The draft is always an important roster tool, simply because it ideally brings cheap talent and helps create a core. But some drafts are more important than others. Here we rank John Schneider’s drafts, from most to least significant (based on draft capital and needs, not results):Continue reading Which drafts mattered more?
If they thought about it enough, some NFL owners would be irked at Pete Carroll that the CBA negotiations have not yet resulted in their desired deal.
Why would they be mad at a coach who has nothing to do with it? Because some of the key players who are challenging the owners’ proposal grew up in Carroll’s culture in Seattle. He fostered individuality and independent thinking, and former Seahawks Russell Okung and Richard Sherman — along with current Hawk Bobby Wagner — are using the lessons they learned as Seahawks to fight for the best deal they can get the players.
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.
He said he thinks Seattle’s young guys are going to improve and he hopes Luke Joeckel becomes part of the core. As he said after Joeckel signed, “Now that we have a good young bunch of guys, we’re going to try to keep this thing together.”
It’s debatable whether they have enough good guys yet, but the bigger question as pertains to Carroll’s stated goal: Will they ever be able to keep a quintet together in Tom Cable’s zone blocking system using their scattershot approach?
Whether it’s bad drafting, a bad scheme or just bad luck, Carroll’s Seahawks have had terrible fortune on the offensive line — typically fielding one of the weaker units in the NFL and annually needing to overcome its deficiencies just to get to the playoffs.
Why has it been so terrible? John Schneider and the coaches have consistently pointed to the disconnect between college and NFL offenses and the CBA-mandated lack of practice time.
But every team faces those issues. For Seattle, it has been more than that. It has been a complete inability to field a healthy, consistent line — and a total failure to set up a line of succession.
The Seahawks were way too young on the offensive line in 2016, and they went through far too many running backs. Those were both major contributing factors to their failure to go beyond the divisional round for the second straight year.
Their solution: Bring in a bunch of flawed veteran linemen and backs.
They reportedly are going to sign Luke Joeckel, a former No. 2 overall draft pick who is coming off a bad knee injury. They also apparently are planning to host T.J. Lang, a 29-year-old guard coming off hip surgery; Jamaal Charles, an explosive back who can’t stay on the field; Eddie Lacy, a punishing runner who can’t control his weight; and Latavius Murray, a part-time player for Oakland.
These are the kind of guys the Hawks have to check out, because they don’t want to overspend on so-called first-tier free agents. But will any of them be worth even a discounted price?
The Seahawks have made a lot of errors regarding their offensive line in the last two years, and John Schneider admitted another one Wednesday at the Combine.
“We probably got a little bit too young,” he said of the 2016 starting crew that included neophyte George Fant, fellow first-year starters Mark Glowinski and Germain Ifedi, first-year center Justin Britt and undrafted right tackle Garry Gilliam.
Schneider told reporters he regretted not keeping veteran guard Jahri Evans — that probably would have been smarter than keeping J’Marcus Webb, who ended up starting three games at right guard (when Ifedi was hurt) and was later released.
The youth mistake of 2016 follows on the heels of trying to use untested Drew Nowak at center for too long in 2015 — an error Pete Carroll later lamented.
Schneider surely will try to do better with veteran linemen this offseason. He is expected to contact Russell Okung next week about a possible return. Okung reportedly is going to remain his own agent — that netted him a one-year deal worth $5 million with Denver last year. Schneider probably won’t be interested in paying anything more than $7 million a year on a short, incentivized contract.
Schneider officially can talk to Okung on March 7. Free agency begins March 9.
Russell Okung was ripped by everyone in NFL circles last year for the deal he did with the Denver Broncos — a contract that ended up being for one year and $5 million and will put him back on the free-agent market in a couple of weeks.
But the Seahawks had to love the deal, which netted them a third-round comp pick Friday. The Seahawks ended up with two third-round picks — the other for losing Bruce Irvin. That doubled the number of thirds they had received in the two decades of the compensatory program.
The Hawks had been projected to receive a third and fifth, with J.R. Sweezy’s deal ($6.5 million a year with Tampa Bay) netting the fifth. But it turned out that the NFL counted Okung’s full contract, including the option the Broncos just declined, for an average of $10.6 million that made Okung’s deal No. 6 among value in the 2016-17 comp equation.
The Hawks have seven picks for now, with five of the top 106. Their overall picks are 26, 58 (second round), 90 (third), 102 (third), 106 (third), 210 (sixth) and 226 (seventh, via Carolina).
The Seahawks really could use a couple of new tackles, but how about a couple of old ones?
In a neat little coincidence Thursday, former Seahawks tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini both learned they will not return to their teams — the Broncos told Okung they will not pick up his option and the Jets released Giacomini.
The natural question: Will the Seahawks be interested in a reunion with either?
A year ago, the Seahawks needed a new left tackle to replace the departing Russell Okung. Most people (probably even George Fant) would say they didn’t find one, which is why there is a lot of speculation about them checking into the several veteran tackles being let go.
But, unless one of those guys wants to come to Seattle on a cheap deal, don’t expect the Seahawks to add one. They had the chance last year to pursue Kelvin Beachum or Ryan Clady, but neither has been very healthy — which explains why both are available once again and why the Hawks wouldn’t pay either one much money.
Perhaps more intriguing is Branden Albert, if the Jaguars don’t acquire the 32-year-old from Miami to replace Beachum. But, even if Miami were to release him, he probably would end up with a richer deal than the Hawks would want to offer.
Okung also is expected to be free again — Denver not exercising the option in his contract March 8 — but it’s hard to see him returning to Seattle after the Hawks didn’t make much effort to keep him last year.
It’s no wonder John Schneider and Pete Carroll had developed an aversion toward drafting offensive linemen in the first round: They always get hurt.
After going back-to-back with first-round linemen in 2010-11, it took them five years to try again. Now it might be another five years before they do it again.
We can only hope Germain Ifedi’s high ankle sprain, which is expected to sideline him for at least three weeks, will not send him down the same injury path traveled by Russell Okung and James Carpenter.