The Seattle Seahawks have filled the trophy case during the Pete Carroll-John Schneider era. But one award they have yet to win since the Carroll-Schneider era began in 2010 is The Sporting News Executive of the Year Award.
ESPN’s Brady Henderson argued that should change while talking with radio host Mike Salk on Seattle Sports 710 AM on October 21.
“I think he should [win],” Henderson said when asked by Salk if Schneider should win the Executive of the Year Award. “Maybe even just because of the [Russell] Wilson trade alone in how big of a bullet it seems like the Seahawks dodged there.”
In addition to the Wilson trade, Henderson argued Schneider should be a top candidate for the 2022 NFL Executive of the Year award because of the impact the team’s rookie draft class is making this season.
Schneider, Seahawks Early Winners in Wilson Trade
A boatload of value came to Seattle in exchange for the 9-time Pro Bowl quarterback. In return for Wilson and a 2022 fourth-round pick, the Seahawks received three first-round selections, two second-round picks, tight end Noah Fant, quarterback Drew Lock and defensive tackle Shelby Harris from the Denver Broncos.
In turn, Denver then agreed to give Wilson a 5-year, $242.5 million extension. He’s signed with the Broncos until his age-40 season (with a potential opt out after he turns 37 according to Spotrac).
Wilson hasn’t proven to be worth the slew of draft picks and players or that contract yet in Denver. Six weeks into the 2022 season, Schneider looks like a very smart man for acquiring so many assets for a declining quarterback.
“A big part of the reason why they traded him and why everybody in the organization finally came around to that idea was they felt like Wilson was declining,” Henderson told Salk. “Now granted, I don’t think they thought it would happen this quickly, and I also don’t think they thought Geno Smith would be this good. But at any rate, they come out looking very freshened in this whole thing.
“Just with the magnitude of all that and the deal that they didn’t give Wilson and the haul of draft picks that they got for him, I think that alone makes him a strong candidate for GM of the year, Executive of the Year.”
There’s plenty of time for Wilson to turn things around with the Broncos. In addition to Wilson, Denver has issues along the offensive line and coaching staff. Head coach Nathanial Hackett has struggled as a play caller and managing simply things such as the clock and the running back rotation.
Even still, Wilson’s statistics suggest a decline. He has completed 58.6% of his passes for 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in six games. He’s also averaging 7.3 yards per attempt.
Wilson recorded a 65% completion percentage, 292 passing touchdowns versus 87 interceptions in 158 games with the Seahawks. In Seattle, he averaged 7.8 yards per attempt.
Seahawks 2022 Draft Class Continues to Dazzle
It’s one thing to acquire draft picks for a star. But it’s a whole other skill to turn those draft picks into multiple other stars.
That’s what Schneider appears to have done with the Wilson trade and the other draft picks he possessed in 2022.
“There are six of the nine draft picks who are either starting or contributing in big ways and one of those guys [Tariq Woolen] might be the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year,” Henderson said. “I would have thought Schneider should have won in 2012 when they had that draft class. He didn’t. But I really think this could be the year.”
The Seahawks drafted offensive lineman Charles Cross with the first selection the Wilson traded gave them and then picked fellow offensive lineman Abraham Lucas in the third round. Cross and Lucas have become Seattle’s starting left and right tackle, respectively.
Also on Day 2, the Seahawks selected defensive end Boye Mafe and running back Kenneth Walker, both of whom have started a couple games and have seen their roles increase in recent weeks.
But the real gems of the class came early on Day 3. The Seahawks drafted cornerbacks Coby Bryant in the fourth round and then Tariq Woolen in the fifth round. Bryant leads the league with 4 forced fumbles, and Woolen leads the NFL with 4 interceptions.
As Henderson stated, through six weeks, Woolen is one of the top candidates for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
Schneider winning The Sporting News Executive of the Year Award would not only be his first but the first for the Seahawks since 1978. Seattle’s John Thompson won the award that year.