My off-season plan for the Seahawks

Time for a change?

This isn’t a prediction, it’s an opinion piece.

This is what I would do. Or at least seriously consider doing.

The Seahawks are a good team. You expect that when you’re paying a quarterback $35m a year.

They’re not a great team, though.

It’s tempting to fall back on the comfort of winning seasons, while hoping that next year will be the year.

You also run the risk of being good enough to make the playoffs every season but not good enough to do much when you get there.

You’re hesitant to make changes because you fear the consequences. Yet it’s that calculated gamble that often enables you to achieve greatness.

I don’t like to make comparisons to the New England Patriots because you’ll never have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick working the controls. Yet the Patriots have been the masters of knowing when to move on from certain players, at least until the point they moved on from the quarterback.

They’ve taken some risks and most of them paid off, with the exception of Chandler Jones and the premature parting with Brady.

Their willingness to trade or release players at the right time has helped keep them at the top. They’ve always been prepared to reinvent themselves. The only two consistent pillars were the coach and the quarterback.

I don’t think the Seahawks are as close as their 12-4 record in 2020 suggests. I think they benefited from a favourable schedule. Their only keynote win was against the Rams in week 16 — the team that dumped them out of the playoffs a fortnight later.

Losing that game so convincingly highlighted Seattle’s weakness in the trenches. The Rams played with a horrible quarterback situation and Aaron Donald missed 50% of the defensive snaps. They still won, in part, because they dominated up front.

The regular season record should only serve to set the table for a playoff run. This is a team that should be judged on its post-season record. They’re on a run of one playoff win in four years, with the win coming against a mediocre Eagles team.

They need to mix things up and try something new to avoid the same disappointing conclusion year after year.

They need to do what the Patriots would probably do — be prepared to move popular and expensive players, to try something different.

Bringing back the same cast of characters with the only significant addition being the #56 pick in the draft feels like a recipe for a repeat performance.

Same old, same old.

Yes, there’s optimism that comes with a new offensive coordinator. If he’s able to deliver timely adjustments and superior game-planning, this will be a huge boost. I still think Shane Waldren needs personnel support to produce the results we all want to see. The offensive line in particular needs upgrading.

With that in mind, I set out three priorities for this plan:

1. Create cap space and get back into the draft

The Seahawks currently are projected to have $204,729 in effective cap space. They only have three or four draft picks, depending on the Perry Nickerson situation.

The starting center, cornerback, tight end, #2 tight end, left guard, SAM linebacker, #2 defensive end and #3 receiver are out of contract.

Poona Ford is a restricted free agent and will likely receive a second round tender.

They only have 47 contracted players for 2021.

They simply don’t have the resources to get things done and that needs to change.

2. Shift resources to key positions in the trenches

When the Pete Carroll era began, they spent their top pick on an offensive lineman in 2010 and 2011. They signed Robert Gallery. They re-signed Max Unger. They paid to bring in Breno Giacomini. By 2013, they had the most expensive O-line in the NFL.

They traded for Marshawn Lynch.

They drafted and signed young, hungry, cheap defenders with a killer attitude.

That plan worked. Maybe it’s time to give it another try?

The Seahawks have pumped resources into positions like linebacker and safety and squandered money on tight ends.

It’s time to get back to basics. If you want to be a team that wins in the trenches, it’s time to focus your money and picks on the O-line and D-line.

3. Experience on offense, youth and speed on defense

Seattle was at its best with a young, physical, brash defense. I would try to recreate that with cheap, hungry players with a point to prove.

At the same time, they’ve invested $35m a year in a quarterback.

Let’s finally acknowledge that investment and prioritise protecting him, truly fixing the running game and getting at least one more weapon.

If give and take is required, then I’ll settle for a cheaper defense.

The plan

If the NFL provides salary cap relief due to Covid, then some of the following moves will be unnecessary and I’ll revise the plan. It’s still not clear exactly how teams like New Orleans will be allowed to function. They need to raise a minimum of $110m in a short space of time to avoid being over the cap.

However, even if the league provides modest relief and creates around $20m extra for the Seahawks to spend, I still believe they need to adjust their thinking in terms of where they are investing their money and picks.

I’ve tried to stay on top of the details as much as possible. I’m sure in some instances you’ll be able to quibble over the finer points. However, let’s be honest about what this is. A bit of fun. An opinion on the off-season. Don’t take it too seriously.

Trade Bobby Wagner

Why are you trading a Seahawks legend?

To be brutally honest, I don’t think he warrants a $17m cap hit in 2021 and a $20.3m cap hit in 2022. The Seahawks would be better off spending this money somewhere else, such as the offensive line.

But we’re talking about Bobby Wagner here!

He’s in a complex spot in his career. I think the Seahawks were justified in extending his contract in 2019. He was 29-years-old and the linebacker market, at the time, had exploded. He was always going to get more than C.J. Mosley and Seattle rewarded a much-loved player coming off a great 2018 season.

However, as often happens in the NFL, I don’t think he’s worth the contract any more.

I doubt he will take a pay cut. Thus, I think he’s going to have to run down his contract in order to establish a realistic bargaining position in 2023 when he’ll be 33 and a free agent. That doesn’t help the Seahawks for the next two years.

Who replaces him though?

The Seahawks used their 2020 first round pick on Jordyn Brooks — a middle linebacker. It’s time to justify that investment.

He’s a high quality player though! Show some respect

He certainly is. PFF graded him as Seattle’s top performer on defense (86.2) in 2020. He was the #2 ranked linebacker. Wagner is extremely reliable and does his job very well. However, in 2020 he only produced three sacks and seven TFL’s. He didn’t force a single fumble or interception.

For his salary, you need more than reliable. The price is simply too high. He’ll always be a Seahawks legend but when you have no resources, tough decisions need to be taken. Right now, in my opinion, this team would be best served placing their faith in Jordyn Brooks and investing the money elsewhere.

The Seahawks have got to shake things up and try something new. They’ve won one playoff game in four years. Pumping resources into the O-line, rather than linebacker, is worth a try.

Why would anyone trade for him?

There are several franchises in a rebuilding stage. I think if you were a young team trying to build a culture, Wagner would be the ideal player to insert into your defense. His leadership qualities would be of critical importance.

Take the Jets for example, now led by former Seahawks defensive coach Robert Salah. What value is a 30-year-old Wagner in that situation? He could be the lynchpin to launch the start of a turnaround. He can help teach the scheme. He can organise on the field and deliver instant credibility.

To me, that would be highly valuable.

The Jets have two firsts, a second and two third rounders this year plus an extra first next year. They have the stock to make a deal.

Plus, they have $63,475,814 in available cap space in 2021 and $121,643,976 in 2022. So they can easily accommodate the remaining two years of his contract.

I think the thought process at least makes sense. The Jets will incorporate Seattle’s scheme and terminology. They have brought in Salah to shape a new culture. I can’t think of a better first move.

It doesn’t have to be New York. There’s value in his experience and reliability that will appeal to a handful of teams, much in the way Duane Brown appealed to Seattle despite his age.

Trade Jamal Adams

Are you nuts? You’re plundering the defense

As noted in my article last week, there are many strands to this. I don’t think Adams is a great scheme fit. I think the sack numbers are manufactured and a bit of a mirage. I don’t think he (or any safety) warrants a contract worth $18-20m a year.

Plus, he’s your most tradeable asset.

I won’t repeat all of the details that I wrote last week. I would encourage you to read that piece before passing judgement on this particular aspect of the plan.

So who replaces him?

This is very similar to the Jordyn Brooks situation. Two years ago the Seahawks spent a second round pick on Marquise Blair. He was the #47 pick in the draft. They took him before D.K. Metcalf.

It’s time to justify that investment, too. Play him at strong safety. Spending a first round pick on Brooks to play WILL and a second round pick on Blair to play big nickel isn’t a great use of resources.

Also — hasn’t Ugo Amadi done enough to warrant remaining at nickel?

You drafted them early. Time to develop them and make them starters.

You need blue chip players on defense though!

Do you? Pete Carroll and John Schneider once built an amazing defense with no big names and no highly paid players. I’m not for a second suggesting they should ‘just recreate the LOB’. That’s virtually impossible. But there’s something to be said for having a young, hungry, fast defense full of pissed off players.

No entitlement. No big salaries. No expectation. Just a point to prove.

If the compromise for having a great O-line is needing to save money on defense while getting younger and cheaper — so be it.

And let’s be right here — who were Seattle’s highest graded players on defense last year?

Here’s the top-eight according to PFF:

Bobby Wagner
Poona Ford (UDFA)
KJ Wright
DJ Reed (cheap free agent pickup)
Alton Robinson (5th round pick)
Ugo Amadi (4th round pick)
Shaquill Griffin (3rd round pick)
Quandre Diggs (traded for using a 5th round pick)

Seattle’s top performers were all players acquired on the cheap.

On top of this, adding Carlos Dunlap for a seventh rounder plus B.J. Finney practically transformed the defense.

Challenge yourself to find the next Ford as an UDFA, the next Amadi on day three and make a cheap trade to get the next Diggs or Dunlap.

Create the next group that is pissed off for greatness, not pissed off because you haven’t offered them a record-breaking contract.

But he recently said he’d run through a brick wall for Pete Carroll!

He did — but cast your mind back a year ago.

Adams was part of the NFL Network’s broadcast crew for the combine. He was on the field during drills assessing players yet spent time discussing his future with the Jets.

He said he was excited that he could be a Jet long-term and that he found the team’s recent support ‘uplifting’.

The support was General Manager Joe Dougals saying he wanted Adams to be in New York for life.

What changed? Contract talks.

If the Seahawks are unwilling to meet Adams’ demands, things will probably change very quickly. That’s the acid test here. Is Adams simply willing to take a contract that will pay him marginally more than Budda Baker to be the highest paid safety in the league? Or is he going to be looking for Jalen Ramsey, $20m a year money?

Because if he wants $20m a year, or even $18m, that’s going to be a problem.

The Seahawks will never do this — they just traded for him!

They also traded a second round pick for Sheldon Richardson and moved on when the price wasn’t right. They traded a third round pick for Jadeveon Clowney and moved on when the price wasn’t right. They spent a first and a third round pick on Percy Harvin and moved on when he wasn’t right.

They gave Michael Bennett a three-year $31.5 million contract extension on December 30th, 2016 — and then traded him just over a year later, absorbing a huge dead cap hit in the process.

The Seahawks, actually, have never been too proud to move on.

The Jamal Adams situation is different to the ones above, of course. But ultimately, he’s going to want a record breaking contract and the Seahawks, for me, should be spending their resources elsewhere.

They should set a strict limit and if Adams demands more, they need to be willing to make a trade.

Again — you drafted Brooks and Blair. Time to play them.

You’ll never get your picks back for him though!

True. You’re going to have to take this one on the chin to an extent.

I do think Adams has retained some value though. In the right scheme, he’s still a star player.

Cleveland are desperate for second-level impact on defense. Adams would be a perfect fit for any of the teams associated with the Belichick coaching tree. The Ravens and Buccs also run the kind of schemes where he would thrive.

The two most likely destinations, in my opinion, are Cleveland and Miami. They have the need and the cap space. Both teams are also looking to take a big step forward in terms of contending.

I think a first round pick this year and a third rounder next year would be a fair and realistic return.

So you’ve traded away two great players for the next Rashaad Penny!

First or second round picks aren’t the problem. Bad decision making is the problem.

Malik McDowell over T.J. Watt. Rashaad Penny over Nick Chubb. L.J. Collier over Deebo Samuel or A.J. Brown or D.K. Metcalf.

All avoidable errors. All players who ‘fit’ the Seahawks and their positional ideals — passed over for average alternatives.

Imagine if they’d made the right calls instead? How would you feel about late first round picks and their value then?

The Seahawks simply need to draft better, not less.

By making these trades you are back in the first two days of a draft with a strong offensive line class. The challenge? To make the most of those picks and acquire talent at a dirt cheap price. It is possible.

Use the cap savings to make upgrades to the O-line

OK, so what’s the idea here?

It’s time to make the offensive line a strength. The aim should be a top-10 unit.

You’ve got Duane Brown, Damian Lewis and Brandon Shell as locked in starters. Left guard and center should be a key target.

Enough of the penny-pinching with short-term contracts for retread veterans. It’s time to land a big catch.

I would be planning to go all-in on Brandon Scherff.

When the next game against the Rams kicks off, I want an interior line that has a punchers chance of stopping Aaron Donald taking over the game. I want a top, quality player anchoring the interior.

You have to play the guy at least twice a season. They need a better plan.

Here’s what PFF says about Scherff:

Scherff has never posted a PFF grade below 72.5 in his six-year NFL career. Over the last three seasons, Scherff ranks among the league’s best guards in nearly every key metric, including a 97th percentile ranking on true pass sets and 90th percentile ranking in percentage of positively graded plays. Both numbers are among the most important when projecting interior offensive linemen from year to year. In the run game, Scherff can do it all, showing the power at the point of attack and the quickness to make any block in space. He’s also one of the most polished pass protectors in the league, and he stands out as the best interior offensive lineman in this free agent class.

You know what you’re going to get. There won’t be any ‘wait and see’ in week one. Immediately and emphatically he will improve your line.

How much will he cost though?

His projected salary according to PFF is $15m. That’s similar to Jack Conklin’s deal in Cleveland. Conklin’s year-one cap hit was $8m — so the Seahawks could seek to structure a similar deal.

It’s expensive but look — you’ve tried everything else and what has it produced? One playoff win in four years.

You’ve just been dumped out of the playoffs because you’re not good enough in the trenches and you can’t adjust. Hopefully, Shane Waldren addresses the second problem.

You’re paying a quarterback $35m a year.

Maybe it’s time to try adding some pure quality on the O-line to help him?

What about center?

If you could structure low year-one cap hits to make the most of a projected $118,526,756 to spend in 2022 — you might be able to entice Corey Linsley away from Green Bay (PFF projects a salary of $11m a year).

David Andrews and Alex Mack are other veteran options.

However, I would aim to draft Quinn Meinerz in round two to start at center. He was superb at the Senior Bowl and ticks all of the boxes in terms of size, length, frame, explosive traits, physicality and attitude. He’s 6-3 and 320lbs with an 82 inch wingspan and 33 inch arms. He has 10 2/8 inch hands. He can dunk a basketball.

Ali Marpet was also a small-school guy who dominated at the Senior Bowl. He had great length, athleticism and he was explosive. Marpet was the #61 pick in 2015. It’s very possible Meinerz could be the guy at #56 (if he lasts that long).

Landon Dickerson is a viable alternative if you trust his medical checks.

This is a draft class to target the interior O-line. There are multiple attractive options at various points in the draft — including Ben Cleveland, Aaron Banks, Alex Leatherwood and others.

Bring in a top-class running back

Why do you need to do this?

The Seahawks have never truly replaced Marshawn Lynch. Every runner they’ve tried since has either had health issues, been inconsistent or just bad.

They whiffed on Nick Chubb, a mistake that probably still keeps them awake at night.

They need someone who can carry the load, stay on the field and provide Russell Wilson with a complementary running game.

So who are you targeting?

I would be open to drafting a running back early.

A lot of people will cringe at that thought — and I get why. Trading Jamal Adams to get back into round one, only to use the pick on a running back? Sections of Seahawks twitter would go ballistic.

Well, let them.

Najee Harris is an exceptional player with star potential. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he could join the likes of Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry, Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook and Nick Chubb as one of the best backs in the league.

While the Seahawks are featuring the running game as they are, I think adding someone like Harris — combined with a major investment in the O-line — would be a positive thing for the direction of this team.

It could unlock the true potential of the offense.

You’re also talking about a cap-hit for a starting running back that will be approximately $2m to start with and not surpass $4m for the next four years.

If Harris isn’t available, which is plausible, there are alternatives. We’ve talked a lot about Javonte Williams. He is the epitome of what the Seahawks look for in a runner and would be a fantastic addition. Personally, I think he will be a top-35 pick for sure. There’s also Travis Etienne — who had a slightly underwhelming 2020 season but has incredible explosive traits and speed to burn.

The thought of two big splashes on the O-line plus a new, dynamic feature runner excites me. Especially with Waldron coming in to coordinate the offense.

What about Chris Carson?

I think you leave the door open for Carson to return but strictly on a short-term contract with an appreciation that he will operate in a committee. The Seahawks were at their very best when they had a consistent, reliable, dominant runner. They can’t be babying Carson again to get him through a season.

If he moves on, my plan would be to bring back Mike Davis. He had a terrific 2020 season in Carolina. He was always very useful in Seattle. He can lead the rushing attack if needed but at the very least he’s a superb RB2.

I’d even be open to bringing Davis back as the starter if you wanted to go in a different direction in the draft.

Add two more weapons

If you save approximately $19m by trading Wagner and Adams and sign Scherff for a first-year cap hit of $8m — you still have money to spend in 2021.

I would try to bring in a cheap reclamation project at receiver such as John Ross. See if you can get a tune out of him and make the most of that 4.22 speed. Could you get him for $2m plus incentives? It’s a deep free agent market at receiver this year filled with big names who will soak up the early money.

I would also try to poach Gerald Everett from the Rams. PFF projects he will earn $5m a year. Offer him a three year contract with a lower year-one hit of approximately $3m. He’s familiar with Shane Waldren and the Rams’ way of doing things.

The Seahawks need a dynamic pass-catcher at tight end and Everett fits what they look for at the position. He ran a 4.33 short shuttle at the combine and a 6.99 three-cone. These are two tests they’ve paid a lot of attention over the years, as explained in my substantial combine preview a year ago.

So what are you left with after all this?

For the sake of sacrificing Wagner and Adams and trusting Brooks and Blair to start instead, you’ve transformed your offense.

Here’s what you’ve added…

Free agent additions:

Brandon Scherff
John Ross
Gerald Everett
Mike Davis

Draft additions:

Najee Harris, Javonte Williams or Travis Etienne
Quinn Meinerz
Additional O-line depth

My somewhat modest projection sees you create $19m in cap space, then spend approximately $15m on new signings in 2021.

If Everett’s contract is too rich — you probably just have to place your faith in Colby Parkinson and Will Dissly. There are also a couple of wildcard options in the draft. Notre Dame’s Tommy Tremble is a tremendous run blocker. Some have suggested he could be developed into a Kyle Juszczyk type full back.

At SPARQ he ran a 4.20 short shuttle and jumped a 36 inch vertical.

Tre McKitty is also a name to watch. He earned positive reviews for a consistent week at the Senior Bowl for his catching and blocking. While he’s not the fastest in terms of straight line speed, he ran a 4.13 short shuttle at SPARQ and jumped a 35 inch vertical.

Both could be available on day three, affording an opportunity to add depth and save money.

You could also target Pat ‘Baby Gronk’ Freiermuth earlier, or look at one of the dynamic slot receivers such as Elijah Moore of D’Wayne Eskridge.

Fill holes on the defense

There are still issues at linebacker and cornerback to resolve!

K.J. Wright and Shaquill Griffin are out of contract. You’re going to have to let them move on unless the price is surprisingly low.

The Seahawks went into the 2020 season paying Wager and Wright a combined $25m, on top of their first round investment in Jordyn Brooks having only recently traded up in round three for Cody Barton.

It’s simply too much for the linebacker position.

Unless Wright’s market is so cold that he’s willing to come back and finish his career in Seattle at an extremely reasonable price, it’s time to roll with Brooks and Barton — or bring in a cheap free agent or draft pick.

Big spending at linebacker hasn’t worked. Try something new.

The Niners have been able to find cheap, electric linebackers in the mid-to-late rounds. The Seahawks need to try and do the same.

It almost feels destined that Griffin will end up signing with the Jaguars and returning home to Florida. It would be a good fit for both parties.

I would like to find a way to bring back Richard Sherman to replace him. Perhaps on a two-year deal with a lower first year cap hit.

Sherman has earned $83m from his football contracts. I suspect there’s a compromise to be done here so he can finish in Seattle. That, to me, will probably be more important to Richard than a bit more money to play somewhere like Detroit.

I actually think this will happen. Bridges have not been burned in Seattle and just as it was with Marshawn Lynch in 2019, this is about more than money.

How are you going to fill other holes?

This is the point where I think you start working on contracts to free up more space. When you take Wagner’s $20.3m off the books in 2022 and you take away Adams’ likely $18-20m — you have so much more flexibility.

Jarran Reed’s cap hit is $13.5m next season. There’s a viable means to lower that through an extension if both parties are motivated to do so.

Carlos Dunlap’s cap hit is $14m in 2021. Again, I think at this point you could look to extend his deal to free up more space.

Committing 2022/23 salary to both is harder when you’re paying Wagner and Adams a combined $38-40m. Trade them and it’s plausible.

It may also be possible to work on a short extension for Duane Brown and/or Tyler Lockett.

Once you’ve found ways to create the room to fill out your roster, the approach should be to acquire cheap, hungry players in free agency.

Aren’t you just making the defense a bit… crap?

This is the compromise with this plan. It’s not without risk and by no means is the target to create a 2013-esque complete roster.

For me it’s about truly making the most of your investment in Wilson. It’s worth trying to be great on the O-line instead of linebacker and safety. I’m not even convinced the Seahawks have been ‘great’ at either position, despite the massive investment over the last two years.

I’ve set out to make the offense as dynamic as possible to help support the quarterback. The defense needs to be complementary.

How do you do that?

You challenge yourself to find the next D.J. Reed and Poona Ford. The next Quandre Diggs. The next Carlos Dunlap. The next Tony McDaniel if you can, or Chris Clemons.

Exploit opportunities. They’re going to be out there, especially this year. The league is facing a cap crunch. Some players will still get paid mega-money. The second and third wave of free agency, however, could be where a Championship is won in 2021.

Go big on offense initially. Then hunt for bargains on defense.

What’s the identity of the defense though with fewer stars?

Recreate the band-of-brothers. Set up a defense where ‘we all we got we all we need’ actually means something again.

It felt hollow listening to a former top recruit, who went to LSU, who was then drafted #6 overall say that phrase last season after an embarrassing defeat in Buffalo.

Red Bryant created it and it encapsulated everything about that blossoming LOB defense.

Jamal Adams saying it felt forced and wrong. It’s time to get a bunch of bandits on the defense who are fighting for their next pay cheque.

Re-create that 2010-11 mentality.

Maybe they can even come up with their own new slogan?

This isn’t a flawless plan, I’ll admit that. It isn’t without risk. This approach would excite me though.

I do think the Seahawks need to mix things up a bit. Every season finishes the same as the last one.

You know what they say about doing same thing over and over again but expecting different results…

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  1. vanhawksfan

    Interesting piece Rob. I’ve checked back 10 times today waiting for you to post.

    Where do you see the leadership coming from on the defence without Bobby, Adams & KJ? I’ve heard Pete talking about what Adams brought to the room and it was obvious from the Legion of Boom purge that KJ and Bobby were the ones kept around to continue to carry the culture.

    • Rob Staton

      Where do you see the leadership coming from on the defence without Bobby, Adams & KJ?

      Sherman, Reed, Dunlap, Diggs.

      And there’s always an opportunity for a younger player to emerge as a great leader, just as Kam did in 2011.

      • Mike

        Im not sure I’d count Reed as a leader to rally behind. Don’t get me wrong, he plays well. But he isn’t a personality I’d put much stock into.

        The other guys I think can be the leaders you want.

        • Hawkdawg

          Actually, as I understand it, the Hawks value Reed as a leader of the DL…

        • Rob Staton

          The Seahawks rave about Reed’s leadership

        • Tyler Jorgensen

          On a loaded Alabama defense, Reed was the one to whom everyone deferred. He was their on field leader. Seems natural he would carry that over here. There were like 15-20 guys who got at least a sniff of the NFL from that 2015 Bama defense.

          And he was the lead dog.

  2. TheOtherJordan

    I’ll say this Rob, at least the Seahawks would be exciting to watch again. Unlike this year where the results were predictable as was the team. The Rams loss felt different. It’s time to shake things up. I think trading both Wagner and Adams makes a lot of sense. The problem is John and Pete need to hit on the draft and FA like they haven’t done in many years with what those trades bring both in draft capital and available money. I’m skeptical they would.

    • Rob Staton

      The problem is John and Pete need to hit on the draft and FA like they haven’t done in many years with what those trades bring both in draft capital and available money. I’m skeptical they would.

      I am too — but they’ve got to go for it. They’ve got to be honest in how they assess their recent drafts.

      They’ve made it harder than it needs to be over the last few years. They need to stop overthinking.

      • TheOtherJordan

        Agreed. How can anyone argue differently with one playoff win in four years? Status quo clearly isn’t getting it done.

  3. Walt

    Fantastic!! Mike Holmgren has said after his time here that he regretted not going for experience on offense and youth on defense. I think and hope this is how the offseason plays out.
    Also Keanu Neal might be a bargain..

    • Rob Staton

      The thought of Keanu Neal being available at a bargain price as a free agent… and Seattle spending $18m a year on Jamal Adams after trading multiple picks… makes me want to cry.

      • RugbyLock

        Makes me want to hurl…

  4. Submanjoe

    Scherff would be a fantastic signing. You’re spot on they need to let Brooks play inside and Blair at SS, else why draft them ? Is there an under the radar running back they could trade for sorta like Lynch was? I mean are Hunt or Fournette realistic options to sign?

    • Rob Staton

      Hunt, no. Too important in Cleveland.

      Fournette is a FA.

    • charlietheunicorn

      Hunt also has had some nasty off the field stuff, which is why the Chiefs cut him originally. You can’t trust him… or that he may be available for all 16 weeks, if something else pops up unexpectedly.

      • Rob Staton

        I wouldn’t say it was ‘nasty stuff’. Stupid and immature? Yes.

        Other than that one incident he’s been a highly productive and reliable football player.

        • charlietheunicorn

          “Hunt was released by the Chiefs on November 30, 2018, after a videotape of him physically assaulting a woman and kicking her on the ground the previous February surfaced”

          He ended up getting 8 games “on the beach” from the commish in 2019… another slip-up and the guy could be gone a whole season. I doubt he leaves Cleveland, he is a good fit with the team, so this is probably not even worth fretting over too much.

          • SeaTown

            Hunt’s actions were immature and stupid as Rob mentioned. But that blurb you quoted hardly is an accurate account of that event. Stupid on his part? Yes. But he was not cut because of that. He was cut because he lied to the team about what happened.

  5. Zxvo3

    I’m in love with this plan! Like you said Rob, once you trade all those contracts, you have flexibility to do anything. The Browns made it to the divisional round purely because of their ability to be the bully when running the ball. They’ve invested for years on their offensive line. They made it to the playoffs without the heroics of one player (like the Seahawks depend on Russ) but by playing as a functional unit on offense. If the Seahawks want to have a chance to make the super bowl they need to play as a fully functional unit.

    Even though we would be losing our major stars on defense, they can still compete with additions like Richard Sherman and maybe Keanu Neal. With the linebackers issue, if there’s any position I’d want to get by at, it’s the linebacker position. Sign Mychal Kendricks to play with Jordyn Brooks so you at least have some legit speed at the position. The only issue with this plan imo is that the defensive line isn’t addressed. But with the flexibility that they could earn by trading Wagner and Adams, they can go out and sign Leonard Williams or Von Miller to create a real threat on the defensive line.

  6. Chase

    Awesome write up Rob. I agree with you that the Seahawks have to avoid being sentimental if they truly want to take a step forward. Quick question, what do you think the Hawk’s asking price for Wagner would be? He’s a HOF talent, but seems to be slowing down a little. I don’t think a first rounder is likely, but maybe an early to mid 2nd? Player x and a third? What do you and rest of SDB think?

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure. It’s a difficult question to answer and will be down to the eye of the beholder.

      But I do think if you’re a team starting out like the Jets and you want to basically run Seattle’s defense — I can’t think of a better player to acquire to launch that change and legitimise everything you’re trying to do there.

      • NolaHawk

        If you’re serious about moving BWagz, you’re best suited taking advantage of familiarity with defensive staff coupled with the need for stability and leadership to tap into the potential of the unit as a whole. The two most likely scenarios are Vegas and Dallas and that’s not a bad thing considering how it might be easier to maximize compensation with Stephen Jones and Mayock.

        • Rob Staton

          Neither team has a need at LB though.

          • Rohan Raman

            Vegas 150% has a need at LB. Littleton was atrocious in his first year.

            You could even argue the Cowboys need a steady veteran presence at LB since LVE and Jaylon Smith struggled mightily this year, although I believe in LVE turning it around/

            • NolaHawk

              The only slightly proven commodity at LB for the Raiders is Littleton and he was caught too often in space trying too much to make up for the lack of experience behind him. Morrow was so so and I really think they were betting on Muse before he got hurt. The could use a stabilizing figure at the heart of that young D. The big 3 in Dallas has struggled to find consistency and health the last two years. Sean Lee is 34 now and no longer possesses the sideline to sideline speed that once set him apart before injuries curtailed his career. Jaylon Smith is a constant mixed bag struggling to find consistency in translating his physical gifts fully to game action. Vander Esch is a tackling machine, when healthy, and that’s been an issue the last two seasons for him. Again, with a young and unproven secondary, they could use a stabilizing presence to help convey the new concepts being introduced by Quinn.

              • Rob Staton

                The only slightly proven commodity at LB for the Raiders is Littleton and he was caught too often in space trying too much to make up for the lack of experience behind him.

                And he has a $19m dead cap hit and swapping him for Wagner won’t change that problem.

                The big 3 in Dallas has struggled to find consistency and health the last two years.

                They don’t need a big three though. They are paying one player a lot of money already.

                • NolaHawk

                  At 236, Littleton is better served at the Will spot than trying to take on guards and centers in the middle of a defense. Jaylon count $9.8 against the Boys cap. They can easily extend BWagz once traded to reduce the first year hit as the the Jones family always seems fine with kicking the cap can down the road.

                  • Rob Staton

                    They have far bigger areas of concern and players on board

            • Rob Staton

              So what are they going to do? Cut him and take on a $19m dead cap hit, then spend a huge chunk on Bobby Wagner?

              It’s not realistic.

              And the Cowboys just don’t have a need. Both teams have far superior needs elsewhere.

              • Ghost Mutt

                On the Jets as a possible landing spot – I think they’re still tied to huge money for Mosley for another year.

                He’s only played one year of his deal, and his contract tolls after opting out this year. So (I may be wrong) but I think they’ve got to wait a year before they can get out of it.

                • Rob Staton

                  They can trade him for a bag of footballs and get out of that deal — which they’ll be looking to do ASAP. The GM didn’t even sign him.

                  • Ghost Mutt

                    I’m not great with contract intricacies, so apologies if I’m wrong here.

                    But Mosley’s cap hit for 2021 is 7.5m, and his dead cap hit is 19.85m.

                    Bobby’s salary for 2021 is 13.15m.

                    So if they switched out CJ for Bobby, they’d be committing 33 million to ILB along with draft capital.

                    I think the team fit is there, and completely agree that getting Bobby on board would be a statement of intent. I’d just be surprised if the Jets were willing to eat that much cost while they’re rebuilding.

                    • Rob Staton

                      If they trade Mosley pre-June 1st they save $1.5m. If they wait until later in the year they can save $6.5m. At some point, they will dump him.

  7. GoHawks

    Rob — the one name I see on the roster right now that would be a hot trade piece that no one is really discussing is DK Metcalf. I know DK is blossoming into a superstar and just broke team records in 2020, but there’s a very real possibility he will command Julio Jones/Keenan Allen money and in a Pete Carroll system that seems like a major waste of resources. What are the odds they entertain a DK trade a la Clark a couple years ago to replenish the draft picks and prevent a possible diva like scenario in 2021/2022 when DK wants to get paid? To me this is more likely than moving Wilson, Wagner, or Adams.. but curious for your thoughts.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t know why people keep suggesting that in a Pete Carroll system it would be a waste of resources.

      Pete literally wants to take shots downfield. He craves explosive plays. Metcalf is an explosive play machine.

      He’s also been looking for a big, dynamic wide out since 2010. He’s always said that.

      If Metcalf has ridiculous salary demands in two years time, you may be right. But let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, Metcalf isn’t going anyway. And he’s critical to Carroll’s way of thinking.

      • RugbyLock

        Metcalf is going to cost us a mint in a couple years so might as well make the offense able to take consistent advantage of it to make it worthwhile.

  8. Tony

    Honestly, this is a stellar plan that should put pete in his wheelhouse in finding cheap pissed off defenders to motivate. I trust pete and john more in fixing the defense throughout the season like they just did. But getting a stacked offense that can run and play power football with russ being a point guard vs the savior, thats legit tempting.

    I would miss wags. But resetting the franchise comes at costs. Id rather replace a great LB vs a great QB. Can we email this to John and pete? Or litter the vmac in print outs?

  9. Whit21

    You’re right Rob.. the browns would be the best place for Jamal Adams.. When they traded Jabril Peppers away for Odell, they lost a very good impact safety that the Giants now have. I think for that reason the trade was not a good one for the Browns. Getting an impact player like Jamal Adams could be huge for their defense..

    Hopefully they can get a Goff like deal with Miami or Cleveland with one or 2 first rounders starting in 2022/2023.. Mostly likely wouldn’t get two first rounders.. but we can hope..

    • BobbyK

      If the Hawks traded Adams to the Browns, perhaps they could get Grant Delpit in the deal. He showed potential last year before he ruptured his achilles. I liked him in the draft last year. Or if they think he’ll come back strong, maybe then the Dolphins would be the best fit.

      • BobbyK

        Personally, as Rob also mentions in the story, I’d much rather have a Delpit than an Adams in terms of young guys on their first contracts as opposed to guys more concerned about their contracts now. If they could make that switch – and still get the 18th pick (and maybe change?) from the Fish… that’s a no-brainer for me.

        • NolaHawk

          Why not the Patriots? Flush with cap space, have the pick arsenal to make it work and the requisite need to inject youth and playmaking ability into a very old secondary. Belichick isn’t going to stand for two poor seasons in a row. I think they’ll be aggressive and there’s a history there between Pete and Bill when it comes to trades.

          • BobbyK

            Is Grant Delpit on the Patriots roster? Both my comments was referring to the Browns being a potential partner to get a young SS in return.

            • NolaHawk

              I was simply countering with another idea based off of your comments. Delpit doesn’t make sense because of team control and cost. A player for player swap only makes sense should the Seahawks also recoup some sort of draft compensation to get some ammunition for this years draft. Even coming off a serious injury, the value given up wouldn’t make sense to the Browns.

  10. Hoggs41

    Great article Rob. I could taalk about this stuff all day long. Personally if Wagner goes I would really want KJ to stay as I wouldnt want to lose both. To me its one or the other. Could see Dunbar back on the cheap as well.

    Only question I have is Scherff had only ever played RG. Him or Lewis would have to move.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve no interest in bringing Dunbar back. Hard pass.

      Moving guard positions isn’t as big a deal as it is for tackles. The technique isn’t totally different. Players have preferences, sure. But it’s not a big issue. And for what it’s worth, Lewis switched to center well enough and hadn’t ever played the position before. So I suspect he can handle a move to left guard if needed.

      • Thomas Wells

        Speaking of switching positions: if Seattle signs scherff to a long term deal, do you think he has the ability to play left tackle well once Duane brown hangs them up? He’s been a beast at guard. And logically if he could play left tackle you would think WFT would have gone that route instead of running out Cornelius Lucas. But the idea of getting a former top ten pick as the heir apparent to brown, while boosting the interior in the meantime, is enticing.

  11. BobbyK

    Even if the Jets traded their early 3rd rounder for Wagner, that would eliminate a gigantic salary to be replaced with a cost effective 4-year rookie contract. That could also mean signing a guy like Sherff.

    I don’t want to lose Wagner, but if Brooks is ready to step-in – then it’s his time. Younger, faster, cheaper.

    Seahawks could add a DT, CB, OLB, OL, TE, WR, RB or whatever with the Wagner pick, too.

    • Simon McInnes

      Even though they have added a coach that seems to be respected in Robert Salah, I do wonder if the Jets have been a dysfunctional franchise for so long, that trading players to the Jets will not be popular in the locker room. After all, there are enough ex-Jets on the roster to remind them of what they are heading into.

      • Rob Staton

        I think we worry too much about that.

        There’s no room for sentiment here.

      • Tyler Jorgensen

        Different GM, different Coach, and I’ve heard a different perspective by ownership as well.

        Every team is a couple great moves from being a dumpster fire, or a competitor. I see the Jets no differently.

  12. Chris Wood

    If we did trade Adams to the Browns, would people want Odell plus another pick? He obviously doesn’t fit their culture or gel with Mayfield. On the other hand he could be a major distraction. He has a zero dead cap hit but he’s due 14 to 13 for the next 3 years. Maybe convince him to renegotiate and lower that with some guarantees. I could see him really popping off in a Rams esq offense.

    • Rob Staton

      I want to get back in the draft personally, not acquire another player.

      • Chris Wood

        I agree, but maybe the Browns would give up a pick to get rid of Odell for someone like Adams. He’s not really liked by that FO plus he was acquired by the previous GM and HC. Maybe the new FO would want to get rid of him.

        • Rob Staton

          Typically you give up a pick (which is very rare) to make another team eat a bad contract.

          The buyer is usually loaded with cap space. The seller is often desperate.

          The Browns save $16m by trading him and his cap hit for the next few years is less than Cooper Kupp’s. I’m not sure they’ll need to give up a pick to move him — which I suspect will happen, probably for a discount (R3?) and a good team will make a killing in terms of value getting him.

          • NolaHawks

            Odell and a second for Lockett? R3 restructures to fit the salary and then you can at least line up DK, OBJ and Swain in three wide sets.

            • Rob Staton

              Can’t see it

              Don’t think people realise that your star QB actually needs the weapons he had chemistry with

              • NolaHawk

                The start quarterback also needs weapons that can do something with the football after the catch which is seriously lacking on this roster as currently constructed. If Dak can make it work with Amari Cooper after that trade, I’d have to have faith that R3 at $35 million can as well.

  13. David

    I like this idea. I always thought Bobby would be a Seahawk for life. Losing Wagner is the only part I don’t like. I’d like to keep Dunlap as well. What about Ryan Neal at SS he played great when Adams was out.A competition there at SS between those 2 could be fun. At RB why not bring back Alex Collins who looked great in limited touches last year and sign someone like Mark Ingram on the cheap or bring back Mike Davis like Rob mentioned.

    • Tyler Jorgensen

      Mark Ingram is going to be 32 at the start of next season. The tank is empty.

  14. charlietheunicorn

    Best recommendations
    Bring in Mike Davis (back-up RB at worst). Bring in Ross (#3 or 4 WR). Cheap and effective.

    Something casually mentioned, “trust their medicals”. I want no part in guys with significant medical concerns. Seattle has had problems keeping these guys healthy in the past. I have no idea why they can’t seem to get this part right or keep guys healthy once they are on the team, even when they were relatively healthy in college. I know I know, this goes against bringing in Ross, but I just want him as a #3/4/5 WR, not a 1 or 2….. with limited draft capitol, you have to take a few swings on discounted players….. but not on draftable players in 2021. They don’t have the luxury of messing up.

    • TatupuTime

      I mean DK’s medicals probably scared off a lot of teams – so that medical risk worked out. But yeah, medical evaluations for both draft and FA (Ansah, Dorsett) is something they really need to look into. We don’t know what JS/PC knew when they made their picks and free agent acquisitions on the medical side, but feels like they haven’t done a good job there in the past few years. Being a team that does good medical evaluations and has top notch rehabs is critical. I’d be trying to fix something there.

      • Rob Staton

        At least they dodged the medical risk of Nick Chubb.

        Didn’t take any chances there…

        • Ryan

          I cringe every time I hear Chubb’s name.

        • Charles Hirsch

          Hahaha. Cutthroat there. Chubb would have been a great pick for us for sure.

    • Aaron Anthony Anderson

      Penny in college no medical concerns, but I’m the NFL, anything can happen.

      • Tyler Jorgensen

        It’s almost as if not being the fastest biggest guy on the field leads to injury issues and a lack of tackle breaking capability at the next level.

  15. A-A-Ron

    That’s it Rob. You’re hired. Once I can get in on the next Reddit Stock and make a cool $4B to buy the Hawks, you will become the first British GM in the NFL.

  16. hobro

    I’d like to think that the Seahawks’ front office is thinking along these lines right now. I don’t know what the trade market would be for Bobby Wagner, though. The AAV of his salary for the two remaining years of his contract is close to $19 million. According to Spotrac, that’s more than any non-quarterback free agent got last year, which was surely more player-friendly than this year is going to be. Even a cap-rich team like the Jets might think it would be better to wait for the Seahawks to cut him and them sign him to a more realistic free agent contract.

    • Rob Staton

      But the Seahawks aren’t going to just cut him.

      They’re not at the point where getting rid of Bobby Wagner at all costs is a thing they need to do.

      I don’t pay much attention to these suggestions from sites like Spotrac. At the end of the day, Wagner is a really good player. He’s just not worth $17m and $20m to a team that currently has $200,000 to spend. He will be worth that to someone launching a new start with tens of millions to spend.

      You get a leader, a reliable player and the minute he goes somewhere like NY — people want to go and play with him. It’s a statement of intent.

    • cha

      The AAV of his salary for the two remaining years of his contract is close to $19 million.

      If he stays in Seattle yes. If he’s traded it is less.

      $7.5m is bonus money and stays with Seahawks as a dead cap hit in a trade.

      His $13.4m & $16.6m salaries & roster bonus go to the new team.

  17. Denver Hawker

    Big moves! Clark trade is the only recent comp I can think of under this regime where they had a very productive player under contract (tag counts) and traded him for cap relief and picks.

