Should the Seahawks consider another big trade?

This week Pete Carroll talked about impact players and the need for a defensive line that can be a factor in games.

There’s no doubt the Seahawks have ample draft stock to try and rectify this issue. However, it’s unlikely that a couple of rookies are going to transform the unit alone.

We’ve seen it numerous times, not just in Seattle either. Quinnen Williams had one of the best seasons in recent memory at Alabama before turning pro. It’s taken him three years to find that same level in the NFL.

Closer to home — Boye Mafe’s physical talent warranted spending the #40 pick on him a year ago. Despite being an older player (24) he still spent most of his rookie season watching Bruce Irvin take the bulk of the snaps.

The Seahawks will be able to add young talent to develop on defense in this draft. Yet if they’re looking for immediate results, they’ll need to go further.

If the Seahawks want players who can be a factor, do they have to consider the veteran market and a potential trade to complement what they do in the draft?

There are a few reasons to consider it.

Firstly, this is a very top-heavy draft. The difference in talent between the players taken at #20 and #45 is going to be marginal. It means at pick #20 and #38, you might be settling on a player rather than feeling like you’re getting amazing value.

Secondly, if the Seahawks really like one of the quarterbacks at #5 — it’s going to make it harder to get an ‘impact’ defensive lineman in this draft who won’t require a lot of patience and seasoning like Mafe.

Thirdly, even if you do draft a top defender at #5, you can’t just place them in a rotation with Al Woods and Shelby Harris and think that’s job done. Neither can you continue to just sign mid-range or cheap veterans and think that’ll cut it. The talent difference between Seattle and San Francisco was highlighted by Carroll as problematic. To close the gap they’re going to need a mix of proven quality and exciting youth.

I think there are two potential targets for the Seahawks.

The first is Washington’s Da’Ron Payne.

Practically every fan base in the league is calling for their team to try and sign the pending free agent. However, after a career year, the Commanders’ GM Martin Mayhew said last week he can’t imagine letting him walk.

Carson Wentz will be cut at some point, freeing up $26m. Most of this money will likely go towards franchising Payne at a projected amount of $18.9m.

If you want him, you’re likely going to have to trade for him.

I suspect Washington will be open to offers. They’ve already paid locally born Jonathan Allen and will need to consider second contracts for Montez Sweat and Chase Young. They can’t pay everyone on the D-line. Getting something in return for Payne is a lot more acceptable than simply letting him walk. They would also recoup the $18.9m in a trade, freeing up cap space to potentially pursue a new quarterback like Derek Carr.

Payne is a good age (he only turns 26 in May) and recorded 11.5 sacks and 18 TFL’s (third most in the league) in 2022. This is the kind of player Seattle needs. Someone who can get into the backfield and impact games.

If you make the trade you could potentially sign him to a four-year extension worth about $20m per year. It’s expensive but given you’re willing to give Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams $18m each in 2023, it feels reasonable.

You’d be entering a sellers market and Washington would expect a big offer. It would probably take #20 or #38, which will set off alarm bells given Seattle’s history with expensive trades. The Seahawks have not found joy trading away first round picks for veteran players in the past. It’d be a lot more palatable if the Commanders were willing to accept one of the two second rounders than #20.

It’s worth noting Washington are without their third round pick this year due to the Wentz trade so they might be open to adding more stock — especially if they want to try and trade up from #16 to draft a young quarterback.

Nevertheless, trading for Payne immediately upgrades your line. When the league year opens, six weeks before the draft, one of the biggest needs would be addressed. You would also have plenty of draft stock remaining to add youth to your D-line, seriously addressing a massive need.

Imagine Payne teaming up with Jalen Carter, with Al Woods in the middle. Suddenly that looks like a serious defensive front. Alternatively if the Seahawks take a quarterback at #5, trading for Payne means you’re not going to be left relying on developmental defensive tackles later on. You would be able to get your quarterback of the future and add a stud D-liner.

Sounds attractive, right?

The other potential trade target is DeForest Buckner with the Colts.

Chicago’s media are speculating Matt Eberflus could go back in for his former D-liner for as little as a day two pick.

Indianapolis currently only has $5.7m in effective cap space. They’ll save $17.2m by cutting Matt Ryan but there aren’t many other levers to save money.

Trading Buckner would net them a cool $19.75m.

Based on his performance there’s little motivation for the Colts to give Buckner away. He’s been one of the most consistent and best interior defenders for multiple seasons. He had nine sacks in 2022 and received an 82.3 PFF grade.

There is one thing to consider though.

General Manager Chris Ballard is under a lot of pressure to land a top quarterback and drive the franchise forward, having had to settle for a series of ageing veterans over the last few seasons. The local Indianapolis media are already quizzing him about trading up from #4 to get the top pick and guarantee the QB he really wants — to make a statement of intent at the position.

They have no additional picks in the draft and are actually picking later in round three after spending their native selection on Matt Ryan, before acquiring #80 from Washington in the Wentz trade. If they intend to move up, trading Buckner for another pick or two might be helpful to create some extra stock.

Of course if Eberflus and Chicago are interested — the Colts could simply include Buckner in a package to move from #4 to #1.

We’ve seen trades like this before for players performing well. Calais Campbell might’ve been 33 when the Jaguars moved him to Baltimore for a fifth round pick but he was coming off a 10.5 sack season, having recorded 25 sacks in his final two years in Jacksonville.

Being four years younger will no doubt make Buckner a more expensive trade but few people thought Campbell would be available for merely a fifth rounder when he was dealt, so is it that unrealistic that Buckner could be had for a late second?

You’d be trading for proven quality but on a shorter term scale. There are two years left on his current contract which is worth about $20m per season.

If the Seahawks are serious about improving their defensive front they have to consider these types of moves. They can’t rely purely on rookies and depth. They need quality, not just a younger guy or another journeyman on a $5m deal.

Most of the top teams in the NFL have forked out for blue-chippers in recent years.

The Bills paid a handsome sum to sign Von Miller and traded for Stefon Diggs. The 49ers struck a deal for Trent Williams then paid him a king’s ransom and more recently acquired Christian McCaffrey. Philadelphia traded for A.J. Brown and Darius Slay. The Bengals spent big money a year ago to upgrade their O-line and the year prior spent a lot to add Trey Hendrickson and D. J. Reader. Kansas City traded for Orlando Brown and Frank Clark before signing Joe Thuney at guard. The Chargers invested in center Corey Linsley and traded for Khalil Mack. The Dolphins are a better team after trading for Tyreek Hill and Bradley Chubb. Back in the day the Giants acquired Leonard Williams for a third rounder.

