Why the Seahawks have to make a call on Jamal Adams

Like it or not, a decision on Jamal Adams’ is forthcoming

For the Seahawks and Jamal Adams, the next six games are crucial.

With a not overly daunting schedule, Seattle can still emerge as the team with the best record in an unpredictable NFC.

They also need to determine what the future holds for their big name safety.

The scheme fit. The future contract. The fact the Seahawks have three 2021 draft picks, $16-19m in projected cap space and only 34 contracted players.

There’s a call to make. A bigger one than most people realise.

Ideally you’d have more time. Seemingly nothing about 2020 is ideal, however.

By March, a decision is likely due.

Let’s start with the scheme.

By Adams’ own admisison, this is a relationship that is still trying to work things out:

“They’re still trying to figure out me just as much as I’m still trying to figure out the defense and everything.”

In the six games he’s played this year, Adams has 5.5 sacks. On paper that’s a big positive and actually puts him among the league leaders in the category.

However, he’s also blitzed 63 times in those six games. His average of 10.5 blitzes per game is by far the most in the league.

He has delivered 17 pressures — 2.8 per game. He also has seven hurries — 1.2 per game.

Therefore it’s fair to describe Adams as a very productive blitzer. If he is producing about three pressures, a hurry and a sack per game — that’s a positive tally.

Seattle’s isn’t traditionally a blitzing scheme though. His role as a heavy blitzer isn’t something we’ve seen this team do before.

Having an aggressive, freelancing player does come with a consequence and I think we saw that against Arizona.

Suddenly a scheme that has always preached ‘do your job’ is carrying a player who seems, mostly, to be playing with instinct. Take the Chase Edmunds touchdown last Thursday. He released out as a receiver and was alone in the end zone, with Adams standing in no-man’s land, arms aloft. It’s the kind of coverage bust you just don’t see that often.

Per PFF, Adams is currently carrying a fantastic pass rushing grade (79.8). However, his coverage grade (44.5) is extremely poor. His overall grade (57.0) is comparable to Quandre Diggs — who most people would accept has had a difficult second season.

Adams is giving up 12.8 yards per target — third most in the league. He’s giving up 16.3 yards per completion — 14th most in the league.

As a point of comparison, Bradley McDougald gave up 6.2 yards per target and 11.5 yards per completion in 2019. That’s a stark difference. When quarterbacks targeted McDougald last year, their rating was 58.8 — one of the lowest in the league and comparable to Tyrann Mathieu (57.8).

McDougald didn’t provide the sacks (he recorded only half a sack last season) but he only blitzed 21 times in 15 games. Adams has already tripled that number in nine fewer games.

McDougald’s PFF grade a year ago was 63.1 as a pass rusher and 64.5 in coverage. So while he clearly isn’t reaching Adams’ rating as a blitzer — he delivered an average performance level for the safety position.

You could speculate that McDougald’s role as a more traditional strong safety is one of the reasons why Quandre Diggs performed better in 2019. I haven’t studied Diggs enough to comment but it stands to reason that if his safety partner is blitzing at the rate Adams is — that’s putting a lot more strain on him as the free safety in coverage.

Again, this isn’t something we’ve seen from the Seahawks before. Kam Chancellor had two career sacks — one in 2010 and one in 2011. From the 2012 season through to 2017 — Chancellor didn’t record a single sack in 78 regular season games. He did have 12 career interceptions though. In Adams’ four year career so far, he has just two interceptions and 17.5 sacks.

It’s not just that Chancellor, McDougald and Adams have physical differences. Adams is being used in a totally different way than any other strong safety in the Carroll era.

Greg Cosell appeared on Colin Cowherd’s show on the day of the Arizona game. He was asked about Adams and the Seahawks defense and offered the following opinion:

“I think Jamal Adams is a linebacker. And I think at the end of the day in some ways, and maybe Seattle would tell me I’m crazy, but I think that limits some of the things you can do with him because he is really a linebacker not a safety. He’d almost fit perfectly to me in Bill Belichick’s defense with the way they use #21 Adrian Phillips who’s really a linebacker for them. So to me that’s what Jamal Adams is but when you use him as a safety I think it presents some limitations in coverage. He’s a linebacker, he’s a glorified linebacker.”

That review doesn’t exactly portray a precise fit for Adams within Seattle’s scheme.

Does he fit in? At the moment it’s hard to argue that he does — at least enough to justify the compensation of the trade and a big future contract. That perspective could change before the end of the season but ultimately time is running out.

He’s clearly a very talented individual. In the right situation he is an All-pro.

This is about the cost and fit. Does he suit the Seahawks? Even if the answer is yes — does he suit them enough to pay him a massive salary?

It’s assumed by some that there’s no real urgency regarding Adams’ future due to the security of the franchise tag. I’d argue a decision needs to be made at the end of the season — essentially giving the Seahawks six more regular season games and a playoff run to make a call.

The current highest paid safety in the league is Budda Baker ($14.75m a year). Adams will expect, not unfairly, to top that number.

The trade compensation that the Seahawks gave up creates a problem.

We saw with the Laremy Tunsil and Jalen Ramsey trades that if you spend multiple first round picks on a player and don’t have an oven-ready contract to sign, you cede all leverage in negotiations.

Tunsil agreed a deal worth $22m a year. That was $6m more expensive than the next highest paid left tackle on $16m. The Texans either had to cave to Tunsil’s demands or risk losing a player they’d spent a fortune on in draft picks.

Ramsey signed a record contract for a cornerback worth $20m a year in LA. The previous highest paid corner was Darius Slay on $16.8m a year in Philadelphia. Again, the Rams had little choice but to accept Ramsey’s demands.

It’s very difficult to drive a hard bargain with a player once you’ve traded multiple first round picks to acquire them.

It wouldn’t be unrealistic for Adams to ask for a significant increase on Baker’s top salary. A deal worth $18m a year is plausible. Maybe he feels generous and is willing to simply set a new record for a safety and go with about $16m a year? That would still be a princely sum.

And make no mistake, that’s the minimum you’ll end up paying.

If you’re going to commit that amount of money, you’ve got to be sure about the fit.

The Seahawks already know this. They chose not to pay Frank Clark $20.8m a year and traded him to the Chiefs. They chose not to pay Jadeveon Clowney. They did decide they wanted to break the bank for Bobby Wagner.

They’ve taken on difficult financial challenges before and been calculated and deliberate in their decision making — with mixed results.

They now face a big call with Adams. They can’t let pride get in the way. Yes — it would look somewhat embarrassing to trade a player months after acquiring him in a blockbuster deal.

However — the only thing worse than taking that on the chin will be absorbing the cost of an enormous contract for a player who doesn’t provide value for money.

Personally, I wouldn’t criticise the Seahawks at all if they decided to trade Adams in March and took a hit on the compensation. If they come to the conclusion he just isn’t the kind of fit that justifies a record-breaking salary, then the right thing to do is be proactive and move on.

It’s OK to take a chance and it not work out.

The entire NFL is facing a financial crunch due to coronavirus. The salary cap could drop to $175m in 2021 — putting severe pressure on most teams.

Every dollar is going to count. It’s not an overreaction to suggest smart cap management will decide the winners and losers over the next 3-5 years.

In an ideal world the Seahawks would have more time to assess Adams’ fit. However, the cap crunch is coming now. Not in 2-3 years. It’s on the horizon.

Adams has a cap hit of $9.8m in 2021. He could be franchised the following year for about $11-12m depending on the state of the league at the time.

I’m not sure you want to get into a scenario where you’re going year-to-year. It’s a situation few players take well to. They want long term security. Part of Adams’ issue with the Jets was their unwillingness to reward him financially. I’m not sure he’d be any more willing to entertain a similar reluctance from the Seahawks.

I think Seattle has two options. They need to be prepared to pay him this off-season and commit to him, or they need to move on.

I also can’t help but wonder if they’d be investing in the wrong position.

We’ve already seen how a great D-line can make Seattle’s defense tick. Remember the days of Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and one of Chris Clemons or Frank Clark? Remember the rotation they had in 2013?

Look at the impact Carlos Dunlap is having. For all the talk of building from back-to-front prior to the start of the season, I think we’ve all seen by now how important a pass rush is within this specific scheme, given it relies on a four-man rush.

Are the Seahawks better with Adams at say $18m a year — or would they be better off investing that money in the D-line to try and create a loaded front?

After all, aren’t we a year removed from the 49ers rolling to the Super Bowl with this exact defensive scheme while boasting a fantastic defensive line rotation? All while having a slightly suspect secondary?

It’s a worthwhile discussion to have — even if you’d prefer to keep Adams.

After all, look at the players who are scheduled to reach free agency or could be cut or traded for cap purposes:

Von Miller
Matt Judon
Leonard Williams
Fletcher Cox
Brandon Graham
Derek Barnett
Cam Jordan
Dante Fowler Jr
Grady Jarrett
Melvin Ingram
Shaquil Barrett
Bud Dupree
Jadeveon Clowney
Yannick Ngakoue
Ryan Kerrigan
Sheldon Rankins
Larry Ogunjobi

Remember, the likes of New Orleans, Philadelphia and Atlanta are tens of millions of dollars over the cap for 2021. They will have to act. In the case of the Saints, they might have to gut their roster and start again.

The thought of pairing Von Miller with Dunlap is very appealing. Combined with Seattle’s youth at defensive end — you could create a rotation that is a match for anyone in the NFC.

Could you go down that route and simply replace Adams with Marquise Blair (a player you spent a second round pick on to play safety) or could you potentially target someone like Keanu Neal (who is also scheduled to be a free agent)?

It’s also a good looking draft at the safety position with the likes of Andre Cisco, Paris Ford and Jevon Holland among a decent group.

Again — this isn’t a review of Adams’ talent or a witch-hunt against the player or the trade. It’s simply a team construction debate about what’s best for the future.

You might ask who would trade for Adams?

In the right scheme he is a fantastic talent. It’d be wrong to think there wouldn’t be suitors. You probably won’t get two first round picks but a deal similar to the Frank Clark trade isn’t out of the question.

He was born to play in the aggressive, attacking 3-4 schemes or, as Greg Cosell noted earlier, those from the Bill Belichick way of doing things featuring a lot of hybrid players.

Adams would be superb in Brian Flores’ scheme in Miami. The Dolphins were unrealistic trade partners when he played for the division rival Jets. Now? He’s a more realistic option.

Miami also has two first round picks in 2021. Would they be willing to part with their native selection (possibly in the 20’s) plus a 2022 pick? That could make a lot of sense.

They also have the cap space ($37m) to extend him and will feel the benefit of Tua Tagovailoa’s rookie deal for the next few years.

The Patriots have $64m to spend in 2021 even with the significantly lower cap. Adams would be a great fit for Belichick. However, they might be picking too early in round one to make a deal realistic.

The Ravens are very much in win-now mode. They have a heavy-blitzing scheme where Adams would thrive and an estimated $29m in cap space. They would be a strong option.

The Buccaneers are also very aggressive in terms of roster building. They are living in a small window with Tom Brady as quarterback. Adams would be an ideal fit in a Todd Bowles scheme he’s already familiar with. The Buccs will be picking later in round one and might be willing to make an aggressive move. They have $31m in available cap space for 2021.

It’s also not unprecedented for players to be traded multiple times for high picks. Brandin Cooks went from New Orleans to New England to LA and then Houston. Teams have spent three first round picks and a second rounder for his services. Sam Bradford was traded twice — once for a second round pick and Nick Foles, then for a first round pick.

Certain players seem to retain value.

It stands to reason that if the Seahawks are going to give Adams a whopping contract worth anywhere between $16-18m they should at least utilise a defensive scheme that plays to his strengths. That simply isn’t Carroll’s scheme. If they decide to go down that route they have a duty to consider major structural changes to the defense — with a new defensive coordinator, possibly from the Belichick tree, to come in and oversee things.

