It turns out the Seahawks insisted that the Denver Broncos give up their own first-round pick rather than the one they got from Chicago in the Jay Cutler trade. Apparently, the Seahawks are of the same mind as most people: Denver will be worse than Chicago in 2009.
"After talking it through with the other team, we felt like, that’s OK, we’ll roll the dice," Denver coach Josh McDaniels told the Denver Post. "I have no idea where Chicago’s pick is going to be. And I don’t have the foresight to know where our pick is going to be. I hope it’s later, but you don’t know.
"We just felt like, at that point, to haggle over something like that, it may not turn out in your favor, but it may. So after discussing it with [the Seahawks], we said, ‘All right, let’s go ahead and do it.’ "
As for where the Broncos might end up, their schedule is tough enough that they might not win more than five games. That would place the pick somewhere in the top eight—high enough for Seattle to get a top-tier player.
Ideally, Denver would not land in the top five, because the Seahawks surely would prefer not to pay that kind of money two years in a row.
Either way, Mora was ecstatic that Ruskell managed to swing the extra first. "It's way in the future, but it's all part of building the team," Mora told KIRO radio last Thursday, "and it will give us a lot of flexibility to do things in that draft."
Many are already clamoring for Seattle to aim for USC safety Taylor Mays (pictured), who went to high school in Seattle, or to angle for a quarterback. The better choices might be offensive tackle, defensive end or perhaps running back.
Regardless, the Seahawks will be in good position to try to duplicate the successful draft they had this year.
MUSICAL LINEBACKERS SAVED ABOUT $4 MILLION
A lot was made previously of the amount of salary-cap space the linebackers were taking up when Julian Peterson was still on the roster and Leroy Hill had the franchise tag. Peterson was due to count $8.8 million, Hill $8.3 million and Lofa Tatupu $3.5 million—for a total of over $20 million.
After all of the shuffling—trading Peterson, drafting Aaron Curry and getting a long-term deal with Hill—the Seahawks are sitting at around $16 million. And it will only go up over the next few years.
Hill's new salary-cap hit is not yet known, but it will probably be around $5 million. Curry's will be about $3 million, and Peterson will count $4.6 million in unamortized signing bonus money.
So, depending on Hill's cap number, they saved about $4 million by essentially trading Peterson for Curry.
The Seahawks had over $15 million in cap space after rescinding the franchise tag. They used $3 million to sign cornerback Ken Lucas and fullback Justin Griffith, the rookie pool is about $5 million and, as mentioned above, Hill probably will count $5 million.
That leaves $2 million for emergency funds during the season, meaning the Seahawks are basically finished assembling their roster.
NO NEW BACK THIS YEAR
Many fans wanted the Seahawks to draft a feature running back this year, but it was pretty obvious they weren’t going to unless someone fell into their laps.
Last year, they signed Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett and drafted Justin Forsett, and they feel that trio will be good enough in their new zone-blocking scheme.
On draft weekend, Mora gave his thoughts on the backfield situation: "I like Julius. I have a history with T.J. Duckett, which was a successful history. He was a successful back for us in this scheme at Atlanta. We like Justin Forsett. Those are our three primary guys right now.
"We signed Julius as a free agent last year; I thought that was a real good move for us, and I haven’t come off that," Mora added. "I like the guy, and I think he’s a good back, and I think this is the right scheme for him.
"I feel like we can win with those three guys. I do," Mora emphasized. "We have a good fullback [Owen Schmitt, replacing Leonard Weaver]. We have a nice running scheme, and they all three fit into it very well."