Seahawks sign Tony McDaniel

This could be the end of Alan Branch in Seattle

The elusive defensive tackle is signed. Tony McDaniel has penned a one-year contract with the Seahawks, adding some much needed interior depth.

Whether he starts in Seattle remains to be seen. Alan Branch didn’t just feature as a three technique, he also doubled up as Red Bryant’s backup. McDaniel might carry a similar dual role. But it might be a dual backup role. He was after all merely a rotational cog in Miami.

He could start, though. At 6-7 and 305lbs, he’s got the kind of size they seem to like at tackle. The Seahawks have to become tougher to run against. They also have to find more creative ways to rush the passer. Seattle fields a fine defense, but these are two big areas where they can get even better.

McDaniel has some previous baggage as noted in an earlier piece:

He’s had a couple of ugly run-ins with the police. In January 2005 he assaulted a fellow Tennessee student during a game of pick-up basketball. Edward Goodrich suffered four broke bones in the incident and needed a metal plate inserting into his face to repair the injuries. McDaniel pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault.

Four years later he was arrested on the charge of domestic battery against his girlfriend. The charges were later reduced to disorderly contact, another misdemeanor. He was sentenced to six months probation. He was also required to attend counseling and served a one-game suspension issued by the NFL.

Let’s hope those issues are beyond McDaniel.

It’s worth pondering whether this signing was a direct result of a snub elsewhere. Vaughn Martin (6-4, 327lbs) was on a plane destined for Seattle. Then he got off the plane and signed for the Miami Dolphins:

“I was actually on the plane to Seattle this morning when I got off the plane to come over here back to Davie and sign.”

Martin is a former fourth round pick who left the San Diego Chargers after three seasons in the AFC West.

The door is still open for the Seahawks to draft a defensive tackle. However, given their penchant for guys who are 6-4 or taller and around 310-325lbs, there’s not a lot of obvious options this year. Montari Hughes could be the most fitting but carries an even bigger list of red flags than McDaniel. It might be that next year the Seahawks go into the draft still searching for a long term fit at defensive tackle.

Raiders interested in Matt Flynn?

Matt Flynn continues to be linked with other teams. Mike Silver is reporting “legitimate interest” from the Raiders, but not Jacksonville:

A league source said the Raiders have legitimate interest in acquiring Flynn, who could likely be pried from Seattle for as little as a fourth-round pick. (Another source said the Jacksonville Jaguars, who according to a report are also interested in Flynn, have little inclination to try to swing a trade.)

Silver also notes a financial stumbling block that could be a turn-off. If the Raiders cut Carson Palmer, they’ll save around $6m against their cap. Acquiring Flynn would take up around $5.25m. Given the trade compensation that would also be required and the salary cap black hole that Oakland finds itself in, a deal still seams a long way off. You’d essentially be swapping Palmer for Flynn for around $750k in savings, while also giving up draft stock.

It really depends how determined the Raiders are to move on from Palmer and how much they want a veteran replacement.

John Clayton has touted the idea of swapping picks, an idea we discussed a couple of months ago on this blog. Flipping third round picks would be worth 100 points, or the same as a fourth round selection. Oakland has the fourth pick in round three, while Seattle has the 25th selection. This would allow the Raiders to avoid losing any picks after the decimation of their 2012 draft.

This remains Seattle’s best chance to move Flynn, which they clearly wish to do. They’ll save $3.25m against the cap if they work out a deal. Nothing is likely to happen though until Palmer is cut. But that appears to be a formality at this stage.


Albert Breer has a piece with Darrell Bevell discussing the acquisition of Percy Harvin. Bevell: “My mind started racing… You start thinking about all the things you can do with a player like that. And now the hard part is to harness that talent.”

Chris Mortensen and Mel Kiper discuss the possibility of Russell Wilson being the most successful ‘sophomore’ quarterback in 2013.


  1. CHawk Talker Eric

    Great scoops Rob. I hadn’t heard about SEA being interested in Martin, but I’m surprised they were, given the signings of Avril and Bennett. From a strictly positional need standpoint, McDaniel makes a lot more sense. IMO he still has some untapped potential, which hopefully can be coached out of him by Quinn and TJones. In the end, he’s basically the best alternative to taking a DT in the draft – a big, tall space eater who can anchor at the point of attack. Sure he may be a few years older than a drafted rookie, and he many not have quite the upside of the cream of this year’s DT crop, but then he’s been signed to a 1-year deal only, and he also has NFL experience. I suppose he’s the team’s insurance policy against a Scruggs and/or Howard injury. Of course, this doesn’t mean that SEA has given up on Branch either. Plus, it means SEA can look to filling other pressing needs and/or going true BPA.