That sounds great on paper — yet look at the teething problems Dallas have experienced going from a 4-3 to a 3-4 this year, having spent years acquiring players for the 4-3.

The Seahawks aren’t going to be $96m over the cap like the Saints in 2021 but they have very little money to spend. Spotrac says around $16m, Over the Cap says $19m (with $8m in effective cap space). With only 34 players contracted, that money will evaporate quickly simply filling out the roster.

With only three draft picks in 2021 and no first rounder, it’s going to be extremely difficult to fill out the depth with cheap, young talent.

Something’s got to give. How can they fill out their roster with minimal cap space and draft stock?

Increasingly I think the Adams trade was a highly aggressive, win-now move. An opportunity to see if he could come in and deliver the kind of major impact they’d been unable to acquire in free agency or the draft. The main motivation was to win now — chase a title in 2020.

I suspect they knew they were investing in someone with retainable value and all options would remain on the table in the off-season.

When the season ends the Seahawks have to make a big decision.

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  1. James Z

    With Wagner making $18 million a year and if they decide to pay Adams $16-18 million per that would be $35 mil. for an aging MLB and a ‘glorified linebacker’ that leaves a hole in safety coverage. Doesn’t sound like a recipe for improving the roster to me. That’s 20% of next season’s salary cap for 2 LB’s…and only 3 draft picks.

    • James Cr.

      Interesting you brought up Wagner, as IMO you just can’t have Adams and Wagner on the team next year. You have to choose one or the other (or in a truly shocking move, have neither). You can’t have over $35 million tied up in those two players. If I had to make the decision right now, I would move on from both Adams and Bobby for 2021.

      • Trevor

        I am with you James if you can pick up a 1st adn 2nd somehow in trades I would be more than willing to move on from both and reallocate that $35 million.

      • Jamho3

        @James Cr. I absolutely get what your saying and entirely agree that being bold and pragmatic is important. One thing to remember you absolutely don’t improve when you let go of HOF players.

        So sure we free up cash but where do you find the talent to replace not only the talent we’re letting go but across the entire roster?

        Players who are really good are not a dime a dozen by any means.

  2. Jonathan Evison

    . . . really good assessment of the situation . . .i’ve been thinking he plays like a linebacker, as well . . . i know LB is not considered a premium position in terms of financial investment (especially when we’ve already in vested so much in wagner, and a firs round pick in brooks), but can you envision a scenario where the hawks actually just make the transition with adams to linebacker . . . or can you envision a scheme-tweak short of moving to a 3-4, that can plug adam’s in and exploit hi strength without exposing his weaknesses in coverage?

  3. Jonathan Evison

    …also, off subject, but maybe my favorite seahawk quote ever: “I like my chances. Heck, I’ll chase the little squirrel around all day.” – carlos dunlop, on containing kyler murry . . . i laughed so hard!

    • MyChestIsBeastMode

      Ya that one was a real knee slapper.

    • Bankhawk

      Johnathan, that is one Hella quote! I luv, luv, luv that attitude. I’m liking the deal that brought him into town, and what his presence on the field does for us more with each passing day.
      I wish we could clone the sucker!

  4. mantis

    Good article Rob!
    I was thinking the same thing at the time of the trade, we had Blair why would you give up the farm unless you thought that Blair needed another year, and then flip Adams after.
    But also as you said he didn’t seem to be a natural fit for Pete’s scheme so was it just a panic move?
    If we keep Adams where does Blair play, we have Ugo and Reed for the nickel
    It is a strange situation.

    • Max

      At the time, it was looking more and more like college football wouldn’t happen this year, making it nearly impossible to evaluate players especially after the first 10+ obvious talents were off the board. I think they were trying to use the capitol at hand to get the most impactful player they could find at a time when draft picks were looking more like lottery tickets at any previous time.

      In retrospect, it made sense at the time but looks a bit more foolish now. At least Ugo, Reed, and Blair give them some flexibility whether they decide to sign Adams or not.

  5. Kyle

    Rob, I don’t know how you do it, but that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking since the trade. He is amazing, but he just isn’t a scheme fit without some drastic change to our defense. I believe you win in the trenches. I would much rather have a star de then a star safety/lb. and even though he got hurt Blair was a 2nd round pick at ss. I hope we end up trading him and recoup most of the draft capital or get a high first pick plus change for the hawks. He is a difference maker, but with Pete getting extended, he just doesn’t fit the d.

  6. kevin mullen

    Absolutely correct, Jamal is a 3-4 Blitzing OLB. Now if we switched to a traditional 3-4, we may have something here…

    It’s basically a choice between Jamal and Bobby come next year (with KJ as a possilbe cut too), cap wise. We have Bobby’s replacement in Jordan Brooks. Kendricks may come back as KJ replacement. Irvin gone, with BBK, Barton, Griffen as utility backups.

    • kevin mullen

      Between KJ & Wags, there’s $25mil in cap room saved, plus if you can convince Adams (assuming he’s in their future plans) to switch to a blitzing OLB and we draft an ACTUAL strong safety may make next year less worrisome.

    • BobbyK

      KJ can’t be cut. He’s in the final year of his contract.

  7. Jeff S

    Spot on. Like most fans, after the first couple of games I was firmly in the “Adams was worth the price” camp. Now, not so much. He’s a liability in coverage (though I’m not sure if that’s down to coaching/scheme or talent).

    In Thursday’s game, Adams barely blitzed. It was the most “conventional” game for him as a Safety so far this year. Is it a coincidence that it was also Diggs’s best game and arguably the entire defense’s best game this year? The ugliest defensive moment of the game was the Edmunds touchdown. That looked as though it was entirely on Adams, who was too busy looking into the backfield to notice Edmunds crossing into what was supposed to be his zone.

    So the entire defense seems to be more effective when Adams is played as a more traditional Strong Safety. But traditional Strong Safety does not appear to be a role he is well suited to.

  8. Rusty

    Never seen a linebacker play quite so much deep post and deep half coverages

    • Rob Staton

      Well maybe you should re-read Greg Cosell’s point.

      He didn’t say ‘he’s playing linebacker in Seattle’. He said ‘he’s a linebacker’.

      • Elmer

        Correct! Paul Moyer suggested incorporating a 3 down linemen look, a second strong safety, Adams being a de facto 4th linebacker. Would that get on the way of Bobby and KJ though. In general I wonder if Adams’ presence has not been helpful to Bobby.

      • Nicholas M

        Hi Rob, I am a new blog reader but I absolutely love reading and enjoy it very much.
        I had an interesting discussion about this with my dad tonight after dinner enjoying a glass of whiskey.
        (Happy Thanksgiving all)
        Dad made an interesting comment, why not hang 20-25 lbs on Jamal Adams and play him at middle linebacker? (I love bobby but I’m thinking the time has come soon.)
        Just an interesting thought.

        • Rob Staton

          Jamal Adams’ frame cannot take an extra 25lbs.

          That’s a lot of extra weight for this body:

          Jamal Adams

  9. BobbyK

    Great talking point (and great writeup).

    I thought Carroll/Schneider had a pretty poor draft in ’19 (DK saved them) and free agency this past offseason. But lets give them the benefit of the doubt on something; Maybe they thought/knew Adams was the only player left that could help them get pressure in ’20 because they knew how terrible their pass rush was going to be. And maybe it’s part of their long-term plan to possibly deal him this offseason (Brandon Cooks style – though in fairness, I don’t believe any teams who traded for Cooks had intentions of trading him the following offseason).

    If the Seahawks could trade Adams for a 2nd round pick in ’21 and a 1st round pick in 2022 – I’d be all for that. Hawks would have gotten 1-year of Adams on defense, a 2nd round pick in ’21 and 1st and 4th in ’22.

    They would have given up their 1st and 3rd round pick in ’21 and 1st in ’22.

    With Russell Wilson as your QB, you know you’re never going to have a top 15 pick so there’s a good chance the 1st rounder they trade for in ’22 will actually be a better pick, too.

    Just an interesting thought to a well written story.

  10. Duceyq

    Great article Rob! These are all the right questions to ask of Seattle’s Roster construction. He’s a talented player with a skill set that Seattle has never really had before so it will be interesting to see how they continue to integrate him into the defense the rest of the way.

    He has the attitude PC covets but is his position worth the price? He has a chance to have double digit sacks from the Safety position which is “unicorn” by itself.

    PC coached Troy Polamalu who is the closest comp we can point to in evaluating Adams and Troy excelled in a 3-4 defense as highlighted in your article for scheme fit. But, at USC for two seasons under PC Troy thrived and had his best seasons before being drafted by the Steelers.

    I would at USC 2001-2002 as how Seattle would like to play Adams and if Adam’s can provide that type of play that Troy did as a standout future HOF’er than Seattle might want to consider keeping him.

    To your point the audition starts now.

    • Gohawks5151

      I keep coming back to the comparison as well. Troy was naturally a better coverage guy than Jamal but both play an instinctive style. Troy gambled a lot too and everyone else had to back him up so there are definitely structural changes that need to happen if he is kept. I maintain my stand that I think Jamal was never trained to cover on previous teams and can make large improvements in his coverage under Pete and a strong position coach (Or Kam?). This past offseason destroyed any hope of this and maybe Pete can take him to school this offseason. But as you noted there may not be time.

  11. cha

    Great article and well reasoned.

    I find it curious that Adams only has 1 pass defensed while being targeted 23 times in 6 games. That’s far below the 7 PD’s he had in 38 targets in 14 games last year (12 PD/60targets/16 games in 2018). Not only is he being targeted more in coverage, he’s giving up a higher completion %, being targeted deeper downfield than last year and for a staggering YAC (last year, 2.76 YAC on completions yielded. This year? Take a breath – 7.7 YAC on completions yielded). As of this moment, if you can get Adams in coverage, there shouldn’t be much fear in throwing his way.

    The data and eye test suggests that Adams is, as you said, still trying to figure out his role and balance in the Seahawks’ system. As good as he is, he doesn’t appear to be making up that gap in understanding with instincts as quickly as you’d like for the investment made.

    You mentioned the TD in the Arizona game. The Buffalo game also showed more than one very strange decision that logical FB players don’t make. Blitzing and identifying you’re not going to get home in time so trying to affect the throw. On one play, instead of being an obstruction to Allen, he moved trying to get around the blocker, and gave him a perfect view of the receiver. On a coverage play, Allen was scrambling to his right. Adams instead of following his eyes and moving with him as would be logical, inexplicably reasoned Allen would throw across his body and moved the opposite direction to the middle of the field, opening a perfect throwing lane Allen exploited.

    Does having Dunlap mean the Seahawks could ease up on the blitzing and balance him out a bit more and help him focus on becoming a more complete player in their system? Possibly. They have 6 games and the playoffs to figure it out.

    • Gohawks5151

      Yeah something is missing with the communication on Defense this year. Call it lack of offseason, scheme changes or new players but the expectations and responsibilities are not not well defined. Pete was saying the Ken had all the players stand up and say their responsibilities on every play like it was some revelation when you figure that would be a no brainer. Its not just Jamal that is having a subpar coverage year but so is Shaq, Dunbar, Tre and Quandre. I do think Jamal and to a lesser extent Dunbar, suffer a bit from being new and trying too hard. Being the man on a bad team puts pressure on you to make all the plays (ie: Russell) so it may take some time to learn to be more of a cog in the system for Jamal. The errors of the other guys scream of a coaching issue. The last 6 quarters played give you hope they have figured out some things but they need to keep growing and stay on the same page.

