I was busy daydreaming at work yesterday, trying to decide what to write this week. It was a pretty tight race between “Richard Sherman needs to shut up and just play football” and “Why Darwin Barney is the National League’s best second baseman.” Then, the NFC West just decided to get all crazy wacky and make all types of moves. I imagine everyone, their mom, and even a few of the Oregon Sports News crew will be analyzing the heck out of all this news, so I won’t talk your ear off about it, but let’s take a quick look into all the moves made in the past few days for the Seattle Seahawks and their division foes, from least impactful to most.
5. “Thanks for all you’ve done for our organization. Please turn your playbook in at the front desk. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” This offseason has been an absolutely brutal one for veterans across the NFL and the NFC West has not been able to avoid that trend. And when I say “NFC West”, I, of course, mean the horribly mismanaged Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams. The Rams cut safety Quintin Mikell, while the Cardinals handed out pink slips like they were candy. The Cardinals dismissed oft-injured and un-effective running back Chris “Beanie” Wells, a so-so receiver in Early Doucet and shockingly, they also parted ways with lifetime Cardinal Adrian Wilson. The silver lining for both of these teams is that they both now have more money to waste on mediocre free agents that they can also later cut from their team. Everybody wins!
4. “Farewell S-Jax.” Steven Jackson wasn’t a cap casualty by the Rams, but they did decide to let him walk after his contract expired after the season. He doesn’t officially become a free agent until later today, but the former Oregon State Beaver is drawing a lot of interest from teams during the so-called “Tampering Period” of NFL free agency. The Rams made the right decision in letting Jackson walk; they have plenty of young talent at running back and if they were to spend $5-7 million a year on him, how could they afford to overpay mediocre free agents? (Get it?! It’s the same joke as before!)
3. “Mr. Smith goes to… Missouri?” Ok, so let’s track this. Alex Smith is selected first overall by the 49ers in 2005 and for a good chunk of time is considered to be the worst #1 selection in the 2000’s (You know, before the Oakland Raiders gave JaMarcus Russell $68 million dollars to “play” football) . Colin Kaepernick is drafted 36th overall in 2011, takes over for Smith halfway through 2012 and comes within a play or two of winning Super Bowl 47. Then Andy Reid trades the number 34 pick in this year’s draft (and a conditional 2014 pick) for Smith. I’m sorry, did I miss something here? Seriously though, I know that Alex Smith is a more than capable NFL quarterback. We’ve seen him win his fair share of games the past two years, and Jim Harbaugh has really helped him resurrect his career. But he’s not a franchise savior. Smith will help a good team win games, but he can’t carry a bad team on his back with little help. The good news about the trade is that the Kansas City Chiefs are going to cut Matt Cassel once Smith is officially traded to the team. You know what that means, don’t you? The Cardinals are only moments away from offering him tons of money (I wish I could tell you that I was done with that joke, but I can’t make any promises. I’m sorry.)
2. “Red Rover, Red Rover, send Boldin right over!” Anquan Boldin isn’t THE reason that the Baltimore Ravens bested the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, but he sure did help the cause. Landing Boldin for a measly 6th round pick is a huge get for the Niners and their 2013 championship hopes. WR was the biggest need San Francisco had on offense and with this trade and possibly adding a receiver or two with any of their FOURTEEN FREAKING PICKS in this year’s draft makes them a huge threat on offense. Boldin has lost a step or two throughout his years, but he’s about ten times more effective than Randy Moss was last year, and he’s going to be a huge target on third downs for Kaepernick.
1. “I can’t think of a clever thing to say about this, but you’re darned right the Seattle Seahawks just traded for Percy Harvin!” For the record, I am not a Seattle fan. I am a Green Bay Packers fan. So I’ll talk kindly about the Seahawks if no one brings up anything about the “Fail Mary” or the “Immaculate Interception” or whatever the heck a “Golden Tate” is. Ok? Ok. HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGE pickup for the Seahawks. Nothing funny to say about this. Seattle had a need; they saw a player desperate to leave a bad situation, and a team looking to cut their losses and part ways with a valuable asset. They probably also looked at how weak this draft class was, realized Harvin is only 24, and couldn’t wait to trade a late first round pick for him. Well done.
As a Packers fan, I couldn’t be more upset with how well the Seahawks and 49ers have done this offseason. I’m pretty sure teams as stacked as they are aren’t supposed to get better. On the other hand, as an NFL fan, I’m absolutely tickled to death thinking about next year’s two-game series between those two teams. Heck, if they keep playing the way they did last year, we just might see a round three come conference championship time. Some people might not appreciate seeing the same two teams play three times in one year, but just try to remember that next year we could be watching Matt Cassel and/or Kevin Kolb battle Sam Bradford and the Rams, minus Steven Jackson. Twice. Yikes.
Steve Emerson is on Twitter. Follow him at @stevelikesports