Seahawks trade John Moffitt

August 19th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

John Moffitt, we hardly knew ye

The Seahawks and 49ers love to mimic each other. So after watching San Francisco swap receivers with Kansas City earlier, Seattle decided to make a deal too.

John Moffitt, 2011 third round pick, has been dealt to Cleveland for undrafted defensive end Brian Sanford.

The Seahawks have had some big hits in the draft. 2010 landed a number of prominent starters, while the 2012 class provided cornerstone players like Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner.

However, the front end of the 2011 class can only be classed as a disappointment so far. James Carpenter has been plagued by injury and inconsistent play. Now Moffitt is moving to the other end of the country.

The pair were signed along with Robert Gallery to bolster the teams struggling running game. Instead the likes of Paul McQuistan, Breno Giacomini, J.R. Sweezy and Max Unger have been left to lead the revolution.

It’s easy to say after the event, but I always saw Moffitt as just a guy. It’s difficult to judge Wisconsin offensive lineman. They’re similar to Florida State pass rushers. They keep churning them out, they always look good in college and then flop in the NFL.

With the likes of Alvin Bailey almost certain to make the team (and maybe start), Moffitt was in serious danger of being cut. The trade with Cleveland symbolises that. They got what they could before the inevitable occurred.

I don’t know anything about Brian Sanford. He appears an odd fit in Seattle as a 280lbs defensive lineman without any great length (6-2). Is he a specialist three technique? I think they try him in that role, ala Greg Scruggs.

But he’s no lock to make the team, especially with the depth on the defensive line. And that kind of sums it up. The team took the hit on Moffitt and admitted it as an error. Even if Sanford doesn’t make the roster, Moffitt was likely a goner.

33 Responses to “Seahawks trade John Moffitt”

  1. Cameron says:

    Interesting. Have to admit I didn’t see this coming. Obviously the front office is feeling a bit insecure about DL depth. I figured they’d be looking to trade, but using one of our WR’s or DB’s as the bait.

    • Belgaron says:

      Seattle has brought in tons of guys every year. They are always on the lookout for serviceable talent even if it is only incrementally better than what they have or even just to compete or be in their short list of guys they could sign off the street should another injury happen. Insecurity would not be accurate; thorough would be more apt. They did the same thing the first year when they didn’t have realistic hopes of an extended season.

  2. Turp says:

    Spot on Rob. Derek Stephens profiles Sanford as a Scruggs clone too.

  3. JW says:

    Inconsistent when on the field, oft injured, and off the field issues…not a surprise, I guess. Disappointing, but not surprising.

    • Belgaron says:

      They are standing up to their commitment to rewarding those who outcompete. Other coaches or GMs would have kept a 3rd rounder around so as to try to hide the fact that a 3rd rounder they had selected was outplayed. This speaks highly of the organization and highly of Sweezy.

  4. James says:

    The roster carnage begins. Write out a 53 man roster and it gets ugly. Winston Guy, Tony McDaniel, Clint McDonald, Ron Parker, Mike Morgan, Will Blackmon are very talented players who would see action and help the team win. Yet there may be no place for any of them. Drop Maragos and Farwell and see your special teams suffer. It may be necessary to place James Carpenter and Jesse Williams on the PUP, if they aren’t full go game one. The team would love to keep Lotulelei, Schofield and Mayowa, who then do they cut? After the vultures have their feeding frenzy, the usual practice squad full of choice prospects is going to be different this year. The price of having talent everywhere, but it sure will be worth it.

    • Bjammin says:

      No pup for players active during training camp and who have practiced already. Only those already on the pup can continue.

      • James says:

        Good point. And doesn’t a player have to be on the 53 man roster before they can be placed on the IR?

        • Jeff says:

          No, part of cutting down to 53 will involve putting players on IR. Think you can begin doing so at the cut down to 75 but might be wrong on that.

    • Belgaron says:

      Yeah, but would you rather have a bunch of stiffs that never had a chance in camp? This is the good problem created by having a front office that can find loads of talent.

  5. Darnell says:

    Think you’re being a little too rough on the Wisconsin olinemen. Joe Thomas, Kevin Zeitler, Peter Konz, Kraig Urbik and possibly Travis Frederick are all quality.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      There are plenty more that were great and a bunch who were terrible. They just all look great in college.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Travis Frederick hasn’t played a snap in the NFL.

      • Troy Trocano says:

        Exactly Frederick hasnt played a single snap in the NFL so its premature to say hes not a quality player. Darnell simply said “and POSSIBLY Travis Frederick” I think perhaps youre painting with broad strokes when suggesting Wisconsin’s OL always flop in the NFL.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I didn’t infer that they all flop. I inferred that many enter the league and a lot of them do.

          And I also don’t recall saying anything about Travis Frederick. I haven’t said he’s not a quality player, so how can I be premature? Listing him as evidence of a quality NFL lineman is the only thing premature here.

