A week after sending Percy Harvin to the New York Jets, the Seahawks reportedly are still working the phones ahead of the NFL trade deadline Tuesday.
The Hawks tried to pry tight ends free from Denver and Cleveland in the Harvin deal, but neither Julius Thomas nor Jordan Cameron could be had.
They reportedly are still in the market for a tight end and/or pass rusher, and they also reportedly have checked into what it would take to acquire Tampa Bay receiver Vincent Jackson. The Bucs reportedly want a second-round pick for the 6-foot-5 pass catcher, who would cost $5.3 million this season and $9.8 million in each of the next two years — if he was not let go before.
The Hawks saved $7.1 million this year in the Harvin deal, so they could absorb the rest of Jackson’s salary and still have a little left to roll over to 2015. But they then would have to decide whether to pay Jackson nearly $10 million next season — Harvin was due $10.5 million and will still count $7.2 million — or alter his contract or release him.
This is the second time the Hawks reportedly have checked into trading for Jackson. They called San Diego about him in 2011.
The Percy Harvin Debacle was a great lesson for Pete Carroll and John Schneider: They learned just how fragile the psyche of their young Super Bowl team still is.
And they probably learned which other malcontents they are going to need to send packing to make sure their team remains a Super Bowl contender.
This was bound to happen. Carroll and Schneider have flirted with this kind of danger ever since they came to Seattle — bringing in bad apples such as Terrell Owens, Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow while courting chuckleheads such as Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson.
Adding those kinds of idiots to a young team is always a huge risk — too many impressionable kids on your team. Harvin apparently swung a few of them his way in his 19 months in Seattle.
The Seahawks and Panthers, who were a combined 25-7 last season, are just 6-6-1 this year. Said Carolina coach Ron Rivera: “We’re two good football teams that have lost their footing a little bit.”
Who is more beat up? The Seahawks are without their starting center, fullback, tight end, cornerback, middle linebacker and kick returner. The Panthers are without their two starting guards, two or three running backs, a starting linebacker and their kick returner.
The Seahawks face another good tight end this week in Greg Olsen, who is off to the best start of his career. The Hawks already have given up seven TD passes to tight ends.
Despite the efforts of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, the Seahawks’ pass rush just has not gotten the job done well enough so far this season.
Coach Pete Carroll has noticed it, and he and his coaches are finally taking corrective measures.
The Seahawks’ pass defense ranks in the bottom third of the league after being a top-10 unit in 2013. The Hawks ranked first in passer rating (63.4) and interceptions (28) last season, but they are 28th this year (103.9 rating, just two picks). After allowing just 59 percent completions last season, they are giving up 68.3 this year. And they are worse by many other measures as well.
The Hawks have just seven sacks, which ranks 27th, and the rush has suffered in the face of some of the league’s best quarterbacks — Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning, Tony Romo.
“We’ve faced the best of the best so far,” Carroll said last week after Romo beat them, “and they’ve been able to hold us off a little bit. We haven’t been quite as effective.”
This week, after yet another game in which the Hawks got little to no pressure on the QB, Carroll said, “The inability to really disrupt the quarterback has been a factor. There are some things that we have to do that will change us a little bit from what we’ve been in the past. So we will make those moves.”
As disappointing as the last two weeks have been for the Seahawks and their fans — two tough losses, lots of injuries and the shocking trade of Percy Harvin — there’s still plenty of time for the Seahawks to overcome their 3-3 start and turn into the Super Bowl team everyone expected them to be.
Pete Carroll said the NFL called him Monday to talk about the last play of the Seahawks’ 28-26 loss in St. Louis.
With about one minute left, the Rams fumbled the ball on the play and Richard Sherman appeared to recover the ball for the Seahawks.
“I got a call from them this morning, just to see if I had any questions about it,” Carroll said. “What I was concerned about was: It was such a crucial moment in the game, it was such an unusual situation, why wouldn’t they take all the time that they needed to make a clear-cut decision?