Projecting the Seahawks off-season under John Schneider and Mike Macdonald

Here are a few ideas kicking around in my head as the Seahawks start a new era under John Schneider and Mike Macdonald. I’ll touch on roster moves, free agency and the draft. I reserve the right to change all of these projections!

The need to create cap space

This is the first thing on the agenda. The Seahawks are projected to be $9.5m over the cap, in effective cap space, for 2024. They cannot function without making big savings and freeing up significant cap room, meaning difficult decisions need to be made.

Two Post-June 1st cuts

The Seahawks will almost certainly designate Jamal Adams as a post-June 1st cut. That spreads the dead money out over two years ($10.4m in 2024 and 2025) and immediately creates $16.5m.

The second cut is more painful. Tyler Lockett has been a tremendous servant to the Seahawks. I’ve gone back and forth on this one but his cap hit of $27m is just too big. The fact he has a similar cap hit in 2025 makes it difficult to lower his salary, without making long term commitments in a new deal. Designating Lockett as a post-June 1st cut creates $9.9m in dead money this year and next but saves the team $17m.

These two moves would create a situation where the Seahawks have $24m in effective cap space (money they can spend).

Parting with Adams feels inevitable. Lockett would be more significant. However, with another deep receiver class in the draft, there will be an opportunity to get a cheaper replacement who can operate as a WR3.

You might ask whether they can trade Lockett. Not before June 1st, because they’d only save $8m and would take on a $19m dead cap hit. Given the need for immediate relief, it’s more likely they’d have to go the post-June 1st route.

Further cuts to create cap space

Bryan Mone will almost certainly be cut to create an extra $5.3m. It’s possible they cut Nick Bellore to create another $2.8m — that’ll depend on whether Schneider values his special teams impact as much as Pete Carroll. These two further moves would give the Seahawks $32.1m to spend — a reasonable amount given the challenges ahead.

Players who won’t be cut

I don’t think Will Dissly will be cut before the draft. Both Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson are free agents. Retaining one tight end on the roster feels necessary, then you can reassess down the line. There’s no financial difference between cutting Dissly in March or July, so provided you create enough space elsewhere, you can retain him. If they did cut Dissly because of his $10m cap hit, I think they’d try to re-sign him anyway.

I also don’t think Quandre Diggs will be cut before the draft. His obscene cap-hit of $21.2m is a problem but the Seahawks probably need to at least keep Diggs and Julian Love on the roster pre-draft, in order to not feel forced into a corner at the position. After the draft, parting with Diggs to create $10m in cap space is plausible if they feel comfortable with the position. This situation would be different, of course, if they prefer to try and sign a safety in free agency (eg Geno Stone). In that instance, Diggs would likely be gone. Transferring one big salary at safety for another, though, feels like bad business. They’re better off trying to find their own, cheaper version in the draft.

Spoiler alert — in my next horizontal board, I will have Wake Forest safety Malik Mustapha as my top ranked player at the position with a second round grade (with the expectation he’ll be available later than that).

What happens with Geno Smith?

I think anything’s on the table but I also think there are a few things that could be steering us towards the way this is heading.

Firstly, I keep reading and hearing people say that his cap hit in 2024 ($31.2m) is fair market value and works alongside, for example, his PFF grade at the quarterback position compared to the rest of the league. I don’t think this is the right way to approach this topic. These are the two main things to consider.

Firstly, what does Schneider think about the talent difference between Smith and Drew Lock? Not what you think, what Schneider thinks. If Lock costs, say, $6m for next season and Smith costs $31.2m, is that discrepancy in price worth it in the mind of the man actually making the decision?

I think there’s some evidence suggesting he doesn’t think the difference is worth it. Schneider was lukewarm about Smith in his solo press-conference, discussing how he’d had two mixed seasons with highs and lows. He didn’t say anything about the upcoming season (eg, ‘we’re looking for more consistency next season’) which would be a clear indicator that he’s part of their plans. He could’ve made reference to Smith being ‘their guy’ or just used some platitudes to offer praise. Instead, he gave an extremely non-committal answer.

Macdonald was also non-committal while name-dropping Lock (a free agent) a couple of times during his press conference, unprompted. The fact that Macdonald mentioned Lock, who would need to be re-signed, felt like a tell to me.

Secondly, it’s plausible Schneider intends to draft a quarterback this year. If that is their plan, having a cheaper bridge isn’t unreasonable if they want to give the rookie every opportunity to win the job this year.

There could be some benefit to that. If 2024 is about transitioning under a new Head Coach after 14 years, why not let a rookie take his growing pains with the hope that everyone comes out stronger for 2025 and beyond? It’s not unheard of for a new regime to begin by drafting a QB. They spent the last two years, after all, building a foundation. So he wouldn’t be coming into a hopeless situation.

I also think it’s possible they re-sign Lock and bring back Geno, albeit after reducing his 2024 cap-hit because as we keep mentioning — the Seahawks need to create cap space. Let’s review the options with Smith, courtesy of Curtis Allen’s excellent breakdown of the situation:

As the table shows, they can realistically lower his cap-hit by $4.8m or $5.5m without significant dead-cap damage down the line, by converting roster bonus money and salary. The question remains, though, does Schneider believe a $25-26m cap hit for Smith is still better value than Lock on far less, especially if he intends to draft a quarterback?

If they intend to part with Smith they basically have two options. Cut him before February 16th or trade him before March 20th. Those two options will create $13.8m in cap space.

I think both are on the table. It’s possible the February 16th date is going to come too soon for clarity to be established on what’s the right thing to do. They don’t even have an offensive coordinator yet. I also think Smith is too good to just discard. Thus, I think he’ll still be on the roster beyond that day.

The new league year starts on March 15th meaning they’d have ample opportunity, including at the combine, to discuss trade scenarios. Having a hard deadline of March 20th before Smith’s guarantees kick-in will give the Seahawks a major leverage headache in talks. However, two things ring true. One, there are a lot of teams who need a viable quarterback option in 2024. Two, Smith is good enough to start somewhere this year.

If, after the combine, teams like Pittsburgh, New England, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Washington feel less confident about their draft options (or simply desire a bridge to a rookie) they might be prepared to make an offer. The Commanders have $62m in effective cap space, the Falcons have $20m, The Patriots $57m and the Raiders $31m. They can all realistically fit Smith into their budget. The Steelers are $19m in the red for effective cap space but have several levers they can pull to create room.

You won’t be able to drive a hard bargain because of the financial time constraints and the March 20th deadline before Smith’s contract is locked into Seattle’s budget. It’s possible, though, that they might be able to get a fourth or fifth rounder in return. That’d be better than nothing if the Seahawks’ intention is to go with Lock and a rookie anyway.

Of course they could also decide to roll with Smith but in order to do this, I think they’d almost certainly look to re-work his contract. From the minute he signed his deal, it screamed ‘they will do something next year’. Now we’ve reached that point. I think Schneider is simply preparing this team to cross to a younger quarterback, sooner rather than later. So the price of a bridge, and how he personally rates Smith vs Lock at their respective prices, will likely be the determining factor on what decision is made.

Another potential trade candidate

Dre’Mont Jones was a disappointment in his first year in Seattle. His contract is not too restrictive. If, later in the summer, they wanted to move him for a throwaway pick — they can create $11.5m in cap space. Again, this is probably one where they see where they are after the draft. By training camp, if they like their D-line depth, it’s possible they send him to another team. Remember — the Ravens signed Jadeveon Clowney in August and Kyle Van Noy in September. Having cap space later in the year to be active could help the Seahawks find similar value to aid their new Head Coach.

Who will they re-sign?

Jeff Howe from the Athletic is already reporting the Seahawks and Leonard Williams are hoping to get a deal done to keep him in Seattle. This is a no-brainer for the Seahawks. It might cost them approximately $17m a year but if they were willing to spend that kind of money on Dre’Mont Jones, they have to be willing to do it for Williams.

It’d significantly eat into Seattle’s available cap space — which is why they might have to make some difficult decisions on the likes of Smith, Lockett, Dissly and Diggs. They can’t fudge this re-shape under Macdonald and need to be ruthless. The aim is to craft a great team, not a ‘good enough not to be awful’ team. Williams can help them get to where they want to go as an impact player.

The defense in Baltimore relied a lot on the strong performances of Roquan Smith at middle linebacker. Given the lack of star options in the draft at MLB, I think the chances are they’ll look to re-sign Jordyn Brooks and incorporate him into that role. I’m not sure he’ll break the bank and they might be able to get him on a one or two-year deal so both parties, under the new regime, can assess fit.

