Seahawks free agent projections

Thanks to Davis Hsu — it’s becoming a lot easier to look at the challenge facing the Seahawks this off-season…

Hsu also calculates the Seahawks will need to save $4-5m for the rookie class and $5m to re-up the four restricted free agents. The $18m also includes having addressed special teams needs.

Pete Carroll made it clear in his end of season press conference that he wanted to keep the team together. They won’t be able to keep everyone, of course. So the first question to consider is — who’s the priority?

They want to try and create a consistent O-line in 2016. If they let Russell Okung walk, they face the prospect of starting Garry Gilliam at left tackle or a rookie. Either way you’re taking a chance.

J.R. Sweezy didn’t have a great 2015 season but he performed well enough to earn praise from Pete Carroll in the two previous seasons. How much of his performance was effected by the overall struggles of the O-line? And if Okung departs, can they afford to lose their two most experienced linemen?

Bear in mind, if there’s only $18m available — there isn’t really the cash to go and bring in any other moderately expensive veteran offensive linemen.

So keeping Okung and Sweezy is the priority, right?

Possibly not.

Keeping one or both and upgrading other positions on the line (eg left guard) would be the best way to retain some level of consistency so there’s little chance of any growing pains going into 2016. But if it costs $8-9m APY to sign Okung and $4-5m to keep Sweezy — there’s not much left to sign your other free agents. With a strong looking O-line draft coming up — it might be an area they once again try to rebuild.

We recently discussed the possibility of Phil Loadholt being an option for the Seahawks if he’s a cap casualty in Minnesota. After missing so much time through injury he might only command a modest salary. He could add some tackle competition and he has the size they like at left guard and right tackle.

If they’re comfortable with Mark Glowinski at right guard (he played well in week 17 but it is only one game) they might be prepared to move on from Sweezy. Likewise their faith in Gilliam to adapt to the left side might tempt them to allow Okung to depart.

If they both leave you still have $18m to try and keep Rubin, Irvin, Mebane, Lane and Kearse.

Mebane and Rubin might be willing to take around $3-4m. That would constitute a raise for Rubin ($2.6m) and a drop for Mebane ($5.7m). It’s unlikely Mebane, who turned 31 on January 15th, would command $5m anywhere else.

Kearse is an interesting case. Doug Baldwin’s second contract in the NFL paid him $4.3m APY and he signed that deal aged 25. Kearse is 26 in February. Unless he gets a really tempting offer elsewhere — a similar three-year contract paying him $3.5-4m APY makes sense. I’m not sure they’d prioritise keeping Kearse over others — but if the money is available it’s worth keeping a player who just makes big plays.

Bruce Irvin is hard to work out. The Atlanta Falcons only have $19m total cap to play with and might not have the cash to throw big money at Irvin. If he wants to be an edge rusher, they also just drafted Vic Beasley. Are they really willing to carry two undersized speed rushers?

There are other potential suitors of course. The Raiders might be willing to play him at DE/LEO and they have plenty of free cap ($60m). The Chicago Bears are rebuilding their defense and have $54m to play with. He’d play OLB in the 3-4 in Chicago.

Age could be an issue (Irvin turns 29 this year). With at least a couple of good years left though he might get an offer too tempting for the Seahawks to match.

If you only re-sign Rubin, Mebane and Kearse you might have as much as $7-8m to spend on Jeremy Lane and any other business you want to do. And that brings us to perhaps the biggest dilemma.

The Seahawks really suffered on defense with Cary Williams in the line-up and the improvement was obvious when he was replaced by Lane and DeShawn Shead. Tharold Simon is set to return and they also seem to like the younger players at corner. Tye Smith for example received a red-shirt year and could push for playing time next season. It’s a risky strategy though — especially with diminished depth in the secondary these days.

Lane is a talented player with the ability to play outside and in the slot. He’s likely to receive a fair bit of attention in free agency. And while he won’t get $10.5m APY like Byron Maxwell, he might get more than we expect.

The best case scenario for the Seahawks is a one or two year deal with the chance to be a starter and really enhance his stock. He’s only 25 and Maxwell received his new deal approaching age 27. It’s not totally out of the question but it’ll only take one team being seriously interested to make it a pipe dream.

They might need to commit here. We could be talking $6-8m APY. And it might be too much. Yet overpaying to keep a good corner and avoiding further issues there next season might be worth it.

That wouldn’t leave much room to do anything else. A deal for Olivier Vernon or Alex Mack would be out of the question. Ask yourself though — would you rather have either player instead of Jeremy Lane? What gives the Seahawks the best chance to win in 2016? Not needing to replace Lane, adding Vernon as a rotational pass rusher or upgrading from Patrick Lewis to Mack?

Of course, if they let Kearse walk they would have enough room to possibly bring Vernon in on a Michael Bennet style contract if his market is lukewarm. Jabaal Sheard is earning $5.5m APY with the Patriots on a two-year deal. His first year cap hit was $4m. Vernon for Kearse? That’s a different story. But there’s nothing to suggest Vernon won’t get bigger offers.

The big counter to this could be Carroll’s comments on the pass rush when asked last Monday. He said he hoped to find some help there — but then said it’d depend on the options in the draft. It’s perhaps another indicator that any big moves in free agency are unlikely — especially if they want to try and keep a large pool of UFA’s together.

Perhaps I’m overestimating the value of the players? Maybe Lane only commands $4m APY, Kearse $2.5m, Mebane and Rubin in the $2.5m-3m range. Maybe. The rest of the NFL isn’t exactly disinterested in Seattle’s free agents though. Look at the deals for Maxwell, James Carpenter and others.

If they sign Lane, Rubin and Mebane (and maybe Vernon, if the stars align) — the draft needs would be pretty clear. They’d need at least a couple of offensive line picks and a linebacker to replace Irvin. They could add a receiver later on to compete with Kevin Smith and Kasen Williams. They will probably look to draft a running back plus further depth on the D-line and at corner.

Signing a veteran O-liner like Loadholt (there will be alternative options) to a modest deal would take some of the pressure off. They’ve done something like this before (signing Eric Winston to compete with Justin Britt). On that occasion it was security against Britt being able to nail down the starting role. Here it would allow them to go into the draft with a little more flexibility — even if they’d probably have to add at least two more linemen in the draft.

It’s also worth nothing they can offer pay rises/contract extensions to the likes of Doug Baldwin and Michael Bennett without increasing their 2016 cap hit.


  1. Trevor

    Rob do the #s from Davis take into account the 6.5 mil cap savings from Marshawn retiring / cut?

    • Trevor

      If so our options really are quite limited and show the importance of the draft when you pay your core top 10 payers the majority of your cap space.

      • bobbyk

        I would prefer to do it like we have been doing it… grow your own core and pay them. I have no problem with Sherman, ET, Bobby, Avril, Wilson, Graham, etc. making big bucks. The 10 players making the big bucks are deserving. They don’t have any big money to guys who suck. Most other teams do. Carroll and Schneider have been doing it the right way.

        Personally, I hope they bring back Ruben, Mebane, and Lane. Those are the three I’d most want back. Sure, I’d like Okung… but not at what he’s going to command.

        I would be shocked if Sweezy gets much. I look at it as if I were the GM of another team. I’d pay for Lane, so unfortunately, I see a market for him. I wouldn’t pay for Okung or Sweezy, but with the LT market being so thin, Okung is going to get overpaid (just like he got overpaid as a rookie, thanks to the old crappy rookie salary system he got lucky to be in).

        • KyleT

          Some 8 and 8 team will pay Okung. I agree with your FA choices among the bunch.

    • KyleT

      No it does not. As I was posting here earlier they have 24m to play with if Lynch is off the books

      • bobbyk

        Here is my long winded rant about the top 5 positions we need help at going into 2016. Do you agree?

        • KyleT

          I agree with the CB, LG and LT assessment. I don’t agree on the DE need and I think DT is under represented, though it was on he list.

          Here’s my issue with the DE position: Avril has basically taken over for Clemons and Bennet has taken over for Bryant. Both have been really good in those roles compared to Clemons and Bryant. The major difference is on the nickel downs. In 2013 it was Clemons and this year it has been Irvin who has not been as good. In 2013 we had McDonald, this year we had Hill, again a downgrade. We used to rotate McDonald in just like we do Hill/Dobbs in normal downs as well. Again a downgrade. Going forward I suspect Irvin’s pass rushing will be replaced by Clark who I believe has a higher ceiling. It’s not clear where we will be getting the interior pass rush from though. I don’t think the seahawks value the interior rush enough, because Pete believes his zone D and run fits can be executed to perfection reducing the emphasis on the 3 down DT. As much as I love Pete, I feel like this is an area of stuburness that is hurting us.

          • cha

            A good chunk of that issue could be solved if the Hawks could get late 2014 Jordan Hill back on a consistent basis.

        • cha

          I think Frank Clark will get time at RDE next year too.

    • Greg Haugsven

      I would say no, we should have close to $25 million with his $6.5 million off the books

    • Rob Staton

      I believe so.

  2. John_s

    David Onyemata 6’4 304 DL, U of Manitoba has looked good at the end of the game. He didn’t start playing FB until he was 18. Very raw but he has an elite NFL body

    • Trevor

      I think he would be a great development prospect!

      • Volume12

        Very raw, but as Trev said, would be a nice develipmental prospect. Looks like a freaky athlete.

        Add him and a Luther Maddy or Cory Johnson, if they lose one of Rubin or ‘Bane.

        Florida St DT Nile Lawrence-Stample is a good looking 1-tech.

    • Matt

      Yep Onyemata is a nice high upside DT prospect.

      Ochi was very impressive especially in the first half. Jeremiah was raving about his get off, and he wasn’t exaggerating! Ochi was the first one off the ball seemingly every snap.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Ochi and Onyemata both impressed today. They made plays consistently. I was hoping Poop Johnson would be as consistent too, but at least he flashed enough to remain interesting.

        • Volume12

          Illinois WR Geronimo Allison made himself some money today.

          He’s got size, speed, ball skills, run blocking, and appears mature beyond his years. At leat his game is mature.

  3. cha

    What does everyone think of Jean-Baptiste? Can he be a factor next year?

    • Volume12


      PC said last Monday on Brock & Salk that one of the CBs picked up the kick-slide almost instantly. IMO it was either Seisay or SJB, since former Nebraska HC taught his corners the same way we do.

      I like the depth they got at CB and of course the yearly day 3 rookie corner wil only add to that.

    • CC

      JB has the length they like, but hard to know if he has the mindset to learn to play the way Seattle wants its DBs too. Cary W didn’t have it, and poor Dion Bailey couldn’t hang either, so it is anyone’s guess. They also have George Farmer – former WR at USC that they put on the PS at DB. Seisey, Burley, SJB, Smith, Simon, Farmer – and I think Doug McNeil who also was a WR – all possibilities.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      I would not count out any FA, UDRFA, PS or Roster guy right now. They pride themselves on developing quality CBs from scratch (off the radar). I’m now confident they think Lane is gone and will gladly take a nice comp pick for him if he gets a fat stack of cash as a FA.

      Jean-Baptiste was a guy, due to size and SPARQ etc that I thought Seattle would find attractive in the draft… he didn’t make it here until the end of the season, but I think he is a gem waiting to be discovered and polished.

