Courtesy of Pepsi, I got to take in a free Mariners game last night, truth be told I wouldn’t have gone if King Felix wasn’t on the mound.
The stink that is the Seattle Mariners offense didn’t fail to disappoint either, for seven long excruciating innings I got to watch them in person pull the same act I have seen too many times.
A rare occurrence went down though, and literally right when my sister and my brother in law decided to bounce, an uber rare late offensive rally sparked the ridiculously porous Mariners offense to victory.
It turned out to be worth going to, and in the last four games I have turned out for (in the last four years), we are 4-0, so I guess when I grace the nosebleeds with my presence some mojo rises up from the dust that is the pitiful Mariners franchise.
Despite the rare pleasantry of taking in a come from behind win, my night started out with some unpleasant stench arising from a certain complex on the shores of Lake Washington.
As I had arrived 20 minutes early to the game, I had my Droid in hand searching the online sports scene for anything I had missed on the drive down; did I ever miss something that had me confounded.
“Josh Wilson traded”.
The headline was cut off, so at first glance, as taken aback I was, I thought… Ok, reserve judgment until you see where and for what.
To the Baltimore Ravens, for a conditional fifth round pick.
“What the f***?”
I always knew Uncle Pete was akin to the naughty uncle who would not be opposed to giving his nephew a shot of liquor.
I didn’t figure he was smoking dope on the job as well.
I understand that a new regime has minimal ties to anyone on the roster; hence the reasons of cutting ties with busts like Lawrence Jackson, or wanting to bring in “their guy”, like quarterback Charlie Whitehurst.
I don’t understand why on earth you would gift wrap one of the leagues better young pass defenders for a draft pick that has a very low probability of ever surpassing the potential Josh Wilson has.
Apparently, the same personnel group (plus Walter Thurmond), has somehow transformed from dead last in pass defense to a position of considerable depth in the span of nine months according to John Schneider (via Seattle Times):
“This is an opportunity for us that came along because of our depth and our situation at the cornerback position that we’re very happy with. Tru, (Marcus Trufant), Kelly Jennings and Walter Thurmond and Roy Lewis and a couple of the young kids too that have done very well gives us an opportunity to make a move here.”
Ok fine, I will buy into this mirage just because not doing so requires another article. If our secondary is so deep, hence making our depth at the nickel and dime slots perfectly adequate, why not just deal one of those guys to a cornerback desperate Ravens squad?
When asked if Jennings was ahead of Wilson on the depth chart (via Seattle Times):
Carroll: “They were splitting time so we were pleased that both guys could play for us and that was evident all throughout their camps. Kelly has done a wonderful job for us. He’s really a good technique player and we’re pleased as heck to have him play. We were able to do this because of the other guys.”
This is where that argument hits a roadblock, because there is a big difference between Josh Wilson, Kelly Jennings, and Walter Thurmond. If Kelly Jennings and Josh Wilson were indeed of similar caliber (both were battling for the No. 2 slot), why didn’t the Baltimore Ravens want Kelly Jennings, why did they prefer Josh Wilson?
Maybe a simple breakdown of their statistics will show the glaring difference in their ability to play cornerback:
34 pass deflections
Average of three tackles per start
22 pass deflections,
Average of four tackles per start
+ 37.9 EPA
Not only are literally all of Wilsons standard or advanced statistics superior, but he has done more in less time and is on pace to shred Jennings in tackles.
Don’t feed us that line of garbage Schneider; Wilson is the superior player that is the reason why Jennings wasn’t targeted. If you’re trying to keep that a secret, you’re going to fail miserably.
In an attempt to further vindicate themselves from future cluelessness percolating around the Seahawks fan base, they threw out the value card:
Schneider: “What happens is the market is different at different times. Randy Moss was traded for a fourth-round pick. It fluctuates. Right now with Josh in terms of a value, we felt like it was at a level where with him being an unrestricted free agent next year it was at a point where we thought was definitely fair.”
Hmmm…. Interesting, because isn’t it ironic that the equally capable (sarcasm) Kelly Jennings is also set to be a free agent at the end of next season as well?
Regardless of free agency concerns, which are a concern when regarding both Jennings and Wilson, I can’t wrap my head around what the rush was to dump him so suddenly, and for so little?
Sure you can find a diamond in the rough in the fourth/fifth round, but that hasn’t been the case for the Seahawks lately.
Recently, here are their fourth and fifth round picks:
Rocky Bernard, Niko Koutivides, Orlando Huff, Marcus Bell, DJ Hackett, Seneca Wallace, Solomon Bates, Chris Davis, Terreal Bierra, Ryan Hannam, Rob Sims, David Kirtman, Baraka Atkins, Mansfield Wrotto, Will Herring, Red Bryant, Owen Schmitt
With the exception of maybe Bernard, it would be irresponsible to attempt to argue that any of these players compare to Wilson in both skill level and potential for the future.
Of the ones who have made any sort of noteworthy contribution, (Sims, Wallace, Huff, Bryant, Schmitt, Hackett), they have either departed or have yet to prove themselves as consistent starters.
I also can’t wrap my head around the fact the Seahawks couldn’t leverage a higher pick or a player (perhaps Willis McGahee?), from a team in such desperate need for a defensive back.
Sure, I will buy for a second that perhaps a conditional fourth/fifth round pick is market value for a No. 2 cornerback, but shouldn’t the fact that the Ravens top three corners are Ladarius Webb, Chris Carr, and Travis Fisher up the ante because of the desperation factor?
Shouldn’t the fact this pick is more then likely going to be in the mid to late 20’s of whichever round it ends up being in also be a factor in upping the ante?
Fleeced, just fleeced, again, not just once, but twice in the same off-season.
All in all this off season, we have dealt a fifth round pick, a 2011 third round pick, Darryl Tapp, Josh Wilson, Lawrence Jackson, Rob Sims, a sixth round pick, and a conditional 2012 pick and have received:
Kentwan Balmer, Kevin Vickerson, Charlie Whitehurst, Chris Clemons, Tyler Polumbus, a conditional fifth round pick, and a sixth round pick.
I excluded Robert Henderson because he has been released.
I understand that a shitty team needs a makeover, but when you start dealing one of your best young defensive players for kibbles and bits, it’s simply hard not to question the rationale of this bi-polar front office.
For every seemingly brilliant signing (see Mike Williams), we have gotten one of these boneheaded migraine-inducing transactions that have fans around the league pointing and laughing at the Seahawks stupidity.
Well, I have run out of things to rant and rave on regarding this subject, if you have gotten this far, I applaud you. This is a topic that should generate tons of feedback, and I would love to hear the opinions of 12th Man who are for trading Josh Wilson; if you can provide me with a silver lining that I am somehow missing here, I would be delighted to be enlightened.