  12. charlietheunicorn

    This in one the the many fun questions the Seahawks are going to be answering in the next 6+ weeks. Does Adams fit in the defense or not? Can you find a home for him minimizing his weaknesses, but also maximizing his strengths. He definitely has a nose for the football in the rushing game and can get after QBs… each is a valuable facet to any defense.

    Dunlap has 3.5 sacks and Reed has 3 sacks in 3 games paired up….. already worth the price of the trade. Might have been a miss with Adams (“C”), but the Dunlap trade is an “A”. JS gets a ton of crap on here, but he has given the team enough tools to be a viable SB contender in 2020. I admit it wasn’t pretty, but it appears to be rounding into form now. Frankly, you want to be playing your best football in December and January… and Seattle’s defense is starting to come alive.

    • BobbyK

      I agree to a point but when you knowingly go into a football season with Benson Mayowa as your best pass rusher – the JS criticism is very much warranted.

      • charlietheunicorn

        He may not have won the offseason, but he is making up for it with moves during the season.

        • Rob Staton

          Well, I wouldn’t say ‘made up for it’.

      • Big Mike

        JS is below Pete in the pecking order. No decisions as large as trading for Adams, and Dunlap for that matter, are made by John in a vacuum. Pete has the final word on this stuff. This is Pete’s show, always has been, always will be.

  13. Chase

    Rob, awesome article.
    Previously the majority of us suspected it was a panic trade because they weren’t able to retain Clowney.
    Are you now thinking it was more calculated than reckless, even if it doesn’t work out? My other question would be how well do you think Adams would play with a league average pass rush?

    • Rob Staton

      No I think it was still a desperate move

      • MyChestIsBeastMode

        I agree the trade smelled of desperation based on the price. However, I do not believe the Hawks will work to walk away from him for a lesser return than what they paid (unless he somehow becomes a nuisance to the clubhouse which he appears anything but that at the moment). So, essentially I’m saying they are in on his upside and young age for the relative long term future i.e. at least one contract extension.

        For some context to my thinking, they and he are working towards finding how he best synergizes witin our defense but have not figured it out yet. Still, I think there is an obvious high ceiling once he and those around him get some comfort with his unorthodox playstyle for a safety in what was an otherwise bend but don’t break defense i.e. blitzing a lot! This is not to say glaring holes in his game should be overlooked, but rather if they can be mitigated through more experience with the defensive philosophy and the growing ease of communication that comes with it then maybe great things can happen. Heck, Earl took at least 1-2 seasons to get a good feel at free safety before he more-or-less became reliable as anyone. And Bam Bam was a hitter out of the gate, but definitely took a few seasons in this D to hone his coverage instincts — and that was with Earl and Sherm covering the top and one side of the field.

        Look, I don’t have hard evidence that he’ll succeed, but we all saw that extraordinary performance in the opening game. Obviously, outside of his QB pressures since, there’s been a lot of sour moments mixed in. Still, I feel like if they’re able to iron out communication problems and, as a team, develop that instinct of where he and his help will be on any given play, then the sky is the limit for him to go down as a dependable coverage safety and an exceptional blitzer regardless of position.

      • Thomas Wells

        Me too. But serious question: could they have added anyone else – defensive end or even a linebacker – that would have produced this kind of pressure? 5.5 sacks in six games is nothing to sneeze at if your goal is add someone who can impact the opposing qb. Not defending the deal. It was way too much to pay, the guy isn’t a great scheme fit, you can only get pressure with a safety if you change the defense fundamentally etc…just seeing if the trade makes a weird sort of sense if you squint hard enough

  14. Matt

    Fantastic article Rob.

    I’m so torn on this one. While PC is here for the next 5 years – I think you have to deal Jamal. If PC was only going to be here another year or 2 – I think you retain him because a) he is talented, b) still very young, and c) a team captain type that has value that would extend into breaking in a new regime.

    The fact that Pete is going to be here just means you have a square peg for a round hole. Love the player. Love the attitude. But the scheme fit is terrible.

    This will be a real gut check for PC/JS – even if you only get a high 2nd rounder in return; you have to do it. There’s just ZERO reason to have Wagner and Adams on the same roster at that price, in this scheme.

    It’s corny…but these guys are paid a sh*t ton of money to make tough decisions like this. It’s ok to take a chance and lose. What’s not ok is taking a chance, losing…and repeating the same mistake. That’s how this team got into it’s current predicament.

    Be bold…move on. And re-allocate those resources for better use.

    • Big Mike

      Completely agree Matt

  15. BC_Hawk

    They also had Bruce Irvin… Having said that, I don’t think the plan was to have the Irvin/Benson show all year; JS miss diagnosed that vets would be available at the cut down for below market value. He ended up having to wait until the deadline to get it done. Is it inexcusable…no, as we had Irvin (who knows what his 2020 would have looked like), and we talk of 2021 Cap Hell and what over payment would have meant.

    • BC_Hawk

      Sorry; this was a response to BobbyK above

  16. JLemere

    Six weeks to decide not on only trading/keeping Adams, but also on deciding if they will stick with the Cover 3.

  17. Paul Cook

    Most all of the issues concerning Adams and the Hawks have been laid out here. I would personally add one more. I still don’t have a clear read/feeling as to Adams the man and personality. Is he a coachable sort, a player capable of adjusting his physical talents and skill set to meet the needs of the team? Is he a potential trouble-maker if he doesn’t get to play the way he wants to? Is he the kind of leader you want to invest big money into? I just don’t have much of a feel for him yet in this way. But I do know that he rose a stink in NY, however justifiable it may have been.

    Bottom line for me is that I just don’t know. We’ve got to find out a bunch of stuff about him and fast. The guy’s a monster of a physical talent. I think he’ll be valuable to some team in that way if it isn’t us.

    Good write up.

  18. Gohawks5151

    Maybe something to consider is Russell. He wants stars and if they trade Jamal and end up striking out in FA like they did last year they are going to piss off the most important man in the franchise.

    • BoiseSeahawk

      We are already slated to “consider” Russ exactly 19 million times in 2021.
      At some point he needs to consider his teammates if it is not working out for him the way he wants.

  19. cha

    The entire NFL is facing a financial crunch due to coronavirus. The salary cap could drop to $175m in 2021 — putting severe pressure on most teams.

    Every dollar is going to count. It’s not an overreaction to suggest smart cap management will decide the winners and losers over the next 3-5 years.


    I’ve been thinking about putting something together on this. There’s too much talk about the Seahawks being limited this offseason.

    The argument isn’t so much about the resources available to them and more about whether the Seahawks can make smart decisions this offseason. Because there is tremendous opportunity available and a window to act.

    • BC_Hawk


      I think this is what will decide the successful teams of the next few years; how they manage the 2021 Cap Crunch. For the most part, all of JS’s moves have supported this; short term for vets. The one move that doesn’t is Jamal; alot of draft capital to see if you can widdle the square peg to nicely fit in a round hole. we shall see..

  20. Miami Hawk

    One thing to keep in mind are the market forces at play. With the reduced salary cap, possibly down to $175 million, one would think that salaries would be going down.

    This will be enhanced by the forced cap casualties from teams that are way over the cap which will result in a buyers market. There are currently 10 teams over the cap for 2021 with less than a full roster and 13 teams are over the cap in effective space per OTC. The offseason contract restructuring is going to be pretty wild and a lot of top tier under contract talent is going to get cut because they refuse to restructure or take a reduction.

    Blood will spill

    • Rob Staton

      There’s no doubt the lower cap will impact free agency.

      It’s going to have zero impact on Jamal Adams though. They have traded away the house for him. If you turn to him now and quote coronavirus, he will just laugh. The minute you trade major picks for a player without a deal lined up, you lose all leverage in negotiations. As with Tunsil and Ramsey, you basically cede that you’re going to reset the market at the position.

      Either that or you’ll be trading two firsts, a third and a reasonable player for 2-3 years of his services.

    • cha

      With respect Miami it’s far more complicated and nuanced to just say ‘salaries should be going down’

      The NFL, having a pretty good idea that the 2021 cap will be severely affected by COVID, spent like a drunken sailor all summer long. And even as the season approached and those projected numbers started to harden, the spending kept up:

      Myles Garrett $125m
      Jalen Ramsey $105m
      Keenan Allen $80m
      Dalvin Cook $63m
      Joe Mixon $48m
      Budda Baker $59m

      There’s simply no way top tier free agents are going to look at those contracts and accept the logic that the cap is lower so salaries should be lower.

      Will there be opportunities with players cut or traded? Certainly. Will the second and third tier free agents be affected? Will smart teams be able to capitalize, perhaps moreso than in previous years? Yes.

      There is tremendous opportunity for teams that can get creative with the cap. But it’s less about how much AAV players get, because top tier players are going to get PAID and our eyes are still going to continue to pop out of our heads when we check Adam Schefter’s twitter feed for the latest signings.

  21. GerryG

    Only one answer I can come up with: win the SB this year.

  22. Volume12

    Keep him. Let them experiment w/ him. Pete’s D is out of touch as it is. Adding a new wrinkle and trying to adapt w/ a guy who isn’t conventional isn’t a bad thing IMO.

    If Pete wants to keep playing his Friday night version of the Cover 3 then they’ll need to find the outside help at corner to funnel everything back inside where u have a Jamal Adams lurking.

    If they do trade him, I agree, can’t fault for them for swinging for the fences.

    • Michigan 12th

      This would be great if the Seahawks could find two outside cover guys that could actually do that, and if Adams was actually there when the ball came to the middle and not in the backfield watching the ball go by him to his forsaken zone.

  23. Dawgma

    I’ve ben firmly in this camp from the beginning (the price is too high and the fit is wrong)…but let’s look at this from the other side. Suppose they can’t get any value from trading him. At this point, who ARE your keystones on D? It’s not Wags, in his mid thirties. It’s not anyone up front. It sure as shit isn’t your starting CBs. If you AREN’T building around Adams…..who ARE you building around?

    What do you think the odds are that the defense actually *does* evolve to allow him to be that future keystone we otherwise lack? And, assuming those odds are ‘slim’ and not ‘zero’, put yourself in the shoes of the team leadership. Assuming you decide to pull that trigger, how do you go about it from a coaching staff and roster building perspective if you do decide to pursue it?

    • Rob Staton

      A lack of viable alternatives to be cornerstones isn’t a justification though for paying a player who is an awkward scheme fit $18m a year.

      I also don’t think you need to necessarily ‘build’ around players on defense. I think you need to embrace what your scheme is and act accordingly. They want to rush with four — so invest in the D-line. Then have speed at the second and third level. It’s a tried and tested formula and we’ve seen San Francisco and Atlanta get to the Super Bowl with this defense playing that way and complementing dynamic offenses.

  24. charlietheunicorn

    Was it my imagination, but did Adams seemed much more in control and playing assignments within himself/scheme throughout the game? I always thought he was freelancing too much early in the season, but now it seemed like he is/was playing in control / relaxed…. if you will.

    He got beat a few times on passes, but that will happen. I guess ultimately you call it “playing-disciplined”. The defense as a whole seemed much more disciplined, calm and less chaotic…. guys running everywhere late playing catch-up to WR/TEs etc…. I just didn’t see a great number of these types pf breakdowns, like some of the early games of the year

    The fake blitzes, with guys going into coverage really confused Murray as well. He was feeling pressure when there wasn’t any, then got pressure when he thought he was in the clear. Good match of scheme and play-calling. I guess Norton Jr lives to fight another day. 😉

    • Rob Staton

      “Was it my imagination, but did Adams seemed much more in control and playing assignments within himself/scheme throughout the game?”

      I can’t say I came away from the game feeling that way at all, personally.

    • cha

      The fake blitzes, with guys going into coverage really confused Murray as well. He was feeling pressure when there wasn’t any, then got pressure when he thought he was in the clear.

