Kearly's offseason preview

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Kearly's offseason preview
Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:40 pm
  • EDIT: Apparently the cap rollover will continue beyond 2013. This creates even more incentive for Seattle not to spend a ton of money.

    In past years I'd be doing an offseason plan right now. Those are pretty fun. The problem is, it's hard to get a good gauge of what is realistic two months before free agency begins. So this year, I'm just going to discuss what I think the offseason could realistically look like, and worry about drafting up an offseason plan when free agency is upon us and we have a pretty good idea of who should be available.

    Now a word from our GM:

    One of the cool things about John Schneider is how he is refreshingly honest and frank about his intentions and past decisions. He told us how Barron and Kuechly topped his draft board along with Irvin last year, and he recently admitted that he nearly drafted Andy Dalton or Jabaal Sheard over James Carpenter in 2011. In his end of season interviews, he almost always tells us what he's going to do, whether it's target pass rushers or fast linebackers, and then he's gone out and done exactly that. He even hinted at a QB he liked that "nobody is talking about" months before the 2012 draft. I think we know who that QB is now. It's a stark contrast from Tim Ruskell, who though predictable, often kept his cards very close to his chest, and wouldn't hesitate to misdirect to throw the scent off the trail.

    Like any GM, Schneider tends to be at least somewhat cryptic and his statements are up for interpretation. Here are my takes on the info we have available:

    1: Both Pete Carroll and John Schneider talked about adding pass rush help this offseason.

    2: John Schneider hinted at a very specific group of linebackers in the draft. In retrospect I think he might regret this statement. "Underclassmen linebackers" sounds vague until you look it up. There are only 4 of them, and only 2 of them would clearly qualify as "fast" linebackers (Alec Ogletree and Jelani Jenkins).

    3: John Schneider seemed to really like this year's WR group, a year after he spurned the previous WR class.

    4: A Seahawks scout was seen talking to Sylvester Williams, indicating that Seattle is perhaps considering DT as a 1st round possibility.

    5: John Schneider talked about there being "unique" pass rushers in this draft.

    6: John Schneider said the team would focus on signing their own free agents while they "dabble" in free agency.

    In addition to those statements, we also have 3 previous offseasons to help us understand Schneider's MO. Based on that, here is what I expect the Seahawks offseason to look like:

    Free agency:

    According to John Clayton, Seattle has an estimated $18.3 million in 2013 cap space thanks to roughly $12 million from the 2012 rollover. That's a lot of incentive to spend, but on the other hand Seattle has to be careful to not burden future years with big contracts.

    It's been a long time since I've seen a free agency with so many big names, particularly at WR and DL. That said, I look at John Schneider's MO and it paints a consistent picture of a "wait and see" buyer. Even his biggest free agent acquisitions: Sidney Rice, Zach Miller, and Matt Flynn were all players that sat in free agency for a while and didn't develop the market that their talent level deserved for various reasons. Tarvaris Jackson, Jason Jones, and Alan Branch were also notable signings Seattle made after those players failed to develop much of a market.

    Will Seattle break the bank for Wes Welker, Mike Wallace, or the guy who believes in his smelf? That seems unlikely. But in a year where there are so many big name WRs, you might see players like Dwayne Bowe or Danny Amendola not getting the market they hoped for. Maybe it won't be Bowe or Amendola specifically, but I think when we are talking about the kinds of free agents Seattle might pursue, that's the kind of mentality we have to put ourselves into.

    Scottemojo sent me a message earlier today talking about how impressed he's been with Oakland DT Desmond Bryant (not the Dallas WR, in case of any confusion). Scott has a subscription to NFL Game Rewind. After going back and watching several of Bryant's games, he had a glowing review which I'm guessing he'll be sharing with the rest of us pretty soon. He also had nice things to say about Tennessee TE Jared Cook. Cook is a very athletic TE that's caught my eye a few times also. I'll leave the details to Scott.

    Oakland is tight against the cap. They might have Bryant test free agency out of necessity. In a free agency class that might include Henry Melton, Randy Starks, Cliff Avril, and Michael Bennett, it's easy to see a player like Bryant being overlooked in the early days of free agency. For that matter, we might see the same thing with Jason Jones or Alan Branch. Whichever player seems the most under-appreciated will be the player I expect John Schneider to go for.

    This approach makes more sense than ever for Seattle in 2013, because low-key free agents tend to sign shorter contracts, and Seattle's budget situation strongly prefers short term contracts. A 1 year deal like the one they signed Jason Jones for last year would be a great way of spending money in 2013 without burdening the team's chances of signing back their own players in 2014.

    Or to put it another way, John Schneider is like the guy who buys his Halloween candy on Nov. 1st, and his Christmas presents on Dec. 26th. He's a bargain shopper to his core. Rather than dreaming about top free agents or trading for megastars with $16 million a year contracts, we should probably be looking at players who won't be the first to fly off the shelves first during the NFL's equivalent of Black Friday.

    Here are a few players I think might fit that criteria:

    Desmond Bryant:

    I don't think a whole lot of people outside of Oakland know how good Bryant is. Alan Branch had a good, under the radar performance in his final season with the Cardinals before signing here. Don't be surprised if Seattle makes a move for Bryant if he sits out there for more than a couple of days.

    Fred Davis:

    Fred Davis is the top free agent TE, but will his recent injury history scare away suitors?

    Jared Cook:

    Cook is a very fluid athlete and just posted a 500+ yard season catching passes from two mediocre QBs. He's not a big name, but he could be a nice addition.

    Alan Branch / Jason Jones:

    Branch might see a pay raise if Gus Bradley starts a bidding war, but I'm not expecting a huge market for the still under-rated Branch. Jason Jones has more questions about him now than he had in 2012. I'm not sure Seattle wants Jones back, but if they did, he'd be cheap.

    Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie:

    After two disappointing seasons while being mismatched in the Eagles zone heavy secondary, DRC will hit free agency with a lot less shine than what he had a couple years ago. From the sounds of things, Chip Kelly is going to overhaul the Eagles roster and a lot of big names will not last long. It seems very likely that DRC will hit free agency, and while I don't think he'll come dirt cheap, he probably won't be getting huge offers.

    Brandon Browner is turns 30 in 2014 and might be playing his final season in Seattle, and the Seahawks still don't have a firm idea who their 3rd corner is. DRC is 6'2" and has skills that would fit in with Seattle's backfield philosophy. He's just 26 years old. If he's willing to sign a reasonable deal, this could make a lot of sense for Seattle. He's young enough that a bounce back season could make him a great trade chip if his contract becomes a problem in the future.

    Danny Amendola:

    Oft injured and limited to a slot role, Amendola isn't likely to command a huge payday. For the right price, Amendola could make for good competition with Baldwin and help improve our WR depth without spending much money.

    Osi Umenyiora:

    On paper, Umenyiora seems to be declining, but it's not easy to tell given how many great pass rushers New York rotates in. Stat pages track games and starts, but not reps. Umenyiora is on the down slope of his career, but it would be unusual for a pass rusher of his caliber to be "done" at just age 31.

    Nobody really expects a bidding war for Umenyiora- his situation reminds me a lot of a then 31 year old Raheem Brock a few years ago. Demand for Umenyiora won't be high, and he offers something useful to Seattle with Clemons being an unknown in 2013.

    Dwight Freeney:

    A likely future HoFer, Dwight Freeney turns 33 next month and has seen his sack numbers decline each of the last 3 seasons. I expect interest in Freeney to be very low, and getting him on a vet minimum contract could be entirely plausible (if he doesn't retire first). Freeney would be more of an insurance move than anything, but if he still wants to play and he's low cost, it could makes sense on a 1 year deal.

