more like something they would do to try him out for a year then look to extend him to lower that $17.5 million cap hit in 2021. I know they have cap space but just dont see them going after Fowler for a long term option as that really isnt there MO.

  15. HawkfaninMT

    For folks reference… a top 100 list of players currently set to be free agents

    • Simo

      In addition to bring Clowney back, which of players at 14-16 on this list is the best fit to be his sidekick? Fowler, Barrett, or Dupree. All three are young speed rushers who are about to get paid.

  16. charlietheunicorn

    John Clayton said he thought the floor for Reed would be around 7M / season, but he could easily go up from there… if a team wants to pay him North of 10/M a year. In the right scheme, he could be a very useful piece. I trust him, when it comes to cap and projected salary.

    But, would it be easier reloading the offense or defense in FA and offense or defense in the draft?
    OL and DL would be better for projecting talent, but maybe not as high of ceiling via FA.

    I like the idea of rebuilding or at least adding to the OL. I like the Ruiz pick for center, if he were available. A sturdy Guard would not hurt my feeling either (see previous article). If you are going to build around RW, then let’s try to keep him vertical and a bit less scrambling than in the past. When he had a pocket this season, he was… awesome.

    • Greg Haugsven

      I just cant see him getting less than $10 million a year. I 100% hope Im wrong and maybe they can sign him for 4 years $32-$36 million. I would do that in a heart beat. If its $12 million plus a year that’s when you opt out. He might be one to test free agency just like Ifedi most likely as well. Just remember Grady Jarrett just signed for $17 million a year so Im sure Reed’s camp is looking at that.

      • Trevor

        Greg we agree on almost everything but Reed might be the one exception. I think he will be with the Hawks on a 7-8 mil per multi year deal or her plays on a one year prove it contract somewhere. I don’t get the Grady comp and don’t think he gets anywhere close to that.

        If you take out last season his career stats are incredibly average at best plus he is coming of a down year in which he was suspended for domestic abuse.

        If I am the PC/JS 4 yrs /30 mil is my max offer to both him and Ifedi. If they test the market and get a better deal so be it. I don’t think either guy will have the market Hawks fans think they will. That being said all it takes is one team to really value them and they are gone so who knows I guess. I just would not overpay for either of them.

        • millhouse-serbia

          Trev I send you email if its still the same.

        • Greg Haugsven

          I hope you are right and I am wrong. According to my wife I am wrong all the time so I dont see it any different here…lol. I dont see him as Grady Jarrett my thinking was is he half the player Jarrett is. I would love to get him for $7-$8 but I dont think he will sign that long term. Maybe for one year to boost his stock.

          • Trevor

            I would agree $7-8 mil seems about right. Could even up being at steal like Locket or a slight overpay but at that price would be worth the risk.

          • James Z

            According to my wife, I let way too many expletives fly this year watching Seahawks games. She’s hoping next season I/they do better…

            • Greg Haugsven

              My family usually finds a way to leave the house. I had to start putting the remotes out of my range as there was a time or two they shattered on the floor…lol

  17. KD

    Great stuff Rob. As mentioned, going into this offseason feels a lot like 2012. Pass rush is going to be the obvious focus here, but what are your thoughts on the CB class in the draft? Griffin and Flowers have played well overall, but I feel that there needs to be some added competition in the secondary as a high priority. I wouldn’t mind seeing them use even a 2nd rounder on a CB.

    Finally, thoughts on LJ Collier? I see this as a situation where Collier is being developed in the same way that Green is. Didn’t do much last year, but showed some flashes during the season and could really develop into a nice young player at some point as with Collier. You mentioed Frank Clark, and let’s not forget that he had only 3 sacks in his rookie year before he busted out as a sophmore. Do you see it similarly, because I’m not going to go along with the Seattle Times writers who seem to be writing him off as a bust already.

    This offseason is going to be LIT! buckle up

    • DCD2

      What flashes did you see with Collier?

      He played 150 snaps over 11 games and accounted for 3 tackles all year. He was a healthy inactive in our playoff loss, despite the sorry state of our DL.

