Seahawