Yes, the Seahawks still need to draft a quarterback

Go and get your guy, John

It’s funny how a narrative changes in a flash.

We’ve gone from John Middlekauff and Colin Cowherd calling Geno Smith mediocre three weeks ago and saying he needed to be replaced in the off-season, to Middlekauff now saying this week that Smith ‘shouldn’t be replaced in the 2024 draft’ (although there’s more nuance than the video title suggests).

Smith hasn’t even played in the last two games. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, maybe? He only watched Drew Lock lead the 92-yard drive to beat the Eagles on Monday night, he didn’t execute that drive himself.

Lock’s overall performance, it has to be said, was unspectacular. None of this article is a review of the starting competition between the two players. Smith, for me at least, has shown to be superior. There’s a reason why he initially won and retained the job. The Philadelphia victory was a nice story and Lock won a lot of admirers, rightfully so, for the emotional reaction he had to the final drive.

However, it wasn’t a surprise that Pete Carroll immediately announced Smith would start against the Titans on Christmas Eve if healthy. It’s not even a question in Carroll’s mind, clearly. Some will disagree but I’m with Carroll on this one. In his shoes, I would pick Smith to start the final three regular season games. He gives the Seahawks the best chance to win each game. I don’t think we need to ‘see’ what Lock can do — because neither player feels like the future.

And really that’s the point. I was surprised to see Middlekauff, an excellent pundit, just rowing back expectations slightly about the future at quarterback. It makes me wonder if Smith’s future will become a hot topic again.

There are lots of what I’d call ‘extreme’ opinions on Smith online. There are people who just think he’s useless and that is wrong. Equally, there are people who go overboard in their praise. The truth is somewhere in the middle. He’s a perfectly adequate quarterback to get you through a period where the franchise has no long-term option. He’s also the kind of quarterback you spend every year debating how to replace with a younger, better alternative.

He’s a bridge.

As with all bridge quarterbacks, there comes a natural point where they outstay their welcome as a starter. Not upgrading caps your ceiling at a certain level as a potential contender. We’ve seen plenty of teams stuck in football purgatory.

Although people make arguments about Seattle’s O-line, Smith has not played well for stretches this season. He has more weapons than most to enable him to succeed. He has been the trigger-man when the offense has gone whole halves without appearing remotely competent. True enough, he has also been the quarterback during periods of excellent production.

The Dallas game recently is being used as an example of Smith at his best. I think you can also make a case that it’s Smith and Seattle’s offense at its best and worst. For three quarters they were going toe-to-toe with the Cowboys. In the final quarter, with the game on the line, they didn’t score a point. They failed on three fourth-down conversions. For Dallas, Dak Prescott made the plays that mattered. He was clutch. He won the game and Smith and the Seahawks couldn’t. As we’ve seen in other games this season, the good play vanished into thin air.

This streaky nature has dogged the Seahawks. It’s not all Smith and I’d never try to argue that. The play-calling in particular this year has been maddening, with basic-route concepts and very little imagination to give the QB an easy-out under pressure.

Further to this, the Seahawks never look like a team that puts together a game-plan to feature its best (and most expensive) weapons against an opponent’s weakness. On Monday night, Seattle’s final drive saw every throw targeting the struggling cornerback James Bradberry. Why did it take until the final drive to do that? Why was D.K. Metcalf — a thorn in Philly’s side in the previous two games between the teams — stuck on one-catch for eight yards before that 92-yard feast? There was a matchup here just begging to be exploited.

Compare that to the way Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay attack Seattle’s weak areas from the get-go.

So yeah, it’s not all Smith. But there are issues. He was second in the NFL for turnover-worthy plays in 2022. This year, he was trending towards a similar ranking before his injury. He had five in the San Francisco and Dallas games alone. He has 19 for the season. His touchdown/interception ratio of 15/9 is thoroughly mediocre. He’s PFF’s 16th ranked QB. Now he’s starting to miss games through injury. Recently, K.J. Wright (almost certainly connected to the locker room) offered a telling and dramatic eye-roll when asked if Smith was a leader on the team.

None of this is conducive with a sudden about-turn on his suitability to be anything other than a temporary option.

Smith is due a cap-hit of $31.2m in 2024, a tripling of his $10.1m salary this year. You can’t argue that his performance this season warrants a x3 pay increase. Especially when, according to Over The Cap, the Seahawks are now projected to start the next league year $9.1m in the red (effective cap space).

The contract was always set up to be flexible and there’s no way Smith will be on the books for $31.2m (potentially rising to $33.2m if he hits the one remaining escalator available to him — percentage of snaps + playoff qualifications/wins). That will be resolved quite quickly at the end of the season to save money.

Back to what Middlekauff was saying in his video. He makes an argument which isn’t completely invalid regarding Chris Ballard and the Colts. Basically, the Colts shockingly lost Andrew Luck to retirement right before the 2019 season. Indianapolis then spent the next few years scrambling around to find stop-gap options at quarterback. Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan. None worked out, to the point Ballard came under pressure. Only losing sufficiently to put themselves in position to select Anthony Richardson with the #4 pick solved the problem and bought Ballard some breathing space.

Middlekauff makes the case for Ballard’s approach:

“If we’re not drafting high, I’ve got to really like a guy at pick #22 to just pull the trigger. You want me to just draft Kenny Pickett or Mac Jones? If I had to bet now, Seattle’s going to go 9-8, probably get in the playoffs. That means you’re drafting at pick #21, #22. What if there’s not a good quarterback? I’m not opposed to trading up and getting a guy that you really like but I don’t think it’s crazy. They’ve won 16 games with Geno (in the last two seasons — although they haven’t, he didn’t play against the Eagles, so it’s 15). If their defense was just a little bit better, if they add another pass rusher, their team’s got a lot of talent. Now the quarterback situation is obviously not ideal but just because you trade up and get Bo Nix or Jayden Daniels, it doesn’t mean those guys are going to be any good.”

