Seahawks Insider

More Thurmond, NFC West & Professor Clayton

Post by Dave Boling / The News Tribune on Nov. 25, 2013 at 7:40 am with 119 Comments »
November 25, 2013 7:40 am

Until we get some exposure to the Seahawks on Tuesday, Walter Thurmond’s reported suspension remains the topic of the day. John McGrath, in the TNT, columnized on the issue.

The situation reminds McGrath of the issues that secondary depth caused in the Super Bowl XL appearance. Ken Hamlin was gone because of an off-field incident, and Marquand Manuel played well in his absence, but when Manuel got hurt? Maxwell and Lane should be fine as fill-ins for now, but what happens if one of them goes down? Etric Pruitt?

–The last couple weeks of the Seahawks’ regular schedule are looking a bit more challenging. Arizona (at Clink 12-22) stretched its win streak to four with a 40-11 pasting of Indianapolis, while St. Louis (at Clink 12-29) thumped Chicago 42-21. Both those teams have defenses that traditionally cause the Seahawks troubles. Note: The NFC West is now the only division in the NFL in which all four teams have outscored their opponents through Week 12.

– I sat down with ESPN’s Professor, John Clayton, an old colleague, for the story of how he grew out of newspapers and became a media rock star.

There were some great quotes from sources about Clayton, particularly from Bill Polian, who said that talking with Clayton is like talking to another NFL GM.

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com was the beat guy at the PI in Clayton’s days at the Trib, and had the unenviable task of competing against Clayton for stories. Farnsworth said that nobody deserves their position more than Clayton because he saw on a daily basis how hard he worked for it. His story about Clayton chasing Mike McCormack’s car out of the parking lot is priceless.

I agree with the assessment of his work ethic. I’ve covered some Olympic gold medalists and Hall of Fame athletes who can’t match the dedication that Clayton has for his job.

–Fans of Seahawks nostalgia likely enjoy Farnsworth’s “Catching Up With …” series. This one with linebacker Sam Merriman had some interesting background on the injury that ended his career “… basically, the bottom half of my leg was just being held on by the skin. Everything had been mangled. They were talking about, ‘Oh, you have x-number of hours before we have to amputate.”

–Pro Football Talk has an interesting opinion piece on dubious NFL rules. I think they missed one, though. I’ve always thought the most punitive rule in football is the touchback after an offensive player fumbles out of the end zone. You might be on the 1 going in for a TD, but if you fumble and it goes out of the end zone, it’s the other team’s ball at the 20. Had you fumbled out of bounds even an inch before the end zone, it would still be your ball. That rule should be changed … take it back to the PAT line, something. While researching a writing project on a game in the 1920s, I came across a weird rule they used to have: If you threw an incomplete pass in the end zone, it was as touchback. Absurd. They changed that, of course, and I think they should do the same with the fumble out of the end zone.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment Comments → 119
  1. Macabrevity says:

    Did any teams use the forward pass in the 1920’s?

    Seriously though, let’s get WT3 serving that suspension asap. I don’t care if we lose a couple between now and then. Serve and get back to us, and guys…. enough already with the controlled substances, c’mon. You’ll have plenty of time to numb your body and mind when you retire… let’s stay focused on that ring, eh?

  2. yankinta says:

    Not worried about losing Walter Thurmond. We have RW, Top 3 QB playing for us. JS/PC will either bring in DeShawn Shead or Winfield and we should be just fine the next 4 games without Thurmond.

    One good thing about this suspension is that it increases the chances we’ll be able to resign Thurmond. He just lost a ton of money, imo. He won’t have many teams trying to sign him for a large contract. We definitely want to re-sign him, especially now that his price has come down!! He’s still a really good player,, probably top 15 CB imo.

  3. HawkfaninMT says:

    I continue to hear Simon’s name thrown about. Can someone please clarify his status? He was on PUP which meant he need to be activated by Week 9 I thought? I am obviously wrong… so what is his story?

    How long do they have to activate him? What was his injury? He hasn’t been practicing with the team, but has he been working out to stay in shape? Or has been sitting on the couch the last 11 weeks?

    My curiosity is piqued because if I remember correctly yhte Hawks moved up the 5th to specifically target him. There must ba reason why! His measurables are Sherman-esque… Could he be the one playing the outside WR while Lane is in the slot?

  4. HawkfaninMT says:

    This suspension absolutely brings his price tag down and inserts opt out clauses for the team in case of suspension. Totally under covered portion of this story

  5. chuck_easton says:

    So much for that easy schedule some were predicting. Of Seattle’s final five games only two of the teams do not have winning or .500 records and by the time St. Louis gets to Seattle on the 29th of December they may also have a winning record.

    That leaves only the Giants. And playing in NY in December is never easy.

    This isn’t being pessimist. And this isn’t doom and gloom. Seattle will lose a game or two between now and the end of the season.

    The NE v. Denver game last night should have shown that it is very unlikely that any team will finish better than 14-2 this season. And it now looks likely that the top seed in both the AFC and NFC can be had with a 13-3 record if not a 12-4 record.

  6. I think anyone hoping to get some uplift from Tharold Simon would be mistaken. He hasn’t played one down of NFL football (pre season even!).

    Best option is Maxwell and Lane.

    After that, its a toss up (IMO) whether it would be better to use DeShawn Shead, Chris Maragos (yes, I know he is a FS) or if Winfield is willing to come in.

  7. chuck_easton says:

    HawkfaninMT,

    A player on PUP isn’t allowed to start practice until after the team’s eighth game of the season. After the 8th game the team then has 5 weeks to determine if they will allow the player to start practicing or to go on IR. So a player can be on PUP up to 12 games. That is Phase I of PUP.

    Phase II of PUP is when the player actually starts practicing. Once the player participates in full practice the team has 21 days to either place him on the 53 man roster or IR him.

    After the 21 days the player can be added to the 53 but still be inactive for as many games as needed or he can go to IR (Phase III).

    Simon is still in phase I. He will either need to start practicing in the next week or so, or his season is over. There is hope he will begin practicing this week.

    If he does practice this week the team has until after the NY Giants game to decide if Simon will be added to the 53 for the remainder of the season or if they will shut him down entirely.

