Off-Season Moves The Seahawks Need To Execute
Updated: Oct 29, 2018
Extend Kam Chancellor's Contract
Next to Michael Bennett, Kam Chancellor IS the vocal captain of this Seahawks defense, the Boom of the LOB, and the soul of this Seahawks team. A contract holdout in 2015 resulted in some fans calling for Kam's release from the Hawks with some even saying his injury in 2016 was a conspiracy regarding another holdout. We need to cut the shit. Yes, while he messed up in 2015 with his holdout, he has since apologized to his team for the holdout and from the looks of things, the organization has forgiven him. If the team can forgive him, so can we (as fans). There is no denying the impact Kam makes when he's out there, especially when he's healthy. On February 5, 2017, Kam posted the following picture following his surgery. Kam has had a long standing issue with bone spurs in his ankles and while the root of the surgery has not yet been confirmed, one would have to speculate the surgery was to address some pain in his ankles.
Looking at his current contract, Kam is in his final year and is set to make a little over $8M which includes his bonus.
What I would like to see is the Seahawks extend Kam's current contract by 2 years, covering 2017, 2018 and 2019 to the tune $31M over the course of the contract ($31M/3 years, $18M guaranteed).
Doing so would impact the 2017 cap by $1.4M ($27.8M to $26.4M) and $10.35M in 2018 ($47.52M to $37.18M). The cap space is there, Kam deserves a raise, so as Michael Bennett says, "PAY THE MAN!"
Maximize Free Agency
The 2017 draft will be predicated on how well the Seahawks execute their free agency acquisitions.
The 2016 season exposed the weakness in the Seahawks depth and Pete Carroll has already placed an emphasis on getting more competition in 2017.
These are some of the potential off-season free agent targets for the Seahawks: Matt Kalil, Tackle The one-time bowl Tackle for the Vikings is coming off a major hip surgery which caused him to miss most of the 2016 season. After being drafted #4 overall and going to the Pro Bowl in 2012, Kalil's gameplay has been inconsistent and has underwhelmed expectations of a former first round draft pick. Watching the clips on Kalil's inconsistency and struggles are concerning, however, you can't ignore his upside and potential. Kalil's struggles and inconsistency over the years may be more mental than physical, but, if there is anyone that could motivate him, it would be his former USC coach Pete Carroll. Spotrac.com lists Matt Kalil's market value at $5.3M/yr. If the Seahawks can sign Kalil to a contract in the ball park of 3-year/$15.5M ($3M for the 1st year, $5M for the second, $7M for the third), then Kalil would definitely be on the radar. The off-time in 2016 may have been the rest Kalil needed to get his mind right to get back in the game. Not only will Kalil's presence invoke competition but it may ignite a fire in the former #4 overall pick which will only benefit the Seahawks.
Luke Joeckel, Guard/Tackle
Another intriguing prospect is Luke Joeckel.
Joeckel also missed the 2016 season, the final year of his contract, due to an severe knee injury that required major reconstructive surgery. Spotrac lists Joeckel's market value at $1.2M/year. This is a guy who was once touted as the best draft pick in the 2013 NFL draft. Before his injury, Joeckel was moved from Tackle to Guard where he had some success. If adding competition is a goal for Pete Carroll, then adding Joeckel may make sense, especially if the Seahawks can get him for cheap.
Logan Ryan, CB/S
Based off the 2016 defensive snap count, the Seahawks were in a Nickel defense more than they were in a base 4-3 with Jeremy Lane in on 71% of the defensive snaps.
With Deshawn Shead coming of an ACL injury, there is no telling on how quick Shead will recover. This is where Logan Ryan comes in. While Ryan is not as big as Shead, Ryan can play both the Safety and Cornerback positions. With Malcolm Butler also set to become a free agent, I don't think the Patriots will pay both players with Butler's market value at $13.2M/year. Therefore, Butler should remain in New England with Ryan going to the market. Jeremy Lane did not have a good 2016 season. Again, if it's about competition, Logan Ryan can not only provide that competition for the Cornerback/Nickelback position, but can step in right away as a day 1 starter if necessary.
