Grading Schneider’s draft picks

NFL draftDRAFT COUNTDOWN: Five weeks.
A weekly look at draft-related topics
involving the Seahawks.

John Schneider loves draft picks, and he clearly was looking forward to getting four more last week in the compensatory awards.

It was the first time the Seahawks have ever received four comps, and it means the Hawks will enter the draft with more picks (11) than any NFL team. No big surprise there: The Hawks have drafted a league-high 48 players since Schneider arrived in 2010 — never leaving the selection meeting with fewer than nine.

This year, the Hawks are in the perfect draft position for Schneider: No first-round pick and five in the fourth and fifth stanzas, plus three in the sixth.

Everyone knows Schneider has been average in the first round, while earning a great reputation in the middle rounds. So, thanks to the Jimmy Graham-Max Unger deal and losing a few free agents in 2014, this draft is in his wheelhouse.

His reputation as a mid-round star is only half legit, though. While he has found two superstars in the fifth round, the fourth round actually has been his worst — with misses on four of seven players and only one starter (K.J. Wright) discovered.

He can reverse that trend this year though, if receiver Kevin Norwood, linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis and defensive lineman Cassius Marsh take big steps and Schneider makes some good picks with his three fourths on May 2.

Here’s a look at how Schneider has done through his first five years:

Continue reading Grading Schneider’s draft picks

CHAWK LINES -- Week in review

The Seahawks got four comp picks for the first time, giving them 11 picks in the draft.

The Seahawks added three defensive coaches — including former Seattle assistant Dwaine Board and one of Pete Carroll’s former USC defensive backs.

John Schneider talked about Russell Wilson, Michael Bennett and Brandon Mebane at the owners meetings.

Carroll said he is “fueled” by the Super Bowl loss and doesn’t want to let it go because he wants to learn from it.

He also said, “I’m confident that this team is going to come back and fricking roar. We are going to roar back into this offseason. These guys are working hard for it.’’

Carroll said all reports on Wilson’s contract so far were incorrect, and he talked about many of the players along the defensive line.

Carroll also said the Hawks are working on re-signing several of their remaining free agents.

Schneider said the Seahawks chose Michael Bennett over Golden Tate last year because the draft had a better class of receivers than pass rushers. (The Hawks ended up drafting receivers Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood.)

The NFL is going to change the PAT in some fashion. Here’s Carroll’s idea:

The Saints reportedly talked to the Dolphins about Jimmy Graham, too.

The Kingdome was imploded 15 years ago this week. And the debt for that structure was finally paid off this week as well.

Carroll helped Mike Williams, former USC star and one-time Seahawk, get a gig coaching high school football in Los Angeles.

Marshawn Lynch will appear in a Ludacris video for the rapper’s riff called — what else? — “Beast Mode.” (Did he have to pay Lynch royalties for using that title?)

Lynch has a strain of pot named after him, but he doesn’t smoke, according to Snoop Dogg, who said, “My homeboy got a career to play. He’s still in the NFL. He’s got a commissioner to deal with.”

Clare Farnsworth, who had covered the Seahawks for nearly their entire existence, retired this week.

Carroll: No reports on Wilson deal are correct

Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson plan to be clapping about their offense a lot this season (Getty Images)If Pete Carroll is to be taken at his absolute word, we can infer three things about Russell Wilson’s contract extension:

1 — It is not close to being finished.

2 — Wilson will not play out his rookie contract.

3 — His deal will not be fully guaranteed.

At the owners meetings on Wednesday, Carroll basically shot down all reports about Wilson talks, saying, “There are no big claims about what we are doing that have been made that are accurate.’’

That clearly was directed at ESPN, which reported last week that the sides were close to a deal, and at CBS, which reported this week that talks “have gone nowhere” and Wilson probably would play out the final year of his rookie contract. It also might have been a refutation of speculation that the Hawks will guarantee all of Wilson’s contract.

Continue reading Carroll: No reports on Wilson deal are correct

Carroll’s State of the D-line Address

Michael Bennett (72), Bruce Irvin and Cliff Avril (rear) against San Diego in Week 2 (Getty)The defensive line was a major topic for Pete Carroll at the NFL owners meetings Wednesday, according to quotes passed along by Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times.

Among the tidbits Carroll shared:

He talks to Michael Bennett regularly, and Bennett has not said anything about wanting to be traded.

Bennett apparently is unhappy with his deal, which Carroll probably knows, but Carroll repeated what the team and John Schneider have said: Bennett has not asked for a trade.

“We communicate regularly and I’m in touch with where Mike is and what’s going on,” Carroll said. “He hasn’t mentioned a thing about any of that. It’s never been part of the conversation. I’ll probably see Mike this week, maintain what’s going on. Like so many things that happen, those things come out of somewhere, but they are not coming out of the conversations that we have had.”

Continue reading Carroll’s State of the D-line Address

Schneider talks Wilson, Mebane & more

John Schneider (via Fresh Files)At the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix on Monday, John Schneider shed some light on a few Seahawk mysteries, courtesy of Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times. A quick review:

With Phase 2 of free agency nearly complete, the Hawks will pick up negotiations with Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner soon.

