Lots of running back talk in our latest Seahawks mailbag.
Time to answer another round of Seahawks questions from Twitter, this edition focusing on the tailback position.
Q: @itsfloydjackson asks: Are the hawks done with (C.J.) Prosise? by that I mean could you see them drafting a similar running back this year, like an (Alvin) Kamara type?
A: They are not done yet with Prosise as he has two years left on his initial contract and as such, it really makes little sense not to bring him back to training camp this year and take another shot at it.
I understand fully the frustration of fans with Prosise’ ability to stay on the field as he has played just 11 of a possible 32 regular season games in his first two years in the NFL.
But he has a cap hit of just $833,116 this year with $346,232 in dead money while representing a fairly significant draft investment two years ago as well as having shown pretty consistent flashes of what the team hoped to get when he has been able to play (specifically, an average of 12.8 yards per catch on 23 receptions in 11 games).
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Cutting him now would mostly be a punitive or frustration move and that doesn’t appear to be the way Seattle is going to go. Coach Pete Carroll mentioned Prosise among the running backs he was counting on in 2018 during his final press conference following the 2017 season.
That said, the Seahawks obviously have to take into consideration in planning for 2018 that Prosise has not been able to stay healthy, and it would be no surprise if they added a running back with a similar skillset to that of Prosise this offseason.
Seattle also will surely keep J.D. McKissic — who essentially took over Prosise’s role last season — in 2018. But the 2018 NFL draft appears exceptionally deep at running back and as Seattle did in 2016 when it took Prosise, Alex Collins and Zac Brooks, the Seahawks could well take more than one this year. It would also be no surprise if the Seahawks also dipped into free agency and maybe could take a run at a dual-threat type like Jerick McKinnon (though if he’s really going to command $4.4 million a year or more, that might be too much).
As for Prosise, I see no reason for him not to be on the roster heading into training camp and then let it play out from there. If he’s again injury riddled and there are 5-6 other tailbacks on the roster better and more reliable, then maybe the time comes to cut bait.
Q: @ ant_smith7 asks: Out of Chris Carson, Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls, Mike Davis, and J.D. McKissic, how many do you expect to be back on the Seahawks roster in 2018?
A: Three — Carson, Davis and McKissic. Carson has three years left on his deal and the team feels he is a significant part of its future. So he’s not going anywhere.
McKissic is an Exclusive Rights Free Agent, meaning he has no choice but to play for Seattle if the Seahawks want him — and I think they do.
I don’t expect Lacy back, nor does anyone — he’s an unrestricted free agent and I don’t think either party wants to continue that relationship so I’d imagine Lacy will be signing elsewhere.
Davis and Rawls are each restricted free agents and the team could easily keep each by placing the lowest tender on them. But that would commit Seattle to paying roughly $1.9 million at least to each (the official tender amounts have yet to be set) and the Seahawks may not (or I should probably say “almost certainly won’t”) do that with either.
Not tendering them would then make each an unrestricted free agent, and I would imagine Seattle would for sure want to bring Davis back — he has three accrued seasons so he’d have to be paid at least $705,000. Given that there will be a ton of backs on the market and it’s also a strong year in the draft and that Davis went unclaimed off waivers when Seattle released him prior to the 2017 season, I’d doubt it would be all that hard for Seattle to get Davis back at close to that number.
Rawls likewise has three accrued seasons and I’d imagine could also be brought back for close to that number.
But given that Rawls became the odd man out as the 2017 season progressed, that’s another relationship that I’m not sure either side wants to continue. Carroll — probably not so coincidentally — did not mention either Rawls or Lacy during his final press conference, seeming to tip off neither is in the team’s plans in 2018.
Q: @lukeallenxvi asks: Chances Seattle actually picks at Round 1, pick 18.
A: Probably about the same that Ryan Divish doesn’t visit The Moon Saloon in Peoria at least once during spring training or that I go to the Seattle Times office someday and find that Jayson Jenks has left my side of our shared desk perfectly clean.
The Seahawks, as I’d imagine anyone reading this knows, haven’t picked in the first round in their own spot since 2011, either trading down or completely out of the first round every year since then.
To briefly recap, they have twice in that time used their first-round picks for big trades — in 2013 for Percy Harvin and 2015 for Jimmy Graham.
In the other years since then they have traded down to acquire more picks — in 2012 Seattle traded down and still got Bruce Irvin, and in 2014 traded into the second round and got Paul Richardson, and in 2016 traded down in the first round and took Germain Ifedi and in 2017 traded out of the first round and took Malik McDowell in the second round.
Given that history and that Seattle has just one pick in the first three rounds at the moment, it makes sense to figure that the Seahawks will again want to trade down and acquire more picks.
But who knows? There’s lots of change afoot at the VMAC and maybe this is the year Seattle stays put.