What happened to the Seahawks and the pass rush?

Jadeveon Clowney, apparently, won’t be returning to Seattle

Don’t forget to check out our look at Seattle’s possible first and second targets.

I’ve been thinking about how to respond to yesterday’s comment from Mike Garofolo that Seattle’s chances of re-signing Jadeveon Clowney were ‘slim to none’. It could, of course, be the latest instalment in an attempt to negotiate through the media. That was prevalent during the Russell Wilson saga last year.

But then I decided it doesn’t really matter whether it’s a legit comment or not. Either way, as of today, the Seahawks have not addressed their biggest need.

Let’s review Seattle’s last 12 months when it comes to the pass rush.

They ended the 2018 season with a striking need on the defensive line. That wasn’t a big concern at the time because a great draft for defensive linemen was on the horizon. Frank Clark and Jarran Reed had both enjoyed successful seasons but they needed more. They needed to try and get a rotation of rushers and improve their defensive tackle depth.

The problem was — they had some big decisions to make. Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner needed to be paid. Clark was a free agent and received the franchise tag. The Seahawks did well to secure Wilson and Wagner’s futures. However, they were unwilling to pay Clark the $21m a year DeMarcus Lawrence had just been given by the Dallas Cowboys.

At the time a trade was understandable. Financially it would’ve been a huge commitment to Clark. As well as he played in Seattle — was he one of the very best players in the league? It was a players market they were bidding in. With only four picks in the 2019 draft they made the trade with Kansas City — acquiring a nice return of a first round pick and a future second round pick.

Again — at the point of the trade it didn’t feel remotely like a crisis. They had an opportunity to spend two high picks on the defensive line in a great D-line draft if they wished. It was clear though that they needed to do something. In 2018 Clark was as isolated as Chris Clemons was in 2011. Now they’d lost Clark — and with him any kind of serious edge threat.

There’s been plenty of speculation about what happened during the draft that left Pete Carroll and John Schneider looking so despondent in their press conference after round one. There was a total lack of energy in the room. Both individuals sounded dejected.

Had they hoped (as many expected) that Rashan Gary would last to #21? Or Brian Burns? Was Johnathan Abram the backup plan? Did they miss out on Gary and Burns then err by trading out of range for Abram?

Who knows. I’m speculating. It isn’t healthy. We can all second guess things with hindsight. I was a big fan of L.J. Collier’s TCU tape and it’s perfectly plausible they were always comfortable taking him at #29. Or did they feel they’d missed the boat on the first rush of top linemen and now needed to take the best remaining player on their board to make sure they didn’t miss out completely? Especially with an even greater need at defensive end following the Clark trade?

Did they, in other words, ‘reach’?

They didn’t draft another defensive end and instead signed Ziggy Ansah as soon as it wouldn’t cost them a comp pick. Ansah had received no interest in free agency due to a shoulder injury and persistent questions about his desire to carry on playing.

It was obvious during pre-season that Seattle’s pass rush was inadequate. Collier hurt his ankle and wasn’t available. Ansah was re-habbing. Jacob Martin, Cassius Marsh and Barkevious Mingo were rotating in. The results were what you’d expect.

The Houston Texans gifted Seattle a solution in the form of a barely believable Jadeveon Clowney trade. Even with his addition, the pass rush still wasn’t good enough. Clowney ran a one-man show some weeks. Ansah’s goose was cooked. Martin and Mingo left for Houston as part of the trade. Marsh was cut. Collier couldn’t force his way into the rotation and was usually inactive. Quinton Jefferson did his best but was never a true X-factor. Rasheem Green made some progress but it was limited and from a position of Collier-level inactivity the previous year.

So the Seahawks entered the current off-season in virtually the same position as the last. They had one capable pass rusher who was out of contract. They needed to add to what they had. Only this time, they weren’t approaching a great D-line draft.

History has otherwise pretty much repeated.

As with Clark, they don’t want to pay Clowney the going rate for a top defensive end. Despite having cap space they’ve used most of it on depth signings — adding a mix of journeymen and former first-round busts. They’ve lost Quinton Jefferson but retained Jarran Reed. They’ve signed Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa.

The big difference is — unlike with Clark they’re not going to get any picks for Clowney. In fact if he leaves in free agency they won’t even get a comp pick due to the additions they’ve made dwarfing the number of players they’ve lost.

Mayowa-Irvin-Collier-Green might be better than Mingo-Marsh-Jefferson-Martin — but can anyone be sure?

There’s still time to make further moves. But let’s consider the options. You could pair Everson Griffen (33 this year) or Clay Matthews (34 this year) with Irvin (33 this year) and Mayowa. You’ll have the oldest pass rush in the NFL (possibly ever) which might not do much for the other glaring issue on defense (defending the perimeter run).

Or you could trade a first round pick for the opportunity to negotiate a massive contract for Yannick Nagkoue. Essentially trading a key asset to give Ngakoue the money you wouldn’t offer to Clark or Clowney.

The other trade option is to spend a lesser pick for Matthew Judon but still pay him $15.8m for this year (the Ravens tagged him as a linebacker). If you want to extend his contract, presumably you’ll also need to offer him the money you weren’t willing to conjure up for Clowney and Clark.

Judon also comes from one of the more creative blitzing defensive schemes in the league. He’s not used to rushing with four consistently and needing to create pressure in more conventional ways.

If none of these moves appeal — there’s always the draft. Yet as mentioned — it’s not a good D-line draft. You’d likely have to fight the board to spend your top pick on a pass rusher. There are players who could fit in Seattle’s scheme — but there’s not a cluster of twitchy speed rushers or dynamic, agile five-techniques. The combine workouts for the defensive linemen this year were the least impressive we’ve seen in years.

If they did force a D-line pick early — would it be a repeat of the Collier selection? A case of needing to address a massive need and taking ‘the best player remaining at the position’ rather than tapping into the superior options that will be available on the O-line, at receiver and at running back? I can tell you the pro’s and con’s of players like Josh Uche, Julian Okwara, Jabari Zuniga and others. Can I tell you they’re fixing a pass rush in 2020? Absolutely not.

Worse still — there’s a realistic prospect that we’ll be here again in twelve months. The pass rush problems will still not be resolved long term.

For a well run franchise like the Seahawks to have a need as big as fixing the pass rush last three off-seasons — that would be quite staggering.

It’s especially confounding considering Seattle’s desire to rush with four players. They’re not like the Buccaneers who blitz almost every down. They’re not like the Ravens with their different looks and creative ways to bring pressure. The Seahawks want to simply line up and beat you with four. You need talent to do that and a good rotation. Yet it’s the one area, over the last two off-seasons, where they haven’t been willing to pay for it.

It also seriously jeopardises their ability to take the next step on the field. Since 2015 they’ve been stuck as a perennial playoff team who never gets beyond the divisional round. Russell Wilson asked for ‘superstars’ for a reason. The Seahawks needed an injection of talent this off-season and to fix the pass rush. They’ve added depth, potentially lost their best defensive lineman and not become obviously better aside from the Quinton Dunbar trade (and even he will need to be a rare outside-cornerback-who-fits-in-the-system).

What started as a solvable problem at the end of the 2018 season (add more talent on the D-line to go with Reed and Clark) has turned into a crisis that they continue to struggle to solve.

Here’s a reminder of the 2019 stats:

— The Seahawks finished with 28 sacks, second fewest in the league behind only Miami (23)

— Their sack percentage was 4.5% — third worst overall

— The Seahawks produced a sack or quarterback hit on just 14.4% of opponents’ pass plays — worst in the NFL

— They had only 126 pressures, sixth fewest in the league behind Detroit (125), Oakland (117), Houston (117), Atlanta (115) and Miami (96)

— Seattle’s pressure percentage was the fourth worst in the league (19.3%) behind Detroit (18.9%), Houston (18.1%) and Miami (16.7%)

— Seattle hit the quarterback 68 times — fourth fewest

— They had 52 TFL’s — fourth fewest

— They gave up 55 explosive running plays on defense, seventh most in the NFL

— Their explosive run play percentage (14%) was the third worst overall behind only Carolina (16%) and Cleveland (15%)

— They gave up 4.9 YPC — fourth most overall

— They had 131 during the regular season — fourth most.

It’s not Seattle’s only issue either. It’s quite a few years since John Schneider said on the radio he wanted the Seahawks to become the bully again. That never happened. They have some physically imposing players — such as Duane Brown and Chris Carson. The Seahawks, however, are not bullies. We saw that when Cody Barton was given a prime opportunity to slam Aaron Rodgers into the Lambeau turf during the playoff game but instead allowed Rodgers to execute a block to spring a nice gain.

Quite aside from having to fix this enormous need on the defensive line — they’ve also got to draft some players this year who won’t be blocked by 36-year-old quarterbacks on the perimeter.

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  1. Donny Henson

    My mock draft with using Pauline’s info of Seattle drafting OL and DL early & often and using Matt Miller from Bleacher Report saying Seattle might be looking for a nickel back in the draft.

    Pick # 27- Trade with LA Chargers for picks # 37, #71, and #186. (Javon Kinlaw was available, but highly unrealistic)
    Pick # 37- Trade with TB Bucs for picks #45 and #117.
    Pick #45- Curtis Weaver- SAM- Boise St., would compete with Shaquem Griffin for rotation position.
    Pick #59- Justin Madubuike- 3 Tech- Texas A&M, would use in pass rush situations.
    Pick #64- Jabari Zuniga- LEO- Florida, would compete with Benson Mayowa for starting role.
    Pick #71- Matt Peart- LOT- UConn, future left tackle under Duane Brown guidance. (Prince Tega Wanogho was available, but i believe he gets drafted in round 2)
    Pick #101- Kevin Dotson- ROG- Louisiana Lafayette, will be backup to Fluker and hopeful development to starter.
    Pick #117- Hakeem Adeniji- ROT- Kansas, Same with Dotson
    Pick # 133- John Hightower-WR- Boise State, BPA and passes the 4.4 40 test.
    Pick #144- Kindle Vildor -Nickel CB- Georgia Southern, has 32+ inch arms, 4.44 40 yd, and 39.5 vertical. Wish he did a little better in the short shuttle (4.28), but it isn’t the end of the world compared to other corners Seattle drafted. This would also potentially move Ugo Amadi to deep safety.
    Pick #186- James Robinson- RB- Illinois State, A power back who is a little shorter (5’9”) and would compete with a FA RB for that #4 spot if Seattle decides to carry 4 backs this year.
    Pick #214- Steven Montez- QB- Colorado- Practice Squad QB, Rob mentioned him in one of his earlier posts, so i defer my trust to him since i don’t pay attention to the QBs because Wilson will play another 8-10 years.

    • Producehawk

      I trade back twice to try and get as many late second early third picks as possible also. I do not know if that would be feasible, but that is where I find the most value. At 214 I always pick Montez or Thockmorton(?) depending on how The board fell.

  2. millhouse-serbia

    While I agree with most of this there are some thing I don’t agree with…

    Mayowa-Irvin-Collier-Green might be better than Mingo-Marsh-Jefferson-Martin — but can anyone be sure?

    I think I am sure in this one…the first group hade 19.5 sacks in 2019 and the second one had 12.5 in 2018…and we will have first round pick from one of the strongest DL drafts in last 10 years in his second year (hope for big jump)…

    And this next quote is the main thing I don’t agree with and you said this for few times now…

    So the Seahawks entered the current off-season in virtually the same position as the last. They had one capable pass rusher who was out of contract. They needed to add to what they had. Only this time, they weren’t approaching a great D-line draft.

