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Should the Seahawks make a Draft Day trade for a veteran offensive weapon?

There is more than one way to add talent on Draft Day.

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AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Chargers v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Most Draft Day trades are draft picks for draft picks, but sometimes they involve players. Look no further than last year’s draft when two veteran wideouts found new homes five picks apart:

Trade No. 1:

Trade No. 2:

Could the 2023 NFL Draft see similar moves involving draft picks and players?

If so, PFF’s recent article, ‘5 NFL offensive players who could be traded during the draft’, offers us a handful of players to keep an eye on.

Personally, I only see one of them as a viable option for the Seattle Seahawks, but let’s look at all five of them anyway.

WR Deandre Hopkins (Arizona Cardinals)

PFF’s take:

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport mentioned on “The Pat McAfee Show” that he believes Hopkins may ultimately be traded before the draft kicks off, but if not, he’s the top name to monitor throughout the weekend.

Hopkins tweeted and then deleted that he was not looking for a new contract. If true, Arizona should be able to get a decent return here — maybe a third-round pick — especially if they are willing to retain some of Hopkins’ $19.45 million 2023 salary.

Hopkins has missed time the past few seasons due to injuries and a suspension but is still one of the more reliable receivers across the NFL.

FTR’s take:

A division rival isn’t about to trade us one of their best players, and Hopkins’ contract (plus his expectation of a new deal) make it a virtual impossibility for the Seahawks anyway.

Note: Those same two points apply to Cardinals Safety Budda Baker as well.

OT Jonah Williams (Cincinnati Bengals)

PFF’s take:

After the Bengals signed Orlando Brown Jr. to be their left tackle, Williams promptly put in a trade request. There’s still a possibility that cooler heads prevail here if Cincinnati can convince Williams that a move to right tackle is not as bad as it seems.

It would not be unfairly manipulative to sell Williams on the idea that he could cash out on a bigger deal after a stellar season at right tackle in Cincinnati than after forcing his way to a new team and continuing to play on the left side.

If not, Williams carries a $12.604 million fully guaranteed fifth-year option with him to a new club. The good news for Williams is this year’s tackle class is not viewed as particularly strong at the top.

FTR’s take:

Hahaha - good luck with that, Cincy! Contract-wise, LT always has been and always will be more valuable than RT. Strictly from a Seattle-perspective, Jonah Williams wouldn’t represent an improvement over either Charles Cross or Abe Lucas so hard pass.

RB Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans)

PFF’s take:

Henry is still playing at an elite level, but the bulldozing back will be 29 years old in 2023 and the Titans may prefer some further monetary savings in a year during which not many expect them to compete for a Super Bowl. Over the past three seasons, Henry’s 92.4 rushing grade leads the NFL and his 3,475 rushing yards after contact are over 500 more than the next-highest running back.

Henry has a $10.5 million salary in the final year of his contract, with the expiring deal part of the complication here. Is a team willing to trade away draft picks and extend Henry, otherwise running the risk he’s there for only one season?

FTR’s take:

I love Henry, but I wouldn’t give up a Day Three pick for a back with his mileage and salary - especially not as a 1-year rental. If Tennessee releases him, it’s worth making a call; if not, then NO.

RB Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings)

PFF’s take:

Cook’s situation is similar to Henry’s, though he has three years remaining on his contract. That said, non-guaranteed salaries in later years for Cook could functionally be somewhat similar to Henry’s void years beyond 2023 in that a team may utilize them for salary cap savings but not actually want to pay them out.

Cook’s 112 explosive rushes and 3,900 rushing yards over the past three seasons are both the second most in the NFL, and his 9.0 yards after the catch per reception ranks fourth among running backs with at least 75 targets over the span.

FTR’s take:

Cook’s cap hits (for an acquiring team) are $10.4M in 2023, $11.9M in 2024, and $13.9M in 2025 - and that’s just the base salaries. Cook also has $500k per season in per-game roster bonuses and workout bonuses of $100k per season.

That’s too rich for Seattle’s blood.

RB Austin Ekeler (Los Angeles Chargers)

PFF’s take:

Ekeler’s 323 receptions over the past four seasons are 55 more than any other running back, ranking 12th among all players over the span. His 23 receiving touchdowns over the span are seven clear of the next-highest back, and his 29 rushing touchdowns are tied for ninth. Ekeler uses his short-area quickness and low center of gravity to win on key downs and in the red zone, and he’ll be 28 years old through the 2023 season. While he’ll never be a true workhorse back, that’s arguably a good thing to keep him a bit fresher with less wear and tear.

FTR’s take:

Ekeler was granted permission to seek a trade over a month ago. So far, there have been no takers. Perhaps the Chargers are asking too much? Or maybe there’s simply no interest in paying $6.25M for a 1-year rental.

Of all the players on this list, Ekeler is the only one that I view as a fit for the Seahawks - which is an anti-climatic conclusion for anyone that read Thursday’s ‘12 Thoughts’ article.

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