A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on May 13:
2012: At the conclusion of the team’s three-day rookie minicamp, coach Pete Carroll announces that Russell Wilson will join the competition for the starting quarterback job with free-agent addition Matt Flynn and incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson. “Here’s what I’m going to say about it, he’s going to be in the competition,” Carroll said of Wilson, who had been selected in the third round of the NFL Draft. “He’s shown us enough, he’s in the competition.” Wilson ended up not only winning the competition, Jackson was traded to the Bills last September and Flynn was traded to the Raiders this April.
The Seahawks took a look at four quarterbacks on Monday in their search for a backup to Russell Wilson. Today, they settled on one: Brady Quinn.
The former first-round draft choice of the Browns agreed to terms with the Seahawks today.
The club also had Matt Leinart, Seneca Wallace and Tyler Thigpen in for workouts and visits. Leinart, the 10th pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, played for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll at USC; while Wallace played seven seasons for the Seahawks after being a fourth-round draft choice in 2003.
But in the end, it was Quinn, who entered the league as the 22nd pick in the 2007 draft by the Browns and also has been with the Broncos (2010-11) and Chiefs (2012). He passed for 1,141 yards last season while making eight starts for Kansas City, but had two touchdown passes compared to eight interceptions.
The Seahawks were looking for a backup to Wilson, a third-round draft choice last year, after Matt Flynn was traded to the Raiders last week. The club also re-signed Josh Portis last week.
The QB carrousel in the NFL has been working overtime, especially when it comes to backups.
While the moves of Alex Smith (49ers to Chiefs), Carson Palmer (Raiders to Cardinals) and Matt Flynn (Seahawks to Raiders) into likely starting jobs have generated the most interest, even more interesting is the activity when it comes to the No. 2 spot at the No. 1 position.
Check out these teams that have made moves with their backups:
Team Backup was Backup is
Cardinals Kevin Kolb/John Skelton Drew Stanton
Falcons Luke McCown Dominique Davis
Buffalo Tyler Thigpen Tarvaris Jackson
Bengals Bruce Gradkowski John Skelton/Josh Johnson
Browns Colt McCoy Jason Campbell
Bears Jason Campbell Josh McCown
Colts Drew Stanton Matt Hasselbeck
Chiefs Brady Quinn Chase Daniel
Jets Greg McElroy David Garrard
Vikings Joe Webb Matt Cassel
Saints Chase Daniel Luke McCown
Steelers Charlie Batch Bruce Gradkowski
49ers Alex Smith Colt McCoy
Seahawks Matt Flynn To be determined
Buccaneers Dan Orlovsky To be determined
Titans Matt Hasselbeck Ryan Fitzpatrick
Which teams improved themselves the most in all this shuffling? Don Banks at SI.com weighs in with his rankings, which have Fitzpatrick, Cassel, Hasselbeck, Garrard and Campbell in the Top 5 – and in that order.
In a word, “No.” In two words, “No way.” If you need three words, how about: “Are you kidding?”
We figured we’d answer the question in the teaser for Jason La Canfora’s feature at CBSSports.com – Is there a better NFL personnel guy right now than Seattle’s John Schneider? – before actually getting into what he had to say about the Seahawks’ general manager.
La Canfora points out the obvious, which is too often overlooked when it comes to Schneider. Maybe it’s because Schneider looks too young to be running a NFL franchise. Maybe it’s that old stigma of doing all that he’s doing in Seattle, a remote outpost on the NFL landscape. Maybe the XXXL-sized shadow cast by coach Pete Carroll.
Whatever the reason, it’s nice to see Schneider getting his due – some overdue due.
Writes La Canfora: “John Schneider might be the most aggressive general manager in the NFL, and, in my estimation, no one has done a better job evaluating talent and manipulating the draft, trades and free agency since he took over the Seahawks in 2010. …
“So, here in early April, I challenge anyone to find a team that made better calculated moves than Seattle and Schneider. I am a huge Percy Harvin guy, and felt he could be an absolute difference-maker, particularly if a team with a dynamic quarterback like Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick landed him. Turns out Harvin can now line up alongside Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. Yes, the price in terms of draft picks was high – but Schneider also did well to recoup picks and clear up budget space by spinning backup quarterback Matt Flynn to Oakland – and there was no way the Seahawks were going to get a talent anything close to what Harvin provides picking where they were in this draft.
