What are the chances of Henry Melton in Seattle?

Would Chicago really allow Henry Melton to walk away?

Free agency kicks off on March 12th and truly, anything could happen. The Seahawks were big players the year they added Sidney Rice, Robert Gallery and Zach Miller (they also re-signed Brandon Mebane). In 2010 they wined and dined Brandon Marshall. Last year things were a little quieter apart from the re-signing of Red Bryant and the addition of Matt Flynn.

So what happens in 2013? Will they go big to try and improve the pass rush? Will they take a back seat and concentrate on the draft? With the team so close to reaching the NFC Championship, do you make the big splash to try and get over the line? Or do you recognise how many teams have chased the dream — failed — and then been left to face the consequences?

The Rice and Miller signings were seen to be jump starts — moves that would increase the speed of the rebuild. Let’s not forget just how bad this roster was when Pete Carroll and John Schneider took over. Now that it’s in a much healthier position, do they really need to go big in free agency again? Perhaps, but only for the right player.

The one that probably stands out more than any other this year is Henry Melton in Chicago. A running back in college, Melton made the unusual transition to defensive end and then eventually to tackle. Somewhat against the odds, he’s been among the leagues best three-techniques in recent seasons. A staple in Lovie Smith’s Tampa-2 scheme, he’s looked the part within a star-studded Bears defense.

A lot has changed in Chicago recently, including Smith’s departure. Perhaps priorities have changed too? Despite fielding a top-ranked defense, the Bears couldn’t protect their main asset. Jay Cutler doesn’t usually need any encouragement to start carelessly winging the ball into coverage, but that reckless nature’s been stoked by a lack of time in the pocket. The Bears’ offensive line has been a revolving door of mediocre talent. And when they finally decided to address the issue, they wasted a first round pick on Gabe Carimi.

Great job, guys.

Failing to sufficiently protect Cutler prompted the changes in Chicago. After all, they spent a small fortune on a quarterback thinking he’d win a title or two. Having leaned on the defense and managed only one NFC North title in the Cutler-era, the new plan appears to be offense-centric. Marc Trestman is an intellectual, offensive mind. He’s already made it clear his priority is to do a better job protecting the quarterback. The entire offensive line could be set for a rebuild.

Jake Long, for me, looks like a Bear in the making. He’ll be the top rated left tackle hitting the market if he gets out of Miami. Surprisingly, despite a decent chunk of cap room (+$30m), the Dolphins have shown little motivation to speak to any of their pending free agents. If Trestman is serious about protecting Cutler, they can’t rely on a tackle being there with the 20th overall pick. The three top left tackles — Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson — could all be off the board by San Diego at #11. Signing Long would put the Bears in a strong position and allow them to target the two guard spots in the first round.

Long + Jonathan Cooper = better Jay Cutler… Probably.

The only problem is, Chicago has just $13.3m available in cap space. There’s not a ton of wiggle room if they want to go chasing big name free agents. Long could generate a contract worth up to $9-10m per year. They can structure the deal to lessen the hit in 2013, but when you’re paying big contracts to Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Julius Peppers and others, you can put yourself in a big hole if you keep signing expensive free agents.

Going back to Melton, if the Bears want to franchise him it’ll cost $8.3m. That’s not an unreasonable sum but it’s big enough to take the Bears out of the free agency market for several other players. As the franchise moves in a new direction, they could be prepared to take a hit by losing Melton. What is more important to the franchise? Keeping Melton, or going after Long? It could be an either/or situation.

It’s worth noting that while I referred to ‘change’ earlier, one thing that won’t change is Chicago’s defensive scheme. New coordinator Mel Tucker has already revealed he’s sticking with the 4-3 and won’t even be changing the terminology used under Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli. If Melton leaves, it won’t be because the Bears don’t want or need him. I suspect they’d love to keep him, but it’s all about priorities.

So what about the Seahawks? He’ll turn 27 in October so on a four-year deal you’d be fairly confident about getting at least three years of peak performance. He recorded thirteen sacks in his last two seasons. He’s really the kind of player Seattle has lacked so far — an interior penetrator who consistently collapses the pocket. It helps that he’s had the chance to play on the same line as Julius Peppers. How much has it helped? Would he be the same force in Seattle’s defense?

Essentially that’s what it all boils down to. If you’re paying top price for a free agent, you want instant gratification. That’s hard to find, whoever you are.

Schneider and Carroll spent big on an injury prone Sidney Rice and had no qualms about going after Zach Miller. They also had plenty of background on Rice from Darrell Bevell and Tom Cable knew all about Miller and Robert Gallery. Will anyone be banging the table for Melton? And how influential was that vouch-for-factor in dishing out the big contracts in 2011?

One thing that could play into Seattle’s hands is the strong class of defensive tackles in the draft. Potential competitors for Melton’s services might feel confident about entering the Sheldon Richardson/Sharrif Floyd/Star Lotulelei sweepstakes and resist the temptation to offer a big contract. All three would be a lot cheaper, even if they go in the top ten. Unfortunately at #25 the Seahawks have little chance of getting at this talented trio.

It’s rare that a team gets the opportunity to sign one of the leagues best three techniques. The Seahawks have $18.6m in cap space and that will increase if they release or trade Matt Flynn. The key factor could be how it impacts being able to re-sign the teams own free agents over the next few years. Eventually guys like Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Golden Tate and K.J. Wright will be looking for new contracts. This will be off-set by the likes of Zach Miller seeing a reduction in salary, but being in a position to keep throwing unused cap space forward into future seasons is crucial to ‘keep the band together’.

Melton was a fourth round pick. Geno Atkins was a fourth round pick. Darnell Docket went in round three. In a contract sense, the team would benefit explicitly from finding their own version in the draft rather than going after a big name free agent.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. We’re talking about a position that’s notoriously hard to scout. The Seahawks drafted Jaye Howard in round four last year, probably hoping he could be the next mid-round gem. Instead he spent most of the year on the inactive list, even when Jason Jones was placed on injured reserve. Greg Scruggs forced his way onto the field as a rookie, Howard could not.

The search will probably continue this year and there’s a couple of guys that really intrigue me. One is Kaleb Ramsey at Boston College — a player hampered by injury issues. He’s likely to be a late round pick or UDFA because he couldn’t stay healthy. However, I’d take a flier on him with the hope his fortunes change at the next level. Ramsey’s a really talented player who would’ve been a much higher draft pick had he avoided the injuries.

The other intriguing player is Jordan Hill at Penn State. I cannot talk highly enough of this guy. I’ve put his tape on the blog before, but I’ve re-posted the Wisconsin game below for anyone who missed it. He’s solid against the run despite a lack of pure size (6-0/6-1, 295lbs), he gets into the backfield to make plays and he’s got that little spark to his game that you want to see from a three technique. Any defensive lineman at that size who performs well against Wisconsin deserves a ton of credit.

