It’s unfortunate that so soon after the Seattle Seahawks’ phenomenal Super Bowl victory, all the talk about them is their bleak chances of keeping the team together without significant cuts. To the naysayers who believe Seattle’s brilliant GM John Schneider cannot keep this championship squad together, I respectively chastise them. Guys like Golden Tate and Michael Bennett have already said they would take a pay cut to remain Seahawks, and that mentality is likely so pervasive throughout the team that Schneider will have no problem whatsoever retaining this team.
In the days leading up to Tate’s proclamation of his willingness to take a pay cut, ESPN NFL analysts had singled him out as the most expendable Seahawk whose contract had expired. Coincidence? I think not.
Tate spoke particularly about his love of the fans and the city, but of course he still mentioned financial compensation. He has to make sure he can take care of his family.
While I applaud his willingness to take a pay cut, because one does not see it that often these days, his comment about having enough to take care of his family is somewhat laughable. A million dollars a year ought to be plenty for a football player and his family. Every worker who’s not a professional athlete would gladly take $1 million a year, and even $500 thousand would make people comfortable. But these franchises throw heaps of money on players because they think they’re worth that much money. Let me let all these owners and GMs in on a secret: no player is worth an insane amount of money. Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco, and Jay Cutler don’t deserve the amount of money they’re getting (particularly Cutler). I invite those people who have not seen the movie Moneyball to go watch it. Sure, it’s about baseball, but the message transcends all sports. These guys that get lucrative contracts make other guys greedy for similar lucrative contracts, and it ends up pulling teams apart. Just take a look at the Ravens’ defense.
I think we might see lots more selflessness as a whole in the Seattle locker room. Many of Seattle’s key players were humbled early in their careers because of where they were drafted, if they were drafted at all. Richard Sherman is going to need a new contract soon. Sherman, a fifth round pick, may talk a lot on the field, but behind the scenes one can see what a truly great human being he is. Do people really think he’s going to ask for a Darrelle Revis contract? No. He’ll take a look at the $7 million that Kam Chancellor is getting a year, realize he has just as much influence in the secondary as he does, and probably settle around there. The same should go for Earl Thomas…the key word being “should.”
An ESPN panel referenced Russell Wilson going to need a new contract soon, as well. The feeling I took from their discussion is that they truly believe Wilson will be signing a Joe Flacco-type deal. But if you were to ask anyone who he/she thought would take a lower salary to keep a team together, Russell Wilson would be an immediate name. Wilson is the type of guy who should pervade the NFL- a humble, team-oriented guy. I would bet anything that when Wilson’s contract is up and he goes in to talk to Schneider, he’ll say something like, “John, let’s keep this team together. How can I help you make that happen?”.
I’ll bet anything.
The Seattle Seahawks love playing for their 12th Man. Michael Bennett, after playing only one full season in Seattle, has said he wants to be a Seahawk for the rest of his career. I imagine that feeling rests in the hearts of most of these Seahawks. Their relationships with their fans and Pete Carroll and the rest of their teammates is special. Many of them were discounted by scouts and analysts when they first entered the league. The 2012 draft class got an F grade. Seattle’s never really been taken seriously until this past season. The city of Seattle, however, has steadily been faithful, and these players realize it. It’s why they want to stay in Seattle. It’s why they want to remain together.
So why can’t they make that happen?