Curtis Allen: The Seahawks’ search for roster value

This is a guest post by Curtis Allen

With the season over, hope for next year springs eternal for all 32 teams.  Fans are focusing primarily on two questions: “How did this year’s teams get to the Super Bowl?” and “What do we need to do to get there next year?”

There are several ways to accomplish it but from an organizational perspective there really is only one overriding way to ultimate success.

Teams need to generate a high level of value from their roster.

It is the same for the professional football world as any business:  to get to the top of the game, you need to generate a bigger return than what you pay out.  The bigger the return, the more successful you will be.

The one big difference in the NFL is there is a salary cap that levels the playing field of expenses.  The richest and the poorest teams alike are capped in how much they can lay out in payroll each season.

That just serves to underline the need to create value on your roster even more.

The two Super Bowl teams this year have generated extreme value on their roster in completely different ways.

Philadelphia have Jalen Hurts on a rookie contract and they are leveraged up to their eyeballs.

Kansas City have top stars outperforming their big contracts in Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Chris Jones and have supplemented their roster with some solid rookies.  Frank Clark has once again turned into one of the most clutch pass rushers in the NFL when the lights are brightest.

Indeed, there is more than one way to get to the top of the mountain.  With that in mind, I thought I would briefly look at the last four years of Conference Championship participants and chart the areas of extreme value they have created as an exercise to assess where the Seahawks are:

A couple notes before we dive in.  Admittedly, this is rather unscientific and includes a degree of subjectivity.  Not all of these categories are easily quantifiable.  

I also wanted to only credit teams with creating significant value in these categories.  Any team getting this far has good players and good coaches.  More is needed though.  A degree of return that pushes them above the other playoff teams.

To give some insight into the five categories:

Quarterback Value – this seems self-explanatory but there is a little more context needed than just the straight up case of having a rookie-contract quarterback and surrounding him with expensive talent.

Sure, you have Burrow, Allen, Mahomes and Hurts checking that box — but it is broader than that.  I also gave teams credit for getting great value from a quarterback on a below-market veteran contract as well.  

Tom Brady is the prime example here for playing at nearly half his available market rate.  

Also, Tennessee in 2019 is an intriguing case.  The Titans had Marcus Mariota making $21 million on the fifth-year tender but Ryan Tannehill and his $2.25 million cap number overtook him and helped the Titans go deep in the playoffs.

Leveraging – teams have created extreme value by borrowing heavily from the future.  

The Rams have not only restructured their biggest stars to create cap room more than once but they have also traded just about every first-round pick they have for star talent at key positions.  

Another example:  Last year, they sent a second and a third-round pick to Denver to acquire Von Miller and had the Broncos pay the bulk of his salary.  He contributed nine sacks, with four of them coming in the playoffs, with a cap hit of only $722k.  Miller left in the offseason to go to Buffalo.  Two high picks for a handful of games with a premium return and a very affordable cap charge?  A prime example of leveraging.

Likewise, the Eagles traded their first-round pick for a star player in AJ Brown.  

They have also used restructuring and void years to super-size their roster.  They had $65 million of dead money this year and have already accrued $37 million for 2023.  

Just one example:  they signed Hassan Reddick to a 3-year, $45 million contract in 2022.  

That pencils out to a clean $15 million per year, right?  No.  Look at how it is structured by the Eagles per OTC:

The Eagles structured this contract at the extreme end of aggression, realizing only $3.8 million in cap charges for Reddick in 2022.

What did the Eagles get for their $3.8 million?  19.5 sacks – 16 in the regular season and 3.5 in the playoffs.  That is extreme value.  

Even in 2023 they are only on the hook for $7 million.  

The price though?  $34 million in cap charges between 2024 and the future dead money from void years.

Reddick is just one example.  They have backloaded contracts with void years all over the roster.  For 2023-2028, the Eagles have already committed an incredible $131 million to void contracts.  That is cap space dedicated to players who will not be on their roster, all to field more talent in 2022 than the cap traditionally allows for.

I hope they are getting airline miles for using the company credit card that much.

Rookie Performers – this covers all non-quarterback players on rookie contracts that are having a serious impact on the team.  

It is not enough to have a handful of players on cheap contracts getting snaps.  They must be contributing to team success at a high level to generate enough impact.

Look at 2019 on the chart.

The Packers had Aaron Jones with 1,650 yards and 21 touchdowns for $695k.  Kenny Clark got seven sacks for $3 million.  Jaire Alexander emerged as a top corner with a cap of $2.7 million.

Tennessee had Derrick Henry with 2,140 yards and 20 touchdowns for $1.7 million, Harold Landry contributing nine sacks for $1.5 million, Kevin Byard emerging as a top free safety with six interceptions for $4 million, Jeffery Simmons as a rookie and Jack Conklin locking down right tackle for $2.6 million.

Kansas City had Chris Jones with nine sacks from the interior at $1.9 million and Tyreek Hill with seven. touchdown catches on $2.1 million.

And San Francisco, the plum of them all.  On rookie contracts that year:  Kittle, Deebo, Bosa, Warner, Buckner, and Armstead on his fifth-year tender.  Unreal.  I should have given them three x’s on that chart for how filthy they were.

Expensive Stars – You expect your highly paid players to provide value with their performance, along with that unquantifiable value of ‘making everyone around them better.’  Yet in this category, these players provided more pure value than even their big salary accounted for.

The Packers in 2019 got 29.5 sacks from the two Smiths in the first year of their expensive contracts.

In 2020, Aaron Rodgers threw an insane 52 touchdowns against only seven interceptions.

The Bills have gotten more than their money’s worth for Stefon Diggs.  

Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey for the Rams are the type of players you can pay handsomely, shape your entire defense around and still come out way ahead on value.

This year, Patrick Mahomes’ veteran contract kicked in and he counted $35.7 million against the cap but maintained his magnificent play, taking home the MVP and leading the Chiefs to a Super Bowl win.  All this despite losing Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins.

Coaching – I gave Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan marks for creating tremendous roster value through their coaching.

Shanahan has been able to coach this team to massive success with a litany of lesser-talented quarterbacks by designing a system that creates opportunities in both the run and passing game.

Reid has brilliantly navigated this team to take advantage of Mahomes’ arm talent and off-schedule ability and has found a defensive coordinator in Steve Spagnuolo that gels with his team strategy in a way that deserves more recognition than it gets.