John Schneider and Pete Carroll might decide to trust their ability to find a mid-round prospect like Hill that negates the need to spend big in free agency. Presumably there would also be some concern that a guy taken later in the draft just wouldn’t have an impact (like Jaye Howard). Then what? Another year of mediocre pass rush costing the team wins?

It’s a tough balancing act. Trying to address the problem and failing on a third or fourth round salary won’t cripple the franchise. Spending big and not getting value for money could, especially if it jeopardises your ability to re-sign players who are actually doing their jobs. A conservative approach would be financially sound, but not taking the occasional gamble could cost you the chance to win a title.

I think Carroll is trying to create a culture of reward. You play well for this team, buy in to what we’re doing and we’ll look after you. I’m not sure he’ll be so desperate to reward other team’s players unless they absolutely take this roster to the next level. Will Henry Melton do that? Is he that much of a difference maker?

Don’t rule out Alan Branch re-signing with the Seahawks instead. If they want to keep size up the middle, then he’s an option. He performed fairly well for two years, would be relatively cheap and he’s familiar with the team. Randy Starks is another option and a player Carroll highlighted for praise when Seattle were beaten by Miami during the regular season. Starks plays the run brilliantly for a guy weighing just over 300lbs. He’s also a very capable pass rusher and made the Pro-Bowl this year.

Yet both players lack the kind of star power Melton possesses. If the team really is serious about improving the pass rush, replacing Jason Jones might not be enough. If Chris Clemons doesn’t make an Adrian Peterson-style recovery from his ACL injury, if anything Seattle’s pass rush could be even weaker in 2013. You could argue it’s crying out for a big splash, especially if the best defensive line prospects leave the board early on draft day.

One final note on Melton — during the pre-draft work outs and All-star games he was listed at around 260-270lbs and played defensive end. During the Texas vs Nation work outs he featured exclusively at end. The Bears took him in the middle rounds and moved him inside. He’s since added weight, maintained his athleticism and turned into an interior force. Datone Jones similarly weighed as little as 260lbs at UCLA for a time but got up to around 280lbs for the Senior Bowl. He also has a similar athletic quality to his play and was recruited by USC during Carroll’s time at Southern Cal. Just a few things to remember.

In terms of other prospective free agent defensive tackles, I’m not sure the Seahawks would necessarily look at failed top-ten picks like Glenn Dorsey and Sedrick Ellis. Both have been pretty disappointing so far. You could argue Dorsey has played out of position in the 3-4, but in the year he turns 28 can you rely on him to suddenly explode at the three? Ellis has been one of the bigger busts from the 2008 draft. He has history with Pete Carroll at USC and really that’s the only thing that makes this a viable suggestion. The best he can probably hope for is an opportunity to compete.

The Raiders are going to struggle to keep any of their free agents because they’re already over the cap, meaning Desmond Bryant is likely to be available. He’s probably the best option after Melton and Starks with eight sacks in the last two years. Tom Cable will likely give the front office an inside track here. He’s 6-6 and 311lbs meaning the continuation of size up the middle plus a pass-rush upgrade over Alan Branch. At the right price, the Seahawks could show some interest. He’ll turn 28 in December.

Team mate Richard Seymour also had a better 2012 season than most people give him credit for. But with his 34th birthday due in October, he’s unlikely to be anything more than a stop-gap.

Jordan Hill (DT, Penn State) tape vs Wisconsin


  1. Sam Jaffe

    If you don’t think the Seahawks are focused on Sedrick Ellis, what do you think of the possibility that they pay big bucks to Will Smith. He’s a potential cap casualty. He’s also an awkward fit in the 3-4, to which NO is transitioning. Does he fit anywhere on Seattle’s DL rotation? Is he worth a big contract at 29 years old?

    • Rob Staton

      His best days are behind him. I doubt the Seahawks go after players like this that are past their prime. They have a young, hungry core of players. The only ageing player I can see them going after is Umenyiora, just because he’s an ideal fit for the LEO and could provide a stop-gap or fall-back option if Clemons’ injury becomes an issue.

  2. Zach

    I would have to say I’m more skeptical about Melton than Starks. It just seems like Starks would travel better. Umeniora is definitely worth a look as well as Freeney for a two year deal.

    Rob, what about DE Bennett from TB? I feel Averill is a product of the Lions good D-line and won’t travel as well as Bennett.

    The Draft has some excellent DT’s this year so I feel like we should go DE in the free agent market.

    • Rob Staton

      Bennett will be costly… if only the Seahawks had kept hold of him.

      • Kenny Sloth

        Bennett likely benefits greatly from Geno Atkins’ presence in the middle. Looks like the next Ray edwards to me.

        • Carl

          Bennett plays for TB not Cincy, so I doubt Geno Atkins presence is too much of an issue for him.

          I think Freeney might not be a bad LEO replacement either, and maybe he could teach Irvin his spin move…

          William Hayes, free agent from St. Louis who had 7 sacks last year I think might be worth taking a look at as well.

        • NMD

          I believe you’re referring to Michael Johnson from Cincinnati, unless you’re confusing Atkins with Gerald McCoy. Crazy how Bennett and Babin came through Seattle right before breaking out.

          • Kenny Sloth

            I sure am. Thank you.

  3. Michael

    So it looks like Jake Long is a huge domino to watch. Whether he lands back in Miami or in Chicago, there is a chance that he will displace a Seahawks potential target.

    Rob, What chance would you give either team to get Long while also retaining their prized DT?

    • Rob Staton

      I think there will be a strong market for Long, even though I’m not crazy about him as a blind side blocker. There are teams out there with a lot of cap room that could go after him. Chicago don’t have a ton of cash unless they sign Brandon Marshall to an extension and spread it out. But the Bears surely cannot sign Long and keep Melton. Miami could easily sign Long and keep Starks but for whatever reason they aren’t making any noises to their FA’s.

      • CFR

        I think that’s because their priority is giving Ryan Tannehill more weapons (or at least not giving him less weapons). I see them signing Wallace or Jennings and resigning Hartline. After they get that figured out, then I think they make decisions on Long/Starks.

  4. AlaskaHawk

    I really like Starks, he is energetic through the whole game, and can pressure the QB.
    How much would we have to pay to sign him? And who would be taken off the team if he were here?

    • Rob Staton

      He’ll command probably a 2-3 year deal worth around $5-6m per year I think.

  5. Colin

    Acquire Starks.

    Draft DT and DE.

    Draft WR and/or TE.

