Salary cap to rise more than expected in 2017

Initial projections had the cap rising to around $164m in 2017. Spotrac assumed that amount when compiling their data. It means the Seahawks will have between $2-6m extra cap space than we initially thought in the off-season.

So what is the new magic number? Anywhere between $38-42m in cap space.


They will have to do some work in-house. It’s safe to assume they will try to re-sign Steven Hauschka. DeShawn Shead is a restricted free agent but they might try to sign him to a longer term deal. Michael Bennett and Kam Chancellor are also likely to receive a pay rise and extension. They should still have ample cap room to be active in free agency.

It’s worth noting the spending explosion that occurred last year. A year ago we were discussing Olivier Vernon as a possible cost-effective target. He ended up signing a deal worth $17m a year with $52.5m in guarantees. As the cap rises, so will salaries.

Seattle’s greatest need at the moment is arguably interior pass rush. In 2013 and 2014 they had a defensive tackle with 6.5 sacks. In 2015 and 2016, that production has disappeared.

They have quick-twitch, skillful EDGE rushers on this roster. They don’t have a big, disruptive defensive tackle collapsing the pocket and recording TFL’s.

There will be options in the draft — we’ve discussed Derrick Nnadi, Chris Wormley, Dalvin Tomlinson, Caleb Brantley, Jaleel Johnson and others. But this is a team that has had most of its success on the D-line in the veteran market (Clemons, Avril, Bennett, McDonald, Rubin) and they might be able to bring in a veteran with their free cap space.

The Kansas City Chiefs are really tight on their 2017 cap and might not be able to retain Dontari Poe. Could he be an option? What about Calais Campbell at Arizona?

Is Kawann Short totally out of reach in Carolina? Probably.

The chances are Poe and Short might be out of range financially — but Campbell (now 30) might be the kind of veteran presence this team needs working the interior. He might not be so keen to join a division rival — but his personality and style of play would presumably fit Seattle perfectly.

Their two other key needs — offensive tackle and running back — can also be addressed. There will be options in the draft at RB in particular. For example, Tony Pauline is ranking D’Onta Foreman and Samaje Perine in round three, with Elijah Hood in round four. With the Seahawks likely picking late in the second and third and possibly getting a third round compensatory pick for Bruce Irvin, they will have an opportunity to add another back to their stable.

At tackle, Garett Bolles might end up out of reach and in the top-20 — but Adam Bisnowaty could still be an option. We’ll have to see how he tests. Pauline grades him in round three and reported this today:

People I’ve spoken with are comparing Pittsburgh tackle Adam Bisnowaty to Ricky Wagner of the Baltimore Ravens. Most expect Bisnowaty to be selected earlier than Wagner, who was a fifth round selection in 2013, but feel Bisnowaty doesn’t wow anyone on film and won’t test off the charts athletically. Subsequently he will be under-drafted much in the same manner Wagner was.

I continue to hear nothing but good things on Bisnowaty’s teammate Dorian Johnson. Most feel Johnson, who grades as our top offensive guard, is NFL ready and will quickly break in with the starting unit on Sunday.

Keep an eye on Johnson. If the Seahawks were willing to consider moving Germain Ifedi to tackle, Johnson could be a nice interior target as early as round two. He’s had a really nice season for Pittsburgh. I’ve seen it suggested he has the athleticism to try out at tackle.

Another option could be USC’s Chad Wheeler. It’s been noted by those who report these kind of things that the Seahawks have sent scouts to watch the Trojans several times this year. I’ve just watched Wheeler’s tape vs Washington. He’s clearly athletic with the length you like for the next level. On the negative side he’s a bit of a reacher and lunger and his hand placement is frequently high and wide. That’s an issue and combined with his height (6-6) he often struggles to gain leverage.

That said, he fits the zone-blocking style and should be a good tester. You see a mean-streak. In the Husky game he was playing beyond the whistle. I can imagine the Seahawks liking him and he’s likely to be available at the end of day two or during day three.

Pauline also has Dion Dawkins and Taylor Moton graded in rounds 3-4. There are going to be options at tackle if Bolles isn’t there early. We’ll have a clearer picture on who they likely will/won’t be interested in after the combine.

NOTE: This next bit is looking way ahead but hey — why not? Would you rather spend more time talking about the Green Bay game instead???

If they felt comfortable waiting on the tackle and running back and if they can find a veteran presence to help the interior D-line — what does that mean for the draft?

A lot of people are suggesting players and positions for the first round that aren’t what you’d call ‘primary needs’. In the fantasy scenario we’re discussing where the key needs are addressed without using the first round pick — this is where they might be able to be a bit creative. Go for a player who just fits what this team is about. The profile, the character, the upside, the grit.

SAM linebacker is not a major need. Mike Morgan played only 29% of the snaps against Carolina and Green Bay. Seattle is comfortable playing an extra rusher or corner and just leaving Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright on the field.

If they were ever going to consider spending a high pick on a SAM — that player would need to be good enough to stay on the field in any situation. They’d need to be adept at covering or rushing — or both.

Last week I spent time watching Vanderbilt’s Zach Cunningham. I intended to publish a piece on him yesterday but the Packers game happened so…

The Seahawks love length and an explosive athletic profile. Cunningham ticks both boxes. He’s 6-4 and 230lbs and a former four-star recruit with long arms. He’s from Alabama and was drawing interest from ‘Bama and Auburn. ESPN’s Chris Low highlights how he ended up at Vanderbilt:

Alabama and Nick Saban were interested, but the Crimson Tide wanted Cunningham to grayshirt — waiting a semester to enroll — and take that time to bulk up and get stronger. Auburn offered initially, but in the transition from Gene Chizik to Gus Malzahn, Glover said the Tigers informed him late that they were pulling the scholarship offer because they only had one left at linebacker and were saving it for Reuben Foster.