      • Bryan C

        Plus Stanley Jean-Baptiste was in New Orleans and apparently the Saints have no idea how to teach DB technique or to optimize their players strengths in the secondary (see 2015 Brandon Browner). So, SJB has the potential to be an impact player and one I thought Seattle was interested in during the draft. Big potential if he or Farmer works out.

  4. Volume12

    If Atlanta has Vic Beasley and might be hesitant to have two under-sized pass rushers, wouldn’t it be the same in Oakland? Khalil Mack is the closest thing to Bruce Irvin in the league and is probably better.

    Just food for thought.

    Doesn’t seem like we’ll be seeing any big name FAs added this year, and that’s just fine wih me. Take care of our own and kerp building/re-loading through the draft.

    Still think they keep Irvin, Sweezy, Rubin or ‘Bane, and Kearse.

    • Steele

      Mack aside, the Oakland defense has talent and depth but never seems to gel. Irvin would be a great addition that would immediately improve what Norton is trying to do there.

      • Greg Haugsven

        I disagree with keeping Irvin, we have to infuse youth at some point in time on the defense. If we don’t the whole defense is going to be 30 and that’s a recipe for disaster for the future.

  5. Volume12

    Udub WR Jaydon Mickens is looking really good. Explosive off the LOS, and creates a ton of seperation.

    • CC

      He likely will be a UDFA and the UW connection with the WRs might mean he gets a look by Seattle. He had too many drops in college – if he can fix that, he has a chance to make it – he’s quick.

      • rowdy

        Kearse did a he’ll of a job learning

    • matt

      Agreed Mickens looked great in the NFLPA game. Have to change my stance a bit and say hes a nice day 3 option. Going to have to test well, and he should. The drops are a big concern, but athletically he’s NFL caliber.

  6. KyleT

    Davis’ analysis about what’s available in the Seahawks cap is what I’ve been posting here and being told I was wrong. Good stuff 🙂

  7. KyleT

    I still stick to my analysis that with lynch gone and 24m. We can spend about 6m on OL. 6m on Lane. Let Kearse, Irvin and Sweezy walk and spend 12m on upgrading the DL. Bring back Bane or Rubin and another inside pass rusher / maybe even 3 down DT if available. If Lane costs a bit more I say we pay him and divert from the DL #. We cannot afford another year of our zone D being a mess.

    • Greg Haugsven

      I like your thinking Kyle, I wouldn’t mind spending that OL money on a left guard. Keep Lewis, Glowinski, and Gilliam, draft a left tackle and pay a left guard ( maybe a guy like Osemele)

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      They won’t spend 6M on Lane…. but I’m pretty confident someone in the NFL will give him more than 6M a year to play ball with them.

  8. Steele

    I might be persuaded otherwise, but right now, in ruthless mode, I would let Okung, Sweezy, Mebane and Kearse walk. Bane is past his prime. I am not a Kearse fan, even though Russell can’t live without him, but he simply isn’t the most talented WR they can have, and isn’t worth what he will ask for. Okung and Sweezy, we all know their stories. Neither worth breaking the bank.

    I’d offer Lane $3m, Rubin $2m. The rest of the $18m, keep the options flexible. Try to keep Irvin or land Vernon (likely one, not both), take a serious crack at landing at least one of Mack/Loadholt/Boone.

    I know two big options are off the table, but I would not miss Jimmy Graham or Kam, if the possibility of cap savings and/or trade options are possible.

    • Steele

      I just like the idea of fresh veteran talent to offset the green/conversion projects, and the standbys who are not great but never seem to leave.

    • KyleT

      No way Lane signs for only 3m

      • Volume12

        I’m with Steele.

        I’m hoping that Irvin is kept, and is our priority outta the 7 FAs. 7 starters that is.

        Not a lot of SAM/DE prospects in this year’s class.

        There ate however bigger DE’s that can still get after the QB.

    • lil'stink

      Re-signing Irvin would give us a ton of money locked up in our LB group. Perhaps too much. One player that hasn’t been mentioned much is Mike Morgan. He’s a core special teamer and has been solid playing spot SAM duty. He’s obviously not Bruce Irvin and isn’t an edge rusher. But he would be cheap and could be a good hedge for letting Irvin go.

      If we only offer $3m for Lane and $2m for Rubin they are as good as gone. I’m hoping we give Lane a generous 2 year deal that he can’t refuse, knowing he will have another chance for a big payday down the road.

      • Volume12

        He’s more than a LB though. He could be a full time DE.

        I just think when PC says they hope for help from their pass-rushers, that losing Bruce isn’t a boost to their pass rush.

        Morgan’s a good backup, but he isn’t much more than that. Josh Shirley is also a hedge.

        • lil'stink

          I agree, there’s not much chance we can replace Irvin with just one player. But I’m not sure that Frank Clark won’t be a better pass rusher next year than Irvin is. And with what Wagner and KJ are making paying Irvin $6-8m might be prohibitively expensive. Letting Irvin walk would definitely bump LB higher up on our list of needs as there obviously isn’t an heir apparent on the roster.

          I know it won’t happen but I still wonder about Kam moving to SAM assuming he stays with us.

          IMHO interior pass rush and OL have been our biggest need in each of the past 2 seasons. I’m hoping that we can balance that out this year, even if it unfortunately means letting talented guys like Irvin go.

          • KyleT

            Yup, totally! Let’s not forget Irvin was benched in the last few games of the 13′ season including the Super Bowl for his sub par SAM play. It was Malcolm Smith who took over as a 7th round pick. We can get somebody else to play SAM, and Clark is an upgrade for Bruce’s role on Nickel downs. Gotta let him walk

            • lil'stink

              Thing is, Irvin has developed into a much better SAM than he was in 2013, and he hasn’t developed into an elite pass rusher (yet). It’s definitely a tough call.

              • bobbyk

                He’s 28 and his game relies on speed. If he’s not an elite pass rusher yet, he never will be.

                He was drafted to play Leo and take over for Clem. It didn’t happen and he was moved to SAM, who would play Leo on passing situations. He’s simply never developed into the pass rusher they hoped for. However, they did salvage his career and turned him into a productive player at SAM.

              • Steele

                I don’t see Frank Clark being anything like Irvin. He is closer to Bennett, and outside/inside guy.

          • Robert

            I wonder if Pinkins factors in? If they let Irvin walk, then maybe KJ moves back to SAM and Pinkins plays WILL. Pinkins is a SPARQ freak with good length that could be a potential upgrade in coverage.

            • Drew

              with his weight only being 220-225, he’d fit much better at WILL than on the line at SAM. He did play SAM at spots this year though, but who knows what PCJS have working up.

    • bigDhawk

      The only way I consider retaining Kearse is if we cut Jimmy. With Jimmy in the lineup Kearse gets bumped to 4th receiver and would not be targeted enough to justify any amount we paid him, especially with the raise Baldwin is about to get.

      • Greg Haugsven

        I agree bigdhawk , we also have to remember that we still have a guy named Paul Richardson, he was only hurt last year, he’s not dead.

        • LLLOGOSSS

          We absolutely cannot count on Richardson, and he had in no way displaced Kearse on this roster.

          • bigDhawk

            No, but Kevin Smith could.

            • franks

              I can’t understand the allure of letting our best players walk.

              Jermaine Kearse is the number 2 with Graham gone, which he won’t be, number 3 with Graham here and in the biggest moments, Jermaine’s the first player our opponents account for guaranteed.

              Lockett and Richardson haven’t surpassed him. Kevin Smith hasn’t even played. He’s made more big plays than anyone on this team the past 2 years, not counting Russell. If Bevel just handed off the ball, Jermaine Kearse would have a statue on Broadway next to Jimi’s. Not worth 3 million? You want to replace him with Kevin Smith? I can’t believe how little appreciation he gets here.

              • LLLOGOSSS

                Agreed. I just hope we value him more than other clubs do, money-wise. I certainly do. But it does have to make sense monetarily. I would jump all over a contract averaging ~3 MM.

                People have to stop thinking in terms of #1, 2, 3, and comparing our receivers production against the league; we need to think in terms of role and skill set. Kearse does what this offense asks him to do VERY very well, and he’s the only receiver on the team who can actually do those things (win jump balls, use him body to shield, reach out over the middle in isolation, etc.).

                We know the Seahawks scout against their own roster. There isn’t currently a replacement for Kearse in Richardson or Smith, nor Lockett for that matter.

              • bigDhawk

                Lockette has surpassed Kearse.

    • Rob Staton

      Yes Steele, we know your opinions on Graham.

  9. Volume12

    Wow! This LB Jatavis Brown from Akron is a stud.

    Always around the ball, great instincts, big hitter, sideline to sideline, good coverage ‘backer, explosive, fast, great length, pursues the ball with speed. Only thing is his lack of size. But, he could be that Malcom Smith type guy we hoped or thought KPL would be.

    This kid can flat-out play.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      He stood out for sure. Pretty much took over the 4th qtr.

      If he tests well at the combine, he’d be an interesting prospect for the Buchannon “moneybacker” position.

    • bigDhawk

      He is Deone Bucannon sized, and Deone Bucannon good. For a team looking for a hybrid S/LB-type he will be perfect.

    • matt

      Watched Akron’s bowl game against Utah St. Brown was all over the place making plays sideline to sideline and in the backfield. Really like him as a day 3 prospect. Fackrell flashed big time in that game too.

  10. lil'stink

    Any thoughts on Justin Simmons if he falls well into day 3? I know CB isn’t his natural position, and lord knows we have enough DB projects already, but some of the analysis of him almost sounds similar to what was said about Richard Sherman. I imagine someone who needs help at FS would likely take him before it was worth it for us to spend a pick on him.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Everything I’ve read about Simmons has him as a solid Day 2 prospect with the potential to move into the fringe R1 (early Day 2) if he has a good combine.

  11. Ealafa

    Earlier this week, rumors began to spread that Marshawn Lynch could have played his last NFL game, mostly in thanks to Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider stating on on a radio interview that he believes Lynch is leaning towards retirement. However, the mother of Beast Mode has a different thought on her son’s NFL future.

    In an interview with TMZ, Delisa Lynch stated “I really believe we haven’t seen the last of Beast Mode!!!”

    She had also mentioned that Lynch’s younger brother, Devonte, is an up-and-coming college running back at New Mexico Highlands and that Marshawn should wait for him before he puts a cap on his terrific career.

    Lynch is currently signed with the Seahawks through the 2017 season and will be an unrestricted free agent at the beginning of the 2018 season.

    With Lynch potentially hitting the open market in 2016, there are a number of teams where he could be a good fit. One of the rumored landing spots out there is the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and a major need at the running back position. Since parting ways with DeMarco Murray in the 2015 offseason, the offense hasn’t been the same. Darren McFadden played well, but he is not the presence that Lynch is in the backfield. Although Lynch is aging, a strong line would certainly extend his career as well as give him a greater opportunity to put up top ten fantasy production at his position once again. Lynch is also a high-profile personality, something that Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones is notorious for bringing into his organization no matter the age, contract or baggage a player may have attached to him.

    Another potential franchise that gets the most out of a player is the New England Patriots. Lynch would fit into New England like a glove. He would be playing for a year in, year out Super Bowl contender and would line up behind the best in the business, Tom Brady. The Patriots have a need at the position. They haven’t had a downhill runner since losing LeGarrette Blount to a hip injury in Week 14. Blount is heading into free agency, as is his replacement, Steven Jackson. Lynch would have to take less money if he ended up in New England, but very few organizations are breaking down the doors for, in NFL standards, an over the hill running back.