    It would basically be the Seahawks equivalent of the Mariners signing Raul Ibanez last month. That said, signing 'old geezers' has been known to pay off from time to time, and age bias is one of the best contributors to finding a free agent bargain.

    Tony Gonzalez:

    Tony Gonzalez says he has probably played his last NFL game, but it's not because he doesn't have gas still left in the tank. He just finished with 930 receiving yards (3rd in the NFL) at age 36. Even he believes he still has 3 years left. If Gonzalez pulls a Brett Favre and decides to give it one more go, he won't be under contract with the Falcons. He's a free agent.

    Though I expect there to be some interest in Gonzalez in free agency, and it's likely he'd return to the Falcons, I think he'd recognize Seattle's outstanding outlook over the next few years gives him a great chance to finally get a well deserved SB ring. Gonzalez's previous contract was for just 2 years, $12 million.

    Russell Wilson gushed about Gonzalez after their playoff game the way that Bill Simmons does for Russell Wilson. Wilson showed a strong tendency to target his TEs in the closing weeks of the season. Gonzalez is still a force on 3rd downs. I can't help but feel Wilson's praise of Gonzalez was a calculated move.

    Dwayne Bowe:

    Bowe is coming off a really tough year, and it's usually a warning sign when a productive WR isn't wanted back by his previous team. That said, the Chiefs had serious issues at QB last season and Bowe still managed 801 yards in 13 games. Before that year, he had four 1000 yard seasons in five years (if you count 995 as 1000).

    Bowe has drop problems, but he is big (6'2" 221) and productive. Seattle signed Edwards and TO last season looking for depth at the "big WR" role. They are still looking. While I am a huge fan of DeAndre Hopkins in the upcoming draft, if Bowe lingers in free agency the Seahawks might be tempted.

    -

    Of course, nobody really expected Matt Flynn or Sidney Rice to sit in free agency the way they did. Sometimes premiere talents just don't have a market for some random reason. If that happens to a player like Henry Melton, Randy Starks, Michael Bennett, Wes Welker, Mike Wallace, or Greg Jennings, it could become a situation to watch. Otherwise, I don't really expect any of those guys to end up Seahawks.

    The draft:

    We'll know a lot more about Seattle's intentions in the draft, but here are a few quick reads on it:

    John Schneider met with Russell Wilson at the Senior bowl, then went out of his way to not talk about him in every interview the rest of the way. Pay close attention to who Seahawks personnel guys meet with. Pay less attention to who they talk about. Note which players they always seem to avoid discussing.

    Rob and I were told before the previous draft that pass rush was a very likely 1st round consideration. RB and QB were likely to happen during or before the 4th round. They talked up fast linebackers a ton and unsurprisingly spent a 2nd on a fast linebacker. The Seahawks seem like a team that drafts by need in the first several rounds before grab bagging prospects a bit later on. Barring a very active free agency, I would expect Seattle to spend at least two picks on defensive lineman in the first four rounds (speculation). I think it's likely that Seattle will probably take a fast linebacker in that range too.

    That leaves WR and TE. This is an incredibly deep draft at WR, so don't be surprised if Seattle pushes that priority back a bit. One of my favorite players in the draft is DeAndre Hopkins, a WR, but it's probably unlikely that Seattle would take a WR that early with such urgent needs on the defensive line. I'd love to be wrong, but this regime has yet to take a luxury pick in round 1. Our first round pick will probably be a defensive lineman, and it will probably not get the best reviews from the media given how weak this defensive line class is.

    Post draft free agency

    With the first wave of free agency and the draft over, Seattle will have a good idea of how much spare cap space they'll have. If they have a quiet free agency, it's conceivable the Seahawks might have close to $10 million still available. Seattle could use that money to extend Brandon Browner a year ahead of time. Most of Seattle's notable 2014 free agents are RFA, meaning they can be kept a year on the cheap. Browner is the exception, and by signing him a year earlier they can spread some of his contract over 2013 and lower the cap hits in 2014 and beyond. I'm sure Browner would welcome the early pay day as well.

    -

    That's a general overview of how I expect this offseason to look: bargain shopping in FA followed by a defensive line oriented draft, with a strong possibility of early contract extensions afterwards if there is still money left over. After spending many hours evaluating this defensive line draft class, I think it's kind of a shitty DL class, frankly. But that said, even if our #25 and #57 picks turn into the next Carpenter/Moffitt, it's still possible this offseason could be a big success. And with Dan Quinn on board, I shouldn't doubt their ability to get the most out of seemingly ordinary players.
    Last edited by kearly on Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:39 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:01 pm
  • Nice writeup!

    Man, I would love to bring in Jared Cook and have a good look at him. Performed well the last couple years in Tennessee, but never quite broke out. He's big (6'5", 245 lbs), he's young (25), and he's fast (4.49 forty yard dash). He could be our version of Vernon Davis. He'd be a perfect compliment to Zach Miller.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:20 pm
  • Really well done overview. I agree on Branch and Jones they will let them test the market. One of the things I am interested to see is Quinn's approach.

    The OL we have multiple players that can play guard, center or tackle. The DL it seems everyone is a specialist of sorts. I am wondering if Quinn is going to look at versatility more than Gus did.

    I think we will pick a receiver in the draft. This seems to be a good year for big , tall quick guys so I don't see too much interest in FAs.

    I am unsure about the weak side LBs. we have a need but FE or draft...
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:29 pm
  • Really nice job, as usual Kearly.

    A couple thought jumped out at me. I really wish we got Kuechly last year instead of Irvin. Looks like that could have easily happened. I hope Irvin can develop...

    Doubt he will keep playing, but Tony Gonzalez would be an amazing grab. Obviously you would be looking at probably just two years, but our SB window is wide open right now.

    I know it's not Petejohns MO, but I would love spending cash on Welker. I'm ok with Tate and Rice on the outside but in guess we need to bring someone in there too in case we get glass rice next year.

    In my mind, shore the defense in the draft, plus ONE WR, and one o-lineman (rg/rt), acquire offense in FA mainly.

    Kearly, what's the scoop on kickers? Might we be in the market? Or are we keeping longwell :/ Haushka has been just average IMO.
    Last edited by CaptainSkybeard on Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:30 pm
  • the rollover effect ends this year


    For good?

    Is this the year the salary floor kicks in as well, so the teams with just ridiculous amounts of cap space will be pushed into making some big moves this offseason?
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:31 pm
  • Just to help you clean it up a bit, Jared Cook went to the other SC.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:38 pm
  • Great post

    One note about the money and signing long vs short term deals. If you pay a player the money as year 1 salary opposed to as a signing bonus then that can help for future years.

    Example 3 year deal $10 million year 1 and $3 million year two and three. On paper looks bad but good with our cap situation and better than a $7milliin signing bonus that would be spread on three years. In addition next year an year after that you resign Sherman and RW with signing bonus because by then you do want to spread out the money.

    Nobody will sign a one-year deal unless they are wanting to finish their career with a Super Bowl contender...
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:50 pm
  • kobebryant wrote:Just to help you clean it up a bit, Jared Cook went to the other SC.


    Thanks. Boy, old age is going to be fun if I'm like this at 31.

    mikeak wrote:Nobody will sign a one-year deal unless they are wanting to finish their career with a Super Bowl contender...


