Seattle’s off-season going according to plan

These two men aren't moving to Seattle, but they're still helping the Seahawks

This free agency period couldn’t have gone much better for the Seahawks. While a certain degree of fist clenching occurred as Peyton Manning drifted away and Mario Williams shacked up in Buffalo, the reality is neither were ever likely to land in Seattle.

The front office understandably wanted to meet with Manning because, ultimately, it’s Peyton Manning. But there were reportedly 12 teams who reached out to the future Hall-of-Famer and that number probably got higher as time went on. He met with just four teams – the four most serious contenders. Seattle’s checklist for the off-season may have included ‘try and arrange meeting with Peyton Manning’, but it didn’t necessarily include ‘sign Peyton Manning’.

Williams has signed a deal including over $50m in guarantees and Buffalo are on the hook for around $16m per year. The Seahawks are not going to be signing contracts like that any time soon. This front office evidently wants to build around a core of players who fit the competition mantra – young, hungry and different (in a good way). They also want to be able to reward those who succeed, keeping the key members of the team. When the time comes to re-sign Russell Okung, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman and Max Unger – some fans may appreciate why it pays to have cap room in the bank. Rest assured, any angst over failing to compete for Williams this week would be doubled if  Thomas or Okung are forced to walk in the future.

Seattle’s front office is playing it cool, not rushing into the feeding frenzy and searching for value. Yes, it may be a bit boring for fans who clamour for the big splash. Ultimately though, this is how championship teams are built and how they prosper for multiple years. Although significant holes remain (including one well advertised hole under center), after four drafts under Carroll and Schneider I have a feeling most people will be content with the work done. You may have to wait twelve months for your quarterback fix, but it’ll probably be worth the wait. Those are the cards that have been dealt.

Meanwhile, the team has gone about it’s business efficiently this year. They’ve made key re-signings such as Red Bryant, Marshawn Lynch and Paul McQuistan. They’ve looked into the veteran quarterback market and will almost certainly add a signal caller on a competitive rate that won’t restrict the team from a big splash in the future. But it’s not just the work conducted by Carroll and Schneider that has been a major positive. Elsewhere, other teams are also helping the Seahawks in a big way before next month’s draft.

There’s no need to mess around here – the Seahawks are drafting a pass rusher in round one. Not another offensive lineman, not a receiver. Not even a quarterback. They’ve publically highlighted the pass rush as an area for improvement and they’re not trying to deceive anyone. There is a top tier of three defensive end prospects who will leave the board early, followed by a decent looking second tier. We’ve debated who might also be looking for defensive line help before the #12 pick, but it’s a list that possibly gets shorter with every passing day of free agency.

– The Jacksonville Jaguars needed to hit the free agent receiver market, but were surprisingly quiet while Vincent Jackson, Robert Meachem and others were making visits. They secured a deal for Dallas’ Laurent Robinson, but it’s hardly the big splash fans were hoping for. Blaine Gabbert needs help if he’s going to make it in the NFL and Jacksonville’s group of receivers is among the worst in the league. They re-signed defensive end Jeremy Mincey and a strong second tier of pass rushers may encourage the Jags to go in a different direction in round one. Moving up to draft Justin Blackmon can’t be ruled out, while Michael Floyd is a strong alternative. They need to find  a quality target for Gabbert, it’s the #1 priority.

– Miami owns the next pick after Jacksonville and they’re losing the battle for Peyton Manning. It’s not a good sign for a franchise with so much history to strike out on Jim Harbaugh (strike one), Jeff Fisher (strike two) and now Peyton Manning (strike three). The end result is a team with a new coaching staff, but no quarterback and now no top receiver following the Brandon Marshall trade. Joe Philbin worked in a system in Green Bay that utilised talented receivers so well, it’s hard to imagine Miami will try to get by at the position. Despite initial feelings they would draft a defensive end or right tackle, it looks as if the Dolphins may have to prioritise quarterback (Ryan Tannehill) or wide receiver (Justin Blackmon or Michael Floyd). They could still sign Matt Flynn who has worked with Philbin before, but Mike Sherman also has history at Texas A&M with Tannehill.

– Buffalo shocked the NFL by signing Mario Williams to a mega-deal. They now have a defensive line filled with talent and will surely concentrate on other key areas in the draft. Despite spending two high picks on offensive lineman in 2009 (Eric Wood and Andy Levitre) the Bills also traded away left tackle Justin Peters to Philadelphia that year. They’ve shown little interest in re-signing 2011 starter Demetrius Bell, which suggests the #10 pick could be spent on a new blind-side blocker. Riley Reiff and Jonathan Martin should be available in that range and both players would be solid additions. While we can’t rule out the drafting of another pass rusher to compliment Williams, the sheer amount of dollars invested in the defensive line is already taking up a large portion of the team’s cap. After all, what use is a good pass rush if you’re own quarterback is facing similar pressure from less talented players?

Only last week we discussed the possibility of Melvin Ingram, Courtney Upshaw and Quinton Coples being drafted by the teams listed above, leaving the Seahawks in no man’s land. Now – it wouldn’t be a total shock if all three made it to #12, giving the Seahawks their pick of the bunch. That’s an unlikely scenario, but not impossible. Seattle will be out of luck in a big way if one of their preferred picks isn’t on the board at #12. When the team adds a pass rusher in round one and makes further additions to the front seven, they’ll be closing in on a top-echelon defense. And with that side of the ball secured, it’ll be time to start planning for a big splash to fill the other big need on this roster.


  1. Rugby Lock

    Boring FA for the Hawks so far could lead to a very satisfying draft.

  2. Michael C.

    If Seahawks are able to sign free agent Jason Jones I’m curious how that changes strategy. Particularly if Flynn ends up in Miami.

  3. Jarhead

    I wasn’t hoping to make a big splash, but I was hoping to add some talent. I wish we would’ve added a vet LB, or O Lineman. Withouth Hawthorne or Hill, we have a 2nd player in KJ Wright, and our most veteran O Linemen are Unger and Okung who are barely 3rd year players. I hope this lack of veteran leadership doesn’t come back to haunt us. Even if all three are available- I hope we take Upshaw. I just see him as the only consistent contributor. Coples with the half hearted effort and Ingram too small and not strong enough to seperate from blockers, they will just wash. I mean of course all the mocks around are ridiculous. Last night on NFL network, some jabroni mocked Poe to us and prefaced it by saying ‘Red flag alert! Great combine, huge upside, but no on field production with a suspect heart and desire.’ Yeah that sounds exactly like a player that fits in to Carroll’s ideology. Couldn’t have got it more on the bean. Gee whiz guys, I don’t have to look hard to see Seattle’s FO’s philosophy on player they want. They paid good money to do that job that all of us would love to have. At least they could research a little… Holy Moley

  4. Darin

    I think the kid they really want will be sitting there at #12, from a football factory who has been producing NFL players for the past few seasons.

    Courtney Upshaw is the guy who I can see Schneider and Carroll salivating over, he is scheme versitile and can get after the quarterback.

    After watching film of him and Ingram, Upshaw is the kid I like hands down out of the two. Ingram might have more speed off the edge, but his film shows him being locked up by opposing tackles and not using his hands well to get off blocks. Versus Upshaw who is getting off blockers and making plays.

    My dream draft would be Upshaw in round 1, Zach Brown in round 2, he is a kid Ken Norton could get a hold of and turn into a stud at WLB. My lucky pick would be adding Chris Polk in round 3, pipedream I know, but he is a stud. Then Vontaze Burfict in round 4, yeah the guy is an undiciplined head case, but he is still a guy that I think can be a player in the NFL. Wright, Burfict and Brown are a young corp of LBs who are athletic, rangy and fast, well Burfict’s 5.1 40 might not scream fast, and that is what Carroll wants in his line backing corp.

