63 thoughts on “2021-2022 NFL Offseason Thread

  1. Coaches carousel

    Jacksonville Jaguars: Urban Meyer
    L.A. Chargers: Brandon Staley
    New York Jets: Robert Saleh
    Atlanta Falcons: Arthur Smith

    Seattle OC search

    Do you guys have any strong impressions of Adam Gase as a play caller and play designer? I kinda liked what I saw when he was at Miami. I remember thinking: If a team adopted a more pass-first approach, his offense would be a decent option. But I’m not super confident about this.

    1. Seahawks are supposedly going to hire Shane Waldron, the Rams passing game coordinator. It’s impossible for me to be excited or depressed. On the negative side, though, he doesn’t have any play calling experience. To be fair, I could pick out question marks/flaws for any available OC they chose. There was no real perfect pick. But you choose a young guy like this, I think there’s more uncertainty, and ultimately a bigger gamble.

  2. Matt Stafford wants out of Detroit?

    I read a tweet that mentioned this, suggesting Colts as a possible landing spot. That would be great for both sides. If were the 49ers, I’d seriously think of getting him, too. Or the Dolphins (sorry, Tua!). Steelers would be another great landing spot for both, if they could move on from Roethlisberger.

    If the Lions don’t get a lot in return, it would be a bad move for them in my view.

    Gary Kubiak retires

    The Vikings could be in trouble.

    I would be so happy if he un-retired and went to the Hawks. (Then again, I’m not sure Russ would be happy with this.)

    1. When Philip Rivers retired, most of the sports-talk people I listen to also said Stafford made the most sense.

      Obviously, if Deshaun Watson is available, the Colts should put in a bid for him, but they should be looking lustfully at Stafford as well.

      I don’t think Miami is merely a QB away from long-term competitiveness. If Tua is who they think he is, giving up assets for Stafford at his age is not a great idea. Rolling the dice on a 25-year-old Watson is only the barest minimum of a dice roll. A 32-year-old Stafford isn’t worth a potential Tua.

      Actually: do you think the teams would trade Stafford and Tua straight up? Honestly, when I first thought about it I thought Miami would have to give someone up along with Tua to get Stafford but now I’m wondering why I thought this. Because Stafford’s a known commodity and Tua isn’t? Shoot, Miami wouldn’t be crazy to ask for Stafford and (say) a good veteran linebacker.

      I simply cannot believe Dan Campbell is back in a head coaching position. Did you hear his first press conference? How does an NFL team owner think this guy is what the Lions need to turn things around?

      The Dan Le Batard Show’s weekly Useless Sound Montage has a new MVP next season. Mike Tomlin better start practicing for next season already.

      1. I didn’t listen to Campbell’s comments, but I heard about them. It didn’t sound good. And if I recall, he was the same way as an interim coach. I think it may be less problematic if he talked like this in the locker room. To talk like this at a press conference is not a good sign…Well, I should probably listen to it before I comment.

      2. I listened to the clip. My honest reaction: I didn’t think it was as terrible as others. The clip wasn’t really long, and I assume he said many other things in this press conference. If most of his other comments were solid, I don’t think the tough guy thing is bad.

        But based on that clip alone, the one coach that came to mind was Mike Singletary. That is, Campbell would be a coach like that, which is not a good thing. I would want a coach who placed a high priority on being physical. But there’s way more to being a great HC than having this desire or even being able to motivate players to play this way.

        I also saw that Anthony Lynn is their OC. This also does not create a favorable impression. I feel bad for Lions fans–especially since Stafford is out. The trajectory points to the Browns of the NFC.

    2. Actually: do you think the teams would trade Stafford and Tua straight up?

      If I can’t get Stafford, I would be very tempted. The Dolphins have the most information about Tua, but if they’re uncertain about him, like I am, I would lean towards this trade. How long could they expect Stafford to play well? Five years? For a team that has been bad for a long time, that might be worth it. Get Stafford and use your draft picks well, and they could be contenders.

      I’d give up some picks to get Watson even though they may not be a QB away. With Watson, they are a strong playoff team, and should be a perennial one for years.

    3. (Stafford, con’t)

      I’m hearing the 49ers were in talks with the Lions for Stafford. If the trade happened that would annoy me, but I would want this, if I were a 49er fan.

      I also saw someone mention the possibility of trading Stafford to the Rams for Goff and some picks. Depending on the picks, that would be great for the Rams–and I would be annoyed. I would not want Goff if I were the Lions, though.

      Two other teams that should seriously consider this: Bears and Panthers. Getting Stafford would make the Bears a contender, and would likely make the Panthers a playoff team.

    4. Shoot. This is annoying.

      If I were Detroit, I don’t think I’d want Goff, not if I have to pay him.

      1. This has a Osweiler to the Texans feel to it. The Rams probably wanted to part from Goff’s contract as much as they did the player, which is why they gave up so much for Stafford. I think Reid has stated that the Rams should get a QB and an o-line. I doubt they can do a lot with the later after giving up so much draft capital. I think the Rams almost proved that they can win it all with a good o-line and Goff. They might be making a mistake making this deal. I would say McVay has less excuses now, and should not (and I don’t think they will) put up some real bad offensive performances with Stafford.

        Edit: I meant Osweiler to the Browns.

    5. I agree this feels like the Osweiler to Browns trade–i.e., dumping Goff’s contract. Getting Stafford and dumping Goff’s contract might have been worth giving up what they did.

      I don’t think their cap situation is good, so we’ll have to see what their roster looks like. I think if the OL was as good as last year–plus Stafford–and their defense doesn’t dip significantly (they lost their DC)–they are Super Bowl contenders.

    6. If this is accurate, I think Detroit should have made this deal instead. They would get a top 10 pick. I think I like Bridgewater better than Goff. Goff might not even be a decent placeholder or backup. And the second 1st round pick from the Panthers could be decent.

      The Rams two 1st round picks may be at the back end of the draft.

  3. Dwayne Haskins goes to Pittsburgh. Why didn’t I think of this? It’s nearly perfect. If Roethlisberger stays another season, Haskins can spell him for parts of the long season while working with some great targets and a very good defense. If not, he may get a shot at the starting job with guidance from a smart, tough coach.

