The Seahawks built their team with great draft picks, smart free agent pickups, and trades. Here are the best trades they ever pulled off.
Yes, every team builds the same way. Well, every successful team. It all starts with the draft. You have probably heard of a couple of guys they picked up in the fifth round, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman. The Seahawks have done a pretty good job with those late round picks.
What the great teams also do is pull off great trades. So let’s get going, shall we?
Number three on the list was all about that action
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That’s right, I have Marshawn Lynch at just the third best trade ever. First, let’s recap the details.
The Buffalo Bills, foundering at 0-4 early in 2010, decided to blow the team up. Lynch had just earned his starting job back that season, but was coming off a lackluster 2009. He ran for less than 500 yards and only scored two touchdowns. He was in Leastmode, unfortunately for the Bills.
Buffalo’s misfortune was Seattle’s boon. Lynch shared carries with Justin Forsett, but established himself as the lead back. He ran for 573 yards and six touchdowns. In 2011, Lynch took over completely, doubling his yardage and touchdowns. Beastmode was born.
And what did 6,347 yards and 57 touchdowns cost Seattle? A 2011 fourth round pick and a 2012 fifth rounder. That trade will work. But it wasn’t the best trade Seattle ever made.
Number two was a draft pick swap that rewrote Seahawks history
This is a bit complicated, but we’ll get to the second best trade, trust me.
It’s 1997 and the Seahawks are in actual turmoil. Owner Ken Behring was negotiating to sell the team to Paul Allen. That was great bnews, except that Behring didn’t want to spend money signing high draft picks. So Allen had to personally guarantee he would pay the top two picks, even if he didn’t buy the Seahawks. For more on this craziness, read this great piece by Jayson Jenks for the Seattle Times.
Once Allen agreed, the Seahawks went to work on draft day. First they packaged the 11th overall pick (which they got from the Chicago Bears for Rick Mirer) along with their second, third and fourth round picks to Atlanta for the Falcons first and third round picks. Atlanta’s first rounder was the third pick overall, which the Seahawks used to select cornerback Shawn Springs. Springs mad the Pro Bowl and was an excellent player for Seattle over the next seven seasons, but he wasn’t the real prize here.
No, that would be left tackle Walter Jones, one of the NFL’s greatest offensive linemen ever. Seattle packaged their own first round pick, number 12 overall, along with the third round selection they got from the Falcons and swapped those to Tampa Bay for the Buccaneers first rounder, which was sixth overall. And that is how the Seahawks drafted the nine time Pro Bowler.
How great was Jones? In 180 games, he gave up a total of 23 sacks. He was penalized for holding nine times. Yes, that is less than one holding call per season. I suppose if one were to be really uncharitable, one could say Jones should have held the on those 23 sacks, but that’s quibbling. Truly an all-time NFL great, let alone a great Seahawk.
Number one was the greatest catch ever for the Seahawks
As great as Walter Jones was, it still took a lot to land him. A first and third round pick for a Hall of Famer is a bargain, sure. But what would you call it when you land a Hall of Famer for an eighth round draft pick?
You call that a catch worthy of Steve Largent.
Largent was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the fourth round in 1976, the Seahawks first year in the league. Despite only spending a fourth round pick on him, the Oilers gave up on the Tulsa All-American and salvaged what they could by moving him to the Seahawks for an eight round pick. The Oilers turned that pick into Steve Davis, who most assuredly did not retire as the NFL’s career leader in receptions, yardage and touchdowns. Largent’s records were all broken later, of course, but that’s still not too shabby for a player picked up for an eight round pick.
Lynch was great, Jones was even greater. But for an expansion team to land one of the NFL’s all time greats for an eighth round draft pick, you have to go with Steve Largent as the Seahawks greatest trade ever.