Feb 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider speaks during a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

John Schneider looks past the 2014 NFL Draft

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The 2014 NFL Draft is on Thursday, just a few days away, and the football world is beginning to get slightly anxious. But not John Schneider, the general manager for the Seattle Seahawks, who said “one of the most important things for his staff is what happened after the draft clock is off and the seven rounds is done. Its about seeing which players remain high on your draft board and who you want to sign as rookie free agents and that market is what’s important to us.”

Receivers Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, and Ricardo Lockette; rookie offensive lineman Alvin Bailey; linebacker Mike Morgan and defensive back DeShawn Shead were just a few of the 18 players that Seattle had on the Super Bowl roster that entered the NFL as undrafted rookie free agents. That’s not even including the players who finished the season on the injured reserve list and the others who ended the season on the practice squad.

“I’m not 100 percent sure of this but, I believe we had more of them on our roster than any other team last year,” Schneider stated.

They’ve signed safety Earl Thomas to his long-awaited and deserved contract of four years and $40 million. Hopefully, Richard Sherman will also be celebrating his multi-year extension that will probably pay out at greater than $12 million a year. And then on top of that, Russell Wilson will most likely re-design his contract after next February (the end of the 2014 season) and get paid a humongous amount of near $20 million a year. Notice that that’s just three players, and it’s $72 million. Salary cap space is just gone.

“That means we will have to continue to rely on young players at other spots,” Schneider said. “What we’re doing trying to do is keep the pillars of the team in place, but we’re fortunate that Carroll and his staff are willing to work with the younger players who will have smaller salaries.”

Schneider and the Seattle Seahawks are looking ahead.

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