    1. I’d argue a smart, tough coach just gave up on him. That’s a bad sign. A more positive take would be that the release changes his attitude, and he takes off.

      1. Different circumstances. Neither Gruden nor Rivera ever showed any desire to coach this QB, whose selection was dictated by a meddlesome owner with a terrible record. In fact, Rivera kind of made it clear when Washington traded for Kyle Allen.

        Now, Haskins has been cut from the team who drafted him after only two seasons and picked up by a team whose organization is about as opposite in reputation as Washington’s, (ostensibly) behind a Super Bowl winning QB with a Super Bowl winning head coach. I wouldn’t presume to call Haskins’s situation a week ago his rock bottom, but it had to be pretty humbling. I hope his agent gave him hassles about it too.

        1. I’ll just add that I’ve heard from a couple pundits that think Haskins’ anticipation or ability to “throw guys open”, is horrible. That is one of the toughest things to judge since college receivers are always open. I’m sure that can be taught somewhat, but I get a feeling a lot of that is innate.

        2. But if Rivera thought Haskins was good and coachable, do you think he’d give up on Haskins? I’m skeptical. I don’t think Cam Newton was the easiest QB to coach, and Rivera stuck with him.

          Having said that, I have a similar mindset contained in your second paragraph. That’s the optimist’s take on Haskins. And it could be what plays out.

  4. The Packers and Aaron Rodgers should get together right after the Super Bowl, if not sooner, and figure things out so there’s no drama in the off-season. As the coach says: we’re not stupid. Rodgers might want to go elsewhere, but does he see a good landing spot? He won 13 games with the team he’s on, and his team was the top seed in the conference. They need to come out early and say Rodgers is their guy, and Rodgers needs to say this is his team.

    EVERYBODY feels like packing it in when the season’s over, except the one team that ends with a win.

    Even taking Rodgers out of the conversation, you have more QBs potentially on the move than ever. It’s super exciting. This could make the NFL’s hot stove league much more interesting than baseball’s for a change.

    Stafford, Watson, Tagavailoa, Garoppolo, Goff, Wentz, Darnold, and Rodgers are being brought up. I’ve even heard Prescott could be on the move if Jerry goes after one of the big names. Don’t forget people were talking about Ryan finding a new team until midway through the season, and I haven’t heard people mentioning Winston, but he has to be on someone’s radar. And if Rodgers decides early he’s staying put, will teams try to get Love, and will the Packers be willing to listen if it means getting some support for Rodgers? They ought to be. If Roethlisberger retires, it’s going to be even more interesting.

    1. I agree with you about the Packers and Rodgers. But I do think there are several good landing spots for him. The 49ers would be a great landing spot–at least if he wanted to win a Super Bowl. They may run the ball too much for his tastes. Then again, if he goes there, Shanahan may pass a lot more. I think the Colts would another good landing spot as well. I think I’d prefer to play there. I think the coaching and defense are better. OL is probably similar quality as well. I think Reich would allow him to pass a lot or enough to satisfy him. If he could get to the Saints, that would be great for both sides, I would think. If the Raiders could get him that would be awesome for them, but I’m not sure that would be a place he’d want to go to.

      I also agree that the QB carousel this off season could be interesting (although some of the names you mentioned aren’t so interesting–e.g., Goff and Garappolo. I kinda hope they stay with their teams!) You mention the Cowboys. We haven’t mentioned Stafford going there. If they could get Stafford for the same price or lower for Dak, I think I’d do that trade. The one thought that has come to mind during this playoffs is that the team with a good, cheap QBs win the Super Bowl or have a huge advantage. That doesn’t mean a team shouldn’t pay a lot to keep a really good QB, but if you do, they better be worth it. This makes me think of Prescott. I have doubts is he’s worth it. And yeah, i tend to think Stafford is worth it. Did we talk about the Raiders and Stafford? If not, trading Carr and something like a 3rd would be totally worth it to me. I’d be excited if he came to the Raiders. If Bradley could elevate the Raiders defense to a similar level as the Bills and Chiefs, I think they would be a serious playoff team, maybe even a Super Bowl contender.

  5. Hey. What do you think the response would be if the Packers called the Seahawks and said, “Aaron for Russ, straight up. What do you say?”

    1. I have a hard time answering that. The degree to which the QBs are willing to hand the ball off is the main issue for me. Rodgers seems to have shown more willingness to do this in 2020, while Russ has gone in the opposite direction. Will that continue? If so, I lean towards Rodgers, although if you factor in the age, the advantage goes to Russ.

      Here’s something else: If the Hawks could get Stafford and a 2nd and a 3rd rounder, I think I might pull the trigger on that, especially if Stafford was cheaper.

      On second thought, I might be putting too much faith in Stafford, especially his ability to play in big games–which is the most important criterion for me. I’m just getting caught up in the way he’d impact teams in the regular season. I do think he’s better than Carr, though. I think I might put him ahead of Prescott, too. He might not be a great fit in Seattle because the offensive coaching likely won’t be top notch. He’s better off going to the Saints, 49ers, or Patriots (although the Patriots really need to upgrade their pass-catching weapons).

  6. My first reaction to this: The Texans are messed up as an organization. I obviously don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes–maybe Watson is at fault. But when a really good QB like Watson wants out, that’s not a good sign, especially since I don’t know of any bad reports about Watson as a person.

    Also, the hiring of Culley, who is in his 60’s and never coached, raises eyebrows as well.

    We talked about good landing spots. I think the Dolphins, Colts, 49ers, Rams, Bears, Raiders, Panthers, WFT, Saints, and Steelers–basically the same teams for Stafford. I would assume Stafford wouldn’t be as costly (in terms of draft picks, trades, in addition to salary). If any of those teams could get Watson, they’d contenders or close to it.

    1. This is a lot. If you’re a team whose first round picks will be in the mid to high 20s, this might make sense, but it’s still a really steep price.