  5. James

    It is fine that John has brought the FA approach over from the Green Bay Packers. Certainly it is the best long-term approach to draft well and then re-sign your best players if they have become proven winners. The Steelers are the other team with a similar approach, and they seem to have done pretty well. But there is the flip side to this approach to acquiring and retaining talent…the quarterback dammit!!! Brett Favre was drafted at the top of round 2 by the Falcons, and the next year the Packers trade their #19 pick in round 1 for him. This is nearly unheard of, and reflects an absolute mastery of the ability to scout the qb position. Then, well before Favre was done, the Packers select Aaron Rogers with their #24 pick in round 1. Another example of scouting mastery, by a totally different front office team. Now, John doing the Green Bay FA thing is all well and good, but even more important is the ability to scout, select and obtain a franchise qb. Thus far we have Whitehurst, T-Jack and a pass on Andy Dalton. We are now told that a qb is no big deal again this year, and wait until next year when they will land “their guy.” Would someone explain who the Seahawks are going to land next year when they will again not be picking in the top 10? Who among the projected 2nd tier of qb’s next year is going to be any better than this year’s crop of Flynn, Tannehill, Osweiler or Cousins? I say, find your qb, as Green Bay found Favre and Rogers with even lesser round 1 draft picks than the Seahawks have, and do it now.

  6. Rob

    Michael C – I’m not sure Jones would change much, because they’d still be looking to solve the same problems. Now, if they sign Kamerion Wimbley and Jones, we’ll talk. There is a potential scenario in play that could lead Seattle in a different direction in this draft. Not positionally as in a different player at #12, rather a completely different approach and reviewing what they could potentially do for now and the future. If that scenario ever comes into play, I’ll write about it.

    Darin – I think you pretty much summed up the situation regarding the #12 pick. As for rounds 1-3, you might be onto something there.

  7. RJD

    I’ve been salivating over a big FA splash for the Hawks as much as anybody, but when I settle down and think about “the big picture”. I love that our PCJS arent willing to over pay guys in free- agency. We have as much of a chance of getting “our guy” in the draft (and at a cheaper price) as in free-agency. They’re gonna address the pass rush, qb situation, LB and back up RB in this draft and let the chips fall where they may. Seahawks nation is due some luck and who know’s maybe we’ll find some young super stars? Im excited for this season, TJack starting or not!
    p.s I AM however enamored by this Jason Jones dude…hope we get him…if for nothing just to stick it to those douchebag Rams! HA!HA!

  8. Dan

    Rob, great stuff as usual. Best Hawk site on the web. You’ve alluded to Seahawk fans being happy with the QB situation after next years draft a couple of times now. The only way I can see that happening is if we make a big play for Barkley. Do you see that as a possibility? Am I missing something here like a FA or trade target that we would have to wait a year for?

  9. Ben2

    Build through the draft, train guys into your system, retain your players, build depth. I like it.

  10. Colin

    Develop your talent through the draft, use free agency to acquire depth, and trades to steal good players (Lynch) and ship off bad ones (D. Branch).

  11. Rob

    Dan – I think that’s a distinct possibility. There’s going to be a few options in the draft next year, but I suspect one player stands out more than any other.

  12. Ryan

    If he stands out to us, he stands out to everyone else too. I don’t see us in a position to get him, or give up enough to move up.

  13. Rob

    That’s not necessarily true, Ryan. Case in point – some teams would’ve been willing to draft Jake Locker in the top five last year. Some would’ve passed in round two. Not every player appeals to every team.

  14. Tom T.

    K. Wimbley just got released. I sure hope our front office gets him in Seattle!

  15. Ely

    From Rotoworld:
    Temple RB Bernard Pierce registered a forty time around 4.34 at the school’s Friday Pro Day.
    This is a large improvement on his 4.49 official time from the Combine. Pierce measures in at 6’0/218 pounds and had tremendous success when running zone schemes at Temple. We think Pierce’s balance when breaking tackles and patience when hitting the hole are his best qualities, but this straight line speed is an added bonus. He is another running back that will be taken during the Draft’s second day

    Haven’t heard of the guy before today. possibly an option for the Hawks in RD 2 if they want to go RB that early and Doug Martin is gone?

  16. kevin mullen

    Biggest splash for me is Upshaw and Kendricks getting drafted by Seattle. Oh, and get Curtis Lofton to ice the cake.

  17. Misfit74

    Wimbley > 1st-round rookie rusher (Upshaw). More cash but the dude can ball and play both Leo and SLB. We have to take a look.

