Chris Borland’s sudden retirement has caused a big stir among NFL observers, with some declaring this is a harbinger of the end of the game as we know it, forecasting a future mass exodus by players.
Others say Borland is an outlier who does not represent the future of the league. Many have supported his decision; some have criticized it.
In the end, it’s his decision — neither right nor wrong, just a personal choice he is entitled to make. (Although, if he always planned to play just one season and did not tell the 49ers or anyone else, that clearly was a selfish move and the 49ers certainly should make him repay the rest of his signing bonus.)
But the league is not ending any time soon. There will be no rush to the doors by all of the league’s current and future players. One man’s decision — certainly not the first or last such premature retirement — won’t change the game in some major way.
But it might change how teams evaluate players.
The Seahawks are already ahead of the curve on that one. They have made a point to focus as much on the psychological profiles of players as on talent.
Continue reading Hawks already try to identify Borlands
As the New Orleans Saints continued to revamp their roster Friday with yet another trade, the Seahawks — still basking in the glow of the deal that brought tight end Jimmy Graham from the Saints — simply looked within.
The news that impacted them was of players signing elsewhere, but they don’t care. No one will miss Bryan “Wave It Off” Walters, who signed with Jacksonville, and the Hawks didn’t need Shelley Smith, who got $5.65 million over two years from Denver or Stefen Wisniewski, who is a possibility but not a pressing need.
Pete Carroll has said several times this week, including on KJR Radio on Friday, that the Seahawks feel comfortable with some of their young linemen (Alvin Bailey, Patrick Lewis, Garry Gilliam, Keavon Milton, et al.) and think the draft is full of good linemen. Expect the Hawks to use at least two of their 11 picks on big guys.
They can only hope to come up with another J.R. Sweezy, the 2012 seventh-rounder who has played so much that he received $260,000 in performance bonuses from 2014 and got a CBA-mandated bump to a $1.54 million salary this year (as did Russell Wilson).
Continue reading Carroll discusses his roster & Hawks watch comp picks add up
Lots of reaction from the principals in the Jimmy
Graham-Max Unger deal:
Graham said he will follow Russell Wilson anywhere to make sure they establish the same kind of rapport he had with Drew Brees. He also said he will help open up more running lanes for Marshawn Lynch, making safeties play honest — or else make big plays against Cover Zero.
As excited as Graham is to be coming to Seattle, Unger is understandably as sad to be leaving.
Pete Carroll and John Schneider talked about the trade the day it happened. Said Carroll: “Your best players always help your other guys play well and be productive. That’s what we’re hoping for.”
Schneider elaborated on the deal the next day, telling 710 ESPN that the Saints asked about Unger, which led to Schneider asking about Graham.
Carroll talked about Graham’s toughness, how the Hawks will use him and how the tight end clearly fits the mold of a Seahawk in so many ways.
Bob Condotta gives a nice look at the Seahawks’ thinking along the offensive line in the wake of Unger and James Carpenter leaving.
The Seahawks have always loved veteran defensive linemen. Just look at their starting four last season: Three free agents and Brandon Mebane, who was drafted by the previous regime.
It has been suggested that the 30-year-old Mebane, coming off a torn hamstring and due $5.5 million this year, could be a cap casualty.
The Hawks’ defensive line accounts for the biggest percentage of the salary cap of any part of the team — the $33 million slated to be paid to that unit this year is 23 percent of the cap. Only the Rams’, Bills’ and Dolphins’ defensive lines account for more among NFL D-lines (per OverTheCap.com).
That, along with the uncertainty around free agent Kevin Williams, explains why the Hawks have been snooping around veteran defensive tackles.
The Hawks reportedly talked to defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois before he signed with Washington and were said to be interested in former Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett before he signed with the 49ers.
Now you can add a few more names to that list after Miami cut Randy Starks, Tampa Bay cut Michael Johnson and word is the Hawks are among the interested parties in Denver UFA Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton. Also out there is longtime Patriot Vince Wilfork.
Continue reading D-line market grows; will Hawks check out Starks and Johnson?
One of the big questions coming out of the Seahawks’ trade Tuesday is whether they got the proper value in the deal.
We’d say it was a great deal for the Hawks — getting a first-round-caliber tight end and picks in the third and fourth rounds in exchange for a first-round pick and a second-round center whose value no longer matched that.
