A status check on the Seahawks & Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson has been participating in the Pro-Bowl

I wanted to write a ‘lay of the land’ piece given all of the coaching hires are now complete and we have a clearer picture of the NFL landscape.

Why is Russell Wilson so quiet?

We’ve not had any ‘Dan Patrick’ moments and nothing has been reported since Ian Rapoport’s article about Wilson’s future (which has since been disputed by people connected to Wilson).

There wasn’t anything to be gained by speaking out before the coaching hires were finalised. Now that they are, I’m not sure the situation has really changed.

Potential suitors do exist but with varying degrees of appeal.

Plus, Wilson has made it clear his preference is to stay in Seattle — but it’s equally clear he wants to see a different approach towards building and fielding a contender. It would serve him well to at least bide some time and get a feel for what Seattle’s plans are in free agency. So the timing isn’t right to say or do anything.

The chances are he’d just create a media storm, potentially damage relationships in the Seahawks locker room and it might not lead to anything other than unrest.

Thus, everyone just has to play a waiting game for now.

Who are the potential suitors?

I was surprised to see how defiant the Giants have been about Daniel Jones. Plenty of teams like a smokescreen — see Arizona and Josh Rosen (before drafting Kyler Murray) or Chicago and Mike Glennon (before drafting Mitchell Trubisky). This feels genuine though — that Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen are ready to give Jones another chance to make it work.

I would’ve had the Giants pegged as suitor #1 on any list due to their draft stock and desperate need to generate some positive PR. It seems, instead, that they’re prepared to let the GM and Head Coach control the situation. They appear keen to build through the draft and see if Daboll can do to Jones what he did to Josh Allen.

The Saints are currently not as attractive following Sean Payton’s departure. From last years list — the Bears are out of the picture, the Cowboys re-signed Dak Prescott and it only leaves the Raiders.

There are other options.

Denver are going to be incredibly aggressive this off-season. The appointment of Nathaniel Hackett could be appealing to a quarterback like Wilson, given the working relationship (and success) he had with Aaron Rodgers. The Broncos have a good roster. Yet it’s pretty clear, with the addition of Hackett, that Rodgers is their top target.

The Washington Commanders (first time I’ve written it) are making a lot of noise about being in the market for a veteran quarterback.

Firstly, they literally had Mike Silver write an article for the official team website. Here’s a section of what he wrote:

As (Ron) Rivera trudges forward following a disappointing, 7-10 season and looks to 2022, his overriding goal is clarity. Sometime in the next several months, he expects to address the most important position on his football team in a definitive and inspired manner, giving Washington’s fans — and the men in his locker room — a reason to get excited.

There are many, many potential targets, some of which I’m told it would be better not to mention by name, lest the people in charge of the teams for which they are currently under contract take umbrage and unleash the NFL’s tampering police. So no, I won’t be specifically citing any accomplished quarterbacks who may or may not be married to a famous singer, engaged to a famous actress or infamously shelved by a slew of civil lawsuits. Nor will I explicitly ponder the possibility that if a coaching change happens in a city celebrated for its nightlife a certain QB may not stay in said city — as I did in a recent column for another website.

Rivera and Silver have a long-lasting relationship dating back to their youth. It appears Silver has been invited to write this piece, for the team, to make it clear that they intend to target one of Russell Wilson (who is mentioned first), Aaron Rodgers, DeShaun Watson or Derek Carr.

That’s not usual. It speaks to Washington’s determination to address the quarterback position and they’re letting everyone know about their intentions.

Albert Breer also wrote an article for SI.com on the same theme:

The Washington Football Team is preparing to take a big swing at a quarterback this offseason, per team sources. The team has just one quarterback, veteran Taylor Heinicke, under contract for next year, more than $40 million of cap space to work with and the 11th pick in the draft to potentially dangle in a trade.

As to the effort to find its next franchise quarterback, with big names like Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson potentially out there, Washington feels like it has plenty to pitch such a veteran. While Brandon Scherff’s free agency looms (it’ll be open-minded approaching a new contract), WFT had the NFL’s sixth-ranked offensive line per PFF last year, and its depth was proven through significant absences that led to the coaches going to their fourth center, fourth tackle, and fourth and fifth guards.

Washington also has a 1,000-yard receiver (Terry McLaurin), a 1,000-yard rusher (Antonio Gibson) and other weapons on the offensive side of the ball, like Logan Thomas and Curtis Samuel, returning from injury. And the defense has a good foundation in its still-young defensive line, particularly with Chase Young coming back from ACL surgery.

Then, there’s the intangible factors—getting to live in the D.C. area and being on the front end of a team rebrand that’ll be unveiled Wednesday. And the fact that the cap flexibility would give a quarterback a shot to bring a piece or two with him.

This is a sales pitch. It’s also, presumably, the sales pitch Washington will make (officially or unofficially) to the aforementioned quarterbacks when the time comes.

The team that once spent a fortune on Albert Haynesworth, used three picks on RGIII and acquired Donovan McNabb at great expense are preparing to make another big splash. They missed out on Matt Stafford a year ago. This is a desperate franchise in need of a PR shot in the arm. They need this relaunch, with a new name, to generate excitement. They know they can only do that by landing a big name QB. They will likely be prepared to spend a fortune to try and make it happen.

According to this radio host at least, there could be some mutual interest between the Commanders and Wilson.

The Steelers should be involved in trade talks but it remains to be seen how aggressive they’ll be. The Colts are seemingly not content with Carson Wentz’s performances but they’ve already used their 2022 first round pick on him. The Panthers desperately need a solution but feel unattractive. The Eagles are a wildcard.

Most of these teams have a problem. They either don’t have the draft stock to make an obscene offer and/or they can’t offer a viable replacement quarterback to the Seahawks. Thus, it makes a potential deal — however motivated certain teams might be to reach an agreement — especially challenging.

Is Wilson’s happy and content?

Probably not, no — and if you’re willing to look at this with an open-mind, nothing has changed from a year ago. The Seahawks have the status quo running operations and Wilson clearly still has reservations about Pete Carroll, John Schneider and Matt Thomas’ ability to put together a contender with their personnel decisions and football philosophy.

As we’ve discussed many times before — Wilson’s preference is quite clearly to stay in Seattle but he wants the organisation to make the necessary moves to be a genuine contender. The crux of Wilson’s dissatisfaction is purely down to that — the personnel and philosophy decisions being made have consistently not elevated this team, leading to squandered seasons. The results, one playoff win in half a decade, speak to that. Yet no changes were made to the top-table in Seattle this off-season.

It’s completely naive, however, to think that just because Wilson has issues that he can just march into the front office and make demands about his future. I think all of the decision makers will be very aware of how Wilson feels at this point. I suspect Wilson is also very realistic about this situation. The Seahawks won’t trade him without a clear pathway to finding a replacement. Thus, everyone is left in this slightly awkward holding pattern.

That is why we’ve had weeks of Wilson, when asked, saying he’s ‘hopeful’ of staying in Seattle, rather than making any firm commitment. It’s a way to answer a question and dodge a question at the same time. At the Pro-Bowl last week, Wilson again made reference to being ‘hopeful’ of staying. There’s no reason to use this language unless you’re keeping your options open — which clearly Wilson is.

A really positive, aggressive free agency is what is needed to get everyone pulling in the same direction. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen.

We know the Seahawks have their ‘way’ of operating. They avoid the first wave of free agency and then try to find value in the second and third waves. They aim to ‘recruit’ players to come and play in Seattle without necessarily spending big money. This approach hasn’t worked for years and they’ve been left signing bad players and journeymen for too long.

You’d think a team willing to be so aggressive to trade what they did for Jamal Adams would also throw caution to the wind on the open market — especially given their total lack of recent post-season success. Perhaps a losing season will edge them towards a different approach? We can only hope — but it’s time to try something new. For the sake of the team and for the opportunity to build bridges with the quarterback.

Could trade talks still kick into gear?

Absolutely, yes.

Firstly, the NFL is a copycat league. If the Rams win the Super Bowl (although their mere presence in the game is probably enough) — teams will try to emulate them. LA saw they had a good roster but were lacking at quarterback. They made a very aggressive, expensive trade for Matt Stafford and the results speak for themselves.

Other teams will feel they can do the same thing.

Clearly Denver has that mindset. As we’ve heard from Mike Klis — Aaron Rodgers is Plan A and Russell Wilson is Plan B for the Broncos.

A dearth of options in the draft also plays into this. Teams can’t see a Joe Burrow available at the top of round one. If they want to find a solution at quarterback, the trade market is the way to go.

Of the big name quarterbacks in the draft, all but Matt Corral attended the Senior Bowl. It was not an attractive showing and it’s hard to imagine teams left Mobile feeling confident about the early round options.

When I read this article by ESPN discussing trades for Rodgers, Wilson and others — I had a bit of a chuckle. It’s clear some members of the media aren’t on top of the landscape of the NFL currently.

A bad QB draft class, plus the Rams’ success, is going to drive the veteran market to new heights. I think teams are going to be prepared to spend a lot on quarterbacks. Teams like the Seahawks and Packers are going to have a decision to make.

It’s entirely possible both Seattle and Green Bay receive fantastic offers and still say ‘no’. There’s no reason for the Packers to do anything other than everything it takes to make Rodgers happy. For the Seahawks — they would need a viable pathway to a replacement or they’d just end up in the same position as all the teams scrambling around for a solution this off-season.

