The Seattle Seahawks are on the top of the mountain. Except there is no mountain – the 2013 season is over, and the Seahawks are tied with everyone else at 0-0 heading into the 2014 NFL betting campaign.
Jason’s final record on his final NFL picks for 2013-14:
49-41-2 ATS (+7.7 units)
1-1 ML (+0.71 units)
16-20-1 Totals (–5.6 units)
Total units won: +2.81
That was a pretty good 2013 season for the Seattle Seahawks. They won the NFC West at 13-3 SU and 11-5 ATS, then they swept through the playoffs and crushed the Denver Broncos 43-8 at Super Bowl XLVIII. But what have they done for us lately? Seattle is so last week.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of reason to think the Seahawks can keep delivering in 2014. They’ve got a young, inexpensive and relatively healthy roster with very few weaknesses, and they’re the early 11-2 favorites on the Super Bowl XLIX futures market at Bodog and Bovada. But beating those NFL lines in 2014 won’t be so easy now that expectations are even higher than they were last year. Here’s what Seattle will be looking at accomplishing this offseason.
The Seahawks loaded for bear last year by trading for Percy Harvin and beefing up the defensive line with free agents, including Cliff Avril (8.0 sacks) and Michael Bennett (8.5 sacks). Otherwise, they were pretty much set. Over the past several years, GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have worked their magic at the draft, picking up Pro Bowlers like QB Russell Wilson (third round, 2012), CB Richard Sherman (fifth round, 2011) and safety Kam Chancellor (fifth round, 2010) in the later rounds and signing them to inexpensive contracts. Wilson, for example, will make just over $650,000 in 2014.
This gives the Seahawks plenty of room under the salary cap to sign whomever they want. Bennett and WR Golden Tate (64 catches, five TDs) are free agents this summer, and both could be brought back – especially with DE Chris Clemons and WR Sidney Rice expected to be cut loose due to injuries. Having said that, most of what Seattle needs for 2014 can be found in the draft, and that’s been working out pretty well. Why pay more?
The Unger Games
The first order of business will be to improve the offensive line. Aside from LT Russell Okung (who might need surgery on his toe) and center Max Unger, there are no must-have players on this unit. Seattle’s early mock drafts focussed on Antonio Richardson from Tennessee, a 6-foot-6, 330-pound left tackle with long arms and a good work ethic. But Richardson could be gone before Seattle picks No. 32 overall.
More recent mock drafts suggest the ‘Hawks could go with a tight end, specifically Jace Amaro from Texas Tech. Don’t forget: tight ends block, too, although Amaro’s strong suit is in the receiving department. He’s 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds with soft hands and the power to pick up those valuable yards after catch. However, the Seahawks already have Zach Miller (33 catches, five TDs) and Luke Willson (20 catches), so Amaro might be a luxury at this spot in the draft.
There’s also some talk of drafting Penn State WR Allen Robinson and not spending the cash on Tate. Robinson was a first-team All-American last year and seems to have a good head on his shoulders, but again, Seattle’s not too concerned about its receiving corps after players like Doug Baldwin (50 catches, five TDs) and Jermaine Kearse (22 catches, four TDs) stepped up while Harvin and Rice were injured. Wide receivers aren’t too hard to find, anyway.
Whatever the Seahawks decide to do with that first-round selection, there are six other picks to make in the 2014 Draft, and plenty of money to spend judiciously in a free-agent market where players are going to want to come to town. The coffee’s pretty good in Seattle. So are other things besides coffee that certain athletes enjoy. Namaste!