Seahawks with $33.8m cap room in 2015? Plus McShay’s mock

It’s been announced that free agency will begin at 4pm on March 10th. According to the Seahawks could have a veritable bounty to spend.

A projection published today suggests Seattle could have as much as $33.8m in cap space for 2015. Only four teams — Oakland, Jacksonville, the Jets and Cleveland — have more available. In comparison, San Francisco are currently scheduled to be $10m OVER the cap. Ditto the Cardinals. St. Louis could have as little as $5m available.

Of course, teams will find ways to create space. The Rams could make a major saving by cutting injury prone Sam Bradford (or at least re-working his deal).

Likewise the Seahawks could create even more room if, as speculated, Marshawn Lynch leaves in the off-season. That would create another $7m.

It’s unlikely Seattle would use this money to go on a major splurge. The priority will be to re-sign Russell Wilson to a deal worth over $100m. Bobby Wagner stands to get a new contract. There’s probably enough room to keep K.J. Wright and potentially Byron Maxwell. J.R. Sweezy is also a candidate to receive a contract extension. Bruce Irvin, quietly, is having a sensational season. He played every defensive snap against San Francisco and has developed into an important playmaker. He too may require an extension soon. What about Cliff Avril?

It’s easy to neglect that the Seahawks have had three double-digit win seasons for the first time in franchise history. Even if they fail in their quest to repeat this year, Pete Carroll has created a juggernaut. Expensive outsider additions are not entirely necessary. This isn’t a closing window, set to slam shut in the next year or two. The Denver Broncos know Peyton Manning won’t last forever. Seattle has a young, talented core. Keeping the band together and rewarding your own is most important. The Percy Harvin trade is a valuable reminder.

There should still be enough room to make some choice additions. Whether it’s a much needed big target, an extra pass rusher or something else.

It’s worth pointing out the Broncos are scheduled to have $31m free themselves — so forget about Demaryius or Julius Thomas hitting the market. They have the cash to keep both and extend Von Miller’s contract. Tampa Bay’s possible $31m could make it harder to do a deal for Vincent Jackson at a fair price — especially if they pick first and select Marcus Mariota. The New York Jets having as much as $41.4m available could put them at the top of the Ndamukong Suh sweepstakes.

Before it gets brought up — it’s incredibly unlikely Seattle will get anywhere near Suh. Gerald McCoy’s $95.2m deal with the Buccs is a classic benchmark. He’ll probably get more. And the Seahawks are only likely to spend that kind of money on Wilson.

With a bevvy of draft picks likely (multiple compensatory picks), they can fill in the gaps if they keep the roster together. It appears they’ll have the cap space to do it.

And on that note…

Todd McShay’s first mock draft

One of the great talking points over the next couple of months is going to be the stock of Todd Gurley. How is he recovering from knee surgery and a torn ACL? How will teams weigh up talent versus a serious injury and having to estimate whether he can play in 2015? Will there be any long term impact on his performance?

Gurley looked every bit a top-ten prospect during the season. On talent alone he’ll still go early. But if you’re a bad team with a losing record — or even an 8-8 team looking for an impact player — can you justify drafting a first round running back who might need to be redshirted in year one? Or at least managed carefully?

In McShay’s first mock he has Gurley dropping to the Seahawks at pick #29…

“The Seahawks need help along the offensive and defensive lines, and could also look to upgrade at the tight end position. But at this spot, Gurley (assuming Seattle’s doctors were comfortable with his recovery from his torn ACL) would provide high upside as a value pick. Scouts I’ve spoken to considered Gurley a potential top 10-to-20 pick prior to his injury, because of his combination of tremendous power and breakaway speed. Marshawn Lynch has only one year left on his contract after this season, and isn’t a lock to be on the roster for 2015. The closest NFL comparison I can come up with for Gurley is Lynch.”

I’m not totally sold on the Lynch comparison. Gurley is 230lbs. Lynch is 215lbs but plays like a 230lbs running back. That’s the difference. He has unnatural strength, a unique running style and an ability to break tackles that we just won’t see for a generation. He is a genuine freak of nature — a true beast. Gurley runs with power and authority — but you’d expect that for his size.

That’s not to say he isn’t unique in his own way. Lynch’s greatest talent is to play way above his size. Gurley is a true home-run hitter despite being so big. He can avoid tackles and pound it up the middle. He can also take it to the house any time he has the ball. In the season opener against Clemson he had a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown. He had another called back against Auburn. Speed, agility, shiftiness, acceleration — Gurley’s different because he moves so well at 230lbs.

Will the injury compromise that talent? It’s a question that’ll be asked by every front office when they check out Gurley’s medical pre-draft.

The Seahawks wouldn’t have any chance to get Gurley without this issue. They’re good enough to redshirt him — with or without Lynch — or wait to use him midway through his rookie year. It’d be a stroke of luck to find another generational talent as one in Lynch comes close to the end. Even if it comes with an element of risk.


  1. CC

    I’ve said this too many times – but Pete and John have always talked about taking care of their own. KJ, Bruce, Bobby all deserve new contracts – and I would expect they’ll get done. I think they can exercise the option on Bruce – since he’s a first rounder – but not sure what that number might be. I’d love to keep Maxwell, but with Simon playing better and having guys like Lane and Burley around – it might be hard to keep him.

    The one guy who might be gone or they will ask to restructure this year will likely be Mebane. He’ll be coming off an injury – in his last year and they would save $5.5m by cutting him. Like it or not, he’ll be coming off an injury – and Jordan Hill is playing well enough. I love Mebane, but we might need his money for Cliff Avril – and we need that pass rush.

    I see no reason not to keep Lynch for another year – at the salary he is scheduled to make. And personally, I wouldn’t take Gurley – he’ll probably be okay, but I don’t think the Seahawks will draft a RB in the first round. I would look at Buck Allen in a lower round.

    • Rob Staton

      To exercise the option on any player, you’re going to be paying them what equates to a franchise tag. I think they’d be better off getting Irvin sorted this off-season — if he continues to grow soon he’ll be one of the biggest defensive playmakers in the league.

