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Seahawks Mailbag: MVP Race, Trades & More

You had Seahawks questions; we have answers. 

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The Seahawks are back in action this week following their bye, and are looking to improve upon a franchise-best 5-0 start when they travel to Arizona this weekend. Before we turn our attention to that game, it's time once again to answer questions from you, the fans. As always, thanks to everyone who asked questions this week, and apologies if I couldn't get to yours this time around.

@DekaylinSzn asks, "Could the Seahawks be active at the trade deadline?"

A: Could they be? Of course. As general manager John Schneider always likes to say the Seahawks pride themselves in being involved in everything, so if teams are looking to move talented players, the Seahawks will at least consider it.

The Seahawks are not, however, in great position to be buyers at the trade deadline when it comes draft capital having traded their 2021 first and third-round picks, as well as a 2022 first-rounder, to acquire Jamal Adams. Of course, talent can be added with later-round picks, as was evident when the Seahawks added Quandre Diggs for a fifth-round pick last season.

So yes, the Seahawks will at least look into deals, but whether they pull the trigger or not will have a lot to do with the asking price.

@TuckerONeal1 asks, "How big is the gap now between Russell Wilson and everyone else in the MVP race?"

A: Russell Wilson is definitely one of the favorites, if not the favorite, for MVP right now. Not only does he lead the NFL in touchdown passes (19), passer rating (129.8), yards per attempt (8.9) and touchdown percentage (11.2), he's also playing for a team that's 5-0, and as Wilson has noted whenever he's asked about MVP, that award is very much a team award since it almost always goes to a player on a playoff team, usually one that earns a No. 1 or 2 seed.

And yes, two of the other top quarterbacks this season, Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen, both put up underwhelming numbers in losses this week, so as of now that makes Wilson's MVP case look pretty good. But before everyone starts the celebration, it's worth remembering there's a long, long way to go this season before anything is decided. If the Seahawks keep winning and Wilson never cools off, then maybe he's the runaway winner for the award, but it's also entirely possible Wilson and the offense at some point have an off day and another QB puts up monster numbers and the talk the following week is about how that quarterback is now the favorite.

Long story short, it's a fun discussion, but ultimately there's no way to really know until we get to the end of the season.

Als Roar from Charlotte asks, "In Week 5, the Vikings' Eric Wilson intercepted Russell Wilson after he had just shoved Chris Carson out of bounds. Why is that not illegal contact?"

A: I like this question because it sheds light on a little-discussed part of the rule book, but one that relates to the Seahawks. Yes, at first glance, it looked like Eric Wilson's shove on Chris Carson should have been illegal contact since they were more than 5 yards past the line of scrimmage, but the reason Wilson's play was a perfectly legal—and smart one—is that Wilson was scrambling and was out of the pocket. Once a quarterback leaves the pocket, he is potentially a runner, which in turn means that receiver down field could now be a blocker, which means illegal contact is no longer in play.

And before any Seahawks fans get mad about that rule leading to an interception, I'll point out that I only knew that rule because Richard Sherman was a master of taking advantage of that little-known rule, so the Seahawks have likely benefited from it a lot more often than they've been hurt by it.

@CordrayJackson asks, "When is Rashad Penny expected to be back, and how much of a role do you expect him to have in the offense?"

A: Penny, who opened the season on the physically unable to perform list, is eligible to return to practice, but has not yet done so. Asked on Monday about Penny and defensive end Darrell Taylor, who is on the non-football injury list, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll noted both are making good progress but said, "We're going to make sure that these guys come back and then there's no question about the return."

In other words, they won't rush anyone back, but the expectation is still that Penny will come back at some point. When that is, we just don't know yet. As for his role, ultimately the Seahawks would love to see him become the player he was just before tearing his ACL when he rushed for more than 200 yards and scored three total touchdowns in his final two games before the injury. Seattle's depth at running back means they can ease him back into action when he returns if they want to do that, but at some point he should have a significant role in the backfield, he's just too explosive of a player not to utilize.

Dave Conn from Bainbridge Island asks, "In the history of the NFL, has any other team had two starting defensive backs with the initials 'QD'?"

A: Ha! At first glance I figured there was no way, but wanted to check, so I went to Pro-Football-Reference.com (a fantastic resource, by the way), which lists 1,239 all-time players with last names starting with D. Of those, there are only four QDs, current Seahawks Quandre Diggs and Quinton Dunbar, as well as former defensive back Quintin Demps and defensive end Quinton Dial.

So yes, the QD duo in the secondary appears to be a first, and I can assure it's confusing as a writer.

@Gabriiielsm asks, "Any update on Darrell Taylor?" @egohawks12 also asked about Taylor.

A: As mentioned in the Penny question, Carroll was asked about Taylor, who is trying to come back from a leg injury in college that led to offseason surgery. There's no set timeline, but when asked if Taylor will play this season, Carroll said, "I've watched him run, I was out there with him a couple times this week; he looks like he's running hard and fast and pushing it. He's really strong right now. Anything can happen from this point forward, but he's working really hard. The docs are taking really good care of him and making sure we don't force the issue too soon, but just judging from what I'm seeing, he looks like he's made great progress. It's not like he's waiting to start getting in shape and all that, he's fit and strong—he hasn't done as much change of direction stuff that's really hard on him at this point—but he's really running hard and it looks good."

Cliff Avril was named the 2020 Seahawks Legend of the Year for his commitment to the community, presented by American Family Insurance. Full story: https://shwks.com/qetg8

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