Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider met with the media Saturday afternoon following a 2022 NFL Draft that saw them add nine players. In addition to their thoughts on those nine picks, Carroll and Schneider also gave some other interesting non-draft updates about the team:
1. Keeping DK Metcalf around long term is "really important for us."
One of the big storylines of this offseason has been the trend of top receivers who are due for a contract extension getting traded. Already this spring the Chiefs have traded Tyreek Hill to Miami, the Packers sent Davante Adams to the Raiders, and during the draft Tennessee traded A.J. Brown to Philadelphia and the Ravens traded Marquise Brown to Arizona.
But while the league-wide trend might be moving talented, young receivers rather than paying them, that isn't Seattle's plan with Metcalf, who is headed into the final year of his rookie contract.
"It's really important for us," Carroll said of keeping Metcalf around long-term. "We'll kick it into John's court here in the weeks to come here after the draft. But we're really communicating great, we've been on great wavelength to move forward, and hopefully this will all work out. We don't plan on him going anywhere else; we want him to be with us."
As was the case last week, Carroll pointed to the significance of Metcalf showing up for voluntary offseason workouts even though he isn't able to participate in much of the work due to offseason foot surgery.
"It was a great statement for our guys," Carroll said. "He's back in the rehab mode, but he wanted to show that this is his place and he has a responsibility to it, as we do also. I thought it was a great start to the offseason."
2. Injury/rehab updates.
Speaking of Metcalf, he is one of several players who is coming back from surgery, in his case an offseason operation to deal with a foot injury that predates his Seattle days.
"He has started his running," Carroll said. "He is in a total rehab mode right now and needs to get through that."
Also getting back to running recently was linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven, who tore his ACL last year.
"He's running," Carroll said. "He ran for the first time on the field with our guys, which is an extraordinary accomplishment for the kid. He's been busing his tail and not letting anything get in his way of making his return, and it's been really challenging, but he's running. It's a really inspirational and emotional deal for us to see him make it back. It's been so important to him. It's just a statement about him. He's a great kid with a great love of the game, and he really wants to prove himself and all of that."
On linebacker Jon Rhattigan, who also tore his ACL last season, Carroll said, "He's making good progress. He's here with us and doing everything. Everything seems to be on point. There's been no setbacks."
Carroll said safety Jamal Adams, who had shoulder surgery last season, is "probably the furthest along" of the players rehabbing injuries, and said he and safety Quandre Diggs (leg), will likely join the team later in the offseason workout program.
"They're still featuring the rehab trying to max that out before they get here," Carroll said. "They'll be here in short order, they're a week or so away."
3. The quarterback competition can start to take shape next week.
The Seahawks did not select a quarterback in this year's draft, though Schneider said they did agree to terms with an undrafted free agent, a deal that likely will be official later in the week ahead of rookie minicamp. But even without a drafted quarterback, the Seahawks like the talent they have at quarterback to compete for the starting job, a group made up of Geno Smith, Drew Lock and Jacob Eason.
"We're very talented," Carroll said. "In arm talent, the guys' ability to throw the football, that's not even a question. It's going to be system, it's going to be commanding the position to take care of our football team with the right mentality and the right conscience. That's where we have to see how far we can come. We don't have all of that nailed with Jake—he's been with us a short time—and we don't have that nailed with Drew at this point. We have a really good feel for where Geno is. But the way that we're going to format our football team is going to call for this position to really be on point to run the club with the big mind it takes to have a great conscience about great winning football. We're not worried about the talent at all, it's the process and seeing them grasp onto all of that that I'm really excited to see. Let the games begin, these guys are going to go at it, so it'll be great fun."
Schneider pointed to the 2012 quarterback competition between Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Flynn, saying he has confidence in how the coaching staff will handle this one.
"You can look back at all the competitions we've had since we've been here," Schneider said. "Obviously the biggest one was 2012 when the coaches did an outstanding job with T-Jack, Matt and Russ, and they formulated a great plan."
While it will take a long time to sort things out—Carroll said they could go all the way through the preseason before naming a starter—the competition can get going at least a little bit next week when players can do on-field work with coaches for the first time this offseason.
"Monday, Phase 2 begins and now we're rolling," Carroll said. "Phase 1 is a different stage. In anticipation of it we're fired up about it… We'll have a whole lot more information to go on. It's time to kind of unwrap the presents and see what's in there, so we're looking forward to it."
Without further ado, your 2022 Seahawks Draft class: OT Charles Cross, LB Boye Mafe, RB Kenneth Walker III, OT Abraham Lucas, CB Coby Bryant, CB Tariq Woolen, LB Tyreke Smith, WR Bo Melton, and WR Dareke Young.