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Seahawks’ Schneider says no player immune from trade talks: ‘You don’t want to miss any opportunity’

Seahawks GM John Schneider addressed reporters from the NFL combine in Indianapolis. (AP)

Seahawks general manager John Schneider spoke with reporters for the first time this offseason Friday morning. One of the first questions lobbed his way concerned defensive end Michael Bennett, who was the subject of a trade rumor reported yesterday.

Clayton: Reason Seahawks have to be careful in free agency

“I was reading about that last night,” Schneider said during the press conference, held from the NFL combine in Indianapolis. “We don’t get into peoples’ contracts, but I understand why that’s out there. The combine’s really developed into a lot more of … kind of like the baseball meetings. I’ve been here since Monday night and I’ve literally been in meetings the whole time. We’re just constantly talking to people all the time.

“Part of our challenge right now is, and I don’t know how to say this appropriately, is sustaining our level of success that we’ve had. And we’re just open to anything.”

Schneider said no one player is immune from trade conversations – at least not during this time of the year.

“I told you guys when we got here, we’re going to be in every deal. You don’t want to miss any opportunity.”

The Seahawks have a number of big-name free agents hitting the market and limited cap space with which to re-sign them. Schneider made it clear that the team would love to retain defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and tight end Jimmy Graham. Doing so, however, will be difficult.

“We’d love to re-sign (Richardson),” Schneider said. “We want all these guys back. But it’s like this constant puzzle and you’re trying to put stuff together all the time. It’s a big challenge. And the cool thing we have going for us is March 14 is when we can get back. We’re going to get back into the office, re-calibrate after studying this whole weekend, sit down, and make some sound decisions. Pete (Carroll) and I have a lot to discuss.”

The Seahawks enter one of their more interesting offseasons under Schneider and Carroll. Seattle finished 9-7 – the first season with less than 10 wins under quarterback Russell Wilson – and missed the postseason for the first time since 2011.

“We’re pretty dissapointed the way the season ended,” Schneider said. “We went 9-7 and you would’ve thought that we won two games. It’s a pit that sits in your stomach and really fuels you. And we’re excited about the challenges ahead, because we feel like we want to get rolling on this thing.”

Staying in Seattle

Earlier this year, rumors linked Schnieder – a Wisconsin native who got his start with Green Bay – to the Packers’ open GM position.

“No, you know, that’s – I was born into Wisconsin, I was raised right there. My wife and I, and the boys, love it in Seattle. We’ve created a high standard there, and that’s the fun challenge of where we’re at right now.  Personally, we love it.

“My oldest son is 16 now, Ben, (and he) has autism. We’ve created Ben’s Fund to help families afford treatment for autism who can’t necessarily afford it. And it’s a huge passion for us, and the Seattle area and the Northwest has really embraced everything that we want to do. So, I understood what was going on. It’s natural and it’s fun to talk about. That stuff happens at the end of the year all the time. But no, we love we’re were at and we’re jacked about what’s going on.”

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll spoke with reporters in a press conference, and in a separate interview with 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton, Thursday.