Salk: Seahawks look like they’ve found the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ again

Jun 15, 2023, 12:22 AM

Seattle Seahawks Pete Carroll Geno Smith...

Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith talks with head coach Pete Carroll on Nov. 27, 2022. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

With the offseason program done until training camp, everything seems tranquil in the Seattle Seahawks’ world. No major injury setbacks (though they are waiting for a few big ones to heal). No major surprises. No major contract disputes. And no one making a statement by holding out or holding in.

Huard: There’s a better comp for Seahawks’ Geno Smith than Rich Gannon

That’s not always been the case, and it certainly isn’t true around the league where there are contractual issues in Buffalo, Kansas City, Los Angeles and New York, among other places. Certainly, we can remember years with Marshawn Lynch, Kam Chancellor, Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner and others who were dissatisfied and looking to make a statement.

The good vibes are all over the shores of Lake Washington this offseason as everyone is just happy to be here and looking to build on last season’s surprising success.

Having controversy isn’t necessarily the worst thing; it generally means you have enough talent on your team that deserves to get paid. It means you’ve had some success and now it’s time to make decisions on who to reward. Hopefully, it means you’ve won your share of playoff games and maybe a title or two. Maybe you are just ruthless and current players are upset you traded away one of their friends. Regardless, it usually stems from effects of success.

And not having controversy can be a bad thing. It might mean that you simply don’t have enough talent. Not enough players with a résumé worthy of giving them leverage.

NFL teams are usually trying to build or trying to maintain. Most don’t have enough talent. A few have so much that the salary cap forces them to choose who they want to pay. The Seahawks are hoping their quiet offseason means they’re right in the sweet spot. They are hoping this is the “Goldilocks Zone.”

Those familiar with astronomy (and, I suppose, fairy tales) know that the Goldilocks Zone is “just right.” If Earth was much closer to the sun, the oceans would evaporate and we’d have no water. A little farther away and that water would freeze. Either way, life would be impossible.

The Seahawks are just like our planet. They do have talent, but it’s all young enough to be under contract without any real leverage. And if history is any indication, this is window of opportunity where championships should be possible. They just don’t usually last quite as long as you want them to.

The Seahawks have talent. They have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. One of the better secondaries in the league. Two young bookend tackles that showed they had NFL talent last year. A quarterback who not only distributed the ball to his skill position players but consistently connected deep down the field. And a coach who knows how to adapt to get the most out of his signal caller.

And other than the coach, none of them are old. Other than one of the wide receivers, none of them are making significant money. And not a single player is in line for a big payday anytime soon.

This was the Seahawks of 2012-14. The ascending Seahawks. The group that did everything together. The group that was playing on their first or second contracts without needing to push for those extra years no team wants to give. The team that was pushing to be respected on the field rather than rewarded for their efforts off of it.

We have spent the better part of a decade looking for connections to that era. Trying to figure out the magic sauce that created a dynastic defense and a crew that brought unimaginable happiness to Seattle. Maybe it was the big corners? Maybe the offensive line? The rotation of edge rushers? The rookie deal for a quarterback which allowed them to spend elsewhere? The cover three? The coach’s philosophy? The old rules which allowed them to hit in the secondary? We’ve posited everything!

But as I think about it today, maybe it was just as simple as having a ton of talent that was young enough to be getting better without being ready to fight for their deserved spoils. The Seahawks have some time before their young players hit that phase. They need to make sure they have enough talent to make it count.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

Lefko: Seahawks’ best and worst case scenarios for 2023
Huard: 2 words that sum up the Seattle Seahawks’ offseason
Bumpus: The two Seahawks rookies who stand out the most
Seahawks Breakdown: Bump and Stacy’s four minicamp takeaways
Is DL Mike Morris the Seattle Seahawks’ next fifth-round gem?

Brock and Salk podcast

Brock and Salk podcast

Mike Salk

Seattle Seahawks...

Mike Salk

Salk: 4 ways Wagner’s Seahawks return is an unmitigated success

Bobby Wagner's return to the Seattle Seahawks hasn't been good or great. It's already an unmitigated success, Mike Salk writes.

4 days ago

Seattle Mariners...

Mike Salk

Salk: Who do Mariners need to step up during intense final stretch?

The Seattle Mariners are about to start the most intense 10 days of baseball they have seen in ages. So who do the M's need to see the best out of?

6 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Pete Carroll...

Mike Salk

Salk: Blaming Pete already? Seahawks coach’s style has tradeoffs

Why does Pete Carroll get blamed at the first sign of trouble? Mike Salk explains a few important things about the Seattle Seahawks coach.

13 days ago

Seattle Mariners Julio Rodríguez...

Mike Salk

Salk: Mariners in 1st place? 3 things brought them here

The Seattle Mariners survived their tough start and sit in first place because of three things, writes Mike Salk: plan, patience and pivots.

29 days ago

Seattle Seahawks DK Metcalf...

Mike Salk

Salk: What about the Seahawks’ hype is and isn’t fragile

When it comes to the Seattle Seahawks in 2023, it’s hard not to get caught up in the hope. Or is it hype? Mike Salk breaks down five things about this team to determine their fragility.

1 month ago

Seattle Mariners...

Mike Salk

Salk: Do the Mariners have a 9th-inning problem? It’s complicated

With no Paul Sewald and some recent late-inning bullpen issues, do the Seattle Mariners have a 9th-inning problem? Mike Salk breaks it down.

1 month ago

Salk: Seahawks look like they’ve found the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ again