Curtis Allen: A Strategic Look at the Offseason for the Seahawks

This is a guest post by Curtis Allen…

We recently discussed the 2024 Calendar for the Seahawks and it illuminated several critical dates and decision points the team will have to make as they navigate the roster through new leadership.

To better grasp what choices the team has before them – and the ultimate impact of those choices this year and into 2025 – we need to overlay the potential roster moves onto that calendar and match it to the salary cap situation the team is facing on a big-picture-level view. There are more critical decisions the team will have to make this year than in any recent season.

First, a brief review of how the team arrived at the point they are at. The team is currently over the cap, with $5 million of room they need to scrape together to get under before March 13. The team has some intriguing young talent on the roster in some key places but needs to refocus on adding talent and continuity in the trenches. A long-term plan at the quarterback position is also quickly becoming necessary.

At the moment, those opportunities are hindered because the team has $75 million in cap space committed in 2024 to Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs and Tyler Lockett – players with their best years behind them – and that is such a heavy number due to restructuring those three players last year to create space. The team pushed nearly $20 million on those three players’ contracts into future years and spent that space in an attempt to tip the scales in their favor.

They have a $31 million cap number for quarterback Geno Smith and clearly are evaluating whether they want to address the position this offseason.

Also, they traded away a precious second-round pick for Leonard Williams, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March.

It is obvious they were extremely aggressive in 2023, pushing all their chips to the center of the table.

The credit card bill now due in 2024 is pretty daunting.

Just to illustrate the path not taken, around this time last year we proposed our own aggressive plan that went in the opposite direction: moving on from the safeties, drafting a quarterback and clearing the decks for a more calculated spend on trench talent. In hindsight, that plan would have been preferable to what the Seahawks did and might not have resulted in a dramatically worse record. There is a considerable downside though: it might not have spurred the regime change that has gotten a tired fanbase so rejuvenated.

Back to reality. The work the Seahawks have to do is considerable. The way they attack this off-season will tell us a lot about John Schneider’s personal team-building philosophy as he steps out from behind a large shadow. Particularly in regards to planning ahead. The team has always strived to have one foot in the present and one in the future. But the last few years, the foot in the present has been the far heavier of the two and the future has suffered as a result.

So instead of just one main plan like we proposed last year, we are going to look at two plans — each with their own goals and philosophies. One with an eye to sustaining roster stability and consistency and one with a more aggressive approach that focuses on long-term success.

Why two plans? This is to bring to light the options available to the team. It is less about a black and white choosing of ‘Option A’ or ‘Option B’ and more about realizing the potential benefits and costs of decisions they make. I would fully expect the Seahawks to blend some of the choices from each option and forge a path of their own.

But first, we have to set a baseline and build a framework to work off of.

Establishing the Base Concept

As our calendar piece showed, there are key dates that are hard deadlines, both from the NFL and from the contracts the team currently has on the books. We need to visualize those dates and the cap room and other decisions that need to be made in order to grasp what is at stake.

To that end, we have included approximate cap numbers for tendering the Restricted and Exclusive Rights Free Agents, their draft picks and also a standard chunk of cap room for Practice Squad players. This gives us an idea of how much cap room the team will need to cover these eventualities but also when that room is needed, which is almost as important.

We also inserted some moves that need to be made in both plans. It will serve to highlight the more specific moves to each plan that are proposed.

A little housekeeping note: these numbers are not cast in iron. Even the dates are a bit flexible.

I pulled the numbers that are available and adjusted them to make sure only the top 51 players counted against the cap. There may be some injury settlement money coming for Adams and Mone and some incentives that have not been made public but those comes later and can be addressed on the cap by making a couple of simpler moves.

As for the dates? The Seahawks could announce an agreement with say Leonard Williams and not officially file the paperwork until March 15 in order to be compliant on March 13. But they would still have to make a corresponding move around that time to stay under the cap. Once the 2024 league year starts, you cannot go over the 2024 cap (but you can go over the next year cap all you like. Just ask the Saints).

Before we talk about the moves we put in, look at the Cap Room column. It is not pretty. The team starts out under water, hits the New League Year deadline of March 13 under water (which cannot happen) and barely gets above water at the end of the year after covering the basic costs.

It gets worse. Look at 2025’s cap number after these basic moves have been made. That $5.8 million number is not awful but neither is it a light at the end of a dark tunnel. Keep 2025 in mind as we work through our plans. It is critical, not just to maintain flexibility but to have some room to start paying their star draft picks as their rookie contracts expire.

The moves

Let’s start with the elephant in the room. The safeties.

We have long talked about how their contracts and lack of field-tilting play have affected the team as a whole. It is time to move on. It is not a grudge. Jamal Adams cannot stay healthy. He has ended the last three seasons on Injured Reserve. He has attacked his rehab with vigor and been a warrior trying to get back but proceeding with an almost $27 million cap hit in 2024 is absolutely untenable.

Quandre Diggs is a luxury the team cannot afford. Personally, I would love to see what a ball hawking safety like Diggs can do in Mike Macdonald’s defense. Unfortunately, the Seahawks would have to cap over $21 million for the privilege. Approaching him and asking him to cut down his $11 million salary to a number that fits their budget would likely be seen as insulting – that is how bad their cap situation is. It is best to shake hands, thank him for his time in Seattle and give him a chance to get a leg up on the market.

Keep in mind, the Seahawks bank over $27 million in cap room on these two cuts and still are scraping hard to keep their roster staffed. Times are that tough.

If that is the case, why is Leonard Williams on this list with a healthy number?

The Seahawks have been backed into a bit of a corner in two ways: First, trading a high pick for a player and cap room (that cap room was ‘spent’ in 2023) and only keeping him for ten games and letting him walk away is a bridge too far. Second, they badly need to keep investing in the trenches and Williams is that rare unicorn lineman that can fit in a 3-4, a 4-3 or some exotic package that Macdonald dreams up.

The 30-year-old Williams gets the contract Javon Hargrave got last year at 30: A four-year $81 million deal with a $23 million signing bonus. I structured it less aggressively than San Francisco, taking $9 million in 2024 and $15 million in 2025.

Bryan Mone is an obvious cut. The Seahawks carried him and his $3.675 million cap hit on Injured Reserve last year and they are too thin to afford him.

Nick Bellore has been everybody’s favorite cut in pieces like this for years. Why now then? Same reasons. A pure Special Teams player is something this team cannot afford. I also suspect Bellore was a Pete Carroll and Larry Izzo favorite (and rightfully so) and both of those coaches are gone.

