It took exactly 18-weeks. No not the 18-weeks that the Owners wanted to have for an entire season, but 18-weeks to finally allow the owners and NFLPA to reach an agreement ending the lockout.
18-weeks of unknown nerves, 18-weeks of patiently waiting for an agreement and 18-weeks of losing my mind, but it all came to an end-finally.
Now the Seattle Seahawks and 31 other NFL teams will have days to fill holes left by the current free agents and only weeks to come together as a team with hopes of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in February.
It’s going to be a fun ride, a suspenseful ride, but also a short ride. There won’t be 18-weeks for General Managers to negotiate contracts or make trades, but instead might not even get 18-days to do that.
The Seahawks could have to look for a new quarterback, a fairly new offensive line and work on their defensive line as well.
It’s going to be a major test for Pete Carroll and his staff, but more importantly for John Schneider.
One thing working for Seattle is the deep free agents in the 2011 class. Many key positions have guys that would upgrade Seattle or could even start if they sign with Seattle. Quarterback is the one position Seattle might try and want to re-sign their own free agent in Matt Hasselbeck.
So what can the Seahawks and the rest of the NFL expect? It’ll be interesting as to where players wind up and how teams fair given the short time to build chemistry as a team.
Once players can officially sign Friday expect the NFL to go crazy. It’s been a dreaded quiet 18-weeks that will get crazy in the next few days. They always say it gets calm before a storm and that’ll be the case come 6 p.m., Friday.
The next several days won’t be as long as the past 18-weeks. They won’t seem like an eternal, but will fly by.
Then again does it matter if it flies by or not? One thing is for sure- there’s football to be played in September and the Seahawks will begin their quest for a second NFC West crown under Carroll.
It’s bound to be a crazy next few days, but then again Pete Carroll’s first-year helped us prepare.
When most of us we younger our parents would go out and bring back a few things. One of these items could solve the national debt. What could this item be? Give up? The debt would be eliminated if the US Government decides to start selling Government Cheese!
They had the first part of a crack dealers plan down. They addicted us with the free product. Now they just need to in the words of Jim Cramer from Mad Money “Sell, Sell, Sell” after all this cheese is a bull market in itself.
When the new CBA is signed and teams will be allowed to discuss with current free agents here are five Seahawks that the front office should do as much as they can to keep them in Seattle:
Top 5 most important Seahawk Free Agents:
5. Olindo Mare, K
Mare has been very consistent for the Seahawks special team’s game and will be a top target for them to keep. He is another guy who could land a short deal and be used to guide a younger kicker on the practice squad for a future with the Seahawks.
4. Lawyer Milloy, S
Milloy’s leadership and veteran skills are key for the Seahawks safety as he continues to groom Earl Thomas. He most likely will come cheaper and for a limited time allowing them to still draft a safety this year as his eventual replacement or continue to work with the young Kam Chancellor.
3. Raheem Brock, DE
Brock showed that once he was given the chance to start opposite of Chris Clemons that he can make an impact with the team. With Red Bryant healthy again next year it could mean Jay Richardson and Kentwan Balmer will be let go to keep Brock, Clemons and Bryant in the mix at the end position.
2. Matt Hasselbeck, QB
His experience at the quarterback position will be hard to find somewhere else. Might be the most suitable to train a rookie quarterback signed as an undrafted free agent or signed once free agency starts.
1. Brandon Mebane, DT
Mebane is the youngest out of the top five most important free agents and is a force for the Seahawks run stoppage on the front four. He will come costly, but will be worth every penny as they continue to use him next to Colin Cole.
It all started 5 years ago when Seattle Supersonics former owner Starbucks Tycoon Howard Shultz sold the franchise to an Oklahoma City business man Clay Bennett who had previously been a major player in moving the New Orleans Hornets to Oklahoma City for 2 seasons following Hurricane Katrina.
When he purchased the Sonics Clay promised his intent was not to relocate the team to his native Oklahoma City and that he would seek to keep the Sonics in Seattle.
At the end of the day I guess he was true to his word. During the settlement over the remaining years on the lease for Key Arena with the City of Seattle he left the Supersonics name and colors behind and took everything else to the middle of nowhere, I mean Oklahoma City, where the population density inside city limits is roughly 1 person for every 2/3 of an acre.
With the team formerly known as the Seattle Supersonics making a big push in the playoff and our neighbors to the north, Vancouver, playing in the NHL Championship I got to thinking. If I could have an NHL team of an NBA team move to Seattle which would I prefer? The first thing I decided was I would much rather it be part of a league expansion then another city losing their team. That said I want a team so if that means relocating a team sobeit.
