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Schneider on franchise tag: “I don’t necessarily see us using it.”

Post by Eric Williams on Feb. 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm with 63 Comments »
February 21, 2013 12:57 pm

Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider talked with reporters here at the scouting combine this afternoon.

And he confirmed my earlier thought that it will be unlikely for Seattle to use the franchise tag on one of the seven players set to hit free agency in March.

“We’re still evaluating that,” he said. “I don’t necessarily see us using it.”

Many of the questions Schneider fielded had to do with his evaluation of quarterback Russell Wilson during last year’s draft, and why the Seahawks believed at 5-11 he would be successful at the next level.

“We liked him a lot,” Schneider said. “For me to tell you that he was going to do what he did in his first year, I would be lying to you. We were able to acquire Matt Flynn, so we thought that we had a great setup, all the way around. And Tarvaris Jackson actually did a lot of great stuff for us, too in the previous season.”

Schneider also addressed the possibility of trading reserve quarterback Flynn, saying he likes the talent level at the quarterback position right now.

“I think we have a great setup,” Schneider said. “I feel very blessed that we have two quarterbacks like this, two starting-caliber guys. What happened last year didn’t really have a reflection on what Matt did – or Tarvaris for that matter – it was really what Russell did in kind of stepping forward and taking charge. And the way he performed in the preseason was really hard to argue – I think he was like 12 of 18 on his possessions, or something like that (scoring drives during the preseason).

“So we feel really blessed with out situation right now. And it’s so early – everybody involved in their draft meeting – so it’s not like I’ve had a chance to sit down with other general managers, or some of the other people that I’m close without throughout the league to talk about what their situation is. But as you guys well know, we’re always going to listen to everything. And if we’re not doing that, we feel like we’re not doing our job. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we will do something with Matt.”

Asked if Flynn’s 2013 base salary of $5.25 million is a deterrent for keeping him on the roster, Schneider didn’t hesitate.

“No, because we have different models set up in our cap,” Schneider said. “And obviously we have a model that includes Matt – our primary model.”

Schneider said that Chris Clemons is recovering well after ACL knee surgery, but that he doesn’t know if the veteran defensive end will be available for the beginning of the regular season in September.

“I can’t say; it’s too early to know with that right now,” Schneider said. “But he’s doing a great job. I believe he’s ahead of schedule. I know he’s working like crazy. I just texted him the other day, and he’s doing great.”

Schneider said the uncertainty of Clemons’ availability will not affect how his team moves forward in free agency or the draft.

“It doesn’t really,” he said. “We’re going to kind of go ahead with out plan.”

Schneider was asked if the possibility of Clemons not being ready for the season opener put more pressure on Bruce Irvin being ready to handle starting duties as an every-down defensive end.

“I don’t think it makes it any more important,” Schneider said. “We want him to keep progressing. We knew when we drafting him that we were drafting a raw player that had a unique skill set. So we wanted to be able to have him move forward anyway.”

Schneider didn’t rule the possibility of bringing back defensive linemen Jason Jones and Alan Branch, along with cornerback Marcus Trufant in free agency.

On Branch: “We’re talking to his people. And we have a great relationship with Alan and his representatives. This is just a funky year for free agency. So I think everybody has to kind of hold their water and be somewhat careful when you jump into this thing.”

On Jones: “Jason did a nice job. He’s one of those guys, kind of like we were talking about (with Bruce Irvin) earlier. He did move the quarterback a lot. And he was disruptive. I don’t think he was able to finish as much as he would’ve wanted to. But he’s still a guy that we’re going to keep a close eye on for sure.”

On Trufant: “Marcus played well. He moved inside. It was the first year he played in there, believe it or not. You would have thought that maybe he would have played in there earlier in his career. But he’s one of the free agents that we’re going to continue to evaluate.”

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Scouting combine
Leave a comment Comments → 63
  1. Dukeshire says:

    If it comes down to Branch or Jones, Id prefer they sign Jones. Just more disruptive as an interior d lineman.

