Hawk Talk highlights: Bruce Irvin’s future with the Seahawks
Danny O’Neil hosted a live Seahawks chat Tuesday, as he does each week during the season. The full transcript can be found here. Highlights are below.
C-Man asked whether the Seahawks see outside linebacker Bruce Irvin in their future and whether they regret not exercising his fifth-year option, which will make him an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
O’Neil: No, Seattle does not regret not exercising the option. I’m convinced one of the reason that the Seahawks are so willing to trade first-round picks is that the contract structure for those picks doesn’t fit their model. It’s tough to extend a rookie contract on those players. After all, for Irvin, the starting price would be $7 million a year on an extension since that’s what his option would have paid. As good as Irvin has played – and I think he’s the best linebacker in the league who doesn’t actually want to be a linebacker – there’s no way Seattle is paying him more than K.J. Wright. I think that Irvin is going to cash in big with a different team next year.
DaveKriegForever asked whether the Seahawks’ offensive line has played better of late because of the switch from Drew Nowak to Patrick Lewis at center, the growth that the team expected or an increased emphasis for Russell Wilson to get the ball out quicker.
O’Neil: Combination of all three there. This line would have come around sooner if Lewis had played sooner. There has also been the kind of growth that would have been expected among the other four linemen, and Wilson is clearly playing better from the pocket than he was earlier in the season. If I was to rate the order of significance, it would go like this: 1) Normal improvement of the line; 2) Lewis being better at communicating; and 3) Wilson getting the ball out quicker. The reason I rate Wilson No. 3 is that the better protection is allowing him to feel more comfortable.
Joelseph asked which NFC East team would be the best matchup for the Seahawks if it were to align in the wild-card round of the playoffs.
O’Neil: Best matchup for Seattle? I think it’s the New York Giants. They’ve been propped up by a lopsided turnover margin, their pass defense is hot garbage and Seattle has a 10-year history of punking Eli Manning.
MD mentioned running back Thomas Rawls, wide receiver Tyler Lockett and defensive end Frank Clark and stated this year’s rookie class could go down as the Seahawks’ best under general manager John Schneider.
O’Neil: So it’s going to be better than finding a franchise quarterback (Wilson), an All-Pro middle linebacker (Bobby Wagner), the guy who led all rookies in sacks in 2012 (Irvin) and a starting right guard (J.R. Sweezy)? Oh wait. Forgot to mention: Jermaine Kearse was an undrafted rookie that year.