How & why the Seahawks should prioritise the trenches

Corey Linsley — could’ve been a Seahawk, but isn’t

Off-season priority #1 — the trenches.

The key to future success, regardless of what changes occur in the off-season, is improving the O-line and D-line.

The Seahawks need to be honest about why the reset failed and they need to learn from their mistakes.

It’s time to be bold, ambitious and focused to make the offensive and defensive line a strength. Take a few financial risks there, instead of other positions.

No more quantity over quality

Too often the Seahawks have opted to spread their cap space out and they’ve just ended up with average players.

They’ve had money to spend in the last two off-seasons yet they’ve favoured cheap depth over proven ability.

They opted not to re-work Russell Wilson’s deal a year ago to open up cap space, when they started free agency with just under $20m (and created plenty more by cutting Jarran Reed).

In 2020, they squandered $58.25m for barely any return.

The following veteran offensive linemen were available last year. Their PFF grades for 2021 are in brackets:

Corey Linsley (85.5)
Joe Thuney (77.4)
David Andrews (77.3)
Kevin Zeitler (74.0)

Instead the Seahawks chose to bring back Ethan Pocic (injured for most of the year but now grading at 67.3) and traded for Gabe Jackson (63.6).

Let’s not forget that Jackson was being cut by the Raiders and the Seahawks quickly made a trade so he didn’t reach the open market.

That move also forced Damien Lewis to left guard to accommodate the new arrival. Lewis excelled at right guard at LSU and had a tremendous rookie season in Seattle, grading with a 70.2. He looked like a building block on the line for years to come.

Since moving to left guard, his performance has completely dropped off and he’s now grading at 57.3. It’s not clear if these are growing pains or whether they’ve messed up his promising young career by forcing him to the left side.

People often wonder why Russell Wilson is dissatisfied with the Seahawks yet one of the reasons was made abundantly clear. He started the off-season complaining about the O-line to Dan Patrick.

Had the Seahawks landed a Linsley or Thuney and then doubled down with Creed Humphrey in the draft (he’s grading at a 91.6 by the way…), that likely would’ve prevented a lot of drama.

Instead, Jackson and re-signing Pocic was deemed enough by the Seahawks.

It wasn’t and here we are. The next chapter of the saga has begun.

Go back a year earlier.

In 2020 they preferred to spread their cap space on three offensive linemen (B.J. Finney, Cedric Ogbuehi and Brandon Shell) instead of investing in all-pro right tackle Jack Conklin — who earned $8m last year in a starring role for Cleveland. His salary never tops $14m with the Browns.

Finney, Ogbuehi and Shell cost a combined $9.2m.

This plan simply hasn’t worked. It’s time to stop spending the cap on average or bad players. You can create depth with cheap veterans or draft picks (provided you stop giving them away).

It’s time to go and make a big investment on the line.

Terron Armstead, Brandon Scherff, Ryan Jensen, James Daniels and Brian Allen are arguably not on the same scale as Linsley or Thuney.

It’s what’s available this year though and it’s time to make something happen.

Meanwhile with the defensive line, it’s a similar story.

They announced at the 2020 combine that fixing the pass rush was a priority, as was retaining Jadeveon Clowney. They couldn’t convince Clowney to return and ended up settling for Bruce Irvin ($5.9m) and Benson Mayowa ($3.018m).

It wasn’t enough and the pass rush was an absolute disaster before the Carlos Dunlap trade at the deadline.

Rather than learn from the error, they were at it again in 2021.

Kerry Hyder, Carlos Dunlap, Benson Mayowa, Rasheem Green, Robert Nkemdiche, Darrell Taylor, Alton Robinson, L.J. Collier.

It’s a collection of journeymen, nearly-men and unproven younger players.

They haven’t been able to create enough pressure or get off the field. They have the fifth fewest sacks in the NFL and the sixth worst pressure percentage. Their sack percentage of 4.5% is the second worst in the league behind only the Falcons.

The group badly needs an injection of quality.

Chandler Jones, Von Miller, Jadeveon Clowney, Randy Gregory, Akiem Hicks, Harold Landry and Calais Campbell are all set to reach free agency.

Imagine snatching Jones away from Arizona and pairing him with Taylor.

Who cares if there’s a risk involved with paying him big bucks? If you’re willing to pay the Jets as much as you did for Jamal Adams, you can’t shirk away from paying a proven pass rusher two years later.

Look at recent free agent additions, currently occupying spots among the NFL’s sack leaders:

Robert Quinn — 18 sacks
Trey Hendrickson — 14 sacks
Matthew Judon — 12.5 sacks
Markus Golden — 11 sacks
Haason Reddick — 11 sacks
Shaquill Barrett — 10 sacks
Yannick Ngakoue — 10 sacks
Leonard Floyd — 9.5 sacks

That’s eight of the top-15 sack leaders — more than half the list.

Go and get your 10-15 sack specialist and make life hell for opponents, preventing these long, tiresome drives we keep seeing on defense every week.

You’ve tried thrifty bargain shopping and it didn’t work.

You’ve tried to ‘recruit’ players to play for cheaper and you’ve not had a hit since Avril and Bennett nine years ago.

Now it’s time for a splash. It’s time to shop for the NFL equivalent of a designer label.

They have money available

According to Over the Cap, the Seahawks have $43,508,768 to spend in 2022.

You can easily create more. Look at the potential savings:

Cutting Bobby Wagner saves $16,600,000

Cutting Jason Myers saves $4,000,000

Cutting Gabe Jackson saves $3,000,000

Cutting Chris Carson saves $3,425,000

Cutting Benson Mayowa saves $1,510,000

Cutting Kerry Hyder saves $2,000,000

Cutting Marquise Blair saves $1,345,452

Cutting Nick Bellore saves $2,150,000

Cutting LJ Collier saves $986,323

Cutting Carlos Dunlap saves $900,000

I’m not suggesting they make all of these moves — but if you need more than $43,508,768 to spend there a ways to increase it.

You also might be able to trade some players, rather than cut them.

There’s no excuse not to be big spenders in the off-season. Only five teams have more cap space than the Seahawks. If they cut or trade Bobby Wagner, that list shrinks from five teams to one team.

They need to be honest about the roster

The Seahawks can’t pretend the current group is close. They aren’t.

Yet we don’t have to go over the top and suggest they’re years away either.

If you can make impact signings on the O-line and D-line, you can make major improvements very quickly.

Too much has been invested at linebacker and safety while they’ve scrimped and saved up front. They need to be prepared to reverse that now.

That means moving on from Wagner and drafting a cheaper replacement in the middle rounds — such as Georgia’s Channing Tindall. You’ve already spent a first round pick on Jordyn Brooks. That’s quite enough high-end investment at linebacker.

It also means accepting that you’ve already made the ill-advised decision to pay Jamal Adams $17.5m a year having already given up two first round picks and a third rounder for him. Therefore, you cannot justify splashing out on Quandre Diggs if it means more bargain shopping in the trenches.

This is a decent draft at safety. You’ll be able to get one in the middle rounds — or do what you did with Diggs in the first place and add a veteran at a great price.

I’m not suggesting they shouldn’t re-sign Diggs. It needs to be for the right price, though. Ideally you retain him and Gerald Everett but you can’t overpay at the expense of more important positions.

What else can they do?

I’ve already mentioned Georgia’s Tindall at linebacker. They probably need another running back. Florida’s Dameon Pierce or UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet fit the bill.

Don’t waste resources there, look to the draft.

