If the Seahawks want to trade up for a QB, I won’t tear up old pics of us together
Trade with Texans for a QB? I'm ready to believe in conspiracy theories: Seaside Joe 1482
The Seahawks are postulating like they want to draft a quarterback. That’s ALL that they’re doing with regards to their first pick. It doesn’t mean that they will, it just means that Pete Carroll is acting as if they will.
And if they do, I just want to say…I won’t block the Seahawks on social media, if it happens.
It started with Anthony Richardson’s meeting with Pete at the combine that was never “too close to comfort” for the Florida project.
It continued with Seattle being the only team other than the Panthers to send a buckload of the coaching staff and front office to Ohio State’s pro day for C.J. Stroud. The next stop on the tour is Pete and John (at least) going to Alabama’s pro day on Thursday to watch Bryce Young…and you know, probably like six other dudes on the team.
If the Seahawks get off the bus on April 27th and decide to use their first pick on a quarterback, even if he’s not going to be helping the defense or offense next season…I won’t go online and spread rumors about them being heavily affiliated with QAnon.
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It’s not just Pete and John and the entire front office and coaching staff either. They’ve even got Geno Smith helping with the campaign to replace Geno Smith.
And if the Seahawks draft a quarterback who is all but guaranteed to replace him…I won’t change my phone number and “forget” to tell Geno. We can still go to Coachella together.
If you think that Pete is going to this amount of trouble merely to create a media storm that “fakes teams” into believing that Seattle wants to draft a quarterback in order to entice a trade down, that’s perfectly fine. Perhaps it gets a team to trade over the Seahawks with the Cardinals for a quarterback, thereby helping push Will Anderson to Seattle at #5 and leaving Arizona behind the Seahawks…again.
Intentionally or unintentionally, that is a potential outcome.
What I believe is that Pete and John mean it when they say that this is a rare opportunity for the Seahawks to draft a highly-rated quarterback prospect. That doesn’t mean that the end result will be Seattle picking Stroud, Richardson, or Young. It means that they’re looking into it.
Pete and John sort of just turned 14 together and this is their first opportunity to go to homecoming. They’re assessing their options after many years of only imagining what it’s like to go on a date with somebody. It’s not a perfect analogy—imagine a freshman who first interviews four or five prospective dates before he finally picks one, it’s a better premise for an episode of Family Matters than a real life situation—but that seems to be what’s happening.
The Seahawks didn’t have any realistic quarterback prospects to consider with their top-10 picks in 2010 or 2022. They had Russell Wilson from 2012 to 2021. They thought about replacing him in the draft a couple of times, but the picks were never high enough to actually get it done.
This is 14 years of waiting to make a move, so I believe them when they say this is a rare opportunity that they’re excited about.
And I won’t delete all of the pictures of them on my Instagram if it happens, not even if the trade that Seattle is actually considering is a move UP…not a move DOWN.
For weeks, and even as recently as Wednesday’s phenomenally well-written and interesting Seaside Bonus article, I’ve said that there are no realistic trade partners for the Seahawks to move up with in the top-four. The Panthers traded up already, the Texans are well-positioned to draft a QB with an abundance of draft capital as it is, the Cardinals won’t want to let Seattle get their QBOTF, and the Colts don’t have much incentive to give the Seahawks an option at a QB over their own need at the position.
My position on the Texans…it has been budged.
What if the Seahawks go through this whole debutante’s ball and do come out of it in love with one of these three quarterbacks? Well, what was the point of that if they’re all off the board by #5? It could be that Seattle does smell an opportunity to move up and while any move of the four would be shocking, the least-surprising franchise of the four is the Houston Texans.
If you believe for a second that the Seahawks were in talks to trade Russell Wilson to the Browns in 2018 for the number one pick in an effort to land Josh Allen—which many of you have told me that you do believe—then this move would pale in comparison to that move.
Let me emphasize first that I THINK THE TEXANS ARE GOING TO STAY AT 2 AND PICK A QUARTERBACK. That’s what I think will happen. But let’s just say that there’s a 90% chance of that happening. What possibilities exist in the other 10%?
