Discussing the future of Russell Okung in Seattle

Russell Okung is entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2015

The Seahawks have several prospective free agents in 2016 including punter Jon Ryan, running back Robert Turbin and the current longest serving player on the roster Brandon Mebane. Three other starters are set to make the open market — Bruce Irvin, J.R. Sweezy and Russell Okung.

Today I want to focus on Okung.

Firstly, can he play a full 16 games in the regular season? His injury issues are slightly exaggerated — he hasn’t had a serious knee injury for example or missed considerable time like Ryan Clady. The most games he’s missed in a single season is eight in 2013. He’s consistently missed 1-5 games each year since arriving in Seattle. Not ideal, but far from a reason alone not to give him a new contract.

If he can feature in all 16 games for the first time in his career in 2015, he’ll really strengthen his hand going into free agency. The Seahawks will perhaps feel inclined to try and maintain some consistency on their offensive line (more on that in a moment) while other teams will be reassured to give him a good contract to tempt him away.

If he misses more time it strengthens Seattle’s position at the negotiating table and might weaken interest on the open market. For that reason the Seahawks are probably prepared to let this year play out rather than get into serious negotiations right now.

Aside from the health situation, how does Okung rate compared to his peers in the NFL? Joe Thomas (25), Tyron Smith (36), Jason Peters (40) and Trent Williams (47) were the only offensive tackles listed in the NFL’s recent top-100 list. We’re going through an era that lacks truly elite left tackles in the Walter Jones, Orlando Pace and Jonathan Ogden mould. The game has changed and for years the best athletes in college football have chosen to play defense not offense. It’s one of the reasons why the Seahawks are taking SPARQ-ed up D-liners and trying them at guard. Pure college guards are generally no longer athletic enough to transition to the pro’s where they face increasingly formidable athletes. Any left tackle that performs admirably at the combine is getting vaulted up the boards — it’s why Eric Fisher was the #1 overall pick in 2013.

The number of first round busts at the position also appears to be increasing. Fisher has been a big disappointment. Luke Joeckel — the #2 pick in 2013 — has struggled with injury and performance. 2014 top-ten picks Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews didn’t have great rookie seasons. What was once considered a ‘safe pick’ has become more of an unknown.

The league is craving for good offensive tackles. Teams are taking chances. It’s becoming a bit of a crapshoot considering the third tackle taken in 2013 — Lane Johnson — has enjoyed a good start to his career.

If Thomas, Smith, Peters and Williams really are the NFL’s current ‘elite’ at the position, Okung isn’t far away. Although he might be some way off the Hall-of-Fame tackle he replaced in Seattle, Okung is a relative safe pair of hands that might be difficult to replace with a cheaper, unknown commodity in the draft. In an era without many fantastic left tackles, having a good one might be more valuable than you’d imagine.

Okung is the only consistent member of Pete Carroll, John Schneider and Tom Cable’s offensive line. Left guard, center, right guard and right tackle — different players have taken turns to start for Seattle over the years. 2016 will provide the first opportunity to see how they approach the left tackle position and whether they see that as a movable cog too. Okung was the first draft pick this front office made when they arrived in 2010. He’s played out his rookie contract in full. Do they let him walk? Or do they see him as part of the growing core to receive a contract extension?

While teams like Dallas and Cleveland load their offensive lines with first round talent the Seahawks seem to be taking the opposite approach. They appear to be saving money on the O-line to use elsewhere. It’s a display of trust in Tom Cable’s methods that he can put a group of guys together on the cheap and create a functioning line. We’ve seen mixed results so far, but the constant change on a year-to-year basis is partly responsible there.

It makes you wonder if they believe they can succeed without top players on the O-line in a way others can’t. After all, they were winning games with Paul McQuistan and Michael Bowie playing tackle in 2013 — the season they won the Super Bowl. It made for ugly viewing at times with pass protection particularly suffering. The Seahawks might feel like they have enough weapons to compensate for any similar problems in 2015:

— Russell Wilson is the most elusive quarterback in the NFL

— The ground game continues to prosper

— Jimmy Graham’s presence will give Wilson an easy out and keep defenses honest when it comes to the blitz/pass rush

— The threat of the read option adds a dynamic to Seattle’s offense that also troubles opponents

Other teams don’t necessarily have this luxury. The Cowboys have Dez Bryant but also a 35-year-old quarterback with back issues who isn’t very mobile and needs protection. They are hoping their offensive line can be the key to a productive running game with either Joseph Randle or Darren McFadden benefitting from good blocking. They don’t have Marshawn Lynch and a good running quarterback so a really good offensive line is more important.

The Wilson-Lynch-Graham trifecta will create problems and will make plays irrespective of the performance of the offensive line. The downside is we’ll probably see more games next year where Wilson is having to move around a lot to avoid pressure.

Sometimes you have to pick your poison.

With the Seahawks paying nearly $100m to just ten players on their roster, they need to save money somewhere. It could be they’ve decided in Cable they have a coach that, like Alex Gibbs previously, can get the most out of a group of blockers. That in part helps you keep the LOB, Wilson, Lynch, Wagner etc.

That doesn’t mean they can’t pay any offensive linemen. We’ll see how far they want to take this possible plan when Okung and J.R. Sweezy head closer to free agency next year. Mark Glowinski in terms of athleticism and style looks like a Sweezy clone and he’s being worked at right guard in training camp. Danny O’Neil mentioned yesterday that the Seahawks have a lot of time for Gary Gilliam as a left tackle prospect and could see him as a possible replacement for Okung one day.

Some fans will cringe at the possibility of a 2016 starting offensive line that goes Gilliam-Bailey-Nowak-Glowinski-Britt. Yet the willingness to trade Max Unger this year shows they aren’t afraid to make an eyebrow-raising move or two on the O-line or go with a youth movement. They’re willing to take chances on young, cheap talent. They brought in a collection of young players in the draft to compete this year. And again, they need to save money somewhere.

Tom Cable might be viewed as the MVP of the offensive line, rather than any particular player.

They’ve also shown they’re still willing to draft O-liners early (see: Justin Britt, round two in 2014). In my final 2015 mock draft I had them taking Mitch Morse in round two. He was taken a few picks before Seattle’s choice by the Kansas City Chiefs. Who knows if he would’ve been the pick otherwise — but he certainly ticked a lot of boxes.

Laremy Tunsil (T, Ole Miss), Taylor Decker (T, Ohio State), Ronnie Stanley (T, Notre Dame) and Jack Conklin (T, Michigan State) are early favourites to go in the first round next year. Decker in particular has that nasty road-grading style that appears to suit Seattle’s offense. Tackles tend to go early, whether the Seahawks will have the chance to get anywhere near a top blocker in 2016 remains to be seen. They could have options though.

One dynamic that should also be considered is the competitive nature of Okung, the respect he commands in the locker room and his recent decision to go into free agency minus an agent. He completes a six-year, $48.5m contract in 2015 so he’s already earned the money a lot of his teammates are now collecting.

That’s not to say he’s going to accept a really cheap deal to stay in Seattle. Far from it. But he will be negotiating from a position of relative security. If he wants to stay a Seahawk and if the team wishes to retain his services — there’s probably a deal to be done there. We just don’t know how invested each party is in retaining this current working relationship.

Another thing O’Neil mentioned in the link above is the possibility Okung might be better suited to a more pass-friendly offense focused on protection. Seattle’s physical style and penchant for the run-game could be one of the reasons their left tackle (and other members of the O-line) frequently gets banged up. Will a different style of offense suit Okung? It might be something he’s considering.