I would class Drew Lock as an important, if not critical, player to retain. It is clear the Seahawks want to look at their options at the position and Lock is a player with a profile that John Schneider appreciates. It is notable that Mike Macdonald mentioned Lock in his introductory press conference, despite Lock being a free agent. There is no way that Lock’s contract status escaped Macdonald’s notice.

Lock is down in this plan for a two-year $15 million contract with a $6 million signing bonus. Before you drop your teeth, let me explain.

Quarterback is a very expensive position and the Seahawks are in a transition period. They need options with Geno Smith, the draft and to not be left in the cold if neither of those options produce.

Signing Lock gives them a familiar face who the team knows. He also would appear to fit not only Schneider’s profile but also Ryan Grubb’s offense, even if they do end up drafting someone this year. A $6 million bonus signifies that importance and gives him more up-front money than he has made in the last two seasons combined.

Here is where the contract is a bit inflated: it includes $5 million worth of incentives. If Lock reaches those incentives in 2024, they will not hit the cap until 2025, as he did not play much in 2023 and the incentives will be classed NLTBE (Not Likely to Be Earned).

If he does, his cap hit is a manageable $11 million for 2025 and the team has a ‘good problem’ on their hands. If they have drafted a quarterback this year who is ready to go in 2025, they can flip Lock to a needy team for a draft pick and toast to their smart planning. If he doesn’t, a cap hit of $6 million for a backup quarterback in 2025 is not an extravagance.

In the meantime, if they miss out on a quarterback or want to roll with Lock for another stretch, they can extend him with a contract structured not unlike Geno Smith’s current deal, with rewards, incentives and outs.

It is a contract well worth taking on in my opinion.

The tenders

Michael Jackson has been a good find for the Seahawks and tendering him at the $2.8 million Right of First Refusal level demonstrates how they value him. 2023 was a bit of a roller-coaster year for him. He had stretches where he was their best outside corner and stretches where he struggled to stay on the field.

The Seahawks can tender him and keep him on the roster and head into the rest of the offseason with security at cornerback, with Jackson, Woolen, Witherspoon, Tre Brown and Coby Bryant on the roster.

There is value in a defensive coach not having to rebuild every defensive position in one offseason. The team has work to do at safety, linebacker and defensive line. One challenge at a time.

If they discover more appealing options or simply decide to move on, they can rescind the tender and regain the cap room like they did with Ryan Neal last offseason.

Darrell Taylor is a real quandary. In three seasons, he has very good counting stats: 21.5 sacks, 57 pressures, five forced fumbles and 21 tackles for loss. He has done that despite never playing 50% of the defensive snaps. That is an efficiency not a lot of ends can claim.

And then there’s the flipside. He cannot get on the field more because the Seahawks do not trust him in non-pass rush situations. He has been atrocious in run defense, both in setting the edge and otherwise minding his gaps. Mainly because he seems solely focused on the quarterback to the exclusion of a vital chunk of his other duties.

He does not justify his second-round tender of $4.6 million at this point. But the Right of First Refusal at $2.8 million is a solid option. Leaning towards having an expendable player that can provide pass rush and seeing if the new coaching staff can reach him and round him out is a gamble I am comfortable with. An inside linebacker, a guard or a fourth wide receiver with the same profile? Probably would not tender. But pass rushers are a commodity you must have and a lottery ticket with little risk is one that can be justified. Again, they can pull the tender any time and move on without consequence if they decide.

Jake Curhan and Myles Adams are easy choices, as they have snaps of NFL experience in the trenches and will cost about $140-150k more than the lowest-salaried players on the team. Curhan is no superstar but every team needs a versatile plug and play option and seeing if the new administration can coach him up just a little more is worth keeping him on.

Patrick O’Connell is only being tendered because the Seahawks badly need depth at the linebacker spot. If he makes the roster out of camp, he will be the lowest-salaried player on the team and in the end not count anything against the cap.

There is our baseline roster and cap situation. It is not a complete picture by any means. What it does accomplish is it gets the roster to a starting point, while mostly cleaning up the salary cap and making sure a couple of key pieces stay in Seattle.

At this point, the team has a glaring hole at inside linebacker, needs more interior offensive line and tight end depth and a safety prospect would not hurt.

Yet not only are they out of room, they need to generate over $4 million in room before March 13 to get under the cap.

As for the draft? Yes, they could go young at the positions of need and plug them in as starters. That is an option. However, at some point they have to start thinking about investing in a quarterback to develop. Taking one in the top three rounds would really limit their options to get a 17-game starter at more than one position, let alone find four or five.

They have work to do.

We put together two plans of action.

One that honors a desire for some roster continuity and is less risky. When utilized properly by the new coaching staff and supplemented by a draft as good as 2022 or 2023, the team will be competitive in 2024 while not absolutely shredding the future cap. This plan counts on the stars on the roster to be stars while the newer players are adequate.

The other expresses a more aggressive approach. Cuts are plentiful and dead cap money is collected like it is going out of style. It is not a total teardown and rebuild by any means. Just more of a reshaping of the roster closer in line with a newer vision, while promoting competition and having more of a ‘build around your stars’ aesthetic to it.

Both plans generate the cap space needed to comply on March 13 and both end the year with a cap space surplus. Both plans also generated about $15 million cap dollars to spend in free agency but as you will see, one is a bit limited, the other has options galore.

We will build on the base chart by adding the appropriate moves for each (highlighted in green).

The Continuity Plan

As you can see, this plan incorporates the base moves and simply adds some restructures to pick up some more spending money.

D.K. Metcalf’s $13 million 2024 salary is restructured to a signing bonus. They gain $5.937 million of cap room this year and push the same amount to 2025.

Why would we advocate that move, when it grows Metcalf’s 2025 cap number to over $35 million? For a wide receiver? When the team is dealing with the ramifications of restructures right now?

Two reasons: One, 2025 is the last year of his current contract and the Seahawks can extend him and reclaim about $10-12 million of cap room. Two, Metcalf is exactly the kind of player you restructure. Young, productive and has his best years ahead of him still. Not older players who have been frequently injured and unproductive.

The Seahawks also commit to Geno Smith for 2024 in this plan as well. They restructure his $12.7 million salary and $9.6 million roster bonus and pick up $10.545 million this year and push that amount into 2025. In fact, if the Seahawks are dedicated to this idea, it would be beneficial to convert both and pay them out before March 13, so they have more free cap room when the feeding frenzy begins instead of waiting until the official March 18 date.

How do we justify buying on the credit card with this move? The team feels that Geno Smith will rebound in 2024 and with some willpower can convince themselves that eating about $19 million of dead cap in 2025 isn’t much worse than eating $17.4 million this year. They put off the inevitable parting of ways for a season and give Smith a properly coached defense and an offensive line (hopefully) free of major injury to work with and see if he rebounds to his nearly-70% completion, 30-touchdown form.

