Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson named Pro Football Focus' 2019 MVP

Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson named Pro Football Focus' 2019 MVP

Russell Wilson isn't likely to win the NFL's MVP Award. That honor is almost assuredly going to Lamar Jackson.

But if Pro Football Focus had its way, it would be Wilson receiving the award. Thus, PFF has named the Seahawks quarterback their 2019 MVP.

Wilson led PFF's WAR metric by a significant margin. His rating of 4.08 was at least a full point higher than the four next closest players: Patrick Mahomes (2.96), Dak Prescott (2.40), Aaron Rodgers (2.38) and Jackson (2.29). It's worth noting that Mahomes missed two games with a knee injury, but even with those extra snaps he still wouldn't have passed Wilson's PFF WAR rating. In addition, Wilson's 91.2 PFF grade for the season was tied with Drew Brees for second-best among QBs. Only Ryan Tannehill was higher, and he didn't play until Week 7.

"This season, the data points to the fact that no player added greater value to their team than Russell Wilson did for the Seattle Seahawks," PFF's Sam Monson wrote.

Wilson finished the season with 4,110 passing yards, 41 passing touchdowns and just five interceptions. He added 342 yards and three more scores as a runner.

There were three main contributors to Wilson edging the other MVP candidates in PFF's eyes.

The first is the notion that Wilson overcame Seattle failing to cater to his skill set whereas the Ravens revamped their entire offense to fit what Jackson does best. That's both from a schematic and from a game management standpoint.

The second is Wilson carried the Seahawks despite playing behind a far inferior offensive line. Duane Brown, who notably missed four games, was Seattle's highest-graded offensive lineman (76.3). Joey Hunt was next closest at 62.2. By comparison, the Ravens didn't have an offensive lineman graded below 63.0.

Finally, PFF credited Wilson for his ability to play at a high level in games where the Seahawks trailed, oftentimes by large margins. Jackson had the benefit of playing with a comfortable lead in most of Baltimore's games.

"When you try and see the entire board, Wilson dealt with much more adversity than Jackson did and was significantly ahead in terms of PFF WAR," Monson wrote. "So, Russell Wilson wins the award for a season in which there were two outstanding candidates."

 

Mike Rob: Russell Wilson will have haters until he wins another Super Bowl

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Mike Rob: Russell Wilson will have haters until he wins another Super Bowl

Russell Wilson is used to having detractors. He’s been dealing with critics his whole life, in not one but two sports. Between media and former coaches, heck, even his old teammates used to doubt him at one point.

Former Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson, who was teammates with Wilson from 2012-13, was the latest guest on the Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast. He told NBC Sports Northwest that there were some veterans ready to pull the plug on Wilson after just one start in 2012.

In his NFL debut against the Cardinals, Wilson completed just 18-of-34 pass attempts for 153 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was also sacked three times. Seattle lost that game, 20-16.

“I remember guys on that plane ride going back saying, ‘We need to sit Russell. Play the other guy,’” Robinson recalled, referring obviously to Matt Flynn as the other guy. “Russell was sitting around hearing all of this, and he came out the next week, and he played with passion.

“He played with emotion. It’s almost like he wanted to make up for that performance because he knew he’d let some older guys down.”

Wilson was an efficient 15-of-20 for 151 yards, one touchdown and no picks in Seattle’s win against the Cowboys the following week.

“It was in that moment when I said, ‘OK, we’ve got something a little special with Russell Wilson,’” Robinson said.

But just cause Robinson and the rest of the Seahawks locker room bought in on their rookie QB, much of the football world remained skeptical. The narrative of Wilson needing a strong running game and a dominant defense still lingers today.

Robinson believes Wilson is in the “elite category” of current NFL quarterbacks, but he recognizes that many don’t share that sentiment.

“I know there are some haters out there who don’t like when I say that,” Robinson said.

Which is shocking, really. I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir for anyone who is reading this, but it’s wild that Wilson has any skeptics at all. He’s tied as the winningest quarterback ever over a QB's first eight NFL seasons, and he’s led the Seahawks to the postseason seven times. He’s a six-time Pro Bowler and was named second-team All-Pro in 2019.

