Tuesday Seattle traded for former Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch. While the move means that the team’s ground game will take on a new look this season, the ramifications are deeper.
With the 24-year-old Lynch presumably leading the pack of Seattle running backs for the foreseeable future, Seattle can now reshuffle its priorities for April’s National Football League Draft. Atop that freshly reconstructed wish list will most likely be the team’s quarterback of the future.
Current starter Matt Hasselbeck is in the final year of his current contract and resigning the 12-year veteran isn’t certain. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound signal caller has thrown 16 interceptions in the past eight games going back to last year and his current quarterback rating (70.7) ranks as his second-worst of his career, with the worst (57.8) coming two years ago when an injury limited his season to just seven games.
Seattle paid a pretty penny for Hasselbeck’s backup, Charlie Whitehurst, but the return hasn’t materialized yet. The Seahawks exchanged 2010 second-round draft picks with San Diego and also gave the Chargers the team’s third rounder for a quarterback that to this day hasn’t thrown a regular-season pass in the NFL. It’s not that Whitehurst is some young gun just waiting for his chance to shine in his new surroundings. As I noted during the team’s training camp, his mechanics aren’t right despite this being his fifth year as a professional and reports from those close to the situation indicate that Seattle’s coaching staff still lacks confidence in the first-year Seahawk’s capacity to execute the throws necessary to quarterback the offense.
Unlike Hasselbeck, Whitehurst has one year remaining on his current contract after this season.
With the team’s quarterback situation mired in poor play and uncertainty for the future, trying to creatively fill the needs of the team at other positions prior to April’s Draft became a necessity.
Initially lacking a weapon to compliment rookie Golden Tate at wide receiver, Seattle brought in Mike Williams. The 6-foot-5 Williams is a red zone threat and has shown moments of brilliance in a Seattle uniform, mostly during the team’s preseason contests because injuries have slowed the productivity of the fourth-year veteran. Williams’ contract with the Seahawks expires after the season, but that doesn’t mean his time in the Emerald City will necessarily be up.
Other areas of need, including a slot receiver and players along the offensive and defensive lines, have similarly been taken care of by bringing in veterans that might have been overlooked by other teams.
These moves left the running back and quarterback positions as the glaring weaknesses that needed long-term solutions prior to Tuesday. Thanks to the acquisition of Lynch – who has a mere 687 attempts for an average of 4.02 yards per carry in his four-year professional career – Seattle can now focus its resources leading up to April’s Draft on finding the perfect person to hand him the football.
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