Seahawks miss out on Julius Thomas to Jaguars

Earlier today Jason Cole reported the Seahawks were still in the chase for Julius Thomas. The Jaguars were in pole position, but supposedly feared a late push from Seattle. It’s unclear how this situation played out — did the Jaguars just keep offering more? We noted yesterday how the Jags had the upper hand financially.

Mike Klis says it’s a contract worth around $9m APY. That’s pretty much the going rate for a top pass-catching tight end. Rob Gronkowski earns $9m APY, while Jimmy Graham is getting $10m APY. Greg Olsen recently extended his contract in Carolina for $7.5m APY.

Note the way Ian Rapoport refers to Seattle’s challenge as a “hard push”. It appears the Seahawks wanted Thomas pretty badly. That’s understandable. You get your dynamic big target right off the bat and it sets you up for the rest of the off-season. You can play the rest of the market, looking for possible value at corner (they’ve already re-signed Will Blackmon) and on the defensive line. You use the draft to prioritize receiver and a James Carpenter replacement (that’s where the value is).

Now they’ll probably have to turn their attentions to Jordan Cameron and hope his market doesn’t sky rocket with Thomas off the board. He’s a riskier move with his lingering concussion issues. We also discussed him in more detail yesterday. You would imagine Seattle would want to do a deal with minimal guarantees. Make it short term. It’ll only take one longer, fairly substantial deal to make life difficult.

Once Thomas and Cameron are off the market, you’re feeding off scraps. Virgil Green is a mostly untested backup with only 206 career yards in four years. He struggled to usurp even Jacob Tamme for playing time in Denver. $9m APY for a guy with 24 touchdowns in two seasons might be better value than paying a total unknown quantity $3-4m APY.

Jermaine Gresham is not worth whatever Oakland or anyone else is prepared to pay. He’s struggled through a mediocre career so far, with little determination from Cincinnati to keep him around. Lance Kendricks is another average player.

None of these possible additions are more attractive than another year of Luke Willson as the starter. Willson, with all the physical tools you would want for the position, has inconsistent hands (to put it mildly) and struggles to impose himself on a defense. He’s a speed-TE rather than a mismatch. The Seahawks wanted to get the ultimate chess-piece for their offense — size, speed, hands — an X-factor. Instead the Jaguars beat them to the punch.

So it comes down to Cameron and how his market shapes up. If you miss out on both players, you just have to move on. What else can you do? You look for the bargains. Earlier today we discovered the Seahawks are showing some interest in Jabaal Sheard. We know they’re interested in Tramon and Cary Williams. These are all holes that can be filled in. But it’ll still leave Seattle’s greatest need unaddressed.

The draft is rich at receiver and incredibly mediocre at tight end. They can still find a couple of impact receivers within the first four rounds. Whether they can find an instant impact, ready-made mismatch with redzone qualities is another thing. Perhaps we shouldn’t rule out the trade market? In 2013 they made surprising moves for Percy Harvin, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. The next few days could be interesting.


  1. BrianH

    Can’t say this is a huge surprise. He’s following the money. When the Jags say they are willing to “overpay,” who can really blame him? I just hope they haven’t driven up the market so Cameron is now out of reach.

    • Rob Staton

      “I just hope they haven’t driven up the market so Cameron is now out of reach.”

      A legitimate concern.

    • arias

      I imagine the Seahawks had to be prepared to go as high as an 8 mil APY if the characterization of the Seahawks going “hard after” Thomas by Rapaport had any legitimacy. So Cameron will definitely be within ‘reach’. But whether it’s stomachable to ‘reach’ like that for Cameron when he’s a far lesser player and greater risk than Julius is “probably not”. If they don’t have to reach because all the other suitors didn’t like the risk-reward calculus that’s one thing. I’m just curious who else will even be in the bidding for Cameron.

      I REALLY hope the Raiders will get Gresham locked up out of the gate of free agency so they don’t end up driving up Cameron’s price tag and turn what could be a bargain if he were cheap enough, into a a crippling reach if they signed him. I’d hate that, but I credit this front office having enough common sense to distinguish between what would be a ‘bargain’ as opposed to a ‘reach’ when it comes to trying to sign Jordan Cameron.

  2. drewjov11

    It is usually about the money. You can’t fsikt him for setting himself up for life. There are no guarantees that he won’t get injured, etc. I am not going to make it to the draft. We need to fill these offensive holes asap.

    • Belgaron

      People mocked Sidney Rice for going to a loser club with no QB chasing the dollar.

  3. drewjov11


  4. Hawksince77

    Seattle is right not to overspend on any player, even one as talented as Julius Thomas. Judging value/cost and maximizing the cap is a crucial aspect to sustainable excellence. Some years, FA and/or the draft favor the team, other years, not so much.

    They will win with the lower-cost FAs, and through the draft. Of that, I am confident.

    • Rob Staton

      “They will win with the lower-cost FAs, and through the draft. Of that, I am confident.”

      They certainly have in the past, that’s for sure. I just hope there’s not another Super Bowl in our future where we get to watch someone like Gronkowski give the defense fits, and we’re relying on former CFL players to make their first career touchdowns. I’m being slightly glib on that point, but if it did happen a few extra bucks for a TE like Thomas might seem like money well spent.

      • Coug1990

        I believe that the domino affect of losing Lane, Hill and Avril, plus Kam, Sherman and Thomas playing with major injuries had more to do with NE and Gronkowski being successful than anything else.

        • arias

          All the players you just mentioned had nothing to do with the fact that KJ Wright was incapable of handling Gronk in single coverage. Gronk is not Jimmy Graham. He’s not so easily taken off his routes by pressing him at the line. It was foolish for Quinn to expect KJ could win that matchup by himself with no assistance.

          • Steele1324

            Even fully healthy, Gronk and Edelman would be mismatches for the Hawks. We will not know for sure how it would have gone with Lane/Avril/Kam/Sherm until there is a rematch. In the meantime, the Gronk+Edelman is a problem for the defense, as well as a reminder of how important it is for the offense to have similar pieces to use against opponents.

            • Jake

              That’s just plain untrue. Gronkowski is the best TE in football by a wide margin, but other athletic TEs didn’t have much success against a healthy Hawks defense. Gronk also only had one big play, a deep ball in one on one coverage against KJ Wright. That was a bad matchup and never should happen, in the Sound FX Ken Norton took the blame on the sideline. On the rest of those sets, a severely injured Chancellor went out wide on him and he got nothing.