Something would have to go catastrophically wrong in order for Wilson to not be enshrined in Canton one day. And yet, Robinson explained that Wilson’s detractors will follow him all the way to the Hall of Fame if he’s unable to win another ring.

“If Russell can lead a team to a Super Bowl and win it, just off his abilities – because most people would say we won that Super Bowl off our running game and defense,” Robinson said. “If he can get this Seahawks team back in that type of position, I think you’ll see the narrative change about Russell Wilson.”

Fair or unfair (you know which way I lean), Robinson is probably right. The good news for Wilson and the Seahawks is that as long as he’s under center, Seattle should remain an annual playoff contender.

What signing TE Greg Olsen means for the Seahawks in 2020

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What signing TE Greg Olsen means for the Seahawks in 2020

The Seahawks have already checked a box off their offseason to-do list.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday that veteran tight end Greg Olsen has signed a one-year, $7 million deal with Seattle.

Olsen immediately provides the Seahawks with an insurance policy on Will Dissly, who will be working his way back from a torn Achilles in 2020. Seattle needed a quality option, and the Seahawks opted to go the veteran route rather than find a tight end in the draft.

Beyond that, Olsen showed in 2019 that he can still be productive. The 34-year-old (soon to be 35 in March) caught 52 passes for 597 yards and two touchdowns last season. His debut with the Seahawks will mark the beginning of his 14th NFL season. Olsen was originally drafted in the first round by the Bears in 2007. He spent four seasons in Chicago before playing for the Panthers for the last seven.

Schefter reported that Olsen was also in deep talks with Washington and Buffalo, but ultimately signed with Seattle due to the allure of playing with Russell Wilson. The two have crossed paths during the Panthers and Seahawks many matchups over the last several seasons, and they also each made the Pro Bowl in 2015. For his career, Olsen has 718 receptions for 8,444 yards and 59 touchdowns.

Once Dissly is healthy, Olsen will allow the Seahawks to regularly operate out of 12 personnel. That works perfectly given Seattle's current set of skill players as DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are the only two dependable wideouts on the roster. Having Metcalf, Lockett, Olsen and Dissly on the field at the same time should be a regular occurrence in 2020.

Ed Dickson still has a year left on his contract but he isn't likely to remain on the roster following this move. Jacob Hollister is still an option as a No. 3 tight end. Seattle would be wise to keep Hollister (he's currently set to become a restricted free agent) around given his moderate success in 2019 (41-349-3) as well as the injury histories for both Olsen and Dissly.

Olsen benefitted from hitting the open market prior to the official start of free agency, which doesn't begin until March 18. The tight end and the Panthers mutually parted ways on Jan. 30 which made him an immediate free agent. Seattle quickly showed interest, as did Buffalo and Washington (notably coached by Ron Rivera now). Because he was released, signing him won't cost Seattle a compensatory pick as ESPN's Brady Henderson wisely pointed out.

It makes sense that Olsen opted to play with Wilson rather than Washington's Dwayne Haskins or Buffalo's Josh Allen. Wilson gives Olsen the security that the Seahawks will be in contention for what is likely to be one lone season in the Pacific Northwest. Olsen is set to embark on a broadcasting career once he finally decides to call it quits. Many thought that the tight end had played his last snap. Instead, he'll be one of Wilson's go-to targets in 2020.

'TE room is going to be dangerous': Twitter reacts as Greg Olsen signs with Seattle Seahawks

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'TE room is going to be dangerous': Twitter reacts as Greg Olsen signs with Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson wanted his team to add more "superstars," and his wish just came true.

The Seattle Seahawks signed veteran tight end Greg Olsen to a one-year, $7 million contract that includes $5.5 million guaranteed on Tuesday, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Olsen also made visits to Redskins and Bills, but the Seahawks won the sweepstakes for the 13-year tight end, who will now call Seattle his home. 

Several Seahawks, including Wilson and tight end Will Dissly, shared their thoughts on Seattle's latest addition. Here’s a look at how Twitter reacted to the news:

[RELATED: Greg Olsen's Twitter foreshadowed him signing with Seahawks]

The three-time Pro Bowler was released earlier this offseason by Carolina after nine seasons with the Panthers. His veteran leadership and experience will benefit the Seahawks, who could use help at the tight end, a position that was hit by injuries in 2019. 