    • Arias

      Jordan Hill doesn’t play nose tackle though so he’s not a sufficient replacement for Mebane. I think keeping Mebane would be far preferable to re-signing Kevin Williams to pay the 1T and expecting him to perform at Mebane’s level at 35. If they cut Mebane they’ll put themselves in a spot where they’ll have to spend a high draft pick on a 1 tech to replace him or find someone in free agency that can do the job at a similar or lower cost. I don’t think either is preferable to having Mebane on the roster for his contract year when they have a ton of cap space.

      • Michael (CLT)

        I dread the thought of Seattle without Bane or Lynch. Ride it out. They are not only top shelf players, the are also top shelf leaders.

      • HOUSE

        I agree that taking care of our own should be the way we handle things. I understand that it doesn’t happen in every circumstance. I think Wagner, Wright and Irvin will all get extensions. I too, believe Maxwell may be the odd man out in the secondary. I saw something the other day that Earl Thomas said touting Simon HIGHLY. Avril will be interesting as well. I think he’d stick around for a modest contract considering he’s winning and is over 30.

        I don’t think Mebane is in danger. His 2015 pay is modest for a Nose Tackle that has such an impact to our game. His hamstring injury was something that would’ve lingered on had he tried to get through the season. He should be more than ready for the offseason workouts and it shouldn’t effect his availablity for the ’15 season. Hill is not a replacement for Mebane, he’s a guy that’ll stand next to him and I’d be excited to see them together with Mebane back.

        • Jon

          Avril is 28.

          • HOUSE

            My apologies. He’ll be 29 on April. Good catch

  2. Brandon

    Lets say the hawks were to resign maxwell, avril, and irvin to new deals. Lets also say that the recent cap space updates leave enough room to make a free agency splash (such as a vjax or jordan cameron pickup).
    Do you really see the need for a running back that early? Especially with the talent we have in the wakes with cmike and turbo. Recent weeks have shown more trust in the two of them on crucial 3rd downs and situations that would normally call for marshawn.

    If this hypothetical situation were to happen, i would definatly push for a danny shelton or another impact dlineman with our #1, depth at RT #2 or #3, and WR depth as early as they see fit.


    • Rob Staton

      It depends on the player. Todd Gurley could be a generational talent who falls because of the injury. It’s not often a good team is presented with an opportunity like that. With respect to Danny Shelton, you can find run blockers. Players like Gurley don’t come along very often.

      • Brandon

        Theres little doubt in my mind that gurley is the top back on our board. Hard runner, one-cut kind of mentality, and the size and attitude to be a premier back in this league.
        Not tying to take anything away from the talent perspective.
        More so just curious on how his talent level matches up with our needs as a team.

        Side note, i think jaeleen strong has very seahawky qualities. How far do you think he could fall? Mid 2nd? Late 1st?

        • Rob Staton

          I see Strong as a third rounder personally. Not a similar player but a similar situation to Terrance Williams who I also wasn’t a fan of. He went in the third to Dallas, good passing team. Has crafted a role for the Cowboys. I think Strong needs the same sort of situation — lot’s of targets. High-octane passing game.

          I’d also say — I think RB could become a huge need if/when Lynch departs. He really is that good. And I think the offense needs more than a slightly above average runner given it’s reliance on the running game. The Seahawks have a genuine superstar spear-heading their rush attack. And if Gurley has the potential to replace Lynch and keep that going — it could be vital.

          Personally I don’t think he will last to the Seahawks, making it a moot point. But I’ll be surprised if Seattle takes a big DT in the first round. It’s not really their style. They love difference making athleticism, SPARQ and and special qualities. There just aren’t many +300lbs players who tick that box on defense. I think they’ll back themselves to find run blockers later in the draft.

          • Brandon

            In pete and john we trust.
            There have been times through every draft where i cringe at a pick they make (whether it be timing of player or even position) and in the next season or 2 i end up eating my words. This seahawks FO has a knack for finding players that will buy in to the mentality and thrive in our locker room.

            With all of that in mind, i would love to speculate our 1st round pick and pretend like i have some insight. Truth be told, ive been wrong the past 3 years about our 1st pick.

            I honestly dont care who we draft. Whoever it is will be someone who our leaders think will do well here in our system and fill the role they think will fit that player.

      • Arias

        I agree he could be tempting. But the problem I see is what happens at the combine. Either he shows he’s completely recovered or close to it which would mean we don’t get a shot at him at all. Or there are serious question marks as to whether he will ever regain his prior form making he’s got huge downside risk. Player agents are savvy enough these days that if Gurley isn’t go to perform well at the combine there’s no way the agent would let him run the drills.

        • Rob Staton

          I think it’s nearly impossible Gurley makes it back before the combine. I doubt he works out at all pre-draft.

          • Arias

            Wow so you think he’ll be gone long before the seahawks pick AND that he won’t have any workouts before the draft? He must be pretty special in your opinion for a team to burn a mid to high first round pick on a player belonging to a highly devalued position group coming off an ACL that they weren’t able to see workout before the draft.

            • Jon

              Rob said the seahawks would have never had a shot at him if he did not have the injury. He never said what you are saying at all.

              • Arias

                A couple posts up in reply to Brandon he says “Personally I don’t think he will last to the Seahawks, making it a moot point”.

                • Jon

                  Well, what is your understanding of long before. long gone is not 1 or two picks. Rob did say a good team would be able to take the risk. The Seahawks are not the only good team in the NFL. Its not like Rob has ever said he thinks with injury and no work out that Gurley should be a top 5 pick. Lets look at it this way. Last years draft we had a DL (cant remember his name) taken by the Patriots, (A good team with the ability to take the risk) just ahead of the Hawks pick at #32. I see what Rob is saying in this kind of light. If Seattle wins the Super Bowl again they once again have to wait until every other team has had the choice. Will someone make that move? Possibly. Will it be ‘long’ before the seahawks pick. I guess it doesn’t matter how far before it is huh.

                  • Arias

                    Not really sure what your point in all that was. The thrust of my post to Rob was remarking how extremely high his opinion of Gurley must be that a running back that teams never get to see perform post ACL tear would be taken before the seahawks pick even though it is a devalued position that teams prefer not to spend high draft capital on anymore. He responded before your post that indeed his opinion of him is that high. That was that.

