O’Neil: No downside in Seahawks scouting QBs or Russell Wilson being curious why
So the Seahawks scouted Josh Allen’s pro day?
Good. Logistically, Seattle should be prepared if Allen – Wyoming’s quarterback who is projected by many as a top-five pick – were to slide in the draft order in the same way that Aaron Rodgers did back in 2005 back when Seahawks GM John Schneider was part of the Packers’ front office. And from a motivational standpoint, a bit of uncertainty isn’t a bad thing when it comes to stoking a competitive fire.
That brings us to the fact that someone close to Russell Wilson was moved to call and ask the Seahawks if something was up.
Good. No competitor would be happy to hear his employer was eyeing potential alternatives at his spot let alone a franchise quarterback.
What I’m failing to see in last week’s discussion is any sort of downside.
Does anyone think Wilson will be so put off that he’ll want to leave town when his contract expires two years from now? And even if he does, do you really think Seattle would let him given that there is still this little thing called the franchise tag, which would restrict his ability to move?
That doesn’t mean that he’s Seattle’s quarterback for the next 10 years – though I think there’s a good chance he will be. But if the pairing were to sour over the next two years, it will be because of what happens to the team on the field and not because of hurt feelings over a scouting trip.
This is all a bit of harmless posturing on both sides with the underlying reality being that each side needs more from the other.
The Seahawks need Wilson to get better.
It’s a necessity if they’re going to get back to the Super Bowl given the fact that Wilson is now three years removed from being the biggest bargain in pro sports. A team’s budget is finite in the NFL, the result of a salary cap that means when you start paying your franchise quarterback like a franchise quarterback, he is expected to overcome a whole lot of shortcomings because of the parts you can no longer afford.
For the first three months of last season, Wilson was doing so much that he was an MVP candidate. In the final month, everything caved in and his ability to operate from the pocket as an efficient passer absolutely evaporated.
But Wilson needs the Seahawks to get better, too.
Anyone who has watched this team the past two years can see that. He’s gotten hit too much, gotten too little health and over the final month of last season it sure seemed like the weight of that offense was too much for Wilson to bear. He led the team in rushing, which is both a credit to his mobility and an utter condemnation of the run game behind him.
The Seahawks aren’t likely to find a quarterback better than Wilson any time soon. That certainly wasn’t the reason that Schneider attended Allen’s pro day this season or went to watch Patrick Mahomes’ workout before last year’s draft.
But if taking a look at another passer sparks a little uncertainty in the franchise quarterback, that’s only going to make him hungrier. And in the meantime, the Seahawks cover all their scouting bases.