The Seahawks have had a busy mid-May, and they’ve got a couple more things to do before training camp (hopefully) starts in July.
They left the draft needing a backup quarterback, a veteran running back, a run-stopping defensive tackle and — more than any of those — a top pass rusher.
In the past week or so — around Quinton Dunbar’s drama, Russell Wilson trade rumors and chatter about troubled receivers — they have brought back QB Geno Smith and added RB Carlos Hyde. That leaves the defensive line as the last area they need to address, unless Dunbar suddenly becomes unavailable due to incarceration or suspension.
They reportedly are interested in defensive tackle Damon Harrison, who perhaps confirmed that by tagging former Detroit teammate/current Seahawk Quandre Diggs on Friday. Harrison, 31, talked about retiring after last season, but that apparently was just because he wanted out of Detroit; the Lions cut him at his request in February.
— Damon Harrison Sr. (@snacks) May 22, 2020
Hyde is expected to cost about $3 million under the cap, and that’s surely the most the Hawks are willing to pay Harrison or another defensive tackle (they usually go $2 million to $3 million for those guys). They have around $5 million and can add around $6 million more with some easy roster moves/pay cuts (which do not involve K.J. Wright or Jacob Hollister).
Let’s catch up on the rest of the roster with a little Q&A:
Q: Were the Seahawks seriously trying to trade Russell Wilson in 2018?
A: This was a rumor floated by Pro Football Talk on May 14. Sure, John Schneider might have had a passing conversation with old pal John Dorsey, then Cleveland’s GM, about the No. 1 overall pick, but even PFT admitted the chat was “conceptual.” Hue Jackson, then the Browns’ coach, said he never heard about it, so it obviously was never serious. Still, it was enough to make Wilson wonder about his status in Seattle — his agent asked Schneider what was up after Schneider checked out Josh Allen’s Pro Day that year. Remember, Schneider and Pete Carroll basically retooled the defense in 2018, so they obviously were considering all options then. It doesn’t mean they wanted to switch QBs. (And they probably wouldn’t have made the playoffs the past two years if they had.) When Wilson asked for a no-trade clause in his 2019 extension, Schneider and Carroll had no problem with that. Wilson and Carroll seem tied together until Carroll retires; the former is signed through 2023, the latter through 2021 (though expect another extension next year to take him through 2023).
Q: Is it a big deal that the Seahawks gave Hyde a deal that could pay him $4 million?
A: No. Hyde is a 1,000-yard rusher who caught 59 passes for the 49ers in 2017. His base is reportedly around $2.8 million, a paltry amount for a 1,000-yard rusher — even if he is coming off shoulder surgery. It makes him the highest-paid back on the Seahawks, whose four other ballcarriers are all on rookie contracts. Chris Carson got a performance-pay bump to $2.13 million, and Rashaad Penny is being paid $1.46 million ($2.93 million cap hit). The Hawks are in the middle of the league in running back payroll, so all of the fans who are crying should just take their little balls and go home.
Q: Should the Hawks sign troubled receiver Antonio Brown or Josh Gordon, if either is suspension-free?
A: On the first guy, AB-solutely not. It was reported again this week that Wilson would like to play with Brown, though we can’t imagine why Wilson would want a mentally ill clubhouse cancer like Brown on his team. Schneider and Carroll certainly learned their lesson with Percy Harvin, didn’t they? Meanwhile, Gordon this week applied for reinstatement from his latest suspension, which occurred shortly after he joined the Seahawks last season. He apparently is working out in Seattle and would like to come back if he is cleared by the NFL. But would Schneider and Carroll be interested? They added speedster Phillip Dorsett and have David Moore and John Ursua behind Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. They will be fine at receiver, especially as the Hawks seem likely to employ multiple pass-catching tight ends this year.
Q: Should the Seahawks make Jacob Hollister take a pay cut or even trade him?
A: No. He is their only dependable tight end at this point, and they should be planning to use double TE formations a lot next season. They would not have tendered him at the second-round level if they did not expect him to be a big part of their offense. Carroll has hinted at this as well, so expect Hollister to stay.
Q: Should the Seahawks move on from Duane Brown after this season?
A: It has been suggested that Brown’s $13 million cap number in 2021 is going to be too much. But who would replace him? Left tackles are a lot harder to find than interior linemen. The Hawks have no obvious options for 2021. Will Jamarco Jones develop into one? If Brown can play to his usual standard for at least 12 games in 2020, there’s definitely no reason to let him go in 2021 (they have plenty of cap space). The Hawks sure seem like they are counting on him for two more years — or they would have drafted a tackle last month. If Jones doesn’t appear to be the left tackle’s heir, the team definitely will need to acquire a young left tackle next year.
Q: Should the Hawks sign another pass rusher?
A: Yes. As we have said many times, if they want to contend, they must add one of the top pass rushers available — Jadeveon Clowney, Everson Griffen or Yannick Ngakoue (via trade). Like Clowney, Griffen is waiting to visit teams so he can hopefully coax $10 million out of one (Arizona reportedly is in the mix now). Clowney has made it clear he is looking for a better offer than Seattle has made (thought to be $15 million or so). Oh, and they are not trading for Myles Garrett, despite the crazy rumor earlier this month. Carroll seems to be OK with Bruce Irvin, Benson Mayowa and rookies Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson, along with Rasheem Green and L.J. Collier. But should he be? No.
Q: Should the Seahawks cut K.J. Wright?
A: Hell no. He’s coming off one of his best seasons, and Seattle paid him a $1 million roster bonus in March and is counting on him to come back from shoulder surgery. Bobby Wagner certainly expects him back. Talking about first-rounder Jordyn Brooks, Wright’s possible replacement in 2021, Wagner said, “Myself and K.J. will gladly take him under our wings and tell him everything we know; because, at the end of the day, we want everyone to be successful.”
Q: What if Dunbar is unavailable?
A: Tre Flowers would retain his starting spot, unless the Seahawks brought in a veteran such as Eli Apple or Dre Kirkpatrick. Dunbar’s attorney, Michael Grieco, has gotten witnesses to recant their initial statements about the cornerback’s involvement in the alleged robbery in Miramar, Fla., so there is at the very least some serious doubt about whether he was involved. We’ll see what prosecutors in that jurisdiction decide in the coming days or weeks.