Seahawks need to learn from Rams’ path to Super Bowl and go all-in

Jan 31, 2022, 9:06 AM
Seahawks Russell Wilson...
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson unsuccessfully attempts to avoid a Von Miller sack. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Trading two first-round draft picks should be just the beginning. The Seahawks’ Super Bowl window is rapidly closing, and nothing, not even sacrificing years of the future, should be off limits in the quest to reach the ultimate goal.

On Jan. 30, 2021, the Rams traded for the Matthew Stafford. On Jan. 30, 2022 the Rams won the NFC Championship.

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The story is well-known by now. The Rams won’t pick in the first round until we colonize Mars (it’s actually 2024, but in the NFL seven years seems like an eternity). Yet here they are, headed back to the Super Bowl.

They had a transcendent player on defense in Aaron Donald and a loaded wide receiver corps that carried quarterback Jared Goff to a Super Bowl but were still missing the final pieces to mold a true contender. So you go beyond the pale and do everything possible to maximize the fleeting championship window that appears for an NFL franchise.

Trading out of the first round in 2020 and 2021 brought Jalen Ramsey, and the first round of the next two years are similarly empty for Los Angeles because of Stafford. But what good is a first-round pick in the late 20s if the goal is to win now? It’s a problem the Seahawks have been faced with; however, instead of trading away for an established star, they have often opted to trade down.

For all intents and purposes, Russell Wilson has two more seasons left in Seattle. The escalating cost to keep an elite quarterback, especially one who will be 36 years old, doesn’t mesh with fiscal prudence of how to grow a championship contender. Even if there is a chance he returns, Wilson sowed the seeds of doubt after the 2020 season. For this reason alone, the Seahawks must go all-in for the final two years that Wilson is under contract.

Franchise quarterbacks are coveted beyond all else, and there should be no restraint when it comes to building a team around them. The Rams needed that critical piece on offense, so the Seahawks are already ahead of them in that aspect. Even in the most competitive division in the NFL, the Seahawks’ quarterback and receivers are among the elite. Build in the trenches, where an offensive line can protect its quarterback and open up holes for a run game, and a defensive line can disrupt game plans like Aaron Donald has done to the Seahawks since entering the league and the Buccaneers did to the Chiefs in winning last year’s Super Bowl.

A rebuild will occur for the Seahawks. It is inevitable in the NFL. But would you rather undergo a rebuild after a few more early playoff exits and with a couple of first-round picks, or not have a first-round draft pick for six years but a fresh memory of a Super Bowl parade? There is significant risk and pressure that comes along with such moves, however the slide down to mediocrity hurts far more, especially for a team that has been at the pinnacle of the sport.

Staying the course is prudent – it works to build a consistent winner in the regular season – but it hasn’t been enough, and on the cusp of an uncertain future the Seahawks can ill afford to not capitalize on the opportunity in front of them. Fortune favors the bold. Nothing worth having ever came easy (or insert your favorite motivational saying in here).

Trading two first-round picks in a package for safety Jamal Adams was just the beginning for the Seahawks. First-round picks are great for bad teams and ones without the pressure to immediately win. The Seahawks don’t have that luxury. The inexorable weight of time and championship windows are bearing down on a finality that will put a facelift on this team for the first time in over a decade.

Pete Carroll was right when he said at the end of this season that the Seahawks have a championship nucleus. Find the pieces that will put this team over the top (we can discuss and theorize on specific players at some other time), even if it means not drafting in the first round for the next five seasons. The Rams just proved that it works. Now it’s time for the Seahawks to go all-in.

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