    Hope that helps.

  8. FleaFlicker says:

    Maybe the silver lining here is that Shead proves enough to get signed to a longer term contract, WT3 moves on and we don’t have to stump up a bunch of $$$$$ that can be used to keep somebody like Richard Sherman [but not counting on that - Richard is going to get PAID when his time comes].

  9. thursday says:

    Is anyone actually watching the Giants when they keep bringing them up as a trap game? Because seriously. Actually agreeing with Yank here. We won four games without Thurmond or Browner last year and we have something we haven’t had all year: Harvin.

    I’m mad about Thurmond, but totally not losing my feeling that the Hawks can win out here.

  10. Super dissapointed about Thurmond. Terrible timing for this defense. I think the offense is starting to click and can hopefully provide enough spark this week and beyond, however, no thurmond leaves us with not great coverage in the slot. The saints can abuse us in the slot. I sure hope they can figure out a way to stop them, or this will come down to a shoot out

  11. chuck_easton says:

    Thursday,

    Keep that feeling. And it isn’t the NY game that concerns me. Just saying it won’t be the cakewalk some think.

    The games that I feel are potential losses are NO and/or SF obviously. To a lesser degree St. Louis and Arizona as those are home games. But the Cards have played themselves into playoff contention.

    That Dec 22 game could very well be the difference between post season and season ending for them. They will be coming in fighting.

    Sure Seattle COULD win out. The logical bet is they won’t. I am still sticking to my thought of a 13-3 season. I can’t see Seattle losing 3 out of 5, but even if they did 12-4 will likely give them the division, a first round bye and possibly even HFA throughout.

    How is taking that position somehow being doom and gloom? I could also accuse the win out crowd of wearing the rose coloured glasses and being way too confident. But 15-1 is still possible. Until it isn’t.

    So, I’ll stick to the odds which say 13-3, with a possible swing anywhere between 14-2 and 12-4.

  12. I’ve liked Thurmond since Oregon, but between the last several seasons of injury problems and now this latest bad-judgment incident, I’m ready to move on to new-blood. Players have a lot less control over injury issues but they can certainly stay away from behavior issues like this during the season. I hope he learns from this and can find a place on another team during the off-season, I’m through with him. I’d rather resign Browner than Thurmond at this point.
    The fact that he smoked weed doesn’t bother me, the fact that he willingly violated his NFL contract and selfishly jeopardized all that the entire team has worked toward over the last several years for a few minutes of buzz and personal satisfaction bothers me tremendously.

  13. yankinta says:

    lol, wow,, people already giving up on a Young CB (probably top 15 young CB). I’m definitely not in that boat. Resigning Thurmond is definitely a Top 5 on my priority list….

    As for the Saints game,, I’m still predicting a Blowout, even without Thurmond. 37-17 final score,, if RW plays all 4 qtr.

    I hate it when Pete takes RW out (during Blowout games) because it hurts his numbers (stats matters to MVP voters). He’s been taken out at least 3 quarters this year,, while others are padding their Stats with Garbage time numbers (i.e, Manning, Brees, Luck)….

  14. chuck_easton says:

    My position with Thurmond isn’t so much that the team can’t recover from this. It’s a blow to have both your #2 (Browner) and #3 (Thurmond) CB’s out at the same time, but this team will adapt.

    My issue with Thurmond is that this team has been incredibly patient with him. They continued to carry him on the roster through years of injuries.

    Now he’s healthy, he’s in a contract year. The team cut a proven veteran in Winfield because Thurmond was the nickel and looked like a potential replacement for either Browner or Sherman whichever of the two Seattle decided they couldn’t/wouldn’t sign.

    Now Thurmond (and he had to have had at least 2 if not 3 failed drug tests to get a 4 game suspension…unlike PED’s which is 4 games for the first failed test) is one strike away from a full season ban.

    There is no more room for mistakes. One strike and he’s out of the league for 1 full calendar year and would have to apply for re-instatement after the year is up.

    Can the team trust him? Can they now put Thurmond in a position where he can be counted on to be the regular starter knowing he’s 1 strike away from a full season ban?

    Thurmond may be back next year. But it will likely be with a very minimum contract and plenty of incentives. Also it will very likely have a penalty clause that states any and all drug failures result in withdrawal of all guarantees/bonuses and could require Thurmond to pay back any advances.

  15. RDPoulsbo says:

    I don’t mind the fumble out the end zone rule because simply, take care of the damn ball! Nevertheless, it is very punitive and the easy solution is to treat it like any other forward fumble that goes out of bounds where the offense retains possession where the fumble occurred.

    I wrote off Thurmond a long time ago because I’ve always felt if you’re never available on Sundays, you contribute zero to winning. That said, he has proven talented enough to get a pass like Pork Chop did. As long as he remains a cheap contract and not expected to be a starter, he’s good enough to keep lower in the depth charts in case he is called upon for duty. Thurmond’s long history of injury on top of this suspension should ensure no team gives him a big contract and with Browner’s age and lack of fit for most other defensive schemes, both could be signed for relatively cheap contracts next year.

  16. aelliott11 says:

    I would be in favor of bringing back Trufant as a nickel corner for 4 weeks to get us over the hump.

    That way, Tru can be voted a share in case this team actually wins a game in January or even February, knowwhatImean?

  17. yankinta says:

    lol,, ain’t no way Thurmond can be signed for a minimum contract…. this dude can play!! I’d say we’ll have to sign him for 3-5 mil a year contract…. and that’s with the discount for his stupid mistakes…..

    lol Trufant?? he has not been good (bleow average) for the past 7 years… lol

  18. Ya agree on Trufant. He was a great Seahawk, but this defense is built on speed and being able to cover…he has no speed and can’t cover. He couldn’t make the Jags team, there is no way in hell he should be starting here again. Just hoping this defense can get by without giving up a ton of points. If somehow we can get BB and Thurmond back without losing, i will be stoked. For now i am a bit nervous and upset about this. Practice this week can’t come soon enough IMO

  19. raymaines says:

    I’m going to very moderately pick against Chuck. I’ll admit the ‘Hawks could lose a game or two, but I don’t think they will. Seattle really should be too amp’ed up to lose to either NO or SF. Playing in NY in the dead of winter is never any fun but the Giants really aren’t very good, Arizona and St Louis are the two that worry me.