      Jury is still out, but early returns aren’t good. At a minimum his rookie year impact as a 1st rounder was disappointing.

      • James Z

        Concur with you on the Collier pick. I don’t want to second guess PC/JS on the pick, but, oh-what-the-hell-I-will. If they didn’t get the DL guy(s) they wanted, why did they pick him in the 1st place. Low 1st most years in the draft means a player with a 2nd round grade, so take a shot at a player with a high 2nd grade with a strong athletic profile… let’s say Deebo Samuel…

        • Rob Staton

          Why do people assume they didn’t want Collier and just took him… because?

          Maybe they really liked him? That’s more likely than anything else.

          • James Z

            OK, I get it, but did they ‘like’ him because he was a D-lineman that they were desperate for, or did they like him because they thought he was someone who had the traits they wanted in a D-lineman?

          • dcd2

            While I don’t think they took him just because, I don’t think it was their ideal scenario. I base this on the press conference that Pete and John had that night.


            Pete looks absolutely shell-shocked. They talked about hoping that OL would start coming off the board, and how crazy the run on DL was. John said they almost picked at #21.

            Then compare that melancholy, resigned-to-their-fate atmosphere to when they traded up and called DK. The excitement in Pete’s voice and the room was night and day. Yes, one was a candid moment talking to the player and the other was a semi-scripted presser, so maybe that accounts for it.

            I didn’t dislike the Collier pick at the time, but the press conference is what made me think that things didn’t go the way they hoped with that pick/lack of trade.

            • Rob Staton

              Sure but we went through this at the time. If you’re trying to read body language in a press conference after the draft then you’re going down a slippery slope. You can come up with all sorts of wild speculation based on how Pete looks and speaks.

    • Pran

      They wasted a R1 on Collier…period. With such a bad state DL is in this year and still Collier is not active game days talks volumes. He may turn out to be a good player eventually but this guy was overvalued and over drafted. Pete did not sound encouraging in his review and was just wishing he take a leap in year 2.

      • Bluenlime

        I see why JS loves trading the 1st pick because he’s not very good picking there. (Carpenter,Ifedi,Collier and McDowell who was 35th overall). I hope we use it for a trade. Another thing about JS is his obsession with the Michigan pipeline of busts. (Delano,darboh,jennings)

  18. Jordan

    Love the content and write-up Rob. Really excited for this offseason.

    I hope we get one of the top guards from NE/WAS. Austin Hooper is an interesting add. Chris Jones may be a very interesting option as well.

    Definitely need the push rush this off season. Hope we get some of the top tier free agents. Maybe a nickleback as well? I think what this defense is lacking is some big time players. Right now Wagner & Clowney appear to be the only change-the-game type players on Defense. McDougald, Diggs & KJ are really solid but I think we need 1-2 more game changing players. Back in the LOB days- we had Wagner+Earl+Kam+Sherm+Bennett who could really change the game. We need some top tier D talent.

    • Rob Staton

      I think this draft class has too much value at guard to spend big on the position in FA.

    • Miami Hawk

      I would make the the deal. In a heartbeat. We have the money and it’s there for a reason. We have a massive problem.
      Bang- problem fixed! Now let’s go get another dual purpose tight end and figure out how the OL is gonna shake out.

    • Hawkster

      This isn’t going to play well here (just some notions form the peanut gallery), but I found Wagner’s play to be considerably less than all-world this year. Heck KJ seemed to play more disruptively, blowing up screens, that sort of thing (although I get it that such things often fall to the WILL scheme-wise) but Wagner routinely seemed to get wash out, wrong-side of the play/pile so to speak. They now say he had some health issues, but he looked slow. Could be a symptom of DL play I suppose.

      You ignore names, numbers, and stats and just watch and see who looks disruptive and it’s the dude with the hair up front (Clowney), Diggs whenever he pops into the non-All22, CB1griffen and McDougald seem to hold their one and honestly I thoguht KJ had a good year. Otherwise they looked slow, and pushed around (poor tackling looks the same as pushed around).