  7. Derek Carr trade rumors

    I’m hearing possible interest from the Colts, Bears, Patriots, the Washington Football Team, and maybe the Saints. My first response is unenthusiastic, because none of these teams can give the Raiders a QB. Therefore, the value for the Raiders would be in a good player at another position and/or draft pick. I’m doubting that neither will be very attractive—not enough for creating a hole at the QB position. Right now, my sense is that Mariota would be a place-holder, and not really a long-term answer (which gives me no pleasure to say). If they were in great position to get a surefire QB in the draft, then this could work, but this scenario seems unlikely.

    Trading Carr would make sense in these scenarios:

    • Getting a good QB (like Deshaun Watson);
    • Getting a really good player (like a good pass rusher);
    • Getting a top 15 draft pick.

    None of these scenarios seem likely.

    1. But if you are the Raiders and you don’t think you can win with Carr, why would you stay with him even if you don’t get the “stuff” on your list? I got the feeling that you thought, the Raiders cannot win with Carr either. I think if the Raiders think they can win with Carr, then your argument is right, if not, I think shipping him off for the best offer makes sense.

    2. Suppose Carr was essentially a really good backup–comparable to a Fitzpatrick, maybe a little better. The Raiders could win games, but probably not a Super Bowl. Would you trade Carr for the best deal you could get? The Raiders could end up in QB purgatory for a long time. That could still happen if they get decent draft picks and/or a good pass rusher, but at least they would have a pick(s) that could address the QB position or good players to make the trade more palatable.

      1. I don’t understand what you are trying to say. Are you saying Carr would put the Raiders in QB purgatory? If yes, that’s exactly what I was trying to say, so trade him for the best offer whether you get the things listed or not. But if you are saying if the Raiders get rid of Carr they could end up in QB purgatory, my push back would be that they could be in QB purgatory with Carr if he’s not a Super Bowl QB.

    3. You’re both missing the true intention of the Raiders, according to someone (I can’t remember who) I’ve listened to. If the Raiders can get two first-round picks for Carr (that’s a lot but if you have a team who’s close and you think you can do something with Carr, it’s not outrageous), from the Washington Football Team or someone like that, the Raiders can then send FOUR first-round picks to the Texans for Watson. If the Raiders can pull it off, they absolutely should. This would effectively turn Derek Carr and two first-rounders into Watson.

    4. Don,

      I meant if they get rid of Carr they could be in QB purgatory. And there are different degrees of this. You can be like the Browns for years and years. That would be obviously worse than Carr. As I said, a good description of Carr might be that he’s a really good backup–a guy that could win 4-6 games, but then would likely have bad performances. My thing with him is that you can count on him to do 1-3 boneheaded things a game. Also, sometimes his accuracy will be screwy.

      Mitchell,

      If the Raiders could get two 1sts, I would be for that. And I think I’d be for that whether they could get Watson or not.

  8. Getting “layups” for the QB and for the offense

    The OC getting “layups” for the QB and the offense is the phrase I heard from Jake Heaps, a former backup QB and now Seahawks sports pundit. That expression resonated with me. To me, this is precisely one of the things that Belichick has been great at—I want to say significantly better than any other coach. Layups are basically easy plays for the QB—maybe a bubble screen or a play action pass where the TE is wide open running up the seam. It can be a jet sweep, or a reverse. Calling the play at the right time, in addition to play design, seems to be a critical part of this. What separates the Patriots is not just the amount of layups they generate, but the yards gained on these plays. A stick route is a layup for the QB and offense, but you generally get 4-5 yards.

    Heaps made the point that the new OC, Shane Waldron, need to get more layups for Russ and the offense. He estimated that in the past, out 33 passes, 3 would be layups, while the rest of the passes would be more difficult for Russ, and sometimes Russ would have to make something out of nothing. There’s some truth to this. With Belichick, the number of layups is way higher. That hasn’t been the case in this past season, and even 2019. The layups have dried up. I think they need at least one really good pass-catching playmaker.

    Who are other OCs or offensive-minded head coaches that are good at getting layups? Andy Reid comes to mind. Jon Gruden has been really good at layups—basically checkdowns that can be kinda effective. Frank Reich might be another. None of these guys are as good as Belichick, though.

    Make it easy for your OL

    That’s what Sean McDermott said that’s the one thing that really stood out about the Rams. When McVay was told this he was happy, taking it as a compliment. Brock Huard is the one who talked to both coaches and he referred to the way the Rams used only a few blocking schemes (I think) and the way McVay would mix in screens and jet sweeps. I can see how all of this helps the OL, and making it as easy as possible on the OL makes a lot of sense. Huard and some of the other Seahawks talk radio guys were getting exited about Shane Waldron bringing this element to the Seahawk offense. But Waldron (and the new run coordinator, who also coached with the Rams) have to a) successfully teach and implement the blocking schemes, and b) they have to call these plays at the right time. McVay’s approach works when the jet sweeps and screens get good yardage. When these plays end up in 2 yards or less, or even negative plays, the approach doesn’t work. And it doesn’t work because I believe the Rams OL itself isn’t very good—but it’s McVay’s approach that makes them effective. The third element here is play design, having the right plays on the call sheet, with the right tweaks to suit the specific defense. Two of McVay’s assistants turned head coaches have not displayed the same skill in my view—not to the same degree. I’m hoping Waldron can do it, but I wouldn’t assume he can.

  9. Eagles getting offers for Wentz

    Colts and Bears are two teams that have interest. I would be nervous about getting Wentz at this point, especially if he cost a lot of draft capital and/or good players. Wentz is damaged goods and the I’m really concerned about his confidence. I think Darnold is similar. They could both be really good, but there’s enough to give me pause.

    1. Is it much different than drafting a QB? Unless you are considering the salaries, than that’s the difference. I think with Reich, he’s coached Wentz to greatness, so it would make sense for him to think he can do it again. I will tend to agree there is huge risks, but I’m going to guess the return on these guys (especially Wentz) in a trade is not great at this point. Actually I think Danold may have a higher trade value, so I may lean towards Wentz in a trade.

