Oh, what a day, what a day.
The breaking news sounder has been going off non-stop. Calvin Ridley’s got to be loving all eyes and attention moving away from his gambling suspension.
First, the news of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers coming to terms on a four-year extension with over $150-million guaranteed damn near breaks the internet. Then within a couple of hours, news broke that the Seattle Seahawks had agreed to trade Super Bowl-winning QB Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos for multiple draft picks and players.
Trade breakdown: Broncos get QB Russell Wilson and a fourth-round pick. Seahawks get QB Drew Lock, TE Noah Fant, DL Shelby Harris, two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and a fifth-round pick.
Denver won the trade because they got the star player in spite of the haul of draft picks Seattle received in the deal. There was also a trade on the table from the Washington Commanders for Wilson, which he promptly used his no-trade clause to reject. I can’t blame Russ for that decision. But now the Seahawks are in the position of moving forward into a rebuilding stage, it would seem. Drew Lock doesn’t feel like the answer at QB in Seattle. If he was going to be a franchise QB, the Broncos wouldn’t have traded him for one in Wilson.
This move was at least a year in the making after last offseason, when a list of potential destinations was leaked for the disgruntled QB. New Orleans, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, and NY Giants were the alleged teams Wilson was interested in just a year ago. Talks of Wilson’s seemingly imminent departure from Seattle continued throughout the season. I talked about it and felt that 2021 would likely be the end of the Carroll-Wilson era. One would have to go, and now we know which went.
So, the Seahawks are now in official rebuild mode. According to experts and everyone who fancies themselves an expert, this year’s draft isn’t a great one for QBs, so the Seahawks might actually go into the 2022 season with Lock as their starting QB. Jameis Winston is the biggest name in the QB free-agent market, but he’s coming off a torn ACL with damage to his MCL as well. That could be one route for Seattle, although I’m not sure how keen they’ll be on pouring free-agent bucks into a QB coming off such a critical injury.
Other names like Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, Tyrod Taylor, and Mitchell Trubisky are all on the board. To be honest, most of those names would probably beat out Lock for the starter’s gig in Seattle this year. Lock showed a few flashes in Denver, but he just isn’t that guy. Not that these other guys are necessarily, but I’d take all of them over Lock.
Acquiring all that draft capital for Wilson should undoubtedly help offset the picks Seattle gave up for safety Jamal Adams a couple of years ago. The Seahawks sent two first-round picks and a third rounder to the Jets for Adams. Now those picks can go toward restructuring this team. First and foremost should be the offensive line. Start rebuilding the O-line now, so hopefully if you find your next franchise QB in the next year or two, you’ll be able to protect him immediately.
Where the defense is concerned, it seems like the problem is a mix of philosophy and players who aren’t getting the job done and haven’t for some time. It’s time to retire any resemblance of that cover 3 zone scheme that Carroll’s been running for years. It worked during the Legion of Boom days, but we’re more than half a decade removed from the LOBs defensive dominance. Let it go, Pete! Those days are over. It’s time to refine the defense and draft some young studs with all those picks they just received from Denver. No more excuses.
The Broncos may have won the trade, but Carroll won the power struggle in Seattle, as most of us should have figured he would. The organization chose the coach over the player. Unlike the NBA, in the NFL, the coach usually wins this battle. We’ve seen this time after time in the NFL. We just saw it two years ago with Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots.
As a kid growing up in the bay area (not a 49ers fan), once I saw Joe Montana traded away from San Francisco after four Super Bowl victories, I realized that it could happen to any player at any time. Not apples to apples in comparison, but the bottom line is whenever a QB has serious issues with the head coach or front office, that QB will more than likely be the one leaving town. And it doesn’t matter if their name is Montana, Brady, or Wilson.
At least the Seahawks just assured themselves of last-place finishes in the NFC West for the foreseeable future. They may hit on a few of these draft picks, but until they hit the jackpot at QB as they did in 2012, it all means very little. You need a top 10 QB to truly compete for a championship in this league. Seattle just sent a future Hall of Famer to the Rocky Mountains in favor of holding onto a 70-year-old coach who might be around on the sideline in five years. Good luck, Seattle. You’re going to need it.