I think the Seahawks will look to re-sign Noah Fant but it will depend on cost. Schneider was willing to draft him in the first round in 2019 so he’s clearly a fan and probably feels the Carroll regime, as with D.K. Metcalf, didn’t do enough to get the most out of Fant. He retains untapped potential and it’s hard to see how they will upgrade from him in the draft or free agency. Again though, it’ll depend what his market is.

I don’t think they will re-sign Bobby Wagner. For players like Damien Lewis and Evan Brown, it’ll likely come down to how cheap they are.

How will they approach free agency?

I think anyone expecting any big splashy moves will be disappointed. From what I can gather about the Ron Wolf philosophy, as noted in this article, the building of this team could be focused through the draft and any outside moves will be more calculated than splashy. Plus, that is how the Raves have operated too.

I don’t expect the Seahawks to go big game hunting for Patrick Queen, Justin Madubuike or Geno Stone. Madubuike will likely be franchised anyway.

I think the Seahawks will return to the approach of letting the market come to them. They’ll check the second and third wave of free agency and seek value.

The core of the team is going to be built through the draft. I don’t think they’re going to even attempt to transplant Baltimore to Seattle. They are going to create their own spine, some of the pieces of which are already in place. I think anyone who comes over from the Ravens will be due to opportunity and value, not because the Seahawks out-spent everyone else.

Will they draft a quarterback?

I think there’s a very reasonable chance they will. It’s been so long. This is John Schneider’s show now and I don’t think he’s going to ‘get by’ at the position. I think the Geno Smith plan was very much a Pete Carroll project, perhaps tied to the need to have a veteran starter vs a rookie given the nearing end of Carroll’s contract.

Schneider is now building the future of the Seahawks. He can afford to think long term. He’s always said his intention was to draft a quarterback most years. We’ll soon find out whether, when in charge of the whole operation, he’s prepared to do that.

There are some things to remember here. Firstly, as we noted in a recent article, Schneider reportedly wanted to draft Andy Dalton in the first round in 2011. I remember scouting Dalton at TCU. His career played out exactly as you can imagine based on what he showed in college.

It’s indicative of his willingness, perhaps, not to necessarily seek perfection. Dalton had reasonable tools, the ability to get the ball downfield, a long college career where he elevated his team and lots of production. He played in an aggressive, pass-heavy offense.

In this draft there are players who fit that mould in Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr. They could be available in the same kind of range (#25) Schneider was prepared to draft Dalton. I don’t think it’s out of the question he will look to trade down, to try and get back into round two, before drafting a quarterback. Nix is a physical prototype and Penix Jr has an outstanding arm and can be very aggressive with his targets. These are things Schneider, I think, will value.

I also think Spencer Rattler has qualities that will appeal to Schneider, plus J.J. McCarthy has been around Mike Macdonald at Michigan, so they’ll have good intel there. I think there’s a very realistic chance the Seahawks draft one of these players.

There are other things to consider too. Schneider was in Green Bay when they took Aaron Rodgers with the 24th pick. That was an opportunistic pick, and a shot to eventually replace Brett Favre. Here’s what scouts were saying about Rodgers before the 2005 draft:

“He’s a little short. The thing you worry about is those (Jeff) Tedford guys. They don’t do anything for a couple years and then they have a good year or two. Who of his quarterbacks has done what they’re supposed to do? None of them. Is he just working magic with great college quarterbacks or just manufacturing guys?”

“I like him. He’s a very talented guy. A lot of quarterbacks that were system people have not done very well. That puts up a red flag. Not that he is one of them. He could be an exception. But I can’t get it out of my craw.”

“I like him. I just don’t know if he’s maxed out. He’s more accurate than (Kyle) Boller but probably not as athletic. He’s a better player than Akili Smith. He’s more athletic than (Trent) Dilfer was. He’s a little more mobile than Joey Harrington. He had to go to a JC because no one would recruit him because they said he was too small. He’s been busting his (expletive) his whole life to get to this point. I just don’t know how much more he has to give.”

“I think he has some upside although there are some things that are just ordinary about him.”

“The guys that Tedford has had, what have they developed into? They’re too well-schooled. So mechanical. So robotic. I don’t know if they become good pro players. I think Rodgers is in that same mold.”

As you can see, not glowing reports and why he ultimately dropped. Green Bay capitalised. I’m sure Schneider will be mindful of stuff like this, waiting for an opportunity to similarly focus on what a player ‘can be’ not what he isn’t currently (a key Ron Wolf philosophy).

Despite drafting Rodgers, the Packers then drafted Brian Brohm in the second round in 2008. Again, they were taking shots. Buying as many raffle tickets as possible, as Schneider has said is his ideal approach to the position. It’s not unreasonable to think Schneider could take a quarterback early this year (first three rounds) and do the same next year as he tries to find a long-term top-level solution, now that he’s fully in charge.

Here’s another Packers-related note. Although this only took place recently, long after Schneider had departed Green Bay, their decision to draft the ‘floored but with upside’ Jordan Love is indicative of the Packers DNA. Again, planning ahead (Rodgers still on the roster) and buying into what a player can become. I am not convinced Schneider is solely focused on only drafting the perfect QB. I think, like Green Bay, he’s going to look for opportunities and value.

The Ravens, where Macdonald’s DNA was formed, have also done this. They won a Super Bowl after drafting Joe Flacco, from small school Delaware, with the #18 pick. They also drafted Lamar Jackson with the 32nd pick. Both Schneider and Macdonald have come from backgrounds where their previous teams have enjoyed great success drafting quarterbacks outside of the top-10.

Macdonald might be a defensive coach but I wouldn’t put it past the Seahawks to invest in a young quarterback with the first or second pick of this new era.

How will they approach the draft?

Let’s park the quarterback talk for the moment. At #16 I think there will be a selection of players who, if available, they might be willing to stick and pick. It’s still very early but I would suggest names like Taliese Fuaga, Jared Verse, Chop Robinson and J.C. Latham could fit into that category. Otherwise, trading down into the 20’s could potentially net the Seahawks a second rounder. Per the draft trade chart, the #16 pick is worth 1000 points. Green Bay’s pick at #25 is worth 720. The Packers have two second round picks, including #57 overall (worth 330 points). There could be a deal to be done here, especially if a left tackle is still available at #16 (a huge need for Green Bay).

There will still be good options in the 20’s such as, potentially, Troy Fautanu, Jackson Powers-Johnson, Graham Barton, Darius Robinson and others. Plus, this could be the range where you target a quarterback.

I think they will believe they can address multiple needs in this draft by finding ‘their’ players, thus justifying the trade down if a top prospect isn’t available. I think they will see this as an opportunity to further build a foundation, with real value to be had between rounds 2-4.

For example — there aren’t any linebackers slated for round one but there are good, rounded players who are projected to be available in the second, third or fourth round. It’s a deep class of receivers, which makes it easier to replace Lockett if he departs (Luke McCaffrey reminds me so much of Lockett). There are a lot of good offensive linemen and some depth across the defensive line too.

As for safety — as noted earlier, when I release my new horizontal board, Wake Forest’s Malik Mustapha will be the top ranked player at his position. I think he’s a second round talent who could be available in round three. His combination of speed, physicality, range, hitting, run defense and character make him an ideal pick to provide youth, leadership and speed at the position.

With players such as Mustapha, linebackers Payton Wilson, Junior Colson, Edgerrin Cooper, Cedric Gray and Nathaniel Watson, linemen such as Zak Zinter, Zach Frazier, Dylan McMahon and defensive linemen like McKinley Jackson — there are plenty of players you can imagine building up your core with, even if you draft a quarterback first.

Thus, there are reasons to be optimistic about the opportunities this team will have. I’d just caution against expecting any big free agent moves, I would expect a major focus on money saving this off-season and a renewed commitment to the draft — with the distinct possibility of a quarterback being selected.

It’s early and we’ll see how much (if any) of this comes to fruition. I’ll adapt these projections as we go along as always. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.


  1. SebA

    Thanks very much for this and all the coverage since the new HC came in, Rob. It will be really interesting to see this apparently unshackled Schneider in action, regarding the QBs. I hope we do start pulling the trigger more often than Alex McGough in the 7th. All the ‘oh, I really liked this guy’ e.g. Mahomes + Allen and his comments about wanting to draft QBs more often than he has surely mean we will start drafting them!

  2. Henry Taylor

    Cutting Lockett would be a really tough move to make, but not without merit. I wouldn’t be against giving Bobo a shot at WR3.

    • Patrick Toler

      Lockett is an all time Seahawk but there really isn’t an argument for keeping him given the savings of moving on. Will always love him for the player he was, but he is no longer a difference maker.

  3. Blitzy the Clown

    Fantastic article.

    Lockett was drafted as a WR3 who played himself into WR2 and at times WR1.

    Luke McCaffrey will do the same on his team in the pros. I would be very happy to draft him.

