How Seattle’s future cap space should’ve provided flexibility

Dante Fowler essentially signed a two-year agreement in Atlanta

There’s sometimes a misunderstanding between average salary and cap hit. I noticed this in the reaction to my alternative off-season article posted a few days ago.

In the piece I projected Jadeveon Clowney’s cap hit as $11.1m, despite him demanding much more. In the case of this projection I used Demarcus Lawrence’s contract structure. Lawrence’s cap hit in 2019 was $11.1m despite the fact he agreed a $22m a year contract with the Cowboys.

Most teams limit the year-one damage to try and quickly get to a sweet-spot that I’m going to call the red and blue zone.

The red zone is the point in a contract where a cap hit is less than the dead money you’d inherit if you cut or traded a player. Thus, it will cost you money to part ways.

The blue zone is where the dead hit is lower than the cap hit, to the point where you can get out of the contract and actually save money.

The red and blue zones always follow each other and actually determine the true length of a contract. What might look like a four-year deal might actually only be one, two or three years — if there’s an out for the team quickly.

For example, Frank Clark signed a massive extension with the Chiefs a year ago worth an average salary of $20.8m. His cap hit in 2019 however was just $6.5m.

As Clark’s cap hit grows, the Chiefs reach the point where they can realistically move on from him if they wish:

Cap hit: $6.5m
Dead money: $44m

Cap hit: $19.3m
Dead money: $56.3m

Cap hit: $25.8m
Dead money: $37.8m

Cap hit: $26.3m
Dead money: $12.9m

Cap hit: $27.8m
Dead money: $6.4m

As you can see from the contract structure, the Chiefs are really only tied to Clark until the end of the 2021 season. They can then cut him and create over $13m in cap space if they desire. What was announced as a five-year contract is really only a three or four-year deal.

People often say the Chiefs can afford a massive contract like this because Mahomes is on a rookie contract. Breaking down a deal like this exposes the reality. The meat of Clark’s contract — when he reaches the red zone and can’t be cut — will coincide with Mahomes signing his own record-breaking extension.

The Chiefs are trying to surround Mahomes with talent on both sides of the ball. The result was a Super Bowl Championship last season and they’ll likely be favourites to win it again in 2020.

It’s still surprising that the Seahawks haven’t been as pro-active to try and put themselves in greater contention. Russell Wilson, after his call for superstars, must look at his AFC counterpart with envy.

As of today Seattle has barely any long term commitments beyond Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner. Even Tyler Lockett’s contract ends after 2021 and he’s reasonably paid at $10.25m a year. The Seahawks only have five players with a cap hit of $5m or more in 2021:

Russell Wilson — $32m
Bobby Wagner — $17.2m
Jarran Reed — $13.5m
Duane Brown — $13m
Tyler Lockett — $11.5m

Furthermore, Reed has no dead money tied to his deal next year. They can cut him and save $13.5m if they wish. Brown’s dead hit is only $2m. So even with their highest paid players, they have flexibility.

There’s a lot of speculation that the cap will reduce next year due to the economic impact of coronavirus. Even so, the Seahawks have an estimated $63.9m available at the moment — seventh most in the league. In 2022 they’re estimated to have $189.8m available.

These numbers will reduce if they sign Shaquill Griffin and Chris Carson to new contracts. Arguably neither warrants an extension before the season. Griffin has three career interceptions and two came in one game against Mitchell Trubisky. Carson has had injury and fumbling issues.

Regardless, they easily could’ve structured and carried some long term outside-free agent contracts into their database to create a smaller 2020 hit while surviving some ‘red zone’ moments in 2021 or 2022 — before having the freedom to get out of certain contracts if needs be.

Let’s look at some examples. Remember, they spent nearly $60m in free agency this year.

Jack Conklin signed with the Browns for $14m a year. Yet his cap hit in 2020 is just $8m. That’s only $2m more than the cap hit of Bruce Irvin and it’s $2m cheaper than K.J. Wright’s cap hit. He reaches his red zone next year when his cap hit is $13m and the dead money is $22m. Yet by 2022 the Browns can realistically get out of the contract because his cap hit is $15m and the dead money is $9m. This is basically a two-season commitment at a fairly modest price.

If the Seahawks had wanted to commit to Conklin, who is only 25, they could’ve easily carried him for the next two years and had more than enough remaining to invest in their defensive line.

Dante Fowler signed in Atlanta for $15m a year which sounds hefty. Yet his 2020 cap hit is just $6.6m — or $600,000 more than Bruce Irvin’s. Next year he takes up a much bigger $18.6m. However, his red zone isn’t really that bad. The Falcons did a good job structuring this contract and limiting the damage. They can save $3m by cutting him in a year. At the end of the 2021 season they can cut him and create $15m in cap space. Or they can extend his contract.

This is basically a two-year commitment to Fowler. Again, the Seahawks could’ve easily taken on a $6.6m cap hit this year and handled the $18.6m hit in 2021. He had 11.5 sacks last season, 35 pressures and 19 hurries — among the league leaders in all three categories.

Robert Quinn had the same number of sacks and pressures. Like Fowler, he’s basically operating under a two-year arrangement in Chicago. A few people were surprised by his $14m a year salary with the Bears. Yet his cap hit in 2020 is just $6.1m. He reaches his red zone next year — when his cap hit ($14.7m) is far smaller than the dead money ($23.9m). After that? They can cut him and save $7m.

As noted, when I talked about Clowney I used Demarcus Lawrence’s contract as a framework. Dallas gave Lawrence a deal worth $21m a year.

Plenty of people have expressed concern about Clowney following his decision not to sign with any team during free agency. Very few of these concerns were raised prior to the market opening of course — when media members rushed to project he would earn as much, if not more, than Lawrence and Clark.

He’s perceived to be an injury risk. Yet a deal similar to Lawrence’s would’ve only committed the Seahawks to two or three seasons, when they clearly have the cap space to carry the player who was their best performer on the D-line in 2019.

If they wanted to limit the year-one cap hit they could’ve paid Clowney as little as $11.1m this season, followed by two red zone seasons where he’d take up $22m and carry $53.9m (2021) and $32m (2022) in dead money. After that they’d have an out by the end of the 2022 season, when they could save $14m by cutting him.

Alternatively they could’ve accelerated the hit to essentially make it a glorified two-year contract. They could’ve committed $22m to Clowney in 2020 and 2021 and had that same out by the end of the second season.

$22m might seem like a lot to commit and given the cold nature of his market, it might’ve been possible to compromise and get him to accept $20m or even $18m. However, with so much money to spend this year — it also would’ve been easily manageable within the cap and it would’ve guaranteed the best defensive lineman stayed in Seattle, with a further $40m still to spend elsewhere (and the freedom to create more if they were willing to cut players early like K.J. Wright).

Or they could’ve just targeted Quinn and/or Fowler. There were alternatives, although as noted in previous articles — I think the Seahawks were committed to Clowney and were caught off guard when he didn’t accept their best offer. If they were so focused on Clowney and Jarran Reed early in free agency, it’s possible they never even seriously talked to or considered players like Conklin, Fowler, Quinn or Calais Campbell (who was traded to Baltimore).

The purpose of articles like this is to highlight the relative advantage the Seahawks had in terms of resources this off-season and allow you to make your mind up whether they correctly used them. They don’t have another opportunity to invest $60m in the roster this year. Any further moves they make will have to take into account they basically have about $5m left to spend. In order to create further room they’ll have to be aggressive and ruthless — hacking away at the depth they seemingly strived for a few weeks ago or forcing out respected veterans and giving them very little opportunity to latch on elsewhere.

It’s certainly possible they might be one defensive tackle signing away from essentially being done — with the hopes of a defensive resurgence falling at the feet of players like Benson Mayowa. Again, it’ll be up to you to determine whether they’ve made the most of their resources this off-season.

I will continue to try and shed light on this. It’s important for fans to see the full picture, not just the one that paints the team in the best picture.

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  1. DougK

    Thanks Rob for the explanation of the cap hit-dead money. I’ve never really understood it before but your examples make a lot of sense for me now.

  2. cha

    Nice succinct breakdown Rob. Thank you for illuminating this.

    OTC had a similar article. Interesting that they posit that the Seahawks have pretty good cap health and Jason hints the Seahawks had the room to get spendy this year if they wanted to.

  3. cha

    For the record, Reed has a $5m dead cap hit in 2021 according to OTC. Spotrac has $0 but they apportioned Reed’s bonus money the same as OTC so I’m fairly confident that he does have $5m dead cap in 2021.

