If the Seahawks had kept Russell Wilson and fired Pete Carroll
An alternate reality in which the Seahawks listened to Twitter last year: Seaside Joe 1407
The NFL had 10 new head coaches in 2022. Many Seahawks fans were hoping that there would be 11, a new head coach in place of Pete Carroll who could build the roster and the passing offense around Russell Wilson.
Instead, the Seahawks committed to Carroll and John Schneider and traded Wilson to the Broncos. What if they had done what those fans had wanted?
The new head coach: Nathaniel Hackett
When NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks ranked the 10 new head coaches last offseason, his top-three: Todd Bowles, Josh McDaniels, and Dennis Allen.
Number four was Hackett:
He’s a well-respected quarterback whisperer who has proven he can help field generals thrive in the pocket. And then, less than two months after Hackett's hiring, Denver acquired an established superstar in Russell Wilson, who could be the final piece that allows this loaded Broncos roster to finally reach its potential.
It doesn’t really make sense that Seattle would have pursued McDaniels or Kevin O’Connell (a Shane Waldron re-tread), while it seems like Mike McDaniel and Brian Daboll, both now in the NFC playoffs, preferred destinations with fluid situations at quarterback.
Maybe Doug Pederson is more of the Seahawks flow, but wouldn’t he have always preferred the chance to mold Trevor Lawrence over bending to Wilson? And Matt Eberflus, as painful as a choice as that would have been, is too similar to Pete for that to make sense.
Of course these re-imagined “Russ Seahawks” would have bent to Twitter’s will by hiring an offensive-minded coach who knew how to finally let him cook by signing Hackett off of back-to-back MVP awards for Aaron Rodgers. Pairing him with Wilson would surely mean three straight MVPs for a Hackett quarterback, right?
What could go wrong?
Having stolen Hackett from both the Packers and the Broncos, Denver instead turns to Green Bay passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy because they’re still under the impression last January that they’ll be able to trade for Aaron Rodgers. They don’t and the Getsy-Mayfield Broncos end the season with a 4-13 record, picking third overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, a selection that belongs to Denver because of course it does.
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The contract: Five years, $245 million, $195 million fully guaranteed
The Seahawks do not have much cap space going into the 2022 offseason, but when you choose the quarterback over head coach you flat out admit that you have no leverage. Seattle not only gives Wilson the same contract that he got from the Broncos last summer, they guarantee him every dollar on it except his final $50 million salary in 2028.
But the Seahawks paired a top-five quarterback with a top-five offensive coordinator. What could go wrong?
In our current reality, Seattle is paying a $26 million dead money hit for Wilson in 2022, so the move was never that much about current savings. However, the team cuts Jason Myers for cap savings, loses Rashaad Penny and Al Woods in free agency, and doesn’t have the coin to attract Uchenna Nwosu.
The Seahawks do extend DK Metcalf, tying up $83 million against the cap for three players (Wilson, Metcalf, Tyler Lockett) in 2024, and $109 million for those three players alone in 2025.
What could go wrong?
The 2022 NFL Draft: Seahawks choose Abe Lucas in round two, tight end Greg Dulcich in round three, never pick Cross, Mafe, Walker…or Woolen?
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