John Schneider had around $35 million in 2020 salary cap space to spend on free agents when the league year began, and everyone expected a chunk of that to go toward a pass rusher on a long-term deal.
That has not happened, and it would be a surprise now if it did — because Schneider has spent about $34 million on 13 veterans (including four RFAs). And he has followed his SOP of not giving out long-term deals to outside players — just three of his signings (Jarran Reed, B.J. Finney, Brandon Shell) have been for two years. Even his reported offers to Jadeveon Clowney have been for just one or two years.
Other than guys on rookie deals, the Seahawks have just three players signed for the next three seasons: Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner and shaky kicker Jason Myers.
Basically, this team is built — you might say patched together — through only 2021. And that includes Schneider and Pete Carroll, whose contracts expire after that season as well.
Why are they being so shortsighted? Because they generally give long-term deals only to players who have proven themselves in Carroll’s system — and few of their recent draft picks have earned the right to be considered part of the core.
Continue reading Waiting for new core to emerge, Schneider won’t invest beyond two years
The Seahawks lost a chunk of cap space this week as a few players got 2020 pay hikes.
Per OverTheCap.com, instead of a projected $63 million, the Hawks now are forecast to have $54 million (counting cap savings for Ed Dickson’s expected release). That would give Seattle more like $47 million for veterans between now and the start of the season.
The players whose cap numbers all went up include Tyler Lockett ($2 million), K.J. Wright ($1.5 million), Chris Carson ($1.4 million), Shaquill Griffin ($1.4 million), Tedric Thompson ($1.4 million), D.J. Fluker ($750,000) and Duane Brown ($250,000) — for a total of close to $9 million.
Continue reading Escalators shrink projected cap space
The Seahawks just got upset by a bad division rival at home and now face a big finale against a playoff-bound division foe. Sound familiar?
The same thing happened in 2015. In Week 16, they lost to the 6-8 Rams (Seattle’s offensive line played poorly in that one, too) and then (missing a bunch of key players) blew out 13-win Arizona 36-6 in the finale.
On Sunday night, the Hawks (11-4) will face the 49ers (12-3) for the NFC West title — and they will do so without Chris Carson and Duane Brown (and previously injured Rashaad Penny, Justin Britt and Will Dissly) and also still might be without defenders Jadeveon Clowney, Quandre Diggs and Shaquill Griffin (though Pete Carroll sounded optimistic about Clowney on Monday).
Marshawn Lynch is returning to replace Carson for a game or two (or however long the Hawks are in the playoffs) — and Lynch certainly could provide a big emotional lift to a downtrodden 11-4 team, even if Travis Homer carries most of the running load.
Continue reading Hawks have made Week 17 rebound before
Pete Carroll thinks he finally knows how to put together his pass-rush puzzle.
Jadeveon Clowney: “Once we start clicking on all cylinders, I think we’re going to make a big push at the right time.”
Carroll expects L.J. Collier “to show you … in the next few weeks that he’s going to be able to figure into what’s happening.”
Tyler Lockett is poetry on and off the field.
As the Seahawks open the season, one of the major points to watch will be the evolution of Russell Wilson and a fully Baldwin-less offense in Year 2 under Brian Schottenheimer.
The Seahawks put a lot of resources (financial and draft) into their passing game in the offseason, which led some to suggest (or hope) they are now building entirely around Wilson and are going to throw the ball all over the yard.
Clearly, people who think Carroll is going to sway from his run-focused approach are dreaming — and not really paying attention. Remember, Carroll is all about that circle of toughness — imposing his will on both sides of the ball.
As Carroll recently told 710 ESPN: “We want to play off the running game. … We want to run the heck out of the football. We love that part of the game, but we love everything that comes off that.
“We hopefully are going to show you a wide-open attack that makes you have to defend the run and makes you have to defend Russell sitting back there bombing footballs. We want to get the ball down the field and attack the heck out of it. That’s a big deal to us.
Continue reading Hawks will keep running, but will Wilson & Schotty be better?