  4. Seattle Person


    I remember telling either Palatypus or someone else about checking out Malik Mustapha at the Senior Bowl. One of Bruce Fieldman’s ‘Freaks.’ I even mocked him in this Reddit post. I’m glad you got to him Rob.

    Another player I’m pumped about is Renardo Green from FSU. He is as battled tested as it gets. Went against Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman in practice. Held his own against the boys from LSU. Went up with Jamari Thrash. One of the best press CB in the draft in my opinion.

    • Palatypus

      I think I saw him on the Instagram channel for EXOS sports and he is working out here in Pensacola. I think he is alluding to it here:

      He compared his game to Budda Baker at the end.

      • Seattle Person

        There isn’t much buzz about him from the Senior Bowl but his tape is very exciting. I definitely see a lot of Budda in him. He might be a little faster and more physical though. He’s a heart and soul type of player in the defense. Natural born leader.

  5. Brodie

    I get why they wouldn’t, but I would rather just eat all of the dead cap this year from these bloated deals. $10.4 for JA, $9.9M for Tyler, means you’ve already got over $20M in dead cap for 2025. Just fix it and move on.

    Say they cut JA, Diggs, Lockett, Dissly & Mone. That’s $55M in cap space if you eat all of the dead cap in 2024.

    • Patrick Toler

      I think it will depend on how aggressive they want to be in changing the roster to suit Macdonald’s preferences. They might want to bring in several free agents and that space will go fast.

    • Joey Carolla

      Agreed. And I’d add Geno to the list to add another $13.8 million in cap space.

  6. KennyBadger

    If Lock is 4 million and geno is 10, give me lock all day. I don’t think lock is better but from a cost / benefit perspective it makes sense. I want a new qb as much as anyone else, but this may not be the time for one – filling holes up front plays to the strength of this draft.

    • BK26

      Lock has some fire to him, he was exciting to watch (even if he didn’t play any better) compared to Geno. Geno is safe and even keeled. Lock is at least not boring. And then the savings?

      The team under Geno just wasn’t fun to watch: offense and defense. I can see Lock playing a lot as the bridge, but to signify the changes coming.

    • LouCityHawk

      I get this point. But BK26 makes a good point.

      On the draft though. I see 4 QBs worthy of a pick this year, maybe 5.

      Daniels (2)

      Rattler (but which round? He is being mocked from R1-R5).

      Penix (R3 for me).

      Travis (R5)

      On all but those first two I would want the team to dip into the QB pool again to see what was there in 2025.

      Realize though, Maye, McCarthy, Nix all have a lot of love, and will eat up some choices.

      • Peter

        I think Nix goes very late first round or early second. He’s not my guy. But in the wind up to jj mccarthy or bust I’ve seen a lot of places…nix was a more effective runner,he at least threw the ball, I know it was gimmicky but he did it and did it well and….

        I have a hunch in gym shorts he’s going to have a pretty strong arm.

        This is a tough year. No standouts at senior bowl. More players phoning it in at tge combine. You are really going to have to be set come draft time because no one will separate, I think, from where they are today til then.

        • LouCityHawk

          Draft games may make all the difference.

          I feel like the end of R2,beginning of R3 is Rattler’s sweet spot.

          On the other hand, if he kills it in his interview I could see him going 1.

          I just had someone stupid for saying Milton as undraftable.

          This might be the wildest draft in memory.

          • BK26

            Right there with ya on Milton. One guy said teams will salivate over his arm and my point was that he still can’t hit a barn.

            • Brennan

              Yes, the challenge with Milton will be Throws like Tarzan, but can’t anticipate anything. If you have to wait until the receiver is open to throw it, you are already too late. It’s unfortunate, because that arm is a howitzer.

  7. Anthony

    Bo Nix going to be that guy who gets 3 yard completions on 3rd and 8, ain’t he?

    • LouCityHawk

      Did you love Brady Quinn????

      Cause if you did! You are going to love Bo Nix!

      • Anthony

        He’s like a cross between Brock Osweiler and Brady Quinn. I see a lot of those 21/24 for 85 yards stat lines in his future.

        • Henry Taylor

          He had a 60 yard bomb dropped by his reciever.

  8. Thomas

    Yeah, I’ve thought about Lockett too. I think they’d rather trade him for a pick, perhaps as part of a package to move up but not necessarily for a QB. But then I don’t know how his salary would shake out in a trade…

    • Seattle Person

      I hope he just retires.

      • BK26

        I honestly think that he will retire. Some down here in KC think he’d be open to playing here since he’s from the area, but I think it’s Seattle for real estate full-time.

        • Jabroni-DC

          Lockett will be offered an ‘advisory role’ within the organization 😳

          • Brennan

            How about Lockett retires, takes on receivers coach role. Part time real estate agent.

            • Brennan

              Oh, forgot……give me more Bobo! I would absolutely take a top three of DK, JSN and Bobo. I swear Bobo caught everything that touched his hands last year….slight over exaggeration, but only slightly,

  9. Big Mike

    Outstanding article Rob, very thorough. There’s a lot of food for thought here.
    Most excited I’ve been for the Hawks in a long time. No more “creeping malaise”.
    Like others have said, I’d save the money and go with Lock too.

    Looking forward to the day Adams is officially no longer a Seattle Seahawk.

  10. Commander Ga

    I think the Seahawks must be ruthless and unsentimental when it comes to trimming the fat.
    It’s tough though, I find myself feeling sentimental about Lockett. A speedy little YAC guy would go a long way towards making me feel better.
    Speaking of Zay Flowers, I also enjoyed watching Isaiah Likely this year. Noah Fant could most definitely be better utilized next year.
    It’s going to be a fun year to be a Seahawks Draft Blog fan.

  11. LouCityHawk

    I really do wonder if Diggs will be retained. The Twitter action got called out in the press conference.

    Given the personality shift the team is undergoing, can’t help but think the locker room might be a get on board or get out type atmosphere.

    It is the Love baby/victory cigar dispute. Certain players give off that vibe, or have high character Rattler (now) or Penix (the only reason I don’t rule him out entire).

    Ladd McConkey has reportedly high character, at Georgia no less. I’ve heard Zinter has political level character (in a positive way).

    In a funny way, I think this drsft might turn on Rattler. I’m not sure a team pulls a first round trigger on him (decision making can be Lock Like). They special upside is there. In a way it reminds me of Russ, and how Carroll famously made Schneider wait a round to get him.

    I am biased in wanting a QB to be invested in after R1, because I really feel like 2025 is too stacked to ignore QB completely.

    • Big Mike

      I really do wonder if Diggs will be retained.

      I sincerely hope not. Business decision guys have no place on the team I root for along with the twatter/X crap, cigars, etc. This team needs an attitude overhaul and sending him packing would help that.

      • BK26

        Yeah, he needs to be gone. Lost all ability to be a leader. Never thought I’d say it, but he became hard to root for. I’ve had to say that a lot this last year….

      • bmseattle

        I echo this, Big Mike.
        We’ve had a taste of “leadership” like Diggs, and maybe it was good enough for late era Pete… but not for this new iteration of The Seahawks.

        Go young, go hungry, go cheap… on defense, at least.

        I don’t know how much he was to blame for the collective lack of effort and passion last year, but, at the least, he didn’t improve things in that department.

    • BK26

      Who are you looking at in 2025 (even though it’s probably who I am/would want them to be interested in)?

      • LouCityHawk

        Ewers/Sanders/Leonard/Howard/Ward…plus open to some others pushing their way into convo.


    I understand the argument for cutting Lockett but I’d rather sign an extension and push the cap hit off in his case.

    Not everyone has to go. Lockett helps whoever the QB is.

    • Rob Staton

      The problem is he’s already on 27m a year. An extension can lower his cap hit this year but the money he’s owed doesn’t go away. And his performance this season hinted at decline and I hate to say it, at times, like he had lost a bit of edge (see the game winning drive vs Philly). So committing even more money to him for longer, IMO, would be unwise

  13. HawksFanMattMan

    When would you predict the Seahawks pull the trigger on an OC?

  14. Hebegbs

    Rob, great content. I really agree with everything you’ve stated in this article.

    Tough to cut Lockett but it may be the right thing for the team with the cap situation and his age.

    I’d roll with Lock over Geno.

    Curious if you have scouted Jaden Hicks the safety from WSU that declared? He’s a really good player. Built really well and has instincts. IMO he’d be an instant upgrade over Jamal immediately. He’s mocked all over I’ve even seen him late 2 in one and all the way to 6-7 round in others. Not sure about 2 but round 3-5 i would love to see him selected as a Hawk.

    • Hebegbs

      Just saw that ESPN has Jaden Hicks as their #1 safety prospect. He’s worth a look.