Try and be the poacher for once and look for value in the trade market. Mekhi Becton is supposedly on the way out in New York. Make a call.

On top of that, be willing to bring Duane Brown back on a one-year deal if needed. He might be getting up in age but he isn’t a liability who desperately needs to be replaced unless a clearly better solution emerges.

The Seahawks currently own pick #41. It has been possible to trade back into the late first with relative ease over the years:

2019 — Seattle went from #30 to #37 for a fourth and fifth round pick

2019 — Rams went from #31 to #45 for a third round pick

2017 — Packers went from #29 to #33 for a fourth round pick

2016 — Chiefs went from #28 to #37 for a fourth rounder and a swap of sixth and seventh rounders

There are players I really like in this draft and expect to go early. Yet just because I’m projecting them higher than a lot of other people doesn’t mean it’ll happen.

If a quality tackle prospect or defensive lineman lasts into the late first, Seattle should be aggressive and go and get them.

Here are some names to monitor:

Trevor Penning (T, Northern Iowa)
Bernhard Raimann (T, Central Michigan)
Abraham Lucas (T, Washington State)
Tyler Linderbaum (C, Iowa)
Logan Hall (DL, Houston)
Jermaine Johnson (DE, Florida State)
Devonte Wyatt (DT, Georgia)
Jordan Davis (DT, Georgia)

If the Seahawks go into next season strong in the trenches with Russell Wilson, the weapons they have and a revamped running game — the rest will take care of itself.

It’s very possible to go from bad to good in an off-season but you have to be honest about the roster and you have to target and sign the right players in the right areas.

The Seahawks have not used their resources well since the 2018 reset. If they’re willing to be frank about what’s gone wrong, they can avoid making the same mistakes in 2022.

They can get this team back on track and they can convince the quarterback his future remains in Seattle.

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  1. cha

    Quick underlining that the Seahawks can be big spenders.

    They have $55m of cap room with 32 contracted players.

    They’ll add at least 6 players in the draft. Round up and call that $6m. $49m room with 38 players.

    They have several RFA’s and ERFA’s that will be cheap. Call it 5 and round up and call that $5m. $44m room with 43 players.

    Lop off $10m for injuries and cushion room. $34m room with 43 players.

    They need a LT, a Center, a pass rusher, and a TE.

    The top free agent at each of those positions last year had a cumulative cap hit of…drumroll..$34m in 2021.

    And that’s before we talk about the cap room available from cuts or trades.

    • Peter

      Wonder what they do with TE? Saw sportrac had Njokue estimated for 6 million per year. I’d have to think Everett with nearly identical stats gets the same amount.

      Kind of like them to keep Everett and add a reciever. My thought it would be Will Fuller on another prove it type deal. Or another third reciever. Seattle fans love to hang on to potential and what ifs but Eskridge hasn’t done anything to report on.

      I like you think LT is a need but a good guard with either Lewis staying on the left side or getting a left guard, center, and move Lewis back to right guard may be better for Wilson.

    • Big Mike

      Good stuff cha.Thanks.

    • Roy Batty

      Cha, do they also have any carry-over cap space from this year? I can’t remember if they spent it all.

      • Rob Staton

        They have carryover but that’s already included in everyone’s projections

  2. BA

    This is exciting under the condition that we have a new coach and GM to handle free agency and build the roster. If we’re stuck with PCJS, it doesn’t really matter since they’ve shown time and again that they just don’t know how to evaluate free agent talent even with tons of cap space. If they’re in charge we can probably expect more spending on tier 3 linemen and tight ends, and likely another boneheaded trade.

  3. Cysco

    That’s a good summary by cha above. Realistically, after all the commitments the Seahawks will have to make, they’re going to be looking around 60m in money to spend. (Cha’s number of $34m, wagner’s $16m, Mayer’s 4, Jackson’s 3, Carson’s 3.5)

    Such an opportunity, IF the people in charge make the right decisions. I just don’t see PC/JS making the right decisions. But, imagine if someone else were in charge. With PC/JS gone you could:

    Keep Wilson
    Trade DK for two firsts to fix the mistakes of the past
    Build the trenches
    Draft a RB

    There’s a genuine opportunity to turn this team drastically around in a single offseason. Only if the right people are in charge. It really is a make or break offseason.

    • Roy Batty

      To appease Russ, I don’t think they trade DK in 2022. They can tag him in 2023, so he would still be under control, just in case they wanted to trade him then. Plus, even if they signed him to an extension, 2022 and 2023 would be relatively cheap in comparison to the overall contract, since his original 2022 salary is just under $1.5 million.

    • Ralphy

      Stefan Diggs was traded for a 1st, 4th, 5th and a 4th in the following year. I don’t think there is any way that DK can bring two 1st round picks.

      • Rob Staton

        And Jamal Adams cost two firsts and a third

        • Ralphy

          This got me wondering about some of the other big WR trades.

          Galloway brought two 1st round picks.

          Moss brought a 1st (#7 overall) and Napoleon Harris.

          D Branch brought a 1st.

          Moss to NE brought a 4th round pick. Welker brought a 2nd and 7th round pick in the same offseason for the Pats.

          Roy Williams cost DAL a 1st, 3rd and 6th.

          Brandon Marshall cost two 2nd round picks.

          Percy Harvin cost a 1st and 3rd.

          B Cooks has twice cost a 1st round pick. Both times late in the 1st.

          Amari Cooper cost a 1st.

          Antonio Brown cost a 3rd and 5th round pick.

          OBJ cost a 1st and a 3rd plus Jabrill Peppers.

          Deandre Hopkins cost a 2nd and David Johnson.

          I hope I’m wrong but I don’t see DK bringing two 1st round picks. Especially when the most recent huge WR deal saw the Vikings replace Diggs with Justin Jefferson with one of the picks and I’m sure every team in the NFL laughs at the cost of Jamal Adams.

          • cha

            Metcalf’s salary next year is $1.1m for a player giving $15-20m in value. That alone is worth at least a mid 2nd round pick. Add on that you can make his 2023 a very reasonable cap hit and you have 2 solid seasons of tremendous value of a player that is ascending.

            I’m more inclined to look at young rookie type players than some of the examples of veterans well into their careers you listed.

            Watkins in the draft cost 2 first round picks and a fourth.

            Julio Jones cost 2 first round picks, 2 seconds, and 2 fourths.

            • Ralphy

              Yes Cha I completely agree that age and cost is important when considering the return.

  4. 12th chuck

    at this point, I don’t trust pc/js to rebuild, and absolutely don’t trust them regarding trying to build an o line.

  5. Ukhawk

    Boom – love it! Would be a big step in the right direction.

    Just hope it comes to pass that it’s not a re-‘Pete’ of years past with non-sensible moves and roster deconstruction!

  6. DC

    If they keep Wilson, they need to keep DK and extend him

    • Peter

      Dk has the potential to be a pretty divisive topic going forward.

      I’m mostly on the keep him train. A so so outing prior to detroit and he still had nine tds for the season. Now 12. I think a lot of us wish to see his full potential for such a specimen. Then there’s concerns of cost but with the cap going up maybe the cost doesn’t matter. Nine plus td’s in his first three seasons is the most amongst the current era of greats. Plus 900 plus yards a season. Kind of amazing.

    • Cysco

      Love DK, but I just don’t think it wise to have the highest priced WR in the league on this team. (Which, he will be)

      Next to Russ, he’s our most tradable asset. If you can get two #1 picks for him, I think you do it. I’d hate to see him go, but that salary is going to be steep and the money is better served elsewhere.

