With the NFL Draft behind us, we begin to wade into uncharted territory. Despite facing a global pandemic, things have gone on relatively unchanged thus far. The new league year, free agency and the draft all proceeded with just minor tweaks all things considered.
That changes now. Offseason programs have been reduced to Zoom meetings, and there’s no telling when teams will be able to finally convene at their respective facilities. Put simply, nobody knows how this is going to play out at this point. The NFL plans on releasing the 2020 schedule sometime this week, but it will have a big asterisk that reads “subject to change.”
That’s not to be doom and gloom, it’s just to say that things are hard to project across the board. With that, I did my best to cover the top storylines facing the Seahawks at this juncture.
Let’s dive into this week’s mailbag. Thanks as always to those who asked questions.
I figured it made sense to tackle these together. From an installation point of view, the Seahawks should be able to handle all of their classroom work over Zoom. Seattle is having daily team meetings and position meetings. The Seahawks training staff will also provide team-issued workouts to best keep players in shape.
But who knows when the Seahawks, or any other team, will get to have any on-field work. That’s unlikely to happen at all during the offseason program, which leaves us only able to cross our fingers that training camp is able to start on time in late July. The season should be able to start on time as long as that’s the case, even with team’s playing catch-up due to the lack of offseason work.
A delayed start is inevitable, though, if COVID-19 has any sizeable impact on training camp.
I think it’s entirely possible that Shaquem Griffin is able to carve out a role for himself in Seattle’s rotation at edge rusher. Griffin showed plenty of burst off the edge in 2019, and his speed is a problem for opposing tackles. Given his impact on special teams as well, I would guess that he’s on the roster in 2020 (although I admittedly haven’t done a full roster projection yet). Even if he doesn’t get regular reps, you could do much worse for a backup should someone ahead of him on the depth chart get hurt.
There will absolutely be an odd man out at tight end. It’s hard to imagine Will Dissly, Greg Olsen, Colby Parkinson, Jacob Hollister and Luke Willson all making the roster. It would come down to Hollister and Willson as there’s no chance Seattle would cut a 2020 fourth-round pick (Parkinson).
Remember that Seattle opened the season in 2019 with just two active tight ends (Dissly and Nick Vannett). That means it’s conceivable that both Hollister and Willson are cut in August. Seattle would save more than $3 million by cutting Hollister. The one thing that could save one (or both) of them would be if Dissly (Achilles) is behind schedule on his rehab and needs to start the season on PUP.
Seattle kept six receivers in 2019. That’ll probably be the number in 2020 as well, but it could be just five as well given the depth at tight end. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are roster locks. Philip Dorsett should be as well. That leaves John Ursua, David Moore, Freddie Swain, Stephen Sullivan and several others to fight for the final 2-3 spots.
My guess, from left to right: Duane Brown -- Mike Iupati -- B.J. Finney -- Damien Lewis -- Brandon Shell.
I actually think left guard is the only spot up truly for grabs (assuming Lewis doesn't completely underwhelm in camp). Chance Warmack, Jordan Simmons and Phil Haynes will be the top competitors at left guard.
The Seahawks currently have around $21 million in cap space. That’s not enough to land both Jadeveon Clowney and Everson Griffen, but Seattle does have ways to create enough space. Cutting Hollister ($3.3 million), Moore ($2.1), Brandon Jackson ($2.1) and Joey Hunt ($2.1) would save the Seahawks $9.6 million. That would give them around $30.9 million to spend on Clowney and Griffen, which I'm guessing would be more than enough.
So yes, Seattle could definitely find a way to make it happen if they really wanted to.
Having grown up in Seattle and then covering the 49ers from 2015-18, I took this job with plenty of familiarity with the Seahawks. The biggest eye-opener for me was watching Russell Wilson on a daily basis. He spent every practice in camp carving up his own defense. He was unstoppable. Each session he’d make a few throws that would just make you laugh to yourself because it was so unfair.
Wilson made it apparent each day why he’s one of the best in the world.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Seahawks sign a veteran defensive tackle. Any of the names you mentioned are viable options. I just don’t think there’s a huge sense of urgency at this point. Who knows who else around the league will be cut in the coming months as a cap casualty. There will always be somebody on the open market who will be able to fill Al Woods’ role in 2019.
I genuinely have no idea who serves as Seattle’s mascot. I will leave you to ponder this question, though: Have you ever seen Blitz and Bob Condotta in the same room?