      I will say it sometimes felt like he was everywhere in certain games and a bit absent in others. Consistency is key.

  15. Forrest

    Can we please just end the pro bowl insanity. This isn’t football! Not even close!

    • RomeoA57

      And it still gets better viewership than most everything else on TV which is why it will never go away. I watched them playing dodgeball, and throwing waterballoons at each other last year. Thankfully, I haven’t watched one second of this crap this year.

    • 805Hawk

      I actually enjoyed it this year. No one pretended to be playing real football and everyone was into the flag game for the most part. The skills challenges are fun to watch too. None of it you can take seriously, of course, but it’s okay.

  16. Jabroni-DC

    If Seattle is ultimately going with the option of Lock over Geno it’d make sense to get his deal done while Geno is on the roster for negotiating leverage. In that case Lock could be the 1st roster addition that we hear about.

  17. Murphy

    God we dodged a bullet!!

    • Murphy

      Hmm I guess I don’t know how to properly post a tweet but Kingsbury hired by the Commanders

  18. Katal

    Would be happy taking our cap hit medicine all in 2024, opening JS & MM to have tens of millions to spend in 2025. By then our more recent successful draft classes will be about up for contract renewals, too. Perhaps having so many players cut & a tight cap situation will attract UFA too.

    Would cut Diggs and not look back.

    Saying goodbye to Lockett has a much better chance of happening than I think many fans realize. While he’s still excellent, my man definitely took a step back this year. Better to cut a player too soon than too late.

    • STTBM

      Im not sure Locket topk a step back, considering how badly the overall offense and Red Zone offense declined.

      If hes lost a step, JS will know.

      I for one want to keep him. Hes been a bargain his whole career.

      Trade/cut Geno, dump Adams, Diggs, Mone, resign Lock, and keep Lockett.

    • EmperorMA

      Did Tyler “take a step back” this year, or did he simply play for a QB who couldn’t find open receivers?

  19. cha

    We will get a really good look of what their intentions are by March 13.

    OTC has them over by $5.2m, and they need to be above the cap by then.

    If they want to tender any of their RFAs and ERFAs they’ll the cap to do that as well.

    • cha

      OTC has them over by $5.2m, and they need to be above under the cap by then

  20. Forrest

    Rob, I agree that it’s time to move on from Lockett. JSN seemed to jump him for the #2 spot and he kind of disappeared toward the back half of the season. Skip the emotion, he’s overpaid.

    I also can’t see retaining Diggs. He’s simply not a difference maker and he’s too much of a talker for his limited production (not to mention his mistackles). This is the time to admit mistakes and move on, it’s a new regime. …and you already have Love, who did show up a bit more when Adams sat. Start there and add a complement. I’d be okay paying for another productive safety. I just don’t want to overpay for an average one. 55.1 PFF isn’t worth it!

    Also, get rid of Dre’mont Jones. He didn’t do anything memorable and is overpaid for what he showed – limited production. Ask yourself, for the money, can you do better? Yes!

    Is Will Dissley worth $10M? Nope. Ask him to take a pay cut. If he refuses, get rid of him too!

    That gives you tons of money to spend in free agency.

    I say, bring in someone like Grover Stewart to replace Dre’Mont Jones. Maybe put a Frankie Lulu in there to replace the Wagner/Brooks losses (let Brooks go, he’s had too many injuries and is a “nice to have”, not a “great”). Then put Connor Williams in the middle of the O line.

    As for the draft, I’d love to add a JC Latham or Taliese Fuaga to lock down the right tackle for a decade. Add in Zak Zinter at guard and you’re looking elite and nasty!

    I’d love to add Junior Colson at MLB and/or Peyton Wilson at Will. That gives you so many options. Then, if a QB drops, fine, skip one of those and get your guy.

    By the way, I have a nickname for Junior Colson – “Pentagon”. Take a look at his percentiles chart. I’ve never seen that before!

    • Seattle Person

      Jackson Powers-Johnson
      Junior Colson
      Dominick Puni
      Malik Mustapha
      AJ Barner

      That’s one hell of a start to a draft.

    • Commander Ga

      Nice catch on that perfect pentagon — that’s amazing.
      Want to see something funny? Check out Ladd McConkey’s pentagon. More of a vanishing point.

  21. Joe

    Geno’s salary actually holds the team back, if you think that money could go to retaining or obtaining young talent. Go Lock and draft a qb.

    The Baltimore defense needed 2 dynamic LB’s to be what it was, and we currently have 0. I’ll bet a lot of money we sign (Queen or Brooks). And if you could get both, I’d say bye bye Diggs and draft a safety.

    Kinda feel Diggs, Love, and Spoon would flourish in the new D though. Tough decisions but you have to plan 1-2 years out now.

    • EmperorMA

      We still have a very tough and good player in Jerrick Reed. I’m hoping he will get some reps at safety this coming season.

  22. PJ in Seattle

    Outstanding breakdown, Rob. I hope folks here will Patreon you for a few bucks a month to help support the quality and frequent content you put out here for us. It is much appreciated.

    I think Bobo is ready to assume WR3 and this draft is deep on WR futures. I am sure heart-to-hearts are being had with Tyler and figuring out how to make this work for both sides. I can’t see him in another uniform, but the contract honestly makes little sense now. If he’s on the verge of retirement, I expect John and MacD will let him know that now would be a good time to take that plunge.

    Safety is a conundrum for me. Jamal is assuredly gone, even if his cap hit wasn’t as gross as it is. I can’t see him and MacDonald vibing in the least. Diggs is expensive but can play the position well with veteran savvy. He can also half-ass it and look like a fool on the field sometimes. I think that’s down to accountablity and I get the feeling he could up his game with a new sherriff in town. Love is solid and returns. As I recall, Jerrick Reed flashed a bit as a rookie before he was lost for the rest of the season. Maybe we have something there. Regardless, seems we are destined to draft a safety somewhere in this class. If not, will probably be churning through FA’s a lot this summer and hoping to strike some gold.

    Leonard Williams has to get done. Period. Cutting and re-signing Dissly on a much cheaper deal is probably doable. Hopefully, we can get either Fant or Parkinson back. I think either could flourish under an OC that understands the value of regularly attacking seams with the TE’s. My guess is that Fant will have a lot of suitors so maybe Parkinson is the guy we can bring back on a reasonable deal – and I’d be fine with that.

    Thanks for the consistently thoughtful and entertaining content.

  23. MJ

    I didn’t see anything from Diggs last season that gives me confidence he can be a solid contributor to the defense moving forward. I would prefer they cut him and bring in a young hungry safety.

    As for how the rest of the off season plays out, I would be thrilled if this article was the script, good stuff Rob!

  24. Brian Chase

    If players get cut and sign elsewhere do they count towards compensatory picks or do they need to be free agents already?

    • cha

      Need to be free agents already.

      Specifically, Unrestricted Free Agents.

  25. Palatypus

    Sione Vaki played safety and running back at Utah, and had outstanding Zebra speed metrics at the Senior Bowl, so he could be a replacement for Nick Bellore.

    And it wouldn’t cost us much.

  26. Commander Ga

    I don’t get all the Bobo love. The modern WR paradigm is speed and YAC. Find some of those guys. Use tight ends for the slow guy stuff. Tight ends that outweigh Bobo by 50 pounds and are way faster.

    • Jeff

      Yeah, Bobo doesn’t have the speed traits. But he does seem to have incredible hands. He catches all sorts of passes that DK drops regularly.

      • Palatypus

        The chapter on wide receivers in the book One Knee Equals Two Feet by John Madden is “Moves, Hands, and Toughness.” It doesn’t say anything about speed. Luke McCaffrey was #1 in acceleration and #2 in deceleration metrics at the Senior Bowl. That means when a defensive back turns their hips they had better be a “one stepper” or they will get burned.

      • Peter

        A trade:

        I agree Bobo is a solid player with the potential to be good with increased volume in exchange for the following…

        We stop saying a guy with nine games of one catch a game for 9 yards or less per each of those catches including a game with a single three yard reception (!!) And a total of 19 total catches, somehow has magically better hands than DK. Show us. Throw him the ball 90x and let’s see him be Baldwin.

        If you are running three yards or four yards for one catch in a game….you sure better make that a good one.

        • Brennan

          I think when you are a #4 receiver, that’s probably all the activity/targets you can expect. I think coming out of UCLA Bobo was known for running great routs and his hands. What we saw from him in limited time last year supported that. DK is great, but he does seem to have some lapses/drops on passes he should catch.

          • Peter

            I would love nothing more than DK to have slightly better hands.

            It’s just a very weird comp between two players on a team that could not be more different.

            He’s also this strange lightning rod on this team. Get him a qb who can throw the ball.

