Happy Thanksgiving, Seahawks fans! Quality time with family and friends is made much more enjoyable by knowing your football team is 9-2, I’m sure. While there have been plenty of positives across the board, here are four John Schneider trades that Seahawks fans should be thankful for.
All four deals have paid massive dividends in 2019, and they were each steals in favor of Seattle.
1. Jacob Hollister (from the Patriots for a 2020 seventh-round pick)
Seattle acquired Hollister from New England back in April. The Seahawks lose some credit here because they waived Hollister at roster cuts and were lucky he made it back to the practice squad. I was of the belief that the tight end had done enough to make the 53-man roster to start the year.
But once Will Dissly went down, Hollister became one of the most important figures in Seattle’s offense. He caught a pair of touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9, including the game-winner in overtime. He scored again the following week against the 49ers on a diving one-handed grab. Hollister would have had a touchdown in three-straight weeks had Russell Wilson not missed him on a lay-up against the Eagles.
In total, Hollister has 19 receptions for 159 yards and three scores. He’s clearly earned Wilson’s trust and will continue to be a focal point of Seattle’s passing game. It’s still hard to believe that the Patriots, having just lost Rob Gronkowski to retirement, were willing to essentially give Hollister away, but here we are.
2. 2020 fifth-round pick (from the Steelers for Nick Vannett)
This one is also a head-scratcher from Pittsburgh’s standpoint. Seattle acquired valuable draft capital and ended up signing Luke Willson as a result of the deal. Vannett has caught just six passes for 63 yards in eight games with the Steelers. The deal also led to...
3. Quandre Diggs (from the Lions for a 2020 fifth-round pick)
Seattle flipped that fifth-rounder for Diggs just days before the trade deadline. So if you’re scoring at home, the Seahawks essentially traded Vannett for Willson and Diggs. That’s a pretty remarkable return, especially when you consider the impact Diggs has had in his two games in Seattle’s secondary.
The Seahawks defense has done a complete 180 since Diggs entered the lineup at free safety, allowing just two offensive touchdowns in that span while racking up eight sacks and eight takeaways. Diggs has an interception and a fumble recovery to his name, and he earned a standout 88.4 Pro Football Focus grade against the Eagles last Sunday. His presence has completely changed the complexion of the defense. Again, it’s hard to understand why Detroit was so eager to move on from Diggs given the minimal return.
4. Jadeveon Clowney (from the Texans for Jacob Martin, Barkevious Mingo and a 2020 third-round pick)
The other three trades were steals. This one was a heist. Seattle was going to cut Mingo, and Jacob Martin, while a nice player, doesn’t project to be anywhere near the player Clowney is. On top of that, Houston is paying half of Clowney’s $16 million salary in 2019.
Clowney has been far more impactful than his three sacks might suggest. He’s scored two touchdowns, one on a pick-six against the Cardinals and one on a scoop and score against the 49ers. Clowney absolutely dominated that game in San Francisco with 11 pressures, five quarterback hits, one sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a score. Seattle hopes that Clowney’s sports hernia injury isn’t too serious and that he’ll be back in the lineup against the Vikings on Monday night. He missed the team’s Week 12 win in Philadelphia.