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  #1  
Old 18.01.2016, 06:53 AM
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Default Looking Towards The Offseason

After the valiant comeback effort that just fell short against the Panthers, it is time to look ahead into the off-season.

There are some huge decisions to be made.

The most immediate one is what to do with Marshawn. Lynch has been the figurehead of the organisation since going Beastmode in 2010 but it has become increasingly clear that he is now an ageing running back with injury issues. This, combined with his personality that does not appear to be mixing well with the rest of the locker room, surely means Seattle will be looking at him as a cap casualty. (Of course this is easier to say with Thomas Rawls looking like a number 1 running back of the future).

The question will be whether there is any trade value in him. We all know he is going to want to go to either Oakland (assuming the Raiders still play there) or Dallas but his cap number is going to be considerably off putting. The only benefit we may have is that the running back draft class is relatively weak.

We also face questions over who will want to get paid. We all know Kam Chancellor and Michael Bennett held out for varying lengths of time last pre-season/season. Both will want paying. Surely Earl Thomas will also be on that list as well. Even with the cap increase, appeasing all three is going to be difficult

Then there are the free agents.

A big decision needs to be made on Russell Okung. He has been up and down during his career but he has been our most consistent lineman throughout the past couple of years. However is value on the open market is going to be difficult to match. JR Sweezy and Lemuel JeanPierre are also free agents so we could see a major reshuffle on the O line.

Then there is Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse. I think it is obvious that Pete and company will move heaven and earth to bring 'the Angry One' back but Kearse is a difficult one. He has made some absolutely clutch catches but he has never been a player who gets much in the way of separation. With Paul Richardson returning and the emergence of Tyler Lockett he may be expendable. Of course he may also not attract much interest so we may be able to get him back on the cheap.

Up front there is also likely to be casualties. Brandon Mebane has been a stalwart of the run defence but will surely be looking for a pay day that we cannot match. Rubin is another who may go although there have been signs that a deal with him is in the offing.

Bruce Irvin is the only notable linebacker up and he appears to have already committed to Dan Quinn and the Falcons. I believe that is not the biggest concern as a situational pass rusher is something that can be found.

Finally Jeremy Lane and DeShawn Shead need to be looked at. Its hard to invest much more in the secondary but Lane made a big difference. Shead also replaced both Earl and Kam with aplomb and we may be facing next year without one of those if they cannot be paid.

Its going to be a difficult off-season with some big decisions but there is still a great core there.
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  #2  
Old 19.01.2016, 09:07 PM
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Sure is going to be an interesting off-season.

I really hope we keep Marshawn Lynch, even if it’s just for one more year. I’d like to think we would let Lynch make the decision himself; if he wants to stay then great, if he wants to leave let him. I feel he can still be an asset and also still believe he’s viewed positively in the locker room. Having Thomas Rawls and Lynch’s mate Fred Jackson to take the load off is a bonus.

I can though see his trade value. It looks likely to me that the Raiders will now be staying in Oakland, so that move may be tempting for all sides. Beyond this year, the 2017 draft should be pretty deep at running back too, which may come into any decision regarding Lynch.

Both Kam Chancellor and Michael Bennett should get their deals as they have both proved their worth. Especially Bennett, in my opinion his season has been awesome. Chancellor showed his value just as much when he didn’t play than when he did and that Seahawks ideal of keeping the core of this team together will hopefully see him stay. Earl Thomas should be in a good place contract-wise; didn’t we lock him up at the beginning of last season?

The O line does feel like it will be a little different next season. Of the free agents I like JR Sweezy the most so my personal opinion would be to focus on his contract. I wouldn’t say no to keeping Russell Okung either if we can, but he’s looked inconsistent to me over the last couple of years. Perhaps I’m being harsh. I’ve heard Pete Carroll say more than once that they are impressed with the rookie O linemen we signed in the 2015 draft so they may be a factor too if they are ready to step up.

It’s a difficult call at Wide Receiver, especially if it really is either/or with Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse. I agree Baldwin will take priority, but there’s a part of me that is leaning in Kearse’s direction; he’s had some huge games for us, made some really important catches and I think he is actually more reliable than Baldwin. A couple of things that go in favour of keeping them both - 1) They appear to enjoy playing together and work well as a tandem. 2) They both (especially Baldwin) have a certain amount of leadership on offense and have a lot of respect from the locker room, which they may not get as much of elsewhere. I really like Paul Richardson and was gutted for him when he got his injury, hope he returns to his full potential. Tyler Lockett has been great this year and with Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson at Tight End, I’m confident we have plenty of good weapons for Russell Wilson.

I think Ahtyba Rubin will stay as I don’t see him attracting much interest. Both Brandon Mebane and Bruce Irvin could go, although Irvin has recently hinted he would accept less money to re-sign. Sound like he’s taking the “I want to be appreciated” approach that Chancellor and Bennett took. Despite this approach I think Irvin is the most expendable; we can create so many problems on the outside with the likes of Bennett, Cliff Avril, Frank Clark, KJ Wright. I also like how Cassius Marsh is fitting in, he featured in every game this season and I thought he looked good. Hopefully we’ll see even more of him next season.

It isn’t an easy decision, but I would sign Jeremy Lane over DeShawn Shead if given the choice. I was really impressed with how easily Lane settled in when he returned from his injury. I agree it will be difficult to keep them both as I can see another team overpaying for either of them (Mebane and Irvin fall into this category too) like the Eagles did with Byron Maxwell. I can also see Carroll & co plucking out of nowhere a good replacement for Lane or Shead if they need to.

I hope we work as much of these out as possible as it’s such a good team all over the field. Looking forward to seeing how our draft goes too, it should all be a lot clearer by then.
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Old 10.03.2016, 11:38 AM
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Keeping Lane, probably Shead and Rubin is, quietly, a very good free agency for the Seahawks so far. Losing Irvin was somewhat inevitable and its sad to see 'Bane go on his way but is replaceable.

JR Sweezy deal to Tampa is nuts. Was he ever anything but an average player?

What we need to see is something happen at LT. It'll be interesting to see how this is dealt with unless the team is thinking about moving up the draft and grabbing a Conklin
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Old 10.03.2016, 07:05 PM
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Agree we are in desperate need of as tackle. I am not sure about re-signing Okung he "knows what he is worth and wont accept anything less" implies to be he is going to sign the best contract for him. That will take up a lot of cap space for someone with a good chance of spending much of the season on IR.

Gilliam was signed as Okung's back-up and switched to RT when Britt moved to guard. I don't see a problem with getting an RT and switching Gilliam to LT if that is the best available.

I was hoping we would get Mitchell Schwartz but he has gone to the chiefs. (He played LT at college so either could have made the switch)

Kelvin Beachum is a possible but there has to be concerns with his ACL.

While we could trade up on the draft that isn't out style we go the other way. Bruce Irvin was our last 1st round pick and even then we traded down from 12th to 15th. More likely is we trade our first round pick for a tackle currently under contract and that could be anyone. (Though it didn't work with Harvin and Graham was a disappointment up until the point he got injured).

The best solution is to find a 7th round pick / UFA that takes the NFL by storm. They way keeps our cap space intact.
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Old 11.03.2016, 05:28 PM
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I agree that we've done some good business with the stayings and goings. Very pleased with the deals for Lane and Rubin.

Would not have minded Sweezy staying but not for the type of contract Tampa offered - so good luck to him!

It will be interesting to see how the O line is sorted out, as I've mentioned before the coaches have discussed the likes of Glowinski and Poole stepping up. I still think there would need to be some experience in there so maybe Okung will stay and fill that void. If not, the draft would be the answer and the idea of getting Conklin is especially appealing as I really like him.

Jermaine Kearse returning is great news as he's been huge for us. It sounds like the deal included some loyalty and compromise from his end too, which is always good to hear.
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