  20. grizindabox24 says:

    I still see Shead as more of a safety and not a corner, and definitely not anyone that could play in the slot. As reported, I am guessing they are working hard to get A.W. to come back into the fold for the rest of the season.

  21. RDPoulsbo says:

    I don’t think we can really expect Simon to be any savior at this point. The NO game next week is for everything, but the teams after that aren’t exactly deep in the passing game. Simon is just not likely to be back next week when they’d need him most if he comes back at all this year.

    NO is going to flood the field with receivers, so Seattle will need to have plenty of DBs on the field. That probably means Kam will be moved into a lot of slot coverage rather than a lot of Maxwell and Lane on the field at the same time. We might even see more Jeron Johnson as well. This also probably means Sherman will be shadowing Graham all game long rather than take the matchup he’s given on the left side. The good news is NO isn’t a very good running team, so they can afford to have Kam matchup on someone outside rather than be in the box.

  22. The only indispensable members of the secondary are Thomas and Sherman. The rest are just plug and play.

  23. HawkfaninMT says:

    Interesting thoughs here! Thanks for the PUP list clarification Chuck! Very well stated and easy to follow.

    Looking at the match ups between our DBs and Saints WRs if we stick with Man principals when they go 5 wide:

    Graham…. Sherman
    Colston… Maxwell
    Moore… Lane
    Stills… Shead
    Meachum… Earl/Kam?

    The LBs better be ready to chase Sproles all over the place!

  24. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    No thank you about Marcus Trufant. He was very bad the last couple of years…Rotoworld is reporting that the Hawks have contacted Antoine Winfield.

  25. grizindabox24 says:

    PC did not discount the Winfield reports. Said he is a known commodity and is familiar to the team.

  26. yankinta says:

    I really hope NBC will flex Arizona at Philadelphia, this Sunday night…. I don’t think anyone will want to watch NY Giants at Washington…. it will be boring…

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/schedule/_/week/13

  27. The Washington NYG game cannot be flexed at this point.

  28. grizindabox24 says:

    yankinta, it is too late to flex the game for this Sunday. A game must be flexed a minimum of 12 days prior to game day.

  29. yankinta says:

    Yeah, thanks for clarifying….. I was hoping but kind of knew it was too late…. I guess NBC made a huge mistake…. they could have had twice as better rating for Arizona at Philadelphia.

    Maybe they’ll flex Another Panthers vs Saints game in wk 15 instead of Steelers vs. Bengals…. :)

  30. aelliott11 says:

    Personally, I’m looking forward to the Thursday night battle between Jacksonville and Houston in two weeks. I don’t know how NFLN promotes this game with a straight face.

  31. aelliott11 says:

    I know Tru is old and can’t play anymore. I was thinking more of a charity to a class-act and a great former Seahawk. I’m glad the team is at least talking to Winfield. I just don’t believe in Lane/Maxwell against Brees, Kaepernick (with Crabtree), Eli, Palmer, and whoever is QB for the Rams. Not only does that hurt one corner, it weakens our nickel and dime packages. And if one of those guys gets hurt, then we’re hosed.

    Remember, our lockdown corners set the table for our pash rush. I don’t think our pass rush gets home on their own very often, they need protection on the back end to give them more time to get to the QB.

  32. I think Rice played his last game for the Hawks, so hopefully we can re-purpose his salary to keep Browner, Sherman, and Thurmond.

  33. grizindabox24 says:

    Audible, Hawks will have to re-purpose Rice’s salary to cover the huge bump in Harvin’s salary.

  34. RDPoulsbo says:

    Breno and McQ’s contracts will also be up at the end of the season. That’s another $7M+ of cap room off the books as well. It’ll be nice if they use that money on offensive linemen next year.

  35. Maybe Sherman should take a few bong hits…after the superbowl. lol

  36. grizindabox24 says:

    RD, just because the deals of Breno and McQ are up does not mean it frees up that cash. As things stand right now, with salary increases for players, there cap number next year is pretty much equal to their cap number for this season already even with less players under contract.

  37. banosser says:

    Hopefully AW has been continuously working out.. and comes back to help cover the slot.. still completely POd about Thurmond.. but I’ll back away from the edge..

  38. Someone posted we have about 37 mi (pretty sure that includes expiring contractsl on the cap and by my count 18 FA’s this season.

    That that’s 2.05 per position on average. gonna make it tough to sign guys. Tough decisions on the horizon.

  39. chuck_easton says:

    raymaines,

    Didn’t consider that picking at me at all. Your reasoning is sound.

    And I simply use basic odds to come to a final record based on percentages.

    The worst Seattle could finish is 10-6. That means losing all 5 remaining games. Not impossible, but the least probable of any scenario.

    The best Seattle could finish is 15-1. This means winning every remaining game. Also, not impossible, but also not the most probable. Even if Seattle plays well and wins against NO and SF, they still must travel East for a 10:00am road game. They still must play a team (Arizona) that may very well be fighting for a play-off spot. And they may have everything decided before the St. Louis game and may choose to rest the starters.

    12-4 is still possible, but that means Seattle would have to lose 3 of the remaining 5 games. If Seattle drops even one game out of the next two the margin for error is such that Seattle is likely in a win out for favourable seeding position and would be playing their best.

    13-3 is actually the second most likely scenario. This would have Seattle losing to either NO or SF (my money would be on a loss in SF), as well as dropping one of the three final games. Again, you have to put in to the equation the possiblity of Arizona coming in fighting for a play-off spot and/or Seattle having nothing to win or lose for St. Louis.

    14-2 has the highest probability of all five scenarios. Again, if Seattle loses to either NO or SF (and I think they will lose one of those two games), they are in a position of potentially giving up HFA to whomever comes out of hte NFCS. The respective winners of both the NFCN and NFCE will finish no better than 10-6 or even 9-7 so it is highly unlikely if not impossible for either conference to get a first round play-off bye.

