Seattle Seahawks

Scouting the Seattle Seahawks’ week 1 opponent

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Scouting the Seattle Seahawks’ week 1 opponent

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The Green Bay Packers will host the Seattle Seahawks week one at Lambeau Field. Here’s an early look at the blue birds’ first regular season opponent.

The Packers went defense early and often in the 2017 NFL Draft. General Manager Ted Thompson made a statement by going cornerback, safety, defensive tackle and linebacker with the Packers’ first four picks. That statement: “We need help.”

The impact of Ted’s statement moves will have to wait. Despite the Packers’ need to bolster the NFL’s 22nd-ranked defense from last year, the Packers will line up week one at home against the Seattle Seahawks (Sunday, Sept. 10) with a full complement of holdovers on the defensive side of the ball.

What they won’t have are a number of rookie contributors. The Packers’ prize rookies will be mostly watching the proceedings.

Here is how the Packers’ four top draft picks are faring thus far, with a look at their chances of playing against the Seattle Seahawks in week one.

Kevin King, CB (Washington, Rd 2, № 33 overall)

In a word: Rough. It’s been a tough start for the Packers’ first draft pick, Seattle’s Kevin King. Right now, the word is “usual growing pains” for a raw player (only 1.5 seasons at cornerback at the University of Washington) trying to find a place at what is probably the league’s toughest position to master, due to a bevy of supreme athletes at wide receiver and a stacked-against-the-defense rule book.

That said, King has struggled but managed to keep his head up despite suffering a minor shoulder injury and working through some rough practice reps that saw him get scorched with frequency by quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his deep receivers corps. The good news: He’s not demoralized. Yet.

His only live preseason action saw more of the same. King was up and down against the Philadelphia Eagles in Green Bay on August 10, showing a strong willingness to tackle. King also got burned for a few long gains, including a 38-yard touchdown after a failed tackle attempt.

Early season outlook: In reality, the Packers are sure to line up with veteran safeties Morgan Burnett, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (first-time Pro Bowler) and a combination of three veteran cornerbacks for their standard nickel package that will include returnee Davon House (past two seasons in Jacksonville) and recent high draft picks Quinten Rollins and Damarious Randall.

As the Packers’ top draft pick, King’s roster spot is assured early on, but he will be challenged to get any playing time even in the dime package, where he will have to beat out last year’s №1 cornerback (due to a spate of injuries) LaDarius Gunter and athletic second-year prospect Josh Hawkins. Veteran Demetri Goodson can also not be counted out.

Ultimately, King provides the type of body (6′ 3″, good speed and smooth athleticism) that other Packers defensive backs do not have. He will be counted on when the Packers decide to play match up ball, but not early on.

Josh Jones, S (NC State, Rd 2, № 61 overall)

In contrast to King, Jones is having a fine start to his young career. He is easily the brightest spot among the Packers’ rookie defenders. Or at least he was until he suffered a right ankle injury in practice on Tuesday, Aug. 15. His current availability is unknown, but he was carted off the Packers’ practice field for treatment.

The Packers would be well-advised to consider encasing Jones in bubble wrap during the preseason, given the gimpy shoulder of the guy drafted before him and his two fellow defensive draftees below, both of whom are out of action for multiple weeks.

The anecdotal reviews for Jones are good:

  • “Based on practice, it sure looks like Jones wants to hit. … He closes fast.” (Eric Baranczyk & Pete Dougherty, USA TODAY NETWORK)
  • “Josh Jones — a physical defensive back with an aggressive, violent play style … the early star of the Green Bay Packers’ … organized team activities. (Zach Kruse, Packers Wire)
  • “ The hard-hitting rookie drafted in the second round has left a strong impression so far in training camp, showing the potential to contribute …” (AP / Fox Sports)

Early season outlook: At 6′ 2″, 220 lbs., Jones is ideally suited for the in-vogue hybrid safety / inside linebacker several teams are deploying these days. Count Green Bay in that group. They call it their Nitro package. Unfortunately for Jones, starting safety Morgan Burnett and 2016 enforcer, second-year safety Kentrell Brice, are taking a lot of the reps as the Nitro linebacker as well. Since we already know who the Packers’ starting nickel group will be and the high likelihood that Brice will be next in line, Jones will almost certainly be relegated to special sub packages in the early season once recovered from his current ankle injury.

Montravius Adams, DT (Auburn, Rd 3, № 93 overall)

Adams, the former Auburn Tiger, looked to be a perfect fit for the drafters and draftee. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it through his first training camp practice uninjured. Adams felt pain in his foot during the first practice of training camp on July 27, played through it the next day and has been inactive since. He underwent surgery in early August, having a screw inserted in the long bone on the outside of the foot that connects to the little toe.

Early season outlook: At this stage, Adams looks to be unavailable for even week one duty. With virtually no training camp reps in his rookie season, Adams will have to be worked in slowly to get acclimated to game shape and moreover, acclimated to real NFL action. At least he got mini-camp reps, unlike Vince Biegel. The Packers will be fortunate to get any contributions of substance from Adams by mid-season.

Vince Biegel, OLB (Wisconsin, Rd 4, № 108)

Fourth-round selection outside linebacker Vince Biegel, was the first of the Packers rookies to go down. He remains out of action with a foot injury suffered on the second day of rookie orientation in early spring. He has not taken a padded rep since the Packers drafted him in the fourth round. He remains on the PUP list now nearly two weeks into training camp.

Early season outlook: While Biegel claims that his foot injury is “progressing well,” he refuses to put a return date on it. Which means, “not soon.” Which means the Packers are inching close to potentially a lost season for the Wisconsin product.

Given the high importance of early training camp reps where competition is prioritized over game preparation, Biegel will be hard-pressed to regain any stature among the Packers linebackers. His opportunities to contribute this season shrink every day he remains out.

Kick off for the Seahawks at the Packers is at 1:25 p.m. Pacific on Sunday, Sept. 10.

Shaquill & Shaquem Griffin's agent, Buddy Baker, loses parents to coronavirus

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Shaquill & Shaquem Griffin's agent, Buddy Baker, loses parents to coronavirus

Buddy Baker’s parents were married 51-plus years and healthy individuals when they contracted COVID-19. 

On Sunday, they passed away six minutes apart. 

It’s a heartbreaking story with a tragic ending, but the NFL sports agent feels he needs to act now and help others.  

“We usually look for a positive thing to be an inspiration,” Baker said. “We hope that what’s happened to us and our family inspires others to start needing and unifying with each other to make the right choice and the challenging choice.

“It’s going to take all of us getting together and deciding we’re going to stop the spread of this virus.”

Watch his full message below: 

Baker, the president and CEO of Exclusive Sports Group, LLC, represents dozens of NFL stars, including Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin. He also serves as agent to former Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin. 

Baldwin shared Baker's powerful message in a post on Twitter. 

We are sending lots of well-wishes to Baker and his family during this difficult time. 

Buzz: Everson Griffen has interest in signing with the Seahawks

Buzz: Everson Griffen has interest in signing with the Seahawks

You, me and everybody else in Seattle is sick of the pass rush merry-go-round that continues to spin while we sit at our respective homes in quarantine.

Each day we get a new rumor or report to keep fueling the fire of whether or not Jadeveon Clowney, Everson Griffen, Yannick Ngakoue or Matt Judon might eventually be members of the Seahawks.

On Tuesday, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press had some interesting thoughts on Griffen. The former Vikings pass rusher posted 8.0 sacks in 2019 and is now looking for a new team in free agency. According to Tomasson, Griffen "definitely has interest" in signing with Seattle. Joining the Seahawks would allow him to reunite with Pete Carroll, who coached him in college at USC.