    With respect to OAK’s interest in Flynn – I like the idea of swapping R2 picks. But I personally would prefer getting OAK’s R3 pick in 2014.

    • Chris F

      I don’t think that PC/JS were expecting to solve the long-term DT situation by signing Martin anyway. I’ll bet they were only interested in signing him to a short-term, low dollar contract which may be the reason he ended up signing with Miami.

      As for the Flynn situation, I think I’ve come to peace with the idea of keeping him here for the upccoming season. Swapping 3rd round picks doesn’t seem to be adequate compensation for losing a competent back-up to Russell Wilson. If Oakland had a 2nd round pick, I might be on board for some kind of swap then as a high 2nd might put us in a position to draft a higher quality player, but since they don’t I guess it’s a moot point.

    • Rob Staton

      I suspect Oakland is loathe to give away any more picks. They’re already missed a second rounder this year and have almost nothing to build around. Spending a pick — even a 3rd rounder in 2014 — for Matt Flynn just seems like a bad move. He’d have almost no chance to succeed on such a limited roster and by the time his contract ran out in 2015, it’d create a situation where he’d be a tough sell to re-sign the guy aged 30. They’d be giving up another relatively high pick.

      The best Seattle can hope for I think is a pick in the R4-5 range. A round four pick is worth the same as a swap of picks in round three, which might be preferable to the Seahawks rather than the extra fourth. It’d also allow Oakland to bring in a stop-gap starter for two years while they rebuild, without losing picks. That’s the best I think Seattle can hope for here. But the stumbling block is the finances. Saving $750k to swap Carson Palmer for Matt Flynn, while taking a hit in terms of draft stock, just seems like a silly idea to me.

      • Chris F

        Your point on Flynn’s age is well taken, which really sucks for him. By the time he extricates himself from his contract with Seattle, his chance may well have passed.

        While many think he lacks the ablility to thrive in the NFL, I believe that in the right system he would actually be better than some of the QBs out there. It’s a pity that we may never find out.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        I totally agree that this doesn’t make much sense for OAK, and like you Rob, I’m tired of all the “what ifs” regarding Flynn. But we’re talking about this because there seems to be some real smoke out there, and where there’s smoke…

        Also, even though this doesn’t make much sense from a cap perspective, Flynn is about 4.5 years younger than Palmer. That’s not insignificant in the NFL. So if OAK does do this, they essentially replace Palmer with Flynn for about the same money for the next season, at which point they could negotiate a new contract with a QB who would still be 3+ years younger than Palmer is now (assuming Flynn plays well enough to warrant that). Further, there really isn’t a legit franchise QB prospect in this draft, but there are legit franchise players at DT, CB, OT and OG. I think this makes more sense the more I think about it.

  2. Kenny Sloth

    Wouldn’t trading Palmer save them even more cap space and net them another pick, too? I could see Zona as a potential landing spot for this kind of trade. Maybe for AZ’s third rounder or something I’m not good at projecting trades. But this would give them some draft capital and cap space for trading for Flynn, unless I’m mistaken?

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Maybe from OAK’s perspective, but I just can’t see ARI taking on Palmer’s contract as it stands – and apparently Palmer is unwilling to renegotiate.

      BTW Kenny, we agree to disagree on Fauria. But I’m with you on Chris Gragg.

      • Kenny Sloth

        I’ve actually readjusted my opinion on Fauria with regards to the Seahawks. I still think his inability to block is a huge red flag as it shows poor core and lower body strength. But the Hawks look at what a player can do and I should too. He’s a great hands receiver and is a threat in the red zne with deceptive speed. 5th round or later on him.

        • Maz

          Yeah, I really like Fauria for the Seahawks late too. Wouldn’t mind us taking Vance McDonald earlier as well. Fauria is a better blocker than most give credit. It’s just REALLY FUGLY! Gets the job done most of the time though. Definitely not the best in-line blocker. Think they both beat out McCoy on a 53 man roster.