    I stand by my prediction that 13-3 or 14-2 are the most likely finishes with 12-4 a distant third. If Seattle beats NO and NO and Carolina beat each other up while splitting their two games 13-3 still gets HFA even if Seattle drops two of the remaining games.

    That is why I think 13-3 is the most likely. I can see Seattle potentially going into the St. Louis and possibly even the Arizona game with nothing to play for and no consequence to a loss.

  40. RDPoulsbo says:

    grizindabox24: yes, and hopefully they can use that money for o-linemen rather than what they have right now.

  41. yankinta says:

    Here’s that list,,

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1860605-an-in-depth-look-into-whats-ahead-for-the-seattle-seahawks-2014-offseason

    My ranking of priority (assuming we’d already extended Earl, Sherman, and Okung)
    1. Michael Bennett
    2. Walter Thurmond
    3. Golden Tate
    4. Tony McDaniel
    5. Clinton McDonald
    6. O’Brien Schofield
    7. Steven Hauschka

    I’d take a pass on the rest of the Free Agents…

  42. grizindabox24 says:

    RD, it will not free up money.

    Right now this season the Hawks have a salary of $124.87 million, this includes 53 man and 9 reserve guys (IR,PUP, etc). Looking to next season the Hawks salary is sitting at $122.81 million with only 43 players under contract. That does not leave much money to work with. This is why you will see players such as Rice, Avril, Mebane, and Red as possible cuts to free up cash.

  43. chuck_easton says:

    grizndabox24,

    Thank you for the updates on actual numbers. Sometimes fans get so caught up in the idea of players that just have to be kept or we’ll die that they forget that there is such a thing as a salary cap that can limit what the team can offer to players.

    It doesn’t mean the team doesn’t want to keep everybody. It means hard decisions have to be made and it is very likely that there will be some big surprises when we see who stays, who goes, and why.

    There will always be that crowd that says “Just pay the man…” without thinking how paying the man fits into the cap, how it limits the ability to sign other players, and how it might effect the ability to continue to field a competitive team.

  44. Singularitarian says:

    Am I missing something with Lane? Nobody seems to consider him a decent player. I remember him playing great last year when outside for BB. Not so great in the slot. Kick Lane outside and bring in WInfield. Have Maxwell spell at both spots. What’s wrong with this?

  45. On the remaining schedule – I feel that they have a solid chance to win them all BUT I don’t think any of them will be “easy games” going in. That doesn’t mean that we won’t win a few of them in Blow-outs either.

    NO – Down a few DB’s BUT we are at home and I think that pulls a bunch of weight based on our home field and the fact that NO hasn’t put it together on the road very often this year.

    @SF – They will be out for blood AND it is a division game. IMO they will be fighting for their playoff lives and we be very motivated to win – this is my biggest worry game, but clearly with our team is a good match up for them as well.

    @NYG – This game could be a trap – BECAUSE if we win the 2 leading up to this we may have already clinched the division and have a lead (+tie breaker) in the HFA game – they are not as good as us.

    Arizona – If win the previous 3 games we will have clinched the division before this game. Arizona is probably still in the play-off hunt. Might see pretty generic play from the hawks.

    STL – in all probability we secured the division and will know if we have HFA before – see above for generic play.

    If NO – SF-AR lose a 1-2 along the way I expect the hawks to be on cruise mode in the last 2 games – they may still win, but we will see who sits and who plays.

    Our magic # is still 3 vs SF and Arizona to clinch division – and 1 vs the Rams

  46. grizindabox24 says:

    Percy Harvin is a prime example: 2013 cap number is $4.9 million, his 2014 cap number is $13.4 million.

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  48. chuck_easton says:

    Rice is another prime example. If he is kept, his 2014 cap number is just at 8.5 million. If he’s cut he still counts 2.5 million towards the 2014 cap so there isn’t that 8.5 million savings people think cutting him is going to generate.

    Any guarantees, signing bonuses, and such have a major factor in who does and doesn’t stay. You may see a situation where a player like Tate is allowed to walk because he can get more than Seattle can afford to pay, while a lesser player remains because they are easier to fit under the cap.

    Same with Sherman. We all know he’s the best CB in the league. He knows he’s the best CB in the league. Does he need to be paid better than Revis to prove to the world he’s the best? Can Seattle afford to pay a CB in the range of 20 million a season? Does Seattle WANT to pay a CB that much money?

    What it comes down to is if the team can keep 5 or 6 players for less than it would cost to keep Tate or Sherman there is a very good chance you let the big name walk and keep a competitive team together.

  49. RDPoulsbo says:

    Singularitarian, Maxwell and Lane are pretty good CBs, but they’re best on the outside where they can use the sideline to their advantage. They aren’t so good moving inside where they have to play more off coverage in the middle of the field. Losing Browner wasn’t so big a deal because they’d just move Thurmond inside and bring in Maxwell in nickel situations to play the right outside CB spot. Covering that slot will be more difficult against the Saints next week since they like to use a lot of 4 or 5 guys out wide. Kam will help in that situation, but they don’t have a very good matchup to cover Moore and Stills at the same time. If Sherman shadows Graham, that might help the secondary since he’s usually not on the outside, leaving Maxwell and Lane to cover in positions they’re better suited for.

  50. chuck_easton says:

    The NFL is in danger of going the route of the NBA where a team can only afford to pay one or two players (QB in NFL) that huge contract and then they are forced to fill out the roster with affordable scrubs.

    It’s much easier to do in the NBA where you can have one or two guys actually carry the team.

    I never want to see a situation where Seattle is forced to play offense with Wilson, Harvin, and 9 other scrubs. First it wouldn’t be a way to win games and second it would lead to either/both getting killed.

  51. grizindabox24 says:

    I took the top 17 salaries for 2013 and they have a cap number of $98.175 million. 3 of those guys are Bennett, Breno, and McQ. If you take the salaries of the 14 players left under contract for 2014, the cap number is $102.94 million. Seems to me that just because Breno and McQ are not brought back, it does not free up money.

  52. Considering our unique scheme, I wonder if someone comes in entirely off everyone’s radar for some depth. Simon and Shead should get first crack at open position, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see an unfamiliar name come into play. Any other tall game-shape CFL corners out there? Their season just wrapped up a bit ago I do believe.

