How Many Titles Can We Expect From The Seahawks & Russell Wilson?

The NBA has obviously been on a lot of minds recently, with the Michael Jordan documentary (still haven’t seen it, still probably won’t see it) coming to a conclusion. When you think about the greatest players in NBA history – Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, Shaq – you’re talking about guys with multiple championships (somehow, of the guys on that list, Bird has the fewest titles with three). One guy in the NBA can change things SO DRAMATICALLY for a franchise; you look at these players with their careers spanning 13-20 years and it would be fascinating to go back in time and be able to tell those fanbases: with this guy, you’re going to witness anywhere from 3-6 championships during his career.

It obviously doesn’t work that way in the NFL. The most important player is obviously the quarterback, and of the best all-time (since the merger in 1970), there have only been four NFL quarterbacks who’ve won more than 2 titles: Tom Brady (6), Joe Montana (4), Terry Bradshaw (4), and Troy Aikman (3) (I don’t count Steve Young here, because he was only the starter for one of his three championships).

For what it’s worth, you see A LOT of guys with 2: Peyton Manning, John Elway, Roger Staubach, Ben Roethlisberger; A LOT of guys with 1: Brett Favre, Kurt Warner, Ken Stabler, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees; and A LOT of guys with 0: Fran Tarkenton, Dan Marino, Dan Fouts, Jim Kelly, Warren Moon, Philip Rivers.

In the middle of all of that, we have Russell Wilson with his one championship (the same number as Patrick Mahomes, probably the only quarterback most people would take over Russell Wilson if they had to start a franchise right now and could pick any player). Wilson is smack dab in the middle of his prime; he was the best he’s ever been in 2019, and we can expect right around that level of effectiveness for the next few years at least. He still hasn’t even surpassed 10 years in the league yet! And quarterbacks nowadays can play 20+ years.

But, it’s SO. FUCKING. HARD to win a championship in the NFL. Even for the very best players in the league! So much harder than it is for the very best NBA players. Which makes it reasonable to ask: how many more championships can we expect from Russell Wilson while he’s still in a Seahawks uniform? If Future Steven were to come back in time from 15 years down the line, how many Super Bowl titles would he be able to tell me I have to look forward to?

Odds are that number is ZERO! Odds are, I’ll have up to 15 more years with Russell Wilson (at the MOST; probably closer to only 10 more years) and I will see zero more championships for the Seattle Seahawks in that span. That feels just so damned demoralizing to think about, but that’s the nature of the beast. The Tom Bradys of the world are a once-in-a-generation breed. Wilson has played eight seasons; by this point in Brady’s career, he’d already won three championships. Montana had won twice. Bradshaw had also won twice and Aikman had nabbed all three of his. Wilson, again, just the one (and we’re all super-impressed that he’s already been to the Super Bowl a second time, but that fakakta play-call at the goalline obviously screwed the pooch).

I’m a firm believer that Russell Wilson will – when it’s all said and done – have a Hall of Fame career under his belt. That’s why I’m talking about him among these other all-time greats. I’m almost assuredly biased, but I think Wilson is a better player than all of those QBs I mentioned above who have one or fewer championships. I would like to think Wilson is among the elite level that Manning and Elway reached, which means I would HOPE he has at least one more title in him before he hangs ’em up.

If I’m right, then I think it’s reasonable to expect another Seahawks championship at some point in the next decade. Obviously, it’s unfair to put all of that on one guy; this is the NFL after all, there are 50+ other players on the team that need to pitch in to make this thing work. But, make no mistake, the quarterback gets all the credit and all the blame for a reason. The all-time greats find a way to come up big in the biggest moments. If Russell Wilson aims to be lumped in that category, then he’s going to need to find a way to take this team on his back and will them to victory.

I’ll say this: he’s on the right track. You can complain about play-calling and how the coaching staff is hamstringing him, but this is the organization we’ve got, and they’ve proven they can win in this league with their system. We’re not the Kansas City Chiefs, we’re not the New England Patriots; we’re the Seattle Fucking Seahawks, and Russell Wilson is being put in situations to succeed nearly every year. And, quite frankly, we haven’t been able to get it done in recent seasons. We haven’t been able to win enough regular season games to take the NFC West and lock down one of the top seeds in the conference, and we haven’t played our best on the road in these playoff games. At some point, we have to talk about Russell Wilson the way we talk about all of the other all-time greats, and stop making excuses. As everyone else needs to be better, so does Russell Wilson. Yes, he’s the best thing going for the Seahawks right now, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be better!

