What other roster moves need to be made?

“Not for one reason at all am I thinking that we have to restart this whole thing and create a new philosophy and a new approach. I don’t think that. I think we’ve got the essence of the things that we need.” — Pete Carroll  

The Seahawks’ confounding season continues to spiral to a terrible end, and with every bad loss it becomes more and more clear that a HUGE change must come in 2022.

We already have gone into detail about why we think Pete Carroll and John Schneider will be back and why Russell Wilson needs to go. We still think that is the way it will happen. But, with the Hawks wallowing at an unbelievable 5-10 after a horrendous last-minute home loss to Chicago, it’s a good time to see what else needs to occur.

For those hoping Carroll might retire or at least change his approach, he seemingly made it clear he does not plan to leave and also does not plan to change.

“Not for one reason at all am I thinking that we have to restart this whole thing and create a new philosophy and a new approach,” he told 710 ESPN. “I don’t think that. I think we’ve got the essence of the things that we need. We’ve got to build on it, we’ve got to support it better and we’ve got to continue to grow and progress. There ain’t no standing still, but there’s the foundation for doing things.”

Carroll later told reporters, “I think you can count on us to figure it out and to make the choices and the decisions that have to be done coming from a philosophical foundation that we have and have established over a long period of time.”

As for Jody Allen’s involvement, Carroll said, “She stays on it. She’s strong in her awareness of what’s going on. She’s strong in her opinion of what she wants to see done.”

For those who hold out hope that Allen will reverse course on Carroll, don’t count on it. Carroll said, “We’ve been on the same page about everything that’s going on since she took over.”

Allen just extended her football bosses last year, so we do not expect them to go anywhere in 2022. That means it comes down to roster building, with quarterback likely the biggest change.

But Carroll admitted his roster is not strong enough to compete in the stacked NFC West, even if it looked like they had fortified both lines.

“Going into the season, we were very optimistic about it and thought we had a lot of pieces put together,” he told 710 ESPN, citing the offensive line especially. “I liked every aspect of what we had; but, as it turned out, the guys in our division (were even more loaded) – it’s why it’s the best division in football. … We’re up against it.”

So what comes after these final two games?

“We have to continue to build,” Carroll said. “We’ve got to get better and keep bringing in the players who can help us make the difference.”

Beyond the expected QB change, Seattle has to fill three O-line positions (LT, RT and center) and find some running backs, and the defense will need corners and a pass rusher who can beat double-teams (or perhaps just a better rush scheme).

Absent any extensions (Quandre Diggs? Gerald Everett?) before the season ends in two weeks, the Hawks are projected to have $56 million in 2022 cap space (that includes $13 million in rollover but does not account for any escalators or reserve space needed for draft picks, practice squad, etc.). If they trade Wilson, they will have $11 million more.

As the Seahawks play out a lost season, let’s see what they need to do at each position to try to quickly become contenders again.

Quarterback

Position strength (out of 10): 6. Wilson is mainly just a deep-ball specialist, and it’s time to move on to a QB who can see/read the entire field, use the middle and throw with timing, quickly and decisively.
Free agent: Geno Smith.
Possible trade block: Wilson.
NFL trade options: Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Aaron Rodgers, Gardner Minshew.
Offseason plan: Get as much as possible for Wilson. Then replace him – either by trading for a franchise QB such as Carr or Garoppolo or by adding a cheap vet such as Minshew the Mustache whom the Hawks think might be able to do the things Wilson cannot. … We expect Schneider and Carroll to try to get Rodgers, too – maybe as their first option. … Drafting a QB is not out of the question either, although it is considered a pretty weak QB draft and Carroll will not want to rely on a rookie QB in the coach’s final stanza. 

Running back

Position strength: 6. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny could never stay healthy and need to be replaced.
Free agents: Alex Collins, Penny.
NFL options: James Conner, Leonard Fournette, Melvin Gordon, Phillip Lindsay, Jordan Howard, Sony Michel, Marlon Mack.
Offseason plan: Penny has had a couple of good games in December, which might help him build a bit of a free-agent market. But he and Carson (neck surgery) cannot be counted on, so the Hawks need a new starter. If Penny returns, it has to be on a minimum contract. Otherwise, let some other team pay him and maybe get him qualified as a comp loss. … The Hawks need to draft a dependable guy and add at least one veteran, upgrading over Collins, DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer as possible. Conner and Fournette seem the top veteran options, but a plug-and-play rookie rusher would be the best choice.

