Assessing the futures of Wilson, Carroll & Schneider

November 22nd, 2021 | Written by Rob Staton

There likely won’t be any of this next year

It’s starting to feel like the writing’s on the wall.

Change is inevitable. We’re just waiting to see the extent of the change.

Pete Carroll, John Schneider and Russell Wilson will not work together after this year.

It’s simply a case of who, if anyone, returns.

Ownership needs to make that decision now, so the next plan of action can commence as soon as the season concludes.

Whatever they decide — clarity is required from the moment the final pass is thrown of this wretched season.

Yet with this being the only serious topic in Seattle sports right now, we still have to debate, project and opine.

So here’s what I think, approaching December…

Russell Wilson will seek a trade

I don’t believe Wilson wants out of Seattle. I think he cares passionately about the city and the team. For someone so focused on legacy, he knows the importance of being a one-team man.

Yet I think he realises that in order to max out his career, he needs to be playing for a particular coach with a specific supporting cast.

The ideal home is with Sean Payton in New Orleans.

The Saints have had a year of ‘giving it a go’ with a collection of bad quarterbacks and the depth and talent of their roster is being squandered.

They are primed to make a run at a top veteran quarterback.

Forget the slightly strange contract extension for Taysom Hill announced today. If he was the answer at quarterback, they wouldn’t be starting Trevor Siemian.

Even if Carroll and Schneider depart (and I think both will need to go for there to be any chance of Wilson sticking around) — the Seahawks would still need to convince the quarterback that Seattle is the place to be with their subsequent appointments.

That’s going to be especially difficult to do. I can’t think of a Head Coach who would realistically convince Wilson. It would need to be a proven, prolific offensive mind with a track record. It’d almost have to be going out and trading for a Sean Payton.

That’s implausible, of course. It’s the kind of bold, ambitious move you could imagine Paul Allen pulling off. This ownership group, however, are a total unknown. And the Seahawks feel like a less trendy franchise for a prospective big beast of football coaching.

Thus, I think whatever happens, Wilson will seek to arrange an amicable split with the team. He will want a clean cut, a non-messy divorce, that allows him to part on good terms.

His non-trade clause also means he’ll get a big say in where he ends up. If New Orleans keep losing and their first round pick in 2022 continues to rise, they become a more realistic option. The Seahawks might be left hoping Wilson’s more open to a team like the Giants or Eagles, given they have multiple first round picks to spend.

Some people would celebrate a deal like this and suggest a huge rebuild is required, with Wilson the sacrificial lamb to gain cap space and draft picks.

We know how difficult it is to find a franchise quarterback. We can see other teams — desperate teams — struggling because they are left picking through the scraps of what is available.

You can have a really good team and struggle badly because of your quarterback. For every ‘Ryan Tannehill and the Titans’ example — there are far more teams who struggle with mediocre quarterback play undermining a strong roster.

You could include the 2011 Seahawks as a striking example.

They’ve had no such worries since 2012, which coincides with you-know-who being drafted 75th overall.

Pete Carroll will walk

I’ve felt for a while this’ll be Carroll’s final season. The out-of-the-blue LA Times article on his USC days, just as they were looking for a new coach, felt telling. Jay Glazer reported in 2017 that Carroll considered retiring before a big re-set — and they’re facing another one now. His body language has been very different this year. He’s seemed erratic, cluttered and the shambolic press conference last night was another example of a man who seems to have lost his mojo.

Carroll’s Seahawks are passive, soft, boring and have no identity.

As the Head Coach, he takes the main responsibility for that.

His explanations for the issues don’t cut the mustard. He implied on 710 ESPN today that a little bit of fine tuning and execution would have Seattle in position to succeed. The reality is, the Seahawks were just hammered in their own stadium by an Arizona team missing Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and JJ Watt.

Suggesting the Seahawks ‘only needed a couple more third down conversions’ sounds logical. When you are demolished by a team missing key starters and fielding Colt McCoy at quarterback, the issues go far deeper than Carroll is implying.

Furthermore — the problems we saw against Arizona have been there all season. It’s a coaches duty to right the wrongs and yet Carroll seems totally incapable of producing the answers to the problems.

Currently, the Seahawks would own the #5 overall pick if they hadn’t traded it to the New York Jets. And yet the Head Coach has no solutions.

His team has nothing to hang their hat on. No redeeming quality. They are hard to watch.

It’s time for a change.

Carroll will be well aware of what sticking around means for him. He’ll be the coach who saw off Wilson. He would then need to begin a major rebuild, with three years left on his contract and no realistic ability to take this on for another 8-10 years under a new QB.

It took them three drafts to find Wilson. It’s improbable to imagine Carroll wanting to spend the next three looking for a replacement, then launching a new era of Seahawks power football in his mid-70’s.

Especially with such a dire looking quarterback landscape in college football.

Whether Carroll retires or takes on one of the many college football job available, we’ll see. But I think we all acknowledge he’s coming to the end and I don’t think he’s going to persevere. I think he knows what’s going on.

He’s paying the price for his own hubris and lack of direction in terms of roster construction. He needed to be willing to take a back seat and become the overseer rather than the puppet-master.

He needed to do what Bill Belichick and Nick Saban have been willing to do. Hand the offense over to an experienced, skilled play-caller and let them dictate everything on that side of the ball. I would argue he should’ve done the same with the defensive coordinator. Be the leader. Set the culture. Motivate people. Allow others to look at the nuts and bolts of scheming.

Instead he doubled down, persisted with his family members, close friends and Carl ‘Tater’ Smith on his staff. All in the name of total control. It was a huge mistake.