    2. You mean, you don’t think a team will have to give up much to get Wentz, and teams would have to give up more Darnold? I don’t know about that. I feel like the Eagles are in a similar situation to the Raiders. If they give up Wentz for relatively little, they’re going to be in a hole–unless they’re really confident about Hurts.

      As far as comparing Wentz to a draft pick, I would say he would be risky–a 2nd or 3rd rounder, or maybe late 1st rounder. To pin your hopes on someone like that would not make me feel good. So I guess trading a 2nd or 3rd rounder would be worth it.

      1. I would say if Pedersen was still there, then get rid of Wentz because it doesn’t seem like Pedersen would go back to Wentz. But you could be right if the new coach would prefer Wentz over Hurts, then I would lean keeping Wentz with the new coach. I know even just based on the little I saw of both QBs last year, I think I would lean Wentz. Hurts just doesn’t seem like a NFL QB to me.

        In terms of Wentz versus Danold. I think teams may have to pay more for Danold in terms of a trade, but that would be in the hope that they could sign Danold cheaper. Wentz already has his big contract attached to him.

    3. Full terms of the Carson Wentz trade, per sources (ESPN 1st) …Colts get: QB Carson Wentz.Eagles get: 2021 3rd-round pick, 2022 2nd-round pick*.* 2022 2nd-rounder becomes a first-rounder if Wentz plays 75% of Indy's offensive snaps, or 70% and the Colts make the playoffs.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 18, 2021

      Seems like a reasonable trade from both sides. Both sides are taking on somewhat significant risks though. Wentz could be broken beyond repair. The Eagles could land up in QB purgatory for a while.

      1. I think for the Eagles there is way more risk keeping Wentz than moving on. For them to believe he could be “fixed” with a new coach is super risky. Especially because the fans in Philly could roast him with any mistake he makes.

        I’m sort of cheering for Wentz at this point. I’m mostly impressed by him. He reminds me a lot of Rodgers in terms of talent. He does seem to have that Eli, Flacco “ho-hum” gene, which I don’t care for, though.

    4. I think if Wentz wanted to stay, I’d consider sticking with him, unless I thought he was essentially ruined. But since he wants to leave, I guess the Eagles had little choice. Keeping him under those circumstances would not be good. But they also take a 30+ million cap hit next year, too, I think.

      He reminds me a lot of Rodgers in terms of talent.

      Rodgers is not someone that I would think of. I think of Wentz more like Newton or Allen–accept, not as good of a runner. But all three could extend plays. The early problem with Wentz was handling blitzes, but I thought he get better at that over time.

      Now, I see three potential issues: 1) confidence; 2) superman syndrome/ego; 3) health. He was trying to force things way too much last year–and I couldn’t always blame him. But if he’s of the mindset that he wants to be the center of the offense and he wants to be able to win games almost by himself, that’s a big problem. (Similar to Wilson’s situation.)

      I’m guessing #2 is not a big issue, or the Colts wouldn’t have traded for him–or at least they really don’t believe it’s a big issue. If Wentz is willing to take what the defense gives and allows the run game and defense to win games, I think he can regain his confidence. Also, playing this way should give the best chance of keeping him healthy.

      He does seem to have that Eli, Flacco “ho-hum” gene, which I don’t care for, though.

  10. Could the Seahawks trade Russ?

    I didn’t think we’d get to the point where this is a legitimate question, but I think we’re arrived. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but this is a legitimate question. I don’t get what Russ is doing. His comments are totally uncharacteristic. He’s been diplomatic and a model team player, to a fault, for his entire career, but he’s been acting like a prima donna.

    I’ve heard people speculate about two landing spots–the Raiders and Cowboys. How would you feel if those teams gave up a two 1st rounders, two 2nd rounders, a good player or some combination like that?

    With Russ’s current attitude, I honestly don’t know if I’d be happy with him going to the Raiders. That might be a good fit for him, though. I’d also wouldn’t be happy if the Hawks got Carr in the process. The draft picks would have to be considerable to make this an appealing deal.

    I could see Russ being happy in the Cowboy offense, but I don’t know if he’d be happy in the organization. I think I would prefer Prescott, with draft picks than Carr. Then again, I wouldn’t want to pay Prescott top dollar.

    The other teams I think would make him happy–the Saints and Steelers. Saints have the offensive coach and the OL–plus Michael Thomas. Steelers have the OL, and the type of offense Russ would like. They’ve also shown the ability to find and develop good WRs. If they package TJ Watt and a couple of first rounders that might be attractive.

    The thing is, if the Hawks don’t get a good QB–not just a placeholder type of QB–I think there would be a good chance the Seahawks would be a .500 team. If I were Carroll I wouldn’t trade Russ unless I got a really good QB. For example, the Dolphins might also make sense, as they have a lot of attractive picks they could trade and they could trade Tua. But getting Tua would be rolling the dice. Even if they traded Russ to the Jaguars and got Trevor Lawrence, that would be a bit of a dice-roll as well.

    Deshaun Watson would be one of the few that would be a good option, but I don’t think Russ would want to go to the Texans and I’m sure Watson would be happy in Seattle.

    1. Are you saying Russ sounds like a prima donna compared to other QBs or to what he sounded like before? I would say probably the latter. The things you posted didn’t sound all that bad. What Russ used to say was bland and sterile, maybe he’s just being more “real” now. It doesn’t necessarily mean an attitude change.

      1. Definitely the latter, but I think the former, too–although I don’t listen to the other QBs as much as Russ.

        His recent comments fall in the category of throwing his OL under the bus in my view. I don’t think a lot of QBs say anything like that. Additionally, he’s really underscoring that he wants (and has) a more privileged status than his teammates. This is reality, but he’s highlighting this publicly. The rationale he uses for this is dubious and borderline insulting to his teammates, too. For example, he says he should be more involved in the OC search and the roster because his legacy is at stake (and then he follow with the team’s legacy). But the legacy of the other players are stake, too. They don’t get to have a significant hand in the coaching staff and roster. And why make all this public?

    2. He’s not acting like a prima donna at all. He’s being honest about his assessment of the team’s status. I say it’s about time. How long is he supposed to not say anything when his offensive line is, year after year, cited as a team weakness?