    Yes, they are not approaching a great D line draft, but unlike before 2019 draft, now they have on the roster 1st round pick from that great D line draft…if you don’t want to write off Collier, and I know you would never do that, you need to count on him…from my perspective that’s the biggest diference when comparing roster before 2019 and 2020 draft…I would agree with this your take if they didn’t take DL in first round last year, but they did, and he had injury problems early in season, and we all hope he will show why he was first round pick…

    With rest I agree 100%…

    • Rashi

      I think its fair to say that Collier’s value has declined after this past year. Yes he certainly still could make the step up and become a great player. But the likelyhood of that has gone down, how many great players have been inactive (while healthy) for multipe games and gone on to produce a good career?

      Nobody is writing off Collier, but we also cannot deny that his value has gone down.

    • Rob Staton

      Comparing the sack production in 2019 is worthless, Millhouse. How many of Bruce’s and Mayowa’s sacks were in garbage time? How much was it down to attention elsewhere, or players scrambling into a sack (eg Russell Wilson)?

      Mingo has a five sack season in his career. Cassius Marsh had 5.5 sacks in 2018 before re-joining the Seahawks. Jacob Martin and Quinton Jefferson combined for 7 sacks in 2019.

      If people want to cling to sack production go ahead — but Mayowa has had three seasons in his career with one sack. The 2019 season is an outlier, not the norm. Bruce Irvin is 33 this year.

      As for the second point. I’m lost as to why you’ve taken issue with that. You seem to be suggesting I’m wrong because of L.J. Collier’s mere status as a first round pick a year ago. Here’s the fact — he showed nothing as a rookie. He can’t and won’t be counted on in 2020. It’s up to him to show he’s worth anything next season.

      And I for one am not going to try and pull the wool over anyone’s eyes by trying to make out they are somehow not in an equally bad position as a year ago simply because they spent a first round pick on Collier.

      • millhouse-serbia

        I could agree that comparing sacks is somehow stupid but didn’t know what else to use as proof for my opinion that first group is better…but I really think that and if I could grade them on scale from 1 to 10 first group wpuld be 3-4 and second is 1-2…which says enough how high I am on our current pass rush group…

        On second point I knew we will never find common language on that…

        “And I for one am not going to try and pull the wool over anyone’s eyes by trying to make out they are somehow not in an equally bad position as a year ago simply because they spent a first round pick on Collier.”

        I could agree with this 100% ..just the part with what I don’t agree is when on this take you add “just this time they don’t have strong Dline class”…

        I think it would be much easier for me to explain this in my language…

        • Rob Staton

          The point isn’t to argue the toss on one group being marginally better than the other — and to try and find ways to prove that (regardless of the validity of the stats).

          The point is that if it’s even better, nobody can say so with any conviction. If you listed Clowney-Griffin-Irvin-Mayowa you could do that. Not with this group. That’s the point. They’re in virtually the same position as a year ago with an indadequate pass rush.

          I’m still lost on the second point. I have no idea what you’re trying to say. To me it reads like you either think Collier deserves more credit than I’m offering (he’s shown nothing) or you think this is a strong D-line class (it isn’t).

          • millhouse-serbia

            “The point is that if it’s even better, nobody can say so with any conviction. If you listed Clowney-Griffin-Irvin-Mayowa you could do that. Not with this group. That’s the point. They’re in virtually the same position as a year ago with an indadequate pass rush.”

            you are right about this one…no need to add anything…even I think its better, I cant prove it …

            And for the second point…

            I defenetly don’t think its strong D line class…

            And yes he didn’t show anything…but maybe this is what is wrong for me…you cant say “I am not writing him off” and “He can’t and won’t be counted on in 2020″…for me those are two opposite things…if you say I cant and wont count on him in 2020 you are writing him off for at least that season…at least that’s how I see that…

            But if you are not writing him off as a player but just don’t think we should count on him in this next season, than I need to say I was wrong about everything and agree on all your takes…

            • Rob Staton

              Not counting on someone is not the same as writing them off.

              ‘I think he’s a bust and won’t do anything’ — that’s writing him off.

              ‘He can’t be counted on has to prove his worth’ — is simply a fact. That doesn’t mean I don’t or won’t think he’ll prove his worth. It simply means that having shown nothing as a rookie, nobody can count on him in year two to contribute. It’s up to him to prove he can.

      • Josh

        I agree with you Rob. I’m very disappointed in Seattle’s offseason to this point with the defensive line. What do you think about signing both Everson griffen and Markus Golden? I know we’d have to release/restructure several players but we need at least two more solid pass rushers in my opinion. I’m over clowney.

        • Rob Staton

          Golden has run himself out of New York by apparently asking for $10m. So that seems unlikely and he’s a marginal athlete. Griffen I’d happily acquire. But the pass rush still won’t be good enough.

  3. Rob Staton

    Also today — two interviews will be recorded plus a new podcast with Brandan.

  4. Henry Taylor

    My needs must mock draft:

    44. Joshua Uche, OLB Michigan
    59. Jabari Zuniga, DE Florida
    70. Robert Hunt, G Louisiana
    75. Bryan Edwards, WR South Carolina
    98. Rashard Lawrence, DT LSU
    133. Kevin Dotson, G Louisiana
    144. Antonio Gibson, RB Memphis
    173. Michael Ojemudia, CB Iowa
    214. Javelin Guidry, S Utah

    • Producehawk

      I trade back twice to try and get as many late second early third picks as possible also. I do not know if that would be feasible, but that is where I find the most value. At 214 I always pick Montez or Thockmorton(?) depending on how The board fell.

      • RIP sonics

        I really like Bryce Perkins from Virginia. Dude is tough as nails and way underrated. I think he should be a target for Seattle. Dual threat quarterback with a great arm that complements Russell’s skill set. Playmaker and leader. If he is there in the late 5th they should prioritize him.

  5. Largent80

    It is very perplexing the way they have handled the D-Line situation the last few years. Right now it seems like the McDowell pick was a huge stumbling block, because outside of the Clowney signing they haven’t been able to pull off a coup in the FA market.

    Who knows what they are thinking?…The absolutely MUST think Green will make a bigger jump and Collier maybe has showed something nobody else has seen?

    • Rob Staton

      Missing in the draft has been a problem for sure. If McDowell works, Rasheem Green works, Collier shows more as a rookie — suddenly you’ve got three hits. On top of Reed and Clark who you’ve already drafted.

      With McDowell being a bust, Green struggling to emerge as any kind of factor and Collier having a write-off first year — instead you get the worst case scenario.

      • millhouse-serbia

        Big true. But at least we still have fact that Green has 2 and LJ just one season behind them. 😀 Hope it is fact that, in year or two, we will look at with smile on our faces.

      • DC

        Plus the loss of draft picks trading for Sheldon Richardson to make up for McDowell. Personally I think they would have preferred to pay Clark, but our lack of draft picks is what forced their hand to tag and trade him.

        • Davido

          I think our front office likes to pay their guys if they think they are worth the contract. Yes the draft capital was not pretty but Schneider could have worked with it I believe.

          I think the whole perspective on Clark is kinda messed up right now because the last time we saw him he won a SB. When we look back most people were sceptical about Frank. He was very inconsistent in my eyes. He popped off at some games but then he was also pretty much invisible in others.
          Is that one of the 3-4 cornerstones you want to build your team arround?
          Remember with paying Bobby and Wilson there is not much room for more “cornerstones”.
          In the beginning of last season we saw the same story again. Clark was almost invisible in the regular season but then stepped up significantly while playing next to Jones in the playoffs.
          Frank Clark imo is not in the Joey Bosa, JJ Watt, Von Miller class. He is not a Bobby Wagner, Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman type. He was a nice add for the KCC who can effort such luxury while having a rookie contract potential HOF QB. In other words he is not a “must keep” thats why you can deal him. Especially for the huge return we got.

          • Rob Staton


            But if you decide not to pay him you have to replace him. Otherwise you end up in the mess they’re currently in.

            • betaparticle

              or they decided they like Green and Collier as bookends going forward, and they are going to let them play and develop into their roles over the next 2 seasons.

              • Rob Staton

                No. That is about as likely as time travel.

    • BruceN

      McDowell’s pick was actually a promising pick until the kid did something stupid and ended his career. FO couldn’t have predicted that.

      • Michael Hasslinger

        I disagree. McDowell was a huge risk. Boom or bust collegiate performances, did not take to coaching, inconsistent motor, emotional immaturity.

        It was a stupid pick.

        The willingness to bet big on McDowell and then decide not to bet big on the known Frank Clark is a mind-blower. It is so inconsistent.

        I do feel this organization is teetering on a reboot with new leadership.

        • Ralphy

          Missing in the draft catches up to you and the 2017 draft is a sickening one to look back on. TJ Watt was sitting there but they got too cute. Rolling the dice on a player with red flags worked out for them with Frank Clark so they tried it again. They whiffed.

          • Rob Staton

            Listen — I wasn’t a big fan of the McDowell pick based on character. I also really liked TJ Watt.

            But it’s also very easy to look back with hindsight.

            They wanted a dynamic interior defender. We said after the playoff loss in Atlanta that it was the biggest need. They went and got someone who had all the talent in the world. And his career ended in a bizarre fashion before it even started.

            It was a crushing blow. And I wish they hadn’t made the pick too. But there was a method to it even if it failed.

            • Ralphy

              I am saying that now. I understood the pick at the time. They hit on Clark who had dropped due to red flags. They back back to the well and it didn’t work out. I understand why they did it and I didn’t disagree. I’m just saying that now it hurst to look back on it and know what they could have had.

  6. Mike

    QB sacks are fun..but I would settle for the Hawks being an above average run defense this season. An underrated feature of the Hawks defense back in their “hey-day” was how good they were against the run..which set up a lot of 2nd and 11’s..and 3rd and 9’s etc etc…which suddenly makes your secondary & pass rush much more effective.

    And to keep things in perspective..as bad as the Seahawks were at sacking the qb last year..they only averaged about 1 sack less per game than SF & KC…

    • Rob Staton

      If it was only sacks that’d be fine.

      Read the stats in the piece. They’re near the bottom of the pack in every single pass rush metric.

      They don’t create any pressure, let alone sack the QB.

      • Mike

        actually the run stats you quoted worry me more than the pash rush stats (and has PFF ever defined what a “pressure” is anyways??)..which is why I think shoring up that part of the defense is more important than signing a big name edge rusher..

        • Rob Staton

          They need to sort the run defense out too.

          But let’s be clear. You can’t be bottom 1-3 in the league in every pass rushing metric and win a SB.

          • Largent80

            I’m just wondering that since they couldn’t set the edge on defense vs. the run that they may be eyeballing an LB in the draft?

      • BruceN

        I realize Pete’s defense relies on the front four applying the pressure, but with this weak DL and the back four being a strength again, should we implement a more attacking style defense? Mix in more blitzes, stunts and twists? Sadly that’s not in Norton and Pete’s DNA.

        • Rob Staton

          It’s not going to happen. Pete has his scheme.

          • king.


            Great coaches don’t adapt their scheme to fit their talent, even in dour times. They have a vision and stick to the plan, vehemently chasing the talent to execute that plan.

            Why they haven’t done what it takes to fix the pass rush this offseason remains a mystery to me, but changing the scheme would undermine Seattle’s holistic approach.

            Schematic changes to produce pressure on the quarterback would create opportunities for offenses to take advantage of the openings to hit explosive pass plays and, even worse, would compromise the run defense.

            Pete isn’t Bill Belichick and he shouldn’t try to be. What he should do is proactively solve the pass rush problem, even if it means spending a little more on the edge position than he would like.

  7. millhouse-serbia

    And when we are speaking about Green and LJ, where do you see them at the end of their rookie contracts?

    • Rob Staton

      No idea.