Likewise the roster re-set has been a disaster. Carroll has done everything to undermine his own philosophy — building a team incapable of playing the way he wants to play.

The running game is horrendous and they can’t beat anyone up in the trenches. Squandering millions on average players, wasting picks on crazy trades and ill-fitting rookies. Carroll has taken his vision and committed Harakiri.

He has become a man with a terribly executed plan, no answers on how to fix the problems and he’s increasingly sounding desperate when speaking to the media.

It’s a sad end, one nobody would’ve wanted for this legendary coach.

I suspect he’d be doing himself a big favour by making it clear this is the final year — so we can celebrate all the great things he achieved in Seattle and say goodbye properly, rather than spending the next few weeks resenting him, while wondering if we might be subjected to another year of this.

John Schneider is the big question mark

What happens at GM is the key to everything. I don’t think Schneider and Wilson (and Mark Rodgers) can co-exist together. I think Schneider, given the opportunity, would’ve traded Wilson this year.

Does ownership want to take responsibility for replacing the Head Coach and the GM? Or do they want to hand that off to the General Manager and allow Schneider to become king-maker?

After all, they handed him a big extension just a matter of months ago. That, if nothing else, felt like a statement of intent and backing.

Even so, I wonder if Schneider even wants to carry on. Does he want to oversee a huge rebuild? Or would he rather take a break and come back re-energised with a new team in a year or two?

If he does continue, it’s plausible that ownership will ask him to shape the future of the team. And even if serious questions need to be asked about Seattle’s recent drafting and the Jamal Adams trade — it would at least be somewhat interesting to see what Schneider’s vision is after all these years of supporting Carroll and trying to deliver what he wants.

Whether he deserves the opportunity after the last few off-seasons is the key question. Bad drafts, suspect free agent decisions, squandered resources and too often a roster covered in band-aids.

I can imagine Schneider finding some traits within this quarterback class to admire. There isn’t a Wilson for him to fall for but he typically likes big-armed quarterbacks so he may appreciate some of the players, such as Carson Strong (knee permitting). I can see Schneider being a big fan of Kenny Pickett too.

He would need to make big decisions on key players. Is it time to move on from the likes of Bobby Wagner? Do they need to consider the possibility of trading D.K. Metcalf rather than paying him? Do they need to write-off the Jamal Adams contract and just move on?

Only recently Jason La Canfora connected Schneider to Aaron Rodgers. If Carroll goes, does it open the door for a Rodgers trade to replace Wilson, while adding a coach who can handle the strong-minded QB?

How do they become tougher and more physical rather than the soft, noisy front-runners they’ve become?

What will it take to become a team built in the trenches, that can once again beat-up opponents and be the bully?

Big questions and a big job. One I’m not completely convinced Schneider deserves or will have the appetite for. Yet of the three key individuals in Seattle right now, he might be the most likely to stay. If for no other reason than it gives ownership someone to lean on to deliver a replacement Head Coach.

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94 Responses to “Assessing the futures of Wilson, Carroll & Schneider”

  1. Bankhawk says:

    Reading this, I am reminded of the old Chinese curse:”May you live in interesting times.”
    You nailed it Rob. That’s a really fair job of covering all the angles of the situation, and a damned fine piece of writing to boot! 👍

    • hobro says:

      +1

      I’m sure you’re right that “Some people would celebrate [Wilson’s departure] and suggest a huge rebuild is required, with Wilson the sacrificial lamb to gain cap space and draft picks. I wouldn’t be among them, but I can’t see an alternative given the current state of the roster, the paucity of draft capital, and the slim pickings in next year’s free agent class in positions of need like left tackle and edge rusher.

  2. Peter says:

    Trade Wilson to Trade for Rodgers. Sure i can see JS doing that.

    I can literally see JS thinking it’s the QB and Rodgers malcontent attitude will be excited to get hammered by the rams, the cards, and occasionally the niners when they are right.

    All while this “improved,” 21ish DVOA defense rarely has answers and the sub 90 yard rushing game does no one any favors.

    I’m actually with you Rob that PC bows out and the Seahawks early in the year announce a new headcoach so you can nerd out on that coaches tendencies for the purposes of the draft.

  3. Blitzy the Clown says:

    Carroll’s Seahawks are passive, soft, boring and have no identity.

    Passive, soft and boring absolutely. But I think they do have an identity. Unfortunately, I think their identity is “old man”.

    Think about it. Carroll’s Seahawks are: cantankerous, crotchety, bumbling, incoherent, and incompetent, totally married to old ways and methods that may be familiar and comfortable, but are totally ineffective.

    Game in and game out for the last season and a half (maybe two), they make the same mistakes, over and over again, even in the wins. And every time afterwards, Carroll says the same inane and ultimately meaningless platitudes about just needing to convert a few more third downs, or just needing to execute better, or whatever.

    Bumbling, incoherent incompetence = old man identity.

    • God of Thunder says:

      “Let’s go Brando— er, Pete”

    • BobbyK says:

      Pete’s ways are mostly fine (mostly it’s the in-game adjustments that suck).

      It’s the fact they draft so crappy and sign such regular players for too much money (because their drafts suck).

      Like who in their right mind gives good money to Benson Mayowa? Not great money, but good money (still too much).

    • Paul Cook says:

      Come on. Bill Belichek is about the same age as PC and he’s been killing it for years and has rebuilt the team into a playoff caliber team one year after Brady left. If anything, PC has acted more young and enthusiastic almost all his years with the team than people half his age.

      • Simo says:

        No doubt Pete is old, but this doesn’t have to be an issue of old age. I think the issue really is Pete’s unwillingness, or inability, to adjust to a constantly changing game. He stubbornly thinks what he’s always done will always work, and that’s rarely the case in any walk of life!

