The Seattle Seahawks have played their hand, and it all adds up to one answer: Andrew Luck is the goal of this team.
This was a promising team after sneaking into the playoffs last season and then knocking off the almighty Saints in the Wild Card round. They are now, quite possibly, the worst team in the NFL. They have jettisoned every Pro Bowl caliber player they could while retaining and signing key offensive skill position players who can help a young quarterback, but are rather useless without a quality one. Enter Tarvaris Jackson.
It all seems to have begun with the departure of Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Admittedly, Hasselbeck didn't have a strong season, and is on the backside of a solid career, but he didn't look like he had completely lost it. The Seahawks barely made any efforts to sign him to an extension. They followed by entering a rather talent-thin list of free agent quarterbacks, and took quite possibly the worst available in Tarvaris Jackson.
They followed by adding Sidney Rice to play opposite the rejuvenated Mike Williams. That gave the Seahawks as talented a duo of receivers as a team could want. They plucked Zach Miller from Oakland. Combine those players with Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett in the backfield, and Seattle has as good position players as any other team. But they settled for Tarvaris Jackson. All that sits behind Jackson is Charlie Whitehurst, who also doesn't seem to be much more than an NFL backup.
Then came contract disputes. Lofa Tatupu was first. When they couldn't agree to a restructuring with their Pro Bowl MLB, they released him. Aaron Curry's contract was renegotiated, and now he has been benched and currently sits on the trade block.
That's not to say they don't have pieces to start winning now. The skill positions are there. The offensive line is young and talented, with cornerstone players at the tackle and center positions. There's a solid set of backfield runners with college teammates Lynch and Forsett. But this offense has nobody at quarterback.
Who will get the 2012 NFL Draft's #1 pick?
The ousting of Tatupu and Curry is somewhat odd to me, considering the age of the two of them. The defense, except for Earl Thomas, is currently built to fail without a pass rusher on the defensive line, a decent linebacker and a defensive back that has any discernible coverage skills outside of the aging Marcus Trufant.
They'll get all the competition they can from an injury-depleted Chiefs team, who I believe will win a few games despite losing their most talented players on both sides of the ball. But I believe Andrew Luck will probably be able to stay on the West Coast and begin his career with a better offensive situation than we might have thought before. Bring your raincoat, Mr. Luck!