Mock free agency & upgrading at quarterback

How will changes in Oakland, including Reggie McKenzie's appointment, impact free agency?

In the last week we’ve been discussing the very likely proposition that Seattle won’t be drafting a quarterback early this year. With options limited in the first round and possibly better value to be had elsewhere in round two, we need to prepare for another twelve months of quarterback game tape study and wondering when this team will end a 20-year drought to draft a quarterback in round one. 

Of course, that’s not to say the Seahawks won’t upgrade the position at all this off-season. In fact, I expect they will do somethingwhen free agency and the trade market opens in mid-March. Charlie Whitehurst is out of contract and doesn’t look likely to be re-signed. Josh Portis remains untested and an unknown quantity. It appears unrealistic that this franchise – being built around competition – would drift into next season with Tarvaris Jackson’s only competition coming in the form of a rookie and/or Josh Portis.  

When the Seahawks signed Jackson, they were clearly making the best of a bad situation. Matt Hasselbeck’s deal with Tennessee was tough to match given the cost, length and commitment. The Seahawks likely would’ve had to offer a first round pick to better Arizona’s advances for Kevin Kolb (in hindsight, that would’ve been a catastrophic move). Jackson had familiarity with Darrell Bevell and Sidney Rice, he had a point to prove. It was a low-risk gamble. Is there another low-risk gamble to be had this year? 

Jackson didn’t do enough during the 2011 season to warrant any great faith for the long term. His deal is very modest – he will earn just $4m dollars in 2012. The Seahawks have the opportunity to address the situation with a lot more time and preparation in 2012 and add a player more capable of providing a logical bridge to the future. Even if the Seahawks were open to drafting a quarterback in round two or three this year, it makes absolute sense not to throw them to the wolves. Sure – Andy Dalton wasn’t a disaster as a rookie. Here’s a list of the quarterbacks taken in rounds two and three in the five year’s prior to the 2011 draft: 

2006 – Kellen Clemons, Tarvaris Jackson, Charlie Whitehurst, Brodie Croyle 

2007 – Kevin Kolb, John Beck, Drew Stanton, Trent Edwards 

2008 – Chad Henne, Brian Brohm, Kevin O’Connell 

2009 – Pat White 

2010 – Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy 

In fact, in the last ten years only Drew Brees and Matt Schuab have become legitimate starters in the league having been drafted in the second or third round. Brees would’ve been a first round pick in the modern era, considering he was taken with the 32nd selection in 2001. While the 2012 group of quarterbacks aren’t directly related to the names above and therefore no more or less likely to succeed early, there’s no precedent here for finding quick starters in what we now refer to as ‘day two’ of the draft. Pete Carroll has been quite open about his shift in attitude towards quarterbacks starting early, but I don’t think he’s going to force the issue. 

I do, however, expect the Seahawks to still explore ways to upgrade the quarterback position and possibilities may arise during the free agency period. I don’t expect the team to make a big play for Peyton Manning and according to Scott Enyeart, there is no interest in Green Bay’s Matt Flynn. So where does that leave us? Let’s run through a few scenarios to find an option. It’s worth noting – by the way – that all of the following is pure speculation on my behalf to make a wider point. If any of the following does happen, it’ll be coincidental. Let’s refer to this as a ‘free agency’ mock draft. 

I think Peyton Manning will land in Arizona, Washington or Miami. The Cardinals have the edge due to the relationship between quarterback and coach (Manning and Ken Whisenhunt are friends), the possibility to recreate what the team had with Kurt Warner and the opportunity to compete quickly within the NFC West. Manning would see Arizona as a market he can work within – away from the pressures of playing in New York or having to compete with his brother in the NFC East for Washington. Miami could come into focus, but having failed to land Jim Harbaugh and Jeff Fisher in the last twelve months, what confidence does anyone have that they could pull off a deal for Manning? 

