Seahawks Insider

Morning Links: With loss of free agents, are there in-house solutions?

Post by Todd Dybas / The News Tribune on March 17, 2014 at 1:41 am with 35 Comments »
March 17, 2014 9:10 am

Good morning.

Let’s do another recap of where we are.

Walter Thurmond signing with the Giants made him the sixth unrestricted free agent to leave the Seahawks this offseason. Receiver Golden Tate (Detroit Lions), defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), cornerback Brandon Browner (New England Patriots), offensive tackle Breno Giacomini (New York Jets) and safety Chris Maragos (Tampa Bay) have also departed.

The core of the team remains, as do possible in-house candidates to replace the departed.

Wide receivers: Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin, Jermaine Kearse, Ricardo Lockette and Bryan Walters remain. Taylor Price was added. Phil Bates was also on the practice squad all last season and will be back. Chris Matthews was signed out of the CFL. Arceto Clark should be around when camp starts, too. As has been often discussed, it would appear logical for the Seahawks to use a draft pick on a receiver. They also haven’t ruled out the return of Sidney Rice.

Defensive tackle: Tony McDaniel re-signed. Jordan Hill, who played in four games last year, will be back, as will Brandon Mebane. A wild card here is Jesse Williams. The Seahawks’ fifth-round pick is making it sound like he’s recovered from the knee injury that put him on injured reserve last season. Williams is 6-3, 325. For comparison, Red Bryant is 6-4, 323.

Cornerbacks: A clear line of succession here. Byron Maxwell remains the starter opposite Richard Sherman. Jeremy Lane moves into the nickel back role and the Seahawks figure out what they have with Tharold Simon, if he can get over his toe injuries. I’d expect another late-round cornerback draft pick to be added to the mix.

Right tackle/offensive line: Michael Bowie seems the clear leader to replace Giacomini. The Seahawks also have Alvin Bailey to work with. Left guard Paul McQuistan is a free agent. Versatile Lemuel Jeanpierre re-signed to again provide depth. James Carpenter is entering the final year of his contract. He can become an UFA following the season.

Safety: Jeron Johnson re-signed. Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor basically don’t come off the field. The Seahawks are likely to add another piece of depth here. As was pointed out in the comments, we should include DeShawn Shead here. He’s a big body the Seahawks like. He’s under contract for next season, then can become an unrestricted free agent.

Overthecap.com estimates the Seahawks to be $13,483,664 under the cap, at this point, though the restructuring of Zach Miller’s contract does not appear accounted for. That should give the Seahawks a slight bump in cap space. Percy Harvin ($13,400,000) and Russell Okung ($11,240,000) are the only two cap numbers more than $10,000,000 next season.

The Seahawks still have several steals on the roster. Michael Bennett and Thomas combine to produce just a $9,473,212 cap hit next season, almost equivalent to Cliff Avril’s ($9,250,00). Considering what the Seahawks get out of those two, that’s a major deal — for at least one more year.

Sherman is a $1,476,606 cap hit next year. Russell Wilson comes in at $817,302, also known as less than long snapper Clint Gresham ($887,500).

Links:

> SI with five free agency signings that stood out.

> This is a couple days old, but a cool look from MMQB at how free agency works for the players. Former Lions safety Louis Delmas had two hours to give Miami an answer about its offer.

> Also from SI, how the start of free agency can impact the draft.

> WR James Jones says he would “love” to play for the Panthers.

Leave a comment Comments → 35
  1. It seems likely that Shead could enter into the conversation at corner or free safety, as well. I am expecting a free agent signing on the offensive line of someone no one expects. Many times the best players for a system are not the ones with the big names.

    The only signing I am seeing as necessary is our kicker, Hauschkghchgka.

  2. Sorry, that should have been Hauschkghchngka.

  3. freedom_X says:

    I wonder how Sherman, who was a 5th round pick, has a higher cap hit than Wilson, a 3rd round pick (and a QB to boot.)

    I’d feel better about Simon if he had played some this year. The mid and low round DB picks may take a season or so to ripen (like Lane and Maxwell.) He won’t have had much experience. Hopefully Shead will be able to be a bigger contributor.

    Unless Okung has a monster season, he should be a source of cap savings next season. (perhaps this season if they’re clever and he is open to an extension at a rate commensurate with his performance – very good but not elite.) But Okung might be primed to have a big year (if he dodges the injury bullet.) Interesting if he opts for security or gambles on being able to stay completely healthy and show his All-Pro potential talent.

  4. FleaFlicker says:

    Freedom: I think Sherman was drafted before the new CBA. Also, he has more years of seniority. That’s my guess.