      Pete’s philosophy of not playing rookies is curious, I get it, bend-don’t break requires assignement correct football, but it does throw water on the idea of looking to this coming draft as a means to improve the D in 2020 if the philosophy is to not play them. (Realistically what we are seeing is likely more just about not drafting high enough to draft day one ready prospects). Seeing that they win forever and all, and hence draft low, I am learning to look at Seahawk post-draft recap as a consideration fo a bunch of dudes I won’t see much of for 18 months.

      As far as the not-C.Young DE in the draft, looking at the tape so far and the only one I see is the guy from Penn St. He seems long, tought at the point, perhaps more 3-techish – he certainly get smoved around a lot, and at times seems a bit lumbering in space like when the Q is flushed. And Epenesa, but he’s not very twitchy. Otherwise there is a dearth of talent at the edge from what I have seen.

      • James Z

        The question that comes up for me after reading your comment (I do agree with you, by the way) is whether management and the 12’s are ready for a couple of 7-9 or 8-8 seasons if PC plays his most talented players in their rookie season. Look at what SF was able to put together with higher draft picks over 4 seasons of pretty bad football. Also, the youngsters would get valuable in-real-game experience during 2-3 years of playing before they ball out, again, like SF is doing and should do at least for a few more years. I trust JS/PC as much as SF trusts Lynch and Shanahan to get it right via draft, trades or FS signings. I would be willing to watch the team struggle for a few years then hit it hard in a big way in ensuing years. And at 71 not sure how many ensuing years I have…

        • Hawkster

          SF had the added “bonus” of JG getting knocked out for a year where with him they wouldnot have tanked so badly. I think basically the NFLs model of parity had worked, JG got injured, and they got Bosa as a bonus. Nobody wants to watch SEA sans RW.

          There is a flip to this, DK and some others on offense have gotten on the field straight away (Dissly, there’s others). But on D with a D minded coach …. well, I think ET and Wags, … otherwise they ride the pine.

          The rookies are hitting the field … at the eoy when the vets are injured. Play the rookies earlier, pick up a couple losses, but maybe finish stronger (as oppose to the eoy losses)? 2019 started better than it finished, if you play the rooks more can you start weaker and finish stonger? This is probably all just blah blah, end of the day the DL could not support the scheme, a lot of ills come from that. It’s a problem of both skill and depth. They fall off fast as they walk down the depth chart.

          Like to see , Clowney, PFord, Reed, Fowler, QJeff, RGreen, draft Gross-Matos out of Penn, no thoughts on the rest of the incumbents.

          The Miller thing just feels like a redo of the Richardson thing albeit a different position. I dont’ want to give a 1 (in the division no less) for a 30+ dude. Prefer Fowler, and using the 1 on another prospect.

      • Dan

        This is also what my untrained eye saw. Wagner, and Wright often didn’t fill the gap. They seemed to play back, waiting for cleanup tackles–especially on the edge runs. This resulted in them being washed out of plays. Maybe that was the scheme or plan, but it looks bad when I watch and rewind the tape. Both have long arms and are good at keeping the guys off them. But too often they were standing upright, and easily pushed out of the way.

        For comparison sake, in the Eagles game Barton crashed several edge runs by blowing up the TE or pulling OL. You see other linebackers do it often. Kam used to knock Guards and Tackles to the ground, just by violently throwing his body with momentum in there. I didn’t see that often this year, particularly from Wagner. Maybe his role was more last line of defense?

    • Nathan

      Jordon, nobody is touching on your Chris Jones thought but I’m right there with you.

      Chris Jones fits this roster much better than Clowney. Consider the depth. At 5-tech we have Collier and Rasheem Green, two players with potential who have been given redshirt years. Ad 3-tech you have…Naz Jones.

      If you pay Clowney, you still have to address 3-tech. Even then, you might be able to afford a mid-tier 3-tech. There are no players within reach in the draft who could fill that role.

      If you want a Super Bowl caliber DL, sign Jones over Clowney.

      • Rob Staton

        That’s a pretty warped way of suggesting Jones is a better fit than Clowney. “They have Green and Collier”. 🤦‍♂️

        Clowney is a great fit for this team. Nobody knows how Jones would fit in. And it’s a moot point anyway because Jones WILL be tagged.

