The Seahawks' season may be over, but that doesn't mean that we've run out of things to talk about around here. First off, I'd like to extend my congratulations to the Falcons and their fans. I'd much rather see the Hawks play in the NFC Championship, but watching an all-world class act like Tony Gonzalez react to finally getting his first playoff win after sixteen long years of trying was pretty great, too. Besides, I'd much rather see Mike Smith get fitted for a Super Bowl ring than that seething white-hot ball of hate the 49ers are using instead of a human head coach.
But while there may be two more Sundays' worth of NFL games left to watch (two and a half if you count the Pro Bowl), around here it's time to start taking a look at Seattle's offseason needs. This week I'll take a look at player contracts throughout the roster to see who will become a free agent this year and how much the team is slated to pay for each position group. I'll also be examining the final stats for the regular season (I was going to post the article earlier, but it felt wrong somehow to be doing a post-mortem sort of article while the Seahawks were still alive in the playoffs).
First, I'd like to say thanks, Matthew, you made the season more interesting, and provided a lot more detail and quality analysis than can be found in sports pages.
The Hawks could above all use a dangerous pass rusher, whether it's an end, tackle, or linebacker. Irvin was OK for a rookie, but it remains to be seen whether he is going to scare any opposition OC's. Irvin is unfortunately one dimensional, and Clemons, with a serious injury and advancing age, can't be expected to have another season as good as 2012. This need will be more acute in 2013.
As for the OL, they might be OK as is, since injuries to Carpenter, Moffit, and sometimes the tackles made for an underachieving year. Considering what they had to work with, we should tip our hats to Cable and Lynch here, as well as to Giacomi and friends for playing with such passion.
Yes, a dangerous receiver deep threat would be nice, but those guys are not easy to come by. The Hawks receivers are better than average, but Rice's apparent fragility is a concern, and the backups are route runners, not defense stretchers.
Whether it's a receiver or pass rusher, a straight up trade for a quality veteran would be the smart move. Seahawk chip: Matt Flynn. Plenty of teams are desperate for a QB. Arizona won't make a big trade within the division, but there are plenty of other candidates who will dump a top receiver or DE for Flynn. Carroll has no doubt thought of this, but maybe you and your friends can provide some suggestions.
Hey Matthew. I think the 49ers are the best team standing and will handle Atlanta. I hope they win the Super Bowl. It would be nice to say the the Seahawks bitch-slapped the Super Bowl Champs last time they played. It would also cement the NFC West as the best division in football. It does piss me off that its the Seahawks offensive and defensive coordinators that are interviewing for head coaching positions instead of the 49ers'.
The priorities for this off season are: 1- interior defensive lineman who can rush the quarterback at a high level, 2- one more receiver who can be a legitimate threat and will add depth to the position, and 3- depth at defensive end. Against Atlanta, the need for pass rush was evident once Clemons went down, and the receivers were covered too often. I've got to believe that Carroll and Schneider can find these guys this off season.
@LouisLouis I have exactly the same positions at the top of my offseason wishlist, and so have a couple of people who have sent me emails on the subject. Does this mean we're all beginning to form some sort of hive mind?
My list also includes getting some more depth at cornerback (Lane is decent, but Trufant is old and Thurmond & Maxwell can't stay healthy) and maybe a swing guard/tackle with a knack for not getting injured.
I have nothing against the 49ers per se, and I agree that they're a much stronger overall team than the Falcons. If only there was a way for San Francisco to win and still have Harbaugh lose.
@Matthew Heuett I can't answer about the hive mind, but there are not many weaknesses that the Hawks have at this point. Other than depth, the pass rush is the only part of the team that needs improvement. Even the wide receiver position just needs depth in case Rice or Baldwin get hurt, although it would be nice to have one more top of the line receiver.