BY Adam Lewis 01:04PM 02/03/2014

Lunch Links: Seahawks might be new Yankees

Seahawks general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll will have some difficult decisions to make this offseason to stay under the NFL’s salary cap.

Could the Seahawks stockpile talent as the Yankees did during their run of four championships in the 90s? /  New York University

In the celebratory aftermath of the Seahawks’ 43-8 win over the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, Seattle CB Walter Thurmond III compared Seattle’s favorite franchise to a baseball team that has inflicted more pain than perhaps any other on the Emerald City.

“If (this) was like baseball with no salary cap, then we would be like the Yankees,” Thurmond told USA Today Sunday. “Just hoarding guys and really creating a dynasty.”

New York twice ousted the Mariners (2000, ’01) from the postseason, erasing the best chances the club had to win a World Series since it began play at the Kingdome in 1977.

How extra sweet it was then, that the Seahawks stopped their 38-year title drought in East Rutherford, NJ, just a few miles from new Yankee Stadium, which was built across the street from the home to some of the Seattle’s most heart-wrenching losses. 

Thurmond’s point — ironic as it was to the typical Seattle sports fan who would rather plunge into Lake Washington in November than root for the Yankees — provided a preview of a 2014 offseason that will test general manager John Schneider’s ability to keep the Seahawks under the NFL’s salary cap without tearing apart the roster that brought home the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in franchise history.

As of Monday morning, the Seahawks were 7/1 favorites to win the 2015 Super Bowl, or 9/2, according to Bovada.com, but those predictions come with the reality that Seattle will soon need to make some significant roster moves.

  • In his column, “Early Super Bowl Favorites for 2014,” ESPN’s John Clayton points out that the Seahawks have just $3 million in cap space. Seahawks WR Sidney Rice, DE Chris Clemons and/or TE Zach Miller will likely be cut, Clayton argues, so the club has flexibility to sign S Earl Thomas, WR Golden Tate, LT Russell Okung and DT/DE Michael Bennett, arguably the team’s most valuable offseason acquisition.  QB Russell Wilson, and CB Richard Sherman, both of whom will undoubtedly require hefty sums when their contracts expire, will be next after their original deals expire.
  • In his MMQB column, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King said the Seahawks were easily the best team in the league. He also ranked Seattle’s defensive performance alongside blowouts by three other Super Bowl winners: The Bears’ 46-10 win over the Patriots in 1985, the Ravens’ 34-7 win in Super Bowl XXXV and the Giants’ 17-14 win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
  • Despite not getting any sleep, Carroll held a press conference Monday morning in snowy New York before the team was scheduled to fly back to Seattle.
  • More than anything, the Broncos were shocked following their embarrassing loss. From the moment center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball over QB Peyton Manning’s head on the first play of the game, leading to a Seahawks safety, to their ineffective defense, to their special teams lapse to start the second half, leading to Percy Harvin’s 87-yard kick-return touchdown, Denver was simply outplayed.

YourThoughts

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    I hope this is a dynasty in the making (ala NY Yankees)….

    I know one thing?It would be hard to get guys with the name Manning onto disagree with this defensive bunch. Collectively in TWO full games this year the M brothers managed ONE touchdown calling the signals for 4 full quarters in each game.

    THAT my friends is an elite defense that seems poised to do it again next year. Add a healthy Percy Harvin and perhaps Sidney Rice?
    We might even improve upon 13~3. Heres to Believing!

    Go Hawks!

  • RadioGuy

    We know how creative Schneider is at finding overlooked talent and bringing it to Seattle…now we’re about to find out how creative he is at keeping players who just won a Super Bowl happy with how much money they’re making. As Adam implies, the salary cap is the Great Equalizer and this IS a business. Perhaps Allen can sign some of these guys to “personal services” contracts the way Trump did with Herschel Walker. I don’t know if NFL rules allow that, but that’s one way around the cap. This will be a very interesting offseason in any respect.

    Let’s hope as many players as possible stick around for the parade on Wednesday. These guys deserve the adulation they’ll be getting and it’ll be the last time they’ll all be together as a team this season. Enjoy the moment…they don’t come around often enough.