If and when the Seahawks draft a quarterback, that means they will carry three on the roster in 2024 with Drew Lock already signed. Is that a good use of resources? Yes, it is fine. The Seahawks started out 2012 with Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Flynn and that third-round quarterback from Wisconsin on the roster. It worked out just fine.

Why not move on from Tyler Lockett and Dre’mont Jones to save some cap room?

Lockett has an almost $27 million cap hit this year and that is not pretty. However, he has still been very productive. In 2023, two things happened that make people think he is in decline: He dropped a couple of very key catches and his deeper catches fell significantly. One of those things is not his fault. Geno Smith and the offense drew back to a quicker, shorter passing scheme on the whole and nobody was affected more than Lockett. His targets, catches and first downs all stayed consistent with his career norms but his total yards and touchdowns declined.

This is more a feeling than a logical point: Lockett has consistently accepted the Seahawks’ overtures to extend his contract early instead of waiting out the market and getting more money. While simultaneously being extremely productive.

As a consequence, in the last five or so seasons he was one of the best values in the Wide Receiver market. If I had to pick one Seahawks player on the roster to keep with an enormous boondoggle of a number, it would be Lockett. I wonder if the team feels the same way.

As for Jones, unless a team comes through with a fabulous trade offer, there is not much to be gained from moving on from him until 2025. I’ll also repeat what I said above about Darrell Taylor: they need pass rushers. Moving on from Jones would not net much. Let’s give him a season with a new defensive staff and see what he can do.

Before we talk about the $15 million spent on the market, scan down to the bottom and look at where we end up in this plan. There is less than a $3 million cap surplus left over and with all those moves, they end up $9 million over the cap in 2025.

They would be starting over 2025 just like this year – under water. They could extend D.K. Metcalf, cut Geno Smith and Tyler Lockett but that would pick up about $40 million of room and put them at about $30 million under the cap. There are other levers they could pull to get room but they come with a price.

That is not all that bad. However, it does limit how aggressive they can be in free agency in 2024. Just one really good player contract aggressively structured to get a low 2024 number would take half of that cap room and hammer their free spending ability in 2025.

Therefore, the $15 million in free agency they spend this year in this plan to get veteran linebackers, a tight end and some offensive line help to complete the team would be best served on players whose total contract will not require a large and long commitment.

Again, that is not bad. Shopping in the bargain aisle with our new leadership team might be a fruitful exercise.

My fascination with this plan is this: it would be very intriguing to see what this new leadership group can do with essentially the same group from 2023. The results from a change in the culture, the attitude, the intelligence as well as the adaptation to the NFL would be fascinating.

Seeing players like Devon Witherspoon, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Boye Mafe, Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet taking a big step forward while Geno Smith, Leonard Williams, Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf do not have to carry the team with just their skill would be appointment watching.

But it is a safer option. Now, let’s look at the riskier but potentially more rewarding choice.

The Aggressive Plan

This plan is aggressive alright. Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, Will Dissly, Geno Smith and Tyler Lockett are all asked to come into the VMAC and please bring their playbooks.

A way to think of this plan is ‘anyone we do not anticipate being on the roster in 2025 will not be on the roster for 2024’.

It is not an easy thing to do but skip to the bottom and have a look at the results. They end the season with over an $11 million cap surplus and go into next year with $65 million to spend.

This is the new administration putting their stamp on this organization.

Four of the five players cut will not be effective players when this new leadership group hits its stride and begins to seriously contend.

Jamal Adams has been released before June 1. That means the team eats his entire dead cap this year and realizes lesser savings now. It does open almost $28 million of room for next year.

How can they afford to ‘only’ pick up $6 million in a tough cap year? They stack some other transactions to get room.

Will Dissly is cut. He is another player that it could be reasoned was on the team and so well compensated due to Pete Carroll. He was a blocking Tight End and Special Teams stalwart. Dissly had a career-low 17 catches in 2023, or one catch per game. That is not enough to justify a $10 million cap hit.

With so much savings before the March deadline, the Seahawks can make some moves to set themselves up for an active free agency period.

Extending Julian Love on something similar to Grant Delpit’s three-year, $36 million contract establishes some continuity after making two big cuts at the position and gives the Seahawks a little more cap room. Love is known for his versatility. He can play nickel, in the box or in deep centerfield. Mike Macdonald used his safeties in a ‘mix and match’ manner in Baltimore to great success. Love becomes the new face of the safety group.

Colby Parkinson is a potential buy-low bargain that could be a winning investment. A two-year $10 million contract gives him some security and familiarity. The team gets a player whose blocking has greatly improved and can use his length and hands to be a real weapon. This contract gives him a chance to hit the market again before he is 27 with (hopefully) some much improved numbers.

We see the other side of the coin for Tyler Lockett. He is just too expensive to keep. There is a possibility of the Seahawks trading him away. His age 32 and 33 seasons at $15.3 million each year (about the #19-22 WR average salary) could intrigue some teams. The organization would likely approach him if a team made a firm offer and get his consent, as a show of respect for all his years of being a model NFL player. But also, given his service, they might just choose to cut him and let him make the choice of where he plays next.

Why trade Geno Smith? It could be for any number of reasons: his cap hit is tripling this year, the team feels he has reached his peak as a quarterback, or perhaps it is a combination of those things. Is Geno Smith better than Drew Lock right now, today? Yes, most certainly.

Is he so much better than Lock you can justify having him on the roster at $31 million over Lock’s paltry $4 million? Much tougher to say. That is why John Schneider makes the big bucks. But rationally, it is very persuasive. Particularly if you weigh 2025 and beyond more heavily than the present.

There is one more intriguing reason to trade him: Smith could net a decent draft pick at a time when the Seahawks do not have a second-round pick. That extra pick could be used on a long-term solution at the quarterback position or to just fortify the trenches.

How good could the pick be? We will discuss that in a moment.

Let us round out the discussion on the aggressive plan results first.

That $15 million to spend on free agents is far more powerful than the $15 million in the consistency plan. Why? It is backed up by the $11 million surplus and the $65 million in cap room available in 2025. They could aggressively structure a contract to fit nicely on the cap in 2024 and have a healthy hit in 2025 because they have to room to operate.

Furthermore, investing in young, talented, proven players at critical positions could be a force multiplier that makes younger, less experienced teammates better. And having those types of players could give you options in 2025-2027 if you want to rework their contract to fit another piece in. You know those players will be around and producing well in future seasons, justifying the gamble.

They have all kinds of options with that kind of flexibility.

