New podcast & priority order for the Seahawks

Check out this latest podcast as Brandan and I discuss the draft and the Seahawks in great detail…

Today I wanted to run through what I think the priorities are for the Seahawks leading into the combine and beyond.

1. Establish a connection with Jadeveon Clowney

It makes no sense to launch a defensive line rebuild by letting the best player leave in free agency. Clowney will be expensive but that’ll be the case for any free agent addition. The Seahawks know what they’re getting with Clowney and he deserves the opportunity to play on a Seattle D-line with some actual pass-rushing support.

Although technically not allowed, it’s well known teams and agents talk at the combine and this is where demand and value tends to be established. By the end of the combine and heading into free agency, the Seahawks should have a strong indication of what it’ll cost to keep him. Unless the price is ridiculously high (+$25m a year) that will be the moment to come to an agreement to make sure the Seahawks are adding and not subtracting at their biggest position of need.

2. Find the value in free agency

The combine will also present an opportunity to find out what some of the other free agents are going to be looking for. The Seahawks will have their targets set and ready by now so this is a chance to find out what is realistic when the market opens.

Is a player like Dante Fowler or Arik Armstead going to be reasonably priced? Who are the players open to a prove-it contract? Which players are going to be paid way beyond Seattle’s valuation?

The Seahawks should be able to streamline their priority target list at the combine.

3. Uncover the trade market

This is also an opportunity to speak to teams about who might be available. Trades usually don’t often happen overnight. They are drawn out. The Seahawks can touch base with teams and gather information.

This works hand in hand with the combine workouts, too. For example, if there aren’t many players possessing the traits Seattle needs, it might be more tempting to use pick #27 to add a veteran instead. Equally, if the Seahawks feel they won’t find solutions in free agency, they can compare the value of #27 versus adding a veteran via trade.

This is the type of off-season where the Seahawks are going to look at every option — free agency, trade and draft. They know this is the time to be aggressive and add to what they have. They need to add difference makers, much like they did in 2013 with Harvin, Bennett and Avril.

4. Find the players with traits

The Seahawks like to look for players with special qualities — such as unique size, length, speed, quickness, explosive power or agility. Not every pick works out (Christine Michael, Malik McDowell) but Seattle’s had a lot of success overall picking players with standout athletic qualities (Okung, Thomas, Tate, Irvin, Wagner, Clark, Lockett, Metcalf etc).

This is a year to aim high. To try and replicate the success of D.K. Metcalf’s rookie season. A player with obvious physical talent who, for whatever reason, drops into range.

The combine will provide a clear picture on who those players are. Some early front runners include:

Isaiah Wilson (T, Georgia)
An enormous offensive tackle with fantastic length and physical tools. The NFL will probably be higher on him than the media and he might be off the board by #27 — but if his decision to declare prematurely as a redshirt sophomore makes him available, he’s one to watch.

Brandon Aiyuk (WR, Arizona State)
Like Wilson, he’ll probably be graded higher by the league than the media. Aiyuk is truly dynamic with stunning acceleration and quickness. He’s a playmaker and the type that would really compliment what Seattle already has at receiver. Plus he has major special teams value.

Jalen Reagor (WR, TCU)
He’s incredibly fast but also has explosive power. He’s capable of running deep on a go-route to make chunk plays but he’s also a genuine threat in the red zone due to his leaping ability. Reagor has special qualities and like all of the receivers in this list will have a terrific combine.

Henry Ruggs (WR, Alabama)
People have been predicting he’ll run a 4.2 since last summer and it shows on tape. Teams are always going to have to account for Ruggs with extra safety attention simply due to his game-breaking speed. There’s every chance he’ll go in the top-15 but if he lasts, he has the game-changing athleticism they need.

K.J. Hamler (WR, Penn State)
Hamler is diminutive but seems to have long arms despite his lack of height. He’s a dynamic playmaker with the ball and shows tremendous ability to dart beyond defender’s and turn a good play into a great play. He can also get downfield and provides special teams value.

Raekwon Davis (DT, Alabama)
There simply aren’t many 6-7, 315lbs defensive linemen who look like Davis. He’s a chiselled athlete who has the frame of Calais Campbell. His stats at Alabama have been poor the last two years but there’s just so much potential. If he lasts to #27 you’d be taking a gamble on improved production but his ceiling is elite.

There are others I could mention. J.K. Dobbins will probably have all the traits Seattle loves in a running back but I think it’s unlikely they target that position early.

5. Add good players

Having established what the free agent market will look like, the trade options and received information on the draft prospects at the combine — it’s time to do business. The top priority will be to improve the pass rush and the defensive line. The second priority will be to add a tight end.

Austin Hooper is reliable, consistent and has the size, length and agility testing they like at the position. He could be their big offensive splash in free agency. What they do defensively is less clear. We know who is likely to be available, who will almost certainly be tagged (Chris Jones, Yannick Ngakoue) and who might be available via trade (Calais Campbell? Everson Griffen?).

The key will be to leave the free agency period having addressed the defense and tight end position. The draft is strong at receiver and offensive line but weak for pass rushers and tight ends.

They also can’t rely on re-treads and comeback players. Ziggy Ansah, Luke Joeckel and Eddie Lacy types are not going to cut it. They need to be bold, aggressive and add 2-3 quality players.

