John Schneider spoke to reporters today at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and had a few short comments on the team's impending free agents Jason Jones, Alan Branch and Marcus Trufant. He also acknowledged that the Seahawks were happy with their situation at quarterback, but would be listening to offers.
"I think we have a great setup," said Schneider, "I feel very blessed that we have two quarterbacks, two starting-caliber guys. What happened last year didn't really have a reflection on what Matt did, or Tarvaris for that matter. It was really what Russell did in terms of just kind of stepping forward and taking charge. From the way he performed in the preseason it was really hard to argue - I think it was like 12 of 18 possessions (that he led scoring drives). We just feel really blessed with our situation right now. It's so early. Everybody is in the middle of the draft process. So it's not like I've had a chance to sit down with other general managers and some of the people I know around the league to talk about what their situation is. As you guys well know, we're always going to listen to everything and if we're not doing that, we think we're not doing our job. That doesn't necessarily mean we will do something with Matt."
Would Flynn's salary of $5.25 million have a big impact on their decision?
"No, because we have different models set up in our cap. And obviously we have a model that includes Matt - our primary model."
Two things - the Seahawks save something like $2 million total if they flat out release Matt, so I do believe that they'll run with Flynn as the backup if they cannot trade him. Second, I love that the Seahawks have several different salary cap models built out which cover a number of different scenarios. This is not the least bit surprising for a forward looking front office. They probably have models of the salary cap for 5 years from now built out.
Now, as for the Hawks' free agents, there hasn't been a whole hell of a lot of talk on these guys. Jason Jones and Alan Branch are the main players to monitor - as both played extensive snaps and performed well. Schneider addressed Jones first.
"Jason did a nice job," he said. "He's one of those guys, like we were talking about earlier, where he did move the quarterback a lot and he was disruptive. I don't think he finished as much as he would have liked to, but he's still a guy we're going to keep a close eye on, for sure."
We're... going to ... keep a close. Eye. On. Right. Ok, so that tells me that they'll let him test the waters of free agency and if his market is luke-warm, they'll try and retain him. Otherwise, not.
On Alan Branch, as transcribed and reported by Eric Williams of the TNT:
"We're talking to his people. And we have a great relationship with Alan and his representatives. This is just a funky year for free agency. So I think everybody has to kind of hold their water and be somewhat careful when you jump into this thing."
Interesting wording, again.
"Marcus played well. He moved inside. It was the first year he played in there, believe it or not. You would have thought that maybe he would have played in there earlier in his career. But he's one of the free agents that we're going to continue to evaluate."
Right. Ok. So that doesn't really tell us much.
In general, as I said on Tuesday, I don't think the Seahawks will be major players in free agency. A young-turk GM that sounded a lot like Seahawks GM John Schneider told Peter King, "I'm more concerned with keeping our own team intact than spending money on players we could use, but who would create problems of their own."
Maybe that was Schneider talking to King. Maybe not. Schneider did join SIRIUS radio today to speak on the record, and Glen Peer transcribed some of Schneider's thoughts. They sound pretty similar to those of that mystery GM:
"I think we have a nice nucleus of young players right now. I think you have to be careful who you bring into a locker room now that guys like Earl Thomas and Russell Okung have been together for three years, [with regards to] chemistry and the effect on that. And, any player needs to fill primary needs, but in terms of teams going out hog wild this year [in free agency] I don't know if that's going to happen, because of the cap being what it is, and then philosophically I'm not sure that's a route we're going to take."