Pete Carroll on priorities; Bennett and Tate on free agency

A year ago, Pete Carroll didn’t hesitate when asked about his team’s needs heading into the offseason. He wanted pass rushers, the Seahawks went out and got them, and the additions of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril were a big part of Seattle’s Super Bowl championship season.

This year? It’s not about need as much as just staying the course and working to improve, Carroll said.

“The priority is for us to get back to work and work really hard again,” Carroll said. “That’s going to be more important… it’s not going to be something from outside of us. We have what we need, we just need to get back to work when the times comes, with the right attitude and right focus, and that’s all I’m concerned about. We’ll have an opportunity to add some players to our team through the draft and all. We’ll take a good look at free agency. There are some very difficult decisions we’ll have to make, as you always do this time of year, but I don’t see anything we need to add, we just need to get better. These players know that they got better all the way until the last game of the season. That’s always out there for us and that will continue to be our focus.”

As for those “very difficult decisions,” many of them will have to do with how the Seahawks manage the salary cap as many of their young stars get to the end of their rookie deals. If the Seahawks are going to spend money to extend players like Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman, that could mean parting ways with high-priced veterans.

Another immediate concern are players who are heading into free agency, the most notable two being Michael Bennett and Golden Tate. After celebrating their title Wednesday, both free agents made it clear they want to stay in Seattle, but of course there is always a business side of things.

“I want to be back here 100 percent. I love the team, I love my teammates,” Bennett said. “Pete does a great job of letting us play, so I want to be a part of that. I know we can go back and win a Super Bowl again with all these guys. It’s a business, but I definitely want to be back.”

Martellus Bennett, Michael’s brother who is a tight end for the Chicago Bears, has made it known he’d love a family reunion in Chicago, but Michael Bennett said that won’t be a big factor in his decision.

“That doesn’t matter much,” he said. “I know he wants me to come out there and get a chance to play with him, but I’m definitely a Seahawk and I definitely want to be here for the rest of my career.”

Tate too wants to be a Seahawk, noting as a receiver, facing Seattle’s secondary doesn’t sound fun.

“I would love to be a part of it,” he said. “I definitely do not want to play against Seattle, I’ll tell you that. I don’t want to play against Richard Sherman and Bam Bam, for sure. But we’ll see, only time will tell. I think I’ve set myself up regardless of it’s here—hopefully it’s here—or if it’s elsewhere with the way I play the game. We’ll see. I can’t say enough great things about Seattle, I really enjoy everything, even talking you knuckleheads (media) everyday. I love it, so we’ll see.”

Asked about a comment he had made in an interview with Sports Radio KJR a day earlier, Tate reiterated that he might give a bit of a hometown discount to the Seahawks because he’d rather be happy for a little less money that in a bad situation with a slightly larger paycheck.

“To an extent,” he said. “I’ve still go to take care of myself and my family. I kind of have a number in mind. I haven’t talked to my agent yet, I’ve kind of been trying to enjoy the Super Bowl for now, then take the next step hopefully in the next week or two once things settle down. But in my eyes, I’d rather stay and play in a great organization and a great city around great people, around great teammates for a little less than go to a crappy city and win a ballgame every now and then and be miserable for six months and have a fanbase who doesn’t care about the sport. So you’ve got to give a little, take a little, whatever. We’ll see how it works out. I think I’ve done everything in my power to earn the respect and the trust of this organization. They know what they’re going to get from me, they know I’m going to work hard. The last two seasons I’ve started, I’ve missed a total of one game, so I think I’m reliable. I know the system, I know what coach Carroll wants. So we’ll see. Hopefully things work out.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Stanwood's Ryder Bumgarner rushes with yardage with Arlington's Trenton Lamie, left, closing in the third quarter Friday night at Stanwood High School on September 24, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
A look at this week’s top local high school football matchups

Rivalry games and conference matchups highlight Week 5 of the local prep football season.

The Everett Silvertips’ Olen Zellweger maneuvers around a Vancouver Giants defender during a strong first period for the Silvertips in the first round of the WHL playoffs Friday, April 22, 2022, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Ducks send star defenseman Zellweger back to Silvertips

The 19-year-old standout and reigning WHL Defenseman of the Year should provide Everett with a huge boost.

Cascade's Julian Thomas jumps over multiple tackles during the game against Jackson on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Week 5 prep football leaderboard

A look at the area’s top passers, rushers and receivers.

X
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Sept. 19-25

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Sept. 19-25. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Seattle Mariners, including Adam Frazier (26), J.P. Crawford, center, Chris Flexen (77), Luis Castillo, second from right, and Cal Raleigh, right, celebrate after a single by Crawford in the 11th inning drove in the winning run in a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Seattle. The Mariners won 10-9. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Mariners outlast Rangers, reduce magic number to 1

Seattle wins 10-9 in 11 innings to move one win, or one Baltimore loss, away from clinching a playoff berth.

Retired professional bowler Darrell Storkson beams as he walks on stage to accept his Hall of Fame induction during the 2022 Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame banquet Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2022, at the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
GALLERY: Class of 2022 inducted in county sports Hall of Fame

The nine new members, plus The Herald’s Man and Woman of the Year in Sports, were honored at a banquet Wednesday evening.

White line on Green grass sport field for sport concept
Prep roundup for Thursday, Sept. 29

Prep roundup for Thursday, Sept. 29: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Stanwood's Michael Mascotti relays the next play to his teammates during football practice on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Prep football picks for Week 5

Local experts take a crack at picking the winners for the fifth week of games.

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. attempts a pass while being pressured by Stanford defensive end Stephen Herron Jr. during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Preview: No. 15 Washington at UCLA

The Huskies travel to face the Bruins in their first road test of the season.

Most Read