          • 805Hawk

            DK had 7 drops this year, same as Brown and Kelce. Nucua had 13. T.Hill had 10. Sure DK could be better but let’s get past this thing where he drops a ton of balls.

  27. Jeff

    Great and super detailed writeup Rob! Love it!

    ESPN has a writeup of where according to league sources they think the highest and lowest Penix, Bo Nix and Rattler might get drafted. They have Rattle in the 3rd round at highest and as low as the 7th round!

    I’m guessing you would say that’s all time great bargain if Rattler is a 7th round pick? And would could explain such a gigantic range on a QB?

    Spencer Rattler, South Carolina
    Kiper’s position ranking: QB7
    Earliest predicted draft range: Bottom of Round 3, top of Round 4
    Latest predicted draft range: Bottom third of Round 6, top third of Round 7

    • Palatypus

      Read up to the paywall.

      My feeling is that Joe Milton III will end up with the Green Bay Packers somewhere late in the draft. They will be the only ones patient enough to try and fix him.

      • Jeff

        On Milton they said:

        Joe Milton III , Tennessee
        Kiper’s position ranking: QB9

        Earliest predicted draft range: Middle to late Round 5
        Most likely draft range: Round 7

        • Whit21

          Dude has a monster arm though..

          You never know.. JS likes big arms

  28. RomeoA57

    I see a lot of people hoping the Lockett retires or gets traded.

    Wouldn’t Tyler lose a lot of money if he retired? Would he have to pay back some of his signing bonus?

    CHA. what are the cap ramifications if Tyler retires, is traded or is cut?

    • Jeff

      Yeah, Lockett technically is at risk of losing part of his signing bonus if he retired. Teams in the past have forgiven that (up to the team). I think Seattle let Marshawn keep his signing bonus the first time he retired.

      But I can’t imagine Lockett is even contemplating retiring – I haven’t heard that anywhere.

      I also can’t imagine Lockett has any trade value. Who would want a 32 year old WR in line for a $20 million salary (he has an additional $7 million cap hit in signing and restructuring bonuses) that seems to have lost a little pep in their step. I would think at this point his worth is closer to $13 million.

    • cha

      You can find it here

      If he retires, it is just like being cut, except they can try to reclaim the $19m in signing bonus money and get that cap money back.

      • Pran

        Sounds like they will restructure the contract if the new OC wants him

        • cha

          It’s possible.

  29. Matt

    Awesome stuff Rob.

    When reading the Rodgers thing, I couldn’t help but think of McCarthy. I know you aren’t he biggest fan but lots of the same, “he’s not that good” talk swirls around him.

    He does have great tools. Great arm. Great athleticism (that actually translates – reminds me of Mahomes & Allen in the sense of the stopwatch doesn’t do justice to how they move). By all accounts an incredibly smart guy who has been really unselfish in the system he played in and won. Harbaugh also seems to rave about him, as do his teammates.

    He also just turned 21.

    I don’t know…this seems like a guy who JS can envision as a 24 year old starter, not who he is right now. He definitely has the aura of “what could he have done in a pass happy, wide open system?”

    Don’t expect anyone to agree, but again, reading those Rodgers quotes immediately brought JJ to mind and in all honesty, if JS likes him – I’m all in.

    • BK26

      I’ve had to say this a lot. His arm is just “fine.” And they hid him in games. I don’t want a quarterback where the team actively didn’t want to use him. And before someone says that Michigan doesn’t run the ball, it is the exact safe offense that Harbaugh has ran since he started coaching. Yet Luck, Josh Johnson, Alex Smith, and Colin Kapernick all were focal points in their offenses. So why isn’t McCarthy? He’s not that good. His athleticism is the only thing that is plus.

      So I don’t think he’s unselfish. They just didn’t want to use him prominently. That is not an NFL quarterback.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t see a great arm with McCarthy

      I actually think he needs to get a lot stronger

      • Blitzy the Clown

        He’s thin for his frame and could use some power training. But I think you sell him short. And I think Schneider will like him. Just my opinion

        • BK26

          No arm kind of rules him out.

      • Ballhawk55

        That’s pretty much what I saw as well. Accuracy also seemed erratic.

    • Peter

      So….who plays qb until Mccarthy becomes a 24 year old starter? 36 year old Geno who is now picking up soft tissue issues?

      I have my doubts that if this had been the great qb class we all hoped it would be we would even be talking about him.

      I agree he looks very quick in the pocket. He’s not an effective running threat so I guess it’s just differences in definition on athleticism.

      Maybe John loves him. Who knows. We only know one total A+ pick and a ton of words.

    • Peter

      Two games to watch:

      Michigan vs. Michigan state. Mccarthy looks great. Quick, on the move passes, very quick decisions. Maybe his best gane to watch if you are a believer. Great throws on the move with the requisite off platform tosses.

      Then watch….

      Michigan vs. Penn. The EIGHT attempts game. One okay throw. Most of the rest are Bo nix inspired passes to the line of scrimmage. Does the Russel right into a sack. Picks up a first down with his legs. Also gets losses on a few plays looking to run before pass and Michigan’s oline has a hard time stopping Penn. At some point Jim realizes the oline can’t hold up and they just stop throwing.

      If Penix gets scrutiny for having a great line should Mccarthy? When the line can’t hold and the defenders get better he gets lost.

      Maybe John does love him. I just see what we already have with Geno and Lock with less displays of arm strength. Great when everything is rolling. If they game gets tough which it almost never did I just see any mid level qb.

  30. Dubb

    Great write up, Rob. I think you will correct on a lot of your thoughts. Have you thought about the bridge QB other than Lock or Geno….. that could be on another team’s roster. I’ll just throw a name out there like Trask in Tampa Bay. Minshew is a free agent.

  31. Daniel

    Great analysis, Rob. Thanks as always for the thoughtful, measured commentary.

    My crystal ball says that Geno is most likely back in Seattle on the same contract. If the Seahawks want to compete this season, and I believe they do, there’s no better investment they can make than to keep a league-average QB at a marginal cost of $13m. Rather than joining the debate of whether he’s worth his salary, I’d rather focus on the marginal savings if Geno is cut, and at that price, it’s not a close call.

    This does not preclude drafting a QB, nor does it mean you can’t have an open competition in camp. I think the team would also be open to trading Geno, even for a day 2 pick. But I think other teams will be understandably skeptical that Geno will replicate his success over the last couple of seasons elsewhere. He’s a short-term answer, and the Seahawks have a short-term need at QB. I just don’t see a better match for either the team or the player.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s $31m not $13m

      • Jeff

        I think the calculation Daniel is doing is looking at the cap hit of $31 million, but the dead cap is $17 million, and coming up with a “marginal cost” of $14 million. Ie. the amount you have to pay above the dead cap hit. If Geno was a free agent, I’m guessing he’d get at least 1 year and $20 million, so $14 million is cheap from that perspective.

        • Rob Staton

          Well, that’s still potentially $8m in savings when you are currently 9.5m in debt, and that’s if Lock signs for $6m. Anything lower and it’s more money saved. So the point still stands for me. Does Schneider think the salary discrepancy is worth it? I think too many people when they broach this subject project their own opinion onto Schneider and don’t consider what he might prefer. I think there’s some evidence to suggest he doesn’t think it’s worth it, and if you gave him millions and a draft pick he’d take it

          I also don’t know how much Geno would get on the open market, honestly. I think people would be surprised. His market never took off a year ago. Nobody was even really being linked to him

          • Jeff

            I’m not disagreeing with you that Schneider might not think Geno is worth $14 million given possible alternatives, like Lock at say $6 million.

            And I do find it odd that MacDonald mentioned Lock as a possibility (as you pointed out) even though he’s a free agent. Makes me wonder if he was tipping Schneider’s hand, or if he legit didn’t know Lock was a free agent (which would seem bizarre given the amount of prep you would think he had done.).

            • Peter

              Why would Coach Mike have a detailed accounting of a backup qb’s contract status?

              • cha

                A coach and GM that smart would.

                I read it as a nod to Lock that he is still valued by the org even though they’ve gone in a new direction.

                There was talk of some “Front Office loves Lock / Pete loves Geno” going on. Would give credence to Pete giving Geno love in the press at every possible opportunity.

                • Elmer

                  Two questions:

                  What FA QB’s will be out there in a price range roughly similar to Lock? Is there a chance that any of them could be seen by the new regime as preferable options than Lock.

                  After reading Rob’s excellent piece I wonder what savings could be realized by trading Smith and Lockett to the Cpmmamders for draft capital .

              • Jeff

                I would think any head coach doing a press conference would do more googling and investigation about the salary cap and QB situation than a random person did (ie. me).

                Also, I saw an article from The Athletic pointing out that MacDonald graduated in the top 2% of his class from undergraduate University of Georgia Business School. That seems like additional reason that he should know the players on the roster and what they cost.

