The good news: The Seahawks don’t have to play in Denver and Chicago during the winter. The bad news: They have to open with consecutive road games.
The opener in Denver and the Monday night game in Chicago in Week 2 mark the third time since 2011 the Hawks have started with two straight road games. They opened 0-2 in both 2011 and 2015.
Seattle’s 2018 schedule is weighted toward road games early and home games late: The Seahawks play five of the first seven on the road and four of the final five at home (three in prime time).
They have five prime-time games — four in Seattle, where the Hawks are 17-2 in night games (including playoffs) under Pete Carroll. They are 26-5-1 in prime time overall under Carroll.
Continue reading Tough road early, home night games late
The Seahawks have made a ton of gambles in the first two rounds over the last four years, so it will be no surprise if one of their top two picks this week looks like a major wager as well.
Counting trades, the Seahawks have gambled with five of eight picks in the first two rounds since 2012.
In 2012, they picked Bruce Irvin, who had overcome a lot of trouble as a youth and sure didn’t seem like he was worth the 15th pick in the draft.
In 2013, they doubled up on character gambles — making an ill-advised trade for Percy Harvin and then using a luxury pick for Christine Michael in the second round.
In 2014, they reached for Justin Britt at the bottom of the second round.
In 2015, they took the most heat by drafting Frank Clark 63rd overall even though he had been involved in a domestic dispute months earlier.
In 2016, various mock drafts have projected troubled defenders Robert Nkemdiche and Noah Spence to the Seahawks. Even if they trade down, as we expect, would the Seahawks gamble on either of those guys?
Continue reading Which gamble will the Hawks take this year?
In addition to stating that Kam Chancellor will return to the Seahawks this year, John Schneider on Tuesday confirmed the Seahawks’ offensive line situation is indeed as shaky as we all think it is. He also discussed the plan for replacing Bruce Irvin and waved off any silly concerns that Marshawn Lynch is not really retiring.
With Russell Okung and J.R. Sweezy gone, the Seahawks’ line projects (from left to right) as Garry Gilliam, Justin Britt, Patrick Lewis, Mark Glowinski and J’Marcus Webb. If the Seahawks entered the season with that group, they would be in worse shape than they were with the 2015 line.
At the league meetings in Florida, Schneider confirmed that is where they are right now. And he hinted that the team might not add anyone before the draft.
As the line is constituted, Gilliam would battle career backup Bradley Sowell at left tackle while Webb would step in at right tackle, where Gilliam started in 2015. Schneider admitted they are grasping at straws, calling Sowell and Webb “prove-it signings.”
“That’s kind of the stage we are at right now,” the GM told The Seattle Times.
Continue reading Schneider, Carroll answer personnel questions
The Seahawks had a busy first day of free agency, saying goodbye to three Super Bowl stalwarts, watching their 2012 draft class continue to get paid, retaining another starting defender and celebrating their first Super Bowl quarterback as he retired.
It was no surprise that Bruce Irvin, J.R. Sweezy and Brandon Mebane signed elsewhere (even though we expected Mebane to be back). In fact, the Seahawks already were busy trying to replace Irvin and Mebane as former Hawk Chris Clemons reportedly was coming for a visit and Seattle reportedly showed interest in the Eagles’ Cedric Thornton and the Steelers’ Cam Thomas.
A return by the 34-year-old Clemons would be poetic, since he mentored Irvin through his first two NFL seasons. Clemons played with Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril in 2013, when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl.
The Seahawks didn’t try very hard to keep Irvin or Mebane, knowing Irvin would be too expensive and declining to pay Mebane as much as they gave Ahtyba Rubin ($4 million a year) the other day. Irvin ended up getting $9 million a year from Oakland, while Mebane also headed to the AFC West, getting $4.5 million a year from San Diego. Sweezy received a $6.5 million average from Tampa Bay.
Continue reading 2012 picks get paid; Mebane’s tenure ends
A month ago, the NFLPA called out the Raiders and Jaguars for falling behind the CBA’s minimum-spend requirement; so, with a combined $140 million in cap space, it was obvious those teams were going to come out spending this week.
