Carroll: Seahawks’ focus is to retain players, but don’t count out big moves
The Seahawks’ 2021 season is in the books, and for just the second time in a decade, Seattle will not be playing playoff football.
The Seahawks finished the year at 7-10 and in last place in the NFC West for the first time since 2009, and instead of getting ready for a playoff opponent, the team will shift its focus to the upcoming offseason.
On Monday, head coach Pete Carroll told Mike Salk during The Pete Carroll Show on 710 ESPN Seattle that he feels the Seahawks are on the cusp of being a playoff team and that he doesn’t expect many major changes to the roster or the coaching staff going forward.
Carroll said that the Seahawks have “so many decisions to make and so many things to handle,” and he didn’t shy away from disclosing what his focus will be this offseason.
“We love the guys that play in this locker room right now. This is a bunch of guys that really, really care about playing this game, and that’s a centerpiece for building a championship team,” he said. “So we have to see how we can keep it together and keep all the elements in function and then enhance the process between this year and next because things change and guys change … We have so many good aspects of our team and I’m excited about adding to it and building and all that and also playing better. We can play better, which we will, and we’ll coach better, too.”
The Seahawks are set to enter the offseason with the seventh-most available cap space at roughly $55 million, per OverTheCap.
With that much cap space, the thought then goes to how the team will use that money and whether big signings or moves are the focus.
“Let’s talk about cap space, OK?” Carroll said to Salk when the topic was brought up.
Carroll said that looking at available cap space can be misleading because it doesn’t account for pending free agents. Carroll then again made it clear that keeping the core of the Seahawks together is his top priority.
“We have to keep our guys. So that space that you’re talking about, we’ve got to keep these guys around, we’ve got to get our guys to come back to us,” Carroll said. “We have a lot of players that are going to be free agents that need to be on this team next year, and so that money goes real very quickly there. So (everyone thinks we say), ‘Well, we have all this cap space, we can make all these moves and all that.’ Well, that’s not necessarily how people should look at it. They should be clear that we’ve got some wonderful players on this team that need to come back and so that money will go faster than you think and won’t be quite as free as it looks like right now.”
So does that mean the Seahawks won’t make any big moves this offseason when it comes to acquiring outside talent?
“Hey, don’t cancel us out on that,” Carroll responded to Salk. ” … We are wide open. You’re either competing or you’re not, OK? That means that you’re striving to figure it out.”
Carroll said “we’re in it” regarding “whatever opportunities are available” and that the Seahawks will figure out of those opportunities fit the team or not.
“Just count on us, we’re going to be battling,” he said. “(General manager John Schneider is) going to be chasing whatever the opportunities are and then we’ll see if it fits and see how we could do it.”
Carroll emphasized that the Seahawks are “listening to everything” because you can’t “compete and only listen selectively.”
“You’re either in it or you’re not,” he said.
Carroll said that listening to everything includes trade inquiries for players on the Seahawks roster.
“It could be any player on our club. If people come after them, you’ve got to see (what they say) and you listen to them,” he said. “And we listen because we compete and everybody that follows us wants us to do that. And that’s how we do it. We’re going to try to see every option that’s out there. And from our owner on down, (Seahawks chair Jody Allen) wants to know what can we do to help this franchise. And that’s what we’re gonna do.”
Listen to The Pete Carroll Show at this link or in the player below.