SEATTLE – We put it to Seahawks fans Wednesday: For Seattle to win Super Bowl 50, what do they need to add in the offseason?
Some called for a new offensive coordinator to replace Darrell Bevell, partly due to the final play call in the Super Bowl and partly due to his entire body of work in Seattle.
Some said nothing needs to change. After all, if that pass is completed for a touchdown and the Seahawks win, then why would you need to change anything?
The most common answer was adding a receiver.
"… a playmaker on the outside, one that can command a double team, or at least be a threat," Bernie Bell said.
Seattle is unabashedly a run-first team and it's been working. They ran the ball 53% of the time in 2013 and 51% in 2014. Doug Baldwin was the team's top receiver last season, but finished 42nd in the NFL in receptions and yards. Adding a playmaking wideout may not be Seattle's top priority. But, let's play with the idea.
The problem with big name receivers is they come with big price tags, and Seattle will be working to stay under the salary cap as they try to sign Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and Bobby Wagner to extensions.
Seattle had Golden Tate in 2013 but couldn't afford to pay him what he wanted and let him go to Detroit. They thought they had that playmaker in Percy Harvin. They jettisoned him midseason, but are still on the hook for a $7.2 million salary cap hit on his contract.
Top free agent wide receivers like Dez Bryant in Dallas or Jeremy Maclin in Philadelphia will probably come with high price tags, so they're out.
"More tall receivers to back up Chris Matthews," suggested Ray Lee.
"Keep Mathews (sic) around and throw to him a bit more. We need a more rounded offense." said Allen Toma.
Matthews, the 6-foot 5-inch receiver who had CFL success before coming to Seattle, had a breakout performance in the Super Bowl with four catches for 109 yards and a touchdown. It was enough to get fans excited for next season.
But he was on and off the practice squad all season. He never caught an NFL pass before Sunday. To base big hopes on one great performance may be premature.
Remember when Seattle signed quarterback Matt Flynn before the 2012 season? The backup to Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay was coming off a 2011 season finale in which he went 31-of-44 for 480 yards and six touchdowns. It was really the only noteworthy performance of his career, but he suddenly became the must-have free agent quarterback.
Seattle signed him, then Russell Wilson beat him out in the preseason. Flynn fizzled and eventually made his way back where he started in Green Bay.
Matthews could be the future, but we'll have to see.
Then there was this suggestion:
I'd like to see Larry Fitzgerald join the Hawks...." said Chris Nimmo.
Larry Fitzgerald from the Arizona Cardinals is intriguing because of his contract situation. The Cardinals are about $8 million over the salary cap heading into next season and Fitzgerald's contract is a big reason. NFL insiders have acknowledged that if he doesn't take a pay cut, the Cardinals will likely trade or release him.
If he's released, another team could take him at a discount. It's just a matter of how much of a discount.
Would Arizona risk releasing him just to have him go to a division rival like Seattle? They might choose to trade him somewhere else instead, but his salary would limit how many teams could afford him.
Whatever happens with Fitzgerald, it could happen fast. If he's still on the Cardinals' roster on March 14, they have to pay him an $8 million roster bonus.
Seattle could also try to draft a receiver in May. Picking 31st in the first round, Seattle won't get the best-of-the-best like Amari Cooper from Alabama or Kevin White from West Virginia, but may have a shot at DeVante Parker (6-3, 208) from Louisville or Jaleen Strong (6-4, 212, viewed in Photo) from Arizona State.