6. Make a decision on the O-line

Pete Carroll wants consistency up front and rightly so. The Seahawks need to add, develop and upgrade when possible — not keep blowing up the line and making major changes. There’s unlikely to be big money available for this unit and a line full of rookie’s isn’t ideal either.

If Germain Ifedi is priced out of a return and moves on, the Seahawks could re-sign George Fant to provide some consistency. We’ll see if Mike Iupati has any interest in carrying on. They could sign a similar veteran on a cheap contract to provide a hedge for the draft (where there are strong guard options).

The big question mark remains the future of Justin Britt. His cap hit is very high for a player returning from ACL surgery. They could cut and re-sign him, they could just move on altogether or they could retain his contract (knowing they can still move on down the line). There are good options in the draft (Cesar Ruiz) and it’s very likely that Atlanta will cut Alex Mack to save some cap space.

7. Come out of the draft with upside talent

The Seahawks don’t need a major influx of rookie starter’s but it’d be a big help if they can find dynamic athlete’s who can at least contribute. They especially need to be faster and more physical on defense. On offense, it’d be nice to add even more potency and quickness.

The players identified above include a hulking offensive lineman and several dynamic, sudden receivers. Defensively they need speed and alpha’s. Keep an eye on small-school safety Kyle Dugger as a player they could target quite strongly with his physical style of play, raw speed, dog-mentality and special teams value. LSU defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence plays with great intensity and let’s see how far Damon Arnette falls — because he’s a very talented cornerback with good size and he’s extremely physical.

What they do in free agency and/or the trade market will likely determine their 2020 fate but a good, high-upside draft class can still make a big difference.

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  1. cha

    Great piece, Rob. Thank you!

    Teams and agents talk contract at the combine and this is where demand and value tends to be established. By the end of the combine and heading into free agency, the Seahawks should have a strong indication of what it’ll cost to keep him.

    Wait a second. You’re saying teams and agents talk BEFORE the legal tampering period?! I’m shocked! Shocked I say!

  2. cha

    Jim Nagy tweeted a couple weeks back that Aiyuk has an 81″ wing span. Or put another way, the natural wingspan of someone 6’9″ in a 5″11″ body. That’s insane. Poona Ford level proportions.

    I’m guessing this makes his catch radius pretty great, and when you combine that with his speed, even if RW isn’t his typical accurate self on deep balls, feels like Aiyuk can reach them.

    Is there a downside to a WR having that big a wingspan? Concerns about fumbling maybe?

    • Rob Staton

      Not to my knowledge.

      Wouldn’t be surprised if Aiyuk ends up going in the top-25.

  3. Henry Taylor

    Talking about unique traits, I’ve been having a further look at Mekhi Becton considering how hyped up he’s been getting in recent weeks. And I have come away pretty impressed. He’s still getting over hyped by the media imo, but he does appear to have some outstanding traits for a guy his size.

    Given the emphasis they’ve put on size up front since Solari, I wouldn’t be surprised if they considered him if they can’t retain Fant or Ifedi.

  4. Russ

    Thanks for the priorities Rob. Looking forward to listening to the podcast.

    This feels like an offseason that the front office has been targeting.

    Historically, we’ve seen PC/JS pay to acquire DL talent and offensive weapons through free agency and trade (Bennett, Avril, Richardson, Clowney, Marshawn, Harvin, Graham). We’ve also seen them take offensive linemen or defensive linemen 55% of the time when they draft in the 1st or 2nd round (starting in 2010).

    With DL, OL, and offensive weapons being arguably the 3 biggest needs for the Seahawks, PC/JS having somewhere between 50 and 60 mil in cap space (cuts pending), and 3 picks in the first 2 rounds (for now), I’m really excited to see what this front office has in store.

    • Russ

      I should have added- the OL and DL Draft numbers are actually identical. They’ve used picks in the first and 2nd round 5 out of 18 total picks. So I’m not relying on a particular side of the line to skew the data for my point.

  5. Gaux Hawks

    “ They need to be bold, aggressive and add 2-3 quality players.” Hallelujah, Rob!

  6. CWagner

    Good read! You mentioned top two priorities being to improve the DL and adding a TE. I guess I feel like shooting for Hooper is a bit of a stretch. Yes Dissly is injury prone, but when he’s active he’s great. Plus Hollister really stepped up. I just feel like it could be more a matter of simply adding depth. Surely there will be a decent backup TE in free agency we can get without breaking the bank.

    • Rob Staton

      They need more than that. Dissly hasn’t shown any ability to stay healthy and losing him the last two years has hammered the offense. They need a starting tight end. Dissly has to show he can get healthy and stay healthy.

  7. millhouse-serbia

    Good news for Tua…

    • Rob Staton

      Player agent driven story.

      It will only ever be ‘good news’ pre draft. The real info will be discovered by teams.

  8. Henry Taylor

    Imagine how much it must suck to support a team so apathetic towards winning that a player who grew up in the state doesn’t want to be the first overall pick if it means playing for you…

  9. dcd2

    Nice piece on the Senior Bowl and who stood out to Brett Kollman.

    Van Jefferson, Denzel Mims, Jordan Love, Josh Jones, Cushenberry, Kinlaw, Gallimore, Bradlee Anae, Darnay Holmes, Kyle Dugger.

    • Trevor

      I am really anxious to see Mims and Duggar at the combine. I was so impressed with those two whenever I saw them in Senior Bowl footage.

      • dcd2

        I didn’t realize how big he was. If this is accurate, he is going to have a great combine:

        The 6-2, 217-pounder is a late bloomer from Atlanta with big-time athleticism. Dugger has run a verified 4.41 40 for scouts. Even more impressively, he’s vertical jumped 40 inches and broad jumped 11 feet. He also did 20 reps on the bench of 225 this offseason and timed 6.7 in the 3-cone drill, which would have been the second quickest time among safeties at the NFL Combine in 2019.

      • JC3

        My question is do they have the luxury to take S & Wr with all the holes that need to be filled?

    • Rob Staton

      I have some questions.

      1. Why is he sat in his front room pretending to drink a whiskey?

      2. Why is he sat in his front room pretending to drink a whiskey?

      • Kenny Sloth

        I’m gonna pretend to drink a whiskey right now in his honor

  10. BoiseSeahawkfan

    Did a recent mock draft (may not be an accurate draft board but came away with a few thoughts).

    I hope they take a look at Raekwon too.

    At 2, 27 I hadn’t really seen Harrison available in mocks but would be even happier with Josh Uche at that spot, from what I hear he is a really complete player and is great on the edge.

    I really hope the hawks prioritize getting Kyle Dugger, (2020s Haason Reddick) just seems like a Kam clone that we need.

    Ruiz won’t be available that late but I do hope they start from the center out on OL picks since Britt may be gone.

    Curious of your thoughts on Darnay Holmes from UCLA as a nickel corner prospect… He hasn’t gotten a lot of attention but seems like a versatile option at the size Pete likes for that spot. Scouts compliment his technique and tackling a lot.

    Lastly picked up a blocking tight end, but the draft game still gave me a D+. To me thats the best I’ve ever felt after getting a D+ on anything.

    Your Picks:
    Round 1 Pick 27: Raekwon Davis, DE/DT, Alabama (B+)
    Round 2 Pick 27: Malik Harrison, ILB/OLB, Ohio State (A-)
    Round 2 Pick 32: Cesar Ruiz, C/OG, Michigan (B)
    Round 3 Pick 36 (COMP): Kyle Dugger, FS/SS, Lenoir-Rhyne (A+)
    Round 4 Pick 27: Logan Stenberg, OG, Kentucky (C+)
    Round 4 Pick 40 (COMP): Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA (A)
    Round 6 Pick 33 (COMP): Joshua Kelley, RB, UCLA (A+)
    Round 7 Pick 27: Sean McKeon, TE, Michigan (A-)
    Score: 27631 (GRADE: D+)

    • Bigten

      Big fan of Harrison. Really like the first 3 rounds. Harrison’s NFL comparison is KJ Wright (for what it’s worth). He’s long and lean and athletic. High recruit. I just struggle to see them taking a LB in that spot. I also struggle to see them take a S in the third, even tho I also like Duggar. But also didn’t see them going heavy on those positions last year either and they did.

  11. Trevor

    Great writeup and article as always. Can’t wait to listen to podcast on the drive home.

    I personally think the second most important thing to get sorted out this off season is the RT spot. I think it is big deal that the only OT’s we have signed are Duane Brown and Chad Wheeler. Perhaps Jemarco Jones but he seems like a much better Guard.

    I think if the Hawks had an intention of bringing Ifedi back it would be done. As for Fant I am sure they would like to sign him but he is on the record as saying he wants the chance to start at LT and why wouldn’t he. I think fans including myself just assumed the Hawks would sign him and bring him back to pay RT. But what if some team needing a LT (Brown, Jets, Cardinals etc.) miss thier target in the draft and see Fant as a viable starting LT? If he gets starting LT $ what do the hawks do then? There are very few veteran free options at OT and anyone available at #27 or at the end of Rd #2 is likely going to need a year to develop likely.

    For example would much sooner spend $20 mil on Fant or Jack Conklin, Greg Olson and a rookie TE to develop behind him compared to Option #2 Spend $20 mil on Austin Hooper and Journeyman RT and rookie OT to develop.

    • Rob Staton

      Ifedi has to establish his market. It’s not about intention it’s about not bidding against yourself.

    • cha

      I think if the Hawks had an intention of bringing Ifedi back it would be done

      They would have simply picked up the 5th year option then.

  12. Rob4q

    Another great read, thanks Rob!

    So lets say FA goes something like this:

    Resign Clowney, Fant, Q. Jefferson, Kendricks, G. Smith, Moore, Hollister, Turner, Hunt, Simmons, Ellerbe, Thorpe,

    Potential Comp picks: Ifedi, Reed, Ansah*, B. Jackson*, Prosise*, King*, Woods*, Mone*
    *If offered contracts

    Sign DT Liuget, DT Daniels, DE Beasley, DE N. Spence, RB Breida, CB Fuller

    T. Thompson + 3/100 to Cle for TE Njoku + 6/187
    L. Hill to LV Raiders for WR K. Doss (ERFA)
    Pocic to Denver for 5/178

    Extend/restructure Britt, KJ Wright, Carson, McDougald

    Cut TE Dickson,

    What does that leave for the draft?

    1/27 – Raekwon Davis DT
    2/59 – Kyle Dugger S
    2/64 – Ceasar Ruiz C/G
    3/100 – Ben Bartch OT
    4/143 – Denzel Mims WR
    5/178 – Jordan Fuller S
    6/187 – Justin Herron OT
    6/212 – Damien Lewis OG
    7/240 – La’Mical Perine RB

    I know, I know another 4th rd WR right? Mims will break the curse haha!

    QB – RW, Smith
    RB – Carson, Penny, Homer, Perine, Breida
    WR – Lockett, Metcalf, Moore, Turner, Mims, Ursua, Doss
    TE – Dissly, Hollister, Njoku, Swoopes
    OT – Brown, Fant, Bartch, Herron, Wheeler
    OG – Fluker, Hayes, Jones, Simmons, Knox, Lewis
    C – Britt, Hunt, Ruiz

    EDGE/DE – Clowney, Beasley, Spence, Griffin, Green, Collier, Jefferson
    DT – Ford, Liuget, Daniels, Davis, Christmas
    LB – Wagner, Wright, Barton, Kendricks, BBK, Ellerbe
    S – McDougald, Diggs, Blair, Amadi, Duggar, Fuller
    CB – Griffin, Flowers, Thorpe, Boykins, Fuller

    K – Meyers
    P – Dickson
    H – Ott

    I know I’m missing a few players, but is the above team better than the 2019 version? Does adding Beasley, Spence, Liuget, Daniels & Davis to the D-line provide enough? We’d still be counting on Green & Collier to take steps forward.

    • Rob Staton

      They need to aim a lot higher than those free agents. Need to be adding quality not unknowns, retreads, ageing players or reclamation projects.

      • Rob4q

        Yeah, and I sort of answered my own question by asking it at the end? When writing that out it sounded like enough additions, but when you go back and look at it in the bigger picture there are too many unknowns.

        Liuget, Daniels and Davis would be nice adds to the D-line, but then having reclamations like Beasley & Spence isn’t enough because it still counts on Collier & Green to make strides.

        Maybe the trade with Denver looks more like this:

        Pocic + R2/64 + 2021 R2 for V. Miller + R5 178

        That eliminates Ruiz with that pick, but then maybe they add a FA C to compete with Hunt.

        • cha

          I’d make that trade in a heartbeat. Which means it is too light for Denver.

    • GoHawksDani

      I don’t think Ruiz will be there at the end of 2nd. But if he’d be there, I’d love that pick. Not sure about OT depth. If Brown or Fant gets injured who could start?
      And I’m not a Mims fan. He’s basically a DK light version. I want more of a Baldwin. Lockett has some similarities to Tate. He is agile, good hands, quick. DK is the big guy with great long speed. I want an A+, nifty route runner who is quick has some dog in him. DK will go deep most of the times. Lockett also goes deep a ton of times. I’d like a security blanket who can lost the CB quickly, so if the OL breaks, Russ can throw hot. That would be awesome

  13. Nick

    Love that you highlighted Raekwon Davis. We know that PCJS have been searching for a Calais Campbell type. Is Davis the most Campbell-esque prospect since McDowell? Obviously, it depends a lot on his combine testing, but his profile and ceiling is perfect for a Seattle first pick.

    • Bigten

      Also like McDowell, he had an underwhelming college career and is reported to be immature. I would love them to grab him tho. Just as I liked the McDowell pick at the time, and it was just very unfortunate freak accident that ruined him.

      • Davido

        Would be so good if we could acquiere him via trade. Instead of fishing for a Calais type in the draft, go grab the original!
        If we cannot get Calais then Davis would be the only potential day one starter on D-Line that is in our reach I think.

  14. Tony

    I hope they swing for the fences. If it doesnt work, atleast we wouldnt br thinking what if. But it’s a clear plan, and it silly to discuss scenarios that aren’t DL focused in free agency or adding a playmaker on offense. The plan is clear to everyone. To variables of this offseason are not are what will the hawks do, but more so what the other nfc comp will do. I’m more interested in Minnesota, LA, SF and Dal issues than ours. Probably the best I’ve felt going into an offseason since 2013.

    • Volume12

      Okwara. He has as much potential as anyone in this class.

      I’ll eat some serious crow of his combine isn’t jaw dropping.

      • Volume12

        * on that side of the ball

        * if

        • D-OZ

          I’m with ya all the way V. Hope we don’t have to take an OT in the 1st because I don’t think Okwara will last to 59…

  15. Submanjoe

    Rob, what do you think (anyone else too) about bringing back former seahawks like Michael Bennett, Paul Richardson will probably get cut too? If Bennett is a very low salary and understands he is part of a rotation, I’m okay with it.

    • Sea Mode

      Bennett no way. We’ve come way too far in re-building our team culture to go back to that.

      PRich, nah. He’s put up about 250 yds/2 TD over each of the past two seasons and there are better options to look at in the draft.

    • Rob Staton

      There’s a reason they moved on from Bennett (and took a big financial hit) in the first place.