    Sure they would. Players sign 1 year deals all the time if that's the best offer they get. For example, Jason Jones turned down a multi-year offer from the Rams to sign with us on a 1 year contract. Seattle had, what? Probably 10 or so players on 1 year contracts last year? 1 year deals are actually pretty common in the NFL. Obviously, megastar players aren't signing 1 year deals, because duh. But desperate players who languish in free agency often have no other choice.
    Last edited by kearly on Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:04 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:51 pm
  • Great write-up Kearly, nice to get a consolidated view of how were gonna build this thing going foward.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:57 pm
  • pinksheets wrote:
    the rollover effect ends this year


    For good?

    Is this the year the salary floor kicks in as well, so the teams with just ridiculous amounts of cap space will be pushed into making some big moves this offseason?


    After researching this, it turns out the cap rollover rule will exist for the remainder of the current CBA (9 more years). At least according to this article.

    I also found a FG's breakdown which didn't directly say but strongly implied that the rollover will continue beyond 2013.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:05 am
  • If the rollover remains then it will be interesting to see some teams stockpile picks. Both for trading down and trading restricted FA. By having a large number of players signed under rookie deals youcan really manage the cap. Then roll a few million every year and when the franchise qb becomes available in draft or FA you spend picks or money to get in position. Maybe teams will start building the core first and then add the driver once the car is ready to go. Kind of like the Seahawks dd first with Flynn and then with RW...
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:11 am
  • kearly wrote:EDIT: Apparently the cap rollover will continue beyond 2013. This creates even more incentive for Seattle not to spend a ton of money.

    In past years I'd be doing an offseason plan right now. Those are pretty fun. The problem is, it's hard to get a good gauge of what is realistic two months before free agency begins. So this year, I'm just going to discuss what I think the offseason could realistically look like, and worry about drafting up an offseason plan when free agency is upon us and we have a pretty good idea of who should be available.

    Now a word from our GM:

    One of the cool things about John Schneider is how he is refreshingly honest and frank about his intentions and past decisions. He told us how Barron and Kuechly topped his draft board along with Irvin last year, and he recently admitted that he nearly drafted Andy Dalton or Jabaal Sheard over James Carpenter in 2011. In his end of season interviews, he almost always tells us what he's going to do, whether it's target pass rushers or fast linebackers, and then he's gone out and done exactly that. He even hinted at a QB he liked that "nobody is talking about" months before the 2012 draft. I think we know who that QB is now. It's a stark contrast from Tim Ruskell, who though predictable, often kept his cards very close to his chest, and wouldn't hesitate to misdirect to throw the scent off the trail.

    Like any GM, Schneider tends to be at least somewhat cryptic and his statements are up for interpretation. Here are my takes on the info we have available:

    1: Both Pete Carroll and John Schneider talked about adding pass rush help this offseason.

    2: John Schneider hinted at a very specific group of linebackers in the draft. In retrospect I think he might regret this statement. "Underclassmen linebackers" sounds vague until you look it up. There are only 4 of them, and only 2 of them would clearly qualify as "fast" linebackers (Alec Ogletree and Jelani Jenkins).

    3: John Schneider seemed to really like this year's WR group, a year after he spurned the previous WR class.

    4: A Seahawks scout was seen talking to Sylvester Williams, indicating that Seattle is perhaps considering DT as a 1st round possibility.

    5: John Schneider talked about there being "unique" pass rushers in this draft.

    6: John Schneider said the team would focus on signing their own free agents while they "dabble" in free agency.

    In addition to those statements, we also have 3 previous offseasons to help us understand Schneider's MO. Based on that, here is what I expect the Seahawks offseason to look like:

    Free agency:

    According to John Clayton, Seattle has an estimated $18.3 million in 2013 cap space thanks to roughly $12 million from the 2012 rollover. That's a lot of incentive to spend, but on the other hand Seattle has to be careful to not burden future years with big contracts.

    It's been a long time since I've seen a free agency with so many big names, particularly at WR and DL. That said, I look at John Schneider's MO and it paints a consistent picture of a "wait and see" buyer. Even his biggest free agent acquisitions: Sidney Rice, Zach Miller, and Matt Flynn were all players that sat in free agency for a while and didn't develop the market that their talent level deserved for various reasons. Tarvaris Jackson, Jason Jones, and Alan Branch were also notable signings Seattle made after those players failed to develop much of a market.

    Will Seattle break the bank for Wes Welker, Mike Wallace, or the guy who believes in his smelf? That seems unlikely. But in a year where there are so many big name WRs, you might see players like Dwayne Bowe or Danny Amendola not getting the market they hoped for. Maybe it won't be Bowe or Amendola specifically, but I think when we are talking about the kinds of free agents Seattle might pursue, that's the kind of mentality we have to put ourselves into.

    Scottemojo sent me a message earlier today talking about how impressed he's been with Oakland DT Desmond Bryant (not the Dallas WR, in case of any confusion). Scott has a subscription to NFL Game Rewind. After going back and watching several of Bryant's games, he had a glowing review which I'm guessing he'll be sharing with the rest of us pretty soon. He also had nice things to say about Tennessee TE Jared Cook. Cook is a very athletic TE that's caught my eye a few times also. I'll leave the details to Scott.

    Oakland is tight against the cap. They might have Bryant test free agency out of necessity. In a free agency class that might include Henry Melton, Randy Starks, Cliff Avril, and Michael Bennett, it's easy to see a player like Bryant being overlooked in the early days of free agency. For that matter, we might see the same thing with Jason Jones or Alan Branch. Whichever player seems the most under-appreciated will be the player I expect John Schneider to go for.

    This approach makes more sense than ever for Seattle in 2013, because low-key free agents tend to sign shorter contracts, and Seattle's budget situation strongly prefers short term contracts. A 1 year deal like the one they signed Jason Jones for last year would be a great way of spending money in 2013 without burdening the team's chances of signing back their own players in 2014.

    Or to put it another way, John Schneider is like the guy who buys his Halloween candy on Nov. 1st, and his Christmas presents on Dec. 26th. He's a bargain shopper to his core. Rather than dreaming about top free agents or trading for megastars with $16 million a year contracts, we should probably be looking at players who won't be the first to fly off the shelves first during the NFL's equivalent of Black Friday.

    Here are a few players I think might fit that criteria:

    Desmond Bryant:

    I don't think a whole lot of people outside of Oakland know how good Bryant is. Alan Branch had a good, under the radar performance in his final season with the Cardinals before signing here. Don't be surprised if Seattle makes a move for Bryant if he sits out there for more than a couple of days.

    Fred Davis:

    Fred Davis is the top free agent TE, but will his recent injury history scare away suitors?

    Jared Cook:

    Cook is a very fluid athlete and just posted a 500+ yard season catching passes from two mediocre QBs. He's not a big name, but he could be a nice addition.

    Alan Branch / Jason Jones:

    Branch might see a pay raise if Gus Bradley starts a bidding war, but I'm not expecting a huge market for the still under-rated Branch. Jason Jones has more questions about him now than he had in 2012. I'm not sure Seattle wants Jones back, but if they did, he'd be cheap.

    Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie:

    After two disappointing seasons while being mismatched in the Eagles zone heavy secondary, DRC will hit free agency with a lot less shine than what he had a couple years ago. From the sounds of things, Chip Kelly is going to overhaul the Eagles roster and a lot of big names will not last long. It seems very likely that DRC will hit free agency, and while I don't think he'll come dirt cheap, he probably won't be getting huge offers.

    Brandon Browner is turns 30 in 2014 and might be playing his final season in Seattle, and the Seahawks still don't have a firm idea who their 3rd corner is. DRC is 6'2" and has skills that would fit in with Seattle's backfield philosophy. He's just 26 years old. If he's willing to sing a reasonable deal, this could make a lot of sense for Seattle. He's young enough that a bounce back season could make him a great trade chip if his contract becomes a problem in the future.

