Seahawks QB updates: Nick Foles on trade block, who is Jack Coan, and what choices are left?
Seaside Joe 1117: The market is finally focusing on the options I put at the top of my Seattle wish list
It has only been four days since the Matt Ryan trade and when I last updated which quarterback options were left for the Seattle Seahawks to bring in as competition for Drew Lock. Not much has changed, but the choices are slightly slimmer and once again narrowing focus on QBs such as Nick Foles.
It was on March 12th that I ranked Foles as the Seahawks’ most-likely trade target at the position, just ahead of Jared Goff, Taylor Heinicke, and Gardner Minshew. Notice no mention of Ryan, Deshaun Watson, or Baker Mayfield as realistic choices; though I unfortunately can’t officially rule out Mayfield quite yet. My top-4 choices remain on the market.
I switched that up slightly two days later, updating to Goff as my “favorite” to land in Seattle, followed by Foles, then a tie between Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota if the Seahawks decided to go the free agent route. As you know, I was very sold on the idea that Shane Waldron could endorse Goff as a bridge QB, but it is apparent that they couldn’t have afforded his $15.5 million roster bonus after all. I don’t rule out Goff as an option; if the Lions see a quarterback they want to draft at number two, I believe they would like to move Goff for a small price. (He’s only got a $10.65m salary.)
There’s been a tiny bit of QB movement since, including Winston returning to the Saints (with hindsight, Winston made little sense and I should have ruled him out immediately), Mariota signing with the Falcons (he still wouldn’t have surprised me), and then on Friday morning it was announced that the Bears are signing Trevor Siemian.
I gave Siemian a relatively high probability score to sign with the Seahawks, only because he’d give fans no false hope of Seattle solving their QB crisis in 2022. “More names like Drew Lock” is what I identify as Pete Carroll’s priority to fill the position this offseason, and Foles, Goff, Siemian are varying levels of “Drew Lock.”
Of course, Chicago had also been the home of Nick Foles for the last two seasons, so the addition of Siemian means that the subtraction of Foles is imminent. This isn’t the same as the Bears bringing in both Andy Dalton and Justin Fields in 2021 and keeping Foles as a number three QB; Chicago was financially locked into Foles and this year they have a new head coach and GM.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported on Friday that the Bears have already been exploring trades for Foles (duh) and who the hell wouldn’t assume that the Seattle Seahawks are one of the teams they’ve been talking to throughout that process?
Foles is entering his 11th NFL season, same as Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, and Ryan Tannehill, and he has started at least one game for every year in the league. Foles even has a 4-2 record over six playoff starts (more postseason experience than most of today’s STARTING quarterbacks) and though he’s been a horrible fit for the Jaguars and Bears, he is the consummate team player at the quarterback position. Seattle would pay him a $1 million base salary to compete with Lock and a day three rookie to be the Seahawks’ starter in 2022.
In some ways a repeat of Foles’ 2021 season, but with a realistic chance to be QB1.
No, it is not the answer to Seattle’s QB woes. Foles is not even a player who I would pick to beat out Drew Lock in a competition. Good.
Who else is left?
Baker Mayfield has been treated better by social media this year than probably in any other year of his life. It’s like all has been forgotten and forgiven, which I attribute to there being a complete lack of other options on the market who have “first round fairies” dancing in your head.
Setting aside the fact that the Browns used the number one overall pick on Mayfield and then still decided to make the riskiest move in franchise history just to get out him out town four years later, he simply offers little to be excited about other than the fact that he has recent starting experience. That’s pretty much all he offers. If you want a comp for Baker Mayfield, here’s one: Austin Blythe.
The Seahawks signed Blythe to a one-year, $4 million deal because he has starting experience at the center and guard position. He doesn’t offer much in the way of future development, upside, a high ceiling, or Pro Bowl caliber play, and Blythe doesn’t stop Seattle’s search for a future starting center. He’s a guy who has proven he can play for a little while without forcing himself to the bench.
I wouldn’t view Mayfield as anything other than a one-year, $4 million player, but at the QB position. You are more than welcome to make a case that Mayfield will improve and earn more, but if you take away everything that happened before his NFL career started (the Heisman, the number one draft status) then you’re left with a quarterback who shouldn’t exceed expectations anymore than Goff or Foles would.