I’ve got reasons and maybe—I don’t know, just maybe—I’m trying to fit squares into circles because I want to believe that the Seahawks will pick a quarterback in the first round for only the third time in franchise history, in the top-10 for only the second time, and that waiting to get QB3 or QB4 is not the ultimate outcome for all this posturing like you believe you can get QB1.
If the comments call me out for reaching too far today, I’ll listen. I swear, I’ll listen! I’ll digest. I won’t try to get you canceled.
But I do have reasons to believe that the Houston Texans are open to shopping the number two pick AND that the team that is best positioned to take it is actually GUARANTEED to be the Seattle Seahawks. That part—the positioning—I think is a fact. If literally just one thing happens—that the Texans decide to use their first pick on a defensive player instead of a quarterback—then the Seahawks should have an opportunity to trade up and be first in line.
Whether Pete Carroll (who trades down like it’s adding years to his life and who values the QB position somewhere slightly below his special teamers) would actually do that is another question. We’ve seen in free agency this year a willingness for Pete to try new strategies. These are my reasons for thinking that the Texans might be open to moving down.
Brock Purdy’s Offensive Coordinator
The Texans hired DeMeco Ryans as the new head coach and he brought Bobby Slowik with him from the San Francisco 49ers to be offensive coordinator. Slowik moved from defensive assistant to offensive assistant under Kyle Shanahan in 2019, then became pass game specialist in 2021, and then replaced Mike LaFleur as pass game coordinator in 2022. Slowik has seen first hand that Mr. Irrelevant can sometimes run an offense better than the number three pick in the draft or a highly-paid veteran.
Houston signed Case Keenum to become the backup quarterback and they have not yet moved on from Davis Mills, a 24-year-old with 26 starts over the past two seasons. Even if (or when) the Texans draft a quarterback, even if it’s Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud, Houston might be preparing to roll with Mills and Keenum as their top-two options in Week 1.
Ryans may already be hopeful that Slowik can get much more out of Mills than David Culley and Lovie Smith’s offensive coordinators ever could.
There are other points that kind of branch off of this point, but I want to start off by saying that Slowik’s QB-friendly offense likely helps the Texans get by a little bit better with a low-tier starter than perhaps most other teams…if they had to do that. He just got more out of Brock Purdy than he did out of Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo.
Texans might not want to rule out Caleb Williams, Drake Maye
I know how much fans hate to look ahead to next year’s QB class cause you were once burnt by Matt Barkley or something, but can I just say that the top-two QBs for 2023 have long been C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young? For at least two years, these have been the guys most likely to go 1-2. That’s why I made an argument last year that it didn’t even make a lot of sense for them to play in 2022…they still probably would be exactly where they are right now.
Next year’s 1-2, two more guys who could sit at home for a year and still be high draft picks, are USC’s Caleb Williams and UNC’s Drake Maye.
Williams and Maye could only lower their stock at this point, but as we saw with Sam Bradford once, they could even suffer a devastating injury in their final college season and still go 1-2. I’m surprised that the 2020 opt out year (which included Ja’Marr Chase and Micah Parsons) didn’t lead to more opt outs since then.
Of all the teams that could be in position to draft Williams or Maye in 2024, I would have to think that the Houston Texans have the best odds. Unless they are in love with the QB who falls to #2, maybe they’re just like, “We’re good, we can wait, and we want to build a better foundation before we even draft a quarterback.”
The Texans could have a good offensive line this year. They’ve extended left tackle Laremy Tunsil, traded for guard Shaq Mason, and are going into year two with former first round pick Kenyon Green. But they could be a great offensive line in 2024, when it might be time to drop a rookie QB back there.
What Houston still lacks is a true number one receiver and they have needs all over the roster, not just at quarterback. The choices are probably “Do you want to go 5-12 with Bryce Young or do you want to go 4-13 with Davis Mills?” A slight one-year quarterback upgrade on this roster is not going to help them make the playoffs.
