Seaside Joe for Seahawks free agency, draft, trade news
Free agency begins on Monday, but there's so much more to follow! 3/13/2023
A lot of people have been asking Seaside Joe, “Sure, Seaside Joe is the best place on the Internet for Seahawks coverage, the community and home that I’ve always been looking for as a Seahawks fan…but is there a way I can support? Even if it’s for less than the cost of a modern cup of coffee?”
Actually that’s funny you should ask. There are ways to support for less than modern coffee or one-third the price of a Netflix account that is clearly not being used as often as it once was. “Oh okay, so you’re investing my money into a dating show that’s just a mash-up of your other dating shows and a three-part documentary about that sad thing that happened? Anybody working in there who knows how to make The Sopranos?”
But there are also ways to support for no cups of coffee.
2023 Free Agency Week BEGINS
Though I started following the team much earlier than 2011, and many of you have been following them for much longer than me, 2011 is when I started writing about the Seahawks on a near-daily basis so this will be my 12th offseason covering Pete Carroll and John Schneiders moves as a writer. Constantly tracking how Pete and John approach free agency year after year, always going back to the previous offseasons to see what I got wrong or what others missed or misunderstood, has helped me gain a lot of perspective on what the Seahawks tend to do at this time of year.
One move last year that I did not predict before it happened was the Russell Wilson trade. That’s a pretty big miss! But I was far from alone. I had just talked to Bob Condotta and he was also saying that Seattle probably wouldn’t do any such deal before 2023. The writing on the wall was that the Seahawks would give it one more try with Pete, John, and Russ, but obviously that’s not what happened. Why not?
I think the lesson to learn there is that we can’t ever pretend to know what trade offers are out there. Whether trade compensation is better or worse than expectations, it’s almost never what the media says it’s going to be, right? If Bob and I knew that the Broncos were offering what the Seahawks ultimately received for Russell Wilson, I think most people would have said, “Okay, they might actually need to take that.”
I ran a survey just after the trade, asking “How happy are you on a 1-5 scale with the trade return?” and the most common answer was 4:
Many fans were still upset that Seattle traded Wilson, but two firsts (including a top-10 selection at the time, even before knowing that a top-five pick was ahead) and two seconds will ease those emotions toot sweet.
Okay, so I didn’t foretell that the Seahawks would trade Russ so soon, but what did I do well in 2022 free agency?
While other writers entertained an immediate reversal on the Russell Wilson trade by assuming Seattle would be involved in negotiations to acquire a big name quarterback, I never bought that. And just because I know how easy it is to forget details like this one, please never forget that NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah—one of the TOP names in football media!!!—said this about Deshaun Watson:
In fact, Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network said earlier in the day that “in talking to friends around the league, the expectation from every single one of them is that when it’s all said & done Deshaun Watson’s gonna be the quarterback (for the Seattle Seahawks).’’
Why there isn’t a checks and balances system for NFL reporters, I have no idea.
I suppose people will argue that maybe the Seahawks did want Watson but simply lost the negotiations. I will go to my grave highly doubting that. It goes against everything I’ve ever come to know bout Pete Carroll, and not because of a moral compass. Because of a quarterback compass. He doesn’t care nearly as much about the quarterback position as everybody else does, which leads me to another misfire I had last free agency.
Geno Smith. (I did say he could be a top-20 QB though.)
I made several lists of potential low-cost Russ replacements, but the entire time I overlooked the player who had made three starts for Pete in 2021. That was a stupid oversight. But to be fair…the entire NFL made that same stupid oversight. Geno was a free agent for a whole month before Pete signed him and it went down to the wire with Drew Lock before he became the starter.
Still, unlike most others, when Pete signed Geno and said “We’ve got our QB competition set”, I actually believed him. While professional reporters peddled Baker Mayfield lies, we moved on with Geno and Drew. That brings me to point one for why you should be subscribed to Seaside Joe:
Why Seaside Joe? A commitment to SEAHAWKS FANS
People like Josina Anderson and Jordan Schultz, their only commitment is to their “brands” and growing a social media following for themselves so they’ll say whatever they think will go viral. It’s the common end result for reporters or “reporters” who’ve become addicted to Twitter. Seaside Joe’s only commitments are to SEAHAWKS FANS and to THE TRUTH.