  5. surelyyoujest says:

    I was thinking about the safety depth as well, but I remember it was Shead that came off the bench in the Superbowl when Cam was briefly injured…..not Johnson or Maragos. Johnson may have been injured, but Maragos was not. Perhaps Shead is targeted as more of a strong safety for next year, and no longer a CB.

    I’d love for Jesse Williams to step in a play all 16 games + playoffs next year, but I’m not holding my breath. If your a big man as he is, and your knees are already a problem before you even get to the NFL, that usually doesn’t bode well. It would be nice though, as I think he’d be a solid player.

    Scruggs was showing flashes before he got injured, but I don’t think Pete knows what he has there yet either. Just potential for now.

  6. Hammajamma says:

    Williams could be the next Marcus Tubbs. There is a reason they selected Hill ahead of him. I’ll be looking for Hill to emerge this year.

  7. montanamike2 says:

    Shead made major strides last year and i think that made Maragos expendable. In pre season last year J.Johnson looked good too, out of the two, i’m glad he’s still around.

  8. Yes. Part of the deal is that every rookie, during their rookie contracts, gets a raise from one year to the next. Sherm is scheduled to make more than last year and last year he made more than the year before, etc.

  9. Sherman has a much higher increase in his final year than the other mid to low round draft picks (ie Wilson, Maxwell, Smith). The only thing I can think of is there was some earned compensation in there due to his play and that is only determined right before the final year begins.

    KJ Wright is also going into his final year and shows a huge jump between last year and this year’s salary. If Wilson isn’t extended before next year, I would expect to see his base (and cap number) magically increase by $1m also.

  10. HawkFromDay1 says:

    “The next Marcus Tubbs” is a compliment. Does everyone remember that when Tubbs was healthy, the Hawks gave up a full yard per carry less than when he was gone?

    I always have trouble calling a guy a bust because he was hurt – judged purely on what he did when he was on the field he was a fantastic player. I would even go so far as to say he was more important than Shaun Alexander to that 2005 team. AGAINST THE GRAIN!!!

    Is Stephen Williams coming back? He was fun to watch and I’d love to see him back.

  11. Ian Rapoport ‏@RapSheet 3m
    The #Seahawks agreed to terms with productive kicker Steven Hauschka on a 3-year deal worth $9.15M, including $3.35M guaranteed, source says

  12. Southendzone says:

    Nice, Haushka was dependable last year. That seems like a good ocntract for him.

  13. montanamike2 says:

    That’s awesome!

  14. Great news about Hauschka!

    We need to turn our attention to o-line….. unfortunately one of the top RT’s is off the market.

    10.00: RE-SIGNING! The Saints have secured themselves a right tackle for next year and it’s one of their own. The team announced they’ve brought back Zach Strief for five years. Strief was our top ranked right tackle in 2013 thanks largely down to his fantastic pass blocking where he allowed just 33 combined sacks, hits and hurries all year long, helping him to a pass blocking efficiency score that was seventh best of all tackles. Drew Brees is a very happy man right now.

  15. vichawkfan says:

    Not the case, but it would be nice too see kicker contracts “performance based and up to”. Good for him. Clutch.

  16. Colts owner Jim Irsay arrested on DUI and felony drug possession (prescription meds without a prescription). So I wonder what kind of “suspensions” he is facing or if this is “Do as I say not as I do” business since he’s an owner not a player. I’m curious. What kind of rules apply to owners if any?? (Chuck E.?)

  17. TallyHawk says:

    I don’t know how highly he’s rated but I think Lamarcus Joyner from FSU would be a good back up to ET. Plus he has the ability to return punts which I know a lot of you are worried about.

    Nice to see Hauschka resigned.

  18. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Good call and timing Oldslow on Hauschkghchngka.

  19. “Defensive tackle: A wild card here is Jesse Williams. The Seahawks’ fifth-round pick is making it sound like he’s recovered from the knee injury that put him on injured reserve last season. Williams is 6-3, 325. For comparison, Red Bryant is 6-4, 323.”

    I would note that while Red Bryant’s main contributions have been at LDE, due to his length and reach to defeat RTs and TEs, Jesse Williams is not the same kind of player. His short stubby arms and thick body make him a better fit as an interior DT only.

    Meanwhile, Greg Scruggs is the guy who better fits the Red Bryant mold much more than Williams. Scruggs is 6’3 with 35.5 inch arm length, and it was recently reported he’s bulked up to 312 pounds.

  20. SandpointHawk says:

    That may explain some of Irsay’s Tweets….

