CHAWK LINES -- Week in review

Back from a couple of unplugged weeks in Europe, here’s the most recent on the Seahawks:

Bob Condotta ran down some personnel pairings from the OTAs.

Seahawks.com posited six takeaways, including a reminder not to forget about Tharold Simon (who has been easy to forget in his first three years).

Pete Carroll says he won’t rush Jimmy Graham and Thomas Rawls into training camp and is “kind of counting on” them to be ready for Week 1.

Doug Baldwin expects contract talks to start soon, but he is not worried about it.

While we were gone, Bennett told 710 ESPN he will not hold out for a new contract.

The Marshawn Lynch speculation won’t die, but Bennett and Doug Baldwin think he’s done.

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A look at the roster after the ‘rebirth’

Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson plan to be clapping about their offense a lot this season (Getty Images)The Seahawks didn’t have a so-called “championship offseason” last year, and the results were pretty predictable: no championship.

Everyone hoped they could overcome all of the negatives — the loss of confidence in Pete Carroll after his asinine Super Bowl call, the silly fan backlash against Russell Wilson, the poor health of almost their entire secondary, the pointless holdout of Kam Chancellor, the idiotic coaching decision to start Drew Nowak at center.

It all added up to a disjointed start and disheartening finish. It was obviously too much to overcome for a team that had become fractured and really needed to be glued back together again.

The Hawks entered this offseason with more than a few concerns about their ability to bounce back. They needed to replace Marshawn Lynch, deal with unhappy campers Chancellor and Michael Bennett, rebuild their offensive line and fortify their defensive line.

At this point, it looks like they have put the glue in place for all of those fixes: Lynch was replaced by three draft picks; Chancellor made up with the team; Bennett sounds like he will come back ready to repeat his stellar 2015 season; the club replaced Russell Okung, Alvin Bailey and J.R. Sweezy with five linemen and Brandon Mebane with three.

Carroll says this offseason “almost feels like a rebirth.”

“We’ve been through a lot of stuff; we’ve been challenged by a lot of stuff,” he told 710 ESPN on Monday. “We’ve learned so much: winning and losing and then trying to come back again and still maintaining this huge standard and expectation. And we know it’s right there for us. Everybody feels it. That’s what is really fueling the energy around the building and why we’re so enthused. And then we hit it with this draft, so it’s feeling pretty good. Millions of things have to happen, but we’re in the right place right now.”

Let’s take a post-draft look at the roster and see whether that is true:

Continue reading A look at the roster after the ‘rebirth’

Rookie minicamp review

Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN this offseason feels like a “rebirth” after a “very challenging” 2015 offseason.

The Seahawks added five players from the minicamp and released A.J. Francis, Mohammed Seisay and three others.

Justin Britt is working at center as the coaches try to figure out what their line is going to look like. Don’t put much stock in it though.

Bob Condotta reviews the draft picks after the minicamp.

Rookie DTs Jarran Reed and Quinton Jefferson want to “wreak havoc any way we can.”

Trevone Boykin tops the list of the P-I’s six minicamp takeaways.

Boykin, a mini-Wilson, plans to “stay in his hip pocket.”

The running backs top six takeaways from Seahawks.com.

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Bennett: ‘Why would I not be there?’

Just like last year, Michael Bennett is staying at home in Hawaii during Seattle’s offseason workout program. But, asked Thursday whether he will be at training camp, he said, “Why would I not be there?”

The question is pertinent because Bennett has been dissatisfied with his contract. He stayed away from OTAs last year, too, but returned in time for the mandatory minicamp in June, was present for all of training camp and then turned in his best NFL season.

All signs have pointed to Bennett not holding out, even though he has far outplayed the four-year, $28.5 million contract he signed in 2014.

Continue reading Bennett: ‘Why would I not be there?’

Looking at the value (picks & cash) of Seattle’s draft class

Jarran Reed on stageEveryone always laughs at the instant draft grades handed out by analysts — the argument being that it is impossible to know how well a team did until its draft class has shown itself over a couple of years.

That part certainly is true. But the one part of the draft that can be judged immediately is the value a team received for its picks.
The Seahawks haven’t always gotten great value for their picks. It’s why they were judged harshly in 2011 and 2012 — even though they found future stars in both of those drafts.

This draft has pretty unanimously been judged a success — both because the Seahawks seemingly picked up good players who filled roster needs and because they got some great value along the way.

Continue reading Looking at the value (picks & cash) of Seattle’s draft class

Forget the Lynch drama; check out the cap space

Salary cap logoFor some reason, there has been a lot of concern about Marshawn Lynch’s retirement status: Is he really retiring? Why hasn’t he submitted his papers? Is he trying to screw the Seahawks? Will they make him a June 1 cut?