I don’t disagree with a lot of this. It’s not a good idea to trade up, mortgaging your future, on a quarterback who isn’t worth it. That’s stating the obvious.

I suppose my angle here, though, is do we know nobody in this draft is worthy, to bring this up as a relevant point in relation to what the Seahawks should do in 2024? I would argue that there potentially are players worth moving up for. Thus, I’m not sure this is something to be feared.

I’d go a stage further. I think there will be players worth considering without moving up. Take a shot. I’m a big Chris Ballard fan — I just think you do have to take more risks than just Jacob Eason in round four, as he did, while waiting for a Holy Grail that isn’t likely to slap you in the chops.

Ballard’s approach feels like a shrug of the shoulders in the direction of a problem. If the Seahawks resign themselves to needing to be blown away by a quarterback in order to ever draft one, are they really competing to get better at the position? If they were to use a pick on a player that in previous years ended up being, for example, L.J. Collier, Marquise Blair, Jordyn Brooks, Boye Mafe or Derrick Hall to roll the dice on a young quarterback, is that any more of a risk? Is it wrong? Are you any more likely to succeed or fail for taking the chance?

Should there be a level of certainty required at the most important position versus, say, a defensive lineman or safety? Or are the Seahawks now at a point where really, they should be taking shots to try and find the future — even if it means embracing the fact that you might not hit the bullseye with your first dart?

You could argue this is especially the case when a player such as Lamar Jackson lasts deep into the first round. That was an oversight from the league in 2018 clearly. You can’t afford to be the team stuck in mediocrity who makes such a mistake, as many teams did when Jackson was available, because he had a bit of an iffy pre-draft process or had a few question marks (that were off-set by brilliant physical talent).

Lest we forget that Daniel Jeremiah didn’t list Mahomes among his top-50 prospects in February ahead of the 2017 draft, or an updated version in April, weeks before he was taken 10th overall. Deshone Kizer, however, was ranked on both occasions. In Jeremiah’s final April 2017 mock draft, he eventually did include Mahomes in round one at #27 overall — a late first round projection.

If we were talking in December seven years ago, discussing drafting Mahomes in the first round, many would’ve scoffed. Nobody expected a team to trade into the top-10 for him. Now, it’s one of the most inspired moves in NFL history.

Hindsight is glorious, obviously, but it seems safe to say that elite players are not always obviously elite players — even at quarterback. Take some chances.

Don’t be too picky.

The occasional narrative of avoiding the position unless you see a sure-fire home-run player bothers me. I think we saw that last year with the way the top QB’s were nit-picked. C.J. Stroud was being touted for a slumping fall before the draft. How silly does that seem now? Will Levis dropped to the top of round two and that feels somewhat misguided, given a fairly promising start in a difficult situation with the Titans. Both were physically very talented.

Back to the Seahawks, we’ve gone from a fairly common debate in recent weeks about the need to find a long-term answer at quarterback — something Middlekauff and Cowherd actively discussed — to now one half of the same duo saying, ‘if only the Seahawks spend another high pick on the defense’.

How much more investment is required on defense before it’s in a position to succeed or you try a different approach? I feel like we’ve been here, done that and bought an over-priced T-shirt. Running it back with Geno Smith, spending a top-25 pick on another edge rusher to replace Darrell Taylor and coming back again next year feels like a great way to waste 12 months. Rinse and repeat.

So while I appreciate it might not be possible for the Seahawks to put themselves in a position to draft a QB with their native pick, I still think any discussion about the future should include — at the forefront — a debate about drafting a quarterback early, potentially trading up, what the options actually are (I mean, why shouldn’t they move up for Jayden Daniels? Let’s have that conversation) and whether there are going to be any day-two alternatives (I believe there will be, despite the influx of QB’s entering the transfer portal).

Identify a player who ticks a lot of boxes who you believe can be developed into a starter and go get them. Be prepared, too, for that player not to succeed — and you needing to repeat the act in the near future.

This process (the search for an answer at QB) could/should be more extensive than simply waiting for ‘the one’. Otherwise you just embrace the purgatory situation we talked about. If you’re not prepared to take chances through fear of error, you’ll never move forward. In fairness, John Schneider — as conservative as he’s been in selecting QB’s in Seattle — comes from Green Bay where they were never afraid to collect quarterbacks. I hope this isn’t an ego thing at play — the man who hit a home-run with Russell Wilson, now not wanting to blot his copybook unless he’s convinced he’s found the next superstar.

This fear has grown for me the more I’ve studied Quinn Ewers at Texas and noted the growing chatter that he might not declare. Clearly if the Longhorns win the National Championship that could change and he might turn pro. It was long thought he was on a ‘three-years-and-done’ trajectory in college. If he doesn’t turn pro, though, I wonder if that might influence Schneider. Ewers — from a physical talent, technique and personality stand-point feels very much like the kind of player he would fall hard for. Would he wait for him?

There are going to be other quarterbacks in the 2024 draft with playmaking ability and physical talent, plus college success. The challenge is to harness everything and prepare them for the next level.

While Seattle’s roster isn’t close to San Francisco’s in talent, it does feel suitably padded due to two good drafts. They don’t have a ton of glaring needs. It’s the right moment to throw a young QB into the mix, whether that’s as a red-shirt player or immediate starting competition.

Re-working Smith’s contract feels inevitable, as does his return in 2024. The Seahawks should still plan to draft a quarterback.

I hope that we’re not witnessing the early days of a blossoming ‘run it back’ campaign — where a cosy end-of-season schedule gives everyone an opportunity to believe that another year of Pete Carroll and Geno Smith, with even more splurging on the defense, will lead to better results than the 16-16 record the pair have overseen in the last two seasons.

