Seahawks Sign Veteran Running Back Carlos Hyde, Still No Clowney, And Other Off-Season Seahawk Musings

Time to ride the Carlos Hyde train

On Friday, May 22nd, 2020, the Seattle Seahawks agreed to terms on a one year deal with Carlos Hyde. YAY!

I’m not kidding. Seattle needed to make this move. I’m going to be Captain Obvious here for a minute.

Seattle is a running team. Even with a unique talent at quarterback in Russell Wilson, the very foundation of this team is built on the ability to run the ball. Some of the “Let Russell Cook” crowd will hate that sentence, but I would argue strongly that in order to let Russ cook, Seattle needs to be a running team.

Russell is a spectacular quarterback, and I am as big of a Russell fan as anyone, but his skill-set and stature screams to be supported by a run game. He is not a drop back pocket passer, and never will be. With a diminished height, he cannot consistently target the short middle of the field, and therefor, if defenses do not have to honor the run, he is much more easy to defend. See what happened during the 2017 season when Seattle suddenly had no dependable run game and that forced his throwing mechanics off, see what happened against the Cardinals at home last year when Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, and CJ Prosise all were lost to injuries, and see what happened in Green Bay during the playoffs.

Russell needs a run game to be at his best, and with Penny likely not able to be ready to play during this first half of this season, and Carson never able to show that he can stay healthy, Seattle needed to add significant talent to this position group. Part of me suspected that they would have used a high pick in the draft last April on one (although I was happy they chose the defense and the pass rush instead). When that didn’t happen, I felt for sure Seattle would add a proven vet afterwards.

Enter Carlos Hyde.

Reportedly, Seattle had originally offered former Atlanta Falcon runner Devonta Freeman a contract worth up to $4 million in incentives, but he balked. So they gave the same offer to Hyde. Personally, I’m glad it worked out this way because I much prefer Hyde over Freeman.

I get why they were maybe more intrigued with Freeman, though. He’s a different back than Carson, he offers more of a pass catching threat, and he’s more of a homer run perimeter runner like Penny is. However, he is also likely no longer a bell cow back, and should they lose Carson for a number of games, he may not be able to carry that kind of load. I shudder at that thought.

Hyde is a bell cow. That is exactly what he is, and he proved once again that last year in Houston rushing for over a thousand yards. He is a physical inside runner, with great vision, and patience. He is also a capable pass catcher. In my opinion, this is a sneaky good addition to the roster.

Seattle now has a quality veteran runner to mix in with Carson, and not miss a beat in terms of physicality and production should they lose Carson for a game or two. If I am a linebacker or safety looking at a mix of Carson and Hyde, I’m gonna eat an extra bowl of Wheaties that Sunday morning.

I love this move.

Here is some other musings.

Don’t hold your breath for Clowney to return to Seattle

I have long given up on hope that Jadeveon Clowney will play for Seattle in 2020. I have no idea where he will end up, but I don’t expect it to be in the 206 on Sundays.

I have mixed feelings about this. It’s hard to say that Seattle’s defense will be better without Clowney in 2020, but I also have grown to have some pretty strong reservations about the idea of Seattle signing him to a big long term contract. He has yet to prove he can stay healthy through a season, and no matter how you spin it with his pressure rates, he’s not an elite pass rusher. Even at this stage of his career where you would think his skills would now be more developed, they haven’t, and that is a big red flag for me.

Giving a massive payout to a player that checks these negative boxes is probably not a wise long term investment, no matter how much physical talent he has. Therefore, you can add me into the group of those who believe that John Schneider is doing a good job by not offering anything more than a short term prove it deal.

Yes, I would be happy if Clowney is back in 2020. He’s still a major disruptive talent when healthy, but let’s be real; Michael Bennett was also disruptive in his days in Seattle, and he was also cheaper, and he was a better pass rusher.

Jadeveon Clowney is not the end all be all. I think this is how Seattle sees it, and I think that is why they are dug in with their current offer.

Now that Seattle signed Hyde, I would expect Seattle’s next move it to add a quality veteran run stuffing defensive tackle, and maybe, if the price is right, they will add either one more end, or another tackle, and they will call it good with the defensive line.

If Clowney comes back to Seattle, it will be because he moved off of his position, and even if he does that, I don’t really expect it to be with Seattle. How would that look in the locker room?

Usually when there is a financial stalemate between a free agent player and the team he was just on, that player chooses to move into another market, presumably partly out of spite. If I were a betting man, I’d be more willing to wager that Jarran Reed will get his old number 90 jersey back this Fall than Clowney returning to wear it again. I hope I am wrong, but I don’t think I am.

A slow off-season marked by the Covid 19 pandemic has led to weird Russell Wilson reporting, and I wish it would just stop.

