The Seattle Seahawks are finished as far as the 2021 campaign is concerned. There are still three games remaining on the regular season schedule but with less than a 1% chance of making the playoffs and no first-round draft pick to tank for, there’s officially nothing left to play for but pride or “each other,” as Pete Carroll put it this morning.
What comes next will likely be a tumultuous offseason in the light of the franchise’s first losing season in 10 years and reports that team owner Jody Allen is not happy with the results. So, which direction should Allen and the Seahawks take as we pivot towards 2022? Let’s take a look at five major scenarios and vote on the best path.
Be extreme: Blow it all up
We will begin with the most extreme scenario of the group. Allen may decide that this team as presently constructed peaked several years ago and the best thing to do is to blow it all up and embrace a total rebuild. This path would mean firing head coach Pete Carroll and his entire staff, as well as general manager John Schneider. As for the players, the Seahawks could attempt to dump Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner in order to get whatever return they can in draft picks before their decline begins in earnest.
Grit your teeth: Rip off the bandaid
While there’s a certain appeal to a totally fresh start it’s also an extreme rarity in the NFL, where continuity is often a key factor in sustained success. Seattle could take a slightly less drastic course of action and decide to keep all the major pieces in place with the exception of the quarterback. Wilson says he wants to play 20 years for the Seahawks but it’s unlikely he’ll continue to perform well enough long enough to make that happen. In this scenario, they could trade Wilson and attempt an on-the-fly rebuild with a younger QB they like with upside – someone like Gardner Minshew.
Be bold: Make Russ King
Jody Allen might also decide that Russell Wilson is the only centerpiece that’s worth keeping around. The sad truth is that Pete Carroll’s coaching philosophy has become largely outdated – and not just because of his lack of aggression on fourth downs. In this path, Allen could send Carroll and Schneider packing but keep Wilson, essentially giving him the keys to the kingdom. In this risky bit of business, Wilson would basically hand-pick his own coach and offensive coordinator and become the true unquestioned face of the franchise, giving him as much influence as iconic athletes like LeBron James and Tom Brady.
Play it cool: Run it back
Of course there’s always a chance that the organization decides that this year was more of a fluke than the inevitable result of cascading failures. If that’s how they feel, the Seahawks could decide to keep as much of this team and front office together as possible – re-signing everyone from Quandre Diggs and Duane Brown and hope to land a couple of genuine difference-makers in free agency – enough to climb back into the picture in the NFC West.
Don’t panic but take action: Retool as needed
That last scenario is probably the least advisable course this team could take – and the others are all high-risk scenariors that could potentially cost them years of competitive balance. The best choice may require more of a scalpel than a sledgehammer. With this choice, Seattle could decide to fire a few assistant coaches like offensive coordinator Shane Waldron but keep most of the staff and front office intact. As for the roster, the Seahawks could do their best to restock at running back, rebuild their offensive line and upgrade their edge rotation and hope to get better results next year.
Vote: What should the Seahawks do?