  19. Adog

    If the bears start out the next season on a losing streak. .. I’m piqued about a possible trade for Khalil Mack. He seemed to have a off year this season. His contract is overbearing for Chicago, and the Hawks could acquire him in a similar deal that they pulled with clowny. I know there are big differences in each players contract status… I could see Mack warming to Seahawk vibe.

    • Rob Staton

      It would cost the Bears $45m to trade him to play somewhere else in 2020. He’s going nowhere.

  20. Douglas

    I’d consider trading that 27th and a 2021 second if we could get our hands on Y. Ngakoue looks like his floor would be 8-10 sacks and his ceiling 12-14 sacks

    • Rob Staton

      Not likely to be a Seahawks target. Lacks length, run defense is poor and not twitchy. Has the production and fair play to him. Not really a fit for what they look for though.

      • Douglas

        They should take a closer look I hope we can agree we need a pass rushing play maker not a run stuffing DE. Heres some numbers to consider Keep in mind Clowney has been in the league 6yrs to 4 and played 12 more games When you pro rate and compare thair numbers Ngakoue 45 Sacks, 18 FF, 105 Qb hits Clowney 32 Sacks, 8 FF, 80 Qb hits. Again I’m not against them signing Clowney but not at 20 million. I know you use advanced stats to show pressure and what not but I want players who make the plays not almost make the plays.

        • Rob Staton

          Yes they need a pass rusher. But it’s not as simple as just signing anyone with production. The fit has to be right. I don’t think it will be here.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      IMO Ngakoue isn’t worth a R1 pick, let alone a R1 + ___

      I’d much rather trade 27 to DEN for Miller or to JAX for Campbell.

      • Douglas

        Check the numbers

      • Douglas

        Sorry honestly check the numbers since Ngakoue entered the league Miller 45.5 Sacks 9 FF 93 QB hits Ngakoue 37.5 Sacks 14 FF 85 Qb hits.

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t think anyone is disputing he has good numbers.

          But it alone doesn’t mean he’s the answer for Seattle. Again, I don’t think he’s a fit for what they need. And he doesn’t get to bring Calais with him.

  21. Douglas

    Rob what’s your assessment of Darrel Taylor Tennesee to me he’s a mid round sleeper he definitely got the better of that tackle you like so much from Georgia.

    • Rob Staton

      Not scouted him.

      • Greg Haugsven

        I checked him out last week and he is very explosive and has all the traits. I forget who I was talking with but he was right as he is very hot and cold. He can take over games but sometimes you dont even know he is on the field. Tennessee hasnt got much love for there players recently because there team has been awful.

        • Greg Haugsven

          I see him creeping up draft boards and he might even creep higher once the combine rolls around. I saw a mock the other day that had us taking him at #60.

        • Trevor

          We were chatting about him Greg and I agree all the talent in the world but a little hot and cold. I wonder if that was because there was not much other talent on that Ten DL.

          I think he is a big climber during draft season. Seems like a homerun or bust type pick.

          • Greg Haugsven

            We will find out his combine numbers in about 6 weeks or so. Ive seen him labeled as a “freak” once or twice so that could mean some good numbers but time will tell.

  22. Henry Taylor

    Could Stefon Diggs be a trade target to improve the receiving options? He’s had a lot of unrest this year, the Vikes must find some cap space and he absolutely fits their specs.

    • Henry Taylor

      I just reread the article and saw that Diggs was already mentioned. So nevermind me…

    • Rob Staton

      Got a piece coming today on FA and trade targets. Tomorrow is my favourite draft prospects so far.

      • Greg Haugsven

        Funny you just had this last comment as I just asked for everyone favorite targets. Didnt mean to steal your thunder there as I asked the question before I saw your comment.

        • Ralphy

          I agree with you on Diggs. He seems to be the most logical target of the WRs who are potentially available. I would love that move! I’m curious what Rob thinks it would take to get him?

          • Greg Haugsven

            Personally I wouldnt want Diggs or Beckham. To much money and drama for a team that likes to run the ball the way we do. Just not sure there is enough targets to go around. I would rather draft a guy and just let him blend in. When you make big trades for receivers you usually end up trying to force the ball and that is never good.