    Would love to see the humility to trade Adams. Trading Bobby is an ouch. It’s absolutely the right shrewd business decision to make, but I have a sense that Seattle sports teams are too sentimental to the fans to make such a move. Everyone understands not resigning an aging player, but trading a fan-favorite legend is some cold business…especially to the Jets.

    Gosh, it also feels like forever ago the team spent big on a top of market free agent, but sure would be nice to get a top LG this year.

  18. Strategicdust

    Always look forward to these offseason plans from you,Rob. One of the joys is seeing your plan each offseason, the frustration is seeing how the Hawks decide to spend their time and money. The biggest obstacle this offseason to make positive change is the overthinking and stubbornness that Pete abc John seem to share. You can have the best plan in the world but if Pete decides he wants to keep “his guys” and play football “his way”, then you’ll see a repeat of past years. Journeyman brought in for the O and D lines for “competition”, overspending on a questionable position of need ( last year TE, this year Corner back?) and then trades to get additional picks which may be overthought. Both Pete and John have new extensions which may validate their approach in their own ways of doing things. One of the best things that could happen this offseason would be to have a few people challenging them to think differently and truly make better choices in the draft and free agency.

  19. Ben

    Good offseason plan Rob. While it would suck to cut Bobby, that day is eventually coming. Hopefully he agrees to an extension with a lower cap number in 2021. The only move I don’t like is inserting Barton as a starting LB. He should never be more than a special teams player. You mentioned the Hawks draft misses – McDowell, Penny, Collier, well IMO Barton is another one, albeit a 3rd rounder.

  20. Denver Hawker

    Schotty to the Jags- new passing coordinator.

    • cha

      What’s Jeremy Bates up to these days?

  21. Rob Staton

    People will jump all over Olsen for this because he was a waste of money. But maybe we should be asking why he feels this way? Because something just doesn’t feel right at the moment.

    • Scot04

      I know i wish that 7m went somewhere else to start the offseason. It seemed too high for him at the time.

    • Gohawks5151

      He feels like that because the Bills pass every down and went to the conference finals

      • Scot04

        True, we definitely did not use our TE’s much at all. Hopefully our new OC will change that

  22. Hoggs41

    One thing to remember is OTC does have us at only $2.8m for right now but we are at $141m for next year. John doesnt usually like to borrow from the next year but maybe this is the time?

  23. Kevin Mullen

    Adam’s at SAM, Brooks at MLB, draft for WILL.

    Diggs & Blair at safety spots like you suggested, even Reed with Sherm opposite.

    Tender Ford, offer Clowney 2yr, potential 3rd yr option contract at $10mil/yr.

    Trade Russ (assume you can get same value as Stafford) to NYJ or MIA, swap respective QB’s.

    Target draft picks Najee Harris and Christian Darrisaw in the 1st.

    • Scot04

      Hard to understand why we would we trade Russ and keep Adams. The goal is to improve the team to make us a contender.
      The only reason to really trade Russ is if he didn’t want to be here.
      Can’t see anyone making an offer that takes Russ and puts us in a position to win a Superbowl next year.
      Adams is our best trade chip to use and still put together a team that might advance.

    • God of Thunder

      Ha ha, Clowney. I think not.

      • JimQ

        I have recently thought about the RW trade situation and I have to wonder if JS/PC’s –long term– plans all along were to trade RW –THIS– season. PC & JS aren’t stupid and it’s hard to imagine exactly what’s going on with their future team building plans. The logic kind of adds up however when considering they traded so many draft assets for Adams and left only 3 (or 4) picks available in the coming draft. If they knew that they would get a BUNCH of picks back — by trading RW this year –MAYBE– they took the opportunity to trade for a guy like Adams the year before trading away RW this year? So, in other words spending draft assets you anticipate having a year later. This concept might be stretching the logic just a bit but PC/JS may not be as daft as some might think and have had – a “long term plan” – all along????

        At least, that was what I was thinking when I woke up this morning and I still can’t shake it. Maybe it was just a bad dream complicated by my 11 months of hunkered down cabin fever?

  24. HawkMock

    So, what would our draft capital look like after these moves? Potentially #18 and a 3rd for Adams from MIA, a 3rd from Jets, then trade 18 for a later 1st and late 3rd for: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd. Along with Scherff, K Neal, Everett, RB and maybe one other difference maker with some restructuring – I would love that kind of off-season!

  25. millhouse-serbia

    I dont think this article is only for us to have fun. I think it has much bigger value, because i agree they need to do something similar to this plan.
    But i think its to big of a gamble to go into season without both of Bobby and Adams(and KJ) … I am afraid that we would watch again defense that cant stop anythinhg and anyone…

    Adams is 25 (he is young), Bobby is 30…i have zero doubt who i would keep.

    Here is what i would do…

    I would gamble and place a bet that Pete will find perfect role for Adams(think that bet has much better odds than the one that our defense will be good enough to win SB without Bwagz and Jamal) … He is that young, blue chip, all pro, star, corner stone player of this defense for next 4,5 years.

    I would trade Bobby… Save some money and get late round 2 pick…

    Trade Reed… Save same amount of money as by trading Adams and get late round 3 pick…

    Bet on Brooks, Barton, Blair, Taylor that will step up, and with leaders like Dunlap, Adams and Diggs, and peaces like Poona and DJ Reed be able to produce top 10 defense (if not better)…

    I completely agree for plan on offense…

    • Scot04

      I think I would rather keep Bobby and trade Adams if I could only trade one. Adams would be easier to replace in our defensive scheme. Younger isn’t necessarily better if the player isn’t a fit. Especially if he wants more than 16m per year. Too much for a safety.

    • millhouse-serbia

      And one thing i completely disagree with Rob is

      “They wont trade Reed, they just gave him new contract and think he is a leader”…

      They just gave him 2 years contract (not multi year that would happen if they trully believe in him) that is basically one year with 9mil cap saving in second year…

      And we are speaking about realistic possibility they will trade Jamal when just a year ago they gave two 1st plus 3rd round pick, and after that Pete spoke so many time how good and important that trade was (i am mentioning this to compare with Petes comment that Reed is a leader)…

      And as you said, even if they show big commitment to Reed by giving him new contract (which they didnt imo, because of type of contract), the Seahawks, actually, have never been too proud to move on. And you are 100% right about that. And thats the reason why all of them, Reed, Adams, Bobby ect could be traded… They all can bring some picks back and save some money to make this bad cap situation better…

      • Scot04

        Rob’s post is what he would do, not Carroll & Co.
        Myself I’d rather have Wagner and Reed.
        We saw our defense improve after Dunlap was added. Our defense relies on 4 getting pressure, not scheming for a safety.
        I do believe Adams is a pro bowl safety, but i also believe our team would be better served trading him.
        Build the Oline and add to the D-line. The Wagner trade to me is more of a wild card. Can you get a 2nd or a 3rd, and how to fill in they fill the other spots at LB.
        I do think Adams can fetch a 1st and possibly a 3rd or 4th. To attempt rebuild our two lines this scenario seems the most plausible. Unfortunately i don’t see us trading Adams. I hope I’m wrong.
        I’d love it if Adams some how netted a 1st and 3rd this year. Add a 2nd or 3rd this year for Bobby I’m on board. Would it work; who knows, but they definitely need to shake things up. Will be interesting to see what happens. I do like the proposed idea though in regards to those two trades. I also think keeping Dunlap should be a priority. Tired of letting productive DE’s go. Even if he is 32.

        • millhouse-serbia

          I know what this article is about. And article as a whole is great. Lot of great points.
          My comment about Reed is based on Robs opinion from previois comments sections.

          And as i said, if you ask me, i would trade both Reed and Bobby. If i need to choose one, i would defenetly trade Reed. Think 32-36 spots on draft day for trade xompensation (64 to 100)arent worth enough to trade Bobby not Reed. Rob obviously doesnt think like that but its normal to have different opinions.

          • millhouse-serbia

            And to be 100% correct, its diference in trade compensation, 3mil in cap space in 2021 (14 to 17mil) and 3,75mil in 2022 (Bobbies dead money for 2022 if traded or cut). But Bobby also could net 5th or 6th round pick if traded before 2022 season(maybe its really projection).

            • Scot04

              Ah ok. Your idea is Reed or Wagner. I understand your reasoning. My preference still would be keeping Reed. The need to add to the Dline not take away from it seems like a higher priority. Reed was doubled alot early, Dunlap being added opened up holes for Reed and he took advantage of it. Looked like when we had Clark. Either way fun to speculate

      • Rob Staton

        Millhouse, please. We’ve already discussed Reed and he wasn’t even a big part of this article. You’re bringing up old comments.

        They prioritised him in free agency. They love him as a leader. It’s two years because they didn’t want to give him a massive contract and it made sense for both parties to allow him to test FA again soon.

        The two situations are massively different compared to Jamal Adams because you aren’t resetting the market with Jarran Reed and Adams has trade value.

    • Rob Staton

      I am afraid that we would watch again defense that cant stop anythinhg and anyone…

      That might happen anyway, with Wagner and Adams.

  26. Rusty

    Would your opinion change much if the cap ends up being something more like $190m? If it’s indeed the $176m or whatever and 2/3rds of the league is just kinda left out to dry I lean toward agreeing that 1 or more of Adams Wagner Reed Lockett Dunlap should be traded ideally for this year draft picks, with the first 2 on that list being good candidates

    But if the cap isn’t the minimum and we instead start with $10-15m of effective cap space, then I think it might be just as appealing to extend a few guys, maybe restructure Russ, and be able to spend $25m+ in free agency with the current core. And then I wouldn’t mind trying to trade a 2022 4th for a 2021 5th or something just so our draft isn’t quite so depressing. I realize that last bit is technically inefficient though

    • Rob Staton

      They need to get back in the draft IMO and shift their resources from LB and S to other areas

  27. Hoggs41

    Just some thoughts using Rob’s ideas mixed in with some of my own.

    Trade Adams to Miami for a first (18) this year and a third next year.
    Trade Wagner for a third this year.

    If cap is set at $180m that’s leaves us about $6.8m left with 45 players under contract after trading Adams and Wagner. We also have to count for Dickson’s cap hit going from $992k to about $3.5m which would drop us to $4.3 so I was just going to round down and start us at $4m with 45 guys under contract.

    Extend Lockett 3 years $48m ($10m cap hit in 2021) saves us about $4m
    Total now to $8m

    Extend Dunlap for 2 years $20m ($8m cap hit in 2021) saves us about $6m
    Total now to $14m

    Trade Bobby Wagner…saves us about $10m
    Total now to $24m

    Trade Jamal Adams…saves us about $10m
    Total now to $34m

    Sign Brandon Scherff 4 years $56m ($8m cap hit in 2021)
    Total down to $26m

    Sign KJ Wright 2 years $14m ($5m cap hit in 2021)
    Total down to $21m

    Sign Richard Sherman 2 years $14m ($5m cap hit in 2021)
    Total down to $16m

    Sign John Ross to minimum deal ($1m cap hit in 2021)
    Total down to $15m

    Sign Gerald Everett 3 years $15m ($3m cap hit in 2021)
    Total down to $12m

    Tender Poona Ford second round (approx $3)
    Total down to $9m

    Trade down from pick 18 to 25 and acquire a third.
    Picks now 25, 56, three 3rd rounders, 4th, 5th, 7th?…totaling 8 picks.

    Select Najee Harris at 25 and Quinn Meinerz at 56 and that leaves you options to do whatever you want with the three 3rd rounders.

    RB…Harris, Penny, Dallas, Homer
    WR…Metcalf, Lockett, Ross, Swain, Dorsett?
    TE…Dissly, Parkinson, Everett

    Dline…Dunlap, Robinson, Taylor, Collier, Green, Reed, Ford, Mone
    LB…Barton, Wright, Brooks
    CB…Sherman, Flowers, Reed, Amadi
    Safety…Diggs, Blair, Neal,

    Not perfect but thought I would throw it out there.

    • Bankhawk

      Hoggs-I keep going over that, looking for the flaw-but I just can’t see it! Me like!
      Two things I just really, really want to see:
      -Get back in the draft by (almost) any means necessary.
      -Show me where I sign the petition to ‘bring Sherm home!’ 🤘😁

    • GoHawksDani

      I like it…BUT
      If we have left some CAP or draft picks, I’d shove those into:
      No Barton please…he was pretty bad. Give me an FA for 5-7m, or draft 1-2 WILL potential and let them compete for it
      CB depth or competition for Flowers, Reed
      DT depth for rotation

      If we could start those guys you wrote, except Barton, and add a solid starter to CB (if Sherm goes down, or someone who could be better than Flowers and maybe even than Reed) and maybe some depth at DT (space eater guy is enough, don’t need a passrusher) then I’m willing to sign this plan ASAP

    • IHeartTacoma

      Looks like a good offense and a poor defense. Maybe the improved offense could keep those LBs and CBs off the field.
      How about replacing Dickson…. I know it’s heresy, but how much should a team pay a punter (and who else even drafts them)? What could you get for the difference? Anything?

    • Andy Muhs - Hawks4Ever

      I’m salivating over this post Hoggs 41

      • Hoggs41

        Credit should go to Rob as its mostly his. I actually made a mistake and we wouldnt have three 3rd rounders it would only be two unless the proposed trade with Miami gave us this years third rounder. Either way its fun to do this stuff. Sometimes I feel like I enjoy the off season more than I do the actual season.

  28. Ryan

    Rob, thanks for everything you do here, you’ve laid out some well-reasoned arguments here. This article is spot on and is what I would like to see as well.

  29. SebA

    Adore this Rob. Really like the Mike Davis suggestion. Also, Tommy Tremble, what a name! If he doesn’t make us a feared team in the league I don’t know who would… ^^

  30. Mick

    Very interesting thoughts, Rob. I tend to agree with most of it, perhaps with the exception of losing both Wagner and KJ now. Brooks would improve a lot in another year next to Wagner, so I’d rather move away from Duane Brown than from Bobby. And I’d also consider letting Diggs go if we can find a cheaper replacement. Totally on board with not extending Griffin, Dunbar, and with not overpaying for Carson. I’d say now is the time that PC and JS sit down and do what you did: see where they want to go and plan according to the goal. And definitely if we get a first rounder for Adams, invest in a RB.

