Why borrowing on the Seahawks credit card is problematic

I am writing this piece because there is a common thought among Seahawks fans and media that a logical solution to the off-season challenge faced by the team, is to borrow on the credit card.

After all, Over the Cap says they have $118,526,756 in effective cap space for 2022. Using some of that money to ease the problems in 2021 makes sense — to a degree.

However, the Seahawks currently have $1,751,354 in effective cap space for 2021. So a couple of restructures or extensions won’t be enough.

Thus, the Seahawks are faced with a choice. Either they go down the path of extreme borrowing, or they make some tough personnel decisions. Or a combination of both.

In my own off-season plan I suggested trading Bobby Wagner because I don’t think he is worth a $17m salary in 2021 and a $20m salary in 2022 — especially a year after drafting a middle linebacker in the first round (a pick that could’ve been used to fill one of Seattle’s many existing holes this off-season).

I also suggested trading Jamal Adams. I don’t think he’s a great scheme fit and I don’t think he’s worth the $18-20m a year contract he is probably expecting (as explained in more detail in my own off-season plan).

Too much resource has been used on two non-premium positions. For me, the Seahawks should start to shift their resources to the offensive and defensive line and support their $35m quarterback with good protection and an assortment of weapons.

To me that’s logical. It’s only semi-controversial because it includes a franchise stalwart and a recently-acquired big name. Yet everything else — moving them, shifting resource — is viable.

Especially at a time when the quarterback is making it very clear he expects the team to do things differently.

Corbin Smith, a writer for the Seahawk Maven website, has put together his own plan which makes the case for what I would refer to as ‘extreme borrowing’.

I hope he doesn’t mind me using his work in this way. My intention isn’t to insult or dismiss Corbin, I just want to use the numbers involved to explain why I personally don’t believe a high level of borrowing is feasible.

Let me be clear. I am writing this article not as a personal attack or an attempt to challenge anyone’s authority or credentials. Upon reading this, I do not want anyone attacking the writer on twitter, or rubbing this article in his face.

I am not a cap expert, so please feel free to correct anything glaring in the comments section.

Seattle’s first move should be turning a large chunk of Wilson and Wagner’s 2021 base salary into a signing bonus. Under normal circumstances, general managers don’t like to do this because it increases cap hits in future seasons. But even with Wilson’s cap hit for 2022 jumping to north of $40 million and Wagner’s cap hit escalating to $26 million as a result of the restructure, the benefit outweighs the risk here because the Seahawks instantly creates close to $18 million in cap relief.

It might sound plausible to create $18m of cap space here but there’s a significant consequence. Bobby Wagner’s 2022 cap hit ($26m) would make him the 14th highest paid player in the league. He would be earning more than the total average of Myles Garrett’s salary. Aaron Donald’s average salary is “only” $22.5m.

With Wilson’s cap hit also increasing by $3m (presumably with other consequences further down the line) you would be committing an extra $9m on the cap in 2022 and paying Wilson and Wagner a combined $66m.

That’s only the start, however.

Contract extensions allow teams the opportunity to convert existing base salaries into a signing bonus and spread that money out of the new years added on an extension. This consequently would lower the salary cap hit for 2021. In this scenario, Schneider gives Lockett a two-year extension through 2023 and creates $4 million in cap space, gives Dunlap a two-year extension through 2023 and creates $6 million in cap space, and adds an extra year onto Brown’s deal to open up $2.5 million.

If Tyler Lockett is offered a contract extension, he will probably expect a deal similar to the ones signed by Robert Woods ($16.25m) and Cooper Kupp ($15.75m) within the last six months. The proposal is a two year extension. Let’s say Lockett agrees terms on a deal worth $16m a year, splitting the difference between Woods and Kupp. In order to lower his cap hit this year by $4m, you will probably need to split the difference.

This would mean paying Lockett — who turns 30 this year — approximately $18m in 2022 and 2023, on top of the $66m you’ve already committed to Wilson and Wagner. You would now have spent about $27m of your available 2022 cap space.

A two-year contract extension for Carlos Dunlap would take him through to the age of 34. Let’s project, not unreasonably, a deal worth $10m a year for him. In order to lower his cap hit by $6m in 2021, again you would have to push that down the line. It could mean, without some salary cap magic, paying him about $13m in 2022 — when he’ll be 33.

You’ve now spent $40m of your free cap space for 2022 and in total you’ve spent about $97m on four players all over the age of 30.

Extending Duane Brown’s deal for an extra year will depend on whether he has any interest in committing to such an agreement. He’ll be 37 in 2022. His cap hit this year is $13m. Presumably he wouldn’t be taking a pay cut to stay for another season. Thus, to save the money this year, you might be committing around $15m to him next year.

You’re up to $53m in 2022 spending at this point, with another player over 30 added to the list.

Contrary to prior moves, extending Adams could cut into Seattle’s current available cap space, depending on the structure of the new contract. In this case, the Seahawks sign the All-Pro safety to a four-year, $72 million extension with a $12 million signing bonus, locking him up through 2025. In this simulation, his cap hit for 2021 receives a slight bump, jumping from $9.86 million to $11.86 million, leaving the franchise with around $32.5 million in cap room.

This is a contract worth $18m a year for Jamal Adams. Quite aside from the fact you can argue no safety is worth that amount — even one you blitz 8.2 times a game to gain 0.8 sacks — this further depletes your resources for 2022. You’ve now spent $71m of your $118,526,756 in effective cap space.

By this point alone, before you’ve signed any free agents this year, you’re down to $46m in cap space for 2022.

In Smith’s piece, he goes on to sign Corey Linsley and T.Y. Hilton, further depleting the available resources in 2022. Linsley’s deal is worth $12m a year and Hilton’s is worth about $8m. That’s potentially a further $20m reduction on the 2022 cap. There may well be an ‘out’ within Hilton’s deal — but we have to account for it.

Currently, the Seahawks have 19 contracted players for next year. Extending Brown, Dunlap, Adams and Lockett takes that total to 23. Linsley and Hilton take it to 25.

Let’s be generous and say they sign three other players in free agency on more than short term deals, plus make five draft picks who all make the roster.

You would still need to add 20 players just to get to a 53 man roster, with each earning an average of $1.3m a year.