I’d highly recommend reading that ESPN article. It details a lot of the things that make Cunningham such an interesting prospect. Here are some select quotes:

“He’s in love with the game of football, and you see that every day in the way he prepares”

“Go back and watch that last play against Georgia, and you don’t even see Zach in the picture… All of a sudden, you see a blur and a snatch. You look up and you’re like, ‘Where did he come from?’ You don’t coach that.”

“It was Zach and Gurley one-on-one. It wasn’t Zach and somebody else and Gurley, just Zach, and he made the play all three times. Guys in the NFL don’t tackle Gurley in that situation and it made me realize how special this young man can be. He sees things before they happen and has so many dimensions to him as a player, but what separates him is his ability to close and finish.”

He also plays the guitar. You can already semi-picture him with Pete Carroll working a little guitar/piano duet.

Cunningham hasn’t recorded a single sack in 2016 (he had 4.5 last year) but he does have 16.5 TFL’s. If he can add a little more weight and with his length — he could develop into more of a pass-rushing threat.

Chad Reuter recently compared him to Karlos Dansby. He plays at around 250lbs and has 41 career sacks. You might be able to justify taking him early if you believe he can emulate Dansby and get into the 4-6 sack range regularly.

Tony Pauline ranks him as a late first or early second round prospect. He has an opportunity to move well into the first round after the combine.

So what does the tape show?

He’s really good in coverage, sitting in underneath zone. When he needs to read, react and explode to the ball carrier he’ll do it. He has a knack of making the key, jarring tackle just before the sticks.

Cunningham has the athleticism to go sideline-to-sideline, plays with a lot of intensity and knows how to use his length to avoid blocks and stay clean.

He has enough about him to work against tight ends at the second level (this has been less of an issue for Seattle in 2016) and the athleticism to work against some receivers. He has six forced fumbles in the last two seasons and an innate ability to get a hand in there to strip the ball free.

His personality is all business but he comes across well in interviews. He looks like a fit in that regard for the Seahawks. The only real question is how athletic is he? Will he perform so well at the combine that he moves firmly into the top-25? And if not, will he perform well enough to be special enough for the Seahawks? They love unique, SPARQy traits in round one — not ‘decent’ traits.

The Seahawks are usually so tuned in to filling their biggest needs it’s hard to imagine they’d do anything else early in the draft. If they were able to add a proven veteran to help the interior pass rush, a suggestion like Zach Cunningham carries more weight.

It’s pretty clear Seattle needs more on that D-line though. More pressure from the inside. Pressure + size to compliment the twitchy EDGE rushers on the defense. That will seemingly be a big priority, along with fixing elements of the offense.


  1. Ed

    I’ve been banging the door for DL for two years now. Most said DL was good with Bennett/Avril/Clark. I think the Hawks need help both inside rush and another outside guy. I would not be unhappy with:

    1st DT
    2nd DE
    3rd RB

    This team is about running the ball and not giving up points. As much love Bis and Bow have gotten, I really think another year the oline will get better.


    • Rob Staton

      Most people have been saying the Seahawks need more interior rush to be fair, Ed. It’s been a common theme on here. We spent the draft season discussing players like Jonathan Bullard and Sheldon Rankins. We combed over the DT and DE class. They traded up for Jarran Reed and Quinton Jefferson. It’s been a long standing topic since the production from McDonald and Hill disappeared in 2015.

      • Ed

        But as #1 need. I was saying last year it’s time to think about replacements for Avril and Bennett. They were at their best when they had limited snaps. The rotation has only gotten thinner even with Clark and Reed being 2nd round picks. Outside of Lynch, this team was built on D and pressure. It has been spotty for the last two years. It goes in spurts with no pressure then one game with pressure.

        The oline needs time and really some patience with the run that the oc has not been willing to give. The best ol have consistency, so staying with Fant/Glow/Britt/Ifedi and only replacing one starter should only benefit the Hawks next year.

        But the dline needs to get fixed. Avril and Bennett (hurt) have disappeared and Clark is hit and miss. They need 2 DL, hope you are right and they get a solid FA (Campbell) and a 1st DL. That would instantly make the entire D better because the LOB is no longer the LOB. Lane is terrible, and who knows about the health of Kam and Thomas.

        The good news, even though the team has seemed to regress a bit, the NFC West has regressed and will continue to regress (maybe no Palmer/Fitz) in the near future.

        Thanks for all the posts this week, been good distraction. You watch the Sounders win it all?

        • Rob Staton

          I really can’t get on board with the angle of people saying we need to think about long term replacements for Avril and Bennett. Two of the best starters in the league, contracted for a few years yet and we’re taking first round picks to find ways to take them off the field? I disagree strongly that they were more effective in 2013 when being spelled. If anything they were underused. They need to be on the field for most of the defensive snaps and especially the money downs. Pete Carroll has admitted in multiple interviews, for example, he made a mistake spelling Bennett as much as he did in 2013.

          As for the remark that they’ve ‘disappeared’ — Bennett’s just returned from knee surgery and Avril is having a career year. It’s been a rough couple of road games for the unit. Let’s have some perspective.