    Still, they would save $8.475m so the point stands that the cap savings would be advantageous if they decided to cut him.

    And that was a very important part of the contract IMO. Reed is one incident from getting suspended for a very long time, if not banned.

  4. Ashish

    I hope Benson Mayowa and Irvin shines and our new player develop as stud

  5. Hoggs41

    Reed would have a $5m dead cap next year if released. Spotrac has it wrong as he got a $10m signing bonus that would spread over the two years. He just left the second year blank on accident. Most contracts are pretty similar to Franks as they all usually have outs. The Seahawks usually like to get there outs even earlier as they only guarantee the first year of the deals. Look at Wilsons with $70m guanteed at signing ($65m SB and $5m Base?. The same for Wagners as he got $24.5m guaranteed at signing ($15m SB and $9.5m base). You hear all the time the devil are in the details.

    • Rob Staton

      Whether it’s 0 or $5m the point pretty much remains with Reed’s deal.

  6. Edgar

    Once again, another great write up and explanation of why the Seahawks don’t have an excuse not to sign top level talent. I still think signing Hyde for 2.8 was a bargain;)

  7. Leo Plallanck

    I agree that Seahawks offseason has been more than a bit puzzling, and I was actually thinking that the Seahawks could be weaker this year than last, but Bob Condotta had an article in the Seattle Times today that made me change my mind about that. He broke down the roster in terms of position group and asked whether the group was better, the same, or worse than last year. All but three of the position groups are better than last year (and I agree that the ones that are better, are really better than last year). One is the same (quarterback-but you can’t really improve on that) as last year and two are worse than last year. The two that are worse? Offensive line and defensive line. Now, the latter isn’t a surprise to any Seahawks fan-that’s really where most of the concern lies with the offseason, and that was last years biggest weakness. However, I’m not convinced that the offensive line is worse than last year, and I actually think it could be much better than last year (e.g., Damien Lewis looks like winner, and based upon the level of interest Ifedi received in free agency, it appears that nobody is really too enamored of him, so they probably won’t be worse at that position). They also still have a chance of getting Clowney and Everson Griffen, and if that happens, I would argue that the team is better across the board. So, let’s give this a bit more time before deciding the offseason was a failure.

    • Rob Staton

      One unit can bring down an entire team.

      Seattle’s pass rush was among the worst in the NFL and it hammered the season. If the DL is worse this year, and I think it is, then it doesn’t matter if they’ve made minor improvements at receiver and linebacker.

      You can’t determine whether Seattle is stronger or weaker going position by position. That’s too black or white.

    • cha

      I don’t quite understand what you’re saying. In the conclusion to the article, Condotta says what just about everyone has been thinking for this entire offseason. They’re not better at this point in time.

      That’s more betters than worses. But that both sides of the line are where the biggest question marks remain — especially on the defensive line — makes it harder to say the Seahawks have definitively improved.

      And remember, we’re talking about improving a team that won 11 games and another in the playoffs last year.

      This looks like a team with the ability to get back to that level, but one that will have to have some significant things go right to do much more.

    • Bmseattle

      Another thing to consider with this exercise, is relative value of each position group.
      I would suggest that defensive line and offensive line are the 2nd and 3rd most important positions on the team (after QB, of course).
      So those two positions being potentially worse than last year, could easily overcome gains made in other areas.

      • mishima

        In hindsight, part of me wishes they had drafted Isaiah Wilson (OT) + Lewis (OG) to lock down the right side, develop consistency/continuity for the next 4-5 years.

        What’s the point of kind of fixing important position groups. Too much turnover.

        • BC_Hawk

          Me too….and if they really loved Brooks, mortgage a bit of the future to get back into the late 1st/early 2nd RND to get him.

          IMHO, the complexion of the offseason would have looked a heck of a lot better with simply drafting Wilson and just signing Clowney.

          • mishima

            IMO, they could have made do at LB, OG, TE. Needed DL, OT, CB, RB.

            Lowering expectations for 2020, but looking forward to another productive draft and maybe a couple nice signings, next year.

  8. Martin

    Great insight, Rob, as always. And kudos for not painting roses where there are thorns. What appears alarmingly concerning is PC/JS are getting outmaneuvered by their peers, or so it seems. It also appears that maybe Pete is stubbornly loyal to some of these re-signed players…..I’m not impressed with the vast majority of these so-very-average returnees. I don’t get it. Has the PC/JS duo run it’s course as far as competing for CONFERENCE championships, not just wildcard wins?

  9. pdway

    those are all well-taken points. my sense is some version of what you noted – they figured for a long time that they would eventually reel Clowney in – and when it dragged out, they were not quick enough to pivot to a plan B, and ended up w second-tier guys to try and replace his productivity.

    In a sense, it likely would have been better for the Hawks if Clowney signed elsewhere early, at least then they could have evaluated a run at one of the higher-end D-lineman. that miscalculation could end up defining this off-season.

  10. Moose

    I have a question regarding dead money that teams carry. What is the average dead money that NFL teams carry and on top of that does that indicate in any way the cap health of a team? I guess to put it another way it is great to have an out that generates cap room in player contracts but do teams factor in that if they have 5 cuts that each carry 5mil in dead money now you have 25 mil you aren’t allocating to players that are contributing on the field?

    • Rob Staton

      Sure, teams factor it in all the time.

      And sometimes they don’t. New England is hammered by dead money this year.

      But ultimately you can always create room. And because of that, you can pretty much get done whatever you want to.

  11. Hoggs41

    Where are people at in thinking our pass rush will be better by nature just getting out of the base defense 70% of the time. Schlereth brings up some good points on his interview with 710.

    • Rob Staton

      They just spent a R1 pick on a linebacker and are paying two others $25m this season. They haven’t signed a nickel cornerback.

      Why do people think they’re not going to be in base as much???

      • Hoggs41

        Because we were 26th in total defense. One of the main reasons they did it was because of the speed of Kendricks. He isnt on the team anymore. I’d bet the farm they use base defense much less that last year.

        • cha

          They’re paying Irvin $6m this year and they’ve told him they’ll play him in Hendricks’ spot in base.

          • Spencer

            Where did you see them say that, Cha?

        • cha


          • Hoggs41

            Not sure how Irvins signing is relevant? He played the SAM before and we were never close to 70% base defense. The better question to ask is why people would think we would try that experiment again?

            • Jeff108

              Why do you think it’s just an experiment? Same coaches and scheme.

            • cha

              I’m sorry, I thought connection was obvious. They’re not going to pay a guy $6m to play SAM and then only run him out for some small percentage of snaps.

        • EranUngar

          We are not 26th in total defense, we are 26th in yards allowed.

          We are 22nd in points allowed, 18th in DVOA, 16th in 3rd down conversions, 6th in interceptions, 3rd in T.O. etc.

          It’s not a good defense and the DL was BAD but it was not the worst in the NFL…

          • Rob Staton

            It was one of the worst pass rushes though and one of the worst run defending units.

            • EranUngar

              No argument on the negative DL effects. I am just saying that there were positives elsewhere that balanced it a little.

              If we can upgrade the DL to mediocre rather than horrendous we could have a solid unit.

              • Rob Staton

                Marginal improvements at positions like LB and TE/WR do not balance making your incompetent DL even worse.

                • EranUngar

                  I was no talking about the off season moves.

                  I was talking about the 2019 defense.

                  The DL was indeed one of the worse in the NFL. The defense as a whole was a bit better than the DL mainly due to generating an average of 2 turnovers a game.

                  It did not and will not balance making your incompetent DL even worse but if we can improve the DL (I.E. – Sign Clowney) the rest of the defense could help making it into a solid unit.

                  • Rob Staton

                    The entire defense needed more work doing to it. Not just hoping Clowney signs months after free agency started.

        • Rob Staton

          It doesn’t matter whether they were 26th in defense.

          I’ve just pointed out to you a legitimate counter.

          No nickel added.

          First round pick on a LB.

          • Bayahawk

            You don’t see Dunbar or, more likely, Flowers as the nickel?

            • Rob Staton


              Flowers has never been a nickel. Pure outside corner in Seattle.

              They might have some situations where they put him and Dunbar on the field at the same time but not for the majority of snaps and it won’t be close.

              Again, they are paying one linebacker (Wright) $10m and just spent their R1 pick on a linebacker. Why are people thinking THAT is a precursor to fewer three LB formations????