              Edelman is a tough matchup for a big CB like Simon/Sherman, but he did his damage against zones and in one on one’s with Simon. The zone coverage was fine, but the reaction time was poor. A healthy Chancellor and Thomas blow up those inside cutting routes, either causing an incompletion or at least stopping them for a minimal gain. Their injuries really opened up the crossing routes.

          • Robert

            No pass rush up the middle had a lot to do with the successful play to Gronk and pretty much most of the successful pass plays during the Patriots decisive 4th quarter drives that led to 14 points, most of their stats and, of course, the Lombardi! Banged up Safeties no doubt diminished ET3’s ability to teleport to the ball with video game speed and certainly diminished the Deathbacker from crushing those that dare to catch passes in the middle (See XLVIII)! That being said, I believe RW could have taken the game over, but he never chose to open up the O with scrambles that were available in the decisive 4th quarter…See the All 22 Coaches film.

        • Rob Staton

          He probably would’ve still gone up against Wright and Kam. And Gronk’s pretty good too….

  5. Attyla the Hawk

    Bummer. But with this market, probably for the best.

    TE hasn’t been a real featured position for Seattle. Can’t say I’m not relieved just a little that we’re not paying him more than Avril, Bennett or Thomas. Certainly would make signing Wagner to a reasonable deal almost impossible.

    • Rob Staton

      “TE hasn’t been a real featured position for Seattle”

      It’s not for the want of trying, I suspect. They just need to find the guy who can make it a featured position.

  6. Ontoic

    I am glad we didn’t break the bank to sign Julius Thomas. I wish I had saved it in my favorites, but I saw an interesting analysis regarding how otherwise mediocre tight ends had flourished with Peyton Manning at quarterback.

    A player coming out of Manning’s system has a league value that doesn’t translate to his value in our run-first system. We have needs at other positions, and big money to spend on our franchise qb.

    Thank goodness we passed on this one…

    • Rob Staton

      It’s certainly not the end of the world, but I think a couple of points are important Ontoic:

      — Seattle does have other needs, but none quite like the need for a dynamic X-factor in the passing game for Russell Wilson. They have barely anything invested in the WR/TE position right now and a $9m APY contract wouldn’t be so much breaking the bank as paying the going rate. It’d still be $2m APY lower than Jeremy Maclin’s contract in KC for example, and on par with the Olsen’s, Graham’s, Gronk’s etc.

      — I’m not sure we can make that statement on Manning and his system given his three favorite targets in Indianapolis (Wayne, Harrison, Clark) all stayed with him for the duration. In Denver only Eric Decker has moved on and I’m not sure we can blame him directly for the mess in New York. Whether Thomas succeeds or not remains to be seen. But it’s rare for a prolific Manning target to hit the open market.

      • Trevor

        I agree Rob I think they have to put the hard push on for Cameron now. If not the 3yr search PC/JS have been on for that mismatch receiving option on offense will continue.

      • Ontoic

        I am prepared for endless criticism because I am a mediocre analyst and throwing this together quickly as an example because I cannot find the other writer’s research on the subject.

        I looked briefly at how Dallas Clark performed with and then without Peyton; and its brief overlap with Jacob Tamme as well.

        Dallas Clark with Manning:

        2010 37 Rec 57.8 YPG
        2009 100 Rec 69.1 YPG
        2008 77 Rec 56.5 YPG

        NOTE: Remember in 2010 the Colts had Tamme too, and he got 67 receptions and 39.4 yards per game. So that’s 104 receptions for the tight end position and 97 yards per game.

        Dallas Clark without Manning:

        2011 34 Rec 32 YPG
        2012 47 Rec 27.2 YPG
        2013 31 Rec 28.6 YPG

        Jacob Tamme with Peyton Manning
        2010 67 Rec. 39.4 YPG
        2012 52 Rec 34.7 YPG

        Jacob Tamme without Peyton Manning
        2011 19 Rec. 11.1 YPG

        I recognize that this a very small sample set and is very selectively chosen. It simply supports my intuition that Peyton really inflated Thomas’ stats. I don’t see Thomas as that big of a difference maker to neglect the degree to which Peyton Manning “threw him open” and diagnosed defenses to maximize Thomas’ opportunity for success. In that volume passing offense, I think Thomas’ numbers got distorted.

        I can’t wait for someone who is actually smart and knowledgeable to actually correct me or support my position!

        • Rob Staton

          I wouldn’t undersell yourself Ontoic — but I do think there’s a key counter to your points. Dallas Clark left the Colts when he was 33 and very much in the twighlight of his career. It’s hard to look at his numbers in one-year spells with the Buccs and Ravens and compare them to a peak-performer in his 20’s. He could’ve easily retired after leaving Indy in 2012. He’s not 26 like Thomas joining a team with Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch.

          As for Jacob Tamme — I believe his only season without Peyton Manning is the year Manning hurt his neck and spent the year on IR. The Colts earned the #1 overall pick that season with Curtis Painter at quarterback. With respect, neither of these examples are particularly supportive of the point.

        • rowdy

          I understand both sides on this one but I’m more with you ontoic. Thomas number were definitely inflated with manning throwing 40 times a game and having multiple 1000 yd receivers the last two years pulling coverage away from him. I remember uhteck?(I know I butchered his name) playing like a pro bowler with manning. Thomas is the best of manning te’s and is a great player and a difference maker. He would probably get 700 yards 6/7 tds with hawks limited passing offense but the coverage he would demand would almost be as much of a factor. I’m in the camp of not wanting to pay him 8 mil a year but that has more to do with injuries and making an outsider one of the highest paid players on the team. Plus Luke willson has done way more his first two years in the league then Thomas so to write him off as a backup with his limited playing career would be foolish.

  7. bobbyk

    I would have welcomed him and his production on the field but I am thankful they didn’t overpay. On an established team like the Hawks, I don’t like the idea of an outsider coming in and getting all this money in terms of locker room stuff. This isn’t necessarily a knock on Thomas, but you never hear of him having the ET, Sherm… work ethic and like it or not – players know who is getting paid and they are held to a somewhat higher standard. I’m all for guys who may get rich, but not that rich… like the pair from the Browns that I hope become Seahawks (Cameron and Sheard). Cameron can still take the TE position and turn it to a strength. I like him and I like Luke Willson as a #2 TE. I hate the idea of Willson as a #1 TE.