      • Submanjoe

        I ask because it seems like Pete has a soft spot for his guys, they’re always watching to see how former Seahawks are doing. Especially the ones they’ve developed.
        I can’t tell, maybe Bennett has been humbled and mellowed a little bit. Maybe he’d come back understanding he needs to shut up and play like the BAMF he is. Obviously, they’d have to talk to him and gauge whether that’s even possible for him to do. And it’d have to be a team friendly deal. I cannot imagine he’ll have a huge market anymore.
        So if the stars all align, I’d rather have Bennett than Branden Jackson and Ansah, and some of the others further down the trough. In my mind they need depth across the dline in addition to retaining Clowney and signing a speed rusher.

        • Rob Staton

          There’s no evidence that he’s mellowed though. New England got rid of him quick sharp too.

          I know they brought Marshawn back but that was more an attempt to find some short-term energy with the season hanging by a thread. They’re not going to bring back Michael Bennett.

          • GerryG

            Plus, is Dallas trying to retain him? Doesn’t look like it. The guy constantly complained his entire time here, specifically regarding the first two contracts that HE SIGNED. Then there’s the whole bizarro incident in LV where he was basically caught lying about what happened. Something just isn’t right in his head.

            As far as production goes, he has still been effective, but we don’t need more pre snap penalties, nor do we need his freelance inclinations setting a poor example for the young players.

            Marshawn retired, Bennett was shipped off for on the dollar, after an extension, and they took a cap hit to do it. Then he took every opportunity to bad mouth the team/coach.

  16. Ashish

    Guys, do you think Rams trade Aaron Donald to free up cap space and gain some draft picks?

    • Rob Staton


    • Sea Mode

      Let me think about that… NO

    • BobbyK

      Seahawks could also get rid of Wilson to clear some room, too.

      • LouieLouie

        Hey Bobby:
        Then they could trade away most of their draft picks to move up to take Tua.

  17. Zxvo3

    Rob, what do you think is a “reasonable price” for Dante Fowler and Arik Armstead?

    • Rob Staton

      Not sure. I kind of think Fowler’s market should be where it was in 2019 — albeit maybe a tick higher and more long term. I don’t think we’ve seen a $17m pass rusher. But for me he warrants a salary in that $12-14m range because he can contribute and he’s at a good age. I’d look to do something in that ballpark over two years with incentives to push it into the $17m range if he produces, with a chance to re-enter the market in 2022. Not sure how realistic that is but we’ll see.

      I think Armstead will probably get $17m per simply because of the size, his ability to play any scheme and the production he had this year. Not sure whether that’s reasonable but that’s what I think he might get.

      • Zxvo3

        I agree, but would you be willing to give him $15 million considering it will be a competitive market?

      • king.

        I am trying to do the math here. Seattle basically has $40m in FA.

        Clowney will likely cost $20m. Any less than that I will see as a major coup for the FO. From what I have read here, you think this is priority #1.

        Adding Fowler or Armstead would eat up the majority of what’s left. I am not even certain Seattle could retain Fant with what was left, unless they release Britt, which would then look like a rebuild on the OL.

        Of course they could co creative bookkeeping to backload the contracts but that is mortgaging the future to take a shot now.

        So, are you proposing Seattle sign both Clowney and a $12m+ defensive lineman? Or is it an either/or situation? If not Clowney, then one of those guys, with FA money left over to keep continuity on the DL, possibly get Hooper ($10m APY, right?), and maybe resign Reed.

        I guess what I am asking is could you outline a couple of actual scenarios with dollar values that accomplish your reasonable best case for FA.

        • king.

          I meant keep continuity on the OL in penultimate paragraph.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Couple of thoughts.

          First, Clowney will cost more than $20m. I think he’ll get around $22-23m apy. Best get comfortable with that because that’s what it’ll cost to keep him and SEA are intent on keeping him.

          Second, and as you point out, there are many ways to sign a player to a $22-23m apy multiyear contract but keep his year 1 cap significantly lower, so they still have room to add some other pieces. Though with a steadily rising cap, it’s not quite mortgaging the future.

        • Eli

          The two most recent big-money DE contracts signed in free agency went to Trey Flowers and Demarcus Lawrence. Their first year cap hits: $6.4m and $11.1m respectively.

          No need to worry about cap space with the way you can structure contracts in the first year – 1st year salary can pretty much be punted since the player is receiving their first year compensation primarily in the form of a signing bonus. Signing bonus and salary will likely net Clowney something like $30m in his first year of the contract, but chances are it won’t count against the cap for more than a third of that.

          • king.

            That’s two responses saying just kick the payments down the road.

            Both of those comments focus on year 1 cap hit.

            I believe Wilson has at least 5 elite years left, barring injury, and maybe more.

            Having those bills come due down the road will hurt the team 3-4 years down the road.

            • CHawk Talker Eric

              So in your opinion it’s better to front load Clowney’s contract at the expense of not being able to sign other important pieces this year so they have room to make some moves in 3-4 years? Which they’d be able to do anyway because the cap rises year to year. A lot.

              Sounds like a recipe for mediocrity to me. And a great way to waste Wilson’s prime years.

            • EranUngar

              I’m not sure that KC is worried right now about kicking the Frank Clark payments down the road. I actually believe they think it was ingenious.

              There are 2 factors to consider about it:

              1. The cap is supposed to get a nice raise due to the new CBA and the additions of gambling income etc.

              2. You can structure those contracts so they include a nice cash in hand signing bonus and high guarantied chunk over the first 3 years and push 30M+ to the non guaranteed last year that you can later restruct/trade/cut if needed. (5 year 110M = 30M signing bonus, base – 4M, 12M, 16M, 20M, 28M = Cap hit 10M, 18M, 22M, 26M, 34M)

        • Rob Staton

          I’m surprised I keep having to point this out.

          1. They can easily create more cap space with two very obvious cuts.

          2. Just because you have 50m in cap space (why are people constantly reducing it?) doesn’t mean the APY of a contract is automatically the cap hit in year one. If Clowney signs for 20m a year it’s very likely his first year cap hit might be as low as say 10m. Go and look at all the major DE extensions recently and their first year hits.

          • Rob

            Rob you are correct. Everyone thinks just because they make an average of $20M APY then that’s the cap hit which that’s not the case. Seattle never does 5 year deals it’s always 4 years if they do long term. Yes clowney will earn probably $10-$12 million cap hit for 2020 if we resign him.

            • Rob Staton

              Exactly. It’s an error made time and time again this off-season. People think if you have $50m then you literally have that much to spend and the APY just comes off the total. Not true at all. Khalil Mack’s cap hits in 2018 and 2019 were $13.8M and $11.9M. He’s on $23.5m a year. Frank Clark’s cap hit this year was $6.5m.

              Teams can structure deals however they want. The Seahawks can be very aggressive this off-season and they need to be.

  18. Awsi Dooger

    This is such a great blog when the focus is on players and not merely another slob mock draft among dozens of lazy slob mock drafts.

    I hope that’s understood as a compliment. Path to the Draft lessens itself by at least 50% from rightful level each year with yet another filler slob mock draft on the docket.

    There’s an inverse relationship between number of mock drafts and caliber of presentation

    • Rob Staton

      Well the only mock draft I have planned currently is a Seahawks seven-rounder (and that’s simply to look at some possible options/targets in each round and start a discussion as to the areas/positions they might target in each area of the draft). Should be posted this week.

      • Ashish

        Are you considering trade? Will love to hear 7 rounder who understands JS/PC

      • Michael Hasslinger

        I would think there is room here for both slobs and player assessment. I enjoy both; especially when we talk objectively about either.

  19. Kingdome1976

    I don’t want to beat a dead horse but I keep going back to getting another RB. We all know what happens to our team when Carson goes down and well…He is starting to prove that injuries are not too far away from him. How hard he runs and many carries he gets will lead to possible injuries every year.

    Penny is our only real back up RB. He also is injured and we don’t know if his confidence or ability will be the same again after such a nasty ACL tear. I really wasn’t comfortable thinking Penny was going to be the bell-cow if Carson went down anyway.

    I am kind of hoping they draft a real deal type bell-cow with our last 2nd round pick at this point. I know I’m in the minority but if we have an awesome off season with FA signings and draft picks it all means nothing if 1 player goes down this year(Carson).

    • TomLPDX

      It’s a legitimate concern, King. I think the vast majority of the folks here know that we need to draft a RB (just in case!) at some point in the later rounds. There are some good candidates this year and lets hope they pick the right one.

    • Edgar

      I’m completely in agreement here. Another top level running back is an absolute must have. Seattle needs to get a Center and a RB before Rd 3 is over because the way this last year petered out due to line play and no game breaking help in the backfield was a major disappointment.

      I made more than one comment right after the Carolina game that it was almost criminal that Carroll couldn’t put away the Panthers before having to use Carson heavy late in the 4th quarter because of this year long make every contest a one possession game at the end…..and sure enough, the very next week Carson injured his hip against Arizona. I’m seriously on board with stacking the offense with more talent and just let the defense try to stay not horrible.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Also agree that RB is a need. We can’t go into the 2020 season with a RB group consisting of injury recovering Carson and Penny, and Homer. I don’t think they will keep Prosise (and I don’t want them to). But I don’t agree that they need to spend a Day 2 pick on that position. There are a number of interesting RB prospects in this draft and someone will fall into high value range.

        There are also FA options. Matt Brieda and Jordan Howard come to mind, maybe even Austin Ekeler though he’s a little smaller than the typical SEA RB.

        • Rob Staton

          My position on the RB position is they will probably do something, it’ll be inexpensive and adequate.

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            Adequate is definitely the right word for how they address RB.

    • GerryG


      I posted something similar yesterday. I’m also concerned about Penny being laid up, seems he has the body type to gain weight in a hurry, he gained weight DURING his rookie year. If he isn’t diligent while being hurt that could delay his return to form.

      CC has the same injury as Hill, who missed the whole off season and then looked terrible all year

    • Simo

      I certainly agree that the Hawks can’t have to much RB talent on the roster, but I wouldn’t agree that this position is a higher priority than several other areas of the team. We have needs and holes on the OL and DL, need another TE and a 3rd WR, can always use secondary and LB help as well.

      Also, Carson himself proves you can find quality RBs in the later rounds, and this appears to be a pretty deep draft class for RBs. I don’t see any way they draft one in the top three rounds, but they should still be able to find an adequate back to work behind Carson and Penny.

      • GerryG

        Yeah, Im thinking ~3rd rd pick, with the assumption the DL gets sorted prior to the draft

  20. Pran

    Is Armstead worth $15m? To me he looks like #3 or #4 in SF DL. Reed was also able to produce with Frank Clark but see what happened.

    • GoHawksDani

      To me he is. I know I must be alone with this, but I actually like him more than Fowler. I think Fowler has a higher ceiling but also lower floor. And yup, Armstead played on an amazing line, but Fowler had Donald too. To be honest I’m not sure either of those would be a 10+ sack player on their own so I’m a bit shy about signing any of them for 17-19m. I think Ngakoue is better, and would like a trade for him more (if franchised), or would like signing 2 players (a DT and an EDGE) for that money…like Suh and Ogbah/Beasley. Or trade for Campbell and sign Beasley/Ogbah/Griffen for example. Much easier to get 14-16 sacks between 2 players than one and the OLs would need to watch out for more players

  21. BobbyK

    It’s too bad the Seahawks couldn’t trade LJ Collier and a second round pick for Frank Clark.

    • Von

      They wouldn’t have Metcalf without that trade. Would you trade Collier, a 2nd round pick & Metcalf to have Frank Clark and only $30 mill of cap space instead of $50+ mill? That’s what you need to be asking.

    • McZ

      They need to find the next Frank Clark in the draft. Somehow, I really like that Strowbridge dude from NC.

      The key will be to use #27 (which they would waste anyway) to get into control of the 40-150 sweetspot of the draft.

      My FA proposal would add Clowney, Carl Nassib and Leonard Williams. I expect Rasheem Green to have a breakout season at age 23. Okwara or Greenard could be added through the draft. In the later rounds, there are so many under-the radar all-effort prospects, we will

      But that in itself won’t solve anything. We need an true alpha dawg. Collier and a 2021 mid-round pick could be enticing enough for the Jags to clear the books on Calais Campbell, if they pick Kinlaw at #9.

      The OL is a non-issue. Next year will see Jamarco Jones take LG and Phil Haynes RG. The first draft pick will be a IOL (Ruiz, Cushenberry) player, with an OT added in R3/4 (Ezra Cleveland, Matt Peart, Hakeem Adeniji, Ben Barth or Trey Adams). In R6/7, they will find excellent depth (Gage Cervenka, Scott Frantz, Gage Cervenka or Jared Hilbers).

      Somehow I cannot see a team desperate enough to hand out 10m+ to a below-average pass blocker like Ifedi. I think he will find a cold market and then comes back for a 7m prove-it deal, just to prove there is nothing left to prove.

      There are weapons aplenty in the draft.
      The only head-scratcher to me is TE. Greg Olsen is no solution to our durability problem. Cole Kmet or Hunter Bryant, with Colby Parkinson comlletely flying under the radar.

      • D-OZ

        I like Kmet a lot, brought him up a couple day’s ago. Vastly underrated. I also like Asiasi a lot.

        • Rob Staton

          I’m not sure we can call Kmet ‘vastly underrated’. Considering most people are touting him as the top TE in the draft, what would be a fair rating for a player with limited production, not much in the way of blocking skills and a TBD physical profile?

          • D-OZ

            To be TBD is fair. I watched 3 ND games and Kmet seemed to be a an all out effort type blocker. Just sayin…

            • Rob Staton

              I’m not sure what you watched then, unless you’re strictly talking about effort. I saw a player who needs a ton of work on his blocking.

        • D-OZ

          You are right about Parkinson flying under the radar. He almost single-handedly beat the Huskies.

        • GoHawksDani

          I highly doubt they’d get a TE who cannot block. If Fant will slide to RT they might need a “6th lineman” (like Fant did previously) for max protection. If it’s a TE who blocks well AND also able to catch the ball then it’s awesome.
          I like Harrison Bryant (R2 maybe with a trade up or after trade down from R1), Deguara (R4), Dalton Keene (R6), Thaddeus Moss (R6), or if you want more of a catcher TE then Trautman (R4-R5, has size but didn’t block much)

      • Mark Souza

        What makes you think after 2019 that Collier has any value at all to the rest of the NFL? What did he do?

        • Rob Staton

          Quite aside from that, it would cost them $8m to trade Collier. I wish people would take things like this into account before pitching unrealistic trade scenarios.

          You’re also not fixing a D-line with Leonard Williams (who will at the very least receive the transition tag anyway) and Carl Nassib. And Jason Strowbridge isn’t anything like Frank the tank, but there we are.

          • McZ

            What is and what is not possible, we will see. Your own wording.
            If I make this proposed trade on, I get Campbell for 16m cap and a 2021 mid rounder.

            As clearly stated, Nassib and Williams are complementary players. Both names are proxies for a group of players in the 4-9m price range.

            We will need such players, because we’re not talking about a “fix”. The combined production of the players currently on the roster is 6 sacks, 11 TFL. Adding Clowney will pull that numbers to 9 and 21.

            This is a rebuild, by any means.

            • Rob Staton

              Nope. Trading Collier is 100% not happening. It’s a complete waste of time even contemplating it.

              You will not get Leonard Williams for 4-9m. Try $15m.

  22. Eburgz

    Thaddeus Moss’s player profile really reads well to me. Mid round prospect with + blocking and hands. We have talked a lot about Sullivan since senior bowl but haven’t talked about the guy that kept him on the bench too much. So many good prospects on this LSU team.

    I haven’t studied him in earnest yet but noticed him making plays this season in the passing game (especially against Clemson). Sounds like his greatest attribute is his blocking skills but also has great hands ala Will Dissly. Bloodlines are great and he looks like he can fill out and get stronger. Biggest knock is his athleticism (Crazy considering its Randy Freaking Moss’s kid).