      It’s possible Adams rattled Murray at times. It’s also possible Murray audibled to runs to the other side of the field from Adams, which does show some impact for sure.

      If those are the case, that’s good and noteworthy. But it should also be noted more experienced and capable QBs can deal with those types of things better than Murray did. And it’s very possible the next time they meet, Murray will be vastly improved and not be rattled by it.

      Is that good enough for a huge contact?

      • charlietheunicorn

        I wouldn’t pay 18M / year for him…. or almost any player.
        It is not my money, so I guess if we are using monopoly money, then sure.
        Like I mentioned before, the next 6 games (+ playoffs) will really be fun to watch.
        Not just the on the field portion, but the potential roster building component.

        About the only thing settled is that they have a #1 QB, 2 dynamic WR and 1 very good RG on offense. Everything else is up in the air. The entire defense besides 43 and 90 could be back or out the door. Very intriguing for future Rob articles and crowd-source analysis.

  25. Tony

    Rob, you mention the difficulty switching from 4-3 to 3-4. But seattle has used a more 4-3 hybrid in the past. Would that help transition to a 3-4 easier than what dallas did? Not to say this is what seattle will do. The leo position is basically a down LB, and we used the red bryant position as an anchor. Our DT have been more run stuffers than pass rushers. I feel like if we do transition to 3-4, we are set up ok. Growing pains for sure, but its not like we will fall further. Historically bad defense makes it easier to change now. Especially if we surround a premier player like adams. Cause if he has a chance to be polamalu, im all for it.

    • Simon Mc

      When the defence was still at the top of the tree. JS stated more than once, when discussing the importance of nickel corners, that they played with 5 DBs so often that the base defence was really a 4-2-5 (although outsiders could argue over how the Leo was defined and call it 3-3-5). In the last couple years, apparently due to a mix of injuries and lack of trust in the nickel CB options, the scheme seems to have drifted away from that – and to my mind it needed Earl Thomas at FS to work properly anyway. If the front office cannot find the players to make the scheme work, surely good coaches tinker with the scheme to make the most of what the players they have do best? And playing Adams in a 4-2-5 with the option to step into the box and make it a 4-3-4 sounds like the starting point for that.

      • Miami Hawk

        That seems what they have been doing. He is such a unique player that if you are flexible enough you can invent a position for him and alter your scheme around it. My view is not that they don’t have the talent on the defense (especially now that Dunlap is here), but rather that the defense they built has simply been unavailable due to i injuries.

        They lost Irvin and Blair for the the season, both of whom were supposed to be critical parts. Taylor might finally get to play but likely will be behind the curve. But the real impact has been the loss of Blair who supposedly looked outstanding as nickel corner in camp and the fact that the rest of the secondary has had 2 or three members out for most of the games. They just have seemed disorganized with the new guys not knowing their assignments. That is something that we can anticipate improving and indeed its starting to look that way.

        • Rob Staton

          Injuries are not the reason the Seahawks have been on a historically bad pace defensively.

          They simply did a bad job constructing a defense for their preferred scheme. They failed to address the front four sufficiently. Get that right in March and we’d have seen a very different defense this year.

          This scheme works best with excellent front fours. Seattle, Atlanta and San Francisco have all gone to Super Bowls with this defensive scheme. On each occasion they had great front fours and/or rotations.

          Benson Mayowa, Bruce Irvin and an injured rookie was never the answer to the self-confessed priority of the off-season. We’ve all seen the results of what that botched attempt to fix the pass rush looked like. And we can all see how much better things are now that they’ve actually acquired a proper pass rusher.

  26. Denver Hawker

    Given his injury this year and limited offseason, I’m skeptical they’ll “figure it out in 6 games”.

    I like your logic and everything you’ve laid out here Rob, but I also think if (and this is a big if) he’s willing to play on his contract next year, I think it’s worse allowing a little more time to see if they can work something out to fit his talent or help him in coverage.

    They could still get good draft comp next year in a tag/trade. I think he’s too good a talent to cut bait on so soon.

    The only wrinkle as you’ve called out is the decking cap/limited draft capital problem. This could be a Frank Clark situation and trading Adams just to get picks and reallocate his cost elsewhere on the roster.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think you can afford to wait this out.

      From trade value to the commitment to the player, to long term roster building with no real picks/money for 2021 — a decision beckons.

      • Paul Cook

        I could be wrong, but I totally agree. I just can’t see this going beyond this off-season with Adams. At the very least, it potentially creates emotional problems.

      • Denver Hawker

        I wouldn’t be upset either way if we trade after this season or sign him and make it work.

        I’m also saying it feels like having to make a call on purchasing a new 911 Turbo for $200k after a 5 mile test drive around the block.

        • cha

          If they can’t figure how to best use Adams after logging 3 seasons of college tape, 3 seasons of NFL tape, and 1 NFL season close up, they’ve got much, much bigger problems than a single player.

  27. Gaux Hawks

    I like the idea of getting back a R1 and R2 pick.

    But the price could be more given the low cap next year and chance to extend him before signing… maybe be able to squeeze a R3 out of him too?

    2021 R2
    2022 R1, R3

    If it’s NE then we potentially only moved down a few spots for a Y1 rental…

    This also gives us room for FA. I also think Irvin will be back in 2021 on the cheap (veteran depth). Guessing Griffen will be back too.

  28. Kenny Sloth

    Jamal Adams is a really good football player.

    • Sea Mode

      So is Antoine Griezmann…

      • Rob Staton

        🔥 🔥 🔥

  29. Rob Staton

    Takk McKinley AND Vic Beasley to the Raiders.

    • Gohawks5151

      Can he make it THREE failed physicals???

  30. Lewis

    Anybody have numbers handy on how frequently he blitzed with the Jets?

    I think they should treat him as a linebacker and play 4-2-5 when he’s on the field. Play to his strengths, but don’t compromise pass coverage to do it. He’s the elite version of Shaquem Griffin.

    • cha

      He blitzed 90 times in 14 games last year.

      He’s blitzed 63 times in 6 games so far this year.

      • Lewis

        So roughly 6.5 last year vs 10 this year. Thanks, Cha

    • Paul Cook

      I mentioned something like this earlier on 2nd and long and 3rd down situations. It’s out of the box thinking, but seems apropos at this time.

      • 12th chuck

        just imagine how many more 2nd and 3rd downs this d has faced compared to the jets last year.

  31. cha

    Ian Rapoport
    The #Seahawks placed TE Greg Olson (foot) on Injured Reserve and signed DT Damon “Snacks” Harrison to the active roster.
    1:06 PM · Nov 23, 2020

  32. SeattleLifer

    I’d be all in on trading Adams. Unfortunately I diverge from most others with what he would bring back in return. I think that by the end of the season his stock will have gone down some from how he’s been used in our system and national media types dogging on him along the way.

    If the Hawks wave the white flag they will automatically be bargaining from a position of weakness. Add in one less year on his contract, and John’s penchant for being worked over by other gm’s(the original price for Adams being a fine case in point) and I sadly think we’d be looking at a single first round pick in return at best. Obviously I hope I’d be wrong because I hated this trade from the get go.

    • Rob Staton

      I haven’t heard any national media types dogging him personally.

      I think his value is strong especially for scheme fit teams.

      • SeattleLifer

        I thought Russ’s bud Cowerd called him a glorified linebacker(I don’t recall exactly but he didn’t sound smitten with him). Point being I personally think behind doors talk might be less glowing than we think and if he continues his course with Seattle and then we try to move him that has to make people take a more critical look at him at least. You may be right saying in the right scheme he could be great, but I still think even then an undersized blitzing linebacker only carries so much value like possibly a first – especially given he’ll command a huge contract immediately.

        • Rob Staton

          Greg Cosell is an analyst I wouldn’t call him a national media type. And I wouldn’t say he was dogging Adams either. He pointed out what we all kind of know anyway. He’s best in attack mode playing downfield and has limitations in coverage.

          I’m not assuming ‘glowing’ talk behind closed doors. I do think Adams is a terrific player in the right scheme. He’s not ‘an undersized blitzing linebacker’ in New England or any of the Belichick tree schemes. He’s not ‘an undersized blitzing linebacker’ in an aggressive 3-4.

          • SeattleLifer

            Not trying to be argumentative but the first bio I pulled up on him listed him at 6’1” and 213#s.

            I really do hope I’m wrong as nothing would make me happier than to recoup something like a 1st and 2nd like you were talking about – my sense just tells me come April if we try to move him we’d be looking at a 1st at best.

  33. Michigan 12th

    I need to see more of Adams with Dunlap on the field. If the four man rush gets home more often and Adams can actually play in the secondary then you keep him and sign him. If not then I don’t know what you do, because I certainly don’t want to see another Clark for Collier type of deal. I just have no confidence in the Seahawks drafting for the last four to five years to fill out the roster through drafting. Maybe I’m cynical but I would rather have something that is certain than another Collier.

    Great talking point though Rob. Thanks

    • Rob Staton

      If the four man rush gets home more often and Adams can actually play in the secondary then you keep him and sign him.

      But that isn’t his strength. He’s a downfield, attack dog. You’re not playing to his strengths if you have him sit in coverage.

      • Michigan 12th

        My hope is that he is better when he isn’t free lancing, but yeah I hear you. Hopefully they don’t waste the draft picks they get because PC is not changing his scheme.

  34. Trevor

    If Darrel Taylor comes back this year and shows flashes of the type of player we expected him to be the DL could be in decent shape next year with the addition of a couple of pieces. What they still really need is that Cliff Avril type speed rusher.

    Rob what type of contract do you think Von Miller could demand this off season coming off a down year then injury? If he comes back healthy he could be the ideal veteran free agent to provide that speed rush.

    A rotation at DE with Dunlap, Miller, Taylor, Robinson and Green would be a really solid group I think. Personally I would move Collier to 3 tech where he at least flashes some potential.

    • Rob Staton

      No idea. It’s going to be an unpredictable free agency.

      • CaptainJack

        No to Miller. Too old and injury prone.

        What I think they need to add is a younger guy with some upside who has underperformed so far. Think of the Leonard Floyd and Emmanuel Ogbah signings last offseason. They didn’t generate hype but both players are doing really well. That’s what we need to round out the dline group.

        • Rob Staton


        • CaptainJack

          Some names I’d look at:

          Tyus Bowser, Ravens
          Dawuane Smoot, Jags
          Taco Charlton, Cheifs
          Tanoh Kpassagnon, Cheifs
          Samson Ebukam, Rams
          Deatrich Wise, Pats
          Derek Rivers, Pats
          Noah Spence, Saints
          Trey Hendrickson, Saints
          Jordan Willis, Jets
          Ronald Blair, 49ers
          Ryan Anderson, Football Team

          These are the names that jump out to me at first glance as good candidates.

          • Rohan Raman

            No way are we getting hendrickson. He’s balling at the moment and they need some youth. I could see cam jordan being gone, but they’ll want to lock up hendrickson.

            • Rob Staton

              They are $100m over the cap for 2021.

              Are they going to lock him up with an ‘IOU’?

              • cha

                “$275 thou. Might want to hang on to that one.”


              • Rohan Raman

                I have long accepted that if the Saints desparately want a guy to be on their team, cap space is but a mirage.

                • CaptainJack

                  That is why Jadeveon Clowney is a saint, right?

                • Miami Hawk

                  Not anymore. They are $94 million over the cap for next year with 45 players on the roster. The bill has finally become due for them. Its going to be a fire sale in New Orleans

            • cha

              The Saints are $94million over the cap next season. If they cut all the players that have significant cap savings, not only will they still be over the cap, they’ll carry something like $80m in dead money.

              I’m not saying they won’t extend Hendrickson. Just that it’ll be very, very difficult to do so.

              And if they’re tearing down he’d probably fetch a good comp pick in 2022.

            • CaptainJack

              I didn’t research these very in depth. Just names I recognized that jumped out.

  35. CaptainJack

    I just wish we could see Adams integrated into the defense by a proper coordinator. We saw on Thursday brooks looks like he’s settling into the scheme… he looked much better and didn’t look like a bust at all. If Adams can string some starts together I think he can figure it out.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m yet to see anything from Brooks personally aside from a couple of well highlighted plays that were clipped on twitter. All three of the LB’s taken in the late first have had a rough transition. Still think Willie Gay was the guy to target due to his profile and knack for playmaking.

      • Zane

        I haven’t been impressed by Brooks’ timidity in the hole taking on blocks. Doesn’t look like a hard-nosed thumper at all, but he is clearly quite rangy.

        • Rob Staton

          He hasn’t jumped off the screen to me.

          I thought it was a curious pick at the time. I simply think there were better players available and it was unnecessary to use a R1 pick on a linebacker anyway.

          • CaptainJack

            He doesn’t have to jump off the screen at this point. He might never be that kind of player. He could offer general competency and let us move on from Wagner.

            • Rob Staton

              I think as a R1 pick you want him to jump off the screen. I remember Bobby, Bruce and KJ did.

              • SeaTown

                I agree. Brooks has never jumped off the screen to me. In fact, I have to double check each week to see if he is even on the field because I never hear his name called.

    • Darnell

      Yeah Capt. Brooks is looking good.

      Seems to be up there with Jamal and Poona (and now Dunlap) of the defensive players who play with juice and energy every week.

  36. Big Mike

    If Adams continues to be a poor fit, this is going to be a serious “gut check” as Matt said above for Pete. Does he have the willingness to check his ego and, by trading Jamal, admit at least tacitly he made a mistake bringing him in? Considering the amount of time they tried to make Graham work as more than a pass receiving TE, my gut tells me ‘no’.

  37. Darnell

    If you’re the Hawks, you have to make it work IMO.

    Only 25 years old; and as Rob noted, almost as many sacks as games played. # 27 in the NFL top 100, and one of the very rare defensive players who can make plays at all 3 levels of the field.

    The Hawks just don’t tend to draft high enough to get these kind of blue chip players early in their careers and for their prime (save for some great luck with DK).

    Let’s see if the fit looks much more natural with a full offseason in the Hawks program. I bet it will. And I bet we’ll eventually see him wearing a captain’s ‘C’ as a Hawk.

    • Rob Staton

      A few counter points though:

      1. Blue chip players don’t have to come in the top-10 of the draft. In the top-100 list you cite, here’s a quick breakdown of the players who have been in a draftable range for Seattle:

      Lamar Jackson #1
      Russell Wilson #2
      Michael Thomas #5
      George Kittle #7
      DeAndre Hopkins #8
      Derrick Henry #10
      Drew Brees #12
      Bobby Wagner #13
      Tom Brady #14
      Chandler Jones #15
      Aaron Rodgers #16
      Travis Kelce #18
      Dalvin Cook #21
      Tyreek Hill #22
      Cam Jordan #23
      TJ Watt #25
      Richard Sherman #28
      Shaquill Barrett #32
      Aaron Jones #33
      Nick Chubb #36
      Chris Godwin #38
      Tyrann Mathieru #39
      Danielle Hunter #40
      Alvin Kamara #42
      Jimmy Garoppolo #43
      Mark Ingram #44
      Dak Prescott #46
      Tre’Davious White #47
      Za’Darius Smith #48
      Darius Leonard #50

      Of the top 50 players listed, 30 were drafted in a position where the Seahawks could’ve selected them. Only 15 — half as many — were top-10 picks.

      The key isn’t to possess a pick in the top-10. The key is to identify the talent and develop it. Next year, D.K. Metcalf will probably be in the top-25. Sadly that kind of inspired pick has become increasingly rare for this front office after years of early success. Regardless, there’s very little evidence that ‘blue chip’ players are tied to draft position.

      2. Making it work might mean changing your scheme. And while we can sit here on the internet and say it’d be great to just switch to an aggressive 3-4 or hire a Belichick protege, the reality is the Seahawks have been adding players for the Carroll scheme for 10 years. You can’t just flip a switch and be in a new scheme. So while that might sound like a plausible idea, completely re-working your entire philosophy in order to ‘make it work’ with one individual is a hard sell IMO.

      3. As noted in the piece — time is of the essence. It’d be nice to ‘wait and see’ but in reality a commitment either way is required in the next off-season.

      • Darnell

        It’s a very worthwhile debate to be had for sure; but I think I’d commit.

        It’s his football character and on field juice that wins me over.

        I understand selling sunk cost poor fits for pennies on the dollar, such as Percy Harvin, when the football character is so poor that having him around is to the teams detriment.

        But the youth, upside, talent , hustle, tone, and character with Adams is such that I would commit to him being a core piece going forward.

        Let’s also remember, he was thrust into this defense very very late in the offseason. Prior to Earl and Kam’s breakout seasons they had already been in the program for > 4 months.

        • Rob Staton

          You also didn’t have to make a decision on Earl or Kam being paid about $18m after four months. That’s the decision the Seahawks took the minute they traded for Jamal Adams and didn’t have a contract ready to roll.

          Football character and juice isn’t enough to justify committing a franchise changing amount of money to a player.

          He has to fit. He has to be able to impact games in a massive way — not just be a blitzer.

          • RugbyLock

            Bang on as usual Rob!

      • charlietheunicorn

        Kittle is the one that stings. We talked about him on the blog… looked like a really good player, not sure he fit, but man has he outdone his draft position. Rd 5 # 146 pick….. wow

        Chubb of course is also another guy we spilled some ink on, fit was perfect…..
        I still wonder why they went the way they did that draft…..

        • Rob Staton

          TJ Watt, Kittle, Chubb…

  38. Darnell

    Off topic, I really liked Johnathan Abram coming out, and certainly didn’t seem him becoming one of the worst safeties in the league.


  39. Zane

    It’s a bit premature to declare him a bad fit for our scheme. The whole defense has been a mess this year, missing assignments, bad technique, and non-existent pass rush. We also have evidence of Adams playing well in coverage the last few years (especially against TEs).

    • Rob Staton

      I haven’t declared him a bad fit for the scheme.

      I have questioned whether he is a good fit and used examples and data in the process of asking that question. There’s a big difference.

  40. charlietheunicorn

    Rob (or the gang) are there any CFB 2021 potential draft picks that have Juice? BAMF?
    Specifically, every time you watch them they bring it…. look like “for sure” NFL players.

    I can’t imagine how hard it is going to be to find guys this season…. with some teams playing 6 or 7 games and other teams playing 3 or 4 and other teams none at all. Would that make signing guys who are NFL FA a priority for teams during the unique 2021 pre-season?

    • Rob Staton

      No obvious BAMF’s so far that I’m willing to commit that label to.

      There are the obvious ‘for sure’ types early in R1 (Lawrence, Sewell, Chase, Parsons, Wade). I think it’s a good TE class. Dayo Odeyingbo plays with attitude and I like the physical appearance of Jaycee Horn and Aaron Banks. Andre Cisco and Paris Ford like to hit. Ronnie Perkins played like a man possessed the other night.

  41. Rob Staton

    This MNF crew is going to be hard work next week.

    Especially in the early hours of the morning.

    • Rob Staton

      Used to love the gravitas behind MNF.

      Now it feels like watching a college football broadcast. Not a good college football game either. It’s NC State vs Virginia.

      • Big Mike

        Still better than Tessetore, Booger and Witten imo

        • Rob Staton

          Well, yes.

      • cha

        Doesn’t help that both teams look like they’re playing in their pajamas.

      • charlietheunicorn

        Who’s your favorite MNF crew?

        Since they went to ESPN, haven’t watched a game. (except simulcast for Seahawks games)

        • Rob Staton

          Tirico & Gruden

          • charlietheunicorn

            Best thing I’ve ever seen Gruden in was his QB camps on ESPN pre-draft each year.
            They were awesome. Love his enthusiasm.

        • cha

          Michaels, Dierdorf and Gifford

  42. Big Mike

    I sure would like to see DK get real physical with Ramsay the next time we play the lambs. Of course they’re going to have to throw him the ball so there’s that. 🙁

    • Rob Staton

      43-year-old Tom Brady tries a deep shot to Mike Evans vs Jalen Ramsey.

      And we wouldn’t do it once. Even when chasing the game.

      • Big Mike

        Yep. Sad. Really hope that changes in 4 weeks. I’m tired of the Hawks getting owned by LA.

        • charlietheunicorn

          Just wait. The rematch will be epic.

          • Rob Staton

            Let’s improve on a 1-5 record vs the Rams before getting excited about playing them…

  43. Pran

    Bucks Offense:
    Ronald Jones

    Good luck defending with out a great pass rush

  44. Hawks_Gui

    Rob, on a side note, do you think Fournette could be in play next FA, if carson is not resigned?

    • Simo

      I prefer Carson without question, unless of course he prices himself out of the Hawks range!

    • JC3

      Wouldn’t it be fun to see Sherm and Adams on the same team next season? Legend of Big Mouths.

    • Rob Staton


      Rather him than some of the others available. But they probably keep Carson.

  45. bk matt

    One option not mentioned is paying him and giving it one full year to decide then trading him. Players have a bit of value if they are signed to long-term deals vs giving up assets knowing you have to pay him as well which would be the case this March. It buys Seattle leverage. They could also structure the deal in a way that is cap friendly and pushes some of the bigger annuals down the road.

    • Rob Staton

      That’s a great idea if you want to pay him about $20-30m to play somewhere else via a massive dead cap hit.

  46. Schrub

    The Rams are the class of the NFCW this year. I can feel the momentum – week 16 is going to be huge and another Seahawks stress fest.

  47. Hoggs41

    If we could get a first and a third I would vote totrade and just throw in Blair. We need a safety not a hybrid. Would rather slend that money elsewhere.

  48. charlietheunicorn

    Good game so far (Rams/Bucs) …. blow for blow… each team having moments in the sun.

  49. Hawkcrazy

    Brady sure looks bad in this Rams game. I understand the Rams D is good but he is making them look great. Passes look very bad and easy interceptions with other passes just not to his receivers. Both teams generally did not look great but Rams ultimately made less mistakes. Hawks will move back to second in the NFC West.

    • Big Mike

      Brady should retire imo. Deep ball is bad and he won’t acknowledge it like Brees has it appears. Bet he doesn’t hang ’em up tho.

      • Rob4q

        The two interceptions he threw were ones you expect a young QB to make, not the GOAT! And Fuller is a rookie safety too! The last one was especially bad because there was just no need to make that throw…

  50. Pran

    What is so special with this Rams D in 2nd half all season with only two star players Aaron and Ramsey. Did they get a good DC?

    • Rob Staton

      Well coached across the board

      • Matt

        Amazing what happens when you have difference makers are critically important positions. I wish the Seahawks cared about DT/DE and CB like they do LBer, when it comes to expending resources.

        Lots of great defenses where you can’t name a single LBer (when talking of 4-3 Ds).

  51. no frickin clue


    If the Hawks keep Adams as the strong safety, the next shoe to drop is what to do at free safety. Diggs had a good season last year, but maybe doesn’t have the speed to make up for Adams’ forays into the backfield. You need someone like an Earl Thomas (minus the anger at the front office of course), but guys like Earl don’t grow on trees. And even if someone like Earl appears in the 2021 draft, keeping Adams means we don’t have the draft capital to take a guy like that anyway.

