How the playoffs could help shape Seattle’s future with Wilson

Russell Wilson’s vision for the offense could be very different to Pete Carroll’s


If you are easily triggered by speculative articles relating to your favourite quarterback, you might want to sit this one out.

Right, if you’re still with me, here it goes…

What’s the lay of the land with Russell Wilson and the Seahawks?

Clearly at the moment all thoughts are focused on the post-season. The win against the Rams secured the NFC West for the first time since 2016.

I do wonder, though, whether the next few weeks could have an important impact on the long term relationship between team and quarterback.

Let me explain…

Following the week one victory in Atlanta, Mike Florio appeared on Sunday Night Football and revealed that Wilson had told the Seahawks ‘let me cook or we’re going to have a problem’.

He then followed that up on PFT the next day:

I wrote an article in September detailing why it’d be foolish to dismiss Florio’s reporting on anything to do with Wilson because he has a strong connection to Mark Rodgers (Wilson’s agent).

The report from Florio, which has never been denied or contradicted, followed a prolonged off-season monologue by Colin Cowherd who argued throughout the summer that Patrick Mahomes has an offense tailored to him and input in Kansas City’s draft picks.

He made an unflattering comparison to Wilson’s situation in Seattle:

Florio and Cowherd have something in common. A source.

For Florio, it’s Rodgers.

For Cowherd, it’s Wilson. They talk. Wilson has appeared on his FS1 show numerous times.

Whether you like him as a host or not — when he specifically talks about how Wilson feels about a particular situation, you have to acknowledge they are close.

After all, how realistic is it for Cowherd to say some of the things he has about Wilson’s future and his relationship with the Seahawks — only for Wilson to then appear on his show as often as he does? If Cowherd was talking nonsense and making stuff up, that likely wouldn’t happen.

It doesn’t take much dot-connecting to go from Cowherd’s take to Florio’s report. Wilson made the team very aware of his preferred method of offense, possibly in the form of an ultimatum, and it’s likely he craves the kind of status Mahomes has with the Chiefs.

Wilson wanted Seattle to add ‘superstars’. Wilson wanted to cook. The Seahawks let him cook. It worked for a few weeks, until it didn’t any more.

Whoever or whatever was to blame — Wilson, Brian Schottenheimer, Seattle’s opponents, injuries, an inability to adjust — the Seahawks had a prolific start to the season and then a crash.

Wilson turned the ball over more than he’s ever done before and Pete Carroll has clearly decided that, once again, he’s going to do things his way.

In recent games the passing offense has been much more conservative. It’s a far cry from the first few weeks of the season. The Seahawks are back to protecting the football and if anything — the passing game is now trying to complement the defense and the running game, rather than the other way around.

Wilson is back to being a point guard too. In his first nine games of the season, he averaged 310 passing yards a game and scored 28 touchdowns. Since that ninth game, against the Rams, he’s averaged 207 yards per game and thrown only 10 touchdowns — with four coming against the New York Jets.

Carroll is purring about the switch in his press conferences. Rightly so, in fairness. The Seahawks appear to be playing a sustainable brand of football for the first time this season — the type that typically succeeds in the playoffs. This is his brand of football. A complete circle. Everything connecting.

In his eyes, this is how you win. While the Seahawks will no doubt happily ask Wilson to try and rescue them through the air if they get into another playoff hole — it seems inevitable that they will go into the post-season with renewed clarity on what Carroll wants his team to be.

I think he’s had his fill of the ‘Let Russ Cook’ approach. That’s just my hunch. I think he has seen a much more connected team in recent weeks and whether it’s the right decision or not — I think we know by now this is what he wants.

I don’t know how Wilson will feel about that. Clearly if it delivers a Super Bowl in a few weeks time, it’ll be a moot point. If they lose in the Wild Card round playing the way they did against Dallas in 2018, it could be an issue.

For many this is a taboo subject. A lot of people want to imagine that Wilson merely sees it as a privilege to play for the Seahawks. That the consistent winning seasons are enough, that he has no further wants or desires.

I think the near-ultimatum reported by Florio and the purported envious glances towards Mahomes speak to it not being as simple as that.

Wilson only gets one crack at a NFL career. He will have his own ideas on how he wants it to be shaped.

Maybe you’ll disagree with this but Andy Reid’s vision is Mahomes’ vision. Matt LaFleur, as far as I know, isn’t running an offense that isn’t conducive with MVP numbers for Aaron Rodgers. The offense in Baltimore is tailored to Lamar Jackson. Deshaun Watson is about to pick his own coach.

Seattle is different. Wilson fits into Carroll’s vision. It isn’t the other way around.

I’m not trying to imply that the two parties don’t respect each other. I think Carroll loves Wilson and vice versa. I also believe that players and teams, in all kinds of sports, sometimes want a fresh start.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It happens though.

I don’t think it’s completely unlikely that there will come a time where Wilson decides he wants a change. I also think, when that time comes, the Seahawks will be pro-active.

Again, I will stress, that winning solves everything. Super Bowls keep everyone happy. Another playoff disappointment, however, playing a Carroll brand of offense, could create an interesting situation. Not necessarily for 2021 but perhaps beyond that (as I’ll explain later).

Wilson and the Seahawks have had a bit of a weird relationship for some time.

The two contract negotiations he’s had with the team were protracted and difficult.

There’s also been consistent chatter for going on three years that a trade could happen. You have to admit, this is unusual for a franchise quarterback during his peak years.

Prior to the 2019 draft, leading NFL insider Adam Schefter suggested that Wilson could be traded:

In the video above you’ll also notice Jack Del Rio mentioned he had also heard similar whispers doing the rounds. Schefter followed up those remarks on ESPN with this report — adding at the end that the Seahawks would listen to trade offers for Wilson.

This isn’t ‘clickbait’. This isn’t Florio or Cowherd either. It’s Adam Schefter — the definitive breaker of news in the NFL.

Another established journalist with proven connections to Seattle, Mike Garafolo, also reported that Seattle was willing to draft a quarterback early in 2019, ‘preparing for a potential life without Wilson‘.

A year earlier, it caused a bit of a stir when John Schneider was seen attending all of the pro-days of the leading quarterbacks available in the 2018 draft.

Chris Simms revealed on NBC earlier this year that he had heard from sources he trusted that Seattle talked to Cleveland about acquiring the 2018 first overall pick. Simms claims the Seahawks were willing to trade Wilson for the rights to the #1 selection (and presumably more).

Browns coach at the time, Hue Jackson, later said he hadn’t heard anything of that nature (although it’s worth remembering that he and GM John Dorsey had a frosty relationship).

Florio, who works with Simms at NBC, followed up the story:

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Browns contend that the idea was “floated” conceptually, but that the discussion did indeed happen. At the time, the Seahawks were staring at another extension for Wilson, one that would result a year later in a contract with a new-money value of $35 million per year. And the placement of a no-trade clause in the latest contract was indeed influenced by chatter regarding the potential trade to Cleveland, we’re told.

The point on the no-trade clause is important. Whenever anyone brings up the possibility of Wilson being dealt, fans quickly point to the clause as a reason why it can’t happen.

This is a misunderstanding of what a no-trade clause is.

It is not a handcuff for the player and team. It purely prevents the Seahawks from trading Wilson to an undesirable location. Per Florio’s report, the main motivation for including the cause was to avoid him being traded in the future, against his wishes, to a team like the Browns.

However, this clause can easily be waived. If Wilson wanted to be traded to a team or location, all he needs to do is waive the no-trade agreement. By insisting on the clause, he simply has control over his future.

Florio validates Simms’ suggestion that talks between the Seahawks and Browns took place. So while you might dismiss both individuals and their credentials when it comes to legitimate breaking news — it’s a bit of a stretch to think this idea was made up, backed up and never denied. Nobody else, aside from Hue Jackson, has contested these talks took place.

In 2019, Cowherd did a whole segment suggesting that Wilson ‘fancied a trade to the New York Giants’:

“So just remember this, a lot of things add up. Last year of Russell’s contract, his wife would prefer New York, Seattle is not an entertainment Mecca. New York needs, the Giants need, a star quarterback to replace Eli. Also Russell Wilson, good looking guy, classy guy, incredibly marketable and kind of buried in the Pacific North West. And the Giants also have an offensive head coach, not a 66-year-old defensive head coach.”

Wilson himself somewhat added fuel to the fire when, shortly after Cowherd’s take was aired, he appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s TV show. Not exactly a platform for a hotbed sporting discussion, Fallon asked Wilson about contract negotiations and a potential switch to the Giants. Helping out the guest, no doubt.

Personally I think in both instances — with Cowherd and Fallon — it was ‘negotiating through the media’. It happens all the time. The Seahawks dabbled in that tactic too. If anything, it was indicative of how fractious things became. Seeing both parties trying to gain leverage in the media was unpalatable — especially when other teams and other quarterbacks have since been able to get deals done with minimal drama.

I’m not convinced a trade to the Giants was ever realistic or likely. It does show, however, that the prospect of a trade was being used in negotiations.

Whether it was Wilson showing a bit of leg to the Giants or the Seahawks being willing to contemplate moving him to Cleveland the year before — both parties were prepared to use the threat of a trade to get what they wanted.

The prospect of a Wilson trade re-emerged again in May this year, when Florio reported the following:

Some who are close enough to the situation to know what may happen believe that Wilson eventually will be traded. Intriguing potential destinations would include, in our view, the Cowboys, Raiders, and Saints. (Or, as Simms says, any team “that doesn’t try to establish the run for three quarters and then ask him to save them in the fourth.”)

Still only 31 and determined to play until he’s 45, Wilson may not have to wait until his fifth decade (like Tom Brady) to land in a new place. Some think it’s just a matter of time before he’s traded by a team that talked about trading him just two years ago.

It’s impossible to deny that for the last two or three years, there’s been a regular murmur about a possible trade in the media. Many fans will dismiss it because they don’t want to contemplate it. It is simply a fact that, unlike any of his true peers, Wilson has been talked about as a potential trade candidate for some time.

That’s uncomfortable to think about but it’s out there. No smoke without fire.

That’s why, occasionally, I want to write about it. You just don’t see this with other top-level quarterbacks. Not in their prime.

I think it’s intriguing. Even if a trade never materialises — I think we should discuss why this gets talked about as much as it does.

From Wilson’s perspective, he might like the idea of playing in a huge market. A prospective suitor could, potentially, offer him a bigger say in personnel and draft decisions.

Mahomes was consulted on Kansas City’s first round pick this year and he personally recommended Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Meanwhile in Tampa Bay, Tom Brady has basically dictated the signing of Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown — despite neither position being a need for the Buccs. They were simply guys Brady wanted.