    • Gritty Hawk

      I think you also need to consider the 2025 dead money in your marginal cost. Yes we would only save $13.8M cutting Geno this year, but that also saves us $8.7M in dead money when we inevitably cut him in a year. The total cost of keeping Geno is $39.9M ($31.2M cap hit this year + $8.7M dead money next year). The cost to cut him now $17.4M, so if we went that route we would actually save $22.5M in “cap money” over two years, with the added benefit of saving even more in 2025 when we’re more likely to field a competitive team.

      • Brodie

        Well said. Same is true when doing post-June 1 cuts. The whole point of designating the cuts like that is to spread the cap hit over two years. It doesn’t make the cap it half – it makes it half now and half next year.

        Do the projected post-June 1st cuts (JA, Tyler) and wait to cut Geno until next year and we’re already up to ~$30M in dead cap in 2025 for guys we cut before 2024.

        Really feels like 2024 is the year to take get the bad contracts off of the books and eat the dead cap.

        2025, you’ve got significant cap space, your entire draft class (minus the 5th), have identified who fits or doesn’t and can really target what you feel is missing.

        • GrittyHawk

          Agreed there. I for one would prefer to just eat all the dead money now and reset for 2025. As of right now we have the 6th-least cap space in 2025 at $40.5M with only 30 players under contract. That number jumps to $102M just by cutting Geno and Adams outright this year. If we were to post-6/1 cut Adams now, and hold onto Geno another year before cutting him in 2025, that cap space drops to $83M. Similar story with Lockett where you only save $7M cutting him outright this year but frees up an extra $10M in 2025 versus doing a post-6/1 or waiting a year to do it.

          Of course, the franchise isn’t going to go scorched earth and tank for a year. Can you imagine the heat on MM if we won 4 games in his first year after getting rid of our QB and cutting a fan favorite like Lockett? Fans would would be storming the VMAC demanding Jody sell the team. It’s a shame the vast majority of the fanbase is not as level-headed and future-focused as the commenters on SDB 🙂

          • Brodie

            Exactly. Tyler is scheduled to be the #7 WR (cap hit) in the NFL this year though. $7M more than Justin Jefferson and $9M more than Ceedee Lamb.

            He averaged 52 yds/game and is set to cost $27M!

            Love the guy, but an aging possession WR with one of the worst YAC’s at $27M? Dontayvion Wicks had the same YAC and TD’s as Tyler on 40 fewer catches, 64 fewer targets and 26 million fewer dollars. He was a 5th round pick and is a decade younger.

            Cherry picking a bit, I know. Still this feels like the reset that Pete wouldn’t allow. Get younger, cheaper and less sentimental.

  32. Peanut

    What happens if Adams retires? There was talk of this mid January.

    • Mick

      I assume you mean cap-wise, and I let the experts answer that. The rest of us are just having a party.

    • Jo

      Everyone probably celebrates. Seriously if he did he would stand to lose money. Either way I don’t see him being here next season for more the the financial reasons and I just don’t see him as good fit moving forward.

      • Big Mike

        There is ZERO chance a guy with his personality will walk away from millions…….imo of course. Remember, this guy has a 6k coffee cup for heaven’s sake. Now tell me money doesn’t matter that much to him.

        • DK

          If Adams retires it is just like getting cut. He would still get the dead money portion of his contract he is owed. If he retires prior to June 1st, his cap hit would be the same if he were cut prior to June 1st, same as if he retired on June 1st or after.

    • cha

      It’s very similar to being cut.

      It would slightly help the Seahawks because they could wait until June1 to put him on the Reserve/Retired list and pick up the cap room and spread the dead money over 24-25 without using one of the early June1 cut spots.

      The could pursue the signing bonus money for 2024-25 and get that cap room back. Typically they haven’t but it is almost $21m and that’s a heck of a retirement gift.

  33. SeattleLifer

    Solid thoughts Rob. Hopefully they get an OC in soon so they can really plan and implement going forward, I think for as big a ‘get’ McD was missing out on Smith and the Giants OC were big blows and they really are scrambling a bit now. I wouldn’t be surprised if the try to get someone in on a shorter/cheaper deal with a thought of hoping the guy works out great but kind of preparing for having to dump him after one season and get someone better next cycle.

    It will be interesting to see if John becomes more ‘responsible’ with contracts, especially in house players and third contract guys. For instance Brooks is the type of player they should never pay big money to imo(lacks field awareness/vision, is poor in pass coverage, poor at rushing the QB and for his size and draft position does’nt bring many big hits or anything that says wow) but he’s often been the type of guy that they pay a really big contract too. If we are lucky that was in large part Pete pushing John and John will now be more prudent going forward.

    Adams HAS to be gone. I don’t see any way our new defensive mastermind coach comes from Baltimore’s D and wants Diggs playing for him and typically safeties are a dime a dozen in free agency.

    Lockett sadly should’nt be carried anywhere near his price tag – as others have mentioned he looks likes he’s lost something both physically and perhaps some fire as well, I kinda think he does’nt appreciate the physical beating his body takes but I will also add this : in past years his play was quite negatively affected when he had ‘normal’ nagging types of NFL injuries – yet this past season was the first in many where he did’nt seem to wrestle with such injuries much and he still seemed to decline, sooo what happens when those injuries show up next year a year older etc? Could be a pretty big fall off the proverbial cliff….

    Even thought it has’nt seemed to be a part of John’s tool kit I hope they approach Geno with a re-working of his deal. Let him know hey it’d be cool to have ya but not at that price and take it or leave it. If no then Lock for a single bridge year although I think it’d take more like 12 million if you told him and his agent he will be the presumed starter( unless a rookie lights it up ).

    I really hope John just learns from and applies what he’s learned to what’s happening recently/now in the NFL. Don’t overpay, be a bit ruthless and business like, don’t be afraid to make trades – even big ones just make sure you get a true blue chip difference maker that is youngish, don’t trade back in the draft ‘just to have more pics’ while hoping the guy(s) you want will fall, add in more metrics, take football players and let the coaches and a few leaders build the team up instead of putting character so high individually, young and fast! especially on defense, have a clear vision of team building that matches what it takes to go far into the playoffs in the modern NFL, and lastly build the trenches on both sides including guard to guard – outside of getting a really high pick/getting lucky to find a drafted QB the trenches and a top skill player or two are key in the NFL.

    • Peter

      Big disagree on Brooks. From a non brooks guy.

      Any team needs between three to four LB’s. We are losing three right away.

      Where in the draft or free agency are we going to find a guy who….yep, plays at Brooks’ level? Even Colson or Wilson or other we till need more than one guy.

      I know people love, love, love Patrick Queen. With respect he’s not much and more likely not at all a better player. One has more sacks. One has more passes defended. One Playa for a winner, one does not. That’s the big difference in impression.

      • SeattleLifer

        I did’nt say to not resign him at all just to not give him a contract of any real length/big money. Let the market show him what he’s really worth and then you either get him much cheaper or some stupid desperate team over pays him and you avoid doing so yourself.

        To me over paying for mediocre players is a big part of how the Seahawks declined so badly – and to do so because you don’t have depth/quality at a given position only compounds the problem, over paying out of desperation, no thanks. Draft better, plan ahead better, pick up cheaper options in free agency, just do whatever you have to to not overpay for jag’s.

        To me you avoid poor team building at all costs even if in the short term your team may be a little worse off – well then you take your lumps and have better draft stock and more cap space to improve the next offseason with rather than trying to patch holes with meh players – we did that long enough and it gave us a team that hovered around a .500 win percent and a bottom of the league defense. No thanks personally.

        The top teams pay their top players at the important positions (ie not safety nor linebacker) and fill out the rest of the roster with cheaper(and some strategic) free agent options, trades and in home drafted guys(ideally your 3rd to 5th round types). Pete Carroll needed to go in large part because his ‘vision’ was clueless when it came to modern NFL roster building.

        • Brodie

          Agree with all of this wholeheartedly.

  34. Georgia Hawk

    Re: Ladd McConkey

    I can tell you that he has a sort of cult status down here, just a shade behind Bowers in terms of most popular player. He seems to be the guy that can just make a play when it’s needed the most, always knows how to get open, and has about as sure hands as you can ask for. He’s not flashiest, fastest, speediest, biggest, or any of the other superlatives you would normally throw on a WR, but he just has that innate ability to make the play you need the most. He’s the guy, even more than Bowers I’d say, that UGA fans always look for on the screen when its 3rd and 8 and the Dawgs need something. Ive seen a couple UGA games in person and he doesn’t stand out in really in any way. He’s just always….there. One of those qualitites you can’t really describe or quantify, but you can recognize it.