Of Seattle’s three ‘big name’ 2016 free agents, it’ll possibly be easier to retain Okung and Sweezy over Bruce Irvin. There’s a statistical advantage that comes with playing defense (I got 6-7 sacks last year playing linebacker, look what I could do in your scheme). He’s versatile enough to work in the 4-3 or the 3-4 at end or linebacker. Aside from one four-game suspension he’s stayed clear of any off-field distractions that concerned some teams pre-draft. He’s still a terrific athlete. And there are two former Seahawks defensive coordinators now working as Head Coaches.

If Irvin departs it leaves even more room to consider signing up Okung and/or Sweezy. The cap likely increasing by another 7-8% also helps. Overall that looks like an attractive proposition — retain some consistency up front, keep your depth and free up the opportunity to consider other need areas in the draft (DT, CB, RB).

112 Comments

  1. cha

    I’d be really curious to know how the Seahawks view the OL and especially Okung in the light of RW signing a big new contract.

    Is a chunk or RW’s value in his ability to scramble and make up for porous pass protection, and his toughness in taking a hit and bouncing right back up? So this viewpoint would sanction the continued cost-saving patchworking on the OL with Cable’s ability to find and train prospects who are literally learning on the playing field.

    Or do they go the more traditional route and reason they just sunk a ton of money into a franchise QB and they need to now lock down his LT protector, and assume RW’s value is maximized by being upright and (less) susceptible to an injury?

    My head says the latter, but my gut says 3 deep playoff runs in 3 years with the former and the Seahawks have survived without Okung.

    I could be overzealous for comp picks but wow Okung, Sweezy, and Irvin could depart and that would land the Hawks 3 good picks in 2017. Might help them pursue a top-needs free agent for 2017 by reasoning some extra cost-controlled talent is coming on board that year.

    Anyone know Cable’s contract status? I know he interviewed this offseason for HC jobs but did he get a healthy raise/extension recently like PC did?

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure if Cable got a raise or not but it seems like teams have at least some concern about the baggage he had at Oakland — whether that’s fair or not I’m not sure. But he never seems to get really close to a job, unlike Quinn, Bradley and previously Bevell before last season. With the NFL kind of going through an image crisis in the last 12 months it might work against him. I suspect he’d be a tremendous Head Coach for someone having truly benefited from his team with Carroll. But when guys like Jack Del Rio are getting recycled and Cable doesn’t seem to be getting too close to jobs — it suggests he might be sticking around for a while yet. It seems like a long time ago but his Raiders team was really, really tough and gave the Seahawks a huge ass-kicking in 2010.

      • Nathan

        I heard Michael Robinson interviewed a few days ago, and he couldn’t speak highly enough of Cable.

        • Nathan

          Not just as an O line coach either, as a potential head coach.

          • peter

            I wonder if as assistant head coach and carrols age cable isn’t just content waiting here. If/when that transition happened he’d be prime to continue in a state he had a huge hand in as well as players that know him and he could continue with the teams strength without any baggage of trying to resell a program to a new fan base.

            • manthony

              I like this idea of Cable hanging around.

  2. Phil

    At the end of this season, will there be any talented LTs who could be acquired by trading a future first-round pick? You mentioned 4 guys — Fisher, Joeckel, Robinson, and Matthews — who were high picks who have not played up to expectations in their current schemes. Is it possible that Cable could make an Okung replacement out of one of them? Would they present less risk than someone we could draft at #32? Would their cap hit going forward be less than Okung’s if he was to be resigned?

    I have more questions than answers, but the Seahawks have shown a willingness to trade their #1 rather than “gamble” that a specific need can be filled by a player drafted late in the first round.

    • Rob Staton

      I wouldn’t want to give up future first round pick on a reclamation project personally. You’d also be acquiring a high first round contract for a player who might not make the grade. I suspect there are three options here. Keep Okung, develop someone like Gilliam and start him or use the draft.

  3. Mark

    Rob, you mentioned something in the article I never thought about. The Seahawks are a run heavy, physical offense. Maybe they would rather get lots of ‘replaceable’ o-line players to account for the inevitable injuries. This could also help explain why Unger would be considered expendable/old in the system.

  4. CHawk Talker Eric

    I watched some training camp today while the camera was focused on the OL group. Nice to see Cable barking out instructions during drills.

    I didn’t recognize Okung at first, his number wasn’t entirely visible. Not sure I “recognized” him when I saw his jersey. He’s never been fat, but the guy wearing #76 today looked tight and lean, more like a DE than an LT. In fact, there wasn’t a “bubba” among them. Overall, they’re a remarkably athletic looking group.

    If Okung can play as well and as much as he did last season, I think he’ll be back and at pretty much the same numbers of his current deal. His 2014 injuries and resulting missed games weren’t fun, but they weren’t fatal to the season either. Moreover, he was there down the stretch and through the playoffs.

    I don’t know much about Gilliam, and Okung’s health will determine more than anything else if I will.

  5. Ed

    Nice to see you back Rob, been waiting for football and this site since that terrible evening in February.

    Anyways, I have been on the Okung gone train for awhile. You bring up other reasons I didn’t even think of. I would be ok losing Okung and maybe even Sweezy. I really want to keep Irvin. Especially depending on contract status and play of Avril and Bennett. If we can somehow keep Irvin, would we be wise to trade Wright?

    • Ben2

      Yeah, when we signed Wright I was kinda bummed because I was hoping we’d use that $ on Irvin; I guess how well Clark & Marsh look this year (and Pierre-Louis) will help determine whether we keep Irvin. I think I heard Carrol mention Marsh at SAM (he’s at like 250lbs) so he could be in the LB group not D-Tackle

      • Volume12

        Yup, Marsh is playing at SAM, LEO, and could probably still play some 5-tech if need be.

  6. James

    Rob, outstanding analysis as always, really in-depth, which we have come to appreciate and even expect from you. It seems to me that there are dual trade-offs happening with our O-Line. First, we are trading off their salaries to other positions, as you well note Pete’s willingness to spend the money elsewhere and trust Cable to assemble an O-Line that can get the job done (sort of)… which brings us to the second trade off – that between run blocking and pass protection. Cable clearly prioritizes guys who can run block, but are marginal in pass pro (Britt, Sweezy and Carp). If they could do both, they would have gone in the first round. The Seahawks are trading off the run game for the passing game, and relying on Russell Wilson to do his magic to find the time to throw downfield. Okung is the only guy who seems to be good at both elements, but the left side of the line should be much improved in pass pro, since Pig Bailey is far better at pass pro than Carp was. The other side of the line is the complete opposite… Sweezy is an outstanding run blocker and Britt was very good for a rookie, but they both struggled far too often in the passing game. Given this track record, unless Okung is willing to take a somewhat below market deal (which is entirely possible since he has already earned to much money), I believe the salary cap will force the Seahawks to let him go and they will turn once again to Cable to do his thing with his crop of rejects, junkyard dogs and Late Round Bastards.

  7. Nicholas didzun

    Hey rob,

    So happy to be able to read your articles again. Hope you had a great off season from American football! My brother is moving to Tunbridge wells next week and I was wondering if you knew of any pubs he could go to in London to watch the games. Any chance they have a Seahawks fan bar there? If not, a place that promotes American football? Again, happy the articles are back! Here’s to another great season!

    Thanks!