          The D-line need (DT or DE/DT) has been key for some time and we’ve talked about it. Last year we focused almost exclusively on OL and DL prospects in the early rounds. They went R1-OL and R2-DL. That’s what we projected but it could’ve easily been the other way around. This year OL and DL remain the focus. Interior rush, keep adding competition to the OL.

          I didn’t get a chance to watch the Sounders sadly (it started at about 2am over here). I’m happy for the city though and anyone on here that follows the team.

          • Ed

            I would say spot them, yes. I just think teams can win with a solid D line. Giants have done it multiple times as have the Ravens, Broncos and Hawks. That’s the path I would choose and I guess agree to disagree. At least we both agree DL is an early must. RB too.

            Thoughts on Perine/Foreman/Clement?

  2. HawkFan907

    Thanks Rob, I enjoy your podcasts weekly and your blog posts. As someone who works as a Data Scientist I can appreciate the amount of research and data that goes into your writing. It makes it a little more palatable than many of the other blogs out there for other teams.

    I’ve noticed that many of the O-Linemen that were rated very highly in the TEF formula discussed last year getting a lot of playing time around the league. It is fun to get some good formulas in place and factor those in with the input the experts are giving. I’m with you that if Bolles declares, which he definitely should, he will go top 15. Word will get out and he will be long gone unfortunately.

    I have been really high on Cunningham for a while. He would be an immediate upgrade for us and I pray he falls to us, but my fear is that he will rise much like Leonard Floyd did last year. If Bolles, Cunningham, and Demarcus Walker are all gone, I hope that we trade back or package that first rounded for an experienced D-Lineman similar to what it took to get Jimmy Graham, someone like a Geno Atkins. Would he be a fit for our scheme and would his contract work within the expanded salary cap?

    • Rob Staton

      Geno Atkins would fit any scheme in fairness, he’s a terrific player. His cap hit in 2017 is $10.6m and in 2018 it’s $9.5m. He’s a free agent in 2019.

      They traded for Jimmy Graham at a similar age (Atkins turns 29 in March). I just think the Bengals will be very keen to keep him and will demand more than just a first round pick. They’re not a rebuilding team and pass rush has been a problem for them at times. Trading Atkins would make it a major problem area for Cincy.

      • HawkFan907

        If we assume they hit the reset button and axe their coach Marvin Lewis (who is somehow still there), you would have to wonder what they would be willing to part with and for what price. Would a first this year and a second next year be enough? They have an aging defense that is breaking down so they might not want to part with their best player, but if the organization goes a different way with their staff, I wouldn’t be surprised if they let the new staff acquire as much draft capital as possible and get “their guys”. It is an intriguing prospect I must admit.

        I just noticed how low Pauline has Walker ranked (Round 3?!?!?). Maybe he will be an option. I don’t have any idea why he is so low on his board. I thought he was a sure fire too 25 pick with his play.

        • Coleslaw

          I don’t care what anyone says, Walker isn’t getting out of the second round. Not a chance. Shouldn’t get past 40 unless there’s something we don’t know about

        • Rob Staton

          I like Geno Atkins but I really don’t want to spend a first and second round pick on a 29-year-old.

          Demarcus Walker has played his way firmly into R1 this year.

          • RealRhino2

            Thoughts on Solomon Thomas as our R1 pick? Thomas vs. Walker? I remember liking how active Thomas was when I saw him earlier this year.

            • Rob Staton

              Prefer Walker. More active hands, gets to the QB in multiple ways.

              • D-OZ

                To me I don’t think there’s much that separate’s the two. Thomas has an interesting back story. Very gritty player. I like him a lot. I also think Walker will be off the board by the time the Hawks are up. I would take Thomas if he is still there.

  3. Cameron

    I’d like to question the conventional wisdom regarding the pass rush. I believe the Seahawks should take a pass rusher period, whether that be an interior guy or edge guy is irrelevant. The only true edge rusher we have is Cliff Avril. Mike B and Clark are more hybrid inside/outside guys than pure edge rushers.

    Cliff Avril is 30 and will be 31 before the start of next season. We should be expecting some regression from him over the next few seasons. Addressing a future need with an early round DE might not be all bad move.

    • Coleslaw

      It’s not uncommon for DEs to play past 35, especially the speedy guys. I wouldn’t put it past him to play 3 or 4 more years at a high level (8-12 sacks)

      • Cameron

        There are a handful of 35 year old players (non-kicker/punter) who are productive. It is unusual for any position.

    • Rob Staton

      There are examples in the league of pass rushers remaining productive into their 30’s. He is contracted until the end of 2018 so I don’t think we need to be overly concerned with the EDGE. Clark has played there for the most part. Bennett plays multiple positions.

      The issue for this team is interior pressure. It’s non-existent. Another lighter pass rusher isn’t the problem. It’s finding someone who can collapse the pocket and disrupt the QB from the middle. There isn’t anyone doing that on the roster right now.

    • The Hawk is Howling

      Cameron. Vol12 has stated that Cliff Avril isn’t going to fall off his own first name. He’s said guys with great technique like! Avril can play well into their 30’s. Why anyone would not want Avril and Bennett to be on this team the next couple years is crazy man. Yes we do need more push up the middle and I’m confident that need will be addressed through free agency and or the Draft. Of course you are completely entitled to your thoughts and opinions.

      Go Hawks

  4. CHawk Talker Eric

    Fun read Rob.

