Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Seahawks Desperation No Threat to 49ers

Gilbert Brink
Jul 29, 2020 at 6:48 AM


It's been 7 years since the Seattle Seahawks won their first Super Bowl title. It's been 6 years since Russell Wilson completely blew the Seahawks' chance to win their 2nd Super Bowl title. Yes, Seattle has been a playoff contender for nearly every season since, but it's hard not to acknowledge that the 49ers' neighbors to the north have underachieved since the last time the two teams met in the playoffs.

Seattle once brandished the most dominant defense in the NFL with a peak Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennet, Cliff Avril, KJ Wright and Bobby Wangner. Listing those names gives you a sense of just how formidable and dangerous that unit was. On the other side of the ball, Pete Carroll had a young Russell Wilson at quarterback to create magic with RB Marshawn Lynch running through defenses. How in the hell did this team only win one Super Bowl?

Look no further than Seahawks GM John Schneider. Pete Carroll came to the Seahawks in 2010 when he ran away from USC due to a cheating scandal and the Seahawks hired Schneider just one week later. That imposing talent roster written in the paragraph above was all John Schneider's handiwork. There appeared a time when Schneider could not miss, finding superstar talents deep in the draft while picking just the right free agents to excel in the Seattle scheme. That time has come and gone. Out of his last 49 draft picks, only 2 have been Pro Bowlers (CB Shaquil Griffin and Punter Michael Dickson). Notoriously trading away 1st round selections to accumulate picks on days 2 and 3, Schneider has done very little with the bounty of players he recently has hoarded, almost an entire rosters' worth. Is the Schneider magic gone? This man drafted Russell Okung, Earl Thomas, Golden Date and Kam Chancellor in his very first draft. What happened?

It may be fair to say, Schneider had a great early run and set his team up for success despite his pedestrian efforts that followed. In 2012 Schneider found Russell Wilson in the 3rd round of the draft and Seattle has never looked back. Wilson was not always the meteoric star that he is today. As any 49ers fan can attest, there were plenty of games early in his career during which Russell Wilson resembles a shorter, more agile Chad Pennington. As time has passed, Wilson undoubtedly grew into a dynamic quarterback. Also, Seattle has undoubtedly degenerated into a team that wins solely because of its dynamic quarterback.

Piling up the misses on draft day, Seattle has become accustomed to having to trade for talent that Schneider can no longer find. In 2015, attempting to acquire a big-time receiving threat for Wilson, Schneider traded a very good center, Max Unger, and a 1st-round draft pick to the Saints for TE Jimmy Graham and a 4th round pick. After years of failing to protect Wilson, the Seahawks handed over a 2nd- & a 3rd-round pick to the Texans for LT Duane Brown and a 5th round pick in 2017. When 2019 1st-round pick DE LJ Collier failed to impress, Seattle called Houston again, this time a week before the season started to surrender a 3rd-round pick and 2 other players for DE Jadaveon Clowney (on what looks to be a one-year rental at this point). Anybody see a pattern forming here?

On Saturday July 25, 2020, Schneider may have made the biggest mistake of his tenure as Seahawks GM. Disgruntled NY Jets SS Jamal Adams was adamant about playing elsewhere in 2020 and Schneider just happened to make Adams' wish come true. Seattle's defense, once a strength, was very bad in 2019. The Legion of Gloom ranked 26th in total yards allowed, 27th in passing yards allowed, 22nd in rushing yards allowed and 22nd in points allowed. Seattle decided that a strong safety was the cure to all of its ills and sent the New York Jets two 1st-round picks, a 3rd-round pick and S Bradley McDougald for the rights to SS Jamal Adams. Make no mistake here, the Jets won this trade. Adams is going to want to reset the safety market in 2021, a year in which it has already been speculated the league may see a large decrease in the salary cap.

Seattle went for the splash, as it often does. Jamal Adams is a splash, so was TE Jimmy Graham, DE Jadaveon Clowney and WR Percy Harvin. The team is getting in on Adams at the absolute worst time, when he will cost you the most both financially and in draft capital. The Seahawks offensive and defensive lines are both in shambles, their only effective pass rusher from 2019 will not be returning, LBs Bobby Wanger and KJ Wright are deteriorating before our eyes and now they are without a 1st-round draft selection until 2023. But hey, they got a strong safety who intercepted 2 passes in 46 games and wants around $17-20 million annually to produce at that level. Kudos, Schneider.

While Seattle won the headlines over the weekend, the 49ers made a quiet move that establishes why they won on the field in 2019. Like Jamal Adams, the 49ers had their own player who was disgruntled and requested a trade in RB Raheem Mostert. The 49ers front office sat down with Mostert's agent, ironed out a restructured contract and kept the man with the 49ers single-game rushing record in the house and happy. The 49ers roster is filled with Raheem Mosterts: amazing finds who cost them very little. The most notable one: TE George Kittle. The 49ers will pay Kittle, and it's because of talents like him that this team was never in on the Adams trade. It couldn't be; its drafting success has its money heading to home-grown talent. Unlike Seattle, San Francisco doesn't have to mortgage its future to turn a bad unit into a mediocre one.

Trust the process 49ers fans and remember: you don't win Super Bowls on your social media feed, no matter what John Schneider tells you.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


1 Comment

  • William
    Who was the guy who worked for the 49ers (around Ronnie Lott etal time?) and I believe was instrumental in some awesome drafts but was an alcoholic and got fired. Then our draft quality went way down. Went to Seattle and helped Schneider do the same ala Russell and such. They fired him as well and their drafts have been terrible. Then he went to Washington to be a general manager at a doomed time. Is my memory right? And if so, what is he doing now?
    Jul 29, 2020 at 10:31 AM
    0
    Response: Scott McCloughan

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