Mock Seahawks off-season: Pre-combine edition

Free agency, a seven-round mock, Geno’s future. It’s all covered here.

I’ve tried to make this as realistic as possible — and it highlights some of the challenges facing Seattle financially.

The Geno Smith situation

So far, I think the Seahawks have handled this perfectly.

They resisted calls to extend Geno during the season. They’ve taken things into the combine, where all the teams meet and talk business. Smith’s representatives — and the Seahawks — will have a better idea of his value after this week in Indianapolis.

Only then can they make a decision. While there’s obviously mutual interest in getting a deal done, it has to work for both sides.

Carroll spoke to Mike Florio earlier today and said this on Smith:

“Geno’s been us and we’ve been him. We should just do this together. We’ve still got to work out the business part of it. We’ve got a team that needs some help and some areas in free agency that we’ve got to address and we’re looking forward to doing that and this is the game that you play at this time of year. So we’re working hard at it. We’d love to have Geno back.”

The public message has been consistent. They want him back but it has to be at a certain price. It’s the right tactic. Praise Smith, celebrate his 2022 season. Then remind him that to continue what they started — and to get better — they can’t just give him all of their available money. There has to be some give and take.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that Dave Wyman, who hosts a show with John Schneider, casually brought up a belief that Smith wants $40m a year on 710 Seattle Sports. I also think that was a good tactic, if the information was leaked by the team. It informs the fanbase that they’re trying and if it doesn’t happen — it wasn’t really their fault.

So which way does this go?

It might seem a bit of a cop out to start this mock off-season with a hedge but the honest answer is I don’t know.

There are a number of very similar quarterbacks hitting the market. If one of them — Daniel Jones, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo — gets a big contract, then it’ll make it easier for the others to follow suit. It’s also possible teams are going to smoke this market out. There might not be a great rush to pay. Whether it’s this year or some time in the future, I think the league is going to reach an epiphany on second and third tier quarterback contracts. I do think a consensus might emerge where the view is — pay the best top money, or just use the draft and look for value.

If that happens, they could all end up playing a game of poker, waiting for someone to show their hand first.

For that reason it could mean free agency starts and a few of these players end up in a staring contest with teams. That would be typical for Smith — who took weeks to re-sign in Seattle last year despite it being the only starting job on offer. It even prompted a slightly irked Carroll to make a public statement in a press conference before the 2022 draft to try and get things moving.

I don’t think there’s any chance Seattle uses the franchise tag on Geno because it’s too risky to not get an extension done and be lumbered with a $32.4m charge this year. That would end any hope of doing what Carroll says they need to do — make moves in free agency. The Seahawks only have $14m in effective cap space. They can create more, but not so much more that they can carry $32.4m. They’d lose leverage in talks too because Smith would know he’s guaranteed $32.4m and the team needs to get that number down.

Their best leverage ploy at the moment is their ability to move on. That’s gone the minute they tag him.

Here’s my prediction. They don’t use the tag. I think it’ll come down to Seattle and Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers are making a big push by hiring his QB coach with the Seahawks to be their offensive coordinator. They also just appointed one of Geno’s best friends to be their new QB coach. Todd Bowles also worked with Smith in New York.

How prepared are they to commit future money and guarantees? They are in a desperate cap situation but equally can’t just blow everything up. They have a veteran roster full of players who won’t want to waste their time in a rebuild. Many of the contracts are immovable and will need to be re-worked to get under the cap before the new league year begins. Bowles and GM Jason Licht can ill-afford to endure a wasted season too, or their jobs will be at risk.

The NFC South is winnable. Even if it’s time to suffer through some financial pain to come out the other end, they have a roster that can compete if they have a viable quarterback. I suspect they’ll look at what Seattle did in 2022 and think they can do the same — in a division without the 49ers.

I think Smith could sign with either team. Seahawks or Buccs.

Either way, the amount Seattle spends on a veteran quarterback this year will be similar. Any deal with Smith will require a multi-year agreement with a low cap hit in 2023 for perhaps as little as $8-10m. If he departs, they’ll likely just take that cap number and give it to Drew Lock or another veteran to be the bridge for a season. Or they might sign two veterans for the same cost.

My hunch is they’ll get something done to keep Smith. However, it’ll be a contract with an obvious out as early as next year and will very much keep the door open to draft a quarterback at #5. This could be considered the ideal situation — re-creating the torch-passing we saw in Kansas City when the Chiefs had Alex Smith and drafted Patrick Mahomes.

Creating more cap room

If they spend $8-10m on a quarterback this year, they’ll only have $4-6m in effective cap space remaining. That’s how tight finances are, despite everyone imagining the post-Russell Wilson era would give the Seahawks loads to spend. Most of it has already gone.

Cutting Gabe Jackson is inevitable to create an extra $6.5m. I think they’ll cut Quinton Jefferson too, to save another $4.5m. That would give the Seahawks $15-17m to play with.

Bryan Mone’s injury makes a settlement likely. Cutting him saves $2.6m to bump the available money up to $18-20m.

I would consider re-working Jamal Adams’ contract to create more room. That feels inevitable and really, it’s not unreasonable for the team to go down that route given he hasn’t provided value for money.

They could also look to extend Uchenna Nwosu’s contract to lower his $13m cap hit. He’s set to be a free agent next year and played well in 2022.

They’ll probably need to lower Shelby Harris’ cap hit but I’m not sure how they approach that. I would be against cutting him because he’s too important. He and Al Woods were the only bright spots on the defensive line in 2022. He’s high character and a good scheme fit. If you cut him and re-sign him, how do you do that while carrying $3.3m in dead money? You’d have to get him back for about $4m just to make the process worthwhile. A small extension would be ideal but Harris turns 32 in August. They might have to live with this one and make savings elsewhere.

For the purpose of this article I’m going to say they have $20-22m in effective cap space to use in free agency.

Seattle’s other free agents

It might take a bit of time with this one but I can imagine Rashaad Penny returning to Seattle. They gave him a decent contract in 2022, a show of faith. It might be time to return the favour now after another season lost to injury. This shouldn’t be a bank-breaker and will allow the team to feel good about having two runners. Let’s say he comes back for $3.5m.

Poona Ford was an ill-fit in Seattle’s new defensive scheme. As well liked as he is, they might need to try and find a different type of defensive lineman.

Austin Blythe has just announced his retirement. He will need to be replaced.

Will Cody Barton return? Possibly but it’s likely to be a very modest contract and both parties might feel like a change of scenery is needed. I would imagine they have a lot of interest in bringing back Travis Homer for his special teams value (and they seem to like his attitude and versatility). Between them it might cost $2m.

The only other significant free agent is Drew Lock. The Seahawks would surely like to bring him back but it’ll depend on interest elsewhere and whether there’s a better route to start with another team. If his market is lukewarm, after a period of time he could come back to provide competition and depth. He’s a lot more likely to return, obviously, if Smith moves on.

It seems inevitable that Ryan Neal will receive a tender. Do they risk using the right of first refusal rather a second round tender, to save $1.7m? I’m going to say yes due to Neal’s injury record. They get him back for $2.6m.

Michael Jackson played well enough across from Tariq Woolen to be kept as an exclusive rights free agent. I’d imagine they retain Godwin Igwebuike as an ERFA too after the way he provided a major boost in the return game. There’s also probably enough to keep Myles Adams around in the same situation as an ERFA.

These moves, plus a quarterback signing, will not leave much cap room left to go shopping. It might be as little as $10-12m.

Outside free agent signings

I think they will key-in on a couple of positions like last year and look to make similar signings. In 2022 they brought in Nwosu, brought back Jefferson, added Blythe and signed Artie Burns.

I’m going to look for similar level signings, given how little they have to play with.

This is not a good center class in the draft. I don’t have any player graded higher than round three — although I’m willing to move players up into round two if they perform well at the combine. Even then, I think Joe Tippmann (who should be the top tester at center) might be better suited to guard.

Even with a haul of picks I don’t think you can bank on a center you like being available. Let’s say the Seahawks rate John Michael Schmitz higher than I do. You can’t go into the draft assuming he’ll be available on day two.

Thus, I think this is a key area for free agency.