              • Kenny Sloth

                Would you move on from KJ to bring in dl help? If so, would you move to more sub packages/ nickel as base

                • Rob Staton

                  If they were intent on drafting a LB with their top pick I would’ve move on in February or March when you could save $7.5m. Now you can only save $6.5m and it’d be a snake move to cut him this late in the process, minimising his chances of latching on somewhere else. That ship has sailed.

                  • mishima


                    Committed to Wright
                    Drafted Barton, 2019

                    Still went into 2020 draft with LB as a draft priority and a willingness to stay in base defense. I like Brooks (hated the pick), but can’t make sense of it.

                    I might consider Griffin our best outside corner and best nickel option. Surprised CB was a greater priority free agency and draft.

                  • mishima

                    *wasn’t a greater priority*

  12. Bankhawk

    Rob, I want to get in line to thank you for that really, really good explanation of issues of the sort that I pretty much always struggle with. The level of complexity that is inherent in salary cap discussions is even more confusing to me than, oh say, listening to podcasts about quantum physics and ‘a theory of everything’.

    Even as well as you laid it out, I still have some trouble getting around the question of how ‘what is’ strayed so far from ‘what has actually gone down with thisoff-season. Now, as one who does not believe that J.S./P.C. are flat out fools, nor that they lack competent advisors on the finer financial points of contracts and cap issues, I’m still confused by the divergence from their stated goals going in.

    I find your suggestion that Clowney’s reaction to their negotiating strategy caught them a bit off guard and unraveled some of their overall approach to the offseason to be about as plausible as anything I’về yet heard. My problem now is figuring what options this leaves them with here in the late going, as I find it truly hard to fathom them being willing to go into the season pinning their hopes on two journeymen + sophomores stepping up + rookies flashing.

    So, we have a possible explanation for how we got to this place. But what do people see as their ‘salvage operation’? Do you think there is still a chance they make those brutal cuts and adjustments you suggested and bring either Clowney or Griffen onboard oin an 11th hour signing? As I’về said before, standing pat seems far-fetched.

  13. Kingdome1976

    I’ve been a long time Pete and John fan….But after these two articles I might be on the fire em’ both bandwagon. Let’s keep these going.

    • Edgar

      I’ve been saying this for 3 years. Russell Wilson is why Seattle contends for the division every season. A younger more innovative coach would improve this team. Pete is Joe Paterno now. Yada yada yada he is great with the background stuff……is he? Because his in game decisions are brutal.

      • BobbyK

        I am fine with Pete. He’s not perfect, but no coach is. In my opinion, he’s still one of the better ones.

        My biggest problem is the lack of talent the front office has acquired. But, yes, Pete has big time say. Pete the personnel decision maker is who I have a problem with – not Pete Carroll the coach.

        This is a lack of talent issue. A more “innovative” coach would be working with the same crap overall talent. But they would have a franchise QB.

  14. mishima

    By prioritizing TE and OL in free agency, I wanted them to address the DL, early/often in the draft.

    Then they drafted WILL, OG and TE with 3 of their first 4 picks.

    They had the cap space, flexibility and draft picks to fix the defense, but didn’t do enough, IMO.

    • Spencer

      I agree. I do like the players that they took, I just resent the positions. It was definitely a frustrating draft to watch.

  15. BobbyK

    The only positive I can take from this off-season is that a lot of the players they have signed aren’t going to be here long-term, meaning their money comes off the books after this singular year. If there ever was going to be an off-season where veterans were more important, on average, than rookies – it is this year with missed OTA and potentially training camp time. If that’s true, it’s even dumber they passed on Jonathan Taylor because (good/great) RBs can provide impact more than most other rookies).

    I can’t imagine anyone wanting Carson/Griffin too badly. If they do – good for them. If Carson was an ironman, I’d feel differently. But he’s the most physical back I’ve ever seen who gets hurt as often as he does (7 years running). Weird combination.

    The beauty of being a Seahawks fan right now is that we still have a chance to potentially reach the Super Bowl because we have a franchise QB. The team can reach glory in spite of the GM (and head coach), even though they’re the reason the franchise QB was attained in the first place (or they might not have jobs today). Granted, the odds aren’t as good as they were had they acquired Campbell and drafted J. Taylor, but good things can still happen in 2020 (and Feb of ’21). If the ’85 Seahawks had Wilson, they would have been 13-3 (not 8-8). Oh well… Teams with crap situations at QB have no hope for ’20 – we actually do have Super Bowl aspirations even though the roster, on average, is not in the upper half in the league in terms of talent.

  16. HOUSE


    Again… Great work. I think this was a well written article and going into the “language” of a contract is such an important thing to understand. Compared to other major sports, it does blow my mind that NFL contracts aren’t fully guaranteed and the verbiage can be so loose. The Seahawks do still have good flexibility in the future and deals could still be had with some restructuring and future allocations. I believe this FO has been smart about not committing future dollars and we need to be smart about Clowney’s situation.

    While I am certain there will be other moves, an interesting one I saw today (albeit it was on Bleacher Report) was Ryan Kerrigan to the Seahawks for a mid-rd pick. His salary in 2020 is $11.7M and WAS would probably need to eat some of his salary.

    I don’t know how much better Kerrigan would be over Mayowa and Irvin. If he was cut, I’d definitely be willing to take a look at him.

  17. Tony

    I still trust what they’re doing. They either trust what they saw in practice or have something in mind scheme wise. No way they walk into what they did last year thinking pass rush is overrated. If next year shows a full avalanche of issues or the pass rush is as inept, then let’s pounce with the WTF were they thinking, talk. As bizarrely as they played this offseason, I gotta believe that suddenly one of the most winning teams the last decade didn’t randomly phone it in this year.

    • Michigan 12th

      They did it for years with a terrible OLine

    • cha

      Last year they were prepared to go into the season with busted shoulder Ziggy, Jacob Martin, Bark Mingo, 10 games of Reed and rookie LJ Collier as their primary rushers. Clowney falling into their lap elevated them from utter disaster to merely bottom 5 in the pass rush dept.

      This isn’t a brand new problem that needs years of evaluation to find out if their plans are working.

      • dcd2

        So true.

      • Tony

        Going into last year was a different situation. They were dealing with no money, no draft stock and had to work deals on huge stars. It wasn’t meant to be there year. They did what they had to. They signed russ, bwags, traded Clark to help stock picks. I dont think the intention was super bowl or bust. They were still slightly retooling. This year they had money, picks and more of a blueprint going forward. Comparing the 2 offseasons is apples to oranges.

        • cha

          It’s really not. As Rob’s article above explains, cap hit does not equal AAV.

          They had the money. Even after extending RW and Wagner, they had the money.

          They gave $9million to Ziggy Ansah.

          NINE. MILLION.

          That entire sum could have been used for the first year of a Clark extension.

          And they still had enough money left to pick up Clowney.

          Imagine a 2019 with Clark and Clowney as your pass rushers.

          Imagine a 2020 with Clark already locked.

          • Rob Staton

            The last two lines make me sad

            • JayRob

              The revisionist history you people are promoting is astounding! Last year the hawks were in a bit of cap hell with BWags needing a new contract and Russ placing a deadline for a new contract. All this while having limited cap and very few draft picks. Last year EVERYONE on this site and others were praising the front office for the return they got for Clark. Now a year later and our 20/20 hindsight glasses on we pick them apart. Amazing! I believe Rob, that you have stated that the best we can do is analyze the moves at the time and determine if they make sense and are reasonable. What happened to that train of thought?

              • Rob Staton

                What a load of nonsense.

                Read the article I wrote about Clark and buy a clue. There’s been no revisionist history. What a lazy claim.

                • paulsj

                  Who was our cap master that left to be the GM of the Jets? Last name started with an I … Itzik? Sounds like the hawks could use another one of those.

  18. Cortez Kennedy

    Excellent article. I’m very disappointed in the lack of plan or creativity this offseason.

  19. millhouse-serbia

    We are in good cap situation for 2021 with 65mil…but its mostly because they didn’t spend big money on multi year contracts this off season…

    And for 2022 we have around 110mil in cap space (with 220mil SC projected for that year), but we have literally only RW, Bwag, Myers and 2019 and 2020 class under contract for 2022..

    And Bwag and Myers are in last year of their contract in 2022 with really small amount of dead money. Bwagz cap hit is 20mil and dead money 3.5mil. And Myers cap hit is 5mil with 1mil dead money. .