  53. RDPoulsbo says:

    grizindabox24, the way I see it, McQ and Breno are vastly overpaid for their performance. That $7+ mil will then be free to sign other players. That could mean drafting a tackle and guard with their first 2 picks at rookie contracts or signing cheaper FAs that will perform better. Either way, there’s a lot of savings by letting these 2 guys walk at the end of the season.

  54. grizindabox24 says:

    RD, there is no cap savings at all to Breno and McQ.

  55. chuck_easton says:

    RD, what Griz is saying is simple. Both Breno and McQuistain are UFA’s at the end of this year.

    The 2014 cap for players that are already under contract currently sits at $122 million for the 43 players that are under contract for 2014.

    So, if the cap is flat as expected it will likely be in the neighborhood of $124-135 million for next season. That means, as things stand RIGHT NOW Seattle only will have about 3 to 5 million to play with to sign their 2014 draft choices and to fill out the roster from 43 to 61 or so.

    Letting Breno and McQuistain ‘walk’ does not give Seattle any more money to sign other o-linemen. It just means that Seattle has to either rely on the other o-linemen currently under contract to step up, or they have to spend some of that 3-5 million on signing two different o-linemen that do not know the system as well.

  56. chuck_easton says:

    Sorry next years cap is likely going to be 124-125 million. It won’t reach 135 ANYTIME soon.

  57. RDPoulsbo says:

    grizindabox, to replace Breno and McQ, at least one of those guys if not both will be rookies from the draft. I’m looking at cost savings over the current players and those 2 are easily at the top even if their contracts went beyond this season. There will still be cuts and Clemons and Miller are probably ones to add to your list as well.

  58. ChrisHolmes says:

    I don’t think there’s any question: Rice is gone. His salary is too big.

    I like the way Bennet and McDonald have played. I hope we can bring them back.

    I’d rather have Thurmond than Browner. Browner turns 30. Thurmond is young. Yeah, the PED violation sucks, but remember, Sherman and Browner both got slapped as well.

    I hope they find ways to keep Tate Haushka. I know the Tate thing has been debated pretty well already. He could want a lot of money and think he is going to get it. Who knows. But I like him. He’s a playmaker. And I think he’s only going to get better as Harvin takes attention away from him. Tate one-on-one against anyone? I’ll take Tate. And I just think that’s the kind of WR you gotta have on a team like this, that doesn’t throw the football 40 times a game: you need guys who can win when the ball comes their way.

  59. They can save nearly $18m by cutting Bryant, Rice and Miller.

  60. rramstad says:

    Two comments.

    The youth movement that PC and JS have put together is EXACTLY how you get around the salary cap issues. If they can find four or five fresh guys in the draft each year, they have a base of 20 or so guys out of the 53 that are still on their rookie deal. These guys are cheap and allow you to fill out the roster with other players… and they are not “scrubs” by any stretch of the imagination.

    I very much like Sherman’s comments reminding people of the guys who were out for PED in the defensive backfield last year. Lane and Maxwell have a lot of experience considering how young they are and how far down the depth chart they are. It’s great that we have a long week of practice to get them up to speed. Don’t get me wrong, I was hoping we’d play some seven DB defense against the Saints and I don’t think we’ll see that complicated of a scheme from the Seahawks because of the younger guys… but conversely we might see something REALLY EFFECTIVE like putting Kam in the box against Graham and letting ET fly around as a single high safety. I’d love to see us pull a Belichick and do whatever it takes to take away the main option for the Saints offense and make them come up with a Plan B.

  61. Thurmond more important to sign than Tate?! Uh, you’re out of your mind dude! Thank God JS and PC won’t see it that way….

    IMO, Tate and Bennett are must-sign players, along with Okung. McQ just ain’t worth the money, and it’s time to move on from the crutch and find a real LG. We haven’t had one since Hutch. McQ is a prime candidate for a paycut or released next year.

    Avril has done little to justify his pay, but he’s younger than Clemons…he’s on thin ice. Rice is gone baby gone, his money will help keep Tate. There’s gonna have to be some serious cuts though. Mebane and Red are likely to have their pay reduced or find themselves cut.

    McDonald is a good cheap player, and so is McDaniels. I’d like to see them return.

  62. HawkfaninMT says:

    I wonder why Thurmond did not wait until next week to drop his appeal? I feel like the way these suspensions work, you are given an opportunity to affect the weeks you miss. For instance he withdrew his appeal this week meaning he will miss: NO, SF, NY, and AZ… I would rather he miss: SF, NY, AZ, and STL. There is a chance Browner is back by the STL game further minimizing the impact of Thurmond’s suspension.

    Does anyone have any insight as to why he withdrew his appeal now?

  63. grizindabox24 says:

    STTBM, I might not be understanding you post, but Okung is signed through the 2015 season.

  64. ChrisHolmes says:

    @HawkfaninMT: Probably because of playoffs.

    Sooner he serves his suspension, sooner he gets back.

    And who knows? Week 17 might actually decided HFA. If you’re Thermond, do you want to play this week, or week 17?

  65. RDPoulsbo says:

    HawkfaninMT, I think it had to do with their experience with Browner’s return from suspension last year and only to see him come back during the playoffs and suck. The extra 1 game before the playoffs to get back into things might be the reason. It would have been nice to have him for this game, but a loss isn’t necessarily the end of the world. NO still has to play Carolina twice, along with an unpredictable Rams team in St. Louis.

  66. Griz–right you are. Good, one less contract to worry about. Seattle also will have to make room in coming years for 7million a year + contracts for Sherm and/or ET. There is no way those guys take less than Chancellor makes. And why should they?

    Not to mention RW.

    Doug Baldwin will be eating up some of that money too. He’s gonna get the 2.4 million tender if they dont get him to sign a long-term contract.

    The more I think about it, the less likely it is we keep Sherm AND ET (its likely we keep only ET). Which is frustrating. Id rather have Sherm than Chancellor when it comes down to it, but thats not the way it works.

    And looking at the WR corps, even if we simply exchange Rice with Tate, thats a lot of money for recievers on a team that throws the least in the NFL. Still, with Baldwin, Harvin, and Kearse we would be ok, I just think it would be a shame to lose Tate after he finally gets going.

