So just who is going to be the Seattle Seahawk’s starting quarterback in 2012? What about 2013? I doubt that there’s a more hotly debated topic right now around the Seahawks. Anyone who says they know exactly how it’s all going to happen is either lying or delusional.
Tarvaris Jackson might as well be persona non grata right now. Looking around the web, all I see are calls for him to be cut, or outrage that Jackson is going to be given a chance to win the starting job. Part of me completely understands the sentiment behind that. Jackson is never going to be a franchise QB, so why keep him around at the expense of someone who might be?
At the same time, Jackson wasn’t awful last season. While he melted in the 4th quarter and cost the Seahawks at least 3 wins, he also prevented the team from completely unraveling early in the season, and really toughed out a long season with a rather severe injury. While the thought of him being the team’s starting QB again in 2012 makes my head hurt, he would make an excellent backup for this team.
Matt Flynn is the presumed starter. It seems that everyone has already handed him the keys to the franchise. To me, I simply don’t understand this. Flynn has all of 2 NFL starts, and both were against really poor defensive teams. I think it says a tremendous amout about Flynn’s upside that both his former offensive coordinator (Miami’s new head coach) and the person credited with Flynn being drafted by the Packers (Seahawk GM John Schneider) both offered him a contract befitting a backup, and not that of the starter.
I think it also says a lot about Flynn’s future with the team that the Seahawks used a 3rd round pick on Russell Wilson. Regardless of my thoughts on wasting such a high pick on a 5-10 QB, Wilson has all the skills to be the best QB on the roster. (whether or not those skills ever show up on the field because of his height is the problem, not any of his skills.) In practice, it’s highly probably that Wilson will be best QB in training camp. If that’s the case, will the Seahawks really give him the starting job for week 1 of this season, or will he wait in the wings for Flynn or Jackson to struggle?
And then what happens if Wilson is tabbed the Quarterback of the future, but then Flynn or Jackson excels in the roll at the begining of the year? Do they move on to Wilson anyways, or trade him away next offseason and stick with the older now-established starter?
And all these scenarios are even before we bring up Josh Portis. Portis is a good athlete who was still learning what it meant to play QB last season. Now he’s got a year’s experience in this offense under his belt. Portis severly lacked refinement when we last saw him in the pre-season a year ago, but there’s a chance that he could still develop into something special.
Contrary to other reports, Portis is not eligible for the practice squad. While he never played in a game, he was on the active roster for Cleveland game last season when Jackson was out with his torn biceps, and Charlie Whitehurst got the start. Being on the active roster for that game makes him ineligible for a practice squad slot, so cutting Portis likely means losing him.
So then what do you do with both Wilson and Portis? Does the loser of the Jackson-Flynn battle get cut if both Wilson and Portis do just enough to make this choice hard, but not enough to insert themselves into the starting debate? Does the fate of the loser of the Jackson-Flynn battle depend on Wilson’s development alone, or is there something they can do on their own.
Is cutting Flynn even an option to the Seahawks, no matter how poor he looks? How much of a PR nightmare will that be; cutting the big-name QB that was brought in to fix the position, and before he ever played in t regular season game? And do Schneider and Pete Carroll even care about that? And if we operate under the assumption that Flynn can’t be cut, does that seal Portis’s fate if Jackson wins the starting job, no matter how much Portis shows? Or do the Seahawks try and keep 4 QB on the roster in that scenario?
And what happens if none of the quartet impresses in the preseason? Then what?
All of those question are just a fraction of the possibilities that we might see unfold this summer. Hold on to your hats, this is going to be a wild ride.