        Rob is right on the mark, Pete has needed to relinquish his tight control on the offense and defense, hire creative coordinators and step back! If the coordinators are young, so be it, if not, it doesn’t matter if they are able to adapt to the changing environment.

        If nothing else, it will be very interesting to see how this team looks in the spring!

  4. Big Mike says:

    Succinct well laid out Rob. Thanks for the effort.

    I really, really agree with you about wishing Carroll would announce that this season is it because I am starting to resent him a great deal and I would like to not do so.

    I frankly don’t think Jody will fire Pete because of money. The Blazers should’ve fired their GM Neil Olshay once the recent allegations came to light but have not done so reportedly in an attempt to find cause so they don’t have to pay him for the remainder of his contract. Unlike her brother, I think all she sees is the bottom line because she has no real passion for or interest in sports. It’s why I also believe Schneider stays if Pete retires and he doesn’t resign. Either way, I sadly agree with you that Wilson is likely gone regardless. There is a part of me that craves seeing him go to New Orleans because I don’t think for one minute he’s cooked and I’d love to see what he’d do with a really good offensive mind like Payton. And maybe he is done, and if so we’d find that out in NO.

    • TomLPDX says:

      I would love to see what Sean could do with Russ!

      I mentioned below that I would love to see Jody get Tod Leiweke somehow involved with getting the next coach/GM. Sure wish we knew the truth behind Jody…

  5. cha says:

    Suggesting the Seahawks ‘only needed a couple more third down conversions’ sounds logical. When you are demolished by a team missing key starters and fielding Colt McCoy at quarterback, the issues go far deeper than Carroll is implying.

    This is spot on and it scares me. It’s like being nose-blind that your house smells since you’ve lived with it for so long. I used to think this was just Pete being ultra-positive in the sight of obvious deficiencies but the longer he persists in grasping to this bizarre take, the more he tarnishes his long-standing reputation.

    It’s extremely awkward to watch the Cardinals kicker miss a try after try and imagine PC getting up on the podium and crowing about a narrow win and the ‘guys fought like frickin crazy.’ Followed by a playoff blowout where he actually says he can’t imagine what went wrong.

    That’s the position we’re in, win and it only prolongs the suffering and the inevitable. But you want the Seahawks to win because they’re your team.

    An announcement before season’s end alleviates all that.

    • Submanjoe says:

      It’s Pete the salesman and he’s lost all credibility. I guess the idiots will buy it but anyone who’s paying attention knows it’s crap.

    • DriveByPoster says:

      damn it, cgha. Now you’ve got me going round the house sniffing at things. I hate you!
      😉

  6. Cysco says:

    We have so little insight into how the Seahawks are run. How much power does Pete have/wield? Does JS just provide PC with options and ultimately just executes on Pete’s wishes? Knowing Pete’s insistence on doing things “his way”, I imagine that’s the case.

    “John, We need a playmaker on Defense, go get Jamal Adams.”

    “Pete, the asking price is really steep”

    “I don’t care what it takes, just get the deal done.”

    I’d love to give JS the benefit of the doubt. He seemingly has a good relationship with ownership, has a great reputation throughout the league and was reportedly the voice in the room that insisted they draft Wilson in the first place. That said, I can totally see the “guilt by association” view as well.

    • cha says:

      We have so little insight into how the Seahawks are run. How much power does Pete have/wield? Does JS just provide PC with options and ultimately just executes on Pete’s wishes?

      You can thank the local press for that.

      • DriveByPoster says:

        Is it me or has John Schneider been really quiet this year? In fact, he’s been pretty quiet ever since the Adams trade, hasn’t he?

        • God of Thunder says:

          It’s rather odd, is it not, we have basically no idea whatsoever what JS really thinks.

          • Roy Batty says:

            Imagine you are at work. You are the purchasing agent. The boss walks in and says the conveyor system in the factory is broken and that you need to buy the missing part. You investigate and find that the missing part is at the start of the conveyor and you can have that part in the factory in a week. Your boss then tells you to buy a forklift, instead. One that is really loud, won’t stop running into vital things, costs 5 times what it’s worth and occasionally drops pallets. But he insists you buy it.

            JS is thinking what that purchasing agent is thinking.

            “Why do I work here?”

      • 6x2 stack monster says:

        Bingo!!!!!
        JS is the loyal employee who does what PC says. It will be interesting to hear about how many times JS was overruled by PC in trades and draft picks. What happen to “always compete”? And the you give Rashad Penny 50 chances to succeed because of his draft status. Remember when those guys got here and they churned the roster and cut crap highly drafted players like Lawerance Jackson? Pete’s fingerprints are all over this because of his age/seeing his career come to and close.

  7. Evan says:

    I’m curious your take Rob on if the issues the Seahawks have are more a coaching problem or a drafting/personnel problem? I’m not an expert on coaching, but it’s been clear the drafting and high pick trades have been really bad for several years and it surprises me people aren’t talking more about Schneider being the cause and needing to go. Curious your take and to see if this “bad drafting” theory could explain the issue with coaching and coordinators!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think the way they’ve constructed the team is the biggest issue. They’ve wasted so much.

      But the coaching, to me, is also a big issue. The same issues persist week after week.

      • God of Thunder says:

        Hindsight is 20/20 but definitely the drafting has been atrocious. Collier, even Eskridge over Humphrey the centre… yikes. But Penny. He’s not even the kind of runner they favour.

  8. cha says:

    PC confirms Tre Brown out for the year.