You might be able to cut or trade players away to save money but the point is clear — so much borrowing puts you in a real bind.

By pushing so many of your problems into next season, you are arguably taking a far more extreme approach than making two big trades. You are investing years into an ageing roster that has won just one playoff game in four seasons. You would have very little flexibility to move on from these players without absorbing dead cap hits.

This is the kind of move New Orleans has made recently, with an ageing Drew Brees and time running out to win another Super Bowl. It’s also what the Cowboys did in the back-end of the Tony Romo era.

Some of this manoeuvring is going to be necessary. Most teams in the league are going to need to restructure some contracts this off-season. Doing it to this extent though can put you in cap hell very quickly.

And this is before we even consider the difficulty of extending or restructuring multiple contracts within the next four weeks, prior to the start of the new league year. Plus, is the addition of one ageing receiver and one big name center, likely to be the kind of ambition to satisfy the currently quite dissatisfied franchise quarterback? Especially when he sees Jordan Simmons starting at left guard?

There are other issues I have with Corbin’s plan. If you’re committing so much money to Bobby Wagner and with the investment in Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton also locked in, the use of their top pick on another linebacker was nearly enough to make my head explode (sorry Corbin). If the Seahawks need another linebacker, they have to find a way to do it on the cheap.

I’d also quibble about trading away Jarran Reed, the second best defensive lineman on a not-great D-line, to replace him with a player on a futures contract. Also, I’m not convinced a $16.5m investment in Hilton (who turns 32 in November) is the best use of resources either.

That said, I’m fully supportive of re-signing Richard Sherman and adding Linsley. Two thumbs up.

Again, I hope this article isn’t seen as a ‘slam’ of Corbin. Unfortunately it just provided a convenient opportunity for me to try and explain my own position on credit card borrowing, which so far I probably haven’t been able to lay out in a sufficient way.

My own off-season plan is there for all to see. I’m open to being challenged on it if people want to.

Meanwhile, my latest interview in the draft series is now available. It’s with Joe Tryon, a highly athletic and talented pass rusher from Washington.

If you’ve been able to share these interviews in the past, please do so again. And don’t forget to like the video on YouTube and subscribe to the channel. There are several interviews on there already, along with the podcasts.

I’ll be publishing an interview with Minnesota cornerback Benjamin St. Juste soon, plus I’m scheduled to speak to Ohio State’s Tommy Togiai in the week.

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  1. cha

    Borrowing on the credit card is fine. It’s not wrong. Especially this season.

    It’s how you work the future cap. There’s plenty of ways to do it without getting yourself to deep in trouble.

    There’s just no way I would touch RW’s contract until you’ve got his concerns completely worked out.

    Or make Jamal Adams the highest paid safety in the NFL.

    Or sign a 31 year old 3rd WR to such a big contract.

    Or draft a linebacker with the Seahawks first pick (BTW, Corbin defended it by saying all the G’s he liked were gone in his mock. Uh, OK, I guess).

    • Rob Staton

      If all the guards are gone — there are other positions that should be prioritised ahead of yet another linebacker.

      I’d also argue, personally, that it’s a bit of a reach for Chazz Surratt.

      • cha


      • Mick

        I’d be fine with drafting a LB in round 6 and if I have 5 picks before that. Otherwise it makes no sense, might as well play with Barton and fill in more serious holes.

    • millhouse-serbia

      Borrowing on the credit card is fine. It’s not wrong. Especially this season.

      It’s how you work the future cap. There’s plenty of ways to do it without getting yourself to deep in trouble

      Completely agree.

      There’s just no way I would touch RW’s contract until you’ve got his concerns completely worked out.

      Couldnt agree more. No way they should touch Wilsons contract. Especially in situation where there is possibility they could trade him next off season.

      Or make Jamal Adams the highest paid safety in the NFL.

      Dont have problem with making him highest paid safety with 16m apy. Though have problem with 18m apy but would still do it.

      Or sign a 31 year old 3rd WR to such a big contract.

      Agree. No way they should do it, and no way they will do it.

      Or draft a linebacker with the Seahawks first pick

      Dont agree with this. There are 3 LB positions not one. And two of them are 100% of snaps on the field. And for one of them we spent 1st round pick last year, but for othert we dont have player under contract 2 years from now. And for 3rd positions we dont have starter for next season. And if we are speaking about Barton. In 2016 they spent 3rd round pick on RB and everyone were in favor to draft RB with 1st round pick 2 years later. And in 2017 they spent 3rd round pick on WR and everyone were happy when they spent 2nd round pick on WR two years later. If player isnt it then he isnt it (like Prosise, Darboh and probably Barton) and you go and try to find one who is it.

      • Rob Staton

        There are 3 LB positions not one.

        This is a weird way of framing it.

        Does that mean all three require big investment? Or two?

        Do you then need two great receivers because three play a lot of snaps? Should all five O-line positions and all four D-line positions receiver top-level attention too?

        What about at cornerback, with two starters?

        Why does there being three linebackers make any difference to this?

    • HoBro

      Cha is surely right in saying that “borrowing on the credit card is fine … especially this season.” At the same time, as Rob points out, there are limited opportunities for the Seahawks to extend contracts in order to borrow cap space. They could, though, add 2022 void years to the contracts for Duane Brown, Jarran Reed and Tyler Locker, converting a total of $28 million in salary to bonuses and increasing this year’s cap space by $14 million. That could be very helpful in bringing in free agents to complement the personnel moves that Rob has suggested.

      On a related issue: CNBC has reported that the NFL is looking to double its revenue from tv rights and wants the new contracts finalized by the start of the new league year. I don’t know what tv numbers OTC assume in their estimate of the cap in future years, but I’d be surprised if they’re working on the assumption of a doubling.


      • cha

        Void years are riskier than picking penny stocks.

        Riskier than buying lottery tickets.

        Riskier than gas station sushi.

        Riskier than telling your wife you don’t like her new haircut.

        • HoBro

          I’m probably missing something important, but it seems to me that adding void years in 2022 to contracts that are set to expire after 2021 just smooths out the cap. Using OTC’s numbers, the cap is is expected to fall from $198.1 million in 2020 to $180 million in 2021 and then increase to $227.5 million in 2022. Using voids to shift $14 million to next year smooths this out to $198.1-$194-$213.5. How is this risky? It doesn’t increase the Seahawks’ overall salary spending and doesn’t tie them to long-term contracts.