    I don’t see Seattle using the franchise tag either.

  2. Repost:

    Alex Smith over the course of his career has basically been dog sh%t. He had 1.5 decent seasons and those came playing behind the best O-line in the league. Jimmy “temper tantrum” Harbaugh did help him but Alex was a product of that line. Now the Niners are in a bind with Smith’s $9.75M cap hit (highest on the team) and want to make it seem like some team is going to get a prize via trade. What any trade partner would really get is an overpaid, mediocre, game managing qb playing behind their inferior O-line. Also the 9ers are on the hook for his pay if he is not released by April 1 I believe. He’s a great backup for the 9ers at a reduced salary but if that doesn’t happen he’s just as likely to be cut vs. traded. If I’m a GM who wants Smith(for some strange reason) then I’m sweating these guys out.

    The main difference in the Flynn vs. Smith situation is that the Hawks have plenty of cap space to keep him this year and to me he is worth more to our team than a 5th round pick. We are not as seemingly desperate to move or dump MF as SF is with Smith. Certainly both teams like their QB depth. It’s just the inverted pay that makes things weird.

  3. Flynn’s base salary of $5.25M plus prorated bonus $2M = $7.25M salary cap hit this year. If he is traded or released, all of the remainder of the bonus hits this year for $4M. If you can’t acquire a downgraded veteran replacement for less than a salary cap hit of $3.25M, you save NOTHING by cutting Flynn. Good backup QBs are NOT available for less than that, draft picks are.

    An argument was made previously on Seahawks Insider that Flynn must be cut if only to not force Wilson to share a locker room with a backup making so much more money. This argument was not realistic. Wilson knows that his contract as well as the contracts of veterans in this league are a result of the labor agreement and the market cost for signing veteran QBs and is not going to let things that are way outside his control to change his focus of being a great quarterback and improving.

    So unless the Seahawks get a trade offer that improves the team AND they have an alternative in place for a backup QB option, then they will trade him. They won’t be cutting him.

  4. Schneider’s plan A will form once the franchise tag period is over. I’m sure he has a damn good idea of who his top targets are on the D-Line & Branch is probably a fallback option at this point, aka plan J.

    I like what Jones brings as a rotational DT. Just wish he was healthy but the silver lining could be that he comes back at a discount.

  5. yankinta says:

    Mark my word. We will get a 3rd round pick or better for FLYNN!!!

    It’s all about Supply vs. Demand. There are 8+ teams with QB needs and there are only 2 Starting Caliber QB’s available in the free agent. There are no 1st round grade QB in the Draft. Do the Math, people!!!

    Why was the price for Charlie Whitehurst So High?? Supply vs. Demand!!! Demand was higher the Supply.

    Why was Flynn not pursued last year? Supply vs. Demand!! There were 3 1st round grade QB in the draft last year. There were only 4 teams with QB need last year!!!

  6. Soggybuc says:

    Interesting how he mentioned their “cap model”. I wonder if they have penciled a maximum for positions that they are willing to spend. say they are ok with 11.5 total on the QB position regardless of circumstance then keeping Matt and drafting a late round prospect actually keeps them under their self imposed cap.

  7. Dukeshire says:

    yankinta – No one would like that more than me, but there is no chance.

    As an aside, your word has been duly noted. ;)

  8. Keep Flynn AND draft an athletic QB in the later rounds. Let the rookie develope and cut/release/don’t sign Flynn next year. Like the other poster said, if we drop Flynn, how much is it going to cost us to bring in a new one. Also, if Wilson gets hurt, yikes if we don’t have Flynn.

  9. Seems to be an echo in here today! :-)

    Schneider is a shrewd dude. Love having him as our GM.

  10. bbnate420 says:

    This really told us nothing. That makes sense given the PC/JS model. The one sure bet is probably that we will all be surprised.

  11. yankinta says:

    Dukeshire, This reminds me of the time when I was calling Russell Wilson our QB of the future during training Camp last year…..

    99% of the people on this blog was calling me crazy. lol, and look where we are….