    FA will be huge for SEA. If they can add an imposing DT (most likely scenario with the available personnel), that frees them up to go after a “luxury” like Cunningham early. I’ve only seen highlights, but from that small sample, Zach looks like a Seahawk.

    I know nothing about Dorian Johnson. Will be keen to see his TEF numbers. Chad Wheeler seems too obvious as a Day 3 option. I have a feeling about Moton in R2-R3, especially if he passes the TEF. He looks so much like Ifedi.

    • Volume12

      I really like Moton. Nasty run blocker.

      Wheeler is one of, if not the best ZB OT in this class.

      Pitt OL Dorian Johnson. Has a great frame. Long, lean, almost no excessive weight. Athletic, moves extremely well. Could do better at squaring up his targets at the 2nd level, but that’s a small critique.

      I could be wrong, but Wheeler and Johnson should test near the top.

      • DC

        Watched Wheeler in USC vs Alabama figuring that’s the toughest group he would face. He looked good mirroring in pass pro. As a run blocker he was effective as a directional blocker. He moved his man left or right but got little to no push at the LOS against those Bama boys.

        • DC

          We wrote about Moton as a Guard which I could see. He would get roasted by speed on the outside at T.
          If Ifedi is going out to RT then Dorian Johnson would be a stud addition.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        V12 do you have opinions on either of these OLers?

        Julie’n Davenport, LT Bucknell, 6-7 315lbs with 35″ arms and 10″ hands
        Avery Gennesy, OT, Texas A&M, 6-5 305lbs

        Also, Wheeler has had problems staying healthy.

        • Volume12

          Not on Davenport. I haven’t watched him play so I can’t say. Heard he’s intriguing though.

          Gennesy is underrated for me. Similar to Ifedi a little bit since they’ve obviously been taught the same, but more fluid in his movements. Liked what I saw from him in 2015, didn’t watch much Texas A&M after about October of this year.

          Yeah, Wheeler has gotten in some trouble too.

          Someone mentioned USC G Damien Mama. I like him. In HS he had a SPARQ score of 95 at about 330-340 lbs. Reminds me of a poor man’s Gabe Jackson.

          William & Mary OT Jerry Ugokwe. Nigerian kid, late day 3-UDFA type. Keep an eye on him.

          • DC

            Mama’s my boy if he declares. Dudes that big shouldn’t be able to move like that. I’ve watched 4 or 5 USC games now working to figure who they like so much and if it’s an OL I believe it’s Mama. He stands out. Almost always driving his man 2-3 yards off the LOS on running plays. Seems to hold his own in pass pro. He a LG for Seattle.

  5. Cameron

    Jason from OTC ( and avid Jets fan believes Sheldon Richardson can be got for a 2nd round pick. Would you pull the trigger on such a deal? (Richardson is under contract through 2017 and will make 8 million next season.

    • icb12

      I wouldn’t.

      • RealRhino2

        I wouldn’t either. We’re talking about the same knucklehead that’s been suspended and is basically quitting on the Jets for the past few games, yes?

      • @Seaj253

        At a third round cost I start thinking seriously about Sheldon Richardson.

    • Paul

      Man, that is intriguing. I wonder if PC/JC think Richardson has the requisite grit or feel that he may thrive in their unique supportive environment. But they may have some carpet burn after the trade that shall not be named. Given the cap room situation, we are set up beautifully for the next 2/3 years. A few pieces to add with a sack of cash plus draft picks at their disposal.

    • Rob Staton


    • Matt

      Without hesitation…yes.

      Super Bowl window is still open. You go all in. Who in the 2nd round could possibly make this type of impact (realistically)?

    • Attyla the Hawk

      For our 2nd round pick? If he fits the mentality of the team absolutely.

      I don’t see anyone in this draft from an interior DL perspective that can disrupt the passing game like Richardson.

  6. Kyle

    I was just thinking about our rb situation and how much PC/JS liked gurley, as well as this blog. He is having a down year and is just looking awful on an awful team. Do you think they would part with him for a 2nd and change? or maybe even a 2nd and 3rd? Would anyone be interested in that kind of deal?

    I think i would do it. we would have our 1st that we could either pick or trade back to acquire more picks. and then lets say we had to give up 2nd and 3rd(which I’m not sure what draft capital to get him would be, so playing safe) we would still most likely have Bruce irvin’s 3rd round comp pick.

    We would get a generational rb coming off a down year where he is all they have. I believe he is great, and would crush it on our roster. What do you guys think?

    • RealRhino2

      I don’t believe he’s a generational RB. Don’t believe he’s great. Don’t believe he would crush it on our roster. That’s what I think. I’d pass. I think he’s very good, but would likely have the same issues on our team that our other backs have, and that he has with the Rams.

      • vrtkolman

        I agree Rhino, when I watch him play he has no explosiveness and doesn’t make people miss. I get that the Rams offense is the pits, but if you are a “generational talent” you would at least show something each game.

  7. icb12

    Chances of them trading Gurley are slim to none. And Slim left town.

    That’s straight up crazy talk.

    • The Hawk is Howling

      Good one icb 12! Yeah no way they trade Gurley.

      Go Hawks

      • The Hawk is Howling

        Although I just looked up Todd Gurleys numbers and was not aware that he has been a bust this year,
        Poor Ram’s fans. Everyone remember we really are very lucky to have such a great team to root for! Don’t let the bad games get you down.

        Go Hawks

        • Volume12

          What your seeing with Gurley is a couple of things

          -he’s not in a great scenario or put in a position to succeed.

