In one swell foop Thursday, the Seahawks reset their offensive line for 2019 — bringing back D.J. Fluker and swapping in Mike Iupati for J.R. Sweezy (basically a trade with Arizona).
The Hawks now have four former first-round picks and one second-rounder as their line starters. You can hardly get better draft pedigree than that.
They also will return four starters to the line that led the league’s top rushing attack in 2018. They just have to hope Fluker and Iupati can stay healthy for Mike Solari — or at least combine with Jordan Simmons to put together 32 man-games at the guard spots in 2019.
Then John Schneider needs to work up a plan for beyond next season.
Continue reading 2019 line set, but what about the future?
As the league year dawns, the Seahawks already have lost six players and seem set to lose at least one more. None of it is unexpected though.
The Seahawks have long made it obvious they didn’t want to pay Earl Thomas or K.J. Wright, and they were never going to spend much on any of their other UFAs either.
The Seahawks already have roster replacements for Justin Coleman, Mike Davis, Brett Hundley and Thomas. So the club’s top priorities should be to re-sign D.J. Fluker, add a pass rusher and replace Shamar Stephen and Wright (assuming he leaves, too).
Continue reading Current options for four priority positions
At the Combine, John Schneider and Pete Carroll both talked up “amazing” new owner Jody Allen, who has seamlessly stepped in for her late brother Paul Allen.
Carroll noted, “She will surprise the heck out of you. She is on it. She is aggressive in her approach.”
That last part is worth repeating, apparently, as a source told Bob Condotta that “early indications are that Jody Allen might even be more willing to be as aggressive as possible to keep the team at a high competitive level each season than was Paul Allen, whose general inclination (was) to think more about the long-term big picture.”
Jody’s mentality seems to line up very well with the team’s situation, as Carroll aims to be “formidable” as he winds down his tenure and the Seahawks enter a salary-cap reset this year and next. This is the time to be aggressive.
Continue reading Jody Allen aggressively pursuing another title
Here are the key statements from John Schneider at the Combine today:
The GM expects Frank Clark to be a Seahawk but does not yet know whether he will end up using the franchise tag on him by Tuesday. (Or, if he does, he is not saying.)
Schneider has talked to Russell Wilson‘s agent, Mark Rodgers, about an extension, but that is not a priority at this stage of the offseason. Schneider also said he gets the impression Wilson wants to remain with the Seahawks. “I have no reason to believe otherwise — other than Internet rumors.”
Continue reading Schneider speaks at Combine
Right after the Seahawks’ season ended prematurely, we put forth an offseason to-do list that included extending Frank Clark, improving the defensive line, addressing the future of right tackle, re-signing guards, deciding the fate of their linebackers, adding a vet safety and, of course, extending Russell Wilson.
Earlier this month, we also outlined the projected market for Seattle’s free agents — predicting the team would franchise Clark and keep at least one of the guards while probably/possibly losing Earl Thomas, K.J. Wright, Justin Coleman, Mike Davis and Shamar Stephen.
We also listed pass-rush options beyond Clark — as a No. 2 pass rusher should be Seattle’s top outside priority.
If the Seahawks wanted to, they could retain Clark and at least one guard; extend Wilson, Bobby Wagner and Jarran Reed; and still have around $20 million for other moves.
Here’s a detailed look at how Seattle could accomplish all of that:
Continue reading Hawks have roster flexibility: Here’s a detailed budget
Russell Wilson could be guaranteed $100 million and Frank Clark $50 million in new deals, according to contract expert Joel Corry, who also laid out the possible markets for several other Seahawks in a conversation with John Clayton on 710 ESPN.
Per Corry, Wilson figures to hit $35 million APY (as we projected) if he signs an extension this year, Clark will aim for $20 million (if not franchised at around $17 million), K.J. Wright could get more than $7 million, and D.J. Fluker, J.R. Sweezy and Justin Coleman all could merit around $5 million on the open market.
All of those amounts, except Wilson’s, would be more than the Seahawks are expected to be willing to pay. But the markets for Wright, the guards and Coleman might not hit those figures either, Corry acknowledged.
Continue reading Projected market for Hawks’ free agents
Since training camp last summer, Russell Wilson has said these Seahawks remind him of the 2012 team he led as a rookie, which exceeded some people’s expectations by reaching the second round of the playoffs and then came back to win the Super Bowl in 2013.
While this crew also surprised a lot of people, it didn’t do quite as well as the 2012 squad, failing to win a playoff game. But, even after the 24-22 loss in Dallas, Wilson thought the comparison valid. “If precedence has any truth to it,” he said, “hopefully we can find a way to do something good like that.”
Some think this team is ready to contend in 2019.
“We have everything we need,” Doug Baldwin said. “You have all the pieces. You have all the right mindsets, personalities, everything. It’s just we’re a young team. With the time comes progression, comes growth, comes learning. This team will be better.”
Continue reading Offseason to-do list
With the playoffs now just a win away, most people are focused on the future of the Seahawks this season, but the 21-7 win over the Vikings on Monday night offered some major food for thought about the future beyond this season.
Bobby Wagner and Frank Clark led a thundering defense that dominated Minnesota for nearly the entire game — a stellar performance by the duo that reinforced the idea that the Seahawks need to pay their two best defenders next offseason.
Meanwhile, Russell Wilson continued a rollercoaster season that proves he does not deserve to be the NFL’s top-paid QB next year.
Continue reading Wagner, Clark have earned big paydays, but Wilson hasn’t
The Seattle futures of two key players are at top of mind after the blowout win over the 49ers.
Bobby Wagner’s historic performance is the kind of game that seemingly makes re-signing him next year a no-brainer — but, of course, it’s not.
On the other side, D.J. Fluker’s hamstring injury is another reminder why the injury-prone road grader was available on the cheap this year and why the Seahawks should tread lightly in their expected offer to him after the season.
Continue reading Focus on futures of Wagner, Fluker
Tom Cable won’t recognize the offensive line on the other side of the field in London — because it is playing better than any unit he coached in Seattle since 2012.
Mike Solari replaced Cable (who ended up back in Oakland) this year and has tailored his hybrid scheme to fit the talents and aggressive nature of a line that now includes former first-round picks Duane Brown, D.J. Fluker and Germain Ifedi; second-rounder Justin Britt, and Cable’s one-time conversion project, J.R. Sweezy.
Since Fluker and Sweezy took over at the guard spots in Week 3, the Seahawks have led the NFL in rushing (474 yards on 105 runs) and are now in the top 10 overall — like they used to be when Marshawn Lynch was Beast Moding to bail out Cable’s poorly schemed and oft-injured lines.
If they keep going like this, the Hawks should try to keep this group together for a couple more years.
Continue reading This O-line group looks worth keeping