          I’m assuming you wouldn’t be upset if the league announced that the cap was going to be $194 million in 2021 and $213.5 million in 2022; if that’s the case, I don’t see see why you would be upset if the Seahawks used a little financial engineering to accomplish that cap profile themselves.

          • cha

            You’re pushing $14 million onto the 2022 cap for players that won’t be on your roster.

            It’s not just pushing money into the future by extending players, it’s hammering your cap with guaranteed dead money.

            • HoBro

              Cha, if the League announced that the cap will be $194 million in 2021 and $213.5 million in 2022, would you argue that the Seahawks ought to under-spend by $14 million in 2021 and carry that money over to 2022? If not, you shouldn’t object to smoothing the cap modestly by shifting $14 million in salary from 2021 to 2022.

              • cha

                I absolutely would object.

                • Roy Batty

                  Throughout this whole back-and-forth, people are ignoring one glaring fact: when the cap skyrockets in 2022, so will FA prices.

                  There will be no plethora of FA’s hitting the market, like this year as teams are dumping for cap space. There will be major bidding wars on top talent and minor bidding wars on mid range talent. Any holes the Hawks need to fill in 2022 will need a lot of cap space to fill.

                  • Rob Staton

                    And as noted in the piece… the Seahawks will need to sign about 20 players on $1.3m a year if they borrow to the extent Corbin is suggesting. And that’s just to get to a 53-man roster.

                    Even Cedric Ogbuehi cost $2.3m in 2020.

                    It’s simply not feasible to borrow, borrow, borrow.

                  • Roy Batty

                    You covered it, Rob, bu some commenting were seemingly glossing over that fact.

  2. Mike

    “I hope he doesn’t mind me using his work in this way.”

    He doesn’t seem to mind using your work/idea:


  3. SeattleLifer

    Count me in as one who thinks it unwise to rack up the credit card. I’d add that it could be a huge mis-step to go all in like proposed, and then what if the team still fails/things go south with Russ and he wants out after next season – we’ll then you’re in a really bad way at that point.

    As you touched on in a previous article Rob, the best way to go is cheap drafted talent playing on the field, (and arguably the worst is trading big draft capitol and paying top dollar ala Adams btw) so count me in on trading Adams as a top priority for the team and yes followed by moving on from Wagner. I think we all should have reservations about giving out the dreaded 3rd contracts for veterans like so many seem to want to have happen.

    This team needs significant change/additions, I just wonder if Pete incorporated is willing to admit as much and take the steps necessary to do so.

  4. j hawk

    I’m trying to pay my credit cards off-not fun.

  5. j hawk

    Look what happened when they used the credit card to get Jamal Adams.

  6. pepoandart

    Good read Rob. I agree that pushing the can down the road with Russ and Wagner is a bad idea and honestly it is not needed. If Wilson was 39 then maybe, but we don’t need to go that far. Few players are worth 17 million a year and sadly Wagner at this point is not one of them. If you can get a pair of 3rds for him do it. Same with Adams though we should be able to get a 1st or a couple of 2nds for him. Clear the cap space to fix the O-line, reload the draft stock and hopefully make the QB happy. (And for the love of god don’t draft a LB with a high pick)

    • SeattleLifer

      I am all in for trading Wagner but given the cap conditions this year vs his (stupid) contract I don’t see us getting better than a 4th round pick in a trade. I still think we’d need to pull the trigger for the cap relief though. Yet another case of Schneider getting pushed into a bad deal/contract which we are now in a bind over….

      • Rob Staton

        Consider this though — many rebuilding teams need a figurehead. He’s perfect for that. Plus this is a draft like no other with far less info. Wagner is a sure thing.

        That works for a lot of teams. Not so much for one with no cap space who spent a R1 pick on a MLB a year ago.

        • pepoandart

          Rob what teams do you think might take a look at Wagner? My first thought looking at the cap, I would say the Jags, Pats or Panthers might look to add talent on D. WFT would be interesting, Wagner could be a beast behind their D-line.

          • Rob Staton

            Jets would be an obvious one IMO. Browns another.

  7. cha

    Nice interview Rob. Tryon looks like a very interesting prospect. Good digging in to what he’s been up to since opting out.

    But I feel personally attacked by “I’m not sitting on the couch eating potato chips”. That essentially summed up my 2020.

    • Rob Staton


      • Roy Batty

        Hello, my name is Roy Batty and I am a Smartfood White Cheddar Popcorn addict.

  8. Hog

    I like the thoughts of gaining cap space by extending players but not sure about restructuring. Russell maybe but no thanks on Bobby. Corbin talks about how you can take players base salaries and convert them to signing bonuses. Thats called a restructure not an extension.

  9. Hoggs41

    To me the Dunlap extension should be easy. If you rip jp his cjrrent deal and give him a 2 year $20m extension with $12m guaranteed its easy. $8m signing bonus and a $4m base makes his cap hit this year at $8m. It would lower it from $14m gaining you $6m in cap space.

    • STTBM

      I think they need to cut him if he won’t take a big pay cut, and try to match anything someone else offers. Dunlap wants to win, he’s old and slow and not going to have winning teams beating down his door to pay him double digits millions. He’s lost too much speed, and who knows when his performance will fall off a cliff at his age?

      I’m shocked he did as well as he did, given his obvious decline in speed. He’s down to technique and brute strength now.

      That’s not to say I don’t want him on the team, because I do. But he had less than a sack in his last 3-4 games. That’s not worth anywhere near 14 million a year.

      • Rob Staton

        It’s an interesting take.

        I have to say, the thought of going into next season without him terrifies me. Because we saw the pass rush without him and it was an absolute disaster zone. Plus we’ve seen them try to patch up a pass rush before and they’re… not good at it.

        However, you’re right. $14m is a big commitment. And extending him for years, when he’s into his 30’s, presents a big dilemma too.

        Just a thought — but they might… MIGHT… be better off cutting him and seeing if they can get him at a lower price, or someone else (if free agency is as weird as expected).