A new team would presumably build the roster how Wilson wants. They’d play his brand of football. He would be in control — with no Head Coach dictating the style or identity of the offense.

In return, that team would receive a huge commercial boost.

Can I imagine a scenario where Wilson moves to a new city in a big market, basically becomes king of the franchise and is able to dictate every facet of the way the offense functions? Yes.

Can I also imagine a scenario where the Seahawks decide they can draft a quarterback and make a huge cap saving, acquire a ton of picks to load up the roster and free up money to make some key free agent additions? All the while zoning in on Pete Carroll’s preferred identity for his franchise? Yes.

And I do believe how the rest of this season plays out could potentially steer both parties towards that.

If they win playing Pete-ball, none of this will be relevant. First and foremost Wilson wants to win and if he’s doing that, I doubt anything else will really matter.

If they go into the playoffs and suffer an all too familiar experience of trailing early playing a certain style and needing Wilson to try and save the day (and failing), then things could get interesting.

It’s also important to look at the reasons why this won’t happen any time soon.

The first is obvious — money. In 2021, the Seahawks would absorb a $39m cap charge by trading Wilson ($7m more than his $32m cap number). By 2022, the cap charge falls to $26m, $11m less than the cap charge if he’s still on the team.

So a trade is far more likely after the 2021 season than it is before and there are two seasons to conclude before then, so who knows what’s going to happen?

It would also be a huge gamble. Trading away the best quarterback the franchise has ever had? Trading away an icon?

It would be a stunning move.

If it didn’t work out you’d forever be known as the decision maker (Carroll) and GM (Schneider) who traded away Russell Wilson. You also look like geniuses if it does work. If anyone was going to do it, it’d probably be Carroll and Schneider. They’re bold enough to make a call like that. There’s a big difference, however, between talking about a trade of this magnitude and actually doing it.

You also run the risk of growing pains with a young replacement that could zap Carroll’s final years in Seattle.

When Chris Simms speculated on the Seahawks/Browns trade earlier this year, he added that they would’ve drafted Josh Allen first overall if the deal had materialised.

Personally, I can see that. Allen was basically the prototype for the position based on Schneider’s checklist of physical attributes.

While Allen has gone on to develop into one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, he also experienced two challenging seasons to begin his career. Are the Seahawks willing to endure a similar experience, reducing Carroll’s title timeline to maybe a couple of seasons at best?

It seems unlikely — especially given neither Zach Wilson or Justin Fields are particularly close to the Schneider physical prototype. And while Justin Herbert has looked terrific with the Chargers, he’s very much a unique case rather than the norm.

I also struggle to imagine them adding another veteran quarterback. It’d be a hard sell to the fanbase, trying to pitch a Carson Wentz reclamation project or a last dance for Matt Stafford to replace the best player on the team.

While Wilson might privately desire to play a different brand of football and while the Seahawks might be fully prepared to contemplate life without him (as they seemingly have in the past) — the two parties have also been really good for each other.

Prior to Wilson’s arrival, the Seahawks were 7-9 in both 2010 and 2011. Granted that was with a young, developing team. They’d also probably add a better replacement than Tarvaris Jackson (RIP) if they made a move.

However, there’s a lesson to be learnt there. Without Wilson this was a team left trading significant resources for Charlie Whitehurst, hoping Jackson could provide a solution and then signing Matt Flynn. Returning to those days would be a surefire way to slam shut Seattle’s Championship window.

The bravado of being prepared to trade a franchise quarterback in the midst of a contract negotiation could easily be replaced by panic if they did actually pull the trigger without having a ready made, quality replacement in the pipeline.

For Wilson it’d also be a big risk. He may well prefer to ‘cook’ than point guard his way through Carroll’s preferred vision. He might crave Mahomes’ power and control. Not to mention his contract.

Yet in Seattle he’s only known winning seasons and a top notch culture. You don’t get to take that somewhere else. However appealing the bright lights of a city like New York might be — you can still only play for the Giants or the Jets. They’ll still be the Giants or the Jets if you get to help pick the skill players in the draft or free agency, or throw the ball 50 times a game.

The Seahawks also tried a pass-heavy offense and while it worked for a few weeks, it never felt truly sustainable. Seattle has also recently improved the offensive line and delivered a receiver in D.K. Metcalf who any quarterback would want to play with.

So while I think it’s a thought worth delving into, I also think it’s highly unlikely that Wilson goes anywhere in the near future.

I do think one day though, there will likely be a time when Wilson is playing somewhere else. It happened to Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Tom Brady and others.

Even the legends of the game rarely stay with one team forever. Especially when they play for a long time — as Wilson says he intends to.

A trade in 2021 is unlikely. Beyond that? We’ll see.

I think it’s a topic worth being open minded about. There’s simply been too much media chatter about a possible trade over the years to ignore. There’s nothing wrong with talking about it now, either. Discussing ideas, contemplating scenarios. Wondering what the full consequences of success and failure in the post-season are.

That’s what a place like this should be for.

If you got this far with the article, I suspect you appreciate that.

Happy new year to all.

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  1. dza990

    Great points. Do you think Let Russ Cook floundered so quickly (to me it really started going downhill vs the Vikings) is due more to RW or Schotty? or ? If they could’ve kept lighting up the scoreboard I’m sure Pete would’ve let him continue.

    • 12th chuck

      my guess is its wilson. we have all seen may times a wide open player that wilson doesn’t see. I also remember what doug balwdin said about him as well. He is still the most successful qb we have ever had. Hard to imagine what this team would look like if the landed peyton manning, look at the broncos and they still haven’t figured out if they have a franchise qb

    • lil’stink

      Little of column a, little of column b…

      There have been plenty of breakdowns on Twitter the past month highlighting Wilson’s struggles. Perhaps a different OC would be able to break Wilson out of his slump better than Schotty, but it seems Wilson’s struggles are largely on himself.

      • dza990

        Russ does look shell shocked. He literally ran into sacks last week. I also concur with it being both, I think Schotty is maxed out in his capabilities, but I don’t think the same about RW. I’m hoping that risky, but obvious paid off, strike to Moore gets his juice going again.

        • Pran

          I would say its due to confusion….too many cooks spoil the broth. Between Pete’s conservative style, Russ’s cooking and adding Schotty’s thoughts, Injuries, challenges by defenses since Arizona’s game…it all adds up. If there is one thing …it showed us Russ’s deficiencies, Schotty’s inability to adapt.

          we can only wish and pray at this time..

          • Elmer

            I think we can agree that having a running attack is not a bad thing. See Kansas City.

            You’re right, it seems like lack of clarity or confusion. You can certainly have an offense that features a strong running game and a cooking QB. You correctly point out that injuries make it more difficult, Hawks RB group has been injured. The HC and OC need to work together to make that offense happen. But it can happen, barring too many injuries.

    • AlphaDK

      I think it’s hard to say who/what is most responsible, as there are so many contributing factors.

      Wilson and Schottenheimer are obvious targets, but I think there are several other factors that in sum account for much more than Schotty+Russ.

      First of all, despite all the accolades in the first half of the season, Wilson did not surpass 400 yards passing in a game even 1 time. What really stood out about his play was deep completions and TD numbers. The short passing game was not exceptional in the early season (nor has it ever been exceptional for Wilson).

      Second, defenses across the league were at a huge disadvantage in the first 4-6 games due to the lack of preseason games. This helped Russ put up better than normal numbers.

      Third, the Seahawks OL was pretty healthy through week 9, but the loss of Pocic for 2 games, followed by the injury to Shell who we still haven’t seen back on the field, plus the missing snaps/series/games from Iupati, plus injuries to depth at OG and OT have changed the amount of time Russ has to wait for WR to break open deep.

      Fourth, coinciding with injury challenges on the OL, the Seahawks have faced some excellent DLs (by adjusted sack rate, footballoutsiders) since the Bye, with BUF (#11), LAR x 2 (#5), WFT (#6), PHI (#2), and ARI x 2 (#10) all making life quite difficult for Wilson.

      Fifth, defenses adjusted to the deep passing game, best demonstrated by the NYG who proclaimed before the game “we’re going to shut down the deep passing game and see if they can beat us”. The adjustment to defensive approach happened to coincide with less than perfect health on the OL and facing better DLs, so it was kind of a triple whammy.

      But, back to your original question, I’d say Wilson is more to blame than Schotty. Wilson does almost everything at an elite level, but he’s not been able to be a consistent standout in the short passing game, and it seems to be the offenses Achilles’ heel if neither the run game or the deep passing game are working.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Thanks for mentioning both the issues with the offensive line and Russell’s issues with the short passing game.

        I just don’t see how a team can do well when their offensive line changes so often. At least yearly they are changing 2 to 3 players, and on top of that their are injuries. It affects Wilson’s protection and if affects the running game.

        Wilson having issues with short slants and the screen play are well known. But he seems a special form of nuerotic this year. He will go 2 quarters not throwing to Metcalf, then throw at him 5 times in a row. For all the sacks he has taken lately, has he thrown the ball away? Not that I can recall. Some of those sacks are due to the offensive line not protecting him. Sometimes like with Arizona it was due to 5-6 rushers. Also what is his alliance with Moore? They team up for one circus catch per game.

        Anyway – I’m prepared to watch him another two years. But after his contract expires, you have to ask if a game manager is worth 35 million a year. I don’t think so.

        • Rob Staton

          I just don’t see how a team can do well when their offensive line changes so often. At least yearly they are changing 2 to 3 players, and on top of that their are injuries. It affects Wilson’s protection and if affects the running game.

          That’s football, Alaska.

          Every team and every QB faces that.

          • AlaskaHawk

            Lets see how Green Bay does with their starting left tackle out.
            It’s similar to Seahawks losing their right tackle.

            • Rob Staton

              It won’t make any difference. If Rodgers succeeds or fails with his LT out, it won’t mean anything definitive.

              It’s unrealistic to think the Seahawks could keep an OL together for years and years and years.

      • George chue

        Actually when the Vikings came to Seattle and were taking it to us only to loose it on some last second heroics. That’s when other teams saw the Achilles heel to the Seahawks. Any head coach could see that a three deep safety and relentless edge rush was key. Cue the Buffalo Bills who saw the tape and implemented a game plan that eliminated many deep ball threats, etc. Something Shottenheimer could use more of in his game preparations.

    • Chief shawn lloyd

      I’d say it’s due to an often times lack luster o-line, an unhealthy/inconsistent running attack, still ultra conservative and predictable play calling (particularly the routes wr’s & te’s run) and inexperience cooking a full coarse week after week. Remember this is Wilson’s first time in a nine year NFL career where he has been allowed to throw the ball so many times week after week and It was “short-lived” lasting for about eight weeks so he’s really inexperienced cooking full course meals week after week. It’s a big jump from going to a premier game manager to a pure passer while Essentially having the same look running the same style of offense as in previous years.

