KJR-AM’s Mitch Levy had a lengthy interview with Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider this morning, touching on a wide range of topics.
Levy asked Schneider about Adam Schefter of ESPN’s report that recent addition defensive end Michael Bennett had a torn rotator cuff that he played with for the duration of the 2012 season while in Tampa.
Levy wondered if Bennett’s injury helped drive down his market value in free agency.
“It is true,” Schneider said. “Now, in terms of his market value, I can’t answer that. But I do know that he played every game.”
“With a torn rotator cuff?” asked Levy
“That’s my understanding,” Schneider said. “And it’s not a situation. Our medical staff felt comfortable with it, especially on a one-year deal. A lot of these guys have gone out – Dwight Freeney and Osi (Umenyiora) – a number of these guys are still on the market.
“And so when you saw this come out, it’s interesting that it came out on the same day that Elvis Dumervil signed his contract. So I’m not sure in the agent world that was a little bit of mudslinging that was going on, or whatever. But it just happened to come out that day, which was like a week and half after we signed Michael.”
Schneider went on to say at some point Bennett’s rotator cuff will need to be repaired, but that he will play with the injury this year, just as he did last year.
Levy also asked if the possibility of Matt Flynn remaining on Seattle’s 2013 is more likely as the team inches closer to training camp.
“I’m sure Matt would love the opportunity to go compete for a starting job somewhere,” Schneider said. “But at this point he’s with us. Just from a competitive standpoint, not to get too specific with you, it’s hard for me to say whether or not he will or will not be traded. But as of right now he’s right here with us.”
Schneider also seemed to imply that the team doesn’t expect to get back similar draft compensation in return for Flynn as San Francisco received for Alex Smith.
“If you’re talking about the Kansas City Chiefs, I can understand the reason they went the way they did,” he said. “The guy they chose has a number of starts behind him, and a lot of experience in different offensive systems.”
Schneider also talked at length about the Percy Harvin trade.
“Quite frankly the asking price was a little too high initially,” Schneider said. “So we kind of backed off. So it was just one of those deals that ended up coming back to us a little bit.”
Schneider went on to explain the team’s reasoning for giving up a first and seventh rounder in this year’s draft, along with a third rounder in 2014 for Harvin, stating it would have cost Seattle a third rounder to move up five to 10 spots in this year’s draft, and the team had been informed that they would receive a couple seventh round compensatory pick in this year’s draft.
Schneider also reiterated that a player like Harvin is not available in this year’s draft.
“We knew that we were going to have some extra sevens in the mix,” Schneider said. “And we were comfortable knowing that we’d still have 10 draft choices, and be able to acquire him.”
When asked if he was concerned about Minnesota’s reasoning for wanting to move Harvin, Schneider said he was in a similar situation with cornerback Mike McKenzie back in Green Bay.
“Mike McKenzie, a corner we had in Green Bay, just was done with the Green Bay Packers,” Schneider said. “And we were in a situation where we could just suck it up and deal with whatever he was going to bring to the locker room. Or move him for the best compensation we could possibly get for him. At the time I think it was a third round draft choice.”
Schneider also acknowledged that he may have been concerned about another team securing Harvin’s services (like NFC West champion San Francisco).
“I’d be lying to you if I told you that I wasn’t concerned about that,” Schneider said. “I don’t know if anybody else was. I know that it was something that I was concerned about to a certain extent. But if things would have gotten completely crazy, we would’ve backed out.”
While unwilling to give specifics, Schneider said the team is working on a couple extensions on core players set to the hit the market in 2014, similar to the extension with center Max Unger and defensive end Chris Clemons the team negotiated before training camp last year.
Two players who come to mind are safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. One contract that could have an affect on both of those negotiations is safety Dashon Goldson, who signed a five-year, $41.25 million deal with Tampa Bay, including $22 million in guaranteed money. Chancellor’s deal is up at the end of this year, while Thomas’ contract isn’t up until 2014.
“We’re working on a couple extensions,” Schneider said. “There’s some core players – not to get specific with you, I apologize – but there’s some guys that we’re working on. And that thing that’s unique about this is we want to keep drafting guys and taking care of our own. And hopefully we’re going to have a lot of very wealthy guys on this football team.
“But not everybody can be the highest paid player at their position. And so at some point there’s tough decisions that have to be made. But you just have to keep drafting well, and doing everything you can to keep your core together. So that’s what we’re working on right now.”