I would ask about Minnesota’s Garrett Bradbury first and foremost. He played for Kevin O’Connell last season, running the same offense as Shane Waldron. He’ll know the terminology. He’s also ideally sized (6-3, 300lbs) for the type of center they want (leverage is key). He ran a 4.53 short shuttle at his combine — that’s the type of short-area agility Seattle wants at the position.

They might be prepared to make a 2-3 year commitment here in order to keep the 2023 cap-hit low. We also know the Seahawks like a reclamation project and Bradbury, a former #18 overall pick, would be a nice challenge for them. He’s been solid if unspectacular — but that’s OK at center. You can live with solid.

If his price is too high then the other name I’d go for is Jake Brendel. He’s arguably an even better scheme fit. He’s 6-4 and 299lbs and has the wrestling background they like. His short shuttle was an outstanding 4.27. After a few years bouncing around the league he found a home in San Francisco and he did a good job replacing Alex Mack.

The Kyle Shanahan scheme shares DNA with the Sean McVay scheme — so it’d be a comfortable transition for Brendel.

The 49ers have cap problems and might not be able to match even a ‘decent’ offer to Brendel. They seem to like backup Daniel Brunskill and appear ready to re-sign him if they need to make a move.

Sign one of these two players and it’s another box ticked before the draft. I’m not sure how you’d structure the deals — multi-year or single season — but It’d help to put down some roots on a 2-3 year deal. That could enable you to keep the 2023 cap-hit down, perhaps as low as Blythe’s $4m in 2022.

Next, defensive line.

You might only have enough space to make one signing, with the rest of your moves coming in free agency.

I would put the feelers out to see if there’s a ‘Nwosu-style’ deal to be done with Arizona’s Zach Allen. As with Nwosu, he’s at a good age (26 in August) and just building into his prime. We noted the Seahawks put a lot of emphasis on the short shuttle on the D-line and he ran a superb 4.36. He’s a classic 3-4 defensive end too — the kind who can disrupt and play the run with great length (35 inch arms). Basically he’s exactly what they need.

I just think the Cardinals can ill-afford to lose him, especially to a division rival, and will work hard to keep him in Arizona. He might be too pricey. If it’s possible, he’d be a key target for me.

John Cominsky could be an alternative. He was claimed off waivers by the Lions a year ago, after being released by Atlanta. He developed into a heart-and-soul contributor in Detroit and a vital part of their blossoming defense. He also has decent length and size (34 1/2 inch arms, 290lbs) and he ran a 4.38 short shuttle. He turns 28 in November and could be viewed as another rising talent reaching his peak, with high character and grit.

The other name to mention is A’Shawn Robinson. He’s viewed as a good run defender and that’s something the Seahawks badly need. He has 34 1/2 inch arms and isn’t as athletic as the others but he’d be more of a base down, rotational run defender than a disruptor.

He signed a two-year deal in LA worth $8.5m a season. He turns 28 in March. If the sparkle of Allen or Cominsky isn’t available — or if the Seahawks just want a stout, reliable run defender instead — Robinson could be an alternative. I think, based on price and market, Robinson is the more likely option.

If there’s anything left after signing a center and a defensive lineman, adding a linebacker is necessary. I don’t think they have any chance of being able to afford Bobby Wagner, so who is an alternative?

We’ve identified that the Seahawks also place a lot of emphasis on the short shuttle at linebacker. Cole Holcomb ran a fantastic 4.14 shuttle at his combine — plus a 4.51 forty. He has been hailed in Washington for his leadership and performance and he only turns 27 in July. His stock might be impacted slightly by an injury-hit 2022 season where a foot injury meant he didn’t play after week seven.

He could be a cheap, physical, fast linebacker who can come in and carve out a role on a one-year prove-it deal.

So this is how free agency shapes out in this projection:

— Garrett Bradbury or Jake Brendel
— A’Shawn Robinson (assuming Zach Allen & John Cominsky aren’t available)
— Cole Holcomb

Onto the draft.

Character is the key

It’s hardly a revelation that teams want ‘good character’ players. However, John Schneider and Pete Carroll keep ramming home the point when they talk about the draft.

Schneider has taken a couple of opportunities to talk about how important that was a year ago. We noted on Friday that the radio host who does a weekly show with Seattle’s GM dropped a nugget of information, claiming the Seahawks had no interest in Kayvon Thibodeaux (who concerned teams about his non-stop talking about his personal brand).

Today, Phil Simms asked Carroll about Seattle’s priorities this off-season. He immediately brought up the same thing Schneider has been talking about. Last year they placed a big emphasis on high-character players and had a good draft. Now, they want to repeat that:

“We want to keep adding competitive guys who are really over the top that way. We hit it with the height-weight-speed with Tariq Woolen but we found out he was a terrific competitor too. We want to keep adding to it because the guys who came through this year for us in this last year’s draft all have great make-up. They have confidence in themselves, the willingness to say, ‘Ok I don’t know everything but I’m going to dig in and fight and claw and scratch and hang with it’. And we were rewarded with a great class last year. It’s the make-up of the kids that’s so important. I want to stay with that and really make sure that’s at the very source of what we’re doing in this process.”

This is more than token chatter from a GM and Head Coach trying their best not to give anything away. They keep referring back to the last draft. We can all see the players they selected had a similar type of personality. No risks were taken, no compromises made. That’s why Thibodeaux was of no interest.

When I listen to the words they’re using, this is what I think. Players like Will Anderson, Will Levis, C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young fit the bill at #5. I don’t know enough about Tyree Wilson or Anthony Richardson to add them to that list — but I haven’t seen anything negative. At #20 I’d suspect players like Josh Downs and Michael Mayer are the types of high-character talent that will interest them. Hendon Hooker is another big-time character guy, so is Nolan Smith and Ji’Ayir Brown.

On the other side of the equation — I cannot imagine they’ll have much interest (if any at all) in Jalen Carter. There are too many question marks about his maturity. Jaelyn Duncan might be a hard sell unless he lasts deep into the draft and becomes too much of a value pick. I doubt they’ll have much interest in Rashee Rice.

There are other players I can mention in both categories but you get the point.

This is going to be a huge part of Seattle’s 2023 class. They feel like the attitude and maturity of the players they selected a year ago helped them have a great draft. They are going to build on that and this will likely be a risk-free process once again.

In doing a seven round mock — I’m going to put a big emphasis on character and leadership.

#5 (R1) — Will Levis (QB, Kentucky)
If John Schneider sees a quarterback he likes — and if that player is available at #5 — he will probably take him. Even if Geno Smith is re-signed. This is a rare opportunity. A first top-five pick since Schneider became GM. So why Levis? Schneider loves traits at the position. From Charlie Whitehurst to Patrick Mahomes to Josh Allen and Drew Lock. All are big, strong, downfield throwers with plus athleticism. Even Russell Wilson fits the bill, just in a smaller frame. Levis has the physical tools Schneider craves. We also know the Seahawks are placing a strong emphasis on character. Levis is 10/10 in this regard. I’ve interviewed him personally and have spoken to people about him. He is beloved. He lives in the gym, he gave everything to UK despite the situation he faced in 2022 and he will impress teams with his intelligence and attitude. Finally, he played for Liam Coen in 2021 and has the inside track on Seattle’s scheme. If Levis lasts to #5, I think there’s a very good chance the Seahawks will take him — either to start or compete with Geno Smith. Once he’s performed at the combine, the narrative will change on Levis — to what he can be, not how he wasn’t a mistake-free dynamo in a thankless task of a situation in Kentucky. He has special physical qualities. If Levis is gone, I think they’ll strongly consider one of the other top-four QB’s in this spot.

#20 (R1) — Will McDonald (EDGE, Iowa State)
With so many high picks this year, the Seahawks can afford to take a quarterback at #5 and still get a defensive player they really like at #20. McDonald looks exactly like a Seahawks pass rusher. He’s lean and long with explosive qualities. He can bend and straighten like the best in the league and he set the sack record at Iowa State. There’s a flash of star quality with McDonald as we saw at the Senior Bowl. He’s expected to test brilliantly in all the key areas at his position — 10-yard split, vertical and broad jump, short shuttle. He could be added to the rotation and he’s a great fit for the defensive scheme. The only concern might be that his stock moves way up after the combine.