    One thing I completely disagree with is the idea (in the comments) that DK could be traded. You don’t get better by losing a top performer on a rookie contract. It would also not be smart to lose Russ, now that you got him the OC he wanted. Build him an OL and give him targets (we need a TE), let them work, and you can always trade him next year if the problem is with him.

    • Scot04

      100% agree on Metcalf. Took forever to get a player like him, trading him would make little sense.

  31. BC_Hawk

    Great Opinion piece Rob! With the current Cap projection, it’ll be tough for the team to improve on the OL. Much like yourself, I think it will be critical for our success moving forward.

    What will really drive their direction will be if the league initiates some form of cap relief for 2021. Given the state of many teams, and the middle Road Vet market, I think they will need to. My guess will be a continuation of 2020, or evenflow 2022/2023 increase over three years, though might be tough to do.

  32. Sea Mode

    Fun article! Thanks for putting this together, Rob.

    I definitely like the idea of shaking things up and investing in the trenches.

    We might need some fallback options though, because I’m not so sure Sherff will even reach FA. Washington has the 5th most cap space and he is a key player, team leader, and seems to be happy there:

    “I would like to stay here. My wife and I love it here.”

    “We love all our teammates and coaches here,” Scherff said. “I’ve always told her I want to stay where I got drafted to finish it out so I would love to stay here.”

    That was in December. Here’s another one from January:

    Seems like a heart and soul player like JJ Watt (was) for the Texans and totally committed to the rebuild there under Rivera. Also, just a point to take into account: he hasn’t played a full season since 2016:

    Durability is a concern, but the positive is Scherff appeared in 13 games in 2020. That’s an uptick from 11 in 2019 and eight in 2018.

    He turns 30 this December.

    I guess the only reason for hope would be the fact that Washington hasn’t extended him already. They actually extended their Center first, if that says anything.

    Any other potential FA OL you’d be interested in?

    • Scot04

      Not Rob, but Joe Thuney, Corey Linsley would be my top interior lineman if Scherff gone.
      Both would together would make me very happy.
      Looks like quite a few OTs Ronnie Stanley, Cameron Fleming, Alejandro Villanueva, David Bakhtiari, and possibly Cameron Erving for 5
      Villanueva still very solid at 32. I’ll hope we resign Brown and go with interior upgrades. As I said though alot of OTs

  33. Scot04

    Rob i like the overall premise off your offseason plan. We definitely need to do something to push us to the next level; & I think we saw Adams was not it.
    If they can recoup some decent capital it’s worth it.

    If they are able to keep him at 15-16m i still would prefer trading him; but at that price i could atleast then understand some arguments to keep him.
    I just have trouble seeing the fit and with the other holes to fill.
    Our options are few and he’s definitely our best trade chip.
    I think Amadi earned the chance to continue at nickle and would like to see if Blair could play Adam’s role.
    I agree holding on to Wagner might not be the best thing for the team if they can get a 2nd or 3rd.
    I’d like to see them redo Dunlap and Reed 1st though. My concern would be if we did trade both Adams & Wagner; how excited would Reed and Dunlap be getting extended. So I might try to get those two deals done ahead of the trades if possible.
    If we could extend Brown on a 3year deal like Whitworths I’d do that in a heartbeat. Then move onto Lockett.
    I can see how Diggs, Reed & Dunlap could fill in as leaders on defense.
    Would love to see us start the draft with an additional 1st an two 3rds if possible. If the can get a 2nd for Wags all the better.
    I can see so many ways to improve the team with extra cap space and picks.
    It will take balls and creativity, but make for what could be an exciting offseason.
    Thanks for your offseason plan, it’s definitely fun to think about.
    Be nice to head into Free-agency with plenty of options cap wise.

  34. Matty

    Luv playing fantasy owner in the closed season to see what people believe is the right way forward for the up and coming season and come up with exciting possibilities.
    I will admit the Seahawks have a big off season ahead as the NFC West just seems to be a division where anyone of the 4 teams can win it and at the same time also Seattle could be starting to fall behind the others.
    My fantasy owner would seriously look at trading Wilson to completely reset as towards the end of last season there didn’t seem to be a spark between Russell and Pete, and we could end up like Green Bay and Rodgers – never won again even though they are in people’s predictions each season (Purley based on Rodgers being there) – and Green Bay then too scared to move on from Rodgers in case/what if/maybe/who knows the future.

  35. Rob Staton

    I’m so disappointed with Kam Chancellor dragging up the SB again.

    And what he says is so frustrating too.

    I will explain why in a piece.

    • Sea Mode

      What happened? Link?

      • Rob Staton

        I can’t be bothered to write about it. I started just now but don’t have the energy.

        I think it’s sad that we have to constantly hear about this. A football play went wrong and the Seahawks lost a game. The fact that it consumed the team afterwards, that they allowed it to tear everything apart — maybe one day one of them will ask that question instead of boring us with another moan about the play call.

        Doug Baldwin just tweeted saying the 30for30 will be bananas one day.

        No it won’t be, Doug. We’ve had to hear what you and your team mates think about it for years. There won’t be any revelations. It’ll just be you and a few others saying everything you’ve already said on or off the record. You didn’t understand it and how you thought Pete was trying to get Wilson the MVP etc etc etc.

        Bore off.

        • millhouse-serbia

          I cant believe what are they saying… Its sport, its football… Much More unpredictable, amazing, strange plays happened in history of sport… Like two weeks before that SB they won game where thay had less than 5% chance to win 5min to go…

          If they let that one play to ruin, destroy their chances to win more championships, they are mental pussies…

          And can someone explain me what that 30/30 will be bananas means? 😁

          • Sea Mode


          • Henry Taylor

            ESPN 30 for 30 is a sports documentary series, if you’re interested in Pete Carrol’s football history the one on his time at USC is excellent.

          • millhouse-serbia

            Tnx both.

        • Submanjoe

          Dougs act did get old. Kam, 🤷‍♂️ It’s just too bad the injury ended his career. I think those guys from that team, a lot of them need / needed to find some closure/peace/understanding with that loss and how it “happened”. Just pick yourself up dust yourself off and start over come on! Really, though, man Brady torched em in this short underneath take what Seattle’s D will give you and the Patriots won, Seattle’s defense didn’t do great getting off the field. Wilson threw the ball like 21 times which is crazy low. It’s over, get over it, they all got their whole lives ahead….

          • AlaskaHawk

            What’s eating Chancellor and Sherman too probably, is the offense messed up, but it was the defense that lost the Superbowl. Which is understandable when both Lane and Avril were injured in that game. Why not blame Pete Carroll for not carrying another cornerback in reserve? They were only facing one of the greatest passing teams around, but n spare cornerback?

            • Submanjoe

              I knew someone would bring up Avril and Lane injuries! Tharold Simon to the rescue! Unfortunately he wasn’t up to his opportunity.

            • Jason

              Wasn’t there a corner that everyone thought should have been on the roster for that game? I can’t remember who….

          • Andy Muhs - Hawks4Ever

            If I remember it clearly we also lost Cliff Avril to a concussion and we stopped bringing the heat like in the first half and with the lack of pressure in the second half Brady dink and dunked us to death. It was like dying a slow death. I do remember thinking that I was proud of the Seahawks for putting players health first though. Because Edelman looked like he had a worse concussion and the Patriots put him out there in the second half, f the Patriots!

          • Andy J

            There was a reason Kam referenced Doug Baldwin in that piece. Much like Marshawn, he was the stick that stirred the offense. He completed the circle. Everyone hates “telling the truth” in this current Hawk team… too afraid of ruffling feathers. Doug didn’t need to talk about it, he WAS about it. He can pop off online because he earned the right. Just like when he called out Deion and the rest of the media. We need more folks like Doug on our team right now. We need more folks like Doug popping off online until someone goes out there and shuts him up.

        • BC_Hawk

          Agree 100%….let it go! In the end it was a call with poor execution by the Hawks, and excellent execution by the Pats with a little intel. The pass 99% of the time goes incomplete, clock stops, one timeout; all the options. In the end, had it work, people would praise Pete for having the balls to call that play .

          Much like Earl, this is just giving people soap boxes 7 years later.

          • God of Thunder

            Well said.

  36. Julian Langdon

    I love these games!

    I’m with you on so much of this Rob, but with trading Jamal Adams and KJ Wright a free agent, trading Bobby Wagner would be taking too much leadership, experience and proven ability from the defence.
    I think Bobby will still have value for a trade after next season, when a team could extend him for another season or two to lower his 2022 cap hit. If he can stay healthy he could play well in his position until he’s 34 or 35 y/o.

    Address needs in free agency is the consensus. So to create cap space I would unfortunately move on from Jarren Reed. I would invest this Cap in Guard Joe Thuney rather than Brandon Scherff. He’s a good player but significantly he can also play Center, which would allow flexibility in the draft to pick a Guard or Center dependent on best player available. Being able to adapt our pick on the OL later on day 2 means the Seahawks can be more aggressive perhaps trading up with an earlier pick. I’d look at a skill player who’d do well in the new offensive scheme (Javonte Williams, Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, a starting slot receiver). As an aside if Jermar Jefferson of Oregan State is still in the draft in Rds 6 or 7, he should be taken even if as a second RB picked.

    So with a hypothetical Jamal Adams trade there’d still be a first round pick! Looking at 2022 it could very well be the case that the team won’t have Bobby Wagner or KJ Wright and certainly if KJ is gone this year, incredibly I’d be looking at taking another Linebacker early in the 2021 draft. Though this time a OLB, with length, who can rush the passer. As such and assuming the Seahawks are not picking in the top 15, a player such as Joseph Ossai of Texas would be a very good fit?

  37. Bankhawk

    I’ve only seen a few clips, but sure like what I’ve seen. What do folks think about VA Tech SS Divine Diabolo
    What is a realistic niche for him as far as draft position?

  38. GoHawksDani

    Good article!
    I might have missed it but how would you replace both WILL and SAM?
    Do you really start Cody Barton?
    Brooks + Barton could mean MIKE and WILL, but who’s your SAM?
    Are you OK with the CB depth? Sherm (who is often injured), Reed, Flowers and I guess Amadi?
    If Sherm goes down it’s a pretty awful group
    You wrote that hunt bargain on D. But are you satisfied with the DL? Or if not, is it possible to hunt bargain for a good starting DE? I know…Dunlap…but do players like him and opportunities exist that frequently?

    I think we’re OK at safety. Blair can play both positions, we have Amadi as backup, Diggs is solid, Neal played pretty well last year… So I’d be content to roll with Diggs and Blair or Neal (competition)

    I think we need an LB from somewhere if we move on from KJ and BWagz also. Brooks looks like a solid starter, but I don’t trust either Cody or BBK and not sure about depth either. I’d hunt either a bargain OK level FA or a rookie in R3 probably (Cody, rookie, BBK and rest of the roster could compete for WILL and SAM)

    I really dislike our CB group. Reed played well, but could be 1st year miracle (with the team). Flowers is NOT good. Shaq is mediocre at best and an FA. Depth is almost non-existent. I want hungry youth there. If Sherm willing to come back cheap it’s great. But I’d attack the CB group in the draft too. Get me 2 or 3 guys. One early (R1/R2) and 1-2 late (R4-R7)

    I’d like to see addition to the DL too. We could use deeper rotation at DT and maybe a good DE also. But lets hope Taylor can play and will be good next year, or maybe they let Robinson play more. So I’d shoot for DT in the draft probably around R4-R5

    For the Offense, I like Scherff, you sold him to me. For the C…I might push this to one year later. I’d try to sign a quality vet but if the price is too high, I might keep Pocic. Not the best solution, but I need the draft mostly for the D and CAP is limited.

    I’m not too happy about our WR corp, especially WR3, WR4…but with sooo limited resources, I might trust Swain or other less played guys to step up and attack this issue next year also.

    I’d love a quality TE. Ravens, Chiefs, and some other teams are ridiculously good using them, and it’s almost free yardage. If they can incorporate TE plays better, shoot for Everett or a rookie, I’m in…but it depends on Russ and the new OC

    I agree that we need better RB play. But again…I might push this to next year, and try my luck in FA maybe some better RBs need to take lower contracts because of the CAP situation. Or if not, I’d try to bring back CC. If it’s too much, I’d be fine with Davis, Penny and Dallas (and maybe an R5-R6 rookie) and go big next year.

    So all in all, I’d go heavy on D in the draft, pick some positions in FA that can elevate the team (LG, MAYBE CB, TE, C, RB…if the price is right for them)

    • Rob Staton

      Do you really start Cody Barton?

      They traded up for him.

      who’s your SAM?

      I’m not worrying about that. I’ll find a cheap SAM.

      Are you OK with the CB depth? Sherm (who is often injured), Reed, Flowers and I guess Amadi?

      That’s pretty much what we had in 2020. But they could draft or sign another.

      are you satisfied with the DL? Or if not, is it possible to hunt bargain for a good starting DE?


      I might keep Pocic. Not the best solution, but I need the draft mostly for the D and CAP is limited.

      He was poor, they need an upgrade.

      I agree that we need better RB play. But again…I might push this to next year, and try my luck in FA maybe some better RBs need to take lower contracts because of the CAP situation. Or if not, I’d try to bring back CC. If it’s too much, I’d be fine with Davis, Penny and Dallas (and maybe an R5-R6 rookie) and go big next year.

      They need to be better at RB.

      • Mick

        OK, they traded up for Barton, but if we admit Adams was a mistake, we also admit trading up for him was not justified by his games. I don’t think the D has any shot with Barton as first option, even Kendricks might be a better alternative. If we let Bobby and KJ go, and hopefully also Irvin, we need to upgrade LB via FA or draft. But you’re right, there seem to be cheap solutions.

        • Rob Staton

          The two situations are totally different. The whole purpose of trading Adams is to avoid paying a massive contract and getting back in the draft.