    Rob – I know this is a long shot, but do you think they have the money for all three of Cameron, Sheard, and T. Williams? I realize we cannot predict the market, but all things being equal or an educated guess or are we (meaning me) stuck to the notion that we can only afford two of those guys?

    • rowdy

      My feelings exactly on thomas, I just posted about that right above this comment.

  8. j

    I don’t think we have a must fill need at TE.

    The need is for playmaking receivers. Doesn’t matter whether it is at TE or WR.

    If we sign/trade for Andre Johnson, draft two receivers in rounds 1-3 (Perryman and Smith?), and stay make moderate adds at TE (i.e. late rounder plus vet min guy), would that make for a bad offseason? I’d be quite happy with that, IMO.

    It is about how to improve our receivers (TE+WR), and how to do that in the most cost effective manner. The draft is deep in WR, which drives down prices on the WR market. The draft is remarkably shallow at TE, which has the opposite effect.

    • Jake

      Exactly my thoughts, with one exception. I would like to sign Andre Johnson, draft Maxx Williams in round 1 (or with a trade-down if possible), draft a WR on day 2. Then go from there.

  9. Cysco

    Gotta admit i’m a little disappointed. More so because it means we’ll likely turn our attentions to Cameron, who scares the crap out of me.

    Injuries were a major factor for this team last year. Going to battle next year with so much relying on a player with such a huge health risk is really worrisome. We’re talking about a guy who could very well be out of the league if he gets one more concussion. I just don’t see how you could seriously look at Cameron as a long-term fixture on the team.

    There’s gotta be a creative solution to the big receiver problem. We missed out on the easy solution. What else is out there?

    • Rob Staton

      I think the reported “hard push” Ian Rapoport was referring to exactly highlights the situation you’re talking about Cysco. I think they also fear going with Cameron instead. They appeared determined to compete for Thomas’ signature. Now they have no option but to move on.

      • Robert

        JT probably threw up a little at the thought of practicing vs the LOB every day…
        I hope Willson has a Jugs set up in his Den…and a football for a teddy bear!

      • Rugby Lock

        I’m somewhat interested in JT’s backup at Denver as a signing. Supposed to be a terrific blocker with good hands and would be substantially cheaper. Then you could go after AJ and Sherad…

        • Rob Staton

          I think Virgil Green is being overrated by association. Cheaper and similar physically. But let’s not forget he couldn’t beat out Jacob Tamme in Denver, has just over 206 yards in four years and might actually get overpaid even in the $3-5m range.

    • rowdy

      I couldn’t have said it better. I love cameron as a player but the concussions almost make him unsignable to me. I asked the other day how many players played at a high level after 3? To me a 4th is just a matter of time and like you said will probably end his career.

      • Robert

        I hope we cross Cameron off the list, if he was ever on it. That just feels like a riverboat gambler move.

  10. Attyla the Hawk

    I think it might be a perfect time to step back away from the TE market.

    Seattle is going to have roughly the same TE options they had last year. Willson should be improved with another solid year.

    If the talent doesn’t fit, then the single worst thing we can do is overpay for second tier talent in the mistaken opinion that we ‘have to have a TE’. We did make the SB without Zach Miller for nearly the entire season. It won’t be the reason we don’t make it back in 2016.

    TE is just one avenue Seattle can pursue in improving the team. There are pretty much 4-5 WRs that all could be upgraded in the 6 man WR corps. The options there are just far more appealing.

    I’d rather spend 6-7 million on a higher quality WR free agent, than to try and force a tier 2 TE option for the same rate.

    • Rob Staton

      “I’d rather spend 6-7 million on a higher quality WR free agent, than to try and force a tier 2 TE option for the same rate”

      If the shift is towards the WR’s now — personally I’d rather just focus on the draft. An ageing receiver or worse — an average receiver — at that type of dough just doesn’t appeal. Go after a couple of young targets including a bigger receiver and let them grow with Russell Wilson.

      I do, however, expect them to go after Jordan Cameron. If not a creative trade for somebody else. This is a hole I think they’re determined to fill.

      • Hawksince77

        Based on your comment about aging receivers, you don’t think Andre Johnson a viable target for Seattle?

        • Rob Staton

          I can see a scenario where they consider it, but I doubt it’s a priority.

      • j

        I think this overestimates our WR.

        Baldwin, our only lock, and
        Kearse, who should a perennial bubble player, can’t get separation and has poor hands
        Lockette, bad routes, so he can’t get separation in anything but a straight line
        Chris Matthews, can’t get separation and relies on his size, has one good game to his name
        Kevin Norwood, who was a fourth round pick that missed the season due to injury

        My goal would be to move on from everyone but Baldwin and maybe Norwood. (Only cause I loved his game out of Alabama).

        There is a limit to how many WR we can draft. Even more of a limit to how many WR we can draft that have an impact. Are you comfortable (a) with Baldwin and five rookies and (b) using four of our eleven picks at WR? Cause I’m sure not.

        Adding a quality number two or three WR on a short term mid-pay contact should be a goal of this team.

        • Robert

          Mostly agree, but I think Matthews is a keeper. He is a consistent special teams contributor and has unexplored potential upside as a big red zone target and matchup nightmare vs #3 CB’s…assuming we acquire a WR good enough to draw the opposing #2 CB!

          • j

            You might want to keep one or two guys 2-5 above. But even with that you are looking at adding three impact WR to the roster. (Because your 5th and 6th WR are say, Matthews and Norwood). Unless you want our first three picks to be WR, you have to do something in FA.

      • rowdy

        I agree, the draft is the best option over a one year rental for 6-7 mil

        • Jake

          One year of Kevin Williams sure as hell helped get us a second NFC title and a brain fart away from a second straight Super Bowl… Golden Tate’s loss was tough, he was our #1. Andre Johnson is better than Tate was in 2013. I’d take AJ as a two-year rental at $5M per, buying us time to coach up the young guys we have and our new day 2 WR pick.

  11. bobbyk

    Maybe the Hawks just need to tell Chris Matthews to gain 22 pounds and come to training camp at 240?

    • arias

      I don’t think you’d want Chris Matthews playing 20 pounds heavier seeing how it could legitimately nullify the advantages of the wide receiver we all saw tearing up the Super Bowl for our side.

