Seahawks GM On Graham, Unger, Williams

The Seahawks have certainly had an eventful Tuesday, orchestrating perhaps the day’s biggest news by acquiring tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick from the Saints in exchange for center Max Unger and a first-round selection. Seattle general manager John Schneider spoke to reporters, including Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, about today’s events, so let’s take look at the highlights:

On how discussions for Graham began:

“We started talking to them probably maybe three days ago, just about general things—lots of different players. This time of year there are a lot of teams that are just trying to move some pieces around to figure some things out as we get close to the deadline to cut down for salary cap purposes to start the new year, and it was no different than a regular call like that. Then he was one of the players who was brought up and we continued to pursue it.”

On his level of surprise at hearing Graham’s name come up in talks:

“Yeah, we think he’s a heck of a player, but there are a lot of names that are talked about. You just never know how serious people are, but it just depends on the different scenarios that you talk through, then the level of intensity or interest either increases or decreases based on the different scenarios that are discussed.”

On losing Unger as part of the deal:

“Any time you’re making these types of trades for a player like this, it’s not just going to be a handover. Both teams had specific needs, for us, we’re going to miss Max’s leadership, he was a core part of what we were doing around here the last several years. He was here when we got here—coach Carroll and his staff actually move him to center for guard, and he really took off. But we have to continue moving this thing forward. We always talk about not having any finish lines, and this is just part of it—tough decisions, but exciting futures as well.”

On how the trade will affect Seattle’s salary cap:

“In some respects it actually helps us. When you take out a first round draft choice like that, the cost of a first-round draft choice is close to 3.5 million. So if we were going to go out and sign a tight end in free agency, and have a huge signing bonus, big paragraph 5, a lot of guaranteed money, that would have hindered some of the things we would have been able to do.”

On signing Cary Williams:

“We’re going to miss (Byron Maxwell) but we had to be ready to go. I think it’s a testament to coach Carroll, Kris Richard, all of the guys that have worked so hard with our defensive backs; he’s a sixth-round draft choice that leaves for a monster, monster contract and we’re going to miss Byron a lot and we’re excited for him but we’re also very excited to add Cary. We felt like we needed to do it early because of the competition at the cornerback position and feel blessed we were able to finish it up last night.”

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