  18. ElCan

    I could see mychal kendricks in a seahawk uniform. i think he brings the versatility to play both WLB and MLB depending on the scheme. i believe it was recently stated by PCJS that kj wright will see time at both MLB and SLB. i personallly believe that in the long run, PC wants an explosive player at the MLB spot. not that wright isnt explosive but hes more/less a saavy football player. kendricks is in the 240s and runs a 4.41 40…are u kidding me? he compares himself to patrick willis and i see that being exactly what PC is looking for at MLB/WLB.
    Big fan of Kendricks.

  19. Ryan

    Just my humble opinion, of course, but I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance Barkley falls to us. Too many QB-hungry teams at the top of the draft (because, where else would they be?), and that’s where he’ll be.

  20. woofu

    No reason not to do Wimbley and Upshaw and another LB is there?

  21. Phil

    I’m a long ways from my old digs in Seattle, so maybe someone can tell me what the odds are that Keith Price will declare early after next season. I’ve only seen him play once (vs. Baylor), but he sure looked impressive to me.

  22. Hawksince77


    Please pardon me asking this question again, but I can’t seem to understand the answer.

    You have insisted that Seattle will address their pass rush with their first round selection. You believe that Courtney Upshaw will be (and should be) that pick, assuming he is available (and given how his stock draft has dropped, and with the signing of Williams in Buffalo, the odds are good he will be there at 12).

    So the basic question is this: how does drafting an outside LB improve Seattle’s pass rush?

    Or another way to frame the question, how does drafting Courtney Upshaw improve Seattle’s pass rush?

    With the re-signing of Bryant, Seattle has established their front four as LEO (Clemons/Davis/whoever); 3-tech (Branch/other); Mebane; Bryant. To fill out the front seven in their base defense, we have a middle LB, Sam and Will.

    Out of the base, occasionally one of the LBs will blitz (and that blitzer could be Upshaw). Occasionally out of the base defense, one of the LBs will blitz (could be Upshaw) and one of the front four could drop back in coverage.

    Other than these two circumstances, Upshaw would presumably be performing traditional OLB functions – attacking the ball carrier, playing coverage (zone or man).

    All this is assuming Seattle continues their 4/3 alignment, and that Upshaw is a 3-down player.

    What other formations would we see Upshaw primarily rush the passer? Does he perform the Raheem Brock role in nickle/dime/bandit packages?

    If he is on the field in most down and distance situations, what position does he play that he improves Seattle’s pass rush? If he rushes the passer 90% of the time (that number from one of your previous answers) what position does he play? Does he take Clemons position at Leo? Does he replace Branch at the 3-tech spot? Does Seattle routinely rush five? Does he play the traditional DE spot in place of Bryant?

    I really like the idea of Seattle drafting for the front seven and improving their pass-rush. I just can’t understand how adding Upshaw accomplishes that. Replacing Branch with a pass-rushing 3-tech (like the guy they are currently interviewing) would help. Upgrading Clemons at Leo – potentially. Replacing Red with someone like Williams – sure.

    Examples of what you have in mind would be great. For example, it’s second and eight: who is on the field, and what are their positions/assignments, and how that improves the pressure on the opposing QB – that kind of thing.

  23. Jon

    I think if we get Wimbley it would be awsome. But with his consistent production I am expecting it to be a deal above what we are willing to pay. Because he was released it would not count against the compensatory picks next year would it.

  24. Rob

    Ryan – It’s way too early to tell, and we’ve mentioned this a few times now – four year starters always get a lot of hype, they are always over analysed because of that and they often fall. Hey – how many people thought Matt Leinart would fall 12 months before he did? Barkley isn’t the same athlete as Luck, Newton, Gabbert, Griffin III even Bradford – all taken early. He could be the #1 pick next year, he could be the #15-20 pick next year. Too early to say.