  67. TallyHawk says:

    Losing Thurmond sucks but if they can win without their 3 best o linemen they should be ok without their 2nd and 3rd best corners.

  68. The problem is not a lack of talent or skill with Maxwell and Lane, but the fact that both of them are better RCB than Nickel backs. We’re also facing Marques Colston, who is great in the slot, not to mention Jimmy Graham, who is an additional slot guy quite often.

    I am excited to see if Winfield comes aboard, and to see if Shead gets some time at RCB. 220 lbs! Thats BB size! I hated the crappy soft zone we ran last week, and would love to see Shead abusing WR’s in press man on the outside, with Lane and/or Maxwell in the slot.

    They could also put ET in the slot and use Shead or Chancellor as single high safety. They did that a few times the last couple weeks, but it often backfired. Chancellor is not great at playing deep safety, he’s slow.

  69. Im sure the team had some input on when Thurmond decided to drop his appeal. For whatever reason, they seem willing to try NO without Thurmond. I guess that speaks to their confidence in the soft zone (sorry, couldnt resist!) and in Lane and Maxwells ability to cover for BB and Thurmond.

  70. Can we count on enough players being suspended next year to free up some cap space?

  71. yankinta says:

    STTBM,, You asked,,, “Thurmond more important to sign than Tate?!” My answer is Yes. because Thurmond will be will be needed since Browner will probably be gone (age & injuries). And Thurmond’s price tag has gone done so hopefully we can sign him for 60 cents on the dollar.

    Tate’s price tag would be a lot higher than Thurmond. We already have 3 decent WR other than Tate. We don’t have 3 other decent CB other than Thurmond. Only Richard Sherman will be better CB on Roster,, than Thurmond (assuming Browner is gone).

  72. grizindabox24 says:

    Curtis Crabtree ‏@Curtis_Crabtree 4m
    I can confirm that the Seahawks are talking with CB Antoine Winfield with CB Walter Thurmond set to be suspended.

  73. chuck_easton says:

    ChrisHolmes,

    Just to clarify, Thurmond’s suspension is not for a PED violation. While yes that would result in a 4 games suspension for a first offense, Thurmond is being suspended for a violation of the Substance Abuse section.

    The first positive test for a “substance of abuse” results in the player formally entering an enhanced testing/treatment program, where the player is tested more frequently.

    A second positive test results in the player entering the “stages of intervention” outlined in the policy. “Stage 1″ is the first stage in the policy and includes the player being referred to a “Regional Team” for his treatment. In Stage 1, the player can be tested as many times as the league’s “Medical Director” desires to “adequately evaluate the player.”

    A positive test while in Stage 1 can result in a fine equal to three weeks of a player’s pay and results in entrance to Stage 2.

    A player remains under Stage 1 guidelines for 90 days, but the league’s Medical Director can extend that time up to six months.

    In Stage 2, players are subject to unannounced testing up to 10 times a month. A positive test while in Stage 2 or failure to comply with the treatment program results in a fine equal to four game checks and a four-game suspension.

    Six-game suspensions are also possible in Stage 2.

    Players can appeal the fine and suspension within five business days of receiving the “notice of discipline.”

    Players remain in Stage 2 for two full seasons or 24 consecutive months, whichever is shorter.

    Players move to Stage 3 if they have two positive tests when in Stage 2 or one positive test to go with one instance when the player failed to comply with the program.

    Players who are placed into Stage 3 remain in Stage 3 for the remainder of their careers.

    The minimum suspension for a violation in Stage 3 is a calendar year.

    Thurmond failed one drug test to be referred to the “enhanced testing/treatment program”. He failed a second test to get put into Stage 1 of the stages program. He failed a third test to get into Stage 2 and was likely fined.

    While in Stage 2 Thurmond has either failed a 4th test or he has failed to comply with the program so now he has been given the 4 game suspension allowed under stage 2 and he is now in Stage 3.

    Thurmond will be in Stage 3 the remainder of his career. ANY failure for the remainder of Thurmond’s career will bring a mandatory 1 calendar year suspension.

    So, as you can see, Thurmond had to work pretty darn hard to get this far in the program. He’s now at the ‘one strike and you’re out’ Stage.

    This is why this is actually worse than Sherman, Irvin, and Browner testing positive for a PED. This is also why Thurmond is now a risk going forward. He didn’t seem to get it all the way through to Stage 3. What is there to indicate he’s going to get it now?

  74. sluggo42 says:

    Ya, wt3 is too bad. Good player, without a brain, or equally as stupid, a doper in denial.
    Three or 4 strikes to get where his is shows he has a severe problem

    Personally, I got no time for a seahawk who is an addict.

    he just lowered his place in history …

  75. yankinta–Signing THurmond may come cheap initially, but he’s now on a very short leash with the league; one more positive test or failure to produce in a given timeframe will result in a one-year suspension. He’s proven multiple times that he’s selfish and stupid, and cannot be trusted. He’s likely to end up screwing up again. So that has to be taken into account–losing him in the middle of next season would not be fun; it might be better to move on without him, to get another starter up to speed ASAP.

    He’s also not as good a corner as Tate is a WR, though he will be much cheaper. Again, we can move on without Thurmond next year very easily, but Tate and his talent will be harder to replace. Kearse is a talent, but he’s got a different skillset and isnt on Tate’s level yet. Baldwin is a fine player too, but again, isnt as explosive as Tate. HE’s an integral part of this offense.

    And I disagree that we dont have any other good cb’s. I think Maxwell may turn out to be better than Thurmond. He’s stronger, tougher, and more physical. He just needs more playing time, which he’s about to get. Lane is also quite the talent, he’s just young an inexperienced. Yes, they are going to be liabilities at first in the slot, as both are better at RCB, but they have potential. There’s also Tharold Simon and Deshawn Shead for next year. So I dont think re-signing Thurmond is such a dire concern, especially in light of his suspension and his status on the tight rope with the NFL for the rest of his career, as Chuck pointed out.

    I guess we’ll see how PC and JS handle it.

    Youre entitled to your opinion–I just disagree; and thanks for the discussion!