#38 (R2) — Josh Downs (WR, North Carolina)
I have a hunch that Downs could end up being a ‘must have’ player for the Seahawks. Again, Carroll and Schneider have talked about a big emphasis on character. Downs already speaks like a seasoned veteran. He has NFL bloodlines through his dad, who’s also a coach. His uncle is Dre Bly. He speaks and carries himself like a pro and has a level of maturity that will likely appeal to the Seahawks. There’s talk he could run in the 4.3’s so you might have to think about him in round one. Then there’s his style of player — which is eerily similar to Tyler Lockett. He high-points the ball superbly for his size, can make big plays downfield and his short-area quickness creates ample separation on shorter routes. He’s very difficult to cover and very competitive. They were aggressive in trading up for Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. I wonder if they’ll go for the hat-trick and move up for Downs, who just plays and acts like a Seahawk.

#53 (R2) — Byron Young (DE, Alabama)
I think this would be a perfect fit, although I’m eager to see how he tests. For this position — a big, 290lbs 3-4 DE — you’re looking for a good short shuttle at his size. Explosive traits aren’t necessarily a factor. I hope he fits the bill because there’s so much to like with Young. Firstly, he’s another high-character player. He’s a big-time leader at Alabama and would immediately add another serious, mature player to Seattle’s defensive front. He’s strong and powerful at the point of attack. He shoots gaps and creates consistent disruption, showing surprising quickness at times. Perhaps most importantly for Seattle’s scheme, he’s adept at read/react and responding to the play-call. He might not be the second coming of Cameron Heyward but there’s a chance he’ll be able to start quickly, perform consistently and do an important job to help protect the second level and allow the edge rushers and linebackers to excel. He was an unheralded but vital player at Alabama in 2022. Young is the type who won’t get people leaping out of their seats on draft day — but really, in terms of solidifying the defensive front, he’s what they need. He could be the 2023 answer to Damien Lewis — a top SEC performer flying under the radar, who should go in this range but maybe lasts to the early third round. They might be able to trade down a few spots and still get him.

#84 (R3) — Cameron Young (DT, Mississippi State)
This is the kind of range where the Seahawks have traditionally targeted defensive tackle help. They still view length as a vital component and Young’s arms were measured at 35 inches at the Senior Bowl. He has terrific size at 6-3 and 304lbs and he shone in Mobile — driving blockers into the backfield and using his long arms and power to his advantage. I think there’s untapped potential here and again — I hope his shuttle time is good enough in Indianapolis to justify the projection. It might not get the pulses racing if the Seahawks try to fix their D-line with A’Shawn Robinson, Will McDonald, Byron Young and Cameron Young (while cutting Jefferson & Mone and retaining Woods/Harris) but I think you’d be adding sparkle off the edge and toughness and size inside.

#124 (R4) — Daiyan Henley (LB, Washington State)
Having added to the defensive front, now it’s time to add a linebacker. Henley could go a round earlier than this if he tests well. Certainly the way he covered in 1v1 drills at the Senior Bowl will have teams very intrigued. Even so, we’ve seen plenty of athletic linebackers last into the top-end of day three and that’s possible for Henley. To interest the Seahawks he’ll either need to prove he has plus athleticism overall (forty, explosive testing) or he’ll need a great shuttle time. If they wanted to try and add a running back here instead — Roschon Johnson has the size, speed and special teams value that could really appeal to Seattle. It’s a deep class though and there are plenty of alternatives.

#154 (R5) — Nick Broeker (G, Ole Miss)
I really liked what he showed on tape — he’s highly competitive, loves to get to the second level and when he gets his hands in the right position he can lock on and finish. He switched from tackle to guard at Ole Miss and I thought he played well in the Senior Bowl game, combining with Nick Saldiveri to create running lanes. The Seahawks have bought into the Rams’ blocking scheme and with these two picks in round five, I have them doubling up to bring in depth and competition for the interior. They could try Broeker at center or guard.

#157 (R5) — Ryan Hayes (G, Michigan)
He had a hit-and-miss time at the Senior Bowl but the reason I’m pairing him with the Seahawks is because it’s the type of pick the Rams make for their offensive line. Within this scheme, they have consistently added college tackles and kicked them inside. They did it with David Edwards and more recently with Logan Bruss (two other Big-10 tackles). Hayes was the left tackle for a Michigan O-line that won back-to-back Joe Moore Awards. He’s also good on the move, getting into space and latching onto targets. He’s a fit in that regard and it’ll be interesting to see if the Seahawks begin to transition their guards to fit what the Rams do in the same blocking scheme.

#199 (R6) — Larry Brooks (S, Tulane)
I just love the way Brooks plays — his intensity, his hitting, the way he carries that #31 on his back. This is the range where you look for special teamers and Brooks has the kind of approach that lends itself to fitting in that role. He hasn’t been invited to the combine but he’s someone who could still be drafted in the later rounds.

Final thoughts

I genuinely wish they had more money to spend in free agency. It’s not even because I want them to go out and land a big fish like Javon Hargrave. It’d just be better to think they can easily go and compete for a Zach Allen, add multiple defensive linemen at a good age, truly improve that area of the team and feel good about it.

I wish they could do what the Bengals did a couple of years ago and set out to sign a duo like D.J. Reader and Trey Hendrickson to super-charge the D-line.

Instead, in going through this exercise, you realise how limited they are. It’s going to be incredibly difficult to improve this roster in free agency. Yet when the Russell Wilson trade was announced, one of the big positives was the cap saving for 2023.

That benefit has evaporated and it’s hard to say $49.3m of your cap being used on Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Will Dissly and Phil Haynes is value for money.

Still, this is the situation they’re left with. I think the projection above is realistic even if you disagree with it.

Let me know what you think and if you missed it yesterday, please check out (and share) our extensive combine preview.

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  1. Rob Staton

    Biggest takeaway from doing this?

    All the people who assume the Seahawks can/should bring back Bobby Wagner, don’t realise how difficult that’s going to be financially

    • cha


      You can’t decide not to put some money on the company credit card, overspend on retaining your own depth players AND invest heavily in low impact positions like safety and build a contender.

      • Rob Staton

        Frustrating to think they have $36.2m tied up in Diggs & Adams and I’m writing 5000 word articles about finding a way to add ONE veteran D-liner

        • cha

          And franchise tagging Geno might be catastrophic.

        • Mick

          The Diggs, Adams and Dissly contracts are egregious. Harris too, although that was inherited from Denver. The fact that JS has tied up $60mm on those four players is malpractice.

          • Big Mike

            Don’t put it all on John. Imo, Pete’s hands are all over this too especially the 🦚.

  2. GF

    Hello Rob, great content, as always, I just wanted to ask, why are Pete and John talking about a QB at 5th, if they really wanted it, why are they talking? Hardly anyone thinks we’d take a QB at 5th, I really wonder if they just want to shake things up a bit to see if they get to Will Anderson

    • Rob Staton

      The easy answer is — because they’re being asked whether they’ll consider taking one at #5

      And if that question is asked, they’ll say ‘of course’ whether they mean it or not

      So I wouldn’t read too much into it either way. I don’t think it’s a smokescreen or a hint to their intentions

  3. Trevor

    Love this offseason plan. I view this as Yr #2 of a 3-4 yr rebuild. Find your QB of the future this year, keep adding high character quality talent in the draft ideally in the trenches, then next season splurge on a couple of high priced free agent to fill any holes and try to get you back on top.

  4. hoggs41

    I love the thought process and would be good with it all. I wonder if they would choose AR15 over Levis if they resigned Geno, and Levis if it ended up being Drew Lock. You could keep Geno for two years then move on. Not sure if that would play a part in it. I still like Dremont Jones which is the same height and weight as Zach Allen. His numbers weren’t quite as good but pretty close and could be another option. If you moved on from Harris there might be a chance for two of them. Would be completely happy with McDonald at 20 but feel like Sanders could kill two birds as he is an ILB and can rush the passer as well. Downs does seem like a good WR3 for now until Lockett hangs them up. Would be all over Byron Young at 53 as well. Sign me up for Bradbury as he just feels right. In all sign me up for it.

    • OakleyD

      I get your point, you can afford to go more high risk-high reward if you have Geno on contract. But ultimately PCJS will have graded all 4 x QB’s and will draft their top graded QB regardless of whether Drew or Geno is the alternative.

