NFL Trade Speculation: 12 Potential Trade Targets for the Seattle Seahawks

Charlie TodaroAnalyst IIIMay 9, 2011

NFL Trade Speculation: 12 Potential Trade Targets for the Seattle Seahawks

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    Tom Brady look-a-like with that attitude. Seattle needs young competition at quarterback.
    Tom Brady look-a-like with that attitude. Seattle needs young competition at quarterback.Elsa/Getty Images

    As the NFL remains in limbo as to how and when the 2011 league year will officially begin, teams are ordering their post-draft rosters to determine which holes need to be filled via undrafted free agency, free agency and through trades.

    The Seahawks were active in the 2010 offseason and have a variety of plans laid out for the 2011 offseason as well.  

    We've seen the Seahawks make many deals both giving away and acquiring players, willing to trade one third rounder but apt to play ping-pong with multiple later-round picks.

    The Seahawks made multiple trades with Detroit in 2010 and made a much nuanced draft day trade in 2011; they appear to work well together.

    The Eagles and Browns are also organizations that could line up as trade partners based on recent history and coaching lineage. Additionally, there is the possibility to pick up quality castoffs from teams undergoing transition and changing schemes.

    The Seahawks may value picks going forward, given their feeling of success around this season’s draft.

    However, they still need players who bring toughness, scheme versatility, experience and potential to younger portions of the roster; these additions can come in the form of ol' veterans or young, up-and-comers that are primed to start in the NFL.  

    The Seahawks have 25 unrestricted free agents, a lot of those players leaders and veterans on the 2010 team. The Seahawks have a tough task in maintaining their momentum through this roster transition.

    Trading for an up-and-comer or solid veteran to fill a hole for years to come, and not as a patch, could be a decision the front office faces multiple times before the 2011 season.

    With the uncertainty surrounding 2011, trade buzz is not as rampant as usual after the NFL draft.

    However, NFL teams are still scouring opponents rosters for opportunities when the time comes. Let’s take a closer look at 12 players that have at least a small chance to be in a Seahawks uniform in 2011.

Kevin Kolb, QB, Eagles

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    Possibly the hottest commodity at the quarterback position around the league, rumors have run rampant that Kolb is headed for Seattle, or even Arizona.

    He is going into his fifth season, wanting to be a starter, after spending four years behind Donovan Mcnabb and then Michael Vick; he has spent time learning Andy Reid's dynamic offensive system while earning 20 appearances, seven starts, during his time in the league.

    While he has the potential to be a starter, his numbers to this point really haven't been anything more than ordinary: under 61 percent completion percentage, 11 touchdowns to 14 interceptions, 5 fumbles lost and already battling the effects of concussions in 2010.   

    Now, the Seahawks already traded a third round pick for a quarterback of the future; that decision is still in the process of panning out.

    However, we know Seattle has given Whitehurst a 50-50 shot at heading into training camp as the starter, and John Schnieder said on Seattle local radio last week the team is ideally looking to bring in a developmental quarterback.

    Maybe a smokescreen, but Seattle passed on Andy Dalton at no. 25 because they weren't looking for a young guy to come in right away; Kolb has that expirience, but not in the Seahawks' system.

    Giving up a first rounder, let alone two picks, is not the most disciplined decision Seattle could make in finding the quarterback of the future. Oh, Kolb also reportedly wants a contract of starter-type value.

    A losing season in 2011 would put them in position to find a quarterback via the draft, and a winning 2011 would suggest Charlie Whitehurst or a lower demand replacement got the job done.

    I may end up incorrect on Kolb, but I think Seattle needs to be very careful if trading more than they traded for Whitehurst. Kolb's production over his career is somewhat comparable to Hasselbeck's 2010 season...

Joe Webb, QB, Vikings

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    The Vikings selection of Christian Ponder suggests that Webb is not a main player in the Vikings' plans going forward.

    Webb saw the field at the end of his rookie season and performed admirably, especially considering his first career start came on the dicey field outdoors in Minnesota; he out-dueled Vick, in Philadelphia, in his second career start. 

    A great athlete--he saw considerable time at receiver early in his years at UAB-- with a strong arm, Webb needs to learn the speed of the NFL and continue to work on his mechanics and mental  game.

    However, he has the athleticism and talent to potentially be the developmental quarterback John Schneider recently spoke of acquiring.

    Add in his connection to Darell Bevell, and the 2010 late round selection may be had for a similar price for Seattle.  

Darius Butler, CB, Patriots

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    Butler can be a play maker when he is on the field. Can New England's scraps be Seattle's gold?
    Butler can be a play maker when he is on the field. Can New England's scraps be Seattle's gold?Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Butler lost his starting job in 2010 to Kyle Arrington and will fight for a roster spot in 2011. 

    Butler is under 6'0" and needs to work on his at the line technique, but his athleticism—4.4 speed and a 43" vertical—ball skills, instincts and willingness in run support make him a possible fit in the Seattle secondary.