You need to be prepared to make a splash when the right opportunity arises. Two first round picks on a box safety isn’t advised. Using a solitary first rounder to acquire 25-year-old A.J. Brown instead of relying on a rookie is a smart move, though, by the Eagles.

Having a lot of picks creates flexibility. Essentially you have to avoid treading water. There’s a difference between having some good players and some potential and having enough legit difference makers to trouble good teams.

The only way to avoid needing to do this is to find an elite quarterback of the level of Patrick Mahomes, who can cover a number of warts. Without that player on your roster, you simply have to add top-end talent — not just middling talent or developmental potential.

I’m wary of making a big trade because it’s been such a failure for Seattle in the past. But look at the opportunity. Add a defensive stud six weeks before the draft when the league year opens and you can put your feet up and let the #5 pick come to you. Jalen Carter or Will Anderson? You add even more to your defensive front. Want to go quarterback? You’ve already brought in a D-line stud to address that need.

And you’d still have plenty of draft stock to add an infusion of youth.

Like I said, watching a D-line next season where you’ve got Jalen Carter and Da’Ron Payne/DeForest Buckner lining up next to each other feels like a genuine step in the right direction. Simply adding Carter and hoping he can be the cure-all isn’t going to be enough. Or if you find that quarterback who can be the future of your franchise with your top pick, adding Payne or Buckner enables you to still upgrade in the trenches.

It’s food for thought and I’m not arguing the Seahawks should definitely do this. It’s probably something that warrants a conversation, though.

I’ll be posting my new mock draft tomorrow. In the meantime if you haven’t checked it out already, please watch my interview with the Senior Bowl’s Jim Nagy. Also, check out the off-season preview video with Jeff Simmons.

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  1. Palatypus

    Get some sleep, Rob. You’re working too hard.

    • Rob Staton

      This week I’ve taken on a bit much, I accept

      • TomLPDX

        And we all appreciate it! Thank you Rob!

  2. EmperorMA

    I like the idea. It addresses a need but I do not want to give up the #5 to get either of these guys. No problem with #20 and #38 would be even better!

    I also believe a move like this would almost eliminate the ability to re-sign Geno for the kind of money he is going to want. I am very much OK with that, as well.

    The worst we can do by signing one of these top DL is having a big upgrade on defense and wither a QBOTF or a high-ceiling developmental DL picked at #5 to go along with an all-pro at his side. Win-win.

    • Seattle Person

      Trading for one of these doesn’t mean Geno can’t be brought back. It does mean it’s a cut coming for somebody else. I would probably prefer to trade for Buckner. He’s a little bit older and probably a little cheaper. He’s already been paid so he is not going to reset the market. You’re just taking on his current contract.

  3. AlaskaHawk

    Seems to me that paying any player 20 million/year is foolish when the cap is only 28 million. Yes I know you can cut a few safeties and save money but the Seahawks screwed up big time and it will take years to straighten it out.

    I would rather they drafted well, made the cuts necessary, kept their QB cost down, and basically spent another year in financial reset mode. By 2024 the Seahawks should be healthy enough to start talking about overpaying for defensive linemen and quarterbacks. By 2026 they will even be ready to overpay for safeties again!

    • Roy Batty

      Buckner has ZERO dead money on the last two years of the current contract. They could extend him a couple of years and put some guaranteed money in and spread it out, back loading the crap out of the deal.

  4. cha

    I don’t know how good a poker player Mayhew is but that’s what any GM would say about a top player. Looking at washington blogs, the fans seem resigned to losing him and are hoping against hope a tag and trade is possible.

    The Seahawks could try and sell the Commanders on this:

    You have no cap room and you’re already heavy on the DL. You badly need a QB and that’s going to take cap.

    We will give you a 2023 2nd round pick for Payne. If you let Payne walk because you cannot fit him, the best you’ll do is a 2024 3rd round comp pick. And it vanishes if you make a free agent splash of your own.

    Let Payne walk and you could get nothing in return. Trade him to us and get a good 2nd round pick you can use right now to trade for Derek Carr or to move up in the draft. Or heck, take Siaki Ika or Calijah Kancey with it and save yourself $20m a year.


    Either way, the Seahawks MUST – 100%, no excuses – condition the trade on an extension that works for them. No carrying the franchise tag and hoping you can work a deal with him. No 2024 standoff over a second tag, followed by wrecking their cap again.

    No extension, no trade.

    • Mick

      Great point with the extension, cha!

  5. Chris

    Giving away picks just to pay a guy market value. No more of that please. Great way to tread water. They need draft picks and they need to HIT in order to catch up to the better teams in the league. Another great draft and clearing the roster of all the garbage $$$ should be priority.

    • Rob Staton

      You also need to add quality

      • Roy Batty

        And true difference makers at DT are unicorns in this league. Trading for one who gives you great production and mentoring ability on day 1 of camp, let alone the regular season is a can’t miss.

        Dts are the blue collar, punishing players every team requires.

        Go get one, John.

        • Terrance

          Trade but don’t give any high pick. Maybe our native second. Colts if they trade to 1 they will deplete a lot of their own picks so they can replenish them with 3rd 4th. Just no high picks in trades they are the ones more desperate. But verteran rookie double down sounds like the best idea

  6. Trevor

    I think the whole debate around this type of trade scenario depends on whether this is yr #2 of a 3-4 yr rebuild where they compete for an SB in 2024 /2025 seasons or if they are trying to be a legit contender next year.

    Personally I love the idea of trading for Payne or Buckner but I am not sure given the state of our roster and cap situation that making that type of trade might make more sense a year from now.

    I don’t think this team is close and needs another year with a solid draft, young player development and to get bad contracts / dead money off the books to be legit contenders. Would prefer they use their draft capital to try and find a franchise QB at 5 then add young talent in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Use next season to focus on player development and rebuilding a culture of toughness then the following off season go for it in free agency / trades for veterans to round out the roster.

    If they can sign a guy like Payne without giving up draft capital I would be all over that however as long as it is a 4-5 yr deal.

    Bottom line is love the idea of trading for elite talent on the DL but I just don’t think this team is there yet.