Yeah, we know: The deal between the Seahawks and Saints brought tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick for center Max Unger and a first-rounder. Technically no third-rounder.
But that is not the way Seattle GM John Schneider is looking at it. Guaranteed he sees it this way: By trading for a top offensive player and not signing an unrestricted free agent at $8 million a year, he still will get a third-round comp pick in 2016 for losing Byron Maxwell to the Eagles at $10 million a year.
And you know he will be careful to make sure the Hawks lose more UFAs than they sign so that third-rounder comes to him. The Hawks are about to go plus-three in comp picks for 2016, losing Maxwell, James Carpenter (Jets) and Malcolm Smith (Raiders). Cary Williams and Will Blackmon do not count because they were released by their teams.
Continue reading Good value: Hawks snagged a third-rounder in Graham deal, too
The Seahawks reportedly have traded Max Unger and the No. 31 pick in the draft to the New Orleans Saints for tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick.
The Hawks and Saints reportedly have been talking about the trade since Sunday. Seattle had reportedly lost a bidding war for Denver tight end Julius Thomas.
Graham is just 28 and could be a great solution to one of the Seahawks’ chief problems. Last year, the 6-foot-7 target caught 85 passes for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns.
A third-round pick in 2010, Graham has 386 catches for 4,752 yards and 51 touchdowns in 78 games.
It’s the second time in three years the Seahawks have traded their first-round pick for a veteran playmaker on offense, and they have to hope this deal works out much better than their blockbuster for Percy Harvin in 2013.
Continue reading Another blockbuster to start the league year: Hawks get ace tight end
Doug Hendrickson, the agent for Marshawn Lynch, said the running back never wanted to leave Seattle and has not mentioned retirement to him, and Seahawks general manager John Schneider pushed a contract extension hard starting the day after the Super Bowl.
Talking to KJR Radio about Lynch’s three-year, $31 million contract, Hendrickson said Lynch was Seattle’s first priority and Schneider called him the day after the Seahawks lost the Super Bowl — by not running Lynch at the goal line — and started talking about getting Lynch’s deal extended.
“They wanted to get it done, and they wanted to get it done fast,” Hendrickson said.
Continue reading Lynch’s agent discusses the deal and his client
Over the past three years, we have gotten a good idea of how John Schneider leads the Seahawks in free agency.
Outside of the big blockbuster deal for Percy Harvin in 2013, Schneider typically has moved at a measured pace in March — making as many roster deletions as additions and signing only mid-priced free agents.
It should be more of the same this month.
Schneider said it himself at the Combine last month: “We are going to keep doing things the way we started here: Just keep drafting people and playing young people and trying to keep the players that we can keep, try to identify the players that we have to reward and make those tough decisions about players that are under contract that you may have to let go to create some cap room. Those are just tough decisions as you go. We are not going to change anything we do.”
So what have they done the last three years?
Continue reading What will Hawks do in free agency? Check out the last three years
The Seahawks reportedly have offered Marshawn Lynch about $21 million over the next two seasons. Does he want to play though?
John Schneider and Pete Carroll both spoke at the Combine, about Lynch, the Super Bowl and the future.
Schneider revealed that Jeremy Lane suffered a torn ACL on the same interception play on which he also broke his wrist in the Super Bowl.
Among many topics, Carroll said they were working on hiring some assistant coaches at the Combine.
Speaking of Lynch, he had a good message for a crowd at an underground concert in Oakland on Thursday.
Russell Wilson also did some talking this week, taking the blame for the goal-line interception in the Super Bowl but reminding everyone that he is moving forward and thinking ahead, as always.
Pete Carroll and John Schneider have kowtowed to Marshawn Lynch for years, so why would anyone think they suddenly would take a tough-guy approach with him and set a drop-dead deadline for him to accept a new contract or declare that he will play in 2015?
Carroll and Schneider are not disciplinarians. They ask their players to do things; they never tell them.
In Lynch’s case, they have let him do whatever he wanted ever since they traded for him in 2010. He plays when he wants, he defies the NFL as he chooses and he grabs his junk whenever he is about to score. He has Carroll and Schneider by the balls, too.
Continue reading Lynch controls the action, and his bosses know it