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Seahawks Not Rebuilding Lockett Metcalf
Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks Not in Rebuild Mode

  • Jack McKessy
  • May 31, 2022
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At first glance, it may look like the Seahawks are getting ready to enter rebuilding mode.

After a disappointing 7-10 season that left Seattle at the bottom of the NFC West for the first time ever, the team traded away franchise quarterback Russell Wilson. In return, they received tight end Noah Fant, quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and five draft picks.

It’s moves like that—one for a worse quarterback but more draft picks—that usually signal the start of a rebuild. That isn’t quite the case with the Seahawks, and there are several reasons and indicators for why not.

One of the easiest reasons we can look at is simple: Head Coach Pete Carroll’s age. By the time the Seahawks kick off their Week 1 matchup with the Broncos, Carroll will be three days short of his 71st birthday.

As the oldest active head coach in the NFL, it’s not likely that he’ll stick around coaching football for many more years no matter how good he looks for his age. As a result, there’s no conceivable reason why Carroll would wait around for his team to start and finish a rebuild. To put it frankly, he can’t afford to wait around three or four more years to hope his team gets good enough to be playoff contenders again.

There’s also the factor of a generally weak NFC, especially compared to the loaded AFC heading into the 2022 season. The Seahawks might not be contenders to win the NFC West this year or even in the near future with how solid the other three teams in the division have played. But in an NFL where nearly half of the teams make the playoffs, Seattle might only have to win seven to nine games to lock up a spot in the postseason. Considering how vulnerable the NFC looks outside of top contenders like the Rams and Buccaneers, that may not be such a tall task for the Seahawks within the next few years.

Seattle also had a ton of good draft capital going into 2022 and have even more for 2023’s draft. Alongside the strong pieces they have kept around, the team won’t be out of playoff contention for long.

That’s another piece of evidence that the Seahawks aren’t embracing a rebuild—those pieces still on the roster. Guys like receivers D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett could each have fetched Seattle a pretty penny if the team decided to trade either one of them. It would have cost them wins in the short-term, but more losses and extra draft picks are the sorts of things a rebuilding team is aiming for anyway.

Instead, both Lockett and Metcalf remain in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle also re-signed several important players like quarterback Geno Smith, cornerback Sidney Jones, running back Rashaad Penny and safety Quandre Diggs. If the Seahawks were truly rebuilding, why spend the money and effort required to keep those guys around?

Finally, there’s the evidence that came from the Seahawks’ draft strategy. Rather than using all of their draft capital to fill needs across the roster, they elected to double up on almost every position they drafted, with a full focus on upgrading positions of need.

They took two offensive tackles—Charles Cross in the first round, Abraham Lucas in the third—as well as two edge rushers—Boye Mafe in the second round, Tyreke Smith in the fifth—and two cornerbacks—Coby Bryant in the fourth round and Tariq Woolen in the fifth.

Seattle also drafted two receivers as extra depth in the seventh round. The one position they didn’t double up on was running back, but the selection of Ken Walker III in the second round was clearly a move that boosted up the roster at another position of need.

The Seahawks have done a lot this offseason to build up their team rather than tear it down, even after trading Wilson away. Their offensive line should be much improved in 2022, their strong receiving room has remained the same with some extra depth, there’s young, new talent in the backfield and their pass defense, featuring new pass-rushers and cornerbacks, looks stronger too.

It’s not a rebuild in Seattle just yet. If the Seahawks manage to get good quarterback play from either Drew Lock or Geno Smith, they might just sneak into the postseason in 2022. Even if they don’t, their future draft capital and the players they already have on the roster (especially if they extend Metcalf) could put them right back in playoff contention within the next couple of years.

Written By

Jack McKessy