Just draft one more defender early? Just wait for the ideal QB to fall into your lap?

Not for me.

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  1. Big Mike

    Agree man. Got to go for the brass ring. Mediocre QB play leads to more 9-8 type seasons. That’s going for the tin ring.

  2. Old but Slow

    Good write up. Keep banging that drum.

  3. Ben

    Always enjoyable to be reminded…

    QB’s drafted since 2010:
    Russell Wilson
    Alex McGough

    “Our goal every year is to draft a quarterback, it really has been honestly, and it hasn’t happened,” Schneider said. “You can’t just force it, especially at that position. It’s the most unique position in the game. We feel like with Geno and Drew we have two really good quarterbacks. We have six picks tomorrow, there’s still several good quarterbacks available. If we’re able to line somebody up and it works, great, but we’re not going to panic and push just to do it. That’s when you can make huge mistakes.”

    Not taking a single chance between 2022-2024 following trading Russ would be malpractice. If you wait until 2025, the 2022 class are already coming up on contracts while you’re getting a rookie acclimated. I totally understand not wanting to force something, but I feel it’s clearly option A. If you spend 3 years not even trying, then yeah, you might waste some years treading water to avoid “risk”.

    • BobbyK

      Whenever someone uses “honestly” in a sentence, it means they are generally NOT telling the truth.” We all know Schneider is a liar. He’s been around long enough for him to have a track record.

      • Tallyhawk

        This exactly. They’ve had enough picks late in the draft to take a flyer in the 6/7th. They’ve had opportunities to draft and try to coach a qb up to at least be a backup and haven’t. You can’t claim there were none worth taking a shot on.

        As for Geno there has now been a few different people claiming he should be brought back. With his contract reworkable what’s the number ?? 15 a year? 10?

      • king

        Honestly is a word people use when they expect their audience to dislike, distrust, or disbelieve the assertion they are making. People use it whether they are telling the truth or lying because what triggers its use is not the veracity of their statement but by how they expect their audience to receive the statement.

        All that being said, I don’t know whether John is telling the truth here or not (though I lean toward believing him because the key point is not forcing the issue if things aren’t lining up), but regardless I don’t believe Seattle will throw significant resources at the position unless they feel the absolute right guy falls to them because I think they believe they can win with the quarterbacks they have. The Philly win is the worst thing that could have happened to this regime because they are going to talk themselves into believing they are ‘this close’ once again and try to run it back with expensive band-aids.

  4. cha

    Pete Carroll ended his Friday 4 minute press conference that had nothing but injury questions with “this is awful easy. See ya.”

    • Rob Staton

      He aint wrong

      • Big Mike

        No one asked “How good is Bobby Wagner?”?
        Man they slippin’

    • Sea Mode

      Amazing how one (unconvincing) win erases even the few questions the Seattle media might have dared to put to Pete had they lost.

      • Ground_Hawk

        I can only hope that they’re just trying to be nice for the holidays lol

      • Peter

        It’s been very effective messaging by the coach that you win in the fourth quarter. Specifically as we’ve gone from dominating the league to a stumbling, bumbling, (rarely) rumbling team…

  5. Peter

    The curious case of Ewers.

    They don’t win the championship, he doesn’t declare,he plays very well however and next year shows bigger signs of improvement with more games under his belt and goes from known around the fringes to top name in the draft…..

    How does Seattle with a probably 9-8 record in 2024 get him then? Wouldn’t he end up in the space like last year where no one was moving outside of Chicago? Says he’s prospect #2. Hard and fast. The team in that spot is going to say “sure we’ll trade out of this spot so you the seahawks can draft your future qb?”

    I’m definitely not saying it can’t happen but…give me a break….if you’re pinning all your hopes on one player who may or may not declare and/or their future where you don’t know if you can either draft them then -or- how viable they even are then. ( shoulders? Other?)

    The problem with John is his rhetoric borders on double speak. We apparently have this great qb fostering system yet we can’t take chances anywhere because it’s so hard to find the right guy.

    The current guy has three years in this system and is regressing and the other guy is a few games short of two seasons in the same system and is no where near beating out the regressing player.

    I’m seeing a situation that actually has been perfect to take chances. If players need 2,3, more years to turn the corner here what have we been doing all this time?

    • Rob Staton

      To be clear, I don’t think they’d be pinning their hopes on one player if I’m right about JS liking Ewers. It’d be a case of having no interest in the alternatives too. Which we don’t know.

      • Peter

        This is the single deepest qb class I can recall. Covid, fifth year, etc.

        Brunell, Hasselbeck, Rodgers, love. Green bay repeatedly took shots everywhere. They also took shots that never worked. We take no shots.

        Williams, maye, daniels, mccarthy, penix, nix, Travis, Hartman, rattler somewhere in there is someone you should be drafting and coaching.

        I’m not even saying it’s round one or bust. I am saying that you can’t wait forever because everything is just so.

        If they have no interest that’ll be three cycles of waiting. The first sucked, so okay. The second though…again we all love Witherspoon but…they got a gimme lottery ticket and could have done it if they hadn’t bought the Geno hype train as hard as they did. This one? It feels like malpractice to keep Geno and I guess Lock again since they think Lock is great but also not moving forward. And just hoping it works next time.

        Again this is the sane guy who found Wilson and thought pretty awful at Wyoming Alllen was a star.

        I think this situation has become weird for john because the next one has to be nothing less than a homerun since he has almost acted like it’s a homerun or nothing on his end.

        • Big Mike

          ….again we all love Witherspoon but…they got a gimme lottery ticket and could have done it

          JSN shows a lot of promise, but use that pick on Levis at the very least.

          • Peter

            It’s tough because spoon and jsn are probably going to be great.

            I don’t really blame John because everyone passed on him but there’s already Purdy that could have been had for nothing.