  2. Max

    Fantastic read Rob.Would be devastated to see this happen but all very valid points

    • dza990

      If we had a Shanahan like coach or OC, I’d be less concerned and might even welcome it. Nothing against Russ, he’s amazing, but as far as the team goes, I wish he’d be more like Brady about his contracts. Not that I blame him for wanting to get paid.

      • Chris

        With how the front office spent cap money this year in free agency, I doubt even having $10m more would have made a difference.

        • dza990

          Not untrue

  3. cha

    Thanks Rob.

    One potentially big, big factor in this is if Schottenheimer does depart this year for a HC job. That will create all kinds of interesting questions and possibilities.

    Will RW have a say in who is hired? Will PC let RW have significant input but still insist on Pete-ball?

    I think that could provide even more clues to the next article you write on this topic.

    • dza990

      I think Schotty has maxed out what he can do here. I’d like to see what Russ could do with more modern OC who’s actually adaptable in the long term.

      • Rohan Raman

        I would personally love to see Joe Lombardi (Saints QB coach) as the OC and Eric Washington (Bills D line coach) for DC. IMO, two great coaches who could fix two of the areas of concern that have arisen for this team (explosive QB play and good d-line production).

  4. Matt

    Great read Rob. I’ve mentioned it several times – I think Wilson is gone in Spring of 2022. He’s going to be 33 and still have “prime” years left. I just don’t see him settling for being a “not elite tier QB” much longer. He’s a nutball in the sense of he just won’t settle for that. To your point, he gets one chance at an NFL career.

    If I’m the Seahawks – I’m listening to everything starting this offseason.

    What about this scenario…Giants trade three 1s and a 2nd for RW. Seahawks draft Trey Lance and Najee Harris with their first 2 picks this year. Why Trey Lance? Mobile. Big arm. Most importantly – does not turn the ball over. Najee Harris is your premiere RB. And all of a sudden – you have just jump started PC style football on offense.

    I’m not advocating for that – but I do think Trey Lance is a very interesting option that wouldn’t require the #1 or #2 overall pick.

    • lil’stink

      “I just don’t see him settling for being a “not elite tier QB” much longer”

      That’s on Russ, though. Solid OL (finally), solid skill players, coaches putting the ball in his hands more…

  5. A, Chris

    Its pretty much an inevitability at this point. In my mind anyway. My suspicion is that Wilson will last as long as Carol does. After Pete and John move on, the door will be open for Russ to stay and help have some input on the next Coach/GM or hit the market.

    Good piece, Rob. Thorough as always

  6. L80

    After watching the Iron Chef version of the Seahawks. I would say, Gordon Ramsey would have been screaming at RW for burning opponents. However, he started burning his own team, and with the defense unable to stop any pass (and that run defense during that time was rated in the top 5, with teams not running)…I didn’t look forward to games like I do now.

    Hey I met RW at NFL Network studios for a taping of Total Access and at that time his humbleness and genuine personality we’re fantastic. He’s been blessed with a F.O. that has succeeded for a decade at trying to get him what he needs to succeed. All I can say is that if RW wants to move on, well…divorces can be good or bad depending on how it’s done. At some point there will be one.

    Hell, I wanted Dave Krieg to retire a Hawk, but he went to our rival KC and that sucked. It’s pro sports and in most cases a young mans game and in most cases a franchise QB happens maybe once every 20 years if all works out….So I guess after all this rambling…I’m thinking if egos become an issue, cut bait.

    Happy New Year….2021 could not be worse than 2020…stay healthy and love each other, there’s enough hatred and division.

  7. AlphaDK

    Well done, Rob. I was a bit dismissive about the Wilson trade rumors in the past, but put together like you have here, it starts to take on a Seth Wickersham-like ring of truth (expose on Seahawks locker room discord after SB49 loss). It feels like these trade conversations were much more along the lines of Plan B rather than Plan A. That said, I’ve been a proponent of a Wilson trade at the right price for several years, but as he moves into his mid 30s, I think the return on a trade becomes lower and lower. If moving Wilson is going to be the strategy, better get it done right after the 2021 season (26m dead money is a hard pill to swallow, but it would be $11m in cap savings).

    Not sure how many SDB readers have seen it, but there is a very solid article about the Seahawks D putting up it’s best performance this season and focusing on KJ Wright.

    • dza990

      Thanks, hadn’t seen this

  8. Scot04

    Thanks for taking the time.
    Excellent write up Rob. I tend to agree 2022 could be interesting. Many players come here saying they come to play with Russell Wilson. If they ever did move him they would definitely need a extremely good plan in place. After this past offseason I would be a bit concerned. As you said the Quarterback replacement should be already planned out. At 32 or 33, I wonder what his trade value would be out there. Again, I enjoyed the read; plenty to think about.
    Happy New Years!

    On the side; Jacksonville offers 2021 picks #1, 21, 33, & 44 plus a 2022 2nd round pick. Doe’s Seattle say yes?

    • Rob Staton

      Seattle would say yes. Jacksonville would never do it though. They’ve hit the jackpot with big Trev.

      • dza990

        Does seem like the only real knock on Trevor I’ve read is his small-ish frame for his height. Any potential flaws in translating to NFL success you see?

        • Rob Staton

          Not at all. He’s just lean. But he’s more than capable of adding weight if needed. He’s so athletic I doubt it matters.

          • dza990

            I’m glad he’s going to an AFC team, although we do play Jax next year. I wonder if he starts week one or if they bring in a caddy to give him time to learn.

            • Elmer

              Or maybe Minshew is healthy. 😁

      • Scot04

        It was definitely hypothetical. I don’t even think they would do it straight up.
        I feel pretty bad for Jets fans; who thought winning could hurt so bad….

        • Justaguy

          0-16 never goes away

          • Hughz

            It does if you get a once in a generation QB.

            • sobesan1

              That was what they said about Andrew Luck, just saying.

              • Rob Staton

                Well in fairness, Colts fans well and truly forgot about 0-16 when Luck arrived.

                It’s just sad that he got to a place where he didn’t want to play any more.

  9. Drjacko

    Happy New Year Rob.

    I have a feeling that Russell has become more aware of how there are plenty of ways to win since the Bills Rams stretch.

    I am also pretty sure that Seattle FO look around at the QB situation around the division rivals and will ride the Russell train for the foreseeable future. Especially in the context that each one of them tanked/had a very bad season to get to where they are now. Playoff seasons have been sniffed at by critics because they have been commonplace, but both Seattle and Russell can just look around some good QBs in poor situations. Russell is also the winningest QB in his NFL career for a reason.

    I’ll tell you that it might be more likely that Russell has more input with the selection of the next OC

  10. Mike

    I think the most likely case would be if he were to get injured and the Seahawks were to have a top 5 pick with a quarterback they really liked. Kind of similar to what happened with Peyton manning/Andrew luck.

    I remember John scouting and really liking mahomes as well and looking shocked in the post draft press conference by how early he went.

    Like you said it’s just such a huge gamble to trade Russell and John and Pete would definitely be risking their jobs if they did.

    • Rob Staton

      I think they have considered it though.

      And I think they’d probably do it, too, in the right circumstances.

      Not in 2021 though.

    • charlietheunicorn

      They liked P Mahomes
      They liked J Allen.

      You got to keep an open mind when it comes to QBs, perhaps a guy who needs some refining drops into the 2nd (or 3rd) round and you could get a real gem to back-up RW for multiple years. Patriots did it, the 49ers of the late 80s did it….. there is nothing wrong with planning ahead, when the right guy comes along.

      Sadly, I can’t see it for the next 2 season, due to limited draft capital. Perhaps a FA addition would be warranted, because the current back-up isn’t going to win you many games. (50% is what an average back-up is expected to win)

  11. cha


    Ian Rapoport
    Source: #Packers standout LT David Bakhtiari suffered a season-ending knee injury today in practice. The belief is that he tore his ACL. Just crushing.
    3:59 PM · Dec 31, 2020

    • Rob Staton


    • Mick

      Prolly that’s the good wishes they got from us for the Snacks business.

      • Rob Staton

        Hopefully 20 bang average snaps from Snacks Harrison will help take the edge off this news at the weekend….

        • L80

          Snacks was so good in Seattle he was made inactive by Mone who was coming off an injury.

    • Big Mike

      That’s a blow

  12. JLemere

    RW wants the 2019 KC Chiefs and PC wants the 2013 version of the Seahawks. What’s going to win super bowls in this upcoming decade? Probably 7 times out of 10, the 2019 KC chiefs, but I think PC got a point across this season and you see it on the field. RW’s decision making is very questionable. Now is some of it because of the pass rush and not having a great o-line? Yeah, that’s part of it, but even when RW had clean pockets, he still made poor throws and that right there proves PC’s point. If RW can’t handle the offense when you give him the opportunity to throw 35-50 times, then you got to take the ball out of his hands and make it more manageable to like 25-30 passing plays. It’s kind of like CLE’s situation this year. When Baker has a running game and he only throws the ball 25 times and completes 17-18 of them they win. When Baker has to throw it 35+ times and has no running game, well he looks like a backup QB. I agree with Rob that this year’s playoffs could determine the direction of this team going forward. If they make it to the NFC championship game or Super Bowl, there should be enough confidence in the organization that PC can get the job done. If SEA loses in the wild card or the divisional round, RW will push even harder to have more control and if he doesn’t get it, he will want out and that point it’s a rebuild. Going to be a very interesting start to the new year.

    • Elmer

      IMO RW isn’t as great as he thinks he is.
      On one hand I have trouble seeing the team succeed without RW. On the other hand I have trouble seeing the team succeed while paying Wilson, Wagner, and Adams big bucks.
      For me it comes down to this: In what scenario can the team be better without RW?

      • Alex H

        Yeah, you’re basically saying these are core players but they’re overpaid. Though, to be fair their track record in FA has been less than stellar. Compared to overpaying for a replacement level player, I would rather overpay our dudes.

      • Wade

        IMO he’s great, but great at a specific thing — which is play action long-developing routes. You know, the antithesis of LRC.

        He’s shown this year he’s an average QB at the quick-hitting routes that the greats are good at. He was stellar at Wisconsin, where he ran play action. He was stellar hooking up with Lockett on over-the-top routes. He’s not stellar on quick releases. (He’s also the best QB in the league, btw, at picking apart a prevent defense, which is, I think, why he thinks he’s better than he is at certain things).

