Seattle Seahawks

Pete Carroll sounds dead set on Seahawks signing Marshawn Lynch


Pete Carroll sounds dead set on Seahawks signing Marshawn Lynch

Pete Carroll sounds like a man who is dead set on making a reunion happen with Marshawn Lynch in the wake of season-ending injuries to Chris Carson (hip) and C.J. Prosise (arm).

The Seattle Seahawks head coach confirmed Ian Rapoport's report that Lynch is on his way to Seattle and will meet with the club on Monday afternoon.

"He's really excited about the chance to help us," Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle during his weekly hit on Monday mornings. "If we get a chance to get the Beast back on the field we'll see how that works out."

Lynch will have to go through a physical, but Carroll indicated his confidence that the running back is in great shape.

"He's been working really hard," Carroll said.

Lynch was just at Seahawks headquarters a week ago on a personal visit to see old friends. Those relationships would make a huge impact in Lynch's desire to suit up one final time for Seattle.

If he signed, he would likely be the Seahawks starter against the 49ers in Week 17, however Carroll didn't want to go down that road just yet.

"We'll let you know in a few hours from now," the coach said.

Lynch, 33, is currently a free agent after playing the last two seasons for the Raiders. In 21 games in Oakland, Lynch totaled 1,267 yards and 10 touchdowns. A groin injury ended Lynch's season after just six games in 2018.

Lynch spent six years with the Seahawks from 2010-15 after being acquired via trade with the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a fourth-round pick. That deal is one of the best in Seattle's franchise history given what Lynch meant to the Seahawks dominance from 2012-14. He racked up 6,347 yards and 57 touchdowns during his time in Seattle while picking up the legendary moniker of "Beast Mode." His "Beast Quake" touchdown run in the 2010 playoffs against the Saints remains one of the most iconic plays in franchise history.

This is a week where the Seahawks need an emotional lift as much as anything. Seattle has been decimated by injuries and is coming off of an ugly loss to the Cardinals in Week 16. Lynch's return to the Seahawks ahead of a winner-take-all matchup against the 49ers that will decide who wins the NFC West would be something out of a movie. You won't find a Seahawks fan, player or coach who doesn't want to see it happen.

As a purely housekeeping note, Seattle will need to sign two running backs total to replace Carson and Prosise. Robert Turbin, a fellow Seahawks alumni, could be an option as the second signing. He and Lynch would likely split the workload in Week 17 as it's hard to see either guy assuming a bell cow-type role given their recent absence from the game.

With a heavy heart, Russell Wilson shares poignant thoughts on racism in America

With a heavy heart, Russell Wilson shares poignant thoughts on racism in America

Russell Wilson used his words more forcefully and directly on Wednesday than I’d ever seen before.

During a Zoom call with local reporters, the Seahawks quarterback opted not to talk about football and focus on the current events surrounding George Floyd’s murder at the hands of the police and the ensuing nationwide protests.

“I think racism is heavier than ever,” Wilson said. “Watching someone get murdered in the street by the people that are supposed to protect – being able to see that on Instagram or Twitter or whatever – it’s appalling. It pains my heart.”

Wilson noted how his great great grandparents were slaves. He discussed how his father used to tell him to keep his hands out of his pockets when they were out in public.

The quarterback’s late father also had to have a talk with him when he got his driver’s license at age 16. Wilson explains that he, too, will eventually have to teach his kids how to act if and when they get pulled over by the police. He notably has one stepson, a daughter and a third child, a son, on the way.

“The thought of having those conversations with my kids someday is a heavy thing,” Wilson said.

The presence of racism remains apparent in America, even for the uber famous like Wilson. He shared a story shortly after the Seahawks won their first ever Super Bowl in February of 2014. Wilson was grabbing breakfast somewhere in California when an older white gentleman told him “that’s not for you.”

Wilson thought the man was joking at first before realizing otherwise. That experience, while remarkably absurd that such obtuse beliefs still exist, pales in comparison to some of the violence that takes place at the hands of the police.

Floyd’s murder is merely the latest example, but it’s clearly the straw that broke the camel’s back given the immense response around the country.

“Not much has changed,” Wilson said. “The reality is enough is enough. … It’s pretty heavy to watch someone get murdered like that or killed. I think ultimately, it brings a lot of pain.”

Wilson’s words on Wednesday come on the heels of his statement that was released Monday morning on social media.

Several of the quarterback’s teammates have also offered public messages, and Wilson shared that the Seahawks continue to have internal conversations on the matter in their daily virtual team meetings.