Why do weird off-season stories about Russell Wilson and the Seahawks always have to annually emerge in the national media every off-season?

If you are anything like me, you annually hate this. From stories about certain Seahawks not liking Russell because he wasn’t Black enough, to certain players on the defense not liking him because he was Pete Carroll’s pet, to maybe John Schneider talking to Cleveland about possibly trading him when he was entering his contract season in 2018, to maybe Russell wanting to play in New York City.. every stinking year it seems like the national media has to run with some story-line.

Look, it’s annoying enough as it is as a sports fan dealing with this Covid 19 pandemic that has brought the sports world to a halt.  As a deep fan of both Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks, I find these continuing Russell stories extremely agitating, and now more than ever. I don’t need to read speculative stories in the headlines about whether or not Seattle may or may not trade him one day just as much as I don’t need to read or see arguments about the economy vs human health during a major pandemic.

Who cares if John Schneider briefly chatted to Cleveland about maybe trading Russ for the first overall pick in 2018 (if there was any serious talk, it would have been for much more than that pick, mind you). The deal did not happen, and the team signed him to a record deal. All should be good, and if I am to wager anything, I’d wager that Schneider briefly entertained the Cleveland talk because he knew that Russell’s agent, Mark Rodgers, is essentially Satan when it comes to dealing with new contracts, and he was looking for whatever leverage he could find before entering what was surely going to be an extremely difficult negotiation process.

This really shouldn’t have made it into the news cycle at all in 2020, but NBC Pro Football Talk analyst Chris Simms apparently felt like people were not paying enough attention to his show that he had to dig up these old rumors about Russell, and then his partner Mike Florio had to double down by speculating that the Seahawks “might” trade Russell in a few years, just before he reaches the end of his third contract.

Please stop. Just stop it. If we want to revisit the ideas of trading Russell Wilson in 2023, I’m cool with it then, but for the next few years, let’s just focus on Russell Wilson present day starting QB of Seattle Seahawks, and drop all this horse crap talk.

Go Hawks.

I think Josh Gordon is going to be a Seattle Seahawk in 2020 and I welcome it

When the news brought late last Fall that Josh Gordon tested positive for weed and was suspended again, I immediately wrote a piece that described him blowing his last chance at being a professional football player. What a difference a number of months make. I’m now doing a total reversal.

I think the league is going to reinstate him in 2020, and with the league now catching up to the entire west coast’s progressive position on weed, I say bring the pot smoker back to the Pacific Northwest. We got great bud up here, and we have an even better quarterback who wants more “stars” on his team.

Josh is certainly a star talent in this league, and if you have any doubts about that, go watch that grab he had against Carolina last year. I have been watching Seahawk football all my life from the late seventies to now, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a prettier grab by a Seahawk player than that 50 yard grab he stretched out for in that game (no offensive Doug, Tyler, and Steve).

If I were a betting man, I would be willing to bet a relative’s farm that Josh Gordon will be a Seahawk this Fall. Take it to the bank. It makes a ton of sense.

I want the Seattle Seahawks to add Damon “Snacks” Harrison to this roster badly

In my opinion, I believe Seattle’s biggest need is to add a quality run stopping defensive tackle. Possibly even two. Personally, I think they need this more than bringing back Jadeveon Clowney. There is zero proven depth on this roster behind Jarran Reed and Poona Ford.

There is no player out there on the market right now that I want more than Damon “Snacks” Harrison. At 6-3 and 350 pounds, he is the ideal man to put at nose tackle next to Reed, and to allow Ford to become their top rotational interior defensive lineman.

Seattle has invested a lot of capital at linebacker to get better on defense. Therefore, it makes all the sense in the world to put the best talent they can find in front of those linebackers, and Harrison fits that bill. He would keep Bobby Wagner and friends clean, and I think he would make Jarran Reed even a better player.

I also think that Seattle is a great destination for Snacks to finish out his career. It would give him a great chance at finally being a starter on a proper Super Bowl contender, and I think he’d like the culture out here playing for Pete Carroll.

Please, John Schneider. Pretty please go get us some Snacks.

Final Thoughts

I got no real final thoughts to close out this piece. I’m just happy as pie Seattle added Carlos Hyde, and I really want them to add Damon Harrison. I’d be pretty happy if they brought back Josh Gordon and Jadeveon Clowney. We will see soon enough how that all shakes out.

I actually wouldn’t be surprised if they also make some sort of splash trade as we get into August. Who and what and how much is all yet to be determined, but they are almost always looking to add, and they are certainly not done yet. It feels likely to me that a move of that magnitude could easily happen.

Could it be a pass rusher of note? Maybe Odell Beckham Junior? Or star safety Jamal Adams?

Maybe it could, but one thing is clear, though; Russell wants stars.

Go Hawks.


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