    • Rob Staton

      Hi Nicholas,

      I live about 2.5 hours away from London so I’m not fully across where the best places would be to watch NFL. However, I know there are many bars that stay open with the NFL games available to watch so your brother shouldn’t have any issues there. I’m not aware of any Seahawks specific bars though. I’d also recommend he checks out NFL Gamepass which is what I use to watch the games. It costs me about £80 and I get all the Seahawks games online and the quality is very good.

      • manthony

        Rob, glad to have you back. Its cool to know we have 12s across the pond who share in our passion for this game. You provide excellent analysis and discover players I had no clue about. Since you watch games on Gamepass, does that mean you have never had the unfortunate, miserable experience to suffer through a Buck-Aikman Commentated game? Its very unpleasant.

  8. DC

    Welcome back Rob! Perfect timing.

    When looking at Okung, Sweezy & Irvin with the self made condition that Seattle only keeps one, I ask the question “who is the most difficult to replace”? Imho the answer to that question is Okung. He is the anchor of the OL. With the heavy stacking of cap space already tilted toward the defense I just don’t see a 3rd big money contract going to a linebacker & Sweezy is obviously going to sign with the Jets…

    Okung’s 2015 cap hit is $7,280,000. If he’s not looking for a major raise & can stay relatively healthy I see him continuing his career with the Seahawks into 2016 and beyond. Gilliam moves into the swing tackle role that Bailey vacates to start at LG.

    • Michael M.

      Why is Sweezy ‘obviously going to sign with the Jets’?

      • peter

        Because there’s a screwy ex Seattle jets pipeline! Like us with Detroit and previously minnesota

    • peter

      That’s not an impossible scenario. I love Irvin and think he could be in discussion for DPY. I know to some that sounds far fetched but if he can improve just slightly on his numbers in any/all categories last year say 10-12 sacks 4-8 ints/passes defended, etc. He’s going to get a monster contract. Which is fine. Its a comp pick and he’s getting up in age. By just a bit.

      Sweezy could go to a number of teams next year which will suck but glowinski to me is his clone. As per okung honestly id love to see him quietly have a good career here for the rest of his time in football. There are so many middling to bad LT’s that locking him up for the long term to not have to worry about would be great. I like Gilliam’s athleticism and maybe that will work nut okung is the only one I see them pursuing next year

      • AlaskaHawk

        A few thoughts on players. Sweezy has shown a lot of improvement, great at the running game, okay in pass protection. Tends to miss stunting linemen, and that becomes a real problem when they get a clear run up the middle of the pocket. Basically as a guard he isn’t worth as much as a tackle. He could probably be retained for 4 million a year or less. I don’t know if the Seahawks are willing to spend that much since they can always draft another guard or continue with their defensive line conversions, and get a player for 4 years for next to nothing.

        Irvin has gotten better, I wish we could keep him. But we already know what the Seahawks think with the resigning of KJ Wright and Wagner. There just isn’t enough money for him. If Marsh stays healthy I’m expecting him to become an outside linebacker or a LEO.

        Left tackle, there will probably be someone still available as the 32 draft pick. I would rather keep Okung, just depends on how the Seahawks cap space works out and what he asks for. I’m on the fence about his knees but he did hold up last year so maybe that is a sign. I think the Seahawks will want to watch him through this season and then make a decision.

        Welcome back Rob, it’s a joy to read your well written articles again.

        • manthony

          I hope we can keep Okung. He gets a lot of flack in my circle of friends, mainly because he’s not Walter Jones. But i thinks he’s been our best OL since the day we drafted him.
          I like Sweezy’s tenacity, but he hasnt shown enough to be extended. I dont think we draft 3 lineman if that was the case. Barring a Pro Bowl Season from Sweezy or Pig Bailey, i think we would move forward with cheaper alternatives there. Okung might be in that category, i see him as more valueble and harder to replace though.
          It should be cool to see how this line shapes up this year. See who makes themselve irreplaceable

  9. peter

    An aside: Earl Thomas is who I want to see as DPOY.

    1. I honestly can’t believe he cleared the PUP list. I know Eric berry is an amazing story but as a homer for Earl…wow, just wow.

    2. Rob posted in .net the play against St. Louis at the goal line. Now I know that “the tip,” in many ways is more iconic and it leads to the superbowl. Plus its got the best sound bites. That said literally one of the best defensive plays I have ever seen is Earl Thomas karate chopping the football at the 12″ mark and tapping it into the end zone for the turnover. I’m not going to play coulda/woulda/shoulda but I’d love to see the LOB at full strength vs. The patriots next February. My guess is if the LOB isn’t wearing slings and breaking arms in the first quarter its a totally different game.

    • Volume12

      1. Yeah, tough to root against Berry, but I see your point. ET is a genetic freak, plain and simple. I honestly would’ve been shocked had he not pased his physical, and I know that sounds strange, but dude is in one of the best shapes of his life I’ve seen and I’ve been followimg him since his Texas days.

      2. Abso-frickin-loutely!

  10. Michael M.

    This question of, “who do you keep out of Okung, Sweezy or Irvin?” is a tough one…

    – Sweezy seems to be the most reliable, as I can’t remember him missing any games for injury or suspension. Also it seems sorta self defeating to spend so much time developing him from nothing into a top tier player, only to see him leave when he’s finally reached that goal, and you have to start all over again. He also seems like he’d be the cheapest contract by a wide margin for a couple of reasons. Positional value – for starters. Is it at all possible that the rest of the league still doesn’t know how good he is? And don’t discount the Tom Cable effect. O-lineman (as opposed to skill position guys) don’t seem to care as much about ‘respect’ and all that stuff you always here. It wouldn’t shock me at all if continuing to work with Cable was a high priority on Sweezy’s list.

    On the other hand, if you believe he can be replaced by day three pick, you might as well let him walk…

    Okung is interesting because of just how freaky he is physically. Human beings that can bench 225 lbs. 38 times with 36″ arms just don’t come around every year. Sure there are always going to be a few tackles taken in R1, but as Rob mentioned, perhaps that is more desperation at the position than actual talent. Put Okung into each draft class that followed his own (2010) Where would he have gone in those classes? I think he would have easily usurped the top spot from Fischer in 2013, and might have been the #1 OT in each one. Even if you make a massive jump up the board, you could be taking a big step down, physical potential wise, if Okung walks.

    I would really hate to see Irvin leave, and sadly that’s probably the most likely departure. I really think this year could be a special one for Bruce. It looks to me like everything is setting up for a perfect storm of performance. #1 contract year – enough said. #2 The convergence of physical ability, mental acuity, and the alacrity that only really presents itself when you’re fully comfortable in your surroundings. I think of it like a pitcher in his prime. When he was really young, he had the blazing fastball but didn’t quite ‘know how to pitch’, and later in his career he understands all the nuances of pitching, but has lost a bit of that zip. There are a few years in there where the two overlap, and that’s when you see special things happen. I think Irvin just broke into that zone last season, and this one will be even better.

    • DC

      The way I see Bruce Irvin staying would be at the expense of Cliff Avril and that could be a real possibility. Avril will be 30 in 2016 with a $6.5M cap hit vs. $1.5M in dead money. Irvin will be 26.

      • DC

        Correction, Irvin will be 28 in 2016.

  11. Volume12

    Great piece Rob. Who’s the toughest to replace? Well, Bruce’s athleticism will be tough to match, Sweezy has been the most consistent, but Okung to me is the toughest one to replace.

