BY SEBASTIAN PYCIOR
Things have stagnated a little bit in the Seattle Seahawks front office. There haven’t been definitive answers to the departures of Deshawn Shead and Richard Sherman. Sheldon Richardson is reportedly in Minnesota, asking for more than the $11 million that the Seahawks are willing to offer. With the signing of Bradley McDougall at safety, it’s also curious as to what this front office thinks of Kam Chancellor as a Seahawk.
However, the front office needs to be serious about trading Earl Thomas.
Before fans go up in arms about letting go a long-time fan favorite, a trade would be a great boon for a team that’s looking to rebuild as fast as possible. Trading Earl Thomas doesn’t involve trading away any of the great years he gave Seattle, as it’s about trading away a player whose value is at its highest right before 30 years old. In fact, fans have to remember that Earl Thomas found coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys after a game and said “If you have a chance to get me, come get me.”
Now supposedly, the Seahawks have already reached out to the Dallas Cowboys for a trade surrounding Earl Thomas. Seattle requested the Cowboys’ 1st round 2018 draft pick and the Cowboys had subsequently denied. The Cowboys would assemble an elite defense and keep the stress off of their flourishing offensive talent. The Seahawks would’ve only received the 19th pick in return to have alongside their 18th pick. The Hawks might be selling Thomas short, but it’s more than likely that the Cowboys didn’t want to give up more than one middle round pick.
Bottom line, the Seahawks are in a rebuild and Earl Thomas wants out. Thomas still retains a very high value, so it’s curious as to why the Hawks would even reach out for a middle 1st round pick. Should the Seahawks try to take a risk, they’d package Earl Thomas and their 18th pick and try to get a top-8 pick in return.
For example, a defensive minded team like the New York Jets could be enticed by moving down in the draft and taking on Earl Thomas. The Jets could also send back a young defensive piece or a couple of mid-round draft picks to round things out for Seattle. This would get Seattle into prime position to go after somebody like Derwin James or, should the stars align, the Hawks could be lucky enough to draft guard Quenton Nelson to help protect Russell Wilson.
Teams like the Buccaneers and the Browns could also be itching to add an elite veteran presence to their depth charts. The Buccaneers have sought veteran defensive back help in the past by signing the likes of Darrelle Revis, and are in desperate need to get the wheels of their defense rolling again.
The Browns have the valuable 4th selection in this upcoming draft, however they’re desperate to bring immediate change to a team that didn’t win a single game last year. Being able to secure Earl Thomas would add legitimacy to the front office that’s been able to land Jarvis Landry and Tyrod Taylor this offseason. The Browns would immediately become a playoff contender.
The Seahawks, on the other hand, would jumpstart a quick rebuild by guaranteeing a shot at Quenton Nelson, Minkah Fitzpatrick, or Bradley Chubb. The reason why I bring up Quenton Nelson so often is that the Seahawks have brought in new offensive coaching staff that’s looking to bolster the offensive line immediately.
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and offensive line coach Mike Solari have already worked together many years ago in Kansas City, so a relationship is already established. Schottenheimer is known for having turned the New York Jets offensive line during his tenure from 2006-2011, while Solari is known as having a huge part in constructing some of the most prolific lines in Kansas City and San Francisco.
The Seahawks have clearly signaled the end of the Legion of Boom era, and Earl Thomas is the most valuable mainstay left from that era. Moving him before this draft would show determination in a rebuild now, and would avoid the headaches involved next offseason. Fans should hope that this can isn’t kicked further down the road, and give Earl Thomas a chance to play in a place that will give him a shot at the playoffs.