It's been an eventful offseason for the Seahawks, who have made some significant additions in free agency, retained some key players, including Pro-Bowl quarterback Geno Smith, and also seen some players move on in free agency or be released in salary-cap related moves. While more free-agent moves can and will still take place, the pace of transactions has slowed down as teams turn their attention to the 2023 draft, which will take place later this month. And now that there's a bit of a lull in the offseason maneuvering, now is a great time to open up the mailbag and answer some 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.
And remember, in addition to asking mailbag questions via Twitter, you can also submit them whenever you'd like at Seahawks.com/mailbag.
Jordan Buss from Bethlehem asks, "Who will the Seahawks use their No. 5 pick on?"
A: Well let's just dive right in with the most obvious question, shall we?
With the No. 5 pick, the Seahawks will definitely select… Never mind. Of course I can't tell you who they'll pick, because I have zero inside info when it comes to the draft process. They keep that stuff pretty secretive for a reason. It is a little easier to guess what the Seahawks might do with only four teams ahead of them than when they're picking in the 20s and there are endless scenarios that can unfold. But while, like the rest of you, I can speculate on how those four picks might unfold and what the Seahawks may do, I'm just as in the dark as anyone else who doesn't have access to the Seahawks draft room, and that's a pretty small group of people.
What we do know, however, is that the Seahawks see this as a rare opportunity to acquire a true game-changing talent near the top of the draft. The Seahawks have only picked in the top 10 twice under Pete Carroll and John Schneider, selecting Russell Okung with the No. 6 overall pick in their first draft, and taking Charles Cross last year with the No. 9 pick, which they received as part of the Russell Wilson trade. That same trade gave the Seahawks what ended up being the No. 5 pick this year, and the Seahawks know they need to use that pick well, either selecting a difference maker at No. 5, or perhaps trading back a bit and picking up more picks while still getting a good player a bit further back in the first round.
Understandably, a lot of mock drafts have the Seahawks taking an edge rusher/defensive lineman with their first pick, though there's also plenty of speculation about quarterback (more on that below). And a defensive player could make a lot of sense, both based on Seattle's draft history of using its top picks on pass-rushers, and also based on Carroll's comments at the end of last season about needing to be more disruptive up front. The beauty of picking early in the first round, however, is that the Seahawks could go any number of directions with that pick and still get a damn good player, so while we can all speculate between now and April 27, only a select few people know what Schneider and company are actually thinking, and I can assure you that I'm not one of those people. Sorry.
Alex D. from Seattle asked, on March 16, "Are the Seahawks going to get Bobby Wagner back?" A day earlier Jim Passi from Seattle asked, "Are we going to sign Bobby Wagner?"
A: Yes. And also, yes. Sorry, totally meant to answer that sooner, but there you go.
@EthanBissoonda2 asks, "Should Seattle look at quarterback in Round 1, and if so, who?"
A: The Seahawks have made no secret of the fact that they’ve been scouting the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft and that they’ve been “having a freakin’ blast" doing so, and Carroll and Schneider have both said on multiple occasions that they'd consider taking one at No. 5 even after re-signing both Geno Smith and Drew Lock.
So why consider a quarterback after re-signing a Pro Bowler as well as a young, talented backup? Because, as Schneider succinctly put it at the NFL scouting combine, good quarterbacks don't grow on trees.
As much as the Seahawks love Smith and believe in him, if the Seahawks really believe there's a true franchise quarterback to be had at No. 5, that's something they have to strongly consider. As mentioned earlier, the Seahawks rarely pick this high thanks to a history of sustained success, and barring another trade for another team's first-rounder, they don't expect to be in this position again. So given how important quarterback play is, the Seahawks would have to think really hard about passing up a chance to get an elite quarterback prospect, even with Smith and Lock on the roster, because the expectation is that they won't have another shot to get such a player.
Carol Hahn from Olympia asks, "Any thoughts about making Bobby Wagner part of the coaching staff after he's done playing? Let's keep him on the team. Not only are his playing qualities admirable, his character would also be an asset to players."
A: I've gotten similar questions over the years about various players, most notably Kam Chancellor when he was hanging around the team following his retirement, and Richard Sherman, who spent time with the team in camp last year, working closely with Tariq Woolen.
And while I agree that Wagner, Sherman, Chancellor and other former players would make fantastic coaches, I highly doubt Wagner will go that route. Players of that caliber, deservedly, make a lot of money in their careers, and to get into coaching, they would not only have to be willing to take on crazy work hours upon "retiring," they'd also have to do so while taking a massive pay cut. Sure, some players do get into coaching because they just love being around the game that much, but there's also something to be said for spending more time with family and enjoying retirement while pursuing other passions that are far less time consuming. Not to mention for players like Sherman, and no doubt Wagner should he want to go that route, TV is also an option after playing, and that post-playing career is a lot less of a grind than coaching and can also comes with a bigger paycheck.