          – too much second guessing and indecisiveness. Some of these bigger backs are ‘freight train’ runners. Great with a platform or in a straight line. Unstoppable once they get into the 2nd & 3rd levels. Make them redirect or force then to change direction with suddenness, and they can struggle.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Maybe fans have to accept the idea that without a good offensive line there won’t be much a running game regardless of the back. And with a good offensive line it is still tough to generate a consistent running game.

  8. Volume12

    Are the rumors true that Seattle tried to add Cam Jordan?

    • Volume12

      If so, I would fully expect this team to target a D-lineman in FA. Even more so when you factor in the potential cap space outlined in the piece.

      • Volume12

        Also, is Bruce Arians the type of coach guys will want to play for anymore? He’s losing his mind

        Blamed the amount of rain vs Miami as a possibility why they lost. Said Miami shouted out the snap signal that led to them missing an XP.

        Throws his players under the bus if they make a mistake, and now he’s calling his guys ‘failures in progress?’

        Wow. What a POS. Comes across as a fake tough guy who’s real slick at the mouth.

        • The Hawk is Howling

          Yeah F Arians he’s a piece of work indeed!

          Go Hawks

          • D-OZ


        • DC

          The cap numbers I used the other day from already included the 2017 cap number of $166M and had the Hawks with $32,180,828 to be exact. If it goes to $170M then we’re looking at $36.2M of space according to their numbers. Anything helps. Will be interesting to see what the actual numbers end up being.

          Arians’ head is going to explode one of these days. He needs to be sipping coconut milk direct on some South Pacific beach.

          • The Hawk is Howling

            DC if we have that much cap space to work with next year we’re going to get some good ingredients for our Football stew! The way it’s looking we can extend Chancellor and Bennett, keep Houshka and Shead. While picking up a true difference maker on the D- line and still have some cheddar for more grilled cheese sandwiches. I have a good feeling about this!

            Go Hawks

            • DC

              It’s a bit of a deceiving number in that much of it, possibly half, is already accounted for (wrote about it lower).

              If it comes down to adding that difference maker on the DL vs giving anyone a summertime extension though, count me fully in the camp of adding Campbell.

              • The Hawk is Howling

                Campbell stew it is!

                Go Hawks

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Difference in responses to a question of who deserves the blame for ARI’s special teams woes this season.

          Arians: “The one thing, coaches don’t do any of those things. So there won’t be any coaching changes. All right, let me make that perfectly clear today. They don’t snap, hold or kick. Players do those jobs.”

          Patrick Peterson: “They go hand-in-hand. Can’t blame anyone. Coaches present the game plan, players have to execute.”

        • vrtkolman

          I think he’s done after this year, as in he is going to retire. He’s not cut out for the long haul.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I read a rumor they kicked the tires on Clowney but weren’t willing to give up a R1 pick.

      • The Hawk is Howling

        Clowney! Now there’s a Bruce Irvin clone with still more upside
        Does he play LEO or is he just a true DE?

        Go Hawks

      • Volume12

        Saw that too. And Chandler Jones who IIRC was on of their targets in 2012 after Kuechly & Barron.

        I guess NE liked Arizona’s offer of Cooper and draft picks more than Britt and whatever else. But, who knows how legit that is.

  9. DC

    Not to rain on the cap space parade but if’s #’s for Seattle are correct, a $166M-$170M cap leaves us with between $32M-$36M in space. Holding out $10M for rookies via both the draft and UDFA, another $6M as reserve going into the season leaves us with between $16M-$20M. That ‘s what’s left to sign any of our own UFA, RFA and ERFA guys, any extensions/raises for currently contracted players and any outside UFA guys.

    • DC

      So If you sign Hauschka for $3.4M and tender Shead at $2.6M and add Calais Campbell at $9M(pure guess) then we have between $1M-$5M left for every/anyone else. That goes fast. Let’s hope Rob’s numbers are closer to the mark.

    • EranUngar

      Overthecap do not compute ROLLOVER into the 2017 cap calculation. That’s the missing 5-6M between them and spotrac.

      Rookie class is less than 5M. We’ll have 5 more roster spots to fill, if they are UDFAs thats 2.5M, If we resign our own, they will replace UDFA spots. Add IR and and reserve and we should have over 25M left.

      • DC

        Thanks. So the rollover gives you a one year burst basically? In our case about $5M? That will come in very handy!

  10. Kyle

    How much would you give up to get Aaron Donald?

    • DC

      I’d pay him $20 to sit out every Seattle vs LA game…

    • Rob Staton

      Anything — but there’s probably no chance of this.

      • The Hawk is Howling

        Wow Rob just said “Anything” that means that Aaron Donald will likely be a free agent after next year and get some JJ Watt money. He would take our defense to a whole new level for sure. My guess is he will be a Cowboy now that they can trade Romo and free up mad cash.

        Go Hawks

        • EranUngar

          Once DAL cut Romo they will have approx -5M cap space for 2017. (i.e. they need cut more players)

          If they trade him it’s not much better.

          They don’t have Donald kind of cap space without a few major cuts…or enough cap to sign their rookie class….

  11. EranUngar

    It is great news for the Seahawks because it open a budget for 1 quality FA pick after signing Britt and extending Kam, Bennett and others.

    I agree that the top needs are DT, RT and RB (In that order).