If ownership can accept that this is going to be another bad season, then the Texans know that they might have the best odds to get Williams or Maye in 2024 and like the Panthers moving up this month, Houston will also have the most draft capital if they want to move up next year. It gives them another high draft pick to use on defense, more draft capital, and a year to get comfortable with Slowik’s new offense.
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DeMeco Ryans gets his “Nick Bosa” project
Ryans is a defensive guy. He played linebacker at Alabama, just like Will Anderson. He spent 10 years in the NFL, winning Defensive Rookie of the Year and making the Pro Bowl twice with the Texans. He spent six years coaching defense for Shanahan, the last two as defensive coordinator. He coached the number one defense in the NFL last season, getting 18.5 sacks out of Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa.
And he just became the head coach of a team with…Jonathan Greenard, Jerry Hughes, Cory Littleton, and Christian Harris.
Look, I don’t want to sound negative, some of those players are decent sometimes, and the Texans certainly overachieved as a defense under Lovie last season. But there’s not a single star in the front-seven. Houston used a top-three pick on corner Derek Stingley and a second rounder on the emerging safety Jalen Pitre, but there is no pass rush to speak of.
I see so many mock drafts that have the Texans picking QB-WR at #2 and #12, which yeah, I get it, they need those things too. But if you’re DeMeco Ryans and you’re sharing Tuscaloosa stories with the top pass rusher in the 2023 NFL Draft, you’re not at least a little hopeful that general manager Nick Caserio is willing to consider Will Anderson? Or at least to not make your two first round picks both be on offense?
The Texans are not going to get a defensive prospect at #12 who is near the caliber (as a prospect) of the Anderson, Jalen Carter, or potentially Tyree Wilson types. That’s just a fact.
I don’t think it’s outlandish to say that the separation between DE1 and DE3 is more vast than the separation between QB2 and QB4. The Texans might be able to get away with picking Anderson and then adding a different QB project to the mix who is available outside of the top-10, which I continue to believe could include Will Levis.
As I said earlier, I think maybe the only thing that needs to happen for the Texans to consider moving down from #2 to #5 is that they have decided to draft a defensive player instead of a QB; they’d be guaranteed to get either Anderson, Carter, or Wilson. It would make a lot of sense for Ryans to be pounding the table for just one front-seven player who transforms that defense into something closer resembling the one he had in San Francisco.
Let the Seahawks get a QB over the Colts
So just say that there’s a scenario in which Houston decides, “We believe that Slowik can coach up this offense; we want to keep getting better before we add a QB; we want to remain open for the 2024 draft class; we’re going to draft Anderson, Carter, or Wilson”.
Okay? Let’s just say that’s all happened. Maybe they have the Bryce Young size concerns, the Anthony Richardson needs years of help concerns, and the Will Levis isn’t good concerns. They’re going to pick a defensive player for Ryans. I just don’t even see how that’s a hot take.
Well, if the Texans pick Will Anderson at #2, they have no guarantee that the Cardinals are going to trade down from #3, and it lets either Young or Stroud drop down to the Colts at #4, where Indianapolis has done virtually nothing at quarterback yet to hedge not drafting someone. It’s a DREAM for GM Chris Ballard and owner Jim Irsay to get their choice of the second QB in the draft and that could mean that for the next 10-15 years, Houston is tortured in the AFC South by the QB who they didn’t pick and let slide to the Colts.
If literally one thing happens—the Texans opt to pick a defensive player instead of a QB—they’re almost bound by NFL law to trade down.
And the Seahawks, owning pick #5, is the closest trade down spot that still guarantees that the Texans get Carter, Anderson, or Wilson. It would also guarantee that the draft’s QB2 goes to Seattle in the NFC instead of to Indianapolis in their own division. I continue to believe this is a 2-QB class and that for the Seahawks, they do not believe they’re going to be in this position again for a long time; for the Texans, they believe they’re going to be right back near the top of the draft again in 2024.