    I would be ecstatic for the Hawks to draft him this year, even if Lockette stays around. He’s the guy that will do the dirty work and do it with a smile on his face. He reminds me of Julian Edelman or Cooper Kupp. I’ll be very interested to see how he tests in the Short Shuttle and 3 cone.

  35. Aaron Bostrom

    With Kingsbury to WA, I believe there’s only 2 OC openings left—chargers and Seahawks. I hope we pick one soon, but it’s nice to know we can essentially hire whoever we want now.

    • BK26

      Yeah, sounds like Roman is going to the Chargers. So we kind of have the pick of what is left. Other than Kafka.

      • Aaron Bostrom


  36. Brian

    What are the odds Jamal Adams passes a physical so we can cut him? Seems to me like there is a chance he can’t pass one. Anyone with any insight on that?

  37. Palatypus

    In other news, Taylor Swift took a break from collaborating with China to rig the Super Bowl to attend the Grammy Awards, where she made a surprise announcement. Her new album The Tortured Poets Department will be coming out on April 19th, just in time to ruin the NFL Draft too! It should be called The Tortured Football Fans Department.

    • 352 Hawk

      Please let her just go away 🙄

  38. Sea Mode

    Jonathan Jones

    Chiefs defensive line coach Joe Cullen is considered a candidate for several defensive coordinator jobs, sources say. His name is in the mix with the Seahawks and Commanders, as well as at the University of Michigan.

    10:24 PM · Feb 4, 2024

    • Sea Mode

      And in the meantime the Commanders are out of the running:

      Steve Wyche

      Joe Whitt Jr. is following Dan Quinn to Washington as the Commanders defensive coordinator. Whitt was the Cowboys secondary coach and passing game coordinator.

      • Palatypus

        Didn’t Joe Wjitt Sr. coach under Chuck Knox?

  39. Seattle Person

    I do have to wonder what the next OC hire will mean for the team’s plans for the future. I’ve tried to dig into both the Lions’ and Huskies’ offenses and sort of came away with these thoughts.

    If they hire Engstrand then I think they target OLine early and build around the line. Afterall, the Lions offense is built around the run game with explosive play action. You need good linemen to block, pull, and destroy people. QB might wait because it’s built for Geno’s game. Oline becomes a priority.

    If they hire Grubb then I think they might target a young QB early or even roll with Drew Lock. The system is QB friendly. The pre-snap motion. The reads and the spacing are meant to simplify things for a QB. They load up for pass then you run. They stack then you pas. You also need athletic linemen which you can target later in the draft. You build around the passing game and it’s qb-centric.

    • Mr drucker in hooterville

      Either scenario can include Lock over Geno.

      • Seattle Person


        I’ll just say the path to success might be easier for 2024 to roll with Geno with Engstrand. The offense really does fit him if the OLine improves. Lesser with Lock but you can roll with him too.

        • Peter

          But Grubb has a proven record of valuing/coaching olines.

          • Seattle Person


            He also make their lives a lot easier so he might be able to coach them up.

  40. Rob Harrison

    Rob, are you familiar with the Ravens content creator All_22_Films? I’d never heard of him until Davis Hsu linked to a video he put out on what Mike Macdonald brings to Seattle. I found it quite interesting, and I’m wondering what you might make of it. As a side note, he name-checks Chuck Smith (of whom I know nothing) as a possible DC for MM.

    • Andrew

      That guy who does all 22 films on YouTube is great! Especially for schematic Xs and Os stuff

  41. LouCityHawk

    Anyone else starting to get the feeling that this year’s ‘Cartergate’ will be devotees of Nix & McCarthy?

    • Blitzy the Clown

      Do they have nasty skeletons yet come out that raise serious questions about their maturity and passion for the game?

      If not, then no.

      • BK26

        Yes: Nix isn’t a dog person and McCarthy doesn’t put his change in the Salvation Army bucket. Hard pass on both, Penix at least recycles.

      • LouCityHawk

        Dunno, just feeling like their adherents are willing to burn down the universe to explain why they should really be the #1 pick and the they are perfect QB prospects.

        I got a novelization of why a savvy team would take McCarthy and pass on Caleb. My response was, “I have eyes that Work, and no”.

        • Blitzy the Clown

          Yeah, McCarthy over Caleb is pretty, pretty, pretty ridiculous.

          Nix, McCarthy, Penix Jr., they’re all of a tier to me. And it’s below Rattler and May, who are below Williams and Daniels.

          I’m not invested in any of them. Rattler intrigues me, but if I won’t care if it’s Nix or McCarthy as long as it’s a late Day 2 pick. Compared to last year when I was practically rabid for one of the fab 4.

          • BK26

            I think the difference is that last year, they were CLEARLY the top choices, with no one remotely close after them. And we were in striking distance. Throw in the fact that we haven’t needed to draft a quarterback in so long and fans honestly don’t know how to think (including me) on the position.

            Team Geno vs Team Lock vs. teams for Nix, McCarthy, Penix, and teams for taking someone 3rd day. It’s only here where Rattler is talked about as a serious option to be a starting qb in the league, let alone a fairly high draft pick.

            Everyone more or less has their minds made up on each guy, with them being huge unknowns for the most part, especially compared to last year. Hard to have a nice discussion about the situation in a lot of cases.

            • Peter

              Tannehill, Weeden, and Osweiler appreciate your doubts on this class.

          • Peter

            As I cycle through their games I’m getting to the…..what’s the point of any of them stage.

            I’m comfortable with the idea that one of the three will be better than I think. I’m also comfortable with this being a dud of a qb class by the time contracts come up.

            This includes Williams.

            If we had a second I’d probably take whomever was standing. But we don’t and there’s not a lot of math that makes #16 into a second rounder short of just trading it for a second rounder.

    • Mr Drucker in hooterville

      Penix also (in Seattle)

      • LouCityHawk

        Penix love I get (homers) but they really struggle against the comps to Hendon Hooker.

        At least the Milton lovers are almost farces of themselves.

        The interesting thing is they all universally hate Rattler without explanation.

        • BK26

          Such a weird dynamic (also why I don’t want Penix just because of homer fans) with Penix. Too many people almost get offended when you point out his issues, or his draft range.

          I don’t think Rattler will be a popular pick, wherever he goes. It is too much work for the casual fan to change perspective.

          Then there is the dynamic of The Pac-12, Oregon, Washington. And then Michigan and the championship game? A lot of feelings from the college season seeping through.

    • Big Mike

      I see it more with Penix cuz he’s a Husky but yeah those 2 as well.

  42. ErickV

    The spawn of Harbaugh coming to coach special teams . Tbh I’m surprised they didn’t keep Izzo , he’s one of the few coaches I would’ve been perfectly fine retaining.

    • Cysco

      Makes a lot of sense for him to get out of his father’s shadow.

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      Seems unnecessary as Izzo’s ST was the only unit that functioned optimally these last two seasons. Was hoping we’d retain him.

      But in MikeMac we trust, until he shows otherwise.

    • Chavac

      So does this mean Harbaugh, Belichick, and Carroll all have sons coaching in Washington? Seems weird.

  43. PJ in Seattle

    FWIW, Lance Zierlein is saying he[‘s hearing from NFL sources that Drake Maye could be a faller in this draft, ala Will Levis last year. It’s been a forgone conclusion he’d be long gone by then, but I wonder if he’d give the Seahawks pause at #16.

    • Peter

      Would be interesting.


      Then Maye. The least discussed qb that everyone assumes goes third overall maybe second.

    • Rob Staton

      Quick reminder who was saying he was overrated all season when the national media had him as a lock first or second rounder

      • Brodie

        I watched multiple games of his over the weekend and I’m there too.

        Just seems curiously overrated. Didn’t see much that would lead me to say top 5 lock. Jayden Daniels tape on the other hand had me drooling. He looks like a future star! He should absolutely go #1 or 2 IMO.

        Maye was very ho-hum to my eyes.

        • Peter

          I don’t know. He’s tall,bigger than some, young, Can get somewhere with his legs. Can get nice drops on DB’s to his recievers.

          If there’s a weird world where he and nix, penix, mcccarthy are all there at #16 I’d probably take him.

          I’m not a big fan. But at least it’s not:

          Older guy who maybe can’t move it down the field.

          Older guy who needs a brilliant oline and can’t/didn’t create with his legs.

          Young guy who is a total wish and prayer because there’s nothing there to evaluate.

          • BK26

            Weirdly, I agree and I am not sure why. He’s more or less…perfectly fine? I think his skills project better and if he could sit for a year, could be closer to what people assume he is going to be.

            Out of that group, he might be the one that people would probably be the most ok with. He’s a little bit of the rest with some more upside.

            While typing this, I would be excited for him. Never really considered him being a serious option until this last weekend.

