The NFL trade deadline came and went Tuesday afternoon with the Seahawks for once acting like the rest of the league in doing nothing.
Confirming the conventional wisdom going into the deadline that not much was expected to happen, not much did.
The Rams made a blockbuster deal Monday by trading second- and third-round picks to Denver for linebacker Von Miller.
Otherwise, there wasn’t a lot of action — just four trades Tuesday, with the biggest name being moved that of linebacker Melvin Ingram, dealt by the Steelers to the Chiefs for a 2022 sixth-round pick.
There had been talk that Seattle was shopping defensive end L.J. Collier, the team’s first pick in the 2019 draft. But for now, Collier is staying put, despite not playing in six of the past eight games.
Teams can still make moves by adding players who become available via waivers.
But the passing of the trade deadline now means that all players who are released must go through waivers. Before the trade deadline, veterans with four or more years immediately became free agents when released. Now, vested veterans also go through waivers, a process in which teams have 24 hours to claim a player, going in order from worst record to best (essentially, that week’s draft order).
In 2019, Seattle claimed Josh Gordon off waivers three days following the trade deadline.
And the Seahawks have the financial flexibility to make waiver claims if they want, listed as having $13.3 million of cap space heading into Tuesday, fourth most in the NFL.
Seattle had made significant moves before the trade deadline in three of the past four years, acquiring left tackle Duane Brown in 2017, safety Quandre Diggs in 2019 and defensive end Carlos Dunlap in 2020.
But for now, the Seahawks are standing pat, in part hoping for a boost from some injured players they hope will return over the next few weeks, led by quarterback Russell Wilson.
Seattle also hopes running back Chris Carson and receiver Dee Eskridge will soon return to give the offense a boost in the second half of the season.
And that Seattle was quiet at the trade deadline might speak to confidence brewing in the organization that the team has solved some of its issues during the first eight games of the season.
The most glaring problem early on was the play of the cornerbacks.
But the move of D.J. Reed from the left side to the right and the insertion of Tre Brown on the left side (and Sidney Jones for a few games before that) has appeared to solidify that spot.
The Seahawks also like the way both lines are coming together, with the return of Ethan Pocic as the starting center seeming to give Seattle one of its cleanest performances by the offensive line Sunday against Jacksonville.
And while Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that the running game has to get better — which led some to wonder if there was a way to add someone to the backfield — the team is undoubtedly thinking the return of Carson would be better than anyone who would have been available on the trade market.
In fact, some had wondered if the Seahawks might try to deal running back Rashaad Penny, Seattle’s 2018 first-round pick.
But there appeared to be little market for any of the running backs who were available, with one report stating there were far more sellers than buyers at that position.
And while Penny’s return from injury the past two weeks has not netted much — just 16 yards on 13 carries in 31 snaps — the Seahawks need him until they know for sure Carson will be back.
As for Collier, an NFL Network report last week suggested the Seahawks had been exploring trade options for a player who has fallen out of the team’s defensive line rotation.
But Collier was not moved, with ESPN reporting the Seahawks were not “shopping” Collier and “still see value” in him.
Seattle also might simply not have found much interest since Collier has played in just two of eight games this season, despite being healthy, and has played just 39 snaps overall.
Collier has been inactive for the past three games as Seattle has often gone with a “big” defensive line featuring tackles Al Woods, Bryan Mone and Poona Ford.
And Collier has essentially been passed in the defensive line rotation by Robert Nkemdiche, who has 157 snaps this season, including 28 against the Jaguars Sunday.
Collier has one year remaining on his four-year rookie deal, due to make a base salary of $1.9 million in 2022 with a cap hit of $3.4 million, each numbers that undoubtedly made it harder for Seattle to move him, assuming the team really considered it.