Payton Wilson is the guy the Seahawks need

Payton Wilson is a special talent

With the way Pete Carroll spoke on Monday, changes are coming. These will include short-term personnel moves for the Eagles game but more importantly — we’re likely to see changes in the off-season.

Make no mistake, a mini-reset is coming. Over The Cap is showing the Seahawks to have only $3m in available cap space for 2024, meaning they are $9.5m in the red when it comes to effective cap space. This has changed because OTC has adjusted their projection for the size of the salary cap next year. They now think it’ll be around $242m rather than $255m.

Cuts are inevitable and avoidable. Big ones. It also means some players are going to be leaving and replaced in a more cost-effective manner.

They really did go all-in for this season. That’s something I don’t think is being acknowledged enough within the media and fanbase. This was a very aggressive year for the Seahawks. It speaks to the timeframe they’re working towards (ageing coach who needs to win now) and the way they’ve misjudged where they’re at as a roster (thinking they’re good enough to use a second round pick on a 10-game rental).

The 2024 season is going to require a shift because the performance hasn’t been good enough this year and they have to create money.

This is a key reason why I think they’re going to aggressively pursue a quarterback in the draft. It’s an easy way to save money. Cutting Geno Smith creates cap space and they can replace him with a rookie contract. They’ll use the move to generate excitement and energy that is badly lacking. We better hope it works out, especially if they mortgage the future to trade into the top-five.

Jamal Adams will be gone and could easily be replaced by Coby Bryant or someone else cheap. I wonder if, rather than cut Quandre Diggs, they do something to lower his incredible $21m cap hit. Cutting him is an option though. Either way, big changes are coming and I’m not sure people realise how ruthless they’re going to need to be. The cap situation is quite ugly.

A defense highlighted by Adams, Diggs and Bobby Wagner isn’t going to be on the field in 2024.

A move for a rookie quarterback would likely involve future picks rather than current picks, because they have too many holes to fill on the cheap. They’re currently picking 13th with four games to go. Packaging that selection with two future first rounders could get them into the top-five, where they’d need to be to get one of the best quarterbacks.

There’s a lot to work out here still. Is Quinn Ewers going to declare, for example? Increasingly the buzz is moving away from Drake Maye (who was always a bit overrated) and towards Jayden Daniels — who increasingly feels like he could be QB2. It’s also possible the Seahawks don’t feel obliged to move up, with a Ewers type maybe lasting into range — or they could value a Spencer Rattler or Michael Penix Jr.

Regardless, replacing Wagner is going to be necessary. It’s not that he’s awful these days. He just can’t cover. His movement skills have eroded with age. What he does well (run defense) is not as important as the area where he’s being exploited (coverage).

I highlighted some possible middle/late round coverage linebackers last week — Steele Chambers (Ohio State), Cedric Gray (North Carolina) and Tatum Bethune (Florida State). For me, though, there’s a prize asset I want to focus on.

I’ve moved NC State’s Payton Wilson into the first round range on my horizontal board. I’ve done this with a red ‘injury’ mark because there are issues here. He suffered a torn ACL in high school then had another knee injury as a true freshman in college. He had surgery on both shoulders before his junior season yet still suffered a season-ending shoulder injury when the games began.

He chose not to declare a year ago because the league voiced concerns over his availability:

“I was hearing from other guys that I could go anywhere from the third round to undrafted or that some teams might not even look at me because of my injuries.”

If the NFL wanted to see him stay healthy for back-to-back years, he achieved that. Yet it remains to be seen what the medicals will say come combine time.

It’s a shame because I’m convinced without the injury flags, he’d be a lock to be a top-20 pick.

Wilson is everything the Seahawks need at linebacker.

His coverage skills are exceptional. He had a 90.4 coverage grade per PFF this year, fifth most among qualifying linebackers playing +50% of snaps. He was targeted 37 times, giving up only 64.9% completions — the 11th best mark in college. He had three interceptions at linebacker in 2023 and he has seven for his career at NC State.

In comparison, Wagner’s coverage grade is 59.6 this year and he’s giving up 80.4% completions on 51 targets. It’s not as bad as Jordyn Brooks, though, who’s giving up 85% completions on 60 targets. There might be a scheme issue here on top of performance.

Missed tackles have been too big an issue for Seattle in recent years. Wilson missed only 4.7% of his tackles in 2023, the sixth lowest percentage in college.

He’s more than just a linebacker. His athletic qualities enable him to threaten opponents in many different ways. Wilson recorded 22 pressures in 2023, six sacks, seven QB hits and nine hurries. He had 490 snaps as an orthodox linebacker, 174 as an outside rusher and 44 covering in the slot. Whisper it quietly but he could be a poor man’s Micah Parsons.

What’s his attitude and approach on the field? Crazed. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a better motor. Look at this:

Wilson flies to the football, never gives up on plays and the incredible thing is he has the athletic profile to constantly get to the ball-carrier. The tape backs up the stats listed above. He can drop superbly and he is so fluent changing direction. His agility is impressive and he has light feet. He clearly has explosive traits to burst upfield and loves contact. He’s slippery to shed blocks and as a finisher, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a linebacker as effective.

If you want someone who can truly elevate the energy, speed and physicality of your defense — leading by example and helping set the tone — while also showing greater ability to cover and make life harder for opponents, this is your guy.

Per Bruce Feldman’s freaks list:

A former standout lacrosse player and state champion wrestler, the 6-4, 235-pound senior is one of the best players in the country. He led the ACC in tackles in 2020, missed most of the 2021 season with a shoulder injury and then bounced back to make 82 tackles last season. Wilson has been clocked in the 40 at 4.49 and ran a 4.21 in the pro agility shuttle this offseason. He bench-pressed 390; vertical-jumped 35 1/2 inches and broad-jumped 9-8 1/2.

Here’s what NC State Head Coach Dave Doeren said about Wilson:

“He’s a stud. All the accolades he’s getting are so deserved. He’s earned them. And, boy, has he suffered to earn them – physically and the emotions of not playing as many times as he’s had to watch. Some players can watch a game and have fun. They’re dancing to music. For him, it’s depressing to watch a game. He wants to be on the field. I’m so happy for him and I’m enjoying watching him too. I’m definitely taking it in, because I know he is a generational player.”

