Fortunately—very fortunately— it doesn’t seem like team president Tim Ruskell has any intention of trying to acquire the disgruntled Denver quarterback (ESPN lists odds at 25-1). Fans who are clamoring for him are doing so because he is a talented young passer with a seemingly bright future. But there are far too many red flags for the Seahawks to be interested.
For one, the situation with the Broncos reflects poorly on Cutler. He still looks like a 12-year-old, and now he’s acting like one, throwing a tantrum over the Broncos’ brief trade talks regarding him. Philip Rivers was right: Cutler is a baby. A talented baby. But a baby nonetheless.
Add to that the fact that he has diabetes, and it’s just too big a risk to try to trade for such an emotionally and physically frail player. He certainly would not be worth the Seahawks’ first-round pick (No. 4 overall).
Besides, Matt Hasselbeck is healthy again and still in the prime of his career. It’s true that Hasselbeck is over 30 and missed much of last season with a bad back. But he’s twice the quarterback Cutler is, a good passer and a veteran leader who rarely turns the ball over and has led his team to the playoffs five times, with one Super Bowl appearance.
Hasselbeck had his best season in 2007 and will turn 34 in September, which means he’s right at his peak. It’s truly ridiculous to think there are fans who want to get rid of a three-time Pro Bowl player who is the only QB to ever take the Seahawks to the Super Bowl.
And to those who think Seneca Wallace is better than Hasselbeck: It’s a good thing you don’t run the Seahawks. Just because he’s more athletic than Hasselbeck doesn’t mean Wallace is a better QB. Although he showed great improvement late last season once he was healthy, he’ll never challenge Hasselbeck for the starting job in Seattle.
That said, the Seahawks could end up taking a quarterback in this draft. If Aaron Curry, Jason Smith, and Eugene Monroe are all gone, it will mean Georgia QB Matthew Stafford is the best player on the board. And if the Hawks can’t trade the fourth pick, they’ll probably take him and sit him for the next couple of years until Hasselbeck’s contract expires in 2010.
More Hawk Talk
- If the Seahawks don’t end up with Stafford, it’s hard to see them drafting a quarterback this year. The position is just far too weak after Stafford, USC’s Mark Sanchez, and Kansas State’s Josh Freeman.
- It has been implied by some that a zone-blocking team doesn’t need an elite left tackle. Well, what about when that team throws the ball? Just because the 'Hawks are planning to use some zone blocking in their running game in 2009 doesn’t mean they should pass on drafting Smith or Monroe. If the Hawks can secure Walter Jones’ long-term replacement, they should, unless perhaps Curry is still there.
- Fans who want the Hawks to draft a running back haven’t been paying attention. Ruskell signed Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett and drafted Justin Forsett in 2008, and the Hawks are committed to using Jones and Duckett in their new zone running game in 2009. Ruskell saw the drama that was created last year when they had too many backs, so unless one falls to them at great value, Ruskell will probably use 2009 to evaluate Jones and Duckett and put off drafting a back until 2010.
- There’s almost no talk of the Seahawks drafting WR Michael Crabtree now. There are too many questions to take him fourth overall, and the Hawks are thought to like at least five other players better. Of course, if they trade down, he still might be an option. So he’s not out of the picture entirely.
- Brian Orakpo’s name is being linked to the Hawks more and more at No. 4. But that doesn't make much sense. The Texas end doesn’t fit what Ruskell looks for—big-school players who started at least three years in college—or what the Hawks need. Orakpo excelled only in his senior year at Texas and is more of a 3-4 linebacker than a 4-3 end. On the other hand, the Hawks need help at the position, with Patrick Kerney coming off another injury and Cory Redding and Darryl Tapp free agents after 2009.
- If the Hawks draft Curry, is franchise LB Leroy Hill gone after this season? Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times says: “I would think so. Curry’s going to command a big contract at No. 4, and I think if the Seahawks drafted him, he and Hill wouldn’t play together at outside linebacker for more than one season.” Why not? If they can somehow re-sign Hill, why wouldn’t they go with three young studs at linebacker for the next four years?
- Speaking of linebackers, it really is astounding to think the Seahawks were going to cut Julian Peterson before the Redding deal materialized. It says just how little the Hawks think of both Peterson and Redding that they cut Redding’s salary almost in half and made him a free agent after 2009. So if the fifth-round pick they also got in the deal doesn’t yield a decent player, the Hawks will have nothing to show for Peterson next year. Unbelievable.
- While bringing back Ken Lucas might be a good move, the Seahawks’ corners are not nearly as bad as some fans think. They got no help from the front seven last season and were left on their own. Like every defender, Marcus Trufant didn’t have his best season. Kelly Jennings was hampered by a broken rib almost all season. Josh Wilson started slow, but became a playmaker by the end. Give those guys a pass rush, and they’ll give you picks in 2009.
- People who want to cut WR Deion Branch need to understand two things: 1) Ruskell is not going to give up on him yet because he has shown too much promise when healthy, and 2) he would take up just as much salary cap room off the team as he will on it, so why not keep him and see if he can finally earn some of that money? That said, this certainly has to be his final chance in Seattle. If he can’t stay healthy, the team must get rid of him in 2010.
- Let’s bury this ridiculous talk that naming Jim Mora as the coach-in-waiting split the team into two factions and is the reason the Hawks lost 12 games in 2008. They lost 12 games because they were the most-injured offense in the NFL (losing six receivers, two quarterbacks, and every starting lineman) and because their defense was horrible. End of story.
Curry would add some spice
Only 14 linebackers have been drafted in the top 12 since 1997, but almost every one of them has been worth it. The Seahawks would probably be happy to add Aaron Curry to this list.
2008: Keith Rivers (9), Jerod Mayo (10)
2007: Patrick Willis (11)
2006: A.J. Hawk (5), Ernie Sims (9)
2005: DeMarcus Ware (11), Shawne Merriman (12)
2003: Terrell Suggs (10)
2001: Dan Morgan (11)
2000: LaVar Arrington (2), Brian Urlacher (9)
1999: Chris Claiborne (9)
1997: Peter Boulware (4), James Farrior (8)
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