I think Seattle’s situation is slightly different because it’s been reported multiple times that John Schneider is open-minded to a trade. We don’t know what conversations he, Carroll and Jody Allen had recently. For all the talk of Wilson’s legitimate (and in my opinion, justified) dissatisfaction — it’s possible Carroll and Schneider are not as opposed to a trade as some believe. If the right offer came along.

I suspect it’s unlikely because the media members who appear to be close to Carroll, and have been prepared to argue from his perspective over the last 12 months, are all saying the same thing — ‘no trade’.

Carroll appears to think the Seahawks are closer to contention than they actually are and making a significant change at quarterback is probably unfathomable in his eyes. But the extreme short-term nature of his planning, combined with his absolute belief in his own personal philosophy, is arguably opposed to the long term needs of the franchise and of Wilson himself.

As Albert Breer pointed out to Rich Eisen on Friday — Seattle doesn’t have a roster capable of contending. Carroll, and many fans, have seemingly had their heads turned by wins against a hapless Detroit Lions team (fielding their backup quarterback) and a slumping Arizona (which finished the season on a 1-5 run, including a humbling and emphatic loss to the aforementioned Lions).

It’s as if Seattle’s embarrassing loss in week 16 at home to Chicago — who were starting their third string quarterback — never happened.

The Seahawks need a major re-think and Breer suggests what a lot of people would argue — it might be best to let Wilson pursue his lofty career goals elsewhere, grab a haul and embrace a reset in Seattle. Yet what is best for the team and their QB possibly opposes what is best for a 70-year-old Head Coach who sees the end of his career on the horizon.

Unless, of course, he’s willing to be more aggressive in the veteran market.

The franchise, to an extent, currently serves as a vanity project for Carroll. He wants to end his long career doing things his way — and because time is of the essence, certain things are being viewed through a short-term prism (the squandering of picks on Jamal Adams, the determination to keep Wilson). In other instances though, Seattle is passive (their entire approach to free agency).

It’s quite a weird mix of extremes.

In a way it doesn’t matter whether the roster is close or not — the truth is Carroll needs it to be close, so he might as well try and talk it into reality. Yet this feels like the kind of hubris which has led the Seahawks to think they were Jamal Adams away from being a top contender, or that they can simply add a collection of depth pieces in the veteran market and turn water into wine, or that it doesn’t matter who your center is, or that Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa are ‘fixing your pass rush’.

That’s not to say other teams don’t make similar head-scratching decisions. The Niners trading what they did for Trey Lance remains absolutely staggering. You could argue the Chiefs, like the Seahawks before them, haven’t made the most of an opportunity to win multiple Championship’s when they had a capable roster. The Packers’ decision to draft Jordan Love was crazy because it not only pissed off Aaron Rodgers but Love, actually, isn’t very good.

This is a league brimming with dumb decisions and bad execution — highlighting how difficult it is to bring everything together.

That doesn’t justify the decision making in Seattle though — and a change in tactics is needed if this team is going to make the necessary moves in free agency to elevate its chances in 2022.

There is something to remember though — there was talk of Schneider gaining more control before the infamous ‘meeting’ with Jody Allen. For all the loyal media soldiers reporting that the meeting was ‘run-of-the-mill’ — it clearly wasn’t. There were consequences (Ken Norton Jr firing) and certain parties were clearly talking to the big players in the media, speculating what the outcome could be — so there was at least some unknown about the nature of those talks.

It’s hard to imagine Carroll ceding complete control — especially over a decision as big as trading Wilson — but we simply don’t know what was agreed or ordered at that meeting. Breer suggested to Eisen that Allen prefers to keep Wilson, so that could ultimately be all Carroll needs to hear to press on. He should be prepared to be more aggressive this off-season, though, to take a step forward. There’s no point holding on to Wilson if you’re not going to do that.

So yes — the Seahawks refusing all trades might be the most likely outcome at this stage. The truth is though, we just don’t know. Only a very small number of people at the top of Seattle’s food-chain know what they’re planning.

Jay Glazer said he expected the Seahawks to look different in 2022. I doubt he was talking purely about the shuffling of deckchairs that has been the defensive coordinator search.

What would a trade look like?

Three first round picks is a realistic and fair starting point in negotiations if/when they begin. The Seahawks probably wouldn’t answer the phone for anything less — and teams will be willing to pay that and more, in my opinion, to solve a crisis at quarterback.

Let’s put it this way — I think the 49ers have every chance of getting a first round pick, or a decent second rounder, for Jimmy Garoppolo. That’s how desperate teams are. His run to the NFC Championship game, even if it ended in another blown lead and a defeat, will have teams like Denver and Washington believing he’s a viable option if they can’t get to Rodgers or Wilson.

I think teams will bludgeon the Packers with offers for Rodgers and if he signs a new contract, they’ll turn their attentions quickly to Wilson. If the Seahawks say no too (and if they do, they should be prepared to extend Wilson’s contract to end any further speculation) then I think the Niners will be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of a Garoppolo trade. They’ll probably get a terrific offer.

Denver are very much the team to watch in all of this, followed by Washington and Las Vegas. The Broncos are going to be highly aggressive. That’s no secret.

Washington, as mentioned, are making it clear they want a veteran, star quarterback through the media. Their fans want it too — I recently listened to a podcast where one person said he would trade Chase Young and three firsts for Russell Wilson. Looking on the forums — there’s anticipation of a ‘monster’ (their words) offer being made for a veteran quarterback this off-season.

The problem is — even if the Commanders offered three first round picks, Chase Young and maybe even some extra draft stock. Who’s Seattle’s quarterback next year?

How far is Washington willing to go to tempt Seattle and what is the tipping point for the Seahawks where they consider accepting an offer? It’s very difficult to imagine a deal that suits both parties, meaning they might end up settling on Jimmy Garoppolo.

Then there’s the Raiders. Mark Davis was said to be keen on the thought of a ‘rock star’ Head Coach and a ‘rock star’ quarterback. You could argue Josh McDaniels is that coach. What now at quarterback?

Davis isn’t sold on Carr, per reports. There’s been chatter that part of McDaniels’ motivation for departing New England is that while he liked Mac Jones, he isn’t convinced he’s a Super Bowl winning quarterback. Would McDaniels prefer to shoot for a top QB? Especially now he’s living in a division with Mahomes and Justin Herbert, plus whoever Denver brings in? Or does he believe in Carr, who’s been allowed to run his contract down into a final year?

McDaniels is a funny one to project. This is a man who has benefitted for years by working with Tom Brady. He has seen greatness. But he’s also a man who chose to spend a first round pick on Tim Tebow to be his quarterback in Denver.

The Raiders link is the one that still stands out more than the others, because they have a replacement quarterback to offer Seattle. Or, alternatively, they could trade Carr to a Washington or Carolina or Pittsburgh — acquiring more stock to use in a Wilson trade.

Davis is said to be keen on Wilson — and Wilson listed Las Vegas as a destination he would go to a year ago. They have an offensive minded Head Coach. This feels like the team to watch, if there’s any potential of a deal being struck.

Is there any way Seattle would make a deal?

I would predict not. However, their position is being reported in an interesting way.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler appears to be well connected to Seattle. He says he spoke to two people in the organisation recently and they would be surprised if Wilson was dealt. Yet, not for the first time, he qualified it by saying, ‘Wilson would have to force the issue and request a trade’. He then mentioned the Seahawks have held trade talks in the past, with Cleveland and Chicago, and that a trade was ‘always, sort of, on the table’.

It all seems like a jumble of contradictions. You have Wilson keeping his options open every time he speaks about his future ‘hopefully’ being in Seattle. Meanwhile the team are saying ‘no deal’… unless, of course, he requests a trade. And by the way, they’ve had trade talks in the past. But, you know, the relationship’s in a great place.

It feels like a bad soap opera, or perhaps a staring contest. The Seahawks need to sort this out, one way or another, not just allow this to fester as they appear inclined to do.

Is there any way Carroll is open to a deal?

Personally I think no. It would take him getting a replacement quarterback he loves and believes in. I simply don’t think any player of that description is going to come along, so Wilson will remain. He won’t acquire a QB anywhere near as talented as Wilson.

Sometimes I wonder if Carroll might think he can acquire a quarterback who can run ‘his’ offense. Such is his unwavering confidence in his way of doing things, it wouldn’t surprise me. I’m just not buying it in this instance.

Carroll spoke, rightly, about Seattle’s issues on third down last season. I think he believes Wilson can deliver better results there. I also think it was enough of an issue that it warrants a broader conversation.

Seeing the Niners go on a run like they did because they could run the ball and convert third downs could embolden Carroll. Some would argue he should be prepared to make that call but won’t because he’s too loyal to Wilson.

Garoppolo, for example, ranked sixth in the NFL for converted first downs by passing on third down. The players in front of him on the list were Matt Stafford, Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa.

Wilson, on the other hand, ranked 19th in this area.

Again — I think Carroll believes Wilson can do better and improve that side of his game. I also think the finger injury has to be considered whenever analysing Wilson’s 2021 season.

Carroll also knows he can rely on Wilson to throw beautiful passes downfield — something his offense truly values.

