Dear Seattle Seahawks Fan,
I’m here for you, if these two gigantic breaking bits of news are still hitting you hard.
I’m also here for you if you’re glad that these sweeping changes are happening, and are excited about this team now conducting what you believe is a much needed reboot.
I’m even here for you if you are somewhere weirdly in between. In truth, I’m kind of in that weird in between state. I suspect I will stay well within this weird state for sometime.
I didn’t want Russell Wilson to not be a Seattle Seahawk, but at the same time, I feel like I have spent a year bracing for this reality. For me, I wasn’t dismissive of last year’s drama about Russ complaining about the offensive line, and then saying he didn’t want to be traded, but then putting out a short list of four teams he would be willing to be dealt to. I didn’t consider that media inspired fake news, as some Seahawk beat writers, and Pete Carroll, and even Russ himself tried to spin it as such.
My alarm bells shot off. I believed the reports that Russ wasn’t happy being Pete’s game manager, and Pete remained unwilling to bend his offense towards the high tempo Andy Reid style attack Russ craved. I saw writings on the wall that others would gladly shoot down.
I thought Russ wanted out if Pete Carroll was to be left in charge as head coach and team vice president. It was that simple of a fact for me.
I felt that this was going to be a year in which team owner Jody Allen would have to choose either the quarterback or the coach, but both would likely not be coming back. That’s the vibe that stayed with me all this past year. That’s what I predicted on a podcast that I am a regular part of.
I had actually reached a point mid season, even with Russ’s struggles, where I had hoped that Jody would chose Russ over Carroll, and had written those thoughts on this blog. It felt very logical, in my mind, to choose the thirty something franchise quarterback over the aging coach, even though I still really liked and believed in the geezer coach.
But when it became clear the week after the season had ended that Jody Allen was going to stand by Pete Carroll and John Schneider, in all honesty, my thoughts slowly started to drift the other way with it all. I began making peace with the thought that Russell Wilson was likely no longer going to be the quarterback of my favorite team.
For several weeks now, it felt with each passing day, I have been waiting for this sort of news to break. I’ve ran through the scenarios many of times. I thought about Vegas and whether Seattle would swing a deal to send Russ there for Derek Carr. I’ve thought long and hard about the New York Giants as a destination. Lately, I started warming to Philadelphia and getting two of their first round picks this year along with Jalen Hurts.
I have talked myself into liking Hurts and Carr, and Gardner Minshew, too. I even talked myself up into liking Kirk Cousins and Baker Mayfield, as well.
Because the simple fact is that I just wanted this drama between Russ and the team to end, and I gotta say it; now that it officially has ended, I’m glad. I’m personally ready to move on.
I just didn’t see this division between Pete and Russ being anything sustainable. Nor did I think it would be healthy to carry it into another season only to watch it fester more through the Mark Rodgers fed media, creating even further division between fans.
Even as I type this out, I refuse to look at the current Seattle Seahawk situation in a glass half empty sort of way. Maybe that is my way of dealing with being a fan of this team, and I just have to remain optimistic.
Maybe it’s also that I feel like now is a true opportunity for this Pete Carroll coached team to get back to it’s previous identity of being a physical running team with a built up defense, and explosive perimeter players for a functional game manager quarterback to step in and.. manage.
Who and what that quarterback is, I believe is very much yet to be determined, but I don’t think it is going to be Drew Lock. I think he’s a hedge for another quarterback that they have in mind.
Word had it over the scouting combine weekend that Seattle was showing strong interest in Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral. If it is true that they like him, then it proves Seattle still values a scrambling playmaking style of passer.
They could have interest in Jalen Hurts, or Gardner Minshew, if either are made available through trade. They might fancy Marcus Mariota as a free agent signing.
Aside from Corral, Malik Willis and Desmond Ridder also possess the physical traits of being playmaking quarterbacks in this coming draft. It is possible that Seattle likes them, as well.
If Deshaun Watson is cleared of all his legal troubles, Seattle might have their sights set on him. Duane Brown (presuming he’s back) would have intel on Watson, and could sell Watson on Pete Carroll’s culture like he did Jadeveon Clowney. I believe Brown and Watson are also fairly tight friends.
If Watson is cleared (like some think he’s going to be), I wouldn’t be all together opposed to the idea. He’s young, and clearly capable of being a top five quarterback. If he wants to be up here, and is sold on Pete, I think it’s something to strongly consider, but at the same time, that feels like a lot of ifs.
My bigger point is that while, initial reactions to this blockbuster trade make it seem like Seattle is surrendering to a rebuild, I’m not so sure that they are.