            And who knows about Levis. Missing JSN would suck. If Levis works out ( please Vrabel I have respect for you but get some weapons or go to NE, OSU) it’s not even JSN. We could have jumped Titans for essentially the cost of Hall and Cam Young. If Levis works out in the future.

            Not everyone likes Rattler. I don’t love everything about his game. I like a lot of his game. Btw what I don’t like is mostly that his line is so bad it’s a joke and makes it hard viewing. But if he’s there in the third? With two picks there?

            • Pack of K9s

              Purdy would look very very bad in this offense. I would give him 0 chance to start. The Shanahan offense is very favorable to QBs, see every QB that has played for them Mullens included. The wins weren’t there but the numbers were. Purdy in SF is more of a perfect storm scenario, it would be the same if they signed Drew Locke imo

              • Peter

                Not wrong. Just looking at players that could have been had.

                Again maybe get an offensive coach so you can make a purdy, minshew, etc look great opening up options.

                Now we have no idea what kind if qb will do well here.

      • Elmer

        I totally agree that it’s time to draft a QB. If the draft breaks right maybe you even take two and keep the one that looks best by August 31. That said, I have no faith that John will draft any QB.

  6. ShowMeYourHawk

    The Seahawks organization has NO ONE to blame but themselves for the quandary they find themselves in. John has given lip service to the idea of drafting a QB but never pulled the trigger outside of McGough, who let’s face it, had about a good a chance of NFL success as Uncle Rico. Why didn’t he draft one? Were they afraid it might offend Russ or rattle his play after his first big contract? What was the excuse years later when they knew they were likely to move Russ? John couldn’t find HIS guy? His bloodlines with Green Bay should have indicated that you take a QB that has skills that can be molded into the quality that plays, even if you end up moving him or moving on from him later. Not here in Seattle, though. Just an empty “I wish I would have.”

    They could’ve had Minshew in the 4th or 5th in 2019, Hurts with their 2nd in 2020 or hell, Davis Mills with their 2nd in 2021. Honestly, would anyone here advocate for having drafted Coby Bryant last year if we knew that Sam Howell could be waiting in the wings? Yes, they all could’ve busted out but by taking a chance, you had your eye on the BIG PICTURE. For too long, this front office has been looking season by season, making choices that will impact future seasons but at the expense of winning NOW, even if by all accounts, they weren’t remotely close to the mountaintop. Graham, Richardson, Clowney, Adams, etc. All moves made with an eye on the moment, the future be damned.

    If the team decides to further assault their cap space by bringing Geno back at $30mil+ next season, when they’ve seen he’s NOT a difference maker, eventually the ground eventually WILL crumble underneath them and a 5/6/7 win season will follow. BE BOLD and make a move to attempt to improve the future of your team which is lagging far behind two of the three teams in your division.

    You like Daniels? Great, trade up. Yes, you’re mortgaging future capital but it’s a move made with the big picture in mind, not just a move that makes you feel better about THIS season at the expense of the next two or three.

    You like Penix, Nix or McCarthy? Okay. I don’t really but if you’re convinced one of them is your guy, move down the board from 15-22, acquire some additional draft picks and TAKE ONE with your eventual first pick.

    Enough with the pussyfooting and kicking the can. No more taking selfies with QB prospects and deciding to once again push the decision into the future. The time is now. Even if you get it wrong and they bust in your system, you finally tried. No living with “I wish I would have.”

    • Rob Staton

      Rattler is the intriguing name IMO

      • ShowMeYourHawk

        I know you’ve been advocating he gets more attention. I do like what I see and he does have some magic despite playing behind an OL made of toilet tissue. His 20 INTs over the last two seasons are a bit distressing but can be partially explained away by his need to move the ball before he’s ready.

        If can move down in Round 1 (or even into early Round 2) to gain capital AND select him, that’s perfectly fine. I’d obviously not lose future picks if it can be helped but the neglect and utter carelessnees in finding a QBOTF may mean pushing the chips in for Daniels or Ewers, should he declare.

        • BK26

          I’d rather move up and make sure you get him, or even take him when he’s up. Trading down is…stupid in their situation. If that is their guy.

          • Peter

            I’m with you. If you think Rattler is going to be something -or- other player and he’s there you take him.

            Imagine Wilson going to WAS instead of RG3 and that offensive staff. They would have been laughed out of the building until you have a 8,9x pro bowl qb who doesn’t blow their knee/career and possibly alters that whole franchise.

    • Peter

      Two sides same coin. Wheras I agree that you take your shot…I almost feel like by not taking it, it makes it harder and harder to do so.

  7. GF

    Well, we knew this would happen, right? At least it doesn’t surprise me, maybe it sounds ugly, but I didn’t want them to win, I knew this would happen, I knew that now many believe that we are not so bad, that we don’t need to change the coaches (ALL OF THEM), this is the problem of the current sport, the fans have a short memory, if we lose vs Titans, they will focus on the real problems again.
    Are you watching how the Rams play? Where would we be with our team with a coach like McVay? I assure you that we would be in the playoff without doing so many calculations, calculations that I remind you, we have been doing since last year, REMEMBER, we qualified for the playoff because Detroit beat the Packers

    By the way Rob, I know you only put Dann Quinn as a possible HC being a DC, but would you consider Mike MacDonald (Ravens DC) as a future HC?

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t know enough about McDonald but I’m not really interested in first time defensive coaches from established teams. Quinn makes the list purely because he’s led a team to a SB and I think he’ll recruit a good staff.

  8. CJ

    I hate mediocrity in sports with a passion. Breaks my heart to see the Mariners continue to be so bleh. I just can’t understand how fans accept teams that don’t do everything in their power to excel.

