On this week’s Monday night football, the curtain began to fall over this era of Seahawks football, and in some ways it was an appropriate result. In a 17-15 loss to the Washington Football Team, Seattle offered most of the bizarre moves Seahawks fans have come to expect from their team. There were strange games: the Seahawks scored on a defensive two-point conversion that resulted in an injury to opponent’s kicker Joey Slye. They also had success with an onside kick with 15 seconds left of the fourth quarter to give them a chance to kick a battle-winning field goal, only to have the game rejected because a Seahawks player on the opposite side of the lineup lined up. illegally inside. the hash label. The game also featured unexplained play-calling, which resulted in great consternation over where the football took place offensively: Quarterback Russell Wilson did not target receiver DK Metcalf until the third quarter and did not complete a pass to him until the end of the game. However, one significant feature of Monday’s loss was different: it likely ended Seattle’s playoff chances and placed the team among the worst in the NFL. The Seahawks are 3-8. Only four other NFL teams – the Lions, Texans, Jaguars and Jets – have three wins or fewer in 12 weeks.
Seattle is not used to this kind of business. The Seahawks are heading for a losing season for the first time in a decade. They have reached the playoffs in eight of the past nine years and have won a Super Bowl in the past decade, a race run by the current triumvirate of Wilson, head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider. The shock and frustration over this unusually difficult season for the team was evident on Monday: Several players, including Wilson and security Jamal Adams, were glass-happy as they spoke to reporters after the match after a team meeting in the locker room.
“I was in some tears,” Adams said. “There are a lot of emotions right now, you know what I mean? Just frustrated. Just trying to find that victory. ”
“I’ve not been in this situation before like this, but what I do know is that I know there is only one way to react,” Wilson said.
Seattle may go down in battle, but it’s almost impossible for the Seahawks to crawl out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves in the standings. FiveThirtyEight gives them a 1 percent chance of getting into the playoffs. It’s time for Seattle to find out which of the current core of this list and who in the organization will continue to rebuild.
From the above triumvirate, the most likely to deviate seems to be Wilson. Carroll and Schneider are under contract for 2025 and 2027 respectively, and both have track records strong enough to get through a bad season without landing on a hot seat. Wilson is signed until 2023, but was already the subject of trade rumors last season when it was reported that he would waive his no-trade clause and accept a deal that sent him to a selection of teams – at the time , Cowboys, Saints, Raiders and Bears.
If Wilson is traded after the season, it will likely be because he pushed for the deal. He has struggled this season – his overall QBR of 46.2 is 11 points during his previous low career in 2016 – but he is still only 33 and has one of the best track records for a starting quarterback in the NFL. He is also still recovering from an injury. Wilson dislocated and ruptured his pinkie in week 5 and returned in week 10, a rapid return from a disorder that usually takes six to eight weeks to heal.
Carroll and Wilson themselves have repeatedly said he’s OK to play, but it’s hard to see the Seahawks offense since his return and not think he’s anything limited. Wilson has not taken snaps from the center, presumably to protect his hand. Through week 5, he had a completion rate of 65 percent and averaged 8.2 yards per game. attempts with 12 touchdowns and three interceptions from under center, according to data from Sharp Football Stats.
Although Wilson’s very best year is behind him, it’s not certain if the Seahawks could find a quality replacement through the draft or in the veteran market, even with the return of a Wilson trade in hand. Since the Seahawks already paid Wilson’s signature bonus, they would still carry $ 26 million in 2022 and $ 13 million in 2023 in dead-end payroll fees if they traded him on his current deal. (The downside of this is that Wilson would be more affordable for an acquisition team that would only owe him $ 24 million in 2022 and $ 27 million in 2023. That means more potential trading partners and probably a greater return for the Seahawks).
If Wilson wants to leave, Seattle will be forced to reckon with how exhausted the list around him has become. The Seahawks’ staff movements in recent years have often been seen through the lens of what the team does to support Wilson and type of team and offensive he will be a part of. But the story of the latest draft and free agent classes is simpler than that: the team just has not added very many good players.
Schneider built Seattle’s 2013 Super Bowl team through the draft by specializing in finding players to fit their needs. Richard Sherman, for example, was underestimated by other teams concerned about his timed speed, but Schneider felt he would fit well into Seattle’s secondary. The Seahawks returned to the Super Bowl the following season, but since then they have spent too many draft picks, especially top picks, on players who do not play premium positions (first-round picks like running back Rashaad Penny in 2018, and defensive lineman LJ Collier , who are not rushing with the pass in 2019) and others who simply did not become significant contributors (second round like Malik McDowell, Ethan Pocic, Christine Michael). Free agents have undoubtedly been worse. Seahawks tend to pick big name players who are past their best (Eddie Lacy in 2017, Greg Olsen in 2020) as well as previous top picks, usually hyper-athletic, who have not had much NFL success (Barkevious) Mingo in 2018, Ezekiel Ansah in 2019, Phillip Dorsett in 2020).
Even one of the Seahawks’ better moves – signing safety Bradley McDougald in 2017 – has become hard for fans to be proud of because of how it turned out. McDougald played all but one game over three seasons in Seattle and performed well, but was then traded to the Jets in 2020 as part of the compensation to acquire safety Jamal Adams. The rest of that compensation package, of course, included two first-round draft picks, one in the 2021 draft and another in 2022. Something the Seahawks probably did not consider was that the 2022 pick could end up being near the top of the draft. The Seahawks are currently in a draw with the Jets for the fourth worst record in the NFL, but because Seattle has had the weaker strength on schedule, their pick would come first. If the season ended today, the Jets would get No. 4 pick from Seattle, then pick up again at No. 5 on their own, um, merits.
So Seattle will be an asset as it enters this offseason, whether the purpose of that offseason is to find ways to improve the supportive cast around Wilson – including a defense that is currently not. 32 in the NFL in yards allowed – or starting from scratch without him. In either case, the Seahawks are unlikely to return to where they want to be without improving their track record for staff movements. The Seahawks who brought you BeastQuake, “You’re crazy, bro?”, Wilson’s connection with Tyler Lockett and the Legion of Boom defense were built by good drafts and solid trades. If we are nearing the end of one of the most successful decade-long races in modern football, what built it will also be what made it repealed in the end.