    Danny Amendola:

    Oft injured and limited to a slot role, Amendola isn't likely to command a huge payday. For the right price, Amendola could make for good competition with Baldwin and help improve our WR depth without spending much money.

    Osi Umenyiora:

    On paper, Umenyiora seems to be declining, but it's not easy to tell given how many great pass rushers New York rotates in. Stat pages track games and starts, but not reps. Umenyiora is on the down slope of his career, but it would be unusual for a pass rusher of his caliber to be "done" at just age 31.

    Nobody really expects a bidding war for Umenyiora- his situation reminds me a lot of a then 31 year old Raheem Brock a few years ago. Demand for Umenyiora won't be high, and he offers something useful to Seattle with Clemons being an unknown in 2013.

    Dwight Freeney:

    A likely future HoFer, Dwight Freeney turns 33 next month and has seen his sack numbers decline each of the last 3 seasons. I expect interest in Freeney to be very low, and getting him on a vet minimum contract could be entirely plausible (if he doesn't retire first). Freeney would be more of an insurance move than anything, but if he still wants to play and he's low cost, it could makes sense on a 1 year deal.

    It would basically be the Seahawks equivalent of the Mariners signing Raul Ibanez last month. That said, signing 'old geezers' has been known to pay off from time to time, and age bias is one of the best contributors to finding a free agent bargain.

    Tony Gonzalez:

    Tony Gonzalez says he has probably played his last NFL game, but it's not because he doesn't have gas still left in the tank. He just finished with 930 receiving yards (3rd in the NFL) at age 36. Even he believes he still has 3 years left. If Gonzalez pulls a Brett Favre and decides to give it one more go, he won't be under contract with the Falcons. He's a free agent.

    Though I expect there to be some interest in Gonzalez in free agency, and it's likely he'd return to the Falcons, I think he'd recognize Seattle's outstanding outlook over the next few years gives him a great chance to finally get a well deserved SB ring. Gonzalez's previous contract was for just 2 years, $12 million.

    Russell Wilson gushed about Gonzalez after their playoff game the way that Bill Simmons does for Russell Wilson. Wilson showed a strong tendency to target his TEs in the closing weeks of the season. Gonzalez is still a force on 3rd downs. I can't help but feel Wilson's praise of Gonzalez was a calculated move.

    Dwayne Bowe:

    Bowe is coming off a really tough year, and it's usually a warning sign when a productive WR isn't wanted back by his previous team. That said, the Chiefs had serious issues at QB last season and Bowe still managed 801 yards in 13 games. Before that year, he had four 1000 yard seasons in five years (if you count 995 as 1000).

    Bowe has drop problems, but he is big (6'2" 221) and productive. Seattle signed Edwards and TO last season looking for depth at the "big WR" role. They are still looking. While I am a huge fan of DeAndre Hopkins in the upcoming draft, if Bowe lingers in free agency the Seahawks might be tempted.

    -

    Of course, nobody really expected Matt Flynn or Sidney Rice to sit in free agency the way they did. Sometimes premiere talents just don't have a market for some random reason. If that happens to a player like Henry Melton, Randy Starks, Michael Bennett, Wes Welker, Mike Wallace, or Greg Jennings, it could become a situation to watch. Otherwise, I don't really expect any of those guys to end up Seahawks.

    The draft:

    We'll know a lot more about Seattle's intentions in the draft, but here are a few quick reads on it:

    John Schneider met with Russell Wilson at the Senior bowl, then went out of his way to not talk about him in every interview the rest of the way. Pay close attention to who Seahawks personnel guys meet with. Pay less attention to who they talk about. Note which players they always seem to avoid discussing.

    Rob and I were told before the previous draft that pass rush was a very likely 1st round consideration. RB and QB were likely to happen during or before the 4th round. They talked up fast linebackers a ton and unsurprisingly spent a 2nd on a fast linebacker. The Seahawks seem like a team that drafts by need in the first several rounds before grab bagging prospects a bit later on. Barring a very active free agency, I would expect Seattle to spend at least two picks on defensive lineman in the first four rounds (speculation). I think it's likely that Seattle will probably take a fast linebacker in that range too.

    That leaves WR and TE. This is an incredibly deep draft at WR, so don't be surprised if Seattle pushes that priority back a bit. One of my favorite players in the draft is DeAndre Hopkins, a WR, but it's probably unlikely that Seattle would take a WR that early with such urgent needs on the defensive line. I'd love to be wrong, but this regime has yet to take a luxury pick in round 1. Our first round pick will probably be a defensive lineman, and it will probably not get the best reviews from the media given how weak this defensive line class is.

    Post draft free agency

    With the first wave of free agency and the draft over, Seattle will have a good idea of how much spare cap space they'll have. If they have a quiet free agency, it's conceivable the Seahawks might have close to $10 million still available. Seattle could use that money to extend Brandon Browner a year ahead of time. Most of Seattle's notable 2014 free agents are RFA, meaning they can be kept a year on the cheap. Browner is the exception, and by signing him a year earlier they can spread some of his contract over 2013 and lower the cap hits in 2014 and beyond. I'm sure Browner would welcome the early pay day as well.

    -

    That's a general overview of how I expect this offseason to look: bargain shopping in FA followed by a defensive line oriented draft, with a strong possibility of early contract extensions afterwards if there is still money left over. After spending many hours evaluating this defensive line draft class, I think it's kind of a shitty DL class, frankly. But that said, even if our #25 and #57 picks turn into the next Carpenter/Moffitt, it's still possible this offseason could be a big success. And with Dan Quinn on board, I shouldn't doubt their ability to get the most out of seemingly ordinary players.


    Kearly, you always do a very nice writeup.

    My only problem with this is the somewhat non-importance of the 3tech position in your analysis. I realize you are talking of what you think JS is leaning towards, but it seems to me that PC is still the one who calls the shots, and will perhaps be a little more interested in getting a guy who can collapse the pocket. So while money ball may be JS's motto, I wouldn't be surprised that the Hawks make a bigger splash at that guy in Melton or Starks. It just doesn't make sense to me to be frugal when we are so close to getting to the Super Bowl and that is the glaring piece we are missing.

    Perhaps Bryant would be the guy. If so then spend the money to get him. Let's not be cheap about it. We are not in rebuilding mode now. We have a very strong chance to get the Super Bowl next year. So lets spend what's necessary to get there.

    That is how I see it.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:22 am
  • Love the piece Kearly, but Jared cook played at the University of South Carolina, not the USC Trojans.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:35 am
  • Blitzer88 wrote:Love the piece Kearly, but Jared cook played at the University of South Carolina, not the USC Trojans.


    Yeah I know, I edited it out like an hour ago, lol.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:37 am
  • kf3339 wrote:My only problem with this is the somewhat non-importance of the 3tech position in your analysis. I realize you are talking of what you think JS is leaning towards, but it seems to me that PC is still the one who calls the shots, and will perhaps be a little more interested in getting a guy who can collapse the pocket. So while money ball may be JS's motto, I wouldn't be surprised that the Hawks make a bigger splash at that guy in Melton or Starks. It just doesn't make sense to me to be frugal when we are so close to getting to the Super Bowl and that is the glaring piece we are missing.


    I think they will spend a 1st round pick on a 3-tech, not sign a FA 3-tech to a big contract. They will definitely invest big at the 3-tech, I just think it will be with a draft pick, not with money.

