Posted on: June 30, 2010 4:11 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2010 4:34 pm
Seattle has been the supposed landing places of a few high-end free agents this offseason. And why not? Head coach Pete Carroll hasn’t been shy about adding new players and subtracting the ones he hasn’t wanted (even if they played for him at USC). First, Bills RB Marshawn Lynch was heading to the northwest. That didn’t happen. Now, the Seahawks apparently are interested in obtaining the services of San Diego WR Vincent Jackson.
Even if Seattle doesn’t pull in another top-notch free agent before the season starts, never fear. Carroll seems to know exactly what he’s doing. Or, at the very least, what he wants.
As we discussed here , Carroll’s roster hasn’t been a safe haven for anybody in the Seattle locker room. Since he took the job in January, he’s acquired 60 players, and of the 80 players heading to training camp, 44 of them weren’t on the roster pre-Carroll. I’m always wary of a team which gives its coach the absolute final say over the personnel that plays for him, but apparently, Seattle thinks it’s a good idea. And Carroll hasn't been shy about using his power.
But just because there’s been significant turnover, that doesn’t mean this year's Seattle squad will make anyone forget about its 2009 debacle (the 5-11 record, the firing of then-coach Jim Mora after only one season). Aging veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck struggled, the top running back Julius Jones was unimpressive, and the offense never found an effective No. 1 receiver (T.J. Houshmandzadeh, the team leader in receptions, is not meant to be a No. 1 guy).
The defense was abysmal as well, allowing 24.4 points and 356.4 yards per game. The Seahawks couldn’t stop the pass, probably because they couldn’t figure out a way to rush the opposing quarterback.
Seattle isn’t that far removed from playoff runs from 2003-2007 and a Super Bowl appearance at the end of the 2005 season. But it feels like forever ago, doesn’t it?
So, what will change? Obviously, Carroll, who was slightly better than a .500 coach in his previous dalliances in the NFL but who’s coming off so much success at USC, feels like the roster needed to be remade. But you have to question some of his moves.
He brought in former USC RB LenDale White briefly before the team released him, and I don’t understand the love – and the big contract – for career backup QB Charlie Whitehurst. I don’t like the fact WR Nate Burleson and the top-three pass rushers from last year are gone. In fact, I thought it was unfair Mora got the boot after one season.
That said, I liked the Seahawks 2010 draft class. Carroll found a starting LT in Russell Okung who can replace Walter Jones, a FS in Earl Thomas that has good speed and cover skills, and a quick threat in WR Golden Tate,
Sure, a huge roster turnover doesn’t usually mean a team is poised for a breakthrough season, and people around the league don’t seem to have high hopes for this year’s squad. Also consider the offensive system, which will rely on making formation shifts to confuse the defense, is going through a wholesale change. But get the new guys some seasoning, maybe get Whitehurst some playing time, maybe have second-day draft picks like TE Anthony McCoy and CB Walter Thurmond surprise some people, and maybe, the Seahawks can be a threat in the next few years. Maybe Carroll can replicate his success from USC in Seattle. Maybe.
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Posted on: June 29, 2010 8:32 pm
Could WR Vincent Jackson be on his way out of San Diego? Kevin Acee of the Union-Tribune , after talking to sources, writes that it’s a possibility.
From the article:
No one is predicting he will shipped off soon, and it does not appear other teams have been officially notified the Pro Bowl receiver is on the trading block. But several sources confirmed the Chargers talked with the Seattle Seahawks earlier this month and have made it known Jackson will remain available.
The Seahawks maintain interest, as do “several other teams,” according to one source. Among those teams, sources said, are the Washington Redskins. It is not known whether the Redskins have spoken to the Chargers regarding Jackson.
You’ll recall that Jackson and LT Marcus McNeill didn’t sign their restricted free agent offers, and GM A.J. Smith has given the indication that he’s ready to move on without them. Whichever team signs Jackson, though, better make sure it can offer plenty of money.
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Posted on: June 22, 2010 9:11 am
Edited on: June 22, 2010 9:13 am
NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora said yesterday on NFL Total Access that if the Chargers try to trade disgruntled receiver Vincent Jackson, the Seattle Seahawks could be involved. Every wide receiver rumor seems to be linked to the Seahawks this year. The team is plenty deep at wideout after drafting Notre Dame’s Golden Tate in Round Two, but the only surefire starter at the position is T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
Jackson is expected to sit out the first 10 games of 2010. Chargers GM A.J. Smith has already reduced Jackson’s RFA tender to 110 percent of his ’09 base pay. The Chargers have decent depth at wide receiver, though it’s not the kind of depth that could compensate for Jackson’s absence in the long haul. Backups Legedu Naanee, Josh Reed and oft-injured Buster Davis are more possession-type targets who do not have Jackson’s 6’5” size or vertical field-stretching prowess.
