March 20, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll answers questions from reporters during the annual NFL meetings at the Arizona Biltmore. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Seahawks Mailbag: Post-Draft Edition

I’ve been getting an absolute ton of questions from readers now that the draft is over. Since most of the questions are similar, I figured the best thing to do would be to simply answer them all F.A.Q. style.

This isn’t how I usually do my mailbag feature, but you will just have to deal with it. All of these questions were asked quite a few times in some form or another. I’ve simplified them to make it easier to find the info you’re looking for.

Q: The Seahawks drafted 11 players and signed a large number of undrafted free agents, what does that do to the salary cap situation?

Nothing, or as close to nothing as possible, at least for now.

Only the top 51 salaries count against the salary cap.  None of the rookies, both drafted and undrafted, should have a large enough salary to crack to the top 51.

The only player who’ll come close to the top 51 is 2nd round pick Christine Michael. He might crack into the top 51 , but barely. He’d also knock a player with a very similar salary off the list, the increase will be minimal.

The 62nd pick from a year ago, Green Bay’s Casey Hayward, had a $601,750 cap number in 2012. Michael’s salary will be very similar, since it is set by the rookie wage scale in the current CBA. If Michael knocks Brandon Browner and his $555,000 cap number out of the top 51, the difference would be about $45k. That’s not anything to worry about.

The real impact will be felt when the team cuts the roster back to 53 at the end of training camp. For example, if the team chooses to keep Spencer Ware as a full back at the expense of Michael Robinson, the team will actually save a little over $2 million on the salary cap.

Q: It would seem like the Seahawks are over their 90 player maximum. How is that possible?

Draft picks don’t count toward the roster until they sign their contract. That means that the Seahawks are actually still under the 90 man limit for the time being. Once the rookies start to sign, a few players will have to be let go to make room for them.

The team also isn’t as far over the roster limit as it seemed earlier, even if you count all the draft picks. Of the 17 undrafted free agents the Seahawks were reported to get, only 9 were actually given contracts. The other 8 were invited to the team’s rookie minicap as a tryout. They wont count toward the roster limit unless the team actually offers them a contract.

Q: What goes on during rookie mini-camp?

The players are taught the offensive and defensive schemes. The mini-camp is 100% installation, and almost nothing else.

Keep in mind that these mini-camps are strictly non-contact. It is very difficult for the team to do any teaching of technique, or anything else for that matter, without pads. There also wont be any conditioning work or anything like that going on. Anyone not in great football shape will be shown the door at the end the mini-camp.

The goal of the camp is to get the rookies up to speed as best as possible so that way they are able to participate with the veterans when the full team OTAs begin in a few weeks.

Q: If that’s the case, what about the veteran free agents who were signed?

They’ve all had their playbooks since the day they signed their new contract. They were also picked because of their fit within the schemes the Seahawks run. Plus, these players have all been through this process a few times already. You don’t need to be worried about them. To paraphrase Walter Thurmond, this isn’t their first rodeo.

Q: What is up with the Seahawks selecting two running backs when they already have Lynch and Turbin?

First, I don’t think they selected two running backs. I’m fairly certain they selected one running back and one full back. Spencer Ware is an ideal full back, and I think that’s the role he will play with the Seahawks.

As for “why,” that’s a more complex answer. The primary reason for Ware’s selection is cost. Full back Michael Robinson is entering the final year of his contract and has a bloated contract. Keeping Ware and cutting Robinson would help save some needed cap room to try and sign guys like Earl Thomas, Russell Wilson, and Richard Sherman.

Answering the question about why the team decided to select Christine Michael with it’s first pick would take more room than I have here, so it’s going to have to wait until tomorrow.

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Tags: Christine Michael John Schneider Seattle Seahawks Spencer Ware

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