Kaye’s Take: What exactly are the Seattle Seahawks doing in 2022? Wake of Russell Wilson’s departure looms large

After trading QB Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, the Seattle Seahawks enter training camp without a clear plan in place.

When aliens eventually land on our planet in the future, they’ll probably discover things that make them look at our world like most NFL fans look at the Seattle Seahawks heading into this season. They’ll wonder “Why did they do that?!?” or “That was their solution to this?!?” and then probably dismiss our way of life as being a dumpster fire of sorts, much like analysts have shunned the Seahawks.

Kaye’s Take: What is the Seattle Seahawks’ plan after trading Russell Wilson?

In March, the Seahawks traded longtime franchise QB Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos for three “name” role players and a plethora of notable draft picks. While that relationship ended in a seemingly amicable divorce, the Seahawks decided to throw the irreconcilable differences on Wilson’s name, pointing the finger at him for not staying together for the kids (or 12th Man). At one point, the pettiness got so wild that the Seahawks’ PR staff addressed Wilson “as one of the best quarterbacks in franchise history.”

Look, Warren Moon, Matt Hasselbeck, and Jim Zorn were all terrific in the prime of their eras, but Wilson has met or exceeded nearly all of their accolades at just 33 with plenty of football left in him. Oh, and by the way, Wilson is the only QB to win a Super Bowl for the team.

But anyway, that’s not what this column is really about. The real crux here is how the Seahawks have restocked the roster in wake of Wilson’s departure. That process hovers between the categories of “bless their hearts” and “that’s a tank job” on the Urban Meyer-Hue Jackson scale of terribleness.

It’s one thing to rebuild. It’s another to relapse into the dark ages of the NFC West, prior to the Pete Carroll era. Remember Jim Mora’s one-year stint in Seattle? That was the little piece of hell book-ended by the exceptional Mike Holmgren days and the Carroll legacy-making tenure.

Sure, Mora got one more win in 2009 than Holmgren had in 2008. But the entire campaign felt like a place-holding stint into nothingness. There was no direction or plan on the surface, and Mora was shown the door five days before the anniversary of his promotion to head coach.

DK Metcalf remains without a contract extension

Right now, the Seahawks, despite being still run by Carroll and longtime GM John Schneider, feel directionless.

They’ve yet to sign standout wide receiver DK Metcalf to a well-earned contract extension, and they plan to pair him with either Geno Smith or Drew Lock at quarterback. Even the U.S. Open’s social media intern sees the issue with that outlook…

Seattle’s done nothing while the rest of the NFC West continues to improve

The Seahawks understand they are worse without Wilson, which is logical. But instead of looking for upgrades or being an inevitable tear down, they’ve decided to remain static with the oldest head coach in the league leading the charge at the tender age of 70. Carroll is destined for retirement within the next couple of years, but there doesn’t seem to be a clear successor in place. And frankly, the roster doesn’t look all that appealing from the outside, either.

The rest of the NFC West has gotten younger and faster over the past few years, and as Kyle Shanahan, Kliff Kingsbury, and Sean McVay come off playoff runs, the Seahawks just seem to be playing with broken toys.

When center Austin Blythe and nickel corner Justin Coleman are your top free agent additions, you’re either thrilled to just be invited to the party that is the NFL season, or you’re not really sure what to do with the roster.

The Seahawks acquired Lock, tight end Noah Fant, and defensive end Shelby Harris in the Wilson trade. Those are the new arrivals that the franchise will prop up in the PR rush to the season. But really, they’re just placeholders for an inevitable rebuild in a year or so.

Carroll sticking around and trying to do something with a ship that is missing an engine is more confusing than sad. The Seahawks had the opportunity for a clean break from their franchise legends — Carroll and Wilson — and instead, decided to stick with (much) older guys on the brink of retirement.

After a successful draft, the Seahawks still have a ways to go

While the Seahawks admittedly drafted well on paper — the first-round selection of OT Charles Cross and fourth-round selection of CB Coby Bryant were slam-dunks — it’s fair to wonder how much of the group’s promise will be delivered on during the Carroll era. Bryant, second-round pick Boye Mafe, and fifth-round picks Tariq Woolen and Tyreke Smith, all fit what Carroll wants to do on defense, but what happens when he moves on and a new general has a different play-calling bent?

Delaying the inevitable with Carroll has left the Seahawks standing between a door frame. They have one foot in the compete entryway and another in the rebuild lane. With Carroll still in charge, it’s hard to project where things go, so the Seahawks are basically just kicking rocks with the roster until a major change is made up top.

So, Seahawks fans are stuck waiting in limbo, too. And all they can ask is “What exactly are the Seahawks doing in 2022?”

Your guess is as good as this mine.

Mike Kaye is the Lead NFL Reporter for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter: @mike_e_kaye.


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