Honest dialogue and a common understanding that a problem exists in this country is a huge first step in progress. But Wilson knows it must be followed by meaningful action if change is to be realized.

“We need to make a difference. We need to make sure that we’re voting for the right people,” Wilson said. “We need to make sure we’re doing the right things that allow change and also across the board in our systems and our systematic flow of how we do things has to change as well.”

Russell Wilson edges NFL MVP Lamar Jackson on PFF50 list in 2020

Russell Wilson edges NFL MVP Lamar Jackson on PFF50 list in 2020

Russell Wilson may have not received a single NFL Most Valuable Player vote in 2019, but Pro Football Focus says Wilson, not Jackson, is the better quarterback. 

PFF released its top 50 players of 2020 list and the Seahawks franchise quarterback has landed at No. 7 overall, just one spot higher than reigning MVP Jackson. 

Wilson trailed only Aaron Donald, Patrick Mahomes, Julio Jones, Quenton Nelson, George Kittle and Michael Thomas on the list. 

Here’s why PFF slotted Wilson at No. 7 on the PFF50 list: 

Russell Wilson made it only to No. 33 in PFF’s All-Decade 101 list, but he has taken his game to another level over the past couple of seasons. In 2019, it was Wilson — not Lamar Jackson — who led all players in PFF WAR (wins above replacement) and had the second-best overall PFF grade. Over the past three years, Wilson has 27 more big-time throws (PFF’s highest-graded passes) than any other passer, while 12 quarterbacks have more turnover-worthy plays than him. Wilson is held back only by how little his own team puts the ball in his hands.

Last season, Wilson finished the season with 4,110 passing yards, 41 passing touchdowns and just five interceptions. He added 342 yards and three more scores as a runner while leading the Seahawks to the Divisional Round, where they ultimately fell to the Packers. 

It’s worth mentioning that Wilson also edged Jackson by a substantial margin in PFF’s MVP race in 2019. He led PFF's WAR metric with a rating of 4.08, which was at least a full point higher than the four next closest players: Patrick Mahomes (2.96), Dak Prescott (2.40), Aaron Rodgers (2.38) and Jackson (2.29). 

Despite Wilson’s incredible season, which featured many career milestones and records, the 31-year-old will once again look to show the doubters just how valuable he is behind center. Perhaps 2020 will be the year he finally takes home the coveted MVP trophy. 

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and legendary running back Curt Warner. 

Seahawks players rip Vic Fangio for saying there’s "no racism" in NFL

Seahawks players rip Vic Fangio for saying there’s "no racism" in NFL

Denver Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio knows that there is still racism alive and well out in the real world that needs to be fixed.

Sad thing is, he believes that there is no racism in the NFL.

You can already imagine, this did not go overwell with a lot of people.

Especially some current Seattle Seahawks players.

As a team, the Broncos held a meeting along with president Joe Ellis to have an important dialogue surrounding the issue of race and police brutality that is currently sweeping the nation as of now.

Fangio in the meeting made it clear, that he does not think the league has a discrimination problem.

I think our problems in the NFL along those lines are minimal. We're a league of meritocracy. You earn what you get, you get what you earn. I don't see racism at all in the NFL, I don't see discrimination in the NFL. We all live together, joined as one, for one common goal, and we all intermingle and mix tremendously. If society reflected an NFL team, we'd all be great.

That statement alone got the attention of current Seahawks running Chris Carson, who tweeted about Fangio calling him “a joke”.

Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs also chimed in on Twitter with his response to Fangio and his comments about race in the NFL.

Fangio, a white head coach, might not understand the problem with these comments due to the fact that he is of the older generation and not having to deal with issues of being black on a daily basis. 

But still, for him to be tone-deaf to think the NFL isn’t racist in any way is another wake-up call for everyone right now that more people to informed about racial injustice in America.

Although Fangio showed he is not fully aware of racism in the NFL, he expressed how emotional he was regarding George Floyd and his death that was caused by a police officer in Minneapolis putting a knee on his neck.

“I was shocked, sad, and angry when I saw what the policeman do to a handcuffed George Floyd on his stomach that led to his death,” Fangio said. “He should be punished to the full extent of the law of the crimes he was charged with in addition to being charged with treason for failing to uphold the badge and uniform he was entrusted with . . . It’s a societal issue that we all have to join in to correct.”

Fangio at least understands that change needs to happen as a result of what happened to George Floyd.