  76. “Avril has done little to justify his pay, but he’s younger than Clemons…he’s on thin ice.”

    I’m not sure why you think this? He took a little while to warm up as he missed significant time in TC, but he is now tied for the team lead with 6.5 sacks and leads the team in fumbles forced with 3. He now has 19 forced fumbles for his career. He is one of the best at it. I was thinking it was becoming more likely that they keep Clemons instead of Avril a while back, but Avril is clearly playing better IMO and is younger.

  77. jawpeace says:

    Yankinta you wrote “I hate it when Pete takes RW out (during Blowout games) because it hurts his numbers (stats matters to MVP voters). He’s been taken out at least 3 quarters this year,, while others are padding their Stats with Garbage time numbers (i.e, Manning, Brees, Luck)…

    Who cares about numbers. Us Hawk fans know how good RW is. What if he got hurt in garbage time? That would be a travesty. Also giving some real game time to TJack, will help if RW is ever injured and TJack has to come in. I have NO problem when Pete takes him out. Even when it hurts one of my FF teams!

  78. Dukeshire says:

    Excellent post, Chuck

  79. It’s a shame Thurmond couldn’t just use the socially approved drugs and drink himself into a stupor when he needs to get intoxicated, ;-)

  80. They’re not going to let Sherman walk. The franchise tag is less than 12 million for cornerbacks, and I surely don’t see them signing browner to a huge deal.

    I also wouldn’t be shocked if Sherman and/or ET would take a slightly smaller deal to keep the Legion of Boom together.

    My guess is they ask Rice to take a pay cut or try to find another team to overpay for him, especially coming off of a torn acl.

    Let’s not forget, Sherman is still under contract next season. We will have to see how it plays out.

    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/seattle-seahawks/richard-sherman/

  81. Dukeshire says:

    HawkfaninMT – Sherman won’t matchup with Jimmy Graham unless they split him out to Flanker.

  82. And for what it is worth, if they go 2-3, I hope the wins come against NO and SF. If Seattle loses Monday then we need the Panthers to win the South with the same record or worse than the Hawks, and that will very likely be enough to secure HFA. Who would have thought a week one win could be so relevant right now?

  83. Sherm is under contract in 2014, but he can demand to renegotiate. I certainly would if I was him. He has been severely underpaid the last 2 years at least and he may only have one shot to get his payday and make his family and himself financially secured. Nobody’s going to pay him after 2014 if he tears up his knee just because they feel bad for him.

  84. RDPoulsbo says:

    Agreed STTBM. It would be nice to sign Thurmond on the cheap and it’s very doable now with this suspension, but not to be a starter because it’s too risky. If he asks for much more than the minimum, well have fun playing for the Redskins or Cowboys. The secondary is very deep and there’s plenty of other guys to step up. It sucks that they’ll have to start against the #2 passing team in the league next Monday, but I’m confident the young guys will come into their own with a little seasoning over the long haul.

  85. Thanks for your post Chuck. I was wondering the specifics as I was pretty sure you couldn’t be suspended until a 2nd positive test. Sounds like it actually takes 3. So some history is there.

    This also helps me understand a bit better my one lingering question I had this past spring…Why oh why did we go for a DB early in the draft when we were so heavy with depth. You take the Browner contract situation, mix in the fact that (at that time) Thurmound was already in Stage 1 or 2 (although not known publicly)and that great depth starts to look possibly thin in 2014. So the pick of Tharold Simon starts to make a lot more sense. And I can see us snagging another one in next year’s draft.

    But this same thought also makes me wonder if we have a similar risk at the RB position, which would explain why we got Christine Michael so early…

    Anyway, thanks again for your post Chuck!

  86. yankinta says:

    STTBM,, you’re entitled to your own opinions as well. I disagree that it’s time for us to move on from Thurmond. A talented/Fast CB with size like Thurmond is very hard to find. He’s the reason we have not had to worry about slot CB like last year. Playing Slot CB takes a special talent/Skills set. Most CB don’t have that. Lane and Maxwell are no where close to being an effective slot CB, as we will find out the next few games.

    jawpeace,, I agree with you about RW getting hit in garbage time. Especially because our O-Line has been one of the worst in Pass Protection. I don’t care about MVP either but I want it for RW because he deserves it. He’s been our MVP so far, hands down.

    As for those that say Running game has helped RW win games this year…. Here’s a Nice Little Stat to ponder. RW is 8-0, in games, this year, where Lynch has struggled to get 100 yards. I call that Aaron Rodgers’s level of playing QB without a decent running game. :)

  87. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Good posts today by everyone. And Daves article on Clayton was awesome!

  88. sluggo42 says:

    I personally don’t care that he smokes dope, I did too when I was a kid 30 years ago. But my job told me they were going to start testing for dope. That was the last time for me. My job was more important, and trust me, I didn’t play CB for the #1 ranked team in the NFL.

    I wouldn’t have a problem if they cut him today…

  89. I agree besides cutting him, sluggo. Even though I don’t believe that the NFL has any business testing for recreational drugs, I think Thurmond should refrain until he’s retired with the current rules.

    It seems he’s either stupid OR is an addict. There are plenty of intelligent people that are alcoholics, and it certainly doesn’t guarantee sobriety. I wish him the best either way.

  90. rramstad says:

    Confused about claims that Sherman could demand to renegotiate. My understanding is that the rookie deals are set in stone and teams are not allowed to renegotiate them. Quick Google came up with

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1595987-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-nfls-rookie-wage-scale

    “Starting in the second round, rookie contracts are set in stone as four-year deals with no wiggle room.”

    Also found this, though:

    http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Previewing-the-2013-rookie-deals.html

    “The deals can’t be renegotiated until the conclusion of a player’s third regular season.”

    To me, that’s new information. I was under the impression that players were signed to four year deals as rookies, and they were obligated to play them out. I suppose a player could hold out at the end of year three wanting to get a new deal for year four, but the CBA isn’t all that old, and so we haven’t seen that happen yet. Will be interesting to see if/when someone tests that with a team.

  91. rramstad, as I understand it, rookie deals can be renegotiated after year 3 of the 4 year deal. That means that RW can renegotiate after 2014.