  9. DT says:

    I’ve also long thought Russ will move on, regardless of whether Pete or John stay or go.
    Why would he want to sit through another offensive rebuild?
    He knows he can be plug and play and learn and lead a new system/team quickly… he did so in college with success… why stick around where everyone would have to learn something, vs dropping in to a team that’s more established. Even if they redesign around Russ, the base likely to be familiar for the rest of the offense.

    I suppose on option would be IF Russ actually likes Waldron, and believes the system works but Pete is in the way, would he stay on if Waldron stayed on…. meaning the Hawks hire a defensive coach who will truly give Waldron/Russ the keys and instead focus on how to actually use Jamal Adams…
    Think all that is unlikely, though, and that Russ is gone.

  10. KennyBadger says:

    Pete certainly looked exasperated. How many more losses is it gonna take for him to realize it’s time? I hope no more than 7…

  11. Tomas says:

    My studied analysis: Russ is the baby, Pete and John are the bath water.

  12. TomLPDX says:

    What about having Jody (re)appoint Tod Leiweke as the CEO for Vulcan Sports and Entertainment and have him fix the Seahawks AND the Trailblazers? I know he is the new part owner and CEO of the Kraken…or just have him take a special assignment and oversee the search for new personnel for those 2 franchises while maintaining his Kraken gig.

  13. Group Captain Mandrake says:

    I read articles like this and it makes me glad that I don’t have cable so I don’t feel compelled to spend 3-4 hours watching this shambling husk of a formerly great team. Personally, I think they need to keep Wilson. He has been a shadow of his former self this year (and the end of last year), but who do you replace him with? Even with potential high picks from him, there aren’t any QBs that seem that great. My hope is that Rob is right and Pete retires. Let’s face it, the game seems to have passed him by. And the more we look back, the more it seems like the team got really lucky with the early draft classes and have come no where close to replicating that success. I am not sure how much of that is on JS vs. PC, but bad drafts combined with bad free agent signings – or good free agents, but not the right fit – is no way to build a team.

  14. cha says:

    Brian Nemhauser
    @hawkblogger
    ·
    2h
    Every path from valley to peak in Seahawks history has involved at least 1 draft with multiple first round picks.

    1997 Springs/Walt

    2000 Shaun/McIntosh
    2001 Koren/Hutch

    2010 Okung/Earl

    You don’t need to hit them all but you need multiple.

    That’s top priority imo.

    You realize that blowing two first round picks is the pathway from ‘peak to valley’ as well, yes?

    2019 – LJ Collier, Marquise Blair
    2021-22 – Jamal Adams

    • TJ says:

      “You don’t need to hit them all but you need multiple.” So Holmgren and the Hawks wouldn’t have had their SB and league MVP season without McIntosh or Koren? Um… OK.

      Too bad Chuck Knox traded two 1st round picks to move up for Cortez Kennedy; that explains the 1990s Seahawks.

      • Peter says:

        Koren didn’t factor hardly at all in 2005.

      • BobbyK says:

        You’re right. I can tell you’re being funny (and I like it) on the Cortez comment. That brings me to a random rant that I know you’ll appreciate:

        Chuck Knox wanted to draft Brett Favre with the 16th pick in the 1991 NFL Draft (they took Tez in ’92). The owner demanded the team take Dan McGwire. Knox was pissed and privately told coaches this was the move that would probably get them all eventually fired. He knew McGwire sucked.

        • TJ says:

          I remember that well. McGwire was billed as the “unsackable” QB because he was so big. Unfortunately, he couldn’t throw. They also drafted WRs in the 2nd and 3rd rounds who couldn’t catch. That was a BAD draft except, if I remember correctly, they did draft Michael Sinclair in the mid/later rounds. I did hear that Knox wanted Farve and was overruled by ownership. How different might the team’s fortunes have been if they had listened to the coach?

          One minor correction though, Tez was drafted in 1990. Seattle also added Robert Blackmon, Terry Wooden, Chris Warren, and (I think….) a good kicker that year. That was a very good draft. Seattle drafted Ray Roberts in ’92, which was the year Tez won defensive POY on a 2-win team. Pretty incredible.

    • Peter says:

      Brian with an interesting anectdote but not causation.

      What team with rodgers and possibly watson available is giving Seattle two firsts?

      The “top priority,” is to do something mechanically near impossible since you already wasted one first rounder now you’re going to manufacture two somehow?

      Awesome analysis. It’s right up there with the idea that the team that scores more points usually wins.

      • God of Thunder says:

        Rodgers is ancient, and might stay in GB. I.e., they might change the FO to accommodate him.

        Watson is a PR and ethical disaster.

        RW is a choirboy, and nice to work with.

        • Peter says:

          I don’t disagree about Rodgers being old and more injury prone than russ is or ever has been.

          Watson is a real problem possibly waiting to happen.

          But…..i don’t think having the potential to be available is going to help his “trade russ,” viewpoint.

          I also don’t think it’s as easy for teams to part with two firsts as some fans here think other teams would.

          If someone is on the 86 pc/js train and trade russ i might hear that out. But the keep doing what you’re doing, trade russ, and it’s gonna be good argument fails me. Russ is super duper expensive. Still doesn’t change six years of first through third round picks with next to nothing to show for it.

  15. coach62344 says:

    My hope is that ownership is moving in discerning ways. No one of any caliber will want to come to Seattle or stay in Seattle unless they see an ownership and FO that is stable, solid and knows what they want to build and how to build it.

    I do think if ownership does this we can have a turn around from a valley to a peak again. When that occurs is beyond my understanding. Thank you Rob for your great insights as usual.

