Written by Glen Peer
Holding the 25th pick in the draft, the amount of QB needy teams drafting ahead of the Seahawks, and the unsettled CBA leaves no real clear picture of how the Seahawks QB situation will work out for the 2011 season. QB is certainly a huge area of need for this franchise, and needs to be addressed but I don’t think its as simple as saying “take a QB with the 1st pick” and let him figure it out.
Via Free Agency
First we all must understand that as of right now Free Agency will not exist, as we all have come to know it. With the owners opting out of the current CBA and no new one in place starting March 4th there will be no player trades, or contracts signed until it is resolved. This leaves teams in a very precarious position since typically they have the free agency period to sign players in areas of need and then draft based on areas of need knowing what players they will enter OTAs and training camp based on free agency activity. With no CBA the draft will take place before free agents are allowed to sign with teams.
Matthew Hasselbeck – 170 games – 2572/4279 (60.1%) for 29579 yards – 176 TD 128 INT – QB Rating 82.2
After his Wild Card weekend performance we are right back to old faithful (or unfaithful depending on your opinion of Hasselbeck at age 35). Pete Carroll openly admitted that he wants Matthew back next season. Unless the Seahawk’s upgrade with a guy like Kolb (who I don’t think can be had) I believe this makes the most sense. The problem will arise when other QB needy teams (San Francisco, Carolina and Cleveland to name a few) may offer Hasselbeck more money to be the starter.
Carroll’s philosophy of “Always Compete” leads me to believe that if Hasselbeck comes back it will be knowing that he is competing for the starting job, and not just handed it. Say for example Hasselbeck resigns, Charlie Whitehurst’s 2nd year of his contract is picked up (at this time it is not guaranteed), and Ryan Mallett were drafted in the late first round an open competition would be held for the starting job. This is the scenario I have been hoping for all season (feel free to replace Jake Locker, any another potential rookie QB for Ryan Mallett, or younger FA QB) for a couple reasons. First, it keeps continuity at the most important position, it would be Hasselbeck and Whitehurt’s second year in the system and would bring in a younger QB to learn from 2 veterans for at least a year. Second, and I say this never personally interacting with Hasselbeck, but he really seems like the type of veteran that would help a younger QB grow into the position which I think is important at the QB position. To have a proven guy teaching a younger QB could prove to be invaluable down the road. Certainly the younger QB would have to want to be shown the ropes for that to come to fruition though. As I’ve outlined before the Seahawks don’t have the talent yet to throw a young QB in as the starter where he will thrive similar to what we’ve seen in Tampa Bay, Baltimore, and Atlanta.
Vince Young – 54 games – 698/1190 (57.9%) for 8098 yards – 42 TD 42 INT – QB Rating 75.7
Recently Bud Adams released a statement saying the team will be moving on from Vince Young. Adams public acknowledgement that Young will not be part of the team next year makes it hard to believe that anyone would trade for him and give up draft picks when they know he will eventually be released. Young has had numerous off field issues since entering the NFL as the #3 overall pick in 2006. I personally view Young as a high risk high reward type of veteran. He has shown the skills to be successful on Sunday’s but much of that is overshadowed by his off field antics. I do not think Young would be a terrible option to bring in for a look (similar to the Lendale White situation early last year) but that would only be possible if other teams were to value him higher.
Below is a list of other, younger, noteworthy QBs that will be free agents (whenever that happens based on the current CBA issue is resolved):
Kevin Kolb – 19 games played (6 starts)- 194/319 (60.8%) for 2,082 yds – 11 TD 14 INT – QB Rating 73.2
Kolb at 26 years old and four years experience is arguably the most coveted back up in the league heading into the off-season. The biggest question is whether Andy Reid would trade him with the amount of punishment Mike Vick takes. Reid is a disciple of Mike Holmgren who traded Marc Brunnel, Matt Hasselbeck and Aaron Brooks when he had starter Brett Favre on the roster as the starter. Reid personally traded former franchise QB Donovon McNabb when he handed the keys over to Kevin Kolb last off season. Kolb had two terrific starts in 2009 in which he became the 1st player to throw for 300 yards in his first two starts.
The difficulty in projecting Kolb what it will take to obtain him. Will Andy Reid require more because the serious chance Mike Vick could be hurt with the amount of running and punishment he takes? Its hard to tell but it will be at least what Matt Schaub and Matt Cassel were traded for. Below are those two deals:
Matt Schaub – Traded 2007 from Atlanta to Houston – Both teams swapped 1st round picks in the 2007 draft (Atlanta moved up from 10 to 8), and Houston also gave up 2nd round picks in 2007, & 2008.
Matt Cassel – Traded 2009 from New England to Kansas City - Kansas City sent a 2nd round pick for Cassel, and 12-year veteran LB Mike Vrable. This was the first major move for Scott Pioli, former New England executive, as Kansas City’s new GM.
My gut tells me it will take at least a 1st round pick this year, along with possibly a 2-7th rd pick or picks, plus a 2nd or 3rd round pick next year at the minimum. Last year we saw John Schneider and Pete Carroll trade picks along with players, but with no CBA in place its unlikely there will be the inclusion of players in draft day trades.
Kyle Orton – 62 games played – 1134/1952 (58.1%) for 12,774 yds – 71 TD 41 INT – QB Rating 79.6
Orton is 28 years old and has five years experience in the league with Chicago and Denver. Orton last year signed a one-year extension with the Broncos. Since the extension was signed, head coach Josh McDaniel’s was fired and Tim Tebow showed decent progress in his final three starts. John Elway has been hired to help turn the team around and was had good things to say about Tebow being part of the Broncos going forward. Even with a larger sample size and better numbers to support Orton, he maybe cheaper to obtain than Kolb. We also don’t know how Elway (who has final say on all decisions with in the Broncos) will run this franchise. From a scheme perspective he may not be the ideal fit for Seattle but Pete Carroll has shown the ability to not force players into roles, but rather tailor the scheme towards players strengths.
Matt Flynn – 14 games played (1 start) – 49/83 (59.0%) for 497 yards – 3 TD 3 INT – QB Rating 73.2
I put Matt Flynn on this list for two reasons. First, his tie to John Schneider – who was part of the Green Bay front office who drafted him - and second his great game at New England late this season. With a full week to prepare as the #1 starter Flynn posted a 100.2 QB rating going 24/37 for 3 TDs, 1 INT and narrowly lost to New England 27-31 on the road. Certainly that game will increase the stock of Flynn, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he wasn’t seriously on Schneider’s radar since he swapped 2nd rd picks last year with San Diego and gave up a 3rd round pick this year for Charlie Whitehurst who had zero starts, let alone any pass attempts in the NFL. Flynn to me becomes even more intriguing after Matthew Hasselbeck’s big day in on Wild Card weekend vs. the Saints. Flynn is still young enough to bring over as a back up for a year to learn the offense and hone his skills, but has also shown the ability to step in as the starter if needed. This could possibly be the truest QB competition heading into next season.