If Arizona lands Peyton, it would free-up Kevin Kolb – with the Cardinals using the option in his contract to get out of their commitment to the former Philadelphia Eagle. With Kolb now testing the market, he could be a realistic option for the Cleveland Browns. Tom Heckert – the GM in Cleveland – was part of the front office that drafted Kolb for the Eagles. He has experience working in a variation of the West Coast Offense with Andy Reid and as we’ve talked up all week – Cleveland may not have the opportunity to draft Robert Griffin III.  Although Kolb may be seen as ‘damaged goods’ at the moment, it’d be a modest low-risk move for the Browns with minimal investment – allowing them to attack the skill positions by drafting Trent Richardson and a receiver with two of their first three picks. They would still have the freedom to draft a quarterback later on if they so wished. 

This would leave Washington and Miami still potentially searching for a quarterback who can start in 2012. Although I wouldn’t agree with such a move, I’ve been projecting Ryan Tannehill to Washington in round one for a few weeks now. I have a lot of issues with Tannehill and think it’d be a foolish move, but he ticks a lot of the boxes Mike Shanahan looks for in a quarterback (better throwing out of the pocket, good on naked boot legs, strong enough arm, athletic). Having missed out on Jake Locker last year, will the Redskins risk going another year without making a splash? Without finding Shanny’s guy? I’m not so sure. 

So what about Miami? You’d expect Joe Philbin to show interest in Matt Flynn, although we have to acknowledge the Dolphins’ active pursuit of Kyle Orton before the 2011 season. That was a Jeff Ireland move – and he’s still part of the Miami franchise. They weren’t willing to bow to Denver’s demands at the time, but with Orton a free agent this year – there’s every chance they could reignite their interest. Flynn or Orton would be a difficult compromise for a franchise that looked to be at the heart of the Luck/RGIII battle for most of the season, but with three quarterbacks potentially off the board before they pick in the draft it might be the only realistic option. The Seahawks are still waiting to make a significant commitment to a quarterback in the Carroll/Schneider era, so are the Dolphins any more likely to search for a quick fix with a new coaching setup? And let’s not forget the performance of Matt Moore as the starter in 2011 – has he done enough to trump all other options for now? 

Flynn remains the intriguing one, mainly because there are two likely suitors in my opinion. Philbin/Miami is obvious, but nobody is really talking about the Green Bay connections in Oakland. Reggie McKenzie has cleaned house since his appointment as GM and will go about shaping the Raiders in his vision. Considering he was part of the Packers franchise from 1994 until the moment he accepted the position in Oakland, it seems likely he’s going to take some influence from the way things were done in Green Bay. With Greg Knapp back as the offensive coordinator, a west coast system seems likely. Yet McKenzie is faced with a difficult situation with no tools to work with. 

For starters, Oakland has no draft picks until the fifth round as things stand. Considering they lost Nnamdi Asomugha, Robert Gallery and Zach Miller in free agency, it’s likely they’ll get some compensation in the third or fourth round. However, it’s not ideal for a team needing to add talent and switch schemes going forward. What can McKenzie do to make a statement? Does he try to build around Carson Palmer, a player he has no working relationship with to date and no commitment towards? Or does he turn to Matt Flynn and try to sell him the idea of being the figure head of the Raiders rebuild? 

McKenzie could see the signing of Flynn as one of the few things he can control, something that will provide a tangible shift towards a new era. Palmer is a player he’s inherited – we have no idea what he truly sees in the former Bengal other than some lukewarm backing at his introductory press conference: “Now, bringing in Carson at the time the Raiders brought him in, to me, as a player, that’s a good move. I think he’s a good quarterback. Period.” There’s every chance he’ll bite his tongue and give Palmer the chance to succeed, but he’d also be risking his own success and long term future as a GM on a player he didn’t sign. So does he shuffle along, or get active? If they want Matt Flynn – or someone else – as their quarterback, it’s their prerogative to make that move and see what they can get for Palmer. Not much, would be the answer – given a disappointing 2011 comeback, 32nd birthday and a $12m salary in which $5m is guaranteed. 

Sometimes moving on alone is necessary, and moving Palmer for something even as miniscule as a late round pick would be cutting your losses and getting on with the job. It’d be painful for the Raiders fans and the team’s 2012 draft class considering the wasted first round pick, but if this team was truly committed to Palmer – they surely would’ve backed the man who made the trade? The appointment of McKenzie and subsequent removal of Hue Jackson as coach was almost an admittance of mistakes made in the midst of Al Davis’ passing. In trying to rebuild, all bets should be off for the new regime. 

