Trade Wilson? Schneider never deals his stars

Wilson and SchneiderThe Seahawks don’t want to trade Russell Wilson, and Wilson doesn’t want to be traded. Yet the ridiculous rumors continue that Seattle might move its franchise quarterback.

ESPN’s football reporters keep talking about the possibility, and recent Raiders coach Jack Del Rio chimed in about it. Jason La Canfora, whose reports about Wilson’s contract have all been negative, posited some trade ideas from “a smart football guy.” And Pro Football Talk, similarly pessimistic about a deal, offered teams that should call Seattle.

All of those people are forgetting one thing: John Schneider NEVER trades a premier player when he has any value. He keeps him to the bitter end. So it would be a stunner if he even considered dealing Wilson.

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Explaining (and debunking) a cap-percentage deal

Salary cap logoEveryone has a take on Russell Wilson and his contract. And some of them are pretty chuckleheaded.

Like the ESPN guys (and many fans) talking about Seattle trading Wilson.

Or the local radio guy who compared Wilson to redneck NBA thief Clay Bennett — basically calling the quarterback a liar who is trying to make the team look bad and really wants to play on the tag until the new CBA kicks in.

Or the lawyer turned sensationalist NFL blogger whose latest conspiracy theory has Wilson wanting to play on the tag for two years and then leave Seattle. Or (just in case that one is wrong) the blogger also has the QB trying to push a new contract tactic.

We all know Wilson wants to play his whole career in Seattle — he has said it many times — so we’ll ignore those first three lame takes. But let’s explain that contract scheme before we dismiss it.

Continue reading Explaining (and debunking) a cap-percentage deal

Are Hawks ‘guaranteed’ to miss April 15 deadline?

Salary cap logoGuaranteed money is the key to any contract, and it’s the most important thing to Russell Wilson in his new deal. It also figures to be the thing that could delay an agreement.

When he signed his first extension in 2015, Wilson became the No. 2 NFL player in average salary ($21.9 million), right behind Aaron Rodgers ($22 million). But he still trailed a handful of quarterbacks in guaranteed money.

With a dozen QBs having gotten new deals since Wilson was paid, he now ranks 15th in guaranteed part of the total deal (36.2 percent) and 17th in guaranteed money per year ($7.9 million) — according to figures compiled by OverTheCap.com.

Those are the two best ways to measure contract values, and Wilson is aiming for the top marks in those categories now. Kirk Cousins has his entire $28 million per year guaranteed, and Matt Ryan has 63 percent of his deal guaranteed, at $18.9 million per year.

Continue reading Are Hawks ‘guaranteed’ to miss April 15 deadline?

Another deadline: Will Hawks pay Wilson top dollar this time?

Wilson signing contractIf the Seahawks were to offer Russell Wilson $105 million guaranteed over three years, it sounds like he might take it.

Just like 2015, Wilson has set a deadline for a new deal — it’s just earlier this time. Unlike 2015, though, he wants to be the highest-paid player in the NFL — no second fiddle to Aaron Rodgers — and have the entire thing fully guaranteed, according to Jake Heaps on 710 ESPN.

But there seems to be a concern that Pete Carroll and John Schneider won’t put their money where their complimentary mouths are.

Continue reading Another deadline: Will Hawks pay Wilson top dollar this time?

Schneider should target four Day 2 picks

Schneider at 2019 combine“Not cool.” — John Schneider on having just four picks as draft month begins.

John Schneider is lamenting his lack of draft picks this year and wondering whether he will be able to trade down in a deep draft, but there is no reason to worry on either count.

Schneider needs to look at his draft stock over two years, knowing he will have 13-15 picks. As we chronicle in our comp tracker, the Hawks will have at least two bonus picks next year — a 3 and 4 — and might end up with all four (3, 4, 6, 7).

Knowing he will get at least an extra third and fourth, Schneider has the luxury of potentially using his real 3 and 4 in 2020 to trade up in this draft. Added to his likelihood of moving out of the first round, that should create enough flexibility for Seattle to net three or four Day 2 picks. And that is what Schneider should be targeting.

Continue reading Schneider should target four Day 2 picks

Carroll thinks roster is deep, but Hawks’ needs are obvious

NFL draftJust one year after Pete Carroll and John Schneider dismantled their legendary defense and surprised many by making the playoffs with young players replacing the departed stars, Carroll thinks his team is good enough as constituted to take the next step.

At the owners meetings in Phoenix, Carroll told John Clayton: “It’s going to be very difficult to make this team this year for the incoming guys. That’s because the depth is growing.”

He mentioned the offensive line, tight end, running back and cornerback as positions where the depth looks good. He also likes his safeties and is looking forward to having his best linebacking crew (assuming Mychal Kendricks avoids prison).

But we all know the Hawks can get better — they didn’t get home field or reach the Super Bowl last season, after all. And we already know which positions the Seahawks are going to prioritize in the draft: defensive line and receiver.

Continue reading Carroll thinks roster is deep, but Hawks’ needs are obvious

Questions for Carroll & Schneider at owners meetings

Carroll at owners meetings 2019(UPDATED with Pete Carroll’s comments March 26)

The NFL owners meetings run through Wednesday, and we should hear from Pete Carroll and John Schneider on Tuesday.

They won’t give many revealing answers, obviously, but here are some questions we have about the Seahawks as we finish Week 2 of the league year:

Thoughts on Russell Wilson aiming to be the top-paid player in the league? Think they will get something done with Wilson before the season starts? Have they talked much yet?

Carroll: “We’ve been in communication, sure. It’s very topical. We’re on it.”

Continue reading Questions for Carroll & Schneider at owners meetings

Don’t panic: Hawks can easily keep top stars

Logo -- Free agencyThere’s much panic in the streets about whether the Seahawks are going to keep their top four players in 2020, and it has only intensified after pessimistic speculation by NFL reporter Mike Garafolo on 710 ESPN.

If you believe Garafolo (and others), the Seahawks probably won’t re-sign Russell Wilson, Frank Clark or Bobby Wagner before next year. And don’t forget about Jarran Reed, the fourth musketeer in this contract melee.

But here’s the truth of the matter: The Seahawks have the cap space to keep all four on market deals if John Schneider and Pete Carroll want them back, and they can guarantee they keep two of those players in 2020 without any extensions because teams are allowed to use both a franchise tag and a transition tag in the final year of the CBA (which 2020 will be).

Continue reading Don’t panic: Hawks can easily keep top stars

Seahawks aren’t much better yet, but what about their opponents?

Logo -- Free agencyThe Seahawks have signed eight guys over the last week, but only one would be considered an improvement over what they had last year. In other words, they are still just getting started trying to make this club better.

So far, they have kept the status quo at offensive line (D.J. Fluker and George Fant back, Mike Iupati replacing J.R. Sweezy), defensive line (Frank Clark and Quinton Jefferson both tendered) and linebacker (K.J. Wright and possibly Mychal Kendricks back). The only upgrade has been the makeup signing of kicker Jason Myers, who should have been their kicker in 2018.

At this point, the Hawks are basically the same team that won 10 games last year. To get better — and have a chance at the necessary home field next season — they absolutely have to add a couple of defensive linemen before the draft arrives. Once they do that, we will see whether they actually have improved.

Meanwhile, let’s see how their status quo approach compares to the moves of their 2019 opponents:

Continue reading Seahawks aren’t much better yet, but what about their opponents?

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