Ideal FA LEO Solution?

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Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:55 pm
  • With the likely prospect of Chris Clemons starting the season on the PUP list, and the menacing thought that Clemons may never come back at 100%, filling the LEO position would seem to be priority one. But I am not convinced the FO will be looking to the draft only to fill this core need. I can see the FO looking to free agency to bolster the position as part of an overall plan to provide a short-term and long-term solution. Certainly the Seahawks may invest significant draft capital into the LEO position this off-season. It just seems unlikely that the FO would make a massive long-term financial investment into an aging "star" or 30+ year old vet. I am confident that the Seahawks will sign a FA LEO stop-gap...but which one?

    The names most talked about as LEO candidates? I really do not see a fit for any of them. Paul Kruger has been talked up a ton on 710AM, but he is just not quick enough or fast enough to fit the position - besides the cost and the likely long term contract he will demand. Anthony Spencer has been discussed by some, but with a few teams converting to a 3-4 the past few years, and the likely cost - seems like a stretch. Dwight Freeney could be ideal, but I have a feeling that some team will likely overpay for a 4+ year contract. Seattle will be looking for a short term deal with him for vet minimum (or at least lower than market value). Plus i do not think the Seahawks are that interested in his declining skills. There are a few other viable candidates, like Osi Umenyiora (attitude/injuries?), Connor Barwin (quickness/cost/scheme fit), or Cliff Avril (cost/franchise tag). I really like the possibility of a player like Shaun Phillips, an under the radar buy-low candidate. But Phillips is 31, entering the career phase of production decline.

    So what does that leave left for the Seahawks? I have been looking through the potential candidates to find an under-valued, poorly utilized player - essentially looking for Chris Clemons 2.0. I came across a player that MAY be an ideal fit, and could thrive in a change of scenery and scheme.

    Antwan Barnes, FA OLB who last played with the Chargers, is a very intriguing candidate. Drafted in the fourth round by the Ravens, he was a bit lost on their depth chart, then traded to the Eagles. Cut by the Eagles, he signed with the Chargers - with mixed success. His claim to fame and specialty in college was his pass rushing ability, and has struggled against the pass when required to drop in coverage as an OLB in a 3-4 defense. He has similar size as Clemons (6'1" 251), and has a solid work ethic, quickness, and athleticism. He is at his best as a "hand on the ground" pass rusher. It seems that the Charger defense has been a mess the past few seasons, would not be surprising if he has been completely misused. It would seem that Barnes would be an ideal candidate to compete for the position - low-cost player looking to redeem himself and learn from an outstanding coaching staff. If Clemons comes back at near 100%, Barnes becomes a situational pass rusher. If the Seahawks draft a LEO, and he blows up training camp - you can start the rookie without locking up cap space with a high cost vet bench warmer. If Barnes comes in and exceeds expectation - then we get a few seasons of massively undervalued talent (like the majority of the current roster)

    Any thoughts? Or maybe other under the radar candidates?
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    Spleenhawk2.0
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:59 pm
  • Sounds like a Pete and John type of guy.
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:11 pm
  • Isn't Bruce Irvin a situational pass rusher? How many of those do we need?

    I haven't watched this guy but guy was drafted fourth round, traded, cut and is being let go. So first all the teams in the league let him drop then three teams didn't really want him.

    I know this has worked in the past and this guy may be it as it works again but this is a key position. I think you draft for it, you look at spending some FA money on it because an every down player that can also put pressure on the qb is something we need regardless of Clemons status - one extra would be quite alright with me.

    So if this guy is the extra guy that works out great but I think we need to go for a prime guy that we expect to be the starter and to knock the socks off everyone
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:21 pm
  • Still on the roster and signed thru this year is Dexter Davis. Very much lost in the background after a series of hip injuries, he could have a chip on his shoulder and something to prove at the LEO position.

    Also on the roster is a resigned Korey Toomer. He may have questionable discipline and instincts as a linebacker, but he does have the size and athleticism to also be considered at LEO. At least, that was their view when they drafted Korey.
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:23 pm
  • I didn't realize Connor Barwin was available. No brainer if we have a shot.
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:24 pm
  • mikeak wrote:Isn't Bruce Irvin a situational pass rusher? How many of those do we need?

    I haven't watched this guy but guy was drafted fourth round, traded, cut and is being let go. So first all the teams in the league let him drop then three teams didn't really want him.

    I know this has worked in the past and this guy may be it as it works again but this is a key position. I think you draft for it, you look at spending some FA money on it because an every down player that can also put pressure on the qb is something we need regardless of Clemons status - one extra would be quite alright with me.

    So if this guy is the extra guy that works out great but I think we need to go for a prime guy that we expect to be the starter and to knock the socks off everyone


    When have the current Seahawks FO spent significant money on defensive FA? The Seahawks, apart from Jason Jones last year, have not gone out and spent big bucks on the defensive side of the ball. Could it happen? Sure....but seems unlikely.

