JAKE AND STACY
Heaps: If Seahawks wanted Baker Mayfield, a deal would be done
The Seahawks will have a new starting quarterback in 2022, and there’s still a chance that that player isn’t currently on the roster.
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As it stands, Drew Lock, who Seattle acquired in the blockbuster deal that sent Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, is the current favorite to start come Week 1. But the Seahawks have also been linked to several quarterbacks on the trade market in recent weeks.
That includes Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, the 2018 No. 1 overall pick who is expected to find a new home after his team made a deal with the Houston Texans for Deshaun Watson. With many other teams across the league having signed or traded for new quarterbacks this offseason, the Seahawks and Panthers are seen as the two likeliest landing spots for the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner.
Should the Seahawks be trying to acquire Mayfield, though? That was the question that former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps tackled during Tuesday’s edition of Seattle Sports’ Jake and Stacy.
“No, I don’t believe they should continue to pursue Baker Mayfield,” Heaps said.
And he had a pretty strong reason for that.
“You could go and get him, but do you have conviction?” Heaps asked. “If this is a quarterback that you want, the deal would have already been done by now.”
Because the Browns have Watson now penned in as their starter, and with nearly team in the NFL having a clear starting quarterback for 2022, Cleveland has “zero leverage” when it comes to trading Mayfield, Heaps said.
“There is no one that’s really out there because they’re playing a game of chicken with the Browns – the NFL is – because are you going to cut him or are you just desperately seeking to trade him?” Heaps said. “I think that everyone’s banking on the fact that they will most likely cut Baker Mayfield.”
If Mayfield were to be released outright, “then we’re talking about an entirely different discussion here,” Heaps said in regards to the Seahawks.
“But to trade for Baker Mayfield, I believe, would be the wrong decision if you don’t have conviction and you don’t believe that this guy is going to be the answer for you now, and (in the future) give you a dramatically different outlook for your franchise,” Heaps said. “Then you need to stick to the original plan, which is to play Drew Lock, to have competition with (current free agent) Geno Smith and (contracted Seahawks QB) Jacob Eason, and then let’s see who wins the job… and evaluate that position throughout the season if you do not find somebody in the draft that you love that falls to you at a particular place that you’re comfortable with.”
Heaps added that the Seahawks don’t need to rush into finding their next long-term starting quarterback this offseason.
“Discipline has to be the key here when it comes to quarterbacks and finding the next guy because Pete Carroll wants to build an elite defense, he wants a great running game, he wants a point guard at quarterback,” Heaps said. “That doesn’t make the quarterback unimportant, but it’s not the No. 1 priority for this team and how they build this roster.”
Prior to finding their quarterback, Heaps believes the Seahawks need to focus on the defense and then the running game.
“Then you can find your quarterback. And you cannot rush this process and try to skip steps along the way just to be able to say that you have a guy that you could feel comfortable with (in 2022),” he said. “Go through the process. Maybe Drew Lock surprises you, maybe Geno Smith surprises you. But all likelihood is that you’re going to be waiting until 2023 to address your long-term answer at the quarterback position.”
Listen to Heaps’ full thoughts in the second hour of Tuesday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.
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