    If we’re to believe Tom Cable, and I see no reason not to, then there aren’t many OTs in college this year that run 6’4-6’5, a sub 5 40, at least 27 reps on the bench, a 31 in vert, and a 9 ft broad jump. Tunsil and Stanley I see as the cream of the crop, both top 10 or top 15, Decker fits, but IMO Conklin is nowhere near the athlete. Of course they’ll compensate if a certain player doesn’t check all the boxes and it makes up for it in another, and TC did say he’s had a few guys that were 6’6 who fit their style, or if a guy is 6’3 but has fantastic strength and or athleticism, but my point is, Okung checks those boxes.

    As Michael M and Peter said, Bruce more than likely plays himself out of a deal, and if he regresses, then he probably isn’t worth keeping anyways.

  12. Volume12

    Rob, I previously mentioned UL-Lafayette HB Elijah McGuire, but one other guy I wanted to point out was UL-Lafayette WR Jamal Robinson. He’s 6’3-6’4, 205-208 lbs, plays extrememly physical, really good production, rumored to have an amazing work ethic, and he’s another guy who I think will be a SPARQ monster.

    Personally don’t see receiver being that big of a need right now, so the mid rounds is where I’m focusing, and this guy would be great in that area. He’s someone who might be worth monitoring.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks for the tip.

  13. Screeching Hawk

    Alright now y’all can be thankful or maybe you can think that’s why I’m here so I won’t get fucked, I mean fined.

    Volume12 you like an atomic bomb or some shit.

    Fuck I’m a drunk cunt

    I want to Say that we Love your hard work and dedication Rob Staton. You are very much appreciated.

    I don’t know shit about the draft like you boys but I would greatly love Ezekiel Elliott.

    Shit what the hell do I know? I Love y’all guys

    https://youtu.be/33DWqRyAAUw

  14. Screeching Hawk

    I only say Y’all because I Love me some Marshawn. I’m truthfully from Wenatchee Washington which is Washington for Wenatchee which is about 160-200 miles east from Seattle where those one bands’s Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and stuff left behind 24 years ago. I know Im pretty plunked right now but do you Love Raidiohead because I think they are beyond amazingly gratuitously grand. Did you know Alice in chains played halftime at the Hawks vs the Packers Western conference championship game in 2015? I still look at that game as our winning Championship game I mean unbelievable! Anything else would have been unreal and I guess it really was! Go ha Hawks!

  15. EranUngar

    The questions for next year are way more complicated then who do we pick out of Okung, Irvin and Sweezy.

    We currently have close to 20M free cap and over 30 players in the current roster without a contract for next year. There are also player on contract for next year that we may decide to cut due to cap needs if we have the replacement ready (C. Williams or even Lynch).

    If we are concentrating on the OL, I think we’ll have some answers before the year is over. Last year they signed Avril and K.J. before the year was over and it makes sense to catch those players before they are out of the system.

    With 3 new OL rookies plus Gilliam on board, they would want the time to see how they evolve under T.C. before they make the calls regarding the future of the OL. Ending the year without any OL signing is a positive feedback regarding the young talent at hand. Unless Gilliam takes a big step forwards I see Okung’s chances as better than Sweezy’s. (Because we have more potential guards at hand and college tackles to guard converts are always there)

    The same btw applies to Irvin, how he plays this year and how ready KPL, Marsh and others are to replace his various contributions.

    Do not be surprised if all 3 are actually signed at the expense of roster cuts and if Mebane keeps looking good he may have his contract restructured/extended for 2 more years with a signing bonus and some guarantees, saving cap money this year.

  16. HD

    Seattle, as opposed to many other NFL teams (Dallas comes to mind) doesn’t appear to want to use high draft picks on the O-Line (Okung the exception). I think part of the problem with O line guys today, especially tackles coming out of college is the spread offense, which alludes to less physical play than the more run centered traditional blocking schemes Seattle is known for (and other teams are slowly starting to re-emphasize). TC mentioned this himself and was quoted on ESPN and NFL net accordingly.
    Athletic types of players from the defensive side of the ball as Rob stated (Cable as well), seem to fit Seattle ZBS athletic requirements. With the development (successful or not) of Sweezy, Seymour, Nowak, Sokoli, Seattle / Cable seem to be refining a method to their madness. In view of the lack of success of so many first round tackles and other O-Line guys in the draft recently, it appears Seattle wants to go a different rout.
    The first thing Cable wants to establish is consistency with lineup; something that has eluded Seattle to date. Whether it was players cut, draft picks (Moffat / Carpenter come to mind) that didn’t really work out, or FA, Seattle hasn’t had the same guys lining up on the line for 10 games of a season much less 16 in PC/JS era. Again Cable alluded to this as a very real problem in the past earlier this season. With that said, Seattle has appeared to make some progress in that area.
    Sweezy has been a constant since 2012; Britt played most of last year as did Bailey, albeit in a variety of spots due to injuries. Seattle had to consider this very point when coming to a decision on Unger, especially after last season missed games.
    Seattle picked up Gilliam(a converted TE to Tackle at Penn State,, not the typical O-Line athlete), Nowak (PS) and Britt last year. They gave Bailey an active role as the “swing man” in 2014 after Bowie exited. Seattle added Glowisnski (an unheralded but important pick), Poole and Solkoli in the draft, and picked up Lewis and Milton (both from the Browns…who drafted Joel Botonio…just sayin’). What Seattle has done, with the exception of this years picks, has brought all but 3 of this years drafts together for a development year under Cable (Bailey 2yrs). Seattle will have most of these guys as depth guys this year, but will get some game time to train them up in their potential roles as starters in 2016, or at least compete for that role. I think for the most part Seattle flies a little under the radar with this approach as well. I expect Seattle to pick up at least two more lineman on the PS this year, and draft two more next year to complete the renovation of their offensive line. This will allow them to have low cost control for a period of time, a better percentage of health through youth (consistency) and develop chemistry not just through starters, but depth players as well, for 2015 and beyond.
    Pete’s observation from yesterday after camp:
    ” “We’re really young on the offensive line, but the quality of the guys in all is really exciting,” Carroll said. “This might be the best group of guys. We’ll see. It will take us a month or so to have a sense in that. We’re encouraged by that.”

    • Volume12

      Great post man. I too think we’ll see a couple more O-lineman drafted, but that’s Seattle right?

  17. Bernardo De Biase

    I think we can replace Irvin’s athleticism easily. We already have pieces of replacement in KPL and Pinkins. What will be difficult to replace is his playmaking ability. He is consistently out there making big plays – presures, hurries, above average coverages… He can do it all. If guys like Clark and Marsh develop into consistent playmakers, at the rush and at the run, Irvin become less important to this offense. Much less, to the point of expendability, given how much more important it is to have money tied up in DL than in LB corps.

    I’ll take 1 season of prime Irvin playing for a contract + his 3rd round comp pick + Okung retainer, as a quality all around left tackle is a rare and important commodity.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Irvin says he weighs 265 now. If that’s true, and it’s all good weight, then he’s basically Clemons’ size, with BWags’ speed. Combine that with his experience and playmaking ability, and you have the ideal LEO. Isn’t that how PC explained the pick in 2012?

      Athleticism isn’t that rare; certainly not in today’s NFL. But athleticism combined with size/length, playmaking ability, and steady, demonstrable progress from season to season, that’s not easily replaced.

      Someone above, DC I think, speculates that SEA would part with Avril before Irvin. That’s entire possible, especially if Clark can establish himself either as an outright DE, or as a 5T-3T hybrid like Bennett.

      • Bernardo De Biase

        I approve that. Irvin is just a more wel rounded football player. I just think the FA would offer would offset what Seattle pays for Avril by a fair margin.

