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Friday News: Wow
Seahawks release two DEs, sign one, and the Browns trade out Baker Mayfield for Deshaun Watson
First of all, the Seattle Seahawks actually made a number of moves on Friday, including adding Quinton Jefferson back, but then releasing Carlos Dunlap and Kerry Hyder. And also the Cleveland Browns traded three first round picks for Deshaun Watson, who they signed to a five-year, $230 million contract with a record amount of fully guaranteed money.
How does this impact the Seahawks?
I predicted this week that Watson would be traded to the Browns, but to be fair that was part of a four-team deal that would send Jared Goff to Seattle. Hell, celebrate all your “wins” I say, I got one QB-Team correct. (By accident, I was just trying to get Goff to the Seahawks despite how malicious that sounds.)
This opens up the Browns to officially acquiesce to Baker Mayfield’s trade demand, and also questions about whether or not the Seahawks will be his next team. I really hope not and I’ll get to the #1 reason in the next bulletpoint. But the #2 reason is that Baker Mayfield is much, much worse than you think. I won’t lay out my argument again, you’re welcome to disagree with me, it’s just where I stand on Mayfield. His cost in trade should be no more than a conditional day three pick, a low round pick swap… truly nothing.
My #1 reason is that I’d have major concerns that Mayfield plays decent. Yes, my worry is that he’d be kinda good. Watson signed a $230 million contract with $150 million guaranteed and even if he’s a fantastic quarterback—he hasn’t played in over a year, he went 4-12 in his last season, and we know what’s going on with him off of the field. QB contracts are of little interest to me and should be of little interest to the Seahawks. Getting into bed with Baker Mayfield on a one-year, $18 million contract (which is essentially the case) sounds like a fun time, but you don’t know what he’s carrying and herpes is forever. I want Seattle to have NO PART in a long-term contract with Mayfield and that’s why I think his “one-year contract” is a the same piece of cheese that caught the 49ers into the Jimmy Garoppolo trap for four more years.
What’s the fallout from trading Baker Mayfield then? If he goes to the Colts, which is reportedly his number one choice, then there is no fallout. Indianapolis can presumably also afford him and shouldn’t have to trade a high draft pick to do it. The Colts are without a starting QB, so nobody will be traded.
Does this mean that Matt Ryan is still available? The Falcons pushed back his roster bonus by four days, giving them an extended deadline to decide if they can pay him or trade him, but is there lasting damage from the efforts to acquire Watson? But where would Atlanta go next if they parted with Ryan? Barring a straight-up deal with the Browns for Mayfield, the Falcons would seem to be out of options that didn’t involve all of the underwhelming choices currently facing Pete Carroll.
Which includes Matt Ryan, who is maybe the most intriguing quarterback left who’s been discussed as moving teams recently. So why not just keep Ryan? The Falcons don’t have to lift a finger to do that.
Therefore, I fall back on my prediction that the Seahawks will acquire Jared Goff or Nick Foles, or sign Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota. Now that the Watson domino has fallen, the rest of the QBs will be settled soon. Seattle may still choose to stay completely out of it, resting on Drew Lock, a low-tier FA signee (Jacoby Brissett, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Andy Dalton, Geno Smith), and/or a rookie who doesn’t get drafted in the first round.
That’s kind of exactly what Pete Carroll does, so I’ll stick with what the head coach tends to do.
Now about those defensive ends…
In my free agent plan for the Seahawks, I said that they could probably hold onto Kerry Hyder, Benson Mayowa, and Carlos Dunlap for a little while, as they all cost very little and Seattle would gain little by parting with them unless they stopped being a scheme fit. They stopped being scheme fits.
I predicted that the Seahawks would trade Dunlap to the Steelers for RT Zach Banner, but then both Dunlap and Banner were released. (Could I become right about Seattle signing Banner or the Steelers signing Dunlap?) I felt no attachment between the Seahawks and Dunlap, it was merely that he happened to be under contract at a low price. Because Seattle couldn’t trade him, that price felt unnecessary and they released him with a post-June 1 designation.
The post-June 1 saves the Seahawks $5.1 million against the cap, but the savings do not start until June 2.
Cutting Hyder saves Seattle $2 million, which I think is roughly what they saved by cutting Mayowa earlier in the week. It’s money that now goes to Jefferson, who signed a two-year deal worth up to $11 million; Jefferson was such an OBVIOUS “Pete Carroll” move but somehow I failed to mention that in my defensive free agents write-up on Friday morning.
The latest look at the Seahawks defensive front:
QUINTON JEFFERSON-POONA FORD-AL WOODS-SHELBY HARRIS
LJ COLLIER-BRYAN MONE-ALTON ROBINSON
Of course with names like that, we have to expect that edge rushers and Jordan Davis are on the Seahawks’ draft big board in the first round. It’s nothing against these players—looks pretty good if Seattle’s in a 3-4—but a long-term franchise star in the defensive front similar to the Falcons’ Grady Jarrett could really set this off like Pete Carroll wants to see it.
OK-TIME TO TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK OF ALL THIS FRIDAY NEWS DUMP NEWS!