After a disappointing first round exit in the playoffs, where do the Seahawks need to go from here to build back the momentum they once had?
It was a more than familiar outcome for the Seahawks as they were once again eliminated in one of the first two rounds of the NFL playoffs, this year at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams in the first round. Since their Super Bowl loss in 2014, they have not played in the conference championship once. What was thought to be the next dynasty has now turned into a question of whether head coach Pete Carroll will be able to bring his team back to the promised land of a Super Bowl championship.
The window is not closed just yet. Although most of the core from the two Super Bowl teams are gone, Russell Wilson still leads the offense with Bobby Wagner on the defensive side. I say the window is not closed, however it is closing fast. With recent comments made by Wilson, if this team doesn’t take a significant step within the next couple of years, he could be on his way out of Seattle at the end of his current contract in 2023. Here are the moves I believe the Seahawks need to make to be able to make one more run at a Super Bowl.
Do not trade Russell Wilson
It is sad that I have to even address this topic. There are people out there who are legitimately open to trading the best quarterback this franchise has ever seen. This all stems from some comments he made on the Dan Patrtick show a few weeks ago, where some would say he threw his offensive line under the bus after stating that he “needs to be protected better.” He also went on to say that he wants to be involved in team decisions with Carroll and general manager John Schnider.
Although these comments might have rubbed some people the wrong way, and should probably not have been said in a public interview, Wilson is not wrong one bit. Throughout his career, he has been sacked the most out of any quarterback in that respective timespan, and this is not even counting QB pressures. The offensive line seems to have been this team’s weak spot for the majority of the past eight seasons.
All of this led to trade rumors surrounding Wilson. However, he never made an actual trade request as far as the public knows, and I doubt that there was one behind the scenes. The team is better with Wilson at quarterback and with how hard it is to find a franchise QB like Wilson, trading him would be a massive mistake by the Sehawks and set them back even farther from another championship. With the emergence of DK Metcalf, the offense has the potential to be great through a whole season like they were in the first half of 2020.
Sign veteran offensive linemen
Building off of what I said in the prior section, the Seahawks NEED to protect Russell Wilson better. The Rams dominated the Seahawks up front in the playoff game and this was done without defensive player of the year, Aaron Donald, for the majority of the second half.
Luckily for many teams in the NFL, the salary cap will increase by $5 million despite original thoughts of reductions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This should give Schnider and Carroll some room to work with to bring in experienced linemen to improve that area of the team. Guard and center should be the primary focus with the likely departures of Ethan Pocic and Mike Iuapati, who were both inconsistent throughout the season.
Re-sign Jarren Reed and Carlos Dunlap
Even with the salary cap increase, this might be tough to do with their current situation and current cap room. At the minimum, they need to bring at least one of them back as they are forces on the defensive front and made a large contribution to the defense’s emergence in the second half of the season.
Dunlap finished with six sacks on the season while Reed finished with six and a half while also contributing to a solid rush defense on the interior throughout the season. Together, the two would be a perfect one-two punch to begin the season on the defensive side and would help keep the momentum they gained at the end of the season.
If the offense is able to fix their problems with protection as well as play calling and if the defense continues its improvement, then this team will have the chance to get back to the top in 2021.