    • TCHawk

      Trevor, I completely agree with you. We have too many holes to trade high picks for instant production. The Eagles, 49ers, and Bills were legit contenders and looking for the final pieces.

      The Mariners’ GM, refreshingly, was able to communicate their vision of where the franchise was at and the window of time when they were targeting to truly compete for the championship. Unfortunately, not so with the Seahawks (at least not publicly).

  7. Trevor

    Incredible content this week Rob. What an awesome way to start the off season.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Trevor

  8. jed

    I’m really enjoying the off-season content – really making it fun getting ready for Free Agency and the Draft. Thank you.

    These couple sentences from this post are so key to me:

    “It’s food for thought and I’m not arguing the Seahawks should definitely do this. It’s probably something that warrants a conversation, though.”

    There are so many options that are fun to talk about and there isn’t a clear “best” option. There are lots of opinions on what is best and we can enjoy talking about it as Seahawks fans. Should be lots to go over the next few months & I hope Pete & John end up making the right choices.

    • UkAlex6674

      This is the place to be Jed for quality off season content and group discussion. The on field season may be over for us but we’ve got so much to look forward to in the next few months.

  9. Rob Staton

    7/8 teams remaining in the playoffs have offensive minded HC’s

    The one who doesn’t had Brian Daboll coaching Josh Allen and he’s since gone and made a player out of Daniel Jones somehow

    5/8 teams remaining in the playoffs have a top-10 pick at QB

    • Big Mike

      And I think that the bit of regression we’ve seen with Josh Allen this year is due to not having Daboll there as his offensive coordinator.

      • Rob Staton

        Probably true

        Daboll has proven himself to be an excellent coach

  10. Rob Staton

    We all know the Seahawks have a ‘type’ at certain positions

    At linebacker agility testing is seen as critical and that’s one of the reasons why they presumably took Cody Barton with the #88 pick in 2019

    It’s a shame though, that another player who fit exactly what they look for wasn’t taken instead despite their critical need for a pass rusher that year

    Maxx Crosby was drafted at #106

    33 inch arms
    4.13 short shuttle
    4.66 forty
    1.62 10-yard split
    36 inch vert
    10-2 broad
    6.89 three-cone

    Typically what they go for

    • Trevor

      He really was almost exactly what they look for. There have been a few guys over the years you have identified as prototype Hawks picks that they have really whiffed on. Thats why last years draft was so shocking, they actually took the guys you identified outside of Charles Cross every other guy was a blog favourite and seems to match what the Hawks ideals are for the position. Really hope they can duplicate that this year. At least with regards to the process and type of player.

    • Big Mike

      Look I know teams are going to miss on players. Crosby was what a 4th rounder? None the less, there some that are so obvious you just have to wonder what they were thinking not drafting a guy like this who fits their profile nearly completely.

    • Palatypus

      The most important measurable for Maxx Crosby is the number of X’s at the end of his name. We shouldn’t be looking for the next Maxx Crosby, we should be looking for MaxXx Crosby.

    • Scot04

      I remember going into the 4th thinking Maxx Crosby or Anthony Nelson were both guys that fit the profile of players Seattle & was hoping one would make it to our pick.
      Then they went #106 & #107. We followed by trading down from #114, so I’m guessing they were definitely looking at one, if not both.
      Nelson #107
      34.88 inch arms
      4.23 short shuttle
      4.82 forty
      35.5 inch vert
      9’10” Broad
      271lbs @ 6’7″

  11. Volume12

    What about Christian Wilkins? Miami just gave Bradley Chubb a ton of $ and might want to upgrade @ QB. 96 tackles & 16 TFL is crazy for a DT.

    • Rob Staton

      He’s under contract next season at $10m so there’s no need for Miami to consider doing anything now. That’s a conversation for 12 months if they end up needing to use the tag like Washington

  12. AndrewMR

    Why not both? Realistically, you can pay both with cuts Cha wrote about. We have draft capital in those 2 second round picks. Trade back from 20 if you want to recoup

    • Fudwamper

      I was thinking the same. Jackson, Harris, Jefferson, woods, adams and digs give you close to 49mil in cap space. I’d spend some money on those 2.

  13. hoggs41

    I was goofing around on the OTC roster construction and it feels like they should be able to do some things. I released Jackson, Mone, Adams and Harris. I was then able to sign:

    Myers as he isnt on the roster yet (Cap hit $3.2m)
    Tyler Ott ($1.2m)
    Ryan Neal ($4.3m tender)
    Geno Smith ($15m year 1)
    Drew Lock ($1.5m)
    Rashad Penny ($2.5m)
    Michael Jackson (ERFA)
    Myles Adams (ERFA)
    Daron Payne ($10m year 1)
    Ben Powers or another guard ($5m year 1)

    I was also able to sign our draft class at there current slots and still had $16m left over. Point is we can do some things if they get creative.

    • Rob Staton

      This feels optimistic and team friendly

      • Steve Nelsen

        The guaranteed money alone for Payne will push his first year cap hit well over $10M. For example, 4 years, $80 million with even just $35 million guaranteed will have a $15 million year one cap hit.

        And I think even a team friendly 3-year deal for Geno will have a $20 million first year cap hit. 3 years $75 million with $35 million guaranteed has a $20 million year one cap hit.

  14. samprassultanofswat

    I am all in.

  15. cha

    PFN finally dropped Noah Sewell out of their top 10 prospects.

    But they also dropped Calijah Kancey from 41 to 74.


    • Joe Strummer

      PFN and PFF have wildly different ratings for Keion White too. 244 PFN vs. 56 PFF.
      Van Pran is 51 PFN, 132 PFF.

      At least PFN isn’t so judgmental about my picks.

      I have got to get a life.

      • Rob Staton

        The problem with sites that have rankings is they constantly need to be updated and then stuff like this happens

    • Roy Batty

      PFN, the site that has a simulator that shows 2 WR going in the top 5?

      Seriously, it has done that multiple times on my sims. I routinely had my pick at #5 of Stroud, Levis or AR. I would trade down twice, gain two firsts for 2024, and still pick Levis, who they have as the #13 overall prospect.

      At least PFF consistently showed Young, Stroud and Levis in the top 5. AR was considered too raw, so they had him after #10. It acknowledged the fact that QB needy teams will in fact draft QBs. Whereas PFN was all over the board. 2 OTs, CBs, and even Tyree Wilson creeping in at #4, at times.

      Entertaining, but useless at this juncture.

  16. hoggs41

    Vita Vea could be a trade option as well as the Bucs are in a bit of trouble. Looks like it would be 4 years and $64m for us and if you leave it that way you could cut anytime with no dead money. Im guessing they would restructure a little to get the first year hit lower.

    • Rob Staton

      The Buccs would only save $5m and would lose a key player

      • Roy Batty

        Didn’t he lead the team in sacks? Plus he’s becoming a Bucs nation legend. They adore the guy down there.

  17. DC1234

    Teams that made the playoffs have let go of their defensive coordinators. (Dolphins, Vikings)

    I thought the Dolphin’s defense played well against the Bills in the playoffs.

    Its seems like the younger HC are more aggressive or have a higher sense of urgency, while Pete is so far status quo.

    Is this a concern for anyone about their defense next year??

    Even with some upgrades in defense, it seems like its gonna be more of the same.

    • Rob Staton

      Teams with a crap defense doing something about it

      Fancy that

      • Simo

        I second that! Poor production typically gets you fired, unless your one of Pete’s cronies!!

        • Geoffu

          To be fair Pete has fired the last three DC’s. He just keep hiring crappy ones who also thysly need to be fired…

          • Pran

            And it got worse with every hire

          • Peter

            What’s that expression:

            If everywhere you go smells like crap it might be you.

            At some point pc firing dc’s every year is a sign that he might not have it snymore.

  18. samprassultanofswat

    Between Ron Dayne and Buckner. I prefer Dayne (because of his age) over Buckner.

    • RampagingMice

      Ron Dayne is 44, and though he was beefy for a RB, I don’t think he’d be well suited for what you intend.

  19. samprassultanofswat

    Da’Ron Payne over Buckner. ( I wish this blog was set up so that a person could edit.)

    • BobbyK

      I think everyone would rather have Payne over Buckner. However, I prefer Buckner simply because I’m guessing he’ll cost a heck of a lot less in terms of draft compensation in terms of what it would cost to get him. But, still, as I wrote below… just get a QB and don’t worry about thinking you’re going to win the Super Bowl next year with Geno Smiff. Think long-term, which they don’t do and mainly why I’m so frustrated with them.

      • JC3

        Buckner = Arik Armstead without the injury bug.
        I doubt Colts will trade him.

        • Rob Staton

          They might have little choice based on cap and a desire to move up

          • Peter

            Feels almost certain with finances, connections, and out of division.

          • Scot04

            I think your mention of him being part of the trade package to move up make alot of sense. Chicago could end up with Armstead & Carter.

  20. BobbyK

    I’m all for a trade like this if I felt that player would put them over the top to get to the Super Bowl.

    This is a team clearly so far away, despite a (lucky-thanks to easy schedule) a playoff appearance, that I’d prefer to add as many young players on rookie contracts as possible.

    I also like the idea of keeping #20 because it’s possible to add more lottery tickets for this, next, and/or the ’25 drafts. I’m so sick of rooting for a team with clearly no long-term vision that I could puke.

    Good writeup though and clearly one I’m sure they will consider. As you said, if we had a Patrick Mahomes we could “go for it” year to year because he can hide warts but when you’ve got Geno Smiff to worry about – you’re team had better be loaded to the max if you think you can make a run because all things being equal… we’re not winning the Super Bowl with QB play if he’s back.

    • TatupuTime

      I’m with you all the way. Get a quarterback this year with the 5th pick. That gives you 5 cost controlled years (more like 6 with the franchise tag if the QB is good). If you are able to get a QB on a rookie contract then you have all the money in the world in 2024-2026 which allows you to take on expensive players in trade or FA.

      Sure you can win a Superbowl with the expensive but not great QB tier (Geno, Goff, Cousins, Tannehill, Carr), but you have to be almost perfect everywhere else with your drafting and roster spend.

  21. Clayton

    I feel like when the Seahawks traded for big name players and gave up draft picks for the player, it never worked out. Percy Harvin, Jimmy Graham, and Jamal Adams are the big names that come to mind. And the one time that the Seahawks give up a big name player and receive draft picks for that player, it turns out that the trade might go down as the most lopsided trade in NFL history with the Seahawks being the benefactor. I think the Seahawks should pay attention to its trade history over the years and not make the same mistakes. I understand that the Seahawks were in totally different situations when they made those trades, and we don’t really know what would have happened if the Seahawks didn’t make those trades and had kept those picks, but the Seahawks should keep in mind that luck is not on their side in trading for big name players.

    • Simo

      All fair points Clayton! I think it’s why Rob offered up these hypothetical trades with a full heaping of caution. No question our trade history isn’t good, but it sure would be nice to add a bonafide stud on the defensive line right?

      I want a guy who can create havoc and command double teams. This frees up guys like Nwosu, Taylor and Mafe to do their thing a little easier. But it has to be the right situation in terms of price (draft capital and contract).

      Making a trade for Payne or Buckner probably requires taking a sharp knife to the roster and trimming the hell out of the fat.

      • AlaskaHawk

        And then hoping the expensive new player doesn’t get injured and become another anchor on this team. It’s too early in the rebuild process for this.

      • DC1234

        The problem with the seahawk’s big ticket trades (harvin,jimmy, jamal adams) is those position are not cornerstone positions. A gadget player, pass catching TE, box safety.

        Payne is a young DT. They are hard to find.

        You trade first round picks for qb,LT,Dline, CB, #1 WR

        Other teams that traded their first round picks worked out (Ramsey, Stafford, Stephon Diggs, Aj brown, Buckner)

        • Ben

          To be fair, Jimmy Graham was catching 90 passes per season and 11.5 touchdowns the 4 years before joining the Seahawks.

          For Adams, people might’ve thought we overpaid, but I don’t remember anyone who wasn’t excited to have him on the team. Safety has been considered a cornerstone position and 9 sacks from the position sure looked good when it happened.

          • DC1234

            There were lots of fan that didnt like the Jamal Adams trade. They thought seahawks overpaid for the trade. Two 1st and a 3rd. And a Bradley McDugald.

            I remember Rob saying Mikah Fitspatrick would of been a better fit for how seahawks played. And he only cost one 1st round pick.

            Jimmy trade was a bad idea as well. Jimmy plays soft, does not run block. He is the complete opposite of the seahawks mentality.