    Rookie Tackles (actually all rookie OL) are more of a liability than an asset during their rookie year. College spread offense does not prepare them for the NFL. However, putting pressure on the pocket is at a premium against spread offences and Defensive linemen are more NFL ready then offensive linemen.

    If i need to make the call for immediate upgrade – I pick the best D lineman at the top of the draft and spend my money on a proven and NFL ready run blocking bully at RT (A Breno plus…). If a vet pass rusher is available and ready for a short term ring hunt at low cost for a rotation roll – I’d be happy to add one.

    As for RB, Rawls and C.J. are injury risks rather than unsuitable for their roll. Unless it’s a huge steal, I will not pick a RB before the 3rd round.

    • The Hawk is Howling

      Good point on going DT in the 1st and getting a decent veteran RT in free agency Eran! We also really do need a bruiser RB to take half the snaps to wear down a defense Like Lynch did. That and a more consistent OL are what were missing right now.

      Add a big DT who can give us some push up the middle, some secondary pieces and thing’s will be better next year. If we can get someone like Calais Campbell it would be even more awesome. It will only get better!

      Go Hawks

    • Paul

      I totally agree with this. I would even trade up to get a difference maker at DT. Add a veteran road grader at right tackle, hoping that Fant improves and the interior Oline will grow together. They love the potential of Rawls and CJ and can’t see them spending too much draft capital on a RB that would sit them on the bench. And being prone to injury in the NFL is a tricky calculation. They didn’t resign Okung and Unger in part due to injury concerns and since then they have been bulletproof.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I think it’s more likely SEA would add a DT instead of an OT in Free Agency, for three (and a half) reasons.

      Reason 1. Available options. There are more good FA DT’s than OT’s available in 2017 – Kawann Short, Calais Campbell, Dontari Poe and Nick Fairley compared to guys like Matt Kalil, Riley Reiff, Andre Smith or Menelik Watson. Actually Watson could be a decent acquisition but OAK are likely to pay him enough to stay home. Which brings up the half a reason – under PC, SEA haven’t ever paid big money to an OLer (other than Okung who was a R1 pick and had a pre-CBA R1-sized contract). SEA are notorious for having the cheapest OL in the league at only $8.7M in 2016. For comparison, the next cheapest OL costs about $5M more (or more than half again as much). SEA will probably have to spend more on the OL next year (see: Britt’s extension), but don’t expect them to change their salary allocation philosophy drastically.

      Reason 2. The future RT may already be on the roster. SEA have option besides the Draft or FA to fill the RT position. They could keep Sowell there. He hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, but he hasn’t been as bad as advertised, and he’s only a few games into that position for this team. They could slide Ifedi out to RT and draft his replacement at RG (like Dorian Johnson or Taylor Moton). They could give Odhiambo a try at RT (or Fant if they prefer Rees at LT). It’s also possible, though far less likely, that Gilliam finds religion and makes a resurgence. In any event, SEA have options already on the team to fill RT, such that they don’t need to find someone in FA or the Draft for that position. They don’t have anyone on the roster who can give them a pass rush from the interior of the DL. Maybe QJeff could be that guy, but they won’t put all their interior pass rushing eggs in that one basket.

      Reason 3. Precedent. Under PC, SEA have not only added a lot more FA DL than OL, they’ve had much more success with those FA DL acquisitions. The only FA OL signings under PC that I can think of are Robert Gallery and Frank Omiyale. By comparison, SEA have added the following DLers in FA: Avril, Bennett, Tony McDaniel, Ahtyba Rubin, Kevin Williams and Sealver Siglia.

      Of the FA DT’s available in 2017, Short would be perfect. If SEA want to replace the handful of sacks (and general QB pressure) they used to get from Clint McDonald, they couldn’t get anyone more reliable and consistent than Short. Unfortunately, he’s likely to be way too expensive.

      Campbell is also an excellent interior pass rusher, and also likely to be expensive. But at 31 (by the time the 2017 season starts) he won’t cost as much as Short. The primary obstacle is snatching him from a division rival.

      Poe is an intriguing option. He’s young, he’s big, he’s stout. He doesn’t have the sack numbers SEA are looking for, but he plays a traditional NT in a traditional 3-4 front, so you wouldn’t expect him to reach the QB often. And we know how SEA love to use 3-4 personnel in their 4-3 scheme. Poe has all the physical attributes and attitude you want in an interior DL.

      • The Hawk is Howling

        Damn that was a brilliant write up Eric! So you want Short more then Campbell or Poe? I trust your evaluation skills. Pressure on the QB from the inside is all this Defense is missing to me. That would create more turnovers like we got in 2012 and 2013. I just know we’ll sign someone who will make a difference and draft another stout stud early.

        Go Hawks

      • Trevor

        One of the most thoughtful posts I have read since starting on this blog. Great take on the situation IMO! I agree completely.

      • EranUngar

        Nice work Eric but a lot is riding on the precedent.

        Statements like – “under PC, SEA haven’t ever paid big money to an OLer (other than Okung who was a R1 pick and had a pre-CBA R1-sized contract). SEA are notorious for having the cheapest OL in the league at only $8.7M in 2016” and “The only FA OL signings under PC that I can think of are Robert Gallery and Frank Omiyale” set a pretty convincing argument.

        However, the facts are that while the 2016 OL is indeed the cheapest in the NFL by a huge margin, The Seahawks 2013 OL (including Breno that was signed from GB) was the most expensive in the NFL!!!!!

        The Seahawks are not against OL spending in principle. They are against over spending on players they do not believe in.

