Reaction: Why did Seahawks reportedly try to trade up for Penix?

Apr 26, 2024, 4:26 PM | Updated: Apr 27, 2024, 3:19 pm

Seattle Seahawks UW Huskies Michael Penix Jr. Michigan...

Michael Penix Jr. of the UW Huskies throws the a pass against Michigan in the 2024 CFP national championship game. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Were the Seattle Seahawks considering trading up to select Michael Penix Jr. in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night?

Seahawks ’24 NFL Draft Breakdown: A look at all 8 Seattle picks

According to a social media post from NFL Network reporter James Palmer, the Seahawks were one of three teams that tried to move into the top 10 to take the UW Huskies star quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy runner-up.

All three teams entered the night with picks outside the top 10 – Las Vegas at No. 13, New Orleans at No. 14 and Seattle at No. 16. Penix ended up going at No. 8 overall to the Atlanta Falcons, while the Raiders, Saints and Seahawks each held pat and drafted at their spots. Las Vegas took Georgia tight end Brock Bowers, New Orleans took Oregon State offensive tackle (and Mount Tahoma High product) Taliese Fuaga and Seattle took Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II.

During Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Friday, former NFL quarterback Brock Huard and Mike Salk shared their reaction to the report.

“The Saints and Raiders had more (trade chips) to deal with,” Salk said. “They just had better draft positioning. So if all three of them were going for it, you would think that the other two would have had the edge over the Seahawks. The Seahawks would have either needed to offer players, next year’s first (round pick) – they would have had to really, really mortgage the farm in order to get him.

“But the fact that they are interested enough to be looking to trade into the top 10 – despite not having a second (round) pick and being all the way back at 16 – tells you A) They obviously thought pretty highly of Michael Penix, for good reason, and B) they were interested in a quarterback.”

What does this mean for Geno Smith?

The Seahawks appear set at quarterback for 2024, with 33-year-old Geno Smith slated to return after serving as the team’s starter for the past two seasons. Smith has two years remaining on his three-year contract, but none of his 2025 salary is guaranteed. Seattle also acquired 23-year-old QB Sam Howell in a trade with the Washington Commanders last month.

Salk asked if the Seahawks’ reported interest in Penix signals anything about the team’s view of Smith.

“Their contract tells you already what they think of Geno Smith,” Huard said. “It’s a year-to-year deal. You’re on a year-to-year, prove-it deal. So I think, to me, that contract already speaks even more than this. Like, you’ve gotta go out and you’ve gotta prove it every single year. And he’s an older guy, right? He’s not 23 or 24. He’s been in this league for a decade. So he’s kind of getting to the point where… he’s not necessarily in the prime of his career and he’s in prove-it mode.”

Salk also wondered whether the report says anything about how close the Seahawks view themselves to becoming legitimate contenders after an offseason spent dramatically overhauling their roster under new coach Mike Macdonald.

“The fact that they were trying to give up more resources to get Michael Penix has to tell, I would think, maybe they don’t feel like they’re that close right now,” Salk said. “Because if you’re willing to give up those kinds of resources, you know that it might take a while to get it back – but you must feel that it’s worth it to get a Michael Penix.”

All the focus on QBs

Huard pointed to just how valuable quarterbacks are in the NFL.

“Six of the top 12 picks in this draft were all quarterbacks,” Huard said. “And you know what’s gonna happen. … You know that half of these guys, or more, are going to just bust right out (and) not even be with these organizations in two or three years. But yet you’re so willing to take that risk, because if you get it right, man…

“It is the same reason those casinos print so much money, because everyone believes that one time I pull the slot, that one time I win my roulette, that one time I get hot at the craps, that one time I am now just set. That one time I draft Aaron Rodgers, that one time I draft Patrick Mahomes, that one time I draft that one guy, it changes the trajectory and the job security of all of us.”

Huard said it’s also possible the Seahawks were asking about Penix – at least in part – to gauge how the draft picks ahead of them might fall. He pointed out that Seattle general manager John Schneider is known to leave no stone unturned when it comes to the draft.

“They may have made a call, and they may have loved Michael Penix,” Huard said. “It also may have been, ‘We really need to gauge where this market’s going, so if it goes crazy – which it went crazy for offensive players – we do not get stuck with our pants down at 16 not knowing what to do.'”

Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the audio player near the top of this story. Tune in to Brock and Salk weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

More on the Seattle Seahawks and the NFL Draft

Seahawks Draft Reaction: Top pick Byron Murphy a ‘300-lb ball of muscle’
Seattle Seahawks did what they needed in draft — just with a twist
Why did Falcons take Michael Penix Jr. when they have Kirk Cousins?
WA NFL Draft Tracker: UW Huskies, WSU and local picks
What should Seattle Seahawks do on second day of NFL Draft?

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Reaction: Why did Seahawks reportedly try to trade up for Penix?