    Butler could be had for a mid-late round pick as he maybe fell out of favor in New England, especially with the selection of Ras-I Dowling in the second round.

    Butler could bring experience as a young veteran to Seattle, provide a little seasoning at a very raw position for the Seahawks.  Seattle could also look for a safety via the trade avenue, but depth exists in free agency at the position.  

    If Seattle is to bring in a secondary player via trade, I expect the team to have a very specific role for that player to fill. I wouldn't be surprised to see a player with an Aaron Glenn—a 5'8"but athletic and skilled corner who was drafted while Carroll was in New York, and Carroll paid him praise in a recent presser—like skill set become a member of the Seattle secondary at some point of the Carroll regime.

    Butler may not be Glenn, but he is a very good athlete with potential.

Chris Kuper, G, Broncos

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    Needs to work on some of his technique, but has the attitude to play in Seattle.
    Needs to work on some of his technique, but has the attitude to play in Seattle.Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Kuper has been a consistent starter on the Denver offensive line since 2007, signing a six-year extension in 2010. Kuper is due $7 million in 2011 but only $3.5 million in 2012.  

    However, Denver is undergoing a sizable regime change and who remains is yet to be seen.

    Kuper is not a Mauler, but he is a heady player with good quickness, movement skills and leverage. Kuper played right guard in Denver, suggesting his integration into Seattle's line may be tough. We do know Tom Cable is willing to move around lineman.

    Kuper is a solid contributor that would be a welcome, veteran addition to the Seahawks line.

    If Seattle decides to pursue trade instead of looking for a left guard through free agency, Kuper's contract makes him a potential cast off for a mid-late round pick. However, if John Fox likes him, he won't be going anywhere.

Brian Hoyer, QB, Patriots

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    Hoyer has embodied the Patriots mentality and may be an underrated acquisition for whoever may be lucky enough to pluck him in 2011.
    Hoyer has embodied the Patriots mentality and may be an underrated acquisition for whoever may be lucky enough to pluck him in 2011.Elsa/Getty Images

    Hoyer has become a hot name this offseason, quietly developing behind Tom Brady. The Patriots have reportedly been pleased with the development of the 6'2" signal-caller—to the point they believed he is a more capable backup than Matt Cassel.  

    With the addition of Ryan Mallett in the 2011 draft, Hoyer may be the odd man out as the backup.

    Going into his third season as a pro, Hoyer was beginning to settle into his role as a backup; now, he becomes trade bait and a possible cast-off.

    As he was an undrafted free agent, the Patriots could be open to trading him before he becomes a restricted free agent after 2011.

    The Patriots got a second-round pick for Matt Cassel; Hoyer has not produced on the NFL level as Cassel did in his one full season as starter for New England. If Hoyer can be had for a mid-to-late round pick, Seattle would be wise to investigate.

    However, I doubt New England gives up Hoyer for anything but their price. I think Seattle could consider a third to fifth-round selection for Hoyer.

Travelle Wharton, G, Panthers

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    A big, veteran presence on the left side is still a need for Seattle.
    A big, veteran presence on the left side is still a need for Seattle.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Wharton is coming off a season ending turf toe injury, but started all but two games from 2007-2009 for the Panthers after tearing his knee in the 2006 opener. 

    Incoming head coach Ron Rivera characterized Wharton as a "terrific" guard, suggesting his $5.4 million salary will be welcome back in Carolina in 2011. His salary doesn't escalate much through 2014.

    However, Wharton may carry a higher price tag than the seventh-rounder Stacy Andrews cost before the 2010 season. Wharton's presense could be a huge factor for a young Seattle line, a similar idea to brining in Pitts and Hamilton in 2010.

    While Wharton and Kuper are players to keep tabs on as both players have a new head coach in 2011, Seattle may be able to find better value at the left guard position in free agency or within the program.  

Antonio Smith, DL, Texans

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    Smith was slated to start at end in Houston's new 3-4 scheme, but Houston's drafting of the versatile J.J. Watt will create competition at the position.

    Smith was a team leader in and one of the NFL's most consistent rushers, leading the league with 19 quarterback hits in 2010.

    He is a tough, consistent lineman that has good size and an all around skill set. His consistent production and nearly $5 million salary for 2011, and rising in years after, will make him a tough player to target.

    Houston signed Smith to his current deal in 2009, and using him as a mentor for J.J. Watt seems like a prudent decision.   

    Signed through 2013, Smith could be versatile, veteran leader for at least three seasons.

    His services would likely cost a low to mid round pick, if Houston is willing to part with their high-priced, productive veteran. It would be a bold decision, but Seattle needs a versatile play maker on the defensive line of scrimmage.

    Smith could serve as a replacement for Raheem Brock, if necessary, with the size and power to move across the line for Seattle.