      • Pavlos

        100% agree. Trade DK *if* you can get two #1 picks in return.

        He just hasn’t proven himself to be a reliable pass catcher yet. When the ball went to Doug Baldwin, you knew he was gonna come down with it. Not so with DK. Very inconsistent.

      • TatupuTime

        I’m going to pull 100% in the opposite direction on this one. If you are going to build around Russ and keep him happy you need to keep weapons for him. DK isn’t expensive for awhile with the right contract structure and they need to eventually start borrowing against the cap a la New Orleans or Dallas at this point in Russ’ career.

        Removing DK creates a massive massive hole. Lockett is amazing, but getting up there in age and what he does well needs a compliment. DK is the future cheat code in the red zone. That fade pass from last game and a few of his other TDs are defense proof. He’s still crazy young and trying new things and getting better improvisation every game. I don’t think you draft a guy like DK and then move on.

        • Cysco

          I would argue that you can make up for DK’s production for cheaper. You may not find a 1:1 replacement for him but you can find quality receivers every year in free agency and the draft. You can also start using Eskridge far more than they are now.

          If you want to keep Russ truly happy, Take that $20m and put it into the the offensive line. It all starts there.

    • Jeff

      I strongly disagree. DK will get paid top of market money, and he’s nowhere near a top five WR. I don’t even know if he’s a top ten WR. Unless he’s willing to give the Hawks a sweetheart deal I think they should have him play out his rookie deal, then tag & trade.

  7. Mike

    What do we think a Dk extension will be? 4/80 maybe? I get the feeling he’s gonna ask for the moon.

    • Peter

      More. 4 yrs/ 110 million. 65 guaranteed.

      Wr’s get stupid money relative (to me) how much they actually change the fortunes of a team.

      Amari cooper is on 4yrs/100 million. 60 guaranteed. Unless DK gets injured he is going to blow amari’s stats right out of the water.

      • Mike

        Amari was 5/100 and a free agent but he’ll probably get about that. I think the hawks will negotiate by saying Tyler locketts numbers are similar to dk’s. The negotiations could get messy.

        • Peter

          First. Thanks for the correction about cooper’s contract.

          Second. If they say the numbers are about the same they should trade him. Because he and a future agent won’t see it that way. And you’re right it will get messy.

          Third. Looking at tyler and dk’s stats….it almost seems like they play with a good qb.

          • RugbyLock

            That third point does make one think Peter.

    • Jeff

      If I’m the Hawks GM, my plan for DK is tag and trade. I wouldn’t give him more than $17mm APY and he’s going to want top of market. But the reality is that for all of his virtues, DK has a limited route tree and is soft; he does not win contested catches. He’s not a top five WR, he’s probably not even top 10.

  8. Big Mike

    Excellent breakdown of the desperate need to do something, anything to improve both sides of the line of scrimmage.
    As several people said above, I do not want PCJS re-tooling this team. Period. What will this team’s record be next season if Russ leaves and these 2 are still in charge? 4-13?

    • jed

      I think 2-4 wins is the mark with a PCJS lead team and no Russ. I’d expect the cap space to go to Mayowa/Hyder types, including QB (Mariota, Fitzpatrick). I’d expect DK to be gone, leaving Tyler as the only player that would be an obvious above average player. It’d basically be a team full of role players.

      They have a rough schedule too. NFC West where all 3 teams would be better. AFC West where all 4 teams would be better. NFC South where all 4 teams, except maybe Carolina would be better. Jets, Giants, and Lions would be teams that would be at a similar level to a Russ-less PSJC lead Seahawks team. Maybe I’m being a bit pessimistic, but I can see PSJC leading the Seahawks to be #1 draft pick level bad.

  9. Rob Staton

    Albert Breer latest on the off-season QB situation, including Russell Wilson (with Rich Eisen today):

    • Peter

      So. Last year’s qb market, which I don’t rate barely at all is light years ahead of this year which drives up the veteran market.

      Does the FO trade Wilson for a haul? Great. What’s the future? The FA market is garbage and I am not sure there is a single qb who can win you a game on their own in the draft.

      Say what you will about Wilson early days but he could play. I mean he destroyed peyton’s rookie record when you remember peyton through a pick for every td.

      Do people who think it’s easy to get a rookie even follow football? Mac Jones, fields, zack Wilson, trevor lawrence….justin Burrow in his rookie year….there’s a lot of bad football to be had in the league.

    • Ralphy

      Thanks for posting that Rob. Great info in there.

  10. Zach

    100% agree that they need to invest in o-line, and doing so on the d-line would also be a good idea. I wonder if they deluded themselves into thinking that Russ could just overcome a bad o-line forever, which is very clearly untrue now (if it ever was).

  11. Strategicdust

    Front offices tend to stick with “their ways” of building teams until they burn out then to fade away (my, my, hey, hey). What we’ve seen from this team is aversion to risk on a repeated basis. Trade down of out of the first round, quantity over quality in free agency, sticking with “our guys” over better players. The times they’ve tried going big has blown up in their faces ( Harvin, Graham, Adams). This group has been entrusted for far too long for such poor results and have held on due to a timid press and lack of substantive fan discontent. If the trust isn’t forced to make a decision, it will probably defer, at least for another year. Rob. your plan is spot on, it’s the type of strong approach so desperately needed.

  12. BobbyK

    Christian Kirk is a solid WR I’d like to see added in FA if the team was able to trade DK for a pair of No. 1 picks.

    I love DK’s talent, but he’s the stereotypical primadonna (psycho) WR. Even one of the announcers compared him to TO last week. That’s a guy you want on a rookie contract, but not a guy you want to pay over $100M to.

    I love DK’s competitiveness when he’s blocking. He’s almost Beast Mode like, but he’s so psycho (his followers will call him “competitive”) when things don’t go his way or he doesn’t get the ball enough. I think back to the Rams game last year in the playoffs when he went psycho on the bench and then Russ tried to force it to him (led to the pick-6).

    If I could turn DK into Trevor Penning and another stud (cheap) player, while adding Kirk to Lockett and Eskridge – they’d still have millions in savings (especially in the future) and Russ could know Penning will be the last LT he’ll ever need in the NFL.

    Penning likes to kill people on the field. That’s what we need. Jim Mora would approve of that dirtbag.

    • Peter

      Not a bad assessment. Like kirk quite a bit but Eskridge has shown nothing. I’d like to see two vets or another TE. But a weapon tight end like njokue but with Wilson not mayfield throwing.

      • BobbyK

        No. He hasn’t shown much. I’m just trying to be realistic about what we can do in one off-season. There’s so many holes, that I don’t think they can/should invest so much in a WR3 when they have a 2nd round pick in the wings. For a speed guy, he sure struggles to create any separation in the action I’ve seen of him. But he can run reverses and seems like a better underneath WR vs. a deep threat (weird considering his speed).

    • Hawks4life

      I agree about Dk, I just don’t think Pete will if he does end up staying. I can see him signing him to a record breaking deal and having another lousy off season.

  13. Denver Hawker

    I have a sinking feeling PCJS and Russ won’t be going anywhere this off-season.

    • Peter

      Sometimes I think this as well. This stupid front office, not to go full Rob staton honk here, could actually spend the money on a guard, center, or LT…two of those three, a DE/sack maker, and a weapon or a CB and then go into the draft with some breathing room for a change. JA trade and all it’s warts and all.

      They just won’t.

      • Denver Hawker

        Or perhaps just draft off Rob’s recommendations the last couple years.

        I had hope a couple years ago and that was dashed. I have no hope left that this office can do the right thing to build this roster back to a SB contender.