      • Spencer Duncan

        In regards to the DL, seems the Seahawks have invested a lot at DE now and there is a lot of competition there. There isn’t a lot of proven players, but they all have pedigree and draft pick status. Between Dunlap, Taylor, Robinson, Green, and Collier – there may not be space for another player unless its a non-doubt high impact or high draft pick that will undoubtedly move everyone else down. At DT, we have Reed, Ford (assuming his tendered) and Mone who all looked terrific. Adding another cheap McDaniel veteran or a later draft pick would be all we need there.

        DL was the focus last offseason, OL is the way to go this year.

  39. GerryG

    100% agreement in the plan.

    Paying $ to KJ again, any Safety >15M, and a MLB 17-20M is just bad roster management. Even if you justify by saying “they are the best at their position” it still doesnt matter to me, because I dont, and wont ever believe they are the most critical positions on the field.

    The Rams have their coming issues with the cap, and lack of draft resources, but at least their massive amount $/cap% is spent on a player that dominates the LOS and takes over games, and a player that literally erases 1/3 to 1/2 of the field and can remove the best players in the game from having an impact.

    Bobby Wagner and Jamal Adams will never alter a gameplan aside from accounting for the Adams blitz.

  40. bmseattle

    Funny… I read through the article and couldn’t find the section where he explains his holdout.

    • bmseattle

      oops… meant to respond to the discussion of the Kam article, above.

    • Rob Staton

      🔥 🔥 🔥

    • Sea Mode

      username checks out

  41. Chris

    Overall I agree with just about everything you said, including the continued commitment to repeating the biggest thing separating us from reg season wins, and playoff wins. The OFFENSIVE LINE.

    However, I do need to point out, specifically towards the Penny pick. The only real difference I think is the fact that yes it took Penny a bit of time to get integrated, he’s never had a good OLine, and Chubb has, also the fact that Penny and Chubb were really not that different prospect wise, and Chubb had injury red flags coming out of school, Penny had 0 injuries in college. I think where the two are today is mostly due to Chubb being mostly healthy since being drafted, and Penny having injuries. When you look at their medical past, you would have thought it would be the other way around.

    I agree 100% on McDowell though, if they weren’t going to take Watt, they ABSOLUTELY should have knowing his pedigree and production in school, they completely whiffed on passing on Budda, hometown kid, star in college, production, combine performance, AND they needed a safety that year badly. I would assume they probably already knew Earl wasn’t getting a new deal, and left Budda on the table. That was a critical mistake because it then forced them to draft Blair to make up for Tedric/Hill and they could have drafted a corner/IOL that pick instead which they now desperately need this year.

    • Sea Mode

      We’ve been through this before, but just to explain. (although every word I type about Chubb just fills me with regret):

      When you look at their medical past, you would have thought it would be the other way around.

      Exactly the opposite is true, in my opinion.

      Chubb had one freak injury, from which he came back and had two 1000+ yds seasons in the SEC. This was proof not only of grit and overcoming adversity, but that his body is built to withstand the rigors of a heavy workload at the NFL level and bounce back in case of injury.

      Penny, on the other hand, only had one season of carries in a soft conference. This proves very little as far as whether his body could handle a heavy workload at the NFL level or bounce back in the case of a serious injury (which has been his lot).

      Penny and Chubb were really not that different prospect wise

      Hard disagree on that one.

    • Rob Staton

      Penny and Chubb were really not that different prospect wise, and Chubb had injury red flags coming out of school, Penny had 0 injuries in college.

      Penny also had only one season as the starter, at San Diego State which is a school where a 5-8, 176lbs running back set the NCAA rushing record the previous year.

      Chubb was a multi-year starter in the SEC and played for two full seasons after his injury, leading Georgia to the Championship game in his final season.

      There was a stark difference between the two and physically — Chubb was much more aligned with their physical ideal.

      • Rob4q

        I wonder if the thought process when they drafted Penny was that they already had Carson, who is more of a physical runner. Penny would be the dynamic, home run threat to go with the physical Carson? Thunder and lightning so to speak…

        • Rob Staton

          Carson, at that point, had played four games for the Seahawks and was coming off a broken leg.

          I doubt they took a first round RB with the idea he would simply be the lightning to a player in that situation.

  42. UkAlex6674

    Rob I know my comments irk you sometimes and I do tend to poke the bear, but the posts you have put out of late are truly first class. Your draft coverage is excellent and I really enjoy it.

    • Rob Staton

      Your posts don’t irk me. I just didn’t appreciate the regular and unnecessary digs in the Seahawks UK group simply because you didn’t agree with my opinion on certain topics during the season.

  43. Ok

    I’d run thru a wall for Rob’s plan.
    I was very morose with the playoff loss, the circumstances around Schotty leaving, and what felt like was an inevitable ‘running it back’ strategy incoming. I completely agree with Rob’s well thought out and expressed take. I am cynical, and feel like Pete is too sentimental, and that he will bring Bobby and Kj back, which feels like setting the table for another wasted year.
    Adams isn’t it, for this system, and I really hope they trade him, anything after a high second would be great, but I’d argue that unless the team is being completely reformed around him, cutting him would be preferable to extending him.
    Thanks for the great piece.

    • Sea Mode

      I’d run thru a wall for Rob’s plan.

      Even after we trade you to FieldGulls… 😜

      • Rob Staton

        I reject the trade

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks — and you’re right. I just don’t think ‘Adams is it’ either. Everyone’s caught up on them making the splash. It’s better to be honest about a situation though than compound it. Spending $18-20m a year on Adams isn’t worth it.

  44. cha

    Jan 30
    Highest Single-Season Dead Cap Hit Taken On by a Team

    2021: J. Goff, LAR, $22.2M
    2020: B. Cooks, LAR, $21.8M
    2019: A. Brown, PIT, $21.2M
    2021: M. Stafford, DET, $19M
    2010: J. Russell, $18.9M

  45. Rob Staton

    Impressive guy.

    Not surprised his defense kicked our arse in the playoffs.

    I’m glad the Chiefs aren’t going to get an easy ride in their division.

    • Henry Taylor

      Completely agree, despite the editing being a little cringe.

      Staley reminds me of the Brian Flores hire (one of my fav coaches in the league right now), for a guy to rise so rapidly through the ranks, especially as a defensive coach, really speaks volumes to how impressive he must be. The endorsement of all the all the elite players he’s coached is a big deal as well, plus the way he talks about being coach is just so much more endearing to me than the old “we’re gonna bite your kneecaps” type.

      • Hoggs41

        Funny in the beginning with him telling his son to shorten his stroke. Coaches always coach as they just cant help themselves. He is very impressive.

  46. McZ

    My plan would be slightly different. Always fun playing with the Spotrac roster manager.

    Traded Jamal Adams (SEA) (Saved: $9,860,000) MIA, #36
    Traded Tyler Lockett (SEA) (Saved: $11,500,000) TEN, #26
    Traded Bobby Wagner (SEA) (Saved: $9,650,000) NYJ, #66
    Released Tre Flowers (Saved: $920,000)
    Restructured Jason Myers (Saved: $1,180,000)

    Capspace: $36.7m
    Picks: 1x R1, 2x R2, R3, R4, R5, (??) R7

    #26 Jeremiah Owosu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
    #36 Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
    Trade TB #56 + #154 –> #63 + #94
    #63 Josh Myers, C, Ohio State
    #66 D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan
    #94 Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
    #123 Elerson Smith, Edge, Northern Iowa
    #186 Israel Mukuamu, CB, South Carolina
    (??) #217 Jonathon Cooper, Edge, Ohio State
    UDFA Dax Milne, WR, BYU
    UDFA Cole van Lanen, OT, Wisconsin
    UDFA Brady Breeze, S, Oregon

    Free agency
    FA Romeo Okwara, DE, DET 4yrs, $50m, $9m in 2021
    FA Poona Ford, DT, SEA 3yrs, $18m, $4m in 2021
    FA Isaac Rochell, DT, LAC 3yrs, $16m, $4m in 2021
    FA Brandon Scherff, LG, WFT 3yrs, $45m, $12m in 2021

    Then work the contracts, to create some space for practice squad and opportunity signings.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t see any way you’re getting a R1 for Lockett.

      And I don’t see why anyone would want to make life so much harder for the QB, by taking away the WR he has the best chemistry and history with in his career.

      • McZ

        Between Lockett and Adams should be a first rounder and a second rounder. Even if it’s two second rounders, the plan will still work. In fact, it would work without trading Lockett. I just want that ND-kid, because I’m not sold on Cody Barton taking over for KJ Wright.

        I’m not interested in single player discussions. If we want to win, we need to fix the lines.

        My 2021 DL is: Dunlap – Reed – Ford – Okwara, depth Rochell, Cooper, Elerson Smith and the other crapshots.
        My 2021 OL is: Brown – Scherff – Myers – Lewis – Shell, depth Van Lanen, Jamaica Jones and Phil Haynes

        We’ll have a well blocking young TE, a monster RB, two valid new WRs, and a CB, who is falling down the boards, but looks like a prototype Seahawk to me.

        So, to me, Lockett above all is replaceable. And will be replaced by Eskridge and Milne. Plus, I expect WR to be the position offering the best opportunities for an opportunity signing.

        Will Wilson have to adjust? Awwh yezzz. He will be forced to make extra hours and concentrate on football. That’s a good thing to have.

        • Rob Staton

          I’m not sold on Barton too. But I’m equally thinking the decisive difference between success and failure will probably not be your WILL.

          And if it’s that much of an issue, just sign or draft some competition on the cheap.

          I’m getting a bit tired of the trade Lockett & Metcalf stuff to be honest. The key to success for Seattle is not to trade away either of Wilson’s only two good weapons. You need to add weapons not subtract.

          • McZ

            Well, those two players are pretty much the last marketable equipment in place, and somethings gotta give.

            And I’m also not sold on Brooks and Blair. Brooks was awful in coverage. Did Blair actually play?

            So, we can agree, we don’t trade Lockett. So, no Owosu-Koramoah, and also $10m less to spend. This will eat into other FA signings, and RW will still not be required to accept more than his three buddies and work the extra hours.

            Finally, those outside route bombs were sparse in second half of the season.

            • Rob Staton

              Well, those two players are pretty much the last marketable equipment in place, and somethings gotta give.

              Adams, Wagner.

              And I’m also not sold on Brooks and Blair. Brooks was awful in coverage. Did Blair actually play?

              I’m not sold either. But they drafted them early for a reason. They have to back those judgements and try to develop them now.

              So, no Owosu-Koramoah

              You aint getting him unless you’re picking in the top-15 anyway.

  47. AlaskaHawk

    I’ve always bitched about the yearly rotation of players on the offensive line – so I’m in favor of using whatever methods necessary to lock that line down with some quality players. Just speaking in general, I don’t think they should be paying any of the current players more than 15 million a year , with the exception of Russell Wilson.

    They need a left guard and a center. Brandon Sherff would be a great choice because of his consistent great performance. Though he does come at a cost. Assuming they hire for one position and draft for the other, the biggest risk is in that draft pick. I’m feeling a little more confident in Pete drafting the right guy after they picked Brooks and Lewis last year. Also drafting or finding another running back, there are guys looking for a job in that 2-4 million range.

    It kind of leaves the defense hanging out there, but so what? Draft a running back and two cornerbacks, and your good to go. Maybe they can find another cheap DT like Poona Ford or a mid rounds linebacker. And yes I would resign Poona. I personally don’t think Flowers should be on this team.

  48. Forrest


    I was thinking the exact same thing on Wagner and Adams and was willing to go there if you weren’t. The depth behind Adams is there and you can pay anyone to be a fifth rushers who gets a free run at the QB. Better yet, you should disguise this blitzer and come from multiple positions and angles to keep the offense guessing. …and if you got home with four like Pete likes, you don’t need to blitz all the time.

    On Wagner, he’s too expensive. Period! Leave Brooks where he can use his speed and coverage ability outside. Then find a young hungry downhill middle LB to attack the run game at the LOS.
    Let KJ walk. He played well this year and you got more than you thought. But, you need more speed at LB as witnessed last year in the Rams games. Pete has been wanting to get faster at LB and Brooks was only the first piece. Get another OLB with speed, side to side range and coverage ability. This will also allow you to blitz your OLBs from either side to add more disguise and confusion for the offense.

    This is the year to…be patient! There will be a LOT of quality veterans who get cut and the money will dry up fast. Get your trades done ASAP. Then wait, sit back and let the market come to you. Once Dunlap sees how many Veteran DEs are getting cut, restructure and extend him. Then go fishing! This is the year to lock up long term contracts before the cap goes back up. There will be deals to be had at every position. Sign a veteran press corner. I would sign Griffin if he doesn’t land the deal he’s seeking. But, only to a 2 year deal. He looked, frankly, “fat” at times over the past two years and doesn’t grade well enough to justify how he talks. I don’t trust him on a long-term deal. Find a bad ass left guard. I disagree with spending $15 million on a left guard. Give me a 32 year old who gets cut on a modest 2 year deal. Same for Center. I want a proven veteran road grader who’s excited to be on a contending team with veteran experience. But, I’m not overpaying. Same for Center. Give me an Alex Mack on a one year deal.

    In the draft, get me a starting RB and a LG and C of the future with the picks you got for Wagner, Adams and you own #2 (something like Javonte Williams, Creed Humphrey and Ben Cleveland). Lewis was the exception. It takes a year to grow into an NFL lineman. Let Alex Mack and a badass veteran LG on short term contracts team the young hungry guys as they grow.

    In the rest of the draft, find me a developmental CB. Take a look at Israel Mukuamu and tell me he doesn’t look like a Seahawk. Teach him the kick slide to hide his speed flaws and let him press off the line, use his length to get INTs and his size to stop the run and WR screens. We take safeties and develop them to be corners. Here’s a corner who doesn’t need to go to safety. Develop him there and get him later in the draft as other teams worry about his speed. I’d also like a speedy slot WR. I get your thought on John Ross. But, I’m looking to get that out of a draft pick like Shi Smith. He’s not a prime DeSean Jackson. But could he be your version of Scotty Miller?