            • Ben

              None we’re good in the end, but there was definitely excitement from fans. Perhaps not pundits.

              People definitely thought we overpaid for Adams. I’m just saying there was excitement about having him on the team with Diggs. The idea that each could do something big. I think all have pointed to just sticking with draft picks, even for a future HoF QB.

          • Rob Staton

            I wasn’t excited

            • Big Mike

              Ditto. I thought then the price was too high. Said then if it was one first and like a 4th I’d have been OK with it. Many of us also had serious reservations about trading for him without a new contract in place. Rob wrote several times about it being a mistake.

              I fully admit to being onboard with the Graham trade and if Carroll had used him properly from the get go he would’ve thrived.

  22. Mark

    Good news: is Ed Donatell is back on the market.

    • Simo

      I’m sure Pete will bring him in as co-coorinator with Hurtt once Desai moves on!

    • Rob Staton

      It says it all that he almost ended up here

      • BobbyK


      • Geoffu

        UGH. Punch me in the face.

  23. Nick

    Can’t wait to hear what you think about JS’s recent interview! Some good stuff.

      • Nick

        Cha you da man.

      • Scot04

        He also said they have a drop dead number.
        That & other things made me happy.
        Said they went back to highest on their board regardless of possition.
        So maybe QB is an option.
        Did emphasize value of pick #5 from #3 still holds high for trade.
        So a little nervous trade down is more possible.
        Otherwise was pretty happy with overall interview.

    • Romeo A57

      One thing that stuck out to me during this interview was JS lamenting the loss of trade capital from their first picking dropping from 1.3 to 1.5 in week 18. A seasoned GM like him isn’t going to give much information, but the insinuation about the possibility of trading that pick is interesting.

      • Rob Staton

        I wouldn’t read too much into that

        I think it’s a nice way to answer a question without giving anything away 😂

      • Peter

        JS: we never get good players because we never draft high, thus Adams.

        Also JS: really wish we could trade three for a bunch of picks.

        I kid. This time of year is intentional smokescreen season.

  24. Ben

    Ivan Pace Jr put up pretty similar numbers to Sanders, but in a weaker conference and doesn’t have an ideal build like Sanders and is a year older. He was an ILB who would line up on the Edge sometimes like Sanders though.

    If we don’t take Sanders in the first 2 rounds, what are your thoughts on a 3rd round investment in Pace? I’ve searched previous threads and couldn’t find a response to other people asking about him.

    Thanks for your time.

    • Rob Staton

      I think third round is a bit rich for Pace — he’s on my board as a firm day three

      • Ben

        Even better if you can get him there. I’m guessing his combine testing will be very telling which way he goes.

  25. KD

    You know what I miss? When Pete would always have a bunch of young players who were so hungry to play that they would work night and day to knock the next guy down a peg on the depth chart, and the guy in front of him who would work their ass off to stay atop the depth chart. Competition! That’s how Sherman, Chancellor, Wright, Baldwin, Kearse, Browner, Maxwell and so on and on made up the meat of a championship team. Can you tell that Cody Barton plays like someone who doesn’t have anyone to push him? Our LB depth is pathetic. How about Jamal Adams? Diggs? Brooks?

    It looked to me like Ryan Neal played like someone who thought that every snap could be his last if he didn’t perform. He played like he was treating every second on the field as an opportunity to prove that he belongs there.

    I would say that the third day of the draft and the undrafted free agent pool will be more important than usual this year. Flood the roster with linebackers and safeties. Find those guys who will do wind sprints through hell and back to make the roster.

    • Jessie

      Great point. The Cody Barton play on 3rd and long where Debo caught the ball and Cody tackled Tariq woolen was maybe the worst individual play I saw all season. It’s a playoff game , we have some momentum , that was their first drive after half time and we have a chance to stop them on 3rd and 7. They do a 2 yard pass to deebo Samuel and Cody Barton , the 4th year player , is in perfect position lined up to stop him 3 yards short or so and instead he somehow takes a bad angle whiffs completely and tackled Tariq woolen. Get this guy off the field I never want to see him again unless it’s special teams and even then just put young guys out there like dareke young.

      • Roy Batty

        Kirk Cousins short check down to end the Vikings season was the worst, for me.

        It was also the most hilarious.

        As my coworker from St. Paul said, “Just arm punt the damn thing. At least someone might get lucky.”

        • Peter

          Kirk cousins and his nearly quarter billion in earnings and a long ass tenure in the league checking it down to keep his big time game record putrid was one of the funniest plays of the season.

          Barton is just sad. But he’s always been sad. A complete and total JAG who keeps playing because LB is apparently as important to Seattle as a Center is.
          Which is to say, not at all.

          • Big Mike

            I believe Kirkers has ONE whole playoff win for his quarter of a billion dollars. I texted my cousin and several football fans friends immediately after that play and said “that’s why Cousins will never win squat”.

            The odd thing about LB Peter is they reached on Brooks yet they trot Barton out there. Makes no sense.

    • cha

      I’ve always thought the Seahawks’ decline started when the NFL started cracking down on tough, physical practices. And then with the new CBA, the players won a concession for even less offseason practices.

      Carroll has never quite adapted.

      In his Win Forever book he said that the reason his teams were so tough was gameday was the easiest day of the week for the players. They went to war during the week, and every guy had to bring his best effort to keep his spot.

      This training camp this year, he actually allowed the team rest days. Cancelling practices.

      And this was a team breaking in a new Defensive Coordinator and a scheme change on the DL.

      All year and after the season when Pete was talking about what was wrong, used the word “connected.” How can you be connected as a defense if you’re not able to go full tilt in practice and keep getting rest days?

      • Tallyhawk

        Good point cha! I wonder if that’s been a factor in how abysmal their tackling has become too.

      • Peter

        I would think this has been a huge part of the problem.

        With a smaller portion being as Pete has calcified in his thinking it has become less likely for players to take spots. You see this in playing ancient veterans over rookies for no statistical advantage or allegedly structuring your defense around a player when it was fairly evident that Neal played the safety position in all that entails as well as Adams.

        But adaptation is really the problem from a coaching standpoint. The whole league has to go easier on practices but the whole league is not as bad as this team at things like run defense, re: tackling.

        • Big Mike

          I take umbrage with you saying Neal played the position as well as the peacock. He has played it better imo my friend.