        • STTBM

          Rob, the idea of losing Dunlap terrifies me too. But if they don’t find a way to improve, this will be Wilson’s last year here, and everything will go to utter shite. So, from where I sit, he isn’t worth 14 mill a year, he isn’t enough to get us into a SB run by himself, so either he takes less, something more inine with his fading abilities, and we use that money to get better, or we take the money meant for him plus some and find someone better.

          Only two problems: how to get the money, and who to target?

          • STTBM

            And thank you for the reply! You’ve been spot on for a good while on the situation in Seattle.

        • Bayahawk

          Dunlap is 31 and you’re worried about paying him due to age. Calais Campbell was 33 last off-season and you claimed repeatedly what a big mistake it was the Seahawks didn’t trade for him. That’s confusing.

          • Rob Staton

            Congrats on missing the point.

            A year ago they had $50m to spend in free agency.

            This year they have $1.7m and might not have much next year either.

            That’s why we’re talking about it.

  10. Brik

    I agree with doing something with Bobby Wagner. He’s been great with us, but there is no reason with Jordyn Brooks starting to look like he’s coming into his own. The NFL is spread out now, so a base 4-3 package is a thing of the past. We will be running a nickel with Jamal Adams as an outside backer/ nickel corner. I believe we should keep Jamal though, for now at least. See how the first 6 weeks go and trade him if things aren’t working out. Problem with that is it’s possible he’s worth less if he’s not performing well. Time to go to work 🙁

    • Rob Staton

      I think the big problem there is — I don’t think Adams will play unless he gets a new contract this off-season.

      • Brik

        Well in that case maybe if they make it so the contract makes it possible to trade him without a huge cap hit. Whoever we traded him to would know he’s expecting a certain amount anyways, may as well get it done now.

        • Rob Staton

          It’s practically impossible to pay someone $18m a year and make it easy to get out of after a year.

  11. Hawksorhiking?

    Seems like making the tough and smart decisions this year, puts the Seahawks in a great 2022 position. I don’t think any of us want to throw away this season, but I’d take status quo 2021, aka fighting for a wild card spot, if the incremental improvement toward a full blown Super Bowl contender the following season. I second for your call for fully investing in the O-line and offensive skill positions and lets see if Pete can coach up a young D again. I feel like this is a long shot they will operate like this though.

  12. Chris

    Great read, Rob.

    This offseason has me very very worried that the Hawks won’t make the tough calls needed. Either surround RW with the talent he needs, or gut this team and hope there’s enough draft capitol in the next 3 years to start over. My gut is that the team will do things by half measure, then next year we’ll really be hurting.

  13. Denver Hawker

    There’s a silver lining in bad drafting, you don’t have a backlog of guys due on big 2nd contracts. DK is the only one and he’s 2 years out.

    I suppose this could be applied to justification for extensions on older players on the roster.

    I’m just concerned that freeing up cash to sign top free agents sounds great on paper, but the Hawks have rarely gone to the top of the market in free agency. It’s not to say they haven’t tried. What’s worse to me is that it’s also a possibility top guys don’t want to play here as a first choice. All that cap space free’d up for nothing, then they’ll have to trade picks for disgruntled players and pay them.

    If you are suddenly not good at drafting, can’t sign top free agents, then you’re left to trade picks for players.

    • Rob Staton

      For me, it’s time they tried adding some top-tier talent in FA.

      It’s going to cost. But you’ve got to get after it. They need a serious injection of talent in the trenches.

      And that means freeing up the room to do it.

      • Denver Hawker

        I completely agree there, and I also think it’s not as simple as flipping a switch dangling the highest offer. A guy has to like what Seattle offers them and their family too at that point. Have to like the coaches and believe they can get a ring. Also need to be able to put the RW rumors to bed.

        • Rob Staton

          Part of me thinks the Seahawks go into negotiations thinking… ‘we’ll explain what an amazing culture we have, then hope we can get them to come here for a discount.’

          I’d like to see more of a…. ‘we want you here, we need to win a ring, here’s your money’ approach.

      • Ok

        Another great article, and well attended comments section. Thanks Rob, and the rest.

        For me, This off season hinges on the hawks moving on from Jamal and Bobby. The drop off from Adams to Blair, vs the gap from Pocic to a top FA, and again the drop off from Wagner to Brooks, vs the gap from the current line of scrimmage to one bolstered with at least one top FA, is huge. There seems to be no self scouting of the roster. I would argue that cutting both Wagner and Adams, although an admission of terrible past resource use, unblocks the progression of the roster, and allows the team to add, as Rob has mentioned, between 2-6 very good players. Commenters frequently post about moving on from Jarran Reed due to his contract, and yet Wagner is making roughly twice as much. I’d much rather add two J Reeds, and have Brooks start. Ditto from moving on from J Adams. Draft capital from trading Adams and Wagner would just be very much needed icing.
        Wagner being mentioned as the ‘qb of the defense’ and Adams being touted as some emotional leader is infuriating to me: Norton is known to be more motivational speaker than schematic whiz, Carroll is a defensive head coach. Maybe if Pete was spending more time coaching the defensive, he wouldn’t need industry outlier level investment at LB and SS, and Russ could have an offensive line that would allow whatever scheme to function.

        • Rob Staton

          I agree with everything you’ve said 👏🏻

          • Ok

            Well, to be fair, much like a large swath of the Seattle sports media, I’m just doing a poor job of reheating your leftovers.

            When the Russ story first started coming out, in the mainstream Seattle media, Bob Stelton argued for a whole radio show, that he ‘just couldn’t see why Russell was doing this publicly, there isn’t a winning angle for him’ (loosely paraphrased). That is such a dumb take, and I really feel like Bob is probably smarter than that. It’s just an example of how the conversation gets quickly framed, and what happens next is just predictable drivel. That type of click baity conversation/‘analysis’ should be horrifying to all. If that was his real position, that means he spent less than a moment weighing the information and leverage angles of all parties, and then subjected those that chose to listen to it for a few hours. I’ve been ruined for these other sites and media channels. This subject had been written about, in depth, several times over the years, and again recently what? 2 weeks before this story came out?
            And this is why we can’t have nice things (Rob, or others) on the radio. Hot takes only. I’d love to see a conversation between Rob and Chris Simms.

            Anyways, thanks ya’ll

            • Rob Staton

              I would freakin love to interview Chris Simms.

