Right off the bat, I have to say this is predicated on Russell Wilson demanding a trade out of town. I’m just assuming that’s going to be our reality after this season; it was vey nearly our reality after last season! What about the 2021 Seahawks would lead Wilson to believe things are trending in the right direction? Especially since it seems to me – at least – that Wilson is a major reason why it’s trending in the wrong direction.
If we take that as our eventual reality, then there’s really no point in hanging onto D.K. Metcalf. Presumably, the Seahawks will get a nice little haul of draft picks and/or players in return for Wilson. Whether or not this is the best draft for these purposes remains to be seen, but our front office is going to have to make it the best if we’re going to rebound in the coming years. Regardless, what we get in trade for Wilson won’t be enough to fill out this roster. Not right away. I would guess the return for him will include any number of draft picks over the next 2-3 years. So, we’re going to need more than just that to rebuild.
2022 is set to be the final year in Metcalf’s rookie contract. In other words, he’ll still be a bargain. His value from a contract perspective is as good as it’s ever going to be; very soon, he will be making money commensurate with the top receivers in football. We have one year left until he’s no longer a value player, but just a very good player. And, really, we might have zero years left, because would it surprise anyone to see him hold out for a new deal this upcoming offseason? I mean, the guy is already allegedly engaging in four-ways; he’s got a lifestyle to support!
I only want Metcalf here if he’s got a franchise quarterback throwing to him. Otherwise, I think it’s a waste of his gifts. If I’m right, and the Seahawks trade Wilson this offseason, I’m assuming we will sign in free agency some retread of a veteran quarterback, like Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tyrod Taylor, or Joe Flacco. Do you really look forward to one of those guys making severely off-target throws to D.K. Metcalf, while Metcalf is earning $20 million a year? What’s that going to get us?
Then, there’s the matter of that contract Metcalf will command. We’re looking at $20-$25 million a year. Is ANY receiver worth that? Maaaaaybe, but it depends on the team and the scheme. Is Metcalf worth that? Same answer: depends on team and scheme. Is Metcalf worth that on THIS team with THIS scheme? No and no. Why would you pay a receiver that kind of money and then run a scheme that aims to throw the ball no more than 25 times a game? That’s insanity.
It’s even more insane to do that with Russell Wilson out of the picture. Because that then makes Metcalf the top dog on this team, and when has that EVER worked out, for ANY team? Elite receivers earning elite money on teams with sub-elite quarterbacks is only a recipe for headaches and losing (see: the careers of OBJ, Terrell Owens, Ochocinco, Brandon Marshall, Dez Bryant, etc.). With Wilson around, you at least have someone to help keep him in line. I guarantee there will be a vast increase in sideline tirades with Wilson gone, and Metcalf unhappy with the number of balls he’s getting thrown in his direction (hell, there might be an increase anyway; Metcalf is pretty volatile).
Of course, the key here is what the Seahawks would get in return for Metcalf. I’d love multiple first rounders, but I’d also take a first and a future second (or vice versa). I think the peace of mind alone would be worth it, as well as being able to spend $20-$25 million in other areas of the team where it would be money better spent.
The combo of trading Wilson and Metcalf would be quite a haul in draft capital! We can use that to improve the team as a whole, or we can use some of that to trade up and maybe find the next franchise QB.
I’ll also say this, as someone who has Metcalf in a fantasy football dynasty league: I worry about his longevity. He takes a lot of hits. I’d be concerned about Metcalf’s availability over the course of his second – and especially third – contract.
I could be wrong, of course, about all of it. But, right now I see a Seahawks team that’s one of the very worst in all of football. Changes need to be made. And, other than Wilson, there’s no one else on this team that has the kind of value to make franchise-altering moves. Metcalf is the next best player to trade. So, I think the Seahawks should do it. There will never be a better time.