Taking two or three big shots in free agency could be on the table. All of the sudden, possibilities like bringing in a top Guard and a top Defensive Tackle and surrounding them with young, talented draft picks could be a real opportunity.

They have buying power they could use to talk someone like Noah Fant into an extremely reasonable contract to reestablish value after a career-low year.

Or they could try something different. Save their cap, see what they have on the roster in the draft and fill holes in 2025.

A combination of options could work. Things happen in late summer and fall that could really benefit an opportunistic team with cap room. John Schneider has excelled in that area, acquiring impact players Carlos Dunlap and Jadeveon Clowney for very little in trade.

The benefit of this plan is this team could simultaneously get younger, free up a lot of cap room and gel as a team in 2024 and be ready to take a big step forward in 2025. It is very tempting to consider.

The downside? If the team does not draft well and/or Mike Macdonald cannot get his team on the same page without the benefit of an MVP-level talent on offense like Lamar Jackson, the team’s grip on perpetual 8-11 win seasons and playing meaningful football in December could slip.

Trading Geno Smith

In my calendar piece, I posited that the Seahawks may not have much leverage in a trade negotiation if a team wants to acquire Geno Smith. That five-day period between the league year starting and that roster bonus due date hitting does apply some pressure to be sure.

But as I was working on the aggressive plan, two things occurred to me that in the right circumstances, could swing the leverage back to a more neutral position in negotiations and return the Seahawks a decent pick in trade.

The first is this: leverage might be a bit overrated when you are specifically discussing the quarterback trade market.

To wit: In 2019, Calais Campbell was ready to move on from Jacksonville. His time had run its course and the worst kept secret in the NFL was he was available. He liked Baltimore and the Ravens traded a fifth-round pick for Campbell. In the four seasons since, he’s been a beloved locker room leader, played 60-65% of his team’s snaps, had 17.5 sacks and went to a Pro Bowl.

While last year, San Francisco was ready to move on from Trey Lance. He had been an absolute bust for the Niners. He had only started four games, was a 55% passer and struggled to grasp Kyle Shanahan’s play concepts.

The Cowboys traded a fourth-round pick for him, knowing that not only would he not play at all for them in 2023 (Cooper Rush was the #2 in Dallas) but also that Rush has a contract for 2024 as well and Lance has guaranteed money on his 2024 contract.

I understand those two trades are far from apples to apples. But I wanted to illustrate the gulf between quarterbacks and the rest of the position groups in terms of trade value.

Let me share one that is more germane to Geno Smith.

Matt Ryan was traded in 2022 to the Colts for a third-round pick, #82 overall in the draft.

The Falcons had almost no leverage in this trade to negotiate with. They had been deep in negotiations with the Texans on a Deshaun Watson trade and when the Browns made their huge offer (another team bidding hugely to acquire a quarterback I might add), the Falcons could not mend fences with Ryan. He requested a trade and reports said that he ‘picked’ the Colts. And what’s more, he had a big chunk of contract left to pay.

They still landed a third-round pick.

Matt Ryan’s stat line for 17 games of the 2021 season (age 36): 67% completion rate, 90.4 QB Rating, 233 yards per game, 20 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and 40 sacks. $50 million in contract guarantees for 2022-23.

Have a look at this:

Geno Smith’s line adjusted for 17 games last year (his age 33): 64.7% completion rate, 92.1 QB rating, 242 yards per game, 23 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and 35 sacks. $12.7 million in contract guarantees for 2024-25.

It is eerie how close they are. True, Ryan has an MVP trophy and a Super Bowl appearance on his resume but the last few years he had struggled to keep Atlanta competitive.

I am not saying the Seahawks are guaranteed to land a third-round pick for Geno Smith in a trade. You could argue the Colts were desperate, having gone through Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz. That they felt Ryan was the final piece of the puzzle. You could point to the fact that Ryan and the Colts had an awful season and parted ways after one year.

But we all know the quarterback position demands a premium.

The second point is this: cap space itself can be leveraged in trade negotiations. I referred in the calendar piece to the fact that the Seahawks could explore taking on some cap in exchange for a better pick in trade, just like the Giants did when trading Leonard Williams to Seattle.

In my aggressive plan above, the Seahawks have created enough cap space to spend some of it eating some of Geno Smith’s salary or roster bonus in a trade.

It is obvious why a team would consider this scenario, just as it was for the Seahawks when Williams came in. They want a top player but do not have the cap resources to pay his salary. They offer their draft stock as currency to complete a trade where they got to have their player and not pay him much at all.

And further on that, Smith’s contract is very attractive even as it is. There is no guaranteed money in 2025 right now. If the acquiring team really wanted to make some hay, they could convert whatever is left of Smith’s contract that the Seahawks do not absorb into a bonus and have a very solid veteran playing on the cap number of a depth linebacker. That could be an attractive proposition.

Who might need a quarterback and are not flush with cap space? Who might be able to talk themselves into trading for a stopgap solution to run with the veterans they have whose clock is ticking a bit?

Pittsburgh. Las Vegas. Atlanta. Maybe even New England.

Maybe the Denver Broncos. Actually, scratch that. Denver might not even take Seattle’s call.

I am not arguing that the Seahawks are going to break the bank in a Geno Smith trade. I am just reasoning out a scenario.

If John Schneider can box clever with his roster and cap space, there just might be an opportunity to score a good pick in trade and advance his team’s aspirations even further. And more quickly.

Concluding Thought

When a team has little cap room to start with and has traded away their second-most prized draft asset, there is an easy tendency to sigh and reckon the team’s hands are tied this year and we will just have to wait until next year to get excited about a more ambitious plan.

I hope I have given you some options to think about and consider.

What do you think? Which plan would you choose if you were forced to? Which elements of the plan would you modify? Let me know in the comments section.

Thank you for reading.


  1. Robert Las Vegas

    Curtis excellent post a lot of great question is the Seahawks have never added void years to contracts. Philadelphia, Saints 49ers and Cleveland have all used quite a bit.Do you think it’s Pete thing or a John thing or ownership thing.and what are your thoughts on adding void years to contracts

    • cha

      John has made comments in the past that they want to be a ‘pay as you go’ team and not dip into the well of future cap by using void years.

      Once you get on that train, it is exceedingly hard to get off. The Seahawks used void years to finance the COvId year cap shortfall and struggled to have free room the next couple seasons because they didn’t want to keep kicking debt down the road.

      • Alex Potts

        Awesome post Curtis!

        Would you mind if I emailed you? I have a Salary Cap calculator I’ve been working on that might interest you. (

  2. Aaron

    Great piece…appreciate all the work and explanation of different routes we/JS could take.
    Personally, I prefer ‘The Aggressive Plan’. Let’s rip the band-aid and gain flexibility.

    • cha

      Thanks !

  3. Jon W.

    Excellent post Cha! I especially appreciate how you included the conservative and aggressive options. I’m 100% in favor of the latter. $65mm of cap space in 2024…wow! I implore JS to suck it up and pull the trigger.

    Also on board with trading Geno and finally drafting a QB. One reply to an earlier post suggested us sending our lower 3rd rounder in 2024 + Geno to Pittsburgh in exchange for their 2024 2nd rounder. That works for me, but based on your Matt Ryan comment I’m wondering if we could include a lower pick instead? Again thank you 👍

    • Jon W.

      Correction: I meant $65mm in 2025.

  4. Murphy

    One of the reasons that I love this blog, in particular, and the NFL draft, in general, is the strategic nature of roster construction that is fairly unique to this sport. It is why my interest in this team maintains in the bad years despite being busy with kids and work. This site is an integral part of my fandom because of its focus on building a team rather than the Xs and Os. Obviously Rob is an incredible writer and evaluator who has been consistently correct for over a decade. His ability to frame and explain events is unrivaled. With that being said, this is one of the best and most informative articles I have seen. For me at least, it fills a similar niche as Rob’s horizontal board write ups. It allows me to take a step back and analyze each move in greater context. Your contributions really do bring a unique perspective to what was already a premiere blog. Incredible job Cha!

    On to the actual article. I am all for going aggressive. In life, I tend to be believe that half measures are a recipe for mediocrity. This is a new young staff with a lot of goodwill. Use that goodwill to build the team that you want. People will understand if you take a step back in the short term. If you are building towards a team that can be dominant in a few years. We aren’t that close but we could be in relatively short order if we take our lumps now. Let this staff learn and grow with the new players they bring in. No half measures!! Go Hawks!!

  5. Spectator

    Absolutely excellent article, Cha! Very informative.

    I much prefer the aggressive and hope they go with that type of thinking and plan.

    Regarding a Geno trade, would Chi be the top choice given that the OC Geno thrives under, is there? And they may need a veteran QB to mentor Caleb. To me that would make sense. They do have a limited amount of picks, but have 2 4ths. Or maybe they would be willing to acquire Geno and swap firsts, allowing hawks to get in top 10? Not sure if that is even a spot we want, but that would be equal to a premium pick.

    • cha

      Thanks Spectator!

      I don’t think Chicago would have an interest in trading for Geno. My guess would be they trade Fields, draft Caleb and bring in a non-threatening veteran backup.

  6. Tallyhawk

    Great work as always cha! I’m with the aggressive plan too. Anyone not in the plans for the future can go. Let this team get younger and hungrier so they can grow together. I’d love to see the aggressive roster churn as when Pete and John took over. This roster while having holes has more talent than the one they inherited.

    • cha

      Thank you Tallyhawk

  7. no frickin clue


    Great post. Between the two scenarios you’ve posited, I would prefer the Aggressive route. This is for two reasons:

    1. Assuming it was Pete who had final say in past years, this front office combo of John and Mike have far more cap flexibility to put their own stamp on the organization. They have the latitude to go after the guys they want.

    2. In the alternative – the continuity scheme – we would be continuing personnel, but *not* continuing the same offensive and defensive schemes. There is an implicit assumption here that the personnel can adapt just fine to whatever the new schemes are. Heck, maybe they even get better! Yet we are still only a few million away from the cap limit in 2024, and underwater in 2025. You’d be keeping this team in a financial straitjacket and with a fair bit of uncertainty over whether it’s worth it.

    One question, in the aggressive scenario, we designate Tyler Lockett as a post-june 1 cut, but Jamal Adams as pre-June 1, even though as far as I can tell, there is still one more post-june1 spot available. Is this simply to maximize cap space in 2025? Or is it so that you can use the dollars right away in free agency and structure any deal to throw more $$ into 2025 with a low 2024 cap hit?

    • cha

      You could do both Adams and Lockett post-June1 yes. But the way the calendar is laid out, this has to work in layers. If they did both post-June1, they’d be on the razor’s edge for cap space March 13 and hoping/praying they get a Geno Smith trade done to get cap to spend in early free agency.

      One pre and one post gives them a cushion of $7m entering free agency so they can have an option to target someone they really have their heart set on.

      As for which one I picked to get pre and one pro, there’s probably a deep psychological reason for who I axed as soon as possible and who I kept as long as possible…

      • Dancingeek

        How does pre/post June 1 interplay with injury guarantees? Is it possible that in the aggressive plan we have to instead hold onto the less desirable player for longer in hopes that he passes a physical?

        • cha

          No. That was changed with the new CBA.

          They can cut players with a “Failed Physical” designation now. Chris Carson was cut this way.

          There is a veteran injury benefit if the player cannot catch on with another team, and the Seahawks would be on the hook for about $1.2m against the cap. I alluded to it in the piece with Mone and Adams.

  8. Big Mike

    Well thought out, well presented piece cha. You and Riob are the rock stars of Seahawk fandom.
    As others have said, I favor the aggressive approach. If it means 6 or 7 wins in ’24, so be it. I’m tired of mediocrity and that approach gives the franchise the opportunity to rise above that level sooner. The only downside is that it would pain me to see Tyler go but ‘ruthless’ is necessary for the new regime imo.

    • cha

      Thanks Mike!

  9. Mr drucker in hooterville

    Well done. I say Aggressive. Don’t do the annual Pete Carroll strategy of “how can we win next year”? Instead, “how can we build this for 2025 and beyond?”
    If Adams, Diggs, and Geno and Dissly are on this team next year, that would be a disappointment to me.

    • Peter

      Of the three I can understand Geno. The rest just don’t make sense with their dollar amount.

  10. bv eburg

    Thanks Cha,
    Roster building these days seems to be a juggling act between salary cap and talent. It’s almost pointless to talk about roster construction if you don’t factor in the salary cap, which you do, and do well.
    Thanks again.

  11. Cysco

    Cha! You magnificent bastard! Fantastic article!

    I can’t help but think the team is going to take an approach closer to option #2. My reasoning:

    1. I think Pete had a lot of influence on the existing roster. Now that John is free of that influence, he’s going to want to clean house and do the things that Pete wouldn’t let him do. Best to do it now than wait.

    2. Mike MacDonald’s impression of this roster is likely influenced by the game the Ravens played against it this past season. Seattle got absolutely smoked in that game. His impression of the roster can’t be that good. I can imagine him endorsing any plan that gets them to an overhaul sooner.