Changing places at #2 and #5 does make sense. The Cardinals won’t be trading up. The Texans won’t trade with the Colts. The Seahawks are next in line.
And if Seattle does decide to do that because they’ve talked to Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud and they’ve gotten the seal of approval from Geno Smith, I won’t burn all of our memories together and act as though we’ve never met.
So I know what you’re all asking now that I’ve done an incredible and magnificent job of convincing you that this is a real possibility, even if I don’t know that I believe it but damn if we aren’t having fun? Remember how many of you did NOT support a trade up with the Bears? But you want to know, “What’s this gonna cost me, Joe? My hard earned draft picks, Joe?”
What it costs to trade from #5 to #2
I don’t use trade point charts because I’m not a kid anymore. I don’t think we need to rely on someone else telling us what fabricated “points” amount to, and every situation is different. Use common sense. Remember what I said about why I want trade proposals to “disappoint” you.
If these two teams were talking, the Texans would have some leverage because there are a handful of teams right behind Seattle who might want the pick. That’s not a guarantee, it’s just a negotiation talking point. The Seahawks also have some leverage, because I don’t think Houston wants to go too far down and they miss out on the defensive player who they covet; if the Cardinals pick Jalen Carter and the Colts pick Richardson, there’s a chance that Houston still gets Anderson, who they might have taken at #2.
If they trade down with the Lions at #6, the board could go Carter-Wilson-Anderson, knowing that they didn’t let Seattle get the QB who they wanted.
When the Jets traded up from #6 to #3 for Sam Darnold in 2018, they gave up three second round picks. When the Bears trade up from #3 to #2 for Mitchell Trubisky in 2017, they gave up two thirds and a fourth. But when Washington traded up from #6 to #2 in 2012 for RGIII, they gave up two firsts and a second.
I don’t think that this deal will be as costly as the 2012 deal, I don’t even think the Seahawks need to sacrifice a future first round pick because they have good leverage as long as Houston is deadset on getting a defensive prospect who they covet.
There are a couple possibilities that cross my mind because both teams have a lot of 2023 draft capital:
Seahawks trade picks #5, #37, #52, #151 for pick #2, #188
Using the Darnold trade as a baseline for why it’s gotta hurt a little bit to trade up, Seattle gives up both of their second round picks and swaps a fifth (Houston has no fifth, Seattle has two fifths) for a sixth (the Texans have four sixth round picks, Seattle has no seventh).
The good news for the Seahawks is that they keep pick #20, meaning that they could still trade down again in the first round to get back some of what they lost. The good news for the Texans is that they would now own seven picks between #12-#73. They’d have a ton of buying power to move around.
Seahawks trade picks #5, #20, #83, 2024 second rounder, Noah Fant for picks #2, #33
Pete Carroll spoke highly of what he saw in the tight end group at the combine this year and the Seahawks would save $6.8 million with no dead money if they found a trade partner for Fant. The Texans just signed Dalton Schultz to a one-year deal but lack weapons and good depth at the position. They also have the cap space for Fant.
Seattle moves up from #5 to #2, but the Texans get to move up their second round pick for an extra first round pick; this would give Houston three picks between 5-20, enough to stockpile the roster with a defensive player like Will Anderson, a receiver like Quentin Johnston or Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and even a QB or another defensive player. The Seahawks have to sweeten the pot more than that though, giving up a third rounder this year and a second rounder next year, as well as Fant. But they would still have three second round picks this year.
Is that too good to be true? Maybe. It’s notable to trade up with two first round picks though—I can’t actually recall a time that a team used two current first round picks to move up in the draft. Anyone?
The cost for Houston to move up from #33 to #20 on its own would net a little haul, so for the Texans to get to do that, plus two day two picks and a decent young tight end, that’s maybe over the hump to let Seattle move up for a QB.
But if any of you have read this entire piece and decided that it’s time to turn me into the FBI, lock me up, destroy my reputation, and force my family to relocate and change their names because I suggested that the Seahawks might actually be interested in what they keep openly telling us they’re interested in…I won’t block your number.
We can keep being friends.
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