Wassell Predicts: Antonio Brown won’t be signed by Seahawks
I have two predictions – one each about the Seahawks and Mariners – and an additional thought for my column this week.
Let’s get into it.
Prediction: Antonio Brown will not join the Seahawks
It’s no secret that Russell Wilson wants Antonio Brown in a Seahawks uniform. Does Russell have some sway with respect to personnel decisions? Yes – to varying degrees, depending on the player. And Pete Carroll certainly seems like the kind of coach who would be open to helping a superstar wide receiver resurrect his troubled career.
There are a few things that are getting in the way, however. Multiple allegations of assault are looming over Brown’s head right now, at least three with the same woman and one with a truck driver at Brown’s home. With COVID-19 backing up our legal system, these cases might not get sorted out for a while. On top of that, the possibility of the NFL suspending Brown is still very much in play, whether he’s cleared or not. He does not have to be on a roster for a suspension to be handed down. So with those things in mind, would the Seahawks sign him NOW? I don’t think so, and there’s something else to consider.
ESPN Seahawks reporter Brady Henderson’s impression of the Seahawks is that they’ve been cautious and have avoided players who’ve been tied to domestic violence issues, particularly in light of the backlash over their drafting of Frank Clark due to allegations against him. You’ll recall that Clark, before he was a member of the team, was alleged to have been involved in a situation where domestic violence had taken place. After investigating the situation themselves, the Seahawks went ahead and drafted him anyway and faced a litany of criticism as a result. Since then, they’ve dealt with the suspension of Jarran Reed for a related offense, but that situation is a little different given that Reed is already a member of the team.
Do they really want to go down that road again? Brown’s legal team would have to prove that every allegation that’s been thrown at him is baseless. Only then would it be morally safe for Seattle to sign him. Anything short of Brown being framed and they’re walking themselves right back down a path where they would appear tone deaf to very sensitive issues.
Between the team’s own concerns about their image, a clogged legal system and a potential suspension, Brown will not be a Seahawk until he is able to overcome each of those hurdles, and that could take a long time.
Prediction: The Mariners will win more than 23 games (.383)
Back before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US, we discussed the Mariners’ projected win total for what was going to be a 162-game season. It felt like most of you thought they’d stagger their way to about 65-70 victories, hopefully showing some improvement along the way. For that reason, I’ll emphasize that wins and losses don’t carry the same importance as usual in 2020, especially now that we’re down to only 60 games.
Just for fun, we’ll set the over/under for wins at 23.5. A record of 23-37 is nothing to write home about, but playing 14 games under .500 over the course of about two months probably won’t feel as bad as it would if we had to ride it out over six long months. It’s a sprint this year so we really don’t have much time to worry about the drag of a normal season. Win or lose, this season will pack far more urgency than normal.
I have high hopes for many of the young players on this team, and given that the league is unfamiliar with them, there’s a good chance that a few come out of the gate raking the ball. Same goes for the pitchers. A common scenario is that a young ballplayer comes up, crushes the ball for 40 games or so (I’m looking at you, Dustin Ackley), and then the rest of the league makes adjustments and slows that player down. There might not be time for such adjustments this season – we’ll see. It’ll depend on how the Mariners utilize their taxi squad, but it doesn’t feel like winning just over a third of their games is asking too much. I’m thinking 26 wins will leave us feeling like they accomplished something.
Thought: Mahomes is worth it even without another Super Bowl
The Kansas City Chiefs are set. Patrick Mahomes is certainly set. They have a Super Bowl to their credit, Mahomes got the cash and the Chiefs have their star. What does Mahomes have to do to justify being paid upwards of 400 million dollars? Not as much as you think.
This kid has as much raw talent as any quarterback I’ve ever seen. Just the other day he admitted to not having read defenses until last season. His will only get better with his star continuing to rise. On top of this, he’s just a nice guy! He’s as likable as any athlete and incredibly easy to root for even if you’re not a fan of the Chiefs – the anti-Tom Brady, if you like.
Barring injury, Mahomes will continue to keep Kansas City relevant for the next decade and always have the team in the playoff hunt with Super Bowl expectations, and with a marketing machine behind him that has unlimited potential. THAT is the most important thing, even beyond Super Bowl wins.
Think of it this way. Every time we saw a picture of Michael Jordan in his heyday, he was wearing his Chicago Bulls jersey. Think about the way Jordan’s star power increased the overall value of the franchise just by virtue of the fact that he was on the team. He could have won three fewer championships and still had the same kind of marketing potential, both for himself and the team.
Mahomes is in the same spot. That red, yellow and white Chiefs getup is going to be EVERYWHERE over the coming years. Whether they win another Super Bowl or not, just having him on the roster with worldwide visibility will make this contract more than worth it financially to the team. If he regresses or gets in trouble off the field that will change everything, but for now, I’ll bet on Mahomes in the same way the Chiefs have.