Seahawks

Fann Mail: The logic of trading Russell Wilson and other Seahawks hot topics

Seahawks
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The NFL’s franchise tag window has passed and free agency is set to begin next week, which makes it a perfect time for an offseason mailbag. As expected, the Seahawks opted not to use the franchise or transition tags this year.

Shaquill Griffin and Chris Carson were the only candidates to be tagged, but it never seemed likely Seattle would do so. Below is a rundown of the top storylines currently facing the Seahawks. Thanks, as always, to those who asked questions.

I know fans just want this story to go away, but it won’t until both sides share publicly that they’ve squashed the beef and all is well.

The logic behind potentially moving Russell Wilson this offseason is this: If the relationship between Wilson and Pete Carroll is beyond repair, this offseason would theoretically net you the largest return in a trade. Why kick the can down the road and diminish the haul Wilson would fetch? He has three years left on his deal right now, which would make more teams comfortable with trading for him, even without a guarantee that he re-signs with them in 2024.

The issue is that Wilson has a no-trade clause, giving him some power in facilitating a potential deal. The Cowboys just signed Dak Prescott to a record deal, which means the Saints, Bears and Raiders are the three teams remaining on Wilson’s wish list of trade destinations. I don’t see any of the three being capable of coming up with a trade package that would equate to Wilson’s market value.

 

Additionally, if the Seahawks are going to trade Wilson and assume $39 million in dead cap space, they’ll need a clear path to their next quarterback. Again, it’s hard to imagine that happening in a trade with the three aforementioned teams.

The best outcome for all involved is to meet in the middle and try to repair the fracture that has been established. I’d put it at 85-15 odds in favor of Wilson being back with the Seahawks in 2021. What about 2022? We’ll cross that bridge when we get there, but it would likely take a return to the NFC Championship Game to salvage the relationship in the long term.

1. Create as much cap space as possible. That includes extending Tyler Lockett and Jamal Adams. Jarran Reed and Duane Brown are also candidates for this. See if you can turn some of Bobby Wagner’s salary into a signing bonus as well.

2. Sign either Joe Thuney or Corey Linsley. Whichever you don’t sign, make sure you fill the remaining void (left guard or center) with a mid-tier player. Beefing up the offensive line with some top-shelf talent has to be a priority.

3. Sign a veteran edge player or two on one-year contracts. The market is full of pass rushers, and so Seattle should be able to get someone at a decent value. There’s likely no way to avoid the Seahawks betting big on Darrell Taylor in 2021 if they go all-in on the offensive line.

I think they have to, although ideal candidates JuJu Smith-Schuster and Curtis Samuel will almost assuredly be too rich for Seattle’s blood. I’d love to see the Seahawks sign Josh Reynolds (and Gerald Everett for that matter) to give Shane Waldron some familiar pieces to utilize.

That strategy is clearly not working, neither has Seattle’s “trade back and accumulate the maximum quantity of picks” philosophy. The Seahawks roster is badly in need to blue-chip talent, and while it’s hard to acquire such players in the back end of the first round, Seattle hasn’t done itself any favors either.

The draft picks have often been too cute of late, and bargain shopping in free agency has yielded underwhelming results. This is why Seattle has had to make mid-season trades for Quandre Diggs and Carlos Dunlap. It’s also why the team felt obligated to trade two first-round picks for Jamal Adams last summer. Such moves make the roster more expensive and deplete draft capital in a hurry.

Now the Seahawks are facing the consequences of their personnel misfires with limited cap space and only four picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, including no first- or third-rounder.

Phil Haynes is part of the depth at guard, but given his immense injury history, Seattle would be foolish to expect anything from him in 2021.

 

A bunch more time. That’s how it goes when the best player in franchise history makes it publicly known that he’s frustrated with the organization.

There are really only two outcomes in my opinion as I don’t think there’s any chance Adams plays a snap on his fifth-year option. My guess is that Seattle is able to come to terms with the star safety on a record-setting extension. Trading him would be a last-ditch option should negotiations go completely awry.

I’ll take an optimistic approach and say there’s a 51% chance they sign one of the two. Center and left guard were already immense needs, but Wilson’s comments only accentuated those voids on the roster.

Not even close. The Seahawks were embarrassed by the Rams in the first-round of the playoffs, and are now set to potentially lose Carlos Dunlap, Shaquill Griffin and Chris Carson. That’s before you mention the work that needs to be done along the offensive line. This is a make-or-break offseason for the current era of the Seahawks. Can it be done? Can the roster be reloaded in a fashion that makes the Seahawks true contenders in 2021? Sure, though it will be immensely challenging. And if it does, it will be Schneider’s finest hour.