Which QB options are left for Seahawks after Matt Ryan traded to Colts?
Drew Lock is still the starter and Seattle may not get any better than that this year
The Seattle Seahawks are not going to go into training camp with Drew Lock and Jacob Eason alone, but “losing” Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts should not be seen as another L for John Schneider and Pete Carroll. The “Russell Wilson-shaped Looney Tunes hole” in the brick wall that is the Seahawks roster no doubt has fans on panicked phone calls to Acme, but take solace in the fact that every team that has some concerns about the quarterback position today—INCLUDING THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS—has ever-increasing odds of being back in the market for one in 2023.
On Monday, the Atlanta Falcons traded Ryan to the Colts for a third round pick. Indy will have to pay Ryan’s $7.5 million roster bonus this week and a $17.2 million base salary in 2022. He has a $21.7 million base salary and a $7.5 million roster bonus in 2023.
By staying out of the Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, and hopefully Baker Mayfield drama, Seattle will be one of those teams that increases their odds of landing the best new quarterback of 2023.
The Seahawks will add a quarterback, or three, to compete with Lock and Eason to start in Week 1 of next season. But when you’re finished reading the list of available names, leave no doubt that you’ll feel underwhelmed and unprotected from a falling sky.
Now… I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend.
Seattle’s position as a franchise without a franchise quarterback is nothing that the majority of NFL teams don’t feel at any give moment. It only means that it has been 10 years since the Seahawks have had to experience this level of uneasiness at the position.
More than half of the NFL doesn’t have a quarterback, which is why the Broncos and Browns paid so much to make a change when they had the opportunity this year; or the Rams a year ago; or the Bucs a year before that, seeing that they had a chance to sign a Hall of Fame Super Bowl-winning quarterback because… these days that’s possible.
When you’re done looking over the list of available names and my recommendation for the Seahawks will do next, go back to my advice from not long ago: Put your feet down, you are not drowning. Seattle’s next franchise quarterback is not far away, are you willing to go through one “Taylor Heinicke" season?
Washington bypassed all roads to a quarterback in 2021, including free agency and the draft, to pit Ryan Fitzpatrick against Heinicke for one season at quarterback. The Commanders found themselves in the exact same position a year later and though trading for Carson Wentz is hardly a solution… it sure was a hell of a lot cheaper than what the Colts paid for Wentz as a “solution” a year earlier.
These are what options the Seahawks left on the board. No, it’s not gonna be great. Next year is going to be better.
Jameis Winston (Signed by Saints) Marcus Mariota (Signed by Falcons)
The LA Rams have thus far not given a new contract or a restricted free agent tender to backup John Wolford. Having started a Week 17 win over the Arizona Cardinals in 2020, then the wild card win over the Seahawks one week later (getting injured early and not returning), Wolford’s star never shone brighter than it did a year ago.
Then Sean McVay traded for Stafford and never again did the Rams have to think about benching the starting quarterback for him. Make no mistake Seahawks fans: McVay benched Jared Goff for John Wolford. If not for the injury, Wolford starts the remainder of LA’s playoff games that year.
Wolford is not a real star, however. He comes out of a shotgun spread system with Wake Forest and never did Cam Akers look worse during his rookie season than when paired with Wolford at QB. Therefore, Wolford is a smart fit to be a backup because of his familiarity with Shane Waldron, but a bad fit to start.
Seattle could still sign him though, if the Rams aren’t going to do it.
In my “Top-3 QB options” write-up, which is a ‘Regular Joes’ premium post but I’ve ‘unlocked it’ now so that free subscribers can read it too, I had Jameis Winston as my most likely free agent. With the Saints losing out on Watson, that makes Winston more attractive to a return to New Orleans, but that’s hardly guaranteed.
Gardner Minshew II
Many have begged the Seahawks to trade for Minshew. I’ve made it known that I expect it to be Jared Goff or Nick Foles, and it looks like both of those players were paid their roster bonuses last week without being dealt. Looks like I’m headed towards being wrong on that, however it’s not completely ruled out; Goff and Foles still have guaranteed salaries for teams that don’t really “need” them right now.
Minshew might have more upside and draw more interest, but I am thinking that the Eagles love him as their backup and won’t deal him. It seems more likely that the team would trade Jalen Hurts, should Philadelphia find a new starter between now and the draft.
I still peg Foles as a more likely ‘starter’ for Seattle, even if this doesn’t really upgrade Drew Lock. Nobody will at this point.
I know there are a lot of QBs in this draft, I’m just not going to list all of them right now. I’m going to list one, because the Seahawks were watching Kenny Pickett on Monday. Pickett is my highest-rated QB in the 2022 NFL Draft, and I still wouldn’t draft him with a top-15 pick.
Seattle could go the draft route, but I don’t think they should make any selections at QB before round three. Disagree? Leave a comment! First please make sure you’re subscribed and share Seaside Joe with a friend. Even if you’re friends with Matt Ryan.
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I'm a former Tacoman who now lives 15 minutes from Wake Forest's stadium. John Wolford threw for almost 3,200 yards as a senior with 29 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in the ACC. He's smart and had very good coach at Wake. He's been coached by Waldron. The Hawks would have a solid QB for next season with Wolford who could help prepare the rookie in 2023.
I guess if I were Pete and John, I would be looking at a 2 year guy. I assume we will try to draft our next "franchise" QB in 2023. That means I would be looking at a guy right now that has the experience and physical ability to a) be able to play in Shane's O scheme this year and b) be an experienced mentor and viable back up to our new QB next year.
So who fits this? Mariota would likey fit our 2022 scheme pretty well. He has the experience that he could mentor next year's QB and certainly could be a viable back up next year. Fitz and Cam - NO WAY. Winston, like you mention, is probably staying in NO. Gabbert, no. Smith, well he knows our play book, he is underwelming as a starter but could provide our new QB with reasonable mentoring. He could also step in as a backup in 2023 if called up. Siemian, no way. Glennon, no way. Wolford, like you have stated, fills most of the boxes pretty darn well. Guess I lean towards Mariota or Wolford.