So many conspiracy theories.

Some people have wondered whether the Seahawks would designate Lynch as a post-June 1 move, thereby allowing the team an extra $2.5 million in 2016 cap space (but removing $2.5 million from the 2017 cap).

But anyone who has followed John Schneider’s moves with the Hawks understands he likes to take his lumps now, not later. He confirmed that once again Tuesday in an interview with KJR 950, saying the team will place Lynch on the reserve-retired list by June 1 so all of his $5 million in dead money (the unamortized portion of his signing bonus) hits this year’s cap.

Schneider clearly just wants to wipe that slate clean for 2017 and feels no need for an extra $2.5 million this offseason.

“It’s basically like a credit card, like you want to pay off your credit card as you go,’’ Schneider said. “So, like with us, if we place him on reserve/retired (by June 1) then we accept that cap hit this year, and we would rather do that than do it after June 1.’’

Continue reading Forget the Lynch drama; check out the cap space

Hawks going big to avoid going home early again

NFL draftThe Seahawks lost seven games last season, and most of those losses occurred because their offensive line got pushed around.

The Rams and Panthers especially dominated Seattle with their great defensive fronts — the Rams’ Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Robert Quinn and William Hayes; the Panthers’ Kawann Short, Star Lotulelei, Kony Ealy and Charles Johnson. Those crews handed Seattle four losses, including the one that knocked the Hawks out of the playoffs.

The Seahawks will see those lines at least three times next season, and Pete Carroll and John Schneider know they have to get stronger up front if they are going to avoid the same fate they suffered in 2015. They can’t be swept by the Rams if they want to win the NFC West, and they can’t lose to the Panthers if they want to win the NFC.

That’s all you really need to know to understand why they drafted 6-foot-6, 324-pound tackle Germain Ifedi in the first round, 6-4, 314-pound guard Rees Odhiambo in the third and 6-2, 299-pound center Joey Hunt in the sixth. They are all smart, strong and athletic — and it sounds like the Seahawks think they all have a chance to start, now or later.

Continue reading Hawks going big to avoid going home early again

CHAWK LINES -- Draft

Seahawks.com runs down every draft pick, with quotes, photos, audio and more.

Even as the Seahawks put together their most conventional draft under John Schneider, they still managed to go in a different direction than the rest of the league.

With Marshawn Lynch retiring, the Seahawks drafted three running backs.

The Seahawks took a lot of linemen and running backs because that is where the draft led them.

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Carroll: Rawls is the starting tailback

Rawls and Wilson vs. RavensHow many running backs does it take to replace Marshawn Lynch while he rides off into the sunset on a camel? Apparently three.

As Lynch led their running game for most of the last six years, the Seahawks had drafted just four running backs (including one fullback). Now, with Lynch retiring — yes, he is, Pete Carroll and John Schneider confirmed — the Seahawks added three backs in this draft alone.

But none of them will displace Thomas Rawls as the starter. Carroll made that clear Saturday after the Seahawks added Alex Collins and Zac Brooks to a backfield that already included third-rounder C.J. Prosise, Rawls and former second-rounder Christine Michael.

“Thomas gives us a great element in his style of play. We love the way he is physical and aggressive and tough,” Carroll said of the second-year back who took over for an injured Lynch as a rookie and rushed for 830 yards before suffering a broken ankle against Baltimore in Week 14.

“I think the message of who we are and what we’re about has been Thomas,” Carroll said. “We’re really excited to continue to see that.”

Continue reading Carroll: Rawls is the starting tailback

Schneider leans on 2017 comp picks to add DT

John Schneider draftingJohn Schneider has built a reputation as a draft pick collector. He’s such a pick hoarder that he had surrendered picks to move up just twice in his first six drafts.

Well, in his seventh draft, he flipped the script, trading up twice. And he did something he had never done during the draft: trading a future pick to get back into a round.

The move up to draft Jarran Reed in the second round on Friday cost the Hawks their fourth-round pick and meant they were going to have to wait 72 picks before their first selection on Day 3. But they saw another defensive tackle they liked in the fifth round (before their pick at 171), so they decided to send New England a 2017 fourth-rounder so they could pick Quinton Jefferson.

It was the first time since 2009 — before Schneider and Pete Carroll arrived — that the Seahawks had dealt away a future pick during the draft. In 2009, Tim Ruskell traded gave up a 2010 third-rounder as part of a package to get back into the 2009 third for wide receiver Deon Butler.

Continue reading Schneider leans on 2017 comp picks to add DT