    If you assume, ok, keep Adams, use Blair at free safety, and don’t keep Diggs (with the ancillary benefit of no dead money and $5.5M in cap savings), can we assume that Blair’s speed is enough to let Adams act like a linebacker? So to me it feels like keeping Adams is also a sign of how much they think they can count on Blair. If they’re worried about Blair, then maybe they need to jettison Adams, keep Diggs at SS, and load less responsibility on Blair’s shoulders at FS.

    • Rob Staton

      Marquise Blair isn’t an eraser

    • Matt

      I think all of the Seahawks actions over the last 18 months have pointed to massive buyer’s remorse with Marquise Blair. They traded for Diggs AND Adams, who cost an insane amount.

      That alone tells me they don’t think highly of Blair. He may work out at Nickel; but that’s not why they drafted him.

      He and Collier were pretty disastrous top two picks and why this team is currently facing so many tough decisions.

  52. Rob Staton

    The Rams’ remaining schedule might be even easier than Seattle’s.

    • Big Mike

      Each team still has the 9ers once, and Jets. Rams still have Cards twice and Patriots. Their’s is tougher but not significantly.

      • Rob Staton

        I think the Cardinals are overrated — said the same before last weeks game too. They are a hail mary away from 5-5 and the Seahawks should’ve handled their business in Arizona — so really they should be 4-6. They’ve lost their top three DT’s, and their best pass rusher.

        Kyler Murray is a handful, always, but how healthy is he?

        To me the New York Giants are increasingly looking like a tougher opponent than I think many realise and Washington’s D-line is no joke.

        • Hoggs41

          If either team wins out the division is theres. Week 16 looking like a good one.

        • Douglas Hanlon

          The Cardinals are 7-3 with the #1 ranked offence and beat the 9ers to open the season beat the Bills who totally man handles us, and beat us in such debilitating loss you did predict a Seahawks win against the Cardinals last week wow you really went out on a limb considering the Seahawks are like 100-1 in primetime games and in must win mode what’s next you will pick the Seahawks the next three weeks man what a flip flopper.

          • Rob Staton

            A word of advice. If you’re going to shit post, at least get the Cardinals’ record right.

          • Chase

            Wow! You really showed him!

      • Tyler

        Yes, but the Rams get to play the Seahawks whereas the Seahawks have to play the Rams, so…

    • Henry Taylor

      I don’t think this is true, the Seahawks play 1 team with more than 4 wins (and it’s the Rams).

      The Rams play 3, plus the Patriot’s scheme is their kryptonite.

      • Rob Staton

        The Patriots look very, very average to me. I know they beat the Ravens — but Baltimore themselves appear to be collapsing. I also appreciate they have a scheme that works vs LA but I’m not sure they have the players to execute.

        • Pran

          Unfortunately for us, McVay is Rams 12th player.

  53. McZ

    To sum it up, decisions to be made next offseason:
    – Adams, SS or LB, worth the money?
    – Depending in the answer a new SS plus revisiting FS
    – Bwagz, still on the top of his game?
    – KJ, to old?
    – Chris Carson, big contract?
    – Shaquill Griffin, hold or fold?
    – Speed pass rusher?
    – CB#2?
    – WR#3?
    – RB#2?
    – Blind side offensive line, future?

    With few cap space, no good FA record and three picks.
    Oh, and this will probably be a meh draft on S and RB.

    • Simo

      So many key holes to fill, and so few draft picks and so little cap space. Tough decisions coming on guys like Wagz, KJ, Adams, Griffin, Dunbar, Carson, and more. It’s going to be interesting to see how they do this!!

  54. Brik

    I was just reading some comments, and was interested in your thoughts on why we have had problems drafting like we used to. It seems like they’re using the same formula. Why aren’t they getting the stars like they used to? Do they have new guys looking for talent who are jacking it up, or are other teams using our strategy so they’re picking our guys before we get there? I’m interested in what you think we could do better.

  55. Sea Mode

    Really, they tried this again?

    Tom Pelissero

    The #Packers and #Ravens both tried today to sign DT Snacks Harrison off Seattle’s practice squad, I’m told. Instead, Snacks — who was out of elevations — officially signed to the #Seahawks active roster and now will go try to get a ring.

    • DC

      Maybe we should retaliate by signing YN off of their active roster. That’ll show’em.
      “You can’t do that!”
      We just did… suckerzz

  56. Hoggs41

    Would be interested in what people think. Do people think the Seahawks will let Carson, Pocic, Griffin test free agency or sign before? I would say Pocic signs before and they let Carson and Griffin test. Also what do people think we will do with KJ?

    • Big Mike

      Agree with your feelings on Pocic. Being only a one year starter he will likely come at a reasonable price, maybe a 2 year deal. Griffin it’s tough to say. He’s certainly not worth upper level money but they also don’t have much at the position (as in pretty much no one else). They likely let him test because I think Pete still believes he can take lower round draft choices and make them quality CBs. Carson I think they let test too and ultimately I believe he comes back on a reasonable contract based on the positional value.

      • Big Mike

        As for KJ, this is pure speculation but my gut tells me he retires rather than not be offered a new contract or go elsewhere. With the quality of his play this year, it would be nice to see him go out on a high note.

    • cha

      Off the cuff prediction that will surely turn out to be wrong:

      Griffin is the 2020 version of Ifedi.

      A guy at a high-leverage position that has started for years and in his contract year, is putting up measurable statistics that put him among the worst players at his position. There’ll be talk about weighing cost and continuity and ultimately the contract he gets is shockingly low.

      • Hoggs41

        Griffin is for sure a tricky one. I could see him trying for a one year deal to improve his stock. I could also see them signing Dunbar to a one year deal as well if Griffin leaves leaving you with Flowers, Dunbar and Reed. Probably a good time to draft and develop a guy.

      • Pran

        well said.. Griffin = Ifedi. He may get decent money due to the position but not from Seattle.

      • pdway

        I think he’s significantly better at his position that Ifedi. he’s been worse this year – but the whole defense has been worse, and he’s just 25 y.o., so there is zero reason to think he’s physically regressed. Even in this, a down year, he’s had some excellent, athletic plays.

        His ceiling of play already higher than Ifedi ever reached. Don’t think he’ll get a superstar deal, but I’d be incredibly surprised if he ends up w a low-ball one year deal.

  57. SpaceXHawk

    Coming off a ProBowl Griffith has a huge opportunity ahead, wonder what he’s thinking? Is he thinking about what he’s lost this season or does he understand how far he’s come, recognizing he could financially solidify his family for a generation.

  58. bk matt

    why sint the fix just getting a proper centerfielder and letting him roam like we did Kam. If Adams can play robber like Kam its ideal, just need the ET remake, would that not work?

    • Chase

      1: Finding a certified HOF Safety with those kind of measurables are not as easy as you make it out to be, and 2: what Adams is best at are things that this scheme doesn’t call for from his position.

  59. Scot04

    Great article Rob and one that needed to be written.
    I hated the trade from the start. If they were going to make it, do it before the draft. I still wouldn’t have liked it, but would of hated it less.

    (Still I think Pete Carroll gave us the answer regarding Adams when he summarized Carlos Dunlap’s impact)

    “Someone has to factor in to be the problem (for an opponent).”
    In other words we did not have that player on our defense.

    We all knew the Seahawks didn’t have anything close to that prior to the Dunlap.
    While Dunlap isn’t an Aaron Donald type he’s better than anything we did have.
    You don’t trade two 1st round picks and a 3rd unless you are getting a difference maker/problem for other teams. Adams is not that player, especially in a Pete Carroll defense. Expecting a safety to be that player was a desperate move by the Seahawks, plus safety was not even a position of need. We needed players on the D-line to improve the Pass Rush.
    I 100% agree we need to make a decision on Adams by the end of the season and act accordingly. I just can’t see them making him fit. I hope I’m wrong.
    But if we can get a 2021 1st and a 2022 2nd you take it.

    • Big Mike

      I hope you’re right about what Pete said and how it relates to Adams. My gut says Pete will be stubborn like was the case with Graham, but that statement gives me hope that if things don’t change quite a bit over the next 6-10 games (see what I did there?) they may move on.
      Good post man.

      • Scot04

        Lol. Yes I would prefer they have another 9-10 games to evaluate him this season as well.

    • 12th chuck

      my guess is a 3 year back loaded deal for Adams. They have whiffed a few times for them to try and move on so quick

      • Rob Staton

        You don’t pay someone $18m a year, backloaded or not, just because you whiffed on a few high picks.

        • 12th chuck

          a few high picks and a few trades to go along with it. they wont let him go. I never said 18 million a year, I just think they will convince him to do a shorter term contract until the cap goes back up

          • Rob Staton

            They have no leverage in negotiations.

            It’s a pipe dream to think he will take a smaller or shorter deal to help them out.

            $16m is the bare minimum you are committing to per year.

  60. Bo4

    Hello 12’s! Loved the article!

  61. Mark

    I like your analysis Rob and I love reading your articles. Thanks for everything you do. If there’s one thing I will disagree with you on, it’s the criticism of Quandre Diggs. I can only think of one mistake he has made all season. And how much posts and streaks have this defense given up. His PFF grade is probably poor like you said because of how of much Jamal Adams is blitzing. Just imagine how bad h the defense would have been without him.

  62. SpaceXHawk

    Really liked your write up on the Hawks in mock draft article but I would think the concussions risk would disqualify your pick for Seattle, however 1 the other players suggested is probably going to be a Seahawk if a stud WR doesn’t surface @ #32

  63. Volume12

    He loves moving the goalposts.


  64. cha

    Marshawn Lynch is walking down the middle of the street in Hawaii, handing out full turkeys to passing cars.

    That is all.

    • Volume12

      I saw that. Love that dude. Forever 1 of my favorites.

    • Big Mike

      Beast is one of the more interesting people like, ever. Different duck but smart AF and a good hearted guy.

    • Lewis

      Feast mode, boss.

  65. Volume12

    Joe Burrows injury is awful. That’s potentially career altering or threatening. Not a QB blessed w/ physical gifts as it is. What do you now if your the Bengals?

    • Rob Staton

      Sign a capable veteran QB, build your OL and hope for the best.

    • cha

      Get Ryan Fitzpatrick’s phone number.

    • Scot04

      It will depend on what the doctors say, and If they feel he can make a full comeback.
      I think you have to let him totally recover. No reason to even think about trying to get him on the field for even a small portion of next season. Franchise quarterbacks are rare. Hopefully he can come back and play in 2022 and they just need a 1 year replacement. Hate to see anyone get injuries like that.

      • Volume12

        I do too man. Feel for the guy. I really do.

      • McZ

        TBH, he should be grateful, if he can ever walk again. This has to be his priority.

    • BobbyK

      Bengals should have drafted Damien Lewis in the 3rd round. They got Burrow a WR in the 2nd round, but if you’re going to draft a franchise QB… you’d better damn well protect him (especially when their OL sucks.

      I love Wilson as their 3rd round pick and don’t criticize the individual player. I’m just saying it’s irresponsible and outright stupid to draft a franchise QB (or what you hope is one) and do nothing to help the already bad OL via a 1-2 draft pick. You aren’t getting impact starters on day 3, so that third rounder would have made so much more sense to go OL because they’re not winning the Super Bowl anyway and having a decent OL gives their huge investment a better chance to succeed.

      • Volume12

        I agree. That O-line was worrisome from the start.

    • Gohawks5151

      I can’t believe how they are already saying that he will be ready for the start of next season. He got the Willis Mcgahee/Marcus Lattimore knee injury. Hard road ahead.

    • line_hawk

      I was beating the drum last year that he is going to get killed in AFC North. You need a physical brawler in that division; Burrow is more finesse. I didn’t see such a devastating injury but I didn’t think he would be able to handle the physical nature of the division. Put him in AFC East or AFC West or even NFC West and he would be fantastic.

