My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball

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My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:01 pm
  • Aka the extremely premature, half baked attempt to guess what Seattle's 2014 offseason plan might resemble.

    Seattle's offseason plan is pretty simple, lock up a few major contributors while freeing up money that can be rolled over to absorb some of the incoming Russell Wilson / Richard Sherman 2nd contract tidal wave.

    Players I expect to be released due to cash considerations:

    Chris Clemons:

    Even if Clemons unexpectedly has a big year in 2013, the fact is that the market for older pass rushers is virtually non-existent. John Abraham had a huge season yet only got 1 year, $3 million. Osi Umenyiora isn't even that old, and he didn't get a major deal. After his big 2010 season, Raheem Brock went untouched in FA until the Seahawks brought him back dirt cheap very late in the process. There is almost no way that Seattle pays Clemons $7.5 million. The cap hit to make him go away is $2.17 million. If Clemons plays well this year, restructure could be an option.

    Sidney Rice:

    This one is iffy. One the one hand, Rice is making $8.5 million next year and $9 million after that, with a very low dead money figure ($2.4 million next year / $1.2 million after that). On the other hand, Rice is a good player who is in his prime, and we don't really have a replacement for him yet. If Seattle drafts a big multi-purpose WR like Brandon Coleman, that might free them up to unload Rice and his salary. Given the gap between his salary and protected money, Rice is a prime candidate for restructure.

    If Rice hits FA upon being released, Seattle needs to maintain a good relationship and stay on it. It's not unheard of for a player to get released because of money and end up signing back (Trufant in 2012, etc). Rice's value around the league is lower than he deserves- remember too that this is a guy who didn't catch almost any interest as a FA in 2011. If Seattle can keep Rice for maybe half (or less) of his current earnings, that is a big win for the team. Our being a major superbowl favorite every year might tone down some of the bitterness over being released, too.

    Personally, I think Rice is worth the money, the only reason he's being targeted is because of our depth at the position, and our financial needs elsewhere.

    Red Bryant:

    Bryant's contract has a roster bonus coming up in 2014, which creates incentive to get out of his contract before that date. Bryant was one of our worst defenders last season, and also the highest paid. Sure, he was hurt, and yes, he's a great person and an important team leader. But there is a reason why Seattle signed Michael Bennett and is trying Jaye Howard at the 5-tech... they simply need more pass rush from the position and that will never be Bryant's MO.

    Unlike most of his teammates, Bryant's reputation outside of Seattle actually exceeds his true performance level, so there could actually be some trade potential if the Seahawks decide to go that route. I doubt they'd get more than a mid-to-late round pick, but that's hardly anything to downplay given Seattle's day 3 success.

    Trade talks to consider:

    Doug Baldwin:

    This one is obvious. Even after a down year in 2012, interest around the league is still very high for Baldwin's services (as revealed by JS in a recent radio interview). Baldwin was primed for a bounce-back year even before Harvin's surgery opened doors. An RFA in 2014, Seattle can slap a 2nd round tender for very little potential cap cost and wait for the phone to ring. We might not get a team to sign Baldwin for the 2nd rounder outright, but I'd bet more than a few teams would offer a 3rd / 4th.

    Baldwin is a good player and worth keeping long term if he can stay cheap. That's an option too. However, I suspect that Baldwin's reputation and value around the league is just too high for that to be realistic. A UFA Doug Baldwin would probably have value similar to Danny Amendola, who just received a 5/31 contract this Spring. Seattle is already overbudget at WR, even if they release Rice outright money will still be tight there (especially since no team in the NFL uses their WRs less than Seattle).

    Richard Sherman:

    Sherman becomes extension eligible in 2014, and I suspect that's when we'll see him get his huge 2nd contract. However, I do not expect his contract negotiations to be smooth. Sherman will want to be the highest paid CB in the game, and with the silly deal Tampa gave Revis, that will be a challenge. If Seattle gave Sherman that kind of money, he'd have to play at an all-pro level just to break even in terms of value per dollar, and that's just not worth it, especially on a roster that is loaded with quality CBs. Seattle can't afford to saddle themselves with a contract that is all downside, and I'm sure they'll fight to avoid such an outcome.

    I am fairly certain that Seattle extends and keeps Sherman, probably on a deal that emphasizes guaranteed money. However, just like the process of extending Felix Hernandez, trade discussions will be a part of the process. The team will keep all options open. If extension talks are very far apart and a very good trade offer is on the table, Seattle might consider it.

    For the record, I'd be fine with dealing Sherman for the right price, even though he's one of my favorite players. The money saved as well as the draft picks earned could make it the equivalent of a 4 good players for 1 type deal, or, Seattle could maybe package Sherman in an attempt to land an NFL superstar at a different position (JJ Watt, Geno Atkins, etc). I don't think this happens. I think Sherman stays and has a HoF career here. I do think the possibility will be explored though, and it could potentially be worth exploring, depending on the situation.

