3 Reasons Seahawks Trading for Deshaun Watson Would Be Disastrous
The Seattle Seahawks are in need of a quarterback.
The Seahawks find themselves in an uncomfortable position: they have a hole at the sport's most important position. Seattle couldn't squeeze one more first-round pick out of the Denver Broncos, who in return, sent over three players that don't really add value to Seattle's roster. The departure of Russell Wilson has left the franchise in potential peril.
A good NFL team almost always has a good quarterback and the Seahawks let a disgruntled future Hall of Fame signal-caller leave SeaTac for a return that leaves a lot to be desired. Drew Lock is not going to take Seattle to the playoffs, which is fine if the team has embraced the full tank and rebuild strategy. Noah Fant is a former first-round tight end, but the Seahawks don't really use tight ends in the passing attack, remember Jimmy Graham? Shelby Harris bounced around the league before settling in with Denver but now he's 30 and doesn't seem thrilled about leaving a locker room he had established himself as a leader in. Could the Seahawks have waited for a better deal to come through? It's possible, we do know that Wilson waived a trade that would have sent him to the Eagles. I'm not here to rub alcohol in the wound, but the Bears offered three first-round picks for the seasoned scrambler last year, yet he never reached the Windy City. But now the bed has been made.
The Seahawks have reportedly expressed interest in embattled Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Three seasons ago, if the Houston Texans called the Seahawks with an offer to trade Deshaun Watson and a first-round pick to Seattle for Russell Wilson, I would have argued that it was worth discussing. But that was before what we know now.
In 2021, 22 women came forward with allegations against Watson of sexual misconduct.
Deshaun Watson hasn't seen an NFL field since the 2020 season as he has been embroiled in legal battles. Ten of his accusers have made criminal accusations against him, and court documents paint a heinous picture. Star attorney Tony Buzbee is representing all 22 women and has been laying the groundwork for some time against Watson. Even without charges being filed, I can't imagine he will be back on the field for a good while.
Why shouldn't the Seahawks trade for Deshaun Watson?
With news of the Seahawks, among other teams, exploring the possibility of acquiring the troubled quarterback's services, I can't help but object.
It's a terrible look at this time, even if Watson is innocent. The NFL has long dealt with troubling optics, whether it was the handling of Ray Rice, Tyreek Hill, or former Seahawks kicker Josh Brown, to name a few examples. In light of recent efforts to prosecute people who commit acts of violence or sexual assault against women, the Seahawks would have a massive black eye that would be hard to ignore, even if Watson is the second coming of Russell Wilson in Seattle. It's not my place to say if Watson is deserving of prison time or not, as he is innocent until proven guilty, but I will say that a good portion of female Seattle fans would feel like the NFL and the Seahawks can turn a blind eye to monstrous behavior if a person is good enough at football should they try to acquire him.
Deshaun Watson would be owed a lot of money.
If Watson were miraculously able to play the 2022 season, he would be owed over $37 million. His cap hit would be $40 million. His current deal includes an option for 2023 that would put $32 million in Watson's bank account. The Seahawks have far too many roster needs to invest that much money in a player who may have serious legal ramifications in his future. That's not to mention what action the NFL and Roger Goodell may take.
The NFL has suspended players for much less than the accusations against Watson.
In 2010, the NFL suspended Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for six games, despite charges not being filed against him after a college student accused him of sexual assault. His suspension would be appealed and later dropped to four games. Compare the accusations against Roethlisberger to Watson and you'll see a difference of 21 women. If the NFL were to apply the same judicial reasoning, which they won't, that suspension would be 132 games, or over seven seasons long.
The Seahawks may not have enough assets to make the trade and not damn themselves.
When Seattle traded for Jamal Adams in 2020, they sent two first-round picks (sound familiar?) and a third-rounder for the hard-hitting safety. Say what you will about Adams' contributions on defense, but that was a hefty price tag then and it's even more glaring now. So the Seahawks essentially got back what they gave up for Adams, but two first-round picks aren't the currency it's cracked up to be. The team just has too many holes to patch before they can become competitive. They need dire help on the offensive line and they need to further shore up their defense. That's where those first and second-round picks should be used, not on a risky proposition like Watson.
What can the Seahawks do at quarterback?
As I've screamed from the hilltops, Drew Lock is not the long-term answer. Unfortunately, this year's crop of quarterback prospects is really lacking. Scratch that, it's bad. Any talks of drafting a quarterback will have to wait until at least next year. The Seahawks can employ Lock as the tank commander and secure a top pick, or they can call around the league to see who's willing to part with a suitable quarterback. In a league where quarterbacks are a premium, the teams that are willing to give you one are sure to make the Seahawks overpay. Possible options include Jameis Winston, Baker Mayfield, and talk has grown amongst Seahawks fans around Gardner Minshew. Minshew may be the best option for the short-term future of this team. He's a favorite from his days at WSU and he has been adequate when he's had starts. He's a backup in Philadelphia, but with the reports of a proposed trade between the Eagles and Seahawks over Wilson, Jalen Hurts may want out of the city of brotherly love. If the Seahawks can't land Minshew at a fair price or pick up Baker Mayfield should the Browns let him hit free agency after the 2022 season, Seattle may just be screwed for a year or two. They need to take that time to build the team for the (future) quarterback of the future.