Value for good vets continues to elude Schneider

Over his 11-plus years as Seattle’s GM, John Schneider has been pretty good when it comes to making trades (we put him around .600).

But it’s also rare when Schneider gets value out of good players he lets go.

He didn’t get it for Michael Bennett or Richard Sherman or Earl Thomas. And he certainly didn’t get it with Jarran Reed, who was released Friday because the Seahawks had put themselves in a spot where they needed his $9 million in cap space and Schneider could not get a team to give up even a seventh-rounder for a solid starting defensive tackle who has 19 sacks over the past three seasons.

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Dunlap is back: At long last, Schneider locks in a top pass rusher

That “Whewwwwww” you heard Thursday was a collective sigh of relief from Seahawks fans as John Schneider finally secured an ace pass rusher who was more than a desperation rental.

The return of Carlos Dunlap was everything Seattle needed this offseason – easily the best move Schneider has made in the past two years, let alone the past two weeks.

Schneider has been patching his pass rush ever since trading Frank Clark in April 2019. He tried with Ziggy Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney that year, then moved on to Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa last year, before finally landing Dunlap in a lucky desperation trade.

It took releasing Dunlap, letting him see the market and then letting Jarran Reed go to bring him back. But at least Schneider finally locked in an ace pass rusher for a couple of years.

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Just one new blocker, but protection starts with Waldron

With the return of backups Jordan Simmons and Cedric Ogbuehi, the Seahawks’ offensive line is now set — at least until the draft – but plenty of people are wondering what Russell Wilson thinks about the fact that his calls for better protection netted just one new blocker.

Here’s a good reminder for those folks (and Wilson): Seattle’s first and biggest effort at improving protection was made in January with the hires of OC Shane Waldron and running game coordinator Andy Dickerson from the Rams.

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Roster report: Dunlap’s return makes free agency a success

(UPDATED 3/26) The Seahawks had a busy first couple of weeks of free agency. They lost five guys, kept eight and added four — resetting both lines and replacing Shaquill Griffin while bringing back Chris Carson and Carlos Dunlap.

It sure seemed like a successful stretch of personnel moves, but did they get any better?

That answer won’t be fully known until the fall, of course, but they seem to have upgraded their offense with the additions of Gabe Jackson and Gerald Everett. Carson also surprisingly returned, so the backfield is full. The team still needs to find a third receiver, but new OC Shane Waldron’s unit seems improved over the 2020 crew.

The defense still has some questions at cornerback, but Dunlap’s return was the exclamation point on a whirlwind couple of days in which the Hawks also brought back Benson Mayowa, added Kerry Hyder and let Jarran Reed go. Even with Reed leaving (unfortunately for nothing), the pass rush certainly got better through those moves.

Here’s a look at the latest news and possible next moves at each position:

Continue reading Roster report: Dunlap’s return makes free agency a success

How Schneider could try to add more picks

The official NFL draft order was released Friday, leading many fans to worry anew about the Seahawks’ lack of draft picks: They have a league-worst 0.9% of the total draft capital.

Some think John Schneider has basically punted on this draft after a pandemic-ruined college season and pre-draft period.

As Brady Henderson confirmed in December, Schneider did indeed make the big trade for Jamal Adams last summer because he knew this draft would be a bigger guessing game than usual. And he obviously was desperate to add a good guard (Gabe Jackson) to appease Russell Wilson. Those two deals cost a 1, 3 and 5. The 6 was traded in last year’s draft to move up for Stephen Sullivan, who is now in Carolina. So, Seattle has just a 2, 4 and 7 left at this point.

But, if you know Schneider, you know he will find a way to get back in the draft. After all, he has never had fewer than eight picks and is famously adept at moving down to add more selections.

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On Day 1, Hawks show Wilson they care

The Seahawks seem to be making peace with (and appeasing) Russell Wilson.

After a rough Monday where they lost out on a couple of linemen and fans grumbled, they did several things over the following two days that signaled they are recommitting to their quarterback. First, they declined a huge trade offer from Chicago. Then they came back the next day and signed tight end Gerald Everett and then made a “just for you, Russ” trade for veteran guard Gabe Jackson.

Wilson indicated he liked the Jackson trade, which sets up Seattle’s line with starters everywhere but at center, which is still one of their top two needs. (UPDATE: They re-signed Ethan Pocic.)

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Hawks denied Bears, but that does not end trade possibility

Seahawks fans who favor Russell Wilson rejoiced today when Chicago signed Andy Dalton and word emerged that Pete Carroll and John Schneider had declined an “adamant and aggressive” offer from the Bears. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Wilson won’t be traded.

Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Carroll and company decided they didn’t want to rebuild – i.e., they had no guarantee of a playoff quarterback to replace Wilson. But Adam Schefter of ESPN said it is possible the Seahawks change their minds later – “next month, next year, whatever it may be.”

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Hawks should not restructure Wilson

Contract restructures have been the topic of the week around the NFL. It’s a simple procedure that converts salary to bonus, pays the player right away and gives the team salary cap relief.

Some fans are calling for the Seahawks and Russell Wilson to do it. They could cut his salary from $19 million to the $1.075 million minimum to create $12 million in space.

To clarify: Wilson’s deal reportedly gives the team automatic conversion rights, so they don’t need Wilson’s permission — they already got it when he signed his contract.

But we don’t think the Seahawks should use it with Wilson at all, and we don’t think they will.

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Olsen: Seahawks are at a ‘crossroads’

There seemingly are few people who have not picked a side in the Russell Wilson vs. Pete Carroll power play, but Greg Olsen apparently is one of them.

Olsen was with the Seahawks for just one year, but the longtime NFL vet saw the personalities of Wilson and Carroll up close in 2020. So his perspective – that of a guy who went to the postseason with three franchises and knows what it takes to win – is valuable.

In a podcast interview with Colin Cowherd, an anti-Carroll Wilson supporter, Olsen presented a very fair, unbiased look at the situation, pointing out there is more than one way to win and showing it is possible to respect both Wilson and Carroll, who we all know both have their strengths and weaknesses.

“Both guys know that they’re capable of being among the all-time best,” Olsen said. “They just have a little bit of a different philosophy on how it’s done.”

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Dunlap release not a surprise, also not a good sign

The Seahawks’ release of Carlos Dunlap, their best pass rusher, was not unexpected, but it also is probably not a good omen for the offseason.

It shows that the Seahawks did not value their most impactful defender from 2020, were not creative enough to keep him, are still not looking to the future and are likely to go the budget route in filling their few roster holes.

Continue reading Dunlap release not a surprise, also not a good sign