Could the Seahawks be active at the trade deadline? What’s the situation with Jarran Reed?
Those questions and more in a special “mini-bye weekend” Seahawks mailbag.
Question: The trade deadline is Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. Seattle time. Could the Seahawks be active?
Answer: The answer to any question like this involving the Seahawks is “of course.’’ Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have said they will always do their “due diligence’’ to investigate any deal that might become available. And we’ve seen Seattle already this year trade for Jadeveon Clowney and publicly state interest in Antonio Brown when he was released by the Raiders.
Sunday, NFL Insider Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com listed the Seahawks as among six teams “already laying groundwork for frenzied trade deadline’’ with each “hopeful of addressing roster needs to fortify what they believe can be Super Bowl runs.’’ La Canfora further stated there is a “sense’’ that there could be more trades “made this year than possibly ever before.’’
Seattle has been active at the deadline before, trading for Duane Brown two years ago. And Seattle has a little more flexibility to make some moves than it has in years past at the deadline with just over $10 million available in cap space as well as what are projected to be 10 draft choices when including projected compensatory picks for free agents lost last spring.
But exactly who will be available is less clear.
There also were reports Sunday that two players thought to be on the trade block — Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Minnesota receiver Stefon Diggs — currently are not being made available by their respective teams (Diggs played Sunday and helped a revived Vikings offense beat the Giants.)
But who might be available is just about any big-salaried veteran on teams that are out of it such as Miami, Cincinnati (said to be dangling 31-year-old receiver A.J. Green, who has a $15 million cap hit this season and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year and also possibly willing to deal defensive linemen Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap), Denver (defensive tackle Derek Wolfe potentially available), the Jets and Washington (31-year-old left tackle Trent Williams is still holding out, though Washington is said not to be considering trading him yet).
Whether the Seahawks will make a move obviously remains to be seen.
But at 4-1 and with an elite quarterback in his prime playing as well as he ever has in a year when the NFC seems wide open., expect the Seahawks to investigate everything that might help them get to a Super Bowl.
Q: Is Jarran Reed allowed to practice during his suspension? In other words, will he be ready to play at a high level?
A: Speaking of midseason additions, the Seahawks will get a big one when Reed returns from suspension after the game next Sunday at Cleveland — he will return for the Oct. 20 game against Baltimore.
Reed, recall, was suspended in July for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
To answer the question specifically, Reed has not been able to be around the team in any capacity since the first week of the season.
So, he has not been practicing.
But he was able to go through all of the offseason program and training camp and play in preseason games and he’s undoubtedly following a workout program while he’s away.
That’s not the same as practicing. But I think the assumption — and certainly the hope — is that Reed will be able to hit the ground running pretty quickly.
The good news is that Seattle has gotten good play from its tackles in Reed’s absence — Al Woods has had two huge plays already (the fumble recovery against the Bengals and the two-point stop against the Rams) and Poona Ford shook off an early injury to return to a starting spot.
With Clowney and Ziggy Ansah also increasingly rounding into playing shape — and getting acclimated to Seattle’s defense — the Seahawks in a week will finally put together the line they envisioned when they made the trade for Clowney, of proven vets Clowney, Ansah and Reed, with the up-and-coming Ford as starters, and then the likes of Woods, Quinton Jefferson and rapidly-improving second-year player Rasheem Green in the rotation.
All of that is why Carroll on Friday talked again of how he thinks the best is yet to come for a defensive line that hasn’t yet put up big pass-rush numbers.
Carroll said the Rams game — which was the second full game seeing Ansah and Clowney play together — yielded some valuable information on how best to put the line together.
“We’ll be able to help those guys more,’’ Carroll said. “I think this was the game I now can see some things that we can do better, and we can utilize our guys a little uniquely for their strengths. They’re playing really hard, with really good consistent effort. Ziggy is one of those guys who just plays so hard, stuff is going to happen for him too. I think the pass rush is going to come alive here in the next few weeks, I’m really excited about that. It’s the first time I really could see enough and feel like we’ve seen these guys out there enough to make some evaluations to make the kind of tweaks and stuff so we can help them out.”
Adding Reed and his 10½ sacks of last season will help that much more.
Q: Where has BBK (Ben Burr-Kirven) been the past couple of games?
A: The former Husky actually has been in the same place the past couple games as he has all season — playing on special teams.
Burr-Kirven is one of the team’s core special-teams players (which means on almost every team, but in his case specifically on the punt and kickoff teams) and has 96 special-teams snaps for the season, tied with fellow rookie linebacker Cody Barton and fullback Nick Bellore for the most on the team.
Burr-Kirven has played from 16 to 22 special-teams snaps per game, so he’s had a consistent presence in each game and he has three special-teams tackles — the most on the team — including one against the Rams (on a punt in the first quarter). He also forced a fumble on a kickoff against the Bengals.
Burr-Kirven has yet to play on defense this season for the simple reason that he’s working behind a pair of Pro Bowlers at inside linebacker in Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. Those two players are literally never coming off the field in any scenario these days, so there simply are no defensive snaps to go around for either BBK or Barton (who played one snap against the Saints when Wright was injured).
And with the way Wagner and Wright are playing, who knows when there will be snaps for Burr-Kirven and Barton on defense. But Seattle drafted each this year with an eye toward improving special teams. So, in the eyes of the coaches, he’s helping fill a pretty big role even if for now it’s also somewhat limited.