      We may even find out that only 2 x QB’s were graded high enough for the Hawks to consider them at pick 5, which will likely lead to us going Defense early. A lot will become clearer following the combine and pro-days, where these QB’s try to separate themselves from each other

  5. Mick

    One QB option I haven’t seen discussed much for the Seahawks or any other team is Jacoby Brissett. He was markedly better than Deshaun Watson for the Browns last season, takes good care of the football, should be significantly less expensive than Geno, and appears to be a highly regarded character. In short, he seems to fit the mold of a Pete Carroll point guard QB, albeit with middling arm talent. If the brass truly believes this is a “QB-friendly scheme”, and if Geno prices himself out of town, Brissett might be a useful bridge to the future, particularly if they take a QB at 5.

    • Luis

      I’ve been talking about Brissett as a 2023 Geno remake in a few comboxes. He had a really good season, all things considered.

  6. ErickV

    Great article as always Rob. I appreciate the thought and knowledge you’re able to exhibit in these mock drafts. I can’t even look at most mock drafts on YouTube , especially seeing us get guys like Myles Murphy. I can’t wait for the civil war on Seahawks twitter come draft night if they grab a QB at #5.

    • Jordie

      Imagine if they trade down to #9 and take bijan!

      • Rob Staton

        I wouldn’t expect that

  7. Nick

    I LOVE all of this. Sign me up, with one caveat. With the philosophy that PC wants, we need a young stud RB2. I love Penny’s explosive close to the season two years ago, but I’m ready to move on. Too many issues with depth, and injuries at RB since beast mode left. Give me Chris Rodriquez, or Zach Charbonnet( value if they are on the board) in R3.

    But I’m ALL over the rest of this. 👍

  8. DarrinM

    I don’t see how you can get Geno on a contract with a year 1 cap hit of $10M. What would that contract look like if signed for 4 years (using 4 to spread the bonus more). Even a cap hit like 10-25-30-35 which is backloaded is still only 4/$100. I would think Geno could get 4/$130 somewhere else.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s very easy actually

      I’ll let Cha explain if he has time but it’s not a big issue and void years can help

      • Darrin Martin

        John has been on record saying he won’t use void years as it hurts you down the road.
        At any rate keeping Geno is a mistake. Draft a qb at 5 and bring in a bridge qb on a cap friendly deal and add free agents like Allen and Dalvin T to fix the D.

        • Rob Staton

          They have used them

    • cha

      You’re right DarrinM a low cap hit does mean bigger hits in the following years.

      The structure is critical. Just one example of a way it could work:

      • Darrin

        Why would Geno do that when Atl or TB or Wash will pay more and guarantee more. Seems pie in the sky that Geno would accept a deal structure that is essentially a 1 yr deal.

        • Rob Staton

          Why will those teams do that?

          Lot of assumptions going on with Geno Smith (and the other FA quarterbacks)

        • cha

          I think that is the very most the Seahawks should consider offering.

          If Geno gets a better contract elsewhere, shake his hand and wish him well.

  9. Jason

    Fair analysis. It illustrates some very challenging issues regarding roster construction. A fear that I have is that nostalgia wins and we bring back Wagner at an offensive cost.

  10. QAgrizzly

    If Seattle should end up taking Michael Mayer or another T.E. early, would there be a draft day market for Fant or any of their T.E. for that matter?

    • Rob Staton

      Doubt it

    • Mick

      Someone might offer a late day 2 or day 3 pick for Fant if they are TE-needy, had a high grade on him from 2019 and somehow missed out on the rookies in this class. It’s unlikely all of those stars will align.

  11. SEAhawknick44

    Rob, stop with this obsession over Levis. It’s not healthy bro. You’ve already written a ton about him, at this point might as well stop writing because it’s getting annoying. We all know you love levis, worry about scouting other players. Levis isn’t as good as you say he is. He makes terrible decisions with the ball because he has no awareness. He depends too much on his arm when he should be working more on his footwork. And you’ve made too many excuses for him when he should get some of the blame as well. Post my reply you prick!!!🤣🤣🤣

    • Rob Staton

      Have at it, SDB community

      • cha


        Name-calling doesn’t deserve a response.

      • Fudwamper


      • Jim74s

        Rob can I fight him for you?

      • Hawk Finn

        On the bright side, I’ve found my new sign-off.

        Rob, thanks for continuing to share your insightful work, even in the face of hostility. You have made the draft season so enjoyable for so many. Post my reply you prick!!!

    • MountainHawker

      Are you ok? There’s one person that seems obsessed with Levis and it’s not Rob.

    • Hebegbs

      Wow what are you 14 Nick? Go start your own blog. Nobody is asking you to come here. Or do you just like being a D because that is just who you are? I can tell you safely that nobody on here gives a flying F about your opinion when you act like an arse.

    • Joshua Smith

      Nah…but..Nick put laughy faces at the end. I think we’re good everyone 👍👍
      Nothing to see here.

    • DJ 1/2 way

      I think my key objection here is calling Rob a Prick. He is so not a prick that readers have ignored this so far as not relevant.

      In fact, I think Rob is the opposite of a prick. Maybe that is why he let your stupid, uninformed comment through.

      Like other have said, go be a dick somewhere else.

    • Big Mike

      Oh look, another internet keyboard warrior. 🙄
      Go away sonny. Mommy’s basement is calling.

    • Romeo A57

      Nick, stop with the obsession over Rob’s opinion of Levis. It’s not healthy as there are many other draft prognosticators who agree with Rob. The quickest way for the Seahawks to become a Superbowl contender is to get a young elite Quarterback on the rookie wage scale.

      Geno is not as good as many believe him to be. He makes too many mistakes and shows limited awareness. He has probably already reached his peak and will revert to being average at best.

    • Hawktalker#1

      Kudos. What an excellent troll post. Some of these topics are becoming so sensitive we all overreact quickly before really sorting out the real intension here. You got me too. Well done. 🙂

    • Palatypus

      Seed Master 9000?

    • Charles

      Hey Knick 44,
      The point of making an argument is to develop a well structured plan based off of logic . You lose complete face with name calling. It is a very poor look for anyone trying to win a room.

      “Stop writing because it’s getting annoying”
      Are you paying Rob to write these articles?
      Are you being forced to read these arguments ?
      Developing a good structure for your argument might be better off without citing you are annoyed by another person’s actions. Perhaps a better way of structuring that argument would have been the following:” Rob you are continuously writing about Will Levi’s. I think he deserves some of the blame and he has some shortcomings as well. Have you noticed that he has poor footwork!!! “ Anyhow food for thought Knick 44

      This argument needs to be addressed as well.
      “And you’ve made too many excuses for him when he should get some of the blame as well. ”
      What excuses are being made? It is a tough sell of an argument when’s you are relying on the reader to connect all the dots. You forgot to argue your points. Examples are a must in laying the foundation for an argument. For example, “he depends to much on his arm”. This would have been a perfect opportunity to frame your argument with some hard facts such as passing yards, interceptions, rushing yards and the like. Well Knick 44, best of luck with your future arguments.

    • Glor

      Geez bud, if you don’t like the blog, stop your patreon donations ands don’t read it.

    • DriveByPoster

      SEAhawknick44, stop with this obsession over exclamation marks. It’s not correct grammar, bro’. You’ve already used one & at that point you can stop because adding any more is just annoying! 😀 😀 😀

    • rick earp

      calm down no reason to be butthead here

  12. Ben

    Well Rob had I known you had another great article coming out so soon, I woulda waited to post this! Depressing to think about the cap and how little flexibility there is. This can be an accompanying far less well written QB landscape deep dive. It features less Oakland Raiders and more Las Vegas Raiders than the previous version.

    I spent some time working through the QB market.

    There are 14 teams that might need a QB. Really 11 are likely to do something beyond stopgaps (Saints, Buccaneers, Patriots aren’t likely). Texans and Colts can be pegged for a drafted QB. So looking at 9 going into free agency.

    Seahawks, Raiders, Falcons, Panthers, Titans, Jets, Commanders, Ravens, Giants.

    Geno’s Market Analysis: Of those Geno is not likely going to the Falcons, Titans, Ravens, or Giants. They either have in house options, or could just retain their QB in FA.

    Leaving: Seahawks, Panthers, Jets, Commanders, Raiders

    A Raiders move feels lateral, and Geno would be a definite fallback option for the Jets and Panthers who need a more permanent/high end option.

    So that leaves the Seahawks and Commanders. The Commanders are too far back in the draft, in ownership limbo, and can’t likely convince a guy like Rodgers to play there and are too cheap for Lamar Jackson. They need a stopgap with Howell. Other options would include Garapollo or Carr, but Carr is probably more expensive and Garapollo would probably rather get paid elsewhere. They have a stellar defense and could win now with a serviceable QB.

    The Commanders may want Geno more and offer a chance to win, and seem the only likely competition that would bid up as opposed to creating a floor for Geno as other options fall off the board like NYJ.

    The Draft: The absolute floor for a top 4 QB feels like Washington at #16 barring major red flags.
    After the Seahawks pick the Raiders, Falcons, Panthers, Titans, Jets, Patriots, Commanders could all trade up or take a QB if one fell. For aforementioned reasons the Commanders are unlikely to trade up and the Patriots aren’t likely to either. Las Vegas needs a QB and they seem done with paying top dollar for middle production. The Jets are out to get a QB hell or highwater, the Panthers are under pressure from Tepper, Falcons/Titans could be opportunistic but don’t HAVE to move if they don’t want to. If the Seahawks take a QB and then the Raiders don’t get Rodgers, the Lions at 6 are probably getting calls for the last QB. If the Raiders get Rodgers and whether they give up #7 or keep it, that pick slot is receiving calls. So in summary: 7 teams in 11 picks behind the Hawks could go for a QB, this will probably drive up the market depending how FA unfolds. Arizona probably wouldn’t move from 3 except to be paid off by Indy. So unless the #1 pick gets moved to a non-Indy team, this all seems pretty set.

    Looking at the broader picture: Depending where Lamar/Rodgers end up the market could either get fast for trading up in the draft or in free agency. The Jets could be looking at Carr/Geno/Garapollo vs a trade up if they miss on Rodgers, and obviously FA comes first, so they can’t let the FAs off the board without a solution. Do they want to risk that? Oakland could be in the same boat, but have a safer route to draft a QB. If Lamar ends up in Atlanta, where does that leave the landscape? Is Baltimore moving up to 6 or higher? Or will they go without a franchise QB like the Seahawks last year.

    If Rodgers is picky and Lamar sticks to his guaranteed requests, the QB market may stall until the draft, which a lot of teams might appreciate. If this QB class is well regarded, which I think it is, it could make teams hesitant to put out big money. Of course teams are rarely patient, but I think it’s possible.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Buccs appointed Canales as OC and then Geno’s BFF as QB coach

      Bowles knows Geno and he was going on today about signing a QB

      I think it’s between Seattle and Tampa Bay for Geno

      • Lenny

        What about the commanders or jets? Robert salah Is entering his third season with losing records in each season. Ron Rivera has 4 seasons without a winning record in Washington. Both coaches probably fired at years end. I think Geno has a bigger market then just two teams.

        • Rob Staton

          Jets is a total non starter IMO

          Commanders will go another route. Probably Lamar

          • Lenny

            Salah posted today said they would look at Geno as an option. They also run our scheme , removing the fact they he sucked there 8 years ago it honestly makes the most sense. They are a decent qb away from being true contenders and have everything else in place.

            • Rob Staton

              Lenny, they just appointed Nathaniel Hackett

              They’re going after Rodgers

              They met with Derek Carr as a viable Plan B

              Last time Geno was there, you know what happened

              • Lenny

                Well it would be funny if Nathaniel Hackett two times got shafted out of getting Aaron Rodgers only to get the Seahawks qb. But Hackett also runs a similar scheme to us coming from Green Bay. Last time was 8 years ago none of the coaches or even players for that matter are there anymore. Also apparently Derek carr is the saints #1 option so if Carr goes to the saints and the packers keep Rodgers (his contract makes it difficult) then it’s Geno or likely another losing season for salah and a possible firing.

                All I know is I hope the Seahawks are able to take advantage of one of these desperate teams for Geno’s services in a tag and trade.

      • Steve Nelsen

        Tampa has said they are going to eat all the Tom Brady dead money this year rather than push any of it into the future. If that is true, they can’t afford Geno. They could afford Lock and set up a QB competition similar to camp last year in Seattle.

        I think the Geno talk out of New York Jets is just a smokescreen to keep the price down for Carr.

        Based on past history, Geno may play the waiting game out too long and see a bunch of possible teams move on, including Seattle. The Seahawks are not going to put their offseason on hold waiting for Geno to sign.

        • Steve Nelsen

          But, if you hear that Tampa has restructured Brady’s contract, that is a sign that Geno is in play. If he waits too late into the offseason, Tampa may get him on an affordable 1-year “prove it” deal.

        • J

          They could sign Geno for a 5mm first year cap hit if they wished. Any team can afford any player regardless of cap status – just have to be willing to put it on the credit card and pay the interest.

      • Ben

        Sure it’s possible. I think with their cap situation and approach to cutting so far, it feels much more like a reset year. Maybe Lock comes into to compete with Trask. The Geno-Canales connection makes plenty of sense, I just don’t know if Tampa will be rushing to make a competitive offer.

        • Rob Staton

          But they can’t afford a reset year

          The coach will be fired

          The GM might be fired

          They have a roster full of veteran’s on immovable contracts who aren’t going to be OK with a reset, wasting a valuable season in their peak years

          They just appointed Geno’s BFF as QB coach, not just Canales as offensive coordinator. And Bowles has worked with Geno.

          There’s very little reason to think they’ll go for Drew Lock, simply because he was Seattle’s backup in 2022. Everything is pointing to Geno and while they’re getting the financial books in order (which basically means waiting for some of those expensive contracts to wind down over the next 2-3 years) they let him lead a veteran roster in a winnable division

          • Steve Nelsen

            Rob, Those are all fair points as to why Seattle would want Geno but the bottom line is they are $56 million over the cap. We are struggling to figure out how Seattle can afford Geno and we have $70 million more than Tampa.

            • Steve Nelsen

              I meant reasons why Tampa would want Geno.

            • Rob Staton

              They are going to renegotiate a bunch of deals

              They have no choice

              And they‘ll end up with cap space like every other team that does it. Probably more than Seattle when push comes to shove

            • cha

              Tampa is one of those teams that has no qualms finding every single loophole to maneuver the cap.

              Not saying it’s a mortal lock, but if they want to make the space, they’ll make the space.

      • Mr drucker in hooterville

        Dear God, please have Geno get 40 M from TB.
        Thank you, Drucker

  13. Madmark

    I gone over the center position and I just get this filling that Seattle takes Joe Tippman. It was his combine scores that sold them. It’s been talked about might a better athelic OG. I can live with pick. In I would use pick 156 with Juice Scruggs to compete for the center potion. If Joe wins then Juice becomes backup. I think it time we let Joey Hunt go. If Juice win the Joe will be backup but we work him in at the guard. I really think Tippman could a monster athletic OG. To me we have no center right now.

    • Seahawkwalt

      I would love Tippman too.

    • Rob Staton

      A year ago though they said they want a shorter Center for leverage and Tippmann is said to be 6-6

      • Seattle Person

        I actually like him at guard more as well Rob. His best feature is his ability to move people and move in space. Plugging him at RG would be nice.

  14. Bballin

    Would trading Noah fant to get the 7 mill off books be possible? I feel like another team might be willing to take that on and he’s okay but just seems kind of replaceable

    • Seattle Person

      Fant is on his 5th year option. I’m pretty sure that’s guaranteed. The Hawks wouldn’t save any money.

      • Bballin

        it’s guaranteed. not sure on the exact salary cap rules but if someone acquires him it would be on the other teams books. Just a thought I was unimpressed by Fant this year.

        • Seattle Person

          I don’t think so. The Hawks will have a dead hit of about 7 million. Cha probably knows the correct answer.

          • Josh

            You can go on overthecap and select the trade option drop down menu to see the impact of trading a player. Fant would have $0 in dead money if traded.

          • MoBo

            If we cut Fant we have his full salary as dead cap.
            If we trade him we have 0$ as dead cap.

