Seahawks Trade Deadline: Who Seattle could move, where it could add
The 2021 NFL trade deadline is this Tuesday at 1 p.m., and over the last few years, the Seahawks have made notable additions at the deadline in Quandre Diggs and Carlos Dunlap. But will they make another splash this year?
The 3-5 Seahawks have a lot of work to do, but with there being seven playoff teams in each conference and a relatively easy schedule the rest of the way in non-division games, Seattle certainly can make a run, especially if an extra piece or two at the deadline is brought in to help.
What to know
It is important to note that Seattle general manager John Schneider told Seahawks Radio Network broadcaster Steve Raible before Sunday’s win over the Jaguars that “this year seems pretty quiet, quite honestly,” when it comes to the midseason trade market.
It’s also important to note that due to the trade for Jamal Adams prior to the 2020 season, the Seahawks don’t have a first-round pick in the upcoming draft, though they do have two fourth-round picks due to the deal. They also don’t have a sixth-round pick because of a trade for cornerback Sidney Jones just prior to this season. The Seahawks could, however, recoup some draft picks with some selling of their own.
So, let’s look at potential additions and subtractions for the Seahawks ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.
Potential Seahawks trade chips
• DE L.J. Collier
If the Seahawks are going to sell any player, it’s reportedly defensive end L.J. Collier.
After starting all 16 games (and a playoff game) for the Seahawks in 2020, the 2019 first-round pick has been active just twice in 2021 despite being healthy.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Collier could be on the move, and given his lack of a role in Seattle, that may be best for both sides.
Collier was solid in 2020 with three sacks, four tackles for loss and seven QB hits while playing roughly half of the Seahawks’ defensive snaps, but he’s never lived up to his billing. And with the Seahawks using their defensive tackles as well as other defensive ends far more, Collier is a bit of an afterthought despite his status as a former first rounder.
Trading Collier wouldn’t necessarily mean the Seahawks at 3-5 are “sellers,” but it would signal that they know what many fans and analysts have been saying for a while, which is that drafting Collier 29th overall in 2019 was a mistake and another high draft miss for the Seahawks’ front office.
• RB Rashaad Penny
Speaking of draft misses, the Seahawks whiffed at the end of the first round in 2018 when they selected Rashaad Penny, who has struggled to stay healthy and make an impact.
Penny has appeared in just three games this year, and in 15 rushing attempts he’s compiled just 24 yards. His longest rush has gone for five yards.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter listed Penny as a name to watch for the Tennessee Titans as their star running back Derrick Henry could miss the rest of the season with a foot injury.
• QB Russell Wilson
The chances of the Seahawks trading Russell Wilson are next to zero, especially because they’re now 3-5 instead of 2-6. That won’t stop you from reading about him in other trade rumors/speculation, though.
But if the Seahawks were to go all-in on the 2022 draft and a rebuild of sorts, trading Wilson is likely where they’d start, especially after turbulence this last offseason.
Seahawks buying in a busy WR market?
No position group in the NFL has more names on the trade block than wide receiver, and many of those players are big names.
Really there are three groups of receivers to watch for when it comes to the trade market this year: big names, solid contributors, and young guys needing a fresh start.
• Big names
Three big-name receivers that could be moved are Brandin Cooks (Texans), DeSean Jackson (Rams) and Odell Beckham Jr. (Browns).
Beckham is the unlikeliest of the aforementioned trio to be moved, even with the Browns being in last place in the AFC North. He has two more years left on his contract after 2021 and is making over $15 million each year through 2023, though he has no guaranteed money for the next two years. Still, Beckham’s apparent inability to stay healthy and form chemistry with Browns QB Baker Mayfield makes him a name worth watching.
Cooks and Jackson, though, definitely could be on the move.
Cooks made his displeasure with the porous Texans known after the team traded running back Mark Ingram, while Rams head coach Sean McVay said Jackson is being allowed to seek a trade. He was inactive on Sunday and will reportedly be cut if a trade partner can’t be found. But Cooks reportedly will not be on the move, despite appearing to want out of Houston.
• Solid dudes
Parker had over 1,000 yards in 2019 but has dealt with injuries last year and this year and is not having as much production with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback. The Dolphins are one of the NFL’s worst teams, but they have no first-round pick in 2022. Perhaps they try to recoup some draft capital by moving Parker and others.
Slayton, meanwhile, had 740 yards as a rookie in 2019 and 751 last year. But the Giants spent big at receiver with free-agent addition Kenny Golladay and also used a first-round draft pick on Kadarius Toney. New York also has Sterling Shepard, who has two years left on his deal while Slayton has just one after 2021.
• Fresh start candidates
Like I said with Collier, some high-draft picks need a fresh start in a new spot, and that’s the case for two 2019 draft picks.
The Patriots took N’Keal Harry with the last pick of the first round while the Cardinals took Andy Isabella 62nd overall, or two picks before the Seahawks selected DK Metcalf.
Harry has fallen out of favor with the Patriots, making just five catches this year, and he and his agent requested a trade during the offseason.