All I know is, I don’t want to wake up this time in 2030 and see the same number of championships next to Russell Wilson’s name. The clock is ticking. Yes, the Seahawks need to take advantage of Wilson’s prime, but you know who else does? Russell Wilson.

Should Seahawks Fans Lowkey Be Rooting For A Russell Wilson Injury This Pre-Season?

As I try to do most years, I read through the Deadspin “Why Your Team Sucks” post on the 2018 Seattle Seahawks.  As usual, it’s pretty funny and forces me to deal with some hard truths about this team (there are also ways to pick apart its logic, but in what way is that fun?).  At the end, they always have a list of comments from fans (pulled from Tweets or comments sections, I’m assuming), and it’s after reading through a bunch of these where I start to get bored and check out.  But, one comment caught my eye.  Someone named Trevor said, “This team is just a Russell Wilson preseason ACL tear away from an 0-16 season.”

That caught my eye because A) it’s absolutely true; can you imagine this team with Austin Davis or Alex McGough starting all 16 games?  They’d make the 1992 Seahawks look like the greatest team in the history of football!

Also, B) I had some thoughts along this line of thinking earlier this week.

I was thinking about this Seahawks rebuild that we’re all involved in right now – even though no one wants to call it a rebuild, so call it whatever the fuck you want; just know that this Seahawks team isn’t as good as the one that was contending for championships from 2012-2016 – and wondering what’s the best way to rebuild?

In my opinion, you want to milk as much as you can out of your championship window, then you want one season where you suffer a total collapse, then you want to draft the best player on the planet and snap right back into the next championship window.  Kinda like how the Colts were great with Peyton Manning, then sucked for a year when he was injured, then landed on Andrew Luck (which, jury is still out, but if he comes back to full health, he’s still a guy that can lead that team to the playoffs on the regular … even if he’s not as good a quarterback as Russell Wilson).  What’s the best rebuild in the history of North American professional sports?  Assuming you’re not the Packers, and you don’t have one hall of fame quarterback (Aaron Rodgers) pre-selected and on your roster already when you decide to move on from your previous hall of fame quarterback (Brett Favre), then you need the next best thing:  one year of total ineptitude.  The best rebuild of all time is the San Antonio Spurs of the 1990s.

Ever since David Robinson was taken in 1989, the Spurs were a legitimately great team, frequently winning 50+ games and making the playoffs every single year, except one.  That was the 1996-1997 season, when David Robinson got injured and only played in 6 games; that year the Spurs went 20-62.  The Spurs were so bad, they earned the #1 overall pick the following year.  Who did they draft?  Tim Duncan.  They proceeded to make the playoffs for 21 years (and counting) and have been the model franchise in the NBA, winning 5 titles in the process.  I’d say that’s a pretty fucking successful rebuild, and all they had to do was suffer one year where they were the absolute worst.

Would you trade one year of Russell Wilson’s prime, if you knew the Seahawks would go on to make the playoffs 21 years in a row (and counting) and win 5 Super Bowl championships?  I’m not promising that will happen, but go with me a little bit.

The 2018 Seahawks aren’t going to do anything.  You know it, I know it.  Because it’s the pre-season, and games that count haven’t actually started yet, we’re deluding ourselves into believing they’ll be interesting – and that there’s always a chance when you have a quarterback as good as Russell Wilson – but he can’t literally do everything.  He can’t even play defense!  History is littered with great quarterbacks who failed to do anything with mediocre teams.  Hell, that’s Dan Marino’s entire career!  That’s Philip Rivers’ entire career!  That’s the last decade for Drew Brees (post-Super Bowl), all but a few years for Brett Favre and John Elway and Steve Young and on and on and on.  There’s only one Tom Brady, and Russell Wilson is no Tom Brady (saying nothing of the fact that Pete Carroll is no Bill Belichick).  The best case scenario for the 2018 Seahawks is that enough of these prospects pan out that we jump ahead of schedule and MAYBE contend for a playoff spot in 2019; but really, it feels like a 2+ year thing in even the most optimistic of alternate universes.

Plus, all the while, we have a healthy Russell Wilson pulling our asses out of the fire just enough to get us to 8-8 this year.  And every year after that until we luck into some magical 3-year run of drafting where we can supplement this team with talent becoming of his elite greatness.  Do you trust this front office to re-build a championship roster armed with a consistent string of draft picks in the 18-20 range?  Where we’ll ultimately trade some selections away in hopes of beefing up a depthless roster, while trading down enough times to re-fill our draft coffers?

It’s no coincidence that this team was at its best in the draft – 2010-2012 – when they were picking in the top 10 or early teens (even 2011 was mediocre when you consider our first two picks were James Carpenter and John Moffitt).

I’ll be the first to admit I have no idea what the 2019 NFL Draft will have to offer, but I can say this:  an 0-16 Seahawks team with the #1 overall pick should be able to get some REALLY good players.  On top of which, ACLs (and the like) heal faster than ever before in the history of the league, with advancements in surgeries and rehab techniques.  Russell Wilson, by all accounts, should be back in plenty of time to start the 2019 season.  On top of which, 2019 will be the final year of his deal, and a significant injury might just reduce the cost it takes to extend him long term.

I mean, can you imagine this roster in 2019, plus whoever the best pass rusher in college is right now?  Plus, whatever stud we get at the top of the second round?  Can you imagine what this front office would be able to do, armed with high picks in every round?  Maybe we trade down from #1 to #3 and pick up a bounty of extra picks in the process, and STILL get that stud pass rusher!

Look, I’m just spitballing here.  Obviously, I’m not ACTUALLY rooting for Russell Wilson to get injured.  But, I’ll be damned if I’m not sick to my stomach at the thought of an endless string of .500 finishes as we squander the majority of our franchise quarterback’s prime in search of diamonds in the rough that turn out to be turds on the field.  Maybe one year of a total collapse is just the thing to speed up the whole ordeal.

How Can The Seahawks Get Andrew Luck?

Because what else am I going to write about, the Mariners?

I’ve already gone on and on at length about why I think the Seahawks will lose on Sunday, but I haven’t really gone into what I’d like to see.

I Love You ...

To be honest?  I’ve already given up on this season, as is readily apparent.  I’m at absolute no-confidence in this football team, so my thought process is:  why even bother?  We should lose all our games, grab the Number 1 overall draft pick, and then watch in horror as Andrew Luck tears his ACL in the Rose Bowl (what can I say, I’m a Glass-Half-Full kinda guy).

That having been said, it’s not like I’m going to sit there when the game is on in front of me and actively root against my team.  I’ve been conditioned for 30 long fucking years to root for this God-foresaken team; that’s not something you can just shut off when you’re in the moment.

Away from the moment, I’m all for it.  LOSE!  LOSE ALL YOUR GAMES!  But sitting there for three hours watching your team get pounded, it’s pretty much the most miserable experience ever.

And, there’s a real-world problem with this Lose ‘Em All mentality.  NFL teams aren’t constructed to lose 16 games in a season.  The perfect storm of utter and collosal shit has to happen for a team to lose enough games to take the Number 1 Draft Pick!  First of all, you need a bad quarterback (check).  It would help if you’re putting a lot of young guys or draft picks into starting roles (check), and for peace of mind, toss in a green kicker in his first full-time NFL kicking gig (check).

That’s all well and good, but then you have to factor in the injuries.  The worst of the worst tend to have the most of the most injuries.  It’s counter-productive to be starting all these young guys and then have all these young guys end up getting injured.  What’s the most important thing for an offensive line to have (aside from, I’m assuming, talent)?  Continuity.  These guys need to play a full fucking season together!  We’ve had oodles and oodles of injuries along our offensive line for YEARS now and it’s getting to be re-GodDamn-diculous!

We’re also starting youngsters in the secondary.  Well, that’s a TERRIBLE spot to suffer injuries!  Sure, it’ll increase our chances of going 0-16 tenfold (approximately), but we need those guys getting experience so they’re ready to be bigtime contributers next season!

