We’ve already covered the two biggest takeaways from what Seahawks general manager John Schneider said Thursday, which are that the situation with running back Marshawn Lynch remains just as uncertain and that nickelback Jeremy Lane will need knee surgery that could threaten his availability for the beginning of next season.
Schneider, speaking with reporters at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, had a few more noteworthy nuggets:
1. As always, Seattle is open to trading back. Schneider and the Seahawks have shown a predilection toward trading back and acquiring more picks, something they did three times in last year’s draft. One of those trades involved Seattle’s first-round pick, No. 32 overall. Asked on Thursday about the increased value in that pick now that first-round contracts come with fifth-year teams options, Schneider joked that the 31st pick – which Seattle holds this year – is even more valuable. “It’s worth a lot, if anybody’s listening,” he said. “You can come get it. It’s worth a lot of money.” The Seahawks will have at least 10 and maybe 11 picks, so they may not feel as much of a need to trade out of the first round as they did last year when they entered the draft with only six selections. But a similar situation could present itself with several quarterback-needy teams picking early in the second round and potentially wanting to move back into the first, which the Vikings did last year when they acquired the 32nd pick from Seattle then selected Teddy Bridgewater.
2. Maxwell’s market. As much as the Seahawks would like to retain cornerback Byron Maxwell, Schneider has almost sounded resigned to losing him in free agency. That was again the case on Thursday when Schneider reiterated that Maxwell, an unrestricted free agent, will have plenty of suitors. “It would be hard to see him leave, but I would think his market would be pretty strong,” Schneider said before talking about how Seattle will continue to draft and develop players in order to keep the roster stocked with enough talent to absorb the inevitable departures. “Those are just tough decisions, but we’re not changing anything that we do,” he said. “So if Byron does move on, we’ll be hopefully having another young Byron Maxwell out there.”
3. What Seattle likes about Matthews. Schneider talked about Chris Matthews’ ability to high-point the ball as a receiver and also how he can contribute on special teams, each of which are important to his chances of making an impact next season. Backup receivers typically need to play special teams in order to justify a spot on the roster, and Matthews showed last season that he can. He made a special-teams tackle during his first game on the active roster, recovered an onside kick in the NFC title game and, as Schneider noted, nearly blocked a punt in the preseason. Matthews is by far Seattle’s biggest receiver at 6-foot-5 and 218 pounds, and as Schneider noted, he used that size to his advantage in the Super Bowl when he broke out with four catches for 109 yards and a touchdown. Three of those receptions entailed him leaping and catching the ball over the defensive back. “Just the way he attacked the ball in the air. For a guy that’s that tall, some guys tend to wait for it. He’s a guy that has really learned how to go up and take it out of the air and play like a big man,” Schneider said.