Disappointed by the release of Kellen Winslow
By Mike Salk
I was hoping to see Kellen Winslow Jr. this year. I was hoping he’d be a weapon for the Seahawks’ offense. I was hoping he would take those pass-catching skills and use them to help out a rookie quarterback that may occasionally need an experienced, extra large target over the middle.
So, yeah, I’m disappointed.
I don’t begrudge coach Pete Carroll or general manager John Schneider for letting Winslow go. Every year, veterans lose a step and there are surprise cuts. The Hawks had a monetary number in mind for his worth and they were unwilling to pay more than that. I get it, I respect it, and I think they did the right thing.
Kellen Winslow was supposed to team with Zach Miller to give Seattle one of the best tight end tandems in the NFL. (AP)
Long term, it will help them to have shown the courage of their conviction as they are faced with countless contractual battles with players that want more than the organization thinks they are worth.
But Seahawks fans had their hopes up.
In the three seasons that I have lived here, the tight end position has been mediocre at best. John Carlson had great potential but his numbers deteriorated each year. Yes, he was used more often as a blocker because the offensive line was makeshift, but if he had been a better receiver, he would have been used more in that capacity.
Zach Miller was brought in last year as a former Pro Bowler, but soon saw his role (and numbers) diminish. He caught just 25 balls last year, fewer than half of his career average.
Winslow was supposed to be different. The speedy tight end had more than 70 catches four times in his career, twice surpassing the 80-catch mark. But more than that, he had a presence attached to his name that should have forced defenses to pay attention to him in a way other tight ends do not.
That’s the point.
The Seahawks look like a contending team because of a potentially dominant defense and a power running game. But they still lack weapons in the passing game.
Winslow, in theory, could have been that weapon.
Sidney Rice is a very good receiver capable of big things. But he hasn’t proven that defenses must account for him on every play. Doug Baldwin is a quality slot receiver, but that doesn’t strike fear in the hearts of defensive coordinators.
The hope was that Winslow could provide that x-factor. Maybe he could have.
But it apparently wasn’t worth the price tag.
There will be those that try to blame the loss of Winslow on the expensive backup plan known as Matt Flynn. Don’t buy it. The Seahawks are spending average to little money on their quarterbacks as a group, and they would have had to act on Winslow regardless of which quarterback was chosen to start.
The fact is that Winslow did not show management enough to warrant his salary. Let’s hope management finds that potential production elsewhere.