Three leftover thoughts from day one of the NFL Draft.
A few notes left over from the first night of the NFL Draft as we wait for the Seahawks to finally make some picks. …
1, Seahawks have little to say about Marshawn Lynch.
You can watch the exchange in the video above as general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll were asked Thursday night if they had any comment on the trade the day before of Marshawn Lynch. Maybe because the draft was foremost on their minds or the Lynch saga may have felt like old news at this point — or some combination therein along with other factors — but they had little to say about Lynch.
“Wish him the best,” Carroll said succinctly.
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2, Did the Seahawks get value in trading down?
The real proof of if the moves to trade down really worked out will come in a few years when we see how all the players involved have panned out.
But what has long been a way to judge such trades is the famous chart devised by former Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson that assesses a point value to every pick.
Schneider said after the draft the Seahawks have their own version of the chart that includes compensatory picks, since those can now be traded.
“It’s based off of that (Johnson’s chart), but now being able to trade the compensatory picks, something Matt Thomas (Seattle’s salary cap guru) and a bunch of guys from different teams got together and put a new chart together, so we’re following that now that it’s based off the same principle,” Schneider said. “It’s like a scale.”
The chart linked above, from Pro Football Reference, also includes those picks. I can’t say if the PFR chart is the same the Seahawks are using.
But by the PFR chart, the Seahawks came out ahead.
First, they traded the 26th pick to Atlanta, worth 700 points, for picks 31 and 95, worth a combined 720.
Then they traded 31 to the 49ers, worth 600 points, for picks 34 and 111, worth a combined 632.
So, the way the chart sees it, the Seahawks picked up 52 points in draft value in the two trades.
Now to make that pay off.
3, Seattle also saved some salary cap room in moving down.
It’s maybe an obvious point that each pick gets a little lower salary — hence trading down saves money — with all rookie contracts now slotted.
But a review of the salary chart from OvertheCap.com makes clear what Seattle saved in its first pick.
Seattle would have had to pay pick 26 a four-year contract worth a combined $10.2 million with a bonus of $5.5 million.
The 34th pick is owed $7 million and a bonus of $3.3 million.
Of course, that savings only really matters if you are getting the same quality player, so we need to reserve some judgment on this being a win all the way around just yet.
And by adding picks Seattle still has a significant total rookie salary cap pool of roughly $6.7 million in 2017, according to OTC.com, 17th among all NFL teams in 2017.
But certainly, Seattle will have more financial flexibility with the player it drafts at the top at 34 than it would have at 26 — assuming the Seahawks draft at 34 — and if that player turns out to be a good one then it’s another aspect of the trade that can be perceived as a win.
What Seattle won’t have by trading in the second round is the ability to exercise an option on a fifth-year of the deal in 2021 — that is reserved for first-round picks. But the Seahawks also apparently weren’t worried enough about that to not make the moves they did.