I want to be clear; these are not the only ways to reach as far as the Conference Championships.  There are other factors like strength of schedule, injury luck and turnovers.  

From a roster standpoint though — if you are not producing extraordinary value in at least two of these five areas — recent history demonstrates that you will not be having a deep playoff run.    

How do the Seahawks measure up?  What needs to happen for them to create significant value in at least two of these five fields in the near future?

Let’s start with the one that has been the hottest topic of debate in recent weeks…

Quarterback Value

The Seahawks have no quarterbacks on the roster currently.  Obviously, what they do in the next two months will dramatically affect the franchise and their prospects for 2023 and beyond.

We can all agree on the standard premise that drafting a quarterback and building a roster around him while he is inexpensive has tremendous potential to provide a big return.  Annually getting $30-40 million of play for three or four seasons on a rookie contract is a direct way to turbo-charge your roster.

Selecting a quarterback early in the draft does not automatically make it happen though.  Caveats apply.

First off, you need that quarterback to actually play well enough to provide that value.

Secondly, the front office needs to be very smart in building the team around that quarterback.  Just having extra cap to spend on free agents or retain your stars on veteran contracts does not automatically translate to putting a successful product on the field.

If the Seahawks choose to tie their future to a quarterback with the #5 pick in the draft, that is a great start.  But filling out the roster with middling veterans that struggle to generate a big return will not get them where they want to go.

Now let’s consider a different way to create value at the quarterback position:  bringing Geno Smith back on a veteran contract.

We will start with what we all can agree on – Smith had a much better 2022 than any of us expected.  He checked that box tremendously.  He might have been the Best Roster Value (veteran edition) in the entire NFL, doing what he did for a total of $7 million.  

However, the search for value needs to look forward now, not backward.

Can the Seahawks check that QB Value box by getting tremendous value on an investment in Geno Smith in 2023?

Yes, they can — but under some very limited circumstances.

Assuming the reports of a contract in the $30-35 million annual value range are true, to get extraordinary value they will have to sign him to a multi-year extension with a low 2023 cap hit.  

He will also need to provide them with a fantastic full season.  The Seahawks will need the Geno Smith they got for the first 10 games of the season in 2022 and not the Geno they got for the remainder of the season.  There will be considerable pressure to be consistently good in order to truly provide extreme roster value.

There is a heavy price to consider for that one potentially high-value season though.

Having a very reasonable cap hit in 2023 on a big contract inflates his 2024 and 2025 cap hits and means 2023 will very likely be the only year for the foreseeable future that we can check this box for significant QB Value.  Why?

Those bigger cap hits severely limit the potential for an outsized return from the game’s most critical position.  

To illustrate, Patrick Mahomes won the Super Bowl this year with the heaviest cap hit in history for a single quarterback – taking up 17% of the Chiefs’ cap this year with a hit of $35.7 million.  The next highest percentage?  Steve Young at 13% years ago.

Signing Smith with a workable 2023 hit means the next couple years of cap numbers will be between that range of 13-17% of the cap.

Brass tacks – will the 34–35-year-old Geno Smith be able to outperform a $30-40 million cap hit in 2024 and/or 2025?  To a similar degree that Patrick Mahomes outperformed his big cap hit this year?  Can he even come close?

To do so, that means Geno Smith will need to be very, very good in 2023 and then take a major step forward and perform as a top-five quarterback in the NFL for 2024 and 2025 to generate that much value.  

Is that something the team feels Smith can do?

It is hard to make the case that he will.  Very hard.  Even the sunniest of Seahawks fans to have to admit that is a lot to ask in order to reach the high altitude of a Conference Championship game.  The standard line of reasoning that ‘this is what you have to pay a quarterback these days’ is just not enough.

The Seahawks had a big dead cap hit of $26 million on Russell Wilson’s contract on the books in 2022.  They are now free from that burden.  Do they really want to spend that enormous roster resource on Geno Smith?

If Smith is a Seahawk in 2023, it could be reasoned that it’s your best shot to go deep in the playoffs because with a small cap hit you can check the QB Value box easily.  Yet counting on Smith to provide significant value against those far bigger cap hits in future seasons is a pretty steep hill to climb.  

It really narrows your margin for deep playoff success if you cannot get a massive return on the investment at the game’s most important position.

If the Seahawks decide to take this route with a big contract for Smith, they will need to either go all-in on 2023, or dramatically improve in other areas on the team with less cap space to do so.  That makes the climb even more difficult.


It’s very likely the Seahawks under this ownership and administration will not ever aggressively create value by borrowing from tomorrow’s revenue to buy significant roster returns today.

The administration prefers steadiness on their cap and roster to taking the bold risk of the daring acquisition.  There is a lot of value in that – the roller coaster ride of four-win seasons to 13-win seasons can leave your head spinning.  

Also, when you pay your bills with your credit card, that leads to a dangerous cycle.  What will you do when that credit card comes due and your next round of bills are due?  The easiest route is to pay the credit card off and then pay your bills with the credit card again, repeating the cycle.  

It is a process that does provide significant roster value in the here and now but a reckoning and an ugly roster reset every few seasons is virtually guaranteed.

The Seahawks have occasionally tried leveraging without much success.  They traded first-round picks for star players and have not received the return desired.  It is just not in their wheelhouse.

So that box will likely not be checked soon, barring some significant organizational change.

Rookie Performers

Now we are getting closer to their wheelhouse.

Nearly a quarter of their roster this year will be players on their rookie contracts.  Most of those will be playing roles of great importance for the team.  The Seahawks have set themselves up nicely to potentially check this box in 2023.  

Why do I say ‘potentially?’

Remember, we are talking about significant roster value being provided here.  Look at those examples I provided above.  We are talking about devastatingly good seasons from players making a very low wage.  Seasons that return 10 times their contract value, maybe more.

Can the Seahawks get that kind of return in 2023-2024?

Cross and Lucas have had commendable rookie years.  Yet to reach that high threshold of value, they need to take a very big step forward.  Eliminating key penalties, not tiring out in December and some more consistency in pushing defenders around are in order.

Kenneth Walker needs continue his progress.  Perhaps he can integrate some more pass-catching into his game this year.  Also, staying healthy will be critical.

Darrell Taylor will be in the last year of his rookie contract in 2023 but has a very affordable year of team control in 2024.  It is time to provide a season or two of major value to the roster by being a more consistent disruptor.