  21. Southendzone says:

    Agree with you on the Jesse Williams take Stevos. Can’t think of a stubby-armed success story at DE off the top of my head.

  22. Macabrevity says:

    Okay, guys, I know you all hate mocks, so think of this as a wishlist not a prediction of any kind. I’d love to hear what comments you have about any of these guys…. and yes, rounds these guys will get picked are debatable, it’s guesswork, who knows really?

    1st Round – DE Dominique Easley (Fla) – injury concerns cause a slide, but he passes our physical.
    2nd Round – T Joe Bitonio (Nev) – good run blocker who might move inside.
    4th Round – WR Jared Abbrederis (Wis) – Baldwin clone maybe but if RW endorsed I’d say go!
    5th Round – G Spencer Long (Neb) – stud run blocker with injury concern.
    6th Round – CB Chris Davis (Aub) – great return guy, maybe PC coaches up his coverage technique.
    7th Round – S Ty Zimmerman (KSU) – high effort player, fits PC mold.

    Tallyhawk… I was looking at Joyner too, this isn’t my final wish-list, just a work in progress.

  23. I agree with you guys on the stubby arm comments, but I can remember the Seahawks trying him inside (DT) and at the 5 tech spot. So I did a little digging and found his draft profile, which mentions all of this.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1824786/jesse-williams

    After reading this, I think the jury is still out on where (and if) Jesse Williams can contribute to the Seahawks d-line.

    Hey, maybe we should try him a guard?

    Go hawks!

  24. Macabrevity says:

    Blocis, I like how that review has him both ‘lacking lateral agility’ and having ‘agile feet’ awesome stuff. Good call on trying him at guard though, perfect body-type and bench press numbers.

  25. Southendzone says:

    Who has stubbier arms, Jesse or a 49’er receiver trying to make a catch with Kam bearing down on him?

  26. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Interesting that two of the NFC west teams,( Rams & Seahawks ) are the youngest in the NFL, and the other two teams ( Cardinals & 49ers ) are the oldest in the NFL.

    http://www.fieldgulls.com/seahawks-analysis/2014/3/17/5509134/seahawks-super-bowl-nfl-bigger-faster-stronger-louder-younger

  27. The Cardinals are literally built to win this year and the following year it has to be “blown up.”

  28. Jesse Williams at guard may be a joke, but you know that he blocked in the run game some at ‘Bama right? He was a powerful drive blocker. He would never be an O lineman though, O linemen with short arms get eaten for lunch. He’s a fire-plug shaped NT.

  29. Okung’s cap number already comes down approx. 4 mil to 7.28 mil in 2015. That number is NOT coming down anymore without an extension. Forget about it.

    The Hawks are not going to go out and spend a bunch of money on the o-line. What has shown you that they will, besides the hopes of STTBM, blocis, and some others? They are clearly more concerned with the d-line, as they should be. They may sign a lower tier OT or OG. I expect them to draft one fairly high.

  30. I dont see Seattle spending much on FA O-linemen either. I can dream though, right? Heck, they COULD spend about 2/3 what they were gonna have to pay Breno, and still that would be an upgrade in performance. They dont have to break the bank to improve dramatically.

    However, I dont think they sign any FA linemen at this point–unless they cant get a couple guys they like in the draft, or somebody good on the cheap gets cut before game one.

    Its pretty clear they want to go younger on the line, and will take at least one lineman in the draft. Im betting two.

  31. Williams looked good whenever he managed to practice, and he played well in the scrimmage he played in. Unfortunately for all of us, he couldnt practice all week after that scrimmage due to his mangled knee.

    His short arms havent held him back, its been the knee. If the knee is ok, the guy WILL have an impact. Its not like Seattle will have him out there for 70 plays a game anyhow–they rotate guys.

    He’s shown he belongs and can play. Its the knee that may make him Tubbs the Second…

  32. CDN_C_Hawk says:

    With Miller’s re-structuring and Hauschka re-signed, Hawks can look at BPA in the draft. I’d like seeing us trade down to between 8-12 in the second, and maybe pick up a third. Other than getting a WR that can start, we are basically just needing guys that are coachable and can mold. OL. I like the guys that can move between OG..C…OT, Marcus Martin, Joel Bitanio , Trai Turner. Not sure if its a position of need ut a late 5th or 6th guy that seems intriguing in OLB Kevin Pierre-Louis, maybe move him to FS runs a 4.51 6’/232 39 inch vertical.

    Regardless, 2014 is looking VERY good

  33. Will Chris Michael play this coming season?

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