              Funny story… when I was in Seattle for the Eagles game in 2016, I was in the bar in the hotel. I saw a guy at the bar chatting away to another random guy about the game. Thought I recognised him but couldn’t be sure. Really wanted to go and join in but bottled it. An hour later he got up to leave. It was who I thought… Phil Simms. He’d be on the call for CBS and was staying in the same hotel. Massively regret not trying to join in that conversation.

              As for the radio comments on 710… I just don’t understand how you can’t draw the easy conclusion that this was a calculated, stage-managed move by Mark Rodgers and Russell Wilson. It doesn’t take much to reach the conclusion that they have a plan here and didn’t just wander into a situation accidentally.

              Maybe one day there’ll be a daily, online, one-hour long Seahawks show in a studio with guests and thoughts… if there’s interest in something like that, it can happen.

              • STTBM

                You’d be a great fit doing a radio show. I don’t have to agree with you all the time to see that. I’d rather listen to your radio stuff than pompous jerks like Jim Rome or even Cowherd. They like the sound of their own voice more than the subject matter. And you’re not that way.

                I think you’ll find a way to make it happen some day.

                • Rob Staton

                  I think my British accent will always be an issue unfortunately. I get it too — I doubt anyone wants to hear a British guy talk about the NFL, much in the same way I’m sure the people who listen to my BBC show wouldn’t take to an American voice discussing soccer over here.

                  But I would absolutely love to do it. And maybe the only way to make it happen is to do it myself?

                  • SoZ

                    As an American who loves both NFL football and soccer, I really enjoy your blog and videos. I don’t think there’s the same aversion to a British accent talking about the NFL that fans (myself included) have toward American soccer commentators. Actually commentating live NFL games might be different but even there you might be surprised.

                  • cha

                    You’d definitely get as much support as this community can provide for something like that Rob.

                    • Rob Staton

                      Thank you.

                      I might do a survey this week to gauge what interest there is in certain potential options going forward.

                      Because media is changing. The way we consume media is changing.

                      What we pay for, what we want, is changing.

                      I’d be interested to learn what people want, what they feel like they aren’t getting at the moment and see if there’s a gap in the market anywhere.

                  • Stagename Steve

                    I’m a Brit, so I don’t know how well our accent would be respected analysing football in the US, Gab Marcotti springs to mind of a soccer analyst on TV and Radio in the UK, who has an American accent. He has Italian roots mind, though I suppose the listener wouldn’t know this?
                    It is rare and clearly an obstacle, perhaps you could put on an American accent for that audience. I have a British friend who worked for many years on the black in the US, putting on an American accent to try and remain inconspicuous, though it sounded terrible to me, he’s now an American citizen!

                  • Robert

                    I remember a couple years ago when the Hawks had their London game, I was listening to 710 and they pushed a meeting with a UK blogger that covered the team. And then they played like 30 seconds of you saying “Hello” to Wyman, followed by joking about your accent for the rest of the segment. Yeah, I don’t know that American fans are ready to be told anything about the NFL by a Brit.

                    • Rob Staton

                      In fairness I also got a chance to call Danny a wanker on air the next day, which was fun.

                  • STTBM

                    Pardon my language, but f#ck’em if they don’t like your accent. And I think your passion and analytical take on American Football is of a quality that would eventually win over even the most belligerent “‘Murica” types.

                    Besides, you have a good radio voice, you’re very Pro in your delivery–little or no dead space, ums, ahs, etc–and you don’t do the monotone thing either.

                    I believe you would do well. You should find a way to do Internet radio at least, before someone not as good steals your idea.

                    I’m dead serious: you can do it, and I think you will be successful. If Florio can make it big, you can too.

                    • Rob Staton

                      Thank you

    • SeattleLifer

      I have to say I’ve never bought into the silver lining of bad drafting theory. Bad drafting means : players being cut, on the bench/special teams only, or poorer players on the field than you’d want and/or not having those blue chip difference makers out on the field. Players that aren’t starting take away the advantage of cheap talent and require you to find starters another way (trade or free agent etc) add in the players that start but aren’t that great, they a) reduce the talent level of your team while playing and b) may be the type you get stuck with over paying to keep because you don’t have viable alternatives (say a Shaquille Griffin, a decidedly average player imo who we may be forced to keep for too much $).

      Draft well and get good cost effective play out of starters and then be able to pick the ones that perform well and keep them by extending them a year before any other team could sign them in free agency (and if you draft well and stay ahead of things it gives you the chance to trade guys at times to receive picks as well).

      Draft poorly and I only see down sides to it all with a snow balling effect of talent draining away pushing coaches and gm’s into a mode of making poor choices in free agency and over paying in house players, along with questionable need driven trades all just to try to stay competitive(and I would add to try to keep their jobs).

    • GoHawksDani

      I agree. I think while some players might like this culture, most players’ first choice wouldn’t be Seattle. And most likely no one would give discounts to the Hawks. They don’t have a good roster, don’t have a good HC, GM, FO in general, QB issues, not a huge market, ton of rain and no SB likely in sight…

  14. cha

    Alright here’s my plan.

    Draft picks italicized, FA additions in bold

    QB: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith
    RB: Rashaad Penny, Javonte Williams, Travis Homer, Deejay Dallas
    WR: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, John Ross, David Moore, Freddie Swain
    TE: Will Dissly, Gerald Everett, Colby Parkinson
    LT: Duane Brown, Cedric Ogbuehi
    LG: Jordan Simmons, Alex Leatherwood, Phil Haynes
    C: Alex Mack, Quinn Mienerz
    RG: Damien Lewis, Jamarco Jones
    RT: Brandon Shell (Ogbuehi too)

    DE: Carlos Dunlap, Alton Robinson, Darrell Taylor, Rasheem Green, LJ Collier
    DT: Jarran Reed, Brian Mone, Poona Ford, Leonard Williams
    LB: Bobby Wagner, Jordyn Brooks, Rookie, Cody Barton, BBK
    S: Quandre Diggs, Marquise Blair, Ryan Neal, Keanu Neal
    CB: Richard Sherman, DJ Reed, Ugo Amadi, Tre Flowers

    ST: Jason Myers, Tyler Ott, Michael Dickson, Nick Bellore

    • cha

      The Moves:

      Seahawks have $4m of room. Gain another $5m by cap going up to $185m

      To Create Cap Room
      Extend Brown, Lockett, Dunlap to save $14m
      Restructure $8m of Wagner’s 2021 salary to bonus to save $4m
      Trade Jamal Adams for pick #17 or 18 to save $9.86m
      Extend Michael Dickson with a 4yr $12m Contract save $2m

      Approx Available: $38.86m

      The Spending
      -Sign C Alex Mack to 2yr $12m contract $5m 2021 cap hit
      -Sign WR John Ross to 2 yr $7m contract $3m 2021 cap hit
      -Sign TE Gerald Everett to 3yr $20m contract $5m 2021 cap hit
      -Sign WR David Moore, OT Cedric Ogbuehi, QB Geno Smith, ERFA OG Jordan Simmons to one year contracts cumulative $5.75 2021 cap hit

      -Sign Leonard Williams to 4yr $70m contract $8m 2021 cap hit
      -Tender DT Poona Ford $3.5m 2021 cap hit
      -Sign CB Richard Sherman to 2yr $15m contract $5.5m 2021 cap hit
      -Sign Keanu Neal to 1yr $2.5m contract $2.5m 2021 cap hit

      Special Teams:
      -Sign Nick Bellore to 1yr $1m contract $1m 2021 cap hit

      (Rob I used your recent mock draft for priority)

      -RB Javonte Williams
      -OG Alex Leatherwood
      -OG Quinn Mienerz
      -LB pick up a project LB later

      (trade down from #17 or 18 to gain picks, move up to nab Mienerz as needed)

      • cha


        So what’s the butcher’s bill for 2022?

        Had to go right at it, didn’t you? OK here we go.

        I committed about $91.5m of the $141m available in the current 2022 projection. That leaves about $49.5m of room with 35 players under contract.
        Seven to nine new players will be 2022 draft picks, so they’ll have about $44.5m left for about 42-44 players under contract. They’ll need to cover about 7-10 more spots with that $44.5m.

        Bobby Wagner. Tell me what the deal is.

        Bad news first: He’ll have a $24.5m cap hit in 2022.

        The good news: He won’t be on the roster in 2022. The Seahawks can flip him for a draft pick and save over $16m in cap room. The dead cap hit of moving $4m of his 2021 salary to 2022 is $7.75m, or slightly more than his 2021 dead cap is currently. Same dead cap as 2021 but you keep him for 2021.

        The Seahawks have mortgaged their future extending 30-somethings Dunlap, Lockett and Brown.

        Yes and no. You can easily structure their extensions to have very little guaranteed salary on the back end. If they decide to retire, or the Seahawks decide to part ways with them for diminished play, all they’ll be on the hook for is their prorated bonus money. By the time that becomes an issue, the salary cap will have dramatically increased.

        You’re basically betting that these three can replicate their 2020 seasons in 2021 and 2022. Can they do it? All three have been very durable, and have demonstrated that they can adjust very well to having diminished athletic capability.

        There’s no way you can get Williams, Leatherwood and Mienerz

        Very well could be. But you’ve got Etienne and Harris available. And as Rob has well pointed out, this draft is deep in interior OL. Sub in whoever else you like.

        Is there any hidden benefit to this plan?

        Yes. Depending on some structuring the Seahawks will still have $3-5m to spend.

        The current cap has 47 players contracted, the moves above will bump about 10 of those players off the top 51, creating some cap room.

        They will also have kept Russell Wilson’s contract intact and can push some room to 2021 if they have repaired their relationship.

        They will have room to go get a star player that pops free or a veteran who hasn’t found the market he thought he would (Von Miller? Clowney? Desean Jackson? Chris Carson?) or has fallen out with his team.


        This plan is a gamble, yes. It does two things the Seahawks don’t traditionally do: Extend players to create cap room, and sign free agents with a lower first year cap hit. However, drastic measures are necessary.

        What it also does is strengthens both lines dramatically.

        The Seahawks have a core on both lines for the next 3-4 years.

        It also adds weapons for Russell Wilson, adds protection and reinvests big time in the running game.

        • Justaguy

          Take this plan and make it happen. I want one more year of Russ leading this team

          • UkAlex6674

            Good comments Cha as always.

            But who do you identify as the core on the D line for the next 3-4 years? Many people say Collier and Green are busts, Taylor is an injury prone mistake. Reed, Williams and Dunlap won’t be here in 2 years.

            • Rob Staton

              There’s no foundational building block on the DL

            • cha

              Maybe I was a bit overly optimistic saying that, but Williams, Robinson and Taylor would be around for the foreseeable future and Poona Ford isn’t going anywhere.

              Is isn’t prime 2012-13 DL but it’s better than what they’ve fielded lately. And it doesn’t rely on Cedric Lattimore suddenly becoming a factor 🤦‍♂️

              I couldn’t rebuild the DL with the resources available but for 2021 it’ll do.

        • BruceN

          Great plan Cha. But I doubt they will follow it. They seem to be intent on extending Adams which is a big key impacting the CAP and roster construction (no additional draft picks). I like all of your additions like Everett, Keanu, Sherm and L. Williams. Wagner is definitely gone in 2022. Question for me is will they move him in 2021 or extend. It sure will be an interesting off season with lots of drama. I wonder how long before we hear from Jamal popping off with some nuggets.

        • GoHawksDani

          I don’t think it’s a viable plan cha…it’d make too much sense for the Hawks 😀
          On a more serious note: I like it a lot. My only concern is the CB depth. Sherm is injured a lot and I don’t really wanna hang my hopes on Reed, Flowers and Amadi (and Blair?) as other CBs.
          I’d try to trade Bobby for a 3rd. From his money sign a cheaper LB (or maybe even 2) and with the R3 draft a CB who can battle with DJ for CB2 spot or be a quality backup and could take over Sherm’s spot once he’ll retire

          • cha

            Not a bad point, but in fairness I didn’t address all 51 spots on the roster, nor can the Seahawks end up 2 deep at every position from where they are starting with.

            There’s room to bring another cheap CB onto the roster. Maybe they can draft a project or find another DJ Reed.