Tariq Woolen still has so much untapped potential.  Avoiding a sophomore slump is critical.  The Seahawks need to help him find a way to keep improving without forcing on a mental straitjacket with their system so that his incredible physical gifts and instincts are not inhibited.

Perhaps the Seahawks could go the Moneyball-type route, recreating a couple of All-Pro players in the aggregate?  Combining well above-average play from several of the players above with contributions from fine young players like Boye Mafe, Tre Brown, Cobe Bryant, and Dareke Young among others?

All that is before we talk about the impact talent the team will add in the draft this spring, with four very high draft picks on the board.

Optimism about this category being a check mark for the Seahawks is justified.  They are well on their way.

They will need to provide the team all the value they can because the next category might be troublesome.

Expensive Stars

The Seahawks’ four players with the heaviest cap hits in 2023 are Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf.  Can any of those four provide a value far and above their cap hit?

Metcalf at $13 million in 2023 has the greatest opportunity to provide top-level bang for the buck.  He had a career-high 90 catches this year and had a terrific game against Jalen Ramsey and the playoff game against San Francisco was a nice step in the right direction.

To put a check in this box, Metcalf has to take that next step to being a truly dominant player.  We have seen him take over games.  This year we saw him be a chain-mover as well as a dominant downfield threat.  Yet his ceiling is still yet unreached.  A 110-catch, 15-touchdown season is within his grasp.

He will need to get there in order to threaten this top-value category, as he counts $53 million against the cap in 2024 and 2025.

Tyler Lockett has consistently been one of the best values for the Seahawks over the years.  Due to the team’s eagerness to extend him ahead of the market and Lockett’s acceptance of their overtures, he is regularly outside the top-15 wide receivers in annual contract pay.

There will not be a negative word spoken about Lockett here.  However, after a $16 million cap hit this year, he counts $47 million against the cap in 2024 and 2025.  The Seahawks will happily take the career value he has provided but can he vastly exceed that value in the next three seasons?  It is hard to say he will.  However, he is the least of the Seahawks’ worries when it comes to expensive veterans.

We now come to the two safeties, who hit the cap this year to the tune of $36 million currently.

Can they provide great value on the field relative to their cap hit?

No.  They cannot.  

Adams has been unable to stay on the field.  Recovering fully from his injury in time to play (and play well) in 2023 is a very tall order.

Diggs’ value has been vastly diminished, between a horrific injury he clearly struggled to recover from in 2022, to the lack of talent in the front seven, exposing his occasional poor tackling and giving him more responsibility than he can reasonably carry.

You can point to his leadership and the fact that the Seahawks were one of the better teams in the league at defending his territory in the deep middle as providing value.  Yet he hits the cap at $18 million this year.  Providing a huge return on that investment just is not on the cards.

The absolute best-case scenario is that Diggs fully returns to form and the Seahawks approach Adams and rework his contract and cut his cap hit for 2023 way down.  He then fully recovers from a torn quad and delivers a superior season for the team without any major lingering effects of that injury.

It is possible but very, very hard to see happening.

Here is the challenge for the Seahawks in this category — Metcalf and Lockett will at least hold their value.  Providing a massive leap might just be too much to ask though.

For the safeties, they are so highly compensated and their ability to provide serious value so in question, they might actually prove to be a negative value.  It is more than the binary ‘yes or no’ answer to the question of whether they provide value over and above their cost.  They are very likely to be a drag on the team’s roster, potentially negating gains in other areas.

Their best route to being able to find value here might be to sign a big free agent or two and coach them into outperforming the typically lower-hit first year of their cap number by a wide margin.  Not unlike what the Packers did in 2019 with the two big pass rusher signings.  The Packers saw a need, they attacked it vigorously and were handsomely rewarded.


Pete Carroll has been a very effective coach in many ways over the years.  Since providing tremendous value by selecting and developing very inexpensive players into stars early in his time in Seattle, however, he has not been able to bring major roster value over and above what other coaches are doing.


As you can see, the Seahawks at this time are set up with a strong possibility to return big value in only one of the categories in the near future.  Their outstanding rookie class of 2022 has energized the team and shown the fanbase that they are building something.

Are the Seahawks good in several areas on their roster?  Yes, they are.  However, if they have serious designs on a deep playoff run, “good” will not pass muster.  They need more.

Both Pete Carroll and John Schneider have spoken about the decisions they will have to make this offseason.  They both acknowledge some of them will be tough.  It is confidence-inspiring that they made two very difficult decisions last year rather than prolong the franchise’s descent into mediocrity.  The draft haul and the team’s performance in 2022 rewarded those decisions handsomely.

Does that success change their long-term plan?  They have to decide whether it does and very, very soon.

All decisions carry a measure of risk.

Giving Geno Smith a big contract and hoping he can outperform the moderate cap hit in 2023 and the big hits in 2024 and 2025 carries high volume of risk.  There is simply not a thorough enough record of performance to move forward with absolute confidence that he will continue to ascend to the top of NFL.

Let’s not fool ourselves, drafting a quarterback and plugging in a stop-gap like Drew Lock also carries significant risk.  If they take that route, the chances that the team will be truly competitive in 2023 are not great.  The team will likely endure some criticism if they regress and particularly if Geno Smith goes to another team and plays well.

However, the opportunity cost of having the #5 overall pick in a draft with four top quarterback prospects measured against the risk of Geno Smith regressing significantly on an expensive veteran contract cannot just be ignored.  It must be considered as a real, viable option to gain significant roster value — and not just for 2023, for the next five seasons.

The upcoming Scouting Combine will likely give us some more clues we will be able to parse about their thinking.

This season, the full proceeds from trading Russell Wilson will be entered into the history books.  The Seahawks will be molded for the next 5-10 years based on the decisions they make.  Creating value over and above what they pay should drive every major decision they consider.


  1. bmseattle

    Very insightful article, Cha.

    To me, it emphasizes that we still have quite a ways to go before we can confidently expect a contending season from our Seahawks.

    The thing that stood out to me the most, was that *even if* we resign Geno to a contract that is low enough…and he plays well enough… to produce value for 2023, that the rest of the team will likely *not* be good enough for us to truly be a championship contender.

    So, the 2023 value for Geno will likely be wasted, even in the best of scenarios.
    Then, in 2024/25 (assuming a 3 year deal), the value for Geno will be gone, even if he performs well.

