Seahawks Have To Decide Now: Is GM Tim Ruskell Staying or Not?

Rob StatonCorrespondent INovember 15, 2009

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 19: President Tim Ruskell of the Seattle Seahawks watches warmups before play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 19, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

With the Seahawks dropping to 3-6 after Sunday's 31-20 defeat to Arizona, their season is essentially over.

There will be no return to the playoffs. The best they can hope for is to restore some pride over the upcoming weeks, starting with their next road trip to Minnesota.

With that in mind, it's time the franchise made a decision.

GM Tim Ruskell is in a contract year. Someone, whoever is charged with that responsibility, needs to decide whether he'll be sticking around.

What benefit is there to be gained from dragging it out until January?

The team's fate is essentially sealed for another year. Speculation is rampant in the media about what might happen, with the inevitable mention of Mike Holmgren appearing almost daily.

Why not just put a stop to all the hearsay, supposition, and speculation and just come clean?

If you're confident he's the right man for the job, back him with a new contract. Make a statement that you have faith in the direction of this team, regardless of the 7-18 record since 2008.

If Tim Ruskell isn't going to be retained, it makes absolute sense to move him on as soon as possible. Give yourself as much time as you need to get the right replacement, then allow them to access the franchise and pick a path forward.

All that's going to happen in the aftermath of Sunday's loss is even more speculation until this issue is put to bed. If, as has to be expected, Seattle loses next week in Minnesota, the situation only intensifies further.

It's already getting ugly. Ruskell felt moved to offer a candid interview to the Seahawks' official Web site this week, in which he all but justified his employment and made some remarks that appeared to criticize former decision makers.

The people at the very top of this franchise know what Ruskell brings to the table; they've worked with him for nearly five years.

Upon his arrival, he was the perfect complement to then head coach Holmgren. Ruskell was the defensive eyes to the offensive guru and it helped the Seahawks make a Super Bowl appearance in 2005.

But since then, things have not gone according to plan. The franchise faces the prospect of becoming a second-class citizen in the NFC West, a division it formerly dominated.

If Ruskell's still the right man to be GM of the Seattle Seahawks, end the talk now and give him an extension.

Otherwise, it's time to move on—and that decision has to be made sooner rather than later.