    Marshawn Lynch:

    Lynch is the heart of the offense, but it's conceivable that he might not even be the best RB on the team anymore, if Michael stays healthy and grows into an NFL job. Lynch is also one of the higher paid RBs in the NFL, so trading him would really help in terms of cap relief. If Seattle believes that Michael/Turbin/Ware can handle the job without Lynch, this is a trade option that should be explored. This is nothing against Lynch at all, but we may not need him after this season and Seattle needs to find relatively painless ways to free cash up for Sherman, Wilson, and others.

    Extensions:

    Richard Sherman, as outlined above.

    Earl Thomas, who can probably expect a tiny pay raise.

    Retained free agents:

    Michael Bennett, if he makes Bryant expendable.

    Breno Giacomini, on a short contract. Unless he struggles, or Alvin Bailey beasts his way into a starting job.

    Lemuel Jeanpierre, on a minimum contract.

    Whoever wins between Quinn/Tjack.

    Real Rob stays on a cheap 1 year deal. Unless Ware shows he can play FB by then.

    Walter Thurmond. Thurmond is the steal of 2014 free agency, and I suspect only PC/JS know about it.

    Anthony McCoy. It sucks getting hurt and IR'd without playing a single down in your first contract year. That really helps his chances of staying in Seattle, though.

    Lost free agents (the notable ones):

    Paul McQuistan, we are loaded at guard and Alvin Bailey looks very promising as a swing lineman.

    Brandon Browner. I think Browner is in the same boat that John Carlson was in a couple years back. Seattle appeared to have long term plans for Carlson, but Minnesota ended up overpaying and that was that. Matt Hasselbeck was a similar case. Somebody will pay Browner (what he deserves). I don't see it being us. The pay raise made me more suspicious that the team will have Browner test FA next year- buying a little loyalty now could pay off if Browner ends up being affordable on the market. I don't think he'll be overlooked though. I think somebody (maybe Jerry Jones or a similarly aggressive GM) opens the pocketbook.

    Golden Tate. If I was the GM, I would have extended Tate the instant the 2012 season ended. I sense that the entire league is undervaluing Tate, and perhaps the Seahawks sense that and are trying to get cute because of it. I think Tate's going to snap Seattle's streak without a 1000 yard receiver this season and command more money in 2014 free agency then PC/JS are anticipating. And we'll lose him because of it. It sucks, but it is what it is. Thankfully, PC/JS have an awesome track record with WR talent, so I'm not worried. Also, Wilson is the kind of QB that looks elite throwing to scrubs. I hope they keep Tate, but if they lose him, I'll eventually get over it. It will suck. A lot. But I'll get over it.

    A few players in the draft I think Seattle might have a watchful eye on:

    Brandon Coleman. Coleman has top 10 pick upside, but his tape can resemble Chris Harper's at times. He doesn't really know how to fight for the football or work back for the catch, and his catching technique needs a lot of work. Even with those problems though, Coleman has been putting up monster numbers. That combination of traits could make him a bit like next year's draft stock version of Cordarrelle Patterson, where nobody doubts the talent, but question marks cause him to slide into the late 1st. Seattle desperately needs a big multi-purpose outside WR to replace Rice.

    Austin Seferian Jenkins. With Zach Miller's long term health a question mark and his contract a burden, Seattle needs to find a new #1 tight end. Unfortunately, good tight ends are almost as uncommon as good defensive tackles, and the promising ones almost always go in the first four rounds. Fortunately, a recent draft trend has the top tight ends leaving the board in the late 1st round, which means Seattle might have a shot at getting ASJ, especially if his DUI/suspension impacts his season or draft stock. ASJ is very good blocker, a very sure set of hands, a terrific route runner, and also, he's very big. I don't really see him having Tony Gonzalez type production in the NFL, but I do think he's about as good as you could ask for in a station to station offense like Seattle's.

    Anthony Barr. This is probably a pipe dream. Barr will probably hear his name called hours before Seattle picks. But then again, wasn't Matt Barkley supposed to hear his name called hours before Seattle picked in 2013? A lot can change in a year. Barr would be a monster in Seattle's SAM/LEO setup, and that looks to be an area of need next offseason.

    Colt Lyerla: Seattle likes weird players, and they also like beastly YAC machines who run through people. Lyerla is not a TE you see every day. I'm not nearly as upbeat on Lyerla as some, but his appeal to Seattle figures to be strong.

    Will Sutton: A disruptive 3-tech, I'm guessing that Sutton ends up a 2nd round pick, but I think he has 1st round talent, and he fits what Seattle needs pretty well.

