Here’s why the Seahawks shouldn’t tank for a franchise QB

The news popping out Thursday that Russell Wilson had signed a whopping five-year extension with the Denver Broncos merely accentuated the stark actuality going through Wilson’s former workforce.

For 10 years, the Seahawks had a franchise quarterback (or an affordable facsimile thereof). And now they don’t. Furthermore, they entered that standing voluntarily, of their very own free will.

Obviously, there’s way more to the Seahawks’ choice to commerce Wilson; certainly, each nuance and wrinkle has been debated advert nauseam. A legitimate case might be made the Seahawks had no alternative however to make the transfer, given the robust obvious indications that Wilson had no real interest in re-signing with Seattle (who’s accountable for that state of affairs is one other debate for an additional time).

Denver might even come to remorse the $49 million a 12 months it has dedicated to the quickly to be 34-year-old Wilson. For the current, although, he provides them a much better probability to win Super Bowl LVII than the Seahawks have with out him.

And now changing Wilson turns into the overarching focus of the Seattle franchise, the success of which is able to largely decide whether or not dealing him was the proper transfer. And whether or not the Seahawks will return to relevance any time quickly. It’s one thing of an existential dilemma within the post-Wilson world.

I don’t know of anybody who thinks Geno Smith, who has received the quarterback job — in the meanwhile — is that man. And I don’t sense any robust confidence that Drew Lock, who seemingly will get a crack on the job sooner or later, is the long-term reply.

But what I do hear continuously — and I alluded to it in a current column — is the notion that if and when the Seahawks’ 2022 season goes off the rails, that very wrestle would be the car for restoring their viability. To wit: The poorer the Seahawks document in ‘22, the higher the draft pick in ’23, at which era they’ll choose the subsequent Russell Wilson to journey in to Lumen Field to save lots of the day. For that purpose, there’s a phase of the fan base keen (certainly keen) to put in writing off this season within the perception it might set them up for future success. Tank now, reap the rewards later.

It’s an attractive notion, however I might simply warn that it’s merely not that simple. There’s a really actual risk that the Seahawks are coming into a stretch the place the pursuit of a franchise quarterback turns into a irritating and elusive enterprise. And you possibly can’t at all times tank your method out of it.

One want look no farther than Wilson’s new workforce, the Broncos. After Peyton Manning’s retirement following a Super Bowl 50 victory, the Broncos entered a six-year stretch from 2016-21 through which that they had 11 beginning quarterbacks. And within the final 5 of these years the Broncos had shedding information, emboldening them to do no matter it took to land (and pay) Wilson.

The Broncos are removed from the one workforce that has fallen into an infinite morass of mediocrity whereas it waits for the golden QB to land in its midst. Think Jets, Jags, Bears and some others. Maybe these groups lastly have the proper man now; they’ve all thought that earlier than, incorrectly. And in lots of instances, it doesn’t matter how excessive the draft decide is that they imagine will deliver salvation to them; the NFL panorama is affected by quarterbacks taken excessive within the first spherical who turned out to be washouts. Can you say, “JaMarcus Russell?”

The 2018 draft is a basic instance of the vagaries of quarterback drafting. It was likened by many analysts in potential difference-makers to the 2 landmark QB drafts in historical past: 1983 (Dan Marino, John Elway, Jim Kelly) and 2004 (Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning).

Baker Mayfield went No. 1 total to the Browns. He had his moments however total was a bust. Sam Darnold went No. 3 to the Jets. Bust. Josh Allen, No. 7 to the Bills. Monumental success. Josh Rosen, No. 10 to the Cardinals. Monumental bust. Lamar Jackson, No. 32 to the Ravens. Huge success.

That’s a 60% failure charge within the first spherical of a touted draft, and it didn’t essentially take a tanked season to land a blue-chipper. The Ravens obtained Jackson, a future MVP and Super Bowl quarterback, coming off a 9-7 season. Wilson was famously a third-round decide by the Seahawks. Their solely different Super Bowl quarterback, three-time Pro Bowler Matt Hasselbeck, was chosen within the sixth spherical (after Ryan Leaf, Charlie Batch, Jonathan Quinn and John Dutton). The GOAT, Tom Brady, was additionally taken within the sixth spherical, 199th total, however solely after this rogue’s gallery of throwers have been off the board: Chad Pennington, Giovanni Carmazzi, Chris Redman, Tee Martin, Marc Bulger and Spergon Wynn.

The level is, figuring out and touchdown an elite quarterback is an inexact science. The Seahawks aced it as soon as with Wilson, however there is no such thing as a assure they’ll do it once more. And that goes whether or not they have a top-five decide subsequent 12 months or not. Some years there merely isn’t a franchise quarterback popping out of faculty. Who is aware of if Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud or … whomever … will fill that invoice?

When the Seahawks dealt Wilson, they entered a murky world of quarterback uncertainty. And it might not be simple to get out of.

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