Greg Olsen's Twitter foreshadowed him signing with the Seahawks

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Greg Olsen's Twitter foreshadowed him signing with the Seahawks

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday that the Seahawks are signing veteran tight end Greg Olsen to a one-year, $7 million contract. According to Schefter, $5.5 million of the deal is fully guaranteed.

I already covered what the deal means for the Seahawks in 2020, but there's a fun social media layer to Seattle's latest acquisition.

On Feb. 1, Bill Voth of the Panthers tweeted out a photo of Cam Newton whispering something to Russell Wilson at NFL Honors. He asked a simple question.

To wit, Olsen quote tweeted to join the fun.

That sparked a response from Wilson and sent Seahawks Twitter into a tizzy over a potential pairing of the QB and tight end.

As Wilson pointed out on Tuesday following Schefter's announcement, they were clearly onto something.

Olsen figured to be one of Wilson's go-to targets in 2020. Schefter reported that the QB was the main selling point in getting Olsen to sign with the Seahawks over Buffalo and Washington.

REPORT: Veteran tight end Greg Olsen signs with Seahawks over Bills, Redskins

REPORT: Veteran tight end Greg Olsen signs with Seahawks over Bills, Redskins

I’m sure Russell Wilson is going to like this news: He has a new weapon in Seattle.

Veteran tight end Greg Olsen has agreed to a deal to join Wilson and the Seahawks, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The deal is for one-year, $7 million with $5.5 million guaranteed. 

Olsen completed his free agent tour earlier this week with trips to the Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks and began contract negotiations with each team on Friday, per Schefter.

The 34-year-old was also rumored to be considering a number of television gigs that are waiting for him upon retirement, but it appears he has more football left in the tank.

Olsen will join a Seattle tight end room that includes Will Dissly, Luke Willson, Jacob Hollister and Ed Dickson, all who remain question marks.

Dissly had a stellar start to the 2019 season, recording 23 receptions for 262 yards and four touchdowns in the five games, before going down with an Achilles injury in Cleveland. He is expected to return healthy in 2020 and is entering the third season of a four-year rookie deal. Hollister is a restricted free agent, but a likely candidate to be re-signed. Dickson will likely be released for salary cap relief, while Willson is set to hit free agency in March.

Despite his age, Olsen is still a reliable receiver with a veteran presence Seattle could benefit from. In his final season with the Carolina Panthers, Olsen caught 52 passes for 597 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games. He did all of this with an injured Cam Newton, then Kyle Allen and rookie Will Grier leading the way.

Olsen has been in the NFL for 14 illustrious years, since being drafted by the Bears in 2007, spending nine seasons with Carolina. His tenure ended with the Panthers several weeks ago, when the two parties agreed to mutually part ways.

He accumulated three Pro Bowl nods and has three seasons of 1,000-plus receiving yards. Now, he’s got a valuable quarterback to help take him to the next level. Let’s see if Olsen and the Seahawks can reach new heights.

Seahawks could make Jadeveon Clowney the NFL's highest-paid defensive player

Seahawks could make Jadeveon Clowney the NFL's highest-paid defensive player

If the Seattle Seahawks want to retain Jadeveon Clowney, they’ll have to pay up.

According to a report from Matt Miller from Bleacher Report, Clowney is looking to reset the market and get paid this offseason. In other words, he wants a record-setting contract.

The Seahawks pass rusher is expected to receive a hefty sum come free agency, and is wanting to play for a contender. 

“I just want to win,” Clowney said after the Seahawks loss to the Packers in January. "I'm trying to get to the Super Bowl by any means. That's what I'm looking for: Who's going to get me there? I ain't looking to get on no sorry team for no money. That ain't going to fly. I ain't gonna put my body through all of that just to lose no 16 games, go home with my check. I'd hate that, so that ain't what I'm doing.”

Clowney was traded to the Seahawks in exchange for linebacker Jacob Martin, Barkevious Mingo and a 2020 third-round pick after five seasons with the Texans. He was one of Seattle’s elite players in 2019, recording 31 tackles, seven tackles for loss, three sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception in 13 games.