    This is pretty much the exact opposite of what I would do, but their past history and the hints they've dropped makes me think that they would rather burn a 1st round pick for what they hope is a young foundational piece as opposed to a pricey veteran. "Build through the draft" is the motto they live by, and occasionally, it can cause them to undervalue free agency and overvalue the draft.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:03 am
  • kearly wrote:
    Blitzer88 wrote:Love the piece Kearly, but Jared cook played at the University of South Carolina, not the USC Trojans.


    Yeah I know, I edited it out like an hour ago, lol.


    lol, I clearly don't know how to read posts above mine :mrgreen:
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:27 am
  • kearly wrote:Boy, old age is going to be fun if I'm like this at 31.

    Trust me, no it's not. :mrgreen:

    Excellent stuff as usual man. Thank you.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:30 am
  • Excellent work amigo, a great read to wake up to.

    I think you're absolutely, 100% correct about the Seahawks approach in free agency. These guys are serious value hunters, and that won't stop this offseason. I'd love DeAndre Hopkins as well, but also remain skeptical that the team will stock up on defensive line talent. Regardless, I trust the guys in charge to bring in the proper talent, which is more than I could say for previous regimes. It's a pretty damn good feeling.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:40 am
  • kearly wrote:I think they will spend a 1st round pick on a 3-tech, not sign a FA 3-tech to a big contract. They will definitely invest big at the 3-tech, I just think it will be with a draft pick, not with money.

    This is pretty much the exact opposite of what I would do, but their past history and the hints they've dropped makes me think that they would rather burn a 1st round pick for what they hope is a young foundational piece as opposed to a pricey veteran. "Build through the draft" is the motto they live by, and occasionally, it can cause them to undervalue free agency and overvalue the draft.


    Was thinking the same thing. I could see them passing at an opportunity to get DeAndre Hopkins or another top WR to draft a DT who more than likely would only be a rotational one for now.

    As much as everyone has been wishing for Mike Wallace I felt it was unrealistic. But after reading this and really thinking about it, I don't see a team knocking down his door offering him a $50mil contract. Too many FA WR busts in the past and a deep WR draft will have WR needy teams looking elsewhere. I'd be happy with wallace but for a 5 year $40 mil and nothing more.

    I think Cook or Davis would be a big pickup for us. Adding weapons for Russ is only going to make this team more dangerous. As good as Tate was this year, he has probably reached his ceiling and at his size and speed I'd like to see a little more athletisim added at WR this year.

    For DE and DT i don't have a problem with adding a few vetran guys. We are very young on defense and maybe that lake of leadership cost us in some games. A guy like Osi or Seymore on a 1 or 2 year deal could bring way more than just some extra sacks.

    Keep up the good work Kearly and let's hope free agency brings the players we need to allow us to grab Hopkins and start the next great QB WR tandem in the NFL.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:31 am
  • kearly wrote:EDIT: Apparently the cap rollover will continue beyond 2013. This creates even more incentive for Seattle not to spend a ton of money.This is an incredibly deep draft at WR, so don't be surprised if Seattle pushes that priority back a bit. One of my favorite players in the draft is DeAndre Hopkins, a WR, but it's probably unlikely that Seattle would take a WR that early with such urgent needs on the defensive line. I'd love to be wrong, but this regime has yet to take a luxury pick in round 1. Our first round pick will probably be a defensive lineman, and it will probably not get the best reviews from the media given how weak this defensive line class is.


    I continue to maintain that adding a good WR/TE is still an underrated need. Perhaps not as major as DL, but we're still talking about two major needs. Shielding Russell Wilson from a sophomore slump and excessive need to scramble should be a big priority for 2012, and Hopkins is one of a couple different types of WR's lacking in this offense who would accomplish that goal.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:37 am
  • kearly, the one thing I really hope you're right on is Tony Gonzalez. I know it's a pipe dream but I think he would be the biggest possible addition that this team could score in free agency. Him and Zach Miller would be a lethal combination. It's fun to dream in January...

    As far as Hopkins goes, there's no doubt in my mind that if PC/JS fall in love with him, and he's there at 25, they will make him their pick regardless of the need at DT.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:49 am
  • Is WR a must address position? What if we don't spend in FA on a WR or use our 1st round pick on one. What are our best alternatives.

    Would a 2nd round pick of Marcus Wheaton or Robert Woods be enough of an upgrade? Would they even beat out Tate? I want to think Tate has earned his spot but I also think we need to improve his position with size and speed. If we can add a versitile H type pass catching TE that improves over McCoy either in FA or in the mid rounds I will be less upset if we don't upgrade over Tate. I am as infatuated with some of these 6'2, 6'3, 6'4 Wr's in the draft and would love for RW to have a big WR to go up for the ball but he dosn't really need that. He just needs a guy to be on is level and get open.

    Besides Hopkins who can "just get open" or get that extra seperation yet bring more size than the 5'10 Tate
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:04 am
  • Not to put a damper on the Jared Cook thing (I really like him as well), but word out of Tennessee is that he's going to be franchised. This is coming from Paul Kuharksy who runs ESPNs AFC South Blog, but was previously the Titans main beat writer for 10+ years.

    The franchise number on TE's for 2013 is under $6m, only kickers come in lower, so it's not a huge cap hit for keeping a guy integral to their offensive development.

    With the strides that McCoy made as a blocker this year, I'd be surprised to see them spend any real assets on a TE unless they decide the Miller cap hit is just too large.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:05 am
  • To answer my own question, it seems obvious PC/JS want more from our WR and TE's. We have brought in Mike Williams, Braylon Edwards, TO, Antonio Bryant Kellen Winslow, and Evan Moore. Before that We almost traded for Marshall and V.Jax. It is not like we've hidden the fact we wanted a big fast WR. We got Rice but they have still tried to pair another big guy with him. They have also shown they want a TE who could be a receiving threat opposite of Miller's traditional TE role. I remember how excited they were when we brough in Miller and they were talking how with him and Carlson could do so much in the run and passing game. I just can't see us not making a big move. I think WR and TE are the only positions on offense were we could drastically improve with minimal investment. for example adding a WR liek Hopking or TE like Ertz with our 1st would be a drastic improvement over what we currently have. Drafting a RT or RG and i'm not sure they would even start Giocamini has done well and with Moffit and Sweezey working the RG I could see Carpenter winning the LG spot and McQuistin taking over for them. Not sure a rookie is going to make a huge impact there we are already solid.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:06 am
  • drrew wrote:Not to put a damper on the Jared Cook thing (I really like him as well), but word out of Tennessee is that he's going to be franchised. This is coming from Paul Kuharksy who runs ESPNs AFC South Blog, but was previously the Titans main beat writer for 10+ years.

    The franchise number on TE's for 2013 is under $6m, only kickers come in lower, so it's not a huge cap hit for keeping a guy integral to their offensive development.

    With the strides that McCoy made as a blocker this year, I'd be surprised to see them spend any real assets on a TE unless they decide the Miller cap hit is just too large.


    Jermichael Finley and Fred Davis are still available. Either would bring more to the table than McCoy.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:08 am
  • Wenhawk wrote:Is WR a must address position? What if we don't spend in FA on a WR or use our 1st round pick on one. What are our best alternatives.

    Would a 2nd round pick of Marcus Wheaton or Robert Woods be enough of an upgrade? Would they even beat out Tate? I want to think Tate has earned his spot but I also think we need to improve his position with size and speed. If we can add a versitile H type pass catching TE that improves over McCoy either in FA or in the mid rounds I will be less upset if we don't upgrade over Tate. I am as infatuated with some of these 6'2, 6'3, 6'4 Wr's in the draft and would love for RW to have a big WR to go up for the ball but he dosn't really need that. He just needs a guy to be on is level and get open.