But now, more than ever, he needs to see that racism is prevalent in not just American soil, but is still alive in the NFL as well.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and legendary running back Curt Warner. 

Pete Carroll issues powerful statement calling for cultural transformation 

Pete Carroll issues powerful statement calling for cultural transformation 

Pete Carroll will not let his voice go unheard.

The Seattle Seahawks head coach put aside his offseason program to listen to his players as they aired out their frustrations following the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.

[RELATED: Pete Carroll calls Colin Kaepernick’s protest ‘a symbol of courage and vision’]

He heard their hurt, anger and frustration, and he urged them to use their platforms as NFL athletes to grow and bring upon change. 

On Wednesday, in a powerful statement titled “Where Do We Go From Here,” Carroll used his platform as Seahawks coach to call for cultural transformation, demanding equality and respect for all.   

We are living in the midst of a cultural transformation. And we’ve never needed it more than now. 

Racial tensions are elevating to unprecedented levels as black men and women continue to be murdered and mistreated in unjust fashion. The impact of the pandemic has seemingly faded into the background as we process and react to yet another horrific tragedy. 

These days are challenging and call on all of us to search our souls. 

The current tumultuous time of racial injustice has led to protests that have demonstrated extraordinary images of diversity and solidarity. 

Out of this moment, let us seize the opportunity to discover a new caring, one grounded in a new awareness, a new compassion, a new empathy. This philosophy will guide our decision-making as we rebuild our communities, reform our institutions, and demand justice for all.  

While there are many ways to contribute to change, we can start by making a heartfelt commitment to treat all people equally and with the respect they deserve. The fundamental place to begin is to treat others like you wish to be treated. 

Please consider living out a renewed commitment to empathy. Make a conscious effort to listen, to understand, to care and to build bridges. 

Be a part of this cultural transformation by moving toward a new caring for others. Together we can capture this moment and create a culture of New Empathy—one day at a time, one person at a time. 

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and legendary running back Curt Warner. 

Pete Carroll puts aside offseason training to discuss social issues with team

Pete Carroll puts aside offseason training to discuss social issues with team

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has brought in some special guests to his team’s offseason meetings over the years.

Recently, Carroll’s longtime friend, comedian Will Ferrell crashed a Seahawks Zoom session when he posed as veteran tight end Greg Olsen.

But meetings over the past two weeks have taken on a more serious tone.

On The Ringer’s “Flying Coach” podcast with Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, Carroll shared how he’s using virtual meetings to discuss social issues with his team and why it’s important to give his players an outlet to express their feelings with protests ongoing following the death of George Floyd.  

Because of our long-standing relationships with our teams and our players and the backgrounds and always caring about them enough to want to know about their families, want to know where they come from, want to know what they’ve been through, to try to understand them better, to love them better as we go through the process to try to make winning teams, the connection is so deep and the understanding as I have learned over the years about the pain and the discomfort, the horrific burden that our players carry with them. The responsibility to want to do something, knowing that we’re in a position that maybe we could do something, it makes it such a challenge because you feel so helpless.

How can we prevent this from being a reality?”

'Beginning last Friday, Carroll began ditching virtual training sessions and instead welcomed players to air their frustrations on Floyd’s death. He said the team broke out into their individual teams to “let guys speak their hearts and talk about how this impacting them and how its effecting them, so that we can all share in everybody’s stories.”

The conversation continued on Monday following a heated weekend of protests in Seattle and across the country. Carroll encouraged his players to use their platform to come together to grow and bring upon change.

We’ve been here before, and we’ve been through this before from my younger players, the guys that are the rooks coming in, it’s an opportunity for them to hear from our leaders and we have marvelous guys that speak on behalf of the communities, that speak on behalf of their families and on behalf of themselves as teammates, they show the way for younger guys that they can speak and talk in our environment and communicate all in the hopes of finding some kind of sense of understanding and how do we take the next step with this new experience that we just lived through, so horrific as it is again. It’s again is what kills us. We were facing it again and unfortunately the fear of it happening again and ahead of us, it’s unbearable.

All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner told reporters on Monday that he appreciated the 68-year-old coach’s willingness to allow players to express their feelings on the state of the country.

“At the end of the day, life is bigger than football,” Wagner said. “There are things happening bigger than football.”

[RELATED: Bobby Wagner’s full statement on the death of George Floyd]

The Seahawks also announced Monday that players will donate $500k to policy reinforcement, judiciary protections and accountability, and for advanced education related to the history of race in America.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and legendary running back Curt Warner. 

