Seattle Seahawks' Most Under and Overrated Offseason Additions
The summer is rolling along, and soon it will be time for the Seattle Seahawks to start their long, grueling season. Fans are obviously excited about this team, and the 'Hawks are an early favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Seattle ended last season with many of the key pieces needed for a championship, but that didn't stop management from doing some shopping in the offseason. Some acquisitions are obviously more important than others, but every player must contribute if this team is going to win it all.
I left the rookies off this list, simply because they are relatively unproven quantities who have spent months being hyped by pre-draft analysis. One could argue that from one perspective all rookies are overrated until they actually prove themselves on the field.
With that in mind, here are a few of the Seattle Seahawks' most underrated and overrated offseason additions.
Brady Quinn: Overrated
We'll start with an easy one. For this particular football drama, Brady Quinn has been cast in the role of "veteran" backup quarterback for a team that needed someone to hold the clipboard after the departure of Matt Flynn.
In this case, the word veteran does not equate to accomplished. Instead, veteran simply means that Quinn has managed to hang around the league for six seasons, two of which did not include any action. His best season was in 2009, when he played in 10 games and threw a grand total of eight touchdowns.
Truthfully, Quinn may not even make this roster. Now that the Seahawks have brought back a familiar face in Tarvaris Jackson, Quinn will have to show that he has something that justifies giving him a roster spot.
By the end of the summer, Quinn may go from overrated acquisition to unemployed former quarterback.
Cliff Avril: Underrated
In terms of being a known quantity, Cliff Avril is not necessarily underrated. However, given the situation on the defense line, the signing of Cliff Avril may turn out to be an underrated transaction.
Chris Clemons may or may not be his former self when he returns. Bruce Irvin will be lost to a four-game suspension. Michael Bennett is an intriguing talent, but he could be used in multiple roles.
When it comes to pass rush, the Seahawks may find Avril to be an invaluable part of their defense. Avril has played in all 32 games over the past two season and has racked up 20.5 sacks.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding the acquisition of Percy Harvin, and for good reason. However, the Seahawks also signed a 27-year-old pass-rusher to an affordable contract. A reasonably priced defensive end in his prime? Yes, please.
In the long run, Avril could turn out to be an underrated signing.
Antoine Winfield: Overrated
I hope that I am wrong.
It is hard to assess the impact of the veteran signing. The 'Hawks may get a key performance that is fueled by experience and wisdom. Or they may get burned by a guy who no longer has anything in the tank.
Based on his career accomplishments, Antoine Winfield is a good signing. He may provide a savvy veteran presence for the Seahawks, particularly in nickel packages. However, there is a caveat.
Certainly, there are players who have played well into their late 30s. Winfield may have a season or two of productivity left, and arguably he already represents the exception to the rule. Still, he is on this list as a precautionary measure. Sharp decline is possible.
Winfield just turned 36, which is fairly ancient in football years. As noted by Arif Hasan of FieldGulls.com, “So, you should expect some serious drop-off from Winfield some time soon, probably this season.”
Again, fans will hope that this does not happen. Winfield may be just fine. Then again, fans should not assume that Winfield will come in and play like a 26-year-old. Unfortunately, he is going to be 36 all season long.
Tony McDaniel: Underrated
When Tony McDaniel was signed by the Seahawks, there was not a great deal of buzz around the football world. He certainly didn’t generate the same coverage as other free-agent signings such as Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril
Still, McDaniel could turn out to be one of the unsung heroes and underrated parts of the defense. Certainly, rookies like Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams are exciting because they represent fresh, young talent. However, the reality is that those rookies may not be ready to step right into the starting lineup.
McDaniel plays a role that does not necessarily generate big numbers in the measurable statistical categories. That said, big bodies in the middle are crucial for teams that want to have a balanced defensive scheme.
There are some health concerns since McDaniel has missed nine games over two seasons. If McDaniel can stay healthy, his 6’7”, 305-pound body may play an important role in this defense.
Darren Fells: Overrated
Admittedly, Darren Fells is essentially a rookie given his lack of NFL experience, so perhaps he should not be on this list based on my prior criteria. However, he also fits the profile of a reclamation project or an experiment, so he is almost in a category of his own.
Regardless of his classification, I have doubts that this is going to work out. Fells has already been cut once. Certainly, the physical size is impressive, and his chances are improved with the departure of Anthony McCoy.
However, this still feels like an overrated signing. Fans have always speculated on how certain athletes would perform if they switched sports. How would LeBron James do on the football field? Could you put Shaquille O'Neal at tight end?
It doesn't really matter in this case. Darren Fells is not LeBron James. There is a difference between being big and having the durability and instincts to play professional football.
Fells has been a nice offseason story. Come training camp, the story may turn out to be overrated.