Are we suddenly in a situation where fans and prognosticators will proclaim that this is a year of "Super Bowl or bust?"
There is obviously something exciting about a talented football team that is aggressive during the offseason in order to get even better.
If Seattle would have skipped most of the free-agent frenzy and continued to shore up their strengths through the draft, many would have seen this as a very reasonable strategy. However, the Seahawks have made some big plays when they were not necessarily expected to be major spenders.
Percy Harvin is in, and Seattle gave him a big contract. There are questions about health and past run-ins with coaches, but there is no arguing the dynamic, playmaking talent. If Harvin is healthy and productive, Seattle is suddenly a very, very dangerous team on both sides of the ball.
Cliff Avril is also in. He was not given as much money, but Seattle certainly spent some significant free-agent dollars in order to get him. Given the fact that he signed a two-year deal, it seems reasonable to suggest that the Seahawks are confident that they can win during that window.
If that wasn't enough, the Seahawks have now apparently landed pass-rusher Michael Bennett. Who saw that one coming?
DE Michael Bennett agrees to one-year, $5 million deal with the Seahawks, per league source.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 14, 2013
Rather than stay conservative, roll over money to next year and save cap space to re-sign players like Richard Sherman down the road, Seattle is going big. Right now.
Living in the moment.
Does this represent a shift in strategy? Over the last few years, the Seahawks have concentrated most of their efforts on mining the draft for young talent and finding unique pieces in order to build an athletic defense. Seattle has taken care of in-house free agents, but it has not hurled large contracts at the top free agents.
Is there some risk in this adapted methodology? Certainly.
If Percy Harvin plays half the year and causes problems in the locker room, management will be roundly criticized for getting greedy and tinkering too much with a great team. If Cliff Avril proves to have merely benefited from playing alongside some great defensive tackles in Detroit, his contract may be scorned as a desperate waste of cap space.
The signing of Michael Bennett is huge, though his contract is reportedly for only one year.
Again, the 'Hawks appear to be all-in. Anyone else want to join the party?
Fans cannot help but feel optimistic about this team. There were suggestions (via Seahawks.com) that Seattle was a Super Bowl favorite for next year, even before these moves.
Granted, that type of praise can be a double-edged sword. It is nice to be a favorite, but with that mantle can come extreme expectations. What did wise Uncle Ben tell Peter Parker?
"With great power comes great responsibility."
The Seahawks are arguably up for the challenge (or the responsibility) of chasing a championship, but they still need to battle through a grueling season. They must stay healthy, win on the road, not get suspended for performance-enhancing drugs, beat some tough opponents and continue to harness the energy of CenturyLink Field.
What also has to be remembered is that the San Francisco 49ers are still out there. The 'Niners went to the Super Bowl and they improved themselves by acquiring a veteran wideout in Anquan Boldin. Realistically, the games between the 49ers and the Seahawks are setting up to be epic battles in 2013.
Exciting times in Seattle? Absolutely.
This Seahawks team has the opportunity to erase the ghosts of Super Bowl XL and finally bring the Lombardi Trophy to Seattle. The team appears to be going all-in for this season, and this franchise really could win it all.