    So we have a lot of cap space for 2022 but we have only 15-20 players under contract…it will be 20-25 players with 2021 rookie generation.. so it basically means they will sign a lot of new players next off season and lot of new contracts with players that are currently on the roster….

    • mishima

      Who do you extend / re-sign 2021? Maybe Griffin, Dunbar, Carson?

      Would rather have depth of talent than infinite cap space.

    • Rob Staton

      They still had more than enough room to do much more than they have this off season.

      • millhouse-serbia

        Depends what you consider “much more”…they couldn’t spent more money because they spent all of cap space…but they definitely could spent it on much bigger names (better players)..’they could sign Conklin instead of Shell and Ogbuehi…they could sign Clowney, Quinn or Fowler instead of Mayowa and Irvin…why they didnt do that only they know…

        If they did that they would have much less cap space in 2021 and 2022 but they would have more talent in this year roster…

        I guess inyou near future we will see how good decisions they made…

        • cha

          Sure, but

          Clear need+Current & Future Cap space+SB Window with Franchise QB=Get Aggressive Now

        • Rob Staton

          I’ve already broken down what they could and couldn’t do. I’m not going to repeat what I wrote in the article.

          But you were quite vocal in saying what they couldn’t do this off season. They ended up spending $60m and have millions to spend in years to come. They could’ve easily made multiple additions to the DL. They chose not to. They’ll likely have an incompetent DL again as a consequence.

  20. Georgia Hawk

    I really think the Irvin deal was a “knee jerk oh shit dont let him walk out the building no matter what” kind of deal after Clowney declined and Fowler was gone. Its like they were caught so off guard when Clowney declined that they really didnt know what to do so just grabbed the first guy they could get in the door so they had SOMETHING. Thats when you over pay. There is no way Irvin is worth that contract at this stage in his career.

  21. Nate

    Rob given how the offseason has played out, would it be realistic to say that we can basically write off this year from a Super Bowl contention standpoint? Or do you still see a reasonable path given the current roster?

    Maybe it’s just an over reactionary take from very dissapointed expectations, but like you I had high hopes coming into this offseason given the amount of cap space we had, the emphasis on defense stated by the front office, and the call for superstars by Russell Wilson.

    Instead what did we get for that spending money? A grab bag of mediocre players on the O/D-lines, and an oversupply of TE’s. Sure, the depth is there, but to your point what is the point of depth if you don’t have the star power to back it up?

    Meanwhile Campbell went to the Ravens for a 5th and Fowler signed a relatively reasonable 2-year deal (as you noted). Heck, even Conklin only went for 14M if you wanted to invest that much money into the O-line (and I personally rather have him than the 3 or 4 players we signed if the Hawks were really committed to going that route). And our one potential quality signing (Dunbar) has completely gone off the rails due to recent events, not even sure what’s going on there anymore.

    I hate to say it, but I just don’t see how we’ve improved relative to even the other teams in our own division. The Niners retooled pretty easily with Kinlaw and Trent Williams, and Arizona fleeced the Texans for Hopkins and drafted Simmons. While the Rams might be in cap hell, they still can give us fits thanks to Aaron Donald and McVay’s offense. Each team either held pat or gained “superstars” – we have not.

    While I don’t think you need a great d-line to compete for the championship, you sure need at least an average one. A weak one will expose every other level of the defense (LB/CB/S) due to their lack of pressure. Our d-line was already likely bottom 5/10 with a Clowney signing (and to be honest I’m not sure whether he’s likely to come back at this point), and without him…..I’m not sure whether we get pressure unless we go full 2016/17 Cardinals (i.e. blitz almost every passing down).

    The DE from Tennessee (Taylor) shows promise, but if you’re relying on a 2nd round rookie to save your defensive line I’m frankly not sure what to say. We managed to pull a miracle out last year with the Clowney trade, but I don’t think lightning is likely to strike twice. Feels like the only way the Seahawks will be able to go far this year is to have Russ and the offense score at least 30+ points a game. Given Pete’s philosophy and how the offense is constructed, that seems like a tall ask.

    • Rob Staton

      I’d never write anything off but I don’t think they’ve increased their chances of winning it and they weren’t a serious contender IMO before.

  22. cha

    Dumb question – is the Leo position an every down position?

    If so, Looking at what they have there I’m guessing

    Mayowa on base downs
    Irvin on pass rush downs

    Mixing Taylor in as his development warrants

    Do I have that correct? Or would they occasionally swing Collier, Green, or Jackson over to that side?

    • EranUngar

      IMO Ideally – They sign Clowney to start at 5T, move KJ to SAM, start Brooks at WILL and Irvin at LEO. They rotate Green/Collier with Clowney at 5T and Mayowa/Taylor with Irvin at LEO.Keep the starters under 66% of the snaps so they are always fresh and hopefully healthy for the playoffs.

      I do not see Mayowa starting….or playing more then 30% of the snaps. He is just not good enough…

      • Rob Staton

        They’ll need to find some money then. They can’t afford Clowney any more.

      • dcd2

        It we had Clowney, that’s how I see it too. Not looking all that likely though, at this point. This is a big reason for the consternation from Rob and some of us that still see this DL as not being good enough as constructed.

        • Gohawks5151

          Assuming that they don’t want to cut all or part of the Jackson, Hollister, Moore etc group to free up some Clowney money, how does it work when they ask a player like Russ to shift his salary around to free up some cap space? I realize that it is kind of frowned upon from at least one point of view but it is an option right?

          • dcd2

            It’s pretty easy, if they wanted to do it. Just has some future ramifications that hurt our cap.

            RW’s base salary is $18M this year. This ends up being $1.125M per game. If they convert, say, $12M of that to bonus money, it gets pro-rated over the remainder of the contract. He’s got 4 years left on the deal, so it would be a $3M hit for this year on that $12M.

            So, while you could save $9M in cap space by doing it, you’re just spreading that cap hit out over the next 3 years, rather than having it come off the books after this year. That’s a $3M player that we can’t sign in 2021, 2022 & 2023.

            Russ wouldn’t care, because he’d get a check for $12M when they did it, as opposed to having to getting that money over the course of the year.

          • cha

            RW did it when they acquired Brown, so fair chance he’s open to it again.

            I don’t think there are rules per se, but I’d surmise they’d 1) only do it as a last resort and 2) only do it for a drastic improvement of a player (as opposed to a mass of mediocre players)

          • Dassom

            I can’t assume that. I have to assume they will release all those players & more to get Clowney, Snacks & AB on the team, why wouldn’t they release any player that is a free agent in 2021? Any team that signs Clowney will release players, Seattle is no different. Schneider said they added those FA’s before he draft so they could draft the best player on their board. They have had plenty of time after the draft to analyze the current free agent market, camp starts in July, if they make changes soon it gives players plenty of time to get settled in before camp. We know from last year they will waste 600k to get the right players on the team, so it’s reasonable to believe anything under 1 million is no big deal.

            • Dassom

              DE Marsh

    • dcd2

      I’m not a formation expert, but my understanding of it is that the 1T & 5T are supposed to take on double teams and allow the LEO and 3T to generate the pressure. Back when we ran in effectively with Clem, it was Red as 5T. Red was supposed to 2 gap on every play and Mebane/Branch were mostly responsible for just one gap, occasionally two. This frees the stand up end (LEO) to go one on one with the T.

      The problem we have now with a LEO approach is that we have a good 3T (Reed) and that’s it. Poona is an undersized 1T, who has never played over 50% of the snaps. Our 5T’s are unproven, at least in terms of occupying 2 gaps to force a double team. Collier and Jackson seem a better fit for 5T if we are running a LEO. Clowney would be a perfect 5T to run a LEO with.

      In answer to your question, we will probably run LEO on passing downs, but I’m not sure we have the personnel to run it every down. If you run out Green and Taylor on 1st down, I would think the QB would just check to a run off-tackle and take the 5+ yards.

      I still think 1T is a big need for us as we’re constructed. If we had Clowney at 5T to take on double teams, you can get by with an ok 1T. With the guys we have at 5T, you almost need a Suh or even Al Woods type that can 2 gap and anchor.

      Your 5T is going to line up to the side with the TE. If that’s Green and they just shove him on his back with a T and TE, that won’t work.

      If I’m guessing, Green and Mayowa with be on the field together most often and Bruce/Taylor will be with Collier/Jackson. John must have high hopes for Mone and Christmas to be punting DT for this long.