So… Palmer in Seattle. Here we are again – with a real sense of deja-vu. While Seahawks fans will be forgiven for being underwhelmed at the prospect of Carson Palmer, for the price of a late round pick, would it not be an intriguing short-term move? Another case of making the best of the situation? To find someone a little more adept at leading a game winning drive in a tight contest? Someone who can get those extra 3-4 wins to put Seattle in contention for the playoffs again? In Jackson’s Oakland he was asked to be the difference for four quarters, in Seattle he’d merely need to be the difference in the fourth. 

Like I said, this is only a speculative piece. All of the scenarios mentioned here are just suggestions for what could happen in free agency. But it does show how the Seahawks could – theoretically – add a veteran quarterback to their roster who would arguably be deemed a superior bridge to the future than Tarvaris Jackson. Even if it’s not Palmer – you can make your own suggestions if you wish – I expect the Seahawks will do something in free agency to provide that extra competition they crave. It won’t necessarily be a blockbuster trade or the addition of a player like Manning (and we can debate the merits of that on another day), but I suspect something is going to happen. And there’s simply no getting away from the familiarity and mutual respect between coach and quarterback in this instance.


  1. Ed

    Jimmy Clausen and Brady Quinn seem to fit in this offense as well, and give us younger, cheaper possible options. Both were in lose lose situations (clev and carolina). Please don’t tell me Newton blah blah blah. If you watched last year and this year, the big difference with the carolina qb spot was steve smith actually wanting to play. He (the entire team) quit early, and never gave an effort.

  2. Mike Kelly

    There will be some surprise cuts this off season as always. Who knows what may be available. I have some faith in our current leadership given the success they have had so far. Exciting times ahead.

  3. Craig

    Ready for a crazy thought? Get Palmer AND draft Cousins or Osweiller in rounds 2-4 (depending on their stock). Palmer and Tarvaris compete this year. Meanwhile, our rookie QB doesn’t even get a sniff of the field while he masters the playbook and is shielded from the extreme criticism that comes with being an NFL QB. We have a brutal schedule next year and we likely won’t finish much higher than 0.500 (if we get there at all). Fast forward to the beginning of the next season: We either start the season with a high-mid pick, or with confidence that we carry over from a good season (regardless of whether we make the playoffs) despite the terrible schedule. Either way: we would have a rookie QB that had time to get used to the system and a veteran QB that is considered above average to fight for the starting role. We would probably have two difference making defensive players from our first round picks this year and next (not to mention any gems that PC/JS find in the later rounds). We would (hopefully) have Marshawn Lynch and/or another skilled running back (like Martin). The only way that we will find out QB of the future is by exploring all the possible options. Between Tarvaris, Carson, a drafted QB, and Portis (who knows?), I think that one of them will fit our system and develop enough to be a difference maker that can turn this developing run game and defense into a contender.

  4. Kip Earlywine

    I feel pretty confident that if Seattle traded/signed a vet QB, they would probably still draft one in 2012. It just wouldn’t be in rounds 1-3. I get the feeling Seattle will probably spend two of its first three picks on front 7 players, and given how good this RB class is early on- they might nab a RB in that area too.

    Given that so much emphasis in Seattle is put on running the ball, the fact that Lynch might not be a Seahawk in 2013, and the fact that this is easily an above average year for RBs in rounds 1-3, I think we’ll see Seattle take a RB decently early- possibly even before they grab a QB.

  5. PQLQI

    Rob, I’d like to hear your thoughts on two subjects

    1) The tendency is to assume (and history suggests it is so) that teams will not trade draft picks with their division rivals. But if it was at the cost of 2 1sts and 2 2nds and maybe a mid rounder or two, might StL decide that the benefit 1) of getting 4-5 additional draft picks, plus 2) that of a division rival being hamstrung for the next two drafts, makes such a trade worthwhile? At 11, they could potentially still obtain Reiff or DeCastro, Saffold could remain at LT, and they could obtain a replacement/backup for Jackson and a top 5 WR in the second round. Do you think the loss of draft picks for a division rival makes such a trade possible, or is it outright verboten?