    Besides Hopkins who can "just get open" or get that extra seperation yet bring more size than the 5'10 Tate


    Wheaton would be a nice addition, especially if you supplemented it with the acquisition of a guy like Ramses Barden in Free Agency. That'll solve your quest for one of those bigger receivers. And it would appear that he has some untapped potential, which could all interest the Hawks.

    They could also look at Abbrederis. He had excellent chemistry with Russell Wilson and we've seen the Colts do it with Luck/Fleener so it's not completely unprecedented.

    It should be fun to see which combination of players they think are exactly what the Hawks need to get to the top of the mountain.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:16 am
  • drrew wrote:Not to put a damper on the Jared Cook thing (I really like him as well), but word out of Tennessee is that he's going to be franchised. This is coming from Paul Kuharksy who runs ESPNs AFC South Blog, but was previously the Titans main beat writer for 10+ years.

    The franchise number on TE's for 2013 is under $6m, only kickers come in lower, so it's not a huge cap hit for keeping a guy integral to their offensive development.

    With the strides that McCoy made as a blocker this year, I'd be surprised to see them spend any real assets on a TE unless they decide the Miller cap hit is just too large.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:29 am
  • I really like the idea of bringing in DRC. However, I'm fairly positive someone is going to overpay for him, simply because young quality CBs are so hard to come by in free agency. Even after a down year, he's still going to get a fairly large contract, IMO.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:36 am
  • Great writeup Kearly, thanks.

    It seems like the FO is more willing to look to FA for WR's than any other position. I think it's because a rookie WR takes about 3 years to really learn the route tree. Look at Tate. The team has needed to upgrade at WR for several years and their biggest acquisition was Rice through FA. With such a strong WR class coming out, the market seems saturated and the chance to pick up a quality proven WR in FA for cheap has to be greater than ever.

    If, however, they don't pick one up in FA, I think you're right that they'll wait until later in the draft to grab one. It could be another offseason of people complaining we didn't address our offseason need at WR. Honestly, however, I think they'll do both. They'll pick someone up in FA and they'll grab one in the draft. That satisfies their need for an immediate impact and homegrowing talent.

    As for the defensive line, I believe they've identified that as their greatest need. If they can put on a withering pass rush, they won't be giving up anymore late games like Detroit, Chicago and Atlanta. Their first priority in the draft will have to be this because you're correct, there aren't any good prospects in this draft. That said, this is all the more reason that they need to look at FA to find talent at that position.

    So I think our biggest FA acquisition - from a money standpoint - will be a talented defensive lineman and then they'll wait out the market to snatch up a WR that they can get cheap. They'll probably take a DL and a LB with their first two picks and a WR with their 3rd before going back to defense after that.

    Just my best guess.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:48 am
  • +1 for the great writeup. It'll be interesting to see how it all shakes out. Can't wait for next season.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:05 am
  • kearly wrote:
    kf3339 wrote:My only problem with this is the somewhat non-importance of the 3tech position in your analysis. I realize you are talking of what you think JS is leaning towards, but it seems to me that PC is still the one who calls the shots, and will perhaps be a little more interested in getting a guy who can collapse the pocket. So while money ball may be JS's motto, I wouldn't be surprised that the Hawks make a bigger splash at that guy in Melton or Starks. It just doesn't make sense to me to be frugal when we are so close to getting to the Super Bowl and that is the glaring piece we are missing.


    I think they will spend a 1st round pick on a 3-tech, not sign a FA 3-tech to a big contract. They will definitely invest big at the 3-tech, I just think it will be with a draft pick, not with money.

    This is pretty much the exact opposite of what I would do, but their past history and the hints they've dropped makes me think that they would rather burn a 1st round pick for what they hope is a young foundational piece as opposed to a pricey veteran. "Build through the draft" is the motto they live by, and occasionally, it can cause them to undervalue free agency and overvalue the draft.


    Who do you think would be a strong pick at our pick at 25 in the first round, because I don't see anyone short of a major move up in the first. That would require probably our 1st and 2nd round picks. Also, why wouldn't they use the same method they used for Branch and Clemons to find a proven 3tech in FA or trade when there are obvious quality choices in now?

    I just don't see it, and really hope that they don't play moneyball with this offseason options. It's time to be bold.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:34 pm
  • MontanaHawk05 wrote:I continue to maintain that adding a good WR/TE is still an underrated need. Perhaps not as major as DL, but we're still talking about two major needs. Shielding Russell Wilson from a sophomore slump and excessive need to scramble should be a big priority for 2012, and Hopkins is one of a couple different types of WR's lacking in this offense who would accomplish that goal.


    Well, let's just say that I really hope PC/JS share that view. But when I heard the exasperation in Pete's voice when he talked about adding a pass rusher, then corrected himself and said "pass rushers", it makes it feel like pass rush is as big if not a bigger priority for these guys than it was last year. And given Clemons status, and the possible departure of Jones/Branch, it should be.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:50 pm
  • Great post, thanks a lot.

    It is going to be tough to wait for all of this play out! Uggh, eff the offseason, haha
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:50 pm
  • Some people are asking who we might take at WR after round 1. There are a lot of great WRs in this draft, but for me the mid round option I'd most like to see is Cobi Hamilton. 6'3", 209, decently fast, very natural WR, productive in college playing in the SEC. Very strong starter potential, I am surprised he is often considered a 4th round prospect. Reminds me of Hopkins actually- in that he's a technician with tools. If Seattle did pass on Hopkins but grabbed Hamilton later, all would be forgiven. Although I'd rather just draft both.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:50 pm
  • Fantastic write-up there Kearly!

    And excellent job on highlighting about the Cap Rollover. I'd been operating under the premise that teams were now basically mandated to spend their available cap space. The fact that they can roll some of that over changes the equation completely as far as how the Seahawks will approach Free Agency. I completely agree with you how you characterized Schneider's approach -- bargain basement shopping. Therefore, I'd say that you're right that he will probably avoid what will be the expensive free agents out there.

    Osi Umenyiora becomes an even MORE likely target IMO. Jared Cook is another (who I believe could be had for fairly low lost) that really intrigues me as well. Randy Starks perhaps ... but I'm beginning to really view him and Alan Branch as very much similar in what they can do. With Cap Space being able to be rolled over ... you're spot on that Schneider will look to first lock up key players who are already here (Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, etc.).
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:55 pm
  • Hawkscanner wrote:... Jared Cook is another (who I believe could be had for fairly low lost) that really intrigues me as well.



    Jared Cook is likely to be franchised by TEN. Not sure why you'd think he could be had at a 'fairly low cost' but it's just not happening.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:58 pm
  • drrew wrote:
    Hawkscanner wrote:... Jared Cook is another (who I believe could be had for fairly low lost) that really intrigues me as well.



    Jared Cook is likely to be franchised by TEN. Not sure why you'd think he could be had at a 'fairly low cost' but it's just not happening.


    I for one will be really surprised if they do that.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:04 pm
  • kf3339 wrote:Who do you think would be a strong pick at our pick at 25 in the first round, because I don't see anyone short of a major move up in the first. That would require probably our 1st and 2nd round picks. Also, why wouldn't they use the same method they used for Branch and Clemons to find a proven 3tech in FA or trade when there are obvious quality choices in now?

    I just don't see it, and really hope that they don't play moneyball with this offseason options. It's time to be bold.


