So, last Thursday happened, and everyone rejoiced because the Seahawks got through their final pre-season game mostly unscathed. Then, Friday happened, and shit started hitting the fan all over the place!
Five trades were made, countless players were shockingly waived, and when the dust settled, it appears the Seahawks are better in the short term and the long term than they were at this time last Thursday.
Let’s run down the trades in brief:
- Trade with Jets: Jermaine Kearse & a 2018 Second Round Pick for Sheldon Richardson and a swap of 2018 Seventh Round Picks
- Trade with Patriots: a 2018 Seventh Round Pick for Justin Coleman
- Trade with Patriots: Cassius Marsh for a 2018 Fifth Round Pick and that Seventh Round Pick we gave them for Coleman
- Trade with Vikings: Tramaine Brock for a 2018 Seventh Round Pick
- Trade with Chiefs: a 2018 Conditional Seventh Round Pick for Isaiah Battle
Now, let’s discuss these trades in reverse order:
Isaiah Battle is an offensive tackle who has never actually played in an NFL game. From something I saw on Twitter, if you think back to the third pre-season game, Battle was getting abused on the reg by our defensive linemen. He’s got the size you want, but at three years into his professional career, you have to wonder if he has the talent. It looks like the Seahawks could get that draft pick back if they just waive him, but the question remains: how long of a look do we get at Battle before making that happen?
On Friday, as the Jermaine Kearse rumors were swirling, there were a similar number of Jeremy Lane rumors swirling. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire this time of year, and usually when it leaks out that a team is shopping someone, that means if they find no takers, they’re just going to cut that player later. So, as we all prepared to say goodbye to Lane, it turns out Tramaine Brock was getting the ax (and just when I learned how to spell his name without looking it up!). I guess Brock became expendable when Coleman was brought in. Coleman is more of a prototypical nickel corner, while Brock has played more on the outside in his career. With Shaq Griffin more of an outside guy (who will force Lane inside in nickel situations), and with Griffin proving to be competent with lots of upside, Brock was redundant. It’s too bad, but at least the Seahawks got something for him.
I’m going to lump the two deals with the Pats together. It essentially boils down to a swap of players (Cassius Marsh for Justin Coleman) with the Seahawks getting an additional fifth round pick as a cherry on top. Marsh was going to be a free agent after this season. Coleman will be a restricted free agent in 2018, meaning if the Seahawks like him, odds are they’ll be able to keep him. Coleman figures to be our dime corner, and probably adds something to special teams. Marsh, honestly, is what he is. Every year, we go into the Seahawks’ pre-season hoping that THIS will be the year that Marsh finally makes the big leap forward in his productivity as a rush end, but every year it’s just baby steps (if it’s any steps at all). He’s better at defending the run than he is getting to the quarterback, and he’s better on special teams than he is at defense. While that’s nice, it’s not really game-changing, and if you can get a fifth round pick for that, you absolutely do it! Marsh might end up being a late bloomer, and I wish him all the best (when he’s not playing against the Seahawks), but he won’t be doing his blooming here.
Finally, the big news of the weekend – indeed, of the season so far – is the trade for Sheldon Richardson. We gave the Jets Jermaine Kearse (I guess they’re desperate for wide receiver help) and a second round pick in compensation. It’s sad to see Kearse go, and I’ll always think of him fondly for all his huge catches through the years, but if you have a chance to bring in Sheldon Richardson, and you need to clear up some cap space to do it, I’m more than happy to part with Kearse now.
Richardson is a monster. He can play DT or DE, he can rush the passer from the inside and out, he can stop the run from the inside and out. He fits seamlessly on this D-Line and could very well prove to be a game-changer for this defense as a whole. He takes the Seahawks from Contender to Favorite in the NFC. He makes this defense SO MUCH BETTER it’s insane! I mean, we’re talking 2013/2014 levels of Seahawks defense. Shit just got real.
There were some interesting, tough cuts made over the weekend as well. In no particular order, here’s a list of some of the big ones:
- Ahtyba Rubin
- Trevone Boykin
- Kasen Williams
- Mike Morgan
- Marcel Reece
- Pierre Desir
- Alex Collins
- Mike Davis
- Joey Hunt
- Quinton Jefferson
- Kenny Lawler
- David Moore
- Will Pericak
- Garrison Smith
- Tyrone Swoopes
- Mike Tyson
- Cyril Grayson
Rubin is obviously a tough one to see go, but he became expendable with Richardson in the fold. Boykin being let go means that Austin Davis won the backup QB job, which makes sense. I don’t see why Boykin couldn’t land on the Practice Squad; I can’t imagine another team wanting him. Morgan and Reece are a couple of vets we could have at any time, I imagine. The writing was on the wall for Collins and Davis, considering the depth at running back.