  12. SunPathPaul

    So now that JT seems to be gone, Jordan Cameron is the only other real threat at TE in FA.

    Here is our current WR group, Tallest to Shortest:

    Chris Matthews 6-5, 218, 4.5
    Doug McNeil III 6-3, 200, 4.46
    Kevin Norwood 6-2,200, 4.48
    Paul Richardson 6-1, 185, 4.3
    Jermaine Kearse 6-1, 209, 4.43
    Kevin Smith 5-11, 214, 4.54
    Doug Baldwin 5-10, 189, 4.48
    David Gilreath 5-9, 170, 4.42

    My point here is that we all want that BIG WR! We all want a 6’5″, 230 guy that runs a 4.4! But they are very rare…and because of that, we must just look for the most talent at the position, regardless of specs. We need WR fits that will make RW comfortable, make us explosive, and that are going to consistently get open and get first downs.

    So outside of what we do at TE, I see two distinct groups of wide outs that seem special.
    Here are the two distinct groups…

    A) Nelson Agholor 6-0, 198, 4.41 – KR
    Tre McBride 6-0, 210, 4.42 – KR
    Chris Conley 6-2, 213, 4.35

    B) Phillip Dorsett 5-10, 185, 4.33 KR
    Tyler Lockett 5-10, 183, 4.40 KR
    Antwan Goodley 5-10, 210!, 4.44 KR

    If we can draft one out of each of these 2 groups, I’ll be ecstatic!! Just mix and match. Look at those possibilities there…Let’s forget about the 6-5 guy for a moment and consider how much depth 2 of these guys would bring us! We need this…we have 11 picks, so make it happen JS/PC!

    We can see by our group that we have and like speed…and all these guys have it. I think any of these guys make an impact in year one. Esp in the return game…

    A third group that seems to be more of a developmental group are these:

    c) Darren Waller 6-6, 238, 4.46
    Kenny Bell 6-1, 200, 4.42 KR
    Dezmin Lewis 6-4, 214
    Stefan Diggs 6-0, 195, 4.46 KR
    DeAndre Smelter 6-2, 226 injured

    If we can’t grab 2 out of the original 6, then maybe grab one of these guys later on if we miss out.

    What do you guys think of that top 2 groups? Make sense? Smaller quick speed guy and a more traditional outside WR… The round combination can be all over…that’s the tough part.


    • Donald

      Good lists, but my preference would be to take any two of group (A). Then draft Waller late and see how he does at TE.

      I still think OL in the 1sr rd, Fisher or Erving, but hopefully someone out of Group A will be there at #62.

      • Donald

        I would really like to see them trade some picks and get the #31, #40, #62.

        There are 3-4 players on OL, WR, CB, TE, that we could use in the 2nd rd.

      • Lil'stink

        I think Waller is a wildcard. He is a project, but I would hate to miss out on him be waiting and hoping he falls. I wouldn’t mind risking a 2nd rounder on him, provided we use #31 to trade back. Agholor and McBride would be nice as well. Bell too, if he lasts until the 4th round.

        • Jake

          Waller is now a 2nd round pick? Wow… Since rookies rarely factor, especially ones like him that are projects – I’d go with DeAndre Smelter instead (he will probably go on PUP and only play half a season in 2015). Smelter outplayed Waller at Georgia Tech, and he could be had for a 7th or maybe UDFA due to the knee.

          • Rob Staton

            I think Smelter would be a write off until 2016. Hurt himself right at the end of 2014 and won’t have had any practice time over the summer or camp.

            • Jake

              Yeah, I agree that’s most likely – but even still Waller probably wouldn’t be much of a factor until 2016 at the earliest either.

    • kyle

      is anyone excited about McNeil? I haven’t really watched anything on him. He has good speed and size. Any thoughts on him? Or is he just a camp body coming from the arena league?

      • SunPathPaul

        McNeil’s highlights look like he might be a nice redone target. If he pans out he would make Chris Matthews probably better by being on the field at the same time. 6-3 & 6-5…with Willson at 6-5, maybe this combo can help create a mismatch…

        I’m excited to see McNeil because JS hinted at a surprise at WR. It may also be Gilreath as a KR…who knows?

  13. Sam

    Rob, would you be opposed to Crabtree at 4-5 million? At some point he has to be a value and I’m hearing no buzz. He does have decent hands and might look better not going against sherm and the LOB.

    • Rob Staton

      I wouldn’t be a big fan of that move. Good hands absolutely but he’s flattered to deceive in the NFL. If San Fran are moving on, I’ll pass.

      • bobbyk

        Can’t imagine he’d be good for team chemistry. Plus, he’s a hands guy and that’s it (i.e. no separation).

    • CA


    • arias

      Sherman would be strongly opposed to such a move. That’s enough for me to be against it.

  14. JC

    depending on how Gore, AP and Murray work out, and admitting it is rare to do player for player in NFL, 2 guys in last year of their rookie deals, Robert Turbin and Dwayne Allen, would fill immediate needs, and allow both teams to draft a guy, not in the first round, to fill the depth lost trading either player away. Both players are #2s for their position group, behind Lynch and Fleener, making it a bit easier to fill their role with a rookie. Could also swap Christine Michael for Turbin in a potential deal for Allen.

  15. Ishmael

    I might be alone in this, but I really like Jordan Cameron. His production isn’t the same as Thomas’ but when you remember he was playing with it starts to look very acceptable. He moves smoothly, has a good vertical, soft hands, and is willing to go up and get it. The concussion stuff is an enormous concern, but if that checks out I’d really go after him. Strikes me as the sort of guy who’d enjoy practising against the LOB and would only get better for it.

    • Cysco

      the problem with concussions is that the more of them you get, the easier it is to get another. We’re talking brain trauma here and Cameron’s had bad enough concussions to cause him to miss extended periods of time.

      I’m borderline crossing him off my list. How can you tie up 6-7m of your free agent money on a guy that could be out for half a season with one hard hit on a regular play?

      There’s got to be another way to get a quality big receiver. I hope JS has a rabbit up his sleeve.

    • Ho Lee Chit

      Cameron’s stats are inflated by one good year (2013) when he caught passes from Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden. These two QB’s were both pretty horrible. Hence, they dumped the ball off a lot to the TE. Cameron’s other three years look less impressive than Luke Willson’s. He has only caught 50 of 100 passes the other three years. Then there is the concussion issue …

      • Ishmael

        Yeah… Alright, I’m with you boys. You convinced me.