    Create time machine to fast forward to September 🙂

    • SunPathPaul

      Acquire Starks and Osi, draft WR and TE in R1-3, and another DE and DT, WILL, slot CB & K…

      …then can we briefly stop at the combine and draft on the way to Sept?! (Wish we could)

    • Ben

      Acquire Starks/Melton/Bryant

      Draft DE, TE, WR/KR, OL in that order

      fast forward to September


      • SunPathPaul

        That would be very scary for the other 31… Dominate would be the term—most likely.

  6. James

    Melton does indeed fit the mold of the John/Pete free agent, in that he is entering the prime of his career rather than just leaving it. They have proven ready to spend big dollars on the perfect guy. Rice and Miller are in this mold. However, the team is in a very different situation as they move ahead. Sherman will cost in excess of $10 mil/yr to re-sign. Okung and Thomas almost that much. Wright, Tate, Baldwin and Chancellor will cost several mil each. Oh, and by the way, they will need to pay their brilliant young QB about $20 mil/yr after a couple of more seasons. Without expert analysis, I can’t see how the Seahawks can afford any high-priced free agents over the next 3 years, needing instead to roll over all available cap money to keep the core of the team together. It is fun to dream, though.

    • James

      …even just counting on my fingers, it seems to me that signing Wilson, Sherman, Okung, Thomas, Wright, Tate, Baldwin and Chancellor to their second contracts will cost more than $40 mil/yr more than they are spending on those players today. Forget any big-money free agents for the next few years. New guys will have to come from the draft, and re-signing the core guys, will be the approach for some time to come.

    • Zach

      I truly believe Wilson is the kind of player that will take a big pay cut for the team. You may say he will be worth 20+ million a year…..I bet he’ll take 12-15m.

      • Rob Staton

        Also the current QB who is asking for $20m just won a Super Bowl. He wouldn’t be in a position to realistically make those demands had Baltimore lost to Denver.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Lets not get carried away. Wilson is worth 8-10 million before a superbowl win, We are gonna be expensive team in two years.

      • Alex

        lol, that’s not happening. The market is pretty much set by Matt Schaub and Drew Brees. Elite QBs are 20 million plus and a past his prime Pro Bowl Matt Schaub is 15 million. Romo is predicted to command at least 15 million. Oh yeah, all these players are over 30 years old. A young Wilson entering his prime will definitely mark up the price a bit. I see 15 million if we’re given a discount (taking in consideration salary inflation) and 20 million if not.

        • Wes

          I’d be shocked if Wilson would take a pay cut. Yea we love him and it is nice to imagine that he would do that for the team but come on. He is the most underpaid player in the NFL right now. When the time finally comes he will be ready to get everything he can, as well he should. If he continues on his current arc he will get a top 5 QB contract.

          • Rob Staton

            If he keeps winning, he could get one of the biggest NFL deals in history. But that’s a big ‘if’.

            • Bruce M.

              Actually, I’m not that sure how big that IF really is, personally.

    • Rob Staton

      I suppose you could also argue that those young guys will have to maintain their level of play to earn those contracts. I mean, I get the point… but I’m not sure you avoid making moves in free agency that can help the team because you assume players will maintain standards that warrant league-leading contracts. And there’s always the chance they let some guys walk — get value, then move on. After all, three quarters of the best secondary in the NFL cost no more than a 5th round pick.

      • Colin

        I’m going to argue Pete and John aren’t keeping them all. You can upgrade Wright, you can upgrade Tate, and Chancellor the same. You HAVE to keep Wilson, Thomas, Okung and Sherman.

        • Rob Staton

          Hard to disagree with that. Very fair assessment.

          • AlaskaHawk

            Even Marshawn may be worn out in three years. Rice will be doubtful at end of his contract, depends on whether he is healthy and still being targeted.

          • Colin

            Thank you sir.

            • Alex

              agreed, those are the indispensable four. These each play a vital role. LT- blindside protector. FS- corner/safety hybrid that allows our corners to be aggressive with the jam. QB- it’s a “qb-driven league”. #1 CB- shutdown corners are rare. Others can be drafted. But these four must be resigned.

              I imagine Okung and Thomas will be get raises, but not a ton because their rookie contracts under the previous CBA is already a handful. On the other hand, Sherman and Wilson playing on dirt cheap contract. Their raises will be AT LEAST 25-30 million.

              • AlaskaHawk

                I would like to keep Kam Chancellor too. I still love that hit he put on Vernon Davis.

    • BCHawk

      There is a good chance Sherman will demand and get $15m.

      • Rob Staton

        I highly doubt that. He could always be franchised for much less. He also cost a 5th rounder, so if the demands become too large (and $15m is way too large) then they’ll probably move on and replace him.

  7. Ivotuk

    I love Jordan Hill. He’s motivated, well spoken and plays hard. That said I think is wait until the 4th round to pick him. I don’t think he’s going to generate much interest which would make him a steal then.

  8. Clayton

    Last year during free agency, the obvious holes were at QB, MLB, and backup RB. So, Seattle acquired free agents Matt Flynn, Barrett Ruud and Kregg Lumpkin. The positions were arguably still deficient, but at least they were addressed. They still drafted at these positions, and the rest was history. But notice the strategy. They didn’t go for any big free agent contracts, but they got smaller contracts but still good, hungry players for competition with the incoming rookies. And in hindsight it was a good move, because we got some really good rookies. With DT, I would expect Seattle to repeat this strategy and not go for the bigger names in Melton and Starks, but with a smaller contract in Desmond Bryant. Then use the draft to get someone to compete with him. This is the Pete Carroll way to win forever. Go Hawks!

    • Rob Staton

      Bryant will still command a fair contract, certainly comparable if not better than Starks. I can see them taking the strategy you propose but part of me also wonders how they’ll feel about addressing the DT need in the most emphatic way possible in order to completely open up the draft.

      Right now I still think Starks will be the most likely target.

  9. Trudy Beekman

    So many variables here. I think the safest route would be to re-sign Branch to a longer contract on the cheap, like a 4 year 15m which would keep his cap hit of 3.5m roughly the same. In the draft, target guys like Kawann Short in Round 1 or Jordan Hill/Datone Jones in 2. Short could probably start right away at the 3, which would make Branch some excellent depth/rotation. Hill/Jones would have to be groomed in the Jason Jones role before potentially starting at the 3. Rob, what type of contract do you think Branch would need to re-sign? Is 4y/15m about right? That would take him until he was 32.

    Have to get rid of Flynn to free up that cap room and sign someone like a Jason Campbell to a backup contract. Draft Ryan Aplin. I would rather have a more mobile guy back there in case RW goes down so we can run the same style offense.

    • Rob Staton

      I think Branch will get interest from the ‘new’ 3-4 teams looking for a nose. I think 3yrs for 11-13m (total) is likely.