        Asking Russ to cook is like asking a tiny running back to run between the gaps in a terrible OL.

  13. charlietheunicorn

    The LT for the Packers going down might change the playoffs trajectory for the Packers.
    They have gotten some outstanding OL play all year, keeping Rodgers clean and helping him to perform at his best… perhaps ever…. this season.

    Keeping guys healthy is the number one goal from here on out.
    A single or a couple of injuries can change teams destinies.

    • Big Mike

      Wellllllll, considering the amount of holding I’ve seen the refs allow to protect State Farm Boy, it may not matter one bit.

  14. JimQ

    I enjoyed reading this piece Rob, as a Seahawks draft blog, I think you are probably well suited to bring this subject matter to the blog. Anything is possible and certainly an RW trade -could- indeed happen, it’s a business as people say. Many would be disappointed, but IF the post 2021 trade were to go down, the Seahawks would need a plan for who plays QB. Some tired old “veteran” or a 1-st round draft pick rookie? If that question doesn’t get answered – in advance – a trade of RW may not be the best move as many will not want to take a step back to a “losing” team record with no hope for the playoffs, even if for only a year or three. Additionally, I can’t remember the last time I’ve ever heard RW say anything even remotely negative, at least in public, but maybe in private that changes some?

  15. cha

    Tom Silverstein
    #Packers confirm they have released DL Anthony Rush to make room for Damon Harrison, who was claimed off of waivers from the Seattle Seahawks.
    1:21 PM · Dec 31, 2020·TweetDeck

    • Lewis

      Get him back.

  16. OlyHawkFan

    Love these reads Rob, just can’t find it anywhere else.

    My biggest hope is Russ found some humility this year. Started off with MVP aspirations only to get brought back down to earth with some bad games. I know there were a lot of factors – OL and RB injuries, tough D’s, Schotty not adapting – but Russ made some horrendous decisions. Worst I’ve seen him play maybe ever.

    Hopefully their just getting started with a real team-balanced approach to win, i.e. cookin’ and Pete ball. Rip some freaking heads off Hawks! Let’s go!

  17. Mick

    To comment on topic, not on Snacks, I think the question is what PC and JS want: keep RW happy? then involve him in the choice of the next OC and give him some more weapons. At first, this seems hard to do with our cap and draft picks situation, but a new OC could help him use better the resources at hand: I believe there’s more in the TEs and even more in DK Metcalf and Lockett than what they show at the moment. Improving the O line would also be great from his point of view. I believe getting Adams and Dunlap helped re RW’s request of adding more stars. If you decide of going away from RW, probably the right thing to do is to invest in RBs. I’m not sure I’d draft a QB while he’s around: if you trade him you got better shots at a high pick and you can probably get a better QB. I have some doubts on how many picks we could get for him, and I’m not sure we’d get #1 pick in years with emerging QB with star potential, for price reasons. My take is that PC would love to keep RW until PC goes out of business. But I could be wrong about it.

  18. Easy Answers Hard Choices

    Rob – thanks for this – I believe the Seahawks trading RW as soon as this offseason is a very real possibility. If you view it from RW’s perspective, this franchise has regressed significantly since their Super Bowl win. Some of this decline is understandable, but it has clearly been exacerbated by a series of stupefying personnel decisions by PC and JS – decisions that you have chronicled in great detail.
    It’s not RW’s nature engage in self-aggrandizement or intentionally create a public conflict. But the laissez-faire attitude demonstrated by Coach Wonka and JS the past five years have forced RW’s hand. He’s 32 years old, the clock is ticking and he’s thinking of his legacy. There’s really only one way to be remembered as a GOAT at the QB position:

    Win a second Super Bowl.

    So Russ attributed as saying “Let me cook” or “I want superstars” is really two things 1) a referendum on how he believes this team has been mismanaged in recent years and 2) an ultimatum to FIX IT NOW. He’s trying to create a sense of urgency so his prime years won’t be wasted by the complacency of JS and PC. And they (mostly) responded by whiffing this past offseason. They then overcompensated and shot their wad on Jamaal Adams – leaving them with very limited options for further improving the team going forward.

    Russ’ out-of-character comments are a thinly veiled vote of no confidence in the Seahawks front office – coach and GM. This year’s playoffs are critical, and Jamaal Adams had better be a difference maker – his post-game primping, posturing and pontificating will be for nothing if this team exits early. A long run (NFC championship or Super Bowl) could mollify RW, at least in the short term. A first round exit or a blowout loss in the second round will tell RW all he needs to know – this team will not compete for a Super Bowl anytime in the near future. At which point Russ will quietly approach the Seahawks and inform him that 2020 was his last season in Seattle. As Rob already stated, the no-trade clause is irrelevant – it simply means that RW can choose his destination. And no – the Seahawks can’t play hardball. Going into 2021 with RW sitting on the sidelines and no compensation to boot will turn this team into the NY Jets overnight.

    RW holds all the cards – he knows it and the team knows it. Let’s just hope that somehow it doesn’t come to this.

  19. charlietheunicorn

    Lockett needs 36 yards against the 49ers to reach 1,000 for the season. That would make Lockett and Metcalf just the second combo in team history to reach 1,000 yards in the same season, joining Brian Blades and Joey Galloway, who did it in 1995.

    Good Good DEW IT

    • Hughz

      I had a dream that DK took a short pass to the house for an 87 yd TD and breaking the record on that reception.

  20. Submanjoe

    I think Russ is probably a little too full of himself. And I think Pete is probably a bit stubborn. I think there’s some sayings out there, “the grass is always greener on the other side”, or, “the seven year itch”. Obviously, Russ should have some say in the offense. But a bit a humility and self reflection can go a long way. There’s been a drama in the contract negotiations and in communicating through the media which leads me to think both sides think they’re a bit more clever than they really are. Just shut up and work together and win please.

  21. DC

    It’s all about winning titles, for Russ & for us. We all want the same thing.

    Titles take talent!

    • Big Mike

      I’m not so sure it’s “all about winning titles” for Russ. He has stated straight out he wants to be an MVP. That’s a very personal goal.

      • DC

        ‘MVP’ is a title. ‘Champion’ is a title.

        “…an appellation of dignity, honor, distinction, or preeminence attached to a person…by virtue of…attainment…”

  22. Roger Davis

    Rob, first off Happy New Year to you and your family and to all the assorted misfits like myself who so love your blog!

    Regarding DangeRuss’ future I think there is an 800 pound gorilla in the calculus of this situation.

    What does Russ BELIEVE about the following: Why did Russell’s cooking suddenly begin to smell? What went wrong? How much of it was Russell’s fault? How much because of key injuries? How much of it because of what Russ sees as Pete’s “interference?” What does the autopsy show the cause of death was?

    If both Russ and Pete agree on what went wrong, and why, they may well go forward in a friendly professional way, as they plot together how to succeed and coexist.

    If they do not agree on the above, then: Shit. Just. Hit. Fan. I can see their partnership ending, perhaps even with recriminations.

    All good things end. Personally, I’d prefer that the Russ good thing ends 10+ years from now in mutual joy. The thought of an early divorce for “Irreconcilable reasons” would leave a bad taste in my mouth, and forever thinking, “What might have been…”

    • Rob Staton

      All fair and valid points

    • Big Mike

      Good post Roger. Guessing if we hear stuff from Russ through his bobo Cowherd like we heard this last offseason, we’ll know where he stands on the situation.

      • Thisthat

        Cowherds sources were “Entertainment Agents” Not Russ’ and the NY speculation felt a lot more about Eli than it ever did Russ to me. It’ll be very interesting to see how this unfolds, I wish there were a few more solid reports outside of Simms, Florios source (Simms again) and a couple speculative comments (Schefter/that were dismissed). It’ll shape the franchise’s future one way or the other and I’m hopeful it works out for the name on the front of the jerseys when/if something goes down.

        Please play well into the playoffs as this team desperately needs to help people digest the #33 trade and the lack of preseason moves. I for one like the Hawks chances, this team is hit or miss but can beat anyone on any given Sunday. (Fwiw I guess that means they could lose on any Sunday as well haha)

        • Rob Staton

          It doesn’t really matter what Cowherd said his source was. The fact is he is tight to RW and was likely doing him a solid by mentioning this.

          As stated in the piece, negotiating through the media.

          There’s plenty of other sources to go at in this piece. Nothing I linked to was dismissed.

          • Thisthat

            Agreed it could have been negotiating thru the media, especially since you say RW/Colin are close. Admittedly I didn’t know that part. Just thought it was telling it didn’t come from the ‘sports’ world and more a Ciara/Eli angle at least how I interpreted it.

            As for scenarios, and back to a well written piece that is definitely thought/convo provoking I think Pete would love to go back to his original recipe for success; a young mobile, cheap rookie contract QB, while building a dominating defense and a punishing ground game. He’s proved it worked before, it’s his preferred style of football and actually a team I had a ton of fun watching and cheering for. Seattle has been a soft sports city for ever and finally we were known as the bullies and I loved it. So I’d be in favor, tho quite risky (hey Clipboard Jesus!), of letting Russ go cook in return for a draft haul of young high energy, brash defenders and a back even if it’s Carson and a rookie that likes contact.

            If RW does stay, I’d like to see an OC that’s innovative and able to adapt to the current nfl, flood Russ w skill position players and see if we can duplicate the KC team. Getting stuck somewhere in between the two options feels like a waste either way and a team that continues winning 10 games and goes home after Rd 1.

  23. Kevin Mullen

    Yeah, eff it. Let’s do it…

    Send him to the Giants for Daniel Jones, #8 pick, and their 3rd rounder.

    • Volume12

      No. Hell no!

  24. Frank

    It’s so unfortunate really, watching thru everything you just recited I had a feeling the whole time the personality of RW didn’t match the teams needs of him and it just been a growing discord as the super bowl win is farther in the rear view. He’s at his best when playing full circle football, but needs that recognition of being the best. Most years I see him as the 5-10th best QB in the league and while I LOVE!!! his fit in PC vision, he sees himself as being on a lvl he just isn’t. Andy Reid is on another lvl, Maholmes won the Lottery ticket on a coach that would put up gaudy numbers with. Really only Rodgers, Watson, and the combo of Mahomes/Reid are that top tier that can carry a bad team. Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Brady, Wilson, Rothlesburger, Ryan, Murray, Dax and arguably Fitzpatrick are guys you can win with if you have the right team and coaching around.
    Hasselbeck has to love the disrespect of RW being called the best Seahawk QB ever, when he was much more than just a passenger on a great team.
    It’s been to many playing politics for Team control, contracts, and too much beating his chest, too much media BS. One week it’s I want to buy the Hawks, the next week it’s let me cook or else, although it makes for a lower quality team and less of a chance of another super bowl, He gets one career I get he wants to be an all time great, but he’s not a team player. His selfishness and me first attitude will always be why what should have been a dynasty and never was. I’m not trolling, and don’t care if anyone agrees but someone has to have the Cecil to say it. Finding as good of fit isn’t so easy, but it’s also not impossible. I’ve been burnt out on this act for years already, and we should have been drafting a QBs every year to be ready as a team for this, but oh yeah his ego couldn’t take the competition and he basically threatened the front office out of it. I wouldn’t want to walk away without a back up plan, or some serious compensation but man that dude just rubs me wrong from a franchise building perspective, no matter how much I love the skill set fit for PC ball. Man, that was a healing rant to get to write, truly sorry if anyone offended. Trust me I wrote that to feel better personally, not to incite angry response or debate. Have a very happy New Years SDB community!!!

