Wyman and Bob: Who of Wilson, Carroll and Schneider is hardest for Seahawks to replace?

Dec 30, 2021, 2:25 PM

Seattle Seahawks coach search John Schneider Pete Carroll...

Seahawks GM John Schneider talks with coach Pete Carroll prior to a 2019 game against the Browns. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

This time last year, the Seahawks were riding high to an NFC West title and 12-win season. But in 2021, they enter the season’s final two weeks at 5-10 and eliminated from postseason contention.

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With the Seahawks having their worst season since 2009, there naturally is a lot of thoughts and speculation going around in regards to what’s next for the franchise, namely quarterback Russell Wilson, head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider.

That “big three” has been partnered together since Wilson’s rookie year in 2012 while Carroll and Schneider arrived in Seattle and together, that trio has led the Seahawks to the franchise’s best run of success. Since 2012, the Seahawks have made the playoffs eight of 10 years with four NFC West titles, two NFC West championships and a Super Bowl victory.

But after a disappointing 2021 season, which comes after a rocky offseason with Wilson reportedly being open to a trade, what could be next for those three?

That much is unclear, but Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob on Tuesday tackled a question related to those three, which was who of that trio is the hardest to replace?

“In my opinion, it’s an easy answer because I think the elite franchise quarterback is the most elusive entity out there,” Stelton said.

In recent years, the No. 1 pick of the NFL Draft has typically been a quarterback. But Stelton said he’d take Wilson over every quarterback taken No. 1 overall in the past 20 drafts.

“So for me, the easiest answer is Russ,” Stelton said. “I think Pete would be No. 2 and I think John would be the easiest to replace. That’s not a shot at John, I just think (with) a GM, there are a lot of candidates out there that have that mind that can do things well in terms of assembling a roster. None of them are easy, because I think they’re all incredibly good at what they do.”

Stelton pointed around the league to show just how valuable Wilson is. Only a handful of teams have legitimate franchise quarterbacks, and most of those teams are among the NFL’s elite. Meanwhile, other teams either have “placeholder” quarterbacks like Ryan Tannehill in Tennessee, or they’re waiting to see if their quarterback is actually “the guy,” such as rookies or younger recently-drafted quarterbacks.

The Seahawks, Stelton said, don’t have to wonder whether they have “the guy,” despite a down year by Wilson’s standards.

“You know what you have in Russell Wilson,” Stelton said. “You’ve got a guy who for nine seasons in every just about every statistical category is amongst the elite in this league. And now he’s having one down season by his standards and everybody looks at him is washed and he was never that good.”

Stelton questioned who the Seahawks would move onto at quarterback if they decided to part ways with Wilson, saying the team likely would become a team with a placeholder. He also said it’s important to note how Wilson has helped cover up other issues the team has had during his career, especially when it comes to the offensive line.

“They have swung and missed on free agents swung and missed on draft picks on that line,” he said. “And because of him, they’ve been able to get away with it. And not only win, but get to the postseason. But you know, a bad year and everybody goes, ‘Well, he was lucky, he had the Legion of Boom, he had Marshawn (Lynch), he had this, it was everybody but him.’ And it just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Wyman noted that the decision on the future of the franchise, owner Jody Allen will be the one making the call. He also noted that it appears Allen and Carroll have a great relationship.

“I get the feeling that Jodi Allen really trusts Pete ultimately, like that’s her guy,” Wyman said, adding that Allen signed Carroll to an extension last year. ” … Maybe in her mind, it’s Pete (who’s most important). Maybe she thinks that Pete’s like her connection to this team. And I feel like maybe that’s something that you could consider because the way Pete talks about her certainly is pretty glowing.”

When it comes to Schneider, Carroll told reporters that the GM and Allen talk a lot and he gives her reports on games and the team frequently. Wyman said Schneider deserves credit for adding many great players to the roster via trade, such as Carlos Dunlap, Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams.

Wyman said he doesn’t think Carroll or Schneider should be pitted against one another to try and keep their respective job, but he thinks the talent is there for the team to be successful.

“My contention is that for the entire year that they have enough talent, so why aren’t they performing?” Wyman said. ” … John is trying to make his case, Pete’s making his case, and I’m curious what she thinks … It kind of flies in the face of hey, we’ve got this much talent, and this is what we’re doing. And maybe I’m looking at it, I’m more compartmentalizing, because I know Pete’s involved in the personnel, and I’m sure John’s very involved in how they play guys and stuff like that.”

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

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