    Whichever team Lynch ends up signing with for the 2016 season will still be gaining the player we call Beastmode, but will he return with the same skill set and productivity we are used to seeing from him? History shows us that the answer is no. By Anthony Cervino

    Just wonder if this really is the end of Lynch? he would have to take a lesser role in Seattle. It would be a good thing for both Lynch and Seattle. If he has to renegotiate His contract With other teams Why not just stay in Seattle, with a renegotiated contract? Seattle may think it’s just better to move on. Save money and less headache.

    • CC

      I love Marshawn, but I think his run has ended with Seattle. If he doesn’t retire, he’ll be released by mutual decision or he’ll be traded – if OAK stays in OAK, a trade there would make sense.

      With the exception of the Patriots, it is doubtful any coach could handle Marshawn the way Pete has. And if he went to the Patriots, they have their own way of doing things and they don’t seem to deviate from it regardless of the player.

      It seems to me that Marshawn is ready to be done with the NFL – he got his $12m this year, he can move on. As for the Seahawks, I think we need to move on from Marshawn as well. The offense needs to evolve and Marshawn’s best years are behind him and I hate saying that.

      Running the ball on the first offensive play at CAR with Marshawn for no gain – was the play everyone was expecting and we need to stop being so predictable. Bevell called much better games with Rawls in and even with CMike vs the games this season with Marshawn.

      It will be sad to see Marshawn go, but it is time.

    • Rob Staton

      Yeah… I can just see Lynch fitting perfectly with Bill Belichick…

      • Bryan C

        Honestly, I don’t see it. IMO, it comes down to BB dealing with the drama that is Lynch and I do not think BB would want the distraction.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn

          I think Rob meant that in a sarcastic way.. just saying

          • Nolan

            Bill belichick put up with randy miss, and Corey dillion

            • Tien

              Rob was definitely being sarcastic.

              It’s pretty clear that Belichik’s coaching style is that “it’s his way or the highway.” Why would he now make an exception for an aging RB?

              Marshawn has had free rein here with Seattle, made a bunch of money, and won a SB. Why would he change his ways now and kow tow to a coach/management to go play for the Patriots?

              • bigDhawk

                I think Belicheat could work with Lynch. Darth Hoodie has zero tolerance for stuff like being late to meetings and not doing your job. Lynch doesn’t make those mistakes. His eccentricities involve aloofness and lack of communication. As long as Lynch shows up and does his job I don’t think Belicheat will care if he talks.

                • Rob Staton

                  What about when he decides not to do training camp or Wednesday’s?

                  • bigDhawk

                    That’s part of the physical realities of where Lynch is at in his career. Lynch is at least there, on time, though not physically participating in practice. I think Belicheat would understand and appreciate that fact if he thought Lynch could help him win. Goodness knows he’s done worse in the name of winning.

                • Tien

                  Listen, I love Lynch and he’s my all-time favorite Seahawk but there’s no way that he’s a fit with Belichik. Do you think he (or any other coach/GM) would have put up with Lynch rehabbing the ab surgery on his own and not letting the team know when he’d be back? It was clear from Pete’s responses during this period that Lynch was not communicating with the team and the team had no idea of his progress or intentions. How about the time when Lynch flipped off Bevell? Do you think Belichik would have put up with that level of insubordination from any of his players?

                  Given that Lynch is an older back now and thus more prone to injuries, the downside of putting up with his eccentricities is not worth the potential of him maybe still having greatness.

                  There’s no way that Belichik signs Lynch and I’m really hoping that he just rides off into retirement.

        • Rob Staton

          Belichick is more likely to employ Roger Goodell to be Tom Brady’s offensive coordinator.

  12. Minnesotan

    Not that Seattle can and should re-sign all its dudes but in broad strokes this exercise in constraints suggests an answer to Rob’s oft-stated question, “why would we want the $9M in cap money gained by cutting Jimmy Graham?” (The other answer is that cap rollover makes that money fungible for future years.)

    Speaking of TE, Ladarius Green finally hits free agency this year… it’ll be interesting to see what the market holds for him.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t ask that question to be fair. Carroll and Schneider have both stated on multiple occasions that Graham isn’t going to be cut. So I don’t see the need to consider it as an option.

      • Bryan C

        The 2016 season is critical for Graham, performance wise. I believe the contract is an even $9M per season and the 2017 year is contingent on his 2016 performance. I see Graham being a beast next year and potentially as a fill in for Kearse when he gets a large $ offer from another team.

    • Trevor

      They have repeatedly said Graham will be a Hawk in 2016 so why even discuss it. If he has a major setback in his recovery then they may do something but if he is progressing to play in 2016 even if he starts on the PUP they will not cut him. I think he will dominate in the new passing offense personally.

      I think if anything and they see if is rehabbing well they could extend and restructure his deal to free up more cap space but even that is unlikely.

  13. Darnell

    Not necessarily stars or core players, but a couple mid-tier, relatively cheap 2nd wave of free agency UFAs that I think could benefit the Hawks in the short term:

    RB Jaquizz Rogers : nice little backup back, still in his mid 20s, solid hands and pass blocking to fill the role that Fred Jackson played this past season.

    TE Craig Stevens: veteran blocking TE. Doesn’t offer much production as a pass catcher, but I like the idea of having at least one of TEs being a Zach Miller quality blocker.

    DE Ryan Davis: has never started a game with the Jaguars, but much like Chris Clemons I think he is a bigtime player if given the right opportunity.

    S/LB Mark Barron: Feels like a poor man’s Deone Buchanan, if the Hawks are thinking about the big nickle again he could be the guy.

    OLB Nick Perry: Not as good as Bruce, but could fill a similar role with better defensive supporting cast/coaching than he received in Green Bay.

    • Troy

      I love the idea of bringing in some cheap, durable and consistent free agents, nice write up Darnell!

      • Darnell

        Thanks Troy.

        A big early catalyst for the Seahawks foundation of success was not so much adding highly sought after and relatively expensive studs, but identifying players who weren’t being shown much love elsewhere and turning them into valuable Seahawks (Chris Clemons, Leon Washington, Marshawn Lynch, Tony McDaniel, O’Brien Schofield, Steven Huaschka, and to a more expensive degree the initial acquisitions of Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett). Never mind the valuable undrafted guys.

        I feel like the acquiring of McCray for a late rounder was a nice sign of getting back to that.

        • Steele

          I like the idea of Nick Perry or someone like him. Irvin is hard to replace. Perry is not bad.


      I wonder what kind of contract Perry would require… I haven’t really followed his career, just remember his draft stock. Has he underperformed?

      • Darnell

        Yes he has.

        Rarely, if ever, starts games. Minimal sack production.

        But, he is four years younger than Bruce, could be had cheap, and has the measurables to potentially develop into a very good Seahawk.

        • Rob Staton

          Personally, was never a fan of Perry’s at USC. Disappointing, underwhelming player even in college.

  14. CHawk Talker Eric

    With all due respect to Davis, SEA have 8 UFA who will make over $2mm APY next season, regardless of where they end up.

    In addition to the 7 already mentioned – Okung, Irvin, Lane, Big Rube, Kearse, Sweezy and Bane – Jon Ryan will also be an UFA. His current contract averages $1.5mm/year, which is dead smack in the middle of the League for punters. The APY of his next contract, be it with SEA or another team, will probably be closer to twice as much as what it is now.

    Also I don’t think Lane will be the only SEA defensive UFA whose price rises higher than some expect. Big Rube has had an impressive rebound in SEA. He was a solid player for CLE before getting injured and kind of fading away for a while. His signing was seen as a bit of a coup (especially at the price) and he sure delivered big time in what could be called a “renaissance” season. I’ve seen speculation that his next contract could be in the $4-5mm APY range.

    Unlike Big Rube, I think Bane signs for less, like around $3mm APY. His age, injury history, and the likelihood of him being much more of a rotational DLer for the remainder of his career, limit his marketability. He’s a good fit for SEA, and vice-versa, but probably not as much elsewhere. Even if he did receive a higher offer, would he really leave the only team he’s ever played on in the midst of its current SB window to make a bit more for one season with no certainty beyond that? I mean, how many more seasons does he intend to play?

    I see it like this. If Okung’s APY will be $8mm or more, and Irvin’s $6mm or more, that’s AT LEAST $14mm of the $18mm Davis calculated for FAs tied up in only 2 players. That would leave enough for only one of Kearse, Sweezy, Bane or Ryan for sure, or maybe just enough for Lane or Rubin.

    Conversely, SEA could sign Lane at $5mm, Rubin at $4mm, Ryan and Bane at $6mm between them, and with a little backloading to reduce the year 1 cap hits, sneak in one of Kearse or Sweezy at around $4mm. And I’d keep Kearse over Sweezy.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      One thing I forgot to add is that losing Okung and Irvin gives SEA the best possible comp picks – estimated to be a R3 and R4, respectively.

      • Greg Haugsven

        That’s something that gets lost here. Comp picks are important to the Seahawks. It’s also a reason they might only look at street free agents to sign instead of UFA because they don’t mess with the comp pick formula.

      • no frickin clue

        good point. Assuming of course that they fetch high prices, they would add to our draft war chest in April 2017. Maxwell brought us a 3rd rounder this year, yes?

    • Rob Staton

      Ryan averaged in the bottom third for punters in 2015. I can’t see him getting a pay rise.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Ryan gets nothing, but Sweezy who ranks near the bottom of OGs gets a significant one, at least twice, maybe as much as three times, as much?

        • Rob Staton

          I’m not sure why that would be such a surprise. James Carpenter’s on $5m APY in New York. It’s all down to positional value and age.

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            I didn’t mean the comparison to be dollar for dollar. But Ryan hasn’t signed a new contract in 6 years. Don’t you think he’ll want a raise, even if only a modest one? He’s relatively underpaid for his experience, besides which he’s a capable FG/PAT holder and has trick play ability.

            I’m not arguing whether SEA would or should give him a bigger contract, just that he’ll want one above $2mm APY.

            I was about to post my comment when I checked SEA team punting stats. It’s not good. They rank 26th for net punt yard average, and dead last for opponent return yard average. I still think Ryan wants at least $2mm APY, but I don’t know if he’s worth it or gets it with SEA or another team.

            • Rob Staton

              I don’t think Ryan will get a raise or will he expect one. He’s a 34-year-old punter coming off a down year. The unusual 6-year contract Ruskell gave him set him up for life. I think he’ll take what the Seahawks offer.

          • KyleT

            Carp put some really good tape in his contract year. Neither Okung or Sweezy have done that though.

            • Rob Staton

              They didn’t play badly every game — and they’ve had plenty of good moments in their respective careers.

              • KyleT

                True, but Carp looked like a really solid above average LG in his contract year and thus got paid like it

                • Rob Staton

                  It’s easy to say that though with hindsight. Not many people were saying during the season, ‘wow — Carpenter is playing above average football here’.

        • Pablo Honey

          You have to keep in mind that Ryan was signed as a FA while Sweezy has been playing on a 7th round rookie contract. Unless you’re a fringe player, you’re bound to get a significant raise on your 2nd contract. Plus Sweezy is Cable’s personal pet project/favorite (be interesting to see how that factors into the negotiations).

