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Seahawks OC candidate Pep Hamilton
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Rost’s Seahawks Takeaways: Who’s left in search for a new OC?

Pep Hamilton is still available to become the Seahawks' next offensive coordinator. (Getty)

The 2020 NFL season is nearing a close as the Super Bowl matchup is set, but there’s still plenty to discuss when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks ahead of what is likely a busy offseason.

Heaps: How Seahawks’ OC candidates list may signal direction they go

When it comes to the Seahawks, there are two key stories that fans should be paying close attention to. Here’s what those stories are and how they could potentially impact Seattle.

The story: Aaron Rodgers hints at uncertain future with Green Bay

The question: What are the odds Aaron Rodgers lands in the NFC West?

Rodgers is the latest franchise quarterback whose name has been thrown around as a trade target. That has less to do with a trade being financially beneficial for the Packers — it is not, and I’ll explain more on that in a moment — and has more to do with Rodgers’ post-game comments Sunday.

Rodgers, like all of NFL Twitter, didn’t appear to be a fan of Matt LaFleur’s decision to go for a field goal with just over two minutes remaining in regulation in Green Bay’s conference championship loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The league’s likely MVP didn’t get a chance to go for a touchdown with the game on the line, and he didn’t touch the ball again.

Maybe Rodgers’ response was an emotional one. He was asked a question shortly after a heartbreaking, gutting loss and just said what was on his mind: that he felt uncertain about what to do next, and about where he fit with a team that had drafted his replacement months prior. Or, as NFL.com’s Mike Silver fairly points out, maybe Rodgers’ knew exactly what he was doing: making it clear to the Packers’ front office that he would be willing to end his career elsewhere if the right moves aren’t made.

It’s hard to see a trade being the right move, though. While not impossible, it wouldn’t be particularly easy. Financially, parting ways with Rodgers (even via trade) puts Green Bay in a tough spot. Rodgers, 37, is under contract through 2023. He has little dead cap ($2.8 million) to his cap hit ($28.35 million) in the final year of his deal, but that’s not the year we’re looking at here. This is about 2021, where the Packers would take on $31.5 million in dead cap if they decided to move on or trade Rodgers, assuming there was no restricting of the deal. Yikes.

There’s little connecting Rodgers to San Francisco outside of his California roots and the fact that he’s clearly frustrated with the way things ended this year. But the 49ers are an intriguing landing spot and Rodgers isn’t the only name to be thrown out as a candidate. Others include Houston’s Deshaun Watson and Detroit’s Matthew Stafford.

That brings us back to our question: What are the odds Rodgers lands in the NFC West? File this under “incredibly unlikely” but also endlessly fascinating sports talk.

Here’s a better question, though: Are the 49ers – or the Rams, for that matter – one elite quarterback removed from being in a Super Bowl? Because if the answer is yes, urgent offseason improvements just became that much more important for the Seahawks.

The story: Saints QBs coach Joe Lombardi expected to become Chargers OC

The question: So … who’s left?

Lombardi, who had been linked to the Seahawks in their search for a new offensive coordinator, just took the same position with the Chargers. The former Saints quarterback coach will replace Shane Steichen – another name that had been linked to the Seahawks – who has since joined the Eagles as offensive coordinator under new head coach Nick Sirianni. That comes just a few days after ex-Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn – also linked to Seattle – was hired as offensive coordinator for the Lions.

Whew.

The Seahawks are clearly covering all of their bases with this OC search – hence, Adam Gase – but it’s also fair if watching all these names come off the board is making you nervous.

The good news is there are still coaches who have yet to land new gigs.

Some of those are guys who remain uncommitted, like ex-Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. Some are drawing interest from other teams, like Chargers quarterback coach Pep Hamilton. But others had been previously unavailable because they are on the coaching staffs of either the Packers or the Bills, and potential hires can move forward now that they’ve been eliminated. One name to watch is Bills quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey (via Albert Breer).

If one name isn’t enough for you, my Jake and Stacy co-host Jake Heaps has a list of available OC candidates at the link at the top of this story.

Follow Stacy Rost on Twitter.

The Seahawks may have to choose between Jarran Reed, Carlos Dunlap