Proposed Trade Sends Seahawks a $12 Million Former Highly Touted QB

Pete Carroll John Schneider

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

With Geno Smith and Drew Lock both slated to hit free agency after the season, the Seattle Seahawks face a decision on what to do at quarterback heading into 2023. All signs point to the Seahawks pushing to re-sign Smith to a long-term contract this offseason, but the team could still look to add some competition to the quarterback room.

Thanks to the Seahawks’ talented young core, Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd believes Seattle can afford to take a risk on trading for Packers backup quarterback Jordan Love. Cowherd’s proposal has the Seahawks sending the latter of their 2023 second-round picks to the Packers in exchange for Love. Seattle will have four selections in the first two rounds thanks to the blockbuster Russell Wilson trade.

“Let me throw a team at you, they have a 70-year old head coach who may have no interest at all, even though he’ll have the pick to get it, to rolling the dice with a college kid that’s 22, Pete Carroll,” Cowherd explained during the December 7, 2022 edition of “The Herd.” “The Seahawks have two firsts and two seconds [in 2023]. Geno Smith is good enough to get ’em to the playoffs now. That’s a lot of picks, two firsts, two seconds, a third, two fourths. They have a ton of picks and draft capital, and Pete Carroll says I’m gonna take the Georgia interior d-lineman [Jalen Carter] first, it’s their biggest weakness.

“…Give up your second, second-round pick to get Jordan Love. Three years under Aaron Rodgers. Three years [of] NFL practice. Roll the dice on him. So what if you miss? You hit such a home run on the Russell Wilson deal. You hit such a home run in the draft last year.

The Seahawks Could Trade for Love & Still Re-Sign Smith

Love is on a team-friendly four-year, $12.4 million rookie contract and acquiring the Packers quarterback would not prevent Seattle from re-signing Smith. The Packers signal-caller has a $2.2 million salary for 2023, and the Seahawks could also pick up the quarterback’s fifth-year option for the following season, potentially keeping Love under contract for two more seasons.

Seattle is projected to have a top-five pick from Denver as part of the Wilson deal. Cowherd is skeptical that Seattle will have an interest in taking Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud or Kentucky’s Will Levis in the upcoming draft. With four picks in the first two rounds, Seattle can afford to take a chance on a developmental quarterback.

“Jordan Love in Seattle is perfect,” Cowherd added. “You think Pete Carroll at 70 wants to roll the dice on tiny Bryce Young? I don’t think C.J. Stroud’s gonna be a great pro. Will Levis is a mess, though he’s talented, but he’s a project.

“Pete Carroll’s out of the project business. Jordan Love’s gonna be 25 next year [with] three years behind Aaron Rodgers in a very stable organization. By the way, Green Bay would love some draft capital if they’re going to keep Aaron Rodgers. Why? Because he’s so damn expensive they gotta get some cheap labor.”

Love Has Had Limited Opportunities Behind Rodgers

Thanks to Love’s affordable contract, trading for the quarterback would not prevent the Seahawks from also re-signing Smith. After the Wilson trade, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has put an renewed emphasis on competition at the quarterback position. Under this scenario, Seattle could let Lock walk in free agency and have Love compete with Smith for the QB1 role in training camp.

Green Bay traded up in the 2020 NFL draft to acquire Love with the No. 26 selection in the first round. Love has had limited opportunities behind Aaron Rodgers, who the Packers signed to a three-year, $150 million contract extension last offseason that runs through the 2026 season.

Earlier this season, Love shined against the Eagles after Rodgers exited with an injury and has earned a 79 grade from Pro Football Focus for his limited play in 2022. The former Utah State quarterback threw for 113 yards and one touchdown while completing 66.7% of his passes against Philadelphia during the team’s 40-33 loss on November 27.