            • cha


              The easiest way to think about dead cap is to ask “who writes the check?”

              If the Seahawks cut Fant, they’re still writing the check for his guaranteed salary. $7m dead cap.

              If they trade Fant, the new team is paying his salary. $0 dead cap.

  15. Spenny Dunks

    It’s a great off-season. In FA, we need to target young players on the rise, that either haven’t had the opportunity or had something else holding them back. These signings represent value like Nwosu recently and Avril/Bennett before him. Enough old retreads or reclamation projects – they haven’t worked out.

  16. Seahawkwalt

    Rob, thank you for all the hard work. The last 2 articles have been fantastic! If no qb is on the board at #5 the hawks like, do you think the Seahawks would have interest in Davis Mills if Houston were to move on? Thanks Rob!

    • Rob Staton

      Don’t think so

    • Jeff M

      Agreed, these last 2 articles are way more insightful than any others I’ve read related to the Hawks.

  17. Madmark

    Well Rob you said this class of Safeties would be light. I want to know what you about Christopher Smith? To me he’s more athletic free safety. I’m kindia looking after Diggs. The next safety J.L. Skinner who more a strong safety which looked at before his injury. Where do you he will fall in draft now?

    • Rob Staton

      I like Smith a lot. I like a handful of safeties

      But they have so many other needs to address instead

  18. Dubb

    Thanks Rob. I hope this mock is close to reality. Being an ex-Coug; I hope Henley ends up in a Seahawk uniform. The retirement of of Blythe worries me. Not that he was a great center; but given our contract history with Dissly and Bellore; that means Kyle Fuller will be signed for 3- year $20m (sarcasm). Anyway, keep up the good work.

  19. Lenny

    I like this draft a lot. I would replace will McDonald with Nolan smith. I just prefer the younger player who athletically is probably the equivalent to Tariq woolen for an olb/edge player. Good draft though and nice free agency moves.

    Now if someone would bite on Geno smith in a tag and trade then we could really be talking about having a restocked team.

    • MountainHawker

      To each their own but your analogy is a bit off….Will McDonald is a physical freak edge

      • Madmark

        They took Bruce Irving with 15th pick and everybody was shocked and scratching their heads about that pick. You shouldn’t be surprised if this does happen.

    • Seattle Person

      Will McDonald has really unique traits and abilities. Besides his weight, he is almost a prototype for the Hawks at edge or the old LEO position. I would say McDonald is more equivalent to Woolen than Smith is.

  20. Zxvo3

    Great draft and amazing plan to maximize what we can do this offseason.

  21. Hughz

    Blythe officially retired. Not a surprise but a hole we need to fill.

    • BobbyK

      Blythe retired a long time ago. The Seahawks just didn’t know it.

      Same reason they gave BJ Finney too much money, too.

      After trading Max Unger, they have made it a priority to employ bums at that position hoping to strike lightning in a bottle. That’s just the way they roll these days, I guess.

      Hopefully, this is another area Schneider can conquer whearas the embarassing “Win Forever” coach only cared about acquiring clowns like Alan’s fashion “man.”

      • BK26

        He did not. What a stupid comment. Guy was a low level recruit that ended up starting in college for 4 years at the best line school in the country. Then turned a 7th round draft pick into a 7 year career.

  22. Rob Staton

    This is the one player I think the Seahawks would be willing to take ahead of a QB

    Because, well, listen to him

    Elite, elite, elite character

    I doubt it’s a coincidence he wears #31

    • Denver Hawker

      I’m crying seeing this knowing he won’t make it to #5.

      • Rob Staton

        If you want him, you need to hope at least one team trades up for a QB and the team picking defense is either sold on Jalen Carter’s talent enough to not worry about his maturity, or they think Tyree Wilson is a freak

        • Hawksorhiking?

          I still want us to take a QB ideally, but what an awesome dude! He’s gonna be a heart and soul player for whatever team drafts him. Hopefully not Arizona though, I don’t wanna face him twice a year lol.

    • Jim Kelly

      Hey, Rob.

      I wanted to ask you about Will Anderson.

      I’ve seen a mocks where he was available at #5, and the Seahawks took Tyree Wilson.

      It got me to thinking though; if two QBs and Jalen Carter are gone by #3, whom do you think might try to entice Indianapolis to trade down? Would the Hawks offer a late round pick to move up one spot? What are your thoughts if Anderson and two of the top QBs are available after three picks? Well, other than being giddy, that is.

      Thanks for everything. Enjoy, buddy.

  23. Andy J

    Totes reasonable.

    My (unrequested) predictions:
    – Geno re-signs 60/40. I don’t know how the Bucs can afford him and I honestly think he prefers to stay here. But it’s possible he takes the bag and the PC/JS let him.
    – Jackson is already gone. Harris is cut. Maybe re-signed. I hope Woods and Jefferson are forced them to win/lose their spot at camp. They should honestly both retire and save us the trouble. Mone gone. I don’t see how ANYONE on that defensive line could be said to have played well. However, someone’s gotta come back and Carroll is a homer for his guys. I also just love Shelby’s personality.
    – C, RB, DT/5T, & LB are the obvious FA targets. I just don’t see a great set of options for the biggest need DT/5T.
    – I honestly think they bring back Bobby despite your desire for them to not. I could even see Diggs and Adams reworking their deals to help make it happen. Adams should just do it out of principle! I think there is enough quality LBs free agents to look elsewhere, and maybe the $$$ will make it a necessity, but I still think it happens. Regardless, I think this is the position they spend their money.

    – I think they draft QB at #5 (most likely Levis).
    – I think they trade back once.

    I’m comfortable with the Phil Haynes re-signing but I’m pissed about the Nick Bellore contract. That 3/3.5 million matter!! Just repeating the same mistakes. I know they like him and he’s all lunch-pail. But goddammit make him test the market and then re-sign him at the Veteran minimum. He’s replaceable.

    • PJ in Seattle

      Al Woods played well. The line was a shambles against the run, but he made his share of impact plays. Agreed this whole thing needs to be rebuilt, but I wouldn’t be signing on to the idea that should start with ditching Woods.

      • Andy J

        Sure, they ALL had a couple impact plays. But being abysmal at stopping the run probably has a lot to do with NT play.

        I also don’t know how easily replaceable Al Woods is. I say bring in a big body on the cheap or via the draft and make him earn the spot. At least his contract is swallowable.

        As Rob has pointed out, 3T & 5T are what they’re probably looking for. Shelby’s contract is simply not worth it. I think a re-signing is possible. Jefferson should be cut in camp after, hopefully, being outplayed by someone younger and cheaper.

        The Al Woods & Quinton Jefferson contracts are PERFECT EXAMPLES of how PC/JS are dropping the bag in free agency and on 2-yr contracts!!

  24. Mr Magic

    ESPN article about JS eyeing QBs in draft. Interesting it just floats out there amid contract talks, clearly a negotiating ploy. At same time Genos folks probably leaked the ‘Jets open to reunion with Geno’ talk…..

    All fun and games.

  25. Big Mike

    Geez Rob, why would you want to take a tall, athletic QB with a big arm at #5 when it’s likely that chance won’t come around again for quite a number of years? I mean it’s obvious you’re just a Levis fan boy.

    Seriously, thanks for all your efforts with the last 2 articles. Your approach to the offseason seems both logical and practical considering the salary cap situation. Such a shame there’s not more to spend in FA. I can dream they cut Adams post June 1 I suppose.

  26. Bballin

    There is 100% chance the Seahawks love Will McDonald the Seahawks type at edge rusher. Looks kind of like a Darrell Taylor (but without the injury)

  27. Madmark

    I wouldn’t be surprise with Will McDonald pick 20. They took Bruce Irving at pick 15 and everyone went over that pick.

  28. Darrin

    Why would Geno do that when Atl or TB or Wash will pay more and guarantee more. Seems pie in the sky that Geno would accept a deal structure that is essentially a 1 yr deal.

  29. DarrinM

    Great article! I think you make valid points on the picks and free agents.

    I just have little faith in John to do the right thing with the contracts. As you stated in the past why did we give Dissly a big contract. Why did they double down on both Safeties? It is as if we are bidding against ourselves. John did this with the LB group prior to that. We have no money invested in great OL/DL and you don’t win Super Bowls that way. If they give Geno a big contract and bring in more overpaid JAGs like Jefferson to fill in we won’t see the super bowl for a long time.