          • Brodie

            For sure. He definitely has tools and promise. I just didn’t watch him and say – there’s a top 5 slam dunk. Maybe it was the uniform but he reminded me of Mitch Trubisky. Strong-arm, great size, can make throws on the run, but never really wowed. Mitch went #2 so who knows.

            I watched some of his games on Saturday and some of Daniels on Sunday and just came away with a totally different impression. Daniels had a ton of ‘wow’ throws and runs. Maye had a couple of “nice” throws and some ok mobility. They weren’t close in my opinion.

            Maye vs Nix/Penix/JJ might be another story. I haven’t sat down and watched those guys in earnest (full game – all the throws).

            • Peter

              I’ve very slow on the Maye train because as BK and others referenced I was lazily sure he’d be well gone.

              I was down in Daniels then very, very high on Daniels. So high I don’t he’s a real option.

              A little nervous about his frame but that’s it.

              Looking forward to what more folks think as they really get into the games. I like that’s there’s a wealth of full snaps in youtube.

  44. Rob Staton

    FYI — I’ll be on KJR at noon (PT) with Puck & Jim

    • cha

      Listening to the last 10 minutes on KJR has been absolutely painful Rob.

      I hope you’re grateful for what we do for you.

      • Whit21

        They do get off topic at times.. cracking jokes about betting, golf, and washington state cougars.. which is the most painful..

        Still like kjr better than 710 espn nerds..

  45. Sea Mode

    These Dan Cambpell memes… 😂

  46. Sea Mode

    5 minute clip.

    On3 VIDEO

    This year’s @seniorbowl MVP Spencer Rattler on learning to be humble, striving amidst adversity.

    • JimQ

      Seemed like a very bright & well-spoken kid. I’m starting to believe that the Seahawks first pick may be needed to land him. He’s on the rise as draft day nears and I expect he’ll get a boost after the combine. I’d be fine with taking a shot on him.

  47. My name is Unio

    What a great analysis, hits all the concerns when it comes to this new era. Thanks, Rob!

    I know this is kind of “way out-there”, but with Macdonald coming from Baltimore and Seattle mulling its QB options, might JS/MM be entertaining the idea of “going Lamar” and working a trade for Justin Fields, assuming CHI is drafting QB at#1? Both are dynamic running threats, and I was surprised to see their stats (other than INTs) over their first three years, respectively, are quite comparable averaged over 16 game seasons, even though Fields played on comparably much worse teams (W-L: Chi@13-35 vs Bal@38-10).

    Top QBs as rushing threats are clearly trending: Top for 2023 are 1) Jackson, 2) Fields, 3) Hurts, 4) Allen and 7) Mahomes (#5 Taysom Hill is not a true QB and #6 Dobbs is an outlier).

    Fields could probably be had for a 3rd/4th rd pick (?) His 2024 salary is $1.6MM with a cap hit of $6MM. Long shot but worth talking about?

    • BK26

      That would be a waste of a 6th round pick, let alone anything higher. He struggles to play the position and is a turnover machine. He’s not a good quarterback and isn’t worth the time to see if he can even be ok.

      They need to get their own guy, not retreads that failed at other places.

      • Spectator

        I would disagree. Lamar likely looks horrible if he was in a situation like Fields. Fields is talented, in the right system maybe he could be something, even if I agree he is a crap shoot whether he could ever be more than what he is. However, for a 4th or 3rd, it’s worth the flyer on him in my opinion. Get him in the building and try him for a year. Not likely to be another option in the late 3rd worth the flyer. And if there is, just use the other 3rd on him.
        Or see if Chi will take him straight up for Geno. With them thinking maybe they want to have a veteran for Caleb.

        • BK26

          Lamar had to learn how to pass in college. His team was bad enough that he couldn’t just run it every time. Justin Fields doesn’t know how to be a quarterback. He got through college off of raw skill and they never worried about teaching him his position since he was leaving soon. Lamar Jackson when he was drafted was a better quarterback than Justin Fields is after 3 years in the NFL.

          Can’t read defenses, gets rattled, runs too early, high turnover rate, and he’s almost through his first contract with very little development, if any at all. A 3rd, 4th, 5th are definitely wasted picks for someone that will take years to see if MAYBE he has any upside from where he is now. Especially for what we could draft. I wouldn’t even use a 6th or 7th on him. Him for Geno would be a waste as well.

          Part of this team’s failures over the years was due to them thinking they could take guys that failed and rehabilitate them. That they were smart enough to do it. They need to stop. Time to quit flipping over rocks.

          • Peter

            The advantage of the fields talk is now I’m much more excited about penix, nix, mccarthy.

            Fields for a pick and 6 mil cap and no contract vs. Any of those three with 3 years of club control….seems like a no brainer.

      • Unio

        You’re probably right and I’m not advocating such a move. I was just wondering if that was something JS/MM might be considering. Would Schneider think that with better weapons, better blocking and better play-calling he could get the most from the soon-to-be 25 y/o QB?

    • Brodie

      Here’s an even more ‘out there’ thought. What if you trade a day 3 pick for him and then let him walk in FA? With QB salaries through the roof, I’m sure he could land a Jimmy G-like deal next year. He was worth a 3rd round comp pick.

      I’ve seen this idea thrown out here a lot and shot down rapidly. I think if you don’t view Fields as ‘the QBOTF’ it can make sense though. Cut Geno, roll with Fields and a rookie (maybe Lock) with the plan of letting him go unless he blows your doors off?

      Now I don’t think CHI would do it for a 5th/6th rounder, but Lance went for a future 4th and Dobbs went for a 6th, so who knows.

    • GrittyHawk

      I’m not saying Lamar isn’t a great player, but he isn’t exactly the best player to emulate in terms of playoff success. In 6 career playoff games he is 2-4 with 6 TDs and 6 INT, plus 3 rush TDs and 3 fumbles lost, and a QB rating under 80.0 in 5 of those 6 games. He’s 1-2 in games where he runs for under 100 yards. QBs need to be able to lead the offense with their arms when they get to the playoffs. Lamar has put up good numbers in his career but he has yet to prove he can create plays throwing the ball when the team is trailing and the run game isn’t working.

      And with all that said, I’m not sure the data you’re citing on their first 3 seasons is at all accurate. Lamar threw 68 TDs / 18 INT over 37 starts in his first 3 years, with a 102 Rating and 8.1 AY/A. In his 2nd season he threw 36 TDs and won the MVP.

      Fields has thrown only 40 TDs and 30 INT over 38 starts, with an 82 Rating and 6.7 AY/A. Their passing numbers are not even remotely comparable.

      • Brodie

        “And with all that said, I’m not sure the data you’re citing on their first 3 seasons is at all accurate. Lamar threw 68 TDs / 18 INT over 37 starts in his first 3 years, with a 102 Rating and 8.1 AY/A. In his 2nd season he threw 36 TDs and won the MVP.

        Fields has thrown only 40 TDs and 30 INT over 38 starts, with an 82 Rating and 6.7 AY/A. Their passing numbers are not even remotely comparable.”

        Nicely fact-checked Gritty

      • cha

        And 38 fumbles. A fumble a game!

    • Mr Drucker in hooterville

      We have good runningbacks. No thanks

  48. Sea Mode

    Lance’s first mock is up.

    At least he knows we want to go trenches on either side!

    • Brodie

      Fuaga at #6 🙁

      He’s been my stick-and-pick hope. Haven’t spent any time looking at Dallas Turner.

      Colts getting Bowers could make that such an exciting offense: Pittman, Downs, Pierce and Bowers with JT in the backfield and AR healthy…

  49. Palatypus

    Rob. Your hat is on it’s way via UPS. It should be there in 6-10 business days.

    • Rob Staton

      Awesome! Thanks man I’m so grateful!

  50. ShowMeYourHawk

    Bieniemy officially unemployed. Not sure about this guy’s deal that makes him on the outs but if you feel good about his offensive schemes and development of a QB, you could do worse. Also, he’s certainly not an OC you need worry someone will poach, apparently.

    • Patrick Toler

      There is some bad juju around him for sure. It will be very interesting to see where he lands.

    • Rob Staton

      Think there’s too much smoke there to think he’s just not someone you want around

      • JJ

        I think he goes back to KC.

  51. Big Mike

    Good listen as usual on KJR Rob.

    • Palatypus

      I was getting bloodwork done. Do you have a link?

      • Peter

        Kjr always puts it up on their sure about an hour after it airs. No download or other app needed.

  52. Rob Staton

    Can someone do me a favour and send me embed code for the Puck and Jim segment so I can put it on the blog? And a link too would be great

    They’ve loaded it onto the website but it’s geo blocked in England. I usually get it on Apple but they haven’t loaded it on there

  53. Palatypus


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