    You seem to miss the point of my post. Bringing in a guy like Barnes allows you to still draft a LEO....but gives a measure of flexibility. It could take a 21 year old rookie a few years to grow and learn. If Barnes fails, you cut him with little/no consequence. If the Seahawks are not going to spend more money on a LEO (also remember that they have $8 million tied up in Clemons salary this year), why not take a flyer on a guy like Barnes? What other free agent LEO candidate would you prefer?
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:29 pm
  • I could see something like this if they are going to start Clemons on the PUP list. Gives the guy 6 weeks to see if he is worth keeping but I also have a feeling we will get to see who Scruggs is this year and I have high hopes for him. Now with Quinn back I think we will get a good eval of our overall LEO position and if we don't go hunting for a replacement beyond the draft, I think that signifies good expectations from Scruggs.
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:42 pm
  • I'm pretty spry, if I can sneak a taser onto the field I think I could take a few of those guys. I'll do it crazy cheap too.
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:44 pm
  • Rat wrote:I didn't realize Connor Barwin was available. No brainer if we have a shot.


    Gus Bradley may be thinking the same thing. That switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 by the Texans didn't appear to work out all that well for Connor. I would think he will be playing in a different uniform this year.
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:15 pm
  • I like the Phillips idea. Even though he's older he still has a few years left I think and he gives us more versatility which is something Pete has mentioned before. More ability to disguise stuff and move players around. He also may fill our LB need and pass rush need.
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:34 pm
  • Spleenhawk2.0 wrote:When have the current Seahawks FO spent significant money on defensive FA? The Seahawks, apart from Jason Jones last year, have not gone out and spent big bucks on the defensive side of the ball. Could it happen? Sure....but seems unlikely.


    There is the fundamental difference in how we look at the situation. PC said that defensive guys able to get pressure is a priority. Atlanta gashed us running and we couldn't get any pressure up the middle when we needed it the most. Power football requires a defense that can also slow the game down.

    I think the seahawks will spend either through FA or draft an it will be to get the defensive up-front fixed. I also think Clemons comes back and will be a part of that
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:10 am
  • If he's best as a hands on the ground pass rusher, then he's not a LEO. LEO lines up wide and stands up.
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:46 am
  • SalishHawkFan wrote:If he's best as a hands on the ground pass rusher, then he's not a LEO. LEO lines up wide and stands up.


    Clemons spent far more time with his hand on the ground than standing up.
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:54 am
  • This is not a bad idea. Ne of the things we have to realize is that we already have Chris Celmons replacement on the roster . . . Bruce Irvin. We're not looking for a starting pass rusher . . . We're looking for a part time complimentary pass rusher . . . Or three. S I don't see us spending 5 million for that role.

    I do see us looking seriously at the interior pass rush and investing bigger dollars there, but on the edge we are looking for Raheem Brock type players.
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:00 am
  • SalishHawkFan wrote:If he's best as a hands on the ground pass rusher, then he's not a LEO. LEO lines up wide and stands up.


    WHAT?

    Have you even watched a Seahawks game in the last three years?? Pay attention to #91.
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:27 am
  • JesterHawk wrote:I'm pretty spry, if I can sneak a taser onto the field I think I could take a few of those guys. I'll do it crazy cheap too.


    I like the cut of your jib Jesterhawk!
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:45 am
  • If we're going to drop $$$$ - Michael Bennett. Of course he would probably already be on the roster if we would have decided to not carry 2 kickers on the roster :x
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:17 am
  • King Dog wrote:If we're going to drop $$$$ - Michael Bennett. Of course he would probably already be on the roster if we would have decided to not carry 2 kickers on the roster :x


    IMO, that was the biggest misjudgment and blunder of the Ruskell era. :34853_doh:
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:38 am
  • Actually I think Bennett was cut for a very undersized developmental OT in 2009. The tackle remained on the team then Ps for most of the year then vanished, Bennett who was flashing talent was cut then eventually landed in TB after a short stop in SF, he's a solid pass rusher.
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:48 am
  • jammerhawk wrote:Actually I think Bennett was cut for a very undersized developmental OT in 2009. The tackle remained on the team then Ps for most of the year then vanished, Bennett who was flashing talent was cut then eventually landed in TB after a short stop in SF, he's a solid pass rusher.


    I think the position battle was between Nick Reed and Bennett. In hindsight, it's obvious we made a bad choice.
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Re: Ideal FA LEO Solution?
Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:29 pm
  • The worst part about the Michael Bennett move was the fact that he started the season on the final 53 roster, and was waived 4 or 5 weeks into the season.

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    He was waived in favor or back-up OL Kyle Williams back in October 2009 from the practice squad. I believe that Ruskell got too cute with roster moves, and assumed that Bennett would end up being placed on practice squad. If you remember, the Seahawks started the Season with 11 defensive lineman, with Nick Reed, Craig Terrill, and Derek Walker making the squad along with Bennett. They had also started the season with only 9 OL. Most knew the Seahawks would have to pick up an additional OL, and waive an DL. Ruskell had gotten away with waiving Walker, then adding him to the practice squad. He probably believed he could do it again with Bennett. He tried it a second time with Walker in December 2008, but the 49ers claimed him before he could be added to the PS. Williams was horrible, and waived again a few weeks later - essentially meaning we cut Bennett for nothing.

    Coutu was not on the roster after the final roster cut down to 53 for the 2009 season....The Seahawks carried 2 kickers during the 2008 season, not 2009

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    So losing Bennett had nothing to do with 2 kickers or Coutu - but had more to do with choosing Nick Reed or Craig Terrill over Bennett and Walker. Those were certainly frustrating days
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