        What’s the play then? Hope Willson continues to improve, hope Matthews’ Superbowl wasn’t a one-off fluke, and try to pick up a difference making WR in the draft?

      • bobbyk

        I disagree. You are insinuating that they didn’t throw the ball downfield because their QBs were so bad. They did. Josh Gordon had over 1,600 yards receiving that year. Now, obviously Cameron won’t have a WR to help take pressure of him (like he did with Gordon) but it’s not like he was the only option they threw to in Cleveland to inflate his numbers. I’d say going from Weeden/Campbell to Wilson would more than offset the Gordon/horribleQB factor, too. Obviously, the concussion issue is real though.

        • Ho Lee Chit

          What I am saying is that if you take away his one good season his numbers are worse than Willson across the board. Everyone complains Willson drops too many balls, isn’t a red zone threat, etc. What about this guy? He cannot stay healthy and his numbers show he is not improving. Anthony McCoy looks like a better risk/reward proposition. I cannot justify giving him big free agent money.

          • Jake

            Weeden has one redeeming quality (or fatal flaw), he has no fear of just chucking and ducking. It helps to get lots of opportunities, even if your QB isn’t reading the coverage, at all. Cameron and Gordon had inflated stats due to unusually high opportunities to make plays downfield.

            • Rob Staton

              Are we really talking about inflated stats from a Cleveland offense?

              • Jake

                Well, I’m saying when you’re losing by 20 every game and you have no running game – time to chuck it deep and see what happens. Its about quantity, not quality.

                Like how Westbrook is on some “all-time” tear because he has 5 triple-doubles in 6 games… They are LOSING most of those games, he is shooting at 42%, he leads the NBA in turnovers during that span, and his team is being outscored when he’s on the court, but outscoring opponents when he’s on the bench.

  16. CC

    I think those means they have to look bard ar Funchess and Walled for that potential big target. Of course if you can sign AJ life is better and tight end isn’t the biggest need. Resigning McCoy if healthy could help. Interesting that Bryan Walters and Lockette have not been resigned yet. KR/Pr is a need. So 2 wrs in the draft is very possible.

  17. Phil

    Rob – I see that the Seahawks are saying that Zach Miller was cut because of a “failed physical”. Assuming that he doesn’t find another team willing to sign him, under league rules, does the failed physical mean that the Seahawks cannot later change their minds and decide to re-sign him for a new, lesser amount?

    (Saying a guy was cut because of a failed physical seems to be a really nasty way to say goodbye — it kinda poisons the well for the player who is hoping to be signed by another team. But, I guess all’s fair ….)

    • Cysco

      Pretty sure the failed physical thing is actually Seattle’s way of taking care of miller. I’ve heard that if you fail a physical, you are eligible for an injury settlement. If you don’t have a failed physical, the team’s only option is just to cut the player and the player doesn’t get anything additional.

    • arias

      Wesseling at reported that Zach Miller being cut had everything to do with a 2 mil roster bonus he was due if he were still on the roster come Tuesday. Given his uncertain health status it absolutely made sense that they’d want him to pass a physical to remove any uncertainty about him being able to come back from his injury before committing to that amount.

      That said, it was reported that Belichick is interested in Zach Miller and has been in contact with his agent. So I’m not sure we’ll have the chance to renegotiate him down to a lower price.

    • Rob Staton

      Sure it’s an option.

  18. John_s

    Condotta retweeted a Ravens beat guy who says that Cary Williams appears to be Seattle bound.

    • bobbyk

      Just saw that on rotoworld, too:

      • peter

        Uggh. Lets not with cary Williams. I get stop gaps but at least lets put someone in who is going to give Simon a challenge. Tramon, BB, heck id even rather see WT3.

        • Jake

          On that list, I’d only take BB over C. Williams – but he is not currently available. Cary Williams was very good for Baltimore, Philly seems to somehow kill CBs. Nnamdi was the best in the game, after 3 years in Philly he was useless. DRC was great for Arizona, TERRIBLE in Philly, very good again in New York. I can’t hold it against Cary Williams. Good luck B-Max – wish you would have taken a discount to ensure the LOB reaches legendary status, but gotta get your money. Philly fans are going to be all over you.

  19. FattyAcid

    Again, thanks for all the updates and analysis. After work, I check your site first, then go to the big sites (NFL, ESPN, bleacherreport). I still want Gurley in the first, Lynch back or not. And it’s been a while, but I really like Maxx Williams. Aside from his speed, he would grow well with RW. Somebody technically sound, that will catch anything thrown his way. The perfect outlet for any quarterback.

  20. drewjov11

    Carpenter to the jets??? Didn’t see that one coming. I hate the Cary Williams move. Please tell me he isn’t a starting corner in this team.

    • HOUSE

      Carp to NYJ was rumored about 2 weeks ago… Oh well, I wish him well…

      Williams will be ok. There were so many times I has personally frustrated with Maxwell and Simon so…

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I guess NYJ really wanted Iupati but lost out to ARI. That sucks he stays in the NFCW.

      Anyway Carp is the consolation signing.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Speaking of NYJ – I’m not sure they’ll cut Harvin. Even with his cap hit, they’re still like $35mm under for 2015.

        Might be an interesting WR duo with Brandon Marshall.

  21. 907Hawksfan

    Carey Williams to the Hawks.

  22. peter

    Seahawks faithful meet Cary Williams…i finally got off my butt to check some stats…probably shouldn’t have.

    3 tackles per game/ less then one pass defended per game ( actually closer to .6 per game) and 1.5 ints per season (that’s being generous btw) as i always say….twice now in the history of ever on this blog…”stats aren’t everything….but they are something,” I hope this if true is a way to expand draft possibilities and I hope financially they don’t miss a 5 year younger sheard over anything that adds up to more then two mil per five years because of Williams contract. Tramon I could have seen Two years Ten mil but not this dude. I know Sheatd and Williams its different positions but….one guy is going up or at least plateau-ing the other..not so much.

    • Spencer

      Come on… Boxscore stats will tell you absolutely NOTHING about a CB. That is completely ridiculous, why would you want tackles form your corner? That mean’s he’s allowing a lot of passes, as they tend to not factor into run defence too frequently. He was very successful with the Ravens, even if he was less so in Philly’s woeful secondary. He really came on strong at the end of last year and showed flashes of what made him so successful with Baltimore.