  16. BobbyK says:

    I’ve watched more football this year than I have the past couple years. As much as I want to rag on Carroll for his lack of in game adjustments, there are a lot of coaches who aren’t much better. And believe it or not, there’s plenty of head coaches I’d pass on for Carroll. I’d actually say over half after all things are taken into consideration. That said in terms of lack of in game adjusting, it seems to happen more than not with him on average and that sucks. Part of the problem is coaching, but the biggest failure is on the front office (of which Pete also heads) providing talent.

    The Seahawks biggest failure is their lack of drafting/signing good players. I don’t expect perfect drafts where everyone turns into an All Pro. They had some early round stinker picks in ’10-’12 when they ultimately built a Super Bowl winner, but they were able to offset those with picks in volume and hitting on those picks. They don’t do that anymore. They get an occasional good player but usually the guys aren’t anything special. DK is the only abnormality and he was taken only after the team drafted two bums before him.

    One draft I can think of where they really screwed things up was 2017. They had a plethora of draft picks (or ended up with a plethora of them). Sure, I can piss and moan about missing out on TJ Watt, but I won’t. That could have been a fine draft even with picking the worthless ATV bust. They still had another 2nd round pick they wasted (Pocic).

    Where they really failed was they had 5 picks in the third round area. Technically, it was 4 picks in the third and one in the early fourth. This is what they ended up with:

    3. Shaq Griffin (solid starter; no complaints)
    3. Lano Hill – pretty worthless
    3. Naz Jones – pretty worthless
    3. Amara Darboh – very worthless
    4. Tedric Thompson – pretty worthless

    From the early 2nd round until early 4th round these guys ended up with 7 quality draft picks. They only drafted one decent starter (Griffin) and one guy who only kind of sucks as a starter (Pocic). But they took kind of sucks guy and tried playing him out of position at guard his first few years (totally stupid). They drafted 5 1/2 bums with those 7 picks. This is an example why the reset has sucked. Much of those wasted picks has to be on Schneider, right?

    The successive drafts haven’t been much better when you factor in the well documented Penny/Chubb fiasco to passing on J. Taylor when we were screaming for him here to trading the farm for Jamal.

    • Peter says:

      That draft sucked but how’s this: in 18 picks from from first through third round including trades and the waste of this first…

      Seattle comes away with a guard. A good not great WR. Taylor with potential. And nothing else of note. Busts all around, penny and mcdowell. The triple safety pick year. Green and collier…who? Pocic who should never have been picked and remains because he’s available. Griffin okay but i guess not good enough (he’s not byw) to retain except there’s nothing behind him. Two rental d linemen they can’t retain.

      Since I am done arguing with charts and graphs about russel. Sure he’s a dumpster full of rat piss soaked rags on fire…. I guess

      But, we’re gonna let him go for the same FO who thinks you don’t need to turn 18 picks into aything more than 2 and a half players…okie dokie.

    • CHaquesFan says:

      100% agree. Past a point, scheme can only do so much when your team is so talent devoid. When Benson Mayowa is playing 70% of snaps at edge rusher, something is wrong.

    • Cambs says:

      My contrarian opinion on the worthless ATV bust is that he’s actually the best first-round pick they’ve made lately, process-wise. Yes, you have to put TJ Watt out of mind on this.

      They made a series of value trade-downs, correctly realizing that they should draft in volume — the Lano Hill and Tedric Thompson picks come from this cascade. It’s not the fault of trading-down John Schneider that submitting-picks John Schneider whiffed!* As you say — day two picks are valuable.

      McDowell himself was a risk/reward upside pick. He might have busted, sure, but he was a big swing at a premium position, a disruptive pass-rusher with (some) promising athletic measurables who would have mattered to the defense if he’d hit. That’s the sort of shot a good team should be taking with their late firsts. (In McD’s case technically early second.) Contrast with a Collier — if Collier hit his ceiling, what would you have had? A competent rotational lineman, nothing more. Give me McDowells with those picks any day.

      You can say that the warning signs were there or whatever but a lot of guys this age, pro athletes and otherwise, aren’t the most mature and @#$! can happen. It’s pretty tough to price in the risk of a career-ending** ATV injury days after the draft. You have to view that as a lightning strike or just treat it no different than if he’d turned up to camp and stunk or had his career aborted by a freak injury like Chris McIntosh. Maybe set him in your mind next to Frank Clark and say we rolled the dice two times and we won once.

      I can’t substantiate this until the tell-all books come out but I always got the feeling they had a heavily results-driven overcorrection and retrospectively magnified all the (legitimate) concerns about his work ethic and such into absolute clinchers, as if those things would have foretold the ATV had they looked at them just right. It’s always felt to me like the Penny pick the next year driven by their cockamamie “injury proneness” model had something to do with butt-clenching risk aversion after McDowell burned them. What fools we’ll look if we take Chubb and he turns around and re-wrecks the very same knee!

      * This is the draft where Kittle went in the 5th round sniped before Schneider could trade in lol

      ** Yeah he came back technically

  17. Shadrey Sands says:

    Hi guys,

    I’m a huge fan of this site and a long time lurker (very rare poster). Rob, you nailed it again! Thanks for being such a thoughtful voice in an endless ocean of homerism. 

    This season has sucked. Plain and simple; this is the least fun team to root for in a long time (maybe that Jim Mora Jr. season, but I try to black that one out). At least the Lions have been dramatic in their winless season. I’m sure this has been done before, but I was trying to really look like what our options are if Russ is not the QB after this season.

