Time for another mailbag with questions on the viability of trading the backup running backs, whether Seattle’s divisional future is in question, and more. And as always, feel free to send more questions via Twitter at @bcondotta or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: @LazyB7777 asks: Could (Christine) Michael or (Robert) Turbin) be traded on draft day?
A: Could? Sure. For a team that just traded Max Unger and its first-round pick for Jimmy Graham when no one anywhere was even thinking Graham was available, anything is possible. But would those players be particular targets for trades? Seems unlikely. For one, consider that this is regarded as a pretty deep draft for running backs. Any team that wants a running back would probably decide it’s better off getting someone in the draft who maybe you really strike lightning with, rather than take on a player with a few years’ experience who already has a little wear and tear, might cost more and already has something of a track record of what they are. Point being, I’d doubt you’d get a lot, and certainly not a second-round pick, as Seattle used on Michael two years ago.
But I’m assuming your question may also be something of a statement on those two players and what their future is with the organization.
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I’d agree that this looms as a critical year for each player. While Marshawn Lynch is signed through 2017, it probably remains best to consider him a year-to-year proposition. As was thought they’d want to do last year, the Seahawks will undoubtedly hope to determine this year if one of Turbin or Michael can be the heir apparent to Lynch in 2016, if need be. Turbin has developed a nice and useful role as the primary back in Seattle’s two-minute offense, but whether he can be an everydown back remains to be seen. Michael did not have a ton of opportunities of any sort last year, getting off to a slow start due to injuries and then getting almost all of his carries in mop-up duty (eight in the rout at Arizona, six at Philly, etc.). As coach Pete Carroll said last month at the league meetings when asked about Michael, “he’s fresh” from not having carried the ball much. But that hasn’t helped Seattle figure out exactly what it has in Michael.
Many expect Seattle could take advantage of that deep crops of backs in the draft this year and add to the position, as well. Seattle didn’t do that last year, when the only real addition was undrafted free agent Demitrius Bronson. Bronson remains on the team after being on IR late last year, indicative of the team’s continuing interest in seeing what he can do. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more competition added to the tailback spot this year.
Q: @Ckrawl asks: “Do you think the Seahawks would be willing to move back to the AFC West if the NFL asked them to?”
A: This question is obviously asked in the context of the possibility that there could be one or two teams moving to Los Angeles, potentially as early as the 2016 season, including possibly the Rams of the NFC West. Another scenario has both the Raiders and Chargers moving to Los Angeles. That has led to some speculation that there could be some other shifts to balance out the divisions, one possibility being the Seahawks moving back to the AFC West if, say, the Raiders moved to the NFC West to avoid having two teams from the same city in the same division.
However, Pro Football Talk reported in February that the more likely teams to be asked to move would be the Rams or Cardinals.
I asked around a little about this at the NFL meetings last month and from what I gathered, the Seahawks have never been told anything about there being any potential move and that it’s not even something they are thinking about, even in a speculative sense, because as of now it’s not even on the radar.
Q: @Cfrawl also asks: “Does the popularity of the Seahawks help the city of Seattle get an NBA team back?”
A: No, simply because it’s all about an arena and the willingness of the NBA to move a team. No one anywhere doubts Seattle’s ability to support pro sports teams — despite what has been said/written in some places, it was not support of the team that had anything to do with the Sonics leaving. It was solely about the arena, David Stern’s distrust/poor relations with the government here and Howard Schultz’ hasty decision to sell the team. The NBA’s decision to keep the Kings in Sacramento also had nothing to do with concerns about Seattle’s ability to support the Sonics but was largely a desire to support a community in Sacramento that went pretty above-and-beyond to come up with a plan to build an arena there (pro sports leagues always want to support communities that give the most public backing to arenas). The relationship between Stern and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson also was a big factor.
I guess you could argue that it doesn’t hurt that the success of the Seahawks continues to show this area’s appetite for pro sports. But ultimately I think that’s meaningless in the quest to get a new NBA team here. It’s all about their being a team available and the arena.