  15. Dingbatman

    This brings up another concern with the amount of control Pete has over the team. I’m going to make the assumption that Pete is just as concerned about his own legacy as Russell is about his. Who then is left to lookout for the overall health the the organization as a whole? Russell wants what he wants. He likely doesn’t really care much about the cap health of the team 3 years out. Why would Pete be any different? He may figure he’s going to go for it for the next couple of years then move on so pushing as many problems down the road as possible could be just fine with him. Even ownership may not really care as it seems like the confluence of Russ, Pete and the Allen’s are all pretty much on similarly short term perspectives before moving on. This may just end up being someone else’s (fans perspective aside)problem.

  16. RWIII

    Rob. I appreciate your article. Good stuff. Obviously you do your homework. Everything you wrote is spot on. I am sure that John was aware of this situation when they traded for Jamal Adams.

    • Rob Staton

      I think Pete wanted Adams and instructed just to get it done

      • RWIII

        Rob. Agree.

  17. cha

    John Clayton says Josh Gordon is under contract with the Seahawks for 2021.

    Nobody across the entire internet has this, so I’m skeptical.

    And Josh Gordon getting un-suspended in 2021, I’m skeptical.

    But there you go.


    About 13:30 in

    • Rob Staton

      He probably meant Jamal Adams

  18. millhouse-serbia

    Does that mean all three require big investment? Or two?

    Do you then need two great receivers because three play a lot of snaps? Should all five O-line positions and all four D-line positions receiver top-level attention too?

    What about at cornerback, with two starters?

    Why does there being three linebackers make any difference to this?

    If we are speaking in money no… If you ask me, i would invest big money only in 2 of 5 OL, 1/3 WR, 1TE, 1RB, 2/4DL, 1/3 LB, 1/2 CB and 1/2 S. But we allready saw they are willing to invest big money in 2 safeties, 2 LBs etc… I dont agree with that…

    But if we are speaking about draft picks absolutely yes. If you have franchise LT go get RT in first round if he is BPA. We took Lewis last year… Go get LG with first pick this year if he is BPA.. We have DJ Reed as LCB… Go get RCB…Same with Mike and Will… I would never give high pick on SAM because of % of snaps he plays (would give if that player can play WILL position one day)…

    So it doesnt make any diference to me if its OT, OG, WR, DT, DE, LB, S or CB… Imo they should go BPA…

    Only 4 position i wouldnt spent first pick this year are SS (Adams), RG (Lewis), Leo (Taylor), and one of Mike and Will (Pete knows best does he see Brooks as Mike or Will in the future when Bobby is gone)…and we could say X WR becsuse of DK but you can move all WR all over the place so yes if there is great “X” WR and he is BPA at 56 go get him..

    • Rob Staton

      So you think a starting RT is on the same level as a #3 linebacker.


  19. SonGoku

    Great interview Rob, have to thank you for doing these and give us the opportunity to hear from some of the top prospects.
    If there weren’t the glaring holes of RB and OL, I’d really like to have Tryon and Molden on the Seahawks, both seem to be very talented and having some local players would be nice bonus.

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you.

      The trend of the podcasts getting 10-15x the listens compared to the prospect interviews continues so if people can share the interviews around wherever possible it would be much appreciated.

  20. Hunter

    Hey rob, appreciate all the hours and thought you put into the blog. Might not always agree with it but it’s always a great informative read. Have you had a chance to look at Josh Imatorbhebhe out of Illinois? Seems like an extremely high upside WR target in the mid rounds.

    • Rob Staton

      I haven’t, sorry. I’ll take a look.

      Thanks for the kind words too

    • David B.

      That’s my guy. Insane upside.

      • Rob Staton

        A 46 inch vertical?


        Now you’ve got my attention…

        • Hunter

          He had an insane 47.1 jump as well at a camp, was a big time recruit for usc who transferee to Illinois. Just a freak athlete

          • Scot04

            Read alot about him in early 2020. There are definitely a few athletic freaks for 2020. Fun to watch. Especially in WR class when we need one.
            I like the two Jalens as well; Jalen Camp, & Jalen Virgil. Also high Sparq score type of players who would be explosive players we could look at later.

  21. Rob Staton

    I’m rewatching some of these OL prospects today and FFS why don’t they have a R1 pick

    • Ryan

      Because they pinned their hopes last offseason on low-balling Jadeveon Clowney and he wasn’t interested in taking it and then ‘suddenly’ realized they had no pass rush?

  22. Big Mike

    Corbin called Jamal Adams an “All-Pro Safety”. Um, no. As a SEAHAWK he wasn’t even close to sniffing All-Pro status.

    • Rob Staton

      He was second team All-pro — but that was mainly due to the sack numbers (which we’ve discussed a lot were completely manufactured).

      • bmseattle

        Sell, sell, sell!!!!

      • Big Mike

        If being ranked as the #52 Safety in the NFL is worthy of being 2nd team All-Pro, I have some lovely oceanfront property in Nebraska to sell those voters.

        If anyone disagrees I remind you Seattle 2 true All-Pros at the positions in Kam and Earl and I ask you to remember their play and compare it with Adams.

  23. CallMeAL

    This is why I love SDB, a lot of interesting articles by Rob with great insight into the hawks and very well thought out ideas about how they can improve the team. Then the comments section where you have folks like Cha, Sea Mode and many others giving well thought out ideas about the hawks as well.

    All of this combines to make this the go to sight for all things hawks.

    But, at the same time, its really a sad state of affairs when you have a FO doing such a poor job of managing the team year after year that the main focus here now is everyone trying to do Pete Carroll’s and John Schneider’s job.

    I don’t mean to put a negative spin on things, but I really have little to no faith in PC and JS being able to do the things that need to be done to field a competitive team this year while at the same time building this team for the future.

    I really feel the best thing for this team is for PC and JS to stay the course and make such a mess out of things that it forces Russell Wilson to demand a trade. It would force them to quit trying to field a super bowl team (something they failed at year after year) and rebuild this team from the bottom up.

    This is what is has come to for me, hoping the FO fails so that the hawks might get better….

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks for the kind words. And you’re right — this is the best place to talk Seahawks. There’s a terrific community and the people you listed help make the conversation flow superbly.

  24. UkAlex6674

    Would all this RW drama, is there any chance that it actually hinders FA’s wanting to come and play at Seattle, not knowing if he may be here this year or next?