  12. SeahawkFan12 says:

    yankinta, I’m in your camp as far as trading Flynn, except I don’t see Flynn garnering a 3rd round pick. That would be great, though. Either way, adding a more athletic QB with a great arm to back up RW would be the ideal situation.

  13. yankinta says:

    Again, back to my supply vs. demand (Charlie Whitehurst Argument). Based on the facts that there are 8+ teams with QB need, I’m pretty sure that we will. Flynn will get better trade value than Alex smith because Flynn will not come with 8.5 Million price tag.

    My hope is We can trade Flynn for 2nd or 3rd round pick this year and then trade those pick for 2014 picks, like what what did with Denver to get Earl Thomas…. That is my hope as well.

    Either way, we need to hit big in the 3rd, 4th or 5th rounds for a 3 Technique DT. Did you know that Henry Melton, and Geno Atkins are both 4th round picks?? Both are Pro Bowl/All Pro DT that can get double digits sacks from the inside.

  14. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    evoxx correct me if i am wrong if the hawks trade him the new team absorbs the cap hit 100% then can rework the deal to be more cap friendly? atleast that’s how i read it .
    nate i have seen some mocks that really make sense in the fact that they target player the FO would covet for there speed/ athleticism. some of the mocks sound like holmy picks or ruskell picks. one way or another i am sure we will be surprised by many of the off season moves. exciting times

  15. GeorgiaHawk says:

    yankinta- I like how you think! Let’s hope this all plays out the way you say it. But if not we still have a hell of a good team.

    Great to be a Seahawks fan these days.

  16. GeorgiaHawk says:

    bbnate420- Agree. We can’t expect this team to show their cards. Especially this time of year.

  17. Ruskell never showed his cards either. I don’t remember any Seahawks regime from ’83 on ever telling everyone what they were going to do before they did it. This team is no different from any other organization in that regard. Heck, even Jacksonville “kept their cards close to their vest” last year so they could take a punter over Russell Wilson (lmfao!). And, yes, it is good to be a Seahawks fan moving forward.

  18. Dukeshire says:

    yankinta – We’ll find out soon enough.

  19. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Time to go watch the last Seahawk 49er game again. Just can’t get enough of that stuff! Lol.

  20. DanielleMND says:

    I really hope they don’t re-sign Trufant. We have enough young corners on the roster already who can play the nickel and who aren’t slow. I hope Samwise is just being polite about how Trufant played last year.

  21. Actually our FO is relatively transparent. Not when it comes to their actual plans or individual targets mind you but certainly when it comes to acknowledging their needs. Last year Pete said they needed to add pass rush help, increase speed at LB and address the QB situation. Well he wasn’t bluffing. Our FA targets and top 3 picks in the draft all confirmed those priorities.

    This year he said again that we need to add pass rushers. Hmmm…

  22. and a QB that can fill in for RW in a pinch

  23. More specifically, if I remember correctly Pete said he would like to obtain a QB with a similar skill set to RW.

    Totally guessing here at what the FO would accept in a Flynn deal. I think they would say yes to a third round pick, the equivalent or greater. No to a 4th rounder or lower.

    If it’s player for player that’s a whole nuther’ ball game.

    For the record I love having MF on the team and was a big proponent of the Hawks signing him last year. I’ve never felt better about our QB situation in team history.

  24. Galena, yep, that’s pretty much what he said and I’m with you about Matt’s signing last year…I was ecstatic about it….still am. I remember the game where he played against NE and thought he was pretty darned good and would be a perfect QB for us to take over for Matt H (at the time). When he blew Detroit out of the water I was hooked!

  25. montanamike2 says:

    I liked the Flynn signing as well, i’m fine if we keep him. Being solid at a critical position is never bad as long as his attitude doesn’t distrupt the chemistry which i think is ok.

  26. boucherm says:

    Oklahoma–the signing bonus still hits us, even if Flynn is traded. He’s already been paid the signing bonus money, and this is just a proration of it to spread it out over the contract length–when you cut or trade them the remainder of the prorated $$$ accelerates into that 1 year.

