Better, worse or the same? How the Seattle Seahawks’ attack changes without Russell Wilson

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RENTON, Wash. – In addition to replacing quarterback Russell Wilson, the Seattle Seahawks’ offense will have a new primary goal on the tight end, a new No. 2 running back who expects to get plenty of work and, in all likelihood, three new starters on their offensive line.

The changes the Seahawks made on that side of the ball this offseason actually go far beyond the quarterback.

But we start there as we look at Seattle’s offense from position to position with a verdict on whether each of them is better, worse or the same compared to 2021.


Additions: Drew Lock

Loss: Russell Wilson

Recurring: Geno Smith, Jacob Eason

Better, worse or the same: Worse

When you go from a likely Hall of Famer to a couple of replacement options that have not been able to keep starting jobs down, it’s not a question of whether or not you will get worse as a quarterback, but of how significantly the drop-off will be.

After all, Wilson’s career-low 54.7 Total QBR in 2021 is better than what Lock has managed in any of his three NFL seasons. Smith has only sent a higher QBR once in nine seasons (2015).

Which raises two questions: Why did the Seahawks not make a stronger run at Baker Mayfield, which was acquired for almost nothing? And could they still go after Jimmy Garoppolo?

The former 49ers starter has not been medically approved after a shoulder operation, and with the start of training camp just two weeks away, he should learn a new offensive and quickly build up chemistry with a new group of pass-catchers. Also, the Seahawks – even with mediocre defenses in recent seasons – have had his number since his switch to San Francisco. So how big an upgrade would they consider him to be in relation to their current options?

The Seahawks believe Lock has a lot more upside than the shaky start to his career suggests, and believes a different coaching style could help lure him out better. But he will have to beat Smith first, and Lock was behind in that race when the offseason program ended.


Additions: Ken Walker III, Darwin Thompson

Loss: Alex Collins, Adrian Peterson

Recurring: Rashaad Penny, * Chris Carson, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer, Josh Johnson

Better, worse or the same: Better

Carson’s place among the returnees comes with a star because while he is still under contract, he has not been medically approved after a neck operation. And the fact that it has not yet happened suggests that his chances of returning are more questionable than questionable.

But remember, Carson only played the first four games last season, so he would hardly count as a loss from 2021. If he returns, he would actually be an addition.

If not, Penny would be the No. 1 opportunity after his amazing finish last season. His health is the second major variable in Seattle’s backfield equation, as Penny has missed 30 of a possible 69 career games (including playoffs) due to an injury. Whether it’s because Penny is missing out on more time and / or because the Seahawks manage his touches to prevent overexertion, Walker should take a lot into the rotation. ESPN’s Todd McShay rated Walker, a second-round pick, as the best running back in this year’s draft.

wide receiver

Additions: Marquise Goodwin, Bo Melton, Dareke Young, Deontez Alexander, Kevin Kassis

Loss: None

Recurring: DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Freddie Swain, Dee Eskridge, Penny Hart, Cody Thompson, Cade Johnson, Aaron Fuller

Better, worse or the same: the same

Subject to a Metcalf holdout or trade in the absence of an extension, Seattle will return its top three of Metcalf, Lockett and Swain.

Eskridge is the X factor. Last year’s election in the second round could overtake Swain as No. 3 and give Seattle’s receiving corps a quick and versatile option if he’s healthy, but it’s been a challenge. A toe injury and a concussion led to an indefinite rookie season. Then he was out of the game for part of this year’s offseason program due to his hind thigh, prompting coach Pete Carroll to openly complain about the time Eskridge has missed.

Goodwin, added on a minimum wage deal, is not sure to get on the team. Ditto for rookie seventh rounds Melton and Young.

As for Metcalf’s contract, the Seahawks still sounded optimistic about getting a deal in place after the receiver skipped the mandatory minicamp. But given where the market has gone, it does not seem like a slam dunk.

tight end

Additions: Noah FantCade Brewer

Loss: Gerald Everett

Recurring: Will Dissly, Colby Parkinson, Tyler Mabry

Better, worse or the same: Better

Fant, part of Seattle’s return package in the Wilson deal, is a clear upgrade over Everett. He and Dissly give the Seahawks their best tight-end duo for years.

There is a widespread belief in the organization that close ends will benefit from the Wilson trade because whatever quarterback starts for Seattle will throw the ball to the short middle area of ​​the field more than their predecessor did.

offensive line

Additions: Charles Cross, Abraham Lucas, Austin Blythe, Shamarious Gilmore, Liam Ryan

Loss: Duane Brown, Brandon Shell, Ethan Pocic

Recurring: Gabe Jackson, Damien Lewis, Dakoda Shepley, Kyle Fuller, Jake Curhan, Stone Forsythe, Phil Haynes, Greg Eiland

Better, worse or the same: Better

Hard call between “better” and “the same”.

For while the Seahawks may have strengthened future bookends in their offensive line by drawing Cross with the ninth pick and Lucas as No. 72 overall, there will likely be growing pains when the two switch to the NFL from pass-heavy college schemes where they did not play from a three-point position.

Then again, the aging Brown and the slammed Shell were 26th and 27th respectively in pass block victory rate among tackles last season. So it’s realistic for Seattle to be better in that department.

The Seahawks would be in barely mapped territory if Lucas beats Curhan and Forsythe out on the right to join Cross in the starting lineup. According to ESPN Stats & Information, only two teams have started rookie tackles in Week 1 since 1970.

Blythe, the expected starter at the center, has a background with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and O-line coach Andy Dickerson. But it remains to be seen how much an upgrade, if any, he is over Pocic.

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