The end to the season, when Seattle was also running a lot better, will also presumably give Carroll confidence that they have an in-house solution to this third-down problem.

Yet given the fact Carroll highlighted this as much as he did during the season — and given Wilson has historically not been a great third down passer — he would be doing himself a disservice not to at least have a conversation with Schneider about how to fix this.

Clearly Seattle isn’t trading for Garoppolo. The Niners and Seahawks are not going to come together to make a deal.

As discussed recently, they might have some interest in Kirk Cousins. Or more specifically, Carroll might have interest. There’s also the prospect of the Raiders offering Carr in a trade offer.

However — this is where it gets interesting. Wilson ranked 19th on third down conversions through the air in 2021. Carr ranked 18th, only marginally better, and Cousins ranked 17th. So the three players are clumped together in the same range. Yet Wilson is a far more talented, dynamic and statistically impressive passer. So is there any real benefit to trading Wilson to go with either of these two alternatives? The answer, on this evidence, is no.

As I’ve said — I think Carroll believes in Wilson sufficiently to not have his head turned, regardless of the offers that will come in. And thus — despite the potentially lucrative offers that will eventually be posted — I’d expect him to hold tight. Then it’s up to Wilson to assess the situation — but that likely can’t be done until after he sees what the Seahawks do in free agency.

My suggestion would be to involve Wilson in the planning process to just make absolutely sure everyone is working together. After all, Joe Burrow admitted this week he is asked for input on draft picks and free agent signings in Cincinnati. He mentioned how he appreciated that — and that he’d seen other quarterbacks frustrated because they don’t have that same sway. Mahomes likewise is consulted by the Chiefs.

There’s no reason not to include your $35m investment at the heart of this process. The Seahawks should put that right immediately.

What about the draft class?

There’s no reason to believe the Seahawks see an alternative quarterback solution in the rookie class. Schneider has often looked for players with plus arm strength and major traits. His only QB pick in the first two days of any draft is Wilson and he reportedly really liked Josh Allen and Mahomes.

Players like Kenny Pickett, Matt Corral, Sam Howell, Desmond Ridder and Carson Strong simply don’t have the big, physical traits or the creativity.

The one player who does is Malik Willis. He is a great improviser, a strong runner and he has a big arm. He is capable of making magic happen and that could appeal. However, his technique is so bad that it will lead to turnovers and the way he reads the field is scary. Watch the tape, not the highlights videos. He looks right at wide-open players downfield, turns down throws and tries to scramble instead. He never takes what a defense gives him. It’s all very one-read and run.

People will mock that he sounds like Russell Wilson. Let’s be clear. Willis’ issues reading the fielding and making quick, accurate decisions are on a totally different level to a quarterback with a career passer rating of 101.8, a 292/87 TD/INT ratio and more wins than any other QB in the first decade of his NFL career.

In the right system, Willis can be dynamic. I think in the Greg Roman offense — which would utilise his running as a major plus — he could be a terror. For a team trying to stay on time, move the chains and improve on third downs he isn’t the answer.

Regardless, it feels like the time has long passed that Carroll would be willing to turn things over to a rookie. Any move he makes at quarterback is going to be with the here and now in focus. After a 7-10 season, and in his 71st year, he probably feels he doesn’t have time for a long reset.

Final thoughts

Ultimately I think Ian Rapoport is absolutely right in his assessment, as voiced on the Pat McAfee show on Friday. Wilson is keeping his options open but the Seahawks, in order to actually make a trade, need a proven alternative at quarterback because Pete Carroll is 71 this year and isn’t starting a big rebuild.

It’s very difficult to envisage what Carroll would see as a viable alternative. Thus, I think he will do what he’s been threatening to do — run it back and try and prove that his team is closer than a lot of people think.

Wilson will continue to couch his language when he speaks because he is not convinced the Seahawks will do what it takes to contend again — yet there’s not a lot he can do if the team is unprepared to trade him. His concern about potentially wasting the second half of his career, though, is legit. So if the Seahawks continue to be passive in free agency there’s still a chance he will speak out and request a trade before the draft.

It comes down to this. Don’t be passive in free agency. Acquire proven talent. Be prepared to play the ‘cap game’ like a lot of other teams. You are operating in a small window here. It makes no sense to go all-in for the Jamal Adams trade and then be conservative in free agency.

The Seahawks can be good again in 2022 but they have to be prepared to do things they haven’t done before when the new league year opens.

They need to make some key signings at the start of free agency.

Over to you, Carroll and Schneider.

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  1. pdway

    great article. agree w your conclusions on what’s most likely – and the hope that at least a short-term solution only comes from a different approach to free agency.

    curious for your thoughts on what’s the likely asking/selling price for Rodgers? Is it a 1st and a player, is it two 1sts? He’s obviously still playing at an mvp/near-mvp level – but he also turns 39 this season.

    • Rob Staton

      Probably three firsts

      Even with his age

      • pdway

        Niners should almost try to make it happen, in a Rams-esque maneuver to try and win one next year….

        • TatupuTime

          I mean they don’t have first round picks this year or next after the Trey Lance trade. They lack the ammo and almost certainly the desire after going all in on Trey last year.

  2. Sea Mode

    It’s déjà vu all over again… like you said it would be…

  3. Spectator

    Give me that Washington trade that involves Chase Young and 3 firsts. I know it wont happen, given the points you made about in win now mode. But 3 firsts and chase young, then being able to Draft a QB early next year, would appeal to me. Even getting a Kirk Cousins or someone for a bridge QB, would be fine to me. I dont think even with Wilson or another viable QB, we are championship or even playoff ready. I know this year QB class is ridiculously poor, but next years and the following look to be promising. Young and Stroud look like stars (Stroud would be my choice based on size).

    • BA

      That would be a great haul, but I still hate the idea of Pete ultimately still overseeing those 1st round selections.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t agree that Young and Stroud look like stars. Young might get there but Stroud? Not for me.

      Will Levis is the one who intrigues me

      • Spectator

        I really only watched his Rose Bowl game and then looked at stats (i know i know). And based on those alone, he seemed pretty incredible in the rose bowl and stats looked good, he seems legit. Plus he was a redshirt freshman so i would assume would grow. But i will take your word for it.

        • Rob Staton

          Plenty of productive Ohio State QB’s over the years. None made it.

      • DougM

        Likewise, I was watching Wan’Dale Robinson highlights and being impressed with the quarterback and wondering if you had seen much of him and what your opinion was.

    • cha

      There is one silver lining to trading RW to the Washington Commanders:

      I have no doubt in my mind that Ciara and Russ’s fashion team will concoct some absolutely ridiculous military/fashionista-looking crossover outfit to roll out that Russ is a Commander now, a la Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation getup.

      • Peter

        I’m here for that.

      • Rob Staton


    • Peter

      If you’re going full ham on a rebuild why bother with expensive choke artist Cousins. Just get super honest and trot Geno out there save 35 odd million and if they win they win, cool, but most likely get blown out of the water so you can go get the highest pick you can.

  4. Sea Mode

    One less opening for Desai (they had interviewed him)

    Adam Schefter

    Giants are finalizing a deal to hire former Ravens’ defensive coordinator Wink Martindale as their new defensive coordinator, per source.

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      I’m really getting the impression that, short of a sudden DC firing or college opportunity, Desai is actually going to land in Seattle.

  5. cha

    Well summarized Rob. Thanks.

    To have success in the NFL you need four people locked in – (1) The Owner, (2) The General Manager, (3) The Head Coach, (4) Your Franchise Quarterback. It is exceedingly difficult to succeed without it.

    You have put to words what so many of us feel – that this team is a jumble of contradictions and unknowns. And that is going to keep them spinning their wheels until one of those four decides to make a major change to the situation.

    For all the talk of Pete Carroll not adapting to the modern game on the field, when all is said and done and the final book on him in Seattle it written, his biggest failure might be not bringing his franchise Hall Of Fame caliber quarterback into the team’s inner circle and decision-making and team-building process. Nor truly adapting his vision to the strengths of the roster.

  6. Poli

    I wonder how much Wilson’s struggles on 3rd down has to do with PC? Chris Simms makes fun of them @2:10 of the vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y8p7t1rcIU&t=138s

    Bummer about the Giants looking like they want to build through the draft. Was hoping for a longshot like this:

    To NYG:

    To SEA:

    To TEX:
    NYG 2021 1st
    NYG 2021 1st
    NYG 2022 1st
    SEA 2021 2nd
    SEA 2022 2nd

    • Peter

      Am i reading this wrong?

      Trade Wilson for Watson and recieve no draft capital and roll with a still bad team?

      Watson won’t be playing in Seattle. People can say what they will about Wilson’s persona. He’s a goofball through and through.


      He’s not accused of two dozen sexual assaults including possibly paying women in an effort for them to sign NDA’s.

      As a man I literally can never see him in Seattle. And as a player…with all his talent he has done virtually nothing to elevate Houston. The hardest of passes on Watson.

      • Poli

        Obviously this scenario would only be possible after the criminal investigation concludes.

        I’m hoping for Watson and Antonio Brown on a cheap contract. I guess you’re a better “man” than me. 😉

        • Peter

          I meant him as the man.

          As I don’t see that “man,” playing in Seattle.

