Through the offseason and into the regular season, Seattle’s new front office has been quite difficult to figure out, to say the least.
When Tim Ruskell was in town, his moves were sometimes predictable. Predictable isn’t a great trait for a general manager, but Ruskell was egotistical and very disciplined in his philosophy on building a football team.
Ruskell wanted to obtain players who had won before. He wanted determined players with experience against the best competition, a team-first attitude, and a relentless work ethic. Most importantly, the player had to be of high character, a stand-up citizen, and well-behaved off the field.
Ruskell’s philosophy landed players like Deion Branch, Patrick Kerney, and Julius Jones. In the NFL Draft, Ruskell opted for experienced, “safe” picks like Kelly Jennings, Lawrence Jackson, and Aaron Curry.
We knew what to expect when Tim Ruskell was in charge. The new regime, however, is still somewhat mysterious.
We had no idea what to expect in last April’s draft. Some people thought John Schneider would submit to Pete Carroll and favor players from Southern California and the Pac-10 Conference. Others assumed the Seahawks would significantly reach for a quarterback like Jimmy Clausen or Tim Tebow.
Those who were eventually correct with their predictions will tell you even they weren’t certain what was going to happen.
As the offseason progressed and training camp opened, it was obvious the Seahawks were seeking a big-time playmaker at wide receiver. The team pursued Brandon Marshall, but was eventually outbid by the Miami Dolphins.
When the San Diego Chargers began fielding offers for Vincent Jackson, the Seahawks quietly joined several other franchises in pursuit of the disgruntled wide receiver. Jackson was holding out for a new contract and refused to play without one; the assumption was that San Diego would be willing to part with him for adequate compensation. Desperate for a big, physical wide receiver and obvious playmaker, the Seahawks showed serious interest.
The team was given permission by San Diego to discuss contract details with Vincent Jackson and his agents. One would have to assume the Seahawks had at least lightly discussed trade compensation with the Chargers as well.
Landing Jackson, while still possible but quite unlikely, would have been a huge acquisition for Seattle’s new front office. If Tim Ruskell were running the show, however, the Seahawks would have never even considered trading for Jackson.
Though he is a talented player, Jackson has a questionable off-field record. He is already facing a suspension this season for his second DUI, and investing so much in a repeat offender would be a huge gamble.
Schneider and Carroll were apparently willing to take a chance on Jackson. Until, that is, Braylon Edwards was arrested and charged with DUI earlier this week.
According to John Clayton, the Seahawks decided not to pursue Vincent Jackson any further when they found out about Edwards’ DUI. Because of Jackson’s two previous DUI charges, the team apparently decided they’re unwilling to take a chance.
It seems awkward Seattle would become indecisive following the news about Braylon Edwards. Without any additional knowledge of the situation, I have to assume that ownership stepped in and prevented any further pursuit of Vincent Jackson. Acquiring a player like Jackson would be wonderful on Sundays, but could quickly become a public relations nightmare for the franchise.
Seattle’s front office is still unpredictable; without any established patterns or obvious preferences, their next move is a mystery. For now, we can only hope for the best every Sunday.
Just don’t assume the obvious will happen on the following Monday.