Third downs get such a bum rap.
One of these days, we hope, Pete Carroll and his coaches will realize third-down success starts on first down. They never seem to get that, constantly droning on after losses about how third downs ruined their offense.
It was more of the same after the 24-22 playoff loss to Dallas, with Carroll telling anyone who would listen that their failure on 11 of 13 third downs was what did them in — as opposed to any play-calling mistakes on the preceding downs.
Brian Schottenheimer continued the refrain Thursday, telling 710 ESPN: “The biggest issue that we had — and it was kind of the issue for us throughout the course of the year when we struggled – was third down. We weren’t able to convert on third downs. We weren’t able to get momentum going. We’re kind of an offense, because we run the ball and we throw the deep play passes, that when you’re struggling on third down it kind of hurts your ability to get started.”
It’s true the Hawks put themselves in big holes on third down; they averaged third-and-8 and went three-and-out six times in 12 possessions.
But how do you get into trouble on third down? How do you get into a spot that is too challenging to overcome? By messing up on first and second downs. And the Seattle offense finished the season just as poorly as it started it.
Continue reading Coaches talk third-down failure, but it starts on first two downs
When Pete Carroll hired Brian Schottenheimer to be his new offensive coordinator a year ago, skepticism was rampant. Many people thought he had made a lateral (or worse) move from Darrell Bevell.
We withheld judgment until after this season. Well, after poor scheming cost the Seahawks four games, ending with a 24-22 wild-card loss to Dallas, the doubters sure look like they could be right.
And how ironic the way it unfolded.
Carroll and Schottenheimer didn’t run the ball enough in the first two games of the season, losses in Denver and Chicago where Russell Wilson was under assault. Seattle committed to the run the rest of the season and ended up the No. 1 rushing team in the league as they won 10 of the final 14 games.
They took that rushing mentality into Dallas against the fourth-ranked run defense, but they could not run. Passing yards were clearly there for the taking, but Schottenheimer refused to take them.
Continue reading Shoddy finish to Schotty’s first season
If Russell Wilson had found his receivers more often against the 49ers, the Seahawks quite probably would have won — despite all of the other errors by players and refs in the game.
A lot has been made all season of Seattle’s renewed running game and the magic 50 number (completions plus rushes), but the X factor really has been Wilson’s targets.
Including the loss to the 49ers, Seattle has lost four games despite big rushing days and is just 7-4 when hitting the magic number, so those stats obviously have not fully predicted results.
But Wilson’s targets have: Seattle is 0-5 when under 50 percent of his throws go to his wide receivers, 8-1 when over half go to the wideouts.
Continue reading Wilson needs to throw to his receivers more
John Schneider went back to the 2015 draft with two big moves Wednesday and Green Bay’s quarterback deals impacted Seattle’s QB picture for this season and beyond.
Schneider’s first move was not a big shock: Making a cheap deal with Green Bay to bring in QB Brett Hundley as Russell Wilson’s ostensible backup.
The other was slightly more surprising, but in a pleasant way: Guaranteeing Tyler Lockett $20 million in a three-year extension that could be worth $37.8 million.
And, in other Green Bay-Seattle news, Aaron Rodgers reportedly agreed to a four-year extension worth $33.5 million a year — setting the market for Wilson’s next extension.
Continue reading Lockett gets great deal, and Packers affect Seahawks’ QB picture
We’re two preseason games into Seattle’s new offensive era, and the reviews on Brian Schottenheimer and Mike Solari have been pretty glowing so far.
Last week, Pete Carroll reiterated that one of his concerns about the old offense was that coaches were starting to “jam our players into the system” rather than play to their strengths.
The obvious example there is Jimmy Graham, who was forced to become a blocker and was not used downfield as well as he should have been. But Carroll also meant the offensive linemen. As he said in May, “We needed to shift gears a bit to match up with the guys we have here.”
Well, after two preseason games, they seem to be making progress.
Continue reading Offense developing consistency, creativity