John Schneider and Pete Carroll were not kidding when they declared they were going to get better on the defensive line this offseason.
They surprised everyone by breaking out of their frugal free agency routine when they gave Dre Jones the biggest deal they have ever given an outside free agent: $17 million per year over three years. It was a stunningly aggressive start to what has been a surprising free agency period in several ways.
Jarran Reed unexpectedly returned. The Hawks got a good veteran center for much cheaper than expected. Linebackers went fast, but the Hawks added Devin Bush — and Bobby Wagner remained unsigned through this publish, giving Quandre Diggs and many fans hope that he might yet return. The Hawks also added a good starting safety at a bargain, creating all kinds of questions and possibilities at that position.
Continue reading Hawks full of (good) surprises in first week of free agency →
The Seahawks’ draft position improved Saturday.
No, they didn’t make a trade. But Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson’s record-setting performance at the Combine seemed to vault him into the top five of the draft.
That put the Hawks in an even better spot at No. 5, with the top five players now expected to be, in some order, Richardson, Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud, Alabama QB Bryce Young, Alabama OLB Will Anderson Jr. and Georgia DE Jalen Carter.
So the Hawks will have their choice of a top QB or an elite front-seven player – a winning proposition however you slice it.
Last year, after the Hawks traded Russell Wilson, a QB in this draft seemed a no-brainer. But then Geno Smith put together a Pro Bowl season, and there is a real debate now about whether they should take a QB at 5 — especially knowing it is a 50-50 bet or worse.
Continue reading Should Hawks play the lottery and use No. 5 pick on a QB if possible? →
Q&A series: We take a look at some big questions about the Seahawks’ salary cap situation and roster.
Today’s question: Instead of paying big money to Geno Smith, should the Seahawks draft a QB or go with Drew Lock and use cap space on other positions?
There remains a subset of fans and media who think the formula for winning the Super Bowl is a quarterback on a rookie contract and a team built around that player.
The main data point for their argument is the fact that no team has won a Super Bowl with a QB who has taken up more than 13.1% of the team’s salary cap. Russell Wilson, a former third-round pick with a cap hit of $681,000 when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, is the bellwether for that theory.
The fact is that, in the salary cap era (1994 to now), 75% of the time the Super Bowl-winning QB has been in the top three in team cap percentage, according to a 2022 study by Bookies.com. Three QBs on rookie deals have won it in the past 11 years, but most of the winners fell in the range of 10.6% to 12.3% of team cap.
In other words, there is no rhyme or reason to the trend.
If the Chiefs beat the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII, Patrick Mahomes will become the first QB over 13.1% (Steve Young in 1994) to win it. Mahomes took up 17.2% of the Chiefs’ cap this season.
Continue reading Smith a better value than top-five QB in 2023 →
Pete Carroll and John Schneider clearly were happy they defied most expectations and put together a playoff team in 2022. But they know they have work to do, both citing the 49ers as their paragon as they enter the second half of a two-year franchise build using high draft picks.
As Schneider told Seattle Sports Radio, the 49ers are “the biggest, fastest, most physical football team in the National Football League. And we gotta get back to that. No questions asked. … We know what we need to do to attack this thing and take the next step.”
Continue reading ‘A dream opportunity’: Roster review and offseason to-dos →
While the franchise tag seems like an easy fallback option for the Seahawks to retain Geno Smith, a close look at their salary cap situation reveals that they probably are not going to use it – or, if they do, it won’t be for long.
If they do not use it by the March 7 deadline, they would have until March 13, when free agency discussions with other teams can begin, to get a deal with Smith.
Continue reading Cap situation makes franchise tag for Geno Smith unlikely →
In the wake of a surprising (to most) playoff appearance, there is a lot of optimism about the immediate future of the Seahawks. Many seem to think it’s automatic that the team will take the next step and contend next season.
But John Schneider and Pete Carroll have a lot of work to do to convert those positive vibes into a team that can yield positive results in the playoffs. As Carroll said, “It’s nothing unless we do something with it.”
There are two main things to do: Secure the quarterback position and remake the defensive front seven.
Continue reading Lots of optimism, but Hawks have to ‘do something with it’ →
Before the season, we expected the Seahawks would end up 8-9 — leaning on a strong running game and a defense that would force some takeaways to make up for inconsistent play at quarterback.
Well, here they are, right where we projected them – 8-8 with a shot at 9-8 and the playoffs (if Green Bay loses in Week 18, too). They have gotten here largely the way we thought they would – the huge difference being that they got a Pro Bowl season out of QB Geno Smith rather than having to use a combo of Smith and Drew Lock throughout the season.
Smith just beat his old team, the Jets, to get to 8-8. He did it with the help of that running game, which has been streaky rather than strong this season, and the turnovers, which have gone both ways all year (the win over the Jets was the first game in which the Hawks did not lose a turnover).
Once this season ends – whether it is with a playoff game or not – there will be plenty of debate about whether the Hawks should pay Smith top money to return. Some have wanted to extend him since September. We said, “Let’s wait and see.”
With the season almost finished, we now have seen. So let’s look at how he fared and how he and the Seahawks might fit into what could be a very interesting quarterback market.
Continue reading Time to look at Geno’s season and value →
Geno Smith is getting many accolades this week in the wake of his first clutch rally as Seattle’s quarterback, but the Seahawks still have too many problems to be considered much of a playoff threat.
Yes, Smith’s winning drive against the Rams vaulted Seattle back into the playoff picture, but the Hawks struggled against the downtrodden Rams, who were without almost all of their top skill players and started their 12th offensive line combination in 12 games. Even with John Wolford at QB, the Rams nearly pulled the upset because they ran for 171 yards and the Seahawks, without any running backs, were reliant almost entirely on Smith to move them.
Smith has had a standout season, but he had lacked a clutch winning drive until this one – failing in opportunities against Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Las Vegas. He will need more of those if the Hawks are going to make the playoffs.
Continue reading Smith will need more clutch TD drives for this flawed team →
A bunch of things – almost none of them good — happened in the Seahawks’ embarrassing 40-34 loss to the Raiders.
Seattle fell out of a playoff spot and showed it really is just an average team that will have to scramble to remain in the playoff hunt. The defense got blown up by Josh Jacobs (303 total yards, an opponent-record 229 rushing yards and the winning 86-yard run in overtime) – the second straight game the defense has been dominated in the run game as it focused instead on the passing attack.
Seattle’s running game was dismal again and now has just 104 yards in the past two games – losses to Tampa and Vegas.
Geno Smith also failed in two late tries to win in the clutch – extending doubts about whether he really should be extended.
Continue reading Dominated up front again, Hawks keep regressing →
The Seahawks are 6-4 and in front of the rest of the NFC West as they hit their bye, but – in the wake of a poor performance in Munich — the question remains: Can they sustain it?
The Hawks have outperformed expectations so far – they are two games better than we projected (we had them 4-6 on the way to 8-9) – thanks to Geno Smith and a surprising offense that ranked fourth in scoring through nine weeks.
A win in Munich would have solidified the Seahawks as contenders (especially considering the extreme travel involved), but their disappointing performance in a 21-16 loss to Tampa Bay left questions. Was it just a bad European vacation, with poor prep? Or was it a sign that the Hawks have peaked and cannot really hang with playoff contenders?
Continue reading Was Munich just a bad trip or a bigger sign? →