          Outside of a criminal clear-up that may never come. Swapping a HOF qb for someone younger, about to be as expensive, and has done nothing for a team with a crap ton more high picks than Seattle ever gets is still a pass. While still not making Seattle better in the process.

          When Watson is (objectively,) better than Wilson I’ll reconsider my position.

          Until then. I’m not a better man/person than any of the good folks in this site. But I’m a damn sure better man than Watson.

    • cha

      Russell Wilson AND two second round picks for Deshaun Watson?

      Not in this universe.

  7. AlaskaHawk

    If they don’t trade Russell Wilson = and in my opinion they won’t = then the next question is how long can they keep him? Two years on contract, and potentially two years of franchise tag. Or renew his contract. Dak Prescott just got 160 million for 4 years.

    But I really think Wilson will test the market when it comes time to renew his contract. His biggest concerns are his legacy, and I”m guessing getting a better offensive line and running game. Both of which would preserve his body. So this gets back to Pete Carroll and John Schneider. They have two years to prove they can build a better offense. A better defense would be good too, but from a quarterback standpoint, he wants his upgrades now.

    So either build up that offensive line and running game or expect Wilson to walk out the door as soon as possible. Which he may do anyway, even with a better offense.

    • BA

      I think the likely outcome is that Pete strongarms Wilson into staying for as long as possible to pad his legacy so that he doesn’t have to endure a 5 win season before he retires. Once Pete retires, Wilson will immediately be gone.

  8. Rob4q

    Excellent read Rob, very well put together. And it does seem like this is where we are at – waiting to see if this team changes it’s approach and gets aggressive. You almost think they have to do things a little different this year? They can’t waste the money on average players and resigning the same guys just to keep the band together can they?!?

    There is a path to being a contender, but they have to fill the needs with good players not journeymen.

    And if they don’t change, what will Russ do? If they spend the money they have bringing back “their guys” and don’t add anything significant, how are they better?

  9. Pran

    It’s tough to see good results when your HC and a franchise QB does not share same vision.

    While Russ has things he need to look at and improve, what did Pete and OC did to help alleviate 3rd down problem?

  10. Tomas

    You laid it all out beautifully. I expect Pc/JS to continue making often stupifyingly bad decisions, with the worst being a failure to meaningfully fortify the OL. If Russ stays silent through another crapfest season he deserves what he gets.

  11. PeterB

    How about Wilson for Rogers?

    • cha

      Rodgers would love:

      Having Lockett and DK
      The pillowy-soft press

      Rodgers would hate:

      Not having a running game
      Not having an offensive line
      Not having an effective defense
      Being told to kick rocks when he suggests an offensive strategy or signing Randall Cobb

      Pete’s Han Solo impression (“Everything’s under control. Situation normal. We had a slight defense/pass rush/running game problem, everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you?”)

      Being blamed when all those things go bad

      • Big Mike

        Yep, nothing to see here.

        Your post up above about the 4 factors in a football franchise needing to be aligned and Pete’s legacy in the end may be a refusal to include the QB in the team building process (like many other franchises do) was outstanding cha.

  12. Big Mike

    Great piece Rob. Appreciate your efforts as always.
    I agree that hitting free agency to meet some serious needs (Center for God’s sake!) is a great way to get this team turned around and moving in the right direction quickly (trenches!!). Unfortunately, Pete seems hell bent on bringing Bobby Wagner back with the 20 million dollar contract he brings. That will likely severely limit the options available to them and because of that and because he’s already flat out stated for folks to not expect any big signings, I have little hope for anything significant this offseason. Would of course LOVE to be proven wrong.

    “The franchise, to an extent, currently serves as a vanity project for Carroll.”
    Yep, that covers it. I hate that I now hate Pete Carroll.

  13. Blitzy the Clown

    So basically, everything is in limbo until March 16 (or, fingers crossed, March 14, because early news of a potential splash signing would mean Seattle intend to be aggressive in FA).

    As we’ve all noted, the Seahawks’ biggest need is to improve in the trenches. Fortunately, there are options both in FA and the draft to vastly improve both the OL and DL. And because of the dearth of draft picks this year, Seattle will need to invest heavy in FA to address one side or the other.

    For me, I really like the depth and breadth of talent in this year’s rookie class at DT/DE. There are numerous prospects Seattle could target at 41 that would genuinely excite the fanbase and who I think could bring real value to the team.

    I prefer Seattle improve the OL in FA and the DL in the draft. Specifically, I hope they target one of Ryan Jensen, Ben Jones or Brian Allen and just fix the glaring problem at C. I would not get cute by signing a top FA OG like Scherff and moving Lewis or Haynes to C, or some other shenanigans that we’ve seen them try in the past.

    Additionally, if they sign either Jensen or Jones, both of whom are in their early 30s, I would consider targeting Cole Strange early/mid Day 3 to develop at C behind them. I liked what I saw from him at Senior Bowl. And of course I would straight up jettison Pocic and Fuller.

    As Rob has suggested repeatedly, they should resign Duane Brown, something like 3 years (2 + 1 voidable) $10-12m apy range. They already have a late round developmental LT prospect in Forsythe, and other than Lucas or Penning, I don’t see a legit franchise LT prospect in this class that they might want to target at 41.

    As I’ve said before, I really like Raimann. And because he’s an FCS LT, and a little on the short side, it’s possible he lasts to 41. But I don’t know that I’d draft him in the hopes he becomes my long term answer at LT. I’m not saying he couldn’t be. But if Seattle were to draft him at 41 (and I’d be ok with that) I hope it’s because they intend to start him at RT where I think he would excel. I’m not opposed to resigning Shell for competition and depth, but I wouldn’t spend more than the $4m apy he got on the expiring contract.

    Addressing C early in FA with a top signing has the added benefit of signaling to Wilson the team’s intention to make necessary changes to commit to their franchise QB and allocate resources accordingly at the earliest possible time, well in advance of the draft. It’s probably the only way this offseason to put an end to all the drama surrounding Wilson.

    Nice article.

    • Big Mike

      And what is your honest assessment of the chances that a good portion of your imo excellent approach actually happening Blitzy?

      • Blitzy the Clown

        Wellsir, I think it’s likely they do 2 of the 3 things I listed (big FA C signing, resign Brown, draft DL early).

        But I think we all know which one probably won’t be one of them.

        What doesn’t make any sense is PCJS aren’t averse to splash trades, spending big on contracts, etc. But when was the last time they spent big on a FA? Made a splash FA acquisition? Even when they signed Avril and Bennett ,those were understated signings. Certainly not big news back then.

        If ever there was a year to go big.

        FWIW, if it was up to me, I’d go hard at Ben Jones because I think he could be had for about a third less apy than Jensen (~$7m apy vs ~$10m apy) without much difference on the field. Brian Allen has done well for the Rams, but IMO Jensen and Jones are better. Plus, Allen is a little on the small side. And like I said, I’d look for Cole Strange on Day 3 to develop and for depth behind Jones.

        • Scot04

          I prefer Jensen even at a higher price tag. He brings that nasty aggressive attitude to our O-line we’ve been missing. Plus I don’t see the appeal for him remaining in TB without Brady. Seems like a natural fit for Seattle. Better in Run blocking which PC would also like.
          When TB signed him away from Baltimore, they were 5-11 without a top QB.

          • Blitzy the Clown

            Jensen is probably the best FA C available. And you’d think if Carroll is serious about getting back into SB contention, he’d happily spend the money to get the best.

            But I don’t know that it’s necessary in this case. Jones just had a fantastic season for the Titans. In fact, I think PFF rated Jones higher than Jensen for the season. The $3m in cap space saved by signing Jones instead of Jensen would be better spent elsewhere.

            But either way, just go get one of them.

  14. Scot04

    Fantastic write up Rob. I don’t think you missed anything, it definitely sums up our current situation.
    In a way it’s a bit frustrating knowing we’ll have 0 answers on Russ until late into the offseason.
    We saw it coming, but when reality hits & it’s actually here again, it’s a whole different story.
    Can’t agree more on being aggressive early seems like the best approach.
    Unfortunately Pete saying don’t expect any big splashes in Free-agency didn’t inspire any confidence.
    I definitely don’t want to see anymore desperation Adams like trades.
    Cut Wagner & use the 16.6M towards big name Free-agents.
    Would love to see Chandler Jones, Akim Hicks, & Ryan Jensen.
    Won’t happen, but would sure set a tone & let Russ finally know they’re serious.
    Again thanks for the great content.

    • Mr drucker in hooterville

      PC saying not to expect FA splashes concerns me for two reasons. First, that it may be true. Second, that PC is involved in the offseason strategy. I would have felt better if he said “ I don’t know, ask John Schneider. I am coach, not GM.”.

  15. GoHawks5151

    Slightly OT but Jody Allen owned teams are ruining my sports life right now. Who knew the Seattle Mariners might be the savior

    • Big Mike

      Be careful putting hope in the Ms my man. You know the history. That said, I’m VERY cautiously ever so slightly hopeful for a playoff spot IF there’s a season.

      • Peter

        Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, it’s the 2001 mariners.

      • Space Chief

        Mariners are more willing to make an aggressive free agent signing then.

  16. Ashish

    Thanks for the great article Rob.