    I think he could be a great 3rd round target.
    2020 TE’s: Olsen, Dissly, Moss, Hollister

    • GoHawksDani

      Just written as a potential target as a reply one comment earlier 🙂
      Because he doesn’t seem like a great athlete, had some injuries and not used a TON, I think he might slip to R5-R6.
      I think R3 is a bit high, but I wouldn’t mind him in R4-R5.
      I think I like Deguara a bit more. Seems similar. Downside is that he’s smaller (with smaller catch radius), but Russ is pretty accurate.

      As a pass catcher he likely won’t be a big gain target running seems, but he can be a safety net.

      And Zierlein wrote these PROs about his blocking:
      Takes run-blocking duties to heart
      Good angles up to second level and squares his target
      Finds his block fit and sustains with balance and footwork
      Counted on to help seal the edge in run game

  23. Nick Cassella

    Started off watching Notre Dame tape to scout WR Chase Claypool, but the TE #84 kept catching my eye. His name is Cole Kmet. Hadn’t heard of him—but I loved his style of play. Really nasty blocker—would play past the whistle. Also seemed to break in and out of routes very smoothly. I came away very impressed, both with his blocking and catching.

    What do others think about Kmet?

  24. Gaux Hawks

    FA Dante Flowers, DE
    P1 Raekwon Davis, DT
    P2 Brandon Aiyuk, WR
    P3 Lloyd Cushenberry, C
    P4 Stephan Sullivan, TE
    P5 Damon Arnette, CB
    P6 Joshua Kelley, RB

    Keep Clowney, Fant & Britt
    Loss Reed, Ifedi & Wright

    Ugh, I can’t help myself…

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I think you’d have to flip the order of Sullivan and Arnette. But regardless, that’d be a sweet draft for SEA.

      • Greg Haugsven

        I could get on board with that. Only objection I would have is the loss of Wright. You could probably still have money left over to add a guy like Suh or McCoy for a year as well to take the pressure off Raekwon Davis as a rookie.

        • Greg Haugsven


          Carson, Penny, Kelley, Homer
          Dissly, Hollister,Sullivan, Olsen?
          Lockett, Metcalf, Aiyuk
          Brown, Haynes?, Britt, Fluker, Fant


          Clowney, Ford, Suh or McCoy (or another FA)?, Fowler (Green, Davis, Collier rotation)

    • Trevor

      Not sure those players will all be on the board but that would be a dream A+ draft IMO. It would set this team up really nicely going forward. Like the free agency too. If JS could pull and off season like this off the Hawks would be SB contenders I think.

    • Ashish

      Wright is not going anywhere. He played well, yes was not electric speed wise. Plus we don’t have alternative say Cody played very well to replace him. I remember Rob did mention, they will not ask Wright to take a pay cut.

  25. LouieLouie

    Improvement on the D-line is highly dependent upon improvement by the youngsters. Green improved in year 2, and Collier must also. Griffin is also part of that equation. If the youngsters can step up, and they add a solid veteran or two, even if they’re not the big expensive splashy ones, the D-line may get where we need it to become a realistic contender.
    Stopping the run is nearly important as pass rush.

    • Rob Staton

      No, improvement on the DL is highly dependant on an aggressive free agency.

    • Simo

      Significant def line improvement probably is not “highly” dependent on the development of Green, Collier, et all, but it sure would be nice if these guys took a big step forward and became regular contributors!

    • GerryG

      Green to me is going to be a very solid and versatile rotational piece, which is fantastic for a 3rd rd pick.

      I dont see him as someone that will fix or elevate a poor DL to a strength.

      As far as Collier goes, thus far his ceiling looks lower than Green’s, and they need to put speed on the DL, so is he even going to play if Green/Clowney play opposite the speed guy(s)?

  26. millhouse-serbia

    Seahawks draft history range of picks


    1. James Carpenter
    2. Bruce Irvin
    3. Germain Ifedi
    4. Malik McDowell
    5. Rashaad Penny
    6. LJ Collier


    1. Golden Tate
    2. Bobby Wagner
    3. Christine Michael
    4. Paul Richardson
    5. Justin Britt
    6. Frank Clark
    7. Tyler Lockett
    8. Jarran Reed
    9. Ethan Pocic
    10. Marquise Blair
    11. D.K. Metcalf

    • millhouse-serbia

      When I am looking at this, I am like John please trade all the picks you have and try to put as more as you can in this 45-70 range. 🙂

    • millhouse-serbia

      And this first range is 15-35….JS never choose player form 35-44…

    • cha

      There’s 2x as many 15-44’s in the 45-70’s…the cost to acquire 15-44’s is more than proportionately double than 45-70’s. I’d say the Hawks are doing fine.

      But also, let’s flesh out the picture a little and add the benefit of trade downs.

      1. James Carpenter
      2. Bruce Irvin + Jaye Howard + Jeremy Lane
      3. Germain Ifedi + Nick Vannet + a 2020 5th round pick
      4. Malik McDowell + Tedric Thompson + Lano Hill + Chris Carson
      5. Rashaad Penny + Rasheem Green
      6. LJ Collier + Gobs of Frank Clark cap $

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