  18. CHawk Talker Eric

    Anyone else catch Sokoli practicing at LT with the 1st team OL?

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Oops I meant at LG

      • cha

        Cable mentioned they wanted to get him some action without having to focus on snapping the ball. Sounded like he needed it, reports were he was getting beat like he stole something in those practices at LG.

      • Screeching Hawk

        Yeah I read that, he could be the next Sweezy. Taking it easy but not on Sundays of course!

  19. pqlqi

    I see Okung being let go, and using that space to keep Sweezy at a savings of a few million a year – he’s younger, healthier, more Seahawk-y, nasty, and arguably better. Bailey or Gilliam or someone we don’t know about can take over at LT next season.

    If Irvin can be had for 9 million a year or less, I think we’ll keep him with the plan that his salary cap charges will be mostly deferred in the first year and then replace Avril’s contract (either cut after 2015 or 16). If Irvin goes for 11+ million a year, it’s probably a 3rd round compensatory pick.

  20. Screeching Hawk

    Hey Rob and everyone, else please forgive me for my ridiculous drunken posts this morning. I’ve been a good boy as of late with the drink and I got out of control and decided to express myself on your blog. I’m ashamed, You work so hard as a true Hawks fan and I really like you man. Hope all is well. Cheers

    • Rob Staton

      No problem SH. Nurse that hangover buddy.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      No shame. Everyone should screech now and then. Plus those were some entertaining posts 🙂

      Go Hawks!

      • Volume12

        LOL. Loved the one about the musical talents Seattle has produced.

  21. Screeching Hawk

    So back to football americano. I just have this feeling that Christine is going to get things going this year. I’ve read some comments people think that Turbin is gone after this year because if Marshawn sticks around then he probably wants to get his shot which he deserves. So if we win it all which of course I believe we will Marshawn might just hang em up. Then it will probably be a two back tandem and we’ll keep Turbin who would account far less against the cap then Lynch.

    The only way we keep Okung is if he keeps it real and takes a big pay cut do to the fact that he already has made $50 million due to being part of that last draft class before the new collective bargain agrement. Hopefully Sweezy stays and gets his cheddar because what I’ve read he’s highy thought of by Cable and the coaching staff.

    Which leads me to ask everyone, I think that Ezekiel Elliott guy reminds me so much of Marshawn that they might want to go after him. Would you trade our probably 31st pick do to the patriots loosing a first rounder and a third or even our second to take him. Because if he’s anything like he was last year I’m all in on Ezekiel. After that just depth unless we end up trading Bennett and or loosing Irvin. I think they didn’t extend Ivin to the waiver to light a fire underneath him. So it’s a win for us this year with Bruce because that boy has alot of superstar potential. Ok I’m done. May happiness be with you all!

  22. bigDhawk

    The high value currently attached to LT position in the NFL is all about protecting the blind side of a tall, immobile, right-handed QB that stands upright in the pocket and releases the ball in under three seconds, 35 – 45 times a game or more. We don’t have that type or QB or that type of offense. We primarily run the ball, as Rob has succinctly explained. We pass fewer than 30 times a game, and when we do it often involves Wilson holding onto the ball for more than three seconds, then scrambling to make a pass on the run. The skill set of a traditional, book-end LT would be largely wasted in our offense, which helps explain many of Okung’s struggles, to which Rob has also deftly alluded.

    Wilson will always scramble on a significant number of his passes. That’s just the type of QB and athlete he is. Therefore our LT does not need to be a Jones/Pace prototype, but rather probably not much more than one of maulers we have everywhere else on our OL. So I’m sticking to my guns that Bailey, or even Gilliam will be our starting LT in 2016. I’m a lot higher on Bailey than most around here and I think this is the year he breaks outs. He is much better on the left side of the line than the right, and if he lands the LG starting job this season as he should, he will shine.

    • Screeching Hawk

      I hear what you’re saying Bighawk, plus Gilliam being a converted tight end I believe would put the option of having a target on the left side in an almost three tight end set with Willson and Graham as well. Gilliam could come in as an eligable reciever being the left tackle and then chaos for the opposing defence would occur as Russell rolls out see’s what’s going down and then magic. Damn that gets me pumped up. Sounds awesome. I also want to say that Tyler Lockett is going to be really really good! John and Pete obviously think so. Go Hawks!

      https://youtu.be/33DWqRyAAUw

  23. Greg Haugsven

    Some comments about Okung…love to hear your guys thoughts. One is we are going to have to start creating chemistry on the online because Lynch won’t be here forever to make the line look better than it is…ALso Okungs potential contract should be almost lateral as far as salary. I wouldn’t think he would get much more that $8 million a year. If he did then let someone else pay him and we’ll take the third round comp pick…lastly Britt moving to left tackle could also be an option as he played there at Mizzou.

  24. Jeff M.

    One thing to keep in mind is that Okung’s already announced he’s going without an agent and representing himself. That makes sense to do if you have a good relationship with your current team’s FO and are looking to stay (or maybe if you have 2-3 preferred teams in mind to negotiate with); it makes a lot less sense to do if you’re going to be looking for the most money and don’t care where you play (because then it becomes a LOT of phone calls, flights, meetings, negotiations, logistics, etc. for the player to handle).

  25. Volume12

    Rob, have you had the chance to check out Baylor’s ‘man-child,’ aka DT Andrew Billings?

    • manthony

      I have a friend from Waco and he’s talked more of Billings then he ever did Bryce Petty. Billings has a shot to break Paea’s Bench record at the combine next spring, just a strong strong dude. The Giant Shawn Oakman is gonna go high in the draft too.

      • Volume12

        IMO Billings will break it. Broke Mark Henry’s power lifting record at 17 years old. Billings has a shot to have the highest SPARQ score of any D-lineman in this year’s class if he comes out.

        I like Billings because he makes guys around him better, has good production, he’s a freak, full of potential, pushes the pocket, highly disruptive, and is nasty. He has a brawler’s mentality. He does need to work on his hand usage, but skies the limit for this kid.

  26. Volume12

    Man, Aldon Smith is a mess. Dude needs help. Another one bites the dust unfortunately.

    I’m all for Seattle taking so-called ‘troubled’ players’ checkered pasts, a red flag, whatever you want to call it, but there’s a huge difference between someone making a mistake, doing dumb ish that kids do, or having to provide for yourself and or family ala Bruce Irvin, and a habitual offender (for lack of a better word) or what I like to call ‘pattern problems.’

    • bigDhawk

      Which means he’ll be a Dallas Cowboy tomorrow.

      • Greg Haugsven

        Funny bigDhawk

      • manthony

        Greg Hardy can mentor him lmao

  27. CHawk Talker Eric

    Does anyone have info on Doug McNeil’s switch to DB?

    • Volume12

      They seem to want a little more size there right now. And the depth with Simon and Lane on PUP is lacking.

      He looks ok, doesn’t move like the rest of the DBs, but that’s to be expected right? Richard is such a hands on coach though, that sometimes you end up watching him instead. It’s going to be hard for a 27 year old to make the switch. McNeil does go hard and shows a willingness to learn, but so far he hasn’t shown much.

      The receiving core is so deep right now, I just don’t think McNeil would’ve cracked it. Lockett looks like everything he was advertised to be and more, Norwood catches the ball so damn cleanly it’s amazing’ Kearse looks really good, ADB gives Sherm a run for his money almost every snap, Matthews wins a ton of jump balls, ‘Rocket’ has been impressive on deep balls, the ‘Bash brothers’ aka Jimmy and Luke could be the best TE combo in the league, and then with P-Rich eventually getting in the fold, where was McNeil going to get his?