Now that I had manned up and decided bringing a team to Seattle at all costs was not only the right thing for me it was the right thing for the City and its sports fans my wheels really started turning and I decided I would leave the question up to the sports fans of Seattle. I posed this question to my friends on Facebook and Twitter.
If you could only have one or the other would you rather get an NHL team in Seattle or bring the NBA back?
I got some creative responses like:
@hazhauler “Neither! Nascar track!” – I understand this sentiment, I too want a Nascar track in Washington.
@FUNdMental “1) Both 2) NHL 3) Neither if they want $1 Billion Tax payer funded arena”
Some who wanted the NHL to come to Seattle like:
@SpiltMilkCrier “NHL all the way!! Better to watch Live”
@mikekomosports “That’s a wicked tough question. I’d say as long as David Stern is NBA Commish they’re not welcome back. Give me the NHL!”
@DavidLStarr “NHL…its a business model actually works.”
@BigEeezy09 “…..Fu*K David Stern – I don’t want him profiting on our awesome fans with disposable income
Ken Baker “NHL. I loved the Sonics through and through, but the NBA is corrupt and broken”
Darin Pike “NHL…better game that isn’t full of corruption and punks.”
And some who want to see the NBA return:
@LadyCHawksfan “NBA” later adding “NHL just bores me (unless its the Charlestown Chiefs!)” in reference to the team from the movie Slap Shot.
@Seablaze24 “Blazer fan, want the Sonics rivalry back for sure”
There is still a lot of tension between the NBA and the Seattle Sports fan and while some believe the NBA should not be welcomed back others are ready to forgive and forget as the welcome it back with arms wide open.
Here is how the votes broke down
Twitter Facebook Total
NHL 43% 53% 46%
NBA 51% 40% 48%
Both/Other 6% 7% 6%
Northwest Pro Sports 12 Editor Darin Pike wrote an interesting piece on trading for Kevin Kolb on the Bleacher Report.
Here’s some links in regarding the Seahawks and their first-round selection in which they used on OL James Carpenter of the University of Alabama:
-NFL Draft Countdown’s Scouting Report on James Carpenter- http://www.draftcountdown.com/ScoutingReports/OT/James-Carpenter.php
-NFL Draft Scout’s Scouting Report on Carpenter: http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=89525&draftyear=2011&genpos=OT
-University of Alabama’s Player Bio on Carpenter: http://www.rolltide.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/carpenter_james00.html
-ESPNs James Carpenter’s Scouting Profile: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/draft/player/_/id/27044/james-carpenter
-Seahawks Draft Blog’s article in regarding Carpenter’s pick: http://seahawksdraftblog.com/seahawks-take-james-carpenter-25th-overall
-NFL.com’s Player Profile regarding Carpenter: http://www.nfl.com/draft/2011/profiles/james-carpenter?id=2495134
-Jerry Brewer’s story discussing Carpenter’s pick: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/jerrybrewer/2014904438_brewer29.html
Hope you all enjoy the links and expect more after the Day 2. Seattle picks 57th tonight in the 2nd-round. They currently don’t have a 3rd-round pick after trading that to San Diego for Charlie Whitehurst.
The Draft starts at 6PM Eastern Time, Friday and can be seen on ESPN.
James Carpenter has blocked for the past two-years in front of a Heisman Trophy winner.
Now he will be blocking for the Seahawks and their Beastmode.
With an NFL Draft that had several surprises- Christian Ponder going 12th overall to the Minnesota Vikings, Mark Ingram falling to No. 28 and the Baltimore Ravens missing their pick. On top of those surprises you had Carpenter’s selection at No. 25 to Seattle.
Carpenter was a projected second-round selection, but the Seahawks must have been high enough on him to take him in the first-round.
The selection wasn’t a Mona Lisa picture, but it was the safest pick. Seattle had tried to trade their pick, but never found a trade worthy of completing and instead took an offensive lineman with the pick.
Offensive linemen are a proven safe pick compared to other positions. In 2010 Seattle started 10-different offensive line formations and was close to the bottom in rushing yards on the season. So they could afford improving the position.
RT Sean Locklear and C Chris Spencer are both free agents and may not fit into Tom Cable’s plans in the future so Seattle needed Offensive Line help and depth.
Carpenter brings that.
He’s started 27-consecutive games at the left tackle position, but with second-year Russell Okung at left tackle, Carpenter could switch over to the right side or possibly even guard.