The interesting note is that, according to Tomasson, Seattle's interest in Griffen hinges on whether or not the team is able to re-sign Clowney. Should that be the case, it would indicate that Seattle is only in the market for one marquee free agent pass rusher. That wouldn't necessarily close the door on a trade for Judon or Ngakoue, though. It could be that the Seahawks are hoping to land one of Griffen/Clowney and one of Ngakoue/Judon. Seattle cleared a little more than $5 million in cap space on Tuesday by cutting Ed Dickson and Tedric Thompson. They could save another $8.5 million by cutting Justin Britt. They could also get creative and create cap space by restructuring contracts. Point being, Seattle could find a way to land two of the aforementioned players should they want to.

It all remains speculation at this point outside of the obvious fact that Seattle is in grave need for a top-tier pass rusher to pair with Jarran Reed and Bruce Irvin (among others). John Schneider and Pete Carroll know this fact. The wait continues to see which player(s) they're able to land.

Former Oregon Duck TE Ed Dickson released from the Seahawks

Former Oregon Duck TE Ed Dickson released from the Seahawks

More shifts in the Seattle tight end room in this NFL offseason.

10-year veteran Ed Dickson has been released by the Seattle Seahawks.

The news was first reported by National Insider for NFL Network Ian Rapoport:

The 32-year-old, 10-year veteran signed with Seattle on March 16, 2018, but unfortunately his career in Seattle was plagued by the injury bug. He did not play in 2019.

This news may not come as much of a shock due in part to the Seahawks signing Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen during the offseason, Will Dissly returning from injury, Jacob Hollister stepping up big time last season, and Luke Wilson returning to Seattle. 

In 2018, Dickson caught 12 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns.

Dickson was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round (No. 74 overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft. He spent four years in Baltimore before the Carolina Panthers picked him up in March 2015.

Dickson earned First-Team All-Pac-10 honors during his senior season at the University of Oregon. He was Oregon's second-leading receiver in 2009 and helped lead the Pac-10 in scoring offense and ranked second in total offense, looming as the Ducks' lone representative on the league's first-team all-conference contingent.

NFL officially adopts expanded 14-team playoff format

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USATI

NFL officially adopts expanded 14-team playoff format

We knew this was coming, but now it's official: The NFL has adopted an expanded 14-team playoff format that will go into effect immediately.

Starting in 2020, each conference will now have a seventh seed. That team will play the No. 2 seed in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. In addition to two extra games on Wild Card weekend (now three on Saturday and three on Sunday), the biggest change is that only the No. 1 seed in each conference will get a first-round bye.

The change is an obvious money grab, but the expanded playoffs should be a home run as far as TV ratings are concerned. Nobody is going to argue with more football, and, as Rapoport noted, in most cases the added playoff teams will have double-digit wins. There is now an added urgency to claim the No. 1 seed while more clubs will be in the playoff race until the bitter end. The result should be fewer teams resting starters in Week 17.

Quinton Dunbar draws comparisons to ‘a young Richard Sherman’

Quinton Dunbar draws comparisons to ‘a young Richard Sherman’

When the Seattle Seahawks acquired Quinton Dunbar in a trade with the Washington Redskins last week, the team got more than a veteran cornerback in the deal.

Former Redskins defensive backs coach Ray Horton says Dunbar resembles a Seahawk of the past, who was a catalyst in Seattle’s most successful run in sports history.

“To me, it would be Richard Sherman,” Horton told Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times. “Because of his style of play, the hands, the anticipation, the (being a) former wide receiver, the competitiveness. Really that’s what you are getting is a young Richard Sherman. And this kid is hungry. He wants to be good.”

Dunbar played wide receiver in college at Florida, before making the switch to corner when he became a pro. Sherman, on the other hand, made the shift while in college at Stanford. The two also share similar body types. Dunbar is 6’2” with 32” arms, while Sherman is 6’3” with 32” arms.

Sherman went from former fifth-round pick to a five-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion with the Seattle Seahawks.

Dunbar, an undrafted free agent, landed with the Redskins and carved his role as a full-time starter, before a hamstring limited his season to just 11 games in 2019. He recorded four of his nine career interceptions last season.