  23. Greg Haugsven

    Who is everyone favorite target for the draft right now? I know this will change but was just interested in who people like. Right now I think mine is Amik Robertson who Im not sure they would go after unless he gets into the third round.

    • Trevor

      My favourite prospect is Raegor (WR / TCU) I just think he would be the ideal fit with Lockett and Metcalf and he could also takeover the kick return duties.

      I also really like Raekwon Davis, Klavon Chaisson, Mekhi Becton, Cesear Ruiz, Terrell Lewis (medical pending) as Day #1 guys

      For Day 2 and 3 guys I really like Amik Robertson too. Some others are Ross Blacklock (DT/TCU), Leki Fotu (DT/ Utah) Zach Moss (RB / Utah) Kylin Hill (RB/ Miss St) Tyler Johnson (WR/ Minn) Nick Harris (C/Wash) Gandy-Golden (Wr/ Liberty) Troy Dye (LB/ Oregon), Ben Bredson (G/ Mich), Logan Stenberg (G, Ken)

    • millhouse-serbia

      Jalen Reagor and Zack Moss.

      • Greg Haugsven

        Love Reagor and love me some Zack Moss as well.

    • Volume12

      Robert Hunt, T/G, ULL is my crush right now

    • dcd2

      Xavier McKinney – DB (BAMA)
      Clyde Edward-Hellaire – RB (LSU)
      Patrick Jones – EDGE (PIT)
      Devin Asiasi – TE (UCLA)

    • Henry Taylor

      I don’t really have one for the Hawks right now, my favourite prospects to watch this year are JK Dobbins and Issiah Simmons. CEH as a later guy. But Simmons will be well out of range and both RBs will probably go too early for them to consider at the position, however if Clyde is there in round 3 then maybe? Seahawks twitter would probably freak out which is always my favourite.

      Really looking forward to the Senior Bowl and Combine so I can find ‘my guys’.

    • Matt

      Guys I want:

      Jalen Reagor
      Cesar Ruiz
      Patrick Queen
      Myles Bryant
      Jared Hilbers

      Guys I want to avoid:

      Hunter Bryant
      Tyler Biadasz
      Julian Okwara
      Michael Pittman Jr.

      • Matt

        …and DEF want Clyde Edwards-Helaire; absolute baller.

        • Matt

          Plus rationale –

          Guys I want:

          Jalen Reagor – dominate WR. Would fit perfectly into this offense and long term replacement for TL.
          Cesar Ruiz – Straight stud. Young. Well balanced and will only get stronger.
          Patrick Queen – Natty sold me. Dude flies to the football. Spilled his guts in the biggest game of his life.
          Myles Bryant – underrated secondary chess piece. Won’t be a starter but will add serious value.
          Jared Hilbers – underrated RT for UW. Really thought he looked like a very solid player that could become a mediocre starter – and considering draft position, would be major value.

          Guys I want to avoid:

          Hunter Bryant – Expensive version of Hollister. Similar blocker. Similar inconsistencies. Needs a tailored role.
          Tyler Biadasz – Completely underwhelming player with a premium price tag. He looked not good against an underwhelming Oregon DL.
          Julian Okwara – Nice tools but just will cost too much.
          Michael Pittman Jr – I really like him but don’t think he is a good fit for what this offense wants to do.

  24. Volume12

    Andrew Luck, Luke Kuechly, Gronk, Megatron, Chancellor, Baldwin, Willis. All retired around the age of 30. This is becoming a trend.

    As the GOAT said, ‘Take care of your bodies, take care of your mentals, and take care of your chickens.’

    • Trevor

      If these guys feel their long term health is at risk I am glad they made the decision. As much as I miss guys like Kam and Balwin I think all fans appreciate what these guys did and are happy for them.

      I remember seeing Kuechly on the sidelines crying uncontrollably after getting knocked out and all I could think was I hope that he knows when it is time to hang the cleats up. I think he waited a year or two too long but I am happy he did.