  15. Greg Haugsven

    I would say no, we should have closer to $25 million with his $6.5 savings

  16. KyleT

    Assuming we have the full compliment of 53 on the roster. And if the cap rises to 154m and Assuming Lynch walks, that frees up 7m and Williams 4m for a total of 30m. About 24m could be spent on free agents.

    These scenarios assume we don’t pay Okung more than 7m or Sweezy more than 3m, but essentially I see one of these 4 scenarios playing out.

    Scenario 1: Sweezy accepts 3m, Okung accepts 7m

    LT – Okung, Bailey
    LG – Britt, Draft priority #1, Sokoli
    C – Lewis, Draft priority #3-4, Nowak
    RG – Sweezy, Glowinski
    RT – Gilliam, Bailey

    Likely OL from left to right: Okung, 1st round draft pick, Lewis, Sweezy, Gilliam

    Rest of FA: We pay 6m to Lane, 3m on Rubin, 3m on Mebane for a total of 22m, no outside acquisitions

    Scenario 2: Sweezy accepts 3m, Okung walks

    LT – Bailey, Gilliam
    LG – Britt, Draft priority #1, FA priority #1, Sokoli
    C – Lewis, Draft priority #3-4, Nowak
    RG – Sweezy, Glowinski
    RT – Gilliam, Draft priority #1, FA priority #1

    Likely OL from left to right: Gilliam, FA LG, Lewis, Sweezy, 1st round draft pick

    Rest of FA: We pay 6m to a RT/LG option from FA, we pay 6m to Lane, 3m on Rubin, 3m on Mebane for a total of 22m

    Scenario 3: Sweezy walks, Okung accepts 7m

    LT – Okung, Bailey
    LG – Britt, Draft priority #1, Sokoli
    C – Lewis, Draft priority #3-4, Nowak
    RG – Glowinski, Sokoli
    RT – Gilliam, Bailey

    Likely OL from left to right: Okung, 1st round draft pick, Lewis, Glowinski, Gilliam

    Rest of FA: We pay 6m to a RT/LG option from FA, pay 6m to Lane, 3m on Rubin, 3m on Mebane, maybe offer Irvin 5m or Kearse 3m to stick around in that order. For a total of 21-23m

    Scenario 4: Both walk

    LT – Bailey, Gilliam
    LG – Britt, Draft priority #1, FA priority #1, Sokoli
    C – Lewis, Draft priority #3-4, Nowak
    RG – Glowinski, Sokoli
    RT – Gilliam, Draft priority #1, FA priority #1

    Likely OL from left to right: Gilliam, FA LG, Lewis, Glowinski, 1st round draft pick

    Rest of FA: We pay 6m to Lane, 3m on Rubin, 3m on Mebane, maybe offer Irvin 5m or Kearse 3m to stick around in that order.

    • KyleT

      I’ve re watched the coaches film on our OL in 3 games today: The last Rams and Cards game and the Panthers divisional round game. Many of the blocking problems are a function of mental mistakes. Things like poorly executed combo blocks, leaving the block too soon or not sticking with it long enough. Completely missing an assignment was a way to common occurrence. In other words 2 interior lineman just completely ignore a DT. These are issues with continuity and as Pete would put it “trying too hard” in my opinion. Additionally, these types of issues almost always improved in the 2nd half!

      In terms of just getting beat, Britt stands out, he can’t be our LG next year. Sweezy still is the same inconsistent player, but many of his issues this year and why I believe he performed worse, were continuity with Gilliam. Gilliam the same thing. Okung is not nearly the same player even going back a year. I don’t think we overpay for him, not sure anyone else will either. Lewis is solid, but just lacks strength at the point of attack.

      We will find a new LG almost certainly no matter what scenario we pick. I have to believe we are going to make those offers though of 7m and 3m to Okung and Sweezy. And then stack the competition between draft picks at the top and current roster guys like Sokoli and Glow.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Davis said the $18mm total for UFAs includes the $6.5mm saved by Lynch leaving, the $4mm from Williams and the cap increase to $154mm.

        It also includes paying all RFA/ERFAs like Lewis, Coleman, CMike, Shead, Burley, Seisay, the 2016 draft picks and practice squad.

        There really is only $18mm for FA signings, be they already on the roster or not.

        Okung will be the top FA LT available in 2016, by far. His age/injury history will affect the amount of guaranteed money more than the final APY. He’ll get an offer above $8mm APY. He might get more than one and benefit even more from the competition.

        The League average salary for OGs with similar experience and number of starts to Sweezy is about $5.5mm (ranging from $3.2mm to $8.5mm). It’s possible his status as a R7 DL convert makes him less attractive to other teams and cools his market. CHI OG Matt Slauson might be a good comp for Sweezy’s value. Slauson was a R6 pick in 2009. 2 years ago he signed a 4 year contract worth $3.2mm APY. Adjusting that for salary inflation makes the 2016 value at least $4mm APY, which is probably close to the amount Sweezy will sign for, with SEA or elsewhere.

        You may be right it will take $6mm to sign Lane, but I think Rubin will get at least $4mm.

      • Pablo Honey

        I pretty much agree with your o-line scenarios. I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved Britt back to RT next year (where frankly, if the front office does its job, he will be a back up never to be heard from again until his contract expires). If Sweezy is re-signed, I wonder if the team gives Glowinski a look at LG.

        • LLLOGOSSS

          LT Gilliam
          LG Sokoli/Poole/High draft pick
          C Lewis/Nowak/High draft pick/Alx Mack?
          RG Glowinski/High draft pick
          RT Britt/High draft pick

          Get ready for this scenario. I think Nowak will get another legitimate chance to displace Lewis, but the only way I see this scenario changing is if a) we whiff in our free agents and have the money to sign Mack, or b) we get a guy who can walk in the door day 1 from the draft to start at any one of those line spots (probably not LT though, given our draft position).

    • Rob Staton

      Hsu’s 18m includes cutting Lynch. They won’t have 24m to spend.

      • KyleT

        I suppose it depends on whether we actually pay our RFA’s a higher salary vs tendering them and then renegotiating the salary. I don’t suspect we pay anyone but Shead >1m. Also the rookie class only costs more then a typical back of roster avg salary for the first 2 rounds. But his #’s are certainly more pessimistic.

  17. mishima

    JSPC need to get creative to solve the problems on the lines. Let’s hope/pray that this is a productive draft.

    If this is our ‘championship window,’ can the Seahawks wait on Graham’s recovery? Is it time to trade Kam? An additional $14 million would provide some flexibility going into free agency and the draft.

    • Darnell

      I don’t know, but McCray certainly looked like a guy you’d be cool with starting 16+.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Both PC and JS have made it unequivocally clear than Graham is on the team next year, and PC said pretty much the same thing about Kam just not in so many words.

      Not sure why we would keep discussing those two as potential cap casualties.

      • Darnell

        True. Those two are fairly consistently truthful when speaking about their players.

        And Jimmy and Kam are the antithesis of Percy when it comes to being a teammate and leader.

        • mishima

          Because $18 million is not enough to replace the talent we’ll be losing in free agency.

          • Nathan

            But then we’d need to replace Jimmy and Kam too.

            What’s your plan for that?

            • mishima

              More than likely, you need to replace Graham anyway. Trading Kam should bring back talent/pick and his position could be filled by current roster or free agency. It would definitely be a step back in the secondary, but improves areas of greater need, creates roster balance.

              No guarantee you bring back Okung, Sweezy, Mebane, Ruben, Irvin. Unless you’re willing to roll with FA scrubs and/or rookies on the lines, the Hawks have to free up some cap space.

              This is the price of success and it sucks.

              • AlaskaHawk

                Actually it is the price for trading away numerous first round picks, trading away our center Unger, and then finding that the free agents that were brought in could not fill their roles on the offense due to mental problems or injuries.

                • mishima

                  Wasn’t a fan of the Harvin trade, but liked the Unger for Graham deal. That said, I agree with your general point: the Hawks have had some questionable draft picks/moves that have challenged the ‘next man up’ philosophy.

                  I’m excited to see what some of the current roster (CB, OL, WR) contributes next year.

                  Also, JSPC have previously had the luxury of having an elite QB at a bargain price. Off-seasons just got a little more challenging. Totally trust them and looking forward to their future moves.

                • Rob Staton

                  Unger was gone anyway.

                  • Volume12

                    “This is the price of success, and it sucks.”

                    Why? I’d rather have it this way and deal with these headaches then being an up and coming team with $50 mil or so in cap space to spend. Having a bunch of money in FA guarantees you nothing.

  18. EranUngar

    A “big picture” look at the whole team:

    Defense: If we do sign Lane and Irvine and keep Rubin and Bane – we’ll have 11 starters without a rookie contract among them. This is financially unsustainable and very risky as the whole D ages together and drops in performance together. Having 2-3 players on rookie contract is a must for the long term model to function. Paying 5M plus for all 4 DBs can not work – Lane has to go. The Williams catastrophe made Lane “a must” but Shead was very solid replacing Williams. With all the rookies waiting for their chance (Simon, Seisly, Smith, Burley, SJB etc.), one has to step up and be the next man up. I think the same applies to Irvin. Clark and Marsh will pick the pass rush duties and we’ll need to draft a proper replacement. We can’t keep 3 LBs on top dollar contracts. If Rubin and Bane can be there for less than 7M combined they are actually 2 for thew price of one. If not, run stuffing DTs can be found at 3M.

    Offense: Behind that horrible Oline that needs urgent upgrade and after losing the top 2 players on this offense (Graham and Lynch), this offense has actually been a big improvement over last year and ended 4th in the NFL in both scoring and yards. Keeping Kearse and one of the (Okung/Sweezy) seems like a smart call for continuity.

    If you agree with the above – The urgent needs for the top of the draft are OL and OLB. The “nice to have” upgrades on top would be pass rushing DT, CB, WR, DE in that order.

    It would fit with Hsu’s 11M – offense and 7M defense and makes a lot of sense looking ahead beyond just the 2016 roster.

    • Steele

      This is all true, if the time horizon is “forever’, and long term sustainability is a must. But why not then take it to the extreme? Let ALL the free agents go. Kearse, Okung, Sweezy included. Youth all the way. Take the risk and make guys step up or fail. Save money. Don’t even worry about a Super Bowl, just build the team from the bottom up.

      • EranUngar

        My dear Steele, we have both been around this team for quite a while. I know we would like to keep everybody and add a few quality players in FA to boost the team and win it all but it will not happen.

        You may remmber that i have posted a lot about this “cap time bomb” a year ago and now it is here.

        We can not sign them all. We’ll need to let a few go for the health of the cap space and team structure. The question is who?

        With the amount of money invested already in 7 defensive contracts (Earl, Sherman, Kam, Wags, K.J., Bennett, Avril all above 5M apy) we can not add two additional big contracts for Irvin and Lane. They have to go.

        We can’t sign Kearse+Okung+Sweezy on the offense as well.

        I tried to look at it from a team structure view but if you have any other view that will decide who stays and who goes within the budget – be my guest.

        • Tien

          Your points make sense Eran and fits with the Seahawks’ strategies of Win Forever (long-term success/competitiveness) & legitimately contending for the SB (short-term planning).