“He’s a joy to work with,” Horton said. “He works hard, he pushes himself, and he pushes his teammates. But there’s nothing wrong with that kind of a player. You want that kind of a player.”

“You are getting that type of player – they are going to love this kid.”

Dunbar says he’s admired Sherman and the Legion of Boom secondary for years.

“Man, I know everything about them. I grew up, I was still in college watching those guys,” Dunbar told 710 ESPN. “I wasn’t a DB at the time, but the Legion of Boom, watching Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman, who, when I made that transition, I watched a lot of film on Richard Sherman and things of that nature. I know they’ve got great history there and I’m just looking forward to being part of that secondary and helping out all I can.”

While Sherman and Dunbar share a number of similarities, Dunbar will set to carve his own legacy in Seattle. He’ll start by competing with Tre Flowers for the Seahawks starting job in the secondary.

Report: Seahawks to release S Tedric Thompson

Report: Seahawks to release S Tedric Thompson

A week ago, it was reported that Tedric Thompson had been given permission to find a trade partner. Getting anything in return always seemed farfetched for the Seahawks, but it was worth a shot.

Now ESPN's Josina Anderson has reported that Seattle plans to release Thompson on Tuesday.

Cutting the former 2017 fourth-round pick saves Seattle just over $2 million in cap space. That doesn't necessarily indicate that there's another move coming down the pipeline in the immediate future, but it confirms that Thompson wasn't in the team's plans for 2020.

The Seahawks are set at safety with Quandre Diggs at free safety, Bradley McDougald at strong safety and 2019 second-round pick Marquise Blair waiting in the wings.

Thompson opened 2019 as the team's starting free safety but struggled mightily in six games before going on IR with a shoulder injury. In three seasons with Seattle, Thompson appeared in 29 games (16 starts) and posted three interceptions and 80 total tackles.

Cliff Avril guesses what’s going through Jadeveon Clowney’s mind right now

Cliff Avril guesses what’s going through Jadeveon Clowney’s mind right now

It’s undoubtedly been a trying few weeks for Jadeveon Clowney. He remains on the free agent market, a rarity for a player of his caliber.

The wait could continue, maybe even for months, depending on how long travel restrictions remain in place due to coronavirus. His inability to visit team facilities and go through a physical has undoubtedly diminished his marked and prolonged his free agent process.

Former Seahawks pass rusher Cliff Avril can relate to Clowney’s misfortune. As a free agent back in 2013, he remembers a similar disappointment in his market, or lack thereof. That gives Avril a strong guess as to what’s going through Clowney’s mind right now.

“I can only imagine, man,” Avril said on the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast. “It sucks because free agency is only fun for about 10 guys. Outside of that, free agency is nerve-racking. It’s just like that draft. The top 10 picks, those guys, they’re good. They know where they’re going. They know what check they’re going to get. Anybody past that, it’s uncertainty and all those different things. People are panicking.

“Clowney, in this particular situation, I know he’s freaking out. He’s probably thinking about firing his agent. He probably thinks no one likes him. It’s a stressful moment, and you start to doubt and question all of these different things, especially when you’re considered one of the top pass rushers out there, and yet you’re still on the market.”

Avril called Seattle’s signings of Jarran Reed and Bruce Irvin “two huge pickups,” but he, like everyone else, understands the need for an additional rusher for the other edge.

“I hope it’s Clowney,” Avril said.

He also likes Everson Griffen and is a “big fan” of Yannick Ngakoue as well. However it just makes too much sense for Clowney to not end up back in a Seahawks jersey in 2020, especially if he’s considering signing a one-year deal.

“It’s a known organization that you were just with,” Avril said in his case for Clowney to return to the Pacific Northwest. “You don’t have to relearn the defense. You don’t have to relearn the coaches’ names and different things like that. It gives you the best opportunity to go out there and perform at a high level and hopefully do this thing all over again next year.”