    2) Assuming that no QB is pursued in FA, and Luck and Barkley are off the board, are any of the other potential draft targets players who you could envision displacing Tarvaris in their first year? Or would the team choose to sit the draftee and try to maximize the potential learning from the bench and avoiding the trial by fire which has been thought to end many a promising QBs career?

  6. Rob

    Hey PQLQI,

    1) I think a trade like that theoretically could happen, in so much that it’s not impossible. Will it happen this year? Unfortunately not. Although most of the media have been caught up in Justin Blackmon, they’ve ignored the elite potential of Matt Kalil. St. Louis will need a mega-deal to trade away the chance to draft Kalil. I suspect nobody will move into that #2 spot.

    2) Brock Osweiler would have a chance, and Kirk Cousins at a push. I don’t believe Brandon Weeden is capable of making that step – others will disagree – and Nick Foles is a million miles away. Osweiler is the one I would back due to his pure physical potential, but he’d have to play in a really scaled back playbook.

  7. tompage

    The free agent QB I would sign is Josh Johnson from Tampa Bay. He is an unrestricted free agent so there would be no trade needed. He played for Jim Harbaugh in college at San Diego so he understands NFL offenses. He is mobile with a good arm. He would be an upgrade over Whitehurst and he has a chance to develop into a starter.

  8. Karlos

    Maybe we can trade Golden Tate or a late round draft pick for a qb that isn’t working out for another team. I scale the roster and he seems to be the only person that jumps out to me as tradeable to a receiver needy team. Remember our FO seems to be money with late picks via trade, our selection. Teams look to unload good players that don’t work or aren’t happy with these picks all the time (M. Lynch, R. Moss, S. Holmes, A. Haynesworth, L. Washington). I know they’ll turn this rock upside down and look atlease cause gold can be found & the risk are low. As much as I despise saying this how much does Carolina value Clausen now & would a Tate for Clausen be unimaginable?

  9. Rob

    I think so Karlos, but only because Clausen isn’t close to being good enough to work out in this league. Unfortunately, his career was virtually over the day Carolina drafted Cam Newton.

  10. williambryan

    There is a free agent QB that I think is really intriguing. Dennis Dixon. There is no way he remains with the stealers as he made it clear last off season that he wants to be a starter in the league. Kip, a while ago you suggested Darron Thomas as someone who might interest the hawks in the draft. I havent seen a lot of Dixon, but I wonder if he is the kind of guy that PC and JS would target?

  11. Chris Sp

    What about the qb palmer replaced in oakland. Jason campbell was actually having a pretty good year and had oakland winning before they made the trade. I believe he is a free agent this year and could possibly be a much better stop gap than jackson.

  12. Billy Showbiz

    I have a feeling that we will end up with Jason Campbell too. While he’s not a huge upgrade over Tarvaris, he is still an upgrade and I think he has more potential with some stability than TJax does. I like Dennis Dixon & Josh Johnson too but I’m not really convinced that those guys are any better than Tarvaris. It’s just tough to tell with the limited action that they see. I have to believe that saying they have no interest in Matt Flynn is a smoke screen. It could be true, if he’s not starting caliber then JS would know. Based on what we are reading here about Brock Osweiler, I’m really hoping that he ends up a Seahawk. We shall see.

  13. Rob

    Chris Sp & Billy Showbiz – Tom Cable and Jason Campbell didn’t exactly ‘get along’ in Oakland. For that reason I think it’s unlikely, but he would be an upgrade IMO.

  14. Smeghead

    good point Rob…forgot about that…

  15. Jarhead

    And with Campbell and Flynn- these are two guys who are not waling on to teams that encourage competition for their starting jobs. They will want starter money and multi year deals. They will want to be announced as the starter Day One. We need to find a veteran who is flexible and willing to not be bigger than the team. Palmer could be a decent addition, and not being asked to stretch the field as he was in Oakland will be an optimal situation for him. I don’t think he is ‘the answer’ but he is an option. I don’t think bringing in ANOTHER back up serves our purpose. We need someone with starter experience, even if they are not known overwhelmingly as winners.The one player no one is talking about who perhaps may suit our needs the best in my eyes is David Garrard. He will be fresh, hopefully he has stayed in shape, and after a year out of the league he may be more willing to take a smaller contract and be open to competition. He has playoff experience and enjoyed a certain amount of success in Jacksonville. I certainly see him as an upgrade to TJack. What do you think Rob? Have you considered Garrard as a Seahawk next year?

