FOX Sports’ Klatt: Seahawks’ quarterbacks ‘are not the answer’

Mar 26, 2024, 8:59 AM | Updated: 10:50 am

Seattle Seahawks Geno Smith...

Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks throws a pass on Dec. 24, 2023. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks have a new-look quarterback room as backup Drew Lock signed with the New York Giants and the made Hawks a trade with the Washington Commanders for Sam Howell a few weeks ago.

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Howell, a 2022 fourth-round pick, started all 17 games for Washington last year, throwing for just under 4,000 yards with 21 touchdowns, but he also had the most interceptions and sacks taken in football. He will now be Geno Smith’s backup.

Smith is under contract for two more seasons and Howell is seen by some as a potential developmental quarterback who could be Seattle’s long-term solution at that position, possibly as soon as 2025.

FOX Sports’ Joel Klatt isn’t sold on Howell, however. In fact, he’s not sold on Smith either.

Klatt joined Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Monday and dove into the Seahawks’ quarterback situation.

“At some point you’ve got to close your eyes and picture the confetti falling and think to yourself, ‘Is this the type of guy that I can see with a Lombardi Trophy in his right hand?'” Klatt said. “And unfortunately, I just don’t see that with Sam Howell.”

“That doesn’t mean he can’t be a good NFL starter, but are we just trying to be a wild card (team) here? Or are we trying to go and actually win a Super Bowl?” Klatt added. “I know that that’s a high bar and that seems critical. Sam Howell is a fine NFL player, but if he’s your quarterback, I don’t think you’re trying to win the Super Bowl.”

When asked if that’s what he thinks about Smith, Klatt replied, “Yes, exactly. Verbatim.”

“The Seahawks are not a Super Bowl contender right now. They’re just not,” he said. “And they don’t have the requisite quarterback play to do that. They just don’t.”

Not every Super Bowl champion has had star-level play at quarterback, which Klatt noted. But those teams had elite rosters around the quarterback, whether it was a young Russell Wilson with the Seahawks in 2013 or Peyton Manning’s last year with the Denver Broncos in 2015.

“Seattle doesn’t have (an elite roster) right now. They don’t have the roster around an average quarterback to say to themselves, ‘Yeah, absolutely we can go compete with San Francisco.’ You’re not even the best team in your own division right now,” Klatt said.

“No, these quarterbacks are not the answer,” he later added. “They are placeholders until that is fixed or the roster is completely overhauled to be a roster that can compete with San Francisco toe to toe. Then they’re just playing out the string.”

So what do the Seahawks do?

Seattle holds the No. 16 pick in the first round of next month’s NFL Draft, and the team doesn’t have a second-round pick. Additionally, the Seahawks traded one of their two third-round picks to Washington for Howell.

One or two of the top six quarterbacks in this year’s class could be available at No. 16, but they would likely be the fifth or sixth quarterback selected at that point.

Should the Seahawks mortgage the future to get one of the top passers?

“Only if you feel like you have a roster that’s just a quarterback away. If you don’t feel like that, then you need to start tearing pieces down … You either have it or you don’t,” Klatt said.

Right now, the Seahawks are in the “purgatory of the NFL,” Klatt said, since they sit in the middle of the first round.

“If you are just an average NFL team that’s created to be (around .500), you’re (in a bad spot) because you don’t have a pick to actually get better and you’re just in this spot where you’re like ‘Well, are we a piece away? Could we do this? Could we leverage for that guy?'” he said.

Additionally, Klatt said there’s too much turnover on coaching staffs to sell them on the idea of rebuilding the roster for the long-term.

“Do you really want to do that if you’re a coaching staff? Probably not,” Klatt said.

Listen to Brock and Salk’s full conversation with Klatt, which includes plenty of discussion about the 2024 NFL Draft and UW Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr., at this link or in the audio player near the top of this story.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

• One Seahawks coach Bumpus is most interested to see at work
• Huard: The common theme for Seahawks’ defensive signings
• Schneider on if Sam Howell impacts Seahawks in the NFL Draft
• Rich Eisen: Seahawks’ identity won’t change much under Macdonald

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