Pete Carroll calls Colin Kaepernick’s protest ‘a symbol of courage and vision’

Pete Carroll calls Colin Kaepernick’s protest ‘a symbol of courage and vision’

Nearly four years have passed since former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial oppression, but the topic still resonates for Pete Carroll. 

On The Ringer’s “Flying Coach” podcast with Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, the Seattle Seahawks head coach took a moment to praise Kaepernick, who made a “courageous” decision to protest when he was a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers. 

There was a moment in time that a young man captured. He took a stand on something, figuratively took a knee, but he stood up for something he believed in and what an extraordinary moment it was that he was willing to take. I don’t think he had any idea what the impact would be, as it turned out, but what a symbol of courage and vision maybe as he was just learning it to do what he did. But what happened from the process is it elevated an awareness from people that just took everything away from what the statement was all about and it just got tugged and pulled and ripped apart.

And the whole mission of what the statement was such a beautiful—it’s still the statement we’re making right today. We’re not protecting our people. We're not looking after one another. We're not making the right choices. We're not following the right process to bring people to justice when actions are taken. So, I think it was a big sacrifice in the sense that a young man makes, but those are the courageous moments that some guys take.

And we owe a tremendous amount to him for sure.”

Kaepernick’s decision to peacefully protest has returned to the forefront after protests and riots broke out following the tragic death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. 

Kerr, who was recently named to the NBCA’s committee on racial injustice and reform, agreed with Carroll’s sentiments. 

To me, it's really hard to look at what's going on right now with all the violence and the protests and not look back to four years ago and say, 'Look, this guy was trying to peacefully protest, and nothing came of it. The killings went on and nothing changed, and he was actually ridiculed so it's a real tough one to think about.

The Seahawks were one of a few teams who reached out to Kaepernick after he opted out of his deal with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017. Seattle was interested in acquiring a veteran backup behind Russell Wilson and brought the former 49ers quarterback in for a visit that May. 

The Seahawks ultimately elected not to add the five-year starter, but Carroll said following the visit that Kaepernick was “capable of being a championship guy."

“Colin’s been a fantastic football player. And he’s going to continue to be,” Carroll said. “This time, we didn’t do anything with it. But we know where he is and who he is, and we had a chance to understand him much more so.

“He’s a starter in this league, you know. And we have a starter, but he is a starter in this league, and I can't imagine somebody won't give him a chance to play."

Kaepernick last played with the Niners in 2016 and remains unsigned. He reached a settlement with the NFL to set aside his lawsuit for collusion to keep him out of the league in February 2019.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and legendary running back Curt Warner. 

Bobby Wagner’s full statement on the death of George Floyd

Bobby Wagner’s full statement on the death of George Floyd

Bobby Wagner spent nearly an hour talking to local reporters on Monday. There was some football discussed, but as expected, most of the conversation centered around the current events in this country.

Wagner began his Zoom call presser with a lengthy statement on the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police and the fallout from that event. The Seahawks linebacker explained that he’s not much of a social media guy, and so he wanted us (and you, for that matter) to get to hear it from him directly.

But for those who didn’t watch the presser live, here’s his full statement, transcribed in its entirety. I bolded a few parts that stood out to me in particular.

“Before I wanted to speak or before we talk about football, obviously there’s something more important that we need to address before we get to football. Obviously, the stuff that has gone on the past week, especially the past few days, weekend, has been crazy. Like many of the black community you know I am hurt, sad, in pain, that we had to watch another video of another black man being murdered and watching him gasp and try to get air, say to the cop “I can’t breathe” and ask you know basically ask him for life that’s not something that I that you ever get used to, you know. So I want to say that I support the protesters. I understand the message; I understand why, what’s going on, what’s happening. I feel like it’s important, especially sitting here with you guys in the media. You guys play, I think, a pretty big role in what’s going on right now because you guys play a part in the narrative. Over the years, we have talked to you guys about you being able to control the narrative and say what’s really going on. I feel like a lot of focus is on the rioting, the looting, the people stealing stuff, but we’re not talking enough about what started that. I think the black community is tired of seeing the same things going on and not seeing change. I think we’re tired of not seeing people being held accountable for the actions that they do, but understanding that if we were in that position, we would be held accountable. So I challenge everybody on this call to be a part, and the media, to report the message and what it really is. We’re tired of seeing black people killed, you know what I’m saying? I’ve been having conversations with people and somebody said, ‘Man, you know what? I’m afraid to have a child - I’m afraid to have a black child because I don’t know how they’re going to be treated in this world based off their skin color.’ That’s not a position that anybody should be in. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t even know if what I’m saying is coming out perfect, but I do know that we need to educate ourselves, on both sides. I feel like white people need to educate themselves on what the black experience is like. We look at the media and the media is very white but there is some black media and I think it’s important to have a conversation with them to understand what are some of the things they’re going [through] because it’s just as important for you all to understand who you’re working with the things that they have to deal with. Football is a special place because we get to be around all walks of life – white, black, people from Canada and all over to be exposed to different things. So I challenge you guys to educate yourselves on what it’s like to be black in America. I definitely feel like we have to educate ourselves as well because there’s a lot of things that they’re not teaching us in school, we’re not learning in schools and we need to figure out why that is. Everybody’s supposed to be getting the same education but we all know that’s not the case, and we need to fix that. What’s the point of having a camera, and watching someone murder someone, if they’re not going to be held accountable for their actions. So I feel like this is a very interesting time right now. I feel like a lot of people are listening, especially in the white community—maybe, I’m not sure—but I think it’s important that you try to get that knowledge. And I think it’s important that you reach out to your fellow black members in the media to try to get that knowledge, because they always say ‘Knowledge is power’ and I believe that, but I also believe that the ability to use and apply that knowledge is where the true power comes. What’s the good in having knowledge if you ain’t going to use it? So use the knowledge, see how you can help, and spread the message. I was there at the protests on Saturday until some white people started burning up cop cars. So instead of reporting—report the peaceful side of the protests as well. Report the people that are doing good, because there’s a lot of people doing good out there. There’s a lot of people that want to see the world change and don’t want to see the world like this anymore. We want to feel good to have our kids in this world, and it has to mean something to you guys. I feel like it doesn’t really hit home until it happens to you. In the media, I can’t see everybody on this call but I would go out on a limb and say you all rock with me, so imagine I was that person, having a knee to their neck – how would you feel? It doesn’t need to happen to someone close to you for it to feel that way. So I just urge everybody to educate themselves, urge everybody to figure out what we can do to make this better. I don’t have all the answers. I’m hurting, I’m pissed off like everybody else, I’m tired like everybody else and I want to see something different but it’s going to take some leadership. We don’t have that leadership right now. We have someone in the office that’s calling black protesters ‘thugs’ and white protesters ‘good people,’ and that’s not okay. As white people, ya’ll need to check that. That’s on ya’ll to check that. We can only check something so much – it’s got to mean something to you. Yeah man, that’s kind of what I had on my heart. Hopefully that came out how I wanted it to come out and now we can talk about football.”

Seahawks vs. 49ers: The game-altering plays from Seattle's wild overtime defeat

Seahawks vs. 49ers: The game-altering plays from Seattle's wild overtime defeat

The Seattle Seahawks-San Francisco 49ers Monday Night Football game during the 2019 season was a game for the ages. 

It was a pivotal NFC West matchup between two of the NFL’s heavyweights with the Niners 8-0 as the NFL’s last undefeated team. The legendary battle between the defenses kept fans at Levi’s Stadium on the edge of their seats. 

And it wouldn’t be a Seahawks game without some late-game magic from Russell Wilson, who led a game-winning drive in overtime after throwing a rare red zone interception on Seattle's previous possession. This ultimately set up Jason Myers for a 42-yard field goal as time expired. 

All the feels. 

Let’s take a look back at the impact moments in this game that helped the Seahawks knock the Niners from the unbeaten ranks:

Down 10-0, the Seahawks needed a spark to get the game started. Jarran Reed came up with a huge fumble/sack on Jimmy Garappolo and Jadeveon Clowney recovered with the scoop-and-score.

After the extra point, Seattle trailed 10-7, but the momentum was in the Seahawks favor. 

The Seahawks looked primed to take the lead before halftime, but 49ers safety Jacquiski Tartt had other plans. Tartt stripped DK Metcalf at the 2-yard-line as the Seahawks rookie was darting towards the end zone with a minute remaining in the first half. 

About midway through the third quarter, Quandre Diggs intercepted Garappolo and returned the ball for 44 yards. This was Diggs' first debut as a member of the Seahawks. 

Then Russell Wilson took over. He found tight end Jacob Hollister, who had a one-handed touchdown grab in the end zone to give the Seahawks a 14-10 lead. 

Less than three minutes later, running back Chris Carson powered through the 49ers defense for a 1-yard touchdown. 