        • Peter

          100%. It’s also not the draft it’s what they do in the trades and the FA. Sure the Janal Adams trade was crap. Sure people can make lists of x,y, and z player who could have been had for a pittance comparatively….how’s this for a deep cut.

          Whereas Seattle signed Kerry Hyder for 3.5 mil in guarantees for two years to do absolutely as close to nothing as possible, Old time Staton favorite Markus Golden was reaquainted with the Cardinals for a 6th round pick and a million less in Guarantees….and has 11 sacks on the year.

          It’s these death by a thousand cuts things that I find as egregious as the Adams trade.

          • cha

            For me it’s just as much about the use of the resources they have.

            Kerry Hyder 46% of snaps
            Rasheem Green 66% of snaps

            Carlos Dunlap……37% of snaps

            On one of the most pass-rush challenged teams in the NFL, when you are absolutely scraping for wins in the RW injury / RW recovery window, Dunlap was cooling his heels on the bench.

            Three weeks into the season, Tre Flowers stood at the podium and announced he didn’t know what was expected of him in this defense…after three seasons and assurances from PC that he was having his best offseason ever and was finally right.

            The sheer ridiculousness of moving Damien Lewis.

            Whole quarters and halves going by without finding a way to get the ball into DK Metcalf’s hands.

            Constantly calling for deep passes against the Rams.

            Taking a whole half to figure out they should be running the ball more against the Steelers (with a substandard backup QB starting his first game!)

            I could go on and on

            • Peter

              That Rams breakdown you did where Seattle insists on calling deep passes against them was pretty remarkable. Just completely willfully ignorant to any idea that might work and stubbornly choosing the worst way to attack that team. Unreal.

              • cha

                In hindsight, not just a bad in-game plan but playing with fire that RW would get hurt and it bit them in the butt.

          • Denver Hawker

            When was the last time the Hawks made a spectacular FA acquisition?

            All the best players were acquired through the draft or traded for. They’ve done an okay job filling rotational guys, but never a FA splash. It’s just not how they roll (hence my lack of hope).

            What’s worse is I have a sneaking suspicion top FA vets just don’t want to play in Seattle or with Carroll. They aren’t for-eyed college kids. We can’t confirm obviously, but I expect they’ve tried to lure big FAs, but have been spurned for other orgs. We’ve heard a couple occasions where Hawks even offered more money, but lost. They’ve then had to trade picks for Vets.

            • Peter

              Low key this is my biggest worry after a possible trade of Wilson. It’s been nine years since Bennett and Avril.

              We can “rosterbate,” about Norwal, Scherff, Jensen, Hernandez, Chandler Jones, pay Hassan Reddick, personally if the dollars were the same I’d love to pay Njokue and see what he could do with a real QB….but Seattle can’t retain hardly anyone. Nor, convince anyone to come here. I could rattle off about a dozen names I’d love to see here including slight overpays for some but are any of them coming here? Are any of the 30ish year old guys with mkney being really equal going to play for a team that may not have a QB when the last milestone in their life might be tge chance to get a ring?

    • BA

      I would honesty lose a good amount of respect for Russ if he chooses to play under PCJS again. It’s the equivalent of getting scolded by your boss while working 80 hour weeks and then choosing not to leave while your performance suffers. Not to mention PCJS and guys like Salk keep their beloved scapegoat when things go wrong and Russ can’t drag the barren roster to 12 wins, while at least with an objectively bad QB there’s no one to hide behind when you go 4-13.

  14. BobbyK

    I’ve always liked Brandon Sherff. The only thing I wouldn’t like about him on the Seahawks is that he’s a RG. I just wish they’d let Lewis have that position. Something is so wrong/stupid having a guy play RG in college and rookie year in the NFL with so much success and moving him to the other side where it’s clear he’s not as good (from over 70 at LG as a rookie to under 60 in year two – players are supposed to improve, not get worse).

    I think an improvement on the OL is going to come from a year two Jake Curhan. I really like RT moving into the future. He and Lewis should get to know each other and spend 7-8 years playing side by side.

    I don’t mind Phil Haynes at LG. I think he’s showing something. He’s not going to break the bank as an UFA.

    But, my goodness, what they currently have at Center is beyond bad. Pocic is the least physical guy you can find and Fuller is even worse. Creed Humphrey would have looked so perfect being the last Center Russell Wilson would ever need to play with. This needs to be a major area of emphasis in terms of getting someone who is actually good, or actually has talent.

    I’d love to bring back Brown. He’s the least of our worries at LT. I’d love to add Penning somehow, but that isn’t realistic unless he’s part of a DK trade (as I wrote above).

    I do think both RG and RT will be better next season if they’d simply put Lewis and Curhan together and leave them alone.

    For all the Stone Forsyth love or wonder, it’s just irresponsible to give him “first crack” at LT. First crack at swing tackle I’m okay with, counting or hoping on him to be the fixture at LT is worrisome.

    And please don’t draft or acquire any TEs who can’t block. I hate those players so bad. Dissley is a guy I hope they get back (at a cheap price) and it’s because he doesn’t suck at blocking like many TEs today. If you want to run the ball, don’t waste your time on a bum at TE who can’t block.

    • BobbyK

      Haynes = RFA (not UFA)

    • Peter

      I’ll take a modern TE all day if you are going to use them like one.

      Counter point. You want to run? Get a Fullback. I have no idea why run the ball pete doesn’t consistently value a fullback.

      • BobbyK

        Both. Mack Strong was a great lead blocker and people don’t realize what an unsung hero Ryan Hannam was due to his in line blocking. I love guys who can mash in addition to OLers who can do it. Like Jake Curhan is demonstrating as a rookie. Wow – that guy is going to be a masher.

        Yet Pete has the least physical Center in the NFL as his “anchor” in the middle of his OL. WTF?

        • Peter

          Loved mack strong. Such a bad ass

        • RugbyLock

          Yeah, Hannam was a stud blocker

  15. Pran

    This all sounds like a plan…but we are in a dilemma. who executes the plan?

    They need to settle the status of Front office, Coaching and Russ before someone can get to this. Can they start making decisions right after this week. If they stick with Pete and JS and drag Russ’s trade in to the pre-season, none of this can be executed and another season down the drain.

  16. Pran

    Another head scratching decision by Hawks…

    Cards traded for Rodney Hudson from Raiders for a 3rd rd pick same time as Hawks traded for Gabe.
    With Rodney at Center, Cards are 9-1 and 2-4 without.

    They cant evaluate and prioritize the needs for Christ sake which is why we cant trust current front office and coaches.

    • BobbyK

      Great point. But we didn’t have a 3rd round pick last year thanks to the herpes the Jets gave us.

  17. Justaguy

    Jordan Davis! pounds table with gavel

  18. ElPasoHawk

    Based on what I’ve read this week I’m not sensing there is going to be a change amongst the big three. If they don’t go big in free agency and get serious talent in the trenches like Rob advocates for it will be criminal and there is no doubt we will be watching the team circle the drain next year.

  19. seaspunj

    Happy New Year Rob

    I wanted to thank you for your efforts and your hard work in providing insights and feedback with the Seahawks. Over the years I have learned so much with prospects through the draft and looking at different perspectives with what to do with the Seahawks.

    What I enjoy most is you offer solutions and ideas that may or may not be popular to Seahawk fans. I hope you continue doing that for years to come. It wasnt so long ago when I remember the Seahawks needing a QB so badly and that cycle may occur again.