If the Browns hit the point of releasing Mayfield, then Seattle carries the perfect leverage to get him to sign a cheap one-year deal: “Who else is going to give you a chance to compete to start this year?”
I wonder if Mayfield goes the route that Teddy Bridgewater and Winston went by choosing to backup Drew Brees rather than looking for a true competition.
Remember, the Seahawks could be saving up to $70 million over four years if they go with a 2023 first round quarterback. “Save money” should be the focus.
Another to come off the market recently was Sean Mannion. The former Rams, Seahawks backup is back with the Vikings on a one-year deal. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton, Blaine Gabbert, Mike Glennon, and Cam Newton remain unsigned. As does Geno Smith, who the regime has mentioned as a potential starter too, if he comes in at the right price.
I wrote up Jimmy Garoppolo as another would-be-surprising option that rose out of the NFC West. My 49ers writer friend told me that we shouldn’t expect to see Garoppolo released any time soon, as San Francisco has no reason to rush as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Seattle may wait out ALL teams and ALL potential trade/release QBs until August, as they also don’t need to rush into any decisions. As long as the QB is in training camp, that should be enough.
Even then, maybe not necessary for a team that is unlikely to be in the playoffs.
Other potential trade options would include: Goff, Jarrett Stidham, Sam Darnold (again, I know), or working on something with Sean McVay’s backup QB, John Wolford.
Jordan Love could be an option too, but as I wrote this week, not an attractive one.
Perhaps soon the Seahawks will acquire Foles and put this “search” to bed.
Who is Jack Coan?
I had an unbelievably brilliant chat with Rob Staton of Seahawks Draft Blog on Thursday and we spent two hours covering different routes that Seattle could take with their top three picks next month. Check out the Substack version or the YouTube version for time codes on all that we discussed.
Or listen to the audio version. (Find “Seaside Joe: A Football Podcast” on podcast app)
There were a lot of fascinating revelations that I had about the 2022 prospects while talking to Rob, so DO check that out and also subscribe to Rob’s YouTube channel.
But one of those draft takes that Seahawks fans will really want to pay attention to is Rob’s recommendation for who Seattle should pick as their next rookie project quarterback. It’s not Malik Willis. It’s not Kenny Pickett or Matt Corral or Desmond Ridder. It’s not even maybe one of these names tossed around like Brock Purdy or E.J. Perry.
It’s Notre Dame’s Jack Coan.
When I did my weekly college QB write-ups and rankings in 2021, Coan’s name popped in midseason and I started to consider him a viable draft prospect a few weeks into the year. Based on his size (6’3, 220 lbs), his respectable status as a 2017 recruit (four stars, 13th-ranked QB, four spots behind Mac Jones), and a good beginning at Notre Dame after four years at Wisconsin, why not rank Coan in a weak year for draft eligible quarterbacks?
Coan threw four touchdowns in a Week 1 win over then-respected Florida State, and he had eight touchdowns through three games.
However, Coan also played poorly enough to get benched in Week 6 against Virginia Tech, but as Rob pointed out… was able to return to the game and lead a comeback victory to send the Irish to 5-1 on the season.
Coan kept his starting job and helped Notre Dame win 11 games, including 12 touchdowns and three interceptions over his final four starts. Coan threw 68 passes in Notre Dame’s New Year’s loss to Oklahoma State, but did finish with 509 yards and five touchdowns.
Lance Zierlein compares Coan to Brian Hoyer, and if that’s the type of quarterback who the Seahawks can draft in the fifth round this year, then Seattle may need to jump on that. The Seahawks should be searching for their “Davis Mills” right now, not their “Justin Fields”.
Let me be your “Grayson McCall” by subscribing and sharing Seaside Joe. We are approaching another subscriber milestone and getting even closer to the Substack Top-25 for sports; please help a small business Seahawks newsletter by becoming a Regular Joe for $5 a month. What could it hurt to pay just $5 for extra Seahawks draft coverage (like my latest top-20 big board) in April?