    A coworker of mine is a Cinci fan, and when I complain about the Seahawks being one and done in the playoffs, he says “I’d take that every year.” Sure, he’s lived through some terrible coaches, (and wasn’t around for the Boomer years). But it’s like having a really good burger and then being forced to eat cold McD’s. Winning the SB ruined being a casual fan for me.

    I don’t want to make any predictions on what the Seahawks will do this offseason, though I firmly agree with Rob about what they should do. My fear is that they’ll do what the past has shown is their team-building philosophy.

    1. Trade down. They need more picks to replace a lot of the players they can’t afford to re-sign.
    2. Re-structure expensive contracts to push cap hits further down the road.
    3. Retain older players that Pete is comfortable having around.
    4. Fail to understand “sunk cost fallacy” and retain players like Adams, Diggs, and Geno.
    5. Fail to play younger players who might just need game reps to improve/shine.

    • BobbyK

      “I hate mediocrity in sports with a passion.”


      • Palatypus

        I fifty-fifty like/dislike mediocrity and am rather lukewarm about it.

  9. PJ in Seattle

    Somebody wake me up when it’s the start of the Spencer Rattler era in Seattle.

    Or honestly, any young gun QB coming out that they’ve invested proper scouting and capital in. For all the reasons stated, we need that guy. A bridge to nowhere leads… nowhere.

    • Justaguy

      You are not alone. Lost many fans last year when Will Levis was passed on

  10. Justaguy

    I don’t know understand the dismissiveness of Lock’s last drive and your acknowledgement of Geno leaves me further defudled. To me Lock earned another start based on that last drive where he played confidentiality and more importantly on time on high pressure throws. Maybe because Geno has played more games he gets the benefit but if he is fully healthy I think it is a tough call at the very least. Check this breakdown out

    • Rob Staton

      And aside from that one drive, picking on a useless cornerback, almost nothing about Lock’s performance said ‘I am the better QB’

      • Justaguy

        Did you watch the JT Sullivan breakdown or do we go by our guys here? I don’t know as much about being an NFL quarterback as he does

        • Rob Staton

          I haven’t watched it but I don’t feel like I need to watch JT O’Sullivan break down a drive to have an opinion on who should play for the Seahawks.

          Nobody is ‘dismissing’ the drive either. It’s perfectly acceptable to acknowledge one drive as being ‘good’, while acknowledging the rest of his performance was mediocre.

      • Ryan Purcell

        I think the fact he “finished the deal” by winning the game makes him intriguing. That is just what Geno has been unable to do in quite a few games this year. It’s an underrated skill!

        • Rob Staton

          In fairness, Geno has done that in more than one game this year.

  11. Scot04

    A little holiday cheer for all.

    • nfendall


      • Big Mike

        10 for me too. Fantastic

        • Peter

          I’m dying 🤣 …..

  12. Scot04

    Wish I could edit, but this Jamal Slam made my day.

  13. FloridaHawk

    Since the Titans defense is beyond shambolic (is such a thing even possible?), I’m assuming the Seahawks offense will have a good day. Which will inevitably lead to a chorus of fans proclaiming the offense “fixed” and Geno Smith worthy of a massive extension. Can’t wait.

    • Rob Staton

      The Titans are awful and playing without their best player in Simmons

      This should be an easy win

      • Chawk

        lol. Already setting up your narrative. It’s what all good ‘journalists’ do. lol

  14. geoff u

    Well said. QB purgatory sucks and the Russell Wilson trade has turned into my greatest fear. Hooray.

    Two comments:

    1. It’s really difficult to wait year after year for a league oversight like Lamar Jackson and then end up being the team that stops their fall. Is that really something to aim for? Or count on? We could be waiting decades for another opportunity (and may have already missed one in Levis).

    2. I’m not sure how Schneider can wait for Ewers since he’ll certainly be a top 5 pick on 2025 and well out of range. Another year of Geno/Lock is as uninspiring as it gets. There’s no way they roll with this again, is there? God help us too if we sign Cousins, but pretty sure we ain’t got the money anyway. This is a mess of their own making and inability to plan beyond a year ahead.

  15. SamL

    Random note: I actually know Ballard’s daughter from school. We both go to Baylor University.

    • Rob Staton


  16. Old but Slow

    When Schneider came from Green Bay, I was confident that we would always have a young QB in the wings. How did that work out?

    Last season, especially, I was sure they would take one. If they do that again I may break furniture. I may be 80 years old but I can still tackle a couch.

    • Peter

      Last season…felt truly like it was time before Carolina traded up to #1 with a winning lottery ticket from the broncos that it was time.

      Others have mentioned it. But what a massive goof off fest it was having the coach and GM take pictures with the qbs like a massive boys weekend out.

      What was the point? So when one of these qbs is going into their third contract and on the decline and Pete’s 78 years old we can bring them to Seattle?

      A smokescreen to draft Will Anderson?

      There’s a completely unserious nature about the team sometimes.

      • Peter

        Edit: more like when Pete’s 82 and we can finally sign one of those guys on their third contract.

      • bmseattle

        I agree.
        There is this “we are so clever” attitude that comes across with them.
        What was the point of all the mugging with QBs?
        Either they wanted one of them, but didn’t do what it took to get one… or they were hoping to entice teams to trade in front of them so they could get Anderson?
        I’m guessing it’s Anderson that they wanted… but it just seemed so…juvenile.

      • Big Mike

        I think you hit on it with the smokescreen for Anderson point. We’ve since heard that Anderson was their 1st choice and Spoon their 2nd.
        BTW, loved the “boys weekend” reference. 😀

  17. Sea Mode

    Ian Rapoport

    #Titans QB Will Levis, dealing with a high-ankle sprain, will be listed as questionable for Sunday, according to coach Mike Vrabel. He was back at practice today and is hoping to tough it out.

    • Julian

      You’ve got to give it to him. He’s a tough lad that Will Levis.