  92. bbmate–I wasnt saying Seattle should cut him, or refuse to resign him necessarily. He’s just no longer trustworthy or high on the list of priorities. Sure, maybe bring him back, but only if the risk/reward is worth it; he is a good player, but if he gets suspended again, we will have to go with the next guy up; we might be better served biting the bullet and either draft or sign someone to play nickel instead of Thurmond. I’d hate to lose a good young player to keep Thurmond, only to lose Thurmond to suspension.

    I dont have a clue if he’s an addict or merely a selfish idiot. I hope he pulls his head out, for his sake, and for the teams sake.

    He shouldnt be getting wasted off anything if he wants to maintain peak physical condition during the season. And booze may be off limits to him–in fact, for all we know he got busted for smoking weed and then re-busted for having alcohol in his system. Once youre in the substance abuse system far enough, you cant drink alcohol–Favre had to abstain after he admitted to painkiller addiction, which he said was crap and I agree. He wasnt addicted to alcohol, nor did he have an “addictive personality”. His addiction was driven by acute pain and the drive to keep playing.

    Like I said, I could care if players smoke weed in the offseason–so long as they dont get busted. For him to get busted repeatedly means he’s not trustworthy and so is damaged goods at best.

  93. Southendzone says:

    Anyone see that story about the lady who jumped from the upper deck about 45 ft after the Raiders loss yesterday and a 61 year old Navy Veteran caught her and broker her fall?

    Probably saved her life, and it was the longest completion by the home team at the Oakland coliseum in 4 years.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/fan-plunges-from-oakland-coliseum-deck-2-injured/2013/11/24/991184ac-557b-11e3-bdbf-097ab2a3dc2b_story.html

  94. sluggo42 says:

    Plus he now lives in the one more strike world and 1-year susp. He already has proven the inability to stop by failing the 2-3 times to get in this mess.. Blowing his big chance on THIS team shows he doesn’t get it, along with the tweets he has been kicking out only amplify how much he doesn’t get it.

    It saddens me actually, I was so for him to make it after his imjuries

  95. yankinta–I also believe Lane and Maxwell will struggle in the slot this year. But Thurmond will be back, and Im looking more at next year. Next year, Seattle would be smart to try to find another player with Thurmonds skillset, or at least a slot guy, and let Thurmond walk, or at least bring in competition.

  96. Southendzone–I heard he was a Marine…whatever, he’s a good dude.

  97. grizindabox24 says:

    Reports that possible Hawk targets besides Winfield are Marcus Trufant and Perrish Cox

  98. SandpointHawk says:

    Thurmond got himself a bad case of the Leroy Hill Blues…

  99. Iirc Cox was a badass corner for a season or two.

    I’m not going to hang thurmond, but he needs his ass kicked, preferably by someone like Okung or Big Red. Kid has the world by the balls and he keeps failing drug tests for recreational drug use.

    I hope he can move past this, stay healthy, and never get suspended again.

    Also, I wonder if it wasn’t weed.

  100. grizindabox24 says:

    RADE, heard that it was indeed weed

  101. STTBM, I was talking to sluggo when I was talking about cutting him. Thurmond is certainly a high risk sign now with a 1 year suspension hanging over his head, regardless of my feelings about the program. I’d resign him if the price is right. He was a bit of a wildcard with the injury history alone. I really hope that BB doesn’t find much of a market and chooses to come back. Did you check out Avril’s stats?

  102. RDPoulsbo says:

    Thurmond has essentially become Leroy Hill at this point. Teams backed off because him because he was damaged goods and now Thurmond gets to lose his big payday. PC might give him another chance, but he’ll have to come back at a very cheap price.

    It seems tis the season for fans of bad teams to express their despair.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6NJVFlHOIY

  103. That guy is really brave. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, but brave. Some firefighters in the Western Washington area told a woman to jump from a building and tried to catch her and ended up severely injuring themselves.

    HINT, HINT: You’re not going to catch someone falling 45 feet without getting severely injured or killed. I don’t care how strong you think you are.

  104. Browner facing 8 game suspension for another PED Test.

  105. SlickToxic21 says:

    Here’s hoping for a SB win this year, so the choices won’t be quite as difficult…..as far as who to cut, who to keep…..and I do find it interesting that there are some teams that are constantly getting their players to renegotiate their contracts….the Broncos come to mind.
    I don’t think Seattle asks often, and the times I recall them asking, usually it ends with the player being cut….i.e. Lofa
    This team is kind of set up to change out some players with higher salaries….Red, Marshawn, Rice, Zach, Clem, Mebane…….when their time is done which will be sooner for some than others….then you have Earl, Sherman, Wilson, Tate, and others getting their payday.
    And they have youngsters like Christine, Lane, Willson to fill in.

    And of course, you have to hope some players give the home team discount…..and others renegotiate.

  106. ballgame says:

    8 Games from Browner and Winflied signed. Crazy day for drugs

  107. Apparently Brandon Browner will never play another down for the Seahawks. The organization is done with him and will let him go as a FA.

    The Seahawks will also sign another CB in addition to Winfield.

  108. grizindabox24 says:

    Pabs, BB may have just PED’d himself out of the NFL

  109. bigmike04 says:

    Gregg Rosenthal reports Seahawks will sign Antoine Winfield to replace Thurmond on roster

  110. banosser says:

    I don’t even know what say right now.. I’m flabbergasted…

    Now we’re truly one injury away from bringing ‘em in off the street again..

  111. grizindabox24 says:

    Brandon Browner ‏@bbrowner27 3m
    I’m not facing suspension for PEDs, it’s sad that the NFL is reporting this…
    Reply Retweet Favorite More Expand

  112. Maybe he doesn’t know yet…

  113. sluggo42 says:

    What the heck is going on?????

  114. RDPoulsbo says:

    Lots of other media sources calling Silver’s story on Browner completely untrue on twitter besides BB himself. We probably won’t get anything sorted out for a bit, but it does seem to be a completely false story.

  115. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    the suspension was not for PED’s it was for a non-ped drug ie; weed. not to be a pain but that was all over espn. he made a bad choice we will likely get him on the cheap now so i am not pleased but it does happen.

  116. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    and i am referring to WT3

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