    Overall, I see Seattle as targeting pass rush or WR/TE next season. Pass rush because it's an area that's still a work in progress, and WR/TE because Seattle is too expensive there but doesn't yet have the means to move on from Rice and Miller without creating new problems.
    Last edited by kearly on Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:20 pm
  • YEAH WILL SUTTON DO IT SEATTLE LISTEN TO KEARLY

    I think you are right about Tate; they should have extended him cheaply when they had the chance. I think that with Harvin gone, he is going to explode for over 1000 and 9/10 TDs. Someone will pay him 7M a year, and sadly, that won't be us.

    I think also that if Stephen Williams flashes at all in the regular season, Rice is (sadly) as good as gone.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:25 pm
  • No idea if its true or not, but Big Suke (Portland sports radio honk) said that he saw Will Sutton at the Pac 12 media day last week and that Sutton put on a ton of weight, and that its definatly not good weight. I hope he's wrong, cuz Sutton is a favorite of mine as well.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:07 pm
  • It's pretty common for O-line / D-line to be overweight this time of year. In my case, I lost 30 pounds every August back when I was playing.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:18 am
  • So you don't think Miller is in danger of being restructured/released next year? OTC says he is due $7M with $2M in dead money. I know he is very valuable, but that's a decent chunk of savings for a guy with bad numbers. Obviously, he isn't asked to produce much or his numbers would be better, but that could be another case for restructuring.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:36 am
  • Lyerla is 260 and 6% BF, not sure why you continue to not like him as a TE. Yes he's not like other TE, he's as close to Grong as there has been. If he played at a school who featured him as the main weapon, he would easily have 1000 yds and 15 tds.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:47 pm
  • Not a huge fan of Will Sutton personally.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:55 pm
  • Kearly, what do you think about Chris Coyle at TE? Worth a mid-round look or no?

    Personally, I love the guy's ability to find open space, but I know that as a blocker he is really iffy at this point. Do we even need him with Willson on the team?

    I am also wearing maroon-and-gold colored glasses when talking about both he and Sutton (though Sutton is legit in every way, I really do think, if I step back a bit)
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:59 pm
  • EverydayImRusselin wrote:So you don't think Miller is in danger of being restructured/released next year? OTC says he is due $7M with $2M in dead money. I know he is very valuable, but that's a decent chunk of savings for a guy with bad numbers. Obviously, he isn't asked to produce much or his numbers would be better, but that could be another case for restructuring.


    Yes I do. Miller inexplicably slipped my mind somehow.

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    CPHawk wrote:Lyerla is 260 and 6% BF, not sure why you continue to not like him as a TE. Yes he's not like other TE, he's as close to Grong as there has been. If he played at a school who featured him as the main weapon, he would easily have 1000 yds and 15 tds.


    Lyerla's 246, and blocks like it.* I like Lyerla a lot after the catch, it's everything else that makes me think he's not really an NFL TE. Just like how Dion Jordan wasn't really a DE (I liked Jordan a lot as a SAM LB type or maybe even a DB - at CB he'd be a lot like a more extreme Brandon Browner). Lyerla is just the latest guy who is benefiting from the wave of hype Pete Carroll and Chip Kelly have created for terrific athletes who change positions. Right now, upside is the #1 commodity in the draft process, even if that upside requires imagination and risk. But based on what he's done right now, I'd give him a 1st round grade as an athlete, and a much lower grade as a TE. Cordarrelle Patterson (the WR) was a similar story for me last year.

    * (It's been a while since I broke his stuff down, but I remember that he sucked as a blocker unless a certain condition was true, and if it was, he was pretty good. It might have been that he was a really good run blocker and a no-effort pass blocker, or vice-versa. Can't remember. I just remember thinking that his blocking needed to be worked on, and that he showed occasional flashes of being a good blocker. It was almost as if he was a good blocker when he wanted to be one.)

    When I watch Lyerla, I almost feel like I'm watching Toby Gerhart's twin playing a new position. Gerhart is a bit smaller, but he was a beast as a short yardage type RB. It hasn't really translated in the NFL, but in college, he was a major force with the ball in his hands. He was hard to bring down. Kelly likes to experiment with his players, and he had Lyerla all over the place. To me, Lyerla looked most natural by far at RB. I don't know if he's an NFL RB, but I do feel like that's his most comfortable role on an offense. As a TE, he often looks like a fish out of water until the ball is in his hands. After that, he looks great.

    theENGLISHseahawk wrote:Not a huge fan of Will Sutton personally.


    I like him, but I can see some cracks in the foundation. Seems a little too one dimensional as a rusher and his run defense leaves a lot to be desired. Also the Pac-12 has kind of been the Trojan horse conference for pass rushers historically. Offensive line play in the Pac-12 is pretty bad relative to most other major conferences. I do think he'll create pressure up the middle though, and might be had for a 2nd or 3rd round pick. Pac-12 connection. I'd bet that Seattle is following him pretty close. He has pretty similar pluses and minuses to Jordan Hill, actually, except with more explosiveness and production.