    If we resign Geno, we are truly rolling the dice and hoping for several more (unlikely) chips to fall in exactly the right place.

    Sure, a rookie QB is a risk, as well.
    But, barring a complete bust of a pick, we will greatly improve our chances of gaining value in other catagories.
    It just seems like the smart move, with also a potential for the highest upside…albeit, perhaps taking a bit longer to achieve.

    • Hawksorhiking?

      The first half of last season will be the best stretch of football we see Geno play. I still think he can be good, and I hope he resigns for a reasonable contract, but like has been brought up by Rob and others, 30 plus mil just seems like an untenable situation to rebuilding a true Super Bowl contender.

  2. Hawksorhiking?

    Incredibly interesting take, thanks for the in depth look at this. I didn’t realize that the Eagles had mortgaged so much of their future cap space. I wonder what the odds are they can restructure Adams contract? If they can use him correctly in whatever scheme they roll out and if he stays somewhat healthy he could still provide some value. Lot of “ifs” thoiugh.

  3. Forrest

    Fantastic article, Curtis! I’ve been thinking about this as well. Here are some thoughts:

    *On our safeties, you mentioned: “they might actually prove to be a negative value”. They ARE already a negative value and should be immediately removed from being a drag on the team – THIS offseason – BOTH of them!

    *With the #5 pick, we have an opportunity to check the QB value box for 5 years. Take that opportunity while it exists!

    *The coach does not count toward the salary cap. You can literally buy/overpay for coaching. See Sean Payton, etc. The only reason not to check the “Coaching” box is unwillingness by ownership to pay for it.

    *Teams don’t have to spend the full salary cap and can roll unused cap over to the next year. Yes, it sends a negative message to your team and fans. But, if the free agents you want aren’t available, you can roll over your money to the next year, if you determine there will be greater value and can overpay for that year with this year’s roll over. It has to balance out over a 4 year period.

    *There’s another strategy for the cap that’s rarely discussed. You can massively front load a long term contract to provide cap space in future years (the opposite of the “Leveraging” strategy). It would take a player who is willing to play just as hard when they’re being underpaid in future years, but it’s technically possible. In theory, you could pay a QB $100M in year 1 (all year 1 cap) and $1M in years two and three and put clawbacks in the contract to avoid holdouts/renegotiations. I would love to watch the league freak out about that.

    *The easiest combination of the above would be to realize you’re two years away from competing. Use your first pick on a QB who can reach their potential in year three of their contract (and year 4 and 5). Use your other picks to provide long-term cap savings. Cut both safeties who provide negative value and take the near term cap hits in hears 1,2 (do this to disguise your deleveraging). Sign free agents to longer term deals who will provide value in years 3, 4 and 5, when the cap will go up (while front loading years 1 and 2). Roll over as much cap as possible without losing the team. In years 3, 4 and 5, leverage to the hilt with “expensive stars” with the deleveraging from years 1, 2. Hire the best coaching staff that money can buy at every level (massively overpay if necessary).

    That checks all the boxes!

    • Forrest

      *I forgot to mention trading veterans for picks while paying a large portion of their salary in years 1,2 as another strategy to disguise deleveraging, while gaining valuable draft capital to gain more “rookie performers”.

      *Also, maximize comp picks. Go all in on free agency one year and get comp picks the next. Strategically decide in advance which years you’ll be spending (negating comp picks) and which years you’ll be earning comp picks (with your departing players) and alternate between years. As much as makes sense, structure contract lengths according to this plan.


        Fantastic piece, thanks. Couldn’t agree more with this assessment.

        Does anybody know what it would cost to move on from Diggs? Fine player, love the interceptions, hate the tackling, but no FS is worth $18 mil.

        • Elmer

          Earl Thomas in his prime MIGHT have been, in today’s dollars. Otherwise, no way.

      • Chris

        Another version of the same idea, something the Seahawks have massively failed at over the years, is trading current draft capital away for even more future draft capital (trading an early 2nd one year for a likely late 1st the following, for example). Given the very short-term decision making of teams year after year (by GMs and coaches on “hot” seats) current year picks are over-valued relative to future picks, a great situation to take advantage of for stable GM and coaching situations … the hallmark of this organization. Potential free long-term gains completely wasted by Schneider. One or multiple of these types of trades should’ve been an annual occurrence under this GM-Coach … but “always compete” or something i guess ….

    • Roy Batty

      Adams and Diggs aren’t going anywhere, at this point, until 2024. Too much dead cap this year, now that the salaries are guaranteed.

      However, in 2024, both can be traded/cut for a grand total of $11.21 in dead money. Adams needs to be a post 6/1, but Diggs is costing $4.1 million no matter what. So, maybe get a late day 3, if possible, but not probable, unless he has a good (not great) year.

      It makes drafting a replacement for one or the other, very enticing. Especially if it’s a prospect that’s fallen a bit, upping the value to pick ratio. Let the rookie get used to offensive schemes while doing spot duty during games and practice, and possibly taking over as starter should he ball out.

  4. KH

    Come on Cha, can you create more value than paying $0 for a QB as we are right now? 😉

    Seriously though, this article solidified my bias of drafting a QB early and signing a less expensive transitional QB like Lock, etc. It seems to be the quickest way to a window of relevance that we haven’t seen in the last few years.

    Along with checking the box for QB value + hoping that rookies create value checking that box, perhaps if Pete’s power is elevating young players the best chance at checking the coaching box is to go all in on the youth movement. Specifically since Leverage and Expensive Stars seem to be extremely unlikely.

  5. 509 Chris

    I always get excited when I see a Curtis article. Kind of the meat and potatoes of SDB. Thanks for thought provoking analysis.

    • cha

      More like a big plate of broccoli.

      This fanbase could use a little more fiber in their diet.

  6. God of Thunder

    Thank you, cha, for all your work on this.

    Adams *will* recover and prove himself a serviceable starter … unfortunately given his injury, the recovery won’t be until 2024.😂

    I hope we draft a QB, that’s all. Oh and I hope we repeat the evaluation processes that yielded a fine cohort in last year’s draft. Kudos to JS and the scouts and even PC (whether he had input or simply let people do their thing is unknown to me).

  7. samprassultanofswat

    Rob two thumbs up on the article. Love it!

    Do I see the Seahawks going to the Super Bowl with Drew Lock? No.

    Do I see the Seahawks going to the Super Bowl with Geno Smith? Again the answer is no.