  16. Rob

    I think considering Garrard’s most recent injury issues it’s unlikely. The Seahawks are going to investigate every possible angle to improve the QB situation. Right now I wouldn’t rule out a trade as evidenced here. We’ll see what happens.

  17. Derek

    I would give up a 4th for Palmer in an instant. And that would be Oakland’s highest draft pick this year. So sad…

  18. jim J

    I liked Dixon when he was with Oregon. He can really throw the ball. As I recall he is a little on the small side and has injury problems when under intense maulings by large defensive linemen.

    Can’t we just all agree that Tevaris is the perfect bone to throw to the defense? I mean come on your guys. It’s not like our broken down offense was protecting him last year.

  19. Jr

    There is another USC QB that could land in Seattle. We showed interest in Matt Leinart last year but he went back to Houston after learning Tjax would be given the starter job with no competition. With the job TJ Yates did this year it is a good possibility that Houston will not bring back Leinart. I could see Leinart being brought in to compete with Tjax for the starting job.

  20. Michael (CLT)

    The more we talk, the better TJack looks. When Jason Cambell is appealing, you know your team sucks.

  21. Kip Earlywine

    If there is one thing we know about this front office, its that they commit to due diligence like few front offices in pro-sports. It’s logical to talk about dominoes falling and how that could open up trades, but to borrow the Mariners as an example- who saw the Cliff Lee trade coming? Or the Montero trade? Given that JS has been very pro-active with trades thus far in Seattle (including some trades he didn’t complete like Palmer and Marshall), I think its pretty likely that he’s out kicking a lot of tires right now. Who’s to say what kind of tires he’s kicking, but I do think that we’ll see Seattle make a trade or two this offseason, and whether they are blockbuster deals or low key moves, they will impact the team’s direction heading into the draft.

    As far as Dennis Dixon, I’d have no problem with bringing him in to compete, but I have a gut feeling that Seattle is looking for a veteran with more experience than that.

  22. williambryan

    My gut feeling on how this might end up leads me to Mark Sanchez. Theres a lot to be said about his personal traits and individual performance as a QB in the league, BUT, whatever you say, I dont think you can discount that he has been in two AFC championship games. He is used to winning in the NFL (also in his short time at USC). He also performs well (usually) in crunchtime unlike our current QB and alot of the options being discussed. He is/was most definitely a caretaker/pointgaurd in NY for a team that had a lot of talent around him and could do the same for the seahawks. This year the jets D wasn’t as good as it had been the previous two years. I could really see Sanchez as a fit here if the Jets are able to get Manning.

  23. Mike in OC

    Speaking of former USC Quarterbacks…

    One of the speculated landing spots for Manning has been the New York Jets since Mark Sanchez has fallen out of favor with a lot of people out there. Some may laugh, but I could really see a resurgence in a new surrounding for Mark in Seattle, especially with his old college coach. It would definitely be an upgrade over Tavaris Jackson. I can see him starting out as a game manager until he gets more familiar with the system, then catch fire (a la Steve Young after he left Tampa Bay to come to San Fran).

    I’m not sure what it would take to get him in a trade, if this came about…maybe a 3rd rounder this year and a conditional higher pick next year?

  24. Barry

    Hey Rob, would you be surprised if the Hawks traded down and trade down again to pick up extras picks and possibly some early picks next year? Few reasons being this draft seems to have decent rush-DE depth draft as well as RB, but also with Barkley being available next year. It would give them another year to evaluate their current QB situation as well as possibly save a pic and not use one on a QB. That is if the option for a good trade and picks presented itself.

  25. Doug

    Sanchez….. nope

    He had an all-star team around him and failed. I deeply doubt Pete would pick him up. Jets might just release him outright he is so bad… He makes Claussen look good.