          • Peter


            Well does he dress better?

            And does Neal give you 3 sacks a year?

            Check and mate. If the game is connect four.

  26. Mick

    My question is, would Payne want to come and play in Seattle? In the last years, big names have chosen other teams that at least on paper compete to win. Are we attractive enough as a destination? For rookies, I’m quite certain, this year makes every college graduate want to come to Seattle so he gets to start. For established players, I’m not sure.

    • UkAlex6674

      Despite many that decided making the playoffs was a bad thing this year, making the playoffs would actually help when looking to sign players I’m sure.

      Much like in football when a team qualifies for Europe, it makes it a bit more attractive.

      • Rob Staton

        This is a bit overblown though

        Free agents are not really any more likely to sign for Seattle just because they finished 9-8 and then got hammered in the second half by the Niners in a very public arse kicking

  27. Pran

    On the flip side, what benefit is it to trade picks when your DC is Clint and Coach Pete who is overseeing the worst defense year after year for eternity. I would say let JS draft talent and let things develop. Pete would only gut the roster and cap with trades and no results to show for.

  28. Mark

    What about trading for Jeffrey Simmons of the titans, numerous articles out there about how they can’t pay/afford him. Although it’s expected that he will command near Aaron Donald type money.

    • Rob Staton

      I think they should learn their lesson from AJ Brown

  29. Jessie

    Rob can I add for all the examples you used – chargers , eagles , dolphins , bills and at the time when the chiefs made the Frank Clark splash all these teams have one thing in common? Rookie qb’s making rookie money. All aboard the rookie qb express.

    • Peter

      This is the problem with signing Geno in a nutshell.

      None of the purported benefits of a rookie qb financially.

      With the added *benefit* of being a 8-10 win team for the duration of his contract, and that’s with hoping he doesn’t play like the last half of the season, keeping Seattle for the foreseeable future out of any prospective qb stakes come draft time.

      Feel like we did that for five seasons with the former qb. Just good enough to look decent on any given Sunday, forever pining for a just good enough defense to get us over the hump.

  30. Ben

    How concerned should we be with regression? He doubled his output for his contract year. We could end up overpaying like we’ve done in the past…

    • BK26

      With Simmons? Hardly at all. He’s gotten better each year and was dealing with more double teams progressively and still producing. You can see his development. Out of all of the drafts that I’ve followed, he was the one guy that it really really bugged me that Seattle passed on. Out of Payne, him, and Buckner, I would pick Simmons.

      • Ben

        With Payne. He’s never come close to double-digit sacks and hadn’t hit double-digit TFL.

  31. Stephen

    Im probably in the minority here, but no thanks on Da’Ron Payne. 11.5 sacks and 18 TFLs look flashy, but in all his previous seasons he never even managed half those numbers. His contract year is the only year he produces? That has me worried the effort wasn’t there until it came time to get paid. Buckner sounds much more appealing.

    • Peter

      I get your concern so I did a little break down of dline players. Btw I don’t think your concern is invalid but there is a bit of a pattern I saw:

      Player. League year. Sacks. Tackles for loss. Plus/minus best year previous.

      1. Deforest Buckner. Yr 3. 12 sk (+6). 17 tfl (+10)

      2. Jarran Reed. Yr 3. 10.5 sk (+9). 12 tfl (+8)

      3. Gerald McCoy. Yr 4. 9.5 sk (+4.5). 15 tfl (+6)

      4. Dexter Lawrence. Yr 4. 7.5 sk (+3.5). 7 tfl (+2)

      5. Quinnen Williams. Yr 4. 12 sk (+5). 12 tfl (+2)

      6. Aaron Donald. Yr. 5. 20.5 sk (+9.5). 25 tfl (+3)

      7. Daron Payne. Yr 5. 11.5 sk (6.5). 18 tfl (+11)

      You might be right but this shows me a few things. One, most notably is that it takes a few seasons to get up to speed as a d tackle.

      And two, for everyone getting dreamy eyed about Carter or tyree Wilson…neither one is going to be a big time defensive change maker right away.

      Unless you are drafting Suh or Donald at five, and you could see it in their college production as opposed to future casting, we are most likely waiting 3-5 seasons for that player to go off.

    • GrittyHawk

      I think he’s just a guy who needed time to hone his craft at pass rushing. Reading his draft scouting reports, he was viewed as a big time run stuffer with great measurables who may have potential to become a dominant pass rusher as well. He only had 3 sacks in 35 games at Alabama primarily playing NT, which may have limited his production and ability to build his pass rush repertoire. His profile also says he came to Alabama at 350 pounds (!), so it’s fair to assume he may have needed time to adjust his play style to his body.

  32. swedenhawk

    starting with cha’s piece on the cap, the last week has offered so much insight… and to top it off a new mock draft is on the way. i’m gobsmacked.

  33. Sea Mode

    Everyone will make mistakes in team building, it’s just whether you have too much pride to move on from them quickly and move by move stack up more hits than misses:

    • Jabroni-DC

      Good read. I guess the front office isn’t ready to admit that Jamal Adams is one of those “mistakes”.
      Massive draft capital spent.
      Massive contract extension.
      Change in defensive scheme to accommodate player.
      Doubling & tripling down on the bet that Adams is going to turn it around.
      I hope he does, for everyone’s sake.
      But if he doesn’t…it’s time to wake up from the daydream.

      • AlaskaHawk

        The time to admit your mistake was before they signed a long term guaranteed contract with Adams. Or better yet, before they gave up two firsts and a second rounder for him.

  34. MoBo

    Can someone explain me why Payne PFF grade is so low?
    I haven’t seen him playing, his stats (sacks and TFL) look good but I have some Jarred Reed vibes: One statswise good season (benefited by good players around him?). He is still young with room for improvement. But is he a player worth a high trade pick and a ton of money that he will improve the players around him?

    • cha

      When Rob brought Payne’s name up I thought the same thing. His grade is awful this year.

      I cannot account for it, as I don’t have an X and O expertise and am not familiar with exactly how PFF grades linemen.

      I will say what I found when I did some snooping around:

      * Payne plays an insane amount of snaps. 87% of snaps last year! 76% in 2021, 84% in 2020. I know PFF guys have commented that it can water down DL’s grades. Take that with a grain of salt, as Jonathan Allen had an 80 grade in 82% of snaps. Keep in mind though Jonathan Allen is awesome.

