BROCK AND SALK

Is Drew Lock showing enough to keep Seahawks from getting Mayfield?

Jun 5, 2022, 12:41 PM
Seahawks Drew Lock...
Seahawks QB Drew Lock reaches for the football during a drill on May 31 in Renton. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Seahawks training camp is in less than two months, and Baker Mayfield at this point is not a member of the roster. But as Mike Salk takes into account what he’s hearing from the team’s offseason training activities, he has a hard time getting the idea of Mayfield as Seattle’s quarterback in 2022 out of his mind.

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“It seems now to me very clear – the Seahawks are going to get Baker Mayfield,” he said to kick off a conversation during the latest edition of the Brock and Salk Podcast on Thursday. ”

Earlier in the week, former NFL QB Tim Hasselbeck said on ESPN’s “Get Up” that he thinks Mayfield, who is still with the Cleveland Browns even though the team has brought in Deshaun Watson to be its starting QB, will eventually end up with the Seahawks before next season. Hasselbeck has a pretty good track record this offseason when it comes to Seattle’s QB spot – he said he expected Russell Wilson to be traded by the Seahawks just weeks before exactly that happened.

The Seahawks have a three-man competition for the vacant starting QB spot, though two players have the best shots at being the starter: multi-year Hawks backup Geno Smith and fourth-year pro Drew Lock, who came from Denver in the Wilson trade. Mayfield, meanwhile, has been rumored to be a fit for Seattle ever since the Browns’ trade for Watson in mid-March, which was about a week after Wilson was dealt.

At 31 years old, there’s not much more to learn about Smith, who the Seahawks were 1-3 with when as the primary QB while Wilson was out with a finger injury last season. Lock, a 2019 second-round pick with 24 games of NFL experience, is in a different boat.

So why is Salk getting more and more convinced Mayfield will find his way to Seattle?

“This idea that Geno Smith is going to start the season as the Seahawks’ starting quarterback, it just doesn’t make any sense,” Salk said. “Not for a team that refuses to say that they’re tanking, a team that will never use the phrase rebuilding, a coach (Pete Carroll) who says that he’s going to compete every day, a team that made every effort to go out and get Deshaun Watson as soon as they gave up on Russell Wilson. It just doesn’t make any sense that after all of that, the fallback option would be Geno Smith, what with Baker Mayfield, former first overall pick who brought the Browns of all teams to the playoffs, sitting out there and potentially available.”

Co-host Brock Huard, a former NFL quarterback himself who is now a FOX football analyst, pointed out that Salk was glossing over Lock, and Salk said he had a reason for that after recent conversations on Seattle Sports’ The Mike Salk Show with two Seahawks insiders, ESPN reporter Brady Henderson and Seattle Sports contributor Michael Bumpus.

“In talking to Brady Henderson this week, he said that it’s Geno’s job to lose – that unless Drew Lock squarely beats him out, he thinks tie goes to Geno Smith. And Pete has consistently said, ‘You know, we like Geno, we like what he did and he’s our starter,’ that you’re gonna have to wrestle the job away from him, etc. And then talking to Bump, he was like, ‘I was out of practice, and sure enough, (Smith) was the guy that was sort of leading the way. Does it make any sense to me? No, but that’s where the direction seems to be right now.”

Huard had a different take on that, and he said you can’t rule Lock just because of what the Seahawks are saying publicly.

“I think they are doing everything in their power to take any pressure and any expectations off of Drew Lock,” he said. “… I think you have to consider that the Seahawks are playing this, as far as Drew Lock goes, as ‘It’s Geno’s team, Geno knows the system,’ because we want to take every bit of expectation off of Drew Lock and let his physical gifts (show).

“I checked in with some folks over there, and they love the way he’s handling all of the workload mentally. I think that was the first thing they needed to see because it was a question mark coming out of college because his system in college (at Missouri) was as simple as the eighth grade system down there with the Puyallup Roughriders. I mean, it was rudimentary, to say the least, in the passing game. (The Seahawks) have been thoroughly impressed with him mentally in handling the playbook and leadership-wise, his arm talent is absolutely there – they’re seeing all of that.”

Huard added that after Lock played himself out of the Broncos’ starting job, there are specific things the Seahawks are looking for from him.

“For them, this is all about his scar tissue. It’s all about, ‘Yeah, in big moments, when it actually matters, is he going to be able to make the decisions and protect the football and do some of the things over the last two years he did not do?”

That explanation resonated with Salk.

“I’ll believe that because at the end of the day, it’s really hard for me to believe that Geno Smith is going to be anybody’s choice to be a starting quarterback,” he said.

There is much more to the conversation, which you can hear in the first segment of this week’s Brock and Salk Podcast at this link or in the player below.

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