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Thanks V12. I agree he was on the wrong side of the bubble, just wondering if he ever played the position or had any kind of chops for it. He’s a pretty good athlete.

        • Volume12

          That I don’t know. Your right, he is a good athlete. I just think with them trading a 6th for Mo Seisay, that they’ll keep him over McNeil. Seisay looks like a nice project. Seattle seems to have a lot of time for Mo. But then again, maybe McNeil ends up sticking around.

  28. CharlietheUnicorn

    I’ve not heard this point mentioned enough. The current RT Britt, was a high quality LT in college. Perhaps the answer is simply having him swing from RT to LT and let Okung walk after the 2015 season.

    This makes sense. He is going to be much cheaper and already understands the offense. He has chemistry with the QB and RBs already. It would be much easier to draft or fill in the RT spot with someone on the roster already. Tackles Davis/Gilliam/Poole all have long term appeal to the Seahawks apparently.

    • bigDhawk

      “High quality” is probably not an accurate description of Britt’s LT play in his final year at Mizzou. If that were so, then he would have been gone long before we picked him at the end of the second round. Britt played RT his previous year and Cable said that was his best tape and his natural position. I genuinely think Bailey will make a serviceable LT in our particular offense. The handful of chances Bailey has had to fill in for Okung at LT have shown he can absolutely play the position, especially in pass protection. Bailey is much better on the left side, and Britt much better on the right. To flip them would put them both out of position.

      And watch out – Sokoli might very well shock the world and become the prototype for a new breed of uber-athletic LTs in the NFL. The Seahawks are really high on him and initially his defensive athleticism seems to be translating to the OL. That’s a longshot obviously, but stay tuned…

      • Jarhead

        Absolutely agree on Sokoli. That is my boy. I hope they try him on every spot on the O Line to find him a home because I think he is going to be a force of Nature. I am pulling for him to upset everyone and end up first team be Week 1. Now that would be rad

  29. Alex

    I agree in that Britt probably won’t be a fit at LT. The guy is a natural run blocker, but wouldn’t be ideal for pass blocking. I would prefer to keep him at RT. As a whole, Okung is still the most rounded offensive linemen on the roster in terms of run blocking and pass blocking. We have to remember that LT are still highly valued in today’s market.

    Even the best tackles today all have some sort of fault. It’s clear the golden age of the LT is past when the likes of Pace or Jones were dominant in both pass blocking and run blocking. Jason Peters is absolutely dominant (the best) in run blocking, but has been beat A LOT of times in pass blocking. Tyron Smith is the opposite- an absolute dancer in pass blocking-, but lacking in core strength and girth as a run blocker. Same with the consensus #1 LT Joe Thomas. The most talented LT of the generation- Duane Brown- got injured in 2013 and has never quite recovered to that 2011/2012 HOF level production when he was actually a top 3 run blocker and pass blocker.

    This is all to say that good LT’s aren’t as good as in the 00s and even those flawed, but good LT’s have a certain undeniable value since there is less than 10 “good” LTs in the league. In comparison to the current crop of LT, Okung is arguably the most well rounded tackle and a legit top 5 or 6 LT when healthy. Due to certain health concerns, he can still be conservatively ranked in the top 8-10 LTs. In that regard, his 7-8 million cap hit is about fair value. If we replace him, one of run block or pass block will definitely suffer.

    I haven’t seen enough of Sokoli to say anything, but I’m not as high on Bailey as most. He has shown to be serviceable at LT (my memory is mostly from the Arizona game), but I wouldn’t want him as a permanent LT. He mirrors well, is strong enough against strong DEs, and uses his hand well. The problem from my observations is his feet. They’re nowhere as agile as I like them to be. The hyper athletic pass rushers such as Clay Matthews and Von Millers of the world will absolutely eat him up. I would say that only Okung on the current roster can handle those pass rushers.

    • Bernardo De Biase

      “If we replace him, one of run block or pass block will definitely suffer.”

      I can tell the what it will be: Both!

      Let’s just hope he has a healthy season so PC/JS doesn’t even think about letting him go for pennies.

      • bigDhawk

        We all know that’s probably not going to happen. Even if it does, it won’t happen the year after. And I would venture that he is maybe top 8-10 when fully healthy. He is not exactly a mauler in the run game even at full strength. I don’t see him being worth the cap space regardless. We don’t need a prototypical LT to protect the blind side of a pure pocket passer in our offense. We need a mauler with just above average feet. Bailey could be that for a season or two…and maybe Sokoli.

        • Alex

          He’s better than 8-10 when fully healthy. He may not be the best at either run blocking or pass blocking, but he is one of the most balanced tackles in the league in both.

          A top 8-10 tackle is definitely worth about 7 million. Left tackles are paid a premium.

          I can see why you would say that we don’t need a pure LT in our run heavy offense, but I would still prefer to have a LT to protect the blindside. That’s still worth something when Wilson does drop back. Also, he is the only pass protector that is able to somewhat handle the speed rushers.

  30. Ho Lee Chit

    Okung is most likely gone after this season. We re-sign guys before they become free agents. His price will bring a 3rd round comp pick. I see the team sliding Bailey (who lost a lot of weight) outside to fill the LT spot. It is probably too critical to trust to a rookie. Then they will move one of this year’s rookies into Bailey’s spot at LG.

    • Alex

      Hate Bailey’s feet. Slow. I can’t imagine Clay Matthews or Von Miller lined up across. It would be a nightmare.

      • bigDhawk

        You are probably thinking of the couple times you saw Bailey on the right side of the line filling in at RT. He is terrible on the right side. On the left side, however, his feet are fantastic, and he may just be the best pass pro lineman we have when playing on the left side.

        • Alex

          The game I’m thinking of is the Arizona game last year. Okung was out, Bailey was at LT. He more than matched up to Alex Okafor, but Okafor is more of a power rather than a speed player. I distinctly remember watching Bailey’s feet. They were SLOW and HEAVY. Okung is much, much more agile. I couldn’t help but think to myself that thank god all of Arizona’s Front 7 are more of the run stopping/power players. If Arizona had a true speed rusher in the mold of a Aldon Smith, Von Miller, or Clay Matthews, the blind side would have been a leaking wall.

          Not saying that Bailey is bad. He’s fine as a swing tackle and GREAT at mirroring opponents, but there are some very clear physical limitations preventing him from becoming a legit LT. I would be really, really worried against the Rams’ defensive end (and the 49ers before they self imploded this offseason).

  31. Volume12

    A nice little tidbit for all us draftniks.

    Seattle scouts were at Alabama and Lousiville this off-season.

    Alabama has a ton of NFL talent on the D-line. Personally I’m a big fan of DE Jonathan Allen, but is he redundant to Frank Clark?

    Really like L’ville’s DT Sheldon Rankins too. Has some Jordan Hill to his game, highly mature, and can really get after the QB as well as stopping the run.

    Rob, if everything goes smoothly with Clark, do you think Seattle would consider drafting L’ville DE/OLB DeVonte Fields?

    • Volume12

      Oh yeah, keep an eye on L’ville HB Brandon ‘Bad Rad’ Radcliff as a sleeper. This dude runs hard. Low to the ground, good feet/balance, and seems like he wants to hit guys. He’s well-spoken and articulate, right in Seattle’s wheelhouse at 5’9, 215 lbs., and is pretty jacked, also says he loves competition.