    • Rob Staton

      Suppose it depends how they approach it.

      I actually think saying to offensive players — ‘come here and let’s go get a ring with RW’ would be very appealing.

      Especially if they stop trying to be too clever, trying to ‘win’ negotiations. Just go get a couple of damn studs.

  25. Happy Hawk

    Great content in this piece (AGAIN) Rob! I am not a cap expert at all and at times don’t fully understand all aspects of it. My big question is how can Philly eat the huge dead cap hit money on the Wentz trade while they are still way over the cap and still i guess have to drop a number of high cost players? Do the teams HAVE to be under the cap by the end of the league year? Why haven’t teams like the Saints, Eagles, Rams, KC, and Pittsburgh ( worst 5 teams v the cap) haven’t let go of any talent yet. Seems like they can manipulate ( use their credit cards) and it doesn’t impact their ability to keep talent and add players to stay relevant without penalty? Confused

    • Rob Staton

      My big question is how can Philly eat the huge dead cap hit money on the Wentz trade while they are still way over the cap and still i guess have to drop a number of high cost players?

      That’s a great question.

      And pretty soon the NFL is going to need to provide an answer, otherwise the whole cap structure is going to collapse.

      • bmseattle

        It’s difficult to find any sort of a satisfying answer to this.
        Supposedly the league has to approve deals…and doesn’t approve them if they put teams over the cap.
        Obviously teams can end up over the cap for more convoluted reasons, but it doesn’t seem to be clearly stated what the penalty for this is.
        I’ve only read about potential fines and/or lost draft picks… which doesn’t seem like a huge deterrent.
        It’ll be interesting to see what happens if multiple teams just push the envelope and stay over the cap this year.

      • TomLPDX

        Florio just posted an article on each team’s carry-over from the previous year. The Eagles have $22.8M, so does that get added to the base of $180M for an adjusted salary cap of $200.8M?

        Seattle came in at #31 with just under $1M.


    • cha

      Traditionally the penalty for being over the cap was the NFL would take control of your team and void contracts to get you under the cap. Which of course you don’t want happening.

      I think how the Eagles, Saints and Rams get under the cap by the start of the league year is going to be a fascinating story. It will for sure have repercussions on their teams and the league as a whole for years to come.

  26. Rob Staton

    Add another interview to the list.

    I’m interviewing Darius Stills shortly.

    Benjamin St. Juste already in the bag and will be published in the week. Tommy Togiai being recorded on Wednesday.

    Plus… I’m pleased to reveal I’ll be doing a podcast with Corbin Smith later this week, debating Seattle’s options this off-season.

    • TomLPDX

      Good for you getting Corbin on a podcast to debate the pros/cons of his proposal! That should be quite interesting to say the least.

      Just finished watching your Joe Tryon interview. I would love to get that guy on our roster. Built like DK!

      • Rob Staton

        That’s exactly what I thought too — the ‘DE’ DK.

    • bmseattle

      “Plus… I’m pleased to reveal I’ll be doing a podcast with Corbin Smith later this week, debating Seattle’s options this off-season.”

      That’s awesome! Should be a lively debate!

    • cha

      Steady on, Rob.

      All fantastic stuff.

    • Rob Staton

      Ok… Darius Stills.


      Just wow.

      Can’t wait to publish it.

      • Trevor

        Can’t wait!

      • Mick

        Stills seems to be out of our range, unfortunately. I’m also looking forward to the talk with Corbin Smith.

      • Ashish

        Rob, you are moving in the right direction. Corbin Smith and soon some Seahawks official. Great job.
        You are publishing so much good content that I’m way behind due to my work. Will catch up soon.

      • Big Mike

        Put me down too as “really stoked” for the debate with CS.

      • Scot04

        Can’t wait to watch it. Would love to see him in a Seahawks Jersey. Good against the run and can create pressure.

      • Sea Mode

        Did he tell you he met with the Seahawks?

        Stills will find out where he will begin his NFL career in just a little over two months. He has reportedly already met with the New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, and Seattle Seahawks. The 2021 NFL Draft will take place from April 29th-May 1st


        • Rob Staton

          I was aware — but as Jim Nagy has pointed out, every player will meet with every team this year due to the unique situation.

  27. Forest

    My plan:

    Money is going to dry up pretty fast this free agency. Let the big money get spent. Then try to renegotiate with Bobby and Dunlap. If they won’t negotiate, cut both. Then let them see how much they’re worth will all the FA options on the street with the big money dried up and in a lower cap year. Then swoop back in with the highest offer. I bet you get each one for $8 million per year at that point.

    • cha

      Dunlap maybe.

      Wagner absolutely not. Your plan would cost the Seahawks an extra $3million over what they’re currently paying him. There’s no savings there. Plus you’d just piss him off.

    • Ashish

      Dunlap – you should extend with lower the cap for 2021. I think he was a great addition. We need at least one more vet like Dunlap..
      Bobby Wagner – Should be traded, I know he is the heart and soul but we need to move on at the right time.

  28. Ruster

    Trade Adams. Richard Sherman at safety.

    • Rob Staton

      Or just play Richard at corner.

  29. cha

    I mean…


    • CallMeAL

      Dam, DK’s got game !!

  30. BobbyK

    Pete Carroll doesn’t care about credit cards. He only cares about now. ComPete. If he had any long-term vision for this team, he wouldn’t have traded all the resources he did for a crappy coverage SS. I would expect the Seahawks to burn that CC this off-season and “comPete” for here and now. Pete knows no other way. He’s the fun guy you want to have a good time, not the one you want to marry. He’s a partier, not a planner for long-term success. If they hadn’t drafted a franchise QB all those years ago – he’d be forced into early retirement at a beach somewhere by now.

    • CallMeAL

      Well said!

  31. Julian Langdon

    From what I’ve heard and read I’m settlling on Joe Thuney , Gerarld Everett and Richard Sherman of course, as priority free agents.
    If the Seahawks could get back into the draft with a Jamal Adams trade and a tag trade for Shaquill Griffen, could cuts on any players needed for Cap reasons (Wagner, Dunlap, Reed or anyone else) be made after the draft, depending on where positional depth lies at that point in time?

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