While many other people in my position are trying to impress other writers, reporters, and big Twitter accounts to grow their number of followers, the only person I’m trying to impress and gain respect from is YOU. The only way I know how to gain someone’s respect is by being honest with them.
So while Seaside Joe lacks some of the more salacious stories you’ll read on other NFL and Seahawks websites, we are always much closer to the truth and to reality. The media and the Internet is always trying to fudge with your reality for selfish reasons. You can call my reasons “selfish” too—I do want Seaside Joe to Seaside Grow—but I’m willing to be patient with that growth if it means avoiding the fake stories and giving you 100% what I believe to be the case.
That’s how we arrived at some very accurate contract numbers for players like DK Metcalf and Geno Smith, as well as how we avoided all the blockbuster trades for quarterbacks that were never going to happen.
One of the ways that voices like that can succeed in the industry is through FAN-FUNDED journalism, instead of AD-FUNDED journalism. With enough growth, fan-funded journalism can far exceed the return of any other form of media in the industry. If you feel like this is a good thing for the world, consider supporting Seaside Joe, a Seahawks fan-focused newsletter, with a one-year subscription:
2022 Free Agency Hits
My “free agency plan” for the Seahawks last year was essentially this: Re-sign Quandre Diggs (check), re-sign Sidney Jones (check), re-sign Rashaad Penny (check), re-sign Gerald Everett (wrong tight end, but right contract), re-sign Rasheem Green (miss).
I also said the Seahawks would part with Carlos Dunlap (I said trade, they could only cut him), and that they’d lose D.J. Reed (check), and also move on from Duane Brown (check), Brandon Shell (check), and Ethan Pocic (check).
What I got wrong: Al Woods and Geno Smith. I also had a miss on Will Dissly, I felt that the team was running better with Everett, and I wrongly assumed the team could cut Jason Myers. I did say that the team would keep Tyler Lockett, whereas others felt that the team might be full-on rebuilding after trading Russ. I give Seaside Joe a decent grade for 2022 free agency, but you can read the whole thing and check my balances. Nothing to hide here!
2022 Wave 2 targets
As far as QBs, I did say that the second-most likely option to replace Wilson was probably “QB3 options similar to Mike White,” which I think Geno qualified as at the time. I said the team would re-sign Penny, cut Chris Carson. I said the team would stay the course at receiver, extend Metcalf, and draft their left tackle of the future with the ninth overall pick.
I said that re-sign Brown and trading for Matt Ryan or Baker Mayfield were “not options” for Seattle’s plan at the time. I said to look for a tier three free agent center and they went with Austin Blythe, who I felt would probably not be long for the team.
It’s extremely hard to predict outside free agent signings—there are just SO MANY variables and options—so if anything I’ve just pulled back the reins on even making those attempts. But I think Seaside Joe’s free agency record, especially with the Seahawks’ own free agents, turned out well.
Why Seaside Joe? Consistency, Effort, Competitiveness
If it’s good enough for Pete Carroll, it’s good enough for Seaside Joe.
I don’t run away from rivalries in this industry (Why would anyone? To me, this is ALL entertainment and if we like rivalries in sports and rap music, what’s wrong with sports writers measuring themselves against the competition?) and I’m highly competitive. Against nobody am I more competitive than myself:
That’s why this newsletter has gone out for the last 1,472 days in a row, including Monday morning’s immediate breaking news that the Seahawks are releasing Shelby Harris. With bonus content, that’s over 1,600 articles in four years, more than any other Seahawks writer on the planet. You can get breaking Seahawks news in your email BEFORE you read it anywhere else and WITHOUT having to go to Twitter. Just sign-up for a FREE newsletter:
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2022 NFL Draft and 2023 NFL Draft
Let me be the first (and only) person to remind you that last year, ProFootballNetwork’s Tony Pauline told Rob Staton of SeahawksDraftBlog that the Seahawks were probably going to trade up into the first round for quarterback Desmond Ridder. Did Rob say back to him, “Bit weird, innit?”