      One might suggest (as I would) that if everyone else is pointing to the O line, he doesn’t have to say anything. True, at least for a few years. Then maybe he needs to speak up to his coaches, and maybe he has. When your career seems to be going in the wrong direction, it seems to me there’s a time when you should start doing something about it, and maybe Wilson thinks the other stuff hasn’t worked.

      Tangent: Does this qualify as a violation of Carroll’s “don’t do anything to hurt the team” rule? Or, if the result is the team’s finally taking serious steps to bolster the line and protecting the team’s most valuable asset, is Wilson’s behavior actually about doing something to help the team?

      Someone (maybe Domonique Foxworth?) said the other day that everyone has a price. Maybe the Seahawks really don’t want to trade Wilson, but if someone made the right offer, they would have to start listening.

      Even Prescott could be the right price, if he comes with a few draft picks in his pocket.

    3. I don’t see how saying these things publicly helps, though. And some of the things he said could constitute throwing his teammates under the bus. I wouldn’t want the leader of my team doing that.

      I think we all can agree that a player can become too selfish and self-centered, right? If they put their personal goals ahead of the team’s that could hurt the team. If you thought Russ might be doing that, you would think that’s bad, right?

      Tangent: Does this qualify as a violation of Carroll’s “don’t do anything to hurt the team” rule?

      I tend to think so. The truth is that Wilson is more valuable and has more privileges than other players. He has downplayed this, not highlighted this reality, at least in public. But he’s basically doing the opposite now. That’s one way he can hurt the team. If his teammates now start resenting him or feel disrespected that’s another way he’s hurting the team as well.

      Or, if the result is the team’s finally taking serious steps to bolster the line and protecting the team’s most valuable asset, is Wilson’s behavior actually about doing something to help the team?

      To me, accepting this as a standard would be an unwise move.
      I would say it’s close to the former.

  11. I don’t see how saying these things publicly helps, though. And some of the things he said could constitute throwing his teammates under the bus. I wouldn’t want the leader of my team doing that.

    It helps a lot of ways. It helps him by saying to other teams, “Come get me.” It helps the team by acknowledging there’s a problem and bringing it into the public discourse.

    I think we all can agree that a player can become too selfish and self-centered, right? If they put their personal goals ahead of the team’s that could hurt the team. If you thought Russ might be doing that, you would think that’s bad, right?

    What if the personal goals have to do with winning titles? Then his goals should align with the team’s goals, in which case he’s not being selfish — he’s just stating what everyone wants to hear. “I’m not going to last forever. Do you want to waste me the way the Packers have wasted Aaron Rodgers?”

    I tend to think so. The truth is that Wilson is more valuable and has more privileges than other players. He has downplayed this, not highlighted this reality, at least in public. But he’s basically doing the opposite now. That’s one way he can hurt the team. If his teammates now start resenting him or feel disrespected that’s another way he’s hurting the team as well.

    Then he should be disciplined, right?

    To me, accepting this as a standard would be an unwise move.
    I would say it’s close to the former.

    This is spoken like a person in the establishment, which has been unfair to players for decades. We’re living in era where the power is shifting. While NFL players under contract still have no real leverage, the elite players are trying to claim some of the power, and I’m here for it. Nobody could argue that Wilson or Watson haven’t given their teams everything they’ve asked for, and more. Are they supposed to just be satisfied with the paycheck and not want more from the team? I say heck no. Work with the organization if you can, but at some point if the organization does stuff like trade too many draft picks for talent or too much talent for not enough draft picks, or not giving minority coaching talent a fair shot, try to get out while you still have years left in your prime. I call this a wise move.

    1. It helps a lot of ways. It helps him by saying to other teams, “Come get me.” It helps the team by acknowledging there’s a problem and bringing it into the public discourse.

      You don’t think the first two can be accomplished behind the scenes? He could tell them he’s really unhappy or concerned, and that if things don’t get rectified, he’d like to see what the trade options are.

      What if the personal goals have to do with winning titles?

      Sure, but what if the personal goals conflict? If a QB is wants to throw the most TDs in history, and the QB forgoes shorter passes–or the run game–and ends up getting sacked/hit more often and turns the ball over, as a result, that’s a problem, right?

      Then he should be disciplined, right?

      Eventually, yes. Otherwise that’s going to create a problem.

      …try to get out while you still have years left in your prime.

      Wait–this is something different. If Wilson tries to influence the organization, but that doesn’t work to his satisfaction and then he wants to leave, I don’t have a problem with that.

      I’m objecting to the standard that if the ends justifies the means approach you seem to be advocating. That is, if Wilson alienates his teammates and behaves in an insubordinate way, that’s OK if the results are good. What happens when all the players think their approach will improve their team? And all players behave this way? Should all players be involved in choosing assistant coaches and players?

      The fact that the owners have more power and the players suffer as a result, is a separate issue to me.

      1. Reid said

        You don’t think the first two can be accomplished behind the scenes? He could tell them he’s really unhappy or concerned, and that if things don’t get rectified, he’d like to see what the trade options are.

        Yes of course I do, and of course I think they should be. Sorry if I miscommunicated; I meant to imply that he must have exhausted those avenues and now here he is. Kevin Sheehan, a D.C. sports radio host, said last week that he heard Wilson’s complaints are not new, that they’ve been going on for some time in private.

        Sure, but what if the personal goals conflict? If a QB is wants to throw the most TDs in history, and the QB forgoes shorter passes–or the run game–and ends up getting sacked/hit more often and turns the ball over, as a result, that’s a problem, right?

        That is a problem, but I’m talking about Wilson and the Seahawks. Has he ever given the impression that he’s all about personal stats? I’m talking about his ambition to be among the great quarterbacks in history (which I admit I don’t know exists; I’m repeating what others have suggested). To be one of the greats, he’d have to win multiple Super Bowls. If that’s his personal goal, then it’s good for the team, right?