Wide receiver

Position strength: 9. Lockett hit 1,000 yards for a third straight year, but Metcalf has been woefully underused.
Free agents: None.
Possible trade block: DK Metcalf.
Offseason plan: The Hawks need to extend Metcalf – or trade him. Extending would be costly, but it’s the price you pay for great talent. Most fans would hate the thought of trading him, but it would add major draft resources – probably two first-rounders – so the Hawks (assuming Wilson were dealt) would have at least four first-round picks over two years, plus two or three other picks. They still would have Tyler Lockett, Dee Eskridge and Freddie Swain – and certainly would add a vet and possible draft pick. It will be very interesting to see how the Hawks handle Metcalf in the offseason.

Tight end

Position strength: 8. Seattle finally started to use these guys in November.
Free agents: Gerald Everett, Will Dissly.
Veteran options: David Njoku, Mike Gesicki, Hayden Hurst, Dalton Schultz, Robert Tonyan, Evan Engram, O.J. Howard.
Offseason plan: The Hawks should extend Everett now. He has shown that he is a major weapon when used correctly. Dissly should be a cheap re-sign for a couple years; he likely would love to stay in Seattle. There are plenty of vets if Dissly is not retainable at a reasonable number. But Everett should be a big priority.

Offensive line

Position strength: 5. Center was an expected weakness, but this entire unit has been disappointing and requires some upgrades.
Free agents: Duane Brown, Brandon Shell, Ethan Pocic, Jamarco Jones, Kyle Fuller (RFA).
NFL options: Terron Armstead (LT), Orlando Brown Jr. (LT), Riley Reiff (RT), Trent Brown (RT), Bobby Massie (RT), Morgan Moses (RT), Brian Allen (C), Ryan Jensen (C), Ben Jones (C), Matt Paradis (C).
Offseason plan: Outside the Chiefs’ Brown, there are not a lot of great veteran options at left tackle. Armstead is good but has never played a full season and missed a lot of this one. So will it even be possible to upgrade over 36-year-old Duane Brown, who struggled in the first half of the season? Brown would be an option only if he returned for the same money he makes right now ($10 million). … The Hawks also need to find a healthier right tackle than Shell; that could be a vet or maybe a Day 2 rookie. Stone Forsythe could figure into either tackle spot as well, but that is a long shot. Jake Curhan has played OK there and is under club control, so they have a fallback. … At center, Seattle needs to bring in a good veteran (an anti-B.J. Finney). The four listed above are better options than what the Hawks have. … Schneider slowly has started to change his MO on paying veteran linemen, adding Brown, Shell and Gabe Jackson over the past few years. He needs to be willing to pay for a good left tackle and center in 2022. If he adds a couple of Round 1 picks, he needs to use at least one on those spots.

Defensive line

Position strength: 6. Good against the run, but surprisingly bad against the pass.
Free agents: Rasheem Green, Al Woods, Robert Nkemdiche.
Possible trade block: L.J. Collier.
NFL options: Chandler Jones, Von Miller, Haason Reddick, Jerry Hughes, Dante Fowler, Melvin Ingram, Randy Gregory.
Offseason plan: The Hawks need to scheme their rush better, first of all. They had plenty of talent and simply did not put it together. … They have almost all of their outside rushers returning (if they want them), so they don’t necessarily need to pony up for Jones, Miller or Reddick. But they could if they sign a cheap QB or trade Bobby Wagner (see below). … Benson Mayowa should be let go (a $1.5 million savings). If the Hawks plan to use Carlos Dunlap as little as they did this year, they can let him go, too. But he has really heated up in December (six sacks) and clearly still has something to offer. … Green probably will move on, and the Hawks should trade Collier if they plan to use him as little as they have in 2021. … Alton Robinson needs to play more down the stretch to see whether he and Darrell Taylor are part of the pass-rushing future for Seattle. But Carroll made it clear he wants upgrades here. We’ll see what Schneider comes up with for him.

Linebacker

Position strength: 7. Jordyn Brooks has played fairly well (though screen passes have been a glaring weakness for the second-year LB), and Wagner leads the NFL in tackles (Brooks is third as Seattle has been on the field more than any defense).
Free agents: None.
Possible trade block: Wagner.
Offseason plan: The Seahawks should consider trading Wagner, if they could get a second-rounder and another pick for him. They would save $16.6 million against the cap (the acquiring team obviously would extend or renegotiate his deal). That money could help pay a more impactful position – QB, pass rusher, Metcalf. Schneider and Carroll love Wagner (as the extreme overpay indicates), but would they make this move? Either way, maybe bring back K.J. Wright for cheap?

Secondary

Position strength: 7. Jamal Adams played well after a rough start until he was lost for the season in Week 13; Quandre Diggs has earned a big payday; corner remains a big question.
Free agents: D.J. Reed, Sidney Jones, Bless Austin (RFA).
NFL options: J.C. Jackson, Casey Hayward, Darious Williams, Joe Haden, Kyle Fuller, Chris Harris, Jimmy Smith, Mike Hughes.
Offseason plan: The Hawks need to pay Diggs, voted to his second straight Pro Bowl last week right after getting his fifth INT of the season. Tagging him at a projected $13.5 million also is a serious option. … Tre Brown (patellar tendon) is out until training camp, so Seattle needs two corners. Reed is an obvious re-sign candidate, but it would have to be a short-term, prove-it deal. Same with Jones. … The team definitely needs to add a corner or two via the draft. … If the Hawks trade Wilson to the Saints, they should try to coax Marshon Lattimore out of New Orleans as part of the deal.

11 thoughts on “What other roster moves need to be made?”

  1. The Seahawks are doomed if they choose the front office over Russell Wilson. “Deep-ball specialist” or not he’s the best the team is going to have access to for a good long while.

    People don’t seem to realize that the constant of the past twenty-ish years was Paul Allen. Under his guidance the franchise thrived with two separate coached, and two separate star quarterbacks. Without him the Seahawks have been historically terrible.

    Schnieder and Carroll aren’t going to reverse that, as evidence by the current failed reset. What they are going to do is trade Wilson only to draft the next Kelly Stouffer, Rick Mirer or worse Dan McGuire. All the optimism or frustration in the world isn’t going to prevent the coming quarterback purgatory. These are the same guys who thought Matt Flynn was starter material.

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  2. I am on Trade Russ Team. Based on last 20 or so games, he is a replaceable QB. The loss of quickness scares me,as does his decision making. Trending downhill. The common thought that the only option to Russ is a terrible QB is not a good reason to keep him. Better chance we get a decent QB to replace him than a decent coach to replace Pete. Plus, Pete and John ain’t going anywhere this year, so buckle up.

    Not against trading Bobby. We need more speed at LB, although not sure D gets better without him next year. But Brooks looks like a good LB now.
    Need to improve pass rush, which seems to be Pete’s focus also. I want to see Taylor take another step. He seems to have some nasty in him.
    Can’t have enough CB’s who can cover.
    if pass rush is improved and 1 of the CB’s come back, add 1 in the draft/trade, maybe we get close to a real D again.

    I lean to keeping Penny on min contract with decent incentives. He has shown the last 4 weeks why they drafted him. IF healthy, he could be, should be elite. No need to explain why someone says let him go.

    hoping Curran can be an average RT, and then we just need C and LT. I doubt Brown gets a big deal anywhere else, so maybe 1 yr more. I also suspect Brown would not mind blocking for a different QB.

    so much to do, so much time to dwell on it. At least we won’t have playoff games to distract us. Other than watching the 49’rs and Rams lose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carroll doesn’t appear to be in any hurry to move Wilson. If a trade happens, it will be because Wilson forces one.