  66. Rushless pass

    Maybe our next DC will know how to properly use Adams…wishful thinking 🤔

  67. Volume12

    What do you guys think about Justin Fields arm strength? There’s a guy on twitter watching & GIFing the ALL-22 tape trying to say he doesnt have an NFL arm. I’m not seeing what he is.

    • Rob Staton

      He clearly has talent. Like his personality too. No issue with his arm strength. Personally I would still be hesitant to draft him believing he’s going to turn my franchise around. But it’s November and opinions can change.

    • McZ

      There was talk on ESPN last week, in a piece about the Jets, how Lawrence cannot throw the deep ball with accuracy, and his numbers being inflated due to screens and a good receiver corps.

      It’s trash talk season.

  68. Steve

    Gregg Bell is a disgrace as a reporter. While almost half of the pressers are discussing injuries, what does he do? Ask about COVID testing and Thanksgiving. I swear Pete just smirks when these reporters ask questions about things unrelated to the pass rush, Jamal Adams’ progress so far, or the defense. Rob, I’m sure that if you were covering this team you would love to write a ledger all about players being 10 feet apart instead of 6 and what Pete’s favorite Thanksgiving topping. Smh..

    • Rob Staton


  69. cha

    Tuesday Press Conf w PC

    [bob condotta] Carson, Shaquille back? “Yes, all the regular practice stuff. Good sign.”
    [bob] What do this day? “Bonus practice day. Leads us out of the 4 day break and into the week.”

    [jackie] Long week how does that help w injuries? “Take adv of every day, these days really important. Guys bounced around pretty good today. Another day off for Thanksgiving.”
    [jackie] Carson Wentz this year? “Tough, big throws. Battling for division, he’s their leader. Big stud QB a lot like the guy from buffalo, tough to deal with.”

    [joe fann] Taylor practice today? “No.” This week? “Report from docs waiting on.”
    [joe fann] Parkinson get snaps? “Into rotation, no hesitation. Bright kid, picked up stuff, executed well. Gotta knock rust off. Game speed first time for him. Make him play to keep rotation going. Miss Greg, Colby will do best he can and help us.”

    [corbin] Iupati catalyst in run game? “This much experience and poise, helps everyone around him. Tough as can be, had to fight his way back. Helps w communication. Came in without Pocic last week, helped Damien with it. Step forward when Iupati back in there.”

    [curtis crab] Greg Olsen injury timeline? “Shoot for 4-6 weeks early end of that, see what happens. Still pretty sore right now.”
    [curtis crab] Why pass rush improving? “Dunlap knocks the pile back and creates lanes for other guys. Taken a step forward with things, helped guys. Jamal out there a factor too. Benson first time back, but very limited in the game. All those guys coming together and make sure we can keep the heat without pressure, but we still like pressuring.”

    [aj] mini bye week, film review Thursday liked about D? “Last 6 Quarters have been different. Guys step forward in owning what they’re doing, disguising well, utilizing package. Taken quite a while to get to that point. Philly we’ll see. Hoping we take a big step too. Couple extra practices. Communication and maximizing scheme.”

    [tim booth] Did Pocic get back to practice? “He did.”
    [tim] Brooks’ development? “Good ballplayer. Very explosive. Continues to learn, more in command of what he’s doing, he’s gonna be really good. Quiet toughness. Really thrilled about that pick and what he contributes.”
    [tim] WILL amplifies skills? “Bobby similar traits, run hard, tackle well, feels secure having those guys behind the LOS. Just getting started with pass rush with Jordyn too. Feel really good at WILL with Jordyn.”

    [art] Absence of fans affects concentration? “Not as much fun. Excitement. Playing here is such a thrill, our guys miss out on that. Serious mentality that goes on in stadiums. Fans can be a distraction. Home and away doesn’t change as much. Bigger factor on road before with fans. Think about teams coming here. Have to generate our own juice, feed the energy ourselves. Before game, during game, halftime. Crucially important.”

    [brady] RW and DK this summer work did, bonding thing? “Video’d workouts and sent to me. Duration of time spent. Lot of work on the field. All of the conversations around it too that really was a great benefit. Build relationship, communicate, spend time together, know the person. Just getting started.”
    [brady] Why clicked personality wise? “Common drive and mentality. Neither will back off. Push each other. So driven, share that and know each other is like that.”

    [gregg] NFL enhanced COVID protocols again? [cha ed…nah…]

    [bob] LJ Collier big plays from inside? Benefit from Dunlap? “yes, very active FB player. Motor, keeps bringing it. More space to make your presence known. Done well in running game too. Grown so much, much farther ahead than last year.”

    [michael shawn] Stephen Sullivan? “Hip flexor, hernia thing that needed surgery. One side, back to offense when he comes back. Terrific introduction to us, liked him on O, liked him on D, coaches were battling over him. Get him fixed up and have great offseason for us.”
    [michael] Mone back this year? “6 weeks…not sure. Still in a boot hobbling around.”

    [jackie] Sanders? “Explosive, amazing average for team. Wentz as an option to bust him in the clear. Miles runs inside outside with QB involved, so it’s hard.”

    [ben] Dunlap fitting in with teammates? “Having a blast. Upbeat, spirited, having fun. More than willing to do the work, get his reps, pleasant personality. Brings a good spirit. Attitude excellent, different than what he’s been around.”
    [ben] Penny this week? “Not this week, getting ready to make call, very close. Really good chance opp next week. He’s excited feels good.”

    [jessamyn] RB group as a whole right now? “Carson and Hyde out there together. Makes it a full room. Battling and competing all the way. Homer banged up, wrist sore, can’t get there. Attitude Homer and Dallas bring to room, admirable. Great spirit. All tough guys. Great room. Big time.”

    [curtis crab] Brandon Shell ankle? Homer/Bo? “Shell still hobbling, close call to the game. Needs every day. We’ll see. Bo needs surgery, tore hamstring. Homer really sore. Not sure extended weeks. Got to get him to block.”
    [curtis] Shell high ankle? “yes.”

    • Rob4q

      Thanks again for these Cha!

    • Rob Staton

      Can’t believe fans got their hopes up on Darrell Taylor. He’s been out for a year. Let’s just hope he can make an impact in 2021 after two years without football.

      There’s a reason some people had him pegged as an UDFA. This was a serious injury flag.

      • BobbyK

        Not only did they waste a 2nd round pick on him, but they also traded a 3rd round pick for the opportunity to waste a pick on him. How can medical people be that bad? It’s not all the fault of Covid either because that something they needed to know prior to the lockdown.

        • Rob Staton


        • BobbyK

          Would have sucked to have drafted a contributor like Jeremy Chinn or Logan Wilson or DaVon Hamilton with that pick and then be forced to actually have a pick to use in the 3rd round.

      • pdway

        that’s a drag – does seem like we’re not seeing him this year.

        positive news on Shell though.

        felt bad for Scarborough on that injury, all kinds of bad things can happen at the end of plays.

      • Big Mike

        Yep Pete’s rainbows and unicorns assessment of Taylor last week isn’t quite so rosy today. Surprise…….not. Wonder if we’ll ever see him in a Hawks uni?

        • Elmer

          Not this year IMO. If he can’t be ready by training camp next year it may be never. I hope he makes it back healthy. This demonstrates the risk of drafting athletic potential with injury history. I hope to be proven wrong.

      • Spencer Duncan

        Who had him pegged as a UDFA? I didnt realize it was that bad.

        • Rob Staton

          There was talk within the draft media.

          Part of the problem was coronavirus was preventing anyone doing any serious medical checks.

    • charlietheunicorn

      Thanks for all you do on here cha.

      Every time I start reading these, I remember why I don’t go out of my way to listen to the press conferences. There were a few fair questions, but nothing we would consider hard hitting “new york” press types of questions. Damn, they are great to listen to… especially when you have a fiery coach like Rex Ryan in town…… the back and forth were instant classics.

    • Sea Mode

      Off. and Def. coaches “battling over Sullivan” lol c’mon Pete…

  70. Bmseattle

    No Taylor yet, huh?

  71. Gohawks5151

    I can’t believe how they are already saying that he will be ready for the start of next season. He got the Willis Mcgahee/Marcus Lattimore knee injury. Hard road ahead.

    • Gohawks5151

      Dang. That was response for V12 about Burrow

      • dream22

        Those injuries were 15 years ago or more, surgeries and recoveries have come a long way since then. I don’t think he will be 100% for start of the season but pretty close.

        • charlietheunicorn

          Medical procedures and practices have certainty improved. As Alex Smith experienced, these types of injuries are still very tricky and could lead to complications that are career threatening. In Alex’s case, he had a life threatening complication.

          I find it hard to believe he will be 100% and ready to go week #1 in 2021. I wouldn’t roll him out until he was absolutely ready to go 100%. He showed enough, with a very poor team around him, to give him a shot at being a franchise QB guy. Burrow (and Herbert) future is bright for young QBs in the NFL.

  72. charlietheunicorn


    The semi finalist list for the HoF is absolutely amazing.


    • Rob Staton

      Fantastic list.

  73. cha

    Eagles game watch points

    Well here we are. The Hawks are 7-3 and coming off a good but not great win against the Cardinals. Due to the schedule they got a couple extra days of rest to get some injuries patched up and are ready to face an Eagles team that just can’t catch a break this season. The Seahawks are 5-0 in the last 5 years when playing Philly. This feels like a game where the Seahawks can and will win, and be in control the majority of the time, but might not necessarily be a blowout. Another rubber stamping of their last two 17-9 wins perhaps. Time to build some momentum.

    Oddly enough, the watch points for the offense and defense are identical:

    Front 7, stop the run.
    The Eagles’ OL is in tatters. Literally, in shreds. They have lost 39 games to injury along the OL so far this year.

    Carson Wentz is having a year that is making grown men cry and because of his contract situation, he couldn’t get benched if he tried:

    40+ sacks, 10+ INTs, and 10+ fumbles thru the first 10 games of a season:
    David Carr, 2002
    Carson Wentz, 2020

    Meanwhile, as a team they’re incredibly effective in the running game:

    They’re #3 in the NFL in yards per carry as a team.

    And Miles Sanders is putting up numbers that compete with the top backs in the NFL:

    5.7 yards per carry

    29% of his carries are resulting in first downs

    Given that information, the game plan strategy is pretty obvious, right? Let your run game take some of the pressure off of your QB who is trying to earn that massive contract with every throw and only digging himself deeper? Nope:

    YTD, Philly’s offense is running a 64/36 pass/run ratio, good for 4th highest pass % in the league

    And that, dear reader, is how the Eagles get games like last week’s vs Cleveland:

    Carson Wentz has 2 INTs, 4 sacks, a pick six, and a safety.
    Since 2015, the only other QBs to have a game like that are Jay Cutler, Kevin Hogan, and Baker Mayfield

    The light for Doug Pederson is starting to come on, though. Sunday they had a 35/25 pass/run ratio, and with tensions rising, a division title still up for grabs, a full scale teardown in 2021 looming and his job security being questioned 2+ years after delivering a Super Bowl win, there’s a thought that he might actually turn to using his excellent ground game in an attempt to pick up a square inch of breathing room.

    Don’t let them. Front 7, you guys have a job. Sanders is incredibly dangerous between the tackles. Reed, Poona and Collier, you have to run blitz effectively. Snacks, clog the middle. Bobby and Brooks, shoot those gaps. KJ, sniff out those screens like the bloodhound you are. And everybody, your run tackling must be on point.

    If the Eagles can’t establish the run, the game falls on Wentz’ shoulders, and applying pressure with 4 will not be too much to ask. Just the threat of Jamal Adams and/or the LBs blitzing will provide opportunities for turnovers.

    Offense, establish the run and dominate.
    The Eagles are 25th in the league in rush defense.