        I’m objecting to the standard that if the ends justifies the means approach you seem to be advocating. That is, if Wilson alienates his teammates and behaves in an insubordinate way, that’s OK if the results are good. What happens when all the players think their approach will improve their team? And all players behave this way? Should all players be involved in choosing assistant coaches and players?

        I hope you’d know me well enough to know I pretty much never go with an ends-justifying-means approach by itself. I’m not talking about alienating his teammates as a means. I’m talking about problem-solving. I’ve been listening to you and other Seahawks fans complain about the O-line for years. It seems clear that the Seahawks are unable to put together a line that even decently protects their most valuable asset. I know they’ve tried; they’ve drafted linemen early in each of the past few drafts, right? If Wilson’s been a good teammate for all these years and kept his mouth shut publicly, there comes a point where it’s understandable if he voices some frustration — not to throw his teammates under the bus, but to simply express himself. If it’s his way of doing the things I mention (telling other teams to come get him, or pushing back against his team to do something before he gets injured), it’s not all that bad. He could do a James Harden, after all. He’s that valuable a talent.

        The fact that the owners have more power and the players suffer as a result, is a separate issue to me.

        Fair enough, but it’s part of the same issue to me. NFL players (LeVeon Bell, Deshaun Watson) have expressed a dissatisfaction with the way players get treated by the league and by their teams. Did you hear what Draymond Green said Monday, responding to the benching of Andre Drummond? I think NFL players are starting to feel the same frustration Green expressed. There’s an enormous imbalance of power among entitites who should be partners.

        You can tell a player like Russell Wilson not to do anything to hurt the team, and to put the team ahead of himself, but the truth is that at any moment for any reason at all, the team can end its agreement with him and he’s suddenly unemployed without a contract. Or the team could trade him, and now his wife and kids either have to stay in the city where they’ve made a home while he works elsewhere, or the whole family has to pick up and go with no say at all in the matter. He’s completely at the mercy of the organization, and what’s he supposed to do if the organization is not making the most of his ability? Just watch the years go by and keep trying not to let Aaron Donald end his career? At some point, a player has a reasonable right to try and do something, and if right now all he’s doing is expressing some feelings, I think that’s the least we can allow.

        I would also add (admitting this IS a separate issue) that if major changes come in the relationships between players and teams or players and the league, it’s elite players like Wilson who have to lead the way. Second-string left tackles can’t afford to blaze the trail; it has to be guys like Watson and Wilson. I’m not saying this is what either of them has in mind at all (although I think the Black coaches thing points to some greater cause for Watson), but what if hurting his team is a way for Wilson to make things better for members of his union? That’s borderline noble. And that’s what it takes sometimes: an elite player with no history of causing trouble to say hey, let’s take a look at this.

    2. Yes of course I do, and of course I think they should be. Sorry if I miscommunicated; I meant to imply that he must have exhausted those avenues and now here he is.

      I’m highly skeptical he told them he wants to be traded if things don’t change. And based on what I’ve seen from the FO, I would be surprised if the Hawks didn’t try to look for a trade partner if Wilson was serious about this. If the Seahawks refused to investigate trades, then Wilson’s actions would be more understandable.

      To be one of the greats, he’d have to win multiple Super Bowls. If that’s his personal goal, then it’s good for the team, right?

      Yes, absolutely. And Wilson has never given the impression that he cared about personal stats—until this season. I think this is where the disconnect is between the two of us. If you followed Wilson’s press conferences for his entire career, I think you would notice a difference in 2020. For most of his career, Wilson has displayed a robotic discipline in presenting himself as the ultimate team player. In 2020, more self-centeredness and personal ambition have leaked out in his public statements.
      Additionally, before the 2020 season Wilson and Schotty approached Carroll about passing more—building the offense more around Wilson. And Carroll obliged! To me, this is a huge concession by Carroll that is not fully appreciated by Seahawks journalists and fans in my view. Indeed, “capitulation” might be a more accurate word. Carroll has not only explicitly said this is NOT the offense he wants, but he has also talked about not changing your philosophy. (Perhaps, this style is not a part of his philosophy, but if it is, giving up on this is a big deal.)
      In the offseason, he publicly expressed a desire to be involved in choosing the next OC (as his career and legacy were at stake, as if the other players’ careers and legacies were not at stake too)—and he got his top choice.
      Then came the public comments about upgrading the OL. The crazy thing is that the Hawks did upgrade the OL before the 2020 season, and one could argue that OL may have been one of the best he’s had (which is damning them with faint praise, but still). No, it was not a top 5 OL, probably not top 10, but with a really good rushing attack, could you win a Super Bowl with this OL? I think so. Would he be hit and sacked less? Yes, I think so. But is Wilson willing to play in a run-based offense? No, I don’t think so. So this doesn’t seem to be just about better pass protection, but better pass-protection in the context of an aggressive pass-centric offense.
      Put all this together and I can’t help get the impression that he’s being unreasonably demanding. The team has given in to his wishes, but it’s just not enough. I can’t help but see the public airing of these comments as a way to paint Carroll as the bad guy—or maybe even force Jody Allen to choose between Carroll or Wilson. (I just heard remarks from Cowherd where he says Wilson loves Seattle and his teammates—his problem is with Carroll.)

      Fair enough, but it’s part of the same issue to me. NFL players (LeVeon Bell, Deshaun Watson) have expressed a dissatisfaction with the way players get treated by the league and by their teams.

      My feeling is that this should be hashed out in CBA. My sense is that the place for Superstar players to show noble leadership is during these negotiations. Specifically, are they willing to make sacrifices that will best serve the larger collective?

      I’m skeptical what Wilson’s doing will change the power imbalance, and I’m skeptical he’s doing this for noble, altruistic reasons.

      1. Just so I’m clear on what your interpretations of Wilson’s recent comments are. You think that Wilson wants to be considered one of the greatest QB of all time, and that he thinks he can do that by putting up better numbers? Does Wilson even have a chance to put up top five career numbers? My guess is about half where the career leaders are? He would have to put up all-time great numbers for the next 10 years to be in the top five if my assumptions are correct. Wouldn’t his “greatest QB of all time” or on the Mt Rushmore be easier to reach by just winning? Win three or four more Super Bowls and he could be on the Mt Rushmore of QBs. He must be smart enough to know that.