Isabella, meanwhile, has no catches or targets in 2021 after falling behind DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Rondale Moore and Christian Kirk at receiver. The Cardinals also recently added tight end Zach Ertz to the mix and have two running backs they like in Chase Edmonds and James Conner. ProFootballNetwork reports that Isabella could be moved.
• Will the Hawks bite?
The Seahawks used their 2021 second-round pick on Dee Eskridge to be the team’s No. 3 receiver, but he has been out since Week 1 with a concussion. The good news, though, is that Eskridge is expected back after the bye, and Seattle also has 2020 pick Freddie Swain as well as Penny Hart, two guys they like and trust.
More weapons for Wilson is good, and there are certainly some names to watch, but if the Seahawks do add, it likely will be elsewhere, namely on defense.
One reason a receiver addition could happen, though? Schneider said before Week 3 that the team was hoping to reunite with receiver Josh Gordon if he was reinstated (he wound up signing with the Chiefs). So perhaps adding one more receiver is something still being considered, even with Eskridge expected back soon.
Is CB still a need?
We already saw the biggest name in the cornerback market move with the Patriots trading Stephon Gilmore to the Panthers, but nearly every team in the league would be happy to have Broncos cornerback Kyle Fuller join their squad.
Fuller, 29, is a former first-round pick and two-time Pro Bowler in his first year in Denver after spending his first seven NFL seasons with the Bears.
The Broncos, though, have some of the best cornerback depth in the NFL and used the No. 9 pick on Patrick Surtain in April’s draft. Currently, Surtain is starting opposite Ronald Darby while Fuller is now a backup and played only two defensive snaps last week. The Saints reportedly tried trading for Fuller a few weeks ago but the trade fell through. With the deadline approaching, it would make sense for teams to keep calling the Broncos.
The Seahawks may have been a hot name to watch a few weeks ago in terms of trying to acquire Fuller, but after Sunday’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, coach Pete Carroll made it clear he loves how D.J. Reed has been playing and that he’s happy with the play of rookie Tre Brown and Sidney Jones at the left cornerback spot.
With three options that Carroll is happy with and with Bless Austin, who has NFL starting experience, on the bench, Fuller arriving in Seattle seems unlikely, which is surprising given how poor the cornerback spot looked for the Seahawks in the first three games of the season.
Another boost on the D-line?
If the Seahawks need help anywhere, it’s once again at pass rush.
Last year, Seattle got a big boost when adding Carlos Dunlap to the mix from the Bengals. That move helped the Seahawks improve the pass rush, which helped improve the defense as a whole.
This pass rush trade market doesn’t appear to be great or deep, but there are two players in particular who could likely help the Seahawks.
The first is Melvin Ingram, who is with the Steelers. Ingram reportedly is unhappy with his playing time in Pittsburgh and he could be moved as a result, and the Chiefs reportedly made an offer to the Steelers for him. The Seahawks passed on Ingram in free agency and instead signed Aldon Smith, who was cut due to legal troubles. Could they try to get Ingram on board to boost the pass rush rotation instead?
UPDATE: Ingram was traded to the Chiefs for a sixth-round pick, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport)
The other guy on the trading block is 2019 No. 4 overall pick Clelin Ferrell. He’s playing roughly a quarter of the Raiders’ defensive snaps and he, like Collier, Isabella and Harry, is a 2019 draft pick who could likely use a change of scenery. And while he was a surprise as the No. 4 pick in 2019, the talent is clearly there for him to be a productive defensive end at the NFL level. SI’s Albert Breer reported that the Raiders have had some discussions regarding trading Ferrell.
A path for WSU standout to return to PNW?
The Seahawks don’t need offensive line help as far as immediate starters, but their post-2021 line has some serious questions.
It’s clear that neither Ethan Pocic nor Kyle Fuller are the long-term answer at center, and both left tackle Duane Brown and right tackle Brandon Shell are impending free agents. The 36-year-old Brown could very well retire after this season after he and the Seahawks couldn’t agree to a new contract extension.
At tackle, the Seahawks have 2021 sixth-round pick Stone Forsythe, who is a project, as well as undrafted rookie Jake Curhan on the roster for 2022 and beyond, but what if they added a tackle to the mix with 2022 in mind?
Enter Andre Dillard, the Eagles’ 2019 first-round pick. Dillard, who starred at WSU for the Cougars, is the backup at left tackle in Philadelphia and hasn’t started game in 2021 after missing all of 2020 with an injury.
With Dillard seemingly not in the Eagles’ long-term plans due to Lane Johnson being the right tackle and Jordan Mailata recently signing a long-term deal to stick at left tackle, perhaps he could be of use to another team. Per NBC Sports, the Eagles have received calls regarding dealing Dillard.
If the Seahawks were to buy low on the 2019 draft’s No. 22 pick, Dillard could learn the system behind Brown and Shell while also serving as a more capable backup than Forsythe, Curhan or Jamarco Jones. He could then return for 2022 with some experience with the Seahawks and potentially take over for one of Brown or Shell depending on what they choose to do after the 2021 season concludes.