With 1:45 remaining in the game, Jason Myers got his redemption after an unfortunate Week 9, kicking in a clutch 46-yard field goal to give the Seahawks a 24-21 lead. 

The 49ers, of course, tied things up again when Chase McLaughlin kicked a field goal from 47 yards out. He drilled it down the middle and we're headed to OT! 

Geno Smith's good-luck charm worked again when the Seahawks quarterback won the magic coin toss. Listen closely...did he say heads or tails? Hails is always a good call. 

Just as the Seahawks were getting ready to score, Dre Greenlaw intercepted Wilson's pass for Jacob Hollister. The interception was just the Seahawks quarterback's second interception in 10 games. 

Seattle got the ball back after Chase McLaughlin missed a 47-yard attempt to win it. Wilson then threw incomplete on third down and Seattle punted. 

Then, Shaquill Griffin came up with this incredible play.

With the game on the line, Myers is GOOD from 42 yards. Holy moly--what a game! 

Honestly same, Russ. 

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and legendary running back Curt Warner. 

Seahawks finish behind Tom Brady, Bucs in Peter King’s NFL Power Rankings

Seahawks finish behind Tom Brady, Bucs in Peter King’s NFL Power Rankings

NBC Sports’ Peter King just released his NFL Power Rankings ahead of the 2020 NFL season and for the most part, everything went as forecasted. 

  • Kansas City No. 1
  • Baltimore No. 2
  • New Orleans No. 3 
  • San Francisco No. 4
  • Tampa Bay No. 5. 

Wait, what? Tom Brady and the Buccaneers at No. 5?

Yeah, that’s right. Tampa Bay slid into the fifth spot ahead of the Seattle Seahawks, who went 12-6 in 2019 and fell to Green Bay in the Divisional Round. King said he made a judgement call to inflate the Bucs (7-9 in 2019) after underrating the 49ers last season. 

Here’s some insight on why Tampa Bay is slated at No. 5. 

Brady and maybe tight end Rob Gronkowski (assuming he’s still Gronk) should make an explosive offense more efficient. The defense needs to be a tick better. Keeping Shaq Barrett, Ndamukong Suh, and Jason Pierre-Paul, and continuing to build around defensive keystone Devin White at middle linebacker, are smart moves. Developing a better secondary, the team’s Achilles heel, should be helped significantly by second-round safety Antoine Winfield Jr. Nothing’s guaranteed, particularly in a season with the tough AFC West on the schedule. But I think the Bucs have a good chance to be 2020’s breakthrough team.

There's a lot of optimism in Tampa Bay and yes, Tom Brady is good...but he’s 42. Gronkowski can be good too, if he returns as Gronk. But the Bucs have not won a single playoff game since 2002, and it’s hard to think the tides could shift that drastically in one season. 

King had a few reasons for slotting the Seahawks at No. 6. But first, he noted the stellar play of Russell Wilson, who is a favorite for MVP honors in 2020 despite not receiving a single vote over his past eight seasons. 

You might prefer other quarterbacks if you had the first pick in an NFL QB draft. I might too. (Give me Mahomes.) But what Russell Wilson has done in his Seattle tenure is phenomenal. Since making Wilson the third-round pick in 2012, the Seahawks have played 143 games, 15 in the postseason. Wilson has started every one. He’s made the playoffs in seven of his eight seasons and won at least one playoff game in six of those seven seasons. (In those eight seasons, a total of 400 NFL MVP votes have been cast. Wilson has never gotten one of those MVP votes.) Seattle doesn’t have the greatest offense, or the most explosive numbers, but over the past three seasons, Wilson has thrown 100 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions. He’s the reason, basically, that I have the Seahawks this high in my rankings. He’s been the deodorant for an oft-sketchy offensive line.

King says in order for Seattle to reach the Super Bowl they’ll need a few strong defensive efforts, and that includes more than re-acquiring Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa and counting on 2019 first-round pick L.J. Collier to have a turn-around season.

Seattle still needs a cornerstone to its pass rush and that means Jadeveon Clowney or Everson Griffen is on the field opening day. 

[RELATED: Jadeveon Clowney breaks his silence, remains open to signing with Seahawks]

Just last season, Seattle beat the 49ers, Rams and Eagles -- the NFC's last three Super Bowl reps. The Seahawks are overdue for another Super Bowl appearance and it's only a matter of time before Wilson, Pete Carroll and Bobby Wagner return to the Promise Land.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and legendary running back Curt Warner.