  8. calgaryhawk

    Why does the whole Clowney saga remind me of the Seahawk dealings with Sheldon Richardson?

    • GerryG

      Probably because both cases were failures?

  9. Roberts-Jer

    Hi Rob –

    I’ve been a long time follower but this is my first time posting. First, I just want to say how much I enjoy reading your columns! As a long time Seahawks fan I have to say this continued lack of solving the defensive line and pass rush is very frustrating. I keep thinking there must be something we are missing? Is it possible JS and PC have something planned that no one is thinking about? I know you mentioned Judon as a possible trade candidate but are there others that we haven’t identified? Some on here have mentioned names like Bosa, Kerrigan and Garrett. Thinking outside the box can you see any other possible trade candidates?

    • Rob Staton

      Not really, I’m afraid.

    • Jeff108

      There is no Bosa or Garrett coming to Seattle. It makes zero sense for their teams. They are franchise building blocks. These are real blue chip players at a premium position.

    • Mark Souza

      If Russell Wilson is part of that trade, maybe.

  10. RWIII

    It looks to me that Clowney overvalued his price tag.

    • GerryG

      For sure, Covid is not helping either. Of course, we dont know for sure what the physicals from any given team would say about Clowney. It’s possible a team Dr would look at him, and also pass, or not offer top $

      The one part that Seattle seems to have nailed, is that Clowney is not worth top dollar in the league. Doesnt mean that they have a good off, just that they did not have to worry about someone coming in and grabbing him for 20/year.

    • TatupuTime

      No doubt that Clowney and his camp have misplayed the offseason. Some of that surely comes down to the lack of being able to do physicals given his injury history (especially the microfracture surgery in his closet which typically doesn’t bode well long-term). That said, Clowney is going to be just fine. He’ll get a one year deal somewhere and can re-enter the market next year. He’s made over $50M in his career already. He can afford to bet on himself.

      The Seahawks couldn’t afford to both back themselves in a position to need Clowney and then try to squeeze him on price at the same time. It didn’t have to be Clowney, they HAD other options. But now they have no options. I have no idea what the Seahawks plan is here. As currently constituted the DL is a disaster. The offence is in good shape. The secondary is actually promising. They need an injection of speed at LB and 2-3 good pieces on the DL.

      • mishima

        IMO, the offense is where the defense was last year and in bad shape: 3/5 of OL replaced, Carson and Penny coming off injuries, no depth at WR.

  11. DC

    We got a great offensive player in the ‘DL Draft’ of 2019. Maybe we can pull a great defensive player out of the ‘O, O, O draft’ of 2020. 🤞🏽

    • Michael Hasslinger

      Been thinking that this week as well. Good swing thought. Let’s stay on this thought through the draft 🙂

  12. LAHawk

    The problem as I see it is that EDGE players are overvalued by the market. Nearly every pass rusher gets overpaid. It’s why I didn’t have a problem with trading Clark or “missing out” on the chance to pay someone like Robert Quinn big money this off-season. Few teams can build pass rush through free agency—the Packets did it, but it’s rare, especially when you have (as Rob points out) other players you need to pay.

    The bottom line is we need to develop that part of the team through the draft and haven’t done so. There have been a bunch of misses in the past few years, partly bad luck, maybe partly bad evaluations, partly that picking in the late 20s means you can’t get top-tier pass rushers. It’s left us in a bad spot. Even Clowney would be a band-aid, given history of injuries and underperformance at times. (Lance Zierlein had interesting comments about that).

    Bottom line is the team needs to develop young players like LJ and Green and draft better, and this won’t get fixed by the end of the offseason. Fortunately the rest of the roster is in good enough shape (the secondary may now be a strength again) that we could still be competitive this year. Next year we’ll definitely be back here with the same comments though.

    • Rob Staton

      Is the rest of the roster in good shape though?

      Or does Russell Wilson elevate what is otherwise a fairly mediocre roster?

      • LAHawk

        It certainly helps that Russ is one of the best 3 QBs in the league, if we didn’t have him obviously we’d be in trouble!

        But I think other elements are in place:

        -DK and Lockett are a very good 1-2 receiving combo (could get more depth in draft)
        -TE group seems solid with the addition of Olsen, if Dissly stays healthy it could be very good
        -If Carson and Penny come back the RB position is set, even more so if they use one of their multiple Day 2 picks on the position
        -Dunbar gives me some faith in the corners, especially if Amadi can develop at nickel
        -They actually have too many safeties
        -I wish their best linebackers weren’t so old but it’s hardly a weak point on the team, and maybe Barton takes a step forward? Not a major area of need for 2020, anyway
        -They had so much change on the OL that it’s hard to evaluate what the group will look like. Brown is still solid at LT though, and there are a lot of options at the guard spots. Still need more talent here obviously, as we all know

        Overall they’re not in the class of the Saints or the 49ers, who are the class of the NFC despite the 49ers not having a star at QB and Brees aging. But with Russ the Seahawks can at least be competitive against those teams.

        • Rob Staton

          You make some fair points. But they also have critical weaknesses on the D-line, a distinct lack of speed on defense and they need a major talent injection on the defense too. There aren’t many defenders on Seattle’s roster that would make an all-NFC roster. Maybe only one.

          • LAHawk

            No argument that they need more high-end talent on D…. honestly I’m wondering now if they are going to pull the trigger on yannick ngakoue. It might seem weird to trade for him and pay him when they wouldn’t pay Clark or Clowney, but maybe they value YN more highly, and he’s certainly been a more productive pass rusher than Clowney. That would be one way to add a top defender, since they certainly can’t add one with pick 27, or some combo of lower picks.

            • Rob Staton

              I think it’s highly unlikely they’d pay Ngakoue massive money and not Clark/Clowney.

        • Gohawks5151

          Russ was calling for superstars for a reason. If you look at the top 5 or so teams and compare rosters who would start from Seattle on another team? Russ, Bobby, Clowney definetly. Carson, Reed, Shaq and D Brown maybe. In the early part of Russ career we know all the names. Russ, Beast, Okung, Baldwin, Bennett, Avril, Kam, ET, Sherm, Bobby, KJ. Even guys like Miller, Rice and Thurmond would be situational starters.

          That’s why I think regardless i don”t think they can fight the board. The star power is in the OL and WR, and that is the best chance to impact the roster this year and in the future. Adding a DL before their 3rd pick is crazy to me. Barring Clowney signing or a big trade i think you see Griffen or a Vinny Curry/Markus Golden signed and they lean on the development of the young guys.

        • Rico

          I think this is a reasonable take tbf. We had key injuries down the stretch too, including multiple injuries at key positions (its one thing if you have them sprinkled through lineup) – the running back situation was ridiculous at the end.

          Clowney was hurt during the season, Wagner, the list goes on..

          The question of whether Russ elevates us is kind of moot too imho – we all know if he goes down it is over for us – we need everything to go right (what team doesn’t)… our offense will be slightly better imho just b/c of growth of wideouts and running backs being more reliably fit (that is a huge gamble tbf and I expect them to pick at least one).

          The D-line is major area of concern…. Dunbar is an indirect way to support that… the way I look at it (rightly or wrongly) is that the difference between a good pass rush and bad pass rush is still fractions of seconds in terms of QB time… maybe 1-2 seconds in extreme, extreme cases… can our DB and S and LB do enough to give our D-line more time by being better (with Dunbar and a full season of Quasar they certainly are)?

          The real question to me, assuming we have about as equally bad a D-line as last year is do we mix up defensive scheme and/or blitz packages more this year or not? Doing base D and zone a lot will expose the D-line weakness maximally….

  13. Rad Man

    They’re on the great QB/mediocre roster train. Tough to get on, tough to get off.

    • Jeff108

      Better than watching a mediocre QB waste a good roster. Bortles and Trubiskey did no favors for their defenses.

      • Michael Hasslinger

        Man… both are painful. One has so much more frustration (mediocre). The other a sense of loss.

  14. Zeke

    So at this point, what would you think the best realistic scenario would be?

    • Rob Staton

      That’s hard to say without knowing who else is available and what’s out there.

      But when you have a clear, self-identified problem for consecutive off-seasons you need to come up with a solution. It certainly can’t stretch to a third off-season next year.

      • Zeke

        Say there’s no one else available other than the remaining free agents and Ngakoue/Judon.

        I’m guessing both Clowney and Griffen?

        • Rob Staton

          Well I’d have signed those two in the first week of FA.

          • Zeke

            That’s what I figured.

            Would you now though considering the cap situation if you can get Clowney for about $18M APY and Griffen for say 1 yr/$10M?

            I realize it’d likely require releasing Moore, Hunt, Jackson and Britt to free up about $15M and replace them with cheap rookies or vet min players. Possibly even trading Hollister to save $3.3m,

            • Rob Staton


              They should’ve done this in the first place and then let the other depth signings come to them. Not the other way around.

          • God of Thunder

            “ Well I’d have signed those two in the first week of FA.”

            Oh you would, would you? Well me too. But there’s one large, insuperable problem for the likes of those of us who want both of these players on the roster. Answer this: What was Clowney’s asking price in money and in term, in the first week of FA?

            Suppose he was asking for 22 per annum, a hefty % of it guaranteed and six years? Then what?

            Nor do we know Clowney’s medical records; and nor do we know what the FO really thinks of his character and thus what their internal estimation of his worth to the franchise is.

            So to say “I’d have signed them both in week one” is, how shall I put it?, slightly overconfident perhaps verging on the cavalier. Perhaps Clowney didn’t want to be signed in week one. Perhaps he thought he could generate interest by a couple of the more foolishly run franchises, say Cleveland…

            • Rob Staton

              And what if you’d just offered $20m a year structured with an out after a couple of seasons, a deal that most people would’ve seen as cheap prior to FA beginning?

              You honestly think he’d have turned that down?

              Come on.

              But I suppose they would’ve have been able to land Cedric Ogbuehi then.

  15. SeanMatt

    Could it maybe be that those of us on the “fire Pete” train were right and it’s time to move on? I mean, after a while you need to look at current results and not what someone used to do. This regime has been really bad a roster construction for a while now. It’s not the early 2010s anymore.

    • Rob Staton


    • Kingdome1976

      Let’s not go down that road again.

    • john_s

      Yeah….not even close

    • SeanMatt

      The answer is staring you all in the face and you refuse to accept it. What is going on with the Seahawks and the pass rush? This regime isn’t good anymore. They are cocky and arrogant. They think they can recreate the magic that they did in the past. This has happened before. Does anyone remember Drew Nowak at Center? They figured that they turned JR Sweezy into a gurad so they could turn Nowak into a starting center. Disaster. But sure. If you all don’t want to face the truth that is just fine. Keep on writing this articels. “What is going on with the Hawks with this?” “Why do they keep screwing up with that?” Shaun Alexander was a hell of a back for us but eventually, they had to cut him cause he just wasn’t good enough anymore. Heck, Tim Ruskell has one great offseason. It is time to move on. This will keep happening. Pete and John are done. That is what happened with the Seahawks pass rush.

      • Rob Staton

        Pipe down.

        • BigSmooth13

          Yeah let’s get rid of the coach of the decade because they tried Nowak at center.

  16. Rob Staton

    Just added a third interview for the day.

    You are going to really like all of these.

    You won’t be able to guess who they are — but all top notch.

    • Kingdome1976

      Sweet!! Can’t wait

    • Producehawk


    • God of Thunder

      Good stuff

  17. Sea Mode

    Interesting thread. Wonder if they will add extra rounds to the draft this year. Seems like it would be a disadvantage to the Hawks, who usually thrive in UDFA due to their known promotion, success, and game time they give to those players.


    • TatupuTime

      Cool thread with neat background on the process.

  18. Murphy

    Really informative thread on twitter from Nagy regarding why conducting UDFA virtually is improbable. One GM is recommending adding 3 rounds to the draft.

    • Sea Mode

      Great minds…

      • Murphy

        Ha sorry hadn’t seen your post yet.

    • Seahawk65

      That’s a nice read. Thanks!

  19. Tommy

    Made a few trade downs and one trade up. I would personally love this draft and think it is realistic.

    56. Joshua Uche
    59. Raekwon Davis
    64. Prince Tega Wanogho
    70. Jabari Zuniga
    85. Laviska Shenault Jr.
    101. Logan Stenberg
    133. Leki Fotu
    144. Antonio Gibson
    171. Damien Lewis

    Thoughts? Realistic? Thanks!

    • Kingdome1976

      In my opinion almost every pick in unrealistic..lol

      Love Love Love Antonio Gibson though nobody seems to talk about him.

      • Producehawk

        I get pretty close to that every time. I hope they work the board like that and get more picks in the meat of the draft.

  20. Kingdome1976

    Maybe we can be the bullies on Offense. Who is the nastiest RT in the draft…run blocking wise? Maybe Pete got scared at the end of the year that Carson/Penny isn’t enough to feel secure so they will draft a round 1 RB and 2 nasty OL in the second round.

    Hey I’m trying here….aaaand failing

    • Kingdome1976

      Let’s just take it to em

      Isaiah Wilson

      SEA 51.
      J.K. Dobbins

      SEA 64.
      Devin Duvernay

      SEA 75.
      Damien Lewis

      SEA 133.
      Hunter Bryant

      SEA 144.
      Kevin Dotson

      • Producehawk

        I like all of them. Got to work in a DE though

        • Kingdome1976

          The point was to go all offense though.

      • Michael Hasslinger

        Gotta say I’d be all in on this. Seems reasonable. Not sure Wilson gets out of round 1.

  21. Tree

    Rob, thank you for the amazing content and for creating a community for robust debate to keep our minds off of larger things. This is my favorite sports site period. In terms of the offense, I think we are already better and/or have more depth (love adding Olson and Dorsett) at every position group except running back (only due to health concerns). Having an explosive and veteran offense during a season which may be shortened or at least limited in terms of minicamps, etc is a smart move by JS. In terms of our D, we were bad in so many ways last year. We literally had no one with a traditional LEO body to provide speed rush or a stout and speedy SAM who could come down consistently if needed (Kendricks and Griffin are small compared to an Irvin and are more situational blitzers). I think having a true LEO (Benson) and SAM (Irvin) plus better coverage with Dunbar, a healthy Diggs, and presumably adding a nickel in day 2
    or 3 is a start. I am also hoping we will be better against the run by adding more speed and setting the edge better at both ends (hopefully Collier could at least be good at that). I agree our line needs to be better. Clowney is a good player, but we were a better D with Frank in part because he could at least make a big sack to stop the bleeding once in while. I hope we can trade for an elite sack artist like Yannick. If not, I would love to trade back and try to score a LEO (Zuniga, Okwara), a SAM (Uche, Baun) or stud chess piece (Chinn, Dugar, Gay) and size and upside at DT (Davis, Hamilton) And we could still add consistent sack artists such as Griffin, Golden, or Curry on top of that. Add in a developmental OT, the best available mid round skill player (RB/WR/TE) and I think we are competing for a SB. Go Hawks.

  22. Big Mike

    Rob, agree pretty much 100% with everything you’ve said. Right now all I see are journeymen and “hope” on the d-line. I want Collier to take a big leap like anyone else. Green too. But basing your approach to pass rush on hope is a recipe for yet another crap season on that side of the ball. I’m guessing we’ll land Griffen at some point but while I don’t foresee him being pointless like Ansah was, he’s not going to be a gigantic difference maker either considering his age.
    As for the “dogs” thing, I think offensively we see a decent amount of that but defensively it just isn’t there at all. Barton? What a joke that play was. May be time to get Blair in and live with some growing pains. Unfortunately I see him as a guy likely to be dinged a lot based on his body type and how he plays.

  23. SeanMatt

    The answer is staring you all in the face and you refuse to accept it. What is going on with the Seahawks and the pass rush? This regime isn’t good anymore. They are cocky and arrogant. They think they can recreate the magic that they did in the past. This has happened before. Does anyone remember Drew Nowak at Center? They figured that they turned JR Sweezy into a gurad so they could turn Nowak into a starting center. Disaster. But sure. If you all don’t want to face the truth that is just fine. Keep on writing this articels. “What is going on with the Hawks with this?” “Why do they keep screwing up with that?” Shaun Alexander was a hell of a back for us but eventually, they had to cut him cause he just wasn’t good enough anymore. Heck, Tim Ruskell has one great offseason. It is time to move on. This will keep happening. Pete and John are done. That is what happened with the Seahawks pass rush.

    • CaptRon33

      The NFL is a highly competitive environment and the Seahawks are in arguably the most competitive division in the entire league. Yet they are consistently a playoff team. Are they flawed? Yes. Is every other team in the NFL flawed as well? Yes. The NFL strives for parity and it is pretty remarkable that this regime has the Seahawks winning as often as they do. We would all love to see some things improve, but they whole “PC/JS regime should be thrown out” take need to go. Pretty much any fan base outside of New England’s would happily trade our last decade for theirs.

    • Cameron

      K, bye.

    • Michael Hasslinger

      Once was enough.

      I agree there is trouble for this regime. But you ignore the fact it is the winningest regime other than NE this past decade.

      If you took Seattle’s situation and compared it to NE, you would realize two things:
      1) NE is struggling in a similar manner the past 5 years
      2) AFC is much easier to win than the highly competitive NFC

      2b – Belichek with two weeks to plan is lethal.

      Maybe you suggest we hire Jim Mora back? Get some “dirt bags” back on the team? Maybe hire Ruskell to GM the team and lose Russell to Minnesota for Kurt Cousins?

      I digress.

    • God of Thunder

      This franchise under the auspices of the current FO team has been extremely consistent. Sure there was a drop off after the two SB appearances, but that drop was down to 2 things that no NFL franchise is immune to:

      1) you have to pay players (and Wilson wasn’t going to play forever on a rookie contract)

      2) players age (LOB also) and need to be replaced.

      Arguably it we’ve avoided a full rebuild and are in a retooling because the FO is generally pretty smart. Flawless no. But far better than many and better than most.

  24. bigten

    Could this years DL class be similar to last years WR class? I don’t remember correctly but I don’t think we thought last years WR class was anything special, but it turned out to be quite good. Second and third rounders really excelled and produced. And we even got a STAR out of it in the late second, a player that was projected much higher, but limitations caused him to drop. Could we see the same thing happen this year? Could someone like Kinlaw drop to our pick due to health concerns? Could a KLavon Chiasson (pronounced Shay-Son) drop to mid-late second? Or the most outlandish scenario, could Simmons drop to our pick due to health and position concerns? Most all of us couldn’t see Metcalf falling to the late second after being projected in the top 8 repeatedly.
    Side note, Rob how would you have rated Collier in this class? There has been argument that because he was a first round talent, he will produce, and the only reason he lasted last year was due to the depth of the position. Wondering how we would stack up this year.

    • Rob Staton

      The DL combine was one of the worst we’ve seen — if not the worst.

      Last year we talked about the good depth at receiver, not that it was a bad class.

      I’ve not really thought where I’d grade Collier.

      • God of Thunder

        It’s almost impossible to grade to grade Collier on his minimal body of work.

        Sticking my neck out, I’d say he should’ve been a 3rd or 4th. But we won’t know for another season (or two). Is his problem an injury? The pace of the pro game? Did he need a nutritionist? (Many young players desperately need exposure to a professional nutritionist.)

        It cannot be that he lacks the size and talent to stick in the league. But perhaps he lacks drive?

        In baseball young players hone their skills for 3-4 years in the minors. Same for professional ice hockey players: usually 2 seasons. I’m hoping Collier will show more, lots more.

  25. AlaskaHawk

    It’s probably time to quit fighting the team’s strength. Seahawks have an elite quarterback and at least one potentially elite receiver. Build on the offense and ride it the way the Patriots rode Tom Brady for so many years.

    Past performance indicates that he offense is about league average through first three quarters. They come alive in the 4th quarter and are rated #6 in offense performance then (metric based on yardage). An improvement by scoring in the first three quarters would lead to many more wins,

    What would that take to get a starter for:
    Running back – available into the second round
    Receivers – available into the third round
    Tight End – no players stand out
    Offensive Line – Available through 4 or 5th round

    I’m not sure what their intentions are with the offensive line, but I will agree with an earlier comment that the offensive line now , looks like the defensive line two years ago.

    Basic point- you my as well give up on fighting the board and finding a defensive end that will help this year. Concentrate on giving Russell Wilson and the running backs a team that can block and make plays.

    • Rob Staton

      The Patriots didn’t ride Tom Brady.

      They had Bill Belichick as coach. A defensive genius.

      They also had talent on defense.

      ‘Riding the offense’ and neglecting the defense will simply work to undermine Wilson, not promote him. His efforts will go to waste most weeks if the other team can score at will and at ease.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I realize there is an issue with the defensive line – but I also am realizing it won’t get fixed this year.

      Wouldn’t it be better if the team actually scored a couple extra touchdowns each game? When will the offense reach their potential? We got a top five QB playing on an average offense.

      • GerryG

        That should not be how we build a team, but that’s where we are at. To me it looks like they need to score 30+/game to have a chance. This defense, today is abysmal. Worst DL in the NFL, and aging slow LBs, probably a solid to potentially quite good secondary.

      • Rob Staton

        Again, this is only a reasonable plan if the aim is to waste another prime season of Russell Wilson.

        They can still fix the pass rush and they have to.

      • cha

        Wouldn’t it be better if the team actually scored a couple extra touchdowns each game?

        Yes it would. But the whole plan goes to pot when your starting center blows his knee, the starting RBs are out and your excellent TE has his second season ending injury in as many seasons.

        So then it’s up to your QB to be perfect, with a ragtag band of misfits, and your defense to pick up the slack. We saw how that worked out. Malik Turner can’t catch a ball that hits him in the numbers and Green Bay converts a critical 3rd down to ice the game. Season over.

        • Mark Souza

          That whole all-out offense and screw the defense works if the other team can’t stop your offense. If it can’t, then the game rides on the coin toss. If the opponent gets the ball first, they win. Denver had the unstoppable offense in 2013 and a decent, but not overpowering defense. How did that work out?

  26. Paul Cook

    For me and many others, the #1 off-season priority was resigning Clowney. We needed to get that stake set in the ground first on our way to improving our DL/pass rush, and in turn our overall defense. That was the fundamental first thing. Or else you better be light on your feet with a back up plan ready for immediate activation. That back up plan so far has been lame as can be, as you’ve pointed out many times.


    • Simo

      Like you and many others here on the SDB, I’m frustrated by the lack of action on the DL, and hope it doesn’t bite them in the a$$ again this year.

      All the speculation that goes on is interesting though, as many seem to think they know how to construct a football team better than PC/JS. None of us know what their plan is or what they may still do to fix a known problem. It’s easy for us to say “just pay Clowney”, but they know what his value is much better than we do. They also know the extent of his injuries (knee and core muscle) better than anyone. He has potential to be a great player, but e only shows this potential occasionally, certainly not with consistency from week to week.

      And maybe the master plan is to try to draft and develop a solid DL group, which actually seems more in line with their philosophy. Yes, it will take some time to see if it works, and there’s no guarantee of success. They do not like to hand out mega contracts for fringe stars. Bobby and RW are the only players I recall receiving top of the market contracts.