    But wait, we still have all the Wagner, Adams and Dunlap’s (restructured) cap room and we’ve only signed an older veteran LG and C on short deals and found a short term veteran press corner. That’s right. We’re using $10 million to land a stud DE who gets cut (ideally to a three year deal). Now we have Bennett and Avril coming off the edge to get home with four. We also sign a downhill MLB who gets cut and can compete for that spot.

    Now you’re young, hungry and get the Seahawks way with quality depth for years to come.

    • McZ

      We can only extend Dunlap, we cannot restructure him.

      • cha

        You can do both if you extend him.

        • McZ

          Nice in theory, but in practice this guy swallows 8% of cap space and will be 33 at the end of his current contract. I’m not inclined to say, he is part of our long time plan.

          He is a 2021 patch. If we expect more than that for a whopping $14m, we have to trade or cut him.

          • Rob Staton

            Given how much money Seattle would have in 22/23 if they trade Wagner and Adams, I am comfortable adding two years to his deal to lower the year-one cap hit.

            • McZ

              We have zero leverage on this guy. Why should he risk loosing money? He has a clear path to $14m, everything beyond age 33 is fuzzy.

              • Rob Staton

                Lowering his cap hit this year doesn’t mean he loses money.

  49. jujus

    Think the Jags would be interested in Bobby for a 2nd and a 4th?

    • Mick

      My bet is on the Jets (Saleh) or Cowboys (Quinn).

    • Rob Staton

      Maybe. Think they are sorted at LB though

    • Rohan Raman

      I also think the Bengals would at least consider a R3 and R4 (or even their R2, although that’s much less likely) for BWagz. They have been terrible at the LB position and are flush with the cap space to make it happen. They’d inherit his 19.2 mil cap hit, but would still have 14 mil to spend in FA. Plus they can actually save $14.5 million by cutting Bobby Hart, BJ Finney and CJ Uzomah (three players who do nothing for them anyways). They can then release Geno Atkins after June 1st and save an additional $12.5 million, which is not unlikely considering his age and injury history.

      In short, they can inherit Wagner’s contract and still have $41 million to spend in FA.

  50. Happy Hawk

    Great article and thought provoking content Rob! The one thing not addressed in your plan was the result or outcome of it. What do we realistically think the Seahawks record would be if we executed this plan to a tee? Playoff team?

    I think if we are going to follow this plan and dump 2/3 of the starters from last year on defense and reboot with cheap FA and unproven prospects we would need a new Defensive Coordinator to fire up the young bad ass group.

  51. Trevor

    Rob I love the plan and I think it is both a realistic and doable option.

    So tired of good but never great teams. It is like being stuck in permanent limbo. Both John and Pete are signed long term now I would prefer the completely blow things up and trade Russ as well. Go through a major roster churn like they did on the original build and use Russ, Bobby, Adam’s and whatever other vets you can trade to get maximum draft capital and cap space with the idea of being an SB contender in 3 years.

    Whichever team misses out of Watson (Jets or Dolphins) will have the cap and draft capital to pay a kings ransom for Russ.

    Go full rebuild staring with studs in the trenches and finding a young dynamic QB on a rookie deal. It is a far better fit for what Pete wants as a coach that having Russ and the drama / mega contract he both has and will want.

    • Happy Hawk

      That is the Mariners approach trade all veteran talent for prospects. Apparently the Rams are going at this from a different direction = trade all draft capital for talent and win now. It will be interesting to see which way produces the best results.

  52. cha

    Couple old friends resurfacing

    Ian Rapoport
    The #Saints are adding a big-time name on their defensive staff, as sources say they’ll hire former #Seahawks DC and #Cowboys assistant Kris Richard as their new secondary coach. He fills the spot previously held by Aaron Glenn in Dennis Allen’s defense.
    10:10 AM · Feb 2, 2021

    Tom Pelissero
    The #Jets are adding two more experienced coaches on defense, hiring Marquand Manuel as safeties coach and Tony Oden as senior defensive assistant/cornerbacks coach, per sources. Manuel worked with Robert Saleh in Seattle and Oden was the #49ers DBs coach under Saleh last year.
    10:06 AM · Feb 2, 2021

    • GerryG

      I must have missed the memo about Kris Richard being a “big-time” name.

  53. Robert

    Seven years ago today the Seahawks won Super Bowl 48.

    • MyChestisBeastMode

      Damn. I remember it so vividly.

    • BobbyK

      Such a great memory. I remember the Sherman tip in the NFC Championship Game and thinking, “This is going to spark a dynasty,” in similar fashion to “The Catch.” Then they chose not to give the ball to Marshawn and put the world in the hands of Ricardo Lockette. Any chance of a dynasty died. Players started getting too big for their britches, bridges were burned and fingers pointed, and it slowly crumbled down.

      Now Pete has lost his long-term vision and they only care about “competing” here and now all the time with no big picture/future in mind. Now we’re stuck with no picks and not much money for a roster in need of an infusion of talent. A good enough team with no realistic chance to win the Super Bowl.

      • TomLPDX

        And his short-term memory as well…

  54. AlaskaHawk

    Brian Schottenheimer will be joining the Jaguars coaching staff for the 2021 season. He will be the team’s passing game coordinator and quarterback coach.

    That sets Schottenheimer up to play a big role in developing first overall pick Trevor Lawrence at the professional level.

    Who knew he was so good at drawing up pass plays? If only the Seahawks could find someone like him – har.

  55. SonGoku

    What do you think of Jabril Cox as a possible Rd 3 target?
    And what about Carl Lawson as a free agent acquisition?

    • Rob Staton

      Lawson will be expensive I think.

      • SonGoku

        Could Kwon Alexander be cut by the Saints?

        • Rob Staton


  56. 206

    Russell is appearing on the Herd sometime this week, curious to see what he says…

    • Volume12

      Nothing. Colin will try to push the narrative his sources feed him. Russ won’t play ball.

      • Rob Staton

        Do you realise that Russ is Colin’s ‘sources’?

    • Volume12

      It was like when Greg Olsen was on last week. Colin tried & Olsen gave the right answer. It’s the NFL. Teams aren’t dumb. They adapted to what Seattle was doing. I know that’s not a sexy answer, but it’s the truth.

  57. millhouse-serbia

    Waldron has presser at 12pm Seattle time.

    • uptop

      Where can we watch it?

  58. Sean

    I like the idea of trading Wagner and Adams to shift resources elsewhere. But what about the defensive line. It was the big need last off-season and did not get addressed. We added Dunlap and had some improvement the last half of the year, but it still seems like a weak link. A weak pass rush and Cody Barton at LB seems like a serious Achilles heel, even if we have decent to good DBs.

    Would it make more sense to recommit to the trenches in a more balanced way?

    • Rob Staton

      I think they’ve kind of made their bed with Dunlap, Reed and Ford. I would like one more you can really trust to get after it but I want an OL upgrade first.

  59. millhouse-serbia

    We have only 19 players under contract for 2022. Only 2 players that were drafted by Seahawks before 2019 (Bobby and Russ).

    • millhouse-serbia

      We will see will there be players from 2017 (re signing this off season) and 2018 (next off season). But there are good chances they dont re sign anyone from 2017, and from 2018 maybe only Dickson.

  60. Big Mike

    Love your plan Rob, especially the trade Adams part which I’ve made abundantly clear I badly want to see happen.
    A couple of quibbles:
    One, I have some doubts that anyone will take on Bobby’s salary. Guessing Seattle would have to agree to pay part of it. Maybe if the price was only a 4th.
    And two, PLEASE no Barton starting! He’s a fine ST player, maybe our best but he’s not NFL starter quality. A draftee or FA acquisition would be necessary imo.

    • Rob Staton

      I think plenty of teams with the cap space would accommodate a really good player like BW

  61. Hawkdawg

    I agree with the main premise of this–we aren’t Championship good, and in fact really aren’t even 12-4 good. Incremental change is not going to get us materially better than we are.

    As to the plan to get there, I think the two least likely things proposed here are trading Wagner and Adams, and yet without those trades most of the rest of the stuff cannot happen. I think they are unlikely not because they are bad ideas, but because I don’t think Pete has it in him to pull the trigger on either of them. His hire of Waldron indicates that he is still willing to do things that aren’t comfortable and familiar to him, but trading those two would be a whole ‘nother level. I suppose we’ll find out.

    I would love Najee Harris, and that center sounds great, as does Scherff. Thinking it makes sense to let KJ walk, if he wants the kind of money he made last year. He deserves it, but it’s a burden and risk we probably should not take on. Same with Griffin, for different reasons–he’s young, decent and a CB, and is therefore going to be bigger bucks than we want to spend. Sherm would be great, with Reed on the other side, depending on cost. Would like to see what Blair could do at SS.

    Fun stuff to dream about, but it will depend on whether the Hawks face up to their recent record in the play-offs and act accordingly.

    • Rob Staton

      The thing is, if you’re not willing to trade Adams and/or Wagner, you have $200,000 to spend.

      Unless you’re cutting Carlos Dunlap to sign seven $2m players.

      Even if you extend him, you don’t free up much room. Ditto the other guys.

      Some kind of big move is required simply to be able to function.

      • Hawkdawg

        You are correct. Just concerned Pete won’t do it.

        • Scot04

          After what they did last year with 50M and good draft capital it’s scary to think what they would do with neither.
          Logically they would do something similar to what Rob is proposing; sadly last year the offseason made 0 sense.
          My concern is Carroll being content with what we already have. If that’s the case and they go back to the old playoff format, i could see us missing the playoffs.
          I don’t see many choices other than starting with a trade of Adams, but who knows what Carroll is thinking.

          • Big Mike

            I believe it’s 17 games next year and same playoff format Scot

  62. Sea Mode

    🎵 to my👂👂!!

    Gregg Bell

    New #Seahawks play caller Shane Waldron: “Balance doesn’t mean conservative.”

    • Sea Mode

      If this is for real and not just lip service, I’m stoked:

      Gregg Bell

      New #Seahawks play caller Shane Waldron on his autonomy: “I talked to Pete about this…I feel like I’m walking into a great scenario” and that Carroll supports what he wants to do. “It will be through my direction that this offense is run, with the support of Coach Carroll.”

      • charlietheunicorn

        “Attacking mindset” stood out to me.
        “Use everyone’s strengths” also stood out during what I heard of the press conference.

  63. millhouse-serbia

    Dont know if this is true, but its interesting:

  64. RWIII

    No doubt John Schneider has tough decisions this off season. Because of BOTH the lack of salary cap/lack of draft picks. But if you remember two years ago Schneider also was in a tough situation. Everyone was talking about the pending free agents of Russell Wilson, Frank Clark, Bobby Wagner and Jarran Reed. Plus they only had four draft picks. Before it was all said and done. Schneider was able to resign Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner and Jarran Reed. Schneider traded Frank Clark for a 1st round pick in 2019 and a 2nd round pick in 2020. And Seattle went from 4 picks to 11 draft picks. Let’s see what happens this off season.

    • Rob Staton

      Reed was not re-signed, just Wilson and Wagner.

      They traded Clark.

    • BobbyK

      Before we pity Schneider for having tough decisions, lets not forget it’s his fault they’re in this crappy situation. Nobody forced him to mortgage the future for a strong safety who will be demanding a kings ransom in the near future. He chose this (or was forced by Pete – either way, it happened) and now has to face the consequences.

      I’d much rather have Blair at SS going into next season with a #1 pick to get a RB and then be able to go OL in both the 2nd and 3rd. But, no. We have one singular pick in the first two days of the draft and a bum strong safety who can’t cover. Never mind not having a #1 pick again in 2022.

      • Big Mike

        “forced by Pete”
        That’s my opinion Bobby. None of us know for sure though.

      • millhouse-serbia

        a bum strong safety who can’t cover

        You allready know i dont know this game enough to make my own conclusions, but i think Brian Baldinger has enough knowlege to be trusted… Here is his response when somebody said Adams cant cover:

        I saw him cover receivers and tight ends yesterday and constantly was in good position

        You also have this great thread from Samuel Gold who is film analyst for TheAthleticSea:

  65. Bankhawk

    “You’re hesitant to make too many changes, because you fear the consequences.”
    Rob, that was one heck of an article! It was a lot to digest. If I took it point-by-point, my response would be just bullet points with check-marks after them. I concur with your’ what I would do’, pretty much right down the line, but I have a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach that the quote that I opened with is the current that is the more likely to carry the day when John and Pete actually ‘get down to it’ in coming weeks.
    I mean, to really go forward with such sweep would be to show almost the same boldness of ‘The Great Roster Churn’ that marked Pete’s first year with the organization! And that was a Pete who was 10 years younger, and the expectations at that time were so much more wide-open.
    Again, I get that you are presenting a hypothetical, and it’s one that I really, really like the drift-the thought and the inherent logic of. But I’m just afraid that we’ll see another off season of half-measures, hesitation, and worse still-panic moves. But I hope PC/JS dhow even half the grit, vision and determination represented in your piece!

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you!

  66. Hoggs41

    On another note for the other football fans, Southampton just got ran today. Dont see many 9-0 games and two red cards.

    • Rob Staton

      They lost 9-0 to Leicester last season too

  67. Paul Cook

    I’d be fine with your plan, Rob. Well thought out. Adding a couple of talented OLmen in FAcy and the draft is just about a no-brainer to me. Adding a talented RB in the draft is close to it for me as well. I just don’t trust the Carson/Penny combo, and we’re going to need a dynamic offense next year with quality blocking up front and weapons galore for RW. Funny thing is…we’re not that far away from it now. It’s doable.

    I think the TE situation will work itself out, and there will probably be some quality castoffs for obtaining that 3rd receiving threat this coming FAcy.

    As for the D, we must not forget that our D sucked donkey balls the first half of the season and we still managed to eke out a 6-2 record. Imagine us with a high-powered and more creative offense for the full year next year and a hungry D somewhere near the middle of the pack?

    If we moved on from Wagz and Adams to create CAP flexibility and draft capital, yeah, it’s possible we could create a bit better and certainly more consistent and balanced team than last year. It would certainly depend upon guys like Blair, Amadi, Diggs, DJ Reed, Brooks, Reed, Dunlap, and Ford being your core, and some luck filling out the rest.

