The acquisition of all-around playmaker Percy Harvin raises a ton of roster questions this year and next for the Seahawks.
Is Leon Washington on the way out? Can the Hawks afford to pay both Harvin and Sidney Rice? How does it affect the emerging Golden Tate? How does it affect their draft and ability to beef up their defensive line?
Washington and Matt Flynn need to commiserate as they now find themselves in very similar spots as players whose jobs have been/will be taken by younger, more dynamic players.
Last season, Washington averaged 29 yards on 27 kick returns. Harvin, whose season was cut short by an ankle injury in Week 9 against Seattle, averaged 35.9 yards on 16 returns -- thanks partly to a 105-yard touchdown.
Harvin has returned five kicks for touchdowns -- at least one a year -- over his first four seasons. Washington holds the NFL record with eight TD returns.
But Washington is 30, while Harvin will be 25 in May.
Word is the Hawks already are dangling Washington in trade, but it seems unlikely that any team will want to trade for the veteran.
The Hawks owe Washington just $1.5 million, with a $1 million signing bonus, so they easily could keep him. In fact, they would be smart to, considering Harvin's potential for injury.
If the Hawks trade or cut Washington, who is signed through 2014, they would save about $2.1 million against the cap. If they kept him this year, they could save $3.5 million next year by letting him go.
It seems like they are leaning toward the former.
Rice, 26, has the second-highest cap hit on the team, at $9.7 million, but Harvin's deal could count as "little" as $6 million in 2013, so the Hawks could afford both this year.
The Hawks had about $16 million under the cap before the Harvin deal, and they can create about $8 million more by cutting receiver Ben Obomanu and extending tight end Zach Miller's deal. If they let Washington go, they would add $2.1 million. If they trade Flynn, they could add $3.25 million.
Even without any of those moves, the Hawks still could have $10 million left after the Harvin deal. That's enough to add a veteran free-agent pass rusher at $4 million.
It is possible the Seahawks will ask Rice to cut his $8.5 million salary. If they don’t ask him to do it this year, odds are very good they will ask next year, when he is due the same amount. The Hawks have too many other players to pay to tie up $20 million in two receivers after this season.
Of course, health might be the deciding factor -- for both Rice and Harvin.
Tate emerged in his third season and is entering a contract year, so he couldn't be too happy to see a guy with similar skills added.
He told ESPN.com's Josina Anderson: "It's a business. The Seahawks are trying to do whatever they think is necessary to put together a Super Bowl quality team. If this is one of the steps they think works to accomplish that, then that's their choice. I don't think it will impact any of our work habits. We are still going to grind and let the cards play out the way that they will."
Later in the day, Tate tweeted (edited): "Last year people said we had one of the worst WR corps. Less than a year later people are eating their words. We have weapons everywhere!"
The Hawks were unlikely to give him an extension this offseason anyway, not based on one decent season. So he will need to prove it in perhaps fewer opportunities next year. It is easy to see him moving on in 2014 -- unless Rice goes first.
Either way, Tate is not going to get big money from the Hawks next year.
Wide receiver was third behind defensive tackle and end among Seattle's needs. So how do they address those?
In free agency, if possible. They most likely are not going to spend big on a pass rusher, but they are in the hunt for a veteran. John Abraham already visited, and Dwight Freeney and Osi Umenyiora will be options as well, starting Tuesday.
The Hawks showed interest in interior pass rusher Cullen Jenkins, who ended up signing with the Giants for a reported $8 million over three years.
Another player who might be let go is Denver's Elvis Dumervil, although the 29-year-old probably will command more than the Hawks will want to pay (he is balking at reducing his $12 million salary).
Carroll has said he wants to "double up" on the line, so they really need to add a veteran. If they don't, it will put pressure on them to draft two.
The Hawks could have done worse than use the 25th overall pick on a mercurial young receiver. After all, they have reached the last couple of years with their first-rounders.
This is considered a deep draft and, based on their success in rounds 2-5, they have to be confident they can find players who can help with their five picks in those rounds (two fifths).
Rob Rang provides some options along the D-line in those rounds.
But the Hawks very easily could go elsewhere with the pick -- guys such as Rutgers LB Khaseem Greene, LSU S Eric Reid, OL Barrett Jones or Mississippi State CB Darius Slay.
Other Hawk talk
**Because they won't have a first-round pick (unless they trade back into the round), the Seahawks will avoid paying about $1.4 million on a first-round cap hit. They certainly factored that into their ability to fit Harvin's contract.
**The Jets' signing of David Garrard seemingly lowers the chances of them trading for Flynn. That leaves Jacksonville as the top possibility. And, with no bidders, the price would be too low to make it worth trading him. It looks more and more like the Hawks would be better off keeping Flynn for one more year.
**As expected, the Seahawks reportedly are among the teams (six or seven) interested in Oakland free-agent defensive lineman Desmond Bryant. He was one of the top pocket-pushing tackles in the league last season and could earn $6 million a year. That likely would be too much for the Hawks.
**Despite finishing last season on IR with a knee injury, defensive lineman Jason Jones reportedly is being pursued by Detroit, Cleveland, Kansas City and the Giants. The Hawks figure to let him go if he gets an offer that is more than $3 million for one year.
**Coincidentally, the day the Seahawks and Vikings agreed on the Harvin trade, the man who was at the center of a previous transaction involving both teams decided to retire. Steve Hutchinson, who sparked the Poison Pill War of 2006, has called it a career after five years with the Seahawks and seven with the Vikings.