            • Drew

              Think of it this way….is Marshawn Lynch’s importance to our team devalued? To replace him and his value to our team, Todd Gurley is the only running back that has the ability to do that. He is a generational talent. If you haven’t seen some of his tape, you need to go watch it. Very few humans can run and move at 230 lbs like Gurley can. If we get him I’d be ecstatic, even if he ends up sitting for a year.

              • Arias

                Running backs aren’t devalued for our team and scheme but to most of the rest off the league the position overall has become devalued which should mean he has a better chance in dropping in the draft, especially after an acl injury. Would AP have gone 6th if he was coming off an ACL not knowing how remarkable his recuperating powers are?I don’t think so. He might not have lasted until the last six teams or so, but until AP was the first to demonstrate you could come back from an ACL injury in one year without any drop in performance no one thought it could be done.

            • Rob Staton

              I think he’s a top-25 pick even with the injury. Special. But every team will have to do their medical checks.

      • JeffC

        Gurley represents the conventional pick…which is why the seahawks probably won’t pick him. Kidding aside, I’ve come around to them picking him if he fell if he medically checks out. He could have an Adrian Peterson impact “falling” to #7 but then dominating the NFL for the better part of the decade. I still think regardless of who they draft they should keep Lynch for his final year.

      • Phil

        Rob – I haven’t finished reading all the posts, but I’m surprised you haven’t said a word about Gurley’s 4-game suspension for breaking NCAA rules about being paid for autographs. His transgressions certainly aren’t as significant as sexual assault or child beating, but they do indicate a certain disregard for well-known rules and his deliberate violations of those rules and his resultant suspensions had a negative impact on his team. I don’t think you can ignore that.

        • Rob Staton

          I think the rule is a total joke Phil and if anything I’d say well done Todd Gurley. It’s pathetic that the NCAA expects these players to work their tails off for free while they piggy back along and make all the money. Good for Todd Gurley. I’d buy one of those autographs if I could.

          • Phil

            If you look at his actions in a vacuum, I agree that they are not serious. But, what NFL rules will he decide are there for others to comply with and not for him? It would be different, maybe, if he didn’t know about the rule …….. or, maybe, if he signed and was paid only once, but that is apparently not the case. I am not saying he should be treated as a pariah, I just question his judgement and maybe his dedication to his teammates.

            • Rob Staton

              He’s actually allowed to earn money in the NFL so I don’t see any problem. Robert Quinn was suspended for a whole year for something similar. I don’t recall him breaking any rules in the NFL.

              • Phil

                So what do you tell kids in Pop Warner football? That Robert Quinn’s NFL career was not affected by him breaking NCAA rules and therefore it’s OK for them to decide individually which rules they should abide by as they grow up?

                The argument that the poor, down-trodden NCAA athletes get nothing in return for their labors doesn’t wash with me. Most are getting full scholarships which can easily be worth 6 figures these days. Plus, football players get to perform — to show their wares to prospective NFL employers — on a much bigger stage than they would without the NCAA. Those that don’t make the NFL have the chance to meet alums and other boosters and those relationships can lead to lucrative jobs outside football.

                • Rob Staton

                  I’m not really concerned what message it sends. You’re asking me about the impact of the four game suspension and what it tells us about Gurley’s pro-prospects. All I did was use the example of Robert Quinn — a player who actually served a much more severe punishment but hasn’t broken any rules in the NFL. The point being, just because Gurley had a small suspension for making a few bucks in college doesn’t mean he’s going to be a problem at the next level. I could quite easily point to all of his charity work or the respect he has within the Georgia locker room as a counter. The suspension is a total non issue IMO.

                  As for NCAA athletes, I just watched a feature on Shawn Oakman. He was dropped off at Penn State as a big time prospect with $200 in his pocket. He got kicked out for shoplifting because, in his words, “It was either eat or sleep hungry again that night, and I chose to eat.” Whatever we think about college athletes, a lot of them are poor household names. Stars without the reward. Waiting for the opportunity to earn, while being asked to put their bodies on the line. I think it’s pathetic that they’re expected to work for free and not make ANY money off their own name, reputation and talent — at the expense, sometimes, of being able to eat a meal.

                  • Phil

                    Like many others who avidly read your blog, I like to play General Manager — deciding who I would draft and who I wouldn’t. I don’t have the knowledge that you do, so I depend upon the facts you report and on your assessment of the potential draftees. You have always done a good job of summarizing a player’s strengths and weaknesses on the playing field and you have always pointed out “problems” (e.g., Vontaze Burfict) that a player has that might affect where he goes in the draft. Having this information allows me, and other readers to make informed judgments.

                    Re: Gurley, I read your assessment knowing that he had served a 4-game suspension for selling autographed items and I was surprised that you did not mention it. In my make -believe role as a GM, I think I would want to ask Gurley some questions and, depending upon his answers and my assessment of those answers, I would then decide if it changed where I would put him on my board.

                    So, although you and I differ regarding the importance of adhering to NCAA rules and the issue of paying NCAA athletes, that’s not really why I made my post. I just was surprised that you did not mention his suspension and I wondered if the omission was just a case of you overlooking it. Now I know that it wasn’t.

                    • Rob Staton

                      It’s all cool Phil — nothing like a good debate. The NCAA thing is something I feel very passionately about. I don’t think players should be essentially slaves to the process — and many are even if some are molly coddled into the NFL. But I respect a difference of opinion.

  3. rowdy

    The problem with not drafting Gurley is he’s the perfect back for this team who will need a new one after this season or the next. Watching his footwork through the pile is impressive. He finds/creates lanes at will it seems. Will he be there? Probably not and I’m not sure they will if he is but I wouldn’t be made if they did. I think if he’s there though and team would trade up to get him and the hawks love to trade down

    • JeffC

      Rob Rang didn’t even have him in the first round of his first mock. Maybe he does slip.

      • Michael (CLT)

        Lattimore experience will scare teams off. Couple that with CJ Anderson’s success… I just don’t see a reason to invest high in a RB.

        I am going to get flamed for this, but here it goes. Gurley reminds me of Richardson. Great in big space, but struggles in the chum and has average vision. I would draft him in the 3 rd round.