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      Rub some mayo on it and tough it out, son.

  18. Parallax

    I’m on board with drafting a QB this coming year. I’d prefer if we don’t break the bank by trading away future first rounders. Someone worthwhile be there when we draft in round one. Personally, I wouldn’t mind if we took two swings in this year’s draft, one with the first rounder and another on day three if we see someone we think has the potential to perhaps overperform his draft position.

    I think the Seahawks make a mistake in not starting Lock for the rest of the season. So many have made up their minds about him based on what he’s accomplished to date. But he clearly has the raw talent to be an excellent NFL starter. His problem has always been around decision making. Maybe his floor is lower than Geno’s but his ceiling is higher too. I don’t think he ever got a fair chance in Denver and He’s not gotten one in Seattle either.

    Geno probably does give the best chance of making the playoffs this year but then we run into the 49ers and will lose if he’s under center. If we give Lock all the first team reps these next three weeks and let him lead the team, maybe we don’t make the playoffs but, if we do, we’ll be dangerous and the team no one wants to go up against. That 92 yard drive shows what he’s capable of. The last QB similarly capable was named Wilson.

    We’ll all hate it if he goes elsewhere next year and proves us stupid. My sense is Carroll would prefer to make the playoffs this year and lose in the first round than take a chance with Lock and make it more likely we fall short even though we’re not getting past San Francisco with Geno. I see no downside to going with Lock. Balls to the walls and then draft a rookie QB. Re-sign Lock to mentor the rookie and most likely start next season, following a fair competition.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I agree with you, Lock is just getting warmed up with the starting team. Let him play on. Pete’s fascination with Geno Smith is actually hurting the chances of picking another quarterback. Why should they when they make the playoffs with Pete’s chosen one? Also when Geno is successful it just puts the draft position farther out of reach for a top tier quarterback.

      I think the Seahawks should take a swing at someone next draft, if not a top ranked QB , then a mid round choice like Penix or maybe Rattler will slip. I don’t say that because I expect them to be Mr. Wonderful. It’s because they need to start consciously picking QBs, and second you need quality backups in this league. Look at how many teams are running on backups right now, maybe six teams?

      If you don’t believe in Geno Smith and you believe even less in Lock – then for god sakes start drafting quarterbacks!

    • PJ in Seattle

      I agree as well, but keep getting back to the fact that something is up when he hasn’t been able to take the starting job with two teams now. I bought in to the fact that Fangio did him dirty in Denver and maybe a chage of scenery and coaching approach was all he needed. But something must be happening in the VMAC that the rest of us don’t see that has led Pete to the same conclusion as Rob – he’s a good backup and Geno’s the better starting option.

      There’s a legit argument from the fanbase that we need to really see what we have with Lock, but it seems Pete has already answered that question for himself.

  19. Jabroni-DC

    … but just because you trade up and get Bo Nix…

    Trade UP to get Bo Nix?!?!
    What you talking about Willis?!?!

    Maybe he’s referring to round 3 or 4?

    • Odium

      He threw an absurdly high percentage of this passes under 10 yards. No thanks.

    • Peter

      Agree. Though you’re a husky and there’s plenty of them that think we should “trade up,” to get Penix.

      Very early days…but…


      Who else in round one? On tankathon looking at draft order I see 4-6 teams before our pick that should pick a qb. Including Jets and Broncos. However as a realist if three qbs taken in the first round is the average since the PC/JS era began I have a hard time seeing 2024 being a 5 or 6 first round qb run.

      Like Rob alludes to just because teams need one doesn’t mean they are just going to take any old one. Even ours.

      I’m not a fan of Nix or Penix though I’d rather have either than say JJ “my coach won’t let me throw,” mccarthy.

      • PJ in Seattle

        Barring injury, I see Rattler and Penix both rising into the 1st round conversation by the time the draft rolls around. I think both could impress in drills and testing during the spring spandex season.

        • Peter

          So five qbs? Possible.

          Penix is going to have a great arm when testing. I’ve not seen anything to indicate he’s particularly special as an athlete. He’s had a fantastic run for the huskies. Possible he’s a first rounder.

          Since I’m outside Seattle and not a husky fan in general I just don’t see anything remarkable about him from other qbs past or present. I think he’s better than Zac wilson, trubisky, and others.

          Maybe some team in the twenties with a solid team looking for the future? Rams?

          Just seems to me the first rounders are tilt the field talents ( Rg3, daniels,) big strong specimens (allen, richardson), heisman winners with huge numbers, or classic model qbs ( luck, Lawrence) often those qbs fit into a few of those categories.

          Penix in say Seattle would be fine as long as they buy an oline in free agency. Otherwise…take the excuses for Geno and magnify it because geno when he’s on looks more nimble and sharper on his drop backs than a guy almost 10 years younger in Penix.

          • Big Mike

            I can definitely see McVay loving Penix

      • 509 Chris

        Do you really think the Jets will go qb early? I’d think they’ll give the Rodgers experiment 1 more go and try to reinforce the o line. Their line is truly atrocious.

        • Peter

          No not at all.

          If they didn’t make Rodgers their defacto GM I think they should go qb. Their line sucks. But their weapons and defense does not suck.

          They are in striking distance if Daniels. Draft him if possible with those weapons and spend/draft competent oline. They could be a problem

      • Jabroni-DC

        Like Rob alludes to just because teams need one doesn’t mean they are just going to take any old one. Even ours.

        I’m not a fan of Nix or Penix though I’d rather have either than say JJ “my coach won’t let me throw,” mccarthy.

        I agree with all that. What primarily concerns me about Penix is his processing. The Husky who I would most covet for Seattle in round 1 is Fautanu.

        • Peter

          I’d take him easy.

          I also have a draft crush on Odunze. He seems like he’s going to be very special at the next level.