    I was a big fan of the JS/PC Legion of Boom era that it is so difficult to see how JS/PC have missed on draft prospects after the LOB all left. I am unsure what happens, but I love your hard work and ideas for solutions. People may complain but few offer solutions like you do and I appreciate your perspectives.

    Really hope that in 2022 will be a phenomenal year for you and your family. Also if the haters give you a hard time, you have fans like me who appreciate everything you do and are in your corner!

    All the best! Go Hawks!

    • Paul

      The entire JSPC history says that—with one exce-tion—they’ve had the same strengths and weaknesses from the beginning:

      *Good at RB (I don’t hold Penny and Prosise against them because neither had an injury history in college)
      *Good at WR as long as you throw out the fourth round, which has been Death Valley
      *Blah at TE
      *Poor at OL and DL
      *Very good at LB
      *Declining from outstanding to so-so at DB

      I think there’s a partial explanation for the decline, which is that they are victims of their own success at CB. Ten years ago, no one wanted tall, long CBs; now, everyone does. Even if another Richard Sherman came along, there’s no way he’s available in the 5th round. S is harder to explain—mainly, that has been about opportunity as Earl Thomases and Kam Chancellors don’t grow on trees.

      • Peter

        A lot of this is pretty spot on. Kam and earl don’t grow on tree. But buddha baker has played very, very well for a second round pick right after mcdowell. Sometimes the league has caught on to the hawks and sometimes the hawks just pass on obvious good decisions.

      • Rob Staton

        I wouldn’t say good at RB.

        I’d say they made one good trade for Marshawn and aside from that have been pretty bad

      • James P

        I’d say RB is definitely overstated. They’ve made some good value picks (Carson, Rawls (UDFA), Collins, even Dallas maybe), but when they spend a Day 1/2 pick they’ve got it wrong pretty much every time – Penny, Prosise, Michael.

        • Paul

          My RB take is arguable, no question. Basically, I don’t hold injury history against a front office when there was no way to anticipate it (as with, e.g., Darrell Taylor). Prosise was plainly talented—we all saw the NE and PHI games—and there was no way to predict that he’d be injury prone.

          As for Penny, I’m not in the “never draft an RB in the first round” camp. I thought at the time and still think that you just don’t see footwork like his. Carson is an ox in comparison:

          It would be one thing if the guy had missed half his college games, but he was a workhorse and an explosive one at that.

          Michael was a bust, but no one bats 1.000–even the Pittsburgh Steelers have probably drafted some dogs at WR. Carson, Collins, Homer, Turbin, and Ware are/were productive-to-very good players; Michael bombed, Brooks and Small were 7th-round picks; Dallas looks okay, but it’s hard to tell. This to me is not a bad list, and it’s Newsomite compared to OL/DL.

          No one can predict what might have been, but it’s defensible to surmise that had Penny and Prosise been as healthy as pros as they had been in college, we would be talking about one of NFL’s most dominant ground games and no one would be complaining about taking Penny in the 1st round,

          • Rob Staton

            I think it’s a bit of a stretch to judge players on ‘what could’ve been’ though.

            It’s hardly like we can say we’re talking about two all pro’s with Prosise and Penny, if only they’d stay healthy.

            The fact is they had a shot at Chubb who fit everything they look for and passed, for Penny.

            They’ve not found a quality, consistent starting RB since Marshawn.

            Those are the facts.

            • DT

              One of the local tv stations, when reporting that Penny had won NFC Offensive Player of the week, pointed out that he was the first Hawk’s RB to win that honor since Shaun Alexander.
              That’s 16 awards a year for 15 years – 240 total. If you spilt it evenly between QB/RB/WR and maybe TE that means there have been roughly 60-80 other teams/RBs that have won in that time.
              A bit surprised Marshawn never won, but for a team that supposedly wants to run the ball that’s pretty damning on the investment from either OL, RB or both

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks 👏🏻

  20. Paul

    They should let someone else overpay Diggs. Look at recent PB and AP safeties: All are 28 or under. Diggs will be 29 at the start of next season. At worst, this will be a case of it being better to move on a year soon than a year late.

    • Bmseattle

      I agree with this.
      I dont think that any of our 3rd contract/late 30’s contracts have been worth it.
      Guys get old quick.

      • Bmseattle

        *late 20’s

    • TatupuTime

      Sadly I agree as well. I hope Diggs gets paid well somewhere else. Really tough to pay two safeties top-10 salaries.

  21. Forrest

    Start with:
    26 yo Harold Landry (LEO DE)
    26 yo Brian Sims C (poach from Rams in FA)
    26 yo Will Hernandez G (buy low candidate with high upside. Needs fresh start w/new team)
    Isaiah Spiller Draft Round 2 (downhill runner and pass catcher)

    • Rob Staton

      I’d aim a lot higher than that

      And I’m not a fan of drafting Spiller that early

  22. Sea Mode

    Or… we just played two of the crappiest losing teams in football. Just sayin’…

    Bob Condotta

    Seahawks OC Shane Waldron today on the offense being up and down: “A lot of different inconsistencies showed up throughout the year and I could do a better job of getting it all coached, taught up, and maybe getting us some of the right play calls in the right scenarios….

    ‘It’s just all of us coming together and being a little bit better and being a little bit more comfortable in it to lead that end of the game success, lead to more 3rd down success, and more success in finishing at the end of games. It’s all stuff that we are looking to improve’

  23. Sea Mode

    As the AB turns… the BUCS side of the story, which I’m slightly more inclined to believe than AB’s.

    Either way, please stay away from this guy, Seahawks, no matter how hard RW lobbies for him. It’s just not worth the distraction IMO.

  24. Alcohawk


    Doesn’t the 13mm or so roll over from 2021 to 2022? Is that already included in the 2022 cap projection?

    There are several teams in cap hell that need to make some tough cuts. Rams, Cowboys, Saints all have issues. Any options that might come out of that? What is the comp pick situation? Are there more options there?

    If they are keeping Russ, I think they need to keep Bobby through the same time period. 2024 everyone goes and the massive rebuild begins. So I see an extension/restructure for Bobby and a deferment for Russ to build 2022 and 2023 roster.

    My concern is resources. I think they have to retain Quadre Diggs of which he already has 2mm or so of dead money on the cap so I assume that could be converted same with Duane Brown though my preference is to get younger there but with who? Armstead is often injured. Could Eric Fisher be an option? They need to figure out their Aaron Donald problem and build that interior. In this division they need to overpay for a center. I’m concerned though they will scrimp and bring back Justin Britt.

    Why am I envisioning a line of Duane Brown-Lewis-Britt-Jackson-Curhan? When it should be Orlando Brown-Lewis-Ryan Jensen-Jackson-Curhan (Stone or draft for RT).

    • Rob Staton

      Yep, already included

    • cha

      Sounds like people like good longform writing.

      If only there was some place we could get that on the regular…

  25. Sea Mode

    What a good OL and game plan allows you to do.

    You can see that in the average of 2.50 seconds he [Brady] takes to release the ball (the second fastest of any player in the league) versus the 2.57 he had last year, which was eighth, and significantly better than the 2.62 he had through the first five games last season.

    And while there were some hiccups Sunday, as Brady was hit four times, his pass protection has been stellar this season. He has been pressured on just 12.2% of his dropbacks — the best of any QB in the league.

    His contact percentage (pressure consists of both contact and no-contact in the form of hurried throws) of 9.3% also tops the league. They need to rely on that, and this group’s run blocking (another position rocked by injuries) to set up play-action.