    Which is the true Geno Smith? The Geno Smith of the first 10 games. Or the Geno Smith of the last 7 games. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle. If that is the case. It is highly unlikely that Geno Smith will ever lead the Seahawks to a Super Bowl.

    Do we really want to pay Geno Smith 30+million per season so that we can go from a seven win season to an 8-10 win season? And then lose in the first round of the playoffs again. To me the answer is NO.

    There is no guarantee that Drew Lock or a QB in this draft will lead the Seahawks to a Super Bowl. However, the Hawks started building something very position with the 2022 draft. To me the best plan is to continue what John Schneider started in 2022.

    When it comes to coaching Pete Carroll is one of the best. Pete Carroll is the only head coach to lead the Seahawks to a Super Bowl victory. The Seahawks hit the jackpot selecting Shane Waldron as Seattle’s play caller. The verdict is still out on Clint Hurtt. Let’s leave the coaching to Carroll and selecting the roster to John Schneider.

    Message to John Schneider. STAY THE COARSE!!!

  8. Roy Batty

    After listening to Schneider’s first weekly radio show, I’ve set my anxiety level back to DEFCON 5.

    The man was relaxed and refreshingly honest when talking about their approach to the draft and contracts. He kept beating the drum for BPA, and grabbing a QB at #5 is pretty damned good BPA.

    This isn’t a very good draft. Schneider knows that. He has ample picks to get what he wants. He didn’t extend Geno during the season and I see no sign that that will change until Geno gets to explore FA. I just don’t see any scenario happening where Schneider goes all-in on Geno.

    For the first time in many years, I have full confidence in Schneider. He has the long game in mind, something that this team hasn’t been planning for for many years.

    • Volume12

      Thought it was interesting that he mentioned Gary Stills as a guy he scouted. His son is W. Virginia’ DT Dante Stills. Last time I remember him talking about a guy he scouted who had sons was Lockett’s dad.

    • Hawkdawg

      When asked how things were going with Geno, Schneider said “we’re in it.” Plus, he did not seem to be in a hurry. That indicates to me he’s not going to go nuts. Which is good news for now.

      • Roy Batty

        He had that air of, “Meh, what happens, happens. We have options.”

  9. Volume12

    Hope Seattle targets LB Bobby Okereke in FA. Excellent cover backer that has great length, is still young, and shouldn’t be expensive.

    • Rob Staton

      Not a big fan of this. The memory of watching him get his arse kicked after the big send up of his rookie season lingers in the memory

  10. Chris

    Great article and introduction to the correct way things should be thought of from a GMs perspective. Player acquisitions essentially as “investments” that either under/over perform to varying degrees. I think most fans don’t grasp the idea that when a player performs decently for their contract it really only translates into a middle-of-the-pack position for an NFL club. Being a superbowl winner is a top 3%ish outcome, and therefore not done without a lot of overperforming on a team. This is why big trades typically are failures. Trading two 1st for a star player as an example, just to sign them to an enormous contract means that player has to play like a superstar every year JUST to break even given the full cost of the transaction. It’s almost impossible for a player to greatly over-perform that sort of transaction. Fans love it though, as they think the fact that the player is better than what they couldve gotten with the picks is all that matters. They compare the player to average 1st round picks … not the 1st round picks of superbowl winning quality, and invariably ignore the enormous opportunity cost of the contract. To win a superbowl you have to be hitting big somewhere, and hitting big with draft picks is one of the highest over-performing possibilities a team can have.

    Oh well, block of text over, but good job on the post. A nice way of presenting the concept.

  11. PJ in Seattle

    Great article. I pray that Schneider looks at all of this the same way.

    We have a top 5 pick and a rare chance to set this franchise up to be much more than a yearly 1 and done playoff team. Paying Geno $30-40M over the next few years will doom us to that hell, I am certain. He is a good QB, great at times, but so is Kirk Cousins. The last thing on earth I want us to be is the Vikings of the NFC West.

  12. Ryan Purcell

    Great analysis. Thanks!

  13. Zeke

    Fingers crossed for DK that he doesn’t have the same outcome as his Dad

  14. Hawkhawk

    Unless Bryce Young or CJ Stroud are available at #5 I say draft in the trenches those first four picks..Anthony Richardson is intriguing but no way I’d draft a guy with only 13 D1 starts at #5. Maybe Hendon Hooker in round 3? If he lasts to then. Cut Jamal Adam’s, that was an all in trade to win a ring in 2020 that failed…he looks huge too like he ballooned in weight. Prospects for the future are bright, stay the course with Geno for a couple years…chopping and changing QB’s isn’t easy

    • Peter

      13 D1 starts probably equals 26 fbs starts in the mountain west. See: Josh Allen.

      I don’t dislike Geno but what’s the course here. It’s feels like it’s just set it and forget it like a George foreman grill.

      It’s awesome he played as well as he did. At 7 million dollars. But I wouldn’t want to pay cousins, carr, tannehill and I’m not sure geno has a higher ceiling now that the league has a year of tape and Seattle had a super easy schedule last year.

      Now if they trade picks for Payne or Buckner and/or pay Hargraves it tells ne they are content with Geno.

      If they draft Defensive Line they should draft a QB. With the rarest of examples Dlinemen rarely get fully going for 2-4 years. So there would not be any material improvement on that side of the ball until Geno was 35-ish and already wrapping up a new, massive most likely, contract.

      • NotAlNorm

        You underestimate the MWC, my friend, which is also D1 and has teams that travel to the Big 5 conferences to play away games regularly. Richardson is raw—he is a big risk.

        • Peter

          I meant the difference between FBS and FCS.

          I don’t underestimate the mountain west. But for all its fun teams there’s a bunch of dreck.

          Richardson is raw. Do I know if he’s allen? Nope. Nut that dude was raw plus had more games to show that he looked like a dicey prospect.

        • Scot04

          Anyone we take at 5 has risk. I’d rather go with Richardson or Levis over remaining defensive talent. Even if Tyree Wilson blows up the combine, he has just as much risk of being a bust as Richardson.
          The difference is if you hit on a QB it seriously sets up your team. Even if he turns just out to be just an average starting NFL QB. Average free-agent QBs being 25-30M now.
          Obviously this is only if Schneider likes them at #5.
          I’m not using any picks on Hooker unless it’s in rounds 5-7. Age, injury, & system; if healthy I’d likely still only go with a 3rd.
          I don’t think Richardson is raw at all after his 1st full season. Young with alot more to learn, sure that’s a fair statement.
          I decided to go back and watch all his game film last month. After that and all Rob has written; I’m more convinced he’s easily a top 5 pick. Alot of improvements in his game in both game recognition and calling his own plays. Too much to like; it’s more about what he can do, than what he can’t do at this point for me.