    In my estimation, this is how the QB-needs across the league breakdown: 

    16 Teams are set at QB (whether they have set starters or investment in draft picks): AZ, SF, LAR, CHI, MIN, DAL, LAC, KC, BAL CIN, CLE, TEN, JAC, BUF, NE, NYJ6 Teams are probably set at QB: PHI, NYG, ATL, TB, LV, IND

    7 Teams have a need at QB: DET, PIT, DEN, CAR, NO, WFT, MIA

    3 Major wildcards: SEA, GB, HOU

    These are the QBs that might be available this offseason (not all are FA, but these are either QBs that are rumored to be available or QBs that seem like they could be had a cheapish price)

    Top Tier: Russel Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson (don’t want to include him but who knows)

    Average to below average starters: 
    Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater, Jimmy Garrapalo, Tyler Heinecke, Tyrod Taylor, Cam Newton

    Guys who might still have some upside…maybe? sort of? If you look hard enough?
    Gardner MInshew, Sam Darnold, Mitch Trubisky, Drew Lock, Jared Goff, Tua

    Top backup options:
    Andy Dalton, Nick Foles, Trevor Simien, Jacoby Brissett, Colt McCoy

    Draft: 
    Matt Corral, Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis, Carson Strong, Sam Howell

    Am I missing anyone? Are there any diamonds in the rough, sitting on a practice squad that I didn’t include? If not, that means we are going to look to replace Russell Wilson with someone from this list. It also means that as many as eight to sixteen teams could be looking at this same list to upgrade/replace their QB situation. I don’t feel great about that. 

    Now, let’s look at where the starting QBs have come from across the league:
    23 starting QBs were drafted in the 1st round (24 if you count Deshaun Watson)
    3 second rounders
    2 third rounds
    1 fourth rounder
    2 6th rounders
    1 undrafted

    21 starting QBs were drafted by their current team (22 if you count Deshaun Watson)
    7 signed
    4 traded

    (as a side note 9 backup QBs were drafted in the 1st round (10 if you count Deshaun Watson) and 3 2nd rounders).

    So the vast majority of teams have drafted their current QB and the Seahawks are short on draft capital again and this is one of the weakest QB drafts in years….don’t feel great about that either. 

    Finally, let’s look at recent QB trades: 
    Gardner MInshew for a conditional 6th
    Teddy Bridgewater for a conditional 6th
    Sam Darnold for a 6th, future 2nd, future 4th
    Matt Stafford for Goff, 3rd, future 1st, future 1st
    Carson Wetz for a 3rd and conditional 2nd (probably going to be a 1st this year)
    Nick Foles for a 4th 

    Looks like elite players have a lot of value. Dumping salary costs a lot. And those backup options are cheap and probably cheap for a reason. 

    I went into this exercise thinking trading Russ was a no brainer. Look at what Carson Wentz went for! Surely we could get 3+ firsts, a starter, and multiple later picks. But then I remembered that I have die hard Broncos friends in my family. What about Miami and Carolina fans? What about all of the New York teams? Going into a game limited by the most important position in sports is something we haven’t really had to think about for a long time. 

    I still have no idea where I stand on this. I guess, if we can get all of Philadelphia’s picks and Jalen Hurts and more go for it? But that’s not going to happen is it? Realistically, there is almost no chance that this is going to be a smooth rebuild, but least we have Jamal Adams!

    • McZ says:

      I think, Mitch Trubisky was hampered by poor game planning, poor run game and poor receiving options during his tenure in Chicago. He is the only player of the lot I regard as a viable reclamation project in the Tannehill mold.

      And people tend to thrash Sam Howell. He plays behind a sophomore OL, and has offloaded both his top receivers and halfbacks in 2021 draft. Watch Trevor Lawrence play with almost no weapons at hand. It’s no fun.

      An outlier who I believe will return to college for 2022 is Brennan Armstrong, UVA. A pure gunner.

      If – and that’s a big if – RW gets traded (Saints fans under my colleagues are offering a resounding ‘no’), we will get some draft firepower. If said QB options don’t work, we should fail fast and go back to business in the 2023 draft.

      We will suck for a year, maybe two, possibly longer. But QB is not the vital decision in this regard. If we get the wrong HC, we will suck for a decade.

  18. Andrew M says:

    But your list didn’t include Geno Smith…

    I think there’s this idea lurking subconsciously in the minds of some fans that we can just find another QB in the mid rounds because we hit the lottery with Russ in the third. The plan going into that season was starting Matt Flynn, and he was paid handsomely for it. Credit has to go to Pete for starting a rookie QB after that preseason, and Russ has evolved into the franchise’s best QB. Landing such a player in the third round basically never happens. And it surely isn’t going to happen twice.

    • UkAlex6674 says:

      Exactly. And I don’t think I’d want PC to be that person in charge if it did happen again anyway.

    • Rob Staton says:

      There’s a lot of naivety out there in regards to actually getting a replacement QB.

      People seem to think even if it takes 3-5 years, so be it. It’s a long rebuild.

      It’s been decades for the Bears and they’re still looking.

      And the Seahawks had to wait decades for someone like Wilson, too.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      My plan in 2022 is to draft for other positions and ride out another bad year. Geno Smith (or Wilson if he is still here) starts and you can play around with cheap QB backups. The new coach teaches the new plays and system to his new team. In year two (2023) you draft for a QB and more players. Year three you fill the holes.

      While not particularly satisfying to those who want an instant turnaround, it is realistic. And it isn’t dependent on whether Wilson stays or goes.

  19. Justaguy says:

    This writing on the wall you speak of must be lack of action green uniforms

  20. bk matty says:

    this team is washed and gassed, more importantly you saw a ton of players making ‘business decisions’ on Sunday. The gig is up, they have packed it in. Jet fans are loving it. Adams PI was the backbreaker for the game as well.

    I tend to agree, I think the RW situation may be unsalvageable given the make over required to placate him when he can just turn up in NO or Chi and make it work.

