A day after Earl Thomas beat his former team, the Seahawks are still trying to figure out how to replace him.
John Schneider’s trade for Detroit safety Quandre Diggs, a Pro Bowl alternate in 2018, seems like more than just a depth move for a team that is without Bradley McDougald and Lano Hill.
It looks like Pete Carroll has seen enough of Tedric Thompson, who has given up too many big plays — including an early 50-yard pass that helped Baltimore beat the Hawks.
The Hawks simply have to stop giving up big pass plays. With Thompson at free safety in all but two games, they rank 29th in passer rating (122.3) on deep throws. That is not Carroll’s style.
Thompson also gave up a 55-yard touchdown to John Ross in the opener. Thompson has made a couple of interceptions this season, too, but he is incredibly inconsistent over the top.
Carroll was pretty miffed about the 50-yard play by Baltimore. “We made a big mistake early — gave them a freebie down the field. That’s just distasteful,” Carroll said. “I hate that we gave them that because there’s no way that should’ve happened.”
So here comes Diggs to help stop it from happening again.
Diggs (5-9, 197) is a more experienced version of rookie Ugo Amadi, and he comes pretty cheap. Schneider gave up a fifth-rounder in return for a seventh and will owe Diggs just $1.7 million the rest of the season. If the 26-year-old does become a starter, Seattle could keep him for two more years, at $5.2 million and $5.55 million.
So where does Diggs fit? It depends on the health of McDougald, who did not play against Baltimore and is considered day-to-day as he and the team wait for back spasms to dissipate. He should start once he is healthy again. The question is: Which safety will start alongside him?
Blair played well against the Ravens and really needs to keep learning on the job. Diggs could step in as the little-used nickel back initially, unless McDougald remains out.
If that happens, Diggs probably would not start against Atlanta this week, but he certainly would play a lot and could be up to speed in the defense enough to start against Tampa Bay in Week 9 or San Francisco in Week 10.
The Hawks didn’t make this move to not use him.
Diggs is the third October acquisition Schneider has made in his 10 seasons as Seattle GM. His first October deal was trading for Marshawn Lynch in 2010, and he also added Duane Brown in 2017. He also has traded away three players in October: Deion Branch in 2010, Aaron Curry in 2011, Percy Harvin in 2014.
Here are the Seahawks’ projected draft picks in 2020 (by round): 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7.