    • Peter

      Agree with the second point quite a bit. All fans can’t see their team to some degree. Prior to the coaches getting finalized many fans in other spaces were puffing out their chests talking about how great this roster is. As if any coach would be a big old dummy to not see it.

      However….Seattle has shown me over the years they value their own probably to a fault. Wagner did not have teams burning down the phone lines. Penny. Geno last year when he was a free agent.

      There’s definitely some cool pieces here. I’m not sure that the league rates the roster that highly.

    • cha

      You magnificent bastard!

      Only one of those things is true.

      • Troy

        For real tho you scratch a seahawks fandom itch with these financial/GM focused articles that I really appreciate thanks man.

      • Rob Harrison

        That comment is an *almost* irresistible temptation to snark . . .

  12. Peter

    Cha this piece is so great. Really appreciate both view points.i actually think there is merit to both sides:

    1. Made passing comments before but I truly believe better personnel decisions last year could have netted one win greater than they had. 1. Pull Adams for Love sooner. Love was by years end one of the higher rated safeties. He started so sloppy many fans could not see that after the first 1/4 of games he was transitioning to the better player. 2. I believe the team lost offensive rhythm when they spent nearly half the year throwing to JSN at a 6 yrd per target depth, 3 yrd per completion average. 3. Jackson should have been on the field over either brown or woolen sooner or more often.

    2. My heart and head says go aggressive. To a lot of fans who can’t remember how goofy PC’s first two seasons were it’ll be shock to go from nine wins to six, seven. ( though there’s no real reason that has to be the case) this roster has needed a serious churn for a long while.

    It’s all “ifs,” at this point but pull off a successful churn and in 1,2 yrs no one will even care about 2024 mo matter how it looks.

  13. Lawrie

    Thanks Cha, great piece, one of your best yet.
    Like most I favour the aggressive approach, with the idea it gives our new coaching staff more opportunities

  14. geoff u

    We are definitely spoiled here at SDB. I’m all in on the aggressive approach, even if that means 5-7 wins (and better draft picks in 2025). The only thing I’d try and do differently is try and find a way to keep Lockett with extension of some kind. Having 65 million for 2025 is a big deal to me though. Macdonald/Grubb will have a years experience, will know the types of players they’ll need, and we can go out and get them. The rest is up to John to somehow pull a rabbit out of the hat and get us a franchise QB. I want every stone turned on the issue until then.

    • Sea Mode

      Macdonald/Grubb will have a years experience, will know the types of players they’ll need, and we can go out and get them.

      Yes! This is exactly what I was going to comment. I choose this option because it best allows the new coaching staff to a) figure out who they want to be and how to better work together and b) mold the roster in their own vision.

  15. Nathan M

    The aggressive plan is appealing as someone who is so tired of same old,same old. As Rob says though, what will John think? How aggressive do you think John will really be in free agency? And how confident is he in the core pieces that he has brought onto this roster?

    I expect somewhere in the middle to cut obvious fat and recover some future flexibility. Yes, Pete was the cheerleader for ‘always compete’ but I’m not sure John would want to make a so called sacrifice year either. Not to the magnitude that we would envision, like a top 5 pick kind of year

  16. Spectator

    Given the important date of Geno being tomorrow, can we expect today and tomorrow to tell us what they plan on doing moving forward?

    • cha

      If I had to handicap it, I’d say there’s about a 20% chance we’ll find out today or tomorrow. Basically a leak that they’ve reworked Geno’s contract, given him some upfront money and he’ll be the QB in 2024 at a lower number.

  17. TomLPDX

    Well done Curtis. Both options have merits and like you said in the piece, it will probably be a hybrid of both. I’m on the fence about Tyler mainly because I think he still has game so I hope they end up doing the right thing and figure out a mutually beneficial path forward.

    I have no problem saying good bye to Geno and give Lock the first team reps to be our bridge QB and get a potential QBoTF in this draft and next year’s draft. Start taking some swings at QBs John.

  18. Rob Staton

    Palatypus — I have received the hat!

    Thank you so much!

    • Palatypus


  19. Rob4q

    Outstanding work Curtis – what a great read!!!

    I am in favor of the aggressive plan as we are starting a new era of Seahawks football, so lets start it off with a fresh roster as well!

    As far as the Geno trade scenarios, what might some of them look like? I mentioned in the previous thread about a trade to the Raiders and you hilariously reminded me about the Gimus Garropolus albatross on their roster! But what might we expect in that deal?

    Great write up!!!

    • cha

      My instinct is Rob’s projection of about a 4th round pick is not far off. Maybe a 3rd. Everything being cap neutral.

      They could get into the 2nd with taking on say $10m of the contract.

      Jimmy G has $11m guaranteed salary and an $11m roster bonus March 18 same day as Geno.

      If they are set on getting rid of him, they might have to go the route of Brock Osweiler. They traded him and a 2nd round pick to Cleveland for a late round pick in return. Osweiler had $10m dead cap and $16m cash coming to him, and basically Cleveland bought the 2nd round pick by agreeing to take him on then dump him and take the dead cap instead of Houston doing it.

      I’m shocked the NFL approved it, but they did.

      Would LV be so desperate they would try to buy someone’s cap space to dump JG?

      (note: Cleveland’s GM, his first comment in the press conf discussing the trade was ‘we are really happy to get a second round pick.’ Ouch)

  20. RomeoA57

    The possibility of having 65M in cap space available in 2025 get me very excited. I would love to see the Seahawks cut deep, then sharpen the knife, and keep cutting.

    Cha- do you anticipate both Wagner and Brooks not being resigned? It seems that after reading through these scenarios, they would have to push any large cap hits to 2025 and beyond. Is it possible that Wagner could be signed for a minimum or low number just to play another season or two on the Seahawks? This is Brooks first crack at Free Agency so it wold make sense that he would want as much money as he can get. Not sure what a contract for Brooks looks like since he does not seem to be a dominant player.

    We have already been too spoiled by the excellent content on SDB this offseason.

    • cha

      Given all their needs at other places, I would struggle a bit with a big Brooks extension.

      Rob has mentioned there are good options in the draft, and a couple cheap veterans to ease them in combined with a deeper DL and a defensive coach who knows what he’s doing, and I think we can wait until 2025-26 to spend on a Roquan Smith type to unlock things.

      • Sparky

        I’m starting to get excited about a Devin White reclamation project. That would bring such high upside for MM to tap into. But also love the idea of putting him next to Brooks and focusing elsewhere in the draft.

        • cha

          I can get behind that.

      • RomeoA57

        One thing that will be interesting to me, but shouldn’t really matter much, would be the reaction by fans and media if the Seahawks go the agressive route that you discussed.

