John Clayton

Clayton: Trevone Boykin’s arrest will push Seahawks into the QB market

John Clayton expects Seattle to bring in a veteran quarterback before OTAs begin in May. (AP)

Trevone Boykin may evolve into a good NFL quarterback, but his sense of timing is terrible.

More than a year ago, he was about to come out of college with a draftable grade. That changed when he was arrested for third-degree assault after a bar fight three days before the Alamo Bowl, and TCU suspended him for the game.

Then he declined to go to the Senior Bowl because it wanted him to work as a receiver. Smart move. From watching him last year with the Seahawks, who signed him to be Russell Wilson’s backup after he went undrafted, Boykin has some potential at quarterback.

But early Monday morning, his sense of timing and judgment betrayed him again. Boykin was arrested on misdemeanor charges of public intoxication and possession of marijuana after a woman driving his car crashed into a bar in Dallas and injured several people. Boykin was a passenger.

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This happened at a time when the Seahawks are bringing in veteran free agents and signing them to one-year contracts. His job as Seattle’s backup quarterback is no longer guaranteed. General manager John Schneider said Tuesday the team plans to bring in a veteran to compete against Boykin. Expect that to happen before the start of organized team activities in May.

In any sport, management must have a level of trust with its players. The Seahawks don’t know the full story on Boykin’s incident. The team announced it is gathering facts and is disappointed. That statement is telling. Whether he is innocent or guilty, Boykin has damaged the trust that the organization has in him.

Last year, the Seahawks tried to go younger with their roster. They had 20 new players, including 14 rookies. They ended up being a little too young along the offensive line. They were probably too young at running back. Schneider and coach Pete Carroll thought they could be young at backup quarterback and seemed to come out of that move OK with Boykin.

He fit the Seahawks’ system as a quarterback with a decent arm and the ability to run. He seemed to fit in perfectly in the quarterback room. Players respected him. Wilson liked him. He played well when he got his chances.

Now, his future is in question. I don’t see the Seahawks cutting him. There is no need. He is innocent until proven guilty. But the Seahawks have no choice but to bring in another quarterback. If found guilty, Boykin could end up being suspended.

Figuring out who that quarterback might be isn’t easy. For those thinking the Seahawks will sign Colin Kaepernick, don’t hold your breath. I can see them reaching out to Kaepernick and bringing him in for a visit. They would do that because Seahawks respected his willingness to express his convictions about racial issues in America. Players may not have agreed with his stance, but they appreciated having the dialogue.

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But a workout isn’t a contract. And figuring Kaepernick might want $7 million or $8 million a season, Seattle no longer has the cap room to do that.

Robert Griffin III has the running ability to be a candidate, but that move might be too adventurous. Chase Daniel is a viable option. Some of the others are Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Nassib, T.J. Yates and Christian Ponder.

The Seahawks may have planned on signing a veteran quarterback anyway, but Boykin’s latest ill-timed incident guarantees it.

Want more John Clayton? Listen on-demand to his weekday and Saturday shows as well as his “Cold Hard Facts” and “Clayton’s Morning Drive” segments on 710 ESPN Seattle. Also, check out his all-new “Schooled” podcast and look for his columns twice a week on

About the Author

John Clayton

John Clayton is hosting a new weekday show from 10 to noon and writing columns for as part of his expanded role at 710 ESPN Seattle. Clayton also hosts his own Saturday morning show and appears each weekday on "Brock and Salk" as well as "Danny, Dave and Moore." Nicknamed "The Professor" for his wealth of football knowledge, Clayton has been covering the NFL for more than four decades, starting as a high-schooler in 1972 for the Daily Press in St. Marys, Pa. He joined The Pittsburgh Press in 1976, moved to The News Tribune in 1986 and joined ESPN full time in 1998 as a senior NFL writer and commentator. In 2007, Clayton was inducted into the writers' wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Follow him on Twitter @ClaytonESPN


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