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"Youre the GM"

  • Ok, out of an interesting and long Twitter exchange with @austinslater25 , I was asked point blank.. what I would do with the biggest "situation" of our offseason. Russell Wilson. and Im gonna throw Frank Clark in there too.

    Im not going with what Id really do..but what I would wish I would have the guts to do because I believe in it but its risky.

    As detailed in the Extension thread here, I think its difficult to re-sign Wilson if the goals is Super Bowl. You need high level quarterback play to win the Super Bowl, that is obvious. But I think it also shows that you need a way to pay less for it because the market has been skewed by most teams trying the Peyton Manning building program.. which is, once you have an elite QB (and a good or better coach) throw every penny at them to keep them, and by doing so ensure youre "always in it"..and that works if "always in it" means the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan and Drew Brees are always in the playoffs..But its very hard, the record shows to get to the Super Bowl if you are paying what the market demands you pay an elite QB. Because everyone is willing to pay anything to always be in contention.

    But if youre paying 35 million a year, and someone in your division (and likely more than one) has a good enough QB on a rookie deal.. youre playing an unfair game. Read the Moneyball book..then watch the movie. Brad Pitt is awesome. There is a great scene in the movie that explains the situation. If that other team has 187 million to spend on a team.. but YOU have 153 million.... then youre playing an unfair game. And in the case of the Seahawks.. lets take it one step further.. What if you think youre competing against the popular team to win the AFC North next year in the Super Bowl.. Browns. Yea..I know.Its the Browns. But , its hypothetical right now.

    Salary cap.. 188.2 million. We will apply new contracts against that even though thats not how the Seahawks do business.
    188.. minus 35 for Wilson. Minus 20 million for Clark. 133 million.

    Browns.. Browns got 12 sacks out of Chubb. They are gonna pay him 6 million. Baker Mayfield is going to make 7. So.. 175 million left. After paying 2 of the most expensive positions. The Browns would have 33% more money than us the rest of the way. Thats money theyve resigned their best developing players with . Thats money theyve made a couple of judicious additions with.

    Thats a lot.

    It is devastating to your chances to compete if you have to pay full price at both those high end positions. BUT if you can get those positions cheap...then its a massive advantage. If you can get a good QB on a rookie scale, then youre like half the contracts of QBs in the Super Bowl in the past 7 years. If youre paying elite money.. youre like 2 contracts in the past 7 years..both Peyton Mannings.

    And..what could we GET?

    Khalil Mack got the Raiders a first and 6th round this year and a 1st and 2nd next year and the Raiders gave back a second NEXT year and a conditional 5th.

    So for Clark I would think we could get.. a 1st and a 3rd at least this year or so.

    And then for Wilson.. honestly, to the right team,I think we could get 3 #1st. And maybe even a throw in player.

    So.. 4 #1s and a 3rd.

    Say that leaves us our #1, the Clark #1, and the Wilson #1 this year. Plus the Clark #3 this year. SO we look like: 1, 1, 1, 3, 3, 4, 5. I would then try to trade back one of the 1s , probably our 21 as I did in the mock.

    Then my strategy is to get an EDGE rusher and one of the star safeties in the 1st. If a top rated QB falls to the 2nd and Ive gotten back there I take one but I dont like them as value in the first. If I cant get there than I go with the best OL lineman left. and then in the middle and late rounds I take 2 of the three QBs: Kyle Shurmur, Jacob Dolegala and Gardener Minshew. Probably end up with 2 , and its still a good gamble Im happy with . Dolegala is being overlooked because of his school and what not, but he has things that indicate he will have success. Minshew as well.

    For 2020 then we will have 1,1,2, 3, 3, 4,4, 5,5, 6,6, 7 between our picks from trade and our supplement picks. With PC, and JS, our current RBs, Dissly, our elite RBs, growing strength and new pics at DE and DB.. I think wed be in good shape and with more options that locking ourself into "pay Wilson and hope we just get everything right and hope the chips fall where we want".

    Clark is really great and he really turned around my impression of him last season. I just cant pay 20 million for his production when he isnt actually a consistent dominator. ANd I do consider Wilson a top 5 QB. I just think the market is skewed.

    and I believe in being dispassionate. We should have traded Sherman a year before we let him just walk. We would have GOTTEN something for him. We should have not extended Kam. Should have traded Earl. That is NOT hindsight by the way.. well documented in our podcast. You have to use current value to ensure future talent.

    Weve got 4 picks this year when we need to be ascending. To ascend we need new, young, hungry and above all CHEAP talent where the market is making everyone else pay.

    It could back fire, but I wouldnt worry about it when I noticed that no other team ends up paying 35 and still getting to the super bowl. The one team right now that might still do it is the Saints because they have hit on a lot of star players in the draft. If you can manage that.. get 6,7,8 stars on their rookie contract all at the same time.. then you can pay your QB. But I think its not as hard to find one good QB and keep flexibility in all other areas of your payroll.

    But Im insane they say. 😉

    So.. if YOU were the GM.. what would YOU do? Youve got Wagner, Clark, and Wilson..and Reed coming up.

    Since I didnt mention them..real quick: Id sign Wagner to a relatively short contract, and Reed Id sign for market value as I think he does unique things that the market doesnt reflect yet.