“I love the move, and while I understand Harvin has warts, I don’t see him clashing with Pete Carroll or being a persistent problem child in Seattle. He’s making what he’s worth; he’s content and has been migraine free for quite some time. His versatility and game-breaking skills at several receiver spots, running back and on special teams cannot be overstated.
“Seattle also had a need at pass rusher and landed Cliff Avril – and another player just hitting his prime and perhaps the best rusher on the market – and at a bargain-basement rate. They added Michael Bennett for good measure on a prove-it deal, wisely allowing the market to set before wading in. All the while, I continue to hear edge rusher Chris Clemons is making great progress recovering from knee surgery. When you consider this team was looking Super Bowl-worthy already, plus all of Wilson’s upside, a big tip of the cap to Schneider.”
All we can add to this is, “Yeah” and “It’s about time someone noticed the job Schneider is doing, and has done.”
Like last year. Schneider and staff got Lynch and run-stuffing/kick-blocking defensive end Red Bryant re-signed before they could become hot commodities in free agency. And can Schneider ever get enough credit for seeing things in Wilson that others couldn’t, or refused to because he’s “too short to play in this league?”
The answer to that last question, of course, is the same as those offered to the first question: “No.” “No way.” “Are you kidding?”
Quarterback Josh Portis has signed a two-year deal with the Seahawks, the team announced this evening.
The Seahawks are familiar with Portis, who originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent out of California University (Pa.) on July 26, 2011.
The 6-foot-3, 211-pound Portis spent his rookie year on Seattle’s 53-man roster behind Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst. He saw action in the preseason and was active for one game during the regular season (10/23) when Jackson could not play due to injury, serving as a backup to Whitehurst in a loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Portis was released during the Seahawks’ final roster cut down in September before the 2012 season and then added to the team’s practice squad, where he spent time until he was released after the team’s Week 12 game against the Miami Dolphins. That move left Russell Wilson and Matt Flynn as the only two quarterbacks on Seattle’s roster.
Now, two days after Flynn has been traded to the Oakland Raiders, Wilson and Portis makeup the current players at the quarterback position for Seattle.
The Seahawks have finalized a trade that sends Matt Flynn to the Raiders for a pair of draft choices, it was announced this morning.
In exchange of the sixth-year quarterback, the Seahawks will receive a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and a conditional pick in the 2015 draft. Flynn was signed in free agency last year, but threw only nine passes in the regular season after rookie Russell Wilson won the starting job with strong efforts in training camp and impressive performances during the preseason.
Word of the possible trade surfaced on Friday, but no deal was reached over the weekend as the Raiders were exploring trade options for veteran starter Carson Palmer, who could end up with the Cardinals.
Trading Flynn, who started two games in his first four NFL seasons as Aaron Rodgers’ backup with the Packers, leaves the Seahawks with Wilson as the only quarterback on their roster.
Audio file – General Manager John Schneider on 950 KJR AM:
Seahawks general manager John Schneider joined 950 KJR AM’s Mitch in the Morning show with host Mitch Levy yesterday to discuss an array of offseason topics – the trade for Percy Harvin, the free agent signings of defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, and what the future holds for backup quarterback Matt Flynn.
If case you missed the interview, we’ve embedded the entire segment between Schneider and Levy above, but one of the more newsworthy pieces to come out of the conversation was on Bennett, who ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently reported had been diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff.
“It is true,” Schneider told Levy of the report. “I do know he [Bennett] played every game last year with [the injury], that’s the understanding. Our medical staff felt comfortable with it, especially on a one-year deal.”
Schneider went on to say that Bennett’s injury would need to be repaired at some point, but not anytime in the near future. He fully expects Bennett to play with the injury as he did throughout 2012, when he racked up 9.0 sacks and three forced fumbles while playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“The majority of them were as an inside rusher,” Schneider said of Bennett’s 2012 sack total. “It’s how we’re going to use him, like a three-technique inside rusher.