  10. Sawker_Dawg

    It will be interesting to see if the deep draft DT talent might drive down the price of Starks/Melton/Bryant. This seemed to happen with QB last year driving down the cost for Flynn. Manning was going to get interest regardless of the market but I think the cheap QB availability in the draft helped the Hawks sign Flynn to a reasonably cheap contract for at the time a starting QB.

    Does anyone happen to know how many of the teams looking for DT actually have cap space to go after any of these three FA DT’s? I would agree that each will be looking to get their rewarding contract but if there is not enough interest I’m confident PC/JS will not overpay the market.

    We’ve been really focused on the DT and WLB, even WR/TE options but the most concerning position for me is the LEO with the uncertainty of Chris Clemons. This seems to make getting a pass rushing DT through FA or the draft that much more important.

    • Zach

      I would say since DT is so deep in the draft we sign a good DE in free agency.

      • Sawker_Dawg

        The only thing with that is good DE’s are a premium price compared to DT. I don’t see the Hawks breaking the bank for a DE. They might think Scruggs and Irvin can handle it and get even better in their 2nd year.

        I must admit the first time I watched the Hill tape, I was not too impressed. However, after watching it again, I am almost convinced the Hawks would spend a 2nd round pick on him. If they fall in love with his play, like I did while watching the tape, it might be within their strategy to reach for him like the so-called experts might say. His effort and ability compare favorably to many of the other DT’s. I’ve seen some tape of many of the DT’s and Hill has some of the best hands and ability to take on blocks while remaining in the play. The only time he did not seem able to get away from a block was when he was double teamed. I’ve read other people comment that players get blown up or can’t handle double teams but who the heck can besides the greatest DT’s like Tez.

      • Phil

        I agree — I think our FA $$ could be better spent on a DE instead of a DT, particularly with some uncertainty re: Clemons.

        FA: Freeney? Osi?
        Rd. #1: WR/TE (Ertz? Jordan Reed?)
        Rd. #2: DT (Jordan Hill?)
        Rd. #3: WILL (Trevardo Williams? Phillip Steward?)

        • Attyla the Hawk

          If we don’t go DT in R1, I’m increasingly convinced we’ll go Khaseem Greene R1.

          I also see Trevardo as a LEO/DE prospect. In the ‘things he can do’ department — it’s pass rush. That’s this guy’s moneymaker talent. And our Will doesn’t rush often. Trevardo is a tweener LB/DE. Lighter than Irvin. I do like him very very much as a prospect. Should be available in day 3.

          Steward is a late day 3 guy. He may not even get drafted. I think he will, but it’ll be an R6+ kind of thing.

          I also am not expecting to need to use the 2nd round pick on Hill. Especially if one thinks that DTs will be well represented in rounds 1 and 2, then I think OL/WR talent is going to really dominate rounds 2 and 3. It’s a deep year for those positions too.

          Like the prospects. But I think those are probably a round and a half earlier that maybe they will go. If those are indeed the guys we want, then expect us to move down 10-15 spots to get them and pick up more picks — maybe in 2014.

  11. Tomahawk

    When mentioning that PC/JS may try again to nail down the D-tackle in the middle rounds, I think of just two years ago when corner seemed to be such a huge need on this team. I was very disappointed when they waited until the late rounds to address it with guys named Sherman and Maxwell, as opposed to going after top corner prospects early in the draft. Just goes to show how much more they know than a diehard fan like me. That said, it would scare me all over again if they waited a few rounds to address the D-line, but I now have full trust in the way PC/JS draft.
    By the way, good call on the possible similarities between Datone Jones and Melton. That screams of a pick trashed by the “experts” that turns into gold.

  12. Ukhawk

    Too bad ASU’s Sutton didn’t enter the draft this year, he would’ve probably been a good shout for the Hawks at the 3

    • Troy

      I dont know if he would be there @ our pick

  13. Aaron

    Fantastic write up Rob. Very nice comprehensive breakdown of the overall situation.

    I agree, you have to love what you see from Jordan Hill in that tape. Uncanny run-stopping ability. He gets good push, but also reminds me of a linebacker in the way he’s able to move laterally.

    Any guess on what round he’ll be selected?

    • Rob Staton

      I think he’ll be a round four pick. I’d take him in round three to be safe.

  14. Ely

    Per rotoworld: Seahawks LE Red Bryant played with a torn plantar fascia in his foot for the second half of the 2012 season.
    That likely explains Bryant’s down season versus the run. After grading out as a top-12 run defending end in 2011 at Pro Football Focus, he dropped all the way to No. 49 in 2012. Seattle still boasted the tenth-ranked run defense in the league, so look for them to only get better this upcoming season. Bryant, 29 in April, is entering the second year of a five-year, $35 million contract.

    I had no idea Bryant’s injury was so Severe. It’s amazing he was able to play through it. Maybe DL isn’t such a huge need after all if Bryant can come back to form. Of course we still need depth but the line play was a lot better the first half of the season, especially the run D. I can’t really see the Hawks going big in free agency with the looming contracts extensions coming in the next couple years.

    • Kip Earlywine

      A couple things:

      Like most tendon related problems, Plantar Fascia is very persistent and is known to last for years or even decades. Unfortunately, surgery is usually avoided or treated like a last resort, so there isn’t an easy fix. Bryant is hardly out of the woods.

      Even if Bryant does return to his previous level, does a ranking of 12th against the run justify a defensive end position in a 4-3 defense that generates essentially zero pass rush? If he was 1st- by a large margin- I could see it. I’m not really sure he’s helping the team much even when healthy, especially as the highest paid player on the defense. IMO, if the team wants to improve the pass rush, they start thinking about life after Bryant.

      • Steeeve

        Red is always hurt, and has had fluctuating effectiveness. You’re right about that. If a d-lineman is going to offer virtually zero pass rush, he better be a dominant run defender. Injured or not, he was a downright liability the second half of the season and one of the biggest reasons we lost to Atlanta. I didn’t understand that big contract then and I certainly don’t understand it now.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        Yeah, I would have to think that the Glenn Dorsey option (cheap show me contract) is probably the more likely option.

        Seattle is going to want to roll over as much cap space as possible going into 2014. That value is set on the first week of the regular season. Henry Melton and Desmond Bryant will make that very difficult.

        For those very reasons Kip listed, is why I’ve been on the Jesse Williams cause. He isn’t a sack guy. Hes a collapse guy. Even if he’s at the 3, he’s going to create movement. And truth be told, I think that’s enough for us.

        If a pass play has a 3 second window, Williams isn’t the kind of guy that will reduce that to 2. He’s the kind of guy that will not allow it to go to 4. He’ll produce collapse that will not give QBs all day to reset and look over the entire field again. He will steadily drive the the QB in a virtually unstoppable but measured way.