  30. Denver Hawker

    I’m resolved to believe the Russ trade was always about drafting a QB in 2023 and contending in 2024.

    2022 exceeded expectations on this plan. Phenomenal draft of a young core, disciplined FA signings and Geno emerging as a capable NFL starter.

    2023 plan- stay the course- get/develop long-term franchise QB, draft character guys with upside, extend solid locker room guys.

    2024- chips in- spend on FA, 3-yr run with cap friendly QB

  31. Madmark

    Seahawk center Austin Blythe retired.

    • Burner

      I wonder if this will force us into drafting a centre at #20?

      • Seattle Person

        We’ll see what happens in free agency. If the team signs a middle of the road center as a hedge then you can bet they’ll pick one in the draft.

        If they sign a center above or around $5 million then chances are that’s the veteran starter. Or at least on paper. It might also mean picking a center in the early rounds might be lower.

      • Rob Staton

        There isn’t a Center worthy of the pick

        And they were never going to be influenced like that that

  32. Mr drucker in hooterville

    Rob, i
    i am let down. You had me excited about Drew Sanders and Julius Brents as Hawks.

  33. Pran

    I would not give Penny 3.5, give 1-1.5m guaranteed and load the rest with incentives. Few games and few games there no other team is going to be after him.

    • Andy J


      No more $3 million contracts signed during first week of free agency. More veteran minimum contracts signed after the comp pick deadline (doesn’t apply to Penny).

  34. Madmark

    Well we talk a player character Mazi Smith has become bad being arrest for a felony and yet got to play out his year at Michigan. Not a good look.

    • IDhawk

      I think Mazi Smith is a good example for why research is necessary, and not just making the assumption that because a player has had legal trouble they’re “risky” and because a player has no legal trouble they’re automatically “safe”.

      If I remember reading it correctly he had applied for a concealed carry permit, went to the course and was waiting for it in the mail. It is pretty dumb that he was carrying his gun in his car without the permit being physically present, but I personally think that’s way better than say a DUI (looking at you Geno).

      Not a great look either way, but I wouldn’t worry too much if the Seahawks drafted him. Jalen Carter on the other hand… screams Malik McDowell 2.0.

      • Peter

        Yeah you pretty much detailed the whole case.

        Including he has had no prior incidents with the law. Told them immediately about the handgun. Did actually have the ammo and firearm separate. And has the case dropped to misdemeanor with what looks like no further penalty.

  35. Forrest

    If Geno signs with the Bucs, don’t be surprised if the Seahawks trade up to #1 to get their guy at QB and use #20 in a package to get there (maybe they add Fant to cut some salary at the same time). I think they also resign Locke.

    That would allow them to sign a Dalvin Tomlinson and Lavonte David in FA (with the Geno and Bradberry and Fant money).

    In the draft, they could take Mauch to play center, Tillman 3WR (he reminds me a bit of Tee Higgins) Skinner to save cap room at safety, a Julius Brents at #2 corner, Vorhees to start at LG in year and a late RB.

    That team could win coming off the bus.

    • Seattle Person

      I think it’s going to cost more than just the #5 and #20. They’ll have to tap into next year’s draft capital as well.

      I don’t think cutting Fant saves any money.

    • Cambs

      I do think there’s underdiscussed merit to the trade-up scenario. Of course, whether they’re discussing it themselves is a different question but certainly Pete and John have not been characterized by conservatism when it comes to draft trades. And Seattle has more draft capital to deploy in the Chicago futures market than any of their potential competitors save Houston.

      Getting into the catbird’s seat eliminates risk and its associated hedges; you know that you get *your guy* and you can pencil him in at starter instead of having to plan (and spend) around the “what if we need a bridge starter,” “what if the top four picks break against us” outcomes. You’re realizing cap value of perhaps +$30M relative to the player’s open market value and (if the trade is done in the next two weeks) can deploy the savings right out of the gate in free agency to fill the holes you might otherwise have drafted for. Lotta fans won’t like it but you also decisively resolve the Geno situation at the outset.

      What you don’t want to hear (or say) later is, well, we had [Future All-Pro] number one and wanted to go get him but we couldn’t part with that extra day-two pick so we settled for the fourth guy. While I know the Allen and Mahomes stuff was real at the time, it’s not made-up, it still makes me roll my eyes every time it’s brought up now (especially when JS himself brings it up!) because, like, you might have gone to their pro day but you didn’t actually push your chips in, did you? There’s no ribbons awarded for thinking about it. Maybe the dude is itching to buckle his swash for real this time.

      • Hawkster

        If IND trades up from 4, and it goes QB, QB, ED and then CHI is on the clock looking at trade offers from LV, CAR et al, I can see SEA trading up one spot to block others from stepping in front at that point. But tat has been my obsession this draft, CHI trading back twice and all sorts of QB action before #5.

    • Hawktalker#1

      Actually, I would be surprised. That’s giving up a lot more draft capital and not sure and don’t believe the value is there moving from 5 to 1. I hope they don’t.

  36. Hawkcrazy

    I would love that draft although i thought we also had a 7th rounder as I believe Brady Henderson said our pick had been returned to us.

    • Rob Staton

      I just went off tankathon so missed it

  37. R. L. Howser

    Franchise Geno and trade him straight up for Daron Payne, who has also been tagged. Then draft Will Levis or Anthony Richardson.

    • Rob Staton

      No chance

    • Trevor

      I would be all for that but I think zero chance the Commanders would do that.

  38. DougM

    How effective is a SS time to identify a LB prospect if he can’t think fast enough to react to a play?
    I know we use it to identify possible Seahawk picks.
    PFF has a couple of statistics that could measure that reaction time, yards per tackle and yards per cover snap. Using the PFF draft guides which go back to 2017 I created a metric by adding those 2 numbers for each player. Some of these players are free agents this year.

    1. Anthony Walker (2.22) R5P17 FA
    2. Zach Cunningham (2.41) R2P25 FA

    3. Ja’Whaun Bentley (3.99) R5P6

    1. David Long (4.14) R6P16 FA
    2. TJ Edwards (4,52) UDFA FA

    no numbers provided by PFF

    1. Micah Parsons (2.60) R1P12
    2. JOK (3.50) R2P20

    1. Darian Beavers (2.60) R6P3
    2. Malcomb Rodriguez (2.80) R6P9
    3. Jack Sanborn (3.00) UDFA

    2023 not all numbers provided yet by PFF
    1. SirVocea Dennis (3.00)
    2. Jack Campbell (3.86)
    3. Demarvion Overshown (3.94)

    You can see that many of those players were picked in later rounds and performed pretty well.

  39. London Seahawk

    Loved this, as always. Rob S comes into his own this time of year!!!
    Excited for the combine measurables to start coming in.

    Great mock/projection here… esp. pleasing to see them ‘getting Younger on the D-line’ as a priority *wink*

  40. Trevor

    It amazes me how passionate and obsessed most Hawks fans have gotten about Geno and keeping him.

    I can understand it with guys like Bobby, Russ, Earl or Sherm. All were legendary players who won a championship and provided great plays / memories that fans will remember for ever. That makes sense to me.

    But what had Geno done to create this loyalty. What great wins , game winning drives etc did he produce to inspire such passion. It makes zero sense to me. Sure as a career backup coming in and playing well was a nice story but that’s it. There is a reason no other fan bases are clamouring for Geno and instead want Carr or Jimmy G.

    Does Pete constantly talking up Geno to build his confidence really brain wash the fan base and local media as well? Do they not realize that Pete even talks up LJ Collier?

    • Big Mike

      Welllllll, he did have a game winning drive vs, the Rams JV defense. Fit him for a gold jacket babeeee!

      The future is not Geno. He won’t get this team to a Super Bowl. All the fan boy shouting won’t change that. Draft a QB with the CHANCE to get the Hawks there in a couple of years.

    • Cysco

      I think this attitude comes from the franchise’s history with QBs. For most fans, they have a bad taste in their mouth from drafting a QB early. Couple that with the best QB in franchise history being taken in the 3rd round and last year’s serviceable performance from a career backup. Add it all up and you get a fan base that has a skewed vision of the QB position and how to fill it.