          I’m starting to believe that Lane is a/the critical signing on defense. Our D for the first half of the season was a mess, due in no small part to Cary Williams’ ineffectiveness as the CB opposite of Sherman. Once Lane came back, that side of the field was no longer as vulnerable and our D improved. Shead was an improvement over Williams but not as good as Lane, IMO. We do have a lot of young talent with potential at the CB position but at this point, it’s just potential. For me, it’s better to overpay Lane a bit to ensure that our defensive backfield is solid rather than take the chance that none of our young players’ potential pan out, whether due to ability or health/injury. If we can sign Lane to a one year deal of about $5 million a year (would give him the opportunity to get a big FA contract if he has a great year) and then re-sign Rubin & Mebane, that would be my ideal scenario. If not, maybe sign Lane to a longer term contract averaging $6 – $7 mil/year and then resign Rubin and a different FA DT or a rookie DT as depth.

          On offense, if we can get Okung at $7 – $8 mil/year, I think we should/need to do it, for continuity and peace of mind. I get that Okung is not elite but he’s still average to above average and I’m willing to live with him missing a game here and there for steadiness at LT. With the remaining funds, hopefully resign Kearse, who is a very effective #3 or #4 WR in our offense. If Okung prices himself out the Seahawks’ price range, try to sign a solid RT as Gilliam is moved to LT. As CHawkEric pointed out, if Okung’s gone, the continuity value with Sweezy greatly diminishes so unless he wants to resign cheap, I say we let him go also and we go with Glowinski. In all scenario, we should still draft at least a couple of OL early in the draft.

          • EranUngar

            Ok Tien, i’ll play along with you.

            If Lane is indeed the guy they do not want to lose for FA, and considering his young age (25) on one side and his injury history on the other then the way would be to offer him a 4 year contract with 6M apy, with 4M signing bonus and 3M base salary for 2016. That would put his cap hit for 2016 at 4M and his dead cap space if they decide to let him go after the year at 3M.

            If they manage to do that they can still add one of the the other top two contract wise (Okung/Irvin) and two of the remaining 4 (Kearse, Sweezy, Rubin, Mebane).

            Team structure points to keeping Okung over Irvin Or signing all 4 and letting Okung and Irvin leave.

        • Kelly Orr

          He said let them all go. Not keep them all.

  19. Volume12

    I think they keep 2 guys on Defense and 2 guys on Offense.

    Not sure who, but only replacing 3 startets is doable. In PC/JS I trust.

    • EranUngar

      It could be done as long as there is only one of the high pay guys (Lane, Irvine, Okung).

      One of those 3 will enable signing 3 out of lower pay candidates – Sweezy, Kearse, Robin, Mebane.

      Or in other words – we can sign 4 if only one of them is above 5M.

      • Volume12

        Still think it’s going to be Sweezy, Kearse, Rubin, and either Irvin or Lane.

        I say keep 4, because then thdy can get 3 comp picks. Only one or two teams get the 4 comp picks awarded to them anyways.

        There’s no way they’re letting all 7 UFAs walk.

        • mishima

          I think it’s going to be only Lane and Rubin. Why do you think they keep Sweezy when they’re stocked with guard projects?

  20. Jim

    Hey Rob,

    A little off the subject but I haven’t read what Kam was eventually fined for his holdout – did he actually get fined or was it all swept under the rug? Maybe sweeping that under the rug is his raise?

    • Rob Staton

      The team never disclosed what they did.

    • Trevor

      I was really vocal about trading Kam during his holdout and thought there was a huge drop off in his play. But even I have come to grips with the fact that he isn’t going anywhere if he is content with his current deal. I think they will probably do something like move some $ forward as bonus. I still think he really hurt the team this year and is a player in decline but in JS/PC I trust.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I think moving dollars forward into the contract should be reserved for players who have really outperformed their contract. Kam took a step backwards this season. There is no way that he should be rewarded for that. He actually has a decent contract for his position, and he is still with the team and has a shot at coming into next season healthy. So he can earn the money like everyone else.

        • SunPathPaul

          I hope Kam is GONE. He ruined our chances of home field advantage this year. He is a supposed ‘leader’, well, all he led us too is being burnt over and over by TE’s…we should have lost in Minnesota because of his bad play on Rudolph.

          If they change his contract in any way other than making it SMALLER, I will lose respect for PC/JS. He isn’t worth the money he get! His performance was NOT the best SS in the league. I consider him a traitor, and I hope he is traded!

          With Lynch and Kam gone, maybe we can get back to playing football!!! (and being coached!)

  21. Ed

    Okung – Bailey
    Lewis – Sokoli/Poole
    Sweezy – Glowinski
    Irvin – Pierre-Louis
    Mebane – Hill
    Rubin – Clark
    Kearse – Richardson

    Of all those starters replacements, the weakest seem to be Irvin, C and DT. PL and Hill get hurt a lot, Sokoli and Poole have 0 experience. As much as I say go OT in 1st, maybe it’s not the way to go, especially if Coleman/Decker/Conklin/Whitehair all gone. They will also have to start thinking about Bennett/Kam/Avril in the next year (whether to resign/restructure or prepare to leave. Rob keeps saying DT is slim this year, so my draft would probably go:

    1st LB/DE
    2nd S/LB
    3rd DT
    3rd C


  22. Nathan

    How much of our re signing decision will take into account, that a very small percentage of our 2013 and 2014 draft class won’t be getting 2nd contracts?

    Surely our 2017 cap space has to be part of the formula here too.

    2017 doesn’t look too bad. Wilsons cap number doesn’t escalate like it did from 15 to 16, Shermans goes back down.

  23. CHawk Talker Eric

    This DEN defense reminds me so much of the 2013 Seahawks that embarrassed them in SB 48. Clearly management learnt its lesson and they built the best facsimile of that squad I’ve seen.

    Even with a mediocre offense, they can win a SB with this defense.

    • Volume12

      I’m rooting for Denver personally.

      If it’s NE and ‘Zona in the SB, IDK that I’ll be watching it.

      BTW, Denver signing Derek Wolfe over Malik Jackson was definetly the smart move.

      • SunPathPaul

        Derek Wolfe was a defensive beast today!!!

        I wonder if Malik Jackson is on Seattles radar…

    • Tien

      That Denver defense was amazing but their offense is pathetic, worse than the Seahawks’ the year that we won the SB! But like the rest of you, I’m also rooting for Denver & Peyton.

      Also, it’s pretty cool that the AZ offense and Palmer haven’t been the same since the butt kicking that they got from the Hawks at the end of the season.:) If only we could have pulled out that victory against the Panthers last week…

  24. Trevor

    Based on the $18mil # for Free Agency I make the following Signings if JS for a day. Assuming we keep all the restricted guys as Davis does in his article.

    #1Rubin 3 year/ 12 mil ($3.5 Cap hit year) Younger and better than Mebane
    #2 Lane 2 year/10 mil (4.5 mil cap year #1) A short term deal would still give him the chance to cash in 2 years from now if healthy.
    #3 Alex Mack 3 year/25 mil (8mi cap hit yr #1) Fixing middle of OL should be priority 31 this off season
    #4 Ben Watson 2 yr 4 mill (2mil cap hit Yr #1) Good blocker and receiver who would be insurance for Graham
    #5 A Veteran OL like Loadholt for Vet Min.

    Then in the draft with our 1st 4 picks in Rds 1-3 Take an 2(OL) a DT and and LB / Edge Rusher.

  25. John_s

    If Olivier Vernon is too expensive, do you go after Jason Pierre Paul. The club he had on his hand really hampered him and he is set to have one or two surgeries to regain movement in his thumb and middle finger which will allow him to wear a customized glove instead of the club. He’s still athletic and explosive and if he can regain any type of grip in his right hand, he could still be an impact player.

    A one or two year highly incentivized deal with small base numbers 2-3 mil?

    • Trevor

      Interesting thought.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        I hope I have this right – performance bonuses count against the cap if they’re likely to be earned (compared to previous season’s performance), but don’t if they’re not. JPP might yet return to pro bowl form, and any performance bonuses in his next contract for 2016 probably won’t count vs the cap because of his performance in 2015 (+ uncertainty from injury).

    • Rob Staton

      I would not want JPP personally. And I doubt he’d come for 2-3m.

  26. Austin

    Keeping Kearse for 3-4 just doesn’t make sense. He’s the 5 th option in the passing game if Richardson comes back healthy. I love the guy but his production is replaceable for a fraction of the cost. Use that on the line.

    • Trevor

      Agree Kearse is gone if he can get anything over $2.5 APY on the open market.

    • Rob Staton

      His overall production is replaceable — but I do think there’s an asterisk. He makes big plays in big games. He’s made some of the biggest plays in franchise history. And that might not be easy to replace.

      • Volume12

        That’s just it. His production and size can be replaced, but there’s much more to it than that.

      • Trevor

        Agree but you could tell from Pete’s year end comments that they are not going to over pay for him. I think lettng Tate go was one of the biggest moves PC/JS regret but Kearse is no Tate.

        I know he has had some big games and huge catches but he has been invisible in so many games over his career. He really is a#3 at best no matter how much us Hawks fans fondly remember GB etc.

        • Volume12

          I wouldn’t overpay for him, and it’s more than the GB game.

          It’s not easy finding WRs that like/want to run block, and are accepting of being a role player and getting limited targets and opportunities.

          Having said that, there’s about 8-10 WRs on day 3 of this draft that have his size and skill set. But, I still think they keep him.

          • Trevor

            I am not knocking Kearse at all and I hope he gets paid because he has paid his dues. I just don’ think we can afford to or should.

    • Jeff M.

      Don’t know why so many assume Richardson would be more productive than Kearse–he’s done nothing to show it so far.

      For his career Richardson has 6.9 yards/target–that’s ok for a 3rd down back but really poor production for a WR (and that’s inflated by his one big 40 yarder this season, before that it was 6.1 yards/target).

      Kearse for his career has 8.8 yards/target (so even using previous, less-effective seasons from Wilson he was dramatically outproducing Richardson)–this year it was up to 10 yards/target. And we know he ups his level for big games–playoff career he’s got 10.5 yards/target.

      • SunPathPaul

        You can’t really teach ‘chemistry’ it seems…

        It seems Kearse has some serious chemistry with Wilson…

        Is it because Wilson trusts Kearse? If he threw to another, would it work as well??

        This makes it tough to figure out. I was for letting Kearse walk, yet I don’t want to “BANK” on another WR being able to have that ‘chemistry’ that seems to as most said play out in the biGGest moments…

        Washington State has no state income tax…That might make other offers comparable to Seattles…

        As far as Golden Tate goes—I think he did have a “falling out” with Russell Wilson. That’s why Seattle strategically low balled him to get him out of town…that’s also why Tate said some crappy things about Russell later…

        Can’t wait for April 28th!!

  27. Volume12

    Talking Punters here.

    Utah’s Tom Hackett, Texas A&M’s Drew Kaser.

    Both are incredibly Seahawky. Both have tons of swag, and their personalities seem to mesh.

    Utah St’s Kyler Fackrell is growing on me. He’s just the epitome of a modern day LB. Big, physical, fast, can blitz/pass rush, can play the run. Some say, his coverage isn’t good. Why are we focusing or keep bringing up what a prospect can’t do? Look for the unique traits or the skills you can take advantage of.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I dunno. Fackrell seems too similar to Marsh. They both are physical, can pressure/flush the QB, set an edge vs the run. Fackrell has better speed to play off the line more and might have an advantage in short coverage, but Marsh is extremely agile along the LOS all the way to the sidelines.

