A few days ago I asked some of the readers to give me some ideas for a post or a series of posts and one person suggested I do an "ideal roster" post or series of posts in the manner that Dave Cameron of USS Mariner does his. It sounded fun to me so I figured I would give it a shot.
First off, I am going to refrain from 'making trades' and stick to the free agent market and UDFAs so this doesn't become too rosterbatory. I'll try to be realistic in my free agent signings but I'm not going to get into salary cap stuff because frankly that would require hours of research for something that is based on my fantasy here. Instead, I'll just use common sense for the most part while picking my 'ideal' team.
Now, I'm going to do this 'pre-training camp' to start with and then probably try and predict the 53-man roster as we actually get closer to the season. For now, I'll treat this like I'm the GM, and I've got to determine who to bring to camp. Right now, I believe the rules state that you can have 80 players on your training camp roster but for this exercise I've expanded it to 85. Roger Goodell hinted at the possibility of expanded rosters because of the lockout-shortened offseason so teams can get a better look at their young players and rookies so I'm going to go with 85, a number I pulled out of my arse.
The other big assumption I'm going to make is that the new CBA does not include the Final-8 rules. If it does, one of my free-agent signings would possibly not be allowed, but for the most part I've included guys that we could realistically sign even with the Final-8 in place.
To start off I'm going to just give you my list, you can peruse and critique; then I'll go through and explain each of my position groups in more detail down the line, and explain why I kept/cut/signed certain players.
The important thing about this though is that it will give us a good chance to talk about the players that are already on the Seahawks' roster and some guys that I think the Hawks should or could be looking at signing. Overall, it will be more than just me daydreaming about our roster - it will give us a chance to take a look at the big picture of the team and provide a good refresher on the state of the lineup and more specifically each position group.
So here's the brief overview: Because Seattle did such a good job of creating cap space on their payroll last season, I'll take that as an indication that they'll sign two to three high-end free agents. Because in my version of this, the Carson Palmer trade goes through (for a 2012 5th and a 2013 3rd), Matt Hasselbeck will not be re-signed. This leaves room for Robert Gallery to be signed for close to what he'll be hoping for. He is the only high-end FA signing on the offensive side. The other three offensive free-agent signings are G Evan Mathis, TE Daniel Graham, and FB Le'Ron McClain. Mathis could be signed for probably $1.5-2.5M per year, and McClain and Graham would come at a cost of probably about $3.0M per year each, making them exempt from the Final-8 rules,.
Players re-signed include C Chris Spencer, T Ray Willis, and T Tyler Polumbus (if he becomes URFA). I've included 9 undrafted free agent signings, more than a normal year because a) the Hawks have a lot of departing free agents and are apparently really psyched about some of the unsigned rookies per John Schneider, and b) expanded roster limits mean more guys get a tryout. Two other notables: WR Deon Butler will start the year on the PUP list; WR Dwayne Jarrett will be signed for a tryout at training camp.
So here's my offensive roster. It sits at 41 players; the UDFA signings are in italics. What do you think? Who did I leave off that you would have kept on?
Running Back/Fullback (5)
Wide Receivers (11)
Deon Butler (PUP)
Tight End (6)
Offensive Line (14)