Hawks eye linemen

NFL draftNo matter what the Seahawks do before or during free agency, their top needs in this draft will be their lines.

They need to replace Cliff Avril and, eventually, Michael Bennett on the defensive front. And they need to add a good guard to an offensive line that now has a coach who should get the most out of the talent.

So, it figures that two guys the Hawks reportedly showed high interest in during Senior Bowl week were versatile linemen: Nevada blocker Austin Corbett and Alabama defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand.

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Safeties ‘n’ numbers

Salary cap logoBoth of Seattle’s star safeties are at career crossroads — one seemingly talking about walking out, the other about holding out.

The short of it: Yeah, it looks like Kam Chancellor is done, but Earl Thomas is not going anywhere.

Chancellor’s Instagram post Friday was seen by most as a message that he is leaning toward retiring — or at least not playing again. Unlike Cliff Avril, he has been silent about his neck injury, but all signs point to the No. 1 Legionnaire of Boom likely being finished.

The only question has been whether he would make the team put him on injured reserve so he could collect his injury guarantees, which amount to $12 million over the next two years.

Meanwhile, there is no question that money is at the heart of Thomas’ concerns. Late in the season, he started rumbling about his contract and possibly playing for Dallas. This week, at the Pro Bowl in Florida, he doubled down on the contract talk with a subtle threat of a holdout.

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Adjusted goal for Carroll: Do it better than anyone but Pats

Belichick XLIXPete Carroll’s goal since he arrived in Seattle has been to “do it better than it’s ever been done.”

Sorry, Pete, but there’s only one team that has done that, and it’s headed to the Super Bowl again.

So Carroll and the Seahawks will have to content themselves with trying to do it better than anyone but the New England Patriots.

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady continue to prove they are the best coach-QB combo ever, now on to their eighth Super Bowl together and a cinch for Team of the 2010s as they go for their third win in four appearances this decade and sixth win overall. That’s doing it better than it has ever been done.

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P-Rich about to get paid by some other team

P-RichPaul Richardson’s name came up all over the place Thursday, with a lot of chatter about his situation as he prepares to hit free agency.

Richardson was on the radio in his hometown of L.A., talking to the loudmouth with the goofiest name in broadcasting. Asked about possibly leaving Seattle for a passing offense, P-Rich said, “I do think about it. I think about it a lot, especially with my situation coming up with free agency.”

Richardson probably senses he will be leaving. The Seahawks apparently are willing to pay $5.5 million a year, per John Clayton, but Richardson seems likely to get at least $7 million from another team.

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Avril has timeline, but does it work for Hawks?

Avril on NFLNCliff Avril’s timeline for a decision about his career appears to be late April, and he reiterated that his recovery from neck surgery is more about regaining quality of life than about playing football again.

“It’s such a long journey,” he told 710 ESPN on Wednesday, a day after he talked to NFL Network. “This is supposed to be a four-, five-, six-month type of thing. So, once I get to that five-month mark and I’m seeing how I’m feeling … I’ll sit down with my wife and we’ll have the discussion.”

One problem: The Seahawks might need to have the discussion sooner than that.

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Avril teases about return, but what if he can come back?

Salary cap logoCliff Avril has been teasing Seahawks fans with some wishful thinking for his return from a serious neck injury.

For the second time this month, Avril hinted that he might return to play.

“I believe so,” Avril told NFL Network on Monday. “Right now it’s all about recovery. I had surgery. I’m in the process of recovering. It’s a long process, a long journey. When I get to the end of that, then I’ll figure out what’s next.

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Familiar enforcers will drive Carroll’s club

Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson plan to be clapping about their offense a lot this season (Getty Images)After a steady three-year slide that ended with Seattle out of the playoffs this season, Pete Carroll apparently is ready to re-forge control of his team and re-establish his principles.

Carroll recently said he plans to make his team more disciplined while rejuvenating a once-strong running game that is the identity of the offense.

To do that, he needed some new voices in his coaching staff. So he reportedly is bringing in some familiar enforcers who will command players’ attention and be loyal to Carroll’s approach to winning.

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Report: Allen was ready to chase big names if Carroll retired

Rams Carroll Sept. 13“People talking about retirement. I ain’t old enough to think about retiring.” — Pete Carroll

On the last game day of the season, Jay Glazer reported Pete Carroll was contemplating retirement. Carroll quickly shot down that report with the above quote, but it turns out there was a little more to it.

A week before the season ended, Paul Allen apparently asked Carroll what he was thinking, and Carroll assured his boss he was “all in” on building the Seahawks back up.

According to Davis Hsu, the sneakily sourced Seahawks Twitter champion, Allen was worried Carroll would retire and was ready to go “big game hunting” to replace him. If Carroll had said he was going to retire, Allen apparently would have gone after Jon Gruden, Jim Harbaugh and Nick Saban.

Also, if Carroll had retired, John Schneider would have left for Green Bay, per Hsu. But Carroll wanted Schneider to stay with him, so Allen formally blocked the Packers from talking to Schneider.

Carroll, 66, is signed through 2019, and it’s possible he decides to retire after that. With the big coaching shakeup he has performed this week, he is either trying to finish strong or build up another five-year playoff run.

What does Carroll see in Schottenheimer?

SchottenheimerA lot of people are not happy about the Seahawks replacing an average offensive coordinator with an average offensive coordinator, but we’re going to have to look past the stats and project a bit to see why Pete Carroll and John Schneider reportedly are hiring Brian Schottenheimer to replace Darrell Bevell.

Schottenheimer is an underwhelming pick to a lot of fans because he has not had a lot of success. In nine seasons as OC of the Jets and Rams, he had only one top-10 scoring offense — Brett Favre led the Jets to ninth in 2008. His running game hasn’t been very good; outside of three straight top-10 years with the Jets (2008-10), it never ranked higher than 19th. And he has never orchestrated an offense that has ranked higher than 11th — seven of the nine ranked 20th or worse.

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Looks like Hawks are letting Shead become a free agent

DeShawn SheadThe Seahawks apparently have decided to allow DeShawn Shead to become a free agent, which means either they are just being nice (quite possible) or they prefer to keep Byron Maxwell instead.

In November, we wrote about Shead’s unusual case, pointing out the CBA empowered Seattle to toll his $1.2 million contract to 2018. After the season (and two games played), though, Shead told reporters he would soon know his free agency status and the team could forgo the toll if it chose.

On Friday, he posted a message indicating he is indeed going to be a free agent. (H/T to Field Gulls for spotting this.)

“Having a good time working out this offseason! It’s a blessing to be able to hit this grind healthy,” wrote Shead, who spent almost all of 2017 coming back from ACL surgery. “It’s surreal that I’m a free agent, but I’m excited to see what the future holds and where I will end up!”

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