  6. JeffS says:

    Pro football Focus tracks every play by every player. It’s the best available to the general public.

    Last year Moffitt ranked #59 of79 ranked guards.(-6.3) Sweezy ranked #75.(-14.6)

    In the preseason M had superior scores by their system. +0.6 in both games. Sweezy was -0.1 and +0.2.

    The trade weakened the already weak offensive line. It was not made for football reasons.

    Interestingly,McQ was #55. Former Seahawks:Lutui #57,Spencer #48 and Sims #13.

    • SES says:

      Always thought the Sims trade was a bad one.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t PFF also rank Earl Thomas at something like #29 for safety’s?

      • MJ says:

        Weak O-line? What is your standard? 5 1st round All-Pros? I still don’t understand the obsession of Seattle with OL, but we had the best LT/LG combo in NFL history and won ZERO Super Bowls.

        Yes, and this is the same site who thinks Earl Thomas is a below average Safety. I’m pretty sure there are 30 other teams who would gladly give a body part to have him on defense.

        FWIW, I’m really not trying to be rude, but I think fans’ personal attachment to Moffitt is greatly over exaggerating his value. He was a bad player with limited ability. If you thought Carpenter was a reach in R1, then I’d contend Moffitt was an even bigger reach in R3. If you think PC/JS traded him because he’s a goof on Real Rob Report, then I honestly don’t know what to tell you. PC/JS are about as unemotional as it gets with personnel decisions. They make moves to win, not to appease some personal feelings/grudges.

      • MJ says:

        Sorry…hit the wrong reply! You’re gold Rob.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        I think that the offensive guard discussion is going to rank up there with religion and politics as topics wherein people will never change their minds. Although I have to admit that raising the Sims trade as an example of why we need to improve our guards is a new one.

    • Belgaron says:

      PFF demonstrates the weakness of summated statistical analysis as it lacks the ability to represent improvement over time, at least the way they represented it. Sweezy improved a lot over the course of the year and even more in the off season. IF Moffitt had played better, they would not have made this move. According to the coaches, Sweezy was the quickest offensive lineman on the team last year and is fantastic in run blocking. This is why they have been working so hard to get him the rest of the skills he’ll need to grade well in all aspects of the position. Also, according to many camp observers, Moffitt was grading low.

      • JW says:

        you can look at the game logs and see a trend of performance, up or down, if you have access to PFF’s advanced stats. But you’re dealing with a relatively small sample set.

        Yes, PFF ranked Earl relatively low this past season. But they ranked him very high the previous season. It’s best to treat PFF stats something similar to baseball defensive metrics- there can sometimes be great volatility in one season so it’s best to grab multiple seasons if possible.

        Moffit has never scored anything better than average at best, in any PFF sample.

        • Belgaron says:

          I think the unspoken thing with Moffitt is that even though the entire organization/locker room/media loved the dude, he just wasn’t leading the charge into the weight room, nor in the consistency department. They like guys that are hungry….like Sweezy.

  7. James says:

    Tough call…. you keep only two of the following players on the 53 man, and must assume that all others will be snapped up by other teams and not available for the practice squad. Which 2 do you keep from:
    -Lotulelei
    -Farwell
    -Morgan
    -Schofield
    -Mayowa
    -Powell
    …and you can keep two of these four:
    -J Williams
    -McDonald
    -McDaniel
    -Howard

    • Belgaron says:

      Schofield and Moyowa aren’t going anywhere and you can probably add Lotulelei to that list as well. I think they’ll keep McDaniel and J Williams of your second list but they could IR Williams and keep him for next year. McDonald has been serviceable but he’ll get beat out at some point and it may be this year.

      • James says:

        PCJS must feel like they are giving away their children. Quinn is going to hate to give away Howard, and McDonald is really reliable and seems to be the rare DL who never gets injured (knock wood). If you do cut two of the DLs, you might be able to keep your 3: Schofield, Mayowa and Lotulelei.

        • Belgaron says:

          I don’t think injury history plays into it. Otherwise, they would have told Carpenter and Thurmond to get lost before camp. McDonald is going to have to beat out the competition including the upside of the other guys. Personally, I think the Hawks still need a major upgrade over Mebane to wreak havoc and open it up for the pass rushers.

  8. smitty1547 says:

    Kenny Sloth what do i got to do to get in your fantasy league, u still got a spot? What Moffit lacked in talent he made up for in locker room attitude as he was one of THEIR guys, but agreed looking forward to what the younger guys especially Bailey brings to the table. In Pete and John I trust!

  9. Turp says:

    Moffitt trade voided; JS turned that around quickly and dealt him to Denver for Sealver Siliga.

  10. SBeezy says:

    Loved Moffitt, funny as F*#K and seemed to be a fringe/core player, well accepted by his team. Then again this is football and nice has nothing to do with it. At least, for his sake, he didn’t go to the Raiders. ;-)