SEATTLE – To understand the core philosophies of Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider for building duty rosters, go back to 1996.
Schneider was a young boy scout with the Green Bay Packers when they hired wide receiver Andre Rison and his sizeable November waiver contract. Rison has scored three touchdowns in the Packers’ last four games, including a 54-yarder in the Super Bowl XXXI win over the New England Patriots.
This experience shaped one of the principles that Schneider has led in eleven seasons in Seattle: player acquisition is a year-round process that goes beyond starting the free agency in March, drafting in April, and even cutting back in September.
It’s worth keeping this in mind as one of the most important off-season dates is approaching the NFL. High-priced players are often released or traded after June 1 because teams can distribute the dead money fees associated with their contracts. The NFL’s lowered wage cap for 2021 could lead to more exercise than usual in the coming days.
“This is just our philosophy,” Schneider recently said. “It’s not like every team in the National Football League, but for us we want to remain as disciplined as possible so that we have the flexibility to expand our team throughout the year.”
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While this may seem obvious, it is not always the case. Long-time NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer, who Schneider has worked with in Kansas City and Washington, preferred to stick mainly to the players who got his teams out of training camp.
In Seattle, Schneider and trainer Pete Carroll took a much smoother approach. In the past four years, some of their key acquisitions have been made through seasonal businesses for Duane Brown, Quandre Diggs and Carlos Dunlap. They traded for Sheldon Richardson, Justin Coleman and Jadeveon Clowney on the shortened weekend and for Jamal Adams in July.
“It doesn’t stop,” said Schneider. “You want to be able to put yourself in a situation where you can get a Duane Brown or a Carlos Dunlap or Diggs or just things that might show up. This coming summer we don’t know what will happen on June 1st becomes, right “We don’t know what will happen to certain teams and what their situation will look like after the accident.”
That comment was in response to a question about the idle years mechanism the Seahawks used on several of their free agent signings in March. That way, those contracts could fit into their tight wage cap while leaving money for later expenses.
OverTheCap.com, the Roster Management System, and the NFLPA list the Seahawks with a cap of around $ 7 million. Some of this is dedicated to replacing exercise groups and injuries, so each expensive addition may require more maneuvers.
“There’s no one who has done better than John in all these years to keep seizing every opportunity,” said Carroll. “There’s going to be one, whatever the fallout, when guys put their rosters together. We’ll be right there on the fence and ready to jump. Hopefully we’ll see a few things that might help us. But we will be You are ready for it. We will certainly not miss this opportunity. “
Here are three positions Seattle could strengthen:
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Under contract: Poona Ford, Al Woods, Bryan Mone, Robert Nkemdiche, Myles Adams, Cedrick Lattimore, Jarrod Hewitt, Walter Palmore
After Jarran Reed’s bizarre exit, the Seahawks signed Woods as an option to play alongside Ford on early downs. But Woods is 34 and hasn’t played since 2019 after signing out last year. He won’t feed into her pass rush like Reed did either. Nkemdiche has a first round pedigree but is trying to resume his career after not playing in 2020. He is fighting for a roster place with a minimum wage contract with no guaranteed money. The other four have little or no NFL experience.
The Seahawks move some of their larger defensive objectives to address them in temporary situations. One option is to play LJ Collier inside more than usual. That would also alleviate a possible traffic jam at the edge.
Under contract: Ethan Pocic, Kyle Fuller and Brad Lundblade
The lack of a center – admittedly, they only had three tips – seemed to suggest that the Seahawks have more faith in Pocic than many observers. They think he’s a solid starter there, having played guard for the first three seasons. But that’s a position they could still improve. If not, let Fuller compete with Pocic and hope that Pocic will rise to a relatively new position.
Under contract: DJ Reed, Ahkello Witherspoon, Tre Flowers, Tre Brown, Damarious Randall, Pierre Desir, Jordan Miller, Gavin Heslop, Saivion Smith and Bryan Mills
The Seahawks have a strong pairing at Nickelback with Marquise Blair and Ugo Amadi, but their launch options on the outside don’t inspire nearly as much confidence. Reed only looks like the best of the group because of his strong second half last season. Witherspoon, Flowers, and Desir all have extensive startup experiences but have been up and down. Brown, a newcomer to the fourth round, could compete with Reed lest both Seattle starters be under 6 feet tall on the outside.
Carroll said after the draft that they are not trying to add a seasoned cornerback at the moment. This was in response to a question about the possibility of seeing Richard Sherman again. Perhaps that will change if the correct one becomes available after June 1st.