While that is good news for Bruce Irvin, who reportedly will sign a big deal with the Raiders, it might not be a great development for the relationship between Michael Bennett and the Seahawks.
Bennett obviously will take notice of Malik Jackson’s $90 million deal with Jacksonville and feel even more underpaid than he already does. At $15 million a year, Jackson is blowing away the market for defensive ends. And you have to wonder if that will scuttle any chance of Seattle working something out with Bennett.
Continue reading Big-spending Raiders, Jags make it tougher on Hawks, Bennett
As the free agency negotiating period began Monday, two days ahead of the new league year, the Seahawks were at the center of a lot of expected news.
As expected, they managed to re-sign Ahtyba Rubin, one of their excellent veteran defensive tackles. As expected, Bruce Irvin and J.R. Sweezy received a lot of interest. And, as expected, former Seahawk Byron Maxwell did not last long in Philadelphia.
Rubin agreed on a three-year deal. The value was unknown Monday, but expect it to be around $4 million a year. Also expect the Seahawks to keep Brandon Mebane on a cheaper deal.
Continue reading No surprises: Rubin’s back; Irvin, Sweezy in high demand
As the start of the league year fast approaches, we are starting to get an idea of how it is going to play out for Seattle’s top free agents.
Reports over the past two days indicate that Bruce Irvin and Jermaine Kearse aren’t going to be back. Irvin is expected to get around $10 million a year, with Jacksonville and Atlanta among the expected top suitors.
On Wednesday, Irvin told 710 ESPN, “If the money was close, I would definitely consider” signing with the Seahawks. But it won’t be close — Seattle can’t afford more than perhaps $6 million a year.
Meanwhile, Kearse reportedly is planning to sign elsewhere — a sign that the Seahawks have told him their limit (likely $3 million a year) and he knows he can get more elsewhere (maybe $6 million). Speculation has him replacing Roddy White in Atlanta, where former Seattle DC Dan Quinn is entering his second year as coach.
Continue reading As league year nears, UFA picture clears
John Schneider all but admitted that Bruce Irvin will not be back with the Seahawks.
At the Combine on Wednesday, Schneider compared Irvin to Byron Maxwell, who received $10 million a year from Philadelphia last year. Irvin, valued as a linebacker and pass rusher, is expected to get a similar deal from some team.
“I’m sure you get tired of me talking about it,” Schneider said, per The Seattle Times, “but it really, truly is a big puzzle that we have to work through. I have met with Bruce individually and he knows how we feel about him as an organization and he knows that we are either going to be able to make it work or give him a big hug and congratulate him.
Continue reading Schneider concedes Irvin is likely gone
The franchise tag period runs today through March 1, and the Seahawks will skip it for the sixth straight year.
They have not used the tag since 2010 — the first year of the Pete Carroll/John Schneider regime — when they used it on Olindo Mare.
Schneider has stayed ahead of the curve, avoiding any need for the tag by getting early extensions done with potential franchise players Marshawn Lynch (2012), Kam Chancellor (2013), Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman (2014) and Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner (2015).
They gambled on Michael Bennett in 2014 and ended up re-signing him a day before free agency started — a week after the tag deadline.
Continue reading Hawks will continue to avoid franchise tag
The NFL year — i.e., free agency and the trading period — begins in four weeks, but the business of rebuilding teams already has begun as clubs re-sign and release players.
The Seahawks haven’t made any big moves yet — although Marshawn Lynch’s pending retirement will save them $6.5 million vs. the 2016 salary cap — but they surely are watching other teams’ transactions with great interest.
Recent contract extensions have established the markets for Michael Bennett (who is expected to push hard for a raise) and Bruce Irvin; a few teams have parted company with safeties, making them potential trade destinations for Kam Chancellor; and some veteran offensive linemen already have been released as well.
Continue reading Hawks watching other teams’ early moves