I’ve seen a few comments over the past few weeks that either explicitly or effectively say that the Seattle Seahawks’ need to just blow up this roster and/or tank the 2024 season, so that they are armed with all of the sweet, sweet draft assets in 2025. As constructed, Seattle is likely nowhere near Super Bowl contention, and the last two drafts (albeit through the Russell Wilson trade) involved significant capital in the upper portions of the early rounds.
Follow-up question: How much rebuilding needs to be done?
Setting aside my increased distaste for the concept of tanking (and, incidentally, the draft system), the Seahawks have clearly been changing their roster in the last couple of seasons under Pete Carroll. They will have no choice but to change the roster even more this offseason given the shaky salary cap situation and underperforming players, but that’s the normal cycle for most teams.
These are major or projected contributors on the roster right now who are still on their rookie deals through at least 2024.
Charles Cross - Starting left tackle
Abe Lucas - Starting right tackle
Anthony Bradford - Potential starting right guard
Olu Oluwatimi - Potential starting center
Jaxon Smith-Njigba - Starting wide receiver
Jake Bobo - Best wide receiver in the NFL
Kenneth Walker III - Starting running back
Zach Charbonnet - Backup running back
Riq Woolen - Starting cornerback
Devon Witherspoon - Starting cornerback
Tre Brown - Starting cornerback
Boye Mafe - Starting outside linebacker
Chris Stoll - Long snapper
I did not even include the likes of Mike Morris (essentially a medical red-shirt for his rookie season), Coby Bryant (may very well be fighting for a roster spot in 2024), Jerrick Reed II (special teams standout and possibly competing for defensive snaps when he returns from injury), Kenny McIntosh (lost rookie season due to injury), or Derick Hall (didn’t have a particularly good rookie season).
While not a rookie, Uchenna Nwosu will be back after tearing his pec, and I don’t really see a need to move on from him.
No doubt there are holes that will be created due to impending cap- and/or performance-related departures. There will likely be changes made at tight end, safety, inside linebacker, and along the defensive line for the millionth time. Maybe quarterback, too.
Really, this is what I think is the real implication for “blow it up.” It’s really about resetting at quarterback. Get rid of Geno Smith, start Drew Lock or a rookie quarterback, and just expect a shitty team that is ideally watchable, then assume that virtually every draft pick will hit next year. “Franchise QB on a rookie contract” is so desperately coveted under the current CBA rules, but as we’ve seen with Justin Herbert in Los Angeles, you can botch that lifehack by having a substandard roster. Even still, three of the four teams left in the postseason have QBs definitely not on rookie deals... those teams have generally just been better coached and better managed than the Seahawks.
Neither of the AFC finalists had to eat dirt for a year or two and then become great. The Lions have been generally awful post-Barry Sanders (save a couple of seasons in the 2010s) but they finally had the type of coaching and better drafting to actually be a quality team. We know the 49ers had some rough years from 2015-2018, but I’d contend that apart from 2019, the overall caliber of their drafts weren’t fantastic. They had some quality individual picks (Fred Warner in 2018, George Kittle in 2017, etc.) but these are not like the 2010-2012 Seahawks drafts.
Help me understand your perspective on what Seattle needs to do to its roster. Carroll has certainly tried to do the half-rebuild/half-“win-now” measure with trades like the Leonard Williams one, but I believe the Seahawks have done a lot more to restock its roster with young and/or inexpensive talent than it may seem.
Sound off in the comments!