  • I think QB is the one position where the better your guy is, the better everybody around him will be. A star WR or TE can make your QB better, sure, but I think more often than not it's the other way around.

    Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan aren't consistently winning Super Bowls, but neither are Dak Prescott or Derek Carr or Jameis Winston. Or anybody else for that matter. There's one guy who's consistently competing for actual championships and that's Tom Brady, and I think that emulating what they're doing over there is probably impossible anyway.

    If we were about to pay Kirk Cousins or Andy Dalton or Joe Flacco $35+ a year I would be with you 100%. But the fact that we're talking about Russell Wilson sways me. It's a bit like thinking about letting Ken Griffey Jr walk.

    I think that both models can work. The key is that, whichever path you take, you gotta hit on your picks. If you surround Russell with bums or if you have a bum under center running your offense then you're not competing for any championships anytime soon.

    We have a decent core. If I'm GM, I'm signing Russell to the most team friendly deal possible, whatever that means, and doing everything I can to keep a decent team around him. Unless I've got a sure-fire backup plan, a can't-miss guy who can come in and win in the first year or two, and the right deal on the table for Russell, then I consider moving on. It just seems like a lot of things have to go exactly right for that to really pay off.

  • Great responses and much easier than twitter lol. I'm off to my son's track meet but will jump in later. Good stuff guys.

  • I agree that a lot of stuff has to go right but that’s true about winning any Super Bowl. I think more has to go right , and right the first time if you resign your QB at 35. Because you have that much less wiggle room as well.

    Zeb and Austin... would you also sign Frank Clark? and wagner? And Reed?

  • I think in reality you can probably only sign 2 or 3 of those 4 guys. Obviously a lot depends on contract negotiation. Who knows, we might be able to work out something cap friendly with 1 of them. I think that Frank Clark may have priced himself out of a job here after the recent contract Demarcus Lawrence got from the Cowboys.

    But that's just it, right? That's how it goes. You draft guys, some of them work out, some of them don't. When they do you eventually have to pay them or let them walk. And you have to weigh the cost of keeping them against who you got coming in through the draft and FA. We've hit some home runs, we've struck out, we've made some smart deals and we've made some dumb deals.

    If we'd drafted better after 2012 I'd feel a lot better about the idea of potentially letting Russell go. But in reality we've sort of drafted like shit as of late. And not that the past dictates anything about this current team but we really do not have a good track record when it comes to drafting QBs. That doesn't mean we can't get a guy that can come in and win but it damn sure makes me uneasy about feeling like we have to.

    Unless Russell really wants out, I don't see a scenario where the Seahawks are willing to part ways with the best QB this team has ever had. The biggest sports figure this city has seen in 20 years. It's actually really huge, in that context. If we move on from Russell and don't have almost immediate success, if we go on a skid and have 3, 4, 5 years of losing seasons and bad football, this team could lose the city and that would be bad. Real bad.

    I'm a fan of the moneyball concept. If we were talking about Matt Stafford or Ryan Tannehill or Alex Smith I'd be all in. But we're talking about THE Russell Wilson. And I don't see a scenario where this franchise (or any other in this position, for that matter) moves on from him in his prime without an absolute, fool-proof, sure thing waiting in the wings.

  • Just a little side commentary here. As of 3:00 pm Central time, here on April 14th, the Russell Wilson Rumors are flying. The strongest being that he wants to leave Seattle to go play for the New York Giants. Tomorrow is Wilson's deadline of getting a deal done with Seattle. Its that deadline that has me stressed.

    Believe it or not, although I've been arguing the position that trading RW would be best for the Seahawks Super Bowl chances, I don't want him to go. Russell Wilson is an amazing NFL Quarterback. I love watching him play. I still believe that trading him away will ultimately raise our chances of winning another Super Bowl. However, I do believe keeping him doesn't erase the possibility of the big game completely.

    So right now, what I'm battling in my head is this:
    1)Trading away a player I love for a few percentage points better of a chance of winning another Super Bowl.
    2)Sticking with a player I love although I believe there would be less of an opportunity of winning another Super Bowl.

    Another way to put it is...

    If it comes down to which would feel the best: Winning another SB with RW or without him, the fan in me resoundingly says "with". The flip side is winning a SB without RW is greater than not going to one with RW.

    My head is spinning. I don't know if I really want to trade him anymore.

    Screw the chances.... Let's keep Russ.

  • If Pete/John have taught me anything as a fan of the player/contract aspect is that there's really no rush to anything. Yes, stringing this out makes Wilson paid more in the short-term but the team also get the biggest luxury - minimal risk if things go bad.

    The reason why teams get doomed is they put money on the wrong guy who either suffers a career injury or they were never worth their contract.

    All this back-and-forth drama is the new-norm.

    If I were the Seahawks GM, I'd over a fair contract for a top-5 QB and try to secure Russell for a 3-4 year extension. I would pay him the money he's owed based upon what he brings to the team, the league and fans because he's worth it. It puts more pressure on me (the GM) to make sure that I hire an OC that will make the most of the talent that I can acquire as I will have to rely on cheap drafted players to offset the costs.

    If I have to pick two of the three to keep, I would keep Russell and Bobby because the value to both of these players to the Seahawks is far greater than the value to an opposing team. I love Frank Clark and I feel that his value would be the highest on an FA market.

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