    Roster bonuses and other bonuses in the contract that have not been paid are a different story.

  27. montanamike2 says:

    I like Pete’s misdirections in the draft, last year he had everyone looking at Tannehill instead of Wilson.

  28. I’m curious to who people would rather have: a 3rd round pick like John Moffitt or Matt Flynn (who could be gotten for a 3rd round pick). Personally, I’d rather have a good/great back-up QB than any position that could be drafted with the 3rd round pick even if Flynn would cost more in salary than the 3rd round pick and the few million on the “new” back-up QB. Sure, you can say the 3rd round pick could turn into a Richard Sherman, but he could also turn out to be a 4th rounder like Kris Durham or EJ Wilson. I’ll take the certainty of having a great back-up QB, thank you.

  29. edstang45 says:

    Just Love our GM, he’s got the cards in his hands concerning Flynn, it’s a great position to be in. He can just fold em or come out with aces. it’s a win win….mmmmm Keep flynn another year, or get what he wants from any of the 8 teams needing a QB….I say keep him unless we use him to jump into top 8 picks or get a serious pressure guy for him..Hope KC wants him real bad!!! at any rate it’s the best off season position we’ve been in for quite sometime..Go Hawks

  30. edstang45 says:

    I’m with Bobbyk, got to take the trade partner to the wood shed or just stand pat with Flynn…3rd rounder would be a loss in my opinion

  31. I agree with Bobby also on this one. We know what we have in MF.

  32. Why trade for Matt Flynn when a team can sign Matt Moore for no draft picks and lower money?

    Chances are that Kolb, Fitzpatrick and Cassell will also be available for the same as Moore. Then there is Alex Smith who will command a bigger contract.

    It may not be a great year to draft a QB but it is another great year to sign a mediocre QB on the cheap.

  33. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I agree with BobbyK if Flynn is agreeable to restructuring his contract and accepting a roll as backup. Hopefully he will, however you can’t blame him for wanting to test the market.
    This is just one of the many things that us fans will watch unfold before the beginning of our SuperBowl winning season.

    Go Hawks!!!

  34. GeorgiaHawk says:

    pabs, What about Cousins?

  35. Cousins might start for Washington in week 1. They can’t trade him away.

    But Ryan Mallet should be available for a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick. He would be far more desirable over Flynn.

    Nick Foles might also be available for a 3rd round pick. I think he’s a stiff but I’m sure there is a team that thinks he has some upside.

  36. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Mallet is very intriging. It will be very interesting how this all plays out.

    BTW- I still believe Cousins would have been a better choice over a gimpy Griffin. Glad that Griffin made the wrong choice of staying in, and glad that if Wilson was in a similar situation I believe he would do the smart thing and let Flynn do his thing.

  37. I believe that we will be set up next season to not allow any one player/injury to sabatoge our season. I think we could lose one of our studs like Okung, ET, Sherman, or any one other great player and still win the Super Bowl.

    However, if we don’t have Flynn or a good/great back-up QB, then I think our season would be over if Wilson got hurt. I don’t want to be like the Colts of two years ago where one injury to one player could destroy the season for everyone (owner, management, coaches, players, fans) and that is what would happen here if we don’t have a good/great back-up QB.

  38. Foles just has to do what Chip Kelly requires him to do as a QB in his system. He’ll be with the Eagles come opening day. chip has bigger issues to deal with and he only needs a journeyman QB this year.

  39. How much more fun is it to argue about keeping a good QB to be our back-up where last year at this time our position was as bad, “top” to bottom, as anything? It’s definitely a nice “problem” to have.

  40. GeorgiaHawk says:

    BobbyK, Lol. This is so much better than last year.
    Does anyone else have to pinch themselves of the future possibilities that this team has before them?

  41. It is! But I still hope we get EJ Manuel as our 3rd stringer!!!

  42. If they draft Manuel (unlikely), they will simply release Flynn if they can’t trade him.

  43. As Bobby K mentioned, general managers are not inclined to share their thinking before the draft, and more power to them, as it only makes sense. We, the public, would love to know, but so would the competing teams.

    The only exception, to my mind, was Ruskell. It was fairly easy to predict his picks because he outlined his preferences for players from major colleges, who were not coming out early, and who might be smaller than is usually preferred. On another site (PI), I once predicted 7 of his picks (not in necessarily the correct rounds) using that criteria.

    As for Flynn, I am in the camp that prefers we keep him for at least another season, as it is not likely that we can find another rookie ready to play immediately, and the only veterans likely available and able to run an offense similar to what Wilson does, are too scary or unreasonable to consider (Vick?). And while we might get a good pick for him, the risk is high and we are not particularly pick poor.

  44. edstang45 says:

    Theres no need to just release Flynn this year, would be foolish in my opinion, now a can’t pass up trade, ok, but Having him as Backup is insurance at cheap this year as RW is not yet getting paid…If because of all the other FA QB’s we don’t get what he’s worth to our team ya have to keep him. Even if we somehow got Manuel… Pabs are you pouring shots.. mmmm that,s a good idea got to keep in shape for game chat next year..Go Hawks

  45. I remember thinking Ruskell potentially would take Orakpo simply because he met all of the character requirements in addition to everything else (like Curry) such as playing at a big school, 4 years, etc. except he actually played an important position (pass rushing DE) in comparison to a boring strong side LB in Curry.

  46. I’ll take one of those shots, Pabs! :-)

    Manuel is a wish for me. Will it happen, not likely…but hey, we’re dreamin’ right now so what the heck!

  47. I am definitely excited about the future, but I’m never going to be able to fully feel good until I watch the Super Bowl with the Seahawks winning it.

    There have been too many teams in the NFL who have had all the talent in the world who couldn’t get it done. I think of the Chargers of about 5 years ago with all the talent in the world and they couldn’t sniff the Super Bowl, even though they easily have had the most talent. Or the NFC version of the Vikings in ’98. Or the undefeated Patriots losing. There’s too many examples of the “best” teams not winning this or that game.

    Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade teams with anyone in the NFL (don’t think I have ever said/meant that), but I want that Super Bowl so dang badly, as I know all of you do too.

  48. We all do…but you know the saying…any given Sunday. we’ll get there and we’re in the best position we’ve ever been in to see it happen. Just get us there first!

  49. raymaines says:

    Earlier in this thread I was all crankey, but the later posts have caused me to mellow a little bit. Still, here is my concern: What if the ‘Hawks traded MF for even a FIRST round pick? Who’s the backup QB? Maybe I place too high a value on a position that didn’t see the field last year? What do you have to give up to get Ryan Mallet? I think MF is a very valuable asset that I wouldn’t give away cheaply.

  50. Has anything been mentioned here about R.Sherman twittering C.Woodson asking him to sign with the Seahawks (Feb 18)?

  51. What about Red Bryant playing with a torn plantar fascia in his foot for the 2nd half of the season?

  52. Did the signing of Will Blackmon mean that SEA is unlikely to re-sign Tru?

  53. Once again, as I’m sure everyone is well aware, the FO is not going to send Flynn anywhere unless they feel that it improves the team as a whole. If he gets shipped I guarantee they will have a plan in place for remedying that situation.

    Yes klm the tweet has been mentioned. What about Red?

    raymaines I give up a 5 dollar bill to get Mallet. He’s a statue. Don’t fall under the famous New England backup QB spell. They have fooled enough people already.

  54. Just for kicks. If Russell Wilson was in this years’ draft and you were the Kansas City GM, knowing what we know now, would you take him with the #1 overall pick?

    I would.

  55. Dukeshire says:

    Blackmon signing has no effect in Tru’s future here.

