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Seahawks 2022 schedule: November
Seaside Joe 1188: Why the Seahawks traded Russell Wilson before considering a change in regime
The Seattle Seahawks finished 7-10 last season, which was Pete Carroll’s not-too-subtle nod to The Pete Carroll Show on 710 ESPN. I see you, Pete.
When the season ended and it looked as though the Seahawks would run back another season with Pete, John, and Russ, the projections for Seattle’s 2022 campaign could not have reasonably gone well above a 10-7 “rebound” year. At that time, there was little evidence to support that the team could improve dramatically over the course of a single offseason…
No first round pick. Not enough cap space to retain their best outgoing players, which was a short and underwhelming list as compared to the names that the Seahawks were losing three to six years ago. And even if Seattle did have any cap space, we know Pete and John don’t share the rest of the NFL’s love for priority outside free agents.
In all likelihood, the retention of Russ would have not prevented the release of Bobby Wagner, the loss of Duane Brown, the lack of firepower to score against good teams, and the defense’s inability to get off of the field.
I’m seeing this question all of the time: “What if the Seahawks had fired Pete and kept Russ?”
No amount of firing Pete Carroll would have given Seattle the rights to Charles Cross and Boye Mafe. Firing John Schneider would not have resulted in a $100 million free agency credit to turn around a depleted roster. Handing over personnel decisions to Wilson would not have meant an extra three wins and a deep postseason run.
Instead, the Seahawks would have been right back where they were prior to trading Wilson, which is headed for a season somewhere between 7-10 and 10-7, probably getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs; second round, if the wild card matchup was a fortunate spin. And if I’m right about that, then Seattle would still end up having to trade Russell Wilson in 2023 anyway, for a much lower return, and starting from scratch with some second-year head coach that many fans would probably dislike as much as Carroll.
If 2022’s goal was to stop consistently being slightly above mediocrity, then this was the correct order of operations.
If the Seahawks had fired Pete and John, without a contract extension for Wilson, then the only acceptable outcome of the 2022 season would have been a deep postseason run. Otherwise, they run the risk of losing Wilson anyway.
If the Seahawks had extended Wilson, then they could potentially owe him $250 million despite the roster not looking any better this year than it did last year. Imagine back-to-back 7-10 seasons—then a price tag for a quarter of a billion dollars for a QB who might not even believe in the franchise anymore. He would want out as much as Matthew Stafford wanted out of Detroit last year. Over a barrel, Seattle wouldn’t get two firsts and two seconds for Wilson at that point.
But by trading Wilson and keeping Pete and John, now the Seahawks would actually be overachieving with the same potential 7-10 or 8-9 record that would have been a “massive disappointment” had Seattle given it one more year with Russ.
It is possible that the Seahawks will be one of the worst three teams in the league next season. Any team that runs out Drew Lock or Geno Smith as the quarterback in 2022 will be an early odds on favorite to have one of the earliest draft picks in 2023.
And I also get that Wilson on his own should be worth at least three or four more wins than either of those two, if not twice that amount.
However, Seattle’s last place schedule and a few fortunate quirks (playing the Broncos first, getting Tom Brady in Germany, missing out on DeAndre Hopkins at least once, is Trey Lance anything?, etc.) could make overachievement possible.
The Seahawks made a quick transition from powerhouse to underdogs—you know who else is an underdog? A daily Seahawks newsletter that tens of people are calling “a true hidden gem of Seattle sports coverage”—you can help Seaside Joe out any day with a Share, a Subscription, or Comments. A FREE sign-up gets you a newsletter every single day, but $5/month helps Seaside Joe grow, expand coverage, and perhaps eventually be much bigger than any of the mainstream channels could expect:
In the two previous previews of the Seahawks 2022 schedule, I’ve noted three teams that could be as bad as Seattle (Falcons, Lions, Giants), plus the team’s knowledge of an opposing QB making his debut with a new franchise (Broncos in Week 1), their recent dominance of a division opponent (49ers), a fortunately timed matchup against suspension (Cardinals), and Jameis Winston/Dennis Allen (Saints).
Let’s call it 5-3 on the miraculous end, and 1-7 on the horrific end. I think that 3-5 is well within the Seahawks’ reach, and that was possible even when Wilson was on the roster: 4-5 in 2018, 2-4 then 4-5 in 2015, 4-4 in 2012.
Check out previous installments
The Seattle Seahawks play three November games, plus a Bye Week 11. Anything better than 0-3 might be a “win” and those hopes may not be so fruitless.
November 6 at Arizona Cardinals
We know that DeAndre Hopkins will be suspended for Week 6, but all we can really do for any player who isn’t on the naughty list is presume that they will be available. However, by November we can’t really predict remaining starters whatsoever. What will Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury’s status be after the season’s midpoint?
What will Murray’s status be at the seasons startpoint?
The Cardinals were a much worse team than the Seahawks in December and January. It’s fair to assume that Arizona has an advantage now because Murray is loads more valuable than Lock and Geno, and the defense (6th in DVOA last season) may be underrated, but maybe the difference isn’t so vast. The loss of Chandler Jones to the Las Vegas Raiders could be one of the more overlooked changes of the offseason.
Let me know your Cardinals predictions in the comments. I’m not sure yet where I stand on Arizona’s 2022 outlook.
November 13 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Munich, Germany)
This game kicks off at 6:30 AM Seattle time, 9:30 AM Tampa time. So while the Bucs do lose a home game, they gain a three hours advantage on “Damn, it’s early!”
We can nitpick ways to make this seem like a potential Seahawks upset (Tom Brady is 45, new head coach, injuries can happen, Germany) but the Buccaneers should be a lot better than Seattle. This isn’t throwing in the towel, it’s accepting the reality of these two franchises at this current moment.
Had Brady stayed retired, we would be having a different conversation about Tampa Bay, but for now they look about the same as they did at 13-4 last season.
November 27 vs Las Vegas Raiders
Despite hoopla, I’m not convinced that the Raiders are better than they were before. Real improvement will not come via Davante Adams and Chandler Jones, but from internal development of the core of the roster.
I have not been able to wrap my head around the YEAR NINE HYPE that’s been following Derek Carr everywhere he gets mentioned by the media. Carr was convincingly beaten by Joe Burrow in the playoffs—Carr’s first ever postseason appearance—and yet he’s getting lumped into the top tier recently.
He was only a smidge above average in 2021.
It seems like people are giving Derek Carr extra credit for the seasons they’re expecting him to have with Adams… people have been expecting better from Carr for over half of a decade.
Which AFC West teams do you think will make the postseason? Let me know in the comments. Hit Share and Subscribe.