Manti Te'o, LB
Again, based off the snap count, the Sam Linebacker is not an immediate need for the Seahawks. However, what Manti would bring is depth to a rather thin linebacker core. If Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright were to go down, there is not a linebacker that could step in and make an immediate impact. Manti is coming off a torn achilles and may not be re-signed to the Chargers with the emergence of Jatavis Brown. Te'o struggled with injuries during his first two seasons but remained healthy in 2015 which he led the Chargers in tackles with 107. He also has a bond with Michael Bennett, hanging out and training with Bennett when both return to Hawaii during the off-season. Let's not forget, Carroll tried to recruit Te'o heavily back in USC but eventually lost to Notre Dame. It is yet to be determined if the Chargers will re-sign Te'o but you can be assured the Seahawks are looking into bringing in the former Bednarik award winner.
Other potential targets include Rickey Wagner - Tackle, LeGarrette Blount - RB, Kevin Zeitler - Guard. Blount and Zeitler may be too expensive for the Seahawks taste. Pete Carroll is not too keen on spending big money on offensive linemen and with Zeitler's market value at $11.6M/year, signing Zeitler is highly unlikely. The same holds true for LeGarrette Blount whose value is set to over $6M/year. Ricky Wagner's market value is at $6.9M/year. However, with the Ravens having no immediate player immediately available to back fill Wagner's spot, he may be staying put in Baltimore.
Several notable Seahawks I would like to see brought back are Marcel Reece, Neiko Thorpe, and Mike Morgan.
The goal of free agency is to obtain players with tremendous upside and potential while not having to break the bank.
Explore potential trade opportunities
According to OverTheCap.com, the Seahawks currently have $27.8M in cap space going into 2017 and a possible 3rd and 5th round compensatory picks. This means the Seahawks will have 8 draft picks going into 2017 which includes the 5th round draft pick that was forfeited. Day 2 of the 2017 will be where teams make their money this year. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds are loaded with Day 1 ready talent. As much as I hate to say this, but a potential trade option would be Cliff Avril. Now before I get chastised for this, hear me out. Cliff Avril is due to make $5.5M this year and $8M next year. By trading Cliff Avril for draft picks, you not only free up that $4.5M in cap space in 2017 and $7.5M in 2018, but also could gain valuable draft picks as well. A trade to Jacksonville makes sense. Not only was Cliff Avril born in Jacksonville but by trading Cliff Avril for a potential 2nd and 4th round pick would be money for the future of the Seahawks. Also, with the emergence of Frank Clark, it's time to let Clark run loose and have him take Avril's place. Trading Avril to his hometown is a win-win situation for the Hawks and Cliff.
Let's run through the hypothetical that the Jaguars would take Cliff Avril for their 2nd and 4th round pick. That would mean the Seahawks would have 10 draft picks. Now, let's look at the positions. The Seahawks will have the 26th, 58th, 90th, 97th (comp), 122nd in the first 4 rounds.
If they were to trade Cliff to the Jaguars, they would have the 26th, 36th, 58th, 90th, 97th, 100th and 122nd picks in the first four rounds. We all know, John Schneider loves to trade down, so let's explore that as well. Let's say we trade our 26th and 58th pick to the Browns for their 33rd, 51st and 129th pick (the Browns will have 14 draft picks in 2017). According to Footballguys.com, the value of this trade is fairly even.
If this trade were to happen, the Seahawks would have the following draft positions: 2nd round - 1st pick, 33 overall
2nd round - 4th pick, 36 overall
2nd round - 19th pick, 51 overall
3rd round - 26th pick, 90 overall
3rd round - 33rd pick, 97 overall
4th round - 4th overall, 100 overall 4th round - 26th pick, 122 overall
5th round - 1st pick, 129 overall
Again, this is purely hypothetical and in is no way fact. However, if we hope to capitalize on a loaded day 2 draft class, the Seahawks must entertain the possibilities of such trades for the future success of the franchise.