      • peter

        Well agree to disagree then. As I stated above stats aren’t everything case in point Shermans box score for last year…not good. But they are something case in point Sherman/browners career numbers or why might the team be aquiring a player who Tharold Simon statistical mirrors in his 5 starts?

        As for run defense in Seattle they do. Just go ahead and listen to Chris Collinsworth gush on any primetime game last year about Seattles corners and run support.

    • Dawgma

      You do realize that right now we’re looking at having one, maybe two healthy CBs total when the season starts, right? There’s no way they weren’t going to be picking up at least a couple guys going into the draft; maybe they com cheap as depth, maybe they get beat by a new draft pick and cut, maybe they play well enough to provide quality minutes. But there was no way we were going into the draft flat out needing two bodies just to be able to hold a training camp.

      That’s not to say Williams is any good. But I’ll at least wait to see the deals before worrying about it. I can’t imagine there’s much guaranteed.

      • Steele1324

        I am adamantly against Cary Williams, as a player and as a person. I do not doubt he wanted to be LOB and thinks himself worthy of it.

        If he is a Hawk, they have a Harvin problem on their hands, and worse.

        • Volume 12

          LOL. I highly doubt that. I think Williams is a perfect fit for the LOB. Much better than the Will Blackmon signing, JS is not only one of the best GMs, but is a phenomenal scout as well and knows what he’s getting in CB Cary Williams. They aren’t going to make the same mistake they did with Percy Harvin.

          • rowdy

            Perfect fit? He was terrible for the eagles and doesn’t have much upside imo. I hope they don’t pay him more then 2 mil witch they probably will because it looks like a panic move.

            • Volume 12

              Your right he was terrible for the Eagles. With no safety help over the top. When he was with Baltimore Ed Reed behind him he wasn’t. Now he has this generation’s version of Ed Reed in ET, but only better IMO.

              Who else were they going to get? Now this lets them do what they’ve always done and that’s not take CBs early, but rather sit back and develop one. Auburn’s Nick Marshall?

              • peter

                Agreed with safety help I think it may be a different ball of wax the with the eagles. Though full disclosure I hope one of Simon, Rowe, Marshall beats him out…corner is a position where younger and frankly length of a younger players contract is better.

      • peter

        Dawgma no doubt the need a corner perhaps two for the scheme. “that’s not to say he’s any good,”. That’s actually what I am getting at. If Cary Williams played in a,vacuum as a Seahawk thus far he’d be tharild Simon whom many want an upgrade to. Now with earl and kam and sherm maybe he’s the next member of the LOB. But based purely on past success with younger players much like Robs case against older WR standing in the way of a younger players development that’s how I feel about all older players on the roster. But if there is a camp battle and its best man wins in all about it..

  23. Grant G

    for all the willingness to give JT $9M a year, not sure why so few seem willing to take a 2 year flyer on Andre Johnson at $5-6M. The guy can still flat out make plays

    • arias

      Where are you coming up with 5-6 mil to ink Johnson? He’s a veritable steal at that price.

      • Grant G

        Completely made up figure…but to illustrate a point. He isn’t going to be making the 10 and change he was owed and I wouldn’t figure he will be within striking distance of the top of the market for WRs, which is 10-11 if the Cobb/Maclin deals are as advertised. I assume he would be in the 5-6-7 range on a shorter term deal – the point being a much less risky move financially than either JT or Cameron

      • SunPathPaul

        I think it’d be more like 2 years, $15 million, $7.5 guaranteed…I’d love us to sign him!!!

        I don’t trust Jordan Cameron’s concussion issues, so I prefer bringing in a vet WR named AJ to teach our young guys…then draft 2 WR’s like I’ve posted. We would be set for years!

        • Grant G

          Sure, that’s probably more realistic. Honestly if you have a chance at AJ and Cameron for 1-2M more combined than what JT would have cost (which I think is possible, if not likely), wouldn’t you do that any day of the week???

          • SunPathPaul

            …and twice on Sundays…

    • Rob Staton

      It’s probably because the draft is loaded at receiver (cost effective).

      • Jake

        I understand that it’s never a win-now proposition for the Seahawks, but to “win forever” you have to be winning in the present too. No WR in the draft is going to have the impact that Andre Johnson could over the next two seasons. I would draft one as well, for the long term – but they shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.

  24. MoondustV

    Presenting in SB49 with our sorry receivers is a miracle. And miracles cannot be easily replicated. Let us be practical. Is there anyone who remember the dilemma when we faced a iron D-line like Chiefs’? And you still think that our passing game is enough. Never. The same as pass rushers.

    In fact I’d like to rank our sorry WRs/TEs as the worst in NFL. Drop-prone hands as Luke Willson, and nobody can win 1v1 except a guy who caught his first NFL TD in SB49… If I’m RW, I’ll quit SEA because of the sorry guys around me. Find some QB who likes to throw 10 times a game is better for you guys, right?

    Unfortunately RW is the future for SEA.

    • Jon

      “Unfortunately RW is the future for SEA”?
      Uhhh. I think we are pretty fortunate. I don’t think you meant what you said with that comment. I think you want a couple of new targets, right? That is what the rest of your post was about, right?

  25. rowdy

    What’s the story on Kearse’s tender if we cut him? I don’t see any way we should pay him 2.5 mil. Baldwin deserved it Kearse doesn’t. Can it be used to hold onto him to work out a deal and if not cut him and keep the cap?

    • Carl

      Pretty sure RFA tenders are not guaranteed. Though I don’t have a problem paying Kearse 2.5 this year. Hopefully some draft picks will be ready to take his spot next year and we can let him walk and pick up another compensatory pick.

      • rowdy

        You don’t comp picks for low end free agents. Do you really think someone will pay him 5 mil?

        • Jon

          Yes, we will get a comp for McDonald last year at only 3 m/y. Would have gotten comps for Maragos, and Thurmond as well but we lost to many high end contracts last year for them to matter with only 4 max comp selections being given to any one team.

      • rowdy

        Thanks for the info

        • Jake

          It’s non-guaranteed so there is no penalty for renegotiating it down or cutting the player. Jeron Johnson (UDFA) was comp’d at a 2nd round tender as well last year and then they re-negotiated it down to like 750K. I think the same will happen with Kearse. To keep them from getting stolen with no compensation (because they’re UDFA’s), they had to tender him as a 2nd rounder to dissuade offers.

