Offseason Report: Pre-Draft

The Seattle Seahawks have had a quiet, but productive offseason. The bulk of signings have been under the radar depth moves and bringing back their own guys. Immediately after the Super Bowl, the Seahawks signed a group to futures contracts. B.J. Daniels, Arceto Clark, Dewayne Cherrington, Michael Brooks, D’Anthony Smith, Jared Smith, Phil Bates, Akeem Auguste, and Cooper Helfet were among the group, along with Jared Smith. Chris Matthews, Greg Van Roten, Terrance Parks, Travis Beckum, and Mike Taylor were also signed. Quite the lengthy group. These are predominantly players that we have had on our practice squad and have had ties to. It’s a group that’s easy to look over and scoff at, but Pete Carroll and John Schneider have literally and figuratively made their money by using the dumpster diving method. As long as Pete Carroll and John Schneider are here, we will be a team that finds value through the draft, and undrafted free agents.

Players were lost too. And a lot of them. This is a pretty normal thing for Super Bowl champions. Players have a ring and typically chase money, and teams want your players. This is a copycat league. O’Brien Schofield, Michael Robinson, Paul McQuistan, Clinton McDaniel, Chris Maragos, Breno Giacomini, Brandon Browner, Kellen Davis, Walter Thurmond, Golden Tate, Red Bryant, and Chris Clemons all either found new homes or are still waiting to be signed.

The Seahawks did bring in a couple players who could be of use to them. Taylor Price, Phillip Adams, Stephen Schilling, and Jorgen Hus were all signed to contracts. Along with them, Seattle made bigger splashes in extending Pete Carroll, Earl Thomas, Michael Bennett, and hopefully Richard Sherman within the next month or so. Always good for at least one unexpected move a year, Seattle also acquired a playmaker and QB in Terrelle Pryor for just a 2014 7th round pick. Steven Hauschka, Tarvaris Jackson, Mike Morgan, Tony McDaniel, Anthony McCoy and Sidney Rice were also all brought back. Marcus Trufant retired a Seahawk.

Apologies for the dull intro, but a lot of things have happened in the past couple months. What does this all mean?

The Seahawks have received some criticism for being so passive during the offseason and not signing any marquee players that weren’t already on the team. Do I blame them? No, not at all. You have to be mindful of your future, and it’s pretty obvious that that has been going on for the past couple years. Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril were steals last year, and Michael Bennett was quite the steal this year once again. The Seahawks may earn the reputation of being a team that lowballs you, but they’re also a team that develops their own players organically, and pays them once they’re developed. They’re being mindful of their future and it’s paying off. They have been able to keep the players that they have wanted as of yet. Aside from Golden Tate, they haven’t lost a notable player. What does that say about Golden Tate? Well it could mean two things, judging from the contract offer. One, we just plain and simple didn’t value Tate very highly. Second, it means we were in a bind for cash and valued Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman much higher than Tate. I personally believe it was a combination of both, but more so the latter. Golden Tate called our proposal “laughable.” He mentioned that the Seahawks offered around more than half of what Detroit offered. At a $6,200,000 APY, our APY offer must have been around $3M which is, as Tate put it, laughable. I don’t blame him for leaving one bit, and I don’t think Seattle fans should be as mad at him as I’ve seen on Twitter, among other places. Like he said, he tried to do everything in his power he could to stay. He has said multiple times that he loves Seattle, the fans, and the team.

After trading our 7th round pick for Terrelle Pryor, rest assured that the Seahawks will accumulate picks one way or another. We typically pick ten times a year, and we currently have six picks. Going forward, a fewer number of draft picks will make the team, so we may not be picking ten times a game, but I would still expect a relatively high volume of picks.

So as of now, would I deem this offseason as a success? Absolutely. Locking up Carroll, Bennett, and Thomas is a big deal. It’ll be even better if we can get Sherman extended this offseason before the salary cap raises again, and before another big corner gets a big deal. Signing Sidney Rice and Taylor Price on small deals and trading for Pryor were savvy, inexpensive moves, as was restructuring Zach Miller. At $3M I wish we had kept Walter Thurmond, but he feels he doesn’t have the opportunity in Seattle that he has in New York. He’s on a “prove it” deal so he’ll likely get a larger deal next offseason elsewhere. One of my favorite parts of this offseason is not bringing back Giacomini and Paul McQuistan. It will be interesting to see how highly Carroll and Schneider think of Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey.

There are players on the team from last season that will impact the team that didn’t last season. There’s a lengthy list of players I think could do that for us. Candidates would be Greg Scruggs, Tharold Simon, Arceto Clark, Jordan Hill, Jesse Williams, and Michael Brooks. That’s what this team is all about: Next Man Up.

One player that is going to be hard to replace is Red Bryant. Dan Quinn ultimately was the one to convince Pete Carroll to utilize a 323 pounder as a 5-Tech, so it will be interesting to see how he is replaced. We could see Michael Bennett get a good chunk of those snaps, a similarly shaped Williams get the snaps, a bulked up Greg Scruggs, Tony McDaniel, or even a draft pick. With Red Bryant’s snap counts trending downwards while he was still with us, I think it’s safe to assume the Seahawks would like a more conventional sized 5-Tech.

As for other players that won’t be easy to replace, Golden Tate’s playmaking is something that will hopefully be replenished in the draft in the first couple rounds and by Percy Harvin. Tate has been the second most elusive wide receiver since 2008 to none other than Percy Harvin. Seeing Thurmond and Browner go sucks, but defensive back is the least of our worries. Pete Carroll has proven to be a DB Guru and John Schneider has shown he can evaluate talent in the secondary late in the draft. Tharold Simon and Jeremy Lane could step into their roles with no hiccups.

Seattle should be one of the favorites to win it all next year. At this point it’s premature with the draft not yet passed, but if we fill the spots left void from Golden Tate, Red Bryant, and patch up our LG and RT spots, we will be a dangerous team once again. With one of the deepest drafts in a couple years, John Schneider is nodding his head Jack Nicholson style awaiting draft day. I won’t hesitate to say that this team is in the early stages of a dynasty.

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