  26. Ross

    It’s feeling a lot like PC, JS, and RW will all be back next year. I guess it could be everybody towing the line until the season’s over and then things get interesting, but it really feels like more of the same right now and I’m getting worried.

    I agree with everything Rob has stated in this piece. I think we need to make a number of those cuts to free up cap money: Wagner, Myers, Jackson, Hyder, Mayowa, Carson (i wonder if he retires with his neck issue), Collier. I would keep Blair, Bellore, and Dunlap. DK and Diggs are interesting situations. DK is a diva, albeit talented, and he’s simply not as good as some of those highest paid WRs, but he’ll certainly want to top their contracts. It will take some serious Belichickian cajones to trade him this off season and it will not please RW unless we acquire another tall, athletic WR to replace him. As for Diggs, he will also want top money and I agree we can’t sink so much into a single position group. But at the same time, he’s consistently been a top performer in this defense. And if you remember last year when he was injured, our defense really suffered for it. His presence makes a huge difference.

    This thing needs a shake-up and the ownership situation does not make me feel like a shake-up is coming.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s feeling a lot like PC, JS, and RW will all be back next year.

      I wouldn’t say that at all.

      Do people think Schefty put that article out last week because RW is content? What about Wilson saying he ‘hopes’ last week wasn’t his last game in Seattle?

      This is just starting.

      • Roy Batty

        Rob, do you believe this will drag on until after the SB? Or, possibly, Russ’s camp ramps up the chatter if the Packers exit the playoffs and they’re looking to get ahead of ARod and his demands?

      • CL

        I agree with you Rob.

        What do you think about Wilson’s comment yesterday?
        “My goal is to win more Super Bowls and my plan is to win them here.”

        Is it just for his image and Mark Rodgers can do the necessary work behind the scenes?

        • Rob Staton

          The plan is to win them here.

          He doesn’t want to leave.

          But if he’s going to stay, change is needed at the top.

          It’s that simple.

      • Ross

        Conversely, there was RW comments this week about winning SBs in Seattle, and PC comments about his conversations with RW not aligning with the rumors.

        I guess what is worrisome is that everything we see is the direction of RW leaving and PC staying. I guess that’s not the direction that I’m interested in.

    • Peter

      Let us get right about DK. First DK seems not as good because he drifts and as yet appears to rely almost exclusively on his “god given,” talent. Rather than building skills such as boxing out scrawny DB’s, getting his arms out from his body, etc.

      Amongst the top paid WR’s there are tons of guys with seasons where they had grwat production. 1100 yards, 6-7 tds. Heck Lockett might be underpaid for how well he is playing. But and I mean this 100%…DK is in the very near top of WR’s coming out of the gate. When you look at yards and TD’s combined he is he is near a lot of greats in yards and beyond nearly every one in TD’s.

      But let’s be real. You might know who the WR coach is. If you don’t it is 34 year old Nate Carrol. Pete’s kid. Who may have played WR in high school. Did not play anything in college and won the life lottery by getting a job as a scout for his dad at age 23 with the team and somehow some way keeps getting promoted upwards and this is the guy tasked with coaching up DK.

      So we say DK is not great. Part of that may be on him. But part of that is on Pete’s garbage staff.

      • Ross

        I’m not sure what your point is. Absolutely, it feels like DK relies on his athleticism and size to overmatch DBs. But when you watch Julio Jones or Davante Adams or, heck, even Chris Godwin and Calvin Ridley, you see a WR who can run a perfect route, high point the ball absolutely perfectly, and always know where his feet are with regards to the sideline. DK doesn’t do these things well, and i haven’t even mentioned the drops.

        There’s no guarantee, even with a great WR coach, that DK will learn to do those things well.

        I like DK and I would be happy if they could extend him for something in the neighborhood of $16M or $17M per year. It doesn’t seem like he’s going to take that.

        • Peter

          The point is pretty clear. Like you I agree DK doesn’t do a lot of the things great WR’s do.

          But you said “he’s simply not as good….” which is an opinion. Because despite the glaring holes in his game he is literally better in his first three years in the league than most all WR’s going on 20 years. In the categories that matter. Yards. And touchdowns. This is numerical fact. And I agree there are probably dozens of WR’s that run better routes and have better game awareness.

          And my other point was that with these glaring holes it’s not hard to imagine what a young player like him with his work ethic could do with a WR coach who was good and had any track record at the position and not just been handed it.

          • Ross

            Fair points. Agree.

            • Peter

              For what it’s worth. I’m like you not really sold on the idea of paying him more than about 17 million.

              Not just because of his issues. But I’m not convinced the highest paid WR’s really change a team enough to justify their cost.

              • Ross

                I think it’s extremely difficult to isolate how much value they provide because so much is dependent on the QB, OL, and scheme. There has certainly been WRs that have changed the team enough to justify their cost: Julio Jones in ATL, Randy Moss everywhere, Keenan Allen, Tyler Lockett, just to name a few. But this is subjective, of course, and there are many more examples where teams overpaid and the return underwhelmed. But again, it’s so hard to know if those examples of successes/failures would have seen similar results with a lesser WR just because of the QB, OL, and scheme.

        • JimQ

          I think the appropriate questions about DK should be:
          Would the Seahawks be better off trading DK for a 1-st + change and replace him with a rookie WR from a high pick in the coming draft & by doing so, save 15-16 million in cap space for other additions, why not? If they feel they can draft, at least, a halfway adequate replacement and save millions, it makes perfect sense for team building. That 15-16 million could allow for some decent help in the trenches.

          As a minimum, I’d hope that PC gets replaced by a new, young, innovative coach (in the next couple of weeks). At that point, I think the organization would want to put their faith in the new coach to make the changes to the roster – in his own vision for the team. The “new” man in charge should be the one to decide what to do with RW, DK, BW, et. al. as it’s his job to construct the “new” team & it’ll be his job on the line if he fails. Any new coach should be allowed to do his job his way with the players he wants.

          IMO: The head coach shouldn’t have the ability to override everyone else’s ideas, the system of checks and balances is then way out of whack with a GM that is nothing more than a “yes” man & that seems like the current situation with the Seahawks, unfortunately. I think JS is actually pretty good at his job, however, I think PC has often ignored input and overridden JS’s & the scouting department on many of the players in both FA & the draft. As in its “stubborn old” PC’s way or the highway? Time for CHANGE.

  27. AlaskaHawk

    Great article Rob = lots of great stuff to read this year. And thanks for your contributions Cha.

    I’m all in on improving the trenches. I’ve wanted to see a real effort to improve the offensive line since the superbowl era. They will bring a few players in each year, but never enough players of high enough quality to make a difference. And of our running backs would do much better with better blocking up front. Just look at the Titans after Henry was injured, the team rallied and they still run the ball really well because of their offensive line.

    Likewise Wilson’s stats will improve if he isn’t running for his life back there.

    Regarding the cap, based on 34 million + 21 million from cutting first four players mentioned, that’s about 55 million. Plenty of money to hire two quality free agents for offense and two for defense. And change left over to fill other positions. Like running back, who are they going to play next year? I’m tired of Penny and his injuries, I would only pay him if the money wasn’t guaranteed past the year he is playing. There should be other running backs available. Most competitive teams have 2-3 good running backs.

    I’m not expecting a lot out of this draft, but if they can find 3 starters out of 6 picks = that would be a win.

  28. Jordan E

    Great article Rob. Yes, whatever happens- the Hawks need to build the trenches moving forward. And great point, didn’t realize that we don’t really have a “sack specialist” on our team. We need one of those.