    Hawksince77 – Courtney Upshaw, Quinton Coples and Melvin Ingram would all play a similar role. They’d be lined up all over the field, much like Aldon Smith, and used to create problems for an offense. “Where is he on this down?” They want versatility to rush inside, to play the edge, to exploit TE’s and compliment Chris Clemons. He’d line up as an orthodox end in 4-3 looks, he’d be used as more of a 3-4 OLB when they play a big front three and keep Clemons on the field. This is a hybrid defense that is about to become even more so. The reason Upshaw seperates himself from the other two is his ability to read in space, which makes him more flexible when working in the OLB looks. It means they’ll be able to keep him on the field a little more. One of the big knocks on Coples is his run defense, I can’t stress enough how good Upshaw is tracking the ball and then executing the tackle. In 2nd and 8 you could see many looks. For example, if they want to max up the run defense they could just spell Clemons and use him alongside Red/Mebane/Branch. If they’re being aggressive, keep Clemons on and have Upshaw in space, reacting to the run vs pass, working underneath if needs be. They could drop Bryant or Branch and have Upshaw flanking Clemons. They want to add to the pass rush, while maintaining a lot of what they already have. Hey – I’m not 100% sure myself what the finished product will look like. But they will find ways to use the pass rusher they acquire which boosts the pressure rather than replaces any of the existing starters on the front line. It’s going to be fun to see how it plays out, but nothing about this team will be orthodox.

  25. Michael L

    Seahawks ought to try to work up a contract for Kamerion Wimbley, Curtis Lofton, or both. Preferably Wimbley.

  26. Hawksince77


    Thanks, I appreciate the answer. I suspect that PC will try to play to the strengths of whatever talent he has – not unlike pushing Bryant outside and fielding his Leo/Elephant formation to take advantage of Clemons. Same thing, I suppose, if he gets a defensive talent like Upshaw.

  27. Phil

    Rob – your opening statement, “This free agency period couldn’t have gone much better for the Seahawks” leaves me shaking my head. Have I missed something? Have we improved our pass rush? Did we find the QBOTF? Or, maybe we have set our expectations so low that re-signing Red and Marshawn is a big deal.

    I’m sure your argument is that the front office is modeling their approach to free agency to emulate the “hands off – no big free agent deals” approach that is used by the really good teams like the Packers, Ravens, Steelers, et al. But, there’s a reason that those teams don’t play in the free agent market — they are ALREADY good teams and they don’t have the glaring weaknesses that some of the other teams, like the Seahawks, have. So, they don’t have to turn to free agency to fill the holes in their teams.

    There seems to be a happy median between the Redskins approach to free agency and the Steelers approach. It doesn’t have to be black or white. When we have obvious needs and we can fill those needs via free agency, why not?

    When Carroll and Schneider took over, the team was so bad that just about any move they could take in the draft would result in an improvement to the team. They have done a great job of finding obscure talent to bring to the team. But, the real challenge starts now. The team has reached the point where they are just good enough to miss out on the first tier talent in the draft, so if they don’t seek help from free agents, I don’t see where the next big step is going to come from. Hoping that we get lucky and find the diamond-in-the-rough doesn’t cut it for me.

  28. Dave B


    First and foremost, I love your this blog! I may not always agree, but this is by far the best analysis on the internet relating to the Hawks, and often is the most accurate. Keep up the great work!

    I really hope the Hawks can get Kamerion Wimbley. I will understand if they don’t want to pay him too much, but if they can land a proven stud rushing LB like Wimbley that could make our draft that much sexier.

    That could potentially open up round two for maybe an Osweiler or give us a better shot at another trade back or running back. I will be honest though I really like Mycheal Kendricks and would love to see him in the middle of our retooled LB’ing crew.

    What are your thoughts on Wimbley, Rob?

  29. Dave B

    So I retract some of my previous desire for Wimbley. Just talked to an avid fan of Oakland who says he’s WAY overrated. He got 4 of those seven sacks in one game — which was against a 3rd string tackle — and got the 3 other sacks over the other 15 games… He said Wimbley played well in 2010 (contract year) got the huge contract and then kinda failed in 2011.

    That said he’s worth it for the right price (depth) but I’d rather see a draft of Upshaw/Kendricks and hopefully RB/QB in the third, Polk?!

    Also would like to see Jason Jones to add that much more depth spelling Big Red and Mebane.


    Phil, I’m 100% with you. I understand the value of keeping your own talent. But we were a 7-9 team with that talent. So, you’re hoping that your draft makes you better, which it might and probably will to a degree. However, those are calculated gambles. I think you have to get some of the available, proven talent that is out there on the market. Not necessarily the big ticket guys, but some of the proven talent. We haven’t gotten a single guy yet that makes this team better. I hope that any minute now, Jason Jones signs and we get Wimbley or Lofton. In that case I am very happy. However, if we go into the draft with the exact same team that we had last year, that is not an improvement and you can probably only depend on three or four guys that helps the team from the draft, realistically.