      • Hoggs41

        I would agree with Eran’s thought process as that would be the ideal rotation.

  23. EranUngar

    This is what Steve Smith had to say about Greg Olsen, the 2nd best player he ever played with:

    “He’s able to make himself a constant threat due to his deep understanding of the offense and defense. He’s like a second quarterback out there. I remember times when Cam Newton called a play when the defense was lined up a certain way, and Olsen called a timeout. He ALWAYS knew if something was off or didn’t add up. I can’t tell you how many times he called a timeout before the play was about to start, or how many times he corrected someone on the sidelines or on the field. It was pretty eventful when he was in the huddle, but his attention to detail and willingness to help in any way illustrated the leadership qualities he brought to the team.”

    Those are the kind of attributes that do not diminish over time. Furthermore, that is the kind of player you want in your TE room with young players having less then 10 NFL starts.


      Encouraging, thanks. I’ll take it. I’ll take anything close to it right now.

      Need to get my blood pressure down from the disappointing off-season so far. The saying so close (had the money and draft picks) and yet so far (couldn’t bring home the bacon) seems so so true here. Very frustrating, borderline infuriating.

      But it’s only a game right? Grrrrr

    • Dassom

      Steve Smith backs up Pete Carroll’s beliefs as to what Olsen brings to the team! Wonder who was the best player he played with?

      • Hoggs41

        Neat story about Olsen. There is so much about a players like this that we never know about. Youll never see that kind of stuff in a box score.

  24. Rob Staton

    Last week — John Clayton creates a shitstorm by speculating Russell Wilson wants Seattle to sign Antonio Brown.

    This week — John Clayton reports there’s a 5% chance of Brown signing in Seattle.

    What the hell?

    Is he making the news now?

    • Volume12

      Fake news

      • mishima

        FWIW, there is a 5% chance that I am a professor.

    • dcd2

      Russell could want AB, AND there could be a snowball’s chance in hell that the FO would actually sign him. Those don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

      Frankly, I’m surprised that RW wants Brown. The guy has been an unmitigated disaster for the last 3 teams he churned through (in the span of a couple of months).

      It’s modern media though – Radio/Podcast Clickbait.

      • Rob Staton

        Still felt a bit clickbaity. He could’ve added it was 5% last week.

        • dcd2

          Perhaps that was his co-host’s job, but John interrupted him to tell us about how Titus Will Chevrolet is the only dealership he trusts 🙂

      • Dassom

        Pete admitted they were looking at AB last year. If RW thinks he can make it work with AB & publicly lobbies for him, it’s on RW if it doesn’t work out. If things go south it’s gonna be RW & AB screaming at each other, RW is going to be the one explaining to the media what the problem is not Pete. All Pete has to do is say “I didn’t see it, you have to ask RW”

        • dcd2

          Maybe take a look back at AB’s 2019. He started drama with Ben, Juju, Mayock, the NFL, the police, his ex, and those were either via his own Twitter/FB or caught on camera. The guy is damaged goods. I don’t care how good he is/was.

          If he’s not attacking his teammates, he’s throwing furniture off hotel balconies, crying-freezing his feet, refusing to play with a regulation helmet, being accused of sexual assault, refusing to let his ex get clothes for their kid…. do I need to go on? Not to mention he’ll likely need a disciplinary review from the league.

          • Dassom

            You worry too much! He didn’t like Ben or Maylock, this time he’s gonna go where he wants to go. Players are selfish especially when they have only a few years left playing football. If he chooses Seattle over Baltimore he made the right decision. It’s one guy, everybody on the Seahawks roster is role model. Seattle had Thomas, Lynch, Sherman, and Bennett all on the roster at the same time & went to the Super Bowl twice. Seattle can manage AB no problem besides AB has to be good or his football career is over. Maybe I got a screw loose but after seeing what Earl Thomas did and what Dunbar might have done AB looks awfully good from where I’m sitting.

            • mishima

              Might want to inform that opinion.

              • Dassom

                Wonder what RW is saying

    • Logan Lynch

      Ah crap, that’s not a good sign. There have been so many times that a situation has turned out to be the exact opposite of what he said. Welcome to SEA AB.

      • Dassom

        AB, Clowney, and Snacks then cut a bunch of players

        • Hoggs41

          I just dont trust a word Clayton says anymore. That dude has been around a while and she should have more accurate insider info then he does.

    • Dassom

      Isn’t Clayton saying RW is a dummy and I know better?

    • James Z

      Clayton’s a bit full of himself sometimes. Perhaps his HOF status has gone to his head. He’s good with salary cap numbers and knowledge, but his opinions on other issues around personnel is suspect. Maybe 710 ESPN is looking for hot takes during the Covid-19 sports happenings lull.

  25. Gaux Hawks

    this helps highlight just how bizarre our offseason has been… but where is the “why” ??

    i can only assume that they are still in a rebuilding year (they didn’t have a crystal ball looking into the potential impacts of the coronavirus) and felt like we weren’t ready to put all the chips on the table (ex. 2014-2017).

    i fully agreed with rob that we had the opportunity (and stack of chips needed) to make the grownup moves to become a serious contender in 2020.

    so… did they feel that we needed one more rebuilding year? if so, can acknowledge that poor drafting, injures and management delayed us (ex. collier, penny, dissly, clowney, etc.)?

    lastly, i don’t underestimate the value of culture. we are extremely lucky to be having these conversations in the first place…

    but why didn’t we go all in for 2020?

    just my thoughts… hopefully they’re coherent.

  26. cha

    I don’t frequent Seahawks Reddit, but I just thought I’d pop over and see what’s up.

    They’ve placed a photoshop of Myles Garrett in a Seahawks uni on their banner.

    Well, that’s enough Reddit for me for today.

  27. AHeck66

    I think they are prioritizing depth over stars in part because of the new playoff format. 7 teams make playoffs, only 1 gets a bye.

    It makes getting 1 seed more important, but rest of seeding less important.

    The last few years they have been real banged up in playoffs.

    Surely they are not done yet on Dline. Plus they haven’t traded any future picks yet.

    • Rob Staton

      There’s very little chance they’ve decided… we won’t make the team as good as it can be, we need the depth for that road wildcard game.

      They either planned this off-season and we can judge it as such, or something threw a spanner in the works (which is what I expect with Clowney).

      • Gaux Hawks

        but from the beginning… signing shell, getting clowney on a cheap deal, and drafting taylor wasn’t enough.

        • Rob Staton

          If you get Clowney done quickly you can probably be a lot more aggressive and let things come to you, instead of having to endure a long stalemate where you’re protecting your cap.

    • James Z

      Coach Pete did ‘lose’ his shirt in drafting Metcalf in 2019, maybe he got caught with his pants down with not getting Clowney signed prior to the draft in 2020.

      • Torsten Kehler

        Hmmm, as far as I recall it still takes two John Henrys on the contract.

        Are you saying the team should’ve signed anything Clowney’s people put forth?

        • James Z

          I believe it’s 2 John Hancocks… I wrote that comment mostly in jest. You’re taking it too literally.

  28. Trevor

    The discussion of Frank Clark’s contract made me think about just how big his loss was to his defense. I always thought he was the most irreplaceable player on defense not just as an elite pass rusher but because of the Edge he played with he was an Alpha dog and brought a real energy and swagger that the defense desperately missed last year. Bobby is a legend and 1st ballot HOF likely when he is done but I think Clark should have been the priority if they had to choose. I think they could have had both though looking at his cap hit last year and the space the Hawks had this year. No point in revisionist history but what this team desperately needs is a Frank Clark like player.

    • BobbyK

      I never understood it at the time because they needed pass rushers last year, not subtracting them. The only way that trade had a chance to work out is if they had actually drafted a good player, which they didn’t.

      • Trevor

        Exactly and it is too bad because last year was a strong DL class.

  29. millhouse-serbia

    I have a reliable source that confirms the Saints have shown interest in Jadeveon Clowney. Numbers have to be discussed and worked out on a 1 year deal which he is willing to take to get a ring then re-enter free agency.

    • Rob Staton

      I think I’ve had my fill of ‘reliable sources’ from unreliable twitter accounts.

      • Dassom

        I agree but if Seattle has to compete for Clowney, a team like the Saints who has less cap space & few players they can release, Saints are the team I want to get in a bidding war with.

    • cha

      And now apparently there’s a leak about Clowney turning down a healthy offer from the Browns.