      Last year L’ville had HBs Dominique Brown and Michael Dyer, but Radcliff still led the team in rushing with 700+ yds, 12 TDs, and a 5.1 YPC average. Hmmm…seems like a nice fit in a RBBC.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Keen eye V12. My neighbor is a Louisville alum and massive Cardinal fan, can’t stop talking about their sports teams. Kinda sucks during bb season, but every now and then he drops a nugget of good info. Like he did with Radcliff last season.

        I didn’t pay any attention to him back then, but after reading your post I took a look at Radcliff. Interesting runner. Really fluid, swivel hipped, tough to get a hold of. Not noticeably fast, or strong, but good burst and a knack for finding the hole. Fun highlight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuUUAz4tV2o

        Regarding the DL, Clark, and looking to the future – it’s starting to look like an embarrassment of riches. Avril/Rubin/Mebane/Bennett and Avril/Bennett/Hill/Irvin situational packages with Marsh and Clark in rotation and Gwacham in development. Irvin’s status is the big question mark, and if his offseason is any indication, he’ll likely play himself out of SEA’s price range this year. KPL might be able to fill Irvin’s LB shoes (cleats), but he’s no LEO.

        • Volume12

          So glad I have someone to now discuss ‘Bad Rad’ with. I disagree about his strength though. And your right, while his speed isn’t off the charts it’s good. As we know, Seattle wants tough/grind it out/get the tough yards between the tackles runners that give it their all on every carry.

          According to reports he runs a 4.50-4.55, has a phenomenal work ethic too. Apparently he lives in the weight room. Benches 400 pounds, and this summer when L’ville players took breaks to go home, he stayed in the weight room and worked on his craft.

          Check out these numbers. This is a guy that gets better as the game goes on. His YPC average jumped from 4.7 to 5.4 after halftime, 8 of his 12 TDs came in the 3rd or 4th quarter, he averaged 10 yards on 18 3rd down carries, and on the 12 times he ran with it being 3rd and 3 or shorter he averaged 9 yards.

          As for the D-line again your spot on about it being close to an embarassment of riches. I still think this team drafts an edge rusher, and takes 2 DTs. A run-stuffer later on and a 3-tech early to mid rounds. After this year Mebane, Rubin, ‘Monstar,’ Dobbs, Smith are all FAs, Hill is a FA after 2016, and they already cut Tony McD.

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            Bad Rad, I like that! I wasn’t aware of his game stats – better in the 2nd half. Remind you of anyone currently on the roster? Also, he has nice hands, can catch on the fly out of the backfield.

            If the change in DL personnel from 2013-2014 proves anything, it’s that no position group is safe or complete. FA, injuries, cap casualties, all take their toll. No question SEA drafts at least 1 each of EDGE and DT.

            • Volume12

              Funny you mention if he reminds me of anyone. His older brother is a HS FB coach in their hometown of Miami and says ‘Bad Rad’s’ leg drive is on par with only one other guy. Now, maybe he’s partial, but still interesting nonetheless.

              The hands are nice and he takes pride in pass blocking and said that’s one of the thngs he’s improved on the most since lat year.

              Here’s three more highly impressive stats and then I’ll move on for now. The P5 is what I refer to as the power five conferences in CFB. His TD-rush ratio was second among all P5 ‘backs, his 3rd down conversion rate was 6thin the P5, and his runs that went for 10+ yards put him at 16th in the P5. Go get a kid like this in the upcoming draft and in 2017 take a Samaje Perine, Nick Chubb, Royce Freeman, etc.

              Regarding the D-line. You have your eye on anyone in particular?

              • Volume12

                That was supposed to say versus P5 teams.

              • CHawk Talker Eric

                I like James Cowser, Southern Utah. He’s somewhat similar to Marsh in terms of size and scheme fit, but I like the guy’s motor. He fits SEA’s style of nonstop relentless pursuit of the QB. At the risk of overstating it, he reminds me of a slightly smaller JJ Watt (when Watt was a Badger). He’s an interesting LEO prospect.

                Rankins is as fine a DT prospect for SEA’s style of D as any out there this year.

                • Volume12

                  Definetly agree about Rankins.

                  Cowser is very intriguing. Also has some Jared Allen to his game. He’s a guy I’ll have to monitor a little more now. Nice heads up.

                  As for the O-line, have you checked out Mizzou’s Connor McGovern? I think he’s this year’s Mitch Morse. Can play LT, RT, RG, and C. Put up 40 reps of 225, runs a 4.9 flat, has a 32 in. vert, and is a nasty run blocker.

                  • CHawk Talker Eric

                    I see the Allen aspect to Cowser’s game. But I see some Allen in Marsh too. SEA has a strong recruiting presence in UT, so I’m sure they’re on him.

                    Connor The McGovenator? Haven’t seen him play, but those are some intriguing stats for sure. I’ll have to keep my eye on him when I watch Mizzou games.

                    I’m so looking forward to cfb season starting.

  32. vrtkolman

    None of the top tackle prospects will fall to the lower end of the 1st round where Seattle will pick. Even Ogbuhei went into the 1st round this year and I thought he was a 2nd rounder at most. If they can re-sign Okung at about what they are paying him now, I would be ok with that.

    • Volume12

      I think you may be right my man.

      Would also like to see Okung back.

  33. Ed

    2016

    Let Okung walk
    Let Mebane walk
    Let Kearse walk
    Let Lynch walk (depends on how well he plays down the stretch)
    Cut Avril
    Trade Wright
    Resign Irvin
    Resign Britt
    Restructure Cam

    1st DL
    2nd OL
    3rd RB
    3rd (comp) DL

    • CharlietheUnicorn

      2016

      Let Okung walk (3rd round comp in 2017)
      Let Mebane walk (might retire anyhow)
      Let Kearse walk
      Let Irvin walk (4th round comp in 2017)

      Avril Stays
      KJ Wright stays
      Rework Bam Bam

      Resign Sweazy
      Resign Britt
      Resign Lane (if possible)

      Trade Bennett
      Trade/Cut CB Willams

      As for the draft
      1st TE/RB
      2nd OL
      3rd QB
      4th DL/LB/CB

      • CharlietheUnicorn

        I forgot Lynch. But, it is safe to say, if the team wants him to play and he wants to play.. they will. Otherwise he will 1) retire or 2) get traded to Oakland

  34. Volume12

    Why re-sign Britt going into his 3rd year?
    I see a lot of this ‘cut Avril’ talk, and I personally don’t get it. You can be an effective pass rusher well into your thirties. Not many guys coming ut of college are going to run sub 1.60 10 yard splits, can bend the edge, and convert speed to power or vice versa.
    Whty trade KJ? Not every guy is going to be a superstar. KPL is nice, exciting, and full of potential, but in certain/sub packages. If he were to start every game, he wouldn’t hold up due to his lack of size.
    As long as there’s money on the table, Lynch ain’t walking away from it. I kmow it says ‘depending on how well he plays down the stretch,’ but when has he not? And even if his game slides some, he’d still be incredibly valuable or useful in a RBBC for a year or two.

    • Ed

      Sorry, that was resing Sweezy, my bad.

      Avril will be making too much money for a guy getting 8 sacks and at times limited pressure.

      Wright is good and versatile, but no overly dynamic. We can’t spend so big on all LB.

      For Lynch, you can’t continue to pay your RB 10+ per year. He has been the guy, but that changed when Wilson got 20+ per year. Let’s hope Rawls /Michael show they can split the load

      • Volume12

        I just don’t think paying a RG is more important than a LT. Much easier to find athletic RGs or convet D-lineman than it is to find a LT. And no Bailey isn’t the answer. Can’t handle speed rushers, doesn’t have enough length, he hadn’t even looked good this training camp so far at LG.