  56. CDHawkFan says:

    Blackmon was playing in the arena league last year, the year before he played in only 6 NFL games and made 5 tackles, why in the world are thinking this guy is ‘taking’ Tru’s spot? Even though I would like to see an upgrade over Tru, Tru could beat out Blackmon until Tru is about 45 years old. Again, arena league. The guys expecting Blackmon to be the next Tru or Leon, are the same people expecting a trade of Flynn to help us leap up to the #2 overall pick (though at most people say he isn’t anything higher than a 3rd rounder, so how does our 25th and a 3rd allow us to move up that far????). I do have other things going on, but if you read this blog, then I expect you know a little about what is going on, what is realistic. I am expecting to see a ‘lets re-sign Jones and Branch, sign Starks, unfreeze LT and sign him, clone Largent, and get Megatron for our 7th rounder in 2023′ soon.

    Even though we have heard the rumblings that with 10 picks on a deep team, that not many of the picks will make the team. We also have to expect that not many FA college players will want to ‘try out’ for us. Having the 10 picks, (probably 12 with Comps) will allow us to bring in guys picked in the 6th and 7th that might have wanted to go elsewhere due to a low probability of making this team. This can only help as we can stash guys on the PS and bring them up if our young studs go elsewhere/leave for bigger money over the next few years. I can’t recall many PS players adding much help over the last 10 years, J Kearse played a fair amount at the end of this season, but hopefully with the later picks this year, we will get guys that can learn, keep away from injuries, and be ready in a few years.

  57. Not would KC take Wilson #1 overall if he was in the draft, they’d probably trade at least a couple of future #1 picks to get him, too. Unfortunately for them (different regime, I know), they were too stupid and let him pass them by THREE times in the draft last year. lol

  58. GeorgiaHawk says:

    And how many teams would be taking Wagner in the top half of the first round this year knowing how good he is?

  59. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Who knows perhaps our next good pass rusher will come from a converted TE. Now wouldn’t that further throw a monkey wrench into the conventional way teams do things in the draft.

    Never a dull moment in Seahawks land these days.

  60. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    i don’t know about you all for myself thou i am really not concerned about who they pick. trust in the FO is a wonderful thing. makes this a lot less stressful.

  61. HawkfaninOklahoma,

    Here is a good reference for the prorated salary cap hit, http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=1743706.

    From the entry under the topic ‘Salary-cap hits':
    “…teams must add the remainder of a signing bonus if they cut or trade a player.”

  62. Re my prior questions, I was trying to catch up on some of y’all’s posts without reading more than Eric’s threads, and maybe getting the Reader’s Digest version here from y’all. Sorry, I shoulda actually read your prior posts, they’re worth it … expediting is probably just another word for lazy.

    Still, why did they pick-up Will Blackmon? I don’t know Arena football at all, but I would think that it’s probably more like a zone-coverage secondary scheme then, say, the CFL is (eg B.Browner) – maybe Blackmon showed in the Arena League he could vie for nickle-back, in case Tru gets offered more elsewhere? If PC/JS wanted a more physical cover corner they might have picked up Az’s FA Greg Toler. Eric said that Tru may not return, just wondered if there was a connection or just tire-kicking past GB players. From your responses it kinda sounds like the latter…

    Red’s play with a foot injury explains alot about his drop in performance vs the run last season. In ’11 Red ranked 12th for DEs vs the run, last season he ranked 49th per ProFootballFocus stats. Red still ranked highest among SEA’s DEs vs the run. Among all DEs C.Clemons was near the bottom vs the run last season and B.Irvin was only a little better. STL’s C.Long was worse than C.Clemons vs the run and so was TEN’s K.Wimbley – both were good at rushing the passer (but Clemons was way better at pass-rushing). I’m really hoping both Red and Clemons get healed up this offseason and are ready for the start of ’13, and that somehow B.Irvin becomes a QBs nightmare even if it means he totally forgets about the run.

    Duke – who has the main responsibility in PC’s base defense (whatever it is this season) for stopping runs to the right end of the defense? Well, back to reading you guy’s prior posts…

  63. Dukeshire says:

    klmoo8 – In their base set, no blitzes or stunts, and with the most straight forward coverage in place on the back end, it would be in order: RDE, weak-side ‘backer, FS.

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