Rost: The good news and bad news for the Seahawks heading into bye
Here’s the good news: the Seahawks’ postseason odds increased just slightly after their win over the Jaguars.
FiveThirtyEight currently gives them a 24% shot to make the playoffs, but a less than 1% chance to win their division or a Super Bowl (and at 3-5 with their latest win coming over an abysmal Jacksonville team, there are still plenty of disappointed fans who would give them longer odds than that).
The Seahawks might not have a shot to increase those chances with a game this Sunday, but they did have a chance to boost them with the addition of an impact player by Tuesday’s trade deadline.
They did not.
What’s unclear though is whether that’s bad news.
There was certainly a need. This is a team that could use help in the running game and pass rush, for starters. Adding to cornerback or offensive line certainly wouldn’t have hurt, either.
Chris Carson remains on the injured reserve list with a neck injury and while Pete Carroll said Carson hopes to return to practice next week, he’ll need approval from team doctors first. Alex Collins came into Week 8 with a lingering hip injury, while Rashaad Penny has been ineffective in his own return from IR.
Defensively, linebacker Darrell Taylor and safety Quandre Diggs have been bright spots, but Seattle still falls well below league average in sacks. The team’s 14 this season are the third-fewest in the NFC, ahead of only Dallas and Atlanta. And while Diggs got his third interception last week, no other Seahawks defender has recorded a pick.
Adding to the sting was a move made by a divisional foe. The Rams, who are already loaded with talent and sitting at 7-1, acquired star linebacker Von Miller from the Broncos for a second- and third-round pick in 2022.
On the other hand, the Seahawks may feel they already have the pieces they need – those pieces just need to get healthy and return soon. In addition to Carson, Russell Wilson has a chance to return after the bye. Seattle’s quarterback had the pin removed from his finger Monday and posted a video of himself throwing on Tuesday.
But the biggest statement from Tuesday’s deadline wasn’t about the Seahawks not making a trade during a relatively quiet deadline. Rather, it was about the names that were thrown out as possible trade options: former first-round picks defensive lineman L.J. Collier and running back Rashaad Penny.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler indicated there’s still hope for contributions from Collier.
“I was told they weren’t actively shopping him, for one,” Fowler said during an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake & Stacy Tuesday. “So, I think they probably would’ve had to get a call that includes a very strong offer and that probably didn’t come. But they still believe in the player, even though it looks like they don’t because he’s been inactive for so long. But he’s got some talent. Part of it is the way he’s being used in the defense. He can still rush the passer, they feel like, so maybe they can kind of spark something out of him here and he can get back in the lineup.”
Meanwhile, Penny has struggled with both production and injuries since being drafted in 2018, and those struggles have continued in 2021 despite an effort by the former first-rounder to slim down last offseason. In three games, Penny has rushed for no more than nine yards and is averaging a career-low 1.6 yards per attempt.
Perhaps both players find a rhythm in the second half of 2021. But the idea that yet another Seahawks top pick could be considered an easily replaceable trade piece? That’s the bad news from Tuesday’s deadline.