The Next Seahawks QB...Vince Young?


Right now, there is very little talk on where Vince Young will end up (and right now, he's still on the Tennessee Titans roster).  There is even less talk -- or maybe none at all -- of Young coming to the Seattle Seahawks.  But if you consider all the quarterbacks that are likely to be available through trades or free agency, once the lockout is lifted, Young might be the smartest bet this team could make.

Right now Charlie Whitehurst is the only quarterback on the Seahawks roster and I'm neither displeased or overjoyed with that; it's a absolute fact that we will acquire 1 or 2 (or even 3) more QBs once the front office is allowed to do so.  The most likely scenario is that we re-sign the soon-to-be-36-year-old Matt Hasselbeck, a quarterback who has noticeably and precipitously declined over the past 3 seasons.  The Seahawks offered him $7 million to stay before the lockout began, so that shows the team is at least somewhat eager to retain his services.  But if not Matt, who?  Carson Palmer seems to be the best choice to take over, but Mike Brown has has said multiple times that no such trade will be made; it appears it will take a 1st round pick to acquire Kevin Kolb, and while Kyle Orton might come at a cheaper price, the Broncos might refuse to give him up.

To avoid rampant speculation, let's say no other quarterbacks were available via trade (and let's say there is a near-zero chance that free agents Peyton Manning and Michael Vick leave their respective teams), who else is there?  After reviewing a list of free agent QBs, the best options appear to be Matt Leinart, Tavaris Jackson and Matt Moore (and I personally like the idea of bringing in Drew Stanton, Bruce Gradkowski, Tyler Thigpen or Billy Volek in as a 3rd stringer).  I'm not sure what Moore has proved, other than being a slightly better option than Jake Delhomme; let's say he's not a realistic option.

Arguments have already been made to bring in Tavaris Jackson and Matt Leinart, so instead of going over them again, let's compare some almost-incomparable statistics:

  • Tavaris Jackson played in 21 games in 2007 & 2008, and combined he totaled 2,967 yards, 18 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a 58.5 completion percentage (as well as 337 yards rushing and 4 TDs). 
  • Matt Leinart played in 12 games in 2006, 5 games in 2007 and 4 games in 2008 (when Kurt Warner finally took over the starting gig for good); when you combine those 3 season you get 21 games, 3,458 yards, 13 touchdowns, 17 interceptions and a 55.8 completion percentage. 
  • As for the aforementioned Vince Young, he has played in 21 games in the last 2 seasons, finishing with 3,134 yards, 20 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 59.0 completion percentage (as well as 406 yards rushing, 2 TDs and a 5.0 rushing average).

I think that these stats show that Vince Young is already a superior QB than Jackson and Leinart, but truth be told that these stats were generated in 3 different offenses and in 3 different contexts, and don't actually prove a thing.  In my opinion, Young's athletic abilities give him an upside of Michael Vick (oven higher), countered with numerous off-field incidents coupled with the "shoulder pads" incident that ot him benched last season and seemingly headed to the waiver wire this offseason.  Is Young immature and beyond redemption, or perhaps did he chafe under the strict coaching of Jeff Fisher?  Can a different coach and a different environment make a difference for the better?

It's those same negatives that might make him an affordable commodity to acquire, and why Seattle might be the best place for him to end up.  There are plenty of avenues to success in the NFL, with finding an elite QB being the most successful.  That's not the only way to win, though, and the recent success of Mike Williams may have shown us a way that no other team can utilize: acquire former college standouts (on the cheap) that have been disappointments in the pros so far, but still young enough to turn their careers around.  I do believe Pete Carroll's success at USC was due in part in getting the most production out of "blue chip" recruits, and he still knows how to encourage those players whose best days were played on Saturdays.  Most NFL coaches today are long-time assistants in the pros, and don't have that kind of experience.

The Seahawks had one of the worse offenses AND defenses in the league in 2010, yet were able to scrape together 7 wins and an improbable NFC West championship, and Carroll's coaching deserves much of the credit.  While we continue to rebuild through the draft this team should exploit whatever avenues of talent they can find to improve this team today; Vince Young has the skills and abilities that I think Carroll really wants in his QB, and to bring him in and compete with Whitehurst for the starting job this year might be the smartest and most cost-effective transaction we can make.

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