          • pdway

            agree, reminds me some of Mike Evans

  20. Jabroni-DC

    I was all in believing we were drafting a QB with the #5 pick last year & when Richardson went off the board the wind went out of my sails. I had tunnel vision. Still loved the draft.

    This year I’m going to keep a wider angle of vision & be prepared for Seattle to select a QB but not necessarily in round 1. If that’s the case I could get behind drafting a C, LG, QB or LG, C, QB depending on who is available. The QB in this case is Jordan Travis (assuming Rattler is gone). He’s getting a redshirt year to heal & learn the system while the O line gets fortified & gels.

    • Peter

      Center or left guard for sure.

      I’m still big into Travis as a “see what you have,” type.

  21. Sten

    Isn’t the whole idea behind building up the roster before the young QB comes, as they’ve done, made because it gives you the freedom to trade up for the QB you want? This is exactly what happened with the Chiefs before Mahomes

    • Rob Staton


  22. 509 Chris

    I think while Seattle mostly holds the cards in negotiations with Geno, its probably best for both sides that he comes back for another year. My guess is that they’ll settle for the guaranteed money at around 14 mil. (I think) If they cut him, no one is picking him up for anything near that so they’d still have some dead cap hit. He’s definitely worth more than paying lock or someone 5 million to play while also paying Geno 10 million to play somewhere else. That money will be spent one way or another we might as well have him playing.

    The more I think about that 2nd rounder to NY the more upset I get. Any trade up now is much more detrimental because it means they’re probably not picking again until the 3rd round. While qb is the biggest need and it has to be addressed, another edge rusher or interior guy for either side of the line is really needed. Those guys are harder to find in the 3rd and 4th, especially when those later picks will be needed for lb, s, and maybe te. We dont have glaring needs this year, but I’m afraid that the way they’ve structured so many of these deals with giant dead money next year will have little cap room and a lot of holes to fill. The team really needs one more great draft to solidify the last 2 in my opinion.

    • Sten

      I have a sinking feeling we will start week 1 2024 with Geno and Jamal still on the roster (Jamal with a new injury, obviously)

      • Big Mike

        Rob has stated several times that the peacock is done in a Hawks uniform. 🦚
        Agree about Geno

  23. bv eburg

    While I do agree with the overall premise of the article there is one thing I see differently.

    1. “start Geno the remaining three games” and later in the article rightly pointing out he won’t be worth next years $30 million dollar contract.
    As Cha pointed out in the last thread and Brady Henderson confirmed with Brock the other day….if Geno get’s hurt in those last 3 games and can’t pass his year end physical next years contract kicks in for a little over $12 million. At that point do you keep him over Lock? And if Geno does makes the opening day roster he gets a $9 million roster bonus per Brady. Then playing time bonuses kick in assuming he’s playing. If he’s the bridge sitting behind the rookie you have a $21 million dollar bridge.
    Are you willing to roll the dice on that contract kicking in?

  24. Ryan Purcell

    I have not really been in on the coaching change talk because I just don’t see it happening but I did come across a article on this guy in the Athletic: Todd Monken. Any thoughts on him as a head coach option? Seems like a character and an excellent coach.

  25. Turp

    Just a comment, I love the long form articles Rob! A highlight of many of my mornings.

  26. Brad

    I just don’t see how anyone can get excited watching Bo Nix play. The dude is literally called the checkdown merchant for a reason and is among the worst in the nation at air yards. It’s just super frustrating constantly seeing him mocked in the first.

    As for Penix, I got a tip from a team that expects him to be flunked medically in Indianapolis. They’re very concerned about his durability and, despite playing behind the best OL in the country, he has been injured almost the whole year. Compared him to Hendon Hooker and Teddy Bridgewater

    • Rob Staton

      Well Hooker was a totally different case because he was recovering from a recent ACL, while Penix is playing in the CFP’s.

      But I have both graded in R3 for a reason and feel confident that will be a consensus eventually.

  27. ShowMeYourHawk

    I think the overwhelming majority of us concur that a QB is needed with the first pick, whether it’s in Round 1 or later, due to a trade back.

    However, on the condition that the FO has their eyes on a QB that they’re targeting in the early mid-rounds (that will be available and they WILL take), what does everyone else feel would be an acceptable first selection that’s NOT a QB?

    If Sweat or Newton are somehow there, I don’t think we could do wrong with either.

    • BK26

      Personally, there is no other selection as far as I’m concerned. If they pass, I don’t see how I can be interested in the team. Same coaches, same qb’s. I can only watch the same show over and over again.

  28. LouCityHawk

    After I watched Ewers in person I was pretty convinced, he is a top QB, if anyone unseated Williams it would be him. I absolutely think Schneider is enamored with Ewers, I just assume they think they will have to trade up to get him

    Rattler is one I could see them passing on. I’ve had too many arguments with people already calling him a 4th or 5th round prospect, while touting Nix, Penix, McCarthy….

    A lot of the QBs I’ve thought they would pivot to went back to school…. But maybe Pratt or Travis?

    • Peter

      Sane on the arguments about 4th round ‘at best’ for Rattler….

      • LouCityHawk

        Wait for Bowl season to end when the boards get shaken up, shameless the way they are keeping teams still in players artificially high.

    • Rob Staton

      Travis’ injury makes that unlikely and will severely impact his stock.

      There’s nothing to get excited about with Pratt unfortunately.

      I’m also not really concerned about people rating Rattler as they are. If people study the tape (in my case, every game this year and several last year) they’ll understand. People are still harping on about Oklahoma and that documentary. They’ve not watched SC because they struggled.

      • Peter

        See folks talking about Rattler ‘being a jerk’ at OK.

        If that was so why did the assistant head coach welcome him to south Carolina when he became the head coach and sings his praises.

        If he never did that Netflix show I think people would be much higher on him.