    However, Seattle must be sure Smith, or whoever else they may pursue on the defensive line, is worth the pick; Brock is a free agent, and only comes with the cost of a new contract.  

Brodrick Bunkley, DL, Eagles

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    Bunkley was once a force inside for the Eagles.
    Bunkley was once a force inside for the Eagles.Chris Gardner/Getty Images

    Bunkley fell out of the starting lineup in 2010 and is likely headed into his final sesason with the Eagles, making only $635,000.

    Bunkley's production has fallen the past three seasons, downhill after becoming the starter in 2007, and a fresh start could be what Bunkley needs.

    Last offseason, Philadelphia traded Chris Clemons and a fourth rounder for Daryl Tapp; does Seattle try and swing a similar deal for another Philadelphia cast away?

    Bunkley's value is more in line with the seventh rounder Seattle sent Philadelphia's way for Stacy Andrews but with much less of a salary risk.   

    He is a solid interior rush defender that has developed a pass-rush repitoire. He would mainly see time at 3-tech in Seattle, but he has the versatility and athleticism to move around the line.

Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals

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    Palmer is a seasoned veteran, but Seattle has a seasoned veteran of their own with similar production and strong ties to the city...
    Palmer is a seasoned veteran, but Seattle has a seasoned veteran of their own with similar production and strong ties to the city...Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    After Palmer's threat to retire if he is not traded, it's possible the former Heisman winner could reunite with his college coach.

    In my opinion, I would rather re-sign Hasselbeck than trade a valuable pick for Palmer's $11.5 million salary, rising through 2014, questionable decision making and solid, but not top money worthy numbers.

    The Bengals have remained staunch to this point they will not trade Palmer, and they said in recent days they would like a veteran quarterback on the roster with Andy Dalton.

    It doesn't make sense to keep Palmer, but the Bengals are in a bind. Hopefully, the Seahawks won't take on the responsibility of solving problems in Cincy. 

Corey Williams, DT, Lions

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    Will Fairley replace Williams in 2011?
    Will Fairley replace Williams in 2011?Leon Halip/Getty Images

    The Lions drafted Nick Fairley to pair inside with Suh, possibly forming a dynamic interior tandem for the next decade.

    High-priced, scheme versatile veteran Corey Williams may be on the out. Signed at $4.9 Million in 2011 and 2012, Williams's experience and strength inside could be an attractive option for a team possibly needing veteran leadership on the interior, willing to take a risk on a higher salary player.

    If Seattle loses Brandon Mebane, Williams could be a viable stop-gap replacement; Seattle didn't build the interior defensive line in this draft and will struggle to find a long-time replacement for Mebane if he is to leave.

    Given the trade history between the two and Seattle's need for versatile, interior lineman, I think this is a trade that could come to fruition.

    Traded to Detroit (with a seventh rounder) for a fifth rounder in 2010, Williams for a late-round pick seems like a reasonable deal given his solid, but not outstanding production last season.

    A late-round or conditional choice could get the job done; if not, Seattle may look other directions.     

Donovan Mcnabb, QB, Redskins

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    Benched in favor of Rex Grossman, Mcnabb didnt have a shining end to 2010...
    Benched in favor of Rex Grossman, Mcnabb didnt have a shining end to 2010...Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    This one comes with a caveat; there is apparently rumor around the league the Redskins have tipped their hand too far given Mike Shanahan's fued with Mcnabb and his newfound love for John Beck.

    Washington may ultimately release Mcnabb, in which case his services would become valued on the open market.

    Seattle may consider giving a fourth, or fifth rounder to Washington if they really have interest in Mcnabb, but Mcnabb has been traced to the Vikings.

    A borderline Hall of Famer with consistent production and playoff experience, he could bring competition to the position. However, Mcnabb's value is yet to be seen. His mobility and arm are diminishing as his career wears on and would only be a short-term solution.

    He is a name to keep on the radar, but his situation in Washington is still too murky to resolve. Additionally, it would be a very unorthodox move to head in Mcnabb's direction, one that would draw a bevy of reaction from fans and pundits.

    Seattle has better options, but this could be plan D.  

Jasper Brinkley, LB, Vikings

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    Brinkley heads into his third year, after two seasons behind veteran E.J. Henderson, with the potential to fight for a starting spot on a team with a less established middle linebacker.

    A good combination of size, speed and athleticism, Brinkley can make an impact in the league.

    He continues to work on his coverage and blitz package, but he has the power to work in traffic between the tackles.

    Brinkley could be a solid run down presence in the middle for Seattle, a player that can develop and provide strong depth no matter what happens in for Seattle at the position in 2011.

    A late round pick could net Brinkley, but I believe Seattle would be wise to treat linebacker similar to guard; value and depth are available in free agency and in the undrafted free agent pool. Brinkley is an up and comer and may come at a mid round price.

    Seattle just spent a 4th round pick on versatile linebacker K.J Wright. If Brinkley is cheaper, he could be worth a look.