  26. DC

    One TE name I’d like to keep an eye on is Vernon Davis of our (former?) bitter rivals, the 49ers. His production dropped off a cliff last year cutting basically in half. Injuries, scheme? The Niners are entering what seems to be a major house clearing/exodus phase. VD is 31 and will count just under $7 million toward the cap. They would save $5 million with a $2 million hit this year by cutting him. It’s the final year of his deal. If it was a trade scenario would SF even deal with us? If so would a low round pick get it done? Would Vernon renegotiate a lower figure? Think how relieved he would be to never face Bam-Bam again in a game situation. That’s incentive enough to come here ring chasing for cheap. If you can’t beat em, join em Vernon.

    • Carl

      Vernon Davis has been very complementary of the Seahawks organization in the past as well, I wouldn’t be against it.

  27. CHawk Talker Eric

    I see Cary Williams as pretty much a lateral move from Maxwell. Physically similar in terms of length and speed, Williams is probably ideally suited to step into the LOB – since Sherm doesn’t follow a #1 WR, the CB playing opposite sees a lot of action – as did Maxwell. Williams was the #1 CB on PHI so he’s used to the attention.

    In the end, PHI overpaid significantly for Maxwell (especially in comparison to Sherm’s contract) and SEA got Williams at a decent price.

    • Steele1324

      Cary Williams is a significant downgrade from Maxwell!!! He gives up plays on a regular basis. He is undisciplined, tries to be flashy. He doesn’t like practicing. He runs his mouth. He is a headcase.

      I predict they will lose games because of him.

      • Steele1324

        So with Cary Williams, a bad character, do the Hawks think they have now covered the CB problem for the forseeable? Does this mean they won’t bother drafting a Marcus Peters or Byron Jones because Cary is so damned good?

        If that his how they are thinking, there are going to be problems down the road, on field and off, and JSPC and Kris Richard will be left holding an expensive (wind)bag, and they wlll have a mistake to undo.

        • Ehurd1021

          I hope Blackmon and Williams were brought in to help the competition. Seattle needed bodies. You never want to go into a draft with the thought of drafting a rookie who is going to start day 1 based solely off numbers.
          You have to allow them to compete and if Simon cant beat out Blackmon and Williams it says everything you need to know about him moving forward.

          • Jake

            100 times – word! This is top-level competition for Simon and Burley. If they beat out these guys then they are worthy of their starting spots at LCB and Nickel. Hopefully Blackmon can stick around and return kicks (or we can draft Ty Montgomery).

        • john_s

          I know that Williams likes to talk, but I haven’t heard of him being a “bad character” and I wasn’t aware of any off field issues with him.

        • Jake

          Haters gonna hate. Did he get with your wife or something? I get that you’re concerned, but your going full boil rager on a mid-level contract for a second tier CB (a position of need for the Hawks).

    • Ehurd1021

      The issue is that Seattle was able to do what they did with keeping Sherm on the right side was because Maxie was able to hold his own. The system doesn’t work if that LCB doesn’t hold his own because if not teams will start exploiting the defense. I pray Simon stays healthy, gets confident and locks up that spot.

      Williams is a huge drop off compared to Maxie. I do think he will improve playing in the LOB and with better coaching (which he will get) but to say him and Maxie are lateral in terms of talent doesn’t make sense IMO. I do like his height but I think thats the only thing thats comparable to Maxie. I wish the FO would have extended Maxie at the begging of the season..

      • Steele1324

        The Eagles secondary gave up the third most 20+ yd receptions IN NFL HISTORY last season. Clearly his play falls far short of his boasting. Tramon Williams, Davon House, etc. would have been solid, but not Cary, who is ranked something like the 50th best corner in the NFL.

        How much did they overpay for him? If it is a veteran minimum type deal, and he is nothing but expendable camp fodder, fine, we hold our noses and watch others beat him in camp.

        • Volume 12

          It’s not all on him that Philly’s defense gave up all those receptions. They lack a pass rush, have a decent safety in Malcolm Jenkins, and a decent slot corner in Brandon Boykin who can’t seem to stay healthy. This is why they’ve traded for Kiko Alonso, signed Maxi, went/going after Devin McCourty, and re-signed Brandon Graham.

      • Volume 12

        I agree with CHAWK to a certain extent. He’s a bit of a downgrade from Maxi but not by much. He’s not the only who compiling about practicing in Philly in all fairness, It’s very gimmicky what their doing there and IMO isn’t really football. Now he gets to play in a system and style that is much better suited for his. mindset and physicality. So what if he runs his mouth? Doesn’t everybody on this team? He fits their image and persona to a T.

        Watch Maxi struggle as a no 1 CB without ET behind him. ET will make a big difference for Cary Williams, just as Ed Reed did for him in B-more.

        As CHAWK said, he’s used to being thrown at and is battle tested. He’s another classic example of a guy that ‘plays with a chip on his shoulder.’

        • Steele1324

          He is not just chippy. He’s psychotic to the point of being a detriment. If most all of the Seahawks fans had an issue with Doug Baldwin’s attitude, this guy is ten times worse.

          The bad seasons with Philly can’t be ignored. But let’s put those aside. On the Ravens, he was still inconsistent, still extremely volatile (good play/horrible play).

          Bottom line, I think they made a mistake taking him, on both a football and character basis.

          • Volume 12

            I for one don’t mind Dougy’s antics at all. It’s just who he is. If he was so bad on a Ravens defense, how did they win the SB? The 2013-2014 Ravens defense doesn’t even compare to ours. He couldn’t have been that much of a detriment if Baltimore wanted him back.

            He was also flagged less than Maxi was last year as well. He’ll be fine in this defense. He’s a decent no 2 just like Maxi was. He isn’t a no 1 CB like Philly thought he was. Worst case scenario, he gives us good depth and a solid option if Simon isn’t healthy or doesn’t progress, but IMO he will.

            It’s very telling that Seattle basically swapped CBs with the Eagles. Should we trust the DB development of Chip Kelly and his brilliant defensive mind and coordinator? Or PC/JS, and Kris Richard?

            • Steele1324

              Even with the loaded Ravens, he was not consistent. In Philly, it wasn’t just the system. He simply got burned on an individual basis. Didn’t make the plays.