      * Payne has led the NFL in PFF’s “Run Stops” in 2020. So he’s got that skill tool on his belt. He added 11.5 sacks in 2022 so he now has that one too. My guess is he had a run game focus in the early years and a disrupting pass game focus in 2022. The next step is putting them together.

      * Looking at his game logs this year, there was a great distribution of his production. He is not one of those players that disappears for 4-5 games and then explodes and collects gaudy stats and then goes back into hiding. He is regularly productive.

      I also think too much is made of Payne being the fix it all solution for the DL. He’s not. He is a piece. He will make Taylor, Mafe, Nwosu and Woods better at their jobs. But acquiring Payne would be the beginning of a rebuild, not the end. I’d still advocate for the Seahawks spending a pick on another interior player to pair with him if they acquired him.

    • GrittyHawk

      Because PFF grades are a bunch of hooey. They’re basically just some guy’s subjective interpretation of tape, packaged up in an authoritative way to fill in the analytics gap that existed in other sports, and now basically exists to sell fancy sounding stats to ESPN and subscriptions to people who spend all their time arguing on Twitter but don’t have any ability to form their own opinions on players.

  35. R. L. Howser

    How about trading pick #5 for Payne and pick #16. Washington can get its QB and Seattle gets the defensive game wrecker the need on the line and still has two first-rounders.

    • Mick

      For me no, because Seattle does not get the QB they need at #16.

    • Rob Staton

      0% chance they trade away #5

      • EmperorMA

        I’m not so sure about that. If Levis, Stroud and Richardson along with their favorite between Anderson/Carter are gone in the first four picks, I could see them trading with a QB-needy team coming up for Young.

        I also think the odds of this happening are VERY slim, as Richardson might last to #10 or even a bit later. But it could happen.

  36. NYCHawk

    Don’t think Sedrick Van Pran ended up declaring.. shame as I know we all loved his tape.

    • PJ in Seattle

      He certainly appeared to be the blue chip option, but there’s still a lot of good C prospects in this draft. Unless we fall in love with John Michael Scmidtz, I think this means we won’t be spending a 1st or 2nd rounder on one. We can hold off until the third or fourth round and still grab an upgrade at Center.

  37. Rob Staton

    I have one word to describe Daniel Jeremiah’s mock

    Who can guess what it is?

    • Matt

      But Rob…his one liners during the combine and pro days make up for it.

    • KennyBadger


    • Aaron Bostrom

      A humdinger 🙂

    • Blitzy the Clown


      • Big Mike

        winner (imo)

      • Rob Staton


    • cha

      Dog’s dinner

      Rats. That’s two words.

    • Matt

      Wow…some doozies.

      Carter: “immediate difference maker on all 3 downs.” Has *literally* never done that. Bold proclamation.

      Richardson *conveniently* falling to 22 to his former employer.

      • BK26

        Van Ness at 8? I’m a diehard Hawkeye fan, but not THAT big a fan. Stroud making it to 9? Will McDonald going in the top 50 let alone top 20? I can go on and on but I don’t think I need to!

        • Peter

          Brutally unpopular take.

          Seattle is one of THE worst run defending teams. I get the not enough pass rush mindset.

          But Tyree Wilson….not loving it but I’m sure Pete would be.

          But then add another pass rusher who is 23 and needs to get stronger. At 20? What a whiff of a draft.

          • BK26

            He’s a pure pass rusher too. I’ll need Rob for this, but I don’t think Wilson is much of a run stuffer.

            McDonald was only told to get to the quarterback. And he’s a tweener. He definitely will take time.

            We won a Super Bowl with one of the best run defenses ever. They forced teams to throw to the LOB. It needs fixed as much if not more than the pass rush. McDonald is too similar to Taylor.

            I feel like he looked at the calendar and realized that he was supposed to have a mock out by now and came up with this quickly.

            • Peter

              Bk that’s funny as heck.

              Boss: Daniel I’m gonna need that draft by Friday

              Daniel: draft?

              Boss: yeah the mock draft.

              Daniel: ….logs onto pfn and runs simulation….”got it right here boss!”

            • Peter

              Btw I’m in maybe the minority and think taylor, nwosu, mafe could be something if they fix the interior and/or upgrade middle lb spots.

      • Peter

        No Lamar no problem. Here’s the bigger version.

      • Big Mike

        Richardson falling to his former employer……(in my best Church Lady voice) how conveeeeenient.

    • BK26

      Haloti Ngata.

      • ShowMeYourHawk


    • Scot04


    • Roy Batty


    • Space Chief


    • cha

      Rob exasperated sigh count covering DJ’s mock: 9 exasperated sighs in the first 25 picks.

  38. Matt

    Excellent stuff per usual, Rob. Intriguing scenario.

    And on a side note – I appreciate that you don’t self describe as a “football analyst / draft expert” even though you’re so knowledgeable. I listened to a podcast yesterday by a “Salary Cap / Roster Construction Expert” yesterday…which is amazing considering he’s a hard money lender in Bellevue. The audacity & hubris of Seahawks Twitter never ceases to amaze me. Your conviction but lack of “clearly I’m right” is refreshing.

    • Rob Staton

      I consider myself a mere bloke with a blog 👍🏻

      • Matt

        Don’t sell yourself short – your “our Daniel Jeremiah.” 😉

        • Nick

          Seriously, I have been on this site for 10 years Rob, much appreciated for this forum for honest debate. Your hard work and dedication to this site makes it what it is.

          • Roy Batty

            And no ads pissing us off.

            That right there gets you a gold star in anyone’s book.

    • Matt

      I also want to give a round of applause to the “RW took up too much Cap but let’s do the same for Geno” folks.

      My stance is very simple…don’t pay older QBs. Don’t pay above average QBs. Pay elite or play young / cheap. A lot of people poo-pooed the Mariners, but they made wise moves not dumping big money into average MLB talent.

      • Peter

        You’re not enamored with the steady, bird in hand, five years of elite play crowd?


        You and I most likely listened to the same podcast. I really do like getting diverging ideas.

        Less enthralled with the “har har I was right,” vibe of some pundits at the exclusion of two things:

        1. You actually aren’t on a long enough timeline to know if you were right yet.

        2. A complete obfuscation and elimination of ALL the other things you missed on.

        That said. For the head of that podcast I generally enjoy when he and Rob sit down. And look forward to it if and when it happens.

