Final preseason roster projection

Logo -- PreseasonPete Carroll is ready for the season. But his roster isn’t quite.

After the Seahawks finished off their first winless preseason ever with a mistake-filled 30-19 loss to Oakland, Carroll said, “I’m excited about getting to our 53. We’ve got roles for guys to take over. We’ve got a real clear thought about what we’re doing with a lot of stuff.”

Carroll and John Schneider still have some tweaking to do to get to the 53, though. They already have upgraded at backup quarterback, adding Brett Hundley, and you can bet they will be looking for help at a few other places — perhaps safety, corner, tight end and edge rusher.

Ahead of Saturday’s 1 p.m. cutdown deadline, here’s our final roster projection:

Continue reading Final preseason roster projection

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Now that Rodgers is signed, Wilson deal should be easy

Wilson signing contractJohn Schneider now knows what he needs to pay Russell Wilson — with Aaron Rodgers setting the bar at $33.5 million a year and $98 million fully guaranteed — and a deal for Seattle’s quarterback should be easy.

After Matt Ryan set the market for Rodgers in May, we wrote about all of the factors that could be in play for Wilson’s next deal. But it could be a lot simpler if Schneider is willing to let Wilson eclipse Rodgers and Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, doesn’t make it harder than it needs to be.

Now that we know the numbers to beat — and you can bet Wilson and Mark Rodgers will want to beat them this time — it’s just a matter of the details.

Continue reading Now that Rodgers is signed, Wilson deal should be easy

Lockett gets great deal, and Packers affect Seahawks’ QB picture

Salary cap logoJohn Schneider went back to the 2015 draft with two big moves Wednesday and Green Bay’s quarterback deals impacted Seattle’s QB picture for this season and beyond.

Schneider’s first move was not a big shock: Making a cheap deal with Green Bay to bring in QB Brett Hundley as Russell Wilson’s ostensible backup.

The other was slightly more surprising, but in a pleasant way: Guaranteeing Tyler Lockett $20 million in a three-year extension that could be worth $37.8 million.

And, in other Green Bay-Seattle news, Aaron Rodgers reportedly agreed to a four-year extension worth $33.5 million a year — setting the market for Wilson’s next extension.

Continue reading Lockett gets great deal, and Packers affect Seahawks’ QB picture

Grading roster strength

Seahawks bandagesThe Seahawks have not suffered any devastating injuries this preseason, which puts them one up on some NFL teams; but, they certainly have their share of dings.

The Seahawks have just a handful of veteran stars left from the Super Bowl core, and a couple of them are banged up as the season approaches. But K.J. Wright and Doug Baldwin aren’t the only injuries that will affect the team when it takes the field in Denver in a little over a week. The team also figures to be without Dion Jordan, Ed Dickson, Jamarco Jones, J.D. McKissic and perhaps Byron Maxwell and Neiko Thorpe.

At least five of those eight players were expected to be big contributors this season, so it’s at least a little concerning that we don’t know how long Wright and some of the others will be out — and it’s unfortunate to hear Baldwin will play the season at 80-85 percent as he manages a knee problem. (UPDATE: Coach Pete Carroll said Wright the “optimistic” estimate is two weeks. The range is typically 2-4 weeks for arthroscopic surgery.)

We’re giving the Seahawks a B-minus for roster strength. Here are grades for each position, based on health and depth (updated 8/29):

Continue reading Grading roster strength

Which trades will Schneider make this week?

Logo -- PreseasonAs the preseason winds down, teams are already starting to use trades to address weaknesses in their rosters.

It won’t be long before John Schneider joins the fray.

Schneider always makes a trade at some point before the season — he made seven deals from the start of camp to just before the season last year, and he has made 15 other preseason deals since 2010. That’s an average of 2.75 per preseason.

Schneider has been 50-50 in acquiring and moving out players in these deals. Last year, for example, he traded Kevin Pierre-Louis, Cassius Marsh, Tramaine Brock and Jermaine Kearse while adding D.J. Alexander, Matt Tobin, Sheldon Richardson, Justin Coleman and Isaiah Battle (Duane Brown didn’t come until October).

He probably won’t be nearly as active this year, but it’s a good bet he will make some kind of deal — because he always does. So, which trades might he make?

