Proposed Blockbuster Trade Sends Seahawks a Major ‘Haul’

Pete Carroll John Schneider

Getty Seahawks general manager John Schneider (left) and head coach Pete Carroll appear to have won the Russell Wilson trade.

Much has been about the Seattle Seahawks upcoming decision to potentially draft a quarterback, but the team could also use one of the top available signal-callers as leverage for a possible trade down scenario. Heading into Week 15, Seattle holds the No. 2 pick in the upcoming draft via Denver as part of the blockbuster Russell Wilson deal.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell views the Panthers as a potential trade candidate in an effort for Carolina to finally land their quarterback of the future. The Panthers currently hold the No. 9 pick in the draft, and Barnwell cites the 49ers trading up with the Dolphins to land Trey Lance in 2021 as a possible blueprint for Seattle. Miami was able to secure three first-round picks from San Francisco, but it remains to be seen whether Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud will entice a quarterback-needy team to make this kind of blockbuster deal.

“Unless the Seahawks are willing to commit three years of guaranteed money to keep Smith around as their starter, they could very easily justify using their top-three pick on a quarterback of the future, who could sit behind Smith for some or all of 2023,” Barnwell wrote on December 15, 2022.

“…The other alternative would be to target one of the teams desperate for a young quarterback and trade down for a haul. The Dolphins got three first-round picks from the 49ers when San Francisco moved up from No. 12 to No. 3 to grab Trey Lance in 2021; the price would probably be similar if Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer called up his old employers to move up from the No. 12 spot in the draft, where Carolina is projected to pick.”

Could the Seahawks Draft a QB in the 1st Round?

If the Seahawks are unable to find a suitable trade partner, the team could explore using the pick on a quarterback themselves. The argument for selecting Stroud or Young begins with the reality that Seattle is unlikely to hold a top-five pick again in the near future. The Seahawks will have four picks inside the first two rounds in the upcoming draft as the team is owed the Broncos’ first two selections. Seattle is slated to only have their own picks in the 2024 draft.

Yet, the argument to pass on a quarterback will likely be stronger barring a complete meltdown by Geno Smith to close out the season. With the way the Seahawks defense has performed, particularly the unit’s inability to stop the run, it would not make much a difference who is behind center. Seattle may be wise to double up on defense with their two first-round selections.

Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter and Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson will both be strong options if the Seahawks end up with a top-three pick. Given Seattle general manager John Schneider’s history, we can expect the Seahawks to at least explore trading down from both of their first-round selections. It is worth noting that Seattle ultimately opted to stick and pick at No. 9 where the team selected offensive tackle Charles Cross in the 2022 NFL draft.

Smith’s Asking Price Could Eclipse $100 Million, Says Insider

Seattle’s decision to select a quarterback in the draft likely will depend on how their negotiations unfold with Smith. Both parties have expressed a desire to make a long-term deal happen, but the veteran’s price tag could exceed what the Seahawks are willing to pay.

The question is whether opposing teams will drive up Smith’s price. The good news for the Seahawks is that free agency begins in March, more than a month before the NFL Draft. The Score’s Jordan Schultz believes Smith could seek a new deal north of $100 million, while the Seahawks prefer something in the $80 million range.

“They’re ultimate perfect scenario for the Seahawks is to extend Geno Smith four or five years,” Schultz detailed during a December 12 appearance on “Pat McAfee Show.” “You mentioned the [Broncos] draft picks being great and getting higher every week, well, Geno’s number gets higher every week because he’s going to have over 30 touchdowns, over 4,500 yards. He’s the only quarterback to have a 100 QBR in nine games this season. He’s played outstanding. They want to keep him there.

“To me, the only potential issue is that as his price continues to go up, will someone else poach him away from Seattle with a bigger offer? Because, to me, if I look at what [general manager] John Schneider is going to start with, it’s going to be in that $75, $80 million offer.”