  26. Jonathan

    I’ve always liked Jason Campbell and tbh, he would be a better option for us at this point than Palmer; he fits the point guard model far far better. Granted he was on the couch for a year before coming in to play, but did you guys see all the interceptions Palmer threw this year? Talk about a drive killer. Garrard has more game than Palmer too, imho.

    I was thinking about how old the Colts roster has gotten, and how well Peyton disguised that fact. Strictly from a human capital standpoint, if Peyton is healthy they have to try to trade the top pick to replenish the rest of their roster. They can always roll future picks together to move back up in the future for their next QB, but throwing Luck in there with the current roster looks like a recipe for missing the postseason for a LONG time. However, I really don’t think there are any GMs out there willing to pay the king’s ransom to move up, and between that and the personalities of the Indy brass, I think Peyton will be playing elsewhere this fall. Though the Redskins and Jets both would love to have him, it’ll never happen- no way Peyton goes to play in Eli’s city or division. Both the Seahawks and Cardinals would be interesting to him I would think, so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

    Manning, Martin, and improved defensive front= solidly in the discussion for going all the way. Right?

  27. williambryan

    I don’t think Pete Carroll would be overly excited about changing his offensive system, philosophy, everything for Manning. And I think that is basically what he will want. Manning has been in the same system for about 13 years, asking him to learn a wco based scheme might be a dealbreaker. And again on Sanchez, ultimately he failed because his teams didnt win a SB but they have been extremely close for 2 of the 3 years he has started for his team. I would take that as it would be a huge upgrade. Tom Brady is a failure too in that regard. And Rogers, and Brees, and so on. If he was good enough to QB a team to the conference championship game twice in three years, he has to be doing something right. And even with all the “all star” talent around him he was still needed for 10 game winning drives/4th quarter comebacks (stats from Tjack isn’t leading this team to any game winning drives (his last game winning drive came in 2008…) and I believe the talent on the Hawks is better than that of the Jets. After reading and hearing a lot recently, I think the 4th quarter performance will be a big factor in who will be QBing this team in the near future. Sanchez has proven he can do that at least.

  28. Jim j

    I don’t think Sanchez has proven that he can take a team past the playoffs. The jets did have a strong running game and asked Sanchez to play a safe passing game. I thought he played okay – well enough to make the playoffs – but not elite. The biggest problem and the reason why he is being let go is because he hasn’t shown improvement in the passing game. He probably also has a hard time leading those prima donnas in NY.

    Cant say I like Leinhart either . He has had a couple chances. Its too bad the Patriots stole Ryan Mallet from us in the draft last year. He would be competition.

  29. Mike in OC

    Before we go too far in nixing my comment on Sanchez, remember that even with some of his early struggles, he was part of a NYJ team that went to the AFC Championships two years in a row (not just “the playoffs”). Also, he is still pretty young and got thrust into a high-pressure situation right off the bat. Pete also strongly recommended another year of seasoning at USC before he turned pro.

    There are other quality QBs who didn’t pan out on their first teams but did well in a new situation. This could be one of them.

  30. Jim j

    Sanchez is worth a try. I would rate him as equal to Flacco or Alex Smith. There are only 5 elite QBs in the league. So if we can’t get one it’s not the end of the world. Lots of teams don’t have an elite QB. I’m just worried that the hawks fan base won’t settle for less.

  31. Colin

    Signing Campbell would be a waste of time. He’s T Jack-lite. The Seahawks have to bring someone in with some form of true upside. Personally, I think many people are twisting the “not panic” mold of John Schneider into “not be aggressive”.

  32. Doug

    Maybe with a big plate of humility Sanchez could be a place holder until we get a real good QB, but, “real Good QB’s” are very tough to come by. Getting out of NY could be the best thing for him. It would be quite ironic if he were to end up in Seattle with Curry elsewhere…

    I tend to agree that Manning in a new system might be some oil and vinegar, but, Manning is brilliant. Just not sure if his nerve damage to his ifngertips will hinder his skilz.

    I also thought Jason Cambell was OK, but is he really an upgrade over TJack?
    Remember, TJack had to run for his life the first half of the season while the running game deceloped, then he had a significan injury, then we lost 3/5ths of the O-line for the end of the year. Who knows how next year could go without all the injuries and confusion…

  33. williambryan

    I agree Doug. Sanchez could definitely use some humble pie and I think a trade would hopefully do that. I also don’t think Campbell is an upgrade over Tjack. I don’t think Campbell has been in too many big games either. We know he is a pretty good passer but I don’t think he is the kind of leader to take a team deep in the playoffs and contend for a super bowl.