    Anyway…nice though experiment. Appreciate.

  68. Simo

    What an excellent off-season plan Rob! Great job identifying that this team needs to get tougher, meaner, and nastier– kind of like they were in 2013/14 when they had consistently outstanding OL and DL play. It made everything else work so much better! The LB and LOB were dominant because the DL was so stout, and Marshawn ran wild due to the great OL play! I believe Russ even had more time to throw when he needed to.

    I’m sure it will be tough for Pete/John to part with Bobby if they choose to go that route, but he will always be a Seahawk no matter where he goes! I also think he has some value like you explained and sure wouldn’t mind getting a late R2 if possible.

    I honestly think trading Jamal isn’t as difficult, since he hasn’t been a Seahawk very long. Neither side should be to attached! He is still a dynamic player at a great age and should fetch a nice return, possibly better than we think.

    I’m not in the trade Russ camp though like some others are suggesting, he’s just to valuable to this team. And what are the alternatives really? Not very good IMO!

    I think they are going to have to extend/restructure a number of other players so they have enough cap room to maneuver.

    Lastly, I don’t expect Griffin, KJ, Irvin, Pocic, Iupati, Hollister, and maybe even Carson will be resigned. And it may be time to move on from all of these players and bring in some young, hungry replacements!

    Great job though, what an enjoyable read! Can’t wait to see what really happens!

    • Rob Staton


  69. Ashish

    Well summarized article and like personally like the plan to trade Adams and Bobby to create cap space and gain draft capital. I would keep KJ for sure if we are able to trade Bobby. Like idea of having Blair playing SS, Brooks as MLB and Ugo takes Nickel spot. I still fail to understand why we had let go Mike Davis, irrespective on what we do on running backs i will love to have him back.
    Yes invest heavy on DL and OL. Should start planning for Left Tackle may be in draft who can be backup and learn the scheme.
    Thank you Rob, it’s a banger.

  70. JimQ

    Interesting piece by Matt Waldman on WR-D’Wayne Eskridge – as a ++ passing play blocker.


    Waldman sort of comps him to Steve Smith & calls Eskridge a “punk”, in a good way (because he is kind of vocal, mean & nasty) in addition to being a ++ game wrecker, sounds like he could fit the Seahawks mentality and style pretty well.)

    • charlietheunicorn

      Sounds like a Raven player waiting to happen.

  71. Frank

    Your plan is based entirely around betting on Russell Wilson going back to his best and then some. He’s a nice player but is right on the bubble of being elite, without the skill set and mentality to quite pull it off. My fear has always been he’s just not a big game playoff winning guy. I started wholeheartedly in the belief that if you win in the trenches winning everywhere else is dramatically easier. So am very much in favor of most of the article, even begrudgingly Adams at a good price. I wasn’t a fan of the last purge of players needed to justify Wilson’s contract, although this time we are in need of more talent already.
    I’m not against your plan, and even if late season RW is just the new normal it’s at least the structure in place to move on in the future without having to play playground style football to survive playing QB for the Hawks. Mostly I just hope they have a plan and start stockpiling draft picks ahead, instead of squandering that cost control saving of having draft picks file your rooster. So much was said for the need of a blue chip addition, and we straight up just couldn’t figure out how to use him. I’m not sure how much injury had to do with the down year from Adams, or bad coaching, but it’s a tale of two players. Is Adams the guy he was ever other year since he’s been drafted, or, new system, injured Adams from last year? Is Russell late season and playoffs his normal, or can he recapture that year and a half span and join the elite tier?

    Why is no one asking about defensive coordinator, it was ugly last year until they abandoned trying to be a high powered offense. Why isn’t there a very rational fear that if RW gets the offense he want the defense will once again be a healthy amount below average? Ken Norton’s job was only saved bye taking the ball and game out of Wilson hands. Are we just going to wait for it to fail so we have something to talk about next year after a wild card loss?
    I’m a really big fan of what you laid out, prioritizing trenches, getting the guys we draft into the line up, avoiding back loaded contracts, and gaining speed and hunger in the defense. I might never have agreed more with you on anything:). Norton is a major problem though, and RW is still a question mark.

    • Rob Staton

      Your plan is based entirely around betting on Russell Wilson going back to his best and then some.

      I think, actually, that the plan is based entirely around making the most of your $35m investment in Wilson and helping him achieve his best form by giving him an O-line, a running game and another weapon.

  72. AlaskaHawk

    I like the plan but I think the weakest part is the assumption that the Seahawks can get alot by offloading Wagner. I don’t see any reason why other teams would take on his full salary. They can draft someone, or pay a lesser amount for a linebacker. The teams with the most money are probably the cheapest in their purchases. They may even ask for the Seahawks second round draft pick.

    What’s the least amount you think is reasonable to take for Wagner? At what point do you say it isn’t worth it?

    • Rob Staton

      I like the plan but I think the weakest part is the assumption that the Seahawks can get alot by offloading Wagner.

      Where did I say they could get a lot?

      And I laid out a reason why someone would take on his salary.

  73. Ok

    Maaaan this plan just makes too much sense. What will the first domino be to fall? Meaning what move will let us know which way things are going?

    • Sea Mode

      Adams or Wagner being traded.

  74. Andy J

    Don’t we free up $14 million in cap if we release Carlos Dunlap??? I’d bring him back, but only on a longer deal for less money. And even then, I don’t think we can assume he will be the savior for the defensive line.

    But it brings me to a larger point. Last year, the offseason needed investment in the DLine. One of Rob’s philosophic, and consistent points, is they never reinforced the DLine. What are we going to do there?? There doesn’t seem to be a plan in the above expose. Great piece though… loved it. My impression from the recent Draft 2021 analysis is that there’s some DT talent to be had. What about outside speed!? Or even just SPARQ stars?

    • Rob Staton

      If you release Dunlap, he might go somewhere else. And if you bring him back, how much less is he going to cost than $14m?

    • GoHawksDani

      Carlos Dunlap is like half our DL (the other half is Poona). Nobody did anything before he came on. Reed had some nice stats end of the year but only after Dunlap arrived.
      They should extend Dunlap by 2 more years, and reduce his CAP hit to something like 8-9m for next year. Give him a lower APY but solid GTD (like 11m APY 3 years 33m total, 18m GTD -> 8m/8 GTD, 12m/6m GTD, 13m/4m GTD). It’s a decent contract for an ageing DE, and I feel at this stage the GTDs are the more important for them. Even if he’d play only next year he could make 18m. Or if the Hawks want out after next year they’d only lose 4m dead cap. Not a record contract, but feels decent for both parties. And I doubt he could command more in FA.

      As for Reed, I’d extend him. Current cap hit would be 13,5m. I think a +3 year 15m APY (60m total, 25m GTD) would be solid for everyone. Something like: 9/9, 13/8, 15/5, 18/3.
      He’d have a good APY and a decent length contract with the usual GTD. Hawks could have an easy out for last year, but even before that they could trade/cut him and only lose 8m in dead cap.

      These two moves would create like 10,5m CAP space.

  75. charlietheunicorn

    No way this is going to happen. 0.5%.

    The trade all hinges on the possibility that Las Vegas receives a hefty sum for Carr. The report suggested “insiders” believe the Raiders could fetch two first-round picks in exchange for Carr.

    From the report:

    For that to happen, the Raiders would have to receive two first-round picks for Carr, which they would then package with their own first-rounders in 2021 and 2022 to present a compelling offer of four first-round picks to the Texans for Watson, who has reportedly asked be traded.

  76. DC

    I do believe Russ would be greatly aided by adding a ‘complete’ Center to the team. By that I mean someone physically capable of doing a great job while also having a great mind for the position. Russ was better off in the days when Unger was calling protections for him. It could be a veteran addition or a draft pick. Atlanta got the right guy in Mack & took off straight to the Super Bowl. Centers tend to have longevity in the league as well. If you sign the C in FA then draft the OG & vice versa.

    • Simo

      Completely agree, they need to add a top center. This may be one of the most under appreciated positions on a football team, but really important to the overall success of an offensive line, even the entire offense!

      I’m also on board with Rob’s plan to upgrade the LG position. Imagine what it would do for the entire team if they could somehow add two studs to the OL and get a whole lot nastier up front!

  77. Sea Mode

    Starting to catch up and catch on…

    • Rob Staton

      Yet so often behind…

  78. Sea Mode

    Stash him and hang on with Pocic until he’s ready to take over?

    • Rob Staton

      I’d rather move on from Pocic, personally, unless he’s really, really cheap.

      I just like the idea of a serious investment at center — either in terms of a high pick or a quality veteran.

      I’d be all over Landon Dickerson if he was healthy to be the guy but I fear his injury history.

    • BobbyK

      If they’re bringing Pocic back – it’d better be CHEAP and there better be a good/powerful LG next to him. You can’t have a dominant line if you have a marshmallow technician in the middle of your OL if he’s not surrounded by powerful BAMFs.

  79. Tree

    Interesting article, but I don’t see how that makes us better next year when presumably the draft is the weakest in terms of experienced players and evaluating who is good as it has ever been (roughly 2/5 of drafttable players did not play or play/practice enough to get as good as a normal year). I personally would not trade your best young defensive player who is an alpha and chess piece. Also, teams can find productive RBs cheap and with low draft picks or UFAs so I would rather go that route since we have to pinch pennies somewhere. That said, totally agree on other areas to reinforce and even trading Bobby if we got value in return. If we spend our first pick on OL and then sign a quality FA that may do the trick this year (next year is scary with no OTs but C and LG have to be addressed). Can we clear enough cap space through extensions (Jamal/Tyler/Reed/Shell as core members and Brown & Dunlap an extra year) to sign an OL, Mid priced TE, and WR 3 (I like the names Rob lists). If not, I would probably be in favor of trying to trade Reed than releasing Dunlap (although you need to lower that cap hit). We can typically find a vet at a decent price to be serviceable in the rotation with Poona and Mone. I think you can get enough inside pass rush with Collier, Green and Poona. Prioritizing (after trying to trade down) OL, CB, DT, and RB.

    • Rob Staton

      Interesting article, but I don’t see how that makes us better next year when presumably the draft is the weakest in terms of experienced players and evaluating who is good as it has ever been (roughly 2/5 of drafttable players did not play or play/practice enough to get as good as a normal year).

      I think this is an overstated issue. You don’t have to draft a player who didn’t play in 2020. For example, the players I am suggesting they draft with the top pick played full seasons.

      I personally would not trade your best young defensive player who is an alpha and chess piece.

      That’s not the point though, is it? The point is you’re going to have to pay a safety $18-20m a year who was ranked 45th best at his position last year according to PFF. He wasn’t so much a chess piece as a player who ran telegraphed blitzes, as I explained in my recent piece about Adams.

      Also, teams can find productive RBs cheap and with low draft picks or UFAs so I would rather go that route since we have to pinch pennies somewhere.

      How has that worked out for Seattle since Marshawn?

      Can we clear enough cap space through extensions (Jamal/Tyler/Reed/Shell as core members and Brown & Dunlap an extra year) to sign an OL, Mid priced TE, and WR 3 (I like the names Rob lists).

      If you extend Shell, you almost certainly won’t be lowering his $5m cap hit. Tyler Lockett will expect a salary at least similar to Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. They’re both on about $5m more a year than he currently is. So unless you want to pay him about $20m in 2022 or 2023 (or both) you won’t be able to lower his cap hit. Adams’ cap hit of $9m won’t lower by paying him $18-20m a year. Reed you can lower his cap hit quite easily with an extension but we’re talking about $3m ish at best.

      If not, I would probably be in favor of trying to trade Reed than releasing Dunlap (although you need to lower that cap hit).

      Decimating the defensive line is not the key to success.

      I think you can get enough inside pass rush with Collier, Green and Poona.

      You’re not getting any pass rush from them — inside, outside, in-between or upside-down.

  80. GoHawksDani

    What do you think Rob is the most likely time a bigger trade like Adams or Wagner would/could happen?
    I guess they’d like it to happen as much before the draft as possible so they can strategise their draft based on that. Late march (like 23-26th)? Or is it too soon?

    • BobbyK

      One think the start of the new league year when teams have their budgets and are ready to spend. It’s tough to trade an $18 million/year LB to someone on draft day when they don’t have that much money available.

  81. Rob Staton

    Big interview dropping today…

    • Gohawks5151

      Media guess: Daniel Jerimiah

      Player guess: Levi Onwuzurike

      • JJ

        He says it is big so I am assuming John Schneider. Anything less is a disappointment.

        • Rob Staton

          I would lower your expectations!

          • Big Mike

            Oh so Nate Carroll then?

            • Big Mike

              You said “lower”

      • Rob Staton


        • Big Mike


  82. millhouse-serbia

    Adams on contract negotiations.

    • Big Mike

      Oh thank heavens. I was afraid that it was he and Seattle negotiating an extension. Fortunately it isn’t so there’s still hope for a trade.

  83. Rob Staton

    Just interviewed….

    Mr. Quinn Meinerz.

    On the blog shortly.

    • Sea Mode


    • TomLPDX

      Sweet! Man, I wish we can somehow walk away from the draft with him as one of our picks.

    • Rohan Raman

      I believe the colloquial term for this is a “big W”.

    • Henry Taylor

      Awesome cant wait, did he have his belly out?

      • Rob Staton

        He did not…

        But it’s my favourite interview of the draft series so far.

    • Gohawks5151

      Don’t make me fall in love Rob….

  84. Scot04

    Stephen Sullivan to panthers. Another player Carroll said great things about after the season ended and how he was excited to see what he can do. Well Carroll will get the chance to see, only Sullivan will be doing it for Carolina. Is it wrong that i would rather have Sullivan and1st and a 3rd instead of Adams. If somehow they got Miami’s picks 18 & 81 this year for Adams I’d be thrilled.

    • TomLPDX

      Well, good for Sully. I loved that draft pick and really wish we could have kept him. I’ll be rooting for him as a Panther.

      • Scot04

        And to think he had more impact as a rookie DE than Taylor is just sad.

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