        I don’t think people are going to care much if Jamal Adams, Diggs, Dissly, Mone or Bellore are cut. They all have basically zero trade value with their current contracts, which should tell you all that you need to know about them. If the Seahawks were to cut or trade Lockett or Geno Smith or show no interest in bringing back Wagner, that would upset a significant portion of the fan base.

        • Rob Staton

          Well they cut Wagner, traded Wilson and fired Carroll

          So I don’t think they’re worried about any of that

  21. Gary


  22. Sea Mode

    How in the world did I miss that brilliant play and celebration by Taylor?! Epic! 😂

    I, for one, don’t think it should be a penalty given that the QB was still holding the fake. Taylor was legitimately faked out, which is what the offense literally wanted and designed the play to do; why should he be penalized for it?

    And 2-for-1 bonus in that clip: Diggs also celebrates his own hit (which was nice, tbf), but which came after an 8-yard gain on 1st & 10…

    Gotta love our 2023 Seahawks…🙄😂

    • Fudwamper

      He was fined as well.

  23. VanHawk

    Great break down Cha, thank you!

    Not sure why we keep talking about is Geno worth a cap hit of 31 million when 17.4 million of that is already owed.

    Isn’t the real number that John and Mike are looking at is if he is worth 14 million. That is the real cap hit as the other half was paid last year.

    Shouldn’t the conversation be is Geno worth a 14 million dollar cap hit in 2024 (yes their is additional guarantee in 2025 but that would be 2025 not this season and they would have options).

  24. Gaux Hawks

    Cha, can we restructure/resign Dissly (instead of an outright cut)?

    Going to be painful to see him become a top TE on some other team in 2024…

    • cha

      Restructure no. Extend yes.

  25. Doug

    Great article Cha, thanks! I see both options as viable and lean towards being aggressive though I think in the end you are right that JS will go a hybrid approach taking the best of both. Fun to see how it plays out.

    I do have one question and maybe this is getting into the weeds, but Brady Henderson’s article on Geno in yesterday discussed the possibility of offsets. Not sure how this plays into the big picture but may be a nuance that could affect things a bit. Any thoughts? Quote “Smith’s contract contains offsets, according to a league source who reviewed the deal, which may bring another option into play: keeping him past Friday then cutting him before March 18 if no trade partner materializes. Depending on the exact offset language and the next deal he signs, the Seahawks could potentially be absolved from some or all of the $12.7 million guarantee, though they wouldn’t receive any cap credits until the season.”

    thanks again

    • cha

      Thank you for bringing that up. I was going to address it in the piece but I was already 5800 words in and something had to go over the side.

      This is the first actual confirmation that his contract does indeed have offsets. Mike Florio slightly referred to it back when Geno signed it, and I asked him in a Q&A to confirm and he picked my question but sort of blew it off instead of confirming, so I never really knew.

      So here’s my take: Offsets are a good strategy but not a super-valuable one. The other teams have a ready-made workaround, and depending on how mean the player wants to be about it, he could choose to put the screws to his old team for cutting him.

      Say: the Seahawks cut Geno with his $12.7m guarantee. He goes looking for a deal and signs a $10m contract with another team. It could be intentionally structured with a $2m salary + $8m signing bonus, so the Seahawks still have to pay $10.7m of salary, and Geno gets $22.7m for his work.

      So the best solution is still to trade him before the roster bonus hits, rework his deal or just release him today.

      Offsets almost always end in hurt feelings by one party or the other.

      • Doug

        Great, that explains it, I didn’t know how they worked. But it makes sense now.

  26. BK26

    Curtis, this is phenomenal. Like usual. Just the detail and the options, all while being neutral with your opinions so no one can really complain about it. We’re lucky that we have you.

    In all seriousness, who were you a GM for in the past?

    • cha

      Glad you enjoyed it, thanks BK26.

  27. line_hawk

    I am torn on the Leonard Williams signing. 4 yr/81M is too much for a player age 30. The Hawks are not going to compete for a championship for a couple of years; so by the time they might be ready, he will be 32 with huge cap hits and possibly declining play. I think they need to cut the fat this year, create space and develop younger players who might be better fits long term. If they find bargains, sure go for it. But, market rate contracts for 30 yr old players are for contenders, not something the Hawks currently are. (I specifically want to keep the 2nd round wasted pick out of the decision making since its irrelevant and might obscure clear thinking. The fact of the matter is he is a free agent and should be viewed the same as other FAs even though they wasted a pick on him.)

    • Rob Staton

      So not pay anyone really good until we are a legit contender? That doesn’t make much sense and puts a lot of pressure on the draft

      • line_hawk

        That’s what the Packers and Ravens do though. Build through the draft and only get bargains in FA. You can argue that he is a special case not a FA but at his age, I would be weary of a large contract. I would be all over if they splurged on a younger proven player with several productive years ahead (something we thought about Dremont Jones last year).

        • Rob Staton

          They spent a fortune on Earl Thomas, at the back end of his career, not that long ago

          Let’s not suggest they don’t make signings for older players. And Williams is playing at a consistently high level and isn’t completely unstable like Earl

    • Peter


      I’m not sure he gets that. His last contract still very much in his prime was 3 years/ essentially the same amount.

      There’s an interesting group of dline free agents around his age.

      If spotrac is right and there’s no fudging numbers and the numbers are straight they are saying 17 million for him. 3 yrs/51 million?

      Might not even be quite that much.

      As per contending. I see a lot if common themes about the future:

      1. Won’t be contending. Maybe. Texans and early ’10’s niners disagree.

      2. Can’t start a rookie qb. But this team already has.

      3. Why take a qb if they are “only,” 3rd best or lower. Already drafted the “6th best,” qb and that worked.

      • Sandman

        Cha has a good *real world” comp for Big Cat. He is a unicorn and plays with great physicality. Seems like the exact player type MM probaly wants. He’s kind of our Chris Jones, Justin Madubuike type, isn’t he?

        Fun article, Cha!
        We all love the aggressive plan. Hope the family style business left with Pete so JS can move on from past contributors when needed to improve the future roster. Dissly, Diggs and Lockett in particular.

    • cha

      I just cut+pasted a comparable contract for numbers purposes.

      And the Seahawks usually structure contracts after two years the guaranteed salary is done and they can move on if there’s too much money for too little production.

      • line_hawk

        Makes sense. It could be a lower (hopefully). Good work!

  28. Brodie

    So excited to dive into this! I love these articles Cha.

    One thing that I am noticing is that the spreadsheet isn’t calculating the Bellore + Mone player count correctly. It’s subtracting 3 roster spots for them in the early charts and only one spot for them in the ‘aggressive’ plan.

    Feel free to delete this post afterward as it isn’t really a part of the commentary.