        Rob said it himself. Marshawn is smaller but plays bigger. Gurley is bigger but plays small. 230 pound scat back.

        • peter

          Rb is strange with the talent spread out regardless of round…lynch, Peterson in the first…anderson, foster fifth and udfa. I think people like to look at the success of the latter and skip the former. Plus the last crop of Alabama backs haven’t been great. Except lacy.

        • rowdy

          Lattimore ‘ s injury was way worse and wasn’t his first. Can’t even compare the two! Gurley does not play small or struggle at the line. I feel you on the injury stand point but a lot of those questions will be answered by the draft, as far as how it’s healing. There’s bust and gems for every position in all rounds. AP was picked 4th and had injury problems as well. I don’t think he should be the pick but if he was I won’t be mad.

        • Drew

          I’m not dogging you or anything, but I don’t see the comparison at all. Richardson is very temid and undecisive. I don’t know what tape you’ve seen on Gurley but he is nothing like Trent Richardson. Have you seen Richardson take kickoffs 100 yards to the house? Or hit home runs from 50-60-70 yards out? I’ve seen him plant his foot and take one cut up field and he just out runs everyone. I’ve also seen him hit the pile and move it with great footwork for extra yards.

          He’s never going to be like Marshawn and be real shifty, but it’s very easy to see that the talent is there.

        • Rob Staton

          I wouldn’t call him a 230lbs scat back. He doesn’t play small. He plays fast.

        • Phil

          Michael (CLT) — He reminds me of Richardson, too.

          I’m wondering how much of his success is due to his OL. When he was suspended, the freshman RB who replaced him seemed to be just as effective. Maybe Chubb is just as good — maybe it’s the OL.

          • Volume 12

            Nick Chubb is a flat-out stud. He’s a guy to keep an eye on next year for sure.

  4. JaviOsullivan

    That cap space for 2015 include the 2014 rollover ($ 6.5m)?

    In any case, expected an interesting free agency for Seahawks… I think re-sign Wilson, Wagner, KJ and waiting to happen with Maxwell and Avril

    • Turp

      I’d rather resign Max/Avril than KJ. Max has looked better in the slot than anyone we’ve had previously, including WT3

      • Arias

        I agree Max has been fierce but who would step in for KJ? KPL is far too green at this point to think he could do a comparable job, plus there are questions about his durability. I think the drop off is far steeper going from KJ to KPL than Max to Lane and we know this FO prioritizes its draft order based on the relative personnel on the team.

      • Ben2

        I agree w/you Turp. I think KJ is replaceable. I like his length and experience….I think we’ll have to draft his replacement – KPL is too small…we’ll need more size to replace KJ especially given our priority of stopping the run 1st and foremost.

        • Ben2

          I see KPL as more of a Malcolm smith type/potential replacement

          • Drew

            In my eyes, he’s already replaced Malcolm. Malcolm hasn’t seen hardly any snaps the past several weeks and KPL was stealing some of his snaps before he was put on IR.

            • Volume 12

              I’d be pretty surprised if KJ isn’t re-signed. PC always seems to rave about him, and he’s absolutely unique. There aren’t many 6″4, 245-250 lbs. WILL LB with his length and ability to rush as well.

              • Volume 12

                Damn it! Also meant to say his coverage ability is outstanding. He’s a Complete LB.

                • Turp

                  Shows what I know! lol. Plus side, I think this KJ deal will probably make it easier to sign Wagz (h/t John Fraley)

    • Jon

      no, that is just cap space not including any rollover.

  5. rowdy

    Totally off subject but when will seattle switch kickoff returners? Prich is having a horrible time out there, he can’t even get the ball back to 20 but always brings it out. He never seems to make a cot or anything, just runs straight till he’s tackled around the 10

    • Turp

      Have you seen the horrible KR blocking? Can’t just look at the returner. Their blocking has been so bad they should probably just have him knee it by default. It has very little to do with prich…switching returners solves nothing

      • rowdy

        That’s for sure, it’s been bad. I want him to take the knee though. It reminds me of ET never calling fair catch. When the blocking does break down he seems to stay the course and just run into it.

    • Arias

      Pritch didn’t even play one special teams snap this past game. Walters handled all kickoff and punt return duties.

      The problem is that when they have Walters active so they can use him as a returner, Norwood suffers as the odd man out as he was deactivated this past game. That’s why we saw Walters in at receiver a bunch because he took Norwood’s place. It’s a bum trade off but it is was it is. Personally I’d rather see pritch out there as a returner so it’s not costing Norwood invaluable playing time and rapport building with Russ.

      • Radman

        Richardson did KR this past game.

        • Arias

          You’re right. Pff ST grades appear to be missing any record of him on ST v for the game but looking at nfl game logs he did record one return for 12 yards.

  6. Hawkspur

    Hopefully having a lot of cap room will mean it is possible to keep a few more or the defensive stalwarts around and allow them to focus the draft on improving the offense.

  7. Nathan

    What sort of cap number would be reasonable to keep Avril?

    • Radman

      JPP is also hitting the market, as is Orakpo. Orakpo might be a good 1 year restoration project. I always thought he’d make a nice LEO.

      • Nathan

        I would like JPP as well. Would fit nicely on our line.

    • Drew

      I’d assume a smilar deal to Bennett’s, that is if he wants to stay around.

  8. Clayton

    I noticed that Dallas is projected to have just about 4 mil in 2015, and both DeMarco Murray’s and Dez Bryant’s contracts are up. It seems like a miracle has to happen to even keep one of them. I think either of them would be great fits in Seattle.

    • Clayton

      edit: 4 mil is 2014 projection. They are projected to have 1.7 mil which means it’ll be even a bigger miracle to keep either of them.

      • Nathan

        The strange thing about Dallas, is they don’t appear to have anyone they could get any decent cap savings by releasing.

        Bryant would be nice, but if he hits the open market, someone will pay overs for him.

    • Alex

      Doug Free will be taken off. There is also the demarcus ware dead money going away. If they restructure Romo’s massive cap hit, Dez can be resigned. Problem is that there would be none for Murray. They will only be able resign one of the two.

    • Drew

      Why would we want to sign an inury prone RB that already has a ton of mileage and wear and tear? He is yet to play a full season yet, and looks like with his latest hand injury that might continue.