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Posted on: June 16, 2010 2:21 pm
Despite giving WR Vincent Jackson and OT Marcus McNeill an extra 24 hours to sign their restricted free agent tender offers, the Chargers now expect to play much of the 2010 NFL season without two of their stars, the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee writes.
“We lost a couple of great players today, and it hurts,” GM A.J. Smith told the paper. “We are trying to build a championship team, and losing the services of both Vincent and Marcus just made that more difficult – but not impossible. In due time, Coach (Norv) Turner will name two new starters. We will rally as a team, compete and try to win as many games as we can.”
It won’t be easy to replace the production of Jackson and McNeill. Jackson is coming off a 68-catch, nine-touchdown season, and every year he’s been in the NFL, his production has improved. McNeill, meanwhile, is a two-time Pro Bowler and will be sorely missed on the offensive line, protecting QB Philip Rivers’ blindside.
Acee expects both players to forgo signing what would be a hugely-reduced contract and then return to the team in mid-November to play the final six games – which would count to their service time as an accrued season. Acee explains how much money Jackson and McNeill will give up:
McNeill will lose $2.568 million as his tender is dropped to $600,000. Should he not report until after the Chargers’ 10th game, which numerous sources have said he will and the Chargers are expecting, he will make $212,000.
Jackson will have his tender dropped from $3.268 million to $583,000 (a $2.685 million reduction). He would make $206,000 if he doesn’t report until six games are left, though it remains unclear how an expected suspension of two to four games for his past DUIs will affect him.
Without them, expect newly-signed WR Josh Reed and OT Tra Thomas to take their places in the lineup.
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Posted on: June 15, 2010 1:03 pm
In a move that comes as no surprise, Charger stars Marcus McNeil and Vincent Jackson did not sign their restricted free agent tenders yesterday, meaning both men are willing to leave $2.5 million on the table to stage their protest against not having long-term contracts. Expect lengthy holdouts.
Chargers GM A.J. Smith is always willing to play hardball. He’s already brought in a temporary replacement for both players in lumbering left tackle Tra Thomas and fundamentally-sound possession receiver Josh Reed. Neither Thomas nor Reed is a great fit in San Diego’s offense, but they’re both able bodies who can hold down the fort in training camp.
As for San Diego’s third RFA, Shawne Merriman, Chargers Rapid Reporter Boyce Garrison emailed this to us:
Posted on: June 14, 2010 3:20 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2010 11:36 am
Tuesday is the day where millions of dollars could be won and millions of dollars could be lost. That day is the deadline when restricted free agents must sign their qualifying offers from their previous team. If not, they’ll only make 110 percent of their 2009 salary.
For players like San Diego WR Vincent Jackson and LT Marcus McNeill, that could cost them a bunch of money. According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune , neither player will sign their tender offer because they want long-term deals. That means both could lose $2.5 million a piece for this season. It also means they both might just sit out the year in protest.
A player like New England Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins could lose more than $1.5 million, and a guy like Denver sack-master Elvis Dumervil could have to settle for collecting $630,000 rather than the $3.1 million the Broncos have offered.
One player, like Ray Edwards with the Vikings, went ahead and signed his tender offer today, and I expect a few others to ink their names sometime this evening. Unless you’re trying to project some semblance of leverage – which, honestly, most of the players don’t have because of the potential upcoming lock-out when the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at the end of this season – it doesn’t make sense not to sign a one-year deal.
But I don’t make millions of dollars per year (hint, hint CBSSports.com upper management), so I don’t have that perspective.
On Sunday, Pro Football Talk had an interesting theory, based off something the Boston Globe’s Albert Breer wrote a few days ago. PFT wonders if the smell of collusion is in the air.
One reason this topic has been raised: teams sent letters to the players who hadn’t signed their RFA tenders, which suggests some sort of league-wide memo was passed around on how to handle the scenario. If that’s true – or even remotely true – the NFL Players Association might have something to say about that.
From the NFL owners’ perspective, it makes sense not to re-up their players for long-term contracts, especially with the uncertainty of what happens when the CBA ends. But at the same time, the Colts gave S Antoine Bethea a four-year, $27 million extension last week, so we know it is physically possible to compromise with the players.
Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent owners, one supposes. But if players like Jackson and McNeill sit out the season, everybody – with the exception of San Diego’s 2010 opponents – loses.
UPDATE: According to Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post on her Twitter account, Dumervil has signed his tender.
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