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John Schneider’s incredible offseason

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Pete Carroll and John Schneider (2019) Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Since 2013, just a handful of marquee players have been traded but somehow John Schneider has been the receiver of four of those players. And I really do mean just a handful.

In that time the Seattle Seahawks have traded for Percy Harvin, Jimmy Graham, Sheldon Richardson, Duane Brown, and as of Saturday, Jadeveon Clowney. A few of the other big names traded during that time include Odell Beckham, Khalil Mack, Frank Clark, Darrelle Revis, Sam Bradford (twice), Brandin Cooks (twice), Chandler Jones, Dee Ford, Jimmy Garoppolo, Sammy Watkins, Marcus Peters, Alex Smith (twice), and Antonio Brown.

You could maybe name two or three more — either because I missed it or I didn’t find the player to be on the same level as these players (Trent Richardson, which was a first round pick still) — but this is the vast bulk of it.

That means that in the last six years, Schneider and Pete Carroll have pulled off 20-25% of the major deals involving players. Schneider has always said that Seattle wants to be “in on” every trade possibility and this is a clear indication that he means it.

It also just helps that in the case of Clowney and Clark, Schneider may have just completed his masterpiece.

There were three pass rushers who got franchise tagged and traded this offseason and two of them were in deals involving Seattle. The Seahawks managed to trade one of those players before the draft, receiving a first round pick in 2019 and a second rounder in 2020, and then they could wait until five months later to receive one of those pass rushers at a much lesser cost despite the fact that some would rate Clowney above Clark.

Maybe even most would rate Clowney above Clark.


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Against the odds of the Houston Texans just making Clowney wait for 2020 or forcing him to make a decision given that they could get a better return than this if they had done this trade at virtually any other time, Seattle acquired Clowney for only a third, Jacob Martin, and Barkevious Mingo.

It’s probably clear to the Seahawks staff that Martin has value and loads of potential, but Schneider can’t feel bad about the value he just got out of his 2018 sixth round pick. Mingo had a little bit of versatility and experience on defense plus a good reputation on special teams, but most had it at better than 50/50 that the team would release him anyway. The third rounder is not nothing, but it’s practically nothing given that the return is at least one season of a relatively recent number one pick.

All told, the Seahawks somehow managed to start the offseason with a tag on Clark and end it with Clowney playing on his tag for Seattle, while turning a third round pick into a first and a second.

Did you know that people criticize John Schneider? Like, often.

The rest of Schneider’s offseason includes turning four draft picks into 11, receiving the maximum number of compensatory picks in the 2020 draft, landing receiver D.K. Metcalf in the second round of the draft in part because of those trades, adding Ziggy Ansah — a franchise tagged pass rusher in 2018 — on a one-year deal for under $10 million, getting both Mychal Kendricks and K.J. Wright to return for modest sums, and extending the two best players of the Carroll/Schneider era to new pacts.

From the beginning of the offseason to the end, I thought Schneider did a great job of building foundational advantages for the future, but to be honest, I was projecting the team to be setup for its worst season in awhile. Even if that meant 8-8. Looking at it now, I’d have to reconsider. Not just because of adding one player (we saw how that worked out with Richardson) but in large part due to the strategic moves to set Seattle up for another season of contention even when cash got a little tighter and more former star players moved on.