Not all is well between Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. The situation isn't bad, per se, or nearing a breaking point or anything like that. But it would be a stretch to call their current relationship entirely positive.
Wilson has not exactly sung his team's praises during his post-Super Bowl media tour after winning the NFL's Man of the Year last weekend. On the Dan Patrick Show, he brushed aside a question about trade rumors by merely stating "That's a Seattle question." On a call with reporters, he admitted he was frustrated by the team's inability to provide him with consistent pass-blocking. Then Brandon Marshall came out firing on all cylinders today, telling the world on First Things First that his former teammate was "beyond frustrated" with the organization and trying to find a "classy" way to gracefully leave Seattle.
All this and the fact that Wilson was fairly upset when the Seahawks fired 2020 offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer makes for a delicious rumor stew. We can't get ahead of ourselves, though. Seattle won't trade Wilson unless he refuses to show up for work, and Wilson going public in an attempt to get better pass protection is not a sign that he will demand a trade in the near future. It is, however, very clear that Seattle needs to do something this offseason to alleviate the worries of the only man who can bring them another Super Bowl title.
That will be rather difficult for GM John Schneider because he traded this year's first and third-round picks (along with another first next year) for Jamal Adams. They have a little bit of cap space to work with (projected to have $14 million according to Spotrac) but can't sign solutions to all their problems. Here are a few ideas for the franchise.
Sign Trent Williams
Williams is coming off another quality year at the left tackle spot for the San Francisco 49ers. After spending his entire career in Washington and battling through a snake-bitten year in the Bay Area, Williams has never really won anything. That could be Seattle's selling point. Given this is likely the former Pro Bowler's last chance at a big deal, he may be too expensive. But the cap ceiling is fake anyway and Seattle could move the money required to make space for a big, market-setting deal for Williams. If they don't want to do that (and that feels likely since it isn't Schneider's style), they can sell him on winning football games. As an added bonus, they steal a left tackle from their division rivals.
But Williams might want to stick around with the Niners. In that case...
Trade For Orlando Brown
Brown stepped in for the incumbent Ronnie Stanley in Baltimore last year at LT after the latter suffered an injury and excelled. He liked protecting his QB's blind side so much he asked the Ravens to trade him to a team where he could get that opportunity again. Baltimore will presumably grant that request. The issue is the Seahawks have no real draft capital to offer. But if the market ends up being thin for Brown's services, using this year's second-round pick to trade for the lineman is better than taking a bet on a rookie being able to come in and play immediately.
But, again, the Seahawks don't have much draft capital and will be loathe to give it up. Alternatively, they can...
Go on a Spending Spree at Guard
Free agency will bring a lot of potential offensive line options for Seattle other than Williams. The guard position, in particular, has a lot of talent hitting the open market. Joe Thuney and Brandon Scherff have been two of the best at the position over the last two seasons and will be available. The tackle spots are crucial, but having one or two tough, intelligent linemen on the interior can make up for that. And help boost Seattle's run game, which they are extremely dedicated to.
But Schneider isn't a big spender when it comes to free agency. Instead, he will probably...
Draft a Lineman and Sign an Edge-Rusher
Even if Seattle reads this here post and takes studious notes, the inevitable conclusion is that Schneider will use the highest pick Seattle owns this season to pick a lineman he believes will turn the tide for his position group. We will see if he's right about that. But Seattle still has money to use in free agency, and a better defense would certainly go a long way in the pursuit of winning football games, which is a salve for all football players' wounds, even Wilson. Signing a good pass-rusher should be the No. 1 priority. Shaq Barrett immediately comes to mind after a great playoff run and overall a very good 2019 and 2020. He would walk in the door as the team's best edge defender and grant a toothless Seahawks defense some bite.
Seattle knows the clock is ticking with Wilson. He's a championship-caliber quarterback who hasn't made it back to the NFC Championship Game since 2014 because the front office has failed to put together a cohesive roster in the years since their Super Bowl championship. His public plea for more help will not go unnoticed, especially since it's probably the first time in Wilson's career he's made waves like this.
Wilson isn't on his way out of Seattle. Not by any means. But the Seahawks can't keep doing what they've done over the last few years. Overdrafting players like Jordyn Brooks and L.J. Collier in the first round has paid no dividends. They haven't spent enough in free agency to make up for draft whiffs like those two. If it weren't for finding D.K. Metcalf in the second round, Schneider's draft history of late would be dire indeed. Things need to change. Any of the above options would be a step in the right direction.