Clayton: Do Seahawks favor Russell Wilson? Just as much as any team with a star quarterback
After what was a relatively quiet week for the Seahawks, let’s take a little bit of time to reflect on a few topics.
Do the Seahawks favor Russell Wilson over other players?
The first thought concerns recently written and potential forthcoming stories about players saying Russell Wilson has been getting special treatment from the front office. Hall of Famer Warren Moon was on the show the other day, and he expressed exactly what I’ve observed in more than four decades of NFL coverage: Quarterbacks are treated differently.
QBs are the highest-paid players in the game, and because they are so much more involved in forming the game plan, they spend more time with coaches. It’s up to the quarterback to make sure the other 10 offensive players know the offense when they are on the field together. That’s why everyone says it’s a quarterback-driven league
The teams with the best quarterbacks have the best chance to advance in the playoffs and possibly get to the Super Bowl. Great quarterbacks are difference-makers, and Wilson is exactly that with an 8-4 record in playoff games. He’s won a Super Bowl and was one play away from winning another.
A key reason for a quarterback to be considered good is what they can accomplish in the fourth quarter of games. A top quarterback can turn a eight-or-nine win teams into an 11-to-12 win team, and Wilson is good for three to four fourth quarter comebacks a year.
In case you are wondering, I still rank Wilson among the five best quarterbacks in the league. I still can’t believe he threw for 4,219 yards despite having a high-ankle sprain and a MCL injury in 2016. His offensive line was too young and left him too many times without a pocket. In 2017, the re-emphasis of power running and more competition along the offensive line should ease any locker room concerns.
Update on signing Seahawks draft picks
On Thursday, cornerback Mike Tyson became the fifth Seahawks draft choice to sign a contract. Six choices remain unsigned, but that shouldn’t be a worry. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if it might take a little extra time to get some deals done.
The strength of John Schneider’s draft was maneuvering to get four choices in the third rounds, three of them who had second-round grades. Since the league established a reduced rookie pool in 2011, third-round picks have been one of the slowest to get deals. Part of it is because there a little more wiggle room for negotiation in the third round even though everything is pretty slotted. Ultimately the deals get done.
Michael Bennett vs. Stephen A. Smith
Stephen A. Smith ripped Michael Bennett for saying Colin Kaepernick would be a perfect fit in the Seahawks’ locker room and on their roster. Smith is critical of Kaepernick for protesting the national anthem before games last season but not voting in the 2016 election.
That’s a little much. Whether Kaepernick voted or not, Bennett is saying Kaepernick fits in the locker room because he’s a talented player, but he’s also making contributions to the community, a big theme among the Seahawks veterans.
For Kaepernick, though, it still comes down to the business of the game. The Seahawks might not be willing to play him too much more than the NFL minimum. In his case, that might be around $900,000. He would be a good fit if he can accept the money.
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 710Sports.com.