        • Matt

          I very much like Bevens and he doesn’t do the “I’m the expert” thing. His guest, however, is a fraud.

          I do love getting opposing thoughts as well. The problem I have with Seahawks Twitter is that their little circle has assigned themselves expertise and the clique reinforces it. You can’t have a dialogue with these people. They sincerely think they are front office people.

          The drop off from conversation on this blog to other places is really astonishing. We can get heated here but people are usually always open to the discussion.

          • Peter

            This is fricking hilarious.

            I was talking about a whole other podcast and I switched the financial guys in my mind. Same energy though.

            Bevens I like quite a bit.

            • Matt

              Haha – that is funny.

      • Scot04

        Not as big an issue if we didn’t have 36M tied up in our 2 safties.

        • Nick

          Matt, great post, I am in complete agreement here. The key is identification of what can be developed into “elite”. Because as Rob has stated, Josh Allen had concerns coming out of Wyoming, same with Mahomes out of Texas Tech. Finding sigs of elite traits that can be developed over time is the component that makes or breaks, a franchise for a decade or better. Ultimately I agree, we don’t want to get into the quagmire of paying older above average QB’s who will never get us a super bowl. Is Geno that? is he a bridge and a mentor to pick 5?

          I also agree with Scot04, the issue is the asinine contracts for the least valued position in football. safety

          • Matt

            I agree with Scot as well. It happens in every sport – overpaying average to above average players.

            And you nailed it with elite traits – this is the conundrum with Carter, as well. It’s impossible to always get it right, but I think the goal should be identifying the “despite X elite traits, they absolutely cannot have X bad trait. That bad trait is more important than the elite trait when making the pick.”

            • Nick

              Boom. Nailed IT!!

        • Peter


          It’s a big issue. Carr, cousins, tannehill. Just because they all make or made good to great money doesn’t mean any one if them gas been necessarily worth it.

          Paying a guy a ton of money for half of a great season and half of a middling season might not make sense even by next year.

          Are people going to be stoked on geno at franchise tag money if the team is weak on defense and he’s anywhere less than 3:1 tds?

          • Peter

            Edit: has, gas, potatoe, tomatoe

      • Scot04

        Atleast John said he has a drop dead number in all negotiations. Lets hope it’s around 25M max for Geno.

  39. JimQ

    A WR-3 is a slightly lesser need in the coming draft. A WR pick will likely NOT be in the first 2 rounds. If possible, this dude could be a great addition as a possession receiver that is also a kick returner of note) In the below write up it may show how this kid is a Baldwin clone, similar size & speed and the ability to get open and more often than not, he’ll get you a TD or first down.

    WR-Jayden Reed, Michigan St., 5-116/186. Projected as a 3-rd round pick. —– over his 44-game collegiate career, caught 203 passes for 2,866 yards and 26 touchdowns . . . dynamic returner accumulated 581 punt return yards (14.9 avg.) and 841 kick return yards (20.0 avg.) in his career . . . returned three punts for touchdowns (two at MSU in 2021; one at WMU in 2018).

    —-> During his time at MSU, ****90-of-148 (.608) offensive touches (receptions and carries) went for either a first down or touchdown**** . . . had nine 100-yard receiving games in his career. Watching his tape, he sure looks a lot like Doug Balwin to me. He has some injury history that probably makes him drop a little, but I think he’ll be a pretty good addition in the round 3-4 range, possession receivers are IMO pretty darn *important*. Lockett won’t last forever (unfortunately), so, here is his best possible eventual replacement, Again, this is just – IMO.

  40. Blitzy the Clown

    Been sayin…

    Matt Miller

    The 2023 draft class is SO good at tight end. To the point that teams with star veterans at the position should be thinking about a next man up.

    49ers, Chiefs could definitely take a look at a future starter
    10:25 AM · Jan 20, 2023

    • Yoonhawk

      I know about Mayer…anyone else we should be looking at? Didn’t really follow the TE class this year.

      • Erik

        Luke Musgrave, Darnell Washington, and Dalton Kincaid were on Rob’s Horizontal board, rounds 1-3.

        • Erik

          Besides Mayer, of course.

        • Blitzy the Clown

          You can add Tucker Kraft, Cameron Latu, Sam LaPorta to that Day 1/2 group.

          Later on there are Josh Whyle, Zach Kuntz (Bruce Feldman’s Freak List), Kenmore Gamble.

          • BK26

            Personally I’m hoping for LaPorta. Has to be a good blocker to play at Iowa and he’s a very capable receiver. We had the worst quarterback play in the country and was Petras’s only receiving threat.

            If we draft him, I wouldn’t have any worries about him not translating. Won’t blow away his testing but will be SOLID.

  41. Rob Staton

    Blog favourite transferring to Ole Miss:

    This is a player one of the best in the business in the NFL pointed out to me FYI

    • Big Mike

      Speaking of blog favs, why is Tyler Van Dyke still at Miami? Has anyone heard any scuttlebutt?

      • Rob Staton

        No idea

        Fear for him

  42. Ryan Purcell

    To be fair to Graham, he tore his knee up in his first season with us and he still managed to be a pro bowler in the following two seasons, so I don’t think he was a bust even if he wasn’t all he could have been. Adams was a swing for the fences and has not panned out. Mostly due to injuries which are hard to predict. The same thing could happen with Payne. I think that’s maybe why they’ve tried to fill holes with middle class vets as opposed to supposedly high end talent.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Graham was only a bust because they didn’t use him as a wide receiver and didn’t throw the ball to him. He was a touchdown machine as soon as they started throwing jump balls in the end zone to him. Of course it took the Seahawks 3 seasons to do that.

      Is it a coincidence that they still have problems with players not suited to the scheme?? No.

  43. Big Mike

    “…mostly due to injuries”. 100% disagree. His play was very poor in his first season in Seattle outside of the very first game versus Atlanta.

    • Ryan Purcell

      I did say mostly! The reasons he did not pan out to my mind break down like this: 60%- injuries. 30% -coaches didn’t know how to use him. 10% – overrated as a player. That seems fairly reasonable.

      • Rob Staton

        I think 10% is a bit low

  44. Hoggs41

    The more I think about it the more I like Drew Sanders. His versatity just stands out and its a pisition of need. Probably would need pick 20 to get him.

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