  29. cha


    Ian Rapoport
    The #AZCardinals have designated JJ Watt to return from Injured Reserve.

  30. cha

    Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Salk. Also hat tip to Rob for making the same point about GB and their offensive structure.

    I especially like how the clips cuts off just before Salk claims (and I’m totally serious) incredulously that ‘so Russell Wilson would leave because of the offensive line?? Building the offensive line isn’t Pete Carroll’s responsibility’

    He actually said that.

    • Peter

      Are we sure Salk is well?

      I mean who is responsible for building the oline?

    • cha

      The whole segment. Salk tries to talk over Jake several times and Jake handles his tactic every single time.

      Jake won every round on all cards. It’s quite entertaining to hear the frustration growing in Salk’s voice as Jake calmly refutes his garbage and refuses to buy into his premises and be pigeonholed into talking on Salk’s terms.

    • Big Mike

      His new book will be entitled “How To Become A Caricature Of Yourself” by Mike Salk.

      • Big Mike

        Or maybe “How I Sold My Soul And Credibility To Become Pete Carroll’s Bobo”.

    • Ashish

      Pete want’s to run the ball more but not invest in OLine, he wants to punt the ball at 55 yards but not invest in DL But problem is Russ. Not sure what Salk is BSing

  31. cha

    Ian Rapoport
    The #Jaguars plan to interview former #Texans coach Bill O’Brien for their vacant HC job next week after #Bama team plays in the National Championship on Monday, source said.
    had the timing first.

    Khan: So Bill, what would you do to add to the success of our franchise?

    Bill: Well the first thing I’d do is stage a coup to get the GM fired. Then I’d alienate our best pass rusher to the point he won’t even sign the franchise tag deal, and I’d trade him to Seattle. Then I’d alienate our star LT and piss him off so badly he refuses to play for us. Then I’d trade him to Seattle too. Then I’d trade a fortune in draft capital for a left tackle without signing him to an extension. Then after a year I’d give him the biggest contract at his position in NFL history by an extra 20%. Then I’d alienate the best wide receiver in the NFL and trade him for some magic beans.

    Khan: You’re hired!

    • Roy Batty

      Does Kahn not have person in charge of acquisition who has any NFL knowledge, whatsoever?

      Or is this all about him and his perceived intuition?

      His very, very bad intuition.

      • TomLPDX

        Khan’s son.

      • cha

        Trent Baalke is the guy in the front office right now. And word is he’s been stumping for O’Brien to be HC.

    • AlaskaHawk

      It’s entertaining to hear about some other teams troubles!

  32. Paul

    The quantity-over-quality approach on the lines makes sense only if you draft well, and this FO has not shown that it will ever be able to do that.

    One of the problems is that they draw the wrong lessons from their successes. E.g., we know we can develop projects because we did it with JR Sweezy. No one thinks about how many projects there have to be to produce one Sweezy, even with best of coaching. Germain Ifedi has the feet of a guard and the body of a tackle? No problem: That means he can start at either position because Sweezy proved that we’re great at coaching up. There’s no chance that we’ll screw up Germain’s development by moving him back and forth between tackle and guard, and there’s even less chance that his “versatility” points to lifetime backup status. Same with Ethan Pocic.

    This plays out on the DL too. That Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett were available in the second wave in the same year was a black swan—it’s not going to happen again. You can’t keep hanging around for the second wave waiting for the next Avril, pass on TJ Watt, Ryan Ramczyk, and Tre’Davious White to take a chance on Malik McDowell (which in retrospect was a firing offense in and of itself), and expect that to work.

    This is why I’m skeptical about moving on from Russell Wilson if the approach to player personnel doesn’t improve dramatically—there’s no reason to think that it will lead to something better and every reason to expect the worst.

    • MychestisBeastmode

      Not that it matters, but Malik McDowell is only a bad pick through hindsight and not at all a fireable offense imo. Sure he had concerns about effort, commitment, and maturity coming out of college, and many players do to some degree. Rarely, does it backfire as explosively as it did with his very poor decision to ride in an ATV and subsequently get severely injured. The roster moves after his injury were more of a concern to me, giving away more and more stock for rental players instead of commiting to the likes of Clowney, Richardson, or others they never landed by presumably lowballing them relative to their market value.

      I believe the Hawks very much wanted a Calais Campbell type, as Rob has noted regularly over the years, and I believe the Hawks thought McDowell had the special/unique ability & intangibles to be just that – a dual threat interior lineman in the run and pass defense. Had he avoided one particularly foolish decision, he may just have been the anchor this line has been missing these last few years, and the likes of Taylor, Dunlap, Green, and Robinson, etc. would have all likely reaped the benefits of McDowell drawing extra attention. Alas, it’s all hypothetical and does not carry much of any weight. Still, nor does calling a pick a bad one in hindsight as fireable. The Hawks and every NFL team employs people with questionable character on the regular. These guys are gladiators, mostly known for their brawn rather than brains.

      All of that aside, clearly TJ Watt would have been the right choice, in hindsight. And, again, without one very foolish decision, who’s to say McDowell would not have achieved above average to all-pro success. In this alternate universe, missing out on Watt would still sting, but at least we’d have something to show for it as an arguably justifiable alternative success.

      Some people had McDowell ranked higher than Solomon Thomas, 3rd overall pick in the same 2017 draft and I tended to agree at the time.

      The McDowell argument is significantly more nuanced imo than the more recent black and white blunders below.

      Jamaal Adams, good guy, good player and great at some aspects, AND nearly everything related to that trade + extension = fireable. And maybe 3rd WR Dee Eskridge will develop into a Tyreek Hill-esque player, but passing on a clear need of OL with a talented Creed Humphries is more frustrating to me than McDowell who also fit a huge need at the time of his pick.


  33. Henry Taylor

    My concern based on all the information I’ve seen is this off-season (and then probably the actual season) will be a carbon copy of the last one.

    Pete and John will go nowhere and look to fill in the gaps with mid tier FA, there will be suggestions of Russ’ discontent but the team and player will largely stay quite.

    I think it’s time for change. I have my preference on what that should be, but Russ being traded for a haul to trigger a rebuild is better than standing pat completely. I’m scared we’re not gonna get either.

  34. jed

    Kind of funny … I was listening to the last Hawk Blogger episode with Brian and Jeff. The last couple minutes were basically the Rob line of thought. Resource management has been poor. Invest in the OL/DL instead of S/LB. It took them a while to get there, so kudos to Rob for calling this out for years. But, maybe the broader Seahawks internet community is finally catching up?

    To me, that’s what so frustrating about the last few years of Pete & John and why I want them gone. The weakness of the team has been so obvious, they know it, and they haven’t addressed it.

  35. MikeB

    Obviously, everything at a price and I get we spent a bunch on JA, so we have safety “covered”.

    But if I had to choose between Diggs and JA, I’d want Diggs 10/10 times. He is really the only turnover machine we have. He tackles better than JA. He’s consistently in position. He’s a leader, and humble. He has great vision. And, he is healthier. He will be on the field all season.

    If the only reason we are keeping JA is because we have already sunk cost.. then how much longer do we want to commit to that decision?

    Personally, id greatly prefer dealing, or maybe even cutting JA over losing diggs. Wasn’t that long ago we were moaning about T2’s play at safety.

    Because if we lose doggs, and keep JA as our marquee guy, he’s gonna be injured 33% of the time, and he wont be providing safety on the back end.