Ken Johnson from Naperville, Illinois asks, "How many total picks in the 2023 draft to the Hawks have and in what order?"
A: The league released the full draft order last month, and the Seahawks hold 10 picks this year, including extra first and second-rounders thanks to last year's Russell Wilson trade. Here are all 10 picks:
- Round 1, No. 5 overall (from Denver)
- Round 1, No. 20 overall
- Round 2, No. 37 overall (from Denver)
- Round 2, No. 52 overall
- Round 3, No. 83 overall
- Round 4, No. 123 overall
- Round 5, No. 151 overall (from Pittsburgh)
- Round 5, No. 154 overall
- Round 6, No. 198 overall
- Round 7, No. 237 overall
Pranav Karthik from Issaquah asks, "Will the Seahawks trade or draft with their No. 5 overall pick?"
A: Yes. They will trade or make a pick at No. 5 overall… OK, smart-aleck responses aside, this is a great question and one that will no doubt have a lot to do with what happens with the four picks before the Seahawks.
Knowing John Schneider, the Seahawks will at least be open to conversations about the No. 5 picks, but to actually move back, the Seahawks would have to A. find a willing partner, and B. be comfortable that, should they move back, they'll get a player they really like at their new spot in the draft.
Yes, the Seahawks have traded back a lot in past drafts, but they won't do so just for the sake of adding picks. Last year, for example, the Seahawks turned down a trade offer at No. 9 before selecting Charles Cross because they didn’t want to risk losing an elite left tackle.
What makes a potential trade back all the more intriguing this year, however, is that the higher up in the first round you are, the more valuable those picks become, so moving back even a few spots could net a pretty solid return.
Jeffrey White from Meridian asks, "With the addition of a center, two linebackers and two defensive linemen in free agency (great job by the way), would drafting more defensive players in the first round, as well as a running back in the second round be a good move?"
A: Given Seattle's inconsistencies on defense, as well as Carroll's comments about wanting to get more disruptive up front—not to mention the current lack of interior line depth—it's not hard to envision a scenario in which the Seahawks use at least a couple of their four first and second-round picks on defensive linemen. Running back could also make sense, because as much as the Seahawks love Kenneth Walker III, they need more depth there having lost Rashaad Penny and Travis Homer in free agency.
But as much fun as it is to speculate about draft scenarios this time of year, the beauty of the Seahawks 2023 draft capital is that they have a lot of different options to address various needs. Yeah, getting a pass-rusher at No. 5 would be great for the defense, but if, as we discussed in an earlier question, they just love a quarterback and want to go that route, the Seahawks would still have three more picks inside the top 52, including another first-rounder, to address the defensive line or any other position group.
@McneilWebster asks, "What do we know about the throwback uniforms?"
A: Not a ton yet other than that they're coming in 2023, and that they will no doubt be spectacular. More information will be announced later this offseason, though at this point I can't give you an exact date. What little info we do have, and a fun teaser video, can be found at Seahawks.com/throwbacks. And when more specifics are known, you can be sure we'll share it on that site and all over the Seahawks social media accounts.
@erik_amstutz asks, "What are the Seahawks going to do to free up cap space? Who do you hear is in line for a restructure or who is the next cap casualty?"
A: I don't hear much because, believe it or not, the front office doesn't keep the digital media team in the loop on their plans. But as this question alludes to, and as Carroll and Schneider both acknowledged at the NFL annual meeting, the Seahawks are pretty tight on cap space after making several additions in free agency. In all likelihood the signings of players like Dre'Mont Jones, Julian Love, Bobby Wagner, Devin Bush and Evan Brown means the Seahawks won't make many other big-money additions in free agency, but there are other ways to find cap space. I don't see a lot of, if any, other cuts coming to free up space, not after the Seahawks already released three defensive linemen and a starting guard in cap-related moves, but as Erik notes in his question, contract extensions are another way to clear up some space. The Seahawks have in the past usually waited until a player is headed into the final year of his current deal to do extensions, so if there's a player in that situation with a relatively big 2023 cap number, Uchenna Nwosu for example, then an extension could make a lot of sense, but to free up some money now, and also to keep a good player around into the future. Restructuring deals is also an option, though that usually means pushing salary cap issues into the future, which will catch up with a team eventually, and that's not something Schneider has liked to do very often. As Schneider often states, the goal is to build a championship caliber team every year, the type of team fans know has a chance to be in it year after year, and that becomes harder to do if a team, in the name of spending more now, creates salary cap issues that hinder the team down the road.
The Mariners invited a collection of Seattle sports legends to throw out ceremonial first pitches as part of Opening Day festivities at T-Mobile Park on March 30, 2023. Seahawks Legend Marshawn Lynch was joined by former Mariner Ken Griffey Jr., former SuperSonic Gary Payton, former Storm Jewell Loyd, and former Sounder Kasey Keller.