        KJ doesn’t have to be dynamic. And they already spent big on him. Then you go and draft pick on guy who will be the 4th LB on the depth chart unnecessarily?

        It’s not all about sacks. That’s so overrated. He gets plenty of disruption. It was not a coincidence that once Avril got inured in the SB that Brady started picking us apart.

        You think they would’ve paid KJ and Avril and thrn said ‘now we have to pay RW so we can’t keep you guys? That money RW got was set aside ahead of time.

        Let Lynch walk, but ‘hope’ C-mike and Rawls can carry the load? Who does that? This team’s m.o. isn’t changing because RW got paid.

        • Ed

          It’s not about importance, it’s about what value for what you get. Okung, while good, isn’t the elite player he used to be (not even close) and he’s injury prone. KJ is solid, but not spectacular. Avril played over 700 snaps and got 14 pressures and 5 sacks. Would rather spend the money elsewhere. If they want to give bargain prices, I’m in. You can’t pay everyone and you can’t keep everyone.

          And yes, they had money set aside for Wilson, but how can you not think it will affect how this team is put together in the future. His money will take away from everyone else’s money. And while our MO won’t change a large amount, it will. We have added Graham and paid Wilson, the % will slowly change (it already has 2013 54.7% run/pass to 2014 53.6% run/pass) and while we will never be a 60% passing team, we will be closer to or exceed 50/50 in a year

          • Volume12

            ‘It’s not about importance.’ That’s a new one to me.

            I agree you can’t keep everyone or pay eveyone, but you also can’t have a superstar or borderline pro-bowlers at every spot.

            It doesn’t make sense to me to cut guys like KJ, Avril and then turning around and having to replace them. If they were impending FAs I’d get it. But it’s kind of creating unnecessary holes. We can argue until we’re blue in the face about this, but obviously the FO feels those 2 are part of their core identity.

            Adding Jimmy Graham does nothing to dissuade me from the fact this team is still a run first, run to set up the pass team. There’s not team out there that places more of a premium on running the ball. Jimmy isn’t here to be what he was in NO, but rather to open things in the running game, give them a legit red-zone weapon other than Lynch, and forcing opposing D coordinators to figure out how to stop him coupled with Seattle’s run game.

            • Ed

              It always happens though. You never have a Pro Bowler to replace a Pro Bowler. You judge the talent and if it matches up with the money, cool. At some point, they won’t match up, which is why guys get cut or traded. Yes, they are on the team right now, but we are talking about next year. I guess we will see if Okung/Wright/Lynch/Avril are here next year or not.

              • Volume12

                It doesn’t always happen though. I don’t think your giving this FO enough credit. If signing KJ and Avril was going to hamstring this team that much and knowing you had to pay RW and BWagz they wouldn’t have done it. Might as well signed them to one year deals.

                This team has a 3 year model in place now. Reward your own/guys that have worked their tail off to fit in and help this team win by any means necessary. When has Seattle ever not gotten good value out of guys they reward (re-sign)?

                Seattle isn’t going to be as hard pressed cap wise as some think. But if they can only re-sign 2-3 guys, a couple depth pieces or role players and not add any outside FAs unless they’re bargain bin guys, so be it.

  35. Volume12

    CHAWK my man.

    Thought I’d mention this since you were curious, but CB Doug McNeil had looked prety damn impresive the past 2 days at camp. Picked off Archer today, and had a nice pass breakup of RW to Luke attempt yesterday as well.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Thanks V12. I’ve read nice things about Dion Bailey and even Keenan Lambert, but nothing about McNeil other than PC saying how he’s longer and slightly faster than Sherman.

      • Volume12

        Yeah, Dion Bailey has really wowed me. Dude is a complete safety that just seems to make big plays.

    • CharlietheUnicorn

      I see him as a PS guy for a year… after that, he might become a force. Very unique athlete.

  36. Old but Slow

    Speaking of the offensive line, apparently (according to Seahawks.com) Drew Nowack is getting first team reps along with Jeanpierre, and Carroll said that DN is slightly ahead of the others. Similarly, Keavon Milton seems to be running ahead of Bailey at LG. Milton is 6-4 and 324 and only 25 years old. He was on the practice squad last year.

    • CharlietheUnicorn

      There was a report on one of the sportradio stations (950 I think) that said the OL has not looked that impressive all camp. Really getting their asses handed to them overall. Perhaps that means the DL is better than last year… or the OL is worse than last year. Down the road, the younger / gritty OL will pay dividends, but the Game vs the RAMS is going to be a war in the trenches.

      • Volume12

        Yup, even watching training camp in person you can see that that the O-line hasn’t looked great. Okung and Britt have by far been the most impressive and Nowak is right up there.

        Sokoli, Glo, and Sweezy have looked ok or good, but Poole, Lewis, and Bailey have really struggled so far. IMO they’ll select another LG/RT/LT in a pinch type of guy and another C/RG type.

        And to your point about the D-line, they’ve looked tremendous. Avril and Bennett are partners in crime as usual, Rubin looks immovable, Hill has gotten a ton of penetration, Marsh is jacked up and looks potentially special, Clark has blown me away. He’s a bad ass. Irvin looks great, and D’Anthony Smith has been the surprise player to me on the D-line.

        The D-line as a whole, Jimmy Graham, Tyler Lockett, and Eric Pinkns have been the most impressive to my eye

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          I’d add Irvin to that list. He’s really stepped up in an offseason where he had to.

          • Volume12

            Irvin was in that list. He’s a hybrid edge rushet or stand up D-lineman.

            • CHawk Talker Eric

              Sorry V12, didn’t see him in there at first. I read in interview where Irvin said he added the 20lbs of muscle to broaden his appeal to DCs around the League as a legit DE instead of a hybrid ‘tweener.

              • Volume12

                That’s alright man. Sorry if I came off snarky.

                That’s very interesting. I also wonder if the added weight could be so teams that run a 3-4 may take a look at him. Thay way he has his pick from basically anybody.

                But from what you said it seems like he wants to go to a 4-3 defense and put his hand in the dirt. If it’s not Atlanta I’d bet it’s another team in the southern part of the country. Then he’s at least closer to home. It would appear the writing is on the wall with him in terms of FA.

                Bruce is a guy I’m forever going to root for, unless somehow he ends up in Pittsburgh, Dallas, Green Bay, or New England.

                • CHawk Talker Eric

                  Not at all my man.

                  I could see JAX making Irvin a big offer. I reckon Gus would like a reunion with him.

                • CHawk Talker Eric

                  Or MIA. Especially after Jordan’s bust. That’d be an interesting DL – Wake, Suh and Irvin.

      • Alex

        Reports are suggesting that the bookend tackles are fine (Britt and Okung). The interior however is just getting mauled (except maybe Sweezy).

  37. AlaskaHawk

    Should be interesting to see our backups playing tonight. I will be especially interested in the performance of our two backup safeties. With Kam holding out and the possiblility of injuries during the season, those two our vital to the defense. Defensive line sounds pretty solid, should be fun to watch the new guys perform. Linebacker and secondary, I’m expecting the usual excellent play.

    Offensively, how the line is performing. I really want to see some action from Rawls and Micheals. Need to sort out our running back of the future. Then there will be the assortment of receivers. Who will make the team?

    I’m excited, lets go beat Denver!!!

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