      As for a decent QB, who? Chris’ list is not encouraging: Rodgers, if he is actually available, will command a bigger haul than Wilson. Garoppolo is as reliably healthy as Chris Carson and erratic when he plays. Given the dismal state of league-wide QB play, if Minshew were any good, he’d be starting somewhere. Carr would be okay, but no one knows what the cost would be. Unless there is an ironclad plan to replace Wilson, we’ll be watching the likes of Nick Foles under center. And it’s hard to have an ironclad plan when the QB is driving the trade.

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      1. if we are making a business decision, the idea of trading Russ is because he is a declining asset and we can never win a SB with him.
        You don’t keep him because you do not have an immediate better option. You can build a better team with the picks and cap space trading Russ gives you.
        The idea that Russ is elite is 2 years past its due date. No elite qb would rank 30th in the league on 3rd down. And how many years has Russ has a “3 and out” problem?
        And you don’t think Russ won’t want to be the highest paid QB in 2 years? He is overpaid right now, which means you cannot build a roster to support his weaknesses.

        Build an Elite D and “they will come”. Keep Russ and never get to the promised land.

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    2. The argument that it is easier to replace Wilson than Carroll is debatable. Plus, there are plenty of examples of elite QBs–Brees, Palmer, and Warner to name three–who were written off only to bounce back. If SEA decides to the “damn the torpedoes” view, they should acknowledge the risks.

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  3. The first problem is that the current approach to player evaluation and roster construction is broken. The second problem is that the current regime doesn’t think there is a problem. And if they did, who has confidence in their ability to fix it?

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  4. Yeah, it is hard to be confident in anything about this trio, really. Schneider cannot build a complete team, Carroll & Co. cannot coach it consistently well enough and Wilson cannot QB it properly.

    Carroll always talks up his guys, but you never know what he really is thinking. But I think he is ready to move on from Wilson — and vice versa. Neither will say it until the day it actually happens, of course.

    Then it comes down to Schneider making a second deal for a viable QB — Carr being the seeming sweet spot player for talent and cost. Carroll certainly will push for the best vet Schneider can get.

    As Hawk Eye said, they cannot be afraid to move to a new QB — and the resources they get for Wilson would improve them elsewhere to support said new QB.

    It’s an unfortunate period in franchise history, but these times always come along. We are definitely not in the barren Behring years, but things must change (even if it is one major piece at a time), so it will be fun to watch what happens …

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  5. there is an interesting thread by Hawkblogger on Twitter regarding comments made by Matt Hasselback that getting rid of Pete would be a huge mistake.
    *Spoiler Alert: it does support my Pete vs Russ theory, which should not be confused with a Pete is Perfect theory.

    Brian and Chris have a non emotional analysis of the situation that is a welcome change from the rantings of those who have lit the torches and grabbed their pitchforks on a couple well known Hawks sites.

    now if we can just skip Jan and Feb and get right to March when the real action begins in Seahawk land….

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  6. Carroll/Schneider drafts by position (offense):
    QB: McGough (7), Wilson (3)
    RB: Brooks (7), Carson (7), Collins (5), Dallas (4), Homer (6), Michael (2), Penny (1), Prosise (3), Small (7), Turbin (4), Ware (6)
    WR: Darboh (3), Durham (4), Eskridge (2), Harper (4), Jennings (4), Konz (7), Lawler (7), Lockett (3), Metcalf (2), Moore (7), Norwood (4), Richardson (2), Swain (6), Tate (2), Ursua (7)
    TE: Dissly (4), Parkinson (4), Sullivan (7), Vannett (3), Willson (5)
    OL: Bowie (7), Britt (2), Forsyth (6), Glowinski (4), J. Jones (5), Lewis (3), Odhiambo (3), Hunt (6), Ifedi (1), Pocic (2), Poole (4), Scott (6), Senior Sokoli (6), Seymour (7)

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  7. RB: Pretty good here. I don’t hold Penny and Prosise against them–neither came out of college with an injury history
    WR: Round 4=Death Valley. Many palpable hits otherwise.
    TE: Meh.
    OL: They’ve drafted high, they’ve drafted low, they’ve drafted in the middle–all to no avail. Worse yet, they gave up on the best pick (Glowinski). No reason to believe that JSPC will ever be able to draft an OL.

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