The perfect scenario is the old San Antonio Spurs case where they were a perennial playoff team, then they lost David Robinson, tanked a full season, and came back the very next year with new draft pick Tim Duncan like they never missed a beat.  It’s what many say Indy should do with Peyton Manning, even though you have to figure Manning has another 5-6 good years left and why would you draft Andrew Luck to have him sit for 5-6 years (especially when you just re-signed Manning to a million-billion dollar contract extension)?

But, that shit ain’t easy.  San Antonio was already pretty much a veteran team to begin with.  We’re not.  We need to simultaneously suck hard without key core young guys missing significant time due to injury!

That’s a fine tightrope that will need to heavily take into account the final factor most teams need to be the biggest loser:  luck.

You gotta have bad luck!  You’ve got to get screwed on some critical calls by the refs.  You’ve got to have some last-minute turnovers to send your comeback efforts down the toilet.  You’ve got to have your kicker miss an extra point that would’ve sent the game into overtime.  You’ve gotta have these things ALL go against you!  A surefire pick-six needs to dribble harmlessly out of your defender’s hands.  A punt returner needs to slip and fall on his own just as he’s ready to bust one for a touchdown.  I could go on and on.

Most people think it takes an incredible amount of skill (or lack thereof) to go 0-16, when in reality it takes an incredible amount of luck.  Luck, injuries, raw players being thrown into the fire, and a whole mess of bad quarterbacking.

I think the Seahawks have what it takes, but when push comes to shove, is that what I REALLY want?  An NFL season is a LONG fucking drain when your team goes winless (or mostly winless).  Eyes on the prize and all that, but I don’t know if my heart is truly in it.

The NFL’s “Final Eight” Rule Is Going To Fuck The Seahawks, Probably

You ever heard of this rule?  I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t, because for the most part, the Draft-obsessed sports media has ignored the Final Eight Rule and anything else related to Free Agency.

Hence the poor Draft marks for the Seahawks.  Put the potential to replenish via Free Agency what we skipped in the Draft, and you Negative Nellies wouldn’t have so much firepower.

Anyway, here’s the Final Eight Rule, implemented before the 2010 season (when we also had an Uncapped Year), via Bleacher Report:

The final four teams will not be permitted to negotiate or sign any unrestricted free agent to a player contract unless he is cut from his team or originally belonged to the team that is trying to sign (or re-sign) him.

The bottom four of the final eight have it a little easier. They will be allowed to sign only one player with a salary of $4,925,000 or (less) and any number of players with a first-year salary of no more than $3,275,000 with an annual increase of no more than 30 percent in the following year.

As you well know, the Seahawks were indeed one of the Final Eight teams in last year’s playoffs, thanks to beating New Orleans.  So, not only did we slide 17 or so picks in the Draft, but we’re also saddled with this Final Eight bullshit.

What does this mean?  Well, unless Hasselbeck signs some crazy-huge contract with some desperate team, we can kiss Robert Gallery goodbye.  And that pipe dream (or wet dream, depending on who you ask) known as Nnamdi Asomugha … you can forget that one, Looney Tunes!  You’ll never get EITHER of those studs for less than 5 mil!  (unless there’s some sort of loophole … like guaranteeing a boatload of money in that 3rd year of the contract; or rigging up some kind of way to give more in the signing bonus somehow).

Oh bleak despair!  What was the point of eliminating all those big-money contracts if we weren’t going to be able to sign better players the following year?

This salary cap must return!  This is no good!  You fucking NFL owners need to pull your heads out of your asses!

Or … OR, maybe don’t.  Then, when we can’t sign anyone good in Free Agency, we can say, “Well, yeah, but look at that Final Eight Rule!  It’s not our fault, it was the one-armed man!”  Then … THEN, when we go 0-16 (all the while blaming said Final Eight Rule), our consciences will be clear (as will the path to draft Sir Andrew Luck).  It’s all coming together.

We’ll be like that one year the San Antonio Spurs were terrible, right before they drafted Tim Duncan.  Heavens no they did not tank!  Neither will we … *wink*