      By way of physical comparison, Fackrell, Marsh and Luke Willson are physically similar ahtletes, such that even though Willson (and presumably Fackrell) is quicker to 40 yards, he’s no faster than Marsh in the agility drills like 3C and SS. Does he bring something the team doesn’t already have, or does he improve something they do have enough to warrant the upgrade?

      • Trevor

        I think there is every chance that Marsh will be our replacement for Bruce on 1st and 2nd down this year and we will bring in an undersized speed rusher on 3rd downs like the kid from Stony Brook. Marsh has not shown he can finish as a pass rusher.

      • Rob Staton

        The more I watch of Fackrell, the better athlete I think he is. There’s actually quite a lot to like here.

        • Volume12

          Agreed. I don’t think he’s a whole lot different than NE LB Jamie Collins.

          • Trevor

            Really you think he has that kind of potential. I really have to take a closer look then because my initial thoughts were that he was kind of limited. But Collins is one of the best athletes and most versatile defenders in the league.

            • Volume12

              IDK if he’s the same type of athlete, but skill set wise and in a defense like ours with a HC like PC, yeah, he’s close.

            • Rob Staton

              Collins might be an ideal comp.

    • Trevor

      Good call on the punters!

    • Hawthornehawk

      Speaking as a Utah fan, Hackett is someone I’ve wanted on the Hawks for a while. His play has been otherworldly the past two years and watching him play I’ve seen him run in to make tackles on special teams even when the returner is already surrounded by Utah players. He pulled off some sneaky fake punts this year too. Not to mention the most important quality for a Hawks punter, he is fucking hilarious

  28. Trevor

    I think the following players will be critical to our 2016 success and Win forever model.

    #1Glowinski-If can can play like he showed against Ariz we are set at RG.

    #2 Gilliam-If he continues to develop and gains some more core functional strength he has the athleticism to be our starting LT of the future.

    #3Tharold Simon -He is the most physiclly gifted corner he have had opposite Sherm including Maxi and if he can just stay healthy and get an attitude adjustment like Christan Miceal did he could be a dominant defender.

    #4 Jordan Hill- When Membane got hurt last year Hill played like and all star and flashed as an interior pass rusher with more playing time. If he can just stay healthy he can solve many of our DT issues. That is a huge If though.

    #5 Paul Richardson – Another guy who just has to stay healthy. He is sudden and has dynamic speed. If we loose Kearse he has to step up and be the player we thought we were drafting. The thought of PRich and Locket stretching the D and Baldwin / Graham working underneath could be a beautiful thing.

    #6 Cassius Marsh – Great special teams player but has not really found a roll in the DL rotation. I hope the experiment of having him play LB last year in training camp is something they peruse and he finds an everyday roll on the defense.

    #7 Sokoli – We hid him on the roster last year can he be our future Center or LG. I think he becomes a backup in 2016 and starter in 2017.

    #8 Ty Smith- Another guy we protected but basically red shirted. What do we have in him? Is he a starter or depth?

    #9 Kasen Williams- 2 years removed from major surgery will he continue to gain speed and fulfill his potential as an NFL receiver. At worst he should be a depth guy and core special teamer.

    #10 Eric Pinkins – Seems like he is locked in at LB with a year in development can he make the leap and turn the athlete into an actual player and at least provide LB depth and good special team play. The need him or KPL to replace Mike Morgan who is likely gone.

    • Volume12

      I’d add one of the former Nebraska CBs and WR Kevin Smith over Kasen Williams.

      • Volume12

        Also DT Jesse Williams. He’s a wildcard, but no one worries about Shon Coleman on here.

        Coleman and Eric Berry have proved it’s possible.

        Love me some ‘Monstar!’

        • bobbyk

          I don’t think there have been rumors of almost “bone on bone” with respect to Coleman’s knees either.

          • Volume12

            Ahh, good point.

            I forgot about his bad knees.

            • bobbyk

              I think I remember reading that it was “almost” bone on bone. He was projected to be a second round pick but some teams took him off their boards entirely because of his knees. That’s why he lasted until the fifth round. Sad.

      • Trevor

        Yes I forgot Siesey and Baptiste. I agree one or both could end up being quality guys in our system.

    • lil'stink

      I wonder if they don’t try Marsh and Pinkins more at SAM this year. Marsh looks like a better run defender than a pass rusher anyway. I know they did a little of that for both guys in camp last year but don’t remember the results. If we’re talking wild card players Brandon Cottom is another interesting guy, if he could only find his way onto the field.

      • Trevor

        I think they will. Marsh is great at setting and edge and getting off the block.

  29. Trevor

    How many chances are Den going to give NE. That Denver D has had a great game no matter the outcome.

    • Trevor

      They have similar DL and pass rush rotation depth to our SB team.

      • bobbyk

        That’s why I still believe another pass rusher is our biggest need.

        • Trevor

          Certainly is a convincing argument to be made for it. Brady certainly looked a lot more human with all that pressure. It is alot easier to cover in the secondary when the pass rush is getting home.

          That is why I have been beating the drum for Noah Spence because guys who are elite pass rushers are so special.

          If we can get Coleman, Apple or Spence in Rd #1 I would be so pumped.

          • bobbyk

            Agreed. I’d love nothing more than Coleman or a pass rusher. I won’t care which in the first round. Both are needed so badly.

            I love Coleman because of Rob banging the drum for him and then me looking at a bunch of his games and seeing that he’s right and that Coleman could be our LT of the present or future and could even be a good/great LT or RT in ’16 if we need. He’s going to be good.

            After watching these speed rushers today, can you imagine Bailey and Gilliam going against them (Ware/Miller)? It’d be like a clown show (like what Brady went through today). We need a guy who can stop speed rushers, too.

            • Trevor

              Yep Agree Bobby! We need OL and Pass Rush. Everything falls into place if you can protect the passer on O and rush the passer on D. Simple as that really.

            • Rob Staton

              Other thing about Coleman — the guy plays with an edge. He’s chippy. He punishes LB’s at the second level. If Seattle wants to bully teams again, they need a bit more of that.

              • Volume12

                That’s one of the things I love about him.

                Listening to JS on the radio last week, I get the feeling that this year’s draft theme is going to be physically punishing prospects. Guys with an edge.

  30. Trevor

    Hate the Pats but you have to love Grownkowski he is definitely the most valuable non-QB in the league.

    • Volume12

      So glad Denver won.

      Would love for Peyton Manning to go out on top.

      • CHawk Talker Eric


        • bobbyk

          +1, +1

          Might sound dumb, but if Manning could win in two weeks, it also might make our domination over him two years ago even more impressive than it already is.

          • Trevor

            I would love it Bobby if they could but I think carolina is too physical like we were in SB and will steam roll them.

      • Trevor

        +1 as well he has taken a lot of crap this year and has taken every bit of it.

        I don’t see anyone beating Carolina this year though. We were the only team that had a chance physically and mentally IMO.

        The yare going to blow out Ariz and steam roll Den like we did in SB. Just too physical.

        • Volume12

          Man, if we woulda beat Carolina, we’d be killing Arizona right now.

          I don’t care what Carson Palmer does in the regular season. He can’t win in the playoffs.

          Their D-line, O-line, OLB’s, need big time infusion of talent. And their secondary to a certain degree. IMO, they’ll take a step back next year. Too many needs.

          Glad the ‘Tony Soprano wanna-be’ Bruce Arians was served some humble pie.

          • Trevor

            Agree completely Vol. Hate Arians and his smug attitude love watching them get crushed. This will be a long off season for them. At least the hawks showed heart and pride. Arizona just packed it in.

          • CharlieTheUnicorn

            They need to develop a QB ASAP… Palmer is not the answer, to the post season question.

            • SunPathPaul

              Isn’t it great seeing our division foe getting just crushed!!!

              Palmer is done. Now the tricky thing is to keep them from finding a QB…

              Anyone want to draft QB Vernon Adams as Russell’s backup??

              Not to just have a cheaper younger QB backup that is very similar to Russell, but it also keeps him OFF another team!!

              It sounds a bit crazy, but if he was there still in the third, I might use my COMP pick to snag him…

              Any believers??? He looked great at the East-West game, and that is with players he doesn’t really know…

              • SunPathPaul

                The other idea with taking QB Adams, you develop him, then trade him in a year,2,3 to another QB needy team for a good player they have, or a draft pick…

                • Volume12

                  He’s not worth a 3rd. I wouldn’t spend a draft pick on a QB. Take one or two in UDFA.

                  The 49ers are already all over Vernon Adams.

  31. Rik

    Poetic justice that New England loses on a last second interception at the goal line. Does anyone else get tired of seeing Patriots players whining after every single play?!

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      Gronk complaining about holding… so much irony… since he loves to push off at the top of his routes.

      • SunPathPaul

        Super happy the cheating, lying, bribing patriots lost!!!

        Go cry in your cereal brady, you cheater!

        Watch now…he was suspended 4 games…he will never be held accountable…ridiculous…

        Whiney pathetic losers they are… Almost every play they wanted flags, like they are ‘destined’ by god, or some BS…

        I love that after all their cheating, they lose because of a missed PAT!

  32. Trevor

    Watching these playoff games today it drives home the point that the #1 thing you need to do to win in the NFL is be able to protect the passer and run the ball on offense and rush the passer and stop the run on D. If you can do those two things everything else just falls into place.

    When we won SB our DL was one of the deepest of all time and our OL was a physical nasty group.

  33. Trevor

    Watching the Broncos play today all I could think was I pray JS can pull off another coup and get a Bennett / Avril like pass rusher in Free Agency on a team friendly deal. Vernon would be prefect. Still not sure how he pulled that off in 2013 actually.

    Any really good FA pass rushers coming off an injury who might take a short term deal to build value? Still wish we had found a way to get Sheard last year instead of NE.

  34. Trevor

    Vol 12 when you have a chance would love if you could post your top 10 small school prospects for Hawks? I will try to come up with 10 as well after I see your list so I don’t duplicate. Just looking for some guys to check out because I hate watching NFl network etc. now that Hawks are out.

    • Volume12

      Yeah for sure. I’d love to do that.

      I’ll try to get it out tommorrow, k?

      One question though. When you say small school, do you consider teams from C-USA, Mountain West, AAC small? Just want to know the guidelines.

      To put it another way, schools outside the power 5 conferences right?

      • Trevor

        Yeah for sure any team not in one of the power conferences. Thanks no rush just curious because you always find some gems.

  35. Amar

    It feels so go these past 3-4 years about the NFL draft when you have a franchise QB. I wonder how we might have wasted our historic defense if we either hadn’t gotten RW in 2012 or if he hadn’t turned out to be a player that he has.

    About 10+ teams are going into the draft thinking whether they have their franchise QB on their roster and another 10+ teams are going into the season if they have a championship caliber defense. The seahawks have BOTH.

    I am excited to see how JS and Pete go about fixing this offensive line. I would really like to see them go after interior guards and center who can PASS PRO.

    • Amar

      I would not give Kearse more than $3M – if that. I would also not break the bank on Lane (more than $4M).

      Mebane and Rubin should be the priority. Interior pressure and run stopping is the key. I’d spend $8M total on both of them.