    I guess we just have to hold firm on so many picks it is somehow maybe in some way kind of ok. While I love Russ, if you resign yourself to the fact that he is leaving, you can realize, he hasnt won a SB in a long time and other QBs have, he isnt the only QB who can win, there are options.

    • BobbyK says:

      Who made “business decisions” yesterday?

      I saw Duane Brown gutting it out. I saw Tre Brown fighting until his last play. Bobby Wagner always tries. Who quit to make a “business” decision like Teddy Bridgewater did last week?

  21. Alasdair says:

    Good read Rob.

    I do hope Pete leaves this season, not out of ill will. Thought he was great when the Hawks hired him on way back when and have been a big proponent up to this season. But the writing is on the wall and it would be a shame for that legacy to be tarnished more. Not legacy for the man per se, but this whole decade of Hawks football. And I would like to post “Robber Baron Pete” without too much regard for prolonged submediocrity.

    Personally, 80% interested in the world where Russel is the driving factor for the organization’s future. There is that 20% that is interested in the John Schneider direction, but there seems to be so much speculation about “how much of this decade was John?”, “what is his job satisfaction?”, “can he tolerate working with Russ?”. On the other hand we know what Russel Wilson brings to the table and you have laid out already what this is – the only uncertainty is how much he has left in the tank.

    Anyhow, the future can still be bright and look forward to it! Whatever happens. Just please don’t rehire Tim Ruskell and Jim Mora.

  22. Pugs1 says:

    Great breakdown, I love Pete but agree it’s time for a new vision and voice. JS has tried to build the team Pete wants but it’s no working anymore. This might not be a popular opinion but IMO it’s time to give the rains over to Schneider. Let him pick the coach to fit his vision. I’d like to see a coach who can fix Wilson but if he wants out it might be time to trade him. Whatever the future holds it looks like we are going to have to suffer for several weeks but hopefully the Seahawks get their act together this offseason. Thanks again Rob for the great content!

  23. Pugs1 says:

    Spitballing here Rob, I know you would prefer not to trade Wilson but would you trade him to the NYG if they offered their two number ones this year and a 2023 #1? They currently hold the 5th and 7th picks in this draft.

    • Ashish says:

      Not Rob but finding good QB is not easy. Team should be build around Russ.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I wouldn’t because you’d still have to hit on the 5th and 7th pick and you’d need to find a QB from somewhere.

      I’d sooner trade DK Metcalf, save some money there, and get picks that way if we’re saying picks are so important.

      Life without a quarterback you can believe in is miserable. I’ve no interest in going down that route. But I suspect Wilson will make that decision for the Seahawks and we’ll need to embrace it anyway. In that instance, if the hand is forced, then yes — two top-10 picks and a first next year would be a reasonable price. But I fear what we’d get with those selections because this is a honking 2022 draft at the top-end.

  24. Hughz says:

    Here’s my take:
    PC- he’s got to go. His defensive schemes don’t work anymore and there’s zero creativity on offense.
    JS- I think he has to go as well but I’m willing to give him a chance if the huge mistakes that were made were heavily influenced by PC.
    RW- He’s playing bad right now but I don’t think he’s remotely near 100%. You have to keep him and go get a coach that has some creativity.

    • BobbyK says:

      Give PC Aaron Donald and two competent CBs and he goes from “defensive schemes that don’t work anymore” to a guy who is still a defensive wizard at age 70. Their biggest problem is they waste draft picks and the suck at the ones the do make, for the most part.

      • Blitzy the Clown says:

        It’s a fair point.

        But my counterpoint is most teams don’t have Aaron Donald and two decent CBs. And yet, most teams aren’t nearly as gawd awful on defense as Seattle.

        It’s not just personnel.

  25. MattyB says:

    100% people need to move on. PC to step down which should happen. RW should be traded. – it’s the personal battle between these two that is mudding the club. Also if RW stays next season this would need to be his best ever as the boos on Sunday was equally for all the key figures in that offensive game.
    But the absolute change that is needed is ownership, we are a rudderless organisation.

  26. UkAlex6674 says:

    It would be more palatable if PC actually put his hands up and accepted the problems that he has caused.

  27. jopa726 says:

    Sports Illustrated published this article on May 3, 2021

    An NFL Quarterback’s Guide to Forcing Your Way Out of Town by Conner Orr
    https://www.si.com/nfl/2021/03/03/quarterbacks-guide-to-forcing-your-way-out-of-town

    I wonder if Russell Wilson has it bookmarked.

  28. Rob Staton says:

    FYI — I will be on 710 ESPN with Jake & Stacy on Wednesday

  29. Sea Mode says:

    Good. Save us the pain, NFL. It’s already bad enough.

    Adam Schefter
    @AdamSchefter
    ·2h

    Being that the NFL hasn’t yet announced that next Sunday night’s SF at Seattle game will be staying at that time – which it would have had to do by Monday – it now is likely to be flexed out today, with either Denver at Kansas City, or the Chargers at Cincinnati taking its place.

  30. Happy Hawk says:

    Rob, great content and well written article. Thank you. Moving forward without your HOF QB in his prime is foolish and absurd. Wilson is the key to our return to SB contention. Also, why would a top offensive mind want to come and run the Hawks without RW? Hoping for a graceful exit for the best coach the Hawks have ever had and the return to smart creative solutions to a quick and decisive rebuild. It can be done.

  31. Pavlos says:

    I used to defend Pete Carroll. No more. The man has got to go.

  32. HawkFan907 says:

    Say Wilson demands a trade and wants out of Seattle and you are presented with these options. Which do you pick (assuming Russ is ok with each destination)?