  36. Rob Staton


    I’ve spoken to Tony and he clarified that if Pete Carroll leaves Seattle — and that’s seen as a 50/50 proposition — people in football are speculating UCLA would court him for the Bruins job. It’s not quite as cut and dried as the article perhaps suggests.

    I’ve added this to the article.

    • cha

      Thanks Rob. Great work!

  37. Andy J

    Dear Rob:

    As always, love the content.

    You’ve been mentioning recently that the Case for Carroll hasn’t been written yet. I tend to agree with you that he is NOT the right person to lead the rebuild. But I also, increasingly, think that he won’t be fired, won’t quit, and won’t trade Wilson.

    So, if we are “stuck” with Carroll (who I adore… even if his regime has become stale), here might be my Case for Change with Carroll.

    I thought that we were on the upswing headed into 2020 offseason. Tons of money. Team on the upswing. A new era seemed realizable. I remember being quite irritated with Evan Hill’s “Why I feel completely hopeless about the Seahawks” article at that time. In hindsight, Evan was right and I was wrong.

    But… we almost won a 1st round bye last year. And the Clowney thing really threw off that whole offseason (I did sympathize with management).

    Here are some Carroll tendencies that need to change:
    – hiring Yes-Men as coordinators
    – trading for talent as opposed to signing talent in free agency
    – penny pinching in free agency
    – trading high-draft picks for older talent
    – trading back
    – drafting for need instead of talent
    – patchwork defense
    – assuming that low-talent CBs can be coached into being quality players
    – a lack of in-game aggressiveness
    – consistently taking too many sacks
    – no quick-passing game
    – no use of RB emergency outlet
    – (more of a hypothetical/question) who is responsible for draft misses… Carroll, Schneider, or scouting department?

    I am not saying that Carroll must do the exact opposite in all instances now. But he should certainly re-evaluate his tendencies and be honest about their recent failings.

    How does Carroll approach the Waldron and Norton decisions? Fuck, I don’t know! Do you literally make Wilson work with a 3rd OC in 3 years? If Waldron is not-ready-for-primetime, yes! I am a believer in adding coordinator talent as a priority. Carroll has not built a capable staff. Obviously Norton has been exposed as a Coordinator, but as a position-coach he was amazing, in part, for the culture and intensity he brought. Why had Carroll not brought in more former players as position coaches??? I have long thought Lawyer Milloy made a natural candidate. Kam, now, too! I would give the entire offense to Peyton Manning, and a $8,000,000 salary, if you could get him to say yes! I know you hate Baldwin. But, putting that aside, I want someone with that “intensity” on the sidelines keeping the team honest. Sometimes you need a quiet leader who does things by example. Sometimes you need what Marshawn used to call Dawgs. What you call a BAMF. I am with you and I want Joe Brady considered. But I want talent added to the staff anywhere and everywhere. Heck, Jim Zorn. Hire Holmgren as a advisor and let him annoy the fuck out of Wilson this offseason / training camp. Isn’t he the perfect person for fixing the quick passing flaws that plague Wilson? Bring in Hasselbeck as a position coach or a scout or as management. He has always wanted it. Bring back old LOB coaches! Add young defensive coaching talent. Fuck with the paradigm at all cost. Get people who will challenge Carroll in-and-off the field. I am fine with the basic philosophy staying the same… but someone with aggressiveness, who is willing to get angry, passionate, and still has a desire to win at all costs, needs to be given the autonomy on the offensive side of things. This person needs to force Wilson to fix his problematic tendencies and to be allowed to make aggressive in-game decisions. We need BAMF within the coaching staff.

    Heck… when are you going to submit a resume to Schneider as a potential scout?

    I am with you about focusing on the trenches. The only thing I want to add, even though I think you agree, is how this is largely to due with tendencies. The Carroll/Schneider have largely stuck to an offseason script… and it has to be re-evaluated and scrapped. I love your thoughts about trading up in the draft. I am no talent evaluator… but I want to see this largely because it is the opposite of what they have been doing. One thing I console in my real-world job is resistance-training. Identify your tendencies and make a conscious effort to do the opposite. At the very least to work out that muscle… becoming more well-rounded or, at least, good at what you’re not so good at. Fyi, I am not gym person… just a metaphor I use. Carroll, Schneider, and Wilson need resistance-training desperately.

    The Schneider / Green Bay philosophy was a) train your own talent, b) retain top talent you trained, c) don’t spend in free agency, d) trade back in the draft for more picks. They got bit with B during peak LOB years. D hasn’t been working and, thus, A isn’t happening either. C has to be considered to off-set the failures of A.

    The one thing I disagree with you about, in the article above, is some of the draft advice. If the talent is there, yes, trade up. But one thing I want to see a conscious effort of is drafting best-talent available instead of need. I don’t think your proposals are necessary the opposite of that. But I think you would agree that one of the reasons why the Carroll/Schneider regime has missed out on top-talent these past 5 drafts is because of a) trading back, b) trading high-picks, and c) drafting for need. Their approach to free agency, for example, seems to largely force themselves into spending certain picks on certain positions. The best drafts have largely been about drafting best player available. Our team lacks talent!

    The only other thing I want to pushback on is the defense. You focus on the trenches, rightly so. But honestly, what about CB? Some analytics superfans say that defensive passing statistics matter more than pass rush. I don’t know enough to have a strong opinion one way or another. But… it is clear that the CB position has been one of our Achilles heels these past 2-3 years. The Carroll/Schneider regime feels as if they can just train talent at this position. But when they pay for mid-tier talent… those are the first players to get cut or traded before the season starts. Why is that? Somehow this needs to be addressed. Because, yes I agree with you, Safety and LB are low-impact positions. However, CBs get paid the biggest of bucks. I would definitely love to see us add some talent to this position. Yes, good teams are built in the trenches. But, defense also wins championships. I want the patchwork approach to be scrapped and them square the circle on the side of the ball. My biggest hesitation is that Carroll’s scheme is largely a Zone based scheme… and thus, maybe this position is less important for this scheme. Fuck, if it were me, then throw out the scheme if it ain’t working! Or, at least figure out why it isn’t working and make it work. McVay’s scheme is a Zone killer! Playing man sometimes isn’t the worst thing in the world. Where is the punisher in this defense? If Adams is best as a hybrid back… consider having him split-time as a LB. Fuck, hire Troy Polomanu just to push back against Carroll’s scheme and to design a schemes with a designed floater.

    I think the regime has gone stale. I agree with much of your analysis. I also think that the status quo remains a highly probabilistic outcome. Heck, there is even a little bit of me that desperately wants Carroll to prove both you and me wrong… I love that goofy guy! I even think that Wilson might also know that his best chance of success might be with Carroll.

    If this status quo remains… I hope Jody Allen, RW3, Carroll, Schneider, & Leiweke, Holmgren, Kam Chancellor, Doug Baldwin, Matt Hasselbeck, Hugh Millen, you, whoever… get together after Sunday and have a real, no-hold’s bars TELL THE TRUTH MONDAY!!! Because Carroll straight-up lying to himself and everyone around him if he straight-faced thinks things are working. Sit down and come up with a plan on how to upend things-as-usual, add talent across the board, come out in 2022 with a freaking fire lit under everyone’s asses. If the status quo remains it shouldn’t be a replication of Marvin Lewis, but Tomlin, Payton, Reid, Belichick, etc. Super Bowls must be the clearly stated goal. If Carroll remains it should be only under the firm resolve that he wants to be etch his name in the Hall of Fame pantheon of all-time great coaches. That is only possible by winning another Super Bowl and building a team that can rival the LOB era.

    Thanks for reading or whatever.

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