    • Rob Staton

      Why do the number of starts matter, though, if he’s shown exceptional qualities in those limited starts?

      • NotAlNorm

        Oh, man, I wish Richardson didn’t feel like such a gamble at 5. I see his flashes—arm strength, speed/power to make defenders miss on runs—but I do wish the sample size was a bit larger, and that his touch on those long throws looked consistently better—I saw lots of errors by defenders that padded his yards in watching highlights. He looked great against Eastern Washington and racked up yards on TN, but the last half of the season was not so great in general as far as results went. Any idea on FBI for him? Did he help U of FL overachieve this past season? I think I’m looking for some comfortable knowledge that helps me digest him as a legit pick 5 expenditure. My probably too conservative instincts would be to trade for draft capital unless the combine/uni day/private workouts really show less risk for him.

        • NotAlNorm

          Also should add: I went back through game stats and video highlights for both Allen and Richardson to help me figure some of this out. I do see the similarities but I also see Allen as a QB who had much more time spent on field and pressure on him for results—WY wasn’t exactly loaded with NFL talent. He clearly developed some slinger habits as WY depended on him for wins, but I also saw a guy who regularly created results. I can see why Buffalo felt comfortable in drafting him in the 1st round a few years back, but I suspect they wouldn’t have taken him at #5.

          Wyoming did not play a tough out of conference schedule his two years as a starter. Biggest tests were probably at Nebraska (5 interceptions!), against Iowa, and on the road in the MWC. Richardson feels like a later 1st round risk vs. early 1st round. However, if that’s where the Hawks go at #5, May he develop those skills into WMD in the NFL.

        • 509 Chris

          I actually thought he looked better in the second half of the season. Things like setting his base and getting his feet right to throw he was much sloppier about early in the year and then clearly accepted some coaching and worked on it. Watching his progression and listening to people close to him he’s very coachable and hard working. I’m starting to think if he doesn’t go first whoever does is going to look like the mitch trubisky of this draft.

      • Hawkhawk

        Mitch Trubisky was another guy with great tools and limited starts..I’d be curious the number of starts in college for top 10 picks. I’ll do some looking..generally I like a guy with 25-30 starts minimum

        • Rob Staton

          Richardson isn’t Trubisky

          • Hawkhawk

            Fair enough, I want to believe in Richardson..then I think Trey Lance, another top 5 pick who just looks lost (granted he has had injuries)..and he started less than 20 games in college as well..maybe college experience is overrated for the QB position?!?

            • Rob Staton

              I think you’re focusing too much on a number of starts

              The only similarity between Lance & Richardson is they’re both athletic

  15. Old but Slow

    It is healthy in this site that we can have different opinions without getting smeared, but I can not agree that we shouldn’t draft Richardson or Levis at #5. And outside of Anderson, I do not see a defensive player that I currently see as deserving of a pick that high.

    • bmseattle

      I agree ObS… it would be different if there was a perceived defensive stud that would be available for us at that spot.
      But there simply isn’t.

      Richardson offers such amazing upside at the most important position…in my opinion, it would be a huge risk *not* to take him.

      As Rob has repeatedly pointed out…any player we pick at #5 in this draft is going to be a risk.
      If this is the case, why not go for the player with the highest upside and potential impact?

      • Peter


        On the one hand you have a guy who by his own admission knew he could/would be a top ten pick but amongst the crazies of Georgia never worked himself into full time badass mode. And you have to hope he something turns on at the pros. With defenders of him saying it’s fine just rotate him. With whom? Seriously. Who do we rotate him with to justify a 40% snap count?

        Then you got Tyree Wilson. A player that we might not have any testing on who for me might have less exciting tape than Shawn Oakman. I will say he has good run defense. I know the argument is he was one man band on that line and I can see that. But so are others like keion White and you can get them later.

        Or. Richardson in basically the best scenario possible. Where he doesn’t have to necessarily start day one either behind a solidly built contract for Geno or even Lock who has had a full year in this offense and if he’s resigned this will be his first time playing in a consistent offensive structure.

        This seems like a no brainer for me.

    • Peter

      Agree for me. Some thoughts in no order:

      1. The team trades wilson and knows it has two first round picks coming up (now) at the same time the team elects to have no qbs on contract going into 2023. These two decisions lead me to believe qb is the plan all along.

      2. No one knows where the picks are going to fall but if you do a very minimal amount of thought you have to factor that you mat have to spend both firsts to get a qb. Now you have a top five with nearly every mock under the sun having between 1 and more commonly 2 qbs at or just after pick five.

      3. If John Schneider really is Mr. QB then contrary to lazy draft prognosticators and many in Seattle sports media he has to understand that nearly every qb in their middle thirties trails down. That this is a pretty rare chance to get his mahomes/allen and really cement his legacy and career by being the gm that found Wilson and then turned Wilson into the future.

      All these forces scream qb to me.

      Read a cut and paste CBS mock this morning. Tyree Wilson #5 quote: in two to three years (like almost all defensive line) that’s when he’ll be rolling ( slight paraphrasing)

      Great. That’s not bad at all. And you should always be looking at the now needs, the future needs, and what a player can become. However if you have a working brain how is Geno at 35-40 million plus defensive help that needs a few years of seasoning make this team better? I’d argue it actually might make it worse.

      • BK26

        I just can’t comprehend trading the best quarterback in franchise history, who at the time was still an above average option, and coming away with his backup as the solution for a few years. Drop in talent, drop in production (like you said earlier when you average their numbers out over a full season), and then sign him to a similar contract and have the same cap and roster problems?

        I don’t think that any decent front office would do that. And ours is still one of the better ones.

      • AL

        I think to many folks are just assuming Schneider is happy with the #5 pick and whatever prospect that may fall to them their, and that may be a mistake.

        I believe Schneider does want to draft a QB and isn’t going to be willing to leave it to chance at #5 unless he’s absoultely sure his guy is going to be there. He has the draft position and capital to do what he wants in this draft.

