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

Bears could bring Watson to Seattle

John Schneider has a clear path to getting Deshaun Watson to Seattle – if only he has the will and the wile to take it.

Last week, Bears GM Ryan Pace said he had a plan for finding a new quarterback: “Everything is on the table in regard to the quarterback situation. That includes free agency, trade, the draft and a combination of all those. We have a plan in place.”

It’s no surprise that plan reportedly starts with Russell Wilson, whose agent publicly invited the Bears (and the Raiders, Saints and Cowboys) to pursue the quarterback. Wilson reportedly likes the idea of playing for an offensive coach like Chicago’s Matt Nagy (an Andy Reid disciple), and the egomaniacal QB apparently loves the thought of being a savior in the Windy City.

Perfect. Schneider needs to use Chicago as his conduit for getting a Wilson-Watson swap.

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What if Schneider does cut Dunlap?

There is a lot of smoke swirling around Carlos Dunlap, with more and more insiders thinking the Seahawks will “fire” him due to his $14 million cap hit.

It wouldn’t be an advisable move, unless John Schneider had a sure plan to replace one ace pass rusher with another. The GM can’t stumble blindly along like he has the past two years, waiting until some disgruntled star becomes available in a cheap trade and adjusts his salary for Seattle. It’s not a sustainable strategy.

If the Hawks cut Dunlap, they MUST find another top pass rusher — BEFORE the season this time. It would become their No. 1 roster need — ahead of center, corner, running back or any other spot. And if Schneider let that position drift in the wind again, it would be just as detrimental to the defense as it was the last two years.

So, what can Schneider do if he cuts Dunlap?

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Wilson’s guys drive anti-Carroll crusade

“Pete Carroll has too much power.”  

It’s a ridiculous sentiment that has gotten a lot of traction this month in the wake of reports that Russell Wilson is upset that Carroll won’t include him in personnel and scheme decisions as much as the quarterback wants.

Colin Cowherd, a radio mouthpiece for Wilson and his agent, is the most visible peddler of this stupid abuse-of-power theory. All of the pass-happy data dorks who despise Carroll’s philosophy agree, of course. And fans who have been brainwashed into believing Wilson is a victim certainly believe it.

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