    • Ryan

      Glad somebody wrote it better than I could have. Russ might leave? Oh no! More like, “Oh, well.”

      Russ is a very, very good QB. Good enough to put you in the running every year. But there are only two truly untradable QBs in the league: Rodgers and Mahomes. Untradable in the sense of being talented to the point where you could not replace them. Russ isn’t in that group.

      And I have to push back a bit about the supposed level of control/input these other “star” QBs had/have. There is no way Mahomes is telling Andy Reid who to draft. I’m sure Reid knows what Mahomes likes to do and what he’s best at and takes that into account when crafting his offense or finding plays Mahomes feels comfortable with, but Mahomes knows less than the lowest area scout which college players are good and which aren’t. Brady didn’t get that with Bill in NE. Rodgers probably has the most, but even then (a) it probably doesn’t get beyond telling the team he wants another WR he can trust and (b) they drafted a QB anyway! (Not to mention his own head coach has stated his goal is to run more, rely on Rodgers LESS). This myth of QB input/control doesn’t go much beyond a symbiotic relationship where the coach considers – but it certainly not bound by – the QBs strengths and weaknesses.

      How would you tailor an offense to Russ’s strengths more? Eliminate plays where you scheme anybody open under 40 yards? ‘Cause he misses those guys all the time. Have only HOF-level OL? ‘Cause Russ takes unnecessary sacks all the time if he can’t hold the ball forever. He’s been very successful in quicker timing offenses, but only in spurts. Then he seems to fall back into hero mode where he’s chasing big plays and everything breaks down again. So I think a big part of the downfall has come when Russ starts to believe his own press clippings too much.

      It’s been said of the Eagles (the band) that their downfall really began when they weren’t satisfied with being the best-SELLING band in the world, they also decided they wanted to be seen as the BEST band in the world (and consequently individual members wanted more credit), and I feel Russ has a little bit of that to him.

      Honestly, the best thing Russ could do to give us a better chance of winning, IMO, is lose weight. Since the offseason where there were a bunch of media stories about he was gaining weight to protect himself more – but don’t worry, he was actually *faster* than before (narrator: he wasn’t) – he has been largely unable to escape the pocket and find guys late to preserve drives like he used to. THAT’S really how we used to rely on Russ to bail us out. It used to be: Russ misses quick throw (or guy isn’t open), OL breaks down, Russ sprints out, Russ finds open guy on scramble drill, 1st down. Now it’s: Russ misses quick throw, OL breaks down, Russ ducks his head or tries to juke somebody, Russ takes bad sack, 4th down.

      He’s been great for us. But it he wants $40MM or more control, don’t let the door hit ya….

      • Rob Staton

        And I have to push back a bit about the supposed level of control/input these other “star” QBs had/have. There is no way Mahomes is telling Andy Reid who to draft.

        You’re framing that all wrong. The article merely stated that Mahomes had input in the drafting of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, which is a fact.

        Brady didn’t get that with Bill in NE.

        Never said he did. I said he’s getting a big say in Tampa Bay. And he clearly is. Bruce Arians said ‘no way, never’ to Antonio Brown. Then they signed Antonio Brown. Because Tom wanted him.

        Rodgers probably has the most

        Rodgers has the LEAST input. He’s been publicly complaining about not drafting a receiver early for years.

        How would you tailor an offense to Russ’s strengths more?

        I didn’t say ‘tailor to Russ’s strengths more’. I said run the offense how he wants. He literally made an ultimatum to the Seahawks on this during the most recent off-season, per reports that haven’t been denied by anyone.

        • Ryan

          Ok. When I say push back, I didn’t mean push back at what you wrote. It was more pushing back against media reports, which I believe tend to overstate this supposed input/control.

          Even the Chiefs report says Reid and Veach were already thinking of taking Clyde before they even asked Mahomes, and for all we know they asked which RB he liked, not just any player in the draft. Who else would a QB say other than the best receiving back we’ve seen in years?

          As for Brady/Brown/Arians, we’ve also heard John or Pete say they’d never take a guy who had a history of a physical incident with a woman, and yet there was Frank Clark. When guys need to win, guys go back on the table. Same could have happened with Arians in TB.

          And the Rodgers thing kind of shows what I mean: even the guy you’d think would be listened to the most is not, when you have a strong GM like Green Bay has had.

          If Russ thinks he should have more input like the other star QBs have, I think he’s buying a bill of goods sold by the media. Frankly, I think our offense already is good for Russ because it doesn’t expose his weaknesses as much as it could. His ego may tell him otherwise.

          • Rob Staton

            Even the Chiefs report says Reid and Veach were already thinking of taking Clyde before they even asked Mahomes

            Sure — but nobody is saying Mahomes called the pick. It’s simply that they value his input and consult him. Very few players are treated that way.

            As for Brady/Brown/Arians, we’ve also heard John or Pete say they’d never take a guy who had a history of a physical incident with a woman, and yet there was Frank Clark.

            Come on, we know this is a very different situation.

            The Buccs signed Antonio Brown because Tom Brady wanted him. I know that, you know that, the world knows that.

            And the Rodgers thing kind of shows what I mean: even the guy you’d think would be listened to the most is not, when you have a strong GM like Green Bay has had.

            But who has any expectation that Rodgers would be listened to? He’s a douche. They literally drafted his replacement last year. He fell out with his own family, can’t hold a girlfriend for any length of time and probably thinks his own reflection is the best possible company. I would never expect anyone in GB to coddle his opinions on anything.

            • TomLPDX

              You just nailed my thoughts about Rodgers!

              • cha

                It’s kinda funny/sad that even the State Farm commercials he’s in portray him as a smug jerk.

                “I just might let you win today.”

                “No Rodgers Rate, huh?”

        • Drew Brees

          I get what I want…

          • Rob Staton

            I’m sure you do, Drew

        • George chue

          Actually when the Vikings came to Seattle and were taking it to us only to loose it on some last second heroics. That’s when other teams saw the Achilles heel to the Seahawks. Any head coach could see that a three deep safety and relentless edge rush was key. Cue the Buffalo Bills who saw the tape and implemented a game plan that eliminated many deep ball threats, etc. Something Shottenheimer could use more of in his game preparations.

  25. KD

    All discussions need to be on the table. If you went on a Redskins forum a year ago and posted a topic saying “We need to release Haskins” you can imagine the kind of responses you would get. Look where they are now.

    I am NOT saying this is the same situation. All I am saying is that a lot can change in one year, including attitudes of coaches, front offices, players and fans. A lot can change very quickly and all Seahawks fans need to be prepared for that kind of sudden change. It happens.

    Reading this post is just saying “Hey, there’s smoke over there.”

    It’s either a campfire or:

    (Sorry, I just can’t let it go. There was a point in time where GoT was brilliant)

  26. Bankhawk

    Rob, that was indeed epic! And to any howling Twitter ATI who can’t swallow a bit of well-supported speculation without coughing up a hairball: joke ’em if they can’ t take a…
    Thanks for that one. Most interesting!

  27. Bankhawk

    Doh! Twitterati

  28. Hoggs41

    If it does happen I trust John that it would be the best thing for the franchise. There is also a chance that either the current owner or future owner would step in and send Pete packing before Russell. Coaches always get fired before the player. This is mu opinion anyways. If it did ever happen I just hope they could get a kings ransom and be wble to draft a quality QB in the process.

  29. Ukhawk

    If RW is traded, keep thinking the Jets are a real possibility with Darnold coming the other way

  30. GerryG

    Love Russ, and want to see him here for his career (unless he plays too long, then someone else can deal with a washed QB).

    But this year was pretty telling to me. If that balls to the walls high risk offense is how Russ is “insisting” they play ball 1) no thanks 2) he’s not actually that good at it. 4-5 weeks of blistering pace isn’t all that. He did it late 2015, and to start this year. That’s like a Fitzmagic run. Russ is obviously better than Fitz, but the short run of magnificent is similar. The turnovers that Russ has had this year have been some of the worst I’ve ever seen. The pick in AZ (first one) is glossed over because of DK’s insane play but that pick was just rookie awful, and cost an easy 7. The pick in the first Rams game, when they were driving to tie the game and he had 15-20 yards of open grass in front of him. Abysmal. Multiple other turnovers and sacks this year have just been unbelievable. Hell one of the sacks he took last week against Rams almost took them out of FG range when we needed to get back to a 7 pt lead.

    All of this is just to say, Russ you wanted to “cook” well your first few meals were exquisite, but then it turned to Taco Bell pretty quickly.

    All that said, doesn’t mean they should run-run-pass conservative offense again either.

    • Daniel

      I 100% agree with the sentiment of opening things up on offense in the first half more than what Seattle had done in the past. I do think the pendulum swung too far the other way though. I think Pete’s mantra of, “You can’t win the game in any quarter except the 4th” is a misnomer, because you can certainly put yourself in the position to lose a game in the first, second, or third quarter. I think it psychologically instills a lack of urgency on the part of the players (at least early in games).

      Russ was doing a good job at cooking until he wasn’t. Defenses have adjusted to take away the deep ball. As mentioned above, the short passing game is not his strength. He takes sacks holding onto the ball too long because he’s trying to extend plays downfield, plays are taking too long to develop, or receivers aren’t getting separation. He doesn’t keep the ball on zone-reads early in games like he did earlier in his career, and defenses have keyed in on that to slow our running game (ever notice how open it looks if he only would have kept the ball?). As he ages, he will lose some of his elusiveness. It might be smart to trade him before that happens and we end up stuck with an expensive quarterback that has lost that dimension that has made him so good for the past 8-9 years.

  31. Henry Taylor

    I agree that if this is happening it’s probably not this year, shy of a blow up between Russ and management, but it is at least exciting to think about from a fan perspective because scouting QBs is fun.