    You are preaching to the choir. I feel exactly the same way you do and if I was GM, that's how I would do it. But I look at their history. Whatever they identify as their top need is pretty much always their 1st round pick, regardless of whether it is a good draft for that need or not. They got lucky in 2010 because needs matched a good draft class for that area, but in 2011 and 2012 they did not. Unfortunately, 2013 looks to be the 3rd year in a row where need isn't met with an obvious match in the draft.

    I totally agree with you about the D-line talent at #25 and it bothers me to no end.

    If there is a glimmer of optimism, there is a growing chance that prize 3-tech Sheldon Richardson could be in play for us. He's been steadily dropping down prospect boards by draftniks, I saw him ranked #22 on a top 50 board the other day. Obviously, draftnik rankings are hardly gospel but in the early to mid 1st round they tend to be very accurate. Maybe he won't reach #25, but it's no longer a pipe dream and if he reaches the late teens Seattle might be able to snag him while keeping their 2nd rounder.

    There are some intriguing albeit "unique" pass rushers that could go in rounds 2-5. It's possible that Seattle might decide to go that route and stockpile on misfit pass rushers after taking a non-pass rusher in round 1. That is the best coarse of action. I just hope they realize it. But right now, by gut says "most likely" we'll be looking at a DL pick at #25, and it probably won't be a pick anyone will get excited for.
    Last edited by kearly on Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:08 pm
  • drrew wrote:
    Hawkscanner wrote:... Jared Cook is another (who I believe could be had for fairly low lost) that really intrigues me as well.



    Jared Cook is likely to be franchised by TEN. Not sure why you'd think he could be had at a 'fairly low cost' but it's just not happening.


    You're right, I probably shot my mouth off with that one. Still, I'd stand by my contention that Cook getting franchised isn't necessarily a slam dunk. He caught 44 passes for 523 Yards and 4 TD's this season. That's good for a TE, but it's not like he set the world on fire or anything. The Titans have $19.4 Million in available Cap Space this season, and the Titans COULD afford to Franchise him if they wish ... but the question that I'd be asking myself if I were their GM is, "Is Cook truly worth it?" Here are the top TE salaries in the NFL ...

    Jason Witten, Dallas: $7.4 million/yr, $18.5 million guaranteed
    Vernon Davis, San Francisco: $7.35 million/yr, $23 million guaranteed
    Antonio Gates, San Diego: $7.235 million, $20.4 million guaranteed
    Jermichael Finley, Green Bay: $7 million, $1 million guaranteed
    Rob Gronkowski, New England: $6.9 million, $18 million guaranteed

    So, Franchising Cook basically means that he would be earning around $7 million/season. Is he truly worth that? I'm not certain that I would place him in the category of the other Tight Ends I have listed there. Therefore, I'm not sure he gets Franchised or not.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:26 pm
  • Hawkscanner wrote:
    You're right, I probably shot my mouth off with that one. Still, I'd stand by my contention that Cook getting franchised isn't necessarily a slam dunk. He caught 44 passes for 523 Yards and 4 TD's this season. That's good for a TE, but it's not like he set the world on fire or anything. The Titans have $19.4 Million in available Cap Space this season, and the Titans COULD afford to Franchise him if they wish ... but the question that I'd be asking myself if I were their GM is, "Is Cook truly worth it?" Here are the top TE salaries in the NFL ...

    Jason Witten, Dallas: $7.4 million/yr, $18.5 million guaranteed
    Vernon Davis, San Francisco: $7.35 million/yr, $23 million guaranteed
    Antonio Gates, San Diego: $7.235 million, $20.4 million guaranteed
    Jermichael Finley, Green Bay: $7 million, $1 million guaranteed
    Rob Gronkowski, New England: $6.9 million, $18 million guaranteed

    So, Franchising Cook basically means that he would be earning around $7 million/season. Is he truly worth that? I'm not certain that I would place him in the category of the other Tight Ends I have listed there. Therefore, I'm not sure he gets Franchised or not.


    I would agree he's not in that class, but the 2013 number is $5.9m, and TEN has basically no other big free agents. The guy who served as the main Titans beat writer for 10 years before moving onto ESPN is stating that they're likely to tag him. If anyone is likely to have a beat on what the org is thinking, Paul Kuharsky is that guy.

    All that being said, I really like Jared Cook, he has the physical skills to be a star, it just seems unlikely he'll be available.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:14 pm
  • Hawkscanner wrote:
    drrew wrote:
    Hawkscanner wrote:... Jared Cook is another (who I believe could be had for fairly low lost) that really intrigues me as well.



    Jared Cook is likely to be franchised by TEN. Not sure why you'd think he could be had at a 'fairly low cost' but it's just not happening.


    You're right, I probably shot my mouth off with that one. Still, I'd stand by my contention that Cook getting franchised isn't necessarily a slam dunk. He caught 44 passes for 523 Yards and 4 TD's this season. That's good for a TE, but it's not like he set the world on fire or anything. The Titans have $19.4 Million in available Cap Space this season, and the Titans COULD afford to Franchise him if they wish ... but the question that I'd be asking myself if I were their GM is, "Is Cook truly worth it?" Here are the top TE salaries in the NFL ...

    Jason Witten, Dallas: $7.4 million/yr, $18.5 million guaranteed
    Vernon Davis, San Francisco: $7.35 million/yr, $23 million guaranteed
    Antonio Gates, San Diego: $7.235 million, $20.4 million guaranteed
    Jermichael Finley, Green Bay: $7 million, $1 million guaranteed
    Rob Gronkowski, New England: $6.9 million, $18 million guaranteed

    So, Franchising Cook basically means that he would be earning around $7 million/season. Is he truly worth that? I'm not certain that I would place him in the category of the other Tight Ends I have listed there. Therefore, I'm not sure he gets Franchised or not.

    So, I have been watching Jared Cook quite a bit, and he is more talent than skill. Big caveat, Tennessee is a disaster zone on offense. Chris Palmer was running damn near the run and shoot down there, Cook was almost never off tackle. Cook is a fast guy who rarely gives his QB a good target, and the next time Cook just sits in a zone will be the first. He blocks like a wide receiver, runs routes like a wide receiver, and to my eye is a finesse player.

    I don't think the market for him will be as big as it would first seem. Cook wants out of Titsville, I know that. After Palmer got fired in November, the Titans started doing a lot more two tight end sets off the tackles, and when Cook has to play in the traffic he looks out of place.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:03 pm
  • Great review- insightful.

    I hope we look at trading an Okafor/Hunt type and signing a DT perhaps Bryant, Starks, or Melton. This is a terrible DT class for what we're looking for, so I'd rather look to UFA for that one position.

    I've always like DRC, and long term think he fits our mold rather than a PED Browner.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:58 pm
  • There's one more name that I'd like to add to Kearly's list of possible FA Targets that the Hawks could seriously look at this offseason. I saw someone yesterday mention the name William Hayes ... and he's frankly a guy that I've personally been intrigued by for awhile now. He was originally drafted in the 4th Round back in 2008 by the Titans ... was signed by the Rams this past offseason to a 1 year deal ... and he had a career year with the Rams (7 Sacks and 7 Tackles for Loss). He is once again a UFA. For a DE, he has good size (6'3" 272 Pounds) and extremely impressive speed for a big man (he's been clocked at 4.59 in the 40). He's 27 years old (will turn 28 in May) and one reason that he's never really broken out prior to this year is that he's played 2nd fiddle to some fairly talented DE's (like Jason Babin and Jevon Kearse) -- i.e. he's had a lot of competition for playing time.