      Ok every time one of these “reliable sources” has posted about a new team, within 24 hrs there has been a tactical leak by the Seahawks. Then no action.

      Negotiating in the media is exhausting.

      • Gohawks5151

        Non sarcastic question: You think Seattle leaked the Browns news?

        • cha

          No, that’s not what I’m saying.

          I’m saying that typically after a leak like this, that some other team is interested in Clowney or whatever, miraculously soon after that a league insider like Garafolo says “the Seahawks made a strong offer” or JS is interviewed and carefully chooses his words about their pass rush.

          • Gohawks5151

            Got ya. And now we wait…

            • cha

              Jason Puckett

              Mike says Seahawks and Clowney have been in communication. Communication has not been cut off between the two sides.
              Quote Tweet

              950 KJR
              · 1h
              .@MikeGarafolo joins @JasonPuckett20 & @Slickhawk12. What news does he have on Clowney and how serious are the talks for WR Antonio Brown… This is all brought to you by @redbox.

              Listen on 950 am and<M

  30. dcd2

    I wonder if we could pull off an Osweiler?

    Talk to Washington along with Clowney’s camp. Get the Skins to sign him to a one year deal with say $11M bonus and $6M base. Then they trade him to us for a 3rd rounder. We get a $6M Clowney for a 3rd round pick. They get the pick for the cash.


    • cha

      Intriguing idea, but the NFL would probably not approve that trade.

      Osweiler was an existing player on a roster signed to a large contract, whereas Clowney is not. I believe there were some compensatory picks swapped as well to smooth things over in that deal.

      My favorite footnote in that trade is the Browns’ GM opening the trade press conf by saying something like ‘we’re really excited to get a second round pick.’ Oof!

  31. Hoggs41

    Latest offer that Clowney potentially turned down.

    • Dassom

      Well if Clowney doesn’t dispute this story then he’s insulting an NFL team, that can’t be good for business unless he’s sure he has options on a SuperBowl contender. If he lets this story percolate do you think Miami, Jax, Detriot, Carolina, Jets are gonna call him?

  32. Dassom

    I’m enjoying this discussion about AB & Clowney. If it wasn’t for those guys I wouldn’t have anything to say! You may not agree with Seattle’s decisions but you got to admit they keep you wondering. Would you rather be a San Diego fan or a fan of a different team that is boring? You may not like wondering but atleast they make you wonder to the point that you have to reach out to other human beings and say something. Can you imagine being a Bears fan they barely had any draft picks, no prospects of anything happening, sheesh those guys are probably sitting alone and just crying all day. Their heads are empty no thoughts in them at all. 12’s are the best!

  33. Jace

    Not sure how well this post is going to go over on here.. But part of me feels like if Russell wanted the team to sign superstars so bad then maybe he shouldn’t have asked for such a big contract. Do I think he is worth the money? Absolutely. But we have all seen how tough it is to win when you pay your QB huge money. Russ is an a similar situation as Tom where his wife makes a ton of money. Maybe he should have taken 10 less a year then if he wants superstars so bad. But who knows the front office here might have used that extra 10 million to sign a few more Cedric Ogbuehi’s..

    • Scot04

      We had 60M to spend. We easily could have landed a couple regardless of Wilson’s contract. The Seahawks chose not to do so.

      • Jace

        I agree, but don’t you think we would have signed someone a lot better at DE if we had an extra 10 million laying around? Or made a run at Hooper/Conklin?

        • Scot04

          Look at Robs last 2 write ups. They show it would have been pretty easy to do with the 60m they had. Obviously the more money you have the more you can do. You were asking if Wilson’s contract had an impact on us not signing big names. The answer is no.
          You said maybe he should of asked for less money if he wanted superstars.
          He didn’t need to. The Seahawks just chose a different and confusing approach to free-agency.

          • Betaparticle

            It’s only confusing if you choose to not see the strategy behind what the Seahawks have done.

            They value players in a certain way and won’t overpay according to their value scale.

            They obviously value clowney at a level less than clowney was willing to sign for early in the season. We can speculate on those negotiations, but we don’t have an accurate idea of either what clowney asked for, or what our team offered. They could have been $6m apart or more ($23m aav VS $17m aav is certainly posible…). Now maybe the cap hit would be low on year one, but you have to pay the deferred cap hits down the road…

            Plus, Clowney is more classically a 5tech for the hawks, and his presence blocks green and collier and now Robinson from getting snaps, and with ever increasing contact restrictions in practice, those players won’t develop without field time.

            Plus clowney has microfracture surgery 5 years ago and the hawks have far more information about that knee and clowneys ability to sustain a practice and game workload required for success in the NFL. microfracture surgery is performed on patients who have significant articular cartilage damage, also known as osteoarthritis, and patients who have microfracture surgery almost always have a more advanced course of progressive osteoarthritis, with the overwhelming majority of professional athletes seeing decline in performance within 3 to 7 years of surgery. This almost certainly factors into how the Seahawks value clowney in 2021 and beyond.

            That said, it wild still be easy to get a long term extension done with clowney once KJ passes his physical as the team could free up $6.5m in so space which rob had shown repeatedly is enough to get such a deal done.

            They obviously value irvin and his 8.5 sacks in 13 games (prorates to 10.5 /16 games) as worth at least $6m.

            Irvin has averaged 7.4 sacks per season over the last 4 years and Griffen has averaged 8.7… Griffen has played more snaps, is a dedicated pass rusher on a higher percentage of snaps, and Griffen has all sorts of off field and clubhouse issues, plus opted out of his contract because he wanted to make more than the $14m he was slated to make if he stayed on Minnesota.

            Irvin is a reliable consistent and productive player, and his departure was the single biggest hit to the run defense of any player lost since 2013. Everson Griffen may be a slightly better defensive lineman, but he’s the same age as Bruce Irvin, he only collects one more sack per season than Irvin, and he started the off-season asking for more than twice as much as we are paying Irvin this year. Plus, a quick Google search on Everson Griffen reveals some pretty crazy off-field activity, including what sounds like substance abuse issues, paranoia, and significant distrust of authority figures. Off the field, and in the clubhouse, Irvin has been great.

            Not signing Clowney makes a lot of sense if you accept that the Seahawks know more about the salary negotiations then we do, and if you assume the Seahawks know more about his health than we do. Signing Bruce Irvin instead of Everson Griffen makes a lot of Sense.

            • Rob Staton

              My response to comments like this has been the same throughout.

              Fine then… don’t sign Clowney. Sign someone else.

              But you can’t argue the Seahawks ‘know’ Clowney’s medical issues and then say they’re justified hoping and praying that he’ll also accept that situation and sign with you for less. Because you could end up in a situation where all the other DL’s sign somewhere else and you’re left hoping for Clowney, and are perhaps left hoping Mayowa and Irvin can not only replace Clowney but also improve the terrible DL (which isn’t very likely).

              So there’s no justifiable defense of their approach. They have failed to sufficiently address their biggest problem.

              • Betaparticle

                I have a question for you Rob. Let’s ignore the Personnel on the team who might develop and Let’s ignore the Personnel moves they’ve made in the offseason.

                What would your definition of a successful pass rush during the season? Top half of the NFL? bordering on top 10?

                • Rob Staton

                  One that creates consistent pressure, troubles opposing quarterbacks and doesn’t undermine the whole team.

                  • Betaparticle

                    I think we both agree that pass-rush was inadequate last year, and I think we would both agree that the biggest problem in pass rush was the lack of a Leo pass rusher. Ziggy Ansah was cooked. Griffin is a gadget player, will never be starting defensive lineman. dead leg Ziggy and one arm Griffin combined for a total of 2.5 sacks last year, Urban and Mayowa combined for 15.5 sacks last year. Add 13 sacks from Leo position last year, and the Seahawks would have ranked a respectable tied for 15th in the league in sacks. that’s a pretty significant upgrade at the weakest position on the defensive line. plus, both Irvin is far better than Ziggy at run defense, and Mayowa is certainly better than Griffin at run defense. not to mention using a high second round draft pick on a prototype Leo player who dropped in the draft because he spent his entire senior season playing on a fractured tibia. it’s really a massive upgrade at the Leo position. Irvin got his 8.5 sacks playing only 55% of the snaps, so at this stage of his career, he’s a legit threat to get 10 sacks, and it’s hard to see the argument for signing Everson Griffen to a 15 million dollar per year contract when you can get Irvin for 6 million a year.