It’s unclear what exact number Clowney would like to achieve in his “market-setting” contract, but Seattle will have to make a blockbuster deal to retain the star edge rusher. Aaron Donald signed a six-year, $135 million contract in 2018, while Khalil Mack inked a six-year, $141 million deal to make the most annually of any defensive player in history at $23.5 million per year.

Unlike the players mentioned above, Clowney failed to be named to a Pro Bowl last season. He’s never registered more than 9.5 sacks in a single season, tallying only three in 2019, while Mack and Donald produced double-digit sacks in eight combined seasons. 

If a deal between Clowney and Seattle did come to fruition and met his terms, he could become the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. It would be the largest contract since franchise quarterback Russell Wilson signed his record-setting, four-year, $140 million contract extension last April.

The Seahawks have said they want to keep Clowney and he has said “he wants to be here.” Clowney is undeniably an asset the Seahawks need to keep, but can they afford to do so? Seattle will have north of $60 million in cap space once free agency rolls around in March. 

Quandre Diggs, Tyler Lockett open to Seahawks trading for Darius Slay

Quandre Diggs, Tyler Lockett open to Seahawks trading for Darius Slay

Trade rumors for Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay are heating up, and members of the Seattle Seahawks are weighing in. 

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Lions have “spoken with multiple teams about a potential trade” that would involve the three-time Pro-Bowler. Conversations with prospective teams include a new contract with Slay as part of the deal. The 29-year-old is in the final year of his four-year, $48.15 million contract. 

Many have surmised that Slay could be a good fit on the Seahawks roster. He would bolster the cornerback position. Here’s what we do know about the possibility of Darius Slay in a Seahawks uniform: 

The Seahawks have a history of trading with the Lions 

In late October, the Lions and Seahawks completed a trade which sent safety Quandre Diggs and a seventh rounder to Seattle in exchange for a fifth-round selection in 2020. 

After the Seahawks acquired Diggs in exchange for two draft picks from the Detroit Lions, Slay, bothered by the move, told reporters “nobody’s safe,” from being traded. 

Diggs paired up with Bradley McDougald in the defensive backfield and Seattle reaped the benefits (and seemingly won the trade). In five regular season games, Diggs recorded 21 combined tackles, three pass deflections, three interceptions and a defensive touchdown. 

The jury is still out for right corner 

Tre Flowers, while explosive at times, finished the 2019 season with just two sacks and three interceptions. His struggles in the playoffs were also on full display. He had two defensive pass interference penalties against the Eagles and another lackluster performance against the Packers in the divisional round. 

There’s plenty of evidence to support the argument that Flowers could make the third-year leap like Shaquill Griffin, who was rewarded for his standout season with a first Pro Bowl in 2019. However, the Seahawks should have an insurance policy in the case that Flowers does not continue on a positive trajectory. 

Seattle will likely sign someone to compete for the starting position opposite of Griffin, and Slay certainly has many of the qualities the Seahawks are looking for. He’s a three-time Pro Bowler, former First-Team All-Pro and amassed 13 passes defended, two interceptions and 46 combined tackle in 2019. Slay leads the NFL with 28 pass breakups since 2015. 

Money talks 

There’s some uncertainty on what it would take to get a Slay to Seattle deal done. The Seahawks already have some tough decisions to make if they want to retain Jadeveon Clowney and Jarran Reed this offseason, but cornerback is a position Seattle could improve upon. 

Slay, who will turn 29 in January, is entering the final year of his four-year, $48.15 million contract signed in 2016. He will make a base salary of $10 million in 2020 with a cap hit of $13 million, according to sportrac. It’s quite possible he could see north of $15 million a year with his future team. 

Seattle has roughly $60 million in cap space and eight projected draft picks. A splash move to acquire Slay isn’t out of the picture, but it does complicate Seattle’s ability to retain Clowney and Reed. If Seattle can upgrade their defense by adding Slay in a similar trade with picks to Diggs, take it and run. 

Reuniting Slay and Diggs on the Seahawks secondary could be a game-changer

Diggs has supported his former teammate on Twitter, retweeting Adam Schefter’s post about a potential trade with money sign emojis. His received some backlash on the post, mostly from Lions fans, who don’t want to see another elite defender leave Detroit. Seahawks fans were intrigued by the possibility of Diggs and Slay in Seattle. 