    And I'm not the only one high on William Hayes. Ben Stockwell of Pro Football Focus ran an article back in June in which he called Hayes a "secret superstar". His forte has always been against the run and PFF ranked him the 9th Best DE in the league in terms of stopping it ... but obviously he added to his resume last year when given more playing time.

    Hayes only made $900,000 last season, so if John Schneider is truly looking for bargain basement options (which he undoubtedly is) ... I submit that he is an excellent candidate (to put in the rotation) that probably won't break the bank.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:18 pm
  • If Gonzalez comes back, I am sure the Falcons will do a full court press to get him back with them. I doubt Wilson's praise was calculated other than he is sure to praise the prime time players in the league. Nothing more and nothing less. I know it reads better to have the whole thing be some master plan. Maybe it is. I doubt it though. And I sincerely doubt Gonzalez would sign here to play behind Miller.

    Either way, I appreciate the effort it takes to produce these type of posts and the discussions that they generate. Still not feeling the Osi move but others seem to think it has value so I would support it if the FO decided to take this path.

    BTW, not sure where I read it regarding trading Flynn. He cannot be traded or cut until March 1st, the beginning of the NFL year. At least that was what I saw in the PFT report.

    While Seattle can’t trade (or release) Flynn until the new league year begins in March, they certainly can inquire around the league to see what the interest is once he becomes available. Flynn’s current contract calls for him to be paid $7.25 million in 2013 with $2 million guaranteed.


    Jaguars OC is talking about implementing read option so I wonder if Flynn would fit in that scheme?

    "I feel like there's certainly a place for [the zone-read offense]," Fisch said when asked about that system. "We ran some of it (at Miami), we ran no-huddle and ran the quarterback. As soon as you can run your quarterback, you have to defend another gap and if you have to defend another gap then [the defense has] one less guy. So all those things, there's a place for it. It's just about making decisions on how it fits with your team and how it fits with your personnel and if it's in the best interest of your players."


    NOTE: Notice the language Fisch and Bradley are using. I think Bradley used Faster, Stronger, Tougher during one of his interviews.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:19 am
  • The reason the 49ers are in the Super Bowl and not us is because they pressured and hit Matt Ryan on Atlanta's final drive (not counting their hail mary) when it mattered, and we didn't. They hit Ryan hard, injured his nonthrowing shoulder, and that little distraction was probably the difference for Ryan missing the next few passes. Not to mention a hurting Ryan couldn't even get the ball to the end zone on the Hail Mary. If we sack and pressure Matt Ryan during that game, we win easily. We also win at Detroit and Miami. So we're a 13-3 team playing the Falcons or whoever in the divisional round at home, with a healthy Chris Clemons, and then beating up on the 49ers to get to the Super Bowl.

    Notice Carroll mentions pass-rushers, plural. He's thinking always compete, and next man up. That also suggests Jason Jones may not be brought back; I have mixed feelings on that, but trust this FO. I think even Jones would have tipped the scales in our favor in the Atlanta game. I expect PC/JS to look to stockpile several DT's and DE's that can rush the passer, expecially DT's that can collapse the pocket. So I really expect they will go after Usi Umenyora, and Henry Melton, and other FA's, and be willing to pay one bigger contract if they can find the right guy, like a Melton.

    I expect Seattle will select a WR early in the draft rather than reach for a DT, since the draft is so thin at DT. WR is the other area that could really help. I was struck by how much Wilson ran around the last few games, trying to find an open receiver. So an Amendola or Welker in FA if the price is right, plus an early round draft pick WR, , and suddenly Wilson has good options. Gonzalez would be a dream come true at TE, but yeah, he'd sign with Atlanta most likely.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:59 am
  • kearly wrote:
    kf3339 wrote:Who do you think would be a strong pick at our pick at 25 in the first round, because I don't see anyone short of a major move up in the first. That would require probably our 1st and 2nd round picks. Also, why wouldn't they use the same method they used for Branch and Clemons to find a proven 3tech in FA or trade when there are obvious quality choices in now?

    I just don't see it, and really hope that they don't play moneyball with this offseason options. It's time to be bold.


    You are preaching to the choir. I feel exactly the same way you do and if I was GM, that's how I would do it. But I look at their history. Whatever they identify as their top need is pretty much always their 1st round pick, regardless of whether it is a good draft for that need or not. They got lucky in 2010 because needs matched a good draft class for that area, but in 2011 and 2012 they did not. Unfortunately, 2013 looks to be the 3rd year in a row where need isn't met with an obvious match in the draft.

    I totally agree with you about the D-line talent at #25 and it bothers me to no end.

    If there is a glimmer of optimism, there is a growing chance that prize 3-tech Sheldon Richardson could be in play for us. He's been steadily dropping down prospect boards by draftniks, I saw him ranked #22 on a top 50 board the other day. Obviously, draftnik rankings are hardly gospel but in the early to mid 1st round they tend to be very accurate. Maybe he won't reach #25, but it's no longer a pipe dream and if he reaches the late teens Seattle might be able to snag him while keeping their 2nd rounder.

    There are some intriguing albeit "unique" pass rushers that could go in rounds 2-5. It's possible that Seattle might decide to go that route and stockpile on misfit pass rushers after taking a non-pass rusher in round 1. That is the best coarse of action. I just hope they realize it. But right now, by gut says "most likely" we'll be looking at a DL pick at #25, and it probably won't be a pick anyone will get excited for.


    I get it. Then go get Starks on a 2 year deal so he can have a real chance at a Super Bowl ring, and get Richardson using our 1st and possibly 3rd round pick to get it done. We take care of the short and long term need for a 3tech. Richardson can learn and rotate with Starks like Jones did with Branch. What is wrong with that?

    I just want them to be bold and not let money be their primary decision. I really get sick of teams who play moneyball. I have not seen a championship team that has gone this route and been successful. Not in MLB and not to my knowledge in the NFL.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:58 am
  • I believe they will do the opposite, sign an FA DT and draft a WR in the first. This team is too clos e to dominating to pass up on a great WR in the draft for a mediocre DT who won't make significant contributions in 2013.

    We desperately need pass rush up the middle and need to improve the run defense. No DT in this draft other than Sheldon Richardson can make that kind of difference, and to pick any old DT at 25 just because we need one is a complete waste of a 1st round pick.

    I'd spend the money to sign Melton then take BPA at #25.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:14 am
  • ivotuk wrote:I believe they will do the opposite, sign an FA DT and draft a WR in the first. This team is too clos e to dominating to pass up on a great WR in the draft for a mediocre DT who won't make significant contributions in 2013.

    We desperately need pass rush up the middle and need to improve the run defense. No DT in this draft other than Sheldon Richardson can make that kind of difference, and to pick any old DT at 25 just because we need one is a complete waste of a 1st round pick.

    I'd spend the money to sign Melton then take BPA at #25.


    I agree with this, mostly. I don't think BPA will be a WR, I think it could be a LB or DE. The difference between a 1st round WR and a 2nd or 3rd round WR in this draft is nominal. The difference between Keenan Allen and Quinton Patton is smaller than you may think.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:06 am
  • What do you guys think about Phil Dawson as our kicker? He's a career 84.0% kicker with a career long of 56. He had a career year last year at 93.5% with a long of 53. He has always kicked outdoors in Cleveland which makes the 84.0% career avg. more impressive to me. If he's interested, I think he's a top 5 K in the league.
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Re: Kearly's offseason preview
Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:21 am
  • Very well thought out and written. This should be pinned, as a reference as the off-season progresses.
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