  31. Sea-Town

    @Phil–Not to talk for Rob but I think that statement goes back to what PC/JS have gone on record about. They have stressed that they were never going to make big headlines this FA period but instead they wanted to keep the core together and then add to that. Well, they have done that so far; so from that perspective the FA period has indeed gone according to their plans.

  32. Sea-Town

    @USAFANARC–Think back on last year during this time. Zach Miller was a great signing but it didn’t happen during the first few days of FA. The hawks wil make moves and they will get deals. The teams that go crazy in the first few days of FA overpay; The Hawks are being patient and will get some talent but talent at the right price.

  33. Doug

    USAFAN – we were a 7-9 with the same guys, but they were a very young group, not to mention a series of gnarly injuries to some majot players, who all will be healthy to begin the year.

    Hawksince77 and Rob – Great Q and A there, explaining how the front 7 can operate in different scenarios.. Nice work and seriously good stuff,

    Phil – you’re probably gunna get some flak for those questions, but I also wonder about getting some players. However I think teams like Buffalo are foolish with the Mario signing, as that’s way too much money for him, and those teams are the ones that drive the market up. If Buff suddenly goes 12-4, and deep into the playoffs, and Mario gets 21 sacks, then color me stupid. But if he tears a pec and sits out 10 games then somebody else looks stupid, and the team pays a heavy price for one player.

    We’ll just finish setting up Miami to pay Flynn a fortune, then we’ll grb Tannahil with our first pick, and then grab Upshaw with our #2 pick… (Easy Rob…..breathe…….) ok now?

  34. Ed

    Dude, Upshaw is not making it our 2nd rd pick. He is gone by 20 (if that). No to tannehill too. Draft should be (would love to trade back, but assuming no trades):

    1st Upshaw
    2nd Hendricks
    3rd Osweiler

    That would be a good solid draft

  35. Jon

    We have lost nothing from last year, which is better than some teams. We are in talks with Jones, Flynn (I could care less), and possibly Lofton (who knows if we are or not). All these players would be additions and all of them but Flynn (maybe him too) would be upgrades to last year. Remember we were a 7-9 team that lost one blow out. 2010 we were 7 and 9 and last nearly every game by 2 or 3 scores. If we can pick up one additional piece out of Lofton (hopefuly), and Jones then we have done well. Remember that many teams are filling holes that they lost this offseason, we have not gained any holes this offseason, so us signing one guy is better, in my opinion that loosing three and paying big bucks for four or five.


    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not panicking and I’m not upset. I wouldn’t want to overpay and mortgage our future with monstrous contracts. This is very early on in the league year and I hope deals will be found. However, to say that “This free agency period couldn’t have gone much better for the Seahawks.” is not a feeling that I share. Everything has not gone our way. We obviously had interest in Flynn, Henne, Hutchinson, and Jones, and none have signed on the dotted line (not to mention Mario or Manning, to whom we sent a jet to pick up as a desperation move). So, while I’m glad that we resigned our own and FA hasn’t been a disaster, free agency could definitely have gone better thus far…like signing Flynn or Henne to compete with Tavaris at a reasonable price, bring Carlson back at a reasonable price instead of having him get big money elsewhere, bring Hutch in as veteran depth, etc. I’m not all about doom and gloom. I’m just saying that I’m not of the opinion that it’s all roses THUS FAR.

    DOUG – I agree they were young and the future looks bright for many, which I am very excited about. We’ve still got holes to fill, though, and the holes at LB have widened. I also think you cannot use the injuries as an excuse. Every team sustained injuries so it was essentially a level playing field. I’m also not confident Rice can stay healthy and I am worried about the injuries our young line endured and their lasting impact. Again, not panicking, but not overly confident.

    I’m excited where we are headed, but I am deathly scared of getting in the 8-8 rut that so many teams get into and cannot escape.


    Whitehurst signed with the Chargers….again. Any chance we get a compensatory pick for that loss? I kid, I kid.