Tyler Lockett has also defended Slay when a Twitter user said Detroit should “let him walk.”

“You ain't have to line up against him. You tripping,” Lockett clapped back. 

Always compete 

Here’s one thing we do know about Seahawks general manager John Schneider and Coach Pete Carroll: Seattle is always looking to compete. The team has likely acquired about Slay nonetheless, but that doesn’t mean Seattle is Slay’s new home…just yet.  

 

Michael Robinson on Marshawn Lynch’s future: ‘I think he wants to play’

Michael Robinson on Marshawn Lynch’s future: ‘I think he wants to play’

Nobody knows Marshawn Lynch better than former Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson. 

Robinson told NBC Sports Northwest via the Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast that the two remain best of friends and talk all the time. Given that relationship, Robinson may be one of the few people who have an insight into what Lynch’s future holds. 

Beast Mode returned for three games at the end of the 2019 season – Week 17 against the 49ers and then playoff matchups against the Eagles and Packers – but now everyone is curious as to what comes next for the 33-year-old running back. 

Is there a chance Lynch is on an NFL roster in Week 1 of the 2020 season? 

Robinson said he doesn’t think even Lynch himself knows the answer to that question. But if the former fullback turned NFL Network analyst had to guess, he believes Lynch still has the desire to suit up on Sundays. Not only that, but he’d only want to do so in the Pacific Northwest. 

“My humble opinion, I think he wants to play, and I don’t think he’ll want to play for any other team than the Seattle Seahawks,” Robinson surmised.  

Robinson added that he wasn’t surprised by Lynch’s reunion with Seattle this winter. 

“I knew he was going to get bored, I just didn’t know when,” Robinson joked about Lynch’s 14 months away from football. 

Lynch’s return had nothing to do with money. The running back is doing just fine financially from his time in the NFL coupled with his Beast Mode business ventures. It had far more to do with the competitive side of him that he just couldn’t walk away from. 

“Hey said, ‘Mike, I love this game and I miss it. And I need to prove not just to myself, but to the rest of the football world that this game needs me and I belong,’” Robinson recalled his conversations with Lynch. “I was happy for him coming back.” 

And without having a normal offseason, training camp or regular season, Robinsons said he was impressed by Lynch’s production in his three games. Lynch’s 2.23 yards per carry average doesn’t do justice to his success in the red zone. He scored four touchdowns in three games with some vintage Beast Mode physicality and flare. 

“I expected him to just be the short yardage guy,” Robinson said. “I was impressed for a guy that was sitting on the damn couch. I was very impressed that he still had that hunger and that he still had that competitive edge.” 

Lynch’s efforts to teach young players didn’t go unnoticed to Robinson, either. From his viral “take care of y’all chicken” comments to his sideline interactions with Travis Homer, Lynch made every effort to pay it forward. 

It took him just three weeks to add to an already impressive resume with the Seahawks. For that reason, Robinson made it clear that Lynch is deserving of lifetime recognition in Seattle. 

“Nobody needs to wear No. 24 ever again,” Robinson said, echoing a common thought by many fans that the Seahawks need to retire Lynch’s number. 

That may end up happening, but not for a few years at the very least. 

That’s because, first and foremost, we may still be yet to see the last of Lynch’s playing days in the Pacific Northwest. 

DK Metcalf put to the ultimate test... with face mash-ups

DK Metcalf put to the ultimate test... with face mash-ups

D.K. Metcalf is quite the decorated football player as proven by his rookie season in Seattle. 

He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks just 296 days ago in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Since then, Metcalf has spent a lot of time with his teammates.

But, how well does he really know them, especially as it relates to recognizing certain facial features? 

Metcalf joined Mike Florio and Chris Simms on the set of Pro Football Talk where his knowledge was put to the test:

Marshawn Lynch + Tyler Lockett? Nailed it.

Russell Wilson and himself? Reluctantly, yes.

The Griffin twins? Well, he got half right. But hey, can you blame him? Yes, the Griffin’s are twins, but boy it is sometimes really, really hard to tell the two apart, as you can see by Metcalf’s expression in the video above.

Metcalf passed the test and won't have to hear it from his teammates.