    They’ve conceded an average of 150 rushing yards their last 6 games. They haven’t conceded fewer than 133 rushing yards in that stretch.

    Their LBs are an injured, ineffective mess.

    This game here, with Carson and Hyde very likely active, is a perfect opportunity to keep the momentum of offensive balance going. Nick Chubb tenderized the Eagle tacklers last week for you. Now, crush their souls. Break tackles. Run around, past and through them. Give your defense a couple scores to work with. That will supply them with some juice to attack this pathetic excuse of an offense with aggression. Own this team and establish some dominance.

    CBs, let’s see a solid game in one on one matchups.
    Griffin should be back, Flowers is improving but still vulnerable. Will Reed be taking Flowers’ spot? Ugo makes a smart tackle or two per game. This is not a game where the Seahawks are facing a well-oiled offense with a QB who can read your coverage and blitzes, and then pick you apart. We don’t want to hear about our injured DBs and the struggles they’re having communicating and working together, or see how you can view the WR lining up on the TV screen but can’t see the CB because he’s so far off the ball. You cannot give the WRs so much cushion they can take that 6 yard out time and time again to gain some offensive momentum. And if you decide to play it that way, you better bring the WR down yourself every single time. A punch to the football would be a cherry on top, but we’ll settle for a solo tackle.

    RW, find the one on one matchups and exploit their CBs.
    Eagle CBs are not having a good season:

    Their top 4 CBs are conceding a 74% completion percentage, a 106 QB rating and have 17 missed tackles

    This team is a mess in coverage. They have 3 INTs on the whole season. There will be plenty of opportunities.

    Cre’von Leblanc is likely out for Sunday.

    Darius Slay is conceding a 101 QB rating. He’ll probably cover DK Metcalf a lot. Offense, forget that he’s a 3x Pro Bowler and a 1x All Pro. He’s not having a good year. Throw at him.

    Nickell Robey-Coleman is giving up a whopping 113QB rating and has missed 7 tackles.

    They blitz 22% of their plays. Is it effective? Oh my goodness. Look at what happens when the Eagles blitz:

    They have 0 INTs, allow a whopping 112 QBR, and concede a first down an insane 38% of time they blitz

    Russell, the challenge you’ll face is to wipe the drool from your mouth when you line up behind center. Take it easy and play smart. Know where Brandon Graham is. Take your customary 5-6 yards on a scramble when it’s presented to you. Let’s have a breakout game for Will Dissly, it’s time. Audible to runs when they try to double cover. Establish some play action and take some shots.

    • James Cr.

      Cha – these are absolutely fabulous write-ups. Thanks for taking the time in doing these.

    • Rob Staton

      Superb write-up yet again

    • Big Mike

      “Outstanding” from me too cha. Really appreciate the time and effort and knowledge.

    • charlietheunicorn

      So you are saying, let Russ cook…. again.

      Get the play action passing game going…… make play-action great again?

      • charlietheunicorn

        Check that, going to be raining on Monday during the game. No snow fortunately.
        Let Carson cook. 😉

    • Scot04

      Another great watchpoints post cha. Greatly appreciated

    • Bo4

      Seems like a good spot to get the TE’s into the grove & play it safe with RW the WR’s. Defense needs to dominate this game to get the MOJO!

    • L80

      I’m doing the Cha, Cha, Cha.

  74. BobbyK

    Rob – I saw this quote earlier today and you were one of the people I thought of. You have this blog you’ve done such a good job. You love the Seahawks and don’t really make any money but it doesn’t matter because you’re a fan – like many of us. Then there’s these (few) idiot trolls who probably are miserable people or worthless contributors to society who can ruin things… but they aren’t worth it:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    Teddy Roosevelt

    re: this blog… TR was talking about you. And the clowns who have a problem with you questioning the defense are the losers. Really, that’s about it.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Bob, I really appreciate that 👏🏻

  75. BobbyK

    Rob – another question/comment…

    Lets pretend this whole Jamal Adams thing works out (Seahawks keep him), do you see any potential FS who could be drafted at the end of the 2nd round who can cover more ground than Diggs to actually allow the Hawks to keep using Adams the way they do? Dumb, I know. But – as you’ve repeatedly said – this is a spot for discussion.

    Heck – they could sign Earl Thomas as a coverage only FS and draft someone else in the 2nd round… talk about crazy in 2021!!!

    • charlietheunicorn

      I’m going to throw this out there… ET ain’t coming back.
      He is likely a few bulbs short of a chandelier.

      I’m very interested in how they will fill the 2 CB spots in 2021.

      • Rob Staton

        The league has retired Earl Thomas

    • Rob Staton

      Nobody with eraser range but I like Andre Cisco and Paris Ford.

      • McZ

        Second both of those guys, especially Cisco.

        Outside bet: Israel Mukuamu, who has played safety, then converted to CB. Lots of range and a tough guy.

    • McZ

      I would hate drafting a S, I want them to add Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota.

      He is 6’8, a very good athlete for that size, but needs to work on his technique. Perfect pick to develop behind Duane Brown or take over RT and then switch.

    • Sea Mode

      Colts declined Malik Hooker’s 5th year option. A 1-year prove-it deal might be a possibility and shouldn’t be too expensive given all of his injuries:

      2017: Labrum and hernia surgeries forced him to miss the Combine
      2017: Torn ACL, MCL
      2018: Hip and foot injuries
      2019: Torn meniscus
      2020: Torn Achilles.

      He did still make 27 starts in 2018 (14) and 2019 (13) before tearing his Achilles in week 2 this year, so it’s not like he hasn’t played at all though.

      He was a true eraser and ballhawk coming out of college. Might be worth a shot if the price stays low. I imagine he should be back in time for next season given the injury happened so early this season.

  76. Mick

    Rob, big fan of your blog, discovered it before the draft and I’ve been reading it daily since then.

    My question to you and to everyone else, if you could get one player to the Hawks, any position from any team, who would you go for?

    • Scot04

      Give me Aaron Donald please!!!!

      • Big Mike


  77. charlietheunicorn

    Fox/Q13 has Seahawks in 60 on.. replay of the Cardinals game. Delicious.

  78. GoHawksDani

    They can’t really keep Adams.
    That would likely mean: you have really limited draft ammo (R2 and later rounds only), and depending on how much they wanna backload his contract pretty much between 0 and like 10m CAP space after some cuts and restructures. And this is when you still didn’t re-sign Carson, Griffin, Pocic. And your other corner is Flowers, and your SAM is Barton? 😀

    They could backload his contract, re-structure some, let both CC and Griffin walk, re-sign Pocic, sign a speedy EDGE, sign some cheaper CB for depth, backload all new contracts, play Adams as SAM mostly, play Brooks at WILL and Bobby at MIKE. Neal at SS, Diggs at FS, draft a CB in R2. Play Flowers/FA on one side and rookie on the other.

    Or if they wanna keep Adams they could trade Bobby. That would release CAP and get us some compensation. Maybe an R2 or R3? He’s a really good LB but with this defense now he’s struggling some. We could draft a will or mike in R3-R5 whoever is good enough and available there. Brooks could play the other position. With the new money we could get a DE and CB. Draft also a CB and maybe a DT later.

    Tbh I’d try to trade Adams. For 1st and 2nd (pick for 2021? or ’22 could work also) or 1st and 3rd I’d pull the trigger. I may even try to trade Bobby too. If we can get an R2 for him great. I’d may even do it for an R3. We’d have picks and cash. Get 1-2 DE and a CB in FA. Maybe even a safety, maybe a DT too if we have the money. Then in the draft go for DL and CB and maybe TE, WR. Or if there’s a good LT prospect go for it. Brown can play forever, we’d need the successor in a couple of years.

    • AlaskaHawk

      The question in my mind is why would anyone trade anything for him when they will be able to pick him up as a free agent a month later? After all, the big question is how much money they will pay him. That is the problem the Seahawks and any other team will have. Is he worth 18 million a year? I don’t think so, but if you add draft picks too, the trade becomes even worse.

      In some ways I feel like PC is subconsciously sabotaging this team with his draft picks.

      • GoHawksDani

        If a team is in love with him they might trade so other teams can’t get him. Hawks could franchise him so hitting the market is not a guaranteed.
        Not sure anyone would trade for him but I hope

  79. Chris

    If the Patriots are interested, I don’t see why compensation would be an issue: they’re not reaching the playoffs.

    • Rob Staton

      They’re likely picking too early to give up a R1.

      • DC

        I’d take their 2022 1st and 3rd and 2021 2nd

        • Rob Staton

          They don’t have a QB for the long term. They wouldn’t make that deal.

    • Scot04

      U need to think playoff teams that will feel he might be the piece they need. A blitzing team like Rob proposed in his write up. Miami, Ravens or Buccaneers.
      Miami has like 10 picks. Two 1sts and Two 2nds.
      Maybe their pick in the 20s and a 3rd.
      Dream scenario would be their lower 1st and lower 2nd round picks. Seahawks would be extremely lucky to get that package for 2021.

  80. Rob Staton



    I don’t know what’s worse. Smelling like a chicken sandwich, or literally everything else about this video.

    • AlaskaHawk

      OMG – I had no idea. Our quarterback smells like a chicken sandwich. Now even the blind defensive players can find him! This is funny on so many different levels. What’s next?

    • EP

      I’ll say it, they’re absolute freaks. Thank god he’s actually good at football.

  81. Happy Hawk

    Great article. Good teams and good coaches assess the talents and strengths of their personnel and design strategies/game plans to take advantage of and maximize their potential. Adams is a 24 year old Pro Bowler with an unique skill set. If they keep him they have to change their approach. Maybe it is time to move on from the “keep everything in front of you” and “bend not break” defense we have been running out for the last decade. No surprise here that teams know how to take advantage of so predictable of a defense. scheme. If they decide to trade him get something reasonable back but still think they need to have a fresh approach to their defense.

  82. clbradley17

    Great article Rob. Scary to think that we only have 8 million availabe after draft picks, etc. to sign about 20 more players since only 34 are signed for next year. Needing 20-30 mil. in addition to the 8 to sign all those players, it seems almost necessary to trade Adams and BW, + renegotiate/extend Dunlap and several others. Griffin, Dunbar and Carson would be out since they may want close to or more than double digits mil. per year. Have heard Poona is an RFA and could be tagged as a 2nd round RFA like Hollister was for the 3+ mil.. Better giving that to a starting/rotational DT than a 3rd string TE.

    Would want to retain Ryan Neal and several others who have played avg. to well in spots this year for vet. min. if possible. May need to sign Fuller at C rather than Pocic if Pocic is looking for a larger contract. Would have liked to have seen Randall play well at safety when he came off the practice squad a few weeks ago and he may still be an option. What are some cuts or re-signs you’d like to see us make so we can sign almost 20 players needed to get to 53 for 2021?

    • AlaskaHawk

      After rereading the article I’ve realized that the Seahawks simply can’t afford Adams. What were they thinking? Maybe that they would be like the other teams that are over the cap? Anyway = 16 million is both too high for his worth and also not within the Seahawks budget.

      The unfortunate fact is that they have greater needs on the defensive line and cornerback positions. And the linebackers aren’t getting any younger. It is safe to say that many of the players acquired on one year deals will be gone this spring.

      So – it looks like a trade no matter how well he plays.

  83. Jamho3

    The reason why Diggs play is down is because Adams play is down.

    We have Diggs playing single high vs a team that was bad at rushing the passer for a number of games AND with 2 injured DB’s Dunbar was very much injured PRIOR to the Buffalo game.

    Along with Adams who so far has shown to be a below average coverage safety as compared to McDougald who was very good in coverage last year.

    Playing single high is already an impossible job then when you combine it with the other circumstances of course Diggs is going to look bad.

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