    Russ has no trade clause, so Hawks can’t trade to any team who can give best deal. Russ has handful destination who might not agree to hawks demand. Also Pete does not want to trade Russ to keep his dream of winning another super bowl in next 2 years.
    The more Pete is able to drag this, less the chance of Russ being traded. After draft chances are even slim and Russ being determine guy to win, will go for all in one more year. Pete knows it, and he will make Russ feel that he is trying to find a new home but hey didn’t worked out.

  17. Sea Mode

    He may be an offensive genius and whatnot, but he’s definitely gonna have to work on his locker room speech abilities… 😂


    • Henry Taylor

      I love the hire, but it is gonna be a pretty substantial culture shift going from Flores to this hipster.

    • Matt

      If you didn’t know he was an NFL coach – you would have thought this was a trailer to Pineapple Express 2 where somehow, James Franco and Seth Rogen were able to procreate…and he’s the result.

      • Timothy Burch

        LMAO. This is going to be a disaster or a genius move. Something odd about McDaniel but feel a potential to be a Billy Beane epic. Just a gut feeling.

  18. Gross MaToast

    Wonderful article – the Infinite Jest of dives into the dizzying world of RW dynamics.

    As proven year after year in the NFL, there are two kinds of coaches – those with QBs and those getting fired. There’s no way that Pete will allow himself to be saddled with Malik Willis or Mitch Trubisky. Right? I mean, he’s done at that point. (He’s done now, for all practical purposes, but the Seahawks are like his retirement hobby down in the basement.)

    The conclusion is on the nose – IF you keep him, treat the situation as if you just made a trade for a great QB and surround him with talent. Don’t pretend that the situation at running back will magically heal and transform in year whatever of the post-Beastmode era. Get a guy. Get two guys. Get some BAMFs on the o-line. Run it back like you mean it.

    If you don’t mean it, retire.

    If you truly believe that no one would’ve wanted to face the Seahawks in the playoffs, retire.

    If you think, I mean really believe, that the nucleus of a Super Bowl champion was in your locker room on Jan. 9, retire.

    Be realistic about what you have and what you need, or it’s a waste of time for all concerned.

    Also, per cha’s speculation, I look forward to getting my Sgt. Pepper-style RW Designs by Ciara Commando jacket in maroon and gold. It’ll look great at the golf course or for a night on the town.

    • cha

      I don’t really want to stop the show
      But I thought you might like to know
      That Russ is going to sing a song
      And he’d like you all to sing a long

      So may I introduce to you
      The one an only Russ-a-tron
      And Danny Snyder’s Football Team Reband!

      • cha


      • Big Mike


      • Gross MaToast

        What would you do
        If I asked you to shoot
        A teeny-bikini team calendar?

        What would you do
        If I said that no bikinis were involved
        Would you stand up and walk out on me?

        Oh, there’s enough hush money to go around
        Yeah, hush money goes around

        (Sung with the Commie cheerleaders fan dancing around Russ as he sings and models the new RussForce! Blazer line with big ‘3’s on the back.)

    • pdway

      i am confidently claiming that’s the first david foster wallace reference on SDB…..

    • Gary

      You have hit the nail on the head. Positive Pete the Delusional Spin Doctor honestly and truly believes these things with a deep and unshakeabke conviction that they are true. And he’s the only one. Only he can see it and the rest of us are wrong. The Emperor wears no clothes. #PeteMustGo

  19. Andy J

    Why why why on earth would Wilson ever agree to an extension?????

    • Jordan

      $$$ and security. Same reasons most people sign contract extensions.

  20. Matt

    Fantastic work Rob. You really have nailed these types of posts, which is incredibly tough to do.

    As a total aside, speaking of RW – what’s with the crusade by Seahawks fans to pretend he isn’t good? Is this not really weird? He’s quite *literally* had one of the 2-3 best starts to an NFL career at the QB position…doesn’t matter if it stats or wins.

    Is the LOB responsible for his TD/INT ratio? His QB rating?

    I am thoroughly confused by these people. Who exactly do they want to be QB? Have they never watched another QB play? All 4 QBs who played on championship weekend had horrendous interceptions. In the case of Mahomes, it was 2. Joe Burrow, who I absolutely love, “took” 9 sacks versus the Titans. Mahomes took several horrendous sacks against the Bengals.

    I’m convinced these people don’t watch any other team play because if they did, they’d understand the even the “top QB” in the NFL completely shit the bed for half a game and lost the AFC championship.

    Sorry for the rant here…i’m not even a huge RW fan, per se. In fact, I find him rather obnoxious. But a not insignificant portion of this fanbase, including many who are “voices of Seahawks twitter;” these people are just ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. It’s this reason alone that I’d love to see RW get traded. Here you go guys…you got your wish – let’s see how great this team looks now.

    • Peter

      It’s just tribalism.

      And too much fantasy football. And too many highlight reels.

      Joe Burrow is fun. But his 34 td to 14 int is obviously better than the year Wilson threw 35 td to 7 ints. Or the time Wilson never threw 14 ints in a season but has thrown more TD’s in seasons. Josh Allen is badass. If you never watch him throw a 3 pick game. Murray is fun. Minus his seemingly horrible attitude and that he is on pace for less tds and more ints in 10 years (if he gets that far) than Wilson. And never mind all of Wilson’s wins are because the LOB but Murray must definitely have a bad team in AZ so their poor playoff run is on someone else other than him.

      In the modern game it’s Rodgers with better stats and less wins cause well, he was hurt a bunch more. And Mahomes on pace for a better start over ten years. Currently none of the other young guns are pace for a better start. Brady had a better team, more rings , but not a better start stat wise. Neither did Manning the football wizard who needed 28 picks to get 28 tds as a rookie vs. Poor, cooked, wilson who tied that td mark with only six picks.

      But yeah. He’s not special. Just ask Ryan Clark who ince said he was the best player in the game but thinks he’s just “good.”

    • TomLPDX

      But why give those arse holes the satisfaction. What you’ve said here is exactly correct. You didn’t even mention the brain fart Ryan Tannehill had with those freaking interceptions to lose the game for the Titans.

      Any given Sunday! Geeze, these guys aren’t robots, they are human beings, and some times, they screw up. I love Russ as our QB and will hate to see him in another uniform.

      • Big Mike

        Great posts, all 3 of you.
        There were literally people on this blog alone that said Geno freaking Smith was going to play better at QB when Russ was out.

        • Peter

          Some of those takes aged pretty poorly in front of our eyes.

    • cha

      People are in denial about how far this defense has fallen.

      Rookie Contract Russ went to the SB twice with that legendary defense.

      Nevermind that the LOB went to two SB’s with Wagner, Sherman, Kam, Bobby, Earl and KJ on their rookie deals. It’s Russell’s fault there hasn’t been enough to go around.

      Franchise QB Contract Russ hasn’t had a deep playoff run in years, and that’s his fault for being so doggone greedy.

      Nevermind the front office hasn’t successfully drafted good defensive players or filled key needs in free agency. Nope. Russell.

      Nevermind the defense can only give Russ about 20 minutes of possession time per game.

      Nevermind that Pete Carroll himself said that the Seahawks would have won the games Geno Smith started in Russ’ absence this year. And that he also said out loud that his success has been due to having Russ on the team.

      Nevermind all that.

      • Big Mike

        And another great post on the subject.

      • Peter

        This is why the trade scenarios are so hard to take in.

        Forget fielding LOB 2.0. This FO hadn’t found one player yet who plays at any of those legends level.

        The nearest was Clark and they traded him for nothing. And now “we,” are talking about trading the best pick they have made since Lockett in DK Metcalf because he’s probably expensive and they are *definitely* going to lock down a replacement level talent if he is gone. If you could guarantee last year’s production Jermaine Johnson II and Wyatt. Sure I’d bite. But if you’re coming back with Brooks and Collier, thanks but no thanks.

      • Gary

        Agree with all of this except for the time of possession comment. Yes, the D could try to make a stop and get off the field. RW could also improve our time of possession by converting the odd third down and actually sustaining a drive. Yin and yang.

        • Rob Staton

          It’s not a ying and yang though Gary

          The defense couldn’t get off the field. Even if Wilson converted 2-3 more third downs a game, they still wouldn’t have been able to get off the field

        • cha

          If you want to dig down another level, the defense has been horrible producing turnovers the last three seasons as well. Drives aren’t being cut short by turnovers and Russell isn’t getting much field position to work with.

          Meanwhile the offense was the best in the NFL on giveaways in 2021, and is consistently in the top 10.

    • Big Mike

      I might add the 🐐 Tom Brady had a horrible first half last year in the NFCCG vs Green Bay with iirc 2 interceptions. The Tampa D kept the Bucs in the game along with Aaron’s propensity to choke in the playoffs.
      And btw, Rodgers is one game above .500 in the playoffs.

      • Peter

        Wait til people find out that brady has never won a ring without a top ten defense. And field vision impaired Wilson has been rolling with a defense in the bottom half for four straight years.

        • Big Mike

          C’mon Peter, don’t let facts and logic get in the way of the Russ hate.

    • James P

      Pretty much 100% agree with this. I’m not a massive fan of “off-field Russ” either these days. But why people are so keen to get rid of him or diminish him is beyond me. He is a flawed QB for sure, but he is head and shoulders better than any of the suggestions being put forward as a replacement. We’re one of the lucky ones with a franchise QB, why would we willingly walk away from that? Someone below is suggesting trading him for Mayfield! So strange.