Wilson is without question one of my favourite players in the draft. Without the health concerns, he would be a high first rounder. It’s a shame, actually, that two players I love — Wilson and Michigan guard Zak Zinter — both have injury concerns. I’ll warn you that I’m going to spend a lot of the off-season talking about both and I won’t criticise the Seahawks if they roll the dice on Wilson’s shoulders and Zinter’s broken leg. They are, for many reasons, exactly what they need at their respective positions.

If the injuries really do knock Wilson into the third-round range, I’ll be stunned. If he and Zinter are there in round three for Seattle’s two picks — although it’s early, count me in for that health gamble. Paired with finding a way to come out of round one with a quarterback, that would feel like a job well done.

If you missed my spot on KJR yesterday, check it out here:

If you enjoy the blog and want to support the site via Patreon — (click here)


  1. cha

    How do Wilson’s pass rush skills translate to the NFL?

    Is there a lot to work with or are they more schemed and manufactured?

    • Rob Staton

      Can work the edge well. The clip above is a wide alignment and he’s only contested by a TE but it shows how he bends and his quickness. He’s someone you can reduce down to the line and rush into space but can also fake and have him drop. A chess piece with the ability to play the bulk of snaps at MLB.

      • cha

        OK. That’s my biggest concern, more than his injury history.

        If he’s a good LB and can’t translate pass rush to the NFL, hard pass in the top 2 rounds. 3rd round at best and let’s focus on the DL/OL.

        • Peter

          How important is pass rush from a LB vs coverage ability?

          Currently this team can not cover the middle from slot to TE to anyone. I’ll take coverage over pass rush as of now.

          • cha

            Personally I’ll take league average talent at coverage LB with a smarter DC, league average safety coverage and more pass rush personnel.

            • Peter

              Not wrong.

              Just projecting to a mafe plus nwossu edge group, Reed and hopefully Williams better coverage from LB’s and safeties could make the pass rush a thing.

              Right now Wagner is not doing either thing in his final ( hopefully) two years in Seattle. He just tackles.

      • Brodie

        Does he comp to Troy Anderson out of Montana State 2 years ago?

        I recall him being on the tall side, fast/athletic. He had some rushing chops and an injury history (I think), but came back for a great Senior year. He went round 2 to ATL, but I haven’t heard much out of him to date.

        • Brodie

          Or Maybe Drew Sanders last year?

  2. Peter

    Zintners leg injury is not a concern for me in the slightest.

    If he falls, run not walk to the podium.

    • Hawk Finn

      Unless he falls repeatedly, in which case the leg injury is a valid concern

      • Peter

        I’m talking a fall to our third rounders. A freak tibia break plus 10 months of recovery is imminently recoverable. No one has any medicals but unless he has additional ligament damage Zintner can be getting after it recovery wise as soon as end of January.

        I’m not sure he even falls much at all.

        • Hawk Finn

          I was just being silly, Billy

      • no frickin clue



    • McZ

      Zinter should be on a lot of teams draft board. As surefire a NFL guard as you can get. Losing our second rounder might decide the case.

  3. BK26

    Get a new leader for the offense on the first and then a new defensive leader in the third or even with a slight move up?

    That would get me back to being interested in the team. Right now I am more worried about waiting 7 more years for the next Game of Thrones book than any part of the team right now.

    • Peter

      I’ll trade you that for a new coach.

      • BK26

        A new coach would also fix my apathy.

        It sucks, it’s the lowest that I’ve felt for one of my teams. And I’ve seen historically bad seasons, number one picks, small market teams in leagues that you almost can’t win in (thank you Giannis).

        • Ben - Fort Worth

          Why do u say that Drake Maye is a bit overrated? Did something change recently? I believe he has the best arm in the draft. I like Daniels upside and do agree that he’s in the same conversation as Maye though. I feel like Maye could go #1 to the Bears. He’s that good.

          • Ben - Fort Worth

            I meant to post this in its own conversation. This site needs an “Edit” button.

          • LouCityHawk

            Rob had him QB2 on the horizontal board. Daniels/Ewers/Rattler right behind him.

            I’m not a Maye fan and feel he is a Nix type. Sam Bradford’s at the next level. Rob has highlighted Rattler a couple of times, as well as Daniels mobility and Ewers Arem

    • Tallyhawk

      That’s cute you think another game of thrones book is coming lol. Unless it’s the 2nd volume of fire and blood and even that probably will never come.

      • BK26

        (I know it isn’t coming).

        I think it will be here before Pete leads us to another Super Bowl.

  4. Scot04

    Rob, great article & follow up on KJR. Glad you were able to get all your points out during your segment.
    Would love them to make it a weekly thing.
    The Peyton Williams article, add in Zinter only makes the LW trade feel a bit more painful; especially if he leaves.
    Hoping they make the moves to clear enough space to keep him, add another D-lineman (preferably a legit impact one), then retain our necessary Free-agennts.
    In regards to trading up was hoping we could slip up to #11, but obviously will be rooting for the team at the same time.
    Such a tough place to be as a fan.
    Frustrating loss by Green Bay, gave me this awful feeling we’ll somehow slip into the playoffs just to follow our trend from previous years.
    This team needs so many changes to he better.
    I unfortunately can’t see it happening without a 7-10 or a max of 8-9 record.
    Add in desperately wanting Ewers to enter the draft; while at the same time realize a loss to my Huskies could screw that up. To me having Williams, Maye, Daniels, Ewers, & Rattler available is so important especially if we remain top 13 or higher.
    I hate that us as fans have been put in this position due to poor roster construction & coaching.
    SDB definitely the one & only thing helping to cope with another season of the same old thing.
    Thanks again for all your hard work;
    & A shout out to Curtis & Robbie for their contributions as well.

    • Big Mike

      Awesome post Scot

      • Scot04

        Thanks Big Mike

  5. Blitzy the Clown

    I’ve a feeling based on your board set up that there will be a wealth of intriguing prospects at positions of crucial need in the R2-R3 range.

    Our draft position will make a ton of difference on how badly we miss our R2 pick.

    FWIW I don’t think we’ll get a QB to fall to us. If that’s what they’re going after, they’ll have to make a move up and that’s bye-bye 2025 R1. I was ok with them doing the same thing last year for anyone other than Bryce Young. No different this year for someone like Ewers, Daniels or even Rattler.