      Here’s to hoping they actually know as much as I think they do, and there is still a plan B, C, or D they can implement. They are smart football and personnel people!

      • Rob Staton

        I’ve warned against this comment before and I see I’m going to have to do it again.

        Simply appealing to authority is not an argument or counter. My/our lack of front office experience doesn’t mean we can’t critique or criticise. Their experience as front office staff doesn’t mean they are right.

        • Simo

          My comment was not intended as an argument or criticism of anyone’s comments, simply my belief that PC/JS know much more about building a football team than any of us. I even started out stating my own frustration in the current situation.

          I’m not sure why my comment was met with a rebuke, this should be an undisputed fact, as they are in the business and we are not! Of course it doesn’t mean they are right in this situation (or others), it just means they have a whole lot more information available to them about JC to analyze and consider when making contract decisions. Maybe they have indeed screwed the pooch on Clowney and the pass rush this year, and maybe not.

          I also would never say or intend to imply you and all your bloggers can’t/shouldn’t have and express their opinions about this or any situation. That’s what makes SDB so great, all the varied opinions and beliefs of everyone on your site! I do put faith in PC/JS and believe they know what they are doing though.

          Like so many others I am constantly amazed and delighted by the content you produce, and I cherish your site as a safe place to express comments and beliefs about the Seahawks and football in general. And I can take a warning if it must be that way.

          • Rob Staton

            I’ve just seen too many times this off-season criticism or critique shut down because they’re front office staff, we’re not and therefore they know best.

            You can’t go anywhere with that.

      • Paul Cook

        Here’s to that hope of yours. 🙂 I agree that team PC/JS have been one of the top front office teams in the league for years now. I’m just a little confused and frustrated that they didn’t act swiftly and convincingly as concerns the pass rush. They seem to be trying to catch up to the situation rather than getting ahead of it. That’s all.

        Getting heat on the QB is the second most important thing for an NFL team to address behind the QB position. They don;t *seem* t be acting like that now. We’ll see how it turns out.

  27. Jaybird

    Seanmatt^ why post this response twice? Also, how does your critique of the current front offices inability to evaluate and develop the Oline and then a random Shaun Alexander reference explain your opinion that the current front office is has beens and are done with defensive line evaluation and development.

  28. Kingdome1976

    I think we may end up trading for Yannick in the end IF the price is right. If he really wants out of Jax then he will need to take a smaller per year deal. If we give our first to Jax and sign him for say 17-18 per year I think it would be worth it at this point. He’s only like 24 years old and has proven that he has a skill set for getting sacks and causing fumbles. He also has a kind of BAMF attitude that I think we need on defense.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m only giving up 27 to pay Ngakoue if we get to swap 59 for 42.

      Even then, no idea why you wouldn’t just pay Clowney instead of needing to go through all this. If they thought Ngakoue was better they would’ve made him the priority. Not spent weeks waiting on Clowney.

      • Kingdome1976

        Maybe so. I guess they don’t think either player is worth it.

    • dcd2

      One other thing YN does is create turnovers. He’s had 14 forced fumbles in 4 years!

      I honestly have no idea what the actual ‘plan’ is, but if YN is the outcome… that is a stat to get excited acout.

  29. Sea Mode

    Mike Garafolo

    From @NFLTotalAccess: The NFL considered timeouts if teams experienced technical issues during the draft but decided they weren’t necessary. The draft will have its usual flow.

    Amending this: If there’s a trade going down and there’s an major technical issue (e.g. power outage at a GM’s home), the league will use discretion to allow for more time. But again, no formal timeouts, no added time and enough ways to get the pick in to allow for normal flow.

    • cha

      There’s reports they’re going to do a mock draft with all the current virtual processes in place. Wouldn’t that be fun to be a fly on the wall to see that one?

      • Kevin Mullen

        I’d pay to watch this on some PPV event. Lol.

  30. cha

    All great points Rob.

    One thing I’ve been thinking about lately is the lack of DL depth really stresses the other parts of the defense. Bobby Wagner isn’t as clean as he was with say Mebane or Sheldon Richardson in front of him. The DB’s have to cover deeper and longer than they should because the QB isn’t stressed and has time.

    The result being the Hawks have invested major $ and draft capital in their LBs (contracts for Kendricks, Wright & Wagner, draft picks on Barton & BBK) and their secondary (contract for McDougald, picks on Griffin, Dunbar and Blair) and yet give them very little support from the front 4, so they have to focus on containing an offense rather than being aggressive and setting a tone, let alone forcing game-changing mistakes.

    So the entire defense is handcuffed. It feels like it doesn’t matter what moves they make at LB or Safety this offseason or in the draft, because they won’t be supported by an even adequate DL.

    The LOB is a legendary group of all time greats, but let’s be right. They had Bryant, Bennett, Avril, Mebane, Irvin, etc creating mayhem and keeping them clean. The DB’s could take chances, push the envelope and get away with it because the front 4 had their back. The current group can never live up to the LOB’s status, but the LOB had a huge boost from the front 4 that the current group doesn’t have, and if trends continue, will never have.

    • Rob Staton

      Completely agree Cha.

    • Sea Mode


    • Scot04


    • God of Thunder

      Good post.

      I think there had better be a succession plan for Bobby, formulating somewhere in JS’s cortex.

  31. Kingdome1976

    They must be ‘hoping’ that Reed/Green/Collier/Mayowa/Irvin will…as a company of heroes actually put enough pressure to make us compete. It seems a long shot to me but if we draft an Okwara/Zuniga to add to the bunch it..may..just..work.

    • Rob Staton


      • Kingdome1976




        Laugh to keep from crying, gents.

  32. John

    I think that there is still time to fix the pass rush.

    Even if Clowney is no longer an option, Clay Matthews, Cameron Wake, Markus Golden, Everson Griffen, Michael Bennett and Vinny Curry are still options on the market. Judon and Yannick are available via trade. And we still have the draft.

    And that is assuming Seattle really is out on Clowney. Hell, we are not that long away from hearing a deal was imminent. It’s the Russell Wilson being traded to the Giants all over again. Remember the trade Russell and get Murray conversations?

    And even if he does walk, plenty of options to go besides Clowney. There are so many variables at play and I do think John and Pete have become more gunshy about getting locked into contracts that hamstring them the way Kam/Cliff/Doug did. That was a lot of dead money on the cap that contributed to why we couldn’t sign Clark last year. Let’s say Clowney’s knee is a ticking time bomb and they are hesitant to extend him long term. (Not saying it is, just saying that is one of many many variables).

    Let’s also not forget Seattle went into this offseason with the FEWEST rostered players and still barely had something around $40 mil in cap space without cutting Britt (who is still the best center on the roster) and Wright (who played lights out last year). Depth was a huge issue.

    I don’t begrudge Pete and John for being patient. John Schneider himself cautioned about the perception of this enormous cap space back at the combine. I think his moves have been shrewd so far. Seattle absolutely needed depth. And Seattle signed 4 OL for the APY of George Fant.

    If we’re sitting here in August and we’ve made no change to the DL, I’ll be more inclined to criticize. But I think it’s interesting watching them maneuver the roster while having, 1) The highest paid player in the league, 2) the highest paid MLB, 3) the roster with the fewest players signed and 4) massive needs all over the roster. Depth and Talent at RB, OL, DL, Edge, and CB are all issues right now.
    They’ve addressed OL when people really weren’t spending big on OL. Good move in my opinion. They upgraded CB, they added depth to EDGE. They also stocked up on TE and added to the WR room. All really good moves that make our roster is better for.

    Seattle is still recovering from the absolute travesty that was the 2016-2017 end of the LOB. Seattle’s season last year is also something of a mirage. Compare Seattle’s 2019 season to the Chargers 2018 season and their are a lot of similarities. This team is not an 11-5 team the way the 2012 team was an 11-5 team. We need more than just one or two star rushers. And given our cap limitations, I think big moves at pass rusher were not the most prudent of moves.

    So what happened to pass rush? I think they are still working it with time and options to fix it. It may not be who or how we wanted, but it is still being addressed.

    • Simo

      These are all excellent points you made John, I completely agree and nice write up!

      -We all knew it would impact the salary cap to make RW the highest paid player in the league, but they needed to do it. He’s proven to be worth top dollar, and a top 3-5 QB in the league who’s salary may look very affordable in a couple years. At 31 he’s still very much in his prime as well.

      -Same goes for Bobby. He’s proven his worth as the top MLB in football. Let’s hope he has a few good years left.

      -Definitely agree that the large contracts for Kam, Doug, Cliff set this team back a couple years. Injuries are certainly a part of the game, but all that dead money limited their ability to move forward. And maybe they became a bit gun shy towards top money contracts for guys like Clark or Sherm.

      -I to think the depth signings so far this year have been solid and shrewd. Quality depth is an absolute must, as we’ve seen the team decimated by injuries and picking up guys off the couch just to fill out a team.

      -Obviously the wildcard is how they intend to address a significant team weakness in the pass rush. As you said, there’s still options available, and there’s still time. I don’t think Clowney is a goner just because of the Garafolo report either, who knows really.

    • Rob Staton

      That’s all fine.

      A better plan would’ve been to solve your biggest need and then let the depth signings come to you.

      Now they have barely any cap space to address the biggest need.

      And the journeymen you listed at the top might be in line with the other middling moves they’ve made this season. But I want to win Super Bowls, not just accumulate names.

      • John

        Let’s remember, when Seattle added Cliff and Bennett and won a Super Bowl, they already had a star EDGE rusher in Clem and had talent all over the roster.

        Right now, Seattle has holes all over the roster. At best, I’d say it’s an overall middling roster. And as I said above, that is a middling roster that is hardly filled out. Going big on Clowney and Griffen does not make a Super Bowl roster in my opinion. You still have a weaknesses in starting roles and no depth if one player goes down. We saw what happened to this top 5 offense when Duane Brown got hurt. Without Brown and Iupati, the run game collapsed.

        Tying up 30mil dollars of your cap in two signings, and cutting Wright and Britt to then make enough room to sign the depth you want creates deficiencies that you then have to patch anyway. You’re then looking at paying vet minimum/rookies for most of your roster. That is the exact tactic Seattle took between 2015-2017. A very top heavy roster with great players but falls apart when injury hits.

        I think Seattle learned from that. This roster has been incredibly fragile for years now. It’s mostly due to the poor drafting and roster management in 2016 and 2017, but that doesn’t change the reality. A lot of these moves feel like the early year moves in the Pete and John era. A lot of depth and frugal moves that added up. The key now is to keep drafting well.

        2018 and 2019 are shaping up to be solid drafts. They need to hit again.

        • Rob Staton

          So you’d rather have even less talent but sign a bunch of journeymen purely in the hope that the depth improves??

          • John

            Seattle has probably upgraded:


            For the price of Everson Griffen. Not to mention the depth behind them.

            Seattle lacked speed rush so bad last year they had Shaquem doing it. We’ve now added two options that had near double the sacks of any Seahawk last year. There’s a money ball savvy to both those moves.

            Putting all your eggs in one basket is bad in any line of business. Putting all your eggs in two players, stars they may be, while your roster is filled out with UDFA talent sets you up to fail late in the season because your team can’t take a punch. Injuries are part of the game, but successful teams can absorb those blows. Going into this offseason, Seattle was in no position to do that.

            Clowney/Griffen upgrades our strong side defensive end. Is one position worth it? That’s a judgment you’ll have to make. But when your a cap strapped team with the highest paid player in the league, another player already the highest paid at his position, you can’t keep spending like that. 2016-2017 saw what happens when you’re paying top dollar for a majority of positions. Eventually your roster becomes top heavy, and as happened in 2017, it collapses.