    Kearly, what do you think about Chris Coyle at TE? Worth a mid-round look or no?


    I just watched a little of his stuff and I'm not seeing any magic. Really terrible blocker (which you'd expect at 240 pounds with skinny limbs), and he wasn't getting open very often. Given Seattle's emphasis on the run game, I just can't see them carrying two joker TEs, and Luke Willson is far superior (as a prospect) in every way, so I don't think Seattle would draft him. If they did get Coyle, I think he'd only make our roster if our TE group was a M.A.S.H. unit.

    The Seahawks have targeted bigger TE's pretty much exclusively. Willson and McGrath are the smallest I'm aware of, and they are 251 / 247 pounds respectively. Though I guess you could count Kellen Winslow (240 lbs). Winlsow is just 6'2" though, so he's bulkier than most 240 pound TEs.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:40 pm
  • Bennett is gonna blow up this year.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:12 am
  • Lyerla just tweeted his weight about a month ago and he was at 260. Fwiw Dion had 3 sacks in Miami first scrimmage, two against their starting tackle who started against us last year.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:55 am
  • Kearly, you're probably right about Coyle. Willson is a better physical prospect. While I do mildly disagree in that I think Coyle, while lacking speed and quickness, finds spots fairly adeptly and has good hands, yeah, his blocking is atrocious and we already have a better TE in that mold.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:48 am


  • Best pass rusher not named Clowney.

    If he's there at 32, we take him.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:50 pm
  • kearly wrote:Golden Tate. If I was the GM, I would have extended Tate the instant the 2012 season ended. I sense that the entire league is undervaluing Tate, and perhaps the Seahawks sense that and are trying to get cute because of it. I think Tate's going to snap Seattle's streak without a 1000 yard receiver this season and command more money in 2014 free agency then PC/JS are anticipating. And we'll lose him because of it. It sucks, but it is what it is. Thankfully, PC/JS have an awesome track record with WR talent, so I'm not worried. Also, Wilson is the kind of QB that looks elite throwing to scrubs. I hope they keep Tate, but if they lose him, I'll eventually get over it. It will suck. A lot. But I'll get over it.

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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:44 pm
  • CPHawk wrote:Lyerla just tweeted his weight about a month ago and he was at 260. Fwiw Dion had 3 sacks in Miami first scrimmage, two against their starting tackle who started against us last year.


    Everything that's out there to scout him on is him at 246. If he really is 260, lets see how that effects his game this season.

    What pass rushers do in early August is completely irrelevant, just ask Nick Reed or Corderro Law. I actually like Dion Jordan a ton as a LB prospect- he'd be like a much more talented version of KJ Wright. I think that's where Jordan ends up eventually, though it makes sense to give him plenty of chances at DE to see if it works out as DE has higher positional value.
    Last edited by kearly on Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:16 pm
  • SDHawk wrote:

    Best pass rusher not named Clowney.

    If he's there at 32, we take him.


    Agreed. His combination of explosion on the snap, coupled with his ability to use his arms to get a decisive advantage early in his rush is amazing. I watched him just after watching Ra'shede Hageman and the difference in quality is instantly recognizable. And that quality doesn't diminish whether he's lined up over the guard or outside the tackle.

    Lynch is one I'll be expecting to be an absolute beast. He could easily play his way out of our scope come draft day.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:36 pm
  • I semi-agree with you on Tate. I think he's going to give us the production we anticipated from Harvin. He screams, screams, SCREAMS.. "contract year star".. I mean the blueprint is all there.

    But I think that's mainly why we will lose him. I just think he's going to be spectacular this season and raise the eyes of a team with a need and a lot of cash to spend.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:31 am
  • I'll admit, Dion Jordan looked pretty good in that first preseason game. He did look quite a bit like Mathias Kiwanuka out there- a common pre-draft NFL comparison. Already Jordan looks like a different player than at Oregon. Preseason is garbage time for pass rushers, but I do think he looks better/different. Not as stiff, more fluid. Still fast. He's still 1 dimensional as a rusher, but better in that one area.
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Re: My 2014 Seahawks crystal ball
Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:04 pm
  • kearly wrote:I'll admit, Dion Jordan looked pretty good in that first preseason game. He did look quite a bit like Mathias Kiwanuka out there- a common pre-draft NFL comparison. Already Jordan looks like a different player than at Oregon. Preseason is garbage time for pass rushers, but I do think he looks better/different. Not as stiff, more fluid. Still fast. He's still 1 dimensional as a rusher, but better in that one area.


    Considering his competition, he better have looked good.
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