No. He did not say that. Which is a bit weird, isn’t it? The —SEAHAWKS— trading UP into the FIRST ROUND for a QUARTERBACK? And not only a QUARTERBACK but a QUARTERBACK who I had as a THIRD ROUND GRADE.
I just don’t love the fact that Rob, a draft expert, didn’t question this and press Pauline to explain why a team that has never traded back into the first round, and never trades up, and doesn’t value quarterback that highly, would trade up for a player who didn’t have a strong draft resume. So I went back over the last SEVEN YEARS and looked at every rumor that Tony Pauline had ever said before the draft to see how good his track record is and guess what…It’s bad.
If any of you are sending Rob superchats on his podcast, please someone ask him if he’ll have Pauline explain why his rumors are always so far from the truth and specifically what went so wrong with Ridder if he goes back on the podcast this year? Just to give you Rob’s quote after the podcast again, he didn’t make it seem like a farfetched premise, but an inevitable reality:
This was quite a firm report from Pauline. He didn’t qualify it with any doubt or base-covering. It was delivered almost statement-like — presumably because he’s hearing this from numerous sources.
I want to know from Tony Pauline what he thinks about his “sources” always giving him bunk information and I want to know from Rob why he didn’t have the inclination to question the premise of Ridder going in the first round and Seattle trading up for him, given Rob’s insistence that he watches all the quarterbacks and knows everything about them.
On the same day of the Wilson trade, I wrote that the Seahawks shouldn’t (and probably wouldn’t) draft a quarterback. Do you know how hard it is to go from March 8 to the draft trying to pull people back from all these ledges that said, “The Seahawks are going to pick Malik Willis in the top-10!” and “The Seahawks are going to trade up for Desmond Ridder!”?
My March 9 mock draft had Seattle choosing Charles Cross. I did pull back from that because I was worried that Cross didn’t have the athleticism at left tackle, but on March 10 I insisted that the Seahawks would draft an offensive tackle with their first pick; and if there wasn’t one, they’d pick an edge rusher. Ridder and Malik Willis looked like third round picks to me. But sure, “I’m just a blogger and they’re the pros!”
Again, they all want to give you the salacious, immediate gratification that leads to clicks. I’m sticking to what a consistent 14-year track record of Pete Carroll and John Schneider running the team has told us and trying to be realistic. I watch the draft prospect quarterbacks all the time, Willis, Ridder, Matt Corral, Sam Howell didn’t have “it” for the first round and they definitely didn’t have “Seahawks buck their historical record” kind of “it” either.
On March 28, I outlined only five day three prospects that you should keep an eye on for the Seahawks. One of the five was Coby Bryant. When a lot of people were mocking Tyler Linderbaum to Seattle, I said that the Seahawks would draft NO centers at all, in any round. On April 5, I said that you should be prepared (and excited) for the possibility that the Seahawks would draft either Breece Hall or Ken Walker III in the second round. Five days later, I wrote out a few scenarios for the first three picks that included Cross, Boye Mafe, and Abe Lucas. My feeling was that OT and EDGE were definitely going to be two of the first three picks and that both positions would be doubled-down on in the draft. Both were doubled-down. Just before the draft, I wrote about little-known linebacker Josh Onujiogo, and Seattle signed him as a UDFA.
I won’t fake perfection that doesn’t exist, my final mock pick was Jordan Davis, but if you give Seaside Joe a subscription and a chance, I believe you’ll get the closest picture of what’s happened, what’s happening, and what will happen with the Seattle Seahawks of literally any option that exists.
Why Seaside Joe? Accuracy and Accountability
If it’s not good enough, I’ll own up to it and try to be better next time. It’ll never be “good enough” so I’ll always be striving to be better. And if that doesn’t work…I’ll try to write The Sopranos.
We can get better together and as I’ve always said, the collective knowledge of this community is so much more than what I could ever know by myself. So thank you to everyone who has helped us grow so quickly (we’ve hit the top-50 Substack sports newsletters!), everyone who has shared us, every free or paid subscriber, everyone in the comments, and everyone who decides to join today. Have some Joe for less than a cup of joe.
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