  6. Matt

    Great stuff Rob. I’m glad you brought up the “all in” commentary. They absolutely did. And it coincides with the fact that this isn’t “young rebuilding roster.”

    The youthful and nature of this team has been grossly over exaggerated. Our QB will be 34 next year. Reed and Williams – 30s. Diggs – 30s. Bobby – mid 30s. Locket – 32. That’s an old group that forms a bulk of the core positions.

    Really outside of Witherspoon and Lucas; we have a few promising young players but are by no means nothing more than average players at the moment. Of course they can improve, but what if Mafe, Cross, JSN are merely average players? Mafe has crashed back down to earth and has been a non-factor. Cross, few good games…but mostly “ok.” JSN is talented for sure…but also has severe physical limitations that limit him to a #2 WR. This assumption that he simply steps in for Lockett is in my opinion a very generous assumption. Lockett has been perhaps the most underrated WR in the NFL and continually makes impossible plays. JSN can become very good and still not sniff Lockett’s play.

    Sorry for the rant..but I do think many have grossly overestimated the youth on this roster. and unfortunately, with Geno-Reed-Williams…those are 3 of the most critical positions manned by very old players. The best is absolutely behind them and in the case of Williams – he could choose to not come back.

    I’m venting because I can’t spend 10 minutes on Twitter without the Seahawks Fluffers telling us how great things are and how stupid it’d be to alter the course.

    My guess is this team gets to 9-8 and gets the 7th seed which IMO – is the most disastrous result for the long term health of this franchise.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Moving up to get a shiny new quarterback will cost at least two first round picks. No second round pick this year. Lots of players needed, at least 5 new defenders needed this year alone – starting with two starting safeties due to the cap hit.

      So the two year rebuild after Wilson left has now turned into a 5 year rebuild. During the next 3 years there will be a new quarterback, new defensive secondary, at least one nose tackle, and a whole new coaching staff. Hold on – it’s going to be a rocky ride!

    • JimQ

      I’m not sure the Seahawks will even win one more game. A 6-11 season should be good enough for a 5-10 draft pick. I would be excited by a top 10 pick that landed an actual QB, but with PC/JS (-IF- still here) making the picks, I’m not too hopeful for the needed QB. PC will likely see the draft differently. He likely will see a need at safety or a rotational EDGE or maybe a blocking TE, and of course, that will be PC’s priority & preference. Definitely time for a change starting at the top and all the way down the organization.

      • IHeartTacoma

        Totally agree. The track record on talent evaluation and acquisition is really bad.

        • Elmer

          Yes. How can we continue to have a lot of talent on defense and continue to have a not very good defense. It has to be either bad talent evaluation (players aren’t as good as advertised); or coaching/scheme (the talents of the players aren’t being used properly). Or both.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Last time I counted there was still alot of teams worse than us. I would love being able to snag the third or fourth QB without moving down. Having said that , look how many lower ranked quarterbacks are starting this year! The latest being Giants Tony DeVito from Syracuse/Illinois. Purdy with San Gran is the new poster child for waiting till late in the draft. So maybe it’s the entire system and coaching that needs improvement.

        Anyway I lost my train of thought when I imagined a jealous Tom Brady showing up for the draft in disguise!

  7. no frickin clue

    The four worst teams this year, record-wise, are Panthers, Patriots, Cards, Commanders.

    But below those four is a logjam of 12 teams sitting at either 5-8 or 6-7, including the Seahawks.

    Since year-end draft order settles ties based on strength of schedule, here is the current strength of schedule for those 12 teams. Lower is better for draft positioning.

    5-8 Teams:
    Bears (.442)
    Jets (.462)
    Chargers (.519)
    Raiders (.519)
    Titans (.538)
    Giants (.615)

    6-7 Teams:
    Packers (.365)
    Falcons (.365)
    Buccaneers (.404)
    Saints (.442)
    Seahawks (.481)
    Rams (.481)

    One of those 12 teams presumably finishes with the #5 pick in the draft.

    • no frickin clue

      Sorry, my bad, that is only showing REMAINING strength of schedule, not the SOS from weeks 1-14.

      • Brodie

        Tankathon has up to date SOS

        • Peter

          Rams with that equal SOS and Greenbay with that easy peasy SOS….

          For those hoping to ‘sneak’ into the playoffs.

    • 509 Chris

      Its wild how much of a toss up that is. A top 10 pick and either being able to get someone outright or with an easier move up is looking possible. My fear is that they aren’t the qb scouts that everyone thinks. Last night was my first time watching Levis for a whole game since he was at Kentucky and he looked great. He’s a rookie and made a few rookie throws but he was so poised under pressure at the end. Looked confudent the whole time, used his legs, and made some great throws. You can tell the team and coaches respect and trust him. How the hell did Seattle pass on him at 20? I guess I don’t know football because I get a lot of my prospect information from some British dude who didn’t even grow up watching the game, thats why the pro front offices are so much smarter than me.

      It’s early in the process but Rattler seems to be getting the same treatment as Levis did, certainly by the media. (Lack of treatment might be a better assessment) Someone figure out how he drinks his coffee and how much time he spends with the weights so we can decide if we should draft him or not! On a sidenote I’m really hoping Rob gets interviews with Daniels and Rattler both. Would really like to see what kind of character comes out of them.

      • Peter

        This is such a great funny post!

        Tinfoil hat time….

        The FO didn’t want a qb who ‘makes it about them.’…because they want the focus to be on them with their weekly fireside chats and boys club vibes.

        • Big Mike

          The FO didn’t want a qb who ‘makes it about them.’…because they want the focus to be on them with their weekly fireside chats and boys club vibes.

          You’re not wrong my friend. It’s the Pete Carroll vanity project.

          Funny stuff 509 Chris!

  8. GoHawksDani

    As far as I understand there are 1-2 legit top5 pick QBs. The rest are more or less the same (based on risk/reward ratio). Unless JS thinks he must have the 3rd/4th QB and he’s way better than all the rest I wouldn’t trade up. This team needs a lot of talent and some depth. Any future high pick trade risk losing out on those talents.

    But if they think there are like 3 legit elite QB in this draft, go for it.
    But if the stars are not aligned, I won’t be mad if they roll with Lock, get a high pick for 2025 and go for QBOTF then. Just please cut Geno (he’s not awful but keeps this team in mediocre land)

    And while they pushed a ton of resources to LB and S, I wouldn’t mind pushing some more of the perfect player is available. I don’t think it’s bad to get a great S or a great LB at higher price. The issue is when they draft and sign expensive but awful players.

    I would be happy to cut Adams and Diggs. I don’t think Brooks is a bad LB, but he’s not a cover LB, he’s an attacking dude with good motor.

    So for the right price I’d keep Brooks, let Bobby walk, draft a young stud and maybe get a cheaper value FA

    Draft an S and also get one in FA.

    I think the DL is not terrible, but it could use some rotation and remove some guys (Jones, Clark, etc).

    I would love a huge space eater who blocks up inside runs. Some outside rushers would be nice too (cheaper guys who can act as rotational, getting 3-4 sacks/year).

    A young, new QB, a good OG, replace most of the LB, S guys, some DL depth change DC, get a young promising OC with the promise that he can take over from PC in 1-2 years and this team could be exciting.

    But I highly doubt this will happen. And I doubt it can happen in 1 offseason.

    Reasonable could be to clear the house and get a couple of building blocks this offseason, maybe even a change of coordinators. Then continue building in 2025 start to get competing and in 2026 PC retires a new HC can work with decent cap decent picks and a great foundation of a team.

    Currently I feel there are 5 guys (Spoon, Reed, Mafe, Lockett, Charbonnet) who play really well and also culture setters.
    I think 7 guys (K9, Woolen, Cross, Lucas, DK, Brooks, JSN, Bobo – for his blocking mostly) have some issues but also could elevate by either getting a bit better or producing with more stability, or staying healthy or keeping their cool.

    The rest are either OK (like Brown or Love, the TEs), or bad or awful.

    Hopefully the team can keep the good players and strengthen where it needs

  9. cha

    What exactly is the purpose of this post?

    I’m not joking, I’m serious. I have no idea.

    • Brodie

      So they can charge Toyota extra for ‘exclusive’ advertising?

      Those were probably the before pics and the after pics were too depressing to post.

    • Peter

      Besides as Brodie stated billing Toyota what else is the social media team going to post after four losses?

      The seahawks are a business and they have to put something out there. They can’t stay silent for algorithmic reasons and they can’t say “we’re 3.5 point dogs at our house!!”

      • cha

        Sure but they didn’t have to post that.

        they’re always posting something about a Pro Bowl vote, or a charitable initiative or a highlight of the game.

        It just seems like a very tone deaf way to show they’re a team.

    • no frickin clue

      Obviously it’s a reference to the year 1668, and since we’re all students of history, you will no doubt recall that 1668 was the year of the Secret Alliance between Louis XIV and the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold.

      That alliance called for a division of the Spanish Empire if Charles II died without an heir.

      Ergo, what this means is that Jody Allen (Leopold) and Pete Carroll (Louis XIV) have struck a secret agreement for Pete to coach the Seahawks for life following the demise of Paul Allen…who died without an heir.

      I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, I’m just the messenger here.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      Isn’t that Tell the Truth Tuesday? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • Whit21

      They posted some extra pictures like that on instagram. Not sure the context other than (Behind the scenes)

  10. Jabroni-DC

    How’s everyone feeling about the 3-4 defense experiment?

    We’re years into it and it doesn’t seem like it’s helped.

    Pete Carroll’s cornerstone philosophy has been to above all, run the ball & stop the run. Make the opposition one dimensional & create turnovers. Maybe he feels he’s branching out by not running the ball or stopping the run?

    • cha

      Brady Henderson yesterday had a good question about Pete having to adjust from the LOB defense over the years.

      Pete gave an absolute word salad answer. An answer that sounds exactly like their current defense looks on the field.

      • Gary

        This perfectly describes all of Pete’s answers.

  11. Ben

    The KJR spot was great! Hope they get you on more. KJR crew is a better fit anyways, with them being a bunch of cranks for the most part.

    2023 Highlights for Wilson

    Highlights and all that, but love the awareness he has on the field. Plays aggressive and blitzes hard. I don’t want to draft one high, 2nd or later, but we need some aggressive and fast linebackers. More linebacker prospects pls! We’ve been bad at linebacker for 3 years now and I can’t stand it.

    • Justaguy

      I don’t think you need to concern yourself with a linebacker being drafted in the 2nd round, there is a rental to cover that

  12. ShowMeYourHawk

    Van Dyke is headed to Wisconsin. Let’s see what he does without Cristobal holding him back.

    • Rob Staton

      Interesting landing spot

    • KennyBadger

      Coach Fickell has some work to do this offseason and this is a good start. I gotta believe he’ll be better for TVD than cristobal, but so would a folding chair.

    • BK26

      As a TVD fan, good for him.

      As a Hawkeye fan….shit.

      • Peter

        Not to worry. I see you have UCLA and USC late on the schedule next year. Should be two wins right there….

        • BK26

          Only problem is that if they can score 10 points, they will win….

    • 509 Chris

      I thought if he declared he might end up being a steal in the 3rd. Obviously his people thought the same and got him to a new offense to build his stock. I wish he would have transferred out this year though.

    • pdway

      My daughter is currently a sophomore at U Wisconsin – i’m telling her to stay away from him until Rob slots his draft position.

      • KennyBadger

        I remember a certain qb who played for a year here in Madison before being drafted by the Seahawks. That all worked out pretty good I think!

        • cha

          user name checks out

          • KennyBadger

            Being a fan of a Big Ten West team isn’t something I often draw attention to 🙈🦡

  13. Parallax

    Will be interesting to see if the Hawks roll the dice on either of those guys if one (or both) drop to us. Or do they trade up (or down)?

    I was irrationally upset when I first found out about the Williams trade. I had thought the trade deadline would pass uneventfully. I hoped they might consider seeing if another team might be willing to overpay for one of our assets. Clearly this wasn’t the year so I would have loved to see that. Perhaps Lockett for a first or DK for a couple. As far as I’m concerned, no one should be sacrosanct. Witherspoon is the most valuable guy on our roster, as the sky’s the limit for that kid and he’s on the first year of a rookie contract, but if someone were willing to pay enough, I’d listen. Success in the NFL is largely about value. Value for draft picks, trades and when signing guys on the roster and new free agents. Something the Hawks really don’t do well.

  14. Lord Snow

    I’ve got Jim Mora vibes about this team. Very few players I want them to keep going forward. For those who are still in love with the idea of John Schneider as GM look at the cap situation that Rob outlines. They’ve backed themselves into a corner. This is ugly. John Schneider has to take some responsibility for this. The players aren’t even very good that they’re paying. This is just a disaster. I just find it rather shocking that people still think John Schneider is good at his job

    • Whit21

      One of the things discussed before is the unknown hierarchy of the front office. PC is still executive VP. There were rumors that JS had more control over drafting the last few seasons. There’s almost no way to know who is really calling the shots.

      Does Pete tell JS what to go after and just get it? maybe.. It would make more sense that as a coach, he has been mediocre and still kept his job and title within the organization. Even after all these blunders with trades and cap room.

      The only way to find out if JS is good at his job… Is Pete needs to retire completely. No VP job or coach.. But that happening is slim to none.

      Even if PC is asked to step down as coach.. Im sure Jody Allen would let him stay VP. I think we are in for a rough 5 years… minimum..

      • bmseattle

        The problem with that theory is that, if true, we can’t selectively give credit to JS for the “good stuff”, while assuming all the bad stuff is Pete’s responsibility.

        JS is the GM, and, ultimately, transactions and cap stuff falls on his shoulders.
        If he’s been nothing but a “face” for Pete’s scheming, then we have no reason to believe that he’ll be good at his job… or bad at it, if given full control.

        I think we tend to assume all the good draft picks are a result of “JS finally getting to make decisions!”
        All the bad picks and trades are just Pete “forcing JS to do what he wants”.

        The best argument for keeping JS around, is that he seems to, maybe, have a good eye for QBs.
        But even that is speculative. Yes, he drafted Wilson, and there were rumors of his admiration of Allen and Mahomes… but, ultimately, we don’t have much evidence to go on.

        I’m not sure that I trust JS in the other important areas of GMing responsibility, to stick with him in the hope that he can identify the next QB of the future.
        He seemingly had no interest in Levis, after all… and Levis is showing he has NFL caliber qualities.
        He may or may not develop into a quality starter… but he is *exactly* the type of guy we should be drafting and trying to develop.

        • Whit21

          To start off with, thats not my theory. Thats mostly what Rob has said about reports a few years ago that JS has got more say in draft picks.

          So its not praising JS and crapping on PC, IMO.

          For Mahomes and Allen, I think the main attribute they liked is their big arms. Pete likes to stretch the field with strong arm QBs. Probably the same reason they took Lock from the Broncos.

          I think since JS is signed to 2027, why not let him run things to see what he has without PC influence. Then we can finally see what kind of job he can do or if it really was a collective effort with roster building, who to target with draft picks, who to trade for with draft picks.

  15. Rob Staton

    Great news everyone!

    The Packers were so crap last night, they dropped below the Seahawks defensively in the DVOA rankings.

    Now we have the 26th best defense!

    • Justaguy

      Just need to execute a crap defensive scheme and everything should work out

    • Sea Mode

      😂 yay!

    • bmseattle

      I love to see improvement!
      Hopefully someone will bring it up at the press conference.

  16. Palatypus

    Woke up to MSNBC reporting on Morning Joe that Bill.Belicick is getting the can.

    I can’t believe Pete outlasted him.

    • RomeoA57

      .Mike Tomlin is definitely on the hot seat, and Rob has stated that we haven’t a clue what Jody is going to do this offseason. I am not certain Jody would even be aware of the unrest amongst Seahawks fans or that the team is mired in purgatory.

      It is very interesting that all 3 of the long tenured defensive head coaches seem to have run their course. Tomlin would get picked up quickly for another head job. Belichick will have some teams very interested in him. No other NFL team would probably bring in Pete as an HC. Due to his age and awful defenses. Being a consultant would seem to be his future after coaching.

      • Rokas

        You think Pete would want one more NFL job assuming he is shown the door at SEA? That’s highly unlikely I would say, even if teams would start knocking on his door.

        • TJ

          I could see Pete going into TV when he’s finished in Seattle – in the booth, in a studio for an NFL or college pre or post-game show, or for ESPN, Fox Sports or NFL Network.

      • Rob Staton

        I’m not that comfortable with every time we talk about Jody Allen we act like she’s someone ignorant noob.

        I’m sure she and Bert Kolde are well aware. They are after all responsible for the team.

        • RomeoA57

          Fair point that she is most likely not ignorant to the current situation. I am not trying to imply incompetence or anything like that. Since she has very limited interactions with the media or fans, we can’t know what her thoughts on this situation are

      • Whit21

        To be fair, there are a lot more defensive head coaches out there still. It is dying as Rob has said. That being said, most of those coaches like Tomlin, Saleh, Staley, that guy in NO, Belichick, Bowles, now I guess Antonio Peirce with the raiders, and Mike Vrabel. Not all but most have issues on offense because the best offensive coordinators are getting picked for HC jobs.

        Ron Rivera now has Bienemy, but that’s because he was passed over for HC jobs when Chiefs went to the SB.

        Kellen More for LAC would probably get a shot at HC in the next few years even.

        Thats why I think the Seahawks need to get off the Pete bus asap so they can bring in one of these defensive head coaches for a D coordinator.

        I just have no idea who that coach would be that is worth getting right now. Might have to wait to see who is speculated to get interviews once the season ends and coaches get fired.. At the very least, Raiders will be looking for a coach, so it needs to come fast.

        Which the Hawks won’t do, so this post is just a waste of time. W/e

    • cha

      Trade Pete to the Chargers and recoup that second round pick after they fire Staley.

      He gets to go back to LA with a top QB and some pieces on D, and the Hawks make a change and restore their draft board.

      //wipes hands

      • Big Mike

        We have a winner!

      • ShowMeYourHawk

        Why would he trade himself to LAC? I know that the hierarchy betwixt he and John got a bit of a shakeup a couple years back but surely he still has say in personnel decisions? If he wanted the LAC gig, why wouldn’t he just step down and then be hired by Spanos, rather than give his former team a draft pick? “Always comPete,” or some such, right?

        PS. Pretty sure your post was in jest but I’ve legit seen people posit this option, unironically. 🤷🏽‍♂️

        • cha

          Totally in jest, yes. But there is a pathway where it could happen.

          A rough season with Pete’s first-ever 4-game losing streak (5? 6 with the way Levis played?) has Pete haggard and/or the leadership antsy.

          Either Pete can see the writing on the wall and/or the ownership insists on a Holmgren-style stripping of power down to “just head coach”, and Pete says if that’s the case could you do me a favor? There’s an opening in LA and I’ve had a conversation over cocktails that they are interested. If I’m gonna be “just head coach” I might as well go back home where it doesn’t rain 9 months of the year.

          The Chargers have done a hotshot coordinator hire, and now want reverse course and go with a prestige hire. The USC National Champ returns home with a SB ring and that fat career wins record everyone loves to point to. John negotiates a draft pick in return and Pete has no problem with that because he wants to leave Seattle on good terms.

    • Peter

      I can’t believe people cling to Pete so hard.

      Heard something the other day about Pete bringing a winning culture to Seattle…..checks notes….that was Paul Allen and Mike Holmgren.

      Folks that obviously are either A. New fans as of last decade or B. Old fans that somehow missed the 00’s have apparently forgotten that Holmgren had 7 winning Seasons in 10 years.

      Before the disastrous 2008 year Seattle actually ( like much if recent history) was one and done in the 2007 playoffs.

      If these reports are true about the Patriots it is amazing that they are moving off a coach with three rings SINCE we won just one before there’s serious talk about moving off Carrol.

      I know real fans think we should sneak into the playoffs with our sub 20th ranked everything because ‘anything can happen.’ Not sure I like the odds of playing Dallas again trying to guess who has more adjustments….or the Niners. Remember when people were going on last year about how hard it was to lose 3x in a season to a team instead of any actual reason why we would win?

    • Blitzy the Clown

      To be fair, Belichick has a 10 year head start on his tenure at New England compared to Pete’s with Seattle, so I’m not sure it’s fair to say Pete outlasted him.

      Kraft is no fool. He must also read SDB because Rob’s been talking extensively about how the League has moved on from defensive minded HCs like him and Carroll and Tomlin, and offensive minded guys like McVay and Shanahan are running roughshod over them.

      What it does do is take an excellent prospect for Seattle’s next HC out of play (if any change to Seattle’s HC is in the works).

      I’m fascinated to watch their search process and see who they decide on. Also interested to see if Belichick is part of that process.

      • Peter

        Are they going to go interesting or are they just going to get one of Vrabel or Mayo?

      • Pran

        you are forgetting Pete with Pats and Jets before. Pete predates Belchick i think

    • Whit21

      Technically BB has had one job that he took from pete. While Pete has had 2 jobs in the last 24 years. So BB has outlasted PC.

  17. Rokas

    I actually was willing to believe, that the sale will happen in 2025. But now reading that Jody shown the door multiple times to Nike’s co-founder, trying to buy the Blazers, i doubt that anymore. And she was cited, that it might take 20 years to sell all Paul’s assets, makes me think, that there is indeed no timetable for the Seahawks sale.

    And I agree with Rob, the fact that Jody Allen isn’t spitballing right and left like Jim Irsay, does not mean she is aloof, misinformed or does not care.

    Citing the Wiki: She was involved in negotiating the public-private partnership that led to the construction of Lumen Field in Seattle, and was an adviser to her brother when he first considered buying the Seahawks.

    Hardly sounds like a fish out of water.

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      Agreed. She is a shrewd investor and quite capable of facilitating maximum value for the franchise, when it’s finally time to sell. Too many people presume that she’s just some lady that’s wandering about with this multi-million dollar franchise in her pocket. What she doesn’t seem to possess is football acumen.

      The legit issue some have is that she’s given a lot of authority to John and Pete with little accountability. I’ve no doubt that if she and Vulcan see that the poor on-field results are effecting the bottom line of maximizing the franchise’s valuation, THAT will be the year/offseason that Pete is shown he door.

      • Rokas

        Honestly this does not affect franchise valuation too much. Franchise valuation is determined by cash flows, which is determined by the market size (SEA-Tacoma is the 13th biggest market in the States, if memory serves me well) and a bit by the stadium condition and tickets and merch sales. TV deals are fixed for some time i suppose, which is the main source of income. My gut is telling, that if new expensive hire would be made, sale is not in the agenda. If Carroll stays, it means that a sale might be forthcoming, or not, we don’t know.

        With regards to the attributed power, I don’t see any evidence that it increased after the passing of Paul Allen. We might speculate what Allen would have done, but we will never know.

  18. Peter


    Been trying to grind through your horizontal board and reading up on the 3rd/4th round DL prospects.

    Ashton Gilotte is very interesting. Can’t quite pin down who he remi ds me of with his build. Wonder if he’s a bit more of a DE in a 4-3? Not totally sure he can carry more weight. But I love how quick he seems.

    To the draft nerds…is there any place you look to see game tape of prospects. I find it easy to watch QB’s, RB’s, LB’s just based on how games are broadcast. I do find it tricky to isolate DL and OL at times because of motion.

  19. Blitzy the Clown

    Starting to see this weird schizophrenia with some Seahawks accounts on twitter where they’ll speak truth about the cap hell Seattle have backed themselves into in one tweet, then basically try to gaslight people by arguing the recent losses came against the best teams in the NFL so we’re not as bad a team as it might seem.

    It’s been relatively smooth sailing for Seahawks fans for over a decade now. But I think we’re all about to go through some things, and some of us aren’t going to cope with it well.

    I say, keep calm and SDB on

    • BK26

      I think that it’s going to be a very volatile offseason for Seahawk fans with varying levels of the stages of grief. Might be a lot of going back and forth through them.

      Then the debate on the draft with qb being such a massive and decisive option….

      • Peter

        Would have been nice if Jody hadn’t made such long extensions for apparently no reason.

        Will be interesting to see how fans are.

        If you click on to Kiro’s YouTube you’ll get a weird vibe. From folks that are over it, to those that are still grasping at Adams, and a good deal of fans who will say things like “Seattle will never win another playoff game,” if they get rid of Pete….amazing. the Walrus would like a word with you about the guy who actually pulled us from the mire.

        Or….watch out if we get a new HC then we might have to rebuild the whole thing….oh no. Please don’t rebuild the while thing…that would be awful.

        • BK26

          And I wouldn’t mind a complete rebuild. Something entirely new, new structure, new ideas, something unknown. Something to hope for compared to the same thing for so long that hope is almost too much work to find because it isn’t going to last.

          • Peter

            We’re either doing it now or we’re doing it at the end of Pete’s contract.

            This isn’t a few tweaks team. Tweaks is like one safety sucks. Or we need just one more WR to really open the game up.

            We’ve got guys playing poor everywhere and a coach calling out ( throwing under a bus) players he picked. At too many positions for “just one more good draft.”

    • cha

      I see that too.

      I love that line of reasoning. Who in the world do you think you’re going to be playing in the playoffs??? Carolina? The Giants?

      It’s a fascinating time.

      People that were all-in on the safeties in 2020-22 are now posting clips and saying the effort is unacceptable. (too late, fellas. The ground under your feet is much, much safer now…how you didn’t see that in 2020 when the D was one of the NFL’s worst is beyond me)

      There are a metric ton of Geno Smith apologists clinging to “the OL was poor, they couldn’t run the offense they wanted” as an excuse…forgetting that last year the OL started two rookie tackles (who faded down the stretch), had one of the worst PFF centers in the NFL and played whoever was healthy that week at RG. There is some crossover with those who argued Geno should get a contract worthy of two franchise tags after. And they are straw-manning that fans think Drew Lock is better than Geno as a defense mechanism.

      It’s all a bit interesting to take in.

      • Peter

        The whole ‘always sunny in Philadelphia’ meme meets Amy Sedaris meme of offense excuse making has been fascinating to watch.

        New OC!! Protection!! Pressures rate!!

        Rob Rang did a great job putting some of that to rest and actually blaming the qb.

        Yes we’ve had oline inconsistency. So have other teams. Geno fans seem to think we are the only team that’s gone through this.

        It’s hard for people but maybe everything just isn’t good..

        • cha

          Geno Smith was sacked 49x last year. This year? 27x.

          • Peter

            The raw number vs. Pressure rate sticks with me.

            “No one could play well….”

            Geno has been sacked at the almost dead on average and median number of times for a qb this year. His on pace numbers are looking like 36x total.

            I respect he’s getting pressured but there’s a moment in time before pressure turns into a mistake or a sack and that small space between those moments is a huge part of what makes a qb.

            • cha

              Here’s another one. Geno was pressured 147x last year.

              Projecting his 12 games out, this year that is 160 pressures.

              13 more pressures. That’s less than one more pressure per game.

              But on the other hand, last year they had a 40.7/59.2 run/pass split.

              This year? 38.5/61.5

              A -2.2/+2.2 swing in play calling…not hard to explain away 13 more pressures there….

    • 805Hawk

      I saw a post today that proposed that the cap is fine. All you have to do is restructure Geno, Metcalf, and Lockett, and cut Mone, Dissly and Eskridge. Done…fixed. If they restructure Geno, I may lose my mine and the last drip of Seahawk fandom.

      • Blitzy the Clown

        I don’t mind keeping Geno on a renegotiated deal, provided they draft his replacement this year with the clear understanding that Geno is a bridge to the future and nothing more. And the price has to be reasonable.

        But the guys thinking we can just run it all back one more time are delusional

      • Rob Staton

        There’s a lot of nonsense out there, isn’t there

      • cha

        Oh that’s brilliant.

        They’d be on the hook in 2025 for:

        $35.4m for Metcalf (age 28)
        $33.9m for Lockett (33)
        $44.3m Geno (35)

        Add in Jamal’s $28m for his age 30 season and you’ve got $141m tied up in 4 players aged above 28.

        AND that would leave them with about $7m of cap room to work with, with the 2022 draft class entering their last season.

        //slow clap

        • Rob Staton

          Yeah but… but… but…

          Geno good, Seahawks close, Pete!

        • Gritty Hawk

          The average fan has absolutely zero understanding of what “restructuring” means. The prevailing belief seems to be that it means they’re taking a pay cut. I actually saw someone applauding Diggs for restructuring, as if he isn’t getting a big old guaranteed bonus check out of it and increased job security the next year knowing it will cost even more to cut him. Either that, or people want us to be like the Saints and just keep pushing more and more money into future years as if that has worked out so well for them (as an aside, the Saints currently have -$35M projected in effective cap space for 2025, which is just… appalling). The reluctance indulge in void year trickery is one of the few things I respect about this regime.

          • cha

            It does give you an idea of why the average American citizen is up to their ears in credit card debt and those payday predatory loan places aren’t going out of business anytime soon.

          • Brodie

            So true.

            Also, did you see the Saints for next year? Negative $97M if effective cap space with barely any ‘good’ moves they can make.

        • Ben

          Sheesh. Cleaning up the cap should have happened last year or this year and no one would have blinked an eye at Pete! It was a reset! Any moves to push sunk money into 2025 would be a crime. Honestly so should trading draft picks for anything but young stars under contract.

          There’s practically nobody on the roster that really matters for 2025 outside the 2022 and 2023 draft classes. That is the core, build around THEM. They shouldn’t be supplementing the current vets.

          Looking at the players on the 2023 team (including pending free agents) that played up to their contract and matter long term outside those two draft classes?

          DK, Jarran Reed, Nwosu, Williams, Tre Brown, and a punter??

          Williams isn’t under contract, Jarran is 30, Tre Brown is hardly established, Nwosu blew out a knee, and DK is underutilized and will be looking for a contract and the end of next year.

          We have a cap and roster problem.

          • cha

            And think of this…who did the Seahawks spend their Russell Wilson cap savings on?

            Geno’s new deal? Dre’Mont Jones? Maybe?

            And they STILL had to push a bunch of money from Adams, Diggs, Lockett to 2025 to pay the bills.

            • cha


            • Ben

              It’s pretty damning.

  20. ok

    i keep coming back to this uncomfortable place, that is just a feeling, not based off of any type of analysis: Pete used to bench, cut, move on from players. now he doesn’t. the legion became such, by the old deadweight being moved on, and letting misfits, cfl players, late round picks, get some run time.
    i’d rather pete did not stay, but if he started benching players, now, and started the auditions, now, i’d be all for it.
    it’s all so desperate and depressing.
    sure geno could be a bridge. but why not lock? the cost difference is too much.
    i appreciate this place.
    i am struggling with my fandom.

    • Hawk finn

      You are not alone. Feels like 2008-09 all over again

    • Gritty Hawk

      I was recently thinking along these lines, too. Pete’s mantra is “always compete”. The best player would play regardless of their tenure or contract. Once we got really good, though, that attitude died. Obviously there was zero chance of someone taking the job away from Sherm, Bobby, or Russ. But now? Whatever happened to next man up? Adams and Diggs don’t see the bench when they comically whiff on tackles or give up on plays. Brooks hasn’t lost a snap in 2 years despite being one of the worst coverage LBs on earth. DK hasn’t lost playing time with all his idiotic penalties over the years. It’s not like we have other great options, but how does Darrell Taylor get this much playing time after being utterly humiliated time and again on read-options? The only pseudo-benching we’ve seen was Woolen, but even then Pete made it clear it was due to injury and not play.

      Where is the accountability?

  21. Blitzy the Clown

    I’m more bullish on Seattle beating the Eagles at home on Monday Night next week than I am of them beating the Titans in Nashville the week after. And most of that optimism vs Philly is because they haven’t been on their game lately, especially on D. And Seattle play well in primetime.

    After that, the Stealers are bad enough that Seattle should easily beat them at home. Which naturally means it’ll be cliffhanger and a toss up. FWIW I like our chances vs the Cards in Arizona. Notwithstanding that game, we play pretty well there.

    2-2 at best. 1-3 more likely.

    Given their relative draft positions, and given equal remaining schedules, losing to the Titans might get us into the top 10

    • Rob Staton

      I felt the same about Philly.

      Then I thought, are the Eagles bad enough to lose three in a row?

      Not sure

    • Peter

      The eagles are pretenders. We are very similar to them in counting metrics. I do wonder what team wants it more.

      The titans are going to be a problem. I think AZ is going to be a problem.

      I can see beating Pittsburg. They are flat as a pancake.

      • Brodie

        It’s still the NFL.

        Everyone gave the Cards and Pats zero chance against Pitt. They were 7-4 and had ‘fixed’ their offense by ditching Matt Canada.

        After week one, when we lost our home opener against the Cooper Kupp-less Rams and the Lions had everything going for them (just beat the SB champs in KC, huge sellout crowd, etc.) no one had Seattle winning.

        Who had Tennessee over Miami in Miami two days ago? Especially down 14 points with 3 minutes to go.

        Houston on fire vs NYJ with Zach Wilson re-re-returning as starting QB: Jets win 30-6.

        You never know with this stuff. I think you’re right on TEN & AZ. I think they’re all going to be a problem, but it wouldn’t really surprise me if we won any individual game either.

        The big issue, is winning a game or three doesn’t mean anything to me (us). Going 4-0 or 3-1 to wrap up may be (Is) the worst thing for this franchise.

        • Peter

          I’ve just been thinking that we beat Philly and we all start singing kumbaya around the campfire only to get caught by two teams that “we” think are after thoughts.

          Agree. Dragging our bottom third league effort in all meaningful measurables to Jerry world or Santa Clara is not going to be great for team honesty moving forward.

          The forever “we’re almost there,” has been fun but I’m over it. I want yo either be ‘there’ or be honest about how to get there.

  22. Brodie

    KJ was on Brock and Salk, and it seems that the cat is out of the bag – finally.

    How many leaders in the locker room? Bobby and Reed. Salk asked about Qandre and Geno and KJ just rolled his eyes and shook his head.

    Responding to Pete’s response on whether the team is receiving his message (“ask them. next.”) – Pete is sick of and tire of these guys.

    Need to see different personnel on MNF. Create a shock w/in the building. Players don’t have Pete’s back. If you want the young guys to step up and be leaders, you need to get rid of some vets that are making too much and not buying in (can’t for the life of me think of anyone on our team who fits that bill though)

    • cha

      Buffalo let it leak that they fined Shaq Lawson for his ugly interaction with a fan on the sidelines.

      I retweeted that and asked the Seahawks if they did the same for Jamal and his Yikes, it would be wise to leak that out at the very least.

      We haven’t heard a thing and it would not shock me if somehow the press has been told ‘ask about the Jamal incident and there’ll be trouble for you.’

      Which if true, is nearly the same tactic that Jamal employed. Instead of leaking a small thing that it’s been handled, they are just waiting for it to explode. And at the very least you get these types of things, KJ talking about who the leaders are and rolling his eyes at the other names.

    • Rob Staton

      Then get rid of them.

      Season ends, Quandre, Jamal and Geno need to be gone.

    • McZ

      It did the trick shoveling the responsibility away from the HC.

      Really, I’m sick of this team. And I’m starting to lose any respect for coach Carroll.

  23. Palatypus

    ESPN just reported that Will Rogers is visiting Washington this weekend.

    • Rob Staton


  24. Julian

    Payton Wilson looks to be a really nice player, but I so hope the Seahawks don’t draft him, because if they do it’ll mean they haven’t gone to the areas of the team they absolutely need to concerntrate on. The tenches and QB. Don’t draft a linebacker until Day 3.

    • Peter

      I’m going to go put on a limb here a bit.

      By limiting draft options a 3rd round LB if he even lasts that long might be the BPA over a guard. A scenario: Fred Warner or Lewis…

      Obviously I hope they attack the trenches….it’s possible they can do that in free agency.

  25. Pran

    They are talking about Belchick’s future with Patriots after 3 bad seasons. 8 Superbowl appearances and 6 wins didnt mean much while Pete is enjoying mediocre for 8 seasons now. it also shows how difficult it is to win with out a QB even for the great hoodie.

  26. Zane

    I wonder if Jerrick Reed would be in line to get some starting snaps if he hadn’t gone down.

  27. El Cavito

    I’d like to see the rookies/younger players get more playing time these last few games to see more of what we have to work with on the field instead of what they can show at practice on Techno Tuesdays… We know what we have and don’t have in the vets, and if change is coming, why not give those players a chance to step up and show out?

    Mostly, I’m just fearful of the next set of vets PC/JS brings to com(Pete) taking away the existing players’ reps and the next set of rookies’ reps they won’t get during training camp.

  28. Charlie Wilson

    Love this, Rob. I had Payton Wilson 20th on my big board earlier this month. Probably higher than others on him, but if he’s able to remain healthy then he’s worth it. However, don’t want to see Seattle take him unless he falls. Can’t keep putting resources into off-ball LB and safety. Good read!

  29. neil

    He may have a lot of potential but I am sorry, injury prone is still injury prone. Do I have to site Jamal Adams ? The Hawks need players that can stay on the field.

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