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.”
Carroll called Cassius Marsh “like a brand-new draft pick.” Sound familiar? The Hawks have had a lot of those injury redshirts the last two years.
Marsh, a fourth-round pick last year, was placed on injured reserve with a broken foot suffered in practice in October. He went on IR the same day the Seahawks traded Percy Harvin.
“He’s in great shape,” Carroll said. “That’s a tremendous addition to bring in, it’s like a brand-new draft pick to us because he didn’t get a chance to get started last year. He is a really high-energy, creative, productive football player for us, and we can’t wait to get him out there. He’s had a very strong offseason, in great shape, looks terrific and really champing at the bit to get back.’’
Jesse Williams is coming back after missing his first two years with knee problems, and Carroll spoke in terms of “hope” and “if” regarding Williams’ ability to finally contribute.
“It’s been very, very difficult for Jesse, and we are hoping he will be able to make the turn,” Carroll said. “We are going to manage him hopefully impeccably so he can get back and get right and do all the things he is capable of doing. It will be a great addition if we can get him out there. He has had a very good offseason and he is very enthusiastic about it, and we are looking forward to making something happen.”
While Williams would be a great addition, don’t hold your breath.
The fact that Williams has not worked out is partly why the Hawks added Ahtyba Rubin last week.
“We are really fired up about it,” Carroll said. “I think the fact he is a big, physical, strong, tough guy — 325 pounds — built well, works out hard (and a) very, very strong man really gives us a great feeling that he can add right into the mix and roll in there. He can play the nose, he can play the three-technique, and either spot he plays he will be a physical addition. So I think that was a very, very fortunate move for us to make and really look forward to it.’’
As mentioned previously, Rubin also might be the replacement for Brandon Mebane, who is scheduled to make $5.5 million coming off a torn hamstring.
Schneider was noncommittal about him earlier this week, saying he hoped Mebane would be on the team.
Demarcus Dobbs is coming back this week, Carroll said, and the Hawks are still talking to Kevin Williams, too.
The Seahawks have brought in waves of D-linemen over the last two weeks, with C.J. Wilson the most recent.
Asked if the Hawks will add to the defensive line, Carroll said: “We are working on a number of things still.”
The Seahawks have $12 million in cap space, but they probably need it all for rookie bonuses, practice squad players, injury replacements and extensions for Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner.
Dobbs and Jesse Williams won’t take much off the cap — almost net zero when two other players are removed from the top-51 count. But Kevin Williams likely would be a net hit of at least $1.5 million — meaning the Hawks would need to clear more room for Wilson or Wagner.
Here’s the current D-line roster: Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Brandon Mebane, Tony McDaniel, Ahtyba Rubin, Jordan Hill, Cassius Marsh, Greg Scruggs, David King, D’Anthony Smith, Jimmy Staten, Ryan Robinson, Justin Renfrow, Julius Warmsley, Will Pericak
Free agents: Kevin Williams, Demarcus Dobbs, Landon Cohen
Departed: O’Brien Schofield, Jesse Williams