If John Schneider calls, Jim Moore has ideas for the Seahawks’ offseason
For the sake of this exercise, let’s assume that Seahawks general manager John Schneider called me and asked for offseason advice. I know it’s quite a reach, but work with me here.
In my version of fantasy football, Schneider is sitting at home after his wife and kids go to bed. He pours a stiff cocktail and downs it. He doesn’t know what to do with the Seahawks’ long list of unrestricted free agents. He’s not sure which players should get contract extensions. He’s talked to Pete Carroll and all of the assistant coaches to determine the current and future value of these players.
And so he’s thinking about calling some buffoon that he hears on a sports-talk radio show on his way home. This guy rarely makes sense, and Schneider’s not sure how he keeps his job, but for all of the times the blowhard strikes out, he knocks it out of the park once in awhile. He was the first one to call Russell Wilson the best quarterback in franchise history. He saw through the craziness of thinking Tom Cable was God’s gift to offensive line coaches. He challenged Richard Sherman when Sherman was being an idiot.
Schneider shakes his head but is so flummoxed that he gives me a call, which is really amazing because he doesn’t have my number. I’m in the middle of episode 6 of season 5 of “The Walking Dead,” watching another zombie eat someone else when my phone rings.
“Jim, John Schneider, sorry to bother you, but I’ve got all of these offseason issues to resolve, and I can’t believe I’m asking for your advice, but I am. Couldn’t be worse than what I hear from Pete, that guy’s all over the map.”
“Oh, hey John, happy to help. By my count, you’ve got 17 unrestricted free agents, and I’d consider trying to keep four, maybe five, but truth be known, if you lost all of them, no harm done. You’ll get as many as four compensatory draft picks in 2019 if you lose more than you sign from other teams. But you know that.”
“No (bleep), Sherlock.”
“Hey, you called me, pal. The only guys I’d think about keeping are Paul Richardson, Bradley McDougald, Luke Willson, DeShawn Shead and Byron Maxwell. You can make a case for some of the rest of them, such as Michael Wilhoite and Terence Garvin, but I’d pass on those on-the-fence guys, and someone like Sheldon Richardson, good player but not worth what he’ll be asking for.”
“You didn’t mention Jimmy. What should I do with Jimmy?”
“Jimmy Graham? You give him a one-way ticket on his float plane to any team that wants him. I know he gave you 10 touchdowns this year, but he never seemed to fit into your offense, and next year with your new offensive coordinator, those TDs to Jimmy will be TDs for your running backs. You don’t need a non-blocking, $10 million tight end on your team anymore.”
“Why do you want me to keep Willson? He didn’t do much this year.”
“Great kid, great interview, whatever he’s lacking as a player, he makes up for it with a microphone. Plus he’s relatively cheap, and you’ll need tight ends after Jimmy leaves.”
“What should I do with my restricted free agents?”
“Keep Mike Davis, Dion Jordan and Justin Coleman, and quit thinking Thomas Rawls is going to be the guy he was in his rookie year. Get rid of him.”
“See any free agents from other teams you think I should sign?”
“Yes. Andrew Norwell, a guard from Carolina.”
“Come on, man, you don’t know a thing about Norwell.”
“Yeah, you got me on that one, John, but I saw him on somebody’s top 50 free agents list. That somebody rated him No. 6. Plus he was the only offensive lineman on the list so he must be pretty good, as opposed to that $8 million joke you brought in last year.”
“Joke? His name’s Joeckel, Luke Joeckel. We thought he would upgrade our offensive line.”
“A guy coming off of major knee surgery? Good God, John, I don’t even pay attention to this stuff and I knew he wasn’t going to work out when he had to sit out most of training camp.”
“YOU THINK THIS IS EASY?!?!”
I can tell I’ve upset John with my honest take on his poor decision.
“Who should I give contract extensions to?”
“You’ve got five key players entering the last year of their contract in 2018. I’d give one to Frank Clark and maybe to K.J. Wright – he’ll only be 29 in 2019. But Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Tyler Lockett? Let ’em play out their deals and see where you are at the end of the season. You also might want to think about trading Earl and Richard – they’re reaching the age where they’re not worth the double-digit millions they’re making anymore, especially Sherm coming off the Achilles injury.”
“Trade Earl AND Sherm?”
“You should at least think about it. Dipoto would.”
“Jerry Dipoto? Give me a break. That guy makes too many trades. And where are the Mariners? No better than when he took over. Worst farm system in the major leagues.”
“That’s not very nice.”
“Well it’s true, isn’t it?”
“Listen, John, you don’t have a second-round or a third-round pick this year, and everyone knows you’re probably going to trade your 18th overall pick to get picks in those rounds, but don’t do it! Just one time could you quit trying to be cute on draft day? Keep the first-round pick and take the best offensive lineman available. Give your new O-line coach more to work with.”
“You sound like you know what you’re talking about.”
“I don’t, John, but thanks for calling.”