        We don’t even have that capability right now. And while yes I’d rather we had a guy that can speed the clock — I’d also be satisfied with a guy that can keep an honest clock. Especially if that guy can succeed Red when his days are behind him.

        • Rob Staton

          The issue I have with the Dorsey option is it’s much less likely to result in answering the problem of the pass rush. He’ll be 28 this year and while he’s been in the wrong scheme, do we really expect a great year from this guy? He’s still been pretty mediocre in KC and is switching him to the three suddenly going to make him a force? I’m not convinced. I think they either go Melton, Starks, Branch or look at the draft.

          • Attyla the Hawk

            I don’t have great expectations. But truthfully, unless you are going for a 6M+ guy, then your expectations will be tempered.

            Seattle isn’t in a position to saddle themselves with a 7 million dollar contract like they were when they signed Rice and Miller.

            Additionally, we both see DT as a position of depth in this class. But we also see non DT prospects that we think we’d like to have (Ertz, Hopkins, Greene). Getting a UFA backup option would be necessary if we wanted to entertain taking any of those instead of a DT.

            Dorsey is not a reliable an option as Melton or Starks are. His age is within months of both Desmond Bryant and Henry Melton. He’s not old like Starks. And he’d come in with the requisite chip on his shoulder that this team kind of craves.

            I think Dorsey, or someone in that class, is our ‘double dip’ option. I think we’ll get a DT in the first three rounds. But whomever we draft, I don’t think they’ll be a secure option to answer our need either. Certainly there is the risk that our late round guy could be gobbled up by another team.

            I just don’t see us being able to sign an earth shaker of a UFA. Not that I wouldn’t have the appropriate excitement level if we did. But that kind of big signing really doesn’t seem like it fits in even our medium range plans beyond this season.

            I’m not convinced either that Dorsey is *the guy*. That seems like that should be expected of a ‘show me’ contract. I guess I’m not looking necessarily at being convinced. He’s a guy with a lot to prove. A guy miscast in KC. He should be very well motivated. He’s a guy that can be part of a multiple prospect solution. A guy that would hedge a play for a 2nd round DT such as Montori Hughes or Brandon Williams or some other day 2 DT — allowing us to go after Khaseem Greene on day 1.

            We also have Scruggs and Howard drafted last year. I’m not convinced by them either. But I am convinced that Pete is good at developing guys. I’d have to think, that if we add a 2nd round DT, a show me type DT UFA to the two developing guys we have — we *should* get at least one guy capable of improving the rush at that position.

            Melton and Starks are the warm fuzzy assurance plays. But this team so rarely goes that route. It’s both frustrating and exciting. I think you’d agree, that Pete and John relish the opportunity to get production where none is expected.

            And our financial days of reckoning is really just around the bend. Getting one of those 2 almost assuredly means we have to pick between Chancellor OR Tate next year. We won’t be able to resign both, and try to extend on Sherman, Wright or Baldwin. Melton and Starks means cap casualties in 2014.

            • Rob Staton

              One thing they could do with $18m cap space this year is take a bigger hit in 2013 as long as they don’t plan to make many other moves and rely on the draft. If they gave, for example, Melton $10m in 2013 (about as much as Flynn got) then another chunk next year they could front load the deal considerably, making the hit lower when guys like Sherman are eligible for contracts.

              • Attyla the Hawk

                They wouldn’t have to frontload if they roll over the surplus.

                But yeah, the reasoning is identical. Have more available cap space in 2014. However they do it (not spend this year or cut salary next) will achieve the same thing.

                Not spending this year (roll over) and cutting next year would give us the maximum cap space available. But that seems pennywise and poundfoolish.

                They have a lot of ways to go. We shall see how it unfolds.

  15. Chris

    I thought Hill looked very intriguing. A very active little guy. Seems to have some natural pass rush skill 1v1 and works pretty hard vs. the run. His tape was fun to watch, you could really see him working out there.

  16. Kip Earlywine

    Something I noticed about Hill: he rarely explodes into a gap like a prototypical pass rushing 3-tech would. Instead, he tends to engage the defender directly, find the football, then defend two gaps (he does this very well). This is very unusual given that Hill plays DT on a 4-3 defense, which is typically a 1 gap system in the interior.

    I’m not complaining. Hill possesses excellent skills as a 2 gap player. He can hold ground, find the ball, and disengage for the tackle at will. As good as he is as an unconventional 3-tech, I think he could be a star as a 3-4 DE. Or for that matter, an upgrade over Red Bryant for Seattle’s two gap version of the 5-tech role.

    If Seattle took Hill in the 2nd round, I seriously wouldn’t complain. Not only is he under-rated, but he’s more versatile than I think most people realize.

  17. Stuart

    Rather than pay the BIG money to a FA DT it would be much cheaper dollar wise to move up in in the draft to pick the DT that PC/JS really want bad, Richardon? Star? Floyd? We do have the draft capitol and Matt Flynn to work with. The draft plan this year should focus on quality over quantity since it’s going to be tougher this year for rookies to make the team.

    JS is amazing at finding hidden gems in mid to late rounds so there is that. So if it meant giving up our first, third and possibly next years third to move up and grab the difference maker the DL needs according to PCJS then do it! He will be on a rookie contract for three seasons.

    I have so much faith in JS that everything will work out. Imagine how incredible it would be to sit with PCJS and listen to them talk about their draft board and what trades they are considering, one can dream…

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure Matt Flynn is going to have any kind of value in helping Seattle move up the board.

    • Phil

      “Rather than pay the BIG money to a FA DT it would be much cheaper dollar wise to move up in in the draft to pick the DT that PC/JS really want bad,”

      No doubt it would be cheaper, but the real question is whether PC/JS are convinced that they can get the kind of productivity they want from any of the big names that would be available if they moved up. Rob has pointed out that there have been lots of busts trying to find an effective 3-technique in past drafts. Some of the really great ones have actually come from later rounds.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      It’s just a different cost. You’d spend draft capital instead of monetary capital.

      Seattle is simply too good in day 2 and 3 to sacrifice those elements. The players they get in day 2 and 3 are the replacements for the Chris Clemons’ Sidney Rice and Zach Millers. Those 3 guys command about 20 million dollars collectively.

      You have to figure we’ll need to start addressing Red Bryant/Brandon Mebane/Marshawn Lynch successors soon. Not that I’m kicking them to the curb — but it could take a couple years to get suitable replacements for those guys. We need to keep adding starter quality backups and find ‘the next xxxx’ players. We won’t be able to keep all of these guys and we need to have a plan of succession for some of them so that we can afford to let some go.