  21. Sea Mode

    Desai watch…

    Jeremy Fowler
    · 1h

    Former #Bears DC Sean Desai interviewed for #Vikings DC job over weekend, per sources. So, new Minnesota coordinator will likely one of these three:

    Desai, #Ravens’ Anthony Weaver, #Lions’ Aubrey Pleasant.

  22. Sea Mode

    Get the gang back together… 😭

    Aaron Wilson

    Jaguars’ new coach Doug Pederson has other staffing plans and is not retaining passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer and offensive line coach George Warhop in addition to special teams coordinator Nick Sorensen, according to league sources

    • Peter

      Smart decision. Two good minds and a young talent that needs direction.

      • Sea Mode

        Ummm… the tweet says he is NOT retaining their services.

        (Unless I’m totally misreading your hidden meaning. In which case, apologies ahead of time)

        • Peter

          Hey. Reading is hard.

          I thought it read “was,” retaining.

          In that case. I wish they had not parted ways. What was the point? Hey russ you’re super productive but teams may have figured out the scheme so schotty’s out. But….don’t worry you’re still going to play with an anemic til it doesn’t count run game. Cool?

  23. L80

    Exactly what was said in this article is what needs to happen because RW has only 2 years of contract. What he sees this year will make up his mind for the final year of his contract.

    If “status quo” is it, OR another botching of cap room and failed draft picks then #3 will never sign another contract here. P & J had better realize this yesterday and do what they know they have to do, or the Hawks are headed for any given Sunday territory. They are intelligent people acting like IDIOTS….Wake the FUCK UP !!!!…Holy S H I T, this is our window, and THIS is your swan song…ACT like it.

    Problem for me is when you hear PC say everything is fine, another Collier will be added to the roster and our SB window will slam shut.

    • TomLPDX

      OMG! P&J. Peanut Butter and Jelly. Thank you!

    • Peter

      I’m super into P & J.

      Less into us heading into any given sunday territory.

  24. Bradley

    I would say Carroll is probably more willing to go for a year with a young quarterback currently in the NFL he likes who could run his offense. Think of a Drew Lock. Look what Bill Belichick has done with Mac Jones. Could work.

    • Rob Staton

      I would say there’s more chance of the world’s oceans gathering together to create an enormous water slide from the moon, than Pete Carroll being willing to roll with Drew Lock.

  25. Pepoandart

    Fun read Rob. You make an excellent point that yes other teams make bad choices but that shouldn’t excuse those made by the current FO. I would be a little surprised if Pete wasn’t open to leaning on free agency more this year. As you said time is of the essence and without our first round pick a big splash in FA would be be a way to jump start this season. I think Pete should challenge Wilson to improve on 3rd down and the short-mid range passing game (the two might be linked). In exchange Pete should ask Wilson to name who he wants at center and wideout and the FO should take the steps to make it happen.

    • TomLPDX

      Oh, I like that! Let Russ pick his Center.

  26. Rob Staton

    Desai isn’t coming to Seattle

    They’re hiring a guy called Karl Scott instead


    I find these changes to the defensive staff underwhelming

    • Gross MaToast

      Pete has reached the part of his tenure when openings on his staff are viewed as good only for ‘first-time, no one else would ever offer this opportunity’ guys (Shane Norton Jr) or ‘end of the line, no one else wants me’ guys (everyone else).

    • Sea Mode

      I guess this is strange to me. Is it supposed to be viewed as an upgrade because they tack on that, besides secondary coach, he is also “defensive passing game coordinator”? Has the game become so complex that we now need co-coordinators on both sides of the ball?

      Also, what title are they going to invent for Desai if supposedly they are still looking to bring him in…? Are the Seahawks putting this out through local media to let Desai know they are somehow still “in” on him?

      Bob Condotta

      My understanding is Seahawks have been talking to Scott but nothing is official yet. And my understanding is this doesn’t preclude Sean Desai still coming to Seattle if he’s available.

      • Big Mike

        Spin control from the front office?
        “We were in it til the end.”

      • Big Mike

        “my understanding” = Pete told me?

        • Sea Mode

          He clearly has info from someone on the inside telling him to make it clear the Seahawks have the door open for Desai. Been tweeting about him for days.

          Bob Condotta
          ·Feb 7

          According to NFL Network, Sean Desai remains a candidate for the DC job with the New York Giants. Seahawks remain hoping to add Desai to their defensive staff as well, potentially as defensive passing game coordinator. Obviously, Seahawks probably have to wait on what Giants do.

          • Rob Staton


            But multiple sources are saying the guy from Minnesota is getting the job

      • swedenhawk

        To be fair, Scott’s resume isn’t all that bad: coached under Klngsbury at Texas Tech and then under Saban at Alabama, where he helped develop players like Patrick Surtain II, Xavier McKinney, and Travon Diggs; he also worked under noted defensive-backs guru Mike Zimmer, and Maryland reportedly showed interest in hiring him for their defensive coordinator before he took the job in Minnesota. It’s an underwhelming hire, to be sure. Perhaps he actually has something to offer?

        • Rob Staton

          I suppose you could argue, though, how much developing do 5-star Patrick Surtain (5th overall in the country at any position) and 4-star Trevon Diggs (125th overall in the country at any position) really need to succeed in college football? Especially at Alabama.

    • Peter

      “A guy called…..”

      But how do you really feel, Rob?

      • L80

        Beam us up Scotty.

  27. Romeo A57

    Another great article by Rob. I half jokingly commented, and Rob shot it down, that Watson would be traded to the Commanders. I now believe that Washington should be the favorite to land Watson. Snyder has proven that he could care less what the fans or media think about him or the Commanders. The current stink on Watson’s lack of character won’t bother him at all since they are accused of similar actions.

    I believe that Rodgers will make some noise, but he seems to have a much better relationship wit Green Bay’s Front Office and will stay.

    Wilson’s camp may talk about his displeasure with Seattle but he will probably still be the Starting QB later this year.

    Denver seems like a good landing spot for Jimmy G, but I would be surprised if SF got a 1st round pick for him.

    • Peter

      Trading for Watson then having Watson bounced from the league is a total Snyder move.

      • cha

        If they’re truly committed to cleaning up their image, Russell Wilson would be the best choice. As muddy as that franchise has been, they could use a huge snoopful of dorky Russ with his cringe energy.

        Maybe Carr if they value image as much as play. But Russ is the best combination of both.

        • Romeo A57


          You are definitely correct describing Russ as having “cringe energy” an being “dorky” that would appeal to a franchise looking for a clean image QB. His “Man of the Year” trophy could wipe a lot of dirt away. I just don’t believe that Snyder gives a crap about his image. Are we sure that the NFL didn’t use all of the accusations about his and the “Redskins” Front Office sexual harassment claims as fodder to force the name change?

          • cha

            I doubt it. The rebrand launch is probably just an attempt at PR distraction.

    • Rob Staton

      The Commanders can’t and won’t trade for Watson

      I’m not going to go into details as to why because I don’t want to talk about why. But everyone knows why.

  28. TomLPDX

    I’m not going to lie. I love Mina!


    • Big Mike

      Good stuff and I’m a fan from what I’ve seen of her. I despise ESPN and their endless focus on star making (e.g. Zion), the Dallas Cowgirls and their obvious control of the college football so I rarely watch anything outside of games. However, I may have to start watching NFL Live just for her.

  29. Sea Mode

    So looks like:

    Still need DC:
    Broncos (Ejiro Evero expected)

    Options dwindling for Desai. Maybe having connections with Lovie Smith helps him? Seems like it’s them or us at this point.

    Meet Sean Desai, the ‘mad scientist’ of the Chicago Bears (great that he could read our offense…)

    Still need OC:
    Patriots (Joe Judge with “offensive assistant” title as de facto coordinator to bypass Rooney rule…?)
    Raiders (a formality since Josh McDaniels will call plays)
    Vikings (Wade’s son Wes Phillips rumored under O’Connell?)
    Rams (will probably just promote from within cause McVay calls plays anyways)
    49ers (Anthony Lynn under Shanahan?)

    Wonder if Schotty will get another shot somewhere or will have to settle as QB coach or assistant again somewhere.

  30. Timothy Burch

    Spot on Rob. The first week of free agency going to be a real identifier as to how RW camp reacts. If PC/JS don’t go big this year. RW asks for a trade. Until then its probably going to be crickets with occasional twitter and Instagram fodder for teams pining for RW.

    My question is…Bailey Zappe I know he took a beating and held the ball too long in Senior Bowl. What are your thoughts or scouting report? Possibly a 4th rounder, 5th rounder to develop. Seems like a developmental point guard type QB Pete likes.

    • Rob Staton

      My thoughts are Zappe is an UDFA level talent

    • Peter

      Zappe feels like a guy who gets into coaching before he plays.

      Every year at some sub conference level there are guys who play at a ridiculous level. For me going back to Colt Brennan at Hawaii and now with Zappe. With stops along the way at boise st., EWU, and others.

  31. Forrest

    As evidenced by the Hawks’ interest in Josh Allen when there was seemingly no reason NOT to like Wilson, I believe the Hawks want a dual threat QB with a big arm. I believe they see flaws in Wilson having slowed down, not being able to escape as easily (or roll out to buy time), failing to throw the ball away to avoid sacks, poor third down play and not being able to see well enough to throw over the middle.

