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.
Schneider also mentioned Russell Okung, which seems to answer the question of whether the Hawks consider the oft-injured left tackle a core player worthy of an extension.
Wilson figures to get around $20 million a year, Wagner $9 million and Okung $8 million. The Hawks can do all three, but, as Schneider said, “Obviously we have to be very careful how we step with our cap moving forward because we know those guys are such instrumental pieces.”
Without saying it, Schneider essentially confirmed that Brandon Mebane is a potential cap cut. Asked if the defensive tackle would be back, the GM said, “I hope so, I hope so. We are going to continue to work through the offseason here. As of right now, yes.”
Mebane, coming off a torn hamstring, is due to make $5.5 million next season — probably too high for Seattle’s budget for run-stopping defensive linemen.
If the Hawks add another free agent, it probably would be at the expense of Mebane.
Schneider also basically confirmed that center Stefen Wisniewski, a free agent from Oakland, is asking for too much money. The GM said, “Especially players who are added from the outside as unrestricted free agents, it has to be at a price that makes sense for us.” That number is probably no more than $3 million a year; Wisniewski is thought to be seeking $5 million.
Schneider also confirmed the Hawks will bring back Jesse Williams. Like Anthony McCoy, he already has two injury strikes. One more and he’s out.
The Hawks got four comp picks Monday, but they came up a round short on one — ending up with two sixth-rounders instead of two fifths.
According to Over The Cap, the misprojection likely stems from Brandon Browner’s suspension, which lowered the value of his contract from over $5 million to under $4 million.