      • Cysco

        Dallas won’t resign Demarco Murray. They’ll give Dez big money and bring in Adrian Peterson. This is pretty much accepted as fact down here in Dallas. This is why they have/had no problem running Murray into the ground. He’s not part of the future plan.

        • Rob Staton

          I think this is a fair suggestion Cysco.

    • Jon

      I think Seattle would have to pay a couple million over market for Bryant. He will want to keep going with HOF type stats in a passing offense.

      Doug Free would create 7m in savings for Dallas. Henry Melton can be released before next league year for only 750k in cap hits. That would take another 9m off the books (the structure of his contract allows for this as his guarantees kick into effect on the first day of the 2015 league year.

  9. Radman

    I’m very lukewarm on drafting a RB so highly. I just am not convinced it’s needed to get a good RB. They have, supposedly, a great run blocking O line. They have a QB who threatens the edge on the read, thus containing the backside of a defense. A good scouting FO, and good developmental coaching, both of which this team has in spades, should be able to find a productive back later in the draft. I’m not convinced they need to take one that soon at the cost of other position groups. They’ve invested in this system. They have the component parts and the coaches. Time to leverage that into some advantage and find those RBs in the later rounds. Especially given that Gurley looks like a nice player, but I don’ t see him as the next Barry Sanders, LT, or other Grade A RB. Take a Mike Davis, David Cobb, Josh Robinson etc later on and let them compete with Turbo and C-mike.

    • Arias

      It’s weird they’ve spent such high draft capital on their running backs with lynch ironically costing the least in draft terms. I’m left to think they not only value the position highly but they have a hard time finding the qualities in late round running backs that they’re ideally looking for to fool the position.

      • Radman

        yeah. On the other hand, Cable likes to talk about how his system can turn an average RB into a 1200 yard rusher ( or something to that effect…he’s mentioned a few times how the system is the key to run production). So, he must think that a good ZBS RB can make it work. Of course, he also talks about how he can make his system work with just average OL guys, too. So…??

        I think moving on from C-mike and Turbo with another first rounder would be a massive waste of draft resources. I just can’t believe they’re so down on C-mike. If so, it reeks of Ahman Green 2.0, imho. Moving on from an exceptional talent because of issues that should be fixable.

        • Arias

          No doubt about it, c-mike is an exceptional talent. I just worry that he’s not quite cut out to handle the grind of a 300+ carry season even if they correct his mistakes. The last time he played a full season was his freshman year of college 5 years ago now. But yeah it would be a colossal waste if they didn’t at least give him a shot, though Ahman Green didn’t quite have the longevity of Alexander either, not that Alexander had extreme longevity but he had a longer prime than Green.

          Though to be fair there’s really no top back in the league with the durability of Lynch. They’ve all missed considerable time from injury at some point out another and it just might not be realistic to expect any back to stay healthy throughout his career like lynch has missed I believe a couple meaningless games total in when he played for buffalo.

  10. Michael (CLT)

    Jay Ajayi.

  11. peter

    Honestly there needs to be a game plan for lynch’s successor and if we pick 29th or later then I could handle Gurley. Watch all of his tape. At 29 you’re not picking impact 1st round talent the waters become muddier and you start to pick bpa. To all the Shelton fans per example if he was going to be Ngata he would be gone several picks a head of our spot. He’s great and in the second I’d love him but I just don’t see it in the first. Maybe Gurley shouldn’t be the pick but I for after watching Ajayi, Cobb, Gordon, Coleman haven’t seen anyone who is going to significantly better then Turbin/cmike….

  12. Nathan

    How does the dead money work for Harvin?

    Do we have to wear that hit for next year, even if he signs somewhere else?

    • rowdy

      I think he has very little dead money next year

      • Nathan

        7 mil according to overthecap.

        • CestrianHawk

          I believe the dead money is cancelled out by the salary savings (which will be carried over to next year). Hence the affect on the salary cap is neutral.

          • Chris

            Cancelled out? No such thing.

            Harvin’s hit is what it is. It’s money we do not have to spend, period.

            • CestrianHawk

              Sorry, but I’m not sure I understand your point. From information elsewhere, it seems that there is a saving of approx 7 mil on Harvin’s salary this year, and this cap saving will be rolled over to next year. This ‘rolled over saving’ will effectively offset the the 7 mil dead money.

              • Arias

                There was no dead money charge on the books if he was traded, only if he was cut this year, because his salary this year was fully guaranteed. So if he was cut he would still get paid by us for the remainder of his games. Idzik agreed to pay the rest of his salary this year in a trade so we didn’t have to do that. The guaranteed 14.5 mil of his contract had already been paid to him in the form of a 12 mil signing bonus and his 2.5 base salary last year. So there was no “dead money” his salary savings would have rolled into. The team is in the free and clear with his contract.

                • CestrianHawk

                  My understanding was that his bonus was prorated over the years of his contract (in terms of the cap), and on trading him the remaining part of the proration would count against next years cap (hence the approx 7 mil ‘dead money’). The savings on this year’s salary (approx 7 mil) would effectively reduce this year’s cap and that saving could be rolled over into next year’s cap. The net result is that next year’s cap is unaffected by the Harvin trade. Apologies if my understanding is wrong.

    • Jon

      yes he costs us 7 m next year. However, that is already calculated into our 33m in cap space.

  13. Jim Q

    Rob, I’m thinking that you may be correct that the potential reward of drafting a RB like Gurley would likely far exceed the risks involved. Modern medicine has helped these types of injuries & if medical staff approves, you may have a true franchise RB for years AND on the cheap! I can’t say I’m a big fan of 1-st round picks that “red shirt” or those that don’t start but if there was ever an exception, Gurley would be one. Unfortunately, I’m thinking Gurley may well be worth the risk for several RB challenged teams that are well ahead of the Hawks in the draft pecking order. In the event that Gurley is gone, a backup plan for drafting a RB after round-1 would be necessary. Gordon and probably Coleman will likely go mid round 1 to mid round 2. When the Hawks pick at #64?, that may be the best spot for a RB.