    Fwiw the QB i think they’d like from this class, shy of Lawrence, is Trey Lance. He’s got the physical traits similar to Allen with a plus frame, live wire arm and great mobility.

  32. ElroyNumbers

    Great article – I like how you took the time to research all the examples that went into it.
    You could make a career out of this if you wanted to.

  33. Chris Wood

    Great article Rob,
    One question for you or anyone in the community who may know the answer.

    You provided the cap charge the Seahawks would accrue if Wilson was traded to be 39 million for 2021 or 26 million for 2022. Why is this? Is this to protect the player from being traded to a team like the Browns you referenced? I could see this being a NFLPA tool to help the players out and protect them from being shipped to undesirable locations.
    But what if the player chooses or demands a trade? Does the team still get a cap charge? You would think if both parties approve the trade that there would be no negative repercussions.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s simply about the guaranteed money in the contract and how it is spread out. When Seattle guaranteed Wilson a certain amount, they are on the hook to pay it. And if they traded him in 2021, they’d have to pay the remaining amount.

  34. cha

    Bruce Feldman
    SOURCES: #Seahawks Run Game Coordinator Brennan Carroll is expected to become the new offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at #Arizona. The 41-year-old Carroll and head coach Jedd Fisch worked together for a couple of seasons at Miami.
    6:17 PM · Dec 31, 2020·Twitter Web App

    • Mick

      Not the biggest loss, the run game is more carried by skills than by coaching.

      • Elmer

        And by blocking. PC will miss his son, though.

  35. Chris Wood

    Got it, makes sense.

    I do find it funny how there were reports Wilson wanting star players and weapons during the offseason and what does Pete and John do? Draft two defensive players with there 1st 3 picks (Taylor Costing 2) then spending the next 2 years worth of 1st round picks on another defensive player. All the while having 2020 being a heavily loaded WR draft class. I can only imagine what Wilson was thinking then, maybe it was the FO telling him they control the roster not the QB.

    Last offseason had plenty of smoke, I can’t wait for this offseason, it will definitely be interesting.

  36. Big Mike

    Great read with factual presentation and no hyperbole Rob.

    Purely a hunch, but I’ve always felt that Russ would end up in New Orleans playing for Sean Payton, a guy who has experienced a lot of success with a shorter QB and who has always has had high powered offenses.

  37. Nathan W.

    Is this what it has come to? Rob, I’m so sorry you have to put a ridiculous trigger warning on a SPORTS article. Great write up, but man… sad…

    Happy New Years everybody!

    • Rob Staton

      I’m afraid so

  38. Happy Hawk

    Another interesting read Rob thanks again for this Blog and great content. IMO trading RW won’t happen in the foreseeable future and realizing I am a selfish Hawks fan ( so biased) the pro’s and con’s don’t add up:

    1. It would be suicide for JS/PC to do this anytime in the foreseeable future. After they leave maybe a remote possibility if Wilson’s play starts slipping. Now they have a great QB and are in the playoffs and SB hunt every year. At the very least they should draft a QB and develop him in preparation before gambling your last 2 years of coaching on a reboot project. Doesn’t make sense from their perspective.
    2. New ownership would not buy this team and then trade Wilson nor would they want to buy the Hawks without Wilson on the roster. The value of the franchise is dependent on Wilson.
    3. The few teams that have ever done this were in completely different circumstances: Manning 14 years with the Colts, team declining worst in the NFL that year, coming off a season ending neck injury and having the number one pick with A Luck waiting in the wings. Farve 16 years with the Packers, continu
    ally threatening to retire year after year played out in the media every day and A Rodgers in the wing. Brady 20 years with the PATs, declining team talent as evidenced by their collapse this year, and
    no real receivers and tight ends to thow to,and tired of Belichick ego. Otherwise nobody has tried this unless the aging veteran skills had declined dramatically from their prime seasons.
    4. The Hawks may end up 12-4, won the West weathering the McVay/Shanahan/Kingsbury attack on the Hawks who are in the playoffs every year. Good situation for Wilson.
    5. Sure it is normal for any relationship to have its ups and downs and both sides could get upset from time to time but the last 8 years proves this relationship is working – the win total makes it so! RW has won more games in his first 7 years than any other QB in NFL history.

    I propose the Hawks DO NOT TRADE Wilson but instead extend him ASAP with a Mahome’s like contract until he is 40 and enjoy the ride just like the Patriots did with Tom Brady.

  39. MFDoomRIP

    And I have a question for Rob: you admit that Wilson is untradable in 2021. So how this year playoffs will determine a 2022, at the very least, decision? There is a whole another full NFL season before that.

    • Rob Staton

      I literally made that point in the article:

      “So a trade is far more likely after the 2021 season than it is before and there are two seasons to conclude before then, so who knows what’s going to happen?”

      “So while I think it’s a thought worth delving into, I also think it’s highly unlikely that Wilson goes anywhere in the near future.”

      Spend more time reading, less time rushing to type an angry riposte.

      I’ve already had to remove one of your comments. The article clearly stated if you’re going to get butt hurt reading a piece about this, it won’t be for you.

      • MFDoomRIP

        So the “playoffs” in the title of the article are the 2021 playoffs, right?

        • Rob Staton

          I’m not sure if you’re being deliberately obtuse or just failing to grasp the nettle.

          One of the points made in the article, which is perfectly clear, is that what happens in the upcoming playoffs could impact the relationship between team and player. As part of a long-read, I also noted that nothing will happen imminently, explained why, asserted that things could still change (with winning) because there are two seasons to conclude before anything could even possibly happen.

          It’s not difficult if you read the words carefully.

  40. Sean

    I don’t think that winning is enough for Wilson. It seems like it is very important to him to be considered an elite or legendary QB. The narrative he was pushing this season of he and DK being like Montana and Rice is not just about DK – it is about Wilson as an all-time great. He wants to be validated in that way.

    Wilson is probably good enough to be a league MVP and put up enormous numbers on a team with a different offensive philosophy, and good enough coaching and personnel to implement such a philosophy. It is unfortunate that the Let Russ Cook period this year coincided with historically bad defense..once again his great performances are somewhat wasted by other parts of the team being so poor. I don’t think several poor weeks are enough to say that we cannot succeed as a passing team, but that pass-first approach is obviously outside Pete’s comfort zone.

    The whole situation is unfortunate. Russ clearly has the skills to operate as a highly efficient QB with relatively few attempts, and if the rest of the team is whole, they could be very successful with that, but he does not seem happy with that. Or he can probably be very successful in a pass-first approach, but Pete is not happy with that. Either way, there needs to be a good enough defense AND the team needs to be committed to their offensive approach. I just don’t think Pete will ever be truly comfortable with Russ’s preferred approach, so that when Russ is Cooking it will be because the Hawks are in desperation mode, and not because they are really committed to it and believe in it enough to focus on adjustments that need to be made when the other teams scheme against it. Seems like this year, when the going got rough, instead of tweaking and adapting the approach, they just abandoned it and got back into the run-first conservative approach.

    Personally, I don’t care which approach they take. But it seems like Pete and Russ do care and don’t agree. I’d guess that Superbowls will be enough to smooth things over, but more of the same moderate success that they’ve had since the Superbowls does not seem like enough.

    • Big Mike

      “I don’t think that winning is enough for Wilson. It seems like it is very important to him to be considered an elite or legendary QB. The narrative he was pushing this season of he and DK being like Montana and Rice is not just about DK – it is about Wilson as an all-time great. He wants to be validated in that way.”

      Completely agree with this statement Sean.

      • Thisthat

        But without winning he’ll never be considered elite so I’m not sure you can say that winning isn’t enough for Russ. He doesn’t want to be Stafford and throw for 5k yards and win 7 games. He doesn’t want to be Marino who is sometimes listed among the great QB’s all time but nobody will ever make a case he was the best. I think winning has and is a big part of his drive, with the bullshit “go 1-0 each week” tired ass line. He knows greats come down to Super Bowls and that’s it. Sure he wants to maybe be the focal point and has wanted to shake the “game manager, only won bcuz of LOB” asterisk but winning is definitely enough for him.

        • Rob Staton

          Rodgers is considered possibly the best to ever play the game.

          He has as many SB’s as Wilson.

          You don’t need titles to be seen as one of the best ever. And let’s be right, Wilson hasn’t been that close to another SB since 2014.

    • Dani

      Russ hasn’t proved yet he’s an elite pocket passer and volume passer for an entirety of a season. He has had bursts of games where he plays lights out and then cools down considerably. The reason he’s not an MVP is he hasn’t put together a full season of such numbers. He has had his best pass pro this year and talent around him and yet couldn’t do it. If anything, he needs to prove he can be elite pocket passer and that starts with his skill of dissecting defenses which he is yet to do at the level of other elite QBs. Hawks have another 2 years to figure out if he can grow there. As Rob said, you will know more by 2022 offseason

  41. Rokas

    I think the article is very fair with lots of great observations.
    That’s were the lack of Paul Allen might leave the effect to the team, because PC/JS would be allowed to do the trade without getting challenged too much. Would anyone convince Jody Allen to veto the trade? I don’t think so. Also, Russ simply has no one like Brady had in Kraft, where he could go and raise some demands. Bellichik was not happy I believe when Kraft indirectly picked Brady’s (who just turned 40) side, saying that Tom can play for us for how many years he wants.
    Ironically, I believe the trade is most likely to happen after Pete retires, because being almost 70, he really does not have time for another rebuild. So that ship might have sailed.
    What might happen, however, that PC retires a few years earlier, if the friction with Russ becomes unbearable for the organization.
    The most realistic scenario, I believe, Pete Retires in 2024, it’s gonna be a rebuild with new coach and GM, and Wilson will try to get his fresh start and a fresh brand of football in LA or NY.

    • Thisthat

      I could see this as a very realistic possibility of when Pete goes, Russ decides it’s me time and goes to a big market, competitive team at that time. Good call.

      • Rob Staton

        Pete and Wilson are not tied together.

        If anything it’ll be Wilson’s desire for control and offensive identity that will motivate his move.

        He won’t get that with PC. If anything Pete leaving could be the platform for him to achieve it.

  42. Gohawks5151

    Good thoughts on the situation Rob. This season makes you wonder. Russ still looks off and I was one of the people that thought he would right himself by now. What happens if he plays through the playoffs and next year like he’s stuck in 3rd gear? I still think he is too good to believe he is hitting the decline but he is not playing peak ball. If we play GB and KC and the QB has 4 TDS and he has a few early interceptions how can he blame the team? Lucky fo both he and Seattle that they can hide behind the scheme to protect his trade value I guess.