  34. jason

    dennis dixon kyle orton and jason campbell….CMON Seattle….Some have over thought this so much names no better then TJack are being tossed around. If we can get a vet like Palmer for cheap this allows the drafting of a high upside project. Brock fits this perfect he can sit all next year and his cost will be so low that if he isnt showing marked improvement after next season we can draft another qb…….

  35. hazbro

    As long as we’re speculating, I’ve got Manning’s top destinations as 1. Houston, 2. Miami. With Houston he gets to stay in the division he’s owned for a decade and punish the Colts. And they are almost the best team in the AFC with a 3rd string rookie at QB. Shaub’s no certainty, his foot is jacked up. In Miami he’s got an offensive minded coach with a legit #1 receiver and nice overall talent level on the team. He also owns a condo in Miami already. Arizona and Seattle are distant 3rd and 4th options IMO.

    So what my gut is telling me is that Manning goes to Houston and Flynn goes to Miami. And what makes this the most likely outcome in my mind is it’s a good fit for both players and is also the scenario doesn’t benefit Seattle in anyway what so ever. Whichever possibilities leave Seattle holding the bag at QB are historically the ones that occur.

  36. Jonathan

    I agree with the assessment of Sanchez, but since I don’t see Manning going to the Jets I don’t think Sanchez will become available. Rob wrote a month or two ago that he thought the Jets are pretty much stuck with Sanchez due to his contract. If he does become available via trade I’d be open to the idea. PC and JS have a better idea of which QBs fit their system than I do, but I do sincerely hope they aggressively address the situation.

  37. adam

    Yo, J.S and P.C, just get a qb who can lead a fourth quarter come back drive. I don’t care how tall, fast, or agile they are. That is the number one trait in a quarter back. If T. J had this, the hawks would have been in the playoffs. Manning, Sanchez, Griffin(if you count the Alamo disaster…haha…go cougs), are the only available qb’s that come to mind that possess this trait.

  38. Bill

    I’d bet half my farm on T-Jack starting next year, barring injury. He started to come around in the second half, doing a much better job of protecting the ball (BETTER being the key word there) then he did in the first half of the season.

    Darrel Bevel’s offense isn’t something most people are going to pick up on quickly, especially a rookie. We saw Charlie Whitehurst fail miserably at it, even though he did O.K. with Jeremy Bate’s throw some poop on the wall and call it an offense game plan system.

    I can see Whitehurst coming back as a backup, but all hopes of him starting, or being a solution to the QB position are long dashed. He might even be below Portis on the depth chart next season. But, he does have the advantage of being around in Seattle for 2 years now, having a little familiarity with Carroll, Bevell, and the offense, and he’ll certainly not be offered big money anywhere else-Lots of reason to take a small check from Seattle instead of the check from the unemployment office and sit on the couch.

    The QB free agency/draft boards are looking slim and expensive this year. Depending on how much the other positions end up costing us (Bryant, Lynch, Carlson), we may not be able to afford a 10 million a year QB.

  39. J. K. Lade

    Kellen Moore…dark house. Undersized. Weeker competition in college. But overall winner, intelligent, great stats, 50-3 overall record. This guy could be a great snag in 3-5 possibly later.

  40. J. K. Lade

    Weaker* haha

  41. Steeeve

    Palmer? Ew. Why would PC want a completely immobile QB who turns the ball over even more than Tarvaris Jackson? I dont really see Campbell being an upgrade over T-Jack either. I love Peyton Manning, but I think he would be too much of a headache. Manning is basically going to be the head coach and offensive coordinator, and I think the current roster respects our coaching staff too much to buy into that. Doesnt seem like adding a me-first superstar is really an option.

  42. Hawkspur

    To begin, I realise that there is very little chance of this happening, but given Oakland’s lack of draft capital whether they might be keen to do a 1st rounder swap: our 2012 straight up for their 2013. The chart would say that we get hosed on that deal, and sure, any other sweetener picks would be great, but if our options aren’t great when we pick this year maybe we could take a punt on one or both of our 2013 #1s turning into Matt Barkley and/or Jarvis Jones.