    I’m currently of the opinion that an Avril replacement may be the highest and best use of the first round, #32? pick. I’d like to see one of: DE’s-Dupree, Orchard, Fowler, or Golden (pretty much in that order) in round 1.

    For the 2-nd round #64? – RB pick, my choice after carefully watching all I can find of:
    Jay Ajayi, T.J. Yeldon, David Cobb, Duke Johnson, Karlos Williams and Mike Davis. IMO, the RB that is the most “beastmode” like is Mike Davis from So. Carolina, he’s 5-97/223, runs with power & agility, has good production w/o too many miles on his tires. If the “Lynch is leaving” stuff comes true, a 2-nd round pick for a -somewhat- comparable RB for over 5/6-million less cost could work out well in a number of ways.

    • Radman

      I also really like Mike Davis. As well as Cobb, and Josh Robinson. All of those guys look like good backs, to me. They lack the top end speed, perhaps. But they are punishing, bruising, one-cut types. And they fall into the ht/wt traits the team seems to like. We’ll have to see what their SPARQ scores are, before we get too attached to anyone of them.

    • Drew

      You’re not going to find a somewhat comparable RB to Lynch in the 2nd round. To me the only comparable RB talent wise in the draft is Gurley. There’s several really good RBs in draft, none other than Gurley that I see as being a difference maker on our team.

      • Radman

        well, first, you never know that. That’s like saying you’ll never find a HOF RB in the 7th round, a HOF QB in the 7th round, or a franchise QB in the 3rd, or a all pro CB in the 5th. Rounds don’t define players. They define prospects.

        Secondly, we might not need an elite, top flight RB, for this offense to work. With the run blocking, with Russell’s threat, and with a commitment to the run, it very may well be that just having a very good RB will make the offense championship level. Especially if talent elsewhere improves.

  14. Adog

    So we draft a 3rd rounder and then 2nd rounder and now a 1st? I don’t think so. Tom cable has said he could plug anybody in there at rb ala Vargas at la…and have an efficient ground game in this system. I believe him. Lynch cannot be replaced. He is unique. So why waste picks trying to? I expect that Seattle will go left tackle in they’re next draft. The line is what determines their run first offense…not the running back.

    • peter

      I agree its a lot of draft stock for RB though Turbin was a fourth and it was three seasons ago. Just because the front office hasn’t found lynch’s successor doesn’t mean they don’t keep looking. Heck they spent Two 1sts, one second round, and a third (Moffitt) and still people want them to spend high draft picks on the o line.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I want an offensive line that is full of effective players who don’t get injured every year. If that means high picks so be it. There are plenty of mid round talents who can do the job. We are playing two 7th rounders right now.

        • Arias

          Well if it’s any consolation Sweezy and Britt don’t get injured, at least not so far.

    • Chris

      I wouldn’t believe anything Cable says. Cable’s been instrumental in wasting a 1st (Carpenter), 2nd (Britt), and a 3rd (Moffitt) with basically nothing to show for it.

      • Rob Staton

        Cable’s also been instrumental in helping establish the best run-game in the NFL for the last two years, on the way to a Super Bowl victory.

  15. Ed

    Cut/Drastically Restructure (Mebane/Miller)
    Trade/Cut (Unger/Okung) I know we don’t agree Rob, just saying
    Resign (Wilson/Wagner/Maxwell/Irvin)
    Resign at right price (Avril/Wright/Carpenter/Sweezy)
    Sign 1 (Pierre-Paul/Sheard/Clayborn)
    Sign 1 (Odrick/Williams/Paea)
    Sign Wisnewksi

    1st Dupree/Goldman/Brown/Funchess/Green-Beckham
    2nd Armstead/Walford/Mayle/Stanley

    • Drew

      On Unger/Okung, I understand where you are coming from, but for their cost, there’s no way we can get the same level of talent at that price. First question is, if they do cut or trade them, who do they replace them with???

      • peter

        I think Okung’s money is guaranteed next year if so that would make cutting him pointless and a trade unlikely on a player without a contract at the end of next season. Unless its one of those get out of my face Percy harvin trades which would be weird for an injury prone yet no personal issues former pro bowl tackle.

        drafting a center or settling on ljp as defacto center in waiting may have to happen with Ungers injuries.

        • Rob Staton

          Okung’s $7m guaranteed salary for 2015 is a bargain too.

          • Ed

            So keep Okung for 1 more year, what about Unger. Bailey plays left tackle or guard if Carp leaves. Pierre moves to center if we can’t sign or draft his replacement.

            And Okung 1 year is guaranteed, wouldn’t that be more attractive for a sign and trade or a team that needs a good tackle next year but not sure about future? Maybe 3rd rd for Okung?

            • Rob Staton

              Trades like that just don’t happen in the league. Okung isn’t going to be traded.

              • Ed C.

                Ok. I give.

                Do you think Carpenter gets signed?

                Possible and how would you feel about

                1st Gurley
                2ND Green-Beckham

                • peter

                  Rob may have different feelings about carpenter but I think the fo lets him see the market. I honestly think he’s done well this season but if some team overlays you have to let him go. I honestly think Bailey is the better player.

                • Rob Staton

                  I think there’s a chance Carpenter signs. I think it’d probably only be after he tests the market. I think Cable and the Seahawks wouldn’t panic about filling that role if they had to. I’d be ecstatic with that double pick but think it’s unlikely. I expect DGB to play for Oklahoma in 2015.

        • Arias

          That would bee such a steep drop off to go from Unger to ljp as a permanent replacement. He was terrible last Sunday maybe the worst offensive line performance of all the linemen and that’s saying something given how poorly Britt played. Ljp was absolutely manhandled by Quinton Dial, the sf nose guard all game long. Unger still plays like an all pro when he’s on the field and the difference is drastic.

          • peter

            Agreed. But “when he’s on the field,” is the caveat. I’ve got no great love for any of Seattles oline but what I want instead of the constant churn is some continuity. People keep saying this guys a bum draft someone else, but I wonder if they could come up with a starting unit made from any round if they wouldn’t be that much more effective? Whens the last time the starting line on opening day made it to the end of the season without multiple changes?