      Our success in the back half of the draft is just too consistent. I’d consider trading that capital off limits. That’s where Seattle separates itself from the rest of the NFL. I may not be able to see it before hand. But I can surely recognize that this FO can.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I love the way we find late round players . But with our team improving- how often will that happen in the future? We all drool over the top 50 players and their skill set. We also have a large group of practice guys who will probably never see the field. So we have an excess of players who while good just aren’t good enough to make the team.

        At this point I can’t see anyone making the team past the fourth round. If they do it will be because of starter injuries and that they are very talented. I would prefer we consolidated all 6 of our late round picks into one high round pick.

        • Attyla the Hawk

          I can see that happening a lot. Particularly as we are forced by the reality of the salary cap, to let good/great players walk.

          I don’t see Tate, or Wright, or Wagner or Chancellor or Carpenter or Unger or Mebane or Bryant or Bronwer as being the irreplaceable talents. We WILL have to pick and choose which of our guys we want to keep. Key to that picking and choosing will be which of those guys have we drafted ahead of need in anticipation of letting them go.

          There are probably only 3-4 guys on this team that MUST be retained. Okung, Thomas and Wilson are three of them. Maybe one more.

          Ultimately, we are going to have WAY too many good players that we’d want to retain than is fiscally possible. We are a team willing to play youth. That means starting the succession process by around age 26-27. Maybe even before that. You take value guys that can succeed players you let go — even if you don’t necessarily know who those are. Because you can’t just find a good LB because you need one. Maybe you need to take that great SS prospect and let Chancellor walk because you haven’t found that LB to allow Wright to move on.

          These picks this year and next have huge value. They are the reason this team won’t sink into decay as so many teams do after having youthful success. It’s how we avoid becoming the next Pittsburgh Steelers or NY Jets. To stay young, it means letting stars go too early. If you have good players ready to succeed them, that process is not painful.

          It should be noted, that kind of planned rollover tends to hedge against injury as well. So it does serve an immediate value too.

  18. Belgaron

    If Melton isn’t franchised, he’s worth a look but with Mebane and Bryant’s contracts, that would be a lot of money sunk in 2nd contracts on D-Line, this area needs young guys to match the rest of the defense. Starks could buy them a few years why they try to find them.

  19. Madmark

    I d be inviting Richard Seymour to camp and see what he has left. I think after the raiders he might have the gas for a superbowl run and a young enviroment.
    What do you think Rob, a change in looker room could that inspire him?

    • Zach

      I say bring in Freeney as well.

      • Rugby Lock

        And Osi… kick the tires on them all…

  20. Zach

    I get the feeling that this is the year we move up the board for Richardson, Floyd, or maybe Ansah and end up getting a few old timers in FA. Freeney still has a few good years left and if we moved up to get Ansah who better than Freeney to show him the ropes?

    • MJ

      I agree with Floyd and Richardson. Highly doubt they’d move up for Ansah. He’s not really the pass rusher he’s made out to be and is almost 24 years old. He’s great in the run game, but I don’t really see where he fits outside of the Jason Jones role. He’s a really great athlete, but he’s not JPP, who was much younger & more explosive in the pass rush department.

      I don’t expect a trade up, but won’t write it off. That said, if they do trade up, expect it to be for a serious core player who can be on the field for a majority of snaps. Yes, Bruce Irvin is a specialist, but we also traded down (albeit slightly) to obtain him. Sacrificing draft capital (significant) to me, really should mean you are getting a core player who has a high “hit” factor (as in conviction he is most certainly a key cog for years to come).

      • Trudy Beekman

        Agree. Ansah is overrated AND doesn’t fit into this defense. Datone Jones is a better player if we’re looking at guys that don’t fit anywhere.

  21. Dan

    I don’t know all the ins and outs of the new CBA, but would it be smart to extend some of our young bucks now?? Would it free up some cap space in the future? Maybe it’s smarter to see how the Melton/Starks/Long/Bryant situation pans out but if none of the top DT’s are available maybe we just look to the future.

    • Rob Staton

      The likes of Sherman are so cheap at the moment that it wouldn’t make much sense to offer them new deals… because they’d also be demanding top dollar. In fact players drafted from 2011 aren’t eligible for extensions until three years into their rookie deals under the new CBA.

      • Rugby Lock

        Can’t renegotiate for the first three years of a rookie’s contract. That’s what all the flap was about with the bogus rumor of RW asking for a new contract.

        • Rugby Lock

          Oops… missed the last part of Rob’s reply…

      • Attyla the Hawk

        True. Which means this time next year.

        Which means if we want any extra cap space to play with in 2014, we have to have it available the day after the final cutdown to 53 THIS year.

        Next year’s guys are Chancellor (1.3m 2013 – UFA 2014), Doug Baldwin (RFA 2014), Tate (0.9m 2013 – UFA 2014), Sherman (0.5m) , KJ Wright (0.5m), Carpenter (2.0m 2013) and Moffitt (0.8m 2013)

        Actually, they could extend Chancellor and Tate this season Their contracts expire after 2013.

        Baldwin could be extended this year since he was a UDFA (CBA allows extending after 2 accrued seasons). He is still under team control in 2014 as a RFA.

        So really, the clock has already started right now. Teams can extend these contracts today before the UFA signing period starts.

        • SunPathPaul

          The only one here Attyla that I would want to go ahead and give an extension to is Richard Sherman.
          Tate and Baldwin are solid, but not exceptional, thus they should be easier to resign at a good price, if we even still need them after the draft and adding Stephen Williams and such…

          • Attyla the Hawk

            Tate was exceptional this year. Particularly if you look at his production and how it translated to Wilson’s QB rating.

            I can’t take credit for the figures, but I’ll link the analysis by receiver here:


            It breaks down Wilson’s rating by receiver and area in the field. Tate was clearly the most productive WR Wilson targeted all year and it wasn’t like it was the ‘meh’ option. He produced at an extremely high level.

            Tate had a monster year and IMO is a good indication of the innate lack of expected value we should come to expect of any future WR selection we have. We see the end result and think that our passing attack is anemic. But it’s really a function of build. When we do throw it, regardless of where — we do so for excellent effect.

            Tate was far and away our best WR option. And his productivity spanned all zones of the field.

            • SunPathPaul

              I would have to agree that Tate was ‘Golden’! I do! I have very fond memories of his catches and especially the YAC he produces. He was a R2 pick. We need another R1 or 2 WR pick. I would prefer to keep Tate, I mean how many guys are named Golden, and draft a replacement for the expensive Rice. I like Rice, he plays well, but let us not forget that this years’ WR production is AS MUCH about Russell Wilson as it is about the WR’s.

              I would like to keep Tate, for the right price- he has never had a 1,000 yard season in this offense, so we pay accordingly, then draft a playmaker to replace Rice’s contract. Maybe Williams at 6-5 / 200 will be good now!?