    • cha

      Bellore is a Linebacker, Special Teamer and Vibe Guy. That counts for 2 roster spots.

      Just kidding. I goofed. Numbers is hard.

  29. cha


    Adam Schefter
    Seahawks QB Geno Smith, who has $12.7 million in his contract that becomes fully-guaranteed on Friday, was informed today that he will remain on the roster through this week, allowing that money to trigger, sources tell ESPN.

    The $12.7 million now converts from injury guaranteed to fully-guaranteed, assuring that Smith will collect the money.

    • Sparky

      “through this week”

      A trade still seems very plausible

      • BrandoK

        Yes that “through this week” says a lot the wording of that seems very intentional.

      • Big Mike

        So I fully expect all the Geno fan boys to be in on seahawks Twitter talking about how he’s the Hawks quarterback next year blah blah blah
        Meanwhile some national guys on ESPN who I don’t even know but I’m listening to because I’m on the road are saying he’s definitely likeway to be traded.

        • BK26

          Oh there will be a lot of “WE WON WE WON, OUR FEARLESS LEADER IS STAYING. TOP 10 QB BAYBYYYYYY!!”

          Was seeing it all morning: Geno fans making sales pitches about the necessity of him staying.

    • Sea Mode

      Interesting. Trying to read between the lines here as to why the Seahawks would feed this to Schefter and phrase it in this way: I think they might be trying to let any interested teams know that they will need to come with a trade offer if they want Geno. The Seahawks aren’t just going to let him go for nothing, even if it costs them.

  30. Blitzy the Clown

    Haven’t had a chance to read this glorious long form article but if anyone is interested, Adam Durde is being introduced to the Seattle sports media

    Sounds like an interesting bloke

    • Blitzy the Clown

      Rob’s ears must be burning!

  31. B

    Fantastic work Curtis.

    One of my favorite movies was Apollo 13 and this off-season feels like that mission. Where CO2 levels are reaching critical levels and they need to make the square filters (roster) fit in the round slot (cap).

    “The boys upstairs handed us this and we’ve got to come through. We need to make this (flat, square filter) fit in the hole for this (long, cylinder filter) using nothing but this (random stuff on the shuttle).

    To the article: I feel optimism for the first time in years. It feels like every single year we talk about how to improve the team while setting up for future success and every year it’s been – Belore, Dissly or whomever getting these contracts that feel completely out of touch with the market rate – or – trading picks and doubling down with big contracts via being forced into extensions. I won’t dwell on it, but the LW and JA trades have a lot in common.

    Now that a page has turned and an actual GM who hopefully understands the market, cap and implications of moves going forward pulling the strings instead of a sentimental father figure with a shrinking window of opportunity… I can’t help but be hopeful. I think John is going to trend more towards the aggressive plan, which I favor.

    At some point the roster suffered a serious wound. Rather than flush it out, stitch it up, take some antibiotics and let it heal they wrapped it in gauze and duct tape and ate a handful of Flinstones vitamins. Time to tear off the band-aids, address the infection and start to heal the cap so that it can be used as a tool instead of an obstacle going forward.

  32. Andy J

    Aggressive plan all the way.

    Trade Tyler to the Chiefs.

    • Whit21

      The chiefs do end up with a decent amount of former Seahawks.. would be hard to do that to lockett.. he would have to restructure with them.

      Most players at this stage of their career dont usually get traded. They get cut and new contract. Its hard to trade some of these inflated contracts that are back ended that older players have.

    • BK26

      I think he’ll retire rather than play anywhere else. He’s already been planning for life after retirement.

      That being said, if it was any team, it would be the Chiefs: went to KSU, as did his entire family.

  33. Zane

    Really like what I’m hearing from Durde right now. Super thoughtful, sharp, well spoken. Talking about being aware of unconscious assumptions you make about other people.

  34. HOUSE

    Geno will be on the roster tomorrow. As Cha has mentioned, March 17th is the date to watch now…

  35. BrandoK

    Cha a question about Diggs is there any difference in money for either cutting Diggs out right, June 1st, or trade?

    • cha

      Nope. He is only contracted for 2024 so there’s no way to push any dead cap into 2025 (unless they wanted to do some crazy void year type option).

  36. Whit21

    Listening to KJR play Durde and Grubb. Puck and Jim saying that JS macdonald and grubb have referenced Drew Lock when hes a FA.

    Maybe theyre just giving generic answer’s or just letting lock know theyre still kinda interested..

    I would probably lean towards the aggressive option. I think the whole team is a band-aid that needed to be ripped off. Coaching staff, overpriced players, overpaid veterans.

    Depending if they can trade back in the first round and still get the QB they want, trade a few vets for more picks, get a haul of rookies in the draft. They can have the best possible options to be aggressive in 2025.

    Not to mention if they do have an underwhelming 2024 and dont sell off 2025 draft picks, that can make your first 2 draft classes potentially very strong and can be aet up to have great potential in 25 and 26.

    Js and PC turned this roster upside down when they came in. I would bet JS is ready to turn over this roster but in a bit smaller turnover, since some of these draft picks are his picks.

    Time will tell. Great article Cha..

  37. spencer

    Cha you’ve got to find a way to make $$ on this kind of thing! This is professional-grade stuff here! Thank you for all the time, thought, and effort that you put into it.

    Tangent question (for anyone, not just Rob or Cha) but I dabble in reading some 49ers stuff from time to time (to know thine enemy and lately to relish in their angry tears) and they really don’t think that they have cap problems coming up. Realistically, what are they looking at? I feel like there is no way that they can continue to maintain that roster, let alone improve it, without some drastic measures. Thoughts?

  38. BK26

    Here’s a pretty good, quick video on why this guy is in on Rattler (basically a history of him through college).

    Glad to see some Gamecocks in the comments talking about what they thought of and what he meant to their football team.

  39. BrandoK

    Very interesting to hear Grubb drop Drew’s name when asked about Geno.

  40. Chris H

    Brilliant article! Aggressive Plan please. Get it over with and move on being on solid footing in only 1 season and 2 offseasons.

  41. DougM

    Good stuff. Any history on qbs competing in pre-season and then being traded before season starts?

  42. Hawkguy68

    Gonna be your “Aggressive” plan or some version close to it. As we’re finding out, the whole plan from JS was the “aggressive” route. Just look the coaching selections. And the 6 yr term for Macdonald

  43. 805Hawk

    Wow. Freaking great post, Curtis. That was an incredible breakdown. I think it will end up being something in the middle of the two, but the more aggressive the better in my mind.

  44. Bigsteviej

    I’m a fan of an opposing team. Curtiss, this piece is brilliant. Kudos.

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