Tag Archives: Earl Thomas

Countdown to 49ers starts in Cleveland

Logo -- At ClevelandThe Seahawks were supposed to be watching the Browns on Monday night — their homework for this week — but it was pretty hard to miss the team that dominated Baker Mayfield and company.

“That night was San Francisco’s night,” Pete Carroll said of the 49ers’ 31-3 win. “It didn’t matter what happened, really. The ball kept coming their way and they kept making the plays. They looked great.”

The Hawks play at Cleveland this week, but in a month they will be facing the 49ers in what figures to be a major Monday night showdown — impacting both the division and conference races.

In Cleveland, the Seahawks (4-1) are looking to go 5-1 for the third time in franchise history (2003, 2013). After that, they host still-feisty Earl Thomas and Baltimore, visit Dan Quinn’s struggling Falcons (1-4) and then host Bruce Arians’ high-scoring Bucs. That’s a recipe for an 8-1 record, 7-2 at worst.

Meanwhile, if the 49ers (4-0) can beat the Rams (3-2) in L.A. this week, they could easily be 8-0 when they host the Seahawks in Week 10. They play Washington (0-5), Carolina (3-2) and Arizona (1-3-1) in between.

The Seahawks have the toughest remaining schedule in the league, according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA ratings (which are a better approximation of team strength than simple winning percentage). That tough slate is due largely to playing the No. 1 49ers, No. 4 Philadelphia, No. 6 Baltimore and No. 7 Minnesota.

The Seahawks should be up to the challenge. They rank ninth in DVOA themselves — thanks to nearly perfect Russell Wilson and the No. 3 offense — and will get better on defense as Ziggy Ansah, Jadeveon Clowney and Jarran Reed come together in the second half.

As Clowney said of the pass rush, “We’re winning games and we’re not playing our best right now, which is always a good thing. It’s a long, long season.

“Once we start clicking on all cylinders, I think we’re going to make a big push at the right time. That’s all we’re waiting on. Everything’s about timing. We’ve just got to keep working together, keep getting better and winning games.”

A quick look at the very winnable next four:

Cleveland: Mayfield has thrown eight interceptions and has been sacked 16 times, and Odell Beckham Jr. is starting to get antsy. The defense has a great pass rush but has been gashed by the 49ers and Ravens for 448 rushing yards the past two weeks.

Baltimore: Thomas has had a rough first few games, and he’ll certainly bring his personal vendetta against Carroll to this one. But that defense has allowed three 300-yard passers and seven rushing touchdowns. After a hot start (six TD passes in the opener at Miami), Lamar Jackson has thrown five interceptions and been sacked nine times the past two games.

Atlanta: Quinn is on the hot seat as his team has given up 30.4 points per game (which would be worst in the NFL if not for Miami’s ridiculous 40.8). The Falcons have given up 12 TD passes, also second-most in the NFL, and have allowed 139 rushing yards per game in their four losses.

Tampa Bay: Jameis Winston & Co. are the No. 5 scoring squad in the league (29.4) and are 2-1 on the road, including a whopping 55-40 upset of the Rams in L.A. Arians’ team is competitive, and the coach loves Seattle. This figures to be the toughest of the four.

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Why Wagner and not Thomas & Clark?

Training camp logo2The season is still over a month away, but the Seahawks already have tallied a bunch of W’s — Wilson, Wright and now Wagner.

With his $54 million deal, Bobby Wagner joined Russell Wilson ($140 million) and K.J. Wright ($15.5 million) as rare “keepers” for a Seattle club that has undergone some major changes over the past two offseasons.

The Seahawks were wise to hand third deals to all three W’s, but some wonder why they got paid and Earl Thomas and Frank Clark didn’t. Why pay a middle linebacker $18 million a year but refuse to pay your star safety and pass rusher, leaving you with no other established standouts on defense?

Continue reading Why Wagner and not Thomas & Clark?

Camp begins with the Wright stuff

Training camp logo2One of the few recent feel-good moves by the Seahawks was the somewhat surprising re-signing of K.J. Wright, the longest-tenured Seahawk at eight years and counting.

The wise old vet disseminated some great wisdom and leadership on the first day of camp, offering some inside optimism about Bobby Wagner’s status, plus some level-headed logic about the Earl Thomas snit and some funny introspection.

Continue reading Camp begins with the Wright stuff

Season success will be determined in prime time

2019 scheduleSeattle’s 2019 season will be defined in prime time in November and December.

The Seahawks got a very balanced schedule, highlighted by alternating home and road games through the first 14 weeks and four straight night games in the second half of the season.

The Hawks will play five prime-time games overall, including two against the division rival Rams.

Seattle also has four 10 a.m. games, but Pete Carroll doesn’t care (ask him). His teams are 13-11 in 10 a.m. starts (playoffs included) since Russell Wilson arrived, and they have won seven of the last nine (all three in 2018).

Continue reading Season success will be determined in prime time

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.

Continue reading Trade Wilson? Schneider never deals his 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?

Wright’s back, but Legion of Boom can take a bow

Earl takes a bowThe return of K.J. Wright means there will still be two members of Seattle’s famed Legion of Boom defense on the field in 2019. But make no mistake: That unit is now officially gone.

Wright’s re-signing was a pleasant surprise after Earl Thomas’ long, slow goodbye finally ended with him heading to Baltimore for $13.75 million a year.

With Thomas gone, Wright and Bobby Wagner are the only ones who remain from Pete Carroll’s vaunted defense that helped lead the Seahawks to two Super Bowls and put together one of the most spectacular half-decades in league annals.

But the end also is in sight for Wright, who sounds like he’s going to retire after this two-year contract. And there is no guarantee Wagner will be around beyond this year, the final of his deal.

Continue reading Wright’s back, but Legion of Boom can take a bow

Thomas won’t get $15M, and Hawks won’t bid big for Collins, Weddle

Logo -- Free agencyEarl Thomas apparently thinks he can get $15 million a year. But that’s pretty delusional, especially given the glut of good safeties in free agency this year.

Thomas got some big company on the safety market when the Giants decided against tagging star strong safety Landon Collins and Baltimore cut Eric Weddle. The safety class includes some excellent players: Thomas, Collins, Weddle, Tyrann Mathieu, Lamarcus Joyner, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Adrian Amos, Kenny Vaccaro.

Continue reading Thomas won’t get $15M, and Hawks won’t bid big for Collins, Weddle

Schneider speaks at Combine

chawk lines -- CombineHere 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

Projected market for Hawks’ free agents

Salary cap logoRussell 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