Proposed Trade Sends Seahawks a $10 Million Former First-Round Pick

Pete Carroll

Getty Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

The Seattle Seahawks face a difficult decision ahead of the November 1 trade deadline with the possibility for deals ending at 4 p.m. Eastern. Despite low preseason expectations, the Seahawks find themselves atop the NFC West prompting some speculation that general manager John Schneider could make a move at the deadline.

Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger suggested the Seahawks swing a deal with the Texans for veteran pass rusher Jerry Hughes. Spielberger’s proposal has the Seahawks landing Hughes in exchange for just a 2023 fifth-round pick.

“Though obviously under very different circumstances, the Seattle Seahawks signed edge defender Carlos Dunlap for the stretch run in 2020 after he pushed his way out of Cincinnati,” Spielberger wrote on October 25, 2022. “Two years later, the Seahawks sit atop the NFC West after Week 7 with Geno Smith at quarterback — whose 83.6 grade is a top-five mark at the position.

“Seattle’s edge defenders have a cumulative 18.6% pass-rush win rate, which ranks 28th so far this season, and Jerry Hughes is wasting the final years of his strong career on a 1-4-1 Houston Texans squad that’s going nowhere fast. Hughes’ 19.1% pass-rush win rate over the past five seasons is 10th among edge defenders. Playing in a more rotational capacity alongside Uchenna Nwosu and Darrell Taylor could help him remain very effective, even if not at a top-10 level of efficiency. Hughes is also under contract through 2023, and his $5 million owed next season is a good value, even as he’d enter his age-35 season.”

Hughes Is on Pace to Post a Career High in Sacks for 2022

After spending the previous nine seasons with the Bills, Hughes signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Texans over the offseason. Hughes has a a team-friendly $2 million base salary for this season which jumps up slightly to $4 million in 2023.

The veteran pass rusher is on pace to post a career high in sacks, already notching five through his seven appearances in 2022. Hughes also has 14 tackles, five quarterback hits, one interception and one forced fumble this season.

Despite the Texans 1-5 record, not everyone is convinced that Houston will deal Hughes, who has been one of the team’s few bright spots this season. The Score’s Jordan Schultz reported that the Texans are not interested in moving Hughes.

“Several teams have inquired about DE Jerry Hughes, but the Texans will not trade him, sources tell @theScore,” Schultz tweeted on October 31. “Hughes is from Houston and played at TCU. He picked the Texans because of family and has since become a team captain. He has already recorded 5 sacks this season.”

Will the Seahawks Be Buyers at the NFL Trade Deadline?

The former first-round selection has earned a 73.8 grade from Pro Football Focus for his play this season. Seattle’s defense has improved dramatically in recent weeks but adding another pass rusher would be wise, especially if the price is just a future day-three draft pick.

The Seahawks defense would likely be the focus if Seattle opts to make a trade. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell also suggested the Seahawks as a potential landing spot for Hughes wondering if Seattle will be “making a move to compete for a divisional title.”

“I thought the Seahawks might target Robert Quinn before the Bears dealt the edge rusher to the Eagles on Wednesday for a fourth-round pick,” Barnwell explained on October 27. “Getting Quinn under the cap would have been tough for Seattle, which might have made a deal more difficult to wrangle. Texans defender Jerry Hughes would be a less expensive veteran option.

“…I’m not so sure that would stop Carroll and general manager John Schneider from making a move to compete for a divisional title. There’s probably nothing drastic in the cards given the cap situation and uncertainty surrounding the Denver pick, but this is the same organization that has made two of the most shocking trades in football over the past three seasons. Anything and everything is perpetually on the table.”