Category Archives: Free agency

Will Rubin replace Mebane? And what’s the long-term plan?

RubinEven if Ahtyba Rubin is
displacing Brandon Mebane, the Seahawks need to address the nose tackle position long term — most likely in the draft.

The Hawks reportedly are bringing in Rubin on a one-year, prove-it deal — not unlike the contract Michael Bennett signed in 2013.

Rubin, 28, is a big-time run stopper who tallied 80 tackles twice in seven seasons with the Cleveland Browns and was making more than $6 million a year. The Hawks are paying him about half that, especially considering they apparently think $5.5 million is too much to pay the 30-year-old Mebane. (Update: Rubin reportedly will make up to $3.1 million.)

Whether they keep both players or pair Rubin with Tony McDaniel (making $3 million) and send Mebane the way of former Seahawks draft picks Red Bryant and Max Unger, it is obvious the Hawks need to address the position beyond this year.

Continue reading Will Rubin replace Mebane? And what’s the long-term plan?

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If Jackson leaves, is Daniels the backup QB?

B.J. DanielsThe Seahawks want Tarvaris Jackson back as Russell Wilson’s backup and he reportedly would like to come back, but the Hawks apparently are not offering him enough to return.

That explains why Jackson is visiting the Miami Dolphins, who are exploring options to replace free agent Matt Moore.

If Jackson ends up signing with Miami, what would the Seahawks do?

Three options: (1) Save a roster spot by using B.J. Daniels as a utility QB/KR/WR, (2) sign a veteran, (3) draft a quarterback.

Continue reading If Jackson leaves, is Daniels the backup QB?

Are Bennett/Hardy reports driven by Rosenhaus?

Michael Bennett and Drew RosenhausDrew Rosenhaus
appears to be creating quite the drama
surrounding the
Seahawks today,
apparently telling a Dallas reporter that Michael Bennett wants the Seahawks to trade him to Atlanta, where he would want a new contract, and the Seahawks are meanwhile prepared to match any offer the Dallas Cowboys make to social pariah Greg Hardy.

Rosenhaus is the agent for both Bennett and Hardy, and it seems clear he is using Dallas reporter Clarence Hill as a way to improve the market for Hardy, the mercurial defensive end who is still unsigned because of a domestic-assault case and potential NFL suspension.

Per Hill, Bennett wants a new contract and trade to the Falcons, who are now coached by former Seattle DC Dan Quinn. And Hill also reported, via KJR radio, that the Hawks are willing to match any offer the Cowboys make for Hardy.

The Seahawks, meanwhile, have told local reporters they have not heard from Bennett about a trade request (but no word on whether he wants more money). The Hawks also have said their contact with Hardy (i.e., Rosenhaus) has been mere “due diligence.”

So what is the truth/logic behind all of this drama?

Continue reading Are Bennett/Hardy reports driven by Rosenhaus?

CHAWK LINES -- Week in review

For the second time in three years, the Seahawks stole the headlines on the first day of free agency, trading Max Unger and a first-round pick to the Saints for Jimmy Graham and a fourth.

Just days after signing his new contract, Marshawn Lynch purportedly found himself in the middle of a street brawl — and wisely extricated himself.

Lots of former Seattle cornerbacks are getting paid by other teams, Bob Condotta points out. It’s because they come from the Pete Carroll Secondary School.

The Seahawks added their own corner, Cary Williams. Here’s a breakdown from Doug Farrar. And here’s one from Field Gulls.

Continue reading

Carroll discusses his roster & Hawks watch comp picks add up

Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson plan to be clapping about their offense a lot this season (Getty Images)As the New Orleans Saints continued to revamp their roster Friday with yet another trade, the Seahawks — still basking in the glow of the deal that brought tight end Jimmy Graham from the Saints — simply looked within.

The news that impacted them was of players signing elsewhere, but they don’t care. No one will miss Bryan “Wave It Off” Walters, who signed with Jacksonville, and the Hawks didn’t need Shelley Smith, who got $5.65 million over two years from Denver or Stefen Wisniewski, who is a possibility but not a pressing need.

Pete Carroll has said several times this week, including on KJR Radio on Friday, that the Seahawks feel comfortable with some of their young linemen (Alvin Bailey, Patrick Lewis, Garry Gilliam, Keavon Milton, et al.) and think the draft is full of good linemen. Expect the Hawks to use at least two of their 11 picks on big guys.

They can only hope to come up with another J.R. Sweezy, the 2012 seventh-rounder who has played so much that he received $260,000 in performance bonuses from 2014 and got a CBA-mandated bump to a $1.54 million salary this year (as did Russell Wilson).

Continue reading Carroll discusses his roster & Hawks watch comp picks add up

Saints’ interest in Unger creates another shot at TE-focused offense

Jimmy Graham scores against the SeahawksIt turns out the Seahawks were not just getting rid of Max Unger in the Jimmy Graham deal.