              • Attyla the Hawk

                Agreed. Although I don’t see us needing to spend a first overall to satisfy that.

                I’ve been vocal about my desire for guys like Markus Wheaton (speed dynamic) and Chris Harper. I really like Harper as a day 2 pick and think he fits exactly what we desire here.

                Not a dynamic stretch the field type. So the Patterson/Austin fans are not going to really like him as a prospect. But I really don’t think this is a quick strike kind of offense. Namely because with the run game and defense that we’ve assembled, we should and apparently do seek consistent plus plays over inconsistent big plays.

                He’s a guy that is big and plays bigger. Very strong, able to fight for balls and when balls come his way, he either catches it or makes sure it’s not caught. I love how he attacks the ball and when you watch him and you see him with a CB all up in his shirt — you can see how he attacks the ball. Even when he’s covered, he’s open. He is also a huge plus as a blocker. He’s a guy that really screams Seahawk to me as far as the kinds of receivers that have made the cut under the Carroll regime.

                I have always thought we’d take a WR in R2 or R3. I still believe that — especially since we didn’t add anything last year and one we did take in 2011 was cut. So our WR corps needs new bodies regardless. I just don’t see us taking one at 25. The value is in day 2.

                • SunPathPaul

                  If we truly believe in using the PC and JS mantra of “We look at what they CAN do, over what they CAN’T do”, then I still believe that Tavon Austin is our best R1 pick.
                  People HATE me saying this, but if you go value wise, you get 4 players in 1!
                  WR/RB/PR/KR… If we add ‘lightning’ like this, we would become very explosive.

                  That’s not a big shift from now, just that like Tate, when the guy Austin has the ball- it might equal a TouchDown! That’s all. And as far as for percentages favoring Tate, Austin would be similar…that’s why some argue against, but he can play change up tailback for Lynch also. It would be a leap of faith – but like Wilson, it would pay off!

                  Otherwise, he will probably go to the Patriots or 49ers!! Wanna play this guy?? no
                  Let’s put him on our side.

  22. Steeeve

    I would like to see Starks in on a reasonable contract and another inexpensive LEO candidate so we can take BPA in the first round. Melton will be very expensive.

    • SunPathPaul

      Seems like Osi would be THAT guy. Give them both modest 2 year contracts with incentives…see where that takes us. I like the idea of bringing in a cat who all ready won a SB…feel it might rub off…

  23. Cysco

    What’s more important, cap space or draft picks? It’s an interesting question that I’m sure the front office is asking themselves or has already answered.

    If cap space is king, then it seems the best bet would be sacrifice a couple draft picks to go after a top-tier prospect in the draft. If the FO values the draft picks, then they likely need to spend a chunk of their free cap space to fill the need.

    It’ll be really interesting to see how the FO plays the off season. I wish I could sit in all those meetings.

    • MJ

      I would say that draft picks allow you much more flexibility when it comes to maintaining cap space. Rookie contracts are so cheap now, that the best way to fill “complimentary” roles is with cheap rookies, rather than FAs who will cost significantly more.

      They work hand in hand. Cap space is most important, but the draft picks allow that to be a consistent theme. Cincinnati is a great example. Part of the reason they have significant cap space is that they got so many great contributors from their own draft picks (Dunlap, Johnson, Atkins, Burfict – UDFA, etc).

      I agree with you, this offseason is going to be fascinating. We have a team that is ready, money to spend, and looming huge contracts in the next few years. Odd and exciting dynamic.

      • SunPathPaul

        Yes, what a dynamic play! Do we spend a bit more for a known commodity, or try and strike it rich in the draft!

        Do we trade up, trade back, bundle or swap?! So many variations, and so much risk…I see now this is where the team is built, and how it is maintained, long term.

        I think through the play of our team THIS year, PC/JS will single out who they want to keep the most, and start to let some pass bye. Maybe they get ‘reasonable’ offers to stay, so if they do, we get good value, say on Tate. Otherwise they move on, and newbies bloom up to replace them.

        One guy that we could spend an early pick on replacing that no one mentions is Sidney Rice. If we went for a round 1 #1 WR, then Rice could be gone net year, saving like $6 million or so… I like Rice, he made some plays this year, but if we are speaking about replacing the older players with cheaper guys, he could be one to watch.

        Rob, others- if we wanted to let Sidney Rice go after this coming year, who would you like to replace him with?

        Patterson, Allen, Hunter, Woods, Patton, Dobson? We would be doubled up with 2 big WR for a year, then be much more ready to sign Sherman and those guys…


  24. SES

    I have thoroughly enjoyed the discussion. Colin & Clayton make some good points about the Big Four: Okung, Wilson, Thomas, and Sherman. Yes, I too can see Chancellor or Tate hitting FA. With as many talented young players as the Hawks have they won’t be able to keep them all.
    My FA wish list is something like this: DT – Starks (fewer $ than Melton but still good fit), DE – Freeny (fills veteran void if Clemmons is still on the mend, and can you imagine a better roll model for Irvin).
    My Draft wish list: 1 – OLB K Greene (unbelievable playmaker, you can never have enough)… Follow that in the order that PC/JS feel best w/ by adding playmakers at DT, DE, WR & depth @ CB, FS, RT.
    By the way, concerning TE, lets not forget about C Morah who ended up on IR. I love his skill set and actually think he is a better fit than McCoy.

    • SunPathPaul

      Yo, he is a 7th round pick from 2009! If he hasn’t played yet, I doubt he is comparable to Ertz, Reed, Kelce, etc…

      I like your other ideas though… Freeney would be cool to watch out there in a Seahawk Jersey!

      …and I wonder how much that goes into the PC/JS consideration. that is, how the veteran can lead/mentor, how much experience of a player can help the locker room?? stuff like that… Seems like Osi would drive guys.

  25. Wes

    Anyone know what the cap hit would be if the Hawks cut Red Bryant either this offseason or the next? If the Hawks bring in a pricey free agent of 2 on the DL, I could see Bryant becoming a cap casualty. I know he was playing hurt last year, but as the year went on he was giving the team nothing on the field. Just wasting space at a position where normally you could expect at least some pass rush. He brought no heat and eventually could not even set the edge to defend the run. I like his leadership and he played well in 2011, but I don’t see how his huge contract is going to be justified moving forward if the pass rush is not vastly improved.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I give him kudos for playing through injury last year. Im surr if we had anyone better thewould have been out there instead of Red. His injury is a real issue going forward. I would question the value of his contract unless he is wholly healthy. But I also value his leadership.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      Red has 10.6M in dead money still owed for 2013. 6.6M in base, 4M in remaing signing bonus ( prorated to 1.0M through 2016)

      2014 is a big year. He has an additional 3.0M roster bonus owed him if he is not cut prior to the start of the NFL year (prior to UFA signing period). He could be released at that point, which would mean the remaining 3.0M of his signing bonus would need to be applied as dead money to the 2014 cap.

