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What the Leonard Williams trade says about Seahawks 2024 offseason plans

The Seahawks added an impact defensive lineman at the trade deadline in 2023, but the move might also hint at what to expect in the 2024 offseason as well.

NFL: New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks began the 2023 season by winning five of their first seven games, and then added defensive lineman Leonard Williams from the New York Giants at the trade deadline. However, since then things have gone downhill, with losses in three of their last four contests and a trio of difficult matchups coming up against the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles.

With that in mind, many fans have been quick to opine that the move to trade for Williams was a win now move, and a move to help the Seahawks compete in 2023, and that is hard to argue. However, looking beyond just 2023 there are several potential conclusions that could be drawn, but the most important of those conclusions would seem likely to revolve around a player on which many fans have made up their mind, quarterback Geno Smith. Seahawks Fans remain split on Geno, with some placing much of the blame for the struggles of the offense in 2023 on his supporting cast or offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. Others are convinced that Smith is not the one, and it is time for the team to move on and find a true franchise quarterback.

Bringing the conversation back to the Williams trade, though, the signal it sends is clear: Pete Carroll and John Schneider believe they are contenders in 2023. Or, at least on October 30, 2023 when the team agreed to trade a second and a fifth round pick to the Giants for Williams they believed they were contenders.

And, if Carroll and Schneider believed on October 30, 2023 that the team was set to contend in 2023, then it means they believe that they can contend with Geno Smith as the starting quarterback.

The ramifications of that position go far beyond just the 2023 season, though, and could shed some light on what the team will do in the 2024 draft. So, while many fans are looking at Seattle potentially using a Day 1 pick on a quarterback, Pete and John may have other plans if they don’t feel the route that most likely puts the Hawks in contention is taking a quarterback early in the 2024 draft.

With all that in mind, one other potentially noteworthy piece of the puzzle is the fact that Carroll’s current contract runs through the 2025 season. By itself, that’s not something that will raise an eyebrow, but what could be no more than a coincidence just as easily as it could be another piece of the puzzle, is that Smith’s contract also runs through the 2025 season. So, if Carroll believes in Smith to the point where he believes the Seahawks can compete with Geno as the starting quarterback, any analysis of what Seattle will do at quarterback in the offseason would seem to start with what the Seattle will do at head coach in the offseason.