    Having said this, there is one QB who we haven’t talked about…Lamar Jackson! I COULD see Wilson in Baltimore and Jackson has been discussing a contract extension for forever. One to watch!

    • Rob Staton

      I think your assessment of how the Seahawks view Wilson is 100% wrong

      The reason they considered a 2018 is all to do with contracts and the players available and nothing to do with Wilson’s mobility in 2018

    • Peter

      I just don’t see how it makes sense to trade Wilson and get less back in Capital for a good not great Jackson. Then for us to be on the hook for a monster contract for a guy who has missed time in three of four seasons.

      On a side note some team maybe the browns is going to need to craft a second tier QB payscale. For QB’s that are good and you don’t want to give up on but for reasons aren’t worth the Mahomes, Allen half billion, quarter billion respectively.

      Mayfield. Jackson. Murray. All look like different risks paying them huge money goong forward.

    • Starhawk29

      We all know Josh Allen is a superstar, but have you watched him play more than a few games? I’m honestly asking, because while he is occasionally the best player on the field, he is far more mistake prone than Russ. He threw 15 ints this year, more than Russ has ever thrown in a season. Lets also not forget that at the same point in their careers (year 4), Russ put up one of the most dominant campaigns by a QB I have ever seen (25 tds/2 ints from week 10). That same season Russ put up one less TD than Allen did this year, and 8 fewer ints.

      The argument that Russ is old now and thus incapable of playing the way he used to is par for the course for QBs. Allen will suffer a similar loss of athleticism when he’s in his 30s. You can’t just replace a QB because he’s a bit older as finding a viable alternative is the hardest thing to do in sports. I would argue that instead you and the QB must continue to grow and evolve. The offense Tom Brady ran in 2007 is very different from the one he ran in 2017, that is just how this works.

      In short, before we give up on the only true franchise QB this team has had, maybe we should give him the opportunity to be coached, allow him to grow into the type of player veteran QBs can be. He may never be the same player as he was when he was a rookie, that doesn’t mean he can’t be better.

  32. Timothy Burch

    My I would take it draft.

    2nd Zion Johnson G/C
    3rd Channing Tindale LB or Perrion Winfrey DT/DE
    4th Damien Pierce RB
    4th DeAngelo Malone DE/LB
    5th Bailey Zappe QB
    7th Cameron Latu TE

    • Rob Staton

      Your R3 and R4 picks won’t be there

      And I can already tell it’s going to be a fun few months trying to convince people Zion Johnson is overrated

      • Sea Mode

        I know we’re familiar with draft media in general and each should stick to their own opinions and evaluation, but Jim mentioned yesterday it was actually the 32 NFL teams who voted him:

        Jim Nagy
        · 18h

        Boston College OG/OC Zion Johnson was named @seniorbowl Practice Player-of-Week but here’s some other players who received multiple votes in poll among 32 #NFL teams:

        *Perrion Winfrey
        *Jermaine Johnson
        *Calvin Austin II
        *Dameon Pierce
        *Travis Jones
        *Trevor Penning
        *Velus Jones

        So there could be smokescreens or he could have just received 5 votes and the other guys 3 or 4, so by no means a landslide. And maybe they are just choosing him to praise him for the extra work he put in taking snaps at center (was the last one off the field all three days).

        And we know Nagy promotes his guys, but he also doesn’t just say this much of everyone usually:

        Jim Nagy

        First round player. First class person. Came to Mobile as top-rated guard in draft and embraced challenge of playing center for first time in his life. Any GM will have great peace of mind turning in the card with Zion’s name on it. Building block for any organization.


        Once again, I think it’s great that you hold to your own opinion and call it as you see it. Full disclosure: I haven’t even watched him yet myself, so I’m not trying to pull for either side. It just seems strange why the NFL guys including Jim himself seem to be backing the notion that he’s really good, quite possibly R1 good.

        • Rob Staton

          Well, some NFL guys thought three first round picks for Trey Lance was a good idea 🙂

          Heck, Mike Holmgren once spent a R1 pick on 29-year-old Brandon Weeden.

          I’m happy with my assessment of Zion Johnson. I think part of what’s going on here is he looks the part. It’s very easy, looking at him, to imagine him in the NFL. He has almost no bad weight yet has size. By all accounts, the reports are he’s very intelligent and of good character. I’m sure that plays into the full evaluation.

          And don’t get me wrong — if he rocks up at the combine and blows it up with explosive testing, he’ll go earlier than I’m projecting.

          But he had some ugly reps and some good reps in Mobile. And the reviews of his performance at the Senior Bowl are OTT for me.

          I will also say — the awards handed out at the Senior Bowl are voted on by the players. That’s a fact. Jim here is referring to the conversations and polling he has done individually. The awards he announced over the weekend are 100% made by the players who are competing against each other.

          • Starhawk29

            Rob, is it possible we just don’t have all the info? I know coverage of the practices was limited, is it possible that in the reps we haven’t seen that he excelled? I’m honestly curious, just two very disparate data points here

            • Rob Staton

              I think I’ve seen all of the 1v1 reps now

              And let’s be right here. Let’s say I missed a whole session (I didn’t). It wouldn’t change the bad reps

              • Starhawk29

                Fair enough, just curious why there is such a discrepancy between two respectable evaluators. Sounds like a projection based on potential rather than skill.

                • Rob Staton

                  There’s always differences of opinion

  33. BobbyK

    It’s so hard to know what I want in the draft because this team, like many teams, have so many holes.

    Duane Brown is just as much a Raven, Raider, or Bear as he is a Seahawk. Penny is just as much a Jet, Chief, or Eagle as he is a Seahawk.

    That being said, there’s such a big hole now at LT, C, RB, DL, FS, CB (more than one), and even a third LB.

    I’d mention TE but I’m so sick of them investing anything into this worthless position that they don’t fully utilize. Just get someone who can block like a madman. Don’t use resources in an area you’ll ensure is worthless. Spend it on the LOS (or something that will actually matter, instead of what you hope will matter).

    • Peter

      I know which way I am going and I also know Seattle is not doing it.

      For me I’m all in on fixing the defense. I get they did well in scoring but absolute garbage in every other metric. The scoring feels a bit of a trick as well since they didn’t face many notable offenses.

      What seattle will do. Project center that should go 6th is coming in the third. Probably a TE to save some bucks on Everett but get less production.

      What I want: ( I really like RB pierce sadly I think he gets picked just out of Seattle’s reach)

      2. DT or DE

      3. DT or Safety. Which hurts to say since I’m over the near dozen blown picks on this position. But yet again Seattle may not have a good safety going into next year. And Adams feels like he’s never going to give more than 2/3rds of a season.

      4. LB or Corner. Seattle needs a LB that can help make the defense not look like fools letting RB’s reach historic numbers catching the ball. Sadly Brooks and Barton are just guys that every team has. Not saying you need to replace them yet and they wouldn’t anyway, they just needed someone better back there.

      4. LB or Corner. Repeat the above but switch the current corners names for the LB’s. Seattle is somehow horrible at turnovers. And there are questions about which Corners they can even retain going forward.

      I know it’s not pretty. But sometimes you need to stop and fix one area or problem instead of moving forward. I know they are going to do what they always do and pick a little if this, a little of that. This team is in rebuild mode however regardless of PC’s spin on it.

      • AlaskaHawk

        The problem is that Wilson isn’t going to stick around unless you also develop a better offensive line and a running game. You have one year to convince him, two years at the most. Then it will be time to extend his contract = probably for 40 to 50 million a year. Would you stay behind the current offensive line? The Seahawks have to do something.

        Can they improve the defense and the offense this year? They been picking defense in the draft for a long time now with little to show for it. I don’t think they can improve both significantly at the same time. I just don’t think Pete Carroll can do it. Best to pick one or the other.

        Concentrate on defense with a few offensive players thrown in – like a running back and center. Still not enough to please Wilson – he will leave. Go all in on the offense this year, and a few defensive picks – at least Wilson will see progress on the offensive line that protects him and blocks for the running backs.

        My plan, build offense this year, build defense next year. And you can still pick a few defensive players this year, but they really need to make an effort to improve the offense – or I think Wilson will leave in two years.

        • Peter

          The problem i see with seattle’s current draft stock is for me there are zero line that fall outside of “project,” range. And it’s a completely uninspiring running back class.

          I think Wilson wants to win more than any other metric.

          Seattle has drafted a lot of defense. But also wasted picks on penny, pocic, maybe eskridge had an off year but so far it’s nothing.

          If seattle doesn’t pay for a center maybe Cole strange? But outside of that I’m looking at 6th rounders that I really hope are late bloomers.

  34. BobbyK

    I wonder the odds of the Seahawks going into the 2023 Draft with all 3 of their Day 1-2 picks next year? I can totally see comPete screwing the future over for now, like he usually does.

    • BA

      I can already see it now. Coming off a 7-10 season in 2024 and in anticipation of his year in 2025, Pete trades our 2026, 2027, and 2028 first rounders for….JJ Watt.

  35. Pavlos

    If there is uncertainty in Seattle regarding the quarterback, it will be difficult for the Seahawks to lure top talent.

    At the end of the day, money talks but the Seahawks don’t tend to spend much so I have less of a reason to believe they are going to kill free agency.

