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Danny O’Neil responds to Seahawks free agency in a contemporary fashion — with emojis

Danny O'Neil's reaction to Earl Thomas leaving the Seahawks is utter disappointment. (AP)

I’m done parsing the social-media postings of athletes.

O’Neil: Why Seahawks losing JR Sweezy hurts more than Earl Thomas

I came to this realization on Tuesday while looking at the picture Seahawks DE Frank Clark posted on Twitter of an armored car that was on fire. Was it to symbolize teams setting money alight by signing good players at prices that should be reserved for great players? Did it mean that Clark was watching his money-making opportunity going up in smoke after Seattle affixed the franchise tag to him? Or was it that he really, really likes the movie “Dead Presidents” by the Hughes brothers?

Don’t ask me. I’m no longer in the business of trying to translate Internet-ese.

Part of this is because there’s no payoff even if you do accurately decode the meaning. You can’t ever really “prove” what the person meant with their cryptic references, symbols or choice of memes. The second reason is because I’m now officially old. I’m not quite sure when it happened, but at some point over the past five years I’ve lost touch with what’s hot on these streets. I don’t use emojis. I don’t even smh. I have no idea why upper-case letters are now littered throughout words.

You could say that I’m like a grandparent struggling to program a VCR except that the very fact I’m referencing a VCR shows how technologically outdated I’ve become.

I say all that as a preface to asking for help. I would like to react to the Seahawks’ free-agency news in a contemporary fashion. I would like to use emojis, but I am utterly ill-equipped to do so because I can’t differentiate between a weeping emoji and a laughing-hard-enough-to-cry emoji, let alone avoid profane, bawdy references.

So in an effort to successfully navigate a veritable minefield of potential mistakes, I sought help from Twitter for the proper emojification of my reaction to the free-agent deals relating to the Seahawks.

Earl Thomas to the Baltimore Ravens, four years at $55 million

This isn’t surprising. Thomas noted the disrespect of not being signed to an extension. He said it would not be forgotten. He flipped off Seattle’s bench after suffering a season-ending injury. But I’m bummed. Thomas has been my favorite Seahawk to watch because of the speed the guy plays at, and there was no one like him. I’m going to miss him.

J.R. Sweezy to the Arizona Cardinals, two years, money undisclosed

Spare me the rationalization that this was financially prudent. That works for cornerbacks in Seattle, not offensive linemen. Because while the Seahawks have been able to find replacements for Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond, Byron Maxwell and even Richard Sherman, the Seahawks have not been nearly as successful plugging in replacements along the offensive line (or did you forget the J’Marcus Webb Experience)? Sweezy fit here. He showed that his first time with the Seahawks. He demonstrated it again last year, and it’s an absolute bummer.

Jason Myers to the Seattle Seahawks

Thank goodness, no more spoiled milk. For those unfamiliar with my theory on kickers, I believe that kickers are like old milk in the fridge in that the second time you have to sniff it and ask, “Think this is still good?” you should probably throw it out. And for the past two years the Seahawks tried to get a proven kicker on the rebound. It didn’t work with Blair Walsh, and while it wasn’t quite so awful with Sebastian Janikowski last year given that he kicked a couple game-winners, he was below average on both field-goal attempts and point-after tries. That was all topped off when he was injured performing the only task he’s actually expected to perform, popping his hamstring at the end of the first half of Seattle’s playoff loss to Dallas. So now the Seahawks go and sign the guy they should have kept last year. He’s not coming back from an off year, he’s coming off a Pro Bowl season. Hooray.

Dee Ford’s trade to the 49ers and ensuing contract

On the one hand, it’s bad news because the 49ers are a division rival, which just acquired one of the best available edge rushers. On the other hand, it’s good for Seattle in that Ford’s deal should help bridge the gap between the Seahawks and Frank Clark. Like Ford, Clark had 13 sacks last season. Like Ford, Clark was affixed with the franchise tag. This pretty firmly establishes the market for either what Seattle should pay Clark or what it should be willing to accept in trade.

Brock Huard: What Earl Thomas’ departure says about Seahawks