The Seahawks have traded running back Christine Michael to the Cowboys for a conditional 7th round pick in 2016. Michael must appear in a set amount of games for the Cowboys to make that pick go through. The value of the pick -- a conditional 7th rounder -- is essentially "we were going to cut him anyway" compensation. Seattle likely didn't get many (or any) other offers.
So ends the Christine Michael era in Seattle. He was highly touted as a 2nd round pick in 2013 but failed to display the consistency needed to surpass Robert Turbin on the depth chart. As a result, despite his physical explosiveness, he never really got much playing time. His tenure in Seattle ends with 34 carries for 175 yards.
Seahawks running backs coach Sherman Smith was very honest recently on with Danny, Dave, and Moore of 710 ESPN Seattle, and he was asked about Christine Michael's development.
Obviously, the main concern with Michael was the consistency.
"C-Mike (Christine Michael) is a guy that has so much talent, but the consistency needs to get there," said Smith. "Can't have a good play then a bad play. So, I wouldn't be surprised if he went out there and broke one for 90 yards, but then I'm not surprised if he puts one on the ground. So, we're just telling him, he has to become more consistent. Talent-wise, the guy has all of it, but we just want more consistency from him."
"It's frustrating because he's such a good player. He has such talent. We want him to 'get it.' 'Here's what it takes for you to play in this league.' You should say to yourself: 'I'm a second-round draft pick, I haven't played in two years, what do I need to do?' So we tell him, you need to become more consistent.
"I told him, talent-wise, your talent scale is higher than Turbo's," said Smith. "But, dependability-wise, professional-wise, you need to learn something from him. So the frustrating part is not seeing him be what he can be as a player. So, I just want to see that happen for him. We try to coach him the right way. Be positive with him. We tell him, 'It's not about you proving us wrong, prove us right. You were a second-round draft pick. Prove us right, why we drafted you.' So that's why we keep encouraging him."
What it came down to, I think, is that Michael just wasn't trustworthy with the football, and for a team whose main, core tenet is "It's all about the ball," that was an enormous deal. The coaches simply did not trust him with the football. It's hard to play a guy -- even one as talented as Michael is -- if you fear that he'll cough up the rock for you. Turnovers can and do decide games every week.
Seattle moves forward with Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson as their primary one-two punch, and Thomas Rawls enters the ring as the developmental third back. Derrick Coleman can run the ball as well in a pinch, and with the Seahawks keeping two fullbacks, Coleman may end up doing just that a little more often this year.