        But if the assumption is that Wilson’s comments is just to say the best way for Seattle to win, is with him passing more. I would say that’s not necessarily bad for a player to think that whether it’s right or wrong. Of course if he’s undermining the team, that wouldn’t be good, but my impression based on what you are writing is Wilson is mostly concerned about stats whether it leads to winning or not.

      2. You think that Wilson wants to be considered one of the greatest QB of all time, and that he thinks he can do that by putting up better numbers?

        That’s the sense I’m getting. He’s always talked about being the best to have ever played, but this the first time I can remember him mentioning stats in the context of this.

        Wouldn’t his “greatest QB of all time” or on the Mt Rushmore be easier to reach by just winning? Win three or four more Super Bowls and he could be on the Mt Rushmore of QBs. He must be smart enough to know that.

        Maybe he’s feeling like that possibility is slipping away, and that he has a better chance at getting better stats. I’m not sure where he is in terms of stats, but in terms of the fastest QB to get “x” stats, he’s kinda up there, I think.

        Of course if he’s undermining the team, that wouldn’t be good, but my impression based on what you are writing is Wilson is mostly concerned about stats whether it leads to winning or not.

        To be more accurate, I think he cares about passing more–he seems unwilling to have a lot of games where he’s handing the ball off a lot. The days of 25 pass attempts or less is behind him. Part or a lot of this may stem from wanting good stats; he may also genuinely believe that throwing a lot gives his team the best chance to win the Super Bowl. To me, his comments often sound like a person rationalizing or trying to convince himself this is the case. For example, when asked if he cares about winning the MVP, he won’t shoot this down quickly and just say, “Winning is all that matters.” He’ll hem and haw and then throw in the line–“If I win the MVP it means we’re winning a lot”–which is true, but it sounds like rationalization for his personal goals.

        And I think if he was refusing to run the ball and forcing passes, that definitely hurt the team. The offense was one-dimensional for most of the year, even when the RBs were healthy. Wilson had more reckless throws than I’ve ever seen, too–and this was with a solid OL and pass-catchers.

  12. Let’s update this list. These are QBs whose names have come up in discussions, mostly by people who get paid to talk about sports in what’s a pretty dead period of actual competition. I’m taking out the guys who’ve already moved (Goff, Stafford, Haskins, Rivers).

    Russell Wilson
    Jimmy Garoppolo
    Kyler Murray
    Aaron Rodgers
    Mitch Trubisky
    Drew Brees
    Jameis Winston
    Gardner Minshew
    Matt Ryan
    Dak Prescott
    Carson Wentz
    Alex Smith
    Marcus Mariota
    Derek Carr
    Ben Roethlisberger
    Deshaun Watson
    Cam Newton
    Sam Darnold
    Tua Tagavailoa

      1. Not to my knowledge. But remember, Deshaun Watson can veto any trade. He’ll want to go to a better situations. And the Texans want to get back something for the future. If the Texans call up the Cardinals and say, “What do you think? Watson for Murray straight up?” What do you think the Cardinals would say?

        I can’t remember who brought this up, but I thought it was an intriguing idea.

  13. What are the Raider fans here hearing about Mariota? Anything substantial? I hope Dallas trades the Red Rifle for Mariota straight up, if that was a possibility.

    1. No, I haven’t heard anything substantial. Just a lot of supposition. If the Raiders trade Mariota for Dalton straight up, I’ll be slightly annoyed. That’s not any kind of equivalent.

      On Kevin Sheehan’s podcast, Sheehan Chris Cooley were talking late last week about what it would look like if Mariota went to Washington. He’d come with a one-year, ten million dollar contract, and they’re saying if he has a shot at a starting job, he’d probably be looking at Teddy Bridgewater money, which is something like three years and sixty million dollars. Apparently a middle-of-the-league starter gets that now.

    2. I haven’t heard specifics about Mariota being traded. I also wouldn’t like the Dalton-Mariota trade. In the past, I thought McCarthy was one of the best at developing QB footwork, so I wouldn’t mind Mariota going to the Cowboys.

      I suspect the Raiders are not going to get a lot for him, as I don’t see him as a strong starter on another team.

  14. Could the Seahawks trade Russ, con’t

    What seems like a far-fetched idea is actually moved from a plausible to even likely idea–if not traded soon by the end of next season. This article from NBC’s “Pro Football Talk”–which basically comments on an Athletic article (which I don’t have a subscription to) reveals what seems to be a lot of smoke–as in, “where there is a lot of smoke, there is fire.” For example,

    Before the Thursday night game against Arizona, Wilson met with his coaches. For some time, Wilson has sought — even pushed — for influence within the organization regarding scheme and personnel. In the meeting, he outlined his own ideas for how to fix the offense. His suggestions were dismissed, multiple sources told The Athletic — another reminder to Wilson that the Seahawks did not see him the same way he saw himself, as a player who had earned greater control over his situation, his future, his legacy. He stormed out of the room.”

    I do think the journalists–or their sources–are distorting the story. Carroll allowed Russ and the offense to play like the Bills and Chiefs–a style he has publicly opposed in the past. I doubt Carroll would do this, even he didn’t think highly of Russ or that he earned this. (It seems like they allowed him a lot of input on choosing the next OC as well.)

    Also, I really wonder if “dismissed” is the most accurate word. Carroll and the coaches may have disagree with Russ’s suggestions, but “dismissing” has a more disrespectful connotation. One can disagree without being disrespectful.

    In the Athletic article, I understand Russ lists the only teams he’d be open to being traded to–Dolphins, Jets, Saints, and Raiders.. But I also heard Adam Schefter report that Wilson’s agent says Russ isn’t asking for a trade, but “if a trade were considered, the only teams he would go to are the Cowboys, Saints, Raiders, Bears.