      • Big Mike

        Never thought of that but you may well be on to something. Great post although Dan McGwire and Rick Mirer said they didn’t like it much.

  41. CL

    So maybe Jalen Carter will fall, way further than the Seahawks if this is true:

    (Original article is behind a paywall and also not acessible from the EU, but a Reddit member posted the article)

    “At first, Jalen Carter told the police he was nearly a mile away when a University of Georgia teammate and a football staff member died in a car crash.

    Later, Carter said he had been following the car when it wrecked, close enough to see its taillights.

    And, at one point, he acknowledged he was alongside the other car, whose speedometer stuck on impact at 83 mph — double the speed limit.

    Carter, a defensive star for Georgia who is projected as a top pick in this year’s NFL draft, left the crash scene, apparently before the police or emergency medical workers arrived. When he returned an hour and a half later, he gave shifting accounts of the wreck as an Athens police officer questioned him about whether he had been racing the car that crashed, according to documents reviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

    Carter denied he was racing before the Jan. 15 crash, which killed recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy, 24, and offensive lineman Devin Willock, 20. Another recruiting staff member, Tory Bowles, 26, and offensive lineman Warren McClendon, 21, were injured.

    Carter’s presence at the moment of the crash, previously unreported, alters the narrative that Athens police officials offered publicly from the beginning. It was, officials said, simply a single-car accident, caused by LeCroy’s driving too fast.

    But the police had reason to suspect almost from the moment of the crash that other cars had been at the scene, and they soon learned at least two of those vehicles were driven by Georgia football players. Seeking evidence of possible racing, officers have obtained surveillance video from city-owned cameras along the route the players took out of downtown Athens. They also obtained footage from at least one business owner. The police have declined to release these videos, saying they are evidence in an open case.”

    • Rob Staton

      Not good

      Not good at all

      • Trevor

        Rob you were 100% right when you said guys like Mcshay don’t just throw out the idea of character concerns lightly. I know you have also taken heat for even mentioning it. This is nothing confirmed so don’t want to read too much into it but where there is smoke there is ussually fire.

        • Sea Mode

          Oh, it’s being confirmed. Wow.

          Ari Meirov

          An arrest warrant has been issued for Georgia DT and potential No. 1 pick Jalen Carter for Reckless Driving and Racing. Stems from the January 15th crash that took the life of a teammate and staffer.

          Carter is on the schedule to speak at the NFL Combine at 10:30 ET.

          • cha

            Could this graduate to vehicular manslaughter I wonder?

        • Rob Staton

          A lot of people owe McShay an apology

          And yes — I got a whole bunch of shit for taking what he and Zierlein and other people said seriously

          Remember what McShay said — ‘I am forewarning you that Carter will be a hot-button topic in the draft’ amid concerns in the league about whether you want to bring him into your locker room

          He was completely spot on

          People demanded he be fired for that

    • Big Mike

      Zero chance Seattle drafts him imo

      • Rob Staton

        Less than zero

    • Sea Mode

      Yikes 😬

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      Let us never talk of drafting him again. Some other team is welcome to their own 2023-era Malik McDowell.

    • cha

      Bo Callahan 2.0

      It’s not just that he did it – it’s that he lied about it.

      • Hawktalker#1

        What a perfect comparison. I watch that move a couple times a year, especially around the draft. Also, not a good sign when your teammates don’t come to your birthday party!!!

    • ErickV

      Even if he’s cleared of the charges , his draft stock is taking a major hit. This definitely affects Chicago and Arizona cause they’re the teams in top 5 that most likely will take defensive players and Will Anderson might be the only one worth being drafted at that point.

  42. Sea Mode

    Well, I guess we at least get to find out what kind of impact he had on the defense…

    Adam Schefter

    Eagles are hiring Seahawks associate head coach and defensive assistant Sean Desai as their new defensive coordinator.

    Desai will replace Jonathan Gannon, who left to become the Cardinals head coach.

  43. Sea Mode


    Brady Henderson

    Schneider said it was “pretty evident” last year that they need to “get a lot better” up front defensively. “We were on the field a lot. We didn’t defend the run real well … We know what the issues are and we’re ready to attack them and fix them.”

    • Big Mike

      OK John then prove it by making the pompous peacock a post June 1 cut so you have more $ to go after DL in FA. Even on the off miracle that he stays healthy this year, he will NOT improve your run D.

      • Gross MaToast

        We’re pumped and jacked to have Jamal back out there this year, he’s such a difference maker – a leader who really wants to win and goes about it the right – hang on – just handed a note – Jamal Adams broke three ribs and dislocated both ring fingers this morning while eating a bowl of Captain Crunch. He’s gonna miss some time. We’re pumped and jacked for the next man up.

    • Rob Staton

      I hope they do attack them and not just in the draft

  44. Sea Mode

    The best recognize the best.

    Dane Brugler

    Toughest player Will Anderson faced in college?

    “Bijan Robinson. Big back, had to gang tackle him”

  45. DW

    News that Jalen Carter was likely involved in the fatal car crash where his teammate passed away. Suspected street racing, DUI, left the scene of the accident, and returned later when prompted by police. His stance was that he was not involved though teammates place him at the scene and video cameras match his car driving 89mph in a 45 zone alongside the crashed car. This was all following a party at a club celebrating the National championship win.


    • Rushless pass

      Oh boy!

    • Gross MaToast

      In 2015, La’el Collins went from a projected 1st Rounder to UDFA, even though he wasn’t a suspect in the crime.

      The Jalen Carter situation is worse.

    • Todd M

      Wow. His NFL career is done if these allegations are even remotely accurate. It’s stunning how stupid people can be. All he needed to do to become a famous, multi-millionaire athlete was not engage in egregious criminal conduct. Very sad for the victims (foremost) but Carter as well.

      • Peter

        I’ll do you one better and I don’t think it’s going to drop him more than a round….

        All he had to do was be forthright, contrite, and show maturity in how he handled himself afterwards.

    • Forrest

      I think this increases the chances of Seattle moving up (and probably the price to do so).

      • Matt

        I was thinking the same thing.

  46. Forrest

    I have to think this is negotiating with Geno via the media. No other reason to tip your hand (unless they want to bring Geno’s price down or get 4 QBs to go before them so they can draft Will Anderson). …or God forbid they actually want Jalen Carter and the character stuff has been s smokescreen as well. That would be harder to defend with today’s news.

  47. Matt

    I want to know who in the Georgia program paid (and how much) for the “Jalen is a great person” campaign that we saw take place with prominent writers, who also took the time to slander Todd McShay over his comments.

    This situation epitomizes what Rob has discussed ad nauseam about maturity. Man this is so eerily similar to Malik McDowell – he has to be totally off Seattle’s draft board. It’s one thing to make a mistake; it’s another to flee the scene, lie, and show no contrition when actual lives were lost.

    It’s tragic for the young man; but I find myself out of sympathy for these guys. This is really always the fear with guys with God given rare ability (that didn’t have to work for it) – they take it for granted and don’t seem to have any gratitude for the gift they’ve been handed.

    I hope SEA outright takes him off the board.

    • Rob Staton

      I hope SEA outright takes him off the board.

      If he was even on it before today, he’ll be off it now

      • Canadian Hawk

        Hope you’re right.

        Then I think Deshaun Watson got a guaranteed quarter-billion-dollar deal less than a year ago.

        I’m hoping he’s off the Seahawk board.

        I’m not sure how far he’ll fall though.

  48. Ashish

    I saw Kenny McIntosh one on one drill for pass protection i will happy to draft him 3rd round.
    Rob, we do have 7th round correct?

  49. Wilson502

    I am definitely digging your updated Mocks of a QB with the first pick Rob. IMO Will Levis will likely go b4 the Hawks pick if they stay at 5. I think AR15 will likely be the remaining QB on the board at 5 is my gut feeling. Id be ok with any of the QBs except Bryce Young which is why I have been a proponent of moving up to ensure they lock down the position and get their guy at QB. I just dont like the idea of leaving it to chance by staying at 5 and just hoping a guy falls to you. You aren’t going to have another opportunity like this perhaps ever again, so you have to take your shot.

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