Cautionary Tales and Never Fails: Lessons to learn from other NFL teams
AFC East, AFC West: What the Seahawks can steal and avoid from some of their rivals
The big—and in my opinion long overdue—news is that the Las Vegas Raiders are moving on from Derek Carr. As I mentioned two weeks ago when making my final call on what I believe the Seahawks should do with Geno Smith, I’m not a fan of teams tying their wagons to average, below-average, or above-average quarterbacks. Agree or disagree on the relative value of Carr vs. Geno, an abstract concept no matter how you slice it anyway, I feel strongly about the idea that teams should hold an extremely high standard for “franchise quarterbacks”.
Calling Derek Carr a potential franchise quarterback in 2017. I get that. Paying him a three-year, $120 million contract this past offseason (even if it was mostly for show) as a signal that Carr is a “franchise” player, I couldn’t get on board with that decision.
As it stands, the Raiders will not even have Carr in the locker room for the last two weeks. They will play out their season with Jarrett Stidham and open the door for bidding on Tom Brady or probably swap out one bad contract for another with Jimmy Garoppolo.
The cautionary tale that the Seahawks should learn from the Raiders’ situation? Don’t overpay for mediocrity at quarterback. You can take this as me calling Geno “average”, I’m fine with that, but hopefully the main takeaway here is more of a general lesson that teams should learn that you never pay a guy $40 million per year if you’d even think of benching him that soon.
Brett Favre had bad seasons. Peyton Manning had some rough patches. But now that the 10th or even 20th-best quarterback could be making $40 million per season, we need to re-think who is worth these high salaries; almost every quarterback who signed a $40 million+ contract in 2022 has been a massive disappointment, if not all seven of those names.
Tom Brady took less so that he could make more. It’s puzzling to me that the most successful quarterback in NFL history is still not the archetype that every other quarterback follows. They’ve chased money. Brady chased championships and now there isn’t a more valuable name, image, or likeness in the NFL.
Is there something that the Raiders have done well this year that the Seattle Seahawks can steal as an idea for their own team?
One smart thing that Las Vegas did is sign Maxx Crosby to a four-year, $94 million contract extension. I do not think that the Seahawks should sign Uchenna Nwosu to a deal that lucrative, I haven’t seen him impact the game at the same level as Crosby, but keeping Nwosu beyond 2023 would be the smart move.
Better yet, I’d like the Seahawks to take comfort in the possibility that whether they draft an edge rusher with either of their two first round picks, or wait/double down to draft one on day three, you never know for sure where your best players will originate from in the draft. The Raiders picked Clelin Ferrell with the fourth overall pick in 2019, then doubled down with Crosby in the fourth round out of Eastern Michigan. Crosby was a dominant player at Eastern—36 tackles for a loss, eight forced fumbles in his last two seasons—but he didn’t get that first round respect.
There is far less assurance in the fourth round than the first round when it comes to high expectations for prospects, but like Tariq Woolen as a fifth round pick in 2022, you just never know. Fans should not discount the possibility that Seattle’s best pick in 2023 will come much later than the first round pick they get from the Denver Broncos.
Now onto the other 15 AFC teams: What can the Seattle Seahawks learn from them? I’ll start with the AFC East and finish up the AFC West.