“Michael had been here before, so he’s very close with Red Bryant and a number of guys on the team. He had a strong interest in coming here and playing for coach Carroll and [defensive coordinator] Dan Quinn.”
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on March 18:
2010: Charlie Whitehurst, a backup quarterback from the Chargers, is acquired in a trade for two draft choices. Whitehurst would start four games in two seasons, but win only one – the 2010 regular-season finale against the Rams which gave the Seahawks the NFC West title.
2012: Matt Flynn, who had been the backup quarterback to Aaron Rodgers with the Packers the previous four seasons, agrees to terms with the Seahawks in free agency. Flynn threw nine passes in his first season with the team because rookie Russell Wilson won the starting job during the preseason.
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, January 17.
Gil Brandt, a senior analyst at NFL.com, has his first 2013 NFL Mock Draft, and has the Seahawks selecting Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins with the 25th overall pick, “The Seahawks have very good young players at most positions, though they could use a receiver who can get some separation. Hopkins might be a bit of a reach, but he’s quick.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com passes along his thoughts on the Seahawks after viewing Mel Kiper Jr.’s first 2013 NFL Mock Draft, in which Kiper projects the team taking Georgia defensive tackle John Jenkins, “The Seahawks have recently given big contracts to defensive linemen Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane and Chris Clemons. They used the 15th choice in the 2012 draft for pass-rushing defensive end Bruce Irvin. Seattle has also gotten mostly good play from defensive tackle Alan Branch. Despite all the investments in the defensive line, I do think the Seahawks would be wise to address the position early in the draft if value warrants the pick. Adding Jenkins’ 358-pound body to the line might help shore up a run defense that ranked 30th in yards per carry allowed from Week 7 through the end of the season. Improving the pass rush should stand as Seattle’s No. 1 offseason priority, however. Clemons is 31 years old and suffered a torn ACL during the Seahawks’ playoff victory at Washington. His status for the 2013 season is in question. Irvin’s longer-term future was at Clemons’ position. Perhaps Clemons’ injury accelerates the transition. Pass-rushing defensive tackle Jason Jones, a free agent in 2013, also finished the season on injured reserve. Seattle could have used a stronger pass rush late in games against Chicago, Detroit, Miami and Atlanta. Addressing that deficiency in the draft seems like a must even though Irvin and fellow rookie Greg Scruggs showed promise.
Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com recaps a conversation with 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” and Seahawks general manager John Schneider, in which the trio talks about backup quarterback Matt Flynn, “In the absence of any glaring needs outside of a pass rusher, and with only two starters set to become unrestricted free agents, the Seahawks’ decision on Flynn will be a leading offseason story line. ‘We’re going to do what’s best for the organization, period,’ Schneider said. ‘This isn’t like, ‘Well, now that Russell’s done so well, what are you going to do with Matt?’ We have two guys under contract that are good.’ “
Sarah Spain of ESPN.com highlights Seahawks tight end Sean McGrath as part of her “NFL 53rd Man” series, “He didn’t make the 53-man roster after training camp, but he found a home on the practice squad — for two days. Then he was re-signed five days later, then cut again two and a half weeks later. Each time the team would release him, they’d tell him to stick around, he’d be re-signed in a few days. Those days off were tough for McGrath, who got antsy sitting around waiting. But the success of other practice-squad players gave him something to hold on to. ‘First guy who gets called up off the practice squad, Jermaine Kearse. As soon as he gets pulled up we’re like ‘Man, this is real! They’re really doing it,’ McGrath said. ‘Then another guy gets pulled up. All these guys get pulled up and it just gives a light at the end of the tunnel.’ McGrath had to wait a while, but he finally got to that light.”
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, January 16.
Meg Wochnick of the Tacoma News Tribune recaps a Russell Wilson visit to Seattle Children’s Hospital, where Wilson met with 17-year-old cancer patient David Padilla, a senior baseball standout at Timberline High School, “Wilson, less than 48 hours removed from Sunday’s 30-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in an NFC divisional playoff game, spent almost an hour talking with Padilla and also autographing a handful of items for him, including a football and a photo. ‘He was busy,’ said Kari Padilla, David’s mother. They talked about everything from Padilla’s battle with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, to their love of baseball.”
