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Pamplin Media Group – Plenty of questions loom for Seattle Seahawks in the offseason

Pamplin Media Group - Plenty of questions loom for Seattle Seahawks in the offseason
Written by Publishing Team

Russell Wilson’s future, coaching staff is among the factors of uncertainty in Seattle after a disappointing 2021 season.

When the season goes sideways like the 2021 Seattle Seahawks did, the cries for quick fixes tend to rise.

But finding quick solutions can lead to long-term pain. Imagine crying if Russell Wilson was traded and led Denver, New Orleans or Philadelphia to several Super Bowls over the next decade?

After going from 7 to 10 in 2021, the questions facing this franchise are significant. The biggest, of course, is the future of quarterback Wilson. But the stature of coach Pete Carroll and his coordinators and the future of players such as linebacker Bobby Wagner, returning Rashad Penny and receiver DK Metcalfe looms large as well.

Ultimately, the future path of the Hawks depends on Wilson’s future. Does he really want to get out of Seattle? Is it over playing for Pete Carol? Does he think his shot at his pre-announced goal of three more Super Bowl wins can’t happen in Seattle? Does he feel he needs to be in a different market to build his brand?

Image courtesy: Image courtesy of Michael Worker Worker: Michael Workman-Linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) said he's confident the Seahawks will find a way to keep him in Seattle, but after a decade as a mainstay in the Hawks' defense, his future is among the uncertainties in This is out of season.Any or all of these may be the case. The way he continued to interact with fans after the Hawks’ last home game certainly fueled speculation that Wilson could play elsewhere in 2022.

What we know: Wilson will turn 34 next November; He has two seasons left on his current contract and becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2023 season; Wilson has a full clause not to trade in the $140 million four-year extension that occurred prior to 2019; He missed three matches with a broken finger and had a key weapon – Metcalfe – that hampered quite a bit in 2021.

Seattle has been 6-8 this season in games started by Wilson, and has been down 0.500 in Wilson’s last 25 games. However, only last season Seattle won the NFC West title, in part because Wilson was a legitimate candidate for Player of the Year midway through 2020.

From a Seattle perspective, the central question is whether or not the Super Bowl window will remain open. If salary cap restrictions prevent the Seahawks from building a winner around Wilson, trade and rebuilding make sense.

But, if the plan is to keep fighting for championships, then trading Wilson would be a mistake. Most NFL games drop into the fourth quarter, and even this season (when Seattle went 3-5 in single-score games), Wilson’s ability to navigate the drama of the fourth quarter made Seattle win a safe bet.

Image Courtesy: Michael Workman - Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is under contract until the 2025 season, but after only his second season in Seattle, what does the future hold for his coaching team?What about Carol? The coach will turn 71 in September, but from the outside, he looks as energetic as ever. If his rah-rah style no longer communicates with players, especially leaders like Wilson, perhaps changing the training will revitalize the team. However, as with Wilson’s discussion, we must ask: Who’s next? Is this a rebuild, or is the coach now expected to win?

Then there is Wagner. A major contributor to Seattle’s defense for a decade, the quarterback made his eighth consecutive Pro Bowl appearance this season. The question is, is spending more than $20 million for another season of Wagner the best move, or is it better to free up a little space and be young?

Likewise, did Rashad Penny’s strong finish to the season cause him to run out of Seattle’s budget for appearances? Is Metcalf an elite receiver? Could he get paid at that level?

Such high-level decisions challenge general managers annually, as do less frequent employee moves. The midfielder is the position that directly affects a team’s championship potential, but even the best QBs need a serviceable offensive line and have no control over the quality of play from their defence.

NFC West will have three teams in the playoffs. Finishing at the bottom of the division, while disappointing, doesn’t mean the Seahawks can’t bounce back in 2022. But it does make the challenge even tougher than it is in most other divisions, which only adds to the importance and intrigue of an offseason team that started at the time. Closer than Seattle and its fans are used to.

Image Courtesy: Michael Workman - Rashad Penny (20) was the NFL's leading contestant for a four-week stretch of late season.  How much will it cost the Seahawks to maintain an unrestricted free agent?The Seahawks know their opponents in 2022: In addition to playing their first-division opponents in Arizona, Los Angeles and San Francisco on and off home soil, Seattle’s home opponents will be the Broncos, Raiders, Jets, Giants, Hawks and Panthers. Other road games will be against Chiefs, Chargers, Buccaneers, Saints and Lions.

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Publishing Team