      • Kenny Sloth

        Plus I mean, insert basically anyQB needy team there…

      • Colin

        The issue with trading Palmer, is you are going to have either give up a decent draft pick, or eat some big salary, and I don’t know of a team that is willing to do either for a QB of Palmer’s stature.

        Danny O’Neill is reporting the Seahawks are looking for Charlie Whitehurst-esque compensation for Flynn. In essence, no less than a 3rd.

    • Madmark

      I’d trade Flyn for a swap of 4th round pick its a move up up of 23 spots and would be more like having 2-late 3rd round picks. We need to let him go not cause i think he’s a bad QB but because I really like him to get his shot to start in the NFL.

  3. Phil

    Re: Flynn; the part of the conversation that seems to be missing is, absent Flynn, who is going to be the Seahawks’ backup QB? Look at the Redskins — when RGIII went down, Cousins (not a run-option QB) stepped in and played well for them. I think Flynn would play comparably for the Seahawks. So, IMHO, the issue of potentially trading Flynn has got to start with who his replacement would be and how convinced we are that he might play well as a backup. I’m not comfortable with the idea that if RW goes down, we are toast. With our defense and our running game, I think that Flynn could keep us in most games if RW couldn’t play.

    • Al Scott

      Totally agree Phil. This was my first thought on the matter too. If Flynn goes, unless it’s a straight swap, then there will be no immediate backup. In my mind, PCJS will absolutely not play this card without having an alternate QB not ijust in mind, but actually lined up otherwise we will be exposed badly at the most key position. NB: if memory serves me correctly we no longer have a 3rd stringer as Josh Portis was cut in November(?) when the QB situation became much clearer from a confidence perspective. A trade would therefore just leave RW as the only QB. Not a position I think PCJS would encourage or invite.
      We must also consider the quality and immediate availability of replacement options out there. Apart from a disgruntled Cardon Palmer, I really can’t name any obvious options of note – I could of course overlooked a couple of QBs but who is honestly put there? Byron Leftwich??

  4. Jake

    How you deal with Flynn: Ask for the moon until after the draft. If no one bites – keep him around. Then ask for the moon again next offseason. He’s a QB with potential in a WCO, so someone will eventually take a shot on him. He’s safe, there’s no risk to job security if you trade for him and he doesn’t pan out. Once the draft starts, after Geno and Barkley go, we “leak” info that one of the teams that wanted Geno/Barkley lost out and then wait out the other teams. I think a future draft pick is just fine for PC/JS, so a #1 or #2 next year is probably just as good for Seattle as a #1 or #2 this year. I may be on crack, but I see no reason to accept a cut-rate trade since he’s a very good backup and his value doesn’t decline while riding the pine behind a top-5 QB (which the league will recognize Wilson to be after year 2). Worst case, he rides the pine two more seasons, we have a great backup, then he gets paid and we get a comp pick in the 3rd-5th round range. Why move him now? Is it your money? Restructuring contracts is easy for winning franchises because players want to stay. A young player will happily move money to the back end of a contract for more in guarantees, only the old vets cringe at that – but Seattle won’t have any old vets in 2014 to worry about.

  5. Hawkfin

    I agree with most all the posts above, and I like Flynn still and think he would do very well if need be. We would be just fine to work around what he brings to the table. And I won’t be shocked if Wilson himself does far less running this year.

    I think we should showcase Flynn’s stock up come preseason. Let him chuck it around often and plenty, and with quality plays and players. Do whatever you can to pour on the points with him under center.
    Then the calls might come knocking next offseason I would think. Maybe for a nice profit!

    In the mean time we have a quality backup this coming year. AND if all that doesn’t work, you can always release him at that point down the road anyway.

    That being said, if we can land a 4th rounder or higher (Or draft pick upgrade of one full round) then I’m all for letting him go. We can draft a rookie late and I’ll be fine with that. Or somebody on the cheap.

    I think Wilson is the type to be pretty injury free. I’ll take that risk if we can deal Flynn.
    But, if not, then I’m fine with it too. Showcase Flynn during preseason and try again next year.

  6. Hawkfin

    Also, what if Wilson did get hurt? What kind of value would Flynn then have?

    I would say pretty darn high as I think our team would be very good still.

    He could transform into a first or second round pick IF he took us to the playoffs and looked impressive doing it, and piling up some stats for folks to see.

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