            I’d like to avoid the mistakes of the later LOB years than go all in on a roster that scrapped its way to a playoff birth last year.

            • Rob Staton

              That is a very generous review.

              Guard — they’ve signed Chance Warmack to compete with Fluker. Finney is a guard/center option. At left guard it’s basically the younger guys they had last season. That’s a major stretch to say there’s an upgrade there.

              Right tackle — They’ve added Brandon Shell on a cheap deal. Nobody knows if he’ll be an upgrade. It’s certainly no certainty, however much people liked to hammer Ifedi.

              LEO — Well if they’d replaced me or you for Ansah it’d be an upgrade I’m afraid. We’re setting a low bar for any improvement here.

              TE — Olsen is a nice addition.

              Nobody is saying put all your eggs in one basket. I’m saying invest in a major position of need. That’s it. Because it needs investing in. Warmack, Ogbuehi, Finney, Dorsett, Shell. Those players won’t tilt things in 2020. Especially if the pass rush is woeful again. And you can get ‘depth’ in the draft.

              • John

                So I agree with you there. I don’t think most of those signings tilt the field the way Clowney did at SF. But I think Olsen can still threaten the seam as well as Dissly and Wilson throws the seam beautifully. I think Finney would’ve been a better Center/Guard replacement late in the year than Iupati or Hunt. I think Irvin and Mayowa threaten the edge better than Shaquem. So if you add up all those little improvements over the course of last years team, I think those add up to a better team.

                I don’t know that I like the idea of using the draft to fill depth. When you talk about the value of finding impact players on rookie deals + the ramp up time for rookies, I think approaching the draft for depth gets you in trouble. Using FA to fill out that roster gives you competent, albeit limited, options.

                And that doesn’t preclude Seattle from signing a pass rusher. But if we come out of this offseason with, Everson Griffen instead of Clowney, plus all the signings they’ve made, I’d be okay with that.

                I think the draft should be used for players you think will become “core” players. I think when Seattle treated the draft as depth is when they got into trouble. That’s how we ended up with guys TT and Lano Hill.

                Plus, even if you use the draft to build out your depth, that’s maybe 10-12 players with a couple trade downs? So you’re still counting on the bottom of the barrel signing post draft (Ziggy type signings) and UDFAs.

                • Rob Staton

                  You’re not using high picks for depth necessarily. But you’re drafting from rounds 3-7 and UDFA to stack up your depth and competition. That’s the whole point of those rounds. You don’t expect to find starters there.

                  And not every early pick is an immediate starter, as we saw a year ago.

                  I’d rather do that and then see what is left in the journeyman market. Not spend all the cap space on players who may or may not make most rosters, fail to address your biggest need and now have very little room to do anything to fix the massive, season-defining problem.

    • dcd2

      I like it John. I’m not in total agreement with you, but that is the best ‘positive review’ of the off-season and potential thought process that I’ve seen.

  33. cha


    What does everyone think?

    The black on black is good.

    The white on white is boring.

    The melty alternates are not good at all.

    The ATL block font above the numbers just isn’t working for me at all.

    • Sea Mode

      I think the Bucs stole everything that was good about the Falcons jerseys and somehow dumped their old bad stuff on ATL…

      • Ryan

        Exactly my thoughts.

        The Falcons throwback looks good. Why didn’t they just go back to that? Why are some teams so bad at this?

    • Rob Staton

      They look gimmicky.

    • BoiseSeahawk

      They scream temporary.

    • Jeff108


      • Big Mike


      • DC


  34. Sea Mode

    Fun way to kill another half hour. Gonna be a fun TE room. Olsen seems chill.

    Position Room: Tight Ends

    • Davido

      I loved the part where Luke Willson explains how the tight end room could beat a gorilla and Greg Olsen is wondering how he got into that call.

      • Sea Mode

        His face was like WTF did I just get myself into… 😂

      • Sea Mode

        Also crazy that Olsen played with Terrence Metcalf when DK was 8, and now they’re teammates!

        • Kingdome1976

          Looks like a fun TE room. Olsen is like the dad in the room, it’s hilarious. Hollister is a pretty cool dude though.

  35. Ashish

    Is it time we stop thinking of Clowney?? He is great player and would to love him as Hawks but may be we stop talking about it untill we sign him.

    Let’s talk about other options.

    • Rob Staton

      With respect, fixing the pass rush is the story of the off-season.

      Clowney is integral to that.

      • Ashish

        I agree 100% Clowney is integral part of pass rush. Unfortunately the gap between two parties (hawks and clowney) is more than we think else they should have sign it.
        Having said that JS/PC has tendency to hold on to their price, I hope they are giving some leeway in case of Clowney.

    • TJ

      Yes, please. Just listened to the podcast. Time to move on. Wish the Seahawks moved on earlier. Sounds like they made a strong offer but he was/is unwilling to accept reality. Too bad for both parties.

    • cha

      Tell that to the Hawks.

  36. pdway

    That list of pass rush stats is really damning. I’m a big believer that sacks don’t tell the story, but QB pressures and hits for sure do. I”m still holding out hope that Clowney comes back, it does feel pretty disastrous to our pass defense if he doesn’t.

    You made another point – about us not being bullies anymore – which I also think is true – – and I’m going to state something i’ve thought for some time, but haven’t articulated — our LB’s are just OK. They’re older, but not fast or explosive – and Bobby, is the consummate team leader and clearly a valuable guy for us, but not at all the playmaker he used to be. If there weren’t holes elsewhere, I’d love for the Hawks to be able to draft a 1st round talent level LB. I sort of think LB’s is where bullying attitude on your defense starts.

    • Rob Staton

      The 2011-2014 defense was fast and physical.

      The current defense isn’t physical or fast enough.

      • Volume12

        The current defense is…certainly a defense.

        • Rob Staton

          You could say the defense is offensive.

      • Big Mike

        Especially the speed aspect. Badly missing. When Diggs came onboard he looked like a guy playing in a different gear from those around him and those he replaced.

  37. Volume12

    God, this draft is gonna be batsh** insane! All the teams are worried about hacking, a bunch of old men not knowing how computers work, I love this stupid league.

    • Spencer

      Its going to be extremely entertaining.

      • DC

        I’m certainly not looking forward to the EA sports virtual on stage moments.

    • Simo

      They better bring along their IT guy as one of the 10 allowed in the war room, their gonna need him/her!!

  38. Sea Mode

    Feature on Kenneth Murray for your reading pleasure:


    • Volume12

      Boy, that hit close to home. Something I live by every day. ‘We are our brothers keepers.’

    • Volume12

      I don’t have 3, only 1, but I made that same promise to my mom. Very cool to see a kid be prepared to put the weight of the world on his shoulders and take care of those that can’t take care of themselves.

      He’s got a new fan for life.

  39. RWIII

    It is truely UNFAIR to compare this roster to the 2013 roster. Mainly for cap reasons. In 2013 Russell Wilson was making roughly million or less. Today he is making 35 million. During the offseason John Schneider stole Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril for roughly 16mil(combined). Today, Frank Clark is making 20mil+. Bobby Wagner in 2013 was on his rookie contract making less than 1Mil per season. John Schneider doesn’t have the flexibility now that he had back in 2013. In 2013 Seattle’s roster was loaded with Super Star talent on their rookie deals.

    As far as I am concerned(even if Clowney is lost) John Schneider has been fanstatic. Do we remember before PC/SC came along we were 4-12?

    • Jeff108

      Jim Mora and then Aaron Curry. Fun times.

  40. millhouse-serbia

    If you asked me just month ago what would I give for YN, the Pauline proposal would be absolute maximum. Now I think i would give 27th pick and pay him 18-20mil apy.

    • Rob Staton

      I’d want the Pauline deal as a maximum.

      I can’t wait until #59 to pick. There are too many good options in the 30-50 range.

  41. Matt

    Excellent article Rob.

    I just don’t understand the thought process behind roster construction and I certainly do not understand the thought process behind recent high draft picks – I will give one exception that Malik McDowell had insane upside as a pass rusher; that pick, despite how it turned out, did make sense to me.

    What I can’t understand is drafting Rashad Penny, LJ Collier, Marquise Blair…I just don’t get it. I’m not anti-RB in R1 – not at all. In fact, I’d be ecstatic if Jonathan Taylor was the pick this year. My problem with Penny was the fact that he was always going to be a complimentary back on this team – he is not a physical tone setter, at all. I can totally understand drafting a one-dimensional speed rusher in R1. But I don’t understand the idea of a complimentary RB that high.

    I know you like LJ Collier, but he is an overaged, bad athlete who was never going to solve the pass rush situation, even if he did/does live up to his potential. That’s not his game. His ceiling is a run stuffing 5T who can maybe generate 4-6 sacks a year. Heck, I don’t even think he plays on 3rd downs, even if he does “pan out.” So again, I don’t necessarily hate the player, but I do scratch my head at the type of player they decided to draft in R1.

    Marquise Blair comes across, per the Jim Nagy interview, as an attitude/culture pick, which set the fire alarms off in my head – all the comments were about attitude and his headhunting ability; little about him actually being a good safety. I get the appeal of intangibles, but intangibles can’t overcome everything. And apparently Blair either can’t learn the playbook or lacks assignment discipline. Did Whittingham lie to the Seahawks about Blair? What did they miss on tape? Did they simply look past those shortcomings because “man he has attitude!” I don’t know. And yes, it’s easy for me to pick this apart in hindsight.

    Overall, the draft process (recently) sucks, big time.

    #1 should be finding great football players, preferably at positions that provide the most impact on the game.

    #2 should be about finding out about work ethic, attitude, etc – this is obviously much tougher. But the key caveat here is that – players should only be dinged for a lack of these intangibles, not assigned greater value because you think they have great intangibles.

    #3 stop turning your $100 Bill in Draft Capital into four $20 Bills and a $10. PC/JS have mastered the art of watering down premium draft capital. They overvalue late round picks, way too much. I like Tre Flowers and Travis Homer, etc…but those guys do not put you over the hump from a talent perspective. Those are great roster fillers which is not what the Seahawks need right now. They need higher end talent. Stop turning a mid 20s pick into a mid 40s pick and getting an extra pick in the mid 100s. The goal should be to maximize as many top 100 picks as possible – the rest is just gravy and you hope to find a guy who can provide depth with anything after that.

    I know I’m being very critical here…but I just don’t see a clear philosophy anymore. What I do see is hubris. “Hey, we drafted a HOFer in R5 – we can do that every year.” “Hey, we signed 2 undervalued pass rushers who turned into Pro Bowlers – we can easily do that again.”

    They have taken rare occurences and built a philosophy that they can replicate that. They can’t. It ties directly into the gameday philosophy of “let’s putz around for 3 quarters because we have had a 3 score comeback before.” The entire goal of roster construction and game day should ALWAYS be based around maximizing the margin of error. They operate on razor thin margins and it has finally caught up with them.

    This is a mediocre-below average roster that is bouyed by a generational QB. They need to stop messing around and re-evaluate what they are doing. Alas, I don’t have any faith they will do that – and no, trading for Ngakoue doesn’t undo this offseason. In fact, such a move is idiotic when you could have just signed Clowney or retained Clark last year. Spenidng premium draft capital to get the opportunity to spend premium cap space – when said player is no the the “last piece” is beyond idiotic.

    Cheers and sorry for the rant.

    • TJ

      Nice rant! “stop turning your $100 Bill in Draft Capital into four $20 Bills and a $10.” I love that.