    The Saints, Raiders, Cowboys, and Bears make sense–if Russ wants to play in a pass-heavy offense built around the QB. I wasn’t sure about the Jets, but their OC was the pass game coordinator for Kyle Shanahan in SF. If Shane Walrdon, the Rams passing-game coordinator, was Wilson’s top choice for OC, I could see the new Jets OC appealing to him. With the Dolphins, it’s a little less clear, but I think the Dolphins are planning to keep a lot of Chan Gailey’s offense. If true, that would fit Russ’s wishes.

    On a related note, I Cowherd’s comments a bit troubling–specifically the bit about Russ was into Pete Carroll earlier, but that’s no longer the case:

    I find that bit particularly disturbing if that was leaked from Russ’s camp. If Russ intentionally wants that information out there, that’s harsh in my view. Indeed, I can’t help but feel that all part of the intention behind all this noise is to get Pete fired–or get him to go all in turning the Hawks in an NFC version of the Chiefs.

    I feel similarly disturbed about the claim that Pete and the Seahawks are “just into that into Russ.” I think this is wrong–and I would be utterly shocked if true. They’ve paid him. They’ve dramatically changed their offense for him. They wouldn’t do this, if they weren’t into him. Additionally, I don’t believe drafting a QB like Allen or Mahomes means they weren’t into Russ, especially if those players fell down the board to them. (Now, if the Hawks moved up aggressively to get those players, that’s a different story.) I do believe Schneider is from the school of drafting a QB, even if you had a franchise QB, has a lot of value. At worst, if that QB is great, you can trade them and get a good return.

    In closing, something has got to give. If Pete or Russ doesn’t change their approach, we’re headed for a divorce.

    1. Russ or Pete (and John)?

      I’m not sure how much I talked about this, but I feel like Russ is trying to force Jody Allen, the Seahawks owner, to make this choice. It would explain what’s been going on. Dan Orlovsky touches on this below, and he says the owner Allen should choose Russ. Even though, I prefer Carroll’s formula, I think I agree with Orlovsky.

      Having said that, there are some serious problems with this move. For one thing, Carroll recently signed a contract, so I imagine Allen would take a financial hit here, although at least this won’t affect the cap. For another, if Carroll is fired, John Schneider might be gone as well. If so, Allen would have to not only find a good head coach, but a good GM as well. That’s dicey proposition–and it doesn’t sound like Allen is so involved in the team that she’d want to do this. Now, if Schneider would stay, I would trust him to find another head coach and be the main guy running things.

      But if the Hawks give up Russ, unless they can find a comparable replacement right away, their team might be in trouble for a while. Indeed, giving up Russ could ruin the team, returning the team to the 90’s version.

      By the way, what does Orlovsky mean by Russ playing for his brand? Does that mean Russ wants to go to a big market team, and get better endorsements?

      1. I took Russ is playing for his brand to mean what he can become outside of football. Orlovsky talked about Magic after basketball which is a mini or maybe not so mini tycoon. I’m guessing he thinks Russ has Magic type aspirations.

        Is there real animosity between Russ and Carroll? Does it seem unfixable at this point?

        No one talks about the Jets, but I would like to see Danold in a Carroll system. I think he has a slim chance to still be a Super Bowl caliber QB.

    2. Don,

      So moving to another big market team would help his brand? Man, if that’s what he’s trying to do, he’s obviously not all about winning. It’s now winning and being a mogul, which is not necessarily bad–but now there’s something competing for his goal of winning.

      Is there real animosity between Russ and Carroll? Does it seem unfixable at this point?

      Carroll (and Schneider) haven’t really responded so it’s hard to know how they feel, besides the reasonable assumption that they can’t be liking this.

      With Russ, I don’t know if there is a real animosity–as in, personal animus–although given what’s been thrown out there, this is a real possibility. One example: The idea, which I assumed came from Russ’s camp, was that Pete and his sons weren’t accountable to anyone. Russ did not shoot this down. Man, that’s a pretty harsh thing. I can’t help read this as challenging or goading the owner, not to mention an attack on Carroll.

      Whether there is animosity or not, it seems like Russ is trying to get Carroll (and maybe Schneider fired) or force Carroll to capitulate to Russ’s vision for the offense (and team). Or Russ wants to force a trade.

      During the season I got the impression that Russ’s ambition was kinda out of control. Here’s another example: mentioning Dallas and Las Vegas as trade destinations–when QBs from both teams are sort of up in the air with their teams. Both Bayless and Sharpe said this was tacky, and I agree. It’s seems uncool to me. An out-of-control ambition would explain this.

      No one talks about the Jets, but I would like to see Danold in a Carroll system. I think he has a slim chance to still be a Super Bowl caliber QB.

      Basically, put him in a good run-based offense? I would agree. It’s a good way to get his ball security under control, assuming the run game was really good. But this is a dicey, as Darnold could be ruined. He kinda reminds me of Jake Plummer, who developed bad habits (bad ball security) while playing for the Cardinals. By the time he went to Shanahan and the Bronocos, I think he was ruined. (I think he played more years than Darnold when he made the move, though.)

      If you were the Seahawks owner and had to choose between Russ or Carroll, who would you choose?

  15. I don’t think it’s only moving to a big market team, but more so about winning. I get the feeling Russ doesn’t think Seattle gives him the best chance to win (not only shine).

    All things being equal, I would take Russ. However, not everything is equal. Trading Russ could come with three first round picks for example, getting rid of Carroll will probably result in no compensation. I will also add that letting one player have that much control cannot be a good thing. But without those outside things, I think Russ is more important to winning than Carroll.

    1. I get the feeling Russ doesn’t think Seattle gives him the best chance to win (not only shine).

      This is true if Russ is convinced that the best way for him to win is if a team builds around him–letting him pass the ball a lot–like the Chiefs and Bills. My guess is that this is what he believes–although I also get the sense he’s chasing after being the GOAT, and he believes he needs to put up big numbers to do this.

      I will also add that letting one player have that much control cannot be a good thing.

      I agree. If Carroll got fired, I think this would be perceived as Russ using his leverage to fire the coach. I don’t know if that’s ever happened in the NFL.

  16. Dallas signs Prescott

    I don’t know the details of the deal, but I would guess this means a trade between the ‘Hawks and Cowboys are out? Don, how do you like the contract?

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