Last week, Saints quarterback Drew Brees secured a broadcasting deal with NBC without ever having called a play. The network recognized his stature as a future Hall of Fame quarterback, noted his perpetual charisma and made a wager on his potential in the booth.
So it got me thinking: Which current and former Seahawks have the most to offer as a future broadcaster? Here’s a top-10 list:
10. Doug Baldwin
A colleague once said to me “Doug seems like the kind of guy that would talk about philosophy at parties.” It wasn’t a stretch. The former Seahawks receiver is a very serious, very passionate person who may find success in politics one day. But he was also one of the most straight-shooting athletes I’ve ever covered.
Based on some of his touchdown celebrations, it’s clear that he’s no stranger to levity. And if he could combine that with no-nonsense football analysis, it’s easy to see him on a set or in a booth one day.
9. Jon Ryan
Yes, he was a punter, but he was also a punter who hosted a comedy event in Everett a couple of years back and is married to comedian Sarah Colonna.
Embraced by Seattle the way few athletes are regardless of their position, Ryan’s voice would be welcome around here.
8. Michael Bennett
He’s funny. Asked about his beard once, Bennett said, “I really want to look like the richest homeless person I’ve ever seen.” Asked to describe his sack dance, he said, “two angels dancing while chocolate is coming from the heavens on a Sunday morning.”
It’s hard to say what role Bennett would excel in as a full-time broadcaster, and his comments aren’t always safe for work. But if the former Seahawks defensive end is in front of a camera, the odds of boredom ensuing are low.
7. Bobby Wagner
I don’t think Wagner wants to go into broadcasting. Taking a business route that leads to him owning a team seems to be his post-playing-days plan at the moment.
But the Seahawks linebacker is usually pithy, and clearly has an A-list understanding of football. Networks will vie for his services. It’s just a matter if he’ll be interested.
6. Tyler Lockett
Whether it’s in the locker room or on the podium, Lockett always delivers with the media by blending insight with humor. He also has been a key contributor to the Seahawks receivers’ touchdown dances, and masterfully spoofed Russell Wilson’s contract-extension announcement on Instagram with offensive lineman D.J. Fluker.
Does he have the profile to make it on a national stage as a sportscaster? Not yet. But I imagine local affiliates would fight hard for his services when he retires.
5. K.J. Wright
The linebacker already has a podcast called “Topic of Discussion” in which he delves into subjects that include athletes playing hurt, relationship roles and gun control. And he has become the primary court holder in the Seahawks’ locker room before practices.
Wright strikes the perfect balance between candor and kindness — never snapping, but never holding back his true thoughts.
4. Russell Wilson
This is a high-risk, high-reward pick. Assuming he wants to, Wilson has the cachet to break into a high-profile media role the second he retires, but whether he’d be a good broadcaster is a mystery.
His postgame quotes are generally vanilla and predictable. But he’s also shown an ability to let loose on Instagram, and could probably do the same on the air.
Remember, Alex Rodriguez wasn’t very colorful as a player, but he blossomed into one of baseball’s best broadcasters. The potential is there for Wilson.
3. Luke Willson
Short shorts? Techno Thursdays? Incessant locker-room banter with both his teammates and the press? Willson checks each box.
The Seahawks tight-end’s quotes have also turned him into a postgame staple for the media.
He would never be short on original content, either, as evidenced by a recent Zoom conference in which he asked his fellow tight ends, “How many people — and you get to pick them — would it take to kill a silverback gorilla, no weapons? And if one person survives, that’s considered a win.”
Answered the recently signed Greg Olsen: “This is what you guys talk about?”
2. Earl Thomas
Thomas does not know how to lie. When he thought Wagner was too hurt to be playing in a game vs. the Rams three seasons ago, he said Wagner was too hurt to be playing in the game. When he was skipping practices to protect himself for his own financial benefit, he said he was skipping practices to protect himself for his own financial benefit.
When he wanted the Cowboys to come get him if the Seahawks refused to extend him, he told the Cowboys to come get him.
The Baltimore safety is as filterless as he is fearless, and though that might scare some execs engineering a live broadcast, such qualities usually lead to television gold.
1. Richard Sherman
The instant Sherman announces he’s hanging ’em up is the instant he gets a television offer. The 49ers cornerback is among the brashest and wittiest to ever suit up in the NFL, and has regularly demonstrated his vast knowledge of the game.
Would there be heated discussions on set? Absolutely. Would he insist he’d lock down any wide receiver he works with and regularly assert he’s the best corner ever? Yeah, probably.
But signing Sherman might be the biggest “get” a network could have for any non-quarterback in the game.