    PHI: Hurts, Pick #8, Pick #11, 2023 2nd

    LV: Carr, Pick #15, 2023 1st, Pick #77

    NYG: Jones, Pick #6, 2023 1st, Pick #39, Pick #72

    NO (assuming they continue to suck): Pick #10, Pick #42, 2023 1st, 2023 2nd, 2024 2nd
    I can’t see how NO can clear enough cap room to make a Wilson deal work, but they are magicians and the cap isn’t real anyways.

  33. Gross 'Tater' MaToast says:

    Everything you said here, Rob – excellent.

    Pete’s vibes right now are of someone who has checked out of the process. The answers he offers are the answers of someone with no answers. It is what it is and no amount of improved footwork is going to fix anything with this team, unless it’s the footwork of Pete heading for the exits.

    I like Pete, btw, and his peak era here was a blast. But it’s done. He knows it.

    I have a tinfoil hat theory that the “normal” meeting Pete and JS had with Jody Allen over the weekend let them know that a behind-the-scenes search was beginning for a new coach. This is the time to find out who’s available and get them locked down. ‘Black Monday’ will be too late, unless you somehow stumble into Frank Reich. I think it will be someone viewed as a “safe” hire – Pederson or Quinn – and I wouldn’t be surprised if JS stuck around for “continuity.”

    Russ is likely gone.

    I’d offer the Coffee Cup and most of whatever I got for Russ to get DeShawn Watson. It’s unseemly, but he’s going to play for somebody. Rework his contract with severe ramifications should anything untoward happen again, get him a “girlfriend” to stand onstage as he offers apologies for all those he may have hurt, let him do a tour of contrition begging forgiveness and talking about while the millions of settlement dollars he paid won’t ever make the pain go away, he hopes that someday to help others understand how wrong his actions were, just as he does now and state how he’s a better man for having gone through it. I do think he has it in him to be a better person. After a few weeks, the furor dies down. And then watch him throw tds. He’s the best QB available – go get him and do some rehab.

    Regardless, this article sums up nicely what is the end of an era in both Seattle and the league.

  34. Ptarmigan says:

    Now that the arc of this season has been definitively drawn, I can’t help but think Wilson’s public airing of grievances this past offseason put change irrevocably into motion from that point forward. He tried to soft-pedal his comments after the fact, to be sure, but he can’t erase a question that lingers: is he more committed to his team or to what he sees as his legacy? And, more importantly, if he no longer believes he can win championships in Seattle, why should his teammates? Or other NFL vets? Or talented coaches? There’s a reason “Protect the team” is Rule #1; this lapse in judgment has many ramifications, none of them good.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s not unfair to ask that. But I think many players may share Wilson’s concerns so…

      • Ptarmigan says:

        How many of them care if Russell Wilson earns the MVP award? Gets the top QB contract in the league? Displays any of the other trappings of NFL superstardom? I would argue players care a lot more about whether he can help them get better at football and perform better in games so that they can achieve their own football success. And there was a time when he understood the leadership responsibility of the QB position and articulated it perfectly – back in the beginning.

        Undermining his now-much-younger-teammates’ confidence in/respect for team leadership is a proven recipe for team failure even if the concerns he has are completely valid.

        Everything you write about the dearth of acceptable replacements for Wilson at QB may be true, but he may have no interest whatsoever in the hard work ahead – which involves developing talents other than his.

        • Rob Staton says:

          So when Wilson dedicates a whole summer to working out with his receivers and tight ends, inviting them into his house to live, he’s not helping them?

          Or when his play almost single handedly takes the team into the playoffs for years on end, thus helping those other team mates succeed and potentially earn more money, he’s not helping them?

          Is Bobby Wagner hurting the team when he wants to be the highest paid LB or make the HOF?

          What about DK? Should he take a smaller contract and not be among the highest paid receivers, to avoid you accusing him of being selfish?

          Is the only way for you to be placated for Wilson to throw away millions of dollars that the market dictates he’s due, endure playing for a franchise he thinks has completely lost the plot and basically waste the best years of his career, just so someone like you can say ‘fair enough’ at the end? Will you present him with the ‘fair enough’ MVP award when he’s done?

          The ways to have a go at Wilson are being more and more creative. More and more whacky ideas of how he’s hurting the team being all cooked up.

          All bollocks.

        • Tomas says:

          SDB is a top-tier football site – equal to any – because of Rob’s insights and intelligence, stellar communication skills (writing and podcasts), AND a plethora of sagacious followers whose posts are pretty much invariably worth reading. And I greatly appreciate the humor – mostly black, these days – that graces SDB. Lifting a glass to Rob, Robbie, Cha, and everyone here.

  35. Cortez Kennedy says:

    Lockett: defenses are showing one thing on film then doing something completely different on game day and Seattle is not adjusting well. Says that happened last year, too.

    Pete Carroll was just presented with Tyler’s theory from last night. Pete’s response: “You’re assuming that he’s right.”

    I’m sure this is old news around here by now.

    • cha says:

      Just to add to the dysfunction: RW said the exact opposite in his press conf. Something to the effect of ‘they’re not showing us things we haven’t seen, we just have to execute’

      Problem is, it appears Lockett has it correct:

      Paul Calvisi
      @PaulCalvisi
      ·
      22h
      #AZCardinals DC Vance Joseph says on third down “our disguise was excellent” vs Russell Wilson. Says showed looks pre-snap and took ’em away post-snap. #AZvsSEA

  36. Paul Gunther says:

    Rob,

    I heard a rumor here in Seattle that Pete Carrol has it in his contract that he has final say in the first round draft pick, over John. Would make some sense. You heard anything like that?

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