              I know I am going to be shouted down by the usual. That Pete knows what he is looking at, they know how to make all corners look good, the other LOB will be watchful on him, his weaknesses will be hidden, etc etc. I remain pessimistic until proven otherwise.

              They could have done better.

              • Volume 12

                Who? I’m guessing Tramon Williams would have cost more, as well as Devon House. Should we have overpaid for Maxi? He comes to the NFC West with no dominate receivers.

                And while that defense in Baltimore was loaded, the point I was making, is ours is better.

                • Jake

                  Cary Williams also helps avoid hurting our compensatory pick haul since he was released and was not a UFA.

                  He was very good in Baltimore, similar to how good Maxwell was in Seattle. He went to Philly where every CB sucks, no matter how good they were before (good luck Maxie).

                  I’m more inclined to see how he plays for Seattle, because he’s absolutely not horrible, nor is he a shutdown guy.

                  In the end, he will either bridge the position until Lane comes back if he beats out Simon or lose the competition with Simon, meaning Simon is for real and we should all just do a happy dance. It’s a solid move, but not without some risk.

              • CHawk Talker Eric

                Maybe you should offer your services and help them find a better option.

  28. Radman

    I must be in the minority but I feel ok going forward with Luke WIllson as the #1 TE. I think he has room to grow and improve but I see him as a quality TE as he moves forward.

    I remain rather firmly in the camp that QBs make the WRs much more than the other way around. And we got a great QB and a great running game that compliments the QBs skill set. This offense will remain top shelf even without a ” true #1″ just like it was last season.

    I do think there’s some real talent in the WR draft class, and in trades but by no means am I feeling an urgency about it. I know PC/JS will improve the roster when they can but I don’t think anyone should be losing sleep over the WR talent on this roster.

    • Jake

      You and I both brother. We are certainly in the minority though.

      I believe Luke brings a lot of assets to the table, but has his limitations as well. He is great at stretching the seam, he’s a threat to go for a TD from anywhere on the field, and he’s a good blocker. But he does not hold onto the ball through contact very well and he isn’t a real threat in jump ball situations. IF the team wants another TE, I’d like to team Luke up with a dependable hands guy who does make catches in conflict – Maxx Williams.

      Wilson is still learning as a pocket QB and he will continue to improve his anticipation and feel for NFL defenses. I feel strongly that his abilities and growth along with our unmatched running game will continue to be enough to open up passing lanes and opportunities for his cast of “aaight” receivers. They’re all young and are likely to improve as well, so I don’t believe that receiver is the dire need that some others do. That said, an affordable deal for AJ would make me smile and at least one WR should be drafted during the first two days to ensure competition continues to make the best man standout.

    • Dan

      In reality it’s the offseason. Everyone has a pipe dream of what the team will look like 5 months from now. I somewhat agree that there shouldn’t be an urgency to signing someone but I completely disagree with the idea that Luke Willson has more room to grow. You can’t teach hands, and that guy is as stiff as a board before and after he catches a ball.

      • Jake

        You can certainly practice catching technique and repetition will always help muscle memory. True, it may not be natural and innate like it is for someone like Sidney Rice or Sherman, who just seem to have vacuums for hands, but he will get better at catching the ball over time if he practices it.

  29. Jeff M.

    A few points for those concerned about Cary Williams from either a performance or character/locker room/competition standpoint:

    -Both of his employers previous to Philly (Titans and Ravens) were on the list of teams trying to acquire him

    -Baltimore is both the team that knows him best and one of the smartest, best-run organizations in the league. They let him leave when the Eagles overpaid, but wanted him back once his market corrected

    -Despite having options where he’d be the #1 and get all the attention, he chose Seattle where he knew he’d be overshadowed by the rest of the LoB but where he could contend for the Super Bowl

    -I’m not a fan of PFF grades generally, but I read somewhere his was almost identical to (actually marginally better than) Maxwell’s

    -If he doesn’t perform, he’ll get beat out by Simon (who the coaches still believe in) or Lane when healthy and serve as depth; if he’s playing it’s either because he’s playing well or because we’re desperate

    -Some other CBs who looked pretty questionable at the time they were acquired: Browner, Sherman, Thurmond, Lane, Maxwell, Burley… This FO and coaching staff have earned a lot of trust in their ability to identify and develop guys that fit their system

    • Steele1324

      This is the list that skepticals like me will be hearing repeated every time. Fine, keep convincing me.

      We still don’t have details on what Cary is going to be paid. Purely on talent, those who like this deal might think he was the next best FA left. I disagree. He is not better than Tramon, Rashean Mathis, Cromartie, Alan Ball, Thurmond, Davon House or Will Blackmon.

      I do see an intense camp competition. That will decide it.

      • Cysco

        According to Aaron Wilson @Ravensinsider, the deal for Williams is:

        $18 million total. $7 million 2015, $5 million in 2016 and $6 million in 2017

        That’s probably a couple to a few million less than some of the other players Seattle had interest in. Every dollar counts when you’re trying to manage the cap.

        I’m sure the front offices logic went something like this:

        OK, we can’t keep Maxi at $50+M. That’s just dumb. So who out there was close to Maxi stats and talent wise over the last few years? Well, that Cary Williams guy can hold his own and costs a fraction of the price. Sold!

        On a side not, it’ll be really interesting to see how Maxwell’s stats compare to Williams’ stats in Phil. next season.

        • MoondustV

          I’m sure this will be another bust after the whole Harvin’s deal.

        • Jake

          That’s a little more than I thought he’d get, but if his play reverts to his Baltimore days – that’s a steal for a very good starting CB. Sam Shields is getting paid significantly more and I wouldn’t say he’s much, if at all, better.

          I can say this – either Simon gets the message or he doesn’t… He better get to work, because even if it means Williams is getting $18 million to ride pine – I’d love to see Simon win the job.

          • Jake

            Ok, cap numbers are out – VERY NICE deal. He’ll probably be around for two years, starting or depth if Simon comes on strong.

      • Jon

        Wow, not better than House who has never been able to become a starter, or Thurmond who has been healthy for 1 year out of five, and only intercepted 1 pass that year, or Rashean Mathis who will be 35 before the season starts.

        If you would rather have Blackmon its a good thing the Seahawks signed him. Also the good thing about Williams and Blackmon is they were released and do not count against comp selection process.

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