        When you look at the DL – they are willing to invest in DEs at bargain prices (Bennett and Avril) but not in DTs. They constantly had big and cheap run stuffers (Siliga, Rubin, Williams and even Mebane) and never invested in top of the line talent.

        Also, the current imbalance between defensive spending in 2017 (70M) and offensive spending (55M) points to spending cap capital on the OL and spending draft capital on the DL.

        Hence, if we want a top of the line DT, we better draft it because they will not pay to get one.

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t think we can be that certain about paying either an OT or a DT in free agency. I think they’d probably happily pay for either. It’d have to be a player they were really high on though.

          After all, this is a team that has been active in FA at virtually every position. They spent big on Matt Flynn, Zach Miller and Sidney Rice. They brought in, and eventually paid, Bennett and Avril. They signed Cary Williams to play corner, signed Robert Gallery to play guard. Breno wasn’t cheap at RT. They’ve traded two first round picks for a WR and a TE.

          I think they would pay for the right player at DT or OT. And as Eric notes — the potential options at DT are far superior to the options at OT. The problem is, why would Arizona let Campbell walk? They have money. Why would Carolina let Short walk? They have money. The Panthers have $62m in free cap for 2017. The Cards $41m. Both more than Seattle. So if they let either walk — it’d be a major upset.

          The one that might last is Poe because the Chiefs have about $4m in free cap room for 2017 and need to find a way to sign Eric Berry to a long extension. They have cuttable players that will save millions (eg Nick Foles) but it still might be difficult for them to retain Poe.

          • EranUngar

            I agree Rob. They will pay for a player they believe will upgrade the team in proportion to his cost.

            OL options in FA are indeed slim and reflect on the state of OL talent in the NFL. On the other hand, OL options in the late first round (if Bolles goes early) that will have immediate positive impact are even slimmer. This line does not need another “work in progress” project.

            Also, with 70M already allocated to the defense prior to Kam and Bennett extensions…they may want to balance the scales.

            It will boil down to the actual players and their cost. First round DT + FA RT or first round RT + FA DT…

            We should know which direction they go before the draft according to their FA moves.

          • DC

            What might aid in snatching Campbell is the situation in AZ as a potentially sinking ship. Yes they could absolutely pay more. Is Arians going to retire for his health? Is Palmer on the wane? How badly does he want a ring before it’s over? Seattle has a pretty good sales pitch but in the end it’s entirely up to the player.

            Landing Campbell would be an absolute coup though. He’d be a perfect fit here.

  12. C-Dog

    Sure seems like DT might be either an early draft target or a big target in FA. If I were a betting man, I’d probably bet towards them wanting to land a vet like Campbell. I think they might look at the upside still with Reed, and Jefferson, and feel like they one guy who’s ready to take over the full time load of a starter, and another that, if he comes back healthy, might be able to contribute right away to the rush.

    That said, If we are to narrow it down to the top priorities being DT, OT, RB, my hunch is that first pick would be a RB over the OT, as Bolles would presumably be long gone, and if Foreman test well enough, he probably fits the mold of what they want as a bell cow back, as much as I love Thomas Rawls. They might even drop back a bit to still be able to pick him up.

    If a veteran DT is signed to add pass rush, I think a player like Haason Reddick becomes a very Seahawky target; an athletic, playmaking freak to play the SAM and also be able to play some LEO.

    They might sign a veteran to play RT and also draft for the position, look for more athletic DT talent mid rounds, maybe add a couple more offensive weapons, a bigger target at WR, maybe a guy like Freddie Stevenson to add some playmaking to the FB position.

    28: R1P28

    60: R2P28

    92: R3P28

    135: R4P32

    207: R6P28

    214: R6P35

    225: R7P7

    • The Hawk is Howling

      I’m with you C-dog Foreman just screeches Hawk status. We need a big boy bad ass back to wear those defenses down! Still want Lavon Coleman as well!

      2017 Running Backs

      1-2 downs- Rawls/ Foreman
      3rd down- Prosise
      All downs- Throw in some Lavon Coleman
      FB- Reece

      I’m liking that alot!

      I still think Pope has potential and wish the best for his future. Either way we’re going to add some bully to our backfield!

      Go Hawks

      • C-Dog

        Yeah, I think there’s a very Seahawky thing about Coleman. Don’t think he declares this year though.

        For me, a guy like Foreman is starting to make a lot of sense. Right now, we are one Thomas Rawls injury away from either Alex Collins or Kelvin Taylor being are starting RB heading towards the playoffs. That pretty much says it all for me. They may not to RB with that first pick, but they gotta be going RB at some point, and I think outside of Fournette, Foreman might tick the most boxes for what they want.

        OT is probably not going to be there. OG might, DT might. Zach Cunningham might. All might be tempting, but maybe not as much as D’onta Foreman if he has a good combine.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I’m in agreement that there is a high probability of Seahawks picking a running back if Christian McCaffrey falls that far in the first round. Christian because he is a dual threat as a running back and receiver. Either Foreman or Perin could be had in the second or third round. They are both big bruisers and one of them will slip down the board.

      If they don’t pick a running back first then it will probably be defensive line. They want a pass rusher bad.

  13. Coleslaw

    Dream scenario: resign Haushcka, Shead, sign Calais Campbell, sign Breno Giacomini
    1. DeMarcus Walker/Zach Cunningham/Dede Westbrook (in that order)
    2. Dorian Johnson
    3. Taylor Moton
    3. Samaje Perine

    Double up on DL and get a vet OT for a year who will immediately help the run game, then double up on OL. Bruising running back. This should get us back to bullies while helping the future of our line and depth

    • Trevor

      I really like the FA scenario.

