The Seahawks have won three in a row and remain in first place in the NFC West at 5-3. Next up is a trip to Arizona to face the Cardinals, but before we turn our attention to that game, it's time to open up the mailbag and answer some questions from you, the fans. As always, thanks to everyone who sent in questions this week, and apologies if I couldn't get to yours this time around. And as always, if you'd prefer to stay away from Twitter, you can also submit questions online at Seahawks.com/mailbag.
@TodaySeahawks asks, "What does the Seahawks' not making a trade before the deadline mean for their confidence in their overall roster, and more specifically their rookies?"
A: For starters let me make the disclaimer that I have no idea what was discussed/how close the Seahawks were to making any deals. That being said, my hunch all along was that Seattle would either be quiet at the deadline or perhaps only make a minor move or two. For starters, while the Seahawks are set up nicely to have a lot of cap space next year, they're pretty tight on the camp this season and adding a big-name player usually comes with a big-money contract. And yes, contracts can be restructured and such to free up cap space, but as a general rule, general manager John Schneider doesn't love pushing cap problems into the future when he can avoid it.
And more significantly, I think the Seahawks really like the team they already have, especially with the knowledge that they're building something special while also holding onto a ton of draft capital next year. For the right player they might they have dangled one of those first or second round picks? Maybe, but the guess here is that Schneider and Pete Carroll are really excited about having a darn good team in 2022 to which they can add four more first and second-round picks next spring.
Does that mean the Seahawks have a perfect roster upon which they couldn't have possibly improved? Of course not, no NFL team does. But the Seahawks have been playing really good football the past few weeks in all three phases, and as Carroll put it Sunday, “we’re playing the kind of football that gives us a chance to win every time we go out.”
Marc Whitmarsh from Crawley (England? Western Australia? West Virginia?) asks, "I love Coach Carroll and his enthusiasm for not just the Seahawks but for life in general, but given his age, how much longer do you think he'll be able to keep up his energy to coach in the NFL?"
A: I totally get why people ask this question, I really do. At 71, Carroll is the oldest coach in the NFL and he's at an age where very, very few people have continued to coach at this level, let alone been successful. But the part of this that is impossible to explain if you're not around Carroll on a regular basis is what an outlier he is for his age. When Carroll first arrived in Seattle in 2010, I remember being taken aback by his constant energy. It's one thing to see it on the sidelines or in a press conference, but to see it all the time is something else. And here's the thing—that energy level has not changed at all in over a decade. And as this season has showed, Carroll sure as heck shows that he knows what he's doing when it comes to running an NFL team.
Carroll gets asked about his future every so often, and usually responds with a vague response about being on a five-year plan—a timeline he seems happy to keep pushing into the future every time he's asked. Carroll's most recent contract extension runs through the 2025 season, and I just can't see him slowing down much in the next three years. If anything, it wouldn't shock me if we're talking about yet another extension in a couple of years. Carroll just doesn't strike me as the relaxing on a beach or golf course full time kind of guy. Maybe he'll get there someday, but for now I have no doubt that he can keep the energy up for years to come.
@JaredGalanti asks, "I'm assuming the Seahawks would love to have Geno Smith back after the year he has had so far, what does a realistic contract offer for him look like? And will they get a deal done during the season or wait until the offseason?"
A: With Smith playing at a Pro-Bowl level, it seems like a no-brainer that the Seahawks will want him back beyond this year, but as you note in this question, they'll have to figure out a realistic contract since Smith signed a one-year deal this offseason. As for what that looks like, I can't begin to give you a good guess at the numbers, but I would say that if you look at what veteran quarterbacks are making these days, even ones not playing nearly as well as Smith, the numbers might be bigger than you're expecting. As for the timing, the Seahawks don't have a ton of history under Carroll and Schneider of signing in-season extensions, though they've done it at times, including in 2014 when they signed both Cliff Avril and K.J. Wright to extensions. Some players don't want to worry about contract negotiations in-season, which is understandable, so even if the Seahawks are interested in getting a deal done ahead of time, Smith would have to be on board with that as well.
Luca Cattini from Correggio, Italy asks? "Do you think Ryan Neal could be the most underrated player in the NFL? Every time the guy has been called upon to play, he has delivered. He has constantly proven he belongs and now he finally has a chance to shine, and I believe he doesn't receive the praises he deserves from the media."
A: If people in Italy are asking about Neal, can he really be the NFL's most underrated player? Kidding aside, you're right that Neal probably hasn't gotten as much love as he deserves, not just for his play this year but for how he played filling in for an injured Jamal Adams each of the past two seasons.
Neal has been particularly good the past two games, and if he keeps playing at that level going forward, with the defense also looking a lot better as a whole—and make no mistake about it, he's a big part of that improvement—then he won't fly under the radar much longer. Especially not when you factor in his personality and sense of humor that make him a great interview, a trait that never hurts when it comes to a player raising his profile.
@jhoagan asks, "Could Jamal Adams return for a playoff run? I am that confident the Hawks make the playoffs?" Jason Turner from Panama City also asks if Adams could possibly return this year.
A: Love the confidence, John, but unfortunately Pete Carroll confirmed recently that Adams' rehab will take too long for him to have any chance at an in-season return.
Miles Hynes from Beulah, Wyoming asks, "Why isn't Michael Dickson drop kicking field goals when it's fourth down near midfield? I thought the range on drop kicks was longer than field goals and it would allow for points to be scored more frequently instead of punting."
A: First off, I love where your head is at; drop kicks are super fun if for no other reason than they're all but extinct in football.
But from my limited conversations with Dickson about this a couple of years ago, his range to actually be fairly accurate isn't much different than that of Jason Myers, who happens to be one of the game's most accurate kickers from long distance—Myers is 4 for 4 from 50-plus yards this season, and 9 for 12 from 50-plus over the past three years. Might Dickson have a shot at a super long drop kick that is out of Myers' range, even if the odds of making it aren't super high? Perhaps, and maybe that situation will come up someday in a end-of-half or late-game situation, but for now it seems like the Seahawks are more content to rely on a really good kicker or let Dickson do what he does best, pinning opponents deep.
But again, love the idea, more drop kicks would definitely be fun.
@tweetmix asks, "Will Pete Carroll be listed as a member of the Mariners coaching staff in next year's media guide?"
A: Ha! Maybe they'll put him there as an honorary member next year.
And in case you missed it, this question is referring to the situation late in the game when Carroll drew a flag for running into an official while celebrating a big play. Referee Jerome Boger, apparently caught up in all the excitement of the Mariners' recent playoff run, accidentally called sideline interference on the "coaching staff of the Seattle Mariners."
Naturally, both teams had a great time with it on social media.
@champion891971 asks, "How close is Tre Brown to possibly seeing some playing time?"
A: Carroll talked about Brown on Monday, saying that Brown looked good in practice last week, but will need to show he can handle an increased workload before athletic trainers will give him the go-ahead for game action.
The bigger question might be how the Seahawks handle things at cornerback when Brown is all the way back. Brown had taken over the starting job at left cornerback as a rookie before his injury and was playing really well, but Mike Jackson has played well in that spot this year and is coming off what might be the best game of his career with three passes defensed and a team-high seven tackles. The Seahawks also have really good cornerback depth with Artie Burns behind Jackson and Tariq Woolen, so while Brown was fantastic as a rookie, he's going to have to earn his way back onto the field. The good news in all of that is that Seattle's talent and depth at corner means they will in no way feel like they have to rush Brown back before he's 100 percent ready.