        Plus, it’s hard for me to imagine John missing out on Mahomes or Allen again.

        If Seattle doesn’t take a QB in this draft, it’s really hard for me to see a path moving forward where they will be successful and in contention for a Super Bowl. I’m sorry, but Geno’s just not the guy.

        • Peter

          I’ve been thinking this for a while. Extra picks plus a good maybe great qb class? I can easily see Schneider spending to get his guy and Seattle “just” having a regular amount of picks to do normal draft building.

        • Sea Mode

          Agree. He’s going to do what it takes to get his guy this time around. The great thing is, sitting at #5 it might actually not take that much to move up because you can still pretty much guarantee one of the two top defenders to whoever trades down with us to #5.

          • Peter

            I really think Houston at #2 could be the play here.

            • Sea Mode

              Perhaps. I’m thinking more Chicago at #1!

              • Peter

                At one, just me, I’d probably go Stroud. Age, size, arm. Favorite team.

            • 509 Chris

              This has been on my mind too. Houston would still have a crack at a top defender which would appeal to them. Maybe pick 38 and 5 gets it done? 5 and 20 still wouldn’t be the end of the world.

              • Peter

                5 and 20 make the draft value near enough right. And I’m fine with it. It’s still a first round pick. It would be fairly monumental.

                If we had pick three and no other first rounders would you be fine with qb? I think many of us would and that’s how I’m viewing this scenario.

                You miss on some players I like. That’ll suck. But those two seconds like last year could be very beneficial.

                Ade ade


    • Bankhawk

      👍 👍 👍

    • Madmark

      Rob’s big board says there are 9 1st round talent in this draft. I see 2 of the QBs and 2 of defensive players been gone when we pick at 5. We won’t get another pick like this again for awhile. It also seems fitting that this the best pick from the Denver trade to get Russel Wilson trade to find his replacement. Will Levis will be that guy at pick 5.

  16. TJ

    Great article Cha. Very thoughtful. Very Moneyball. Between Rob and you, readers of this blog get some awesome, intelligent content to satisfy our Seahawks/football geek needs. Well done.

    • TJ

      I should add, there are a lot of regulars to this site who also create and contribute to fantastic, thoughtful dialog.

  17. John

    Great qualitative and quantitative breakdown of something I’ve been ruminating on in the Geno debate. There are a lot of ways to win the Owl in terms of team makeup, but in the end it comes down to having a lot of people dramatically outplaying their cap hit. Easiest way to do that is consistently draft excellent players

  18. James Hill

    Great article, one thing I think needs to brought into perspective is the amount of money the Seahawks paid to QB1. They may have only paid Geno 7 million this year, but as a whole they paid 33 million plus for Geno’s services and the dead money paid to RW3. So I personally tend to look at how well the Seahawks played paying QB1 33 million a year and if that’s still feasible going forward to win a SB. LA Rams paid a boat load to Stafford and Goff the year they won the bowl.

  19. Tyler A Jorgensen

    Curtis, can you clarify something?

    “Assuming the reports of a contract in the $30-35 million annual value range are true, to get extraordinary value they will have to sign him to a multi-year extension with a low 2023 cap hit.”

    Wouldn’t this inherently be in “leveraging,” regardless of how Geno performs?

    • cha

      Fair point.

      It’d be more a function of necessity with the cap shape they are in than an actual team strategy. And as I pointed out the price they’d pay for it in future years could be very high.

  20. cha

    Thanks for the positive feedback everyone.

    Just for a fun exercise, how did the 2013 SB team fare?

    They definitely checked the boxes for QB value, Rookie Contracts and Coaching.

    You could also argue for checks in Leveraging (they got Avril & Bennett with low cap hits and got big value there) and Expensive Stars (Lynch had a cap of $8.5m and provided 1,864 yards and 17 TDs that year, aside from the intrinsic value of being Marshawn).

    Three checks with an argument for hitting all 5 boxes? Man that was a great team.

    • Troy

      Awesome out of the box thinking article cha, and it’s funny you wrote about the 2013 hawks in this comment cause I was thinking about which boxes they checked while reading the article, in my mind for sure qb leverage and rookies, I would say coaching is debatable but probably could get away with a check there as well. The defense and offense they had wasn’t special, they just had overwhelming talent so scheme didn’t really matter.

      But the cool thing is, with a great draft they can once again hit two of those checks, qb value and rookie leverage, I hope that’s enough to get us back!

      • Troy

        Meant defensive and offensive coaching/scheme.

        To their credit, the coaching identified the players and developed them, which is why I think it’s debatable. Like they were ahead of the curve on some things back then as far as long corners for example, despite having very basic offensive and defensive schemes.

      • 509 Chris

        I think the coaching was pretty good at that time. In the early years of Pete’s tenure he became known to buck the trend and do things a new way. I remember a lot of criticism around the 2011 and 12 drafts at first. We need to get back to setting trends, and I think letting Geno walk rather than spending big money for a good not great qb is exactly the kind of thing the rest of the league isn’t doing.

      • Daniel

        The 2013 team had a clear plus for coaching, especially. I think the 10 years of frustration since then have colored people’s memories. Carroll’s defense was simple in the sense that there weren’t a lot of bells and whistles, and didn’t change very much snap-to-snap. But it was not “simple-minded”; it wasn’t laziness or a lack of creativity.

        Specifically the press-man tactics, the boundary “red line” tactics, and the use of a “LEO” player on the opposite side of a heavy D-end with thick britches, and also the switch to speedy/long linebackers who were an asset in pass coverage. The famous “hold them on every play” coverage tactics. All of that was coaching.

        Also the rugby style “Hawk tackle” that Carroll coached them on allowed them to be as brutally physical as they were, without getting constantly flagged for illegal hits (the league even used them as a teaching video for the rest of the league).

        The scheme Seattle implemented worked so well that it became the most copied defense in the league since the Tampa-2. It’s become a victim of its own success, in a way, since so many teams adopted it that *beating* it became a top priority for offensive minds, and now there is a whole book full of reliable “Seattle Cover 3” beaters.

        The “simplicity” of the scheme is just that it doesn’t have exotic coverage switches or blitz schemes. There’s nothing simple about the steps they took to develop, coach, and implement it. It was brilliant coaching that took a clear vision and incredible attention-to-detail to implement. That’s coaching.

        On the offensive side, the year before in 2012, Seattle was one of the first 3 or 4 teams to implement the zone read option as a heavy component in their book. They didn’t create it, but they recognized it very early and immediately started installing it, to great effect.

