ESPN Is Wrong – The Seattle Seahawks Did Not Have The Worst Offseason

Nov 21, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll walks to the locker room following a 23-13 loss against the Arizona Cardinals at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks were given no favors by ESPN and NFL writer Bill Barnwell as he ranked the best and worst offseasons by team. He graded the Hawks as the worst offseason in the league. 

He acknowledged that the team was able to retain Quandre Diggs and that they were able to fill a massive need with a first-round pick. But the bad was a lengthy explanation of what the Hawks did wrong. While I’ll attach some of it here, he explains that the haul the Hawks got for Wilson wasn’t enough for a superstar in his prime and that they didn’t replace him at the QB position. He also went on to say, 

“Beyond the Wilson deal, the Seahawks further committed toward their philosophy of a 1970s offense. Amid concerns about running back Chris Carson’s future because of a neck injury, Seattle re-signed Rashaad Penny to a one-year, $5.8 million deal, then used a second-round pick on Ken Walker III…they could have kept Wilson and fired Carroll. If the relationship between quarterback and head coach had deteriorated to the point where one had to go, Seattle made the wrong choice. Carroll has been a very good NFL coach, but he is 70 years old. The defense he helped mold into the league’s best is gone, as the Seahawks fell to 21st in defensive DVOA a year ago.” 

Barnwell also went on to explain that they should still extend D.K. Metcalf before he has eyes for an A.J. Brown type deal or trade with a team that will give him that money. 

I understand that Barnwell doesn’t think the Hawks got enough for Wilson, but I disagree with him that the Seahawks had the worst offseason in the NFL. This Wilson trade became inevitable at one point, and while I agree that Carroll likely should have been the one shown the door, there are likely behind-the-scenes details that we haven’t been privy to. Maybe Wilson was unwilling to play in Seattle any longer, regardless of who his head coach would be. 

Let’s also review the trade that the Hawks made to send Wilson to the Broncos. 

Seahawks Receive: Drew Lock, Shelby Harris, Noah Fant, 2022 1st Round Pick (Charles Cross), 2022 2nd Round Pick (Boye Mafe), 2022 5th Round Pick (Tariq Woolen), 2023 1st Round Pick, 2023 Second Round Pick. 

Broncos Receive: Russell Wilson, 2022 4th Round Pick 

So in total, the Hawks traded away two players, the draft pick included in that, and received eight players coming back. Let’s break down these players and what the Hawks got. 

Drew Lock may not be perfect, but he has shown great flashes in Denver, was unfairly benched last season because of a trade the Broncos made, and immediately regretted enough to trade for Wilson. 

Shelby Harris is an immediate starter on the defensive line for the Hawks who brings experience to a young defense that has been missing a legitimate pass rusher and run stopper. 

Noah Fant is one of the best young tight ends in the league. He ranked inside the top 10 in targets, receptions, and receiving yards amongst tight ends last season and has a good relationship with Lock. 

As for the draft picks, Cross is an immediate starter who fills a massive hole for the Hawks, and Boye Mafe is an exciting prospect that labeled as a guy who will be a plus starter. Woolen was one of the most intriguing small school guys in the draft who fell to the Hawks after trading back in the draft. Plus, they will have two top 65 picks in next year’s draft. 

With all that being said, the Hawks got a whole lot of value by trading away one player. That was the biggest argument that Barnwell made against the Hawks, and in my opinion, it doesn’t really stand on its own. 

If you compare it with the Matthew Stafford, it’s a much better value. The Lions got two 1st Round Picks, a 3rd Round Pick, and Jared Goff, who immediately proved he was a byproduct of Sean McVay and a guy who I would rank below Lock coming into this next season. 

SO let’s take all of that into consideration and then compare the Hawks to a few other teams in the NFL. 

The Atlanta Falcons, perhaps. They traded away their franchise QB for a measly 3rd Round Pick while still talking about the largest cap-hit in league history even though Matt Ryan won’t even play for them anymore. They missed out on trading for Deshaun Watson and instead had to settle for taking Marcus Mariota, a guy who has rarely thrown a football in the last three years. 

On top of that, they lost Calvin Ridley because of gambling, didn’t re-sign Russell Gage as he walked to the rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and they didn’t do much in free agency. 

How about the Arizona Cardinals, whose QB posted cryptic social media messages all offseason, who just lost their top WR to a suspension, and only added one real weapon on offense while failing to address the defensive side of the ball. 

Or the Detroit Lions, who nearly made no moves in free agency to get better, didn’t lock up their existing stars and had a draft that can only be labeled as mediocre. 

I am okay with admitting that things could have gone better for the Seahawks, but to say they had the worst offseason in the NFL is insulting and plain wrong.