      • cha

        Trade down hits the last 4 drafts:

        2016-3 seasons of Vannett+1 season of Dunbar

  42. Bertelli

    Another thing we may be considering that I don’t hear a lot about is a trade-up. It’s possible there could be multiple teams trading to get QB’s that may cause players like Simmons or Chase Young to fall a bit farther than projected. Say Young and Simmons are both available at 5 or 6? You trade up, grab one of them, sign Griffin and shore up the rest of the roster with the picks you have remaining. Sure you’d lose the 27 this year, plus probably a 3rd this year and most likely next year’s #1 (which you hope is #32). In this scenario, you do lose the 27, but you don’t have to pay a guy like Yannick $20m a year, you get a stud rookie for 5 years. Probably a long shot, but with the way things are going, anything could be possible.

  43. Rob Staton

    I can reveal two of today’s interviews that have been recorded…

    Scot McCloughan
    Mike Renner (PFF)

    A third one to be recorded later (a big name) and a podcast with Brandan too.

    • Matt

      Dude…amazing. I don’t always agree with PFF but I respect those guys with the amount of time/data they pour into this stuff. Great work.

      • Rob Staton

        Mike was a great interview. You’ll enjoy hearing his views.

        I could’ve talked to Scot for about two hours. It was AMAZING.

        • Gohawks5151

          Wow!! Cant wait. Extremely glad to see your profile grow with some of these guys. Hopefully it could be a regular thing for this time of year. Awesome job!

    • Zane

      Woah, that’s amazing! I’ve always wanted to pick McCloughan’s brain after he helped build those dominant teams.

      Killing it Rob!

    • RWIII

      WOW! Scott McCoughan. McCoughan is going to a fanstatic interview.

    • Ashish

      That’s great yay!!!

  44. Ryan

    The bad drafting and unwillingness to invest money in the pass rush now reminds me of the bad drafting and unwillingness to invest in the OL during the Cable years. As if they’ve decided they have to short one area of the team, and they keep picking the trenches. Neglecting the OL didn’t work then either.

  45. SeaTown

    I have followed this team since 1977. I’ve see the the good, the bad, and the great. All good things come to an end. We may simply just be on the downside. I can’t remember which coach said it but I heard that coaches usually wear out their welcome at about the 10 year mark (gif they can even make it that far). Well here we are. Very hard to strike lightning multiple times there way PC/JS did in the early years. Maybe it’s time for an organizational change.

  46. Gohawks5151

    Discainmer: This is in no way in support of not adding/fixing the DL. Pro football reference used for my shady statistics.

    I think that Seattle is still a developmental system that leans on its coaches. We all know what they do with their CB’s (Year 3 of Tre should be interesting…) but they have a decent pattern with their D Line as well. Bruce and Frank were athletic freaks and were both rotational guys their first years despite the fact they could have contributed more in year one. Reed had a marketable skill in stopping the run but was also on rotation. When it comes to Green, LJ and even Poona I think they are in the Reed category of early specific skill with potential for more. Reed had some average stats playing about 50% of the time for his first 2 seasons. Some would even call his second season a little static. Year 3 was an explosion though. I think it was the combination of skill improvement and opportunity (78% of snaps). Green and Poona’s second years are right in line with Reed’s. They are going to have plenty opportunity this year and Seattle as always, is betting on themselves that they are ready skill wise. Green and LJ’s injuries that set back their rookie seasons that were already surely on a snap count. They have been willing to take their lumps by starting players as rookies (Like in the Secondary) but this is the process that the coaches seem too favor on the DL the past few seasons. This is a bit of a payout season for recent picks and its in a season they really need help.

    • Seahawk65

      I really like this take. Those are real men battling up front. It might take young guys a year to grow into their bodies and then also develop their craft. I’m really hoping our young guys are ready to take a step. Yes, I want Clowney, but I’m not thinking all is lost if we don’t get him. I also don’t think high draft choices will be the answer. They will likely be rotational pieces this year. If we stay as we are, this will be a committee approach.

  47. GerryG

    Awesome news on the interviews!

    We keep focusing on the pass rush, and for good reason. However, I feel like that kind of makes light of the issue of the defense as a whole. The bad run D, is now worse too. Clowney is probably gone, and Al Woods is gone. This is more concerning than just getting after the QB. As currently constructed, this team wont even have many opportunities to get after the QB, because they will get gashed on the ground by LA/SF.

    • Rob Staton

      The run game is important to defend too.

      But that’s a lot easier to fix than it is to rapidly improve the pass rush.

      • Rashi

        Well since we are screwed on the pass rush. Let’s at least make sure our run defense is stout. I feel like that is something we can achieve cause like you said it’s cheaper… That was at least we can hope for some more 2nd and 9 or 3rd and long situations and get some coverage sacks. I feel like this is the best way to salvage a bad situation.

  48. Rob4q

    A few questions for everyone here –

    How long have you been doing what you do for a living? Anyone more than 20 years?

    Have you gotten better or worse at what you do over time? Why?

    Have you been able to adapt to the changes in your line of work over the years? Why or why not?

    Just curious about thist topic. Our current world seems to overreact when someone makes a mistake and immediately call for action because of it. Lots of high profile people being judged on a small piece of their work instead of the whole body. Sure feels like our world has instant access to everything that happens so in return there must be an instant reaction?

    I sure wouldn’t want to be treated that way at my work…

    • Rob Staton

      What are you referring to in the context of this blog and the Seahawks?

      • Rob4q

        Those calling for PC/JS to be fired in some of the threads above…apologize if this wasn’t appropriate Rob. Was trying to respond in a generally positive way and understand why some feel this way about the current Seahawks regime.

  49. Davido

    What is the opinion here:
    Is Griffen a better passrusher than Clowney (for us) ?

    I think he is. We have some options at 5 tech with Collier/Green that can move inside. Having a pure Leo with Mayowa and Irvin rotating would be more of a benefit than having Clowney. At least from a pure passrush perspective. The run especially perimeter run issues remain or would be even worse.

    • Henry Taylor

      He’s not a better option in anyway. Clowney is a game wrecker.

      • Scot04

        Griffen would have been a complimentary piece after signing Clowney. Definitely not the player Clowney is.

      • Davido

        If so, how many games did he wreck for us last year? The first 9ers game, sure but then?
        Don’t get me wrong Clowney is a good player with incredible athletic potential I don’t want to hate him because he might be gone. I would have loved to have him back. So in my scenario it’s either or. Griffen or Clowney ignoring that the frontoffice could have gotten both maybe.

        • Rob Staton

          Come on.

          He absolutely dominated the Eagles playoff game, had a massive impact against the Cardinals in Arizona, was the only defensive lineman who did anything against Green Bay in the playoffs, was constantly double teamed yet was among the league leaders in pressures.

          ‘How many games did he wreck on his own’ is a bit of an unfair gauge.

          • Davido

            Yes you are right that’s an unfair question to ask.
            My point was more aimed at the fact that realistically he wasn’t the impact that at least I was hoping for when we traded for him.

            • Rob Staton

              Pretty hard to have the impact you probably hoped for though when you’re a one-man band.

  50. Jordan

    Hey Rob, do the Seahawks qualify for a comp pick assuming we lose Clowney? Or did we sign too many players that impact the formula?

    • Davido

      Not Rob but it’s in the article.

    • Davido

      Not Rob but it’s in the article.

      “The big difference is — unlike with Clark they’re not going to get any picks for Clowney. In fact if he leaves in free agency they won’t even get a comp pick due to the additions they’ve made dwarfing the number of players they’ve lost.”

    • Rob Staton

      Signed too many players. If he leaves they will get absolutely nothing in return.

      • Jordan

        Opps. My bad! Thanks for the reply.

  51. Greg Haugsven

    Regardless of whats been said I still believe he will be a Seahawk in 2020. His options right besides us the jets, Brown, and Titans im just not sure of. If he signed with the Jets he would only want one year and that does the Jets no good. He could sign wit the Browns for one year but does he pit them in the sorry category? the Titans for one year would probably be his best option but it hasnt happened yet. That leaves the Seahawks which I believe he will sign with when it gets closer to the draft. Another question that has been raised is his medicals. Is there another injury other teams might be worried aboit besides the core muscle? I have had core muscle surgery and I was back to playing soccer 6 weeks later. Just a though that his lack of production and not his core muscle injury might be scaring teams off of a big pay day?

    • cha

      The microfracture has been raised in discussion a few times about his value.

      • Greg Haugsven

        Are teams still worried about that? That was in his rookie year. Maybe they are?

  52. Matt

    On a lighter note – MOCK DRAFT TIME:

    44. OC Cesar Ruiz: Way too much value to pass up.
    59. RB CEH: Again, too much value. A difference maker.
    64. DT Raekwon Davis: Great value.
    75. DE Jabari Zuniga
    101. OLB Willie Gay Jr
    102. WR Chase Claypool
    144. OG Kevin Dotson
    198. DT Khalil Davis
    214. DE James Williams-Smith
    232. CB Stanford Samuels

    I think the picks within the top 102 have the chance to be foundational players moving forward and all can get on the field day 1 – which is hugely important. The last 4 picks are guys that I really like that I think definitely have a role they could carve out in the next 2 years.

  53. Hughz

    Joel Klatt on the Brock and Salk show had an interesting comment. He said in today’s game the edge rushers can be completely taken out of a game by scheme. Basically the edge rushers are only as good as long as their is a good LB crew. I’m not saying this is a reason to dismiss edge rushers but I wonder if there is some truth in there to how JS views that position.

    • Rob Staton

      Not sure I buy that. If you can’t beat a guy off the edge you can’t beat a guy off the edge. Not sure how Wagner/Wright would play into that.

      And San Francisco didn’t dominate because their linebackers propped up the D-line. They dominated because of Bosa and a bunch of other first round picks.

      • Rashi

        To be fair just the year before the Patriots won the superbowl without a single great pass rusher. They relied on an excellent secondary..Trey Flowers led the team in sacks with 7.5, next was Datrich Wise with 3.5.

        Its not inconceivable that you can win without big time pass rushers.

        • Rob Staton

          You can never, ever hold the Patriots as the standard.

          Belichick is a defensive genius. They don’t rely on rushing with four in their scheme.

          • Rashi

            Okay I won’t use the patriots.

            Saints won in 2010 with Sedrick Ellis as their best pass rusher with 6.5 Sacks.

            Packers won in 2011 with Clay Matthews – 6 sacks.

            • Rob Staton

              Now let’s run through the Super Bowl winners who needed a good pass rush.

              This is kind of like saying Leicester won the Premier League so anyone can.

              • Rashi

                Leicester winning the Premier League was a once in a lifetime event. Just in this decade a team without elite pass rushers has won 4-5 times if you count the Patriots. If you don’t count the Patriots they have still won 2 times just this decade. I don’t think its a valid comparrison.

                • Rashi

                  All I am trying to say is that its not a requirement that you must have elite pass rushers to win a superbown. Its just not true, we have seen it happen many times in history..

                • Rob Staton

                  It’s perfectly valid. Whenever you take outliers and try to use them to make it seem like a common occurrence, it’s an issue.

      • Bmseattle

        I listened to the interview, and my interpretation of what he said was that dominant interior players were more difficult to scheme out that edge players.
        So his philosophy on team building is from the inside out, front to back.

    • cha

      If JS thinks that’s the case, the Hawks would be investing in big stout pocket collapsing types, rather than gap contain 3rd wave of free agency types.

      • Bmseattle

        Right… I was referring to Klatt’s philosophy, in the Brock and Salk interview.

  54. Donny Henson

    So at this point in the offseason, these are the remaining pass rushers that could make a difference and Seattle can acquire via Free Agency and Trade and I ranking them base off on talent.

    1. Jadeveon Clowney
    2. Yannick Ngakoue
    3. Everson Griffin
    4. Jabaal Sheard
    5. Markus Golden
    6. Matt Judon.