        Maybe it wasn’t the greatest coaching job of all time or anything like that, but it was *great* coaching, and it was a massive component in winning a championship. Tired of people implying that Carroll got lucky by being handed all these great players and just coached them on autopilot or something.

  21. CL

    [Jones] The Seahawks are expected to hire Rams senior offensive assistant Greg Olson as their next quarterbacks coach, sources say. Olson had previously interviewed for the Chargers OC job. He and Seahawks assistant QBs coach Kerry Joseph interviewed for the Broncos QB coach job that remains vacant.

    Does this tell us anything about their intentions regarding the QB position?

    • Seattle Person

      One thing we know about Olson is that he has worked with a lot of young QBs over his career. Jared Goff, Derek Carr, Terrelle Pryor, Blake Bortles, Josh Freeman, and even to an extent Drew Brees when he was in college I believe.

      Hmmm…it is interesting.

    • Rob Staton

      Experienced hire familiar with the scheme, feels like a good move

    • Mick

      I’m glad to see that after Desai follows another hire from outside the building. I think this is the best way to progress.

  22. 509 Chris

    I like to go back and look at old drafts sometimes. I’m sure other people do this too. Obviously things like Maxx Crosby going so late while we tool Collier are obvious standouts. What really got me thinking though was how often people are putting Bijan at the very end of the 1st round because he’s a RB. Any given draft at least half of the first round picks, hell half of the top 10 picks are either busts or end up being just an OK starter. Rather than a CB that is acceptable, or a pass rusher that hold down a constant 68 type pff grade wouldn’t you rather take a talent like Robinson even at say pick 7 and have 4 or 5 years of cheap dynamic talent? If Mayer or Robinson are available even around 15 I wouldn’t mind a trade up. Teams with stars win. Drafting stars = winning. Guess I’m making a very long argument to say draft bpa and don’t overthink it.

  23. samprassultanofswat

    You can never go wrong taking talent over need. BPA: Especially in the early rounds.

  24. cha

    Seahawks media team: maybe hold off on the JA praise. If the replies are any indication, you are barking up the wrong tree.

  25. Steve Nelsen

    You understand the positional value as well as anyone I have read. You understand that the 2022 Seattle draft was amazing not only for the number of rookies who made important contributions but for the positional value of so many of those rookies; 2 starting OTs and a Pro-Bowl CB. I’m not sold yet on starting CBs Coby Bryant or Michael Jackson but they have potential. RB doesn’t provide positional value or that would be another success from 2022.

    JS also called out Edge Boye Mafe and WR Dareke Young as players he expected to make a big leap in 2023 which would add to the value.

    2023 looks like a great draft to add a QB, WR, another Edge and another CB. Could Seattle have starters on rookie contracts at every value position except DK in a year or two? In your research on positional value did you find any extreme examples that might be similar?

    • cha

      I’m not sure what you’re asking.

      Are you looking for an example of an NFL team with all of their high-value positions covered on rookie contracts?

      • Steve Nelsen

        I don’t think it has ever happened that a team had all their high-value positions on rookie contracts (QB, WR, WR, OT, OT, Edge, Edge, CB, CB) but did you find others that had 6 or more? I’m curious how another team managed that value (successfully or unsuccessfully) or if Seattle is potentially headed into uncharted territory? Also, curious to see if another team was able to create savings comparable to a rookie QB contract by hitting on multiple other value positions.

        • cha

          Off the top of my head the 2013 SB team had all those covered if you count Irvin as an edge. Plus MLB, WILL and FS.

          There probably aren’t many more than that. Mainly because the value benefit you create allows you to spend liberally to fill needs. Which is why the QB position gets its own category.

  26. Trevor

    Just looked at a CBS Sports 2 round mock

    Tyree Wilson
    Brian Branch
    Josh Downs

    Want a QB at 5 but that would still be a solid draft for the Hawks with 4 day 1 starters.

  27. Trevor

    Rob it looks like Dan Orlovsky agrees with your take on the QB class.

    “This QB class is GALAXIES better than last years”

    • Rob Staton

      He’s absolutely right

      • Hawktalker#1

        @Rob & All
        How does this year’s quarterback class compare to what will be coming next year? I see A lot of debate going back-and-forth from those that don’t want us to pick a quarterback this year and believe next year would be a better year. Just looking for another opinion. Thx

        • Rob Staton

          Most of those people haven’t studied next year’s QB class

          It’s just an auto-pilot response for a lot of people to say next year is better

          And it’s never mentioned that plenty of QB’s go into a season rated highly and end the year going much later than people expected

          All we need to focus on is — how good is this quarterback class?

          There are four really good QB’s who you can justifiably take at #5

          I doubt that will be the case next year — I also doubt the Seahawks will be picking early enough to take one high next year

          • cha

            People that want to wait until next year do not comprehend that the Rebuild Clock has already started with the fantastic 2022 draft and is ticking.

            GET ON WITH IT

  28. Rob Staton

    Just finished my interview with Juice Scruggs, Penn State Center

    And tomorrow I will also be interviewing… Julius Brents

    • Ashish

      Looking forward to listen..

  29. j hawk

    I read that our safeties salary’s became guaranteed the other day. What does that mean when it comes time for a post June 1 cut possibility? Can they be cut loose at a resonable rate?

    • cha

      Diggs, no. Only $500k from a post-June 1

      Adams, yes. $8.44m available from a post-June 1

      • HawkfaninMT

        Believe him over me… he knows this stuff way better and with much more depth than I do!

    • HawkfaninMT

      No… atleast less reasonable than last week. If they were going to do it my understanding is that it would have been prior to this years money becoming guaranteed. The team would be paying future guaranteed money either way if released but now they are locked into this years full salary plus further guarantees (prorated bonus money,etc)

    • Madmark

      The question what would happen if Adams can pass his team physical?

      • Madmark

        AUCK, I mean can’t.

        • cha

          They’d release him with a Failed Physical designation.

  30. Madmark

    There 2 reasons I like Rob’s big board layout. The breakup of the defensive line in Edge, DT, and DE/DT. The other is the first to second round player zone. The elite 2nd round players. I’m currently working his board now to work my next mock.

  31. SebA

    Imperious stuff, Cha – thank you so much for your efforts. You made me think in ways I never have before about roster construction.

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