John Schneider and Pete Carroll did not address the long-term quarterback situation in their first season. They did not address the long-term quarterback situation in their second season. It is looking more and more like they won’t commit to a Quarterback of the Future (QBOTF) this season either, but will instead spend a few non-first round picks on project QBs that are long-shots to become franchise players. This front office has arguably aced almost every other personnel decision they have had to make thus far, but their legacy will still be defined by how they address this one position. It is usually easy to look backwards in situations like this and second-guess the decision makers, “If they had just drafted [Insert Guy Few People Wanted At The Time], we wouldn’t be in this mess.” Take a look at the choices they could have made. You might be surprised how few options they really had.
Start with the draft. Here are all the QBs drafted in 2010:
Colt McCoy would be preferable to the third round pick spent on Whitehurst, but not many Seahawks fans would be chomping at the bit to have McCoy as their QBOTF right now. A miss, but not a devastating one. Joe Webb would be a nice guy to have on the roster, especially at a 6th round value, but again, not devastating to miss on him. Time will tell, but that’s a pretty crappy looking quarterback class. Even #1 overall pick, Sam Bradford has some questions to answer after a sub-par sophomore season.
Could Seattle have traded up from #25 in the first round to get Jake Locker? Perhaps. Very few teams were convinced he was going to be a successful pro player heading into last year’s draft. He showed flashes of a great future in the chances he was given last season. If there is any regret, it is that the Seahawks would have had that #8 pick if they had lost to the Rams and failed to make the playoffs. Five years from now, will you wish you had Locker or the Beast Quake memory? Either way, there is no blame that can be placed on the front office. Seattle could have made an attempt to trade up for Blaine Gabbert or Christian Ponder. Neither appear worth the capitol it would have taken to move up and nab them. Andy Dalton is possibly the most controversial. He was selected 10 picks after the Seahawks chose RT James Carpenter. Word is, the Seahawks tried desperately to trade back, possibly to select Dalton. They could not find the right deal, and stuck to their guns about drafting talent at the level they saw it. Dalton had a very promising first year, but there aren’t many fans up-in-arms that the Seahawks don’t have him at the helm. He has the look of a good enough quarterback, but will he ever be great? The jury is out on that one. It’s too early to tell on the rest of the players. None of those players stand out a year later as major misses by the Seahawks.
Now, take a look at the free agent QBs available in 2010:
Brian St. Pierre
Any huge misses in that group? No. The 2011 group is not much better.
Brian St. Pierre
John Parker Wilson
Note that many of these players were not unrestricted free agents, but even if they were, how many do you wish the Seahawks future was tied to?
Carroll and Schneider deserve a ton of scrutiny for how they are handling the QB situation. They have not invested in young players at the position outside of Josh Portis. If he hits, it won’t be because they knew he could be the franchise quarterback. It will be lucky. If they knew he could be a great player, they would have drafted him. A number of factors have contributed to the situation the Seahawks now find themselves in relative to this all-important position, most have been out of the team’s control. The patience for explanations like that will run extremely thin this year. You cannot win the raffle if you do not buy a ticket. Schneider needs to buy a few tickets this year. Settling for mediocrity will not fly much longer.