Hawk Talk: Don’t expect to learn much on Jimmy Graham’s recovery
Danny O’Neil hosted a live Seahawks chat Tuesday as “Hawk Talk” continues into the offseason. The full transcript can be found here. Highlights are below.
Joe asked for an update on tight end Jimmy Graham’s recovery and contended that he was coming on before his season ended with a torn patellar tendon.
O’Neil: I would agree with that. I haven’t heard any updates on his recovery. I would expect that it’s asked (often) during the scouting combine. And I would predict that we will hear (repeatedly) how well he is recovering. He’s really making progress. There won’t be any promises about his availability for training camp, but the hope is that he’ll be ready. Then the offseason training will start, and Pete Carroll will talk about how good Jimmy is looking, but he’s not ready to go yet. And honestly, we’re not going to know anything substantial until training camp opens and Graham either is or is not on the Physically Unable to Perform list. If we hear any definitive news between now and the start of training camp, it will be bad news. Expect a bunch of non-specific optimism.
Belfasthawk asked if the Seahawks might have interest in defensive end Chris Long, who was released last week by the Rams.
O’Neil: Yes. I absolutely believe there would be interest. The question is going to be the contract, both the size that Long is looking for and the amount Seattle is willing to offer. I think that Seattle won’t make the biggest financial offer to Long, but given his career earnings – which are up near $80 million, I believe – he might see contention as more important.
SeaStatsInsider asked if Seattle might bring back right tackle Breno Giacomini if he’s released by the Jets.
O’Neil: Doubt it. That’s not Seattle’s M.O. The Seahawks try to stay young, and when they turn the page, it’s not that they hope they can get the guy two years later when another team decides he’s not worth the money he’s being paid.
Belfasthawk asked if Thomas Rawls can be the Seahawks’ lead running back or if the team will spread out the workload.
O’Neil: I definitely think that Rawls can. The biggest uncertainty is going to be durability, though. He’s not a big dude for how much contact he seeks out. I would expect Seattle to deepen the pool of runners it has on hand, but I would be surprised if the team made a bigger-budget addition.
Bailey asked if the market for left tackle Russell Okung will shrink because he’s recovering from shoulder surgery.
O’Neil: I wrote about this for our next free-agent preview. Could it shrink his value? Sure. And the fact that he’s representing himself makes it even harder to project what his value is going to be (and whatever he signs for, prepare for a wave of reporters carrying water for agents saying the deal is awful). Look at what guards like Mike Iupati and Orlando Franklin got last year. Each averaged more than $7 million annually. Okung is a tackle. That said, he has missed one out of every four games in his six-year NFL career.
SeaStatsInsider asked where Doug Baldwin ranks among the NFL’s top wide receivers.
O’Neil: Here’s the difficulty in making that kind of comparison: How do you evaluate a deep threat in that? The guy who can – pardon the cliché – take the top off the defense. Someone like A.J. Green. Is Baldwin top 20? I think he’s as good as Wes Welker in his prime and certainly someone like Danny Amendola. In the right offense, he could catch 125 passes in a season. But he’s a different kind of receiving threat than the kind of guy generally talked about as a No. 1 receiver. I think Jermaine Kearse is a better “deep threat” than Baldwin, but Baldwin is the more productive receiver.
SeaStatsInsider asked about how the team views defensive tackle Jesse Williams, who missed his first two seasons due to knee injuries as well as last year as he recovered from cancer surgery.
O’Neil: I think the coaches love him personally and hope he’s healthy more so in his fight against cancer than his knee. At this point, I would consider it a huge longshot that he ever sees the field for Seattle.
howker asked about the correlation between the Seahawks’ decrease in takeaways last season and how they were often playing from behind.
O’Neil: That’s certainly some of it. Having a lead forces teams to throw, which increases the likelihood of turnovers not just because of potential interceptions but because the quarterback is the most vulnerable player with the ball. But it’s not all of it. For whatever reason, turnovers didn’t happen last year. Usually that correlates with a lack of pass rush, but I didn’t think that was necessarily the primary problem.