2016 Seahawks Preview: Who Will Be Russell Wilson's Backup?

The Seahawks have one of the game's best starting under center in fifth-year pro Russell Wilson, but the backup quarterback spot is far less settled heading into training camp.

The Seahawks are in great shape at the most important position in the sport, having a Pro-Bowl quarterback who is just entering his prime locked up long-term. And even after a career-best season in which he led the NFL in passer rating and set numerous franchise records, Russell Wilson can get even better, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.

"He has made a clear step ahead," Carroll said during offseason workouts. "His command is all-time. His ability to move defenders with his eyes to set up some things—he's consistently doing that, almost unconsciously, he's so clued in. We saw him throw the ball all over the field throughout the offseason and he's been strong and accurate and really precise about stuff. He has had a great offseason."

So the Seahawks are in good shape when it comes to their starter. Backup quarterback, however, is far less settled as the Seahawks open camp.

Returning starters:Russell Wilson

Trevone Boykin (UDFA)
Jake Heaps (free agency)

Key losses:

Tarvaris Jackson (unsigned free agent)

Last season:

The initial 53-man roster included two quarterbacks: Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson.

What's At Stake In Training Camp

While there is no doubt as to who will be starting at quarterback when the season begins, it is still very much unsettled who will be the No. 2 quarterback. As things stand now, Trevone Boykin, an undrafted rookie out of TCU, is competing with Jake Heaps for the job. Heaps, who played at Skyline High School, went undrafted in 2015 and spent camp with the New York Jets last year, so he has the edge in professional experience, but not by much.

If Boykin is able to quickly make the transition to the NFL and the Seahawks feel comfortable with him as the No. 2, it would give Seattle a backup who is similar to Wilson in terms of athleticism, something that is appealing to Carroll.

"I've seen him for a couple years," Carroll said. "His versatility and his style of play is so similar to Russell's. He's got a big arm, he's a very creative athlete, has great instincts and great vision. His ability to run and make people miss and get out of trouble is very similar to what Russell does.

"I think Boykin really is special in that regard that he's so unique and he also is unique in the way that we like to play our quarterback."

Another possibility is that the Seahawks could look to add a more experienced veteran to the mix before camp kicks off. Doing so wouldn't necessarily mean Boykin or Heaps won't win the job, but it would at least give the Seahawks one more option there and keep them from having to throw a young player into that role if he wasn't ready for it.


Check out the best photos of Seahawks quarterbacks at the team's 2016 offseason workout program.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.