      Cutting him this year is not an option. Well it is but it’s a 10.6M shot to Babylandia.

    • Dan

      I think him playing through injury really speaks volumes to our depth at that position. If we had someone who could’ve jumped in and covered all of Red’s responsibilities we would’ve.

  26. MJ

    I expect a similar “play” as last year. As in, a few mid level signings at positions of need, and subsequently supplemented in the draft.

    Though, I could see PC/JS seeing that they are in a really unique position at 25, especially considering the odd layout of the draft this year. I say odd, because the talent at 25 might be the exact same as 10. I could see them approaching FA with the thought of “there are 3-4 targets at 25 we expect at least one to be there and will take advantage of that value.” This could be Ertz, Ogletree, Allen, Cooper, Short.

    We are definitely sitting pretty at 25. Some fantastic talent will be there. Can’t wait to see it play out.

    • Trudy Beekman

      I think this is the play if there is a run on QB’s early and someone falls, or they could be looking to trade back into the early 2nd if a team wants to beat the QB rush and grab one of these guys. I think you can add Arthur Brown, Khaseem Greene and DeAndre Hopkins in that case. Kawann Short is the only guy there that I would take even if there was an offer to trade back.

  27. Kenny Sloth

    I really don’t like the idea of signing a FA DE. We don’t have the space to make more than one move. Especially if we want that rollover cap space..

    • Colin

      Actually, we have a pretty large amount of cap space that will only grow if we trade/release Flynn. It’s right around $16-$18 million under as we speak.

      I also don’t think a FA DE is going to be too hideously expensive. Freeney or Osi aren’t getting huge pay days. They’ll be looking at around $5 million a year.

  28. stone

    Rob, I was wondering what your thoughts on Michael Johnson are? If the hawks want to fix the pass rush, and with Clemons possibly out signing a DE might be a priority. Then they can focus on Leroy’s replacement, and a 3 tech. And maybe add a joker TE.

    • Rob Staton

      I really liked Johnson’s potential coming into the league and he’s delivered somewhat. I’d kick the tire’s for sure. Depends what kind of money he’s after. Big time athlete.

  29. Norm M

    I read an interesting article on Field Gulls the other day. They pointed out that instead of trying to put together the “perfect team”, meaning, elite back field, elite line backers, and elite d line. Seattle should focus on building a team to win their Division, meaning beat San Francisco.

    Reading some of the comments, the regulars here are looking for the perfect nickel corner, the perfect 3 tech, the perfect WILL. What I picked up from that article was that you can’t build a perfect team or defense to beat everyone but you can build a team to win your division.

    In my mind that would mean drafting a d line that can stand up to San Francisco’s heavy run game, drafting a WILL that can contain a running quarterback as well as cover a TE. It seemed to make senses that if Seattle focuses on that, it could really narrow down the type of player Seattle will look for. It might not mean a typical 3 tech that can rush the passer, but a player like Jesse Williams who can hold up to SF’s physical line or a WILL like Greene who has the speed to contain Kapernick.

    Anyway, it made me think of the draft a little differently. I’m sure it’s not a totally original thought, just curious to get your take on it and who the “perfect” stop San francisco type players are.

  30. SunPathPaul

    Looks like Woodson is available as an older DB…

    Melton will be hit with the franchise tag, as will Jared Cook in Tenn.

    Miami continues to not chase their FA’s…

    Would you want Woodson in the Nickel going for SB ring 2 Rob?

    It’s nice to have ‘some’ info coming out so we can begin to adjust to FA season, then the draft…

  31. Nate B

    I’d love for us to pick up (trade up if need be) for D.J. Fluker RT as Breno sucks, and pick up someone like David King for 3-tech later in draft. The guy is underrated and I think could be a gem.! Other option is to trade up for Sheldon Richardson, that would be my dream!

    • Rob Staton

      If you think Breno ‘sucks’, you didn’t watch closely enough last season.

  32. mjkleko

    I think it’s far to early to completely give up on Jaye Howard. Obviously his rookie season was a mighty disappointing with him not seeing playing time, yet mid/late round 3-techs rarely impact their rookie seasons. Melton played in his, and well at that, but Chicago was extremely desperate for interior D line play ~2010, helping his cause. If you’re going to peg your hopes on a mid/late 3-find, I think you also need to have an open mind on Howard going into his second season. There are a lot of things to like watching his tape against Ohio State in 2011,at times demonstrating serious explosion into gaps that you love to see. He has talent and could have a fire lit under him by incoming coach Dan Quinn.

    With the plethora of picks the Seahawks have I expect several things. Much like in the first two JS/PC drafts where repairing the secondary was a primary focus, I expect a lot of prospects to be brought in along the D line with a chance to compete. Maybe you get a top flight prospect, but likely the team goes BPA and once again throws Seahawks fans a curveball with an interesting pick. If the team used all of its draft picks, then clearly some would not make the team out of camp, so I expect Schneider to attempt to move at least one pick to 2014, by either allowing a team to move in a swap, or moving up in a 3 for 1 in 2013 and 1 in 2014.

    • Rob Staton

      They might have limited impact in their rookie seasons, but they aren’t often inactive for nearly the whole season — even when the teams nickel interior pass rusher is placed on injured reserve. They essentially determined Greg Scruggs was superior.

  33. Cameron

    Rob, I am interested in your thoughts on Dwight Freeney who was released today by the Colts. Clearly, he’s no longer and every down player. I do think he could offer some value in a part time leo/situational pass rusher mold. Perhaps he/Irvin/draft pick could hold down the LEO until Clemons gets better? Thoughts?

    • Rob Staton

      Coming via a new blog post shortly.

  34. SunPathPaul

    Brandon Kaufman, 6-4 / 214 might be a late round grab. He can play, and looks like a good Sidney replacement as far as size… Check out at about 3 minutes in :


  35. Colin

    Brock and Salk spent a good chunk of time talking about signing Charles Woodson in FA. He wouldn’t cost much, and you could have him play inside on a limited role. That could be big.

    • Bruce M.

      Not quite sure what Woodson’s role would be. Slot/nickel corner? 3-headed safety, with Earl and Cam, on passing downs? In the box blitzer on those downs as well?

  36. amattson

    Thank you Rob for writing an article on Free Agency. I love going to this website to learn more about the draft, but always wished you would talk about possibly free agency options as well. Now you are. For that I say Bravo, thank you, and keep the excellent free agency articles coming!

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