Continue reading Which trades will Schneider make this week?

Projecting the roster after three games

Logo -- PreseasonAfter three preseason games, the Seahawks’ roster looks pretty set through about 45 positions.

With only Thursday’s game against Oakland left, the Hawks seemingly are set everywhere but their last few cornerbacks, including the starter on the right side, plus their sixth receiver, their last offensive and defensive linemen and maybe their final linebacker. (UPDATE: Backup QB was up in the air until the Seahawks acquired Brett Hundley on 8/29.)

Injuries will play into a couple of decisions. The Hawks probably won’t put fifth-round tackle Jamarco Jones (high ankle sprain) or J.D. McKissic (broken foot) on IR because they don’t want to lose either for the season. So expect the team to keep them both and then possibly use short-term IR on one or both after Week 1.

That will affect the keepers on the offensive line and at running back, where the Hawks might forgo a fullback (as they did in 2016).

Here’s our roster projection through three games (updated with comments from Pete Carroll):

Continue reading Projecting the roster after three games

Offense, run defense, Dickson could carry secondary

Logo -- PreseasonWhile the Seahawks work on figuring out their secondary early in the season, it looks like their offense and run defense should be able to carry them.

Playing without senior vet Bradley McDougald, the shuffling secondary had issues stopping Mr. Guaranteed, Kirk Cousins, and Minnesota’s backs and receivers Friday in a 21-20 win by the Vikings. But the run defense was stiff and Russell Wilson and the offense put the Seahawks in the lead by halftime. And Michael Dickson flipped the field on almost every punt — showing what a huge weapon he will be.

Continue reading Offense, run defense, Dickson could carry secondary

What we’re watching in Minnesota

Logo -- PreseasonIt has been an eventful week leading up to the big dress rehearsal game.

Among other things, we learned J.D. McKissic is out 4-6 weeks, Doug Baldwin and Rashaad Penny could be back next week, George Fant is going to compete against Germain Ifedi, and Brian Schottenheimer isn’t satisfied with the running game.

As the Seahawks head to Pete Carroll’s formative NFL stomping grounds in Minnesota for the all-telling third preseason game, the coach has a few goals.

Continue reading What we’re watching in Minnesota

Wagner sends clear messages to Schneider

Salary cap logoBobby Wagner fired a couple of warning shots at John Schneider on Wednesday — well-placed markers that should have buzzed right by each of the GM’s ears.

Wagner’s messages to Schneider: (1) Make sure you re-sign K.J. Wright and (2) get ready to pay me a lot of money next year. Wright is in the final year of his contract, and Wagner will be up for an extension next offseason, entering the final year of his deal.

There apparently have been no talks between the Seahawks and Wright to this point, which seems to indicate that Schneider is willing to let the 29-year-old star leave rather than pay top dollar next offseason. That would fit Schneider’s new MO of not paying third contracts to the team’s Super Bowl core.

We have already firmly stated we are in favor of extending Wright, a savvy, durable leader who should be good for four more years because his game is not based on speed.

Wagner made it clear he will be watching how the team handles Wright — and don’t be surprised if that affects whether he is amenable to a new deal next year.

Continue reading Wagner sends clear messages to Schneider

McKissic out 4-6 weeks, Fant to RT, Darboh to IR? And more updates

Seahawks bandagesJust as they seemed to be getting healthy, the Seahawks reportedly suffered another big injury.

With two and a half weeks remaining until roster decisions must be made, Pete Carroll and his coaches are making their midway tweaks and setting timelines for injured players. And now word comes that J.D. McKissic is out 4-6 weeks with a broken foot.

Among the other big developments Tuesday, based on Carroll’s comments: George Fant will move to right tackle to challenge Germain Ifedi; Doug Baldwin and Rashaad Penny might play next week and will definitely be ready for the opener; Amara Darboh has a new injury that could land him on IR; and Dion Jordan is probably not going to be ready for the opener in Denver.

On top of that, both kickers released Monday were picked up and the Hawks brought in another pass rusher, troubled Junior Galette, for a tryout.

Continue reading McKissic out 4-6 weeks, Fant to RT, Darboh to IR? And more updates