        • Rob Staton

          People struggle to shake off first impressions

          I’ve studied him extensively — he is a totally different player/person these days

      • LouCityHawk

        I meant those two as the only ‘“late round flyer” types. Pratt makes me think of San Howell though. I do not know the extent of the Travis injury; I was guessing he would have to sit one year.

        Every site that is more keyed into what franchises are saying have Rattler top 5 or so. The teams know, anyone who watches him knows, it is frustrating.

    • BK26

      I know who you are talking about it with Rattler. They haven’t watched his tape. Flat out said that they have heard he is a 5th “from sources.” It’s a lazy take for people that have their minds already made up or haven’t watched him play. “Consensus is blah blah blah.”

      I’ve watched tape. Rob has watched tape. A lot of SEC guys applauded his year. I can’t see him making it out of the second. Or behind Penix or Nix. McCarthy is just not impressive. At all.

      • BK26

        Doesn’t help when pundits like ESPN are still wanting to talk about Deion’s kid still more than guys who have actually declared.

        No one has put in the work at this time of year. Other than Rob.

      • geoff u

        The McCarthy hype is weird

        • LouCityHawk

          All to make more drama for the CFP.

      • LouCityHawk

        Not just them, Rattler is this year’s Levis, gets hate for no reason.

        I thought it would be Ewers, but he is so good I think it makes people worried to be down on him.

        • Peter

          I honestly haven’t seen anyone up on him though. Probably because he’s still undecided.

          • BK26

            What’s odd is that Sanders is still talked above despite him going back. Ewers it is still up in the air, but crickets. Even Rattler I’d mentioned ad a mid rounder.

            • Peter

              The sanders talk is baffling. I don’t think anyone here seriously thought he wasn’t playing for CO next year.

  29. Will

    Hi Rob I’m sorry I will read all of the above i just wanted to ask a random possible silly question but .
    Would you take Justin fields in a trade if the bears are going QB in the draft . You possibly answered this but I’m leaning on a yes . Forgive my naivety I think he would suit us with more coaching .

    • Rob Staton

      I would not, I’m not interested in Fields

    • BK26

      We’re good on running backs.

      • Sea Mode


    • ukalex6674

      I would do that if trade value was in sync.

  30. Sea Mode

    Aaaand now we are trying to brag about about… yelling on the field? 🥴


    Gregg Bell

    Quandre Diggs yelled at #Seahawks safety partner Julian Love to pick off Jalen Hurts’ end-zone throw early 4Q vs Eagles Monday night. Love reacted to Diggs, turned & got to the ball for the interception.

    Diggs said today that yell was “for those that say I don’t do anything.”

    • Peter

      Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach….?

    • James Z

      Diggs is digging a hole so deep even his mouth won’t save him come the off-season, or at least I hope so…

    • Big Mike

      Send him down the road with Adams

    • Sean

      I also yelled for some Seahawk to intercept the ball. I do it on every pass play. From my couch. Now please pay me that Diggs cash!

    • geoff u

      To be fair, that is the most he’s done all year

  31. ukalex6674

    Pitt 21-0 up.

    Can’t wait for the Rudolph is the QBOTF posts.

    Browning = yesterdays news.

    • Peter

      Haha!! Was thinking the same thing.

  32. LouieLouie

    Pete Carroll is a system guy, not an X’s and O’s guy. His game plan is “Here’s what we are going to do. Try to stop us.” That really worked well in 2012 – 2014 when they had the talent to back it up. Since then, the talent hasn’t been there. There are times when every 5-year-old in the stadium knows what play he’s going to run and he seldom disappoints the 5-year-olds. That is why the team lacks creativity, and always has a vanilla flavored game plan. I don’t know what the solution is, but Pete’s way is to be over 50% in regular season wins, and not so good in the playoffs. He doesn’t seem able to alter from that concept.

    • Big Mike

      100% agree with this and iirc he’s said as much (not the year old part tho lol).

    • Sean

      If you NEED vastly better players to be a winning coach, then you probably are not a great coach.

    • Sean

      I disagree that he is a system coach. What is his system? I honestly cannot identify it. If there was a system, it would be obvious. The words would match the actions. There would be a consistent approach.

      He TALKS about running the ball and being the bully but that is not how they actually play. It has not been for about 7 or 8 years. The only thing I see that is consistent is wishful thinking and casting about for what to do on both offense and defense. And being smug and basically dishonest with the media. And poor in-game management. And having lots of penalties.

  33. LouCityHawk

    Just read that Tomlin is getting extended, talk about being careful what you wish for…

    • geoff u

      Mediocrity in perpetuity

      • Palatypus

        Endless Invincible Mediocrity.

    • 805Hawk

      I’ve been reading a bit of Steelers Twitter/X lately. The arguments on there are oh so similar to the debates on Seahawks posts about Pete. Can’t win in the playoffs, perpetual mediocrity, terrible coaching decisions, etc. They have definitely become our AFC twin.

  34. Rj

    Two part question:

    1) if you were the bears with #1 overall would you take Caleb Williams?

    2) if the bears do get #1 and decide to get Williams would you be open to Seattle trading for Justin Fields and what would you think that would cost/ what would you think would be fair compensation?

    • Mick

      1. Yes
      2. I would look elsewhere

    • LouCityHawk

      1. yes, duh

      2. No interest in Fields, I suspect he would command similar compensation to Trey Lance, which would probably be fair.

    • ukalex6674

      I would be happy to see Fields suit up as a Seahawk.

      • Rob Staton

        I don’t know why fans want Fields

        He’s a turnover machine, he just makes occasional splash plays and has no consistency

        And the benefit of his rookie contract is coming to an end

        That’s besides the fact that he doesn’t exactly seem like an ‘elevates the team’ face of the franchise either

        I don’t get the appeal

        Draft a QB

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