      Would like that draft scenario as long as we got Walker in Rd #1 and then swap out Morton for a DB.

  14. Ed

    Sure looks like Bradley will be fired, any way the Hawks bring him back or are has that ship sailed with Richard?

    • Coleslaw

      He’d probably look for a D coordinator position but I’m not sure anyone will even want him for that lol. If he comes back and Richard remains the Coordinator he would be the linebackers coach or assistant linebackers coach. Slight chance they’d make him assistant D coordinator. I’d be down!

    • sdcoug

      I think bradley as D-Coord would be ideal, but Carroll appears too loyal or rooted to make that move. My buddies and I have discussed this numerous times this season. For all appearances, Richard seems like a bright, well-respected guy, but one who might be in a little over his head right now.

      I don’t envision Bradley getting any head coach offers this off-season (if he’s fired as assumed), so bring him back and move Richard back to concentrating on DBs, where he reportedly was exceptional. Let him groom for another few seasons. That’s my ideal at least

      • Ed

        Or like slaw said, Richard stays as DC (because Pete is loyal) and let Bradley be DL/Ass HC/DC.

        Like on O (OC Bevell but Cable Running game coordinator)
        D (DC Richard with Bradley Stop the running game coordinator)

        • Coleslaw

          He started as a linebackers coach, he’d probably be just as good there as Richard would be as DB coach. But I’m starting to think they would actually prefer him as an assistant D coordinator with Richard.

      • Rob Staton

        I don’t get the clamour to bring back Gus Bradley. The Seahawks defense didn’t become it’s fearsome best until 2013, when Dan Quinn took over from Bradley.

        And whatever people think — this is Carroll’s defense. He’s the mastermind. Same with the offense too. There is too much focus on the coordinators.

  15. Trevor

    Rob given the lack of quality Tackles in the draft after Bolles do you think it is more likely that they consider switching Ifedi to RT to better utilize those 36 inch arms then draft a guy like Dorian Johnson, Morton or Bisnowatay (depending on how they test) in Rd #2 or 3 who can compete for the RG spot?

    • Ed

      Obi has shown some ability too. I really think a year together, let the OL gel together.


      Or Obi at RG and Ifedi move to RT

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t know. I don’t know what they want to do with Ifedi long term. There are some tackle options in the middle rounds. We need to see how these guys test.

  16. Trevor

    Has anyone watched any Jets games this year besides the one we played against them? How has Breno played? He is a great team guy and obviously has the nasty side but is he a starting caliber RT at this point in his career or more of a depth / leadership guy?

  17. LeoSharp

    Just been wondering whether picking up a free agent RB like LeGarrette Blount may be a better option than using the draft with the major caveat of Alex Collins showing progress in the next few games. He’s shown at Arkansas he can carry the load. would those two and Rawls not be enough to create a consistent physical running game. This would give Collins a chance to develop even more and hopefully become the number 2 RB

    • Ed

      Blount and Lacy could be FA signings. Think this team might be good to get Lacy back to Lacy. What about trading for Jeremy Hill?

    • icb12

      Theres actually some interesting RB free agents next year I think.

      LeGarrette Blount, LeVeon Bell, DeAngelo Williams, Eddy Lacy.

      You could potentially see a run at any of those guys. My Guess is Blount and Bell get paid.
      Might have a shot at Williams, and I actually think he would fit well.
      Lacy- I don’t have a clue. Which Eddy are you getting? Does GB even want him anymore? Maybe a change of scenery is what he needs?

      • Ed

        Bell getting paid for sure. BB won’t overpay Blount, but I think you are right in that he would resign. Williams is slashy, so I think they have that in Rawls. I would say Lacy is the easy choice. Has shown the ability, has not shown the passion, it could be BM 2.0 (although won’t ever be as good as beastmode, but he has shown the ability to be that).

        Lacy/Rawls/Prosise sounds like a good RB committee to me. Maybe still go RB in the 4/5 rd.

        1st DT
        2nd DE/LEO
        3rd CB/S

        FA (Campbell or Short) and Lacy

      • Rob Staton

        DeAngelo Williams is 34 in April. He might retire at the end of the season.

        Eddie Lacy is a lunch away from eating himself out of the league.

        • icb12

          Both Valid points.

        • Ed

          That’s the way here. Taken other teams issue players (Harvin/Graham/Lynch/Avril/Bennett) on the cheap (except Graham) and either have them adapt and become great or get cut.

      • LeoSharp

        Latavius Murray may also an option if he doesn’t blow up as a free agent

    • Matt

      As much as I dislike Blount given his success as a Patriot, to my untrained eye I honestly think he’s the closest RB to Marshawn Lynch currently active in the league. I think he would make an amazing pairing with Rawls and Prosise. To me he represents what the Seahawks want Collins to be, a big, bruising running back with good feet, except without the fumble issues that Collins has. Seems like Patriots don’t tend to pay much for RB, so if we could get him for a decent price, I’d gladly go that way as opposed to using a high (1-3) draft pick at RB. Bell is amazing but he’ll get big money, Williams is solid but old, and I would hate to try for Lacy, think he’s one of those players where the potential keeps them in the league but never really results in a good player.

  18. Michael (CLT)

    Zach soundsva lot like Curry.

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