Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Look At The Future

by: Michael Steffes

If it isn't clear by the poll I set up yesterday, Seahawks fans are pretty evenly split on the whole Bobby Engram case. Bobby wants to be a Seahawk through 2010, and I applaud that. I think that in most cases, when I guy wants to be a part of the team, that is a good thing. However, for the Seahawks, it might not be.

Unfortunately for Bobby, the Seahawks have been preparing for him to retire. It is understandable, he is 35. In doing so, they have built up their WR depth by drafting 3 young players in the last three years, and by all accounts finding a diamond in the rough in Logan Payne. What does this all mean? Well...that this is a numbers game.

To see what I mean....

If you go back and look at this post, I did last week, you can see that only once in the last few years has the team broken camp with more than 6 wide receivers. Also, no matter what, Jordan Kent or Logan Payne will not be eligible for the practice squad after this year. I am not sure the team could even slip them on the PS this year. Add Burleson and Branch, and you have six wide receivers set to make the squad for the next several years. That is the magic number, and I doesn't even take in to account if they draft one next year.

Many of you will argue that Bobby's contribution far outweighs the others. Your But what about at the end of the year? What about in 2010? It seems far less likely because Bobby is getting older and the younger guys are hitting their prime. Do you want to risk losing members from the one offensive position that is young, deep, and skilled? Especially when players like Walter Jones and Matt Hasselbeck are aging as well. This is not a decision about Bobby's value. This is a decision about the future of the team. Maybe a couple of the young guys don't have what it takes, but isn't it the responsibility of management to at least find out before extending Bobby? Maybe Branch gets hurt again, and the team cuts bait with him instead of Bobby. Either way, there isn't enough information for Tim Ruskell to make an good decision for the clubs future. He has to wait it out. All he can do is try not to burn the bridges with Bobby, something he has not always done well.

Bobby missing voluntary workouts can not be punished, it is voluntary for a reason. To me it does seem counterproductive though. Essentially, he is allowing the young guys to gain ground on him in regards to comfort and trust with Matt. That is the one thing he does have that no other receiver offers. The closer they get, and the more they show, the less likely Bobby is to be a Seahawk beyond this year. And if thats what he wants, he should look at things from a different angle.