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has a look at the Seahawks defense and the struggles they had closing out several games this season, “You can’t say that Seattle’s defense was bad this year. The Seahawks allowed the fewest points in the league. They went two straight road games without allowing the opposing offense to score a touchdown, and they weren’t entirely unable to finish out games. The Patriots got the ball back with more than twice as much time as Atlanta had Sunday, and the Seahawks closed Tom Brady and his New England teammates out in four plays. Seattle had strong second-half showings against Minnesota and Buffalo, too. But those four blown saves were enough to constitute a trend that is fairly alarming. It wasn’t just that Seattle allowed points late, but the shockingly improbable ways it found to cough up the lead. … ‘I’m not worried about figuring it out,’ Carroll said. ‘It’s just a snap here or there, but it did happen this year. You can’t ignore that.’ “
O’Neil passes along a transcript of his “Hawk Talk” chat here.
O’Neil also comments on the future of quarterback Matt Flynn, “…while you could make a case that Flynn is one of the best backup quarterbacks in the entire league, he might not be the best backup quarterback for Seattle. He is a quarterback whose biggest asset is timing and anticipation while Wilson is someone with a plus-arm by NFL standards and exceptional mobility. In that regard, Seattle might be better finding a backup quarterback who is capable of running some of the option plays Seattle has as opposed to a more accomplished passer like Flynn. Carroll was asked, specifically, if it was important to find a backup with traits similar to Wilson’s. ‘It’s a good point and we’ve talked a lot about that,’ Carroll said. ‘It would be nice to have another guy who might be able to be a factor in that way. There’s some really good kids out there. We’ll see.’ “
Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby of 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” discuss whether or not opposing defenses will catch up to the Seahawks’ use of the read-option with quarterback Russell Wilson in this short video.
Brock Huard and Mike Salk of 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” discuss who on the defensive side of the football can match Wilson’s level of leadership in this short video.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, who coached Russell Wilson in his one season at Wisconsin, chats with 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” on what the future holds for the young quarterback.
Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com has a close look at five key players who will be unrestricted free agents this offseason, including defensive tackle Alan Branch, linebacker Leroy Hill, cornerback Marcus Trufant, kicker Steven Hauschka, and defensive tackle Jason Jones.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his “silver linings” from Sunday’s season-ending loss to the Atlanta Falcons, “Quarterback Russell Wilson completed 24 of 36 passes for 385 yards and two touchdowns. He also had seven rushing attempts for 60 yards and a touchdown. Wilson set an NFL rookie record for passing yardage in a playoff game. He became the first player in NFL history with at least 385 yards passing and 60 yards rushing in a postseason game. Wilson’s performance established him even more firmly as a franchise quarterback and one of the best young players in the NFL.”
Sando also has a look at Wilson’s potential path to the Pro Bowl next weekend in Honolulu, Hawaii, “Aaron Rodgers’ withdrawal from the Pro Bowl moves Seattle Seahwaks rookie Russell Wilson one step closer to playing in the game. Wilson was the third alternate for the annual all-star game. Rodgers, Robert Griffin III and Matt Ryan were the three quarterbacks named to the NFC roster. Griffin is already out while recovering from knee surgery. Ryan would be out if his Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl. Drew Brees was named to the game as the first alternate. Eli Manning was the second alternate. Wilson would be named to the NFC roster if Ryan were in the Super Bowl or if one of the other alternates skipped the game.”
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has released his first mock draft of 2013 and has the Seahawks selecting 6-foot-3, 358-pound defensive tackle John Jenkins out of Georgia with the No. 25 pick in the first round, “Analysis: John Schneider and Pete Carroll showed great instincts in the 2012 draft, adding players they felt could help them immediately, even as analysts (myself included) questioned slot value. The defense was very good this past season, but I think an interior defender who can occupy blockers, occasionally penetrate and even wreck the pocket from the inside is a need. Jenkins was a little uneven at times in 2012, but has the upside of an impact interior lineman.”