    While the downsides are far more evident for the team, I actually would be more afraid for Wilson. He has been so lucky in health that you wonder what one lower leg long-term injury would do to his entire game. He would not be able to move the pocket and throw to the outside like he likes. Reduced to a short, sitting duck. Also playing in a New York type market would be a culture shock for Mr nice guy. Seattle media as has been documented is very soft. In a rougher market his bad games would be roundly more criticized and his back channel media efforts exposed. Coming off his roughest part of the season even the Seattle media was getting to him with him frustrating having to say, I’ve won big games before. Pete Carroll has always been a shield for him for better or worse. Does he have thick enough skin?

    • Dani

      excellent point. He can’t play the media like he does here. Pete shields him a lot and so does the Seahawks organization in general. They control the narrative and no one in the Seattle area challenges them.

  43. Volume12

    I think when Pete goes, Russ goes. It would make sense. A new coach would want to go w/ HIS guy.

    • Robert

      That’s certainly possible, but if Russ is still paying at a high level don’t you think the new coach would 1) be selected with Russ in mind and 2) be pumped about working with a Hall of Fame QB?

  44. Volume12

    He’s a big project, but I like Desmond Ridder’s game. Not a huge fan of his post snap stuff. He’s got a lot of traits worth betting on though.

  45. Rob Staton

    Nearly the entire starting roster for the Niners is out for Sunday:

    • Volume12

      👀 damn!

      Was looking forward to Sherm & DK.

    • Happy Hawk

      Turn about is fair play last year the Hawks were in the same situation and lost on the goal line last play of the game.

  46. TomLPDX

    Really enjoyed this article, Rob. Well done.

    Russ is a player. He’ll do what’s best for him and he is a very good QB and we’re lucky we were able to get him in the 3rd round. I like and dislike him mainly because his shtick gets old. I normally won’t watch his pressers because he is just so full of it at times. He wants fame and glory as part of his career and I can’t blame him one bit…he has the talent and for the most part walks the talk.

    Happy New Year to you and your family, Rob, and to the worldwide SDB community! Hoping 2021 is a hell of a lot better than the year we just survived through.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Tom, Happy New Year

    • Big Mike

      Happy happy to you and yours Tom (from the Vancouver across the river from you). And a happy one to everyone else here. And yes, can we PLEASE have a better fucking year in 2021! A Super Bowl win by the Seahawks would be a great way to kick it off.

      • TomLPDX

        Thanks Big Mike. A superbowl win would be a fitting end to this FB year.

  47. Rob Staton

    Can’t believe they put Notre Dame in the playoffs again.

    When they get hammered again today, will the committee FINALLY learn their lesson???

    • Rob Staton

      Already 14-0.

      We all saw it coming.

      • Alex H

        Should have put the Aggies in.

      • Elmer

        Actually, thought that ND did as well as Clemson did vs Ohio State. Clemson coach forgot a lesson from Coaching 101 – don’t run your mouth about your opponent.

        • Rob Staton

          Not sure about that. Notre Dame were 14-0 down in no time and barely lay a finger on Alabama, who never needed to get out of second gear. At least in the Clemson game it was 14-14 and Ohio State were fairly breathtaking at the end of the first half.

  48. cha

    Oh my goodness Najee Harris. What did you just do?

  49. TomLPDX

    Some things I’ve been thinking about…

    1. Ownership. When and who will buy the team? Do we want an owner like Bezos or Cuban, or someone like Tepper or Jerry or someone like Kraft? Definitely don’t want a Dan Synder type.

    2. Front office. I can see a change in the FO when ownership changes. I remember when Jerry bought the Cowboys and fired coach Landry. Let me tell you, the stuff hit the fan big time in Texas when that happened. I stopped rooting for the Cowboys at that moment. (yes, an overreaction and have since regained my senses, but you get what I’m saying). Looking back, it was the right thing for Jerry to do to establish a new regime even though he is not what I would consider the best GM out there. The moves that Tepper has made are more measured and appear more thought out, but the result is the same.

    These are some of the moving parts as it relates to Russ and I can see major changes happening in Seattle once ownership changes, and Russ might get caught up in it if he wants it or not.

    Dang I miss Paul! He was the perfect owner for our club.

  50. DriveByPoster

    The Alabama offense look like they are in cruise control mode. It just looks really easy for them at the moment.

  51. cha

    Pete Carroll Friday Press Conf

    “It’s amazing to a lot of us that it’s Week 17. Long season, but all of the sudden it’s at the end. Great week, guys tuned in, fired up about it. Coaches can feel it happen. Fortunate to be where we are. Looking forward to it.”

    [corbin] Brennon Arizona OC now? “Grateful chance to be close to family, cherished it. Had a couple chances other times, able to keep him here. This one just right. Excited for him. Lucky to have connection, incredibly good job.”
    [corbin] Finish season in Seattle? “Yes”

    [john boyle] Dissly make it through season good? “Trainers in LA, never missed a workout, put himself in position to have a great season. Very good year. Imagine all the dark times, just getting back to walk right. Full season great accomplishment.”

    [bob condotta] Greg Olsen inactive? “Keep him out of this game, practiced today but had a little flare up.”
    [bob] Shell? “Had a good week (gets off camera talk). Close contact situation, tested negative, out today, developing situation. Tested clear but somebody outside the program he’s worked with hasn’t. I don’t know what else to tell you.”

    [tim booth] Shell COVID list? “I don’t know. Happened as practice today.”
    [tim] Decrease value in home field? “Absolutely. Doesn’t feel the same. When you go away, factor working against you isn’t’ there.”

    [art thiel] Metcalf ambition to break Calivn Johnson 1900 yards in this offense? “I don’t know what is NOT attainable for DK. Extraordinary, just getting started. Everything you’re looking for.”

    [Curtis crab] Homer, Jones IR back this year? “Travis has a chance, don’t know about Jamarco.”

    [Gregg] Olsen precautionary? “Little tweak last week. Make sure it doesn’t develop and go past that.”
    [Gregg] Flowers? “Ready to go. Great week, ready to play.”

    [brady] Hyde status? “Sick, not COVID sick. Flu like symptoms. Home, kept him away, not feeling right. See what happens tomorrow.”


    • Big Mike

      Ah so now the re-signing of Luke Willson makes a lot more sense considering the Olsen news. I figured there was an issue with one of the TEs.

      • TomLPDX

        But still, Luke is pretty much done. Why not just go with Colby from here on out.

        • Big Mike

          I hear ya but veteran, playoffs, etc. would be my guess.

    • Volume12

      Couple of things:

      – would be terrible for Shell personally, fingers crossed. Seattle is the only time in the league IIRC not to have anyone on the COVID list? To possibly have that happen the last week of the season? smh

      – I’m gonna be big mad online if Flowers ends up back in the starting lineup over DJ.

      • Volume12

        * team

      • TomLPDX

        Don’t think they will take DJ off the field at this point. He has been ballin’!

      • Rob Staton

        I think Pete’s admission on size at corner this week was telling. I think they’ve seen enough from DJ to think he’s going to be a long term starter, not just for the rest of the season.

        • charlietheunicorn

          Reading tea leaves, would PC consider any CB, no matter the physical measurables, that can produce to fill the defense now… or be much more willing to give guys a shot, instead of the “tall” CBs which have been his preference? If a guy can ball out, then get him…. even if he is 5’10” or so.

          • Rob Staton

            I think he’s going to stick to his ‘type’.

            But if they see a player they really like? Who knows.

            But I think your CB’s for next year are already on the roster and if they add anyone else I think it’ll be Sherm.

  52. Alex H

    I might say Bezos. Money is influence.

    The Jimmy Johnson hire worked, but I honestly think it was pure luck. Jimmy is the only pure college coach (admittingly a successful one) to work out in the NFL. Jerry basically hit the jackpot on that hire. Not saying a new owner hiring a new coach is always the right move (remember the 49ers, Harbaugh fallout?)

    Carroll is more of a NFL coach as he cut his teeth in the NFL for almost two decades before joining USC. Switzer really just used Jimmy’s team and started the decline of the team.

    • TomLPDX

      Jerry really did luck out with the Jimmy Johnson hire and you’ll notice it didn’t last too long. Never was a Switzer fan and like you said, it deteriorated quickly.

      I haven’t been able to unpack the truth about the 49ers and Harbaugh. Is it because of the owner or the GM (Balke) that things went south so quickly.

      • Alex H

        My sense from following that fallout was that all the fans blamed Jed York. They struck out on two straight hires in Tomsula (worst HC hire I can remember in recent memory) and a washed up Chip Kelly. Balke did not hire those two. I can’t see any GM hire a Defensive line coach with no NFL coordinator or head coach experience. They finally hit on the GM hire with Lynch and that was when the ship was righted.

        • TomLPDX

          I think they’ve struck gold with Shanahan and Lynch and look forward to having a quality opponent for years to come. Really tough year for those guys with all the injuries. We’ll be playing a shadow of the team this Sunday.

    • Big Mike

      I’d probably say Cuban. I would hope that he’s learned enough over the years as Mavericks owner to not meddle. Plus he’s not afraid to speak out and has and I’d love it if he’d push back on the NFL’s pathetic officiating.

      • TomLPDX

        Sounds like he has also established a good biz culture there too.

  53. AlaskaHawk

    I wanted the BCS before they did it. But I’m getting tired of seeing the same teams in the BCS. This game is boring!!!! Can’t shake the feeling that Notre Dame shouldn’t be there , but what other team not in the BCS is going to match up well with Alabama?

    Alabama is so dominant that the big question each season is whether any team can beat them. I guess that will last for as long as Nick Saban does. A testament to excellent coaching and recruiting.

    • BobbyK

      Actually, Clemson has been better than Alabama. Clemson was in the National Championship Game last year, not Alabama. Clemson won the National Championship the previous year, not Alabama. Alabama beat Clemson to win in ’17, Clemson beat Alabama to win in ’16. I’ll take Clemson’s resume the last half decade over Alabama’s. Both great resumes though.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Good points, I like Clemson too. I guess I like the top three, but not Notre Dame.

        What do you think about Trevor Lawrence being drafted by Jacksonville? Is that a good thing? The owner and fans will be happy.

        • BobbyK

          Jags should be thrilled. The Jets did a very Jets-like thing by screwing the rights to Lawrence away.

          Notre Dame is such a joke when it comes to these games against “real” teams.

  54. Mike

    Devonta smith is what the Seahawks wished Paul Richardson could be.

  55. cha

    Devonta Smith auditioning for the NFL. Getting both feet in.

    • AlaskaHawk

      That was a great catch!

    • Volume12

      Just needs to a little of weight. Love his game as well as Jaylen Waddle’s. Can’t argue those as WR1 & WR2 in some order.

