Jake and Stacy: Why it’s unlikely the Seahawks will trade veteran players for draft picks

Apr 3, 2021, 1:10 PM
Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner...
The Seahawks could net some major draft capital for star LB Bobby Wagner. (Getty)

We’re just a few weeks away from the 2021 NFL Draft and the Seahawks at the moment have the fewest picks in football and won’t be picking until late in the second round as things currently stand.

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Due to a few trades, including last offseason’s blockbuster deal for All-Pro safety Jamal Adams, the Seahawks currently have just three picks in this month’s draft. As it stands, Seattle has one pick each in the second round, fourth round and seventh round.

General manager John Schneider has been running drafts for the Seahawks since 2010 and in each of those drafts, he’s made at least eight selections. Part of that, though, is Schneider has shown he’s comfortable with trading out of the first round to accumulate more mid-round picks.

But with no first rounder due to the Adams trade, if the Seahawks are going to get even close to that eight pick mark, their best bet in terms of adding more draft picks would be trading established veterans.

But will that happen? Jake Heaps and Stacy Rost of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy tackled that question on Friday.

So what are the odds of the Seahawks trading a veteran for more draft picks?

“I would say slim to none,” Heaps said. “There is really not anybody on this list now that you have at this stage that I would think is a good idea to trade away and go and acquire picks.”

The first two names Heaps pointed to were Adams and All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner, both of whom could be intriguing options for other teams looking for impact players on defense. Trading either would also allow the Seahawks to add draft picks and open up salary cap space. But Heaps thinks the negatives outweigh the positives in a big way when it comes to the Seahawks trading either Adams or Wagner in the next few weeks.

“Could you get (something) in return for them? Yes,” Heaps said. “But does it leave big holes in your defense? Absolutely. And at this stage in free agency, you’re not going to get a massive return in terms of guys out there on the open market that you could replace those two with adequately. I don’t think you’re at a position right now where even if you wanted to (trade one of them), you wouldn’t be able to recoup that talent back in draft picks or in players who are (available) on the free-agent market right now.”

Heaps also thinks trading either of those players would be a bad move because the Seahawks are in a good position to win in the immediate future.

“I’ve always been the proponent of I believe you have the pieces right now to go and compete for a championship,” he said. “You just need to continue to add. That’s why I’ve been a proponent of extensions, restructuring, keeping the group together that you have, but making better additions in certain areas to bolster this roster as a hole. They’ve been able to do some of that. I’m excited to see the future moves that they will make. I just don’t think it’s going to be in the form of a trade.”

Rost thinks people have expectations that the Seahawks will trade a player for picks because of what happened in 2019, when the Seahawks were in a similar position with having only a handful of draft picks.

“I think everyone was looking at the move they made in 2019 with (trading defensive end) Frank Clark and thinking if you have three picks – you had four heading into the (2019) draft with Clark – maybe you could make a move,” she said. “The problem is that was something where in the moment you had enough weapons around you to try and offset what was going to happen with your defensive line.”

Related: Do Seahawks need to repeat their Clark trade to add picks?

The Seahawks traded Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 2019 first-round pick and a 2020 third-round pick. That gave the Seahawks five picks entering the draft, and Schneider used that first rounder to trade down a few times. The end result? Seattle made 11 selections.

Now, the Seahawks have some players that could net Seattle some serious draft capital, but Rost doesn’t see a clear replacement for those players.

“Your best two trade pieces are … (quarterback) Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner, but the problem is you don’t have anyone to replace them,” she said. “Not only that, but everything else is going to be offset by the movement of those two guys. That’s in addition to leaving you with a lot of dead cap … They just don’t have quite the same chess piece (for a trade) that they did with a franchise-tagged Frank Clark back in 2019.”

Listen to the full discussion at this link or in the player below.

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