  16. KyleT

    I thnk it’s a bit unlikely we draft another RB to be on the roster vs a guy we could redshirt like Gurley. We probably won’t really know what’s going on with Beast until the summer. And we aren’t going to cut any of our current backs. I also see it unlikely we carry 4 backs with the need to keep developmental depth at WR as well. If we do draft a RB high…that’s a sure sign to me that Lynch isn’t expected to play in 2015.

  17. MJ

    I’m totally with Rob on this one…you don’t pass on a chance at Gurley. He truly is a generational talent, and for a team that relies on the Run more than any other in the NFL. Medicine has come far enough where a standard ACL tear has a better chance of recovering than it doesn’t. And just to reiterate Rob’s point, you have ZERO chance at a guy like Gurley, without an injury. Worthy gamble.

    Gurley provides you flexibility…Cap Space, Lynch Insurance, Lynch longevity. Imagine splitting 12-18 carries a piece with those 2. Good luck in the second half on that one. Gurley fully replaces Lynch after a few years. Seamless transition.

    • TwistedChopper

      I’ve seen this a lot on the boards at this point calling Gurley a “generational” talent. I’ve watched plenty of tape of him and yes he’s a top tier prospect this year, but calling him a generational talent definitely seems like a stretch to me. Yes, he plays fast for his size, but he’s not going to be outrunning guys like that at the NFL level.

      When I think of generational talents I think of guys like Adrian Peterson (recently) or Barry Sanders (less recently). Gurley falls below those guys to me and that’s why I don’t think I’d call him a “generational talent”, but more like a “top RB prospect in the past 2 or 3 years”.

  18. Phil

    Keep Lynch for the last year of his contract.

    Give CMike more carries in 2015 to see what he’s got in game situations.

    If needed, draft another RB in the 2016 draft.

    Use the 2015 draft to improve/add depth to the offense (WR/TE/OL).

    Use FA to sign proven pass rusher.

    Do all that is reasonable to resign/reward “our guys”.

    Don’t mess with success.

    • Rob Staton

      There is an argument that says not to fight a draft. 2015 is going to be a rare year at the RB position, particularly in the top-40. Avoiding the position this year might not be a great move.

      • Jacob

        A question can be made about the other RB’s in the draft and that is, do any of their talents equal CMike’s? Besides Gurley, do we trust any of the other RB’s to take over for Lynch? Personally, I’d really like to see what CMike is capable of, not just here and there but big time situations. Are his hands improving to where he can get on the field more in passing downs? Is his pass blocking improving? Do any of the RB’s coming out in the draft (again, other than Gurley) get you excited to replace Lynch? I am a fan of Melvin Gordon…have been for a while but I’m still hyped on CMike and am dying to see more of him. I like Turbin – and he has gotten better about picking up his feet and not getting tackled by the toes this year but when we have a player in CMike who can take it to the house on any given play, what is he doing to not see the field more? Pretty frustrating actually.

        Back to Gurley, you don’t need a “workout” or combine to see the talent. Look at the tape! Live action against a lot of the same players we’ll see on Sunday’s and he absolutely dominates. I was reading the comments and someone mentioned they see Richardson when they watch Gurley. Not sure how that is comparable but a reply to that was Gurley returning kicks and taking 30-60 yard runs to the house. Gurley is special….period. If the staff feels they’ve gotten all they can from Lynch, they may rely on Turbin and CMike to handle the load while Gurley is red shirted. So many questions and yet we’re still red hot heading towards the playoffs. Let’s ride this wave and see what happens.

    • Volume 12

      Could not agree more Phil. Obviously RW and BWagz will be re-signed, then I think Avril will take a Bennett type deal(he’s said he would like to stay), I see a similar deal for Kearse like Dougy got last year. KJ will be re-signed, I agree with CC that Bane will probably re-structure, Sweezy will probably be re-signed, maybe choose between Shead or Jeron Johnson? We know how they value STs, and then it will be interesting to see what happens with Maxi, Bruce, and Carp. May only be able to re-sign one of them(Maxi or Bruce please). Let Lynch play out his deal or add another year onto it if possible. It seems to me, that Lynch looks like he would enjoy mentoring a young RB. As for FA I hope they just add some solid depth pieces, or another pass rusher. DE-LEO Jerry Hughes? Although they should take a DE-LEO with one of their first two picks, preferably 2nd Rd.

      If Lynch stays, re-structures, etc. there seem to be some good backs in next year’s draft as well. One guy I think has that power running/one cut ability they like is Arkansas HB Alex Collins. To me he seems the most BeastMode like if we’re comparing. Really like that kid. Alabama HB Derrick Henry may be one of the more unique backs I’ve ever seen. Will be interesting to see his draft stock next year. Alabama HB Kenyan Drake is also very intriguing and may be one of the fastest backs in the entire country. As mentioned above, Georgia HB Nick Chubb. Wisconsin HB Corey Clement seems intriguing as well. Those are just some guys off the top of my head.

      Why not add a scat back in this year’s draft and then you would be adding an electric punt and kick returner as well. Kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes. Then you could carry a developmental WR on the PS. As I said on the last post, a Sproles in his prime just seems soo PC/JS. Pete did have guys somewhat similar to that at USC in Reggie Bush and Joe McKnight. Yes, they are bigger, but interesting nonetheless.

      • Arias

        I would highly doubt Kearse will get a similar deal to ADB. At least I sincerely hope not but I don’t think the FO would overpay for Kearse like that. He’s got a 58.7 catch rate and a 7.5 drop rate which leaves a lot to be desired. Any drop rate over 8 is terrible, so he’s borderline. He’s gotten better over the last month but I’d like to see more consistency out of him. Doug was awarded his contract after a 71.6 catch rate and a 3.85 drop rate last year, which are similar to his numbers now, and being a team leader of the receiver group. Kearse’s numbers last year mimic this year too so I’m not sure we can expect them to improve a whole lot either. I’d rather see if he can improve his consistency while super motivated in his contract year while giving Norwood and pritch another year to develop.

  19. Alaska Norm

    I would be leery about drafting a running back in the first round. So much of a running backs production is based on schemes and offense styles. There is no doubting Gurley’s talent, but with the injury, system, and history of “generational” backs flopping, I would rather find a 3-4 round back that has the skill set for Cables system. It does not have to be a Lynch style back which truly is a “generational” talent. I still feel that when Lynch moves on this will be a RW team and we need to find him targets. I know we will always be a run first team but if we invest 20 million a year into RW, by default, the burden is squarely on his shoulders.

