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

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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  • Steve Speidel

    The quality of the team must necessarily suffer from having a large chunk of the cap invested in a few players, no matter how good. Fifty-five players dividing a hundred thirty million (wow!) is 2.36… million.
    Subtract mega contracts for percy, Shem, earl, and Russ, and you get a 77 million dollar pie leaving an average of 1.5 mill each. And we already have several other contracts larger than 1.5 that will have to be balanced by guys earning less. The reason we win the Super Bowl was that, except for the offensive line, which was just good enough on that day, there were no weak spots on the team for Denver to exploit. Every star player we cultivate for the next few years will have to go elsewhere to get paid, leaving weak spots on the team. Schneider should have negotiated a better deal with earl, and percy, good as he may be, was overpaid. Russell and Sherman must not pull 32 million off the top of the cap.

    • KWS13

      2 years from now at worst case scenario: Wilson 20mil Sherman 12mil Thomas 10 mil Harvin 10 mil and even with Chancellor at 5 mil that’s 67mil, not sure what you were thinking of with 77mil but either way salary cap will be way higher a few years from now so if it’s say 145mil, minus 67mil for the most important players leaves 78mil, add on money from cutting or restructuring Lynch (6mil) and Mebane (6mil) that’s 80 mil. Thomas’s deal was great because it starts after this next season, so he will only make 4 mil this year so the hawks still have about 13mil left for Sherman and if he does the same thing he will make 1mil and that money will roll over and give them more next year, and I would be very surprised if Russell Wilson demands a contract that will pay him 20 mil immediately, I don’t think it will be that high and I think it will be structured well so in about 5 or so years some of these contracts will be up and these guys will be making more and THEN there will be problems, but by that point they will have young replacements if they have to let those guys go

      • Steve Speidel

        Sherman-12, Russ-20, earl-10, harvin-11, from 130 leaves 77. If the cap goes up, that’s all well and good. I hope Wilson doesn’t demand 20 mill, but my point is that by giving earl top dollar, Schneider created expectations among the others for top dollar at their position. The patriots are a case in point: when brady was underpaid, it was easier to surround him with top talent. How long since the Pats won a Super Bowl?

  • 程肯

    “Notice that that’s just three players, and it’s $72 million. Salary cap space is just gone.”

    Sorry, someone needs to redo the math.

    • KWS13

      They said 12 mil for Sherman, 20 mil for Wilson and 4 years 40 mil for Thomas, they weren’t thinking and added those up and got 72 mil while if that all happens it will be about 42 mil at worst, but even then I think they will structure Wilson’s contract to be backloaded and use increasing cap in later years so it will never be that high for those 3 guys

  • HD

    This guys needs a lesson in math…contracts at 12 m a year…10 M a year and 20 M a year = 42 M per year…as far a Seattle being able to compete with low priced players…that appears to be their legacy…and now they have some of the pillars any team needs to be successful…in most cases because they drafted them and trained them up to their payday….New England survives year in and year out within their cap…Seattle will too…the key is the draft and scouting yes…but coaching up young guys and allowing players to play to their strengths (round peg…round hole)…the Seahawks have refined that process to a successful end.