      Irvin – let him go. Can’t pay everybody on D.

      I would also let Okung and Sweezy go if their prices become too high. Good pass protection at guards is more key than tackles (look at Cam Newton this season and in the NFCCG – great interior pass pro; also look at Brees’ career – he had two of the best pass pro guards.

      I would then go after either Loadholt, Mack (he wants to play for a winner), and/or Vernon – depending on how high their price is.

      • Trevor

        I like that idea Amar. Loadholt, Mack and Vernon would be the perfect free agents to sign IMO.

  36. Trevor

    Carolina is our Competition if we want to go to SB next couple of years. Russ and Cam will be the new Peyton and Brady.

    Arizona will fall apart this off season after folding the tent like this much like Den did they year after we destroyed them. Palmer and Dalton are two great regular season QBs but not winners.

    Carolina is going to crush Den in the SB and should be favoured by 9.5 IMO.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      I agree on the Carolina part. They have strong DL and OL…. so Seattle must get better as well. Otherwise, Seattle holds up pretty well vs Carolina…. one of the few teams that actually give the Panthers a game every time “we” face them.

      I’m also glad we have RW and not Palmer… he folded like a cheap suit.

    • Ed

      I kind of like Denver. Cam won’t be able to throw against Denver. Lot of INT. Manning might be able to do very little, but might be able to do just enough.

      • bobbyk

        I agree. That Denver defense could force some Carolina turnovers. If Manning can do his part managing the game and not turn the ball over, they’ve got a chance.

        There are three things that can happen in the Super Bowl:

        1. Carolina wins in a blowout

        2. Carolina wins a close game

        3. Denver wins a close game

        While I like Carolina’s chances better, Denver still has a chance. This Denver defense is so much better than the one we faced two years ago… Carolina will have it’s hands full offensively. They don’t exactly have great offensive tackles in terms of stopping speed rushers either.

        • Trevor

          I think it is exactly like when we played Den. The more physical team dominates and blows them out by 14 +pts. Denver has a terrible OL and Peyton cannot throw downfield Carolina’s D will eat him alive.

          Den has a great D but Carolina has a much better OL and NE and Cam is threat to run as well.

          I will be placing my max wagering budget on Carolina -3.5 /4 🙂

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            The NEP defense is pretty formidable, with pro bowlers and key players at each level. Their pass rush is among the best in the League – they finished the season #2 in total sacks (behind DEN). And yet, even with a terrible OL and a QB who can’t throw downfield going up against a top notch defense, DEN won.

            I don’t know that CAR defense can play much better than NEP did vs DEN today. CAR may have dominated their game vs ARI, but the Cards rolled over and gave it to them. SEA did too last week, but only in the 1st half. At least they came back to make a game of it. ARI got punched in the face and never recovered.

            I have much respect for the CAR defense. They are a quality squad with pro bowlers at each level and a certain toughness/grit. But the DEN defense that played vs NEP today is in a different class. DEN have whatever it was that made the 2013 SEA defense so successful. It’s more than just the sum of fantastic players; it’s an attitude of invincibility.

            Everybody not a Seahawk fan had DEN in SB48. They all thought SEA wouldn’t be able to stop the offensive juggernaut that the Broncos were. Instead, the SEA defense showed the world what fantastic players wielding an attitude of invincibility could do.

            SB50 won’t be a blowout like 48 – the Panthers defense is stronger than the Broncos were 2 years ago. But this DEN defense is good enough to win a SB.

            • AlaskaHawk

              It’s hard to imagine Denver getting more then 21 points on Carolina. So you better hope that Denver’s defense is really good. Carolina looks like a more well rounded team with good offense and defense. Manning and his receivers will need a superhuman effort to win. Watching Carolina 5-6 guys on the defensive line, then rush 3-5, never sure who is rushing and who is dropping back. It was crazy!

              • Volume12

                I don’t think Carolina is gonna blow out this Denver team. Should be a good, close game.

                It’s funny. A lot of people here at SDB love Carolina’s D-line and say ‘we should find a guy like Short or someone else.’ And then over at Cat Scratch Reader, all of Carolina’s fans say that their D-line needs to be the priority addressed in the draft, along with their O-line.

                • CHawk Talker Eric

                  Star Lotulelei has underperformed. And they have big concerns at DE. Charles Johnson is but a shadow of his former self. Such poor production this year. Kony Ealy flashes now and then, but hasn’t shown the consistency of a quality starter. Jared Allen.

                  About SB50, it’s like a match between the 2013 and 2014 Seahawks teams. DEN are like the 2013 team, suffocating defense paired with an average offense; CAR like the 2014 team, more balanced on both sides of the ball.

                  • Volume12


                    The thing I love about PC is, he puts the game on his players as it should be. Too much of football today is over complicated schemes and HC’s playing chess against each other.

                    Carolina, NE, and quite a few other teams are predicated on scheme. Don’t get me wrong, they have a lot of talent, and you gotta scheme every now and then, but I love what Seattle does.

                    This is who are, this is what we’re going to do. Trust in each other. That’s why we fell short this year. The trust factor wasn’t there.

  37. Trevor

    Would love to hear everyone’s top 5 pass rush prospects edge and interior. Hawks need to find a pass rusher to add to our rotation this off season. I think Clark will be improved next year but I think Bruce is all but gone. Would love to see us add Vernon in FA and a guy like Spence or even Striker in the draft.

    Interior of the OL and Pass Rush have to be the focus this off season.

    Next year we need to start well and try to get home field. Carolina are not going away anytime soon.

    • Volume12

      We got Carolina at home next year. Definely thinking it’s gonna be a Sunday night game.

      2016 home games: ‘Zona, SF, LA, Philly, Miami, Buffalo, Carolina, Atlanta
      2016 road games: ‘Zonz, SF, LA, GB, NE, NYJ, NO, TB

      That’s a pretty favorable schedule. The only tough games IMO are at LA, Carolina, GB, NE, and at NYJ.

      • SunPathPaul

        “They” gave us the harder teams on the road, AGAIN…

        Plus, I bet we have to play at the ridiculous 10am start at NE and the Jets…they will stack those against us…

        Heck, that’s probably our first two games! lol NE and the JETS on the road, back to back at 10am… geez…

        I’m starting a petition to change this 10am crap. If it is so acceptable, then why do ZERO east coast games ever start at 10am… why?

        Because that’s not when you play football…I mostly also want it changed because 5 teams’ fans shouldn’t be punished and have to watch a game at 10am!!! How the hell is that cool?

        “Oh, get up and take a shower, and boom! Game on!” It’s BS for all of us that want to “celebrate” with each game…

        They can easily make it a rule that no west coast team, NONE, are punished (with their fans) to try and play a day/night game like football is, in the morning!!! BS

        • Rob Staton

          I doubt Seattle @ New England will be a 1pm start. That has prime time written all over it.

          • bobbyk

            Getting Carolina in Seattle isn’t exactly having to face all the tough teams on the road either.

            • Volume12

              I see 2-3 ‘tough’ home games and 4 ‘tough’ road games.

              • bobbyk

                It’s so tough right now. We played the Packers in week two last year when they were awesome. If we could have played the Packers in November or December, it’d been a much easier game. Same with Cincinnati this past season… we played them when they were at their peak, if we could have played them Daltonless late in the year – it’d have been a different story. What if Brady tears his ACL the week before we play the Pats next year?

                All I know is that every year I look at the schedule and I find out later that fall that some of the “easy” games turn out to be hard and some of the “hard” teams turn out to be easy. Labeling easy vs. hard right now really doesn’t do any good, imo.

        • Volume12

          No east coast teams play at 10 AM, because no one plays at 10 AM. Remember, for us on the west coast and when the Seahawks are on at 10 AM, it’s 1 PM on the East coast.

          Almost evey practice, scrimmage, drills, etc start at 10 AM during training camp at the VMAC anyways.

          It’s a internal clock.

          • Tien

            Exactly Volume12! We aren’t losing these games because of the 10 AM starts.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        My girlfriend asked me if I was happy the Rams are returning to LA. I told her I was because now I get to go to at least one Seahawks game a year 🙂

      • Robert

        Roger will make sure that we get our 5 x 10AM kickoffs! And then work on Seahawk short weeks vs opponent byes/thursday night games.

  38. Steve Nelsen

    Thank you for the cap update Rob. With $18 million budget I would prioritize our 7 FAs:
    1. Rubin- $3.5 million cap hit year 1. Pete called him “best 3-technique he’s seen.”
    2. Okung – $7.5 million cap hit year 2. Avoids excessive OL change next year which Pete said is a priority.
    3. Mebane – $3.5 million cap hit year 1. Teamed with Rubin to provide top run defense in NFL.
    4. Kearse – $3.5 million cap hit year 1. Efficient catcher, solid run blocker, big plays.
    5. Lane – Shead and others are already on roster.
    6. Irvin – Too pricey. LB becomes a draft need.
    7. Sweezy – cheaper replacement on roster.

    We pick up 3 comp picks. We don’t sign any FAs that will cause us to lose comp picks. We draft a LB who can cover TEs in Round 1, a pass-rusher and a LG to replace Britt.

    • Ed

      Not a fan of 2, 3 or 4.

      Okung is soft and Bailey plays just as well when he gets in.
      Too much money for a run down only player.
      Too much money for 4th option at best.


      • Steve Nelsen

        Bailey is not an NFL starter. His versatility is nice and gives him a role on the team. But, he also has been inconsistent about showing up in shape to start the season. Counting on him to show up at the correct weight and start at a premier position like LT is too big a gamble. If you keep Okung and Bailey, then you can focus on improving the interior of the OL which is where there is the biggest need for improvement.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          The other side of that coin is the ~$8mm in cap space Okung takes up, which drastically limits improvements to the interior.

          • franks

            Exactly that, and Bailey ends up starting half the games anyway.

        • franks

          Bailey to me is a great guy to have on the bench. He has a lot of LT experience after all of Okung’s injuries. I think we have to keep Bailey, if we move Gilliam to that side. But would I rather have Bailey or Okung starting? BAILEY. You can’t even count on Okung to play.

      • franks

        Kearse isn’t the fourth option when it’s the fourth quarter and the game’s on the line. All he does is make monster plays. For what he does 3.5 mill is a bargain.

        • Ed

          He had a monster game and some monster catches, but you need more for that much money. Spend that money on DT or pass rusher.

          • franks

            Penny wise and dollar stupid i.m.o.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Couldn’t agree more. He may be the 3rd or 4th option on paper. But in the biggest moments in the biggest games of the RW era, he’s been the difference between success and failure. Even in the ordinary moments he makes an impact with solid blocking and savvy experience.

          As V12 put it, you probably can draft his replacement on Day 3, but don’t expect anything close to what Kearse provides now in season 1.

          • franks

            Time and time again. Last year made the catch that should have won the Superbowl. Game winning catch against the Packers the week before that. Huge game against Carolina the week before that. Scored the go-ahead TD against the 49ers in the NFCCG 2014. Probably put the nail in the coffin the week before that, too. What a big time receiver.

    • Robert

      Pinkins might be the LB who can cover TEs and he’s already on the roster with a year of “indoctrination.” KJ will probably go back to SAM if they do not ink Bruce.