    On another note….Does anyone have info on what picks Seattle will have this year? I know it hinges on what is awarded for losing Tate. I believe the Harvin trade is a 6th unless he is resigned by the Jets then it is a 4th??? I think there was an extra 7th from the Flynn trade as well. Anyway, I did a quick search and nothing came up. If anyone has the info or a link thanks.

    • Rob Staton

      Who is the last generational back to enter the draft though Norm? AP?

      • dean

        Well a few scouts have actually listed Michael as that guy. Two different accounts out there with both saying the best they’ve seen in 10 years. I know you’re somewhat down on him but is it possible he is better than you think? Not meaning this in a rude tone either, hope it doesnt come across that way.

        I just think Michael is as talented as anyone they could sign, draft etc. and turbin is a capable backup. They probably bring in a third from later in the draft if Lynch goes

        • Rob Staton

          I loved Michael’s potential in college and made that point several times pre-draft. But my fear is — when you have the RB coach going on the radio criticizing his technique and you see he’s unable to take on a bigger role two years into his career, you have to worry. He might be seeing more time now — but it’s hardly a significant role is it? He’s still behind Turbin on the depth chart. I think he’s destined to be a complimentary player unfortunately. I might be wrong. But the idea of Seattle handing the keys to its vital running game to Christine Michael next year just seems so unlikely.

      • Alaska Norm

        Who really is a generational back or who was touted as so? AP is, but since 2007 when AP and Lynch were drafted there is as many mid round hits as first round misses. I’m not saying Gurley will be a bust but with the injury flag and missing a season why take the risk. There are some solid backs that will be around in the 2-4 range that put into Seattle’s system could be the next Jamaal Charles, Ray Rice… without the baggage,Matt Forte, Shady McCoy, Alfred Morris…. I’m just saying we have needs that we will not be able to plug and play in other positions as you can with running backs. That being said, if we picked up Gurley and were still able to get a big receiver and a few DL with our 2nd and two 3″s I would be fine with that.

    • Volume 12

      Norm, I think it may look something like this.

      *3rd (Golden Tate comp pick)
      *4th(Browner or Clemons comp pick)
      *?4th(Harvin trade if NYJ keep him)
      *5th(Browner or Clemons comp pick)
      *?6th(Harvin trade if NYJ release him)
      *7th(WT3,Maragos,or Flynn comp pick) I’m not sure about the Flynn one. Good question.

      • Jon

        Conditionals are possibly
        3rd or 4th Tate (6/year is a 4th, but if he gets awards to go with his stats it may be a 3rd.)
        4th or 5th Browner (5.5/year is on the edge between 4th and 5th)
        5th or 6th Giacomini ( 4.5/year is on the edge between 5th and 6th)
        6th Thurmond or McDonald (both got 3m per year)
        You get these 4

        Other players that we would have gotten picks for are McDonald or Thurmond 6th, and Maragos 7th.
        Clemons was released and does not earn a comp for that reason

        Flynn does not get a comp pick. His trade was originally for a 5th in 2014 and a conditional in 2015. I would assume the fact he was released from the Raiders during the 2013 season we do not get anything of that conditional pick.

        I think our draft goes like this:
        1st (32)
        2nd (64)
        3rd (96)
        3rd comp Tate (100)
        4th (Jets need to keep harvin. He is their entire offense which is horrible with him) 105)
        4th (132)
        *4th comp Browner (137)
        5th (169)
        *5th comp Browner/Giacomini (175)
        *6th comp Giacomini (210)
        6th comp Thurmond/McDonald (212)
        7th (244)

        note that I have 3 * and only two of those will actually be picks.
        We have 11 no matter what.

        • Volume 12

          Thanks Jon. Yeah, your dead on that it’s 11 no matter what. Heads up on Clem being released and forgot all about the Giacomini comp pick. Don’t know how, but… I know a couple of those are ‘if’s’ and an ‘or’ meaning you can only have 4 comp picks in one draft, right?

        • Alaska Norm

          Thanks. Nice having those 3’s and 4’s…. lots of options. I’m hoping we can find those mid round studs that PC and JS have found in the past. The key to our SB

  20. Cysco

    I’m on board with Gurley, but I agree, he won’t make it to Seattle’s pick.

    I think there are so other teams out there who would be more than willing to take a flyer on him, many of them are in our own division. I could easily see the Rams or 49rs taking him. If he made it past them, you have to assuming the the Patriots would be ok red shirting him. I could also see the Colts being really interested in pairing him with Luck and Co.

    The only way he makes it to the seahawks is if his medicals aren’t looking good. At that point, he’s a 3rd round + pick anyway.

  21. Wil

    I would keep Lynch for 2015 if he ends the 2014 season strong ( only last year anyway )
    I would then watch how he performs in 2015 . If he remains the dominate beast
    I would franchise him for 2016 which to me is a reward for the prior year.
    If his performance drops off in 2016 , no worries as 1 year franchise BUT
    if he continues to be the dominate beast , franchise again .
    We know at sometime his numbers will drop off so it is difficult to add another
    long term contract. My guess is Marshawn Lynch will choose to retire before his
    numbers drop rather than get tagged and drop-off

  22. Volume 12

    Rob, what do you think of Arkansas DE-LEO Trey Flowers? I saw today he had a 55 in. box jump! Not a combine drill, but still damn impressive. This dude’s probably going to put up crazy numbers in the broad and vertical jumps. I’m wondering what his 40 yd. dash and shuttle numbers will be? Could be the type of big time athlete they like at the LEO position.

    • Rob Staton

      I like him. Great character. Tenacious. Not the best pass rusher you’ll see but brings it every game. One to monitor.

  23. JeffC

    KJ Wright 4 year extension. Yay.

  24. ndruo

    Gurley is stiff in the hips. When our run game specializes in washing down and cut blocking defensive linemen to create cutback lanes, we need someone with more lateral agility than what Gurley shows.

    • Rob Staton

      Lynch is a great cut and run back but I’m not sure anyone would ever praise his lateral agility.

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