In exchange for Russ, along with the five draft picks Seattle gets over the next two years (Denver’s 2022 first and second rounds picks, 2023 first and second round picks, and a fifth rounder), they receive athletic starting tight end Noah Fant, and pass rushing defensive tackle Shelby Harris along with journeymen quarterback Drew Lock. Again, I think Lock was a throw in hedge for their targeted next starter, but Harris and Fant are two quality veterans at positions of need for Seattle. Those aren’t rebuilding pieces. Those are guys you look to reload with.
As I look at this move, I suspect more splash moves to come, and with news breaking of Bobby Wagner being released, I suspect Seattle to be an aggressive shopper in free agency and possibly trades. Between Russ and Bobby, Seattle as now freed up $28 million to go along with it’s projected $38 million of 2022 cap space. They are going to be major buyers, and that is exciting to me.
Carroll wants to fix his pass rush, but he wants to bring back star safety Quandre Diggs, and DJ Reed at corner, as well. Those moves won’t be cheap. They now have more than enough money to do that, and still spend on the offensive line.
This Bobby Wagner move doesn’t hit as hard for me, but I understand if it does you. He’s a well loved player and a great leader. I’ve always enjoyed him as a player to watch and root for, but at the same time, I’ve never viewed linebacker as an area where large amounts of money should be spent. I would have rather seen that kinda money reserved for premier defensive linemen.
I have also noticed a bit of a decline in his game recent years, and I felt this day was coming. Yes, he continued to make a boat load of tackles, but they always seemed more downfield and less towards the line of scrimmage where you want those tackles to occur. That has been troubling to me.
What I really need now to get through these dramatic moves is for Seattle to be aggressive shoppers through free agency to strengthen their trenches on both sides of the ball. If in a week’s time, Chandler Jones is a Seahawk, Rams center Brian Allen is a Seahawk, Trent Brown is a Seahawk, and Sebastian Joseph-Day is a Seahawk, I’m feeling a heck of a lot better, especially if they get Duane Brown back.
Because, for me, at the end of the day, football is still a game that is won and lost in the trenches, and Seattle has gotten further and further away from that with each passing year, and because of that, they’ve been harder for me to watch. All three of their division opponents are better than they are at the line of scrimmage, and that desperately needs to be reversed, in my view.
When Seattle won the Super Bowl several years back, they had one of the most expensive offensive lines in football and while they were so-so as pass protectors, they were monster run blockers, and as games wore on, they exhausted good defensive lines. Their defensive line was loaded with pass rushers and run stuffers. They also had a cheap game managing playmaker quarterback on a rookie contract interestingly enough, as well.
I think it’s entirely possible that Pete and John want to get back to that exact formula.
In the meantime, would I take Marcus Mariota over Russell Wilson? No way, but if I had built up lines, I could roll way more easily with it.
So I really hope this is the direction Pete and John take. Fix the lines first. Then deal with getting your next quarterback.
But get that next quarterback right, too!
As for Russ and Bobby, I’m going to miss them.
I loved Russ’s dynamic play, and I was able to roll with some of the more frustrating elements of his game because of those unique dynamics. I even loved the dorky stuff he would say in press conferences that kinda drove others a bit bonkers.
Honestly, Russ has been my favorite Seahawk player since Cortez Kennedy, and it’s weird for me to also kinda be glad that he’s been dealt. I will store his jersey away and gift it down to my son when he’s old enough to fit into it, and appreciate it.
With Bobby, I just really liked the dude. He felt genuine and real. In some ways, I think I might miss him more.
With all the volatility that has festered this team at various times between Percy Harvin, Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas, and then this recent Russ stuff, Bobby has always remained a Steady Eddy leader for this team. Despite what I believe is some declining play, that’s a very tough thing to say goodbye to. He’s a first ballot hall of famer to me, and he’s a guy that I will tell my own son to be like.
“Be like Bobby.”
Yeah, I will root for both these guys as they move on. It will be a very easy thing to do.
But just not against my Seahawks. Because my blue and green colors don’t run. They stay true to form. They always have.
When the Seahawks meet the Broncos this Fall, I hope Shelby Harris sacks Russ five times and Quandre picks him off twice, and the Seahawks win. Then I will root for Russ to have a signature game the following week.
And I’m very much ready for this next chapter of Seahawk football to begin. I’m looking forward to this off-season. I’m really ready for it now.
Go get it done.
it’s like you’re speaking my mind! awesome read
Thanks for reading!