    Unless of course this past season has convinced them to change their ways. But I doubt it.

    • dan

      Missing a major point…at the Seahawks training facility they play basketball before team practices, every nfl free agent is willing to take a pay-cut so they can play basketball in Seattle! What a culture!!

  36. Sea Mode

    Dang, that sucks. Stupid people. 🤬


  37. Sea Mode

    Mike Garafolo

    The #Vikings are hiring Ryan Grigson for a senior role in the football personnel department, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. The former #Colts GM has served as a personnel exec for the #Browns (alongside Kwesi Adolfo-Mensah) and #Seahawks since his five-year stint in Indy.

  38. V

    Ed Donatell has emerged as the favorite or the Vikings defensive coordinator position, sources tell
    @DanGrazianoESPN and me. Seattle – which was hiring him as a defensive assistant – is now bracing to lose him. New coach Kevin O’Connell getting plenty of experience on defense.

    • Rob Staton

      Here’s the link


      So Seattle’s grand plan is going to equate to swapping Ken Norton with Clint Hurtt

      This franchise. Sleep walking to nowhere

      • Mark

        Good lord, the top of this organization is an absolute joke. Much of the rest of it too, but it starts at the top.

      • cha

        For those that tied the Jody end of year meeting to Norton being fired, and pointing to the front office being responsive about needing to improve the team, this is a perfect distillation of how they operate.

        Promote from within of a unit that stunk and whose core plan for 2021 was a disaster. Hire an old hand for some greybeard hand-holding and likely lose him to a better offer.

        If this is how they operate with their biggest job opening, can’t wait to see what they do in free agency.

        • Rob Staton

          It just seems muddled and reactive

          I’ll wait until the announcements are made to pass judgement completely but it’s hard not to be somewhat concerned by this process. And if the only outsider coming in is the guy from Minnesota with one year’s NFL coaching experience. Yeah. That ain’t great. Especially when there were so many intriguing defensive coaches out there and we just promote from within.

          • cha

            “Muddled and Reactive”

            They need to paint that on the doorway out of the Front Office and each member has to slap it before they walk out.

            • Big Mike

              Along with “sleep walking to nowhere”.

        • Peter

          Full price Wagner.

          Green walks to pay a 30 year old about 2 million less a year to do about the same minus a sliver of upside. No need to retain your own talent.

          Everett walks to pay another TE the same.

          Low ball Diggs so he walks for more money on a team willing to give him a chance.

          Resign Penny. Multi year deal. Fingers crossed he doesn’t turn back into the hamburglar.

          • Big Mike

            Penny hurt before halftime of the first game. Misses 8 weeks. Comes back for one game, looks great and then gets hurt 1st quarter of the next game and is done for the year. Rinse and repeat until 6 games left in his contract.

        • Tomas


      • swedenhawk

        another example of Carroll’s hubris.

    • cha


    • ShowMeYourHawk

      Hmmmm. Appears that the “Good Ole’ Boy” network isn’t as tight as Pete would’ve hoped. Good on Donatell. He’s far too qualified to play background to a novice DC. Wonder if Desai gets offered the position Ed would’ve taken (did take)?

      • Rob Staton

        But surely the point of the Donatell appointment was experience to help guide the inexperienced DC?

        Why would Desai want that? And would he even be suited to that role??

        • ShowMeYourHawk

          I don’t disagree. But why would Donatell want that role, either? Apparently, provided a better opportunity, he doesn’t.

          Desai seems to be striking out with DC jobs around the league. Not sure why. Maybe he’s a bad interview? There’s nothing that says he has to be brought aboard to teach or guide Hurtt, like Donatell would’ve. Perhaps he could just be “passing game coordinator?” Until pen is on paper, there’s no reason to trust that Karl Scott is THE GUY. Until the D talent is upgraded, it’s all just shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic, anyways.

          At some point, Desai’s going to have to take SOME position, unless he wants to take a season off to reassess.

          • Rob Staton

            Well in fairness Donatell is what, 65? He’s also worked with Carroll before. It felt like a good role for him.

  39. Mark

    “Jody, we tried to bring in some new blood, but things just didn’t roll the way we wanted. Did everything we could. That’s ok, I am really pumped about Clint, he’s ready to take the next step. We’re better off for going through the process. Ready to battle.”

    • Rob Staton

      Tater to be appointed defensive guru to Clint Hurtt

      • Tomas

        In Tater we trust.

        • Space Chief

          Could always bring in Nick Holt as defensive assistant.

  40. Rick

    Browns’ offer: QB Baker Mayfield, 2022 first-rounder (No. 13) and 2023 first-rounder for Wilson

    If you add in the 2022 second round pick I would think that this would be a pretty good deal.
    Especially with a strong group of second round candidates. If the Seahawks can pick up a couple of more seconds by moving into the late first round than it could help them reload.

    If this deal is not available and a trade has to be make I think that Rob’s idea of Cousins being the QB coming and a boatload of picks from most likely the WFT is the most probable outcome.

    If I was a betting man, I would say that Wison and the Seahawks will finish this year and next year together. After that Wilson only stays if he gets to pick his head coach and gets say in personnel decisions.

    • Peter

      I’ll take three firsts and mayfield for free. He’s not on a contract so the next team (us?) Has to decide to pay him a ton of cash or be yet again looking for a qb.

    • cha

      Hard pass.

      That’s the Jared Goff for Stafford trade.

      Wilson > Stafford > Goff > Mayfield

    • Rob Staton

      That Browns offer wouldn’t be close.

      The starting point is three first round picks. They won’t answer the phone for anything less.

      Mayfield and two ones won’t cut it. Mayfield hasn’t done anything to convince.

    • Roy Batty

      I would think that any trade that includes Mayfield is a non-starter. He is not a team leader. If I remember correctly, during the whole OBJ fiasco, (especially the part where OBJ’s dad put out that compilation of non-throws to OBJ), not a single Cleveland player stood up for Mayfield.

      It’s like that bad movie, Draft Day.

      “Bo, did your teammates come to your birthday party?”

  41. Scot04

    The Seahawks hunt for DC reminds me of our offseason for PassRush improvement when we wanted to keep Clowney & Add.
    Waited & it ended up ugly.
    All the top DC candidates pretty much gone.
    If going with Hurtt, I would prefer CO/DC’s; with Desai being added.
    So many great Candidates were available & we’re right where everyone thought we would end up the day Norton was fired.
    Hurtt as the most likely, frustrating.
    Just go get fricking Fangio & let him run it!

    • Mark

      If you want to be pumped, listen to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm0NZO1gM_I&ab_channel=SeattleSeahawks

    • Big Mike

      Zero chance Scot. It’s Pete’s D and Fangio would want full control. Pete will cede a morsel of control of the defense when I ride a mount in the Kentucky Derby at 6’6″ and 265 lbs. In other words, never.

      • Scot04

        Oh I know there’s 0 chance. Just tired of the Seahawks continuing to repeat things that don’t work.
        Free-agency, Drafts, & now replacing our DC.
        They continue to have opportunities for big upgrades & are happy with sideways moves.

  42. Mr. Drucker in hooterville

    Hypothetically if they do keep RW and the #41. Can we trade DK for a Giants top10 pick? I’d probably want more back, but my question is how can we get a top 15 draft pick if Russ stays?

    • Rob Staton

      But why would you do that?

      • Mr. Drucker in hooterville

        I don’t think DK’s going to go up in trade value.

        • Rob Staton

          Well you don’t have to trade him

    • Jordan

      I don’t see anyone in that range of the draft, even if they were to hit their ceiling, being as good of a football player as DK.

      • Henry Taylor

        I’d consider it if we could guarantee Thibodeaux, Hutchinson or Stingley.

        • Peter

          The first two. Like stingley but a great corner and a weak dline isn’t going to replace 9 plus tds a year if they are trying to win.

  43. Mr. Drucker in hooterville

    I just got 4 starters/contributors for SEA.

    45. Devonte Wyatt, DT Georgia

    78.Abraham Lucas, OT Washington State

    87.Boye Mafe, EDGE Minnesota

    108., Quay Walker, LB Georgia

    153., Cameron Jurgens, OC NEB

    229. Josh Blackwell, CB Duke

    242.Jeremiah Moon, LB Florida

  44. Blitzy the Clown

    Do I understand correctly that last Friday there was a flurry of headlines to the effect of ‘Source: Seahawks expected to promote Clint Hurtt to defensive coordinator’, but since then there has been no statement, official or otherwise, from the organization about Hurtt, and thus the DC position remains open?

    Or did I miss something from the team?

    • Henry Taylor

      It is all very confusing. They seem to want to build a bit of a brain trust and are waiting to announce until it’s all set.

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      “Or did I miss something from the team?”

      Yeah, two things. An owner that’s paying attention and a front office that could construct a PB&J sandwich, let alone a roster and coaching staff.

      • Big Mike


  45. Blitzy the Clown

    Aidan Hutchinson confirms to @MoveTheSticks that’s he’s doing everything at the Combine.“I’m doing everything. I’m not scared of a challenge.""I'm fired up. I can’t wait to run, jump, bench…”@nflnetwork— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) February 9, 2022

    This year’s Combine will be an obscene display of raw athleticism

    • Rob Staton

      He will tear it up. Feeling is he’ll run a 4.0 short shuttle

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