  38. Stuart

    Phil, I am with you brother!

    Ed, if we drafted those three I couldnt any happier!

    Doug, you are funny (Easy Rob…breath)

    I wonder if JS ever checks this site?

  39. Hawksince77

    Big time Flynn rumors over at Fieldgulls:


    Just heard a buddy of mine spotted Matt Flynn, Carroll, Cable, and Okung at a bar… Dino’s about a half hour ago

  40. Colin

    I thought Flynn left this morning to go to Miami

  41. James

    FWIW, if you read the fieldgulls thread about someone spotting Flynn, Carroll, Cable and Okung at Dino’s bar near VMAC around 5:30 pm, someone actually did call the bar and the waitress said that “Pete was here” but had left. If Flynn is still in town, with him supposed to meet with the Dolphins tomorrow, pretty good clue….

  42. Mike

    Rob, I love this site. I love your willingness to share your opinions and things that you hear from people “in the know”. Keep up the great work!

    The statement in your write up that gave me pause, though, was this one:

    Seattle’s checklist for the off-season may have included ‘try and arrange meeting with Peyton Manning’, but it didn’t necessarily include ‘sign Peyton Manning’.

    So we now know that Seattle had a team jet in Denver trying to set up a meeting with Peyton when he was there. This seems like an urgent move to show him our actual level of interest. I find it hard to believe that we would go to those lengths just to check off the “meet Peyton Manning” box on the offseason to do list.

    In this regard, is it possible that you are clinging to what you’ve been told by your source(s) a little too tightly? Rather than feigning interest in order to drive up Peyton’s price, is it possible that they were hiding it in order to keep his price down? If we truly have no interest in Manning and Flynn, it’s odd that tried to court one and are now kicking the tires on the other. In regards to Flynn, denying their logical interest could be a planned strategy in order to keep the market down. As you say, they’re all about value.

    Just a thought…

  43. Geoff

    Great write up and perspective. Pash rush is the one thing this defense needs to put it over the top. The only thing that concerns me is you seem pretty certain our QB fix will come next year. What if it doesn’t? What if they miss out on their guy? And also, any ideas on whom it might be? If this is truly the front offices plan, then they must be pretty damn certain next year will fall how they want. Seems a lot to be hoping for.

  44. williambryan

    Rob and Kip, with the news of the 49ers making a legitimate run at Manning, It has come to light that apparently the Seahawks like Alex Smith quite a bit and he could be a real possibility. After his playoff run the, idea doesn’t seam that bad to me, but how do you guys feel about it? It has been reported that the niners have an open 3 year offer out to Smith and it doesn’t seem like the Hawks would be willing to offer three years, but I don’t know?

  45. Clayton

    Great points Rob, of note the other thing that has happened with free agency and the Manning sweepstakes is that teams needing qb’s are investing more into this crop meaning going into next year Seattle would have an excellent chance to trade up. Teams like Denver, SF, Miami, Cleveland are either in the Manning Sweepstakes or in the Flynn runner-up prize QB selection. Washington, Indianapolis, will be making their commitments and Arizona and Jacksonville are still on the fence. I do not know how long Kolb is signed for now but think AZ, will still look at its options next year if Skelton or Kolb do not pan-out. Jacksonville, recently signed Chad Henne which could be viewed two ways, they just want competition for Gabbert or maybe they are looking to bring in Tebow, trade Gabbert and thus have insurance if Tebow still does not progress. (This scenario only goes into effect if Denver, gets Manning). Lastly, the beloved Seahawks are primed to be players in addressing their defense needs, Coples, Ingram, Upshaw, in the first and then using the second on another defensive player (if they go LB 1 then DE 2) and vice versa. In the third round I see options still available at QB, RB and LB solely based upon what has happened in free agency. In the case that Richardson and the above named defense players are all available, I would not be surprised if the Seahawks moved down a few spots and still had two of these players available. As I stated months ago before my move to the UAE, there will be trade partners available. As the Packers need DE and OLB help and a few teams may still want to add a WR. With all that being said, I would really like the Seahawks to go:
    1st DE Coples
    2nd LB Hightower
    3rd RB Hillman / Osweiller
    4th QB Wilson if Osweiller not selected
    6th FS/CB Ed Whitley (VT)
    7th OLB Sam Ocho (TEX
    7th DE Donte Moss (UNC)

  46. woofu

    Who’s got it better than Colin Kaepernick?