If Carpenter fits in nicely at right tackle or even guard the Seahawks will have three linemen that could blossom together over time under first-year offensive line coach Tom Cable making for a scary up-front. Okung and Max Unger both have a combined three-years in the NFL (Okung appeared in only one-game in 2010 before a season-ending injury).
The nicest thing about Carpenter’s pick is he’s now able to work with Cable who’s a highly regarded offensive line coach. Learning from him will only make him a better lineman as well as Okung and Unger.
ESPNs Todd McShay says “his best football should still be ahead of him.”
CBS’s Draft Analyst Rob Rang called Carpenter an underrated lineman saying he had him going at No. 31 (first-round) and thought of him as tough and more physical.
According to NFL Draft Countdown’s scouting report on Carpenter:
-Ideal height and bulk with a large frame.
-Above average athleticism, agility and quickness.
-Has nimble feet to slide laterally and mirror.
-Can work in space and get to the second level.
-Understands body positioning and angles.
-Versatile and could project to multiple positions.
-Durable and fared well versus elite competition.
They also say his best fight might be a zone-blocking scheme which appears to be the scheme Cable will run in Seattle.
Hopefully that is the case and who knows maybe he could turn out to be that right tackle the Seahawks hoped Sean Locklear would be. If that turns out to be the case, well then Seattle’s 25th selection might turn out to be a winner.
The NFL has released a statement saying that beginning at 8 a.m. ET, Friday:
-Players will be permitted to use club facilities for physical examinations, rehabilitation and medical treatment.
-Clubs will be allowed to distributed playbooks, game film and other similar materials to the players.
-Coaches may meet with players for the purpose of discussing offseason workout program, its schedule of mini-camps, OTAs and other similar matters.
-Voluntary off-season workout programs including OTAs and classroom instruction may begin subject to the rules in Article XXXV of the 2006 CBA and Appendix L. Participating players will be paid $130/day, provided the player fulfills the club’s reasonable off-season workout requirements. Those will count toward the requirements of any off-season workout bonus in the player’s contract.
-On days in which no official off-season workout or OTAs players that show up to the club may not be prevented from permitting any player to use the club facility to work out on his own terms in a voluntary, unpaid basis during normal business hours or such other hours as may be set up the club. They players will also not be allowed to participate under the supervision of any coach, trainer or other club personnel during the non-official meeting.
Those are just a majority of the important things touched on in the statement. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that free agency could start Monday.
Trades will be allowed during the first-round draft, but only for picks. Players will not be involved in any trades, but it’s possible the NFL may lift that tomorrow- no confirmation to that speculation.
The NFL Draft kicks-off tonight at 8 p.m., on ESPN. Seattle has the 25th pick and could be a candidate to trade their pick if someone’s not on their board.
NFL doors are opened and players are allowed into team facilities, but are unable to do any conditioning or weight-lifting- except two NFL teams.
The Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills remain locking their players out of their buildings.
Seahawks RB Justin Forsett tweeted: “Just tried getting in the facility #Fail“.
WR Deon Butler and CB Roy Lewis also were not allowed past the parking lot in Seattle.
Currently the NFL is appealing the ruling of Judge Nelson’s in regards of lifting the lockout which came, Monday.
The NFL Draft kicks-off 8 p.m., Thursday, April 28 on ESPN and NFL Network.
Judge Nelson ruled today that the NFL Owners need to lift the Lockout and allow business to continue. This is a big win for Players and fans in the short term. The NFL will likely appeal the ruling.
If it holds up it gives the players a bit of power in the new CBA negotiations. This could be bad for both players and fans long term. How can it be bad for players to make more money you ask?
If the new CBA creates an economic atmosphere that fails to produce adequate profit margins for the owners they will invest their money elsewhere. Yes, they make a lot of money. But it’s important to remember how much money they have tied up in these franchises and the financial risks involved with having nearly 1 Billion Dollars invested in a single endeavor. There are a few owners like Jerry Jones for whom football is everything, but for the most part these are business men who have made billions making smart investments. If they are unable to make enough profit to make it viable as an honest investment, many will simply sell their franchise.
New ownership groups will be hard to find because even though players like to say they are the product, and they are irreplaceable, imagine how hard it will be to find people willing to invest a large fortune in an organization where they can’t turn a meaningful profit. What you will end up with will be the equivalent of slum lords who buy teams at a wholesale price and run them into the ground. New facility construction will halt, and overall conditions will decline. With that revenue will decrease, and ultimately that will lead to the players getting a larger percentage of a much smaller pie.