“I think Carson’s finished here for a lot of reasons — I know that the movers were at his house the other day. … At the very least, (head coach) Marvin Lewis is ready to move on. Mike’s a businessman, and I think Mike Brown is probably the guy that is holding up the idea that Carson Palmer is going to be traded — he doesn’t like somebody to dictate terms to him in the way that Carson has done it. But now with the drafting of a quarterback, I think that Mike will get what he can for Carson Palmer, and I do think there’s going to be some interest.”
It’s a subject we’ve discussed many times on the blog since we revealed that a deal to send Palmer to Seattle was in the pipeline. Mike Brown has stated a couple of times his stance would be ‘no deal’, a point emphasised by many if only due to previous history. My response has been – what do you expect? As I wrote here, when an end to the lockout was not in sight, why would he deviate from the initial statement that he wouldn’t be willing to complete a trade? It would merely create a media storm at a time of limited NFL news.
As Collinsworth touches on, Palmer is in the process of re-locating. I understand it’s a move to the PNW and that Brown is willing to get what he can for the quarterback.
I have just published part two of my piece on Field Gulls regarding the Seahawks rebuild and what was, essentially, a successful (win over New Orleans) failure (7-9 record) in 2010. Click here to read the piece.
I wrote a piece for Field Gulls today titled ‘Seahawks in re-build (part one): Learning lessons from visions of the past’. Click here to read it. I’d really appreciate it if you gave it some love and attention.
Peter King caused a stir yesterday when he suggested the Seahawks were ready to move on from the Matt Hasselbeck era, potentially handing the starting job to Charlie Whitehurst. King appeared on ESPN 710 today to put more meat on the bones, see the embeded audio below to hear what he had to say…
If only to emphasise how long this lockout has dragged on, we’ve been discussing this issue for what seems like an eternity. The Seahawks fan base is definitely split between those who feel staunchly that Hasselbeck should stay in Seattle and those who believe it’s time to move on – with very little middle ground. The debates at times have been venomous and defensive and truly this is an issue that needs to be resolved as quickly as possible if only for everyone’s sanity.
Here’s how I see the situation, through personal observation and sourced information.
Matt Hasselbeck very much remains an option for the Seahawks. There’s a mutual interest between both parties to get something done, but both parties also want it to be on their terms. Brock Huard suggests in the audio above that the stumbling block to a deal before the lockout was length of contract (Seahawks offered a one-year deal, Hasselbeck wants two years). My prime Seahawks source suggested differently – that a deal was made before the end of the last CBA but guaranteed money and not years was the problem.
I approach the situation as such – the Seahawks don’t want to sign a handcuff deal to a soon-to-be 36-year old quarterback who has had injury problems and a high number of turnovers the last three years. Hasselbeck repaired his bargaining position with strong performances against New Orleans and Chicago in the playoffs and has precedent on his side such as the $15m two-year deal signed by Kerry Collins at Tennessee. It’s also important to remember Collins signed that deal having helped the Titans to a 13-3 season.
The deal for Hasselbeck wasn’t completed because while mutual interest remains between the two, both parties are also fully aware of alternatives. Hasselbeck will expect to get interest on the open market which can help his bargaining position, while the Seahawks can explore different veteran quarterbacks. I’ve previously reported that Cleveland will be big players in the Kevin Kolb stakes despite everyone assuming that franchise is settled on Colt McCoy. That would leave other teams such as Arizona having to look elsewhere – and Hasselbeck would be a logical alternative.
The Seahawks also have interest in Philadelphia’s Kolb, but I understand they are not willing to pay as much compensation to acquire him as other teams such as Cleveland and Arizona.
Pete Carroll and John Schneider are comfortable going into free agency with a few options to play with. Although some fans will cringe at the prospect (perhaps unfairly) the Seahawks maintain a level of belief in Charlie Whitehurst and should other deals not materialise, they are prepared to give him the starting role and bring in other veteran competition in free agency. They aren’t going to let the market dictate their position – the price will have to be right for Kolb, Palmer or Hasselbeck and if it isn’t, they’ll walk away from the table and turn to the only quarterback currently signed for the 2011 season.
Every possibility remains open at this stage. As I see it, the team haven’t made a commitment to Hasselbeck either way. They’ve maintained contact when possible and although Pete Carroll and John Schneider sounded out his re-signing as a priority, the reality is they had a full season of football to talk about a new deal and chose not to, they didn’t complete a deal before the CBA deadline and chose not to franchise tag their quarterback. You don’t allow your starting QB to ‘test the market’ if he’s truly your one defining priority.
At the same time, his free agent status and the team’s interest in other veteran quarterbacks won’t prevent a deal being completed if that is the direction which, in the end, best suits all parties.
It follows an off season of drama in Columbus with a NCAA investigation, the resignation of Jim Tressell and chaos surrounding the organisation. Pryor was due to miss the first five games of the 2011 season along with several other teammates as a sanction for selling memorabilia. Most recently, it was revealed he’ll be investigated for driving multiple vehicles on a suspended license.
Off the field issues have made a mockery of gradual progression on the field. Following a standout Rose Bowl performance in early 2010, he enjoyed a largely successful junior campaign where he considerably improved his completion percentage from 57% in 2009 to 65%. He also scored nine more passing touchdowns (27 in 2010 compared to 18 in 2009) and helped the Buckeye’s defeat Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.
His career now ends in disgrace at Ohio State, after an off-season where he was especially indecisive about declaring for the NFL Draft and having opted not to turn pro (almost certainly because his stock was incredibly low) he consistently toyed with the idea of entering the supplemental draft as the disaster zone erupted around the programme and his own personal future.
While Pryor’s 2010 numbers suggest real improvement on the field and he has got unlimited athletic talent, it’s a major stretch to expect any team to invest any kind of faith in his potential. The off-field stuff will be a major killer and while he may think that someone will pay a modest mid-round price in the supplemental draft, I doubt any team will bite because there’s just too much baggage. We’re not even sure if a supplemental draft will even take place due to the lockout, but at least there’s some encouraging signs today that players and owners are back round the table.
ESPN’s Joe Schad is reporting that Pryor’s preference is the supplimental draft or the Canadian Football League. Personally, I think his best option may be to transfer to a FCS school where he won’t be required to sit for a year, he can dominate on the field and prove to NFL teams that his troubles are in the past. Right now it’s hard to imagine how his stock could get any lower from a pro-perspective and a year of positive story-lines wouldn’t do any harm. If he’s a 7th round flier in 2012, that’s probably more than he can expect to achieve right now via the supplemental draft if it ever takes place.
Time to look at two of the most productive skill players in college football – receiver Justin Blackmon (WR, Oklahoma State) and LaMichael James (RB, Oregon). Both are ranked highly on my big board and below you’ll find tape of Blackmon vs Baylor and James vs Stanford.
Nick Foles is destined to hear the words ‘West Coast Offense’ about a million times in the lead up to the 2012 draft. When quarterbacks have limited physical qualities but managed some degree of production in college, the term is lazily thrown around in the same way that ‘moxy’ is also used as a way to avoid addressing a weak arm or a lack of a complex system. I grade Foles as a mid/late round pick next year, but make your own judgement via this tape against ASU.
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