  43. diehard82

    I think the most likely scenario in FA is simply competition for TJack, rather than a commitment to anybody else. That may be appealing to some FA QB’s who will at least have the chance to win the starting job here, as opposed to simply a backup elsewhere. That rules out any FA QB’s that will want to know they are stepping in as the starter. Also, I hope they are going to make a big play for Mario Williams, like 6 years, $72M, with $36M guaranteed. That won’t leave a pile of money for someone like Flynn or Kolb. My favorite option right now is Jason Campbell 2 years, $8M, $4M guaranteed with a chance to win the starting job over TJ. Then draft Tannehill, Cousins, Osweiller, or even BJ Coleman to develop for 1-2 years.

  44. csnhawks

    This might be an unpopular opinion, but I think now’s the time to move up in the draft for RGIII. Here are my reasons for this: 1) Seattle has found gems in the late rounds and in undrafted players- if they can continue this, why would future 1st rounders be so important? 2) If Seattle is committed to resigning their free agents on defense and they want to go and draft a pass rusher, that 1st round pick would be a rotational player since Red and Clemons would be the starters. Why couldn’t we get a rotational player later in the draft that can pass rush and use the 1st pick and other picks for RGIII? 3) There has been a record number of underclassmen entering the draft, this would tell you that the high end future draft picks for the next two drafts will be less talented. 4) Seattle doesn’t just need a qb or a game manager, they need a face of the franchise.

  45. Griffin


    Nice work…the site is back up.

  46. RJB

    The argument for Arizona instead of Seattle seems to hinges on the fact that Whisenhunt and Manning are friends.

    The Cards are close to the cap already for 2012 @ ~118m as it stands.

    Not sure I really see that happening one year after they trade a 2nd rnd pick and DRC for Kolb.

    Seattle still seems like the best landing spot for Peyton, assuming you buy into the fact he doesnt want to play against Brady and the Jets or his brother twice a year (and compete for playoff spots).

  47. Rob

    Barry – I wouldn’t be surprised, although I suspect (as with 2010) they’ll see enough value at #11 or #12 to want to stay put. Now, if someone comes in with a blockbuster deal – that changes things. However, this team wants to improve it’s pass rush and front seven. Guys like Upshaw, Ingram and Coples will be around in the #11-12 range. The options if you drop back are not favorable.

    JK Lade – I can’t see Kellen Moore starting in the league, and I’m struggling to think of the team that anticipates him ever being a starter. I think if he’s lucky he’ll be a late rounder to a team looking for a back-up.

    csnhawks – I don’t necessarily disagree. However, I think we need to wonder if a deal is even possible. I’ve heard from one trusted source that Minnesota are serious about Griffin. Serious enough to blow off Ponder as their future and draft him if he’s there at #3. That puts you in a situation where you have to deal with St. Louis, and then it gets tough. I fully expect – one way or another – Griffin to go in the top three. I think the Seahawks are zoned in on defense this year. We’ll see.

  48. Rob

    RJB – I’m not sure there’s interest from Seattle.

  49. Turp

    If i’m STL, I never trade with the Hawks in this draft, unless I can severely drain them of draft stock. Fortunately the Hawks are not run by Bill Bavasi so this will not happen.

    Based on PC’s comments about improving the front 7, I think your scenario is very logical, Rob. One of those guys in the first (Upshaw, Ingram, Coples) and then a RB in the 2nd, due to the importance of the run game demonstrated by PC.

    Rob – If the Hawks drafted that way for the first two rounds, would you expect the later picks to be QB, LB, and OG for depth?

  50. Rob

    I think they’d take a QB in that range Turp, absolutely. Linebacker likewise is a fair suggestion. I think you could throw WR, DL, CB into the mix too.

  51. Coach

    I like the Idea of getting Mario Williams and then trading 1st for additional picks. JS/PC so far show a GREAT ability to finding players that FIT this team, so xtra picks would be sweet, specialy if you could get an xtra !st rounder next year for Barkley

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