  47. Phil

    Rob – Although I don’t agree with your point of view re: free agency, I love the blog. It’s a great way to see the big diversity of views regarding the Seahawks and it’s fun to put into writing what you would do if you were calling the shots.

    On that point, I keep coming back to what strategy we can use to help us get Barkley next year. I think it will take us multiple first round picks to get him. I know you have doubts about this. But, I’ll offer my twopence worth anyway.

    At #12 this year, I don’t see an obvious, elite pass rusher. (I do see some guys — Ingram/Upshaw/Coples — who may turn out to be improvements over what we now have.) In other words, I think there may be as much pass-rushing talent available in the second round as there is in the first. So, on draft day, why not contact a team (let’s use Cleveland as an example) and see what we could get for our #12 pick? What I’d be looking for was their 2013 first round pick plus an additional pick this year.

    I suspect that you are going to say that teams don’t usually trade current first round picks for future first round picks and I think you are right. But, this year — in my opinion — is different in the sense that our #12 pick is not that much more valuable to us than a pick in the second round would be. There are still going to be lots of speedy, pass-rushing LBs available in round 2.

    But the big advantage with this approach would be the real importance of having two first rounders next year. Looking into my crystal ball, I’m guessing that the Seahawks’ first round pick will be in the range of, say, #8 to #15, and the first round pick we (hypothetically) pick up from Cleveland would probably be in a similar range. So, packaging two first-round picks should give us lots of ammo to trade up to get our man Barkley.

    At worst, we would still have 2 firsts to fill whatever needs are obvious when the 2013 draft comes around.

  48. Misfit74

    Donta Hightower has a history of knee issues and is too big and slow for what I think we need in the middle of our defense. If we wanted a slow pounder we’d have retained or re-signed someone like Lofa Tatupu. We need speed (and health). To me, Higtower is not a good fit for a versatile 43 MLB in our defense.

    Kuechley probably is, but not at 12.

    A ton of 2-5th round guys that our FO will surely find to plug those LB hole(s). Plus, the LB market in FA hasn’t settled yet. After the first big name (Lofton) falls, some other LB signings should follow. We might have a few value signings on the horizon in the 2nd and 3rd-tier free agent pool.

  49. Misfit74

    Jason Jones to Seattle on 1-year deal. Per Schefter.


  50. Colin

    Phil, I find your stance on free agency compelling, but I don’t agree. Free Agency shouldn’t be used to find starters and “elite” players. That’s what Tim Ruskell did and it failed miserably. It should be used to find depth, IMO. It’s exciting to get big name guys, but free agency doesn’t help in the long term. Rob has done an excellent job of outlining why Seattle’s conservative, don’t-break-the-bank mentality will win out.

  51. andy

    Jason Jones is sweet indeed! Got our 3-tech pass rush upgrade without burning a high draft pick. He is young and has not peaked yet and we can feel real good about our front four personnel. Leaves all our high draft picks to use on LBers a RB and maybe QB.

  52. Coach

    Too much short sightedness… With everyone else clamouring and overpaying for Qb’s this year who’ll be needing one next year? with whtas happening in FA this year I’m ok with this plan and getting Matt Barkley next year, right up there with Luck and RGIII. I think we should be trying to steal Alex Smith from the 9er’s instead of trying sssoooo hard for Flynn.

  53. Coach

    I agree with Phill. Trading back to get extra picks in order to to get arkley next year… It appears that JS/PC have a system that works for OUR SCHEME, players who may not fit for some but thrive for PC. I think as far as LB’s go PC has similar tastes to Bilichik, high football IQ, versatile and good size/speed ratio. In this years draft seems like a lot of these types will be available, trade back ! In there 2 drafts, this will be their 3, they have proven to VERY good at finding talent, and we are only in year 2 of a complete re-build, think about that….. We are a lot better and have MUCH more reason to be xcited than I remember under ruskell, wait. I remember being xcited and then crashing to earth for all the moves that failed….

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