      • Volume12

        As am I.

        The game of football is a car crash. Over and over and over again for 60 minutes, 17-21 weeks of the year.

        These guys are tired and they’re tired of getting hurt.

        Those names I listed above were some of, if not THE best, at their respective poditions. Tells us all we need to know about where this is going. Put your 8 years in if ya can, and get out before the game gets you.

        • Greg Haugsven

          Your going to continue to see this as guys will retire after 7-8 years. They get a chance to get some good coin from there second contract and call it quits. Especially from the guys who play around the line of scrimmage, thats where all the big time collisions take place.

  25. Steve Nelsen

    I love your articles Rob and the thoughtful commentators. This site is one of my daily joys during the offseason.

    I know you have written quite a bit already about Dante Fowler. I think he is a #2 priority after Jadeveon Clowney. The Seahawks aren’t going to have the #1 or #3 overall draft picks anytime during the PCJS tenure so this is a rare opportunity to get two potential core defenders for now and the future.

    I know you don’t think LA tags Fowler but I respectfully think there is a chance they could do a tag and trade similar to the Houston/Seattle deal for Clowney. Seattle or any other destination franchise would probably have to give Fowler the same “no-tag” promise Seattle gave Clowney. But, we get a one-year rental of Fowler at a discounted price and the Rams get an extra draft pick(s) (3rd and 5th maybe) and/or some inexpensive veterans they need – Haynes comes to mind as an example of a player the Rams might target.

    Do you plan to do an article on Calais Campbell similar to this one on Von Miller? I am in full agreement with your thought that trading for veterans and using FA is the model that fits for this off-season and would love to see a whole series of articles like this one highlighting potential targets.

    • Rob Staton

      But what if LA tags him and then nobody bites on the trade? Do they just rescind the tag? Teams will play them at that game. The fact is they have so little cap to play with they simply can’t afford to do it. They will no doubt take the comp pick and move on. They made their bed trading for Ramsey.

      • Steve Nelsen

        It would work for LA if they work out the tag/trade before they do the tag.

        You are right that their current cap situation is not flexible enough for them to tag Fowler and keep him. The goal for the Rams now is to try to come up with a way to get more than a 2021 3rd round comp pick out of this situation. This is the just the kind of situation that JS creativity can work with.

        • Greg Haugsven

          You would think they wouldnt get very much in return. Teams no they have no cap space and that they could most likely just go after him in free agency. Seahawks had leverage last year and the Rams have none.

          • Greg Haugsven

            Jared Goff does have a $21 million roster bonus that I guess they could make an option bonus that could create roughly $17 million in space. They also have Littleton to sign as well.

        • Tecmo Bowl

          I’d give the Rams pick 59 for Fowler in a flash. He’s better than any edge we could get with pick 27, let alone 59.

          Per overthecap LAR has $21.09m in cap space.
          The DE franchise tag is $19.31m. So the numbers line up for a quick sign and trade.

        • Rob Staton

          But it’s no good tagging him and then the rest of the league saying, ‘no thanks’ on a high pick and them having to rescind the tag because they can’t afford him. That would be an embarrassing mess and likely put a black mark against the team with players.

  26. Volume12

    Panthers HC Matt Rhule gets LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady to join his staff as the new OC. Interesting.

  27. The Hawk's Nest

    The idea you raise is exactly how I’d like to see the Seahawks attack this offseason. Use the draft capital to make trades for players like Von Miller and maybe even a C. Campbell rather than delve into free agency. Bring on salary, but reduce your bonus money exposure because it comes via a trade. I also like the idea of year in and year out, playing the compensatory draft pick game, and aside from those teams that have had limited success like the Packers you mentioned, it’s rare a free agent will take you over the top, especially when you tend to have to overpay. We have guys like Ifedi and others who will get paid elsewhere in free agency. Get those extra picks, and then wait until after the May free agency deadline to start spending on the open market. Just my two cents. Love your site, Rob. Great work as always.


    Imagine what this team would’ve looked like in 2019 without Metcalf, Clowney, and Diggs…………. somewhere there is a very plausible alternate reality where none of them are on the team.

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