Seahawks general manager John Schneider was a guest on PFT Live Wednesday, covering a number of topics in his interview with Mike Florio. Here are a few highlights from the interview.
1. Jimmy Graham "seems to be doing great" in recovery from knee surgery.
While there is still no exact timetable on Jimmy Graham's return to action, Schneider sounded optimistic when asked how the tight end was doing, noting that Graham is in Seattle with the team and in good spirits as he continues to rehab his injury.
"He seems to be doing great, he's got a great attitude about it," Schneider said. "He's got a smile on his face, really attacking rehab every day. We're glad to have him back in the building, and he seems to be doing a good job."
2. Schneider feels "much better" about the offensive line than he did a year ago.
Despite losing starting left tackle Russell Okung and right guard J.R. Sweezy in free agency, Schneider is optimistic about Seattle's offensive line in 2016 because of the players they have added, including draft picks Germain Ifedi, Rees Odhiambo and Joey Hunt, and free-agent signings J'Marcus Webb and Bradley Sowell.
"Much better than last year," Schneider said when asked how he feels about the line. "This was a really good draft class in our opinion. The first four or five rounds had some really good players all the way through whether it was at center, guard or tackle. For us to be able to get the guys we were able to acquire, it's much better. It hurts losing Sweezy and Russell Okung. We have to be able to adjust and move forward without those guys. They're special players and special people to us, and they always will be, but you have to plan, at every position, when you go into free agency, 'If we lose player A, we have to come up with B and C,' and we think we've found B and C in the draft and free agency."
3. Trevone Boykin has a real shot at winning the backup quarterback job.
Despite his status as an undrafted rookie, former TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin very much has a shot at being Russell Wilson's backup in 2016. As of now, Boykin and Jake Heaps are the only other quarterbacks on the roster, and Boykin's physical similarities to Wilson could give him a leg up in the competition.
"He really does, based on his style, basically running the read option, and based on pure arm talent," Schneider said. "Now in terms of getting in the book and being a pro and studying, those are things he's going to need to prove to all of us over the next several weeks here as we evaluate him as a pro in the building. He does (have a chance) though, because this guy's got a lot of pure talent."
As for former Oregon and Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams, who participated in rookie minicamp as a tryout player, Schneider said "Vernon did a great job," but for now at least the Seahawks are sticking with Boykin and Heaps as their backup options.
"He did a nice job," Schneider said. "We had Jake Heaps and Boykin in here as well, and really at this point, he didn't do enough to go past those players or supplant one of those guys. He had a nice weekend for us, and we'll stay in contact with him."
4. Re-signing WR Jermaine Kearse "was important for us."
Schneider admitted that the Seahawks went into the offseason unsure if they would be able to re-sign starting receiver Jermaine Kearse, but they were able to do so, insuring continuity in a position group that played very well in the second half of last season.
"It was important for us to get Kearse back," Schneider said. "He was an unrestricted free agent, and Jermaine's just a great, heartbeat guy. He's a great teammate, really good in the locker room, a really steady, reliable player for us. I was actually surprised to a certain extent that we were able to stay in the ballgame with him, but we're just really glad to get him back."
5. Some veteran free agents could find jobs soon.
Thursday is a significant, if not somewhat under the radar, date on the NFL calendar when it comes to free agency. Up until now, unrestricted free agents signing with new teams counted towards the compensatory pick formula that is used to award extra picks in the following year's draft to teams that lose more or better compensatory free agents than they sign. After May 12, however, that is no longer the case, so if a veteran who is still unsigned is intriguing to a team, now might be the time to act. Even so, the top free agents have already signed, and Schneider said he doesn't see a huge rush of activity.
"There's a number of teams, and we're one of them, that are very conscious of the compensatory picks," Schneider said. "… Teams may look at their current group, the rookie free agents and the tryout guys they signed, and see how they compare to some of the veterans who are still out there, and if they feel like they need to fill a hole, I'm sure people would jump at it."
Members of the Seahawks rookie class joined the veterans for a Phase Two offseason program practice on Monday at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center.