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What will free agency bring the Seahawks next?

By Jim Moore

As it pertains to the Seahawks, this whole free-agency frenzy is hard to figure out. We hear things, hope for things, pray for some things to happen and pray for other things to not work out.

Going in, we were certain about two things because Seahawks general manager John Schneider told us that re-signing Marshawn Lynch and Red Bryant were the team’s biggest priorities. Both players have new contracts and will remain in Seattle.

That’s great news, but now what? We’re left to speculate on everything else. Starting with the Seahawks’ own free agents, we don’t know if they want to keep three players who would appear to be solid assets in linebackers David Hawthorne and Leroy Hill and fullback Michael Robinson.

Offensive lineman Paul McQuistan has value as well, but in trying to determine the Seahawks’ level of interest, it’s a big unknown.

Then you’ve got the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, which the Seahawks tried to get involved in but couldn’t get the future Hall of Famer to even take a trip to Seattle to check things out.

The Seahawks have scheduled a visit with free-agent quarterback Chad Henne. (AP)

I don’t get that, but Manning can do whatever he wants to do, I guess. He appears to have narrowed his choices to Arizona, Miami, Denver and Tennessee. I can see selling points for every one of those teams, but the Seahawks have just as much to offer, maybe more. Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune said the Seahawks tried to get Manning to come to Seattle, but he was too exhausted after visiting the Cardinals on Sunday.

Maybe it’s just as well. Manning may never be 100 percent again, and he’s 36 as it is, on the downhill side of his career. Besides that, according to The Denver Post, no Super Bowl-winning quarterback has ever gone to another team and won another Super Bowl. So history is working against Manning and his new team.

So then if you play the guessing game like I do, you figure that the Seahawks would at least get involved in the Matt Flynn Sweepstakes. Flynn will visit with the Seahawks this week, and reports say that the free-agent quarterback from Green Bay is meeting with the Dolphins and the Browns as well.

If the Seahawks lose out on Flynn, maybe that’ll turn out to be a good thing. Flynn has had only two great games in his NFL career, and Schneider apparently has some reservations about him. You’d think that Schneider would know everything about Flynn since he drafted him and spent so much time with him in Green Bay before he came here.

Then again, do you trust Schneider when it comes to his evaluation of quarterbacks. If you do, you could cite his drafting of Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. If you don’t, you could cite his free-agent signings of Charlie Whitehurst (bust) and Tarvaris Jackson (semi-bust).

Imagine the excitement in the cities with connections to Manning and Flynn, and compare that to the excitement here when the news came out that Chad Henne will pay a visit to the Seahawks this week.

I’m expecting a ticker-tape parade in downtown Seattle while the red carpet is rolled out at the VMAC, preparing for Henne’s arrival.

I shouldn’t be so sarcastic all the time, but I can’t help it. Henne was 13-18 as a starter in Miami. When I think of Chad Henne, I just don’t think of quarterback excellence. I think about quarterback mediocrity, and the Seahawks already have a lot of that in Jackson.

Maybe Henne will play like he did before he injured his left shoulder last year. In one game against the Patriots, Henne threw for 416 yards and had a passer rating of 93.6. So there’s a chance he could be better than decent.

But I still have a hard time thinking about a quarterback controversy involving Jackson and Henne. That doesn’t exactly grab me, excite me or do anything to me except elicit a great big yawn.

I understand that the Seahawks need another quarterback now that Clipboard Jesus is off to test the free-agent waters himself. To say there will be minimal interest in Whitehurst is to state the obvious.

But what about Josh Portis, last year’s third-stringer? To the untrained observer, of which I’m one, Portis seemed good enough during the preseason last year to at least warrant a look as this year’s backup, but what the hell do I know? Don’t answer that question.

To be honest, I’m hoping that another team outbids the Seahawks for Henne if it even gets that far.

There are other options. If Manning signs with Arizona, Kevin Kolb would be available. If Manning signs with Tennessee, Matt Hasselbeck would be available. I’m guessing he would come back in a heartbeat, but Schneider would never bring him back. What a fiasco that would be, but I’m always up for a good fiasco even if no one else is.

And if Manning signs with Denver, raise your hand if you’d like Tebowmania to come to Seattle. My hand is raised. You could spell that one in capital letters: F-I-A-S-C-O.

But be honest, would you rather have Jackson as your starter next year or Tebow? If you could only pick one or the other …

The final option is finding the next quarterback in the draft. Maybe, as Mel Kiper projects in his latest mock draft, the Seahawks will take Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill with the No. 12 pick.

I’d be in favor of that if none of the other options happen before the draft. If need be, give me one more year of Jackson while Tannehill is groomed to take over when T-Jack’s contract expires at the end of the season.

Or, heck, if the Seahawks don’t get a pass-rusher in free agency, maybe they should take Quinton Coples of North Carolina or Melvin Ingram of South Carolina with the 12th pick and take a quarterback such as Brock Osweiler or Brandon Weeden in the second round.

The coming weeks promise to be highly interesting and hopefully satisfying for the Seahawks and their fans.