Russell Wilson, Ciara pledge to raise 10 million meals for Feeding America

Russell Wilson, Ciara pledge to raise 10 million meals for Feeding America

Russell Wilson and Ciara know there are families across the nation who have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s why the Seattle Seahawks quarterback and pop star recently announced in a one-minute video via Twitter that they were partnering with Seattle’s Food Lifeline to donate 1 million meals to those affected in the Seattle area

Now, the Wilsons are taking their contributions one step further. 

In a post on Twitter Tuesday morning, Wilson announced he and Ciara, as well as private aviation company Wheels Up, are teaming up to raise 10 million meals to those in need. The donation will go to hunger relief organization Feeding America.  

“We started doing our research, Ciara and I, and we found out that Feeding America is such a great program,” Wilson said on CNBC Tuesday morning. “40 years of doing good in the world and trying to make a difference.”

The massive contribution from the Wilsons will certainly go a long way for families in need. Per Feeding America, 92 percent of food banks reported a spike in demand for food assistance between March 19 and March 23. Many food banks have also seen a decline in donations and volunteers due to coronavirus concerns. 

While many other professional sports are postponed or suspended due to the pandemic, Wilson is currently in the NFL offseason. As of now, the 2020 NFL Draft is expected to proceed as planned. 

Wilson hopes COVID-19 won’t delay the season’s start, but for now, he’s focused on giving back to those in need.

“I love playing the game, and as soon as I can get back out there and play in a safe way, that will be great. But the reality is, we’re in a global pandemic,” Wilson said. “The best thing that we can do is just love and give and serve, and if we can do that ... I think we’ll be back out there.”

How Jadeveon Clowney is placing a dangerous wager on the timeline of COVID-19

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USATI

How Jadeveon Clowney is placing a dangerous wager on the timeline of COVID-19

We are entering Week 3 of Jadeveon Clowney watch. Unfortunately for Seahawks fans everywhere, this seems to be a stakeout without any end in sight as everything has gone silent on the Clowney front.

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times intimated last week that Clowney could ride this out all the way until training camp. That would make sense for one very obvious reason.

The reality is that it seems Clowney’s market has bottomed out. Now that he’s already waited this long, he owes it to himself to exhibit patience until he’s allowed to visit teams in person and go through physicals. That’s likely the only thing that can get his value closer to the $20 million annually that he’s looking for. A team would have to feel comfortable with where he’s at medically, especially after coming off of core muscle surgery in January.

The money currently on the table should be there indefinitely. Even if he waits until camp in August, there will still be a team willing to offer $13-15 million for a player of Clowney’s caliber. He has the benefit of not only being a tremendous talent, but he also plays at a position of extreme scarcity. That’s why Clowney can afford to play this game of chicken with the Seahawks and other clubs he’s been in contact with.

However, this COVID-19 pandemic is somewhat of a double-edged sword for Clowney. On one hand, it’s keeping him from traveling to team facilities for official visits. There’s no disputing that those limitations have shrunk his market and extended his free agent process. On the other, the longer coronavirus keeps America on a relative lockdown, the more teams will have to start planning for a potential worst-case scenario: a cancelled or truncated 2020 season.

If that fear inches closer to a reality, Clowney could find there’s no market for him at all. No club would want to spend big money on Clowney in that scenario, especially on a one-year deal.

That’s why Clowney, in a sense, isn’t playing chicken with NFL franchises, but rather gambling that coronavirus will subside in fairly short order. President Trump already extended America’s stay at home order until May 1. Should that be the end of it, there would still be about two months until the start of camp for Clowney to find a new home.

But let’s be honest, nobody really knows when this is going to end… not for sure, anyway. That’s why I believe that Clowney owes it to himself to sign a one-year deal in the near future. A diminished paycheck is better than the potential of no paycheck at all. Is that unfair? Absolutely. I’m of the belief that Clowney is deserving of the massive payday that he’s seeking. That doesn’t change the reality of the situation, though.

Clowney recently turned 27 back in February. If he has a monster season in 2020 and stays healthy, he’ll hit the open market once again at age 28 and be able to capitalize on a boosted salary cap. To me, that sounds like a better option than betting millions of dollars on the timeline of COVID-19.