    • Rob Staton

      Should win the Heisman

  56. Volume12

    Couple draft notes/thoughts:

    – BYU’s Zach Wilson is QB2 for me. Some Aaron Rodgers there. Him in Denver or Carolina would be 🔥, but what if Detroit gets Saleh as HC & drafts this cat w/ Bevell as OC? They’d have the big arm kid who can get an offense off rhythm due to a lot of the same things Russ does, but the traits & big arm always win out. Love those 3 possible fits.

    – Penn St DE Jayson Oweh. On traits alone? Top 20 talent. Didn’t register a sack this year. The analytics & box score scouts/GMs won’t like that. Could, could, scare some teams off. He’s the kind of swing for the fences, world class athlete (freaky stuff) Seattle would target IMO. Doubt he falls that far though.

    • Rob Staton

      I struggle with Oweh. So much athleticism and so little to excite on tape. Expected a lot from him and just came away disappointed.

      • Volume12

        Tough year for evaluations. Uneven games, no fall camps, guys opting in & out, bowl game cancellations.

    • Matt

      Wilson is awesome. I dread seeing him in San Francisco. Carolina would be an awesome fit with Joe Brady. I could see him having a big time rookie year – Herbert good (which sounds crazy, but I think Wilson showed more than Herbert, in college).

      • Rob Staton

        Wilson has played well enough that his floor, as of today, is probably #3 overall.

        • Matt

          Completely agree. If Trevor Lawrence didn’t exist – I would sincerely say he’s a no brainer #1 pick for a team that needs a QB.

          The best part about him…he’s so dynamic with a WR corp that probably wouldn’t be invited to your average SEC intramural team.

      • Volume12

        I agree that he’s a top 5 pick and those 3 teams would probably have to move up (IDK the draft order off rip), but I dont see him as a great for SF. Maybe? That’s such a rhythm based offense & Shannahan, like McVay, love to change their QBs arms angles or launch point actually.

  57. Rob Staton

    Little update — I’ve already been in contact with some 2021 draft prospects for this years interview series. So stay tuned…

    • Matt

      That was great stuff last year. Was so cool listening to Damien Lewis only for him to come to Seattle.

      Maybe you can get a gentleman by the name of Mr. Banks to interview…urge him to fake an injury to hurt his draft stock, lol.

    • TomLPDX

      One day, the powers that be will recognize your abilities and hire you away to do this full time. Can’t wait to see that day! Looking forward to your off-season coverage!

    • Big Mike

      Lookin’ forward to it

    • cha

      Fantastic Rob. Can’t wait.

      Be sure to point out you interviewed Damien Lewis last year, and he was drafted by the Seahawks, and look how it’s gone for him….

  58. Rob Staton

    Interesting that Todd McShay says Alex Leatherwood received a ‘go back to school’ grade last year and that he has him in round three.

    I’m not a huge fan based on the tape. I think there’s nothing that special on tape from Leatherwood.

    But when I watched him at Rivals, watched how he carried himself, watched his attitude and the way he dominated — you can work with this guy. He’s a BAMF. Even if he has to kick inside.

    • Matt

      Very interesting guy to pair with Damien Lewis. You could have a dynamite interior with those 2.

    • Volume12

      I like him. A lot TBH. Have been high on him & Jedrick Wills for a couple years.

      His teammate, G Deonte Brown is a good looking prospect as well.

    • Zxvo3

      Honestly that whole offensive line are BAMF’s. Leatherwood, Deonte Brown, and Dickerson each carry that competitive attitude. I’d take a shot at Landon Dickerson if he fell because of his injuries.

  59. Robert Las Vegas

    I could be completely wrong but sometimes I really think Russell would like finish his career or continue his career in larger market for example either New York or Los Angeles I believe they already own a home in Los Angeles area .Rob do happen to know if RW has any option in his contact?

    • Rob Staton

      Not that I’m aware of.

      I think any LA option is over with the Chargers selecting Justin Herbert. The Seahawks would never give the Rams RW. New York? That’s another story.

      • BobbyK

        Unless the Chargers wanted the star power for their pathetic fan base and would be willing to discuss a package that revolved around QB-for-QB. Not sure what the Seahawks would need to send in addition to RW for Herbert but that’s about the only possibility I could think of.

        • UkAlex6674

          Herbert to Seattle never going to happen.

          • Rob Staton

            Herbert isn’t going anywhere for a long, long time.

  60. charlietheunicorn

    If you bet Alabama to cover the spread today… YOU LOSE

  61. Tony

    I think that an extremely unlikely scenario. Herbert is going to a star. Chargers should have no issues marketing herbert either. He just broke rookie td record also.

    • Matt

      I’m very curious to see how he does next year.

      Some of the PFF/Analytics stuff with him is pretty fascinating. I believe he has been far better under pressure over facing no pressure. The yards/attempt is pretty low. Not making any proclamations – but I’m very intrigued what he looks like with a year of film.

      • charlietheunicorn

        Year 1

        Guy is on an undermanned offense. Major problems on the OL…… and still performed.
        Nothing but up for this guy. Give him some decent protection and weapons, the offense will explode.

        • Matt

          His OL isn’t good but He has weapons.

          It wasn’t meant to be personal – I’m just genuinely curious what he does next year. Not one person would have predicted him having this type of season, especially after a senior season in which his own coaching staff didn’t trust him.

          • charlietheunicorn

            Year 2

            Get him weapons. TE, WR and RBs that can catch the ball. Get the OL playing better….. they can be #2 in AFCW…. they may already be better than Vegas and Denver.

            Get the Alabama RB on that team, watch out

  62. Volume12

    Huge fan of Clemson CB Derion Kendrick. Looking forward to see if they match him up w/ Chris Olave at all.

  63. TomLPDX

    Impressed with Fields. That dude is hurting and throws a TD. I want him on my team!

  64. Gohawks5151

    Jeeze. Trey Sermon making a statement the last 2 games. Time to take another look.

    • Rob Staton

      He’s playing very well but the OL is playing even better.

      Absolutely destroying Clemson up front.

      • Ryan

        You ain’t kidding. By mid-1st I was thinking of checking the recruiting websites to see if Clemson just sort of forgot to recruit any big boy DL the past few years. Where’s Dexter Lawrence? Christian Wilkins? Even Shaq Lawson? Their interior DL all looked like 6-3, 280 types against OSU’s OL.

        Maybe Clemson’s defense is normally super tricky or something; I haven’t watched them this year. But in this game they have played D like they haven’t played D before. Their coverage and tackling has been uninterested and indifferent.

        • Spectator

          Clemson has had some of the best DL recruiting classes as of late.
          Breese was the number 1 overall recruit last year, he’s going to be special. But that OSU Oline is full of top recruits as well. But sermon has been playing with a chip last 2 games. His lateral movement and Vision has been spectacular, and he isn’t easy to take down, with a great stiff arm. Doubt anyone had him even playing at the next level before these last two games. He will likely get drafted now, but still can’t see him being taken high.

  65. Troy

    This Clemson Ohio st game is just way, way too long. Over 3 hours and 4th quarter just started, I don’t get how anyone could enjoy a game so delayed by commercials and other crap.

  66. cha

    Jeremy Fowler
    After testing positive for Covid-19, #Saints RB Alvin Kamara is eligible to return to play next Sunday provided he remains asymptomatic, per league source. If Saints don’t get 1 seed but land a Sunday playoff game, Kamara has a chance.
    2:58 PM · Jan 1, 2021

    • charlietheunicorn

      Very interesting. I thought they might sit him week #17 anyhow…..

  67. charlietheunicorn

    With this kind of showing, does that get Justin Fields into the top 10 2021 draft lock range?

    Does he have to show up next game vs Alabama to solidify that view of his draft stock?
    Or was he already considered a top 10 and now might have gotten himself into the top 3 conversation?

    • Matt

      I think he does. He has completely destroyed the “but Dwayne Haskins” narrative. Tonight was really gutsy with some big time throws.

      • DC

        Fields to Atlanta at #4 if the order holds?

  68. Spectator

    What about a scenario where Jags inevitable move to London presents a perfect opportunity for Ciara and Russ to get to the market they want. What better player than Russ for a new London team to be the face of the franchise.

    Jags give up 1 overall and 2nd this year and 2022 first.

    And idk, after watching fields tonight, I want that dude on my team. Leader, tough as nails, winner, humble. I think he could come in and play Pete ball perfectly. Trade the first overall to the jets for #2 and our original pick this year. Draft Fields, Najee, and trade back or grab BPA. After watching today’s games. I want najee and Fields haha

    Draft fields 2nd overall. Najee with our


    Unfortunately, there’s a lot of good sense behind this article. It will pay to be emotionally prepared if and when the time comes.

  70. Henry Taylor

    Well I think Fields is my QB 2 again.

    • Big Mike


  71. Rob Staton

    Reportedly Steve Sarkisian is set to be named the new Texas coach.

    Tom Herman just fired.

    • Hughz

      Wow. Big mistake.

  72. Hughz

    There’s just no return in a trade that would really be acceptable. Unless it’s a once in a generation talent, there’s no guarantee a draft pick will turn out. I would think the hawks would go down the path of franchise tag before trading RW. I don’t disagree with your premise that RW would like to go to a bigger market but just can’t see the Hawks letting that happen.

    • Rob Staton

      They literally embraced that possibility in 2018 and 2019 and there was a report in May saying there’s a feeling he will eventually be traded.

      One of the key points is that PC’s style is full circle football. That isn’t about generational talent at QB.

      • AlphaDK

        But for PC and JS, it is about generational talent at QB. Both of Wilson’s contract extensions made him the highest paid player in the league.

        • Rob Staton


          At one point Jimmy G was the highest paid player in the league. Whichever QB is ‘next’ to be paid generally becomes the highest paid.

          It’s hardly like the options were to make him the 4th highest paid and they went further because they ‘need a generational talent’ at QB.

          And unless I’m mistaken he wasn’t the highest paid player after his first extension, Aaron Rodgers remained the highest paid player.

  73. Matty

    Luv this article, very rare for a player of this elite level to stay a one franchise/team player throughout their professional career.
    Question being do you hold on as long as possible or realize some value at the right moment, but as you suggest winning will negate all this

  74. Mikey

    Wishing a prosperous and healthy 2021 to everyone.

    Wonderful blog, Rob, both for your though-provoking pieces as well as the mostly educational discussion that your pieces generate.

    A Seahawks/pro football newbie, your blog has been on my weekly reading list for over a years (along with Corbin Smith, Matty Brown, several coach-oriented blogs).

    Thank you!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Mikey 👍🏻

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