“Things are calming down a little bit, if you will, on the unrestricted front,” Schneider said, “so we are hoping to get with those guys and their representatives fairly soon.”

That basically shoots down the ESPN radio report from Friday that the Hawks are close to a deal with Wilson and is more in line with the report by Jason La Canfora of CBS that “talks between Wilson and the Seahawks have gone nowhere.”

According to La Canfora, “no real progress” has been made and sources say the quarterback is preparing as if he might have to play out his rookie contract, which will pay him $1.54 million in 2015.

La Canfora has suggested that Wilson might play out his rookie deal and potentially end up getting the franchise tag in 2016. That seems highly doubtful. Much more likely is the Hawks aim for a draft-week deadline, as they did with Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman last year.

Continue reading Schneider talks Wilson, Mebane & more

How serious is Bennett?

Michael Bennett and Drew RosenhausA year ago, before he re-signed with the Seahawks, Michael Bennett was asked whether he would give the Super Bowl champs a Dynasty Discount — i.e., take a little less money to stay on the NFL’s best defense and the new perennial Super Bowl favorite.

His reply: “There’s no such thing as a discount. This is not Costco. This is not Walmart. This is real life. There’s no discount, really, because you don’t go out there and give a discount effort. You go out there and give the best effort every day, you fight for your teammates, and you want to be compensated for the way you perform and the kind of teammate you are.”

But he did in fact give the Hawks a bit of a break, accepting a little less in a four-year deal worth $28.5 million, including $16 million guaranteed.

“I don’t think there’s any better situation, no matter how much money is involved,” he told 710 ESPN after signing.

But, after being paid $10 million in 2014, Bennett apparently has decided he wants to head back to Costco and trade the deal in for a new one.

That will not happen. Seattle general manager John Schneider made that clear with his stance against Marshawn Lynch last year.

The question then is this: How much of a stink does Bennett plan to make about his contract? Will he push for the rumored trade to Atlanta? And when he doesn’t get it, will he hold out like Lynch did last year? Or for longer? Or, is he just seeing what he can get and willing to go back to work for the deal he signed just one year ago?

Continue reading How serious is Bennett?

It’s official: Seahawks get four comp picks for the first time

NFL draftIt’s official. The Seahawks received four compensatory draft picks when they were announced today and will have 11, as expected.

It’s the first time since comp picks were introduced in 1994 — the year after salary-cap free agency was introduced in the NFL — that Seattle has netted the maximum four. Teams receive comp picks if they suffer a net loss of qualifying free agents in the previous offseason.

The Hawks are one of three teams with the maximum four comp picks this year (also Denver and Kansas City). They figure to get four more in 2016, based on their free-agent losses this year. And they could end up with a few more in 2017.

Continue reading It’s official: Seahawks get four comp picks for the first time

Roster analysis: Hawks are already better

Jimmy Graham scores against the SeahawksTwo weeks into the new NFL year, the Seahawks are already a better team — despite losing four starters and nine players overall from their 2014 roster.

Re-signing Marshawn Lynch and adding one of the league’s best tight ends will make any team’s offseason.

Sure, the Hawks lost cornerback Byron Maxwell, center Max Unger, guard James Carpenter, tight end Zach Miller and five others via free agency, trade or cut. But they replaced Maxwell with Cary Williams and Will Blackmon and satisfied their tight end/receiver need with their stunning trade for Jimmy Graham.

They’re still looking for help along the lines but otherwise appear to be moving on to the big extensions for Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner — as well as the draft, where they will get even better via 11 picks.

Continue reading Roster analysis: Hawks are already better

Wilson deal is coming: What will it look like?

Salary cap logoIf scuttlebutt is to be believed, the Seahawks are closing in on their much-anticipated contract extension for Russell Wilson.

The Hawks are almost sure to have it nailed down in the next month. Last year, they finished up big extensions for Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman the week before the draft.

Both of those deals were market-setting, and Wilson figures to get a very lucrative deal as well. The question everyone wants answered: What might it look like?

General manager John Schneider has given some clues over the past month or so.

Continue reading Wilson deal is coming: What will it look like?

Will Rubin replace Mebane? And what’s the long-term plan?

RubinEven if Ahtyba Rubin is
displacing Brandon Mebane, the Seahawks need to address the nose tackle position long term — most likely in the draft.

The Hawks reportedly are bringing in Rubin on a one-year, prove-it deal — not unlike the contract Michael Bennett signed in 2013.

Rubin, 28, is a big-time run stopper who tallied 80 tackles twice in seven seasons with the Cleveland Browns and was making more than $6 million a year. The Hawks are paying him about half that, especially considering they apparently think $5.5 million is too much to pay the 30-year-old Mebane. (Update: Rubin reportedly will make up to $3.1 million.)

Whether they keep both players or pair Rubin with Tony McDaniel (making $3 million) and send Mebane the way of former Seahawks draft picks Red Bryant and Max Unger, it is obvious the Hawks need to address the position beyond this year.

Continue reading Will Rubin replace Mebane? And what’s the long-term plan?