Saints coach Sean Payton specifically asked John Schneider about acquiring the former Pro Bowl center, and then the two sides began talking about compensation.

The first-round pick the Hawks included in the deal made it seem as if Seattle had approached New Orleans about Graham, but that’s not the way it happened, according to Schneider and other sources.

“They had strong interest in Max,” the Seattle GM told 710 ESPN. “They really want to fix their center positon (and) concentrate on their defense. For us, it was, ‘OK, who are the players involved?’ (Graham) came into the fray and we started talking about it.”

The Saints apparently were still at odds with Graham over the franchise tag battle last year, when the tagged him as a tight end and he filed a grievance seeking to be tagged as a wide receiver, which would have paid him about $5 million more. He ended up signing a four-year, $40 million contract.

Now the Hawks have him for the final three years of that deal — assuming they don’t change it or he somehow doesn’t work out.

This is the latest — and perhaps best — chance for the Seahawks to create the kind of tight-end-focused offense they have tried in the past.

Continue reading Saints’ interest in Unger creates another shot at TE-focused offense

D-line market grows; will Hawks check out Starks and Johnson?

Randy StarksThe Seahawks have always loved veteran defensive linemen. Just look at their starting four last season: Three free agents and Brandon Mebane, who was drafted by the previous regime.

It has been suggested that the 30-year-old Mebane, coming off a torn hamstring and due $5.5 million this year, could be a cap casualty.

The Hawks’ defensive line accounts for the biggest percentage of the salary cap of any part of the team — the $33 million slated to be paid to that unit this year is 23 percent of the cap. Only the Rams’, Bills’ and Dolphins’ defensive lines account for more among NFL D-lines (per OverTheCap.com).

That, along with the uncertainty around free agent Kevin Williams, explains why the Hawks have been snooping around veteran defensive tackles.

The Hawks reportedly talked to defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois before he signed with Washington and were said to be interested in former Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett before he signed with the 49ers.

Now you can add a few more names to that list after Miami cut Randy Starks, Tampa Bay cut Michael Johnson and word is the Hawks are among the interested parties in Denver UFA Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton. Also out there is longtime Patriot Vince Wilfork.

Continue reading D-line market grows; will Hawks check out Starks and Johnson?

Hawks need cap space: How can they make some?

Salary cap logoUnless the Seahawks alter Jimmy Graham’s contract, they have about $15 million in cap space. But they will need to earmark about $5 million of that for rookie bonuses, practice squad players and injury replacements next season, and they probably will need about $8 million in additional cap space for the extensions for Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner.

With free-agent needs on both lines and possibly at receiver and backup quarterback, basic math tells us the Hawks need to create some space at some point. How can they do that?

Continue reading Hawks need cap space: How can they make some?

Hawks have not lost much on the line; it’s time to upgrade anyway

Hawks lined upThe Seahawks’ offensive line has been a mess for years. The unit has not started the same five since 2007 and has averaged seven combinations per year under Pete Carroll.

It’s not for a lack of trying. Since 2009, the Hawks have drafted two linemen in the first round and two in the second.

But that group has just not stayed healthy or developed as a unit — so it’s no surprise at all that the Hawks let two so-called starters go Tuesday.

Center Max Unger missed 13 games over the past two seasons, and left guard James Carpenter never played a full season in four years as a Seahawk. The Hawks were no longer interested in paying Unger, preferring to bring in Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham instead, and they were not going to keep Carpenter for $5 million a year either.

Some people are wringing their hands over the loss of two nominal starters, but the fact is they were more like part-time starters, the Hawks did well enough without them and it’s time to bring in some new blood.

Continue reading Hawks have not lost much on the line; it’s time to upgrade anyway

Good value: Hawks snagged a third-rounder in Graham deal, too

Byron Maxwell picks off a pass from Arizona QB Drew Stanton (Seahawks.com)One of the big questions coming out of the Seahawks’ trade Tuesday is whether they got the proper value in the deal.

We’d say it was a great deal for the Hawks — getting a first-round-caliber tight end and picks in the third and fourth rounds in exchange for a first-round pick and a second-round center whose value no longer matched that.

Yeah, we know: The deal between the Seahawks and Saints brought tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick for center Max Unger and a first-rounder. Technically no third-rounder.

But that is not the way Seattle GM John Schneider is looking at it. Guaranteed he sees it this way: By trading for a top offensive player and not signing an unrestricted free agent at $8 million a year, he still will get a third-round comp pick in 2016 for losing Byron Maxwell to the Eagles at $10 million a year.

And you know he will be careful to make sure the Hawks lose more UFAs than they sign so that third-rounder comes to him. The Hawks are about to go plus-three in comp picks for 2016, losing Maxwell, James Carpenter (Jets) and Malcolm Smith (Raiders). Cary Williams and Will Blackmon do not count because they were released by their teams.

Continue reading Good value: Hawks snagged a third-rounder in Graham deal, too