    If Clowney is a no go and Ngakoue’s trade price is too high, then best case scenario is Griffin as a 5 tech and Sheard as a LEO.

    • Spencer

      I think Sheard is done. Didn’t look great last year, missed over 20% of his tackles.

      Would definitely rate Golden ahead of Sheard. In his two full seasons, he has racked up sacks and TFLs and barely misses tackles. If Pete thinks he could play Leo, where he has great measureables and fits the size thresholds, I think he’d be a great addition on a one year prove-it deal. Him and Irvin could also rotate at SLB with Griffin so we wouldn’t need to add anyone (unless Kendricks can come back on a reasonable deal but at that point it doesn’t seem like we’d have the cap for anything more than a minimum deal. Golden is relatively young at 28 too and if he has a good year, we could work to lock him up longer term.

      5T: Clowney / Green / Collier
      Leo: Mayowa / Irvin / Golden
      SLB: Irvin / Golden / Griffin

      Lots of guys who look like they can get after the QB and keep the rotations fresh.

  55. Pearedu

    Rob , you keep hitting hard with the pass rush problem but you never adressed the fact that they may be quite better in coverage this year in the secondary. This being quandre diggs 2nd year with the team and more familiarity within the scheme. Also the addition of quinton dunbar, and players such as flowers and amadi developing further as always this program has been doing with secondary players under Pete Carroll (look at Shaquill Griffin year 3).
    With all this being said I am not underestimating the pass rush problem (which it is) ,but just commenting on how the coverage in 2020 can be much better than in 2019 and helping the rush get home.
    Looking at how a team such as new england operates. The last few years they never had a top pass rusher, they prioritaze coverage over pass rush. With Gilmore , the McCourty brothers, Patrick Chung and JC Jackson and now former patriot and now lion Duron Harmon.

    I am not saying pass rush is not a problem , just offering another perspective.

    Top content recently with the interviews and articles , really nice job rob. Love it

    • Rob Staton

      The idea that Quinton Dunbar’s addition will help the pass rush in any significant way is fanciful at best I’m afraid.

  56. Seahawkwalt

    Love this simulator….Painful not getting a wr though

    SEA 42.Isaiah Wilson
    SEA 59.Joshua Uche
    SEA 64.Clyde Edwards-Helaire
    SEA 96.Willie Gay Jr.
    SEA 101.Jonathan Greenard
    SEA 113.Rashard Lawrence
    SEA 133.Hunter Bryant
    SEA 140.Brandon Jones
    SEA 144.Hakeem Adeniji
    SEA 214.Tanner Muse

    • Hawktalker#1

      True, but I think we’re only fooling ourselves when we enjoy it when the simulators only tell us what we want to hear . . .

      • Spencer

        Every time I come away with 7-9 guys that I think can be immediate contributors – I just can’t see any of those guys being available when I grab them. Need to lay off them, but they’re so addicting.

  57. Michael Hasslinger

    My Seahawk Draft Struggle – 2020
    Left Tackle.

    So, let’s say an offensive tackle athletic freak is there at 27. With the expected shortening of the offseason, this player most likely sees spot duty in 2020. Does not contribute much.

    However… Duane Brown has 2, maybe 3 at most, years left. Do you take him?

    Or… do you trade down and address your defensive line needs with hope?

    Do we draft to strength for a 2021 run? Or draft for hope… hit enough to move the token and play for the prize in 2020?

    My lean is take the strength of the draft and be ready to roll 2021. Make Pete coach his ass off with the parts he has on defense.

    So no D-Line in 2020. Get me a Left Tackle, a Running Back, a Right Tackle, a Wide Receiver.

    Call it good. Have a glass of wine. Pray.

  58. Coach

    Chris Simm’s DE Prospects:

    #3 is Epenesa DE Iowa. Said he’s one of the biggest slam dunks in the draft. Says he can be like Michael Bennett – DE on first and second and then put him inside to rush on 3rd. That sounds like it would work out well – bring in Mayowa on third and kick Epenesa to DT. Whatcha think?

    #2 Chaisson DE LSU. One of his biggest man crushes – better than Brian Burns last year. He’s Von Miller or Derrick Thomas. He was put on this earth to rush the passer. Whatcha think?

    Would you be happy with one of these two with our first pick? Sounds like they would really help our pass rush according to Simms.


    I’m rooting for:
    R1 – one of these 2 pass rushers
    R2 – Taylor/Akers RB
    R2 – Ayuk/Shennault WR
    R3 – Hunt OL
    R3 – Hamilton DL
    R4 – Hall CB UVA

    I think all of these players would contribute as rookies and make us better! Then they would become a large part of our core moving forward!

    Let me know your thoughts!

    Go Hawks!

  59. Scot04

    Lol. Seahawks sign another offensive lineman. Crazy to think we’ve signed 5 already and our pass rush still in limbo.

  60. Davido

    Just watched some Twitter film breakdown of Mayowa.
    And I like what I see. It’s just a few passrushing snaps but I already saw more good snaps than I saw from Ansah last year. He kinda reminded me of Collier’s film. Limited speed, great hands and similar build.

    If someone is interested.

  61. Greg Haugsven

    Offensive lineman we now have.

    Brown (lock)
    Shell (lock)
    Ogbuehi (lock)

    Jones (you would think)

    Fluker (almost a lock)
    Haynes (you would think)
    Warmack (wild card)
    Simmons (wild card)
    Roos (outside looking in)
    Knox (very long shot)

    Finney (lock)
    Pocic (maybe??)

    Britt (50/50)
    Hunt (depends on Britt)

    No chance:
    Fuller, Wheeler

    That tackle/guard spot is light. Thats where a guy like Robert Hunt could really make sense as he has the versatility to play both.

    Does this sound about right or am I off somewhere?

    • Hawktalker#1

      Nice post


    It seems pretty obvious to everyone that they’ve really screwed this up, one way or another. We’re all disappointed. This feels like a missed opportunity.

    That said, I’m ready to move on and see what comes of the draft. I’m not going to continue to wallow in it. We have our reasons, but we just don’t know how the season will turn out. I’m going to keep watching like I always have.

    If we have to talk about this again in twelve months time, then that’s what we’ll have to do.

    Lamenting it is making it any easier or changing anything. It’s been covered. Now let’s try to look forward to what we can, and maybe a little optimism wouldn’t hurt. We are fans after all.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t agree with you.

      It’s an important topic, a vital need and simply ignoring it because ‘oh well’ isn’t doing justice to proper coverage of this team. It has to be discussed until it’s solved or critique is necessary —- not once but as this situation progresses.

      There’s enough of that going on in Seattle’s media already (eg —- ‘the Seahawks are having a fantastic off season).


        I’m definitely not saying they’re having a fantastic offseason…

        And I’m also not saying I disagree with your take on things; I unfortunately agree. Wish I didn’t. I get why you’re covering it, it’s been the story of the offseason.

        But I am saying I’m in the acceptance stage of grief. I want to look forward to the draft. I want to look forward to the season.

        And regardless, I’m going to do those things. I’m going to get excited about Seahawks football, one way or another, perhaps even with a bungled offseason and a fatally flawed roster.

        Between now and training camp we’ll have a much better idea of what we’re up against. There will obviously be developments. The roster will change. Hopefully, somewhat profoundly. But I can’t see what’s in store from this perch in the gutter. And I’m tired of re-living this moment day after day as if it will never end.

        I’m going to shift my focus on what we can do, and what could be, instead of what was and what we regret. It’s the only way to stay sane.

        • Rob Staton

          “I’m definitely not saying they’re having a fantastic offseason…”

          I’m referring to Joe Fann’s remarks on twitter.

          If you want to look forward to the draft, be my guest. But this blog is going to cover the Seahawks properly and that means not ignoring the biggest storyline involving the Seahawks for months.

          • LLLOGOSSS

            I’m not telling you what to do. I have the utmost confidence that you are going to have your finger on the pulse of this franchise and communicate how you see it to the fans in unparalleled fashion.

            Again, I fully understand why this has been covered the way it has been. It’s what’s on everyone’s mind for the same reason. Every day my friends back home and I text the same “Groundhog’s Day” -esque sentiments, and ask each other what in the world.

            But for now, it’s been said, and said well, and nothing is changing, and we don’t have any influence to change it. All I can do is reevaluate after the roster has been addressed in some meaningful way.

            So I’m gearing up for the draft. Really enjoyed your piece the other day re: draft targets through two rounds.

            • Rob Staton

              As I said, that’s fine for you. If you want to move on, do it. Don’t tell us about it, just do it. Otherwise it sounds like you’re criticising those who don’t want to ignore the biggest storyline for the team.

              • LLLOGOSSS

                try not to take everything so personally, the people on this site love your work even if they say things you don’t agree with. Deleting innocuous or questioning comments and always arranging things so you get the last word is a poor quality, and doesn’t show strength. Quite the contrary.

                Of course this will be deleted too, so between you and me, I know of many people who won’t come here or read your work because of how you talk to people, and that’s a shame.

  63. Lan206fan

    I know this is a well written evaluation of the Hawks needs on the DL. But some important things were missed, with one mention of a problem not addressed as a problem. The real problem is Ken Norton Jr. He is responsible for realizing that his defensive scheme, with very few creative alignments or blitz packages, is failing the test week in and week out. It seems he doesn’t know how to make any adjustments in the first half of any game(same goes for Schotty too!) And he is constantly losing the chess match with O coordinators. If McDougald and Diggs stay healthy safety is fine, if not, let the worst begin. Griffin is overrated, he can cover, but he doesn’t play the ball well at all, gives up contested catches often and rarely gets a pick unless it’s a gimmee. Flowers is a failed experiment. It won’t matter who is on the D line with this backfield. There only hope is 15 play, 8 minute drives by the offense to keep the other offense off the field! Mayowa looks good on the film I saw, Irvin, a little sketchy, not who he used to be. Green could have a breakout year, I think he holds the most potential. Collier could possibly break out also, but not if our DB’s can’t cover for more than 2 seconds.

    • Rob Staton

      People love to blame coordinators.

      What the hell is he supposed to do with the laughably poor defensive line the Seahawks handed him in 2019?

      It’s like asking Lewis Hamilton to win a formula one race in a Vauxhall Novo.

      That’s before we even get into the 100% fact that this is Pete’s defense.

  64. Christopher Lake

    Strongly believe that John Schneider and Pete Carroll have intact plan to sign bother Everson Griffen and J Clowney for 2020 season. Everything is going according to plan. Griffen and Clowney have not signed anywhere else, which tells me they really want to play for Seahawks. I believe Seahawks decision makers want them. Seahawks are willing to wait out Clowney’s attempt to get best offer that requires physical exam. They have told him they will match. Griffen understands they will sign him after Clowney is signed.

    I read Everson Griffen’s goodbye statement to Vikings and was very impressed. His statement seemed to be thoughtful, sincerely grateful, and from the heart. This is because the organization journeyed with him through his mental health struggles. I believe Griffen is the kind of over-comer and high character player that Seahawks Brass want on their team.

    In addition, Schneider has gone out and signed two other Leo type rushers from past, Irvin and Mayowa to help pass rush and not leave Clowney in double and triple team situation he was in last year. Even more so, Clowney wants to come back.

    Seahawk fans, have courage, have faith, be patient. When it is all said and done, we will be able to say this was a great offseason for Seahawks.

    • Rob Staton

      This is just blind faith I’m afraid.

      Let’s talk this way when they’ve got an actual pass rush.

  65. Socially distant

    What happened to Jonathan Garvin and Nick Coe? Both at one point in n time considered to be high end prospects.

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