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Seahawks Mailbag: Russell Wilson's Finger, OBJ & More

You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.

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The Seahawks are back from their bye and getting ready for a tough road game against the NFC North leading Green Bay Packers. But before we turn our attention to that game, it's time once again to open up the mailbag and 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.

@JaceyClark7 asks, "Russell Wilson's finger; that's all I want to be focused on this week, to know how he is doing with his throwing hand."

A: By now you've no doubt heard that Wilson has been cleared to return to action, and that he was back at practice on Monday. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said they need to see how he gets through the week to know for sure that he'll start, but obviously the plan if all goes well is for Wilson to be on the field leading Seattle's offense against the Packers on Sunday. 

And as Carroll noted, Wilson looked like the finger wasn’t an issue on Monday: "He threw the ball all over the place. He did really well for the first time out in a limited number of plays."

@ThatWiiMaster asks, "What would it take for the Seahawks to finally exorcise their demons at Lambeau Field, considering they haven't won there since 1999?"

A: Indeed as the question notes, it's been a long time since the Seahawks have won at the historic home of the Packers. Since that 1999 win in Green Bay, the Seahawks have lost nine straight at Lambeau Field—six regular-season games and three playoff games—including four losses in the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era. 

The flip side of that, of course, is that the Seahawks have won four straight at home, including a rather memorable NFC Championship game, but since the game is in Green Bay, the focus is going to be on the struggles at Lambeau Field. 

So why so many losses? Well, the biggest factor is simply that the Packers, like the Seahawks, have been a really good team over the past two decades, and good teams don't tend to lose a lot of home games, period. Of the nine losses, seven were to Packers teams that finished the season with double-digit wins and a trip to the postseason. 

Weather has certainly played a part as well, with all three playoff losses coming in January, two regular-season losses in December, and one in November. As much as teams can try to prepare for or block out the elements, teams that live and practice in harsh winter conditions are just going to have an advantage over teams less accustomed to that weather. 

"Historically, as you get halfway through the season, the weather gets pretty drastic, so that can be a factor as it is outdoors," Carroll said when asked about Seattle's struggles in Green Bay. "It's hard to prepare for that when it gets in true Green Bay fashion, that's one of the factors. They are a really good team, have a great fanbase, and it's loud. The field has its way about it, and it has always been a difficult turf over the years. They are a good club and hard to beat at home, so I think everybody has faced that over the years."

So what will it take to end that streak? Well, getting Russell Wilson back and having him play well would certainly be a great start. Seeing Seattle's defense build off its recent success, regardless of if Aaron Rodgers returns from the COVID-19 list or not, would also make a huge difference. And lastly, a key for the Seahawks could be to make some big, game-changing plays on special teams, a phase of the game in which Green Bay has had some struggles this season, including in last week's loss to the Chiefs.

Keith Wolff from Spoken asks, "Are the Seahawks claiming Odell Beckham Jr.?" While Harland Kane from Salmon, Idaho asks, "What is the likelihood the Seahawks sign OBJ?" And @SeahawksKrakens asks, "Will Seattle get OBJ?"

A: These questions came in before the deadline for teams to claim Beckham after he was waived by the Browns on Monday, but by now fans likely know that the Seahawks and every other NFL team opted not to claim the talented receiver. Money was almost certainly the primary factor in Beckham going unclaimed—any team claiming him would have been on the hook for $7.25 million for the second half of the season—but the three-time Pro-Bowler is sure to draw interest from a lot of teams now that he's a free agent. 

So are the Seahawks one of those teams? They already have one of the best receiver duos in the NFL in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but adding more talent to an offense is never a bad thing, and Carroll hardly closed the idea of adding Beckham when he was asked about him on Monday

"He's a really good football player, he's as talented as you could be in the years past," Carroll said Monday after declining to say if Seattle would put a waiver claim in on Beckham or not. "You're always looking for guys that can do special stuff. Forever, I've shared with you guys that we're looking for uniqueness and people that are different than other people and give you different dimensions to their play. So that's what we're trying to figure out and investigate and see if there's a chance and all that kind of stuff if it makes sense."

Carroll and Seahawks general manager John Schneider point out often that the Seahawks are in on every deal, meaning they at least look into it and consider it, regardless of how far things end up going, and no doubt they've been doing their homework on Beckham since reports first started emerging last week that he was going to be waived. 

Of course, having interest doesn't mean it will work out should the Seahawks try to sign him—Beckham gets to choose his destination, and there are a lot of factors he could be considering beyond just money, from a team's playoff chances to geography to the team's quarterback or head coach or offensive play-caller. But based off Carroll's comments, it wouldn't be a big surprise if Beckham did end up in Seattle.

@ORCWIZARD asks, "Can you explain how cap rollover works and how it has been used by John Schneider in the past?"

A: Basically, NFL teams can take salary cap space they don't use in a given season and roll it over to the next year, creating a little extra spending room over whatever that year's salary cap limit might be. This question, of course, ties to the Beckham situation, because the Seahawks were a team with enough cap space to take on his current deal. But just because the Seahawks could afford that cap hit for half a season, doing so would have meant less money to work with next year. Even though the Seahawks have cap space now, they're heading into an offseason in which some top players like Quandre Diggs and Duane Brown are set to become free agents, and DK Metcalf will be heading into the final year of his rookie deal, usually the time the Seahawks like to get extensions done for top players, so having some flexibility next offseason will be crucial.  

As for how they've used rollover space in the past, the Seahawks generally have been a team that uses most if not all of its cap space from year to year, so they haven't had a ton or rollover money in past years. And even if they had it's hard to say how Schneider used it seeing as it would just be part of their overall cap space—it's not as if the Seahawks would make a free agent signing and say, "This is our rollover money being put to work."

Legion of Youth, powered by Boeing, is a Seahawks gameday ticket experience for community organizations that serve youth throughout the Northwest. The Seahawks vs. Saints game featured Kingmakers of Seattle. Kingmakers of Seattle is an elective program for Black male middle school and high school students, referred to as Kings, taught by Black male facilitators. Kingmakers supports the cultural, historical, social, and emotional needs of young Black boys and teens as it relates to their identity. Get to know the inspiring youth. Photographer: AmandaWaltmanPhoto.com

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