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Take a look at our roster. Take a look at the standings. Peruse our 2011 draft status. Tell me. What do you see? Now look again. Focus on the running backs. Revisit the standings and the 2011 draft. Do you see it yet?
We have redundancy, folks. Redundancy can be turned into opportunity, especially when your team is not yet ready to contend for the Big Chalupa. Leon Washington and Justin Forsett are similar in many ways. Both are 5’8″, ~200 lbs, and are best used on 3rd downs. Sure, there are differences. Washington is more of a game breaker, and is special on screen plays and kick returns. Forsett is surprisingly strong between the tackles and is an elite pass protector for a running back. Most importantly, though, they both will soon sit behind Marshawn Lynch in the depth chart.
People are envisioning a Flash/Bang tandem developing with Lynch pounding the rock and Forsett/Washington providing the change of pace. It is a nice story, but it is more because fans and media haven’t seen a featured running back since Shaun Alexander in 2006. Lynch was a workhorse in Buffalo his first two seasons, and is fully capable of continuing that here. He will need relief, and it is always ideal to have a backfield with diverse skills sets to challenge defenses. Even so, only one super sub is necessary.
This newfound abundance at the running back position just so happens to come at a time when other teams in the NFL are in need of help at that very spot. John Schneider’s old pals in Green Bay are being criticized by fans and national pundits for letting the Seahawks outbid them for Lynch. Could Schneider work a deal to replenish some of our tattered 2011 draft board?
The Seahawks are without a 3rd or 4th round pick next season. Getting a 3rd back for one of our running backs is probably unrealistic. Adding the Josh Wilson conditional 5th might make it more plausible.
Washington was acquired from the Jets for a 5th and 7th round pick. That was before anyone knew he would be able to play at the start of the season, and before he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in one game. Washington is still only signed through this season, and his value may never be higher. He is not the blocker Forsett is, and is four years older. He will not be an every down back. Forsett can be.
Forsett has been a high YPC guy, and is intriguing for many folks around the NFL. People see the high productivity per carry and wonder why he doesn’t get more reps. Stock brokers say buy on mystery, sell on history. There is enough mystery around Forsett still that his value may never be higher. It is unlikely he will ever regain the starting running back spot in Seattle.
With Lynch dominating the touches on 1st and 2nd down, the other fellas are going to be left fighting for 3rd down scraps. As much as I like both players, they don’t do much for me sitting on the bench.
Both Washington and Forsett have value for the Seahawks. Keeping both definitely makes this a better team in 2010. Trading one will make us a better team in 2011 and beyond. Opportunity is knocking.