The Seahawks may be off this week, but the mailbag never rests.
So let’s get to it.
Q: Do you believe the Seahawks will be active in the coming weeks with the trade deadline approaching? Pete (Carroll) did say “this week is to evaluate and get better.”
A: One caution that I’d note about that statement is that he says that every year heading into the bye week, as all coaches do, because that’s really all there is for coaches to do during the week: self-scout and evaluate the team and see where improvements can be made.
As the question alludes to, the NFL trade deadline is indeed fast approaching (Nov. 3).
The Seahawks have obviously made some big in-season moves the last few years, trading for Quandre Diggs last year and Duane Brown in 2017.
To answer the question, I think the Seahawks will be active in working the phones and seeing what might be out there.
But whether they actually pull anything off is another matter.
The Seahawks don’t have a lot of flexibility, already trading their top two picks for the next two seasons as well as a third-round pick in 2021 for Jamal Adams.
Granted, in-season trades can often be made for not much — like Seattle giving up just a fifth-round pick last year for Diggs.
But that usually happens if you’re taking on a lot of money. The Seahawks don’t have much flexibility to do that for 2020.
Via OvertheCap.com, the Seahawks have just $3.8 million in cap space remaining for 2020, the fourth-lowest in the NFL. Cap space can always be created, and if the Seahawks really found something they couldn’t resist, they could maybe make it work.
My hunch is that anything at this point would be minor.
The offense is rolling pretty well and could get some reinforcements over the next month or so, such as Rashaad Penny, Phillip Dorsett II and Josh Gordon (and to answer the question there, no, I have no idea when a decision will made — I don’t think anybody does).
While the defense needs to get better, I think the Seahawks are banking that getting everybody in the secondary healthy and playing together for a while would go a long way toward improving things. The return of Rasheem Green and Jordyn Brooks, and maybe adding Darrell Taylor, will help.
But never say never.
Q: Are Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf the best WR duo this team has ever had? Which other pairs would you put up against them?
A: Is 21 games enough to anoint them as such? It feels like maybe we need to wait just a little longer?
Conversely, the Seahawks’ history isn’t real deep in strong receiving duos in which each player was in the prime of his career at the same time. And Metcalf and Lockett (feels like we need to get them a nickname) are making a strong statement with Lockett ranked 10th in receptions this week (for 342 yards) and Metcalf ranked second in receiving yards with 496 and third in touchdowns with five.
Each remains on pace to break the 1,000-yard mark for the season (Metcalf a whopping 1,587, which would shatter the team record of 1,287 set by Steve Largent in 1985, and Lockett 1,094).
The only time it’s happened before that two Seahawks receivers broke the 1,000-yard receiving mark is 1995, when Joey Galloway had 1,039 and Brian Blades 1,001.
Galloway was a rookie that year, and Blades suffered a shoulder injury the following season and his production fell off sharply from there, typifying how their receiving duos have gone.
Blades and Largent — two of only three Seahawks receivers to make the Pro Bowl — played together in 1988-89, at the downside of Largent’s career.
The Lockett-Doug Baldwin duo was solid, but Lockett spent a year recovering from an injury, and Baldwin’s last season was injury riddled as well. Baldwin is the only other Seahawks receiver to make the Pro Bowl, though Lockett did so as a returner.
The Koren Robinson-Darrell Jackson duo in the mid-2000s had a ton of potential, but there were only two years when each was really productive (2002-03) at the same time.
Should things continue to go how they have, I think Lockett/Metcalf will be the best duo in team history. I’d just give it a little more time before making that declaration definitive.
Q: Do the Seahawks cut Luke Willson once Colby Parkinson comes off the NFI list? And what will happen with the receiver depth when Phillip Dorsett II returns?
A: It would make sense that Willson would be the odd man out. He’s played just seven offensive snaps this year (though Jacob Hollister hasn’t been used a ton either, with just 48).
But this is where the new practice squad rules come in. I’d imagine in that scenario if Willson were to clear waivers (which he’d have to do after Nov. 3) that the Seahawks would probably want to keep him around on the PS.
That they have a lot of depth at some of the positions where injured players can return is why I think you’re hearing Carroll be vague about dates for when players might make it back and saying that in the case of some players they will be patient.
Often in football, for better or worse, an injury situation helps sort out these logjams.
As for Dorsett, the easy switchout there is with Penny Hart, who has played just 10 snaps.
Q: I have been unable to find a suitable answer to why there was no replay on the second-down play at the end of the game where Metcalf appeared to come down in the end zone with both hands and the ball tucked against his body.
A: You’re not alone in wondering that, and had the Seahawks lost, that would have been a big talking point.
The answer is that the replay official (Tyler Cerimeli) apparently didn’t see enough in the replay during the time allotted to him to decide it warranted a review (as for why, without talking to him it’s hard to say for sure what he saw).
Teams cannot challenge inside two minutes, so Carroll couldn’t throw the flag. The call had to come from the replay booth.
And there was no time out, so Cerimeli had only the time during the play. The Seahawks had one timeout remaining but obviously wanted to save it for stopping the clock if needed.
Carroll talked about the play on his radio show Monday and said he thinks if it had been ruled a touchdown — in which case it would have been automatically reviewed — he thinks the call would have stood.
Carroll said that was his regret, that what appeared to be an initial ruling of a touchdown from one official was overruled by another.
Fortunately, it didn’t come back to haunt the Seahawks. But you can assume Carroll mentioned that play on the weekly review of officiating that coaches send in to the league.