  39. Steve Nelsen

    In Zierlein has Seattle drafting Texas OT Le’Raven Clark at #26 in his latest mock. He described him as having “holes in his game but freakishly long arms.” I am not familiar with Clark. But, freakishly long arms reminds me of Walter Jones.

    He also described Baylor NT Andrew Billings as “an ascending talent who can push the pocket back into the QB.” And Florida DT Jonathan Bullard as “having penetration and pass-rush ability.”

    Rob, I know you have said you didn’t see any 1st-round DTs. Do you have specific thoughts about Billings and Bullard?

    • Volume12

      And Tony Pauline has Clark as a 7th rounder. I think he’s somewhere in between. Very ‘meh.’

  40. Cysco

    Yesterday’s NFC game might be the straw that brakes Arizona. Listening to Troy Aikman down here in Dallas, he is really good friends with Palmer. He’s pretty certain that Palmer is near retirement. He was pretty confident that if he won the Superbowl, he’d retire after this season. I have to think a butt whooping like the one they received yesterday has to also make him consider it. Even if he sticks around, another year and another full season isn’t going to be kind to that team. I get the feeling their window has closed.

    The Hawks have to win the West next year. I’m confident that the road playoff games and start times are what finally did the Seahawks in. If the team can improve the interior offensive line, I think they run away with the NFC West next season.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Steve Keim said the Cardinals’ top off-season priority will be pass rush. That sounds like Palmer will be back for at least one more season.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Fitzgerald disappeared in that game. The few times he was targeted he dropped the ball. Not sure if that was scheme or he just couldn’t get open.

    • cha

      I think yesterday’s game sure highlighted how few and far between franchise QBs are. Palmer was a long time player and a standout college player and couldn’t step up in a big game. For crying out loud, Arians had to give him the ‘settle down’ talk more than once.

      Arizona is paying the ‘price’ for not having that franchise QB. If Palmer retires they’re back to their similar model of having a talented team but no QB to tie it all together. They just got a little farther this year than in the past but I don’t think they’ll go any farther with Palmer at QB.

    • vrtkolman

      We need to figure out how to play against the Rams.

  41. Ty the Guy

    This offseason is THE most critical since the year PCJS took over. And it is considerably more challenging. This is where we either extend our championship window or fall out of it. That may be dramatic, but I feel it will prove to be true.

    Here is my humble opinion on our FAs:
    Okung: I hope that he and his agent(ha ha) agree that his actual value is not that of a top LT. I would say that his first contract is about right for his actual value. However, LT is a coveted position and it is my guess some team will be willing to pay more than the Hawks. PREDICTION: Gone

    Sweezy: He has been a favorite of mine due to his work ethic and overall underdoggedness. I suspect a lot of his issues in 2015 stemmed from trying to do too much as a result of the line’s struggles. I hope that his market will be lukewarm and we can resign him. Carpenter’s contract scares me some, but that was coming off a positive year for the Hawks o-line. PREDICTION: Resigned

    Kearse: Chop Chop has done everything asked of him and more. He is the type of unsung hero you want on your team. However, WR is not an area PCJS are willing to pay much for. I believe we can find serviceable guys on the cheap and use our resources elsewhere. PREDICTION: Gone

    Lane: If it had not been for the injuries, I feel that some team would be willing to give him a Maxwell type deal. Luckily for us, this is not the case. The defense did not function correctly with Cary Williams and Lane’s insertion into the starting role corrected the ship. We may have to pay close to Cary Williams money to retain him though. PREDICTION: Resigned

    Mebane/Rubin: These are the guys I want in against the run. The only way they aren’t in lime green and blue next year is if another team is willing to pay. PREDCTION: Resigned

    Irvin: Honestly, I don’t believe the hometown discount comment. Someone will place big money in front of him and he will take it. He has earned it too. I feel that he is a complementary talent. I hope he ends up on a team with other defensive stars at LB (Raiders) so that he can flourish, if not good luck. PREDICTION: Gone

    I would love to see PCJS look for plug in and play offensive linemen early in the draft. I understand that is much easier said that done, but given the volatile state of our OLINE, we need guys who can come in and work on gelling and not focus on technique.

    Positions that need to be addressed for depth reasons go in this order: CB, RB, DT, DE, WR, QB, OL

  42. SeventiesHawksFan

    Having now read through and given thought all of the posts and insightful analysis and preferences on this thread and other related posts earlier last week and then attempting to couple and resolve all of that with the interview and press conference statements by Carrol and Schneider last week, I first and foremost think the front office did an EXCELLENT job of preparing for this offseason . . . and even tipped off their offseason ‘plan’ . . . simply by virtue of permitting those players whose contracts are ending this season to become URFA’s. This front office does not allow players they consider to be their ‘core’ players to reach free agency, which leads me to the conclusion that ALL of them (other than Rubin) may be moving on, especially if they cannot be signed in the salary range that the front office has assigned to their value and role.
    Other than the glaring holes at the two starting defensive tackle positions and possibly the first and second down SAM LB position, I believe PC and JS have already laid the groundwork and succession plan for every single one of our URFA’s successors and replacements. And for most of those positions, they will enjoy multiple options to move forward in a way that will work within the framework of the cap.
    I’m also of the conclusion that Rubin is the only true priority URFA re-signing that they will target with urgency.
    I believe they will also offer Mebane a two year deal in the $3 million range, and if they get in bidding war for a 31 year old DT they will let him walk. They have already made their list of other FA first down, run stopping DT’s they will target if Mebane does not return next year.
    I think that there is zero chance that they make any attempt to re-sign Okung or Sweezy (likely to be $11 to $12 million per year to get two non-essential guys back). A tackle will be drafted. Gilliam is an option to move the the left side if they only can find an RT. And Britt and Bailey will be back ups. All for less than the price of an injury prone Okung.
    Nor will they expect to be in the market to bring back Lane. This is the B Max situation all over again. They aren’t going to spend $5 plus million on a position that any one of four existing young players may be ready to step into that role next year.
    I also think Kearse is as good as gone as well. Unless they can get him for $3 million or less, which might be doable, as I can’t imagine other teams valuing him much above that either. The combination of Graham and Richardson returning, plus the other two UW UDFA’s means he is far more replaceable than last year.
    Which brings me to Bruce Irvin. He is really TWO players to us, which is what makes him so intriguing at first glance. His primary role is as a first and second down SAM. Unless it’s a special athlete that’s a fourth to sixth round draft choice for us. He is also a player who can situationally rush the QB on pass and third downs. The big HOWEVER in that is that he is not able to beat a starting NFL OT straight up with enough consistency, so he’s not a true edge rusher play in and play out. He’s an athletically gifted and unique player who can get there when an OT is engaged with our DE’s.
    Irvin’s third down pass rushing capabilities are already on the roster in the form of Frank Clark and possibly Marsh. Of course we’d like to have all three of them, but Irvin is not a true major loss or blow in that role if he is not back next year.
    His SAM role is another matter altogether though. We have a lot of flexibility with how we might replace Irvin in the role role however in the form of KJ Wright, who used to play SAM until this year. We have the luxury of finding either an ideal WILL or SAM and KJ is the moveable piece in that puzzle. As gifted and unusual and athelete is, Irvin was the LB to let get to free agency. Because of the flexibility we have for moving on from him if necessary.

    And ALL of the above does not even get into what I believe will be the Hawk’s Front Office priorities in order of importance. I believe that of greatest importance to them will be squaring away their core players. That’s Bennett, Baldwin, and Kam Chancellor. None of whom are free agents this year.
    Whatever all the talk is about ‘setting a bad precedent’ might be, I think the Hawks need to restructure Bennett’s contract. There is a larger and more important message to send here. If you vastly outplay your contract, we will reward you for that when the time and circumstances are right for it. The message that sends to current and future free agents is more important than worrying about a line of other players that’s never going to form. The Hawks have already drawn that line by not giving in this year to Kam and Bennett. And rewarding Bennett this year will not embolden any other players who cannot make the same case that he can.
    Baldwin is a must-sign core player as well. He’s part of the core who holds the rest of the receiving group to the coaches’s standards and will call players out in practice for taking plays off or lapses in concentration. He will make the players around him better. He’s part of the team’s identity and voice at this point. He’s a must sign player for reasons beyond just what he produces on the field.
    Kam may only get guarantees or some sort of restructure. But I think the front office is going to what they can to ‘make things right’ with him and put the previous off season behind them. There’s no point left to be made. It’s already been made by both sides. And no one was better off for it.

    I think that next on their high priority list would be positions of need. That’s now starting DT more than any other, because both are now gone. Which would make Rubin the likely highest priority re-signing of all of our URFA’s. And possibly then Mebane as well.
    After that it’s SAM LB, LG, Center, LT (or RG if Gilliam makes the switch) and Corner. RG has Glowinski slated. LT has Gilliam potentially slated. Corner has any of four young prospects who may fill that role. Center, LG and SAM don’t really have adequate players on the roster. So I believe that the draft and free agency will seek to address those first.
    Center I think is addressed in free agency, but at around $5 million, which means no Alex Mack. We don’t want a rookie trying to learn the correct protection calls, but we do want a serviceable player to fill that role to give Sokoli and possibly another draft pick time to develop. LG may be addressed in free agency as well, but only at the right price.
    I think we will draft a LB and and OT within our first four picks. I also think we’ll get a DT and OG with the other two, unless there is a truly special athlete who falls our way at another position.
    So in summary: Okung, Sweezy, Lane, Kearse, and Irvin are all likely to be gone. We may have an outside shot at Kearse if the market for him is tepid, which I think it will be. And we may have a shot at Irvin, but that seems unlikely as well.
    I think the priorities in free agency will be Bennett, Baldwin, Rubin, Mebane, Center and Left Guard.
    I think the draft priorities will be OT, LB, OG, DT and possibly another Center. After that corner, safety, RB, WR in the later rounds, though any special player that falls their way could of course change things.

    • Rik

      Great write-up and eminently logical, given the Seahawk’s approach to free agency. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see them grab a back-up quarterback in the later rounds. Someone with enough mobility to provide offensive consistency if Russ goes out. That would probably save $1 million over Jackson’s salary that could be used on a free agent.

    • Robert

      Good breakdown. I like Pinkins at WILL providing great speed, athleticism and better pass defense. KJ moves back to SAM. I think Lane is gone and I like our stable of young prospects who have been simmering on Pete’s CB stove for a year or more. I’m 50-50 on Kearse. I think some team offers him 4+ and we won’t match because of PRich, Jimmy and UWers. Kevin Smith particularly looks like a great blocker, ST contributor and playmaker. I think Okung is gone. After a year of learning, will Nowak or Sokoli be a reliable Center? Is Britt a bust or can he improve his foot speed and play lower in passpro? Hill is a big disappointment. I think DT pass rusher and Oline are priorities. Great admiration for how Panthers’ DT tandem annihilated our Oline early to set the stage for a 1st half drubbing. If we had one great DT, it would synergise exponentially with our great pass rush from Avril, Bennett and Clark!

      • SeventiesHawksFan

        I’d love a new athletic DT. Rob doesn’t see too many of that kind of player in this draft. So who knows? I hope they can find at least one new pass rusher. I left that out of what I think our draft priorities will be, which was just an oversight. PC stated explicitly that he wants pass rush added. He wasn’t referring to Avril and Bennett, so I’m assuming he meant from the DT positions.

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