But, I’m really just dancing around the obvious here. The Seahawks didn’t keep Kasen Williams and I’m pretty pissed about it. If he didn’t win a job on this roster with all that he did this pre-season, then what the fuck more did he have to do? He made just about every single catch you could’ve asked of him, he balled out on special teams, and with Kearse gone, wouldn’t you want someone intimately familiar with our system to be our fourth receiver? You know, in case guys like Lockett or P-Rich get injured again like they always do?
And you know who snapped Kasen up? The Cleveland Browns! Who just so happen to be at the very tip top of the waiver priority list. If the player you just gave up goes to the very first team that could claim him, you probably done fucked up.
To a lesser extent, I’m also pissed that the Seahawks let Pierre Desir go, because he was far and away one of the top two cornerbacks on this team this pre-season. This one is more of a numbers game than anything. Sherm isn’t going anywhere. Griffin isn’t going anywhere. With Brock gone, Lane isn’t going anywhere. And the Seahawks just traded for Justin Coleman. This one came down to Desir and Neiko Thorpe, and Thorpe JUST signed a 2-year deal this past offseason. Thorpe isn’t anywhere NEAR the cornerback that Desir is, but he’s a fundamental member of the Special Teams, and it’s clear the Seahawks have made Special Teams a top priority this season. So, that’s that I guess.
Without further ado, let’s get into the guys we decided to keep.
In this one, it came down to what do you want more: someone who has real, significant NFL experience? Or someone who can do the best Russell Wilson impression (minus all the accuracy, decision-making, and smarts)? Considering, again, I think Boykin can be had for the Practice Squad, I’m perfectly fine with this (either way, this team stinks the minute Wilson goes down with injury).
Tre Madden (FB)
Again, no shockers here. Madden over Reece is a mini-shocker (just the tips), but when you think about it, when was the last time the Seahawks kept an aging veteran fullback on the roster heading into week 1? You bring those guys in AFTER week 1 and make sure their contracts aren’t fully guaranteed!
While I don’t believe McEvoy is QUITE as athletic as Kasen Williams, he’s pretty fucking athletic. He’s tall and can make a lot of the catches Kasen can make. He’s also, if we’re being honest, probably better on Special Teams. As for Darboh, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that the team wanted to keep their third round draft pick, even though we’ve seen this team move on from relatively highly-drafted wide receivers before. It sounds like the Seahawks really like Darboh.
Running Back/Wide Receiver/Kickoff & Punt Returner
I think the reason why I’m not more blinded by rage at the loss of Kasen Williams is that it facilitated the team keeping McKissic. He’s technically listed as a running back (having switched to Shaun Alexander’s old number, which I don’t know how I feel about just yet), but he does everything. Most importantly, he spares Lockett from returning kicks, which is huge considering the injury from which he’s returning. McKissic isn’t elite at any one spot, but I think he could be highly productive, even in a reserve role. A+ for this move!
Again, no surprises here.
The starters are set, Aboushi sticks around as veteran depth inside, Pocic is our Jack of All Trades, Roos is our rookie project, and Tobin and Battle are tackle insurance. I can’t imagine we stay with 10 offensive linemen for very long, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see one or both of those final two guys get the ax at some point.
Along the lines of there being too many O-Linemen, there’s probably one fewer D-Lineman than we’d like. Reed and Jones are the only natural DTs, but obviously Richardson is going to start there as well and play most every down, so that mitigates things. It’s cool to see Bass make the team, as he really balled out this pre-season as well. And, you have to like the versatility Smith brings.
Obviously, the top two are our studs and will be on the field every down. The next two are our depth pieces/SAM ‘backers. The final two are special teams studs and will hopefully never see meaningful snaps on defense.
I talked about these guys up top. Nice group all around, though I still probably would’ve kept Desir.
Not much to say here. McDougald mitigates some of the loss I feel for Desir, as he figures to play quite a bit on defense in 3-safety sets, covering tight ends. Desir was more of a third outside corner/injury depth; McDougald should actually play and play considerably. Thompson and Hill, the two rookies, were never going anywhere.
Bingo, bango, bongo.