It would’ve been very easy for the Seahawks to outbid the Carolina Panthers and claim Baker Mayfield.
No doubt they would’ve received plenty of supportive messages too.
Mayfield is a big name. The Seahawks have major question marks at quarterback.
This would’ve been a cheap, throwaway move with no long-term ramifications.
But they were absolutely right not to trade for Mayfield.
This isn’t about 2022. Let’s just keep repeating that. It’s very easy to live in the moment, demand an unspectacular upgrade at quarterback and harp on about the here and now.
Yet the priority for the Seahawks is to build a team and find a long term answer at quarterback.
Mayfield, realistically, is not going to be that.
Despite having offensive-minded Head Coaches, a superb running game, a great offensive line and weapons (expensive weapons) galore — he managed an 87.8 quarterback rating in Cleveland over four years. He had 56 interceptions compared to 92 touchdowns — a ratio that isn’t even 2/1.
We know what he is. We’ve seen what he is. He’s ‘not as bad’ as some quarterbacks but a long way off being anywhere near the top players.
He is a rung further up the ladder than Sam Darnold — and nothing more. A former high pick who needs a second chance. Ironically, his second chance will be the same as Darnold’s.
I suspect the outcome will be pretty similar.
But even if it isn’t — does anyone seriously expect Mayfield will be the long term answer for the Panthers?
Do they even believe that? Given it’s taken until the 6th July to take him on for basically a bag of footballs in a trade.
The Seahawks already have a reclamation project in Drew Lock. If you want to give someone a shot this year, give Lock a shot.
Otherwise the key for the Seahawks in 2022 is simple. It’s not about the quarterback. It’s about building the foundation for the future.
In 2011 they did that while enduring Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst as starters. They still found themselves. Their identity. Their personality. Their style and swagger.
That is what 2022 is about too. It’s about building up your young players, creating the future base and structure of the team.
When they achieved that in 2011, they had the ideal roster for a rookie quarterback to join. They drafted him in 2012 and the rest is history.
They need to set the table again. Then, in 2023, they should be looking to draft their quarterback of the future.
It means this year probably won’t be pretty at times. There will likely be some ugly moments and some difficult games — just as there were 11 years ago.
By the end of the year they were rolling. They were ready to be more than also-rans.
This is the year to take a step towards recreating the 2012 off-season where they landed their quarterback.
If you have to be aggressive next April — do it. That’s the time to be aggressive though, not now.
Part of the reason the Panthers are trading for Mayfield and Darnold and drafting Matt Corral is because they’ve been waiting for a perfect player to fall to them. They snubbed Mac Jones a year ago despite coaching him at the Senior Bowl. They didn’t want Justin Fields. Or Davis Mills.
They’ve been too picky and not really had a clear plan other than ‘we want a great QB, let’s hope it happens soon’.
The Seahawks should bide their time until the next draft and then strike. I think the two key targets should be Will Levis or Tyler Van Dyke. The media will tell you it should be Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud.
So far though I’ve been impressed with Seattle’s patience and willingness to play the long game. I’m still suspicious why they created cap space this year by restructuring Shelby Harris’ contract. Jimmy Garoppolo, as discussed, remains a potential option. We also brought up Darnold’s name a few weeks ago — if Mayfield landed in Carolina.
They don’t need to make a trade to be 1-3 wins better in 2022. They need to rebuild. They need to reset.
And then they need to go and get a young quarterback on a cheap contract who can be their franchise star — not someone who has already shown he’s not up to the job.
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