                    • Rob Staton

                      Swapping Clowney for Irvin and Mayowa isn’t fixing the pass rush.

            • Dassom

              What!! I thought he had hernia surgery 5 years ago. Osteosarthritis I don’t like that at all I would never sign a player to a 3 year contract if he has that. Are you sure he has osteoarthritis? Why would Seattle take a risk year 5 when a decline is expected years 3 to 7? That sounds stupid to me, I’d offer him a 1 year deal nothing more.

              • Rob Staton

                He’s speculating on the extent of the knee injury five years later. I doubt it’s bad seeing as Seattle and Cleveland both reportedly offered significant contracts.

                • Dassom

                  Any kind of knee injury sounds bad to me, I thought he had hernia surgery 5 years ago. Clowney said he reinjured his hernia last year or am I mistaken? If Clowney has had knee surgery & vulnerable to core injuries, I can’t imagine giving guaranteed $$ to him.

                  • Rob Staton

                    Plenty of players have knee injuries.

            • dcd2

              Griffen didn’t opt out of his contract because he wanted to be paid more than $14M. The Vikings had zero cap space (they were negative $12M at the time of him opting out).

              He was going to get cut or forced to re-structure. Opting out let him speed along the process of a foregone conclusion.

        • dcd2

          I think it’s fair to say that to a degree. The same can be said for every guy who gets a max deal though.

          A couple of other factors are: RW is extremely ambitious and wants to do a ton of different things that require money (Owning a franchise someday, doing charitable work, other business venture’s, etc). The other is that it’s kind of an unwritten rule that you try to max out your contract, so that the next guy up can shoot for your new high water mark in negotiations.

          It would be great to have $10M extra, no doubt. It’s always driven me a little crazy to see guys who have $100M banked be refusing to sign a deal that helps the team better itself in other ways, but I get the other side of it too.

          We always knew that signing RW was going to put us under a different set of constraints. Hard to put the results of this off-season on anyone but John, to me. If they wanted a difference maker, the draft would have been a great place to look.

          • Dassom

            Did you see his European sports car? Sure looks like he’s spending his $$$ to me. I think he saw his dad die young and as result he’s making the best of each day.

    • charlietheunicorn

      I’ll tangent off of this thread, but one of the ways the Patriots remained so good for so long was that they would give Brady decent deals, then constantly re-work them to bonuses they could spread over subsequent years. Brady was able to get the money upfront, while the team got increased cap space. The only time he has really made fair market value is now, in Tampa.

      Why am I bringing all this up…. the Seahawks historically have never done this with players. This is the one time I could see it being a good idea to add a year to his deal, but give him 45M bonus up-front, reducing the cap hit this year and adding a hit to 2022+.

      I also wonder if the projected revenue fall of 20-50M next year off the salary cap is keeping some of this wheeling and dealing in check, since there might be more than a few teams that have to make painful choices / cuts in 2021 to stay under the cap. Seattle might be looking at this angle, which is why Clowney remains unsigned (with any team) or why Seattle is specifically hesitant to rework RWs contract without knowing the 2021 salary cap.

    • BobbyK

      The way Schneider has blown millions this off-season on players proven to not be all that great – why would an extra $10 million make all the difference in the world if Russ was making $25 million instead of $35 million?

    • Darnell

      It is the job of management to manage the cap, not the qb’s responsibility.
      They got their massive discount on Wilson for the first three years of his career.

      • Jace

        I appreciate all your guys insights. Darnell look how well that discount worked out for the Seahawks though, two trips to the SB. Look how well it has worked out for other teams with cheap QB play- KC, NE, shoot you could even say the Rams when they made it with Goff. I just think it’s so hard to win when you’re paying massive amounts to your QB. I would like to think the Hawks FO knows this as well, and if there was any truth to the potential trade for the #1 pick from CLE that would be the reason why.

        • Dassom

          Some teams can’t get Free Agents to sign with them. It’s not hard to win Super Bowls when players like AB come your way cheap at zero risk. Luck has a lot to do with it too. Seattle develops young players so it’s not such a bad thing for them. RW got his extension 2 years ago and got lots of cash 2 years ago, a big part of cap hell is the % of cash on hand requirement. 2 years ago Seattles cap situation was crap but it’s much better now even though RW’s cap hit is high because we already paid him much of it. Seattle went to the Super Bowl because our defense stuck to the plan & Seattle did not go the Super Bowl when they could have because the defense did not stick to the plan.

  34. charlietheunicorn

    Which WR you bring in, if you have to, on a modest deal.. under 2M.

    Josh Gordon – Yes
    Antonio Brown – No

    • Scot04


      • Torsten Kehler


        • Jace

          Gordon. I want zero part of AB here.

          • Dassom

            When he stepped on the field for 1 game last year, I remember watching him saying to myself “NE is unstoppable”. I remember how I felt and I can’t get that feeling out of my body when RW courts AB. If RW really wants AB on the team and it’s not going to cost us much in guaranteed $$ it’s an easy decision, if it doesn’t work this year cut him then promote a player from the practice squad. If AB finishes the year we win because he could be worth a 4th round compensation pick in 2021 if we don’t keep him. I really think if he goes to the Ravens he’s going to get mad when Jackson runs too much.

    • Dassom

      You bring them both in with our current WR corps! In fact you pay AB & give Gordon minimum. Moore, Ursua, and the 6th round rookie are not worth keeping Gordon or AB off the roster. If Gordon & Brown make it through the entire year in 2021 they will have value as compsenation picks worst case scenario. Schneider paid 2 6th round picks for Ursua & the rookie if another team claims them off the practice squad we will still get compensation picks for AB &/or Gordon.

  35. Torsten Kehler

    Someone made a good point over at NBC in the article on Cleveland and Clowney: what if he wants term?

    Ie., what if Clowney perceives himself as slightly injury prone and wants a long term deal, and Seattle won’t give it to him?

    Obviously this is speculation.

  36. Bankhawk

    I’m probably working off less data here, but I concur: Gordon.

  37. Michael Hasslinger

    Looking forward to the article on exciting potential Seattle has on the team. The position of dissatisfaction is well born now. Be careful to keep the knives and pitchforks at home. This is the best front office Seahawks fans have ever experienced. All are well within their right to be critical.

    But none of us really know anything. Campbell may well be cooked. Fowler had been passed over twice before. Perhaps base defense was driven by lack of confidence in DB play. All of these are viable opinions. More backed by ones chosen stat To another.

    But my goodness. These are the salad days. Seattle have a legit shot. So much luck is required. Injuries. Schedule. Development. Coaching. All these play a part as well.

    Look, I want to experience a super bowl in 2020 as much as anybody. But I am nit a GM, or a coach… or a paid anything in the NFL. but I am a 45 year fan, and I’ll be damned if I am not sensing entitlement amongst my fellow fans.

    Maybe New England Sack Bill… hell, his draft record and free agent signings are no thrill ride these past four years.

    Not my blog, but I yearn to read about what Seattle may do to maximize themselves.

    As always, great read. Well written and well researched. It’s just… enough.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not writing positive articles for the sake of it so fans can feel better.

      I write honestly about the things that matter.

      End of.

      • Ashish

        I agree and respect the honesty. I hope you find some positive some where may be on future signing or observing training session where players shows good traits (whenever it happens).
        For many like me, this year will be testing time in having trust in PC and JS. Hope they do their magic like in past.
        For now I’m staying positive.

      • Michael Hasslinger

        I very much enjoy your writing. And I speak nothing of positive or negative. I speak of my desire to read about your insight on what Seattle may do with what bed they have made.

        I have no quarrel with your dissatisfaction with free agency and money strategy. But that point is hammered. I am beginning to sense rebellion against an organization that has produced nothing but quality. Perhaps I am wrong. It is one to criticize; it is quite another to shout it out.

        It is not positive to say how Seattle maximize what they have done. It is not negative to say maximization may fall short.

        I simply ask for a new thought. One based on the just as viable potential Seattle has.. born out of the success Seattle have earned.

        I am a huge fan of your writing. I ask we not mix high/low (emotion) with new perspectives. If we are speculating, perhaps speculate on what has been done as well? Maybe we have, and I’ve missed it. If so, apologies.

        I mean no disrespect and I appreciate your reply.

        • mishima

          When did Rob become responsible for how we feel?

          Come on.

        • Rob Staton

          I’m going to write about what I think is important and relevant.

        • cha

          I suppose you could consider the point “hammered” if you only read the articles and none of the comments.

          Every time Rob discusses this fairly obvious and potentially devastating weakness, there significant pushback in the comments.

          Many around the internet are pointing to the signings of Irvin and Mayowa as evidence that the Seahawks “addressed the pass rush.”

          Others in the blogosphere that acknowledge the pass rush is a problem and are pushing nonsense ideas like trading for Joey Bosa.

          We’re headed for a near carbon copy season of 2019. Some fun highs, some frustrating lows, some scratched and clawed victories against clearly inferior opponents, some tough losses, but an ultimately disappointing exit from the playoffs. Is it carved in stone? No. But Rob is accurately pointing out that the Seahawks had both the imperative and the means to address the single biggest issue to progressing and have neglected to do so.

  38. Kenny Sloth

    Another thank you to Rob for postponing his vacation from the blog and for moderating all the comments. It can be a lot of tedious consternation over rumors this time of year, but its nice to have a civil place to chat about that stuff.

    • Spencer

      Agreed. As always, every off-season is another towards helping us understand what John and Pete are thinking. Multiple viewpoints are great as it helps us really consider every move in ways I’ve never really been exposed to on other discussion websites. When this blog shuts it down after draft season, it always feels like there’s a void in my day / internet routine.

      I’ve always followed the Seahawks and the draft very, very closely but it’s easy to forget the takes and viewpoints that you had before the season began. It will be very interesting and I think easier to look back on this off-season after this season runs its course as we’ve been over every detail so meticulously.

    • mishima



      • Rob Staton

        Thanks guys. Appreciate those words. Especially at a time when a lot of people are complaining because I won’t write positive things.

  39. Sea Mode

    The comments are great on this one if anyone could use a laugh:

  40. mishima

    On a lighter note: Nice to see Baker Mayfield is still in his own way.

    Baker as teachable moment: If you’re preoccupied with thinking about thinking, you’re probably not doing.

    Go Browns!

  41. RWIII

    Rob: Hypothetical question. Let’s say the Seahawks do sign Clowney. Do you think they would cut Mayowa? If the Hawks did cut Mayowa how much of a cap savings would that be?

    • cha

      Not Rob, but they would only save $468k if they cut Mayowa. So very slim chance.

      • Logan Lynch

        Agreed. Plus, Mayowa is a LEO. Clowney would likely play 5T on the opposite side.

    • Rob Staton

      No I don’t

    • Dassom

      If they cut or trade Hollister they save 3.2 million, Moore 2.1 million, Jackson 2.1 million, Bellore 1 million, Pocic 1 million, Luke Wilson 750k, Cedric Ogbuehi after June 1st 1,737,50000. Ogbuehi is a 500k experimentation.

  42. RWIII

    So who would the Seahawks cut if they sign/release CLowney/Griffin?

    • Rob Staton

      Branden Jackson

      • Simo

        Wouldn’t they need to shed more than just Jackson’s salary in order to fit Clowney or Griffen in under the cap? Gotta think Hollister (even though he played very well last season) is a potential cut at over $3m. It’s probably to late in the game to cut KJ, but 1-2 of the gobs of offensive linemen might be able to go!!

        • Rob Staton

          It depends if they sign him to more than one year.

  43. RWIII

    Thanks Rob:

  44. Donny Henson

    So let’s recap Clowney’s current situation.

    1. Cleveland reportedly gave him his highest offer yet (previously highest reported was Miami at 17 mil APY). He would play at his preferred position, 43DE, but due to reputation declines the offer.
    2. Philadelphia was reported interested and they are a contender and he would play at 43DE, but the reported offer is 1yr 10 mil.
    3. Tennessee is interested. He can get more money from TEN than PHI, but he would have to play 34LB and he would have to wonder if TEN playoff run was a one year wonder.
    4. Baltimore is interested. They are a contender, but again he would have to be a 34LB and he would have to wait and see if BAL would trade or rescind the tag on Matt Judon. This could probably be his best and last chance for mixture of contender and $$$.
    5. Seattle is interested. They are a playoff team, but not a Super Bowl contender and the best offer Seattle has given is 2yr 27 mil.

    Right now if I’m Clowney, I’m praying Matt Judon doesn’t sign his tag or get an extension because he will be screwed otherwise.

    • Rob Staton

      He’s not going to be screwed, it’s just increasingly likely he signs a one year deal.

      • Donny Henson

        You think he will get that 15 sack season that he needs in order to cash in next offseason? I don’t think so.

        • Rob Staton

          He doesn’t need 15 sacks to cash in

          • Donny Henson

            Well an elite run defender and a decoy isn’t worth 17-20 million.

            • Rob Staton

              So those are the only options are they?

              It’s either 15-sacks or he’s merely ‘an elite run defender and decoy’.

              Come on.

              • Donny Henson

                Well you can sign another pass rusher to go along with Clowney, but if you pay 20 mil for a decoy and another 15 to 20 mil for the other pass rusher, you’re investing 40 mil for ONE guy to get the sacks, that doesn’t make any logical sense.

                • Rob Staton

                  If he gets 8-10 sacks, ranks in the top-five for pressure percentage again, has a couple of games ala San Francisco last season and significantly helps the Seahawks — he can cash in. Ditto if he does it anywhere else.

                  He doesn’t need 15 sacks. He isn’t ‘just a decoy’ if he doesn’t get 15 sacks. That’s bollocks.

                  • Donny Henson

                    Well I will end my “rant” with saying Frank Clark is better than Jadeveon Clowney and Clowney is not worth the money he is seeking. Market sets the price not the consumer

    • Donny Henson

      And Clowney is officially screwed. Judon signed his tag and therefore BAL is out of the running. Time for Clowney to accept the market price.

      • Scot04

        Unless they trade Judon. But either way Clowney is not screwed

  45. cha

    This is good for everyone

    Tom Pelissero
    A bylaw change increasing the number of players that may be designated to return from injured reserve from two to three was approved, I’m told.
    11:04 AM · May 28, 2020

    • Logan Lynch

      Did they change the rule about cutdown day? I read they were thinking of amending it so you could put someone straight to IR at the final cutdown and still have them return instead of keeping them on the initial 53 and then placing them on IR. That would be nice flexibility. They would’ve avoided having to keep Dickson on the initial 53 last year.

  46. Rob Staton

    I don’t know what’s worse.

    The recent complaining I’ve had for not being positive about the Seahawks.

    Or the determination to bring back the pro and anti running game argument in the Seattle media.

    The argument was done to death… in 2018.

    • cha

      My gut says “The Hawks haven’t invested enough in the OL” is warming up in the on deck circle.

      • Rob Staton


    • Logan Lynch

      What about the “Pete’s coaching philosophy is outdated and he should be replaced”?

      • Rob Staton

        That pretty much ties in with the pro/anti-running game stuff.

    • Gaux Hawks

      “just give it to lynch”

    • Sea Mode

      I can’t wait until the Carson contract talks come up.

    • Nate

      Dunno why you have people complaining, while I’ve disagreed with some of your stances in the past (usually quietly via lurking), I’ve always appreciated the logic and thoughtfulness put together in your posts. You tell the state of the Seahawks like they actually are, not from a view on what they should be based on dreams/completely different philosophies than PC/JS.

      Think the running game debate though is just a broader symptom of fans having absolutely no sports to watch right now – most forums and/or media I’ve seen regardless of field it’s in (NFL, NBA, heck even e-Sports!) has seen a noticeable dip in discussion and posting quality because there’s almost no new content, so the same old things/grievances start getting brought up out of sheer boredom in my view. Hopefully that fades away once we can get some sports back on the menu.

      • Rob Staton

        I just found it a bit disappointing that this topic reared it’s head again, first through John Clayton and then the Athletic. We don’t need to go over this again.

        It’s the classic internet argument. Nobody’s mind ever changes.

  47. Jordan

    Rob, what are your thoughts on AB? Im not a fan of the guy but the more I think about I think its what we need to make the next jump. AB should command a reasonable salary.. has actually stopped posting crazy stuff on Facebook (I think he is in/continuing therapy) and is good friends with Geno and Russ.

    I know its risky with him messing chemistry but this division is no joke. If Bruce and Mayowa are not able to meaningfully contribute we will need more offensive fire power to win us games. AB can play outside and slot. If he is mentally in the right place could be a great add.

    • Rob Staton

      The legal concerns exist but if he was cleared, I wouldn’t be against it.

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