Seahawks Have ‘Lengthy’ Meeting With New Star QB Sparking Rumors: Report

Mike Macdonald

Getty The Seattle Seahawks met with former Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy.

The Seattle Seahawks appear to potentially still be in the quarterback business. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported that the Seahawks had a “lengthy” meeting with former Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy.

New Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald has familiarity with McCarthy from his days as Michigan’s defensive coordinator. McCarthy is projected to be off the board by the time Seattle is on the clock at No. 16. The Seahawks would likely need to trade up in order to have a chance at McCarthy.

“Ahead of his Friday Pro Day, Michigan QB JJ McCarthy had lengthy meetings Thursday in Ann Arbor with 3 teams—the Patriots, Seahawks and Commanders,” Breer said in a series of March 25, 2024 messages on X. “Seattle coach Mike Macdonald was with McCarthy at Michigan in 2021.

“McCarthy’s been excellent in that setting, meeting with teams. Macdonald wasn’t in Ann Arbor for it, but obviously the Seahawks have great intel on McCarthy, with their new head coach and Jay Harbaugh on staff. And for what it’s worth, the Commanders had the dinner slot on Thursday.”

NFL Draft Rumors: Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy Is Projected to be a Top-10 Draft Pick

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler’s latest mock draft has the Minnesota Vikings moving up to No. 7 in a trade with the Tennessee Titans in order to select McCarthy. The Seahawks would likely need to pull off a similar move in order to have a chance at snagging the Michigan quarterback.

The Wolverines leaned on the team’s defense and rushing attack rather than McCarthy’s arm during his college tenure. McCarthy did not top 3,000 passing yards during his time at Michigan.

The quarterback threw for 2,991 yards, 22 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while completing 72.3% of his passes in 15 appearances last season. McCarthy added 202 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns in 2023.

Mike Macdonald on Seahawks QBs: ‘Geno’s Going to be Our Starter’

The Seahawks just acquired Sam Howell via trade but do not appear to be done considering quarterbacks. Seattle also hosted UCF quarterback John Rhys Plumlee with one of their 30 visits ahead of the NFL draft.

The latest meeting with McCarthy comes after Macdonald made his most definitive statement yet on Geno Smith’s role next season. After dodging the question earlier this offseason, Macdonald named Smith the starter for 2024.

“I don’t [expect a quarterback competition]. I’ve talked to Geno about it,” Macdonald told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero in a March 23 interview. “Very confident in Geno.

“Geno’s going to be our starter. Sam (Howell) knows he’s going to be our backup, but Sam is a great young player, and he’s got a really bright future that we believe in.”

How Does QB J.J. McCarthy’s Game Translate to the NFL?

McCarthy’s NFL outlook is more challenging than some of the other top quarterback prospects given Michigan’s offensive system. Here is how’s Lance Zierlein described McCarthy’s transition to the next level.

“McCarthy doesn’t seek to play out of structure but is fairly consistent at making positive plays when it happens and ramps up his focus late in games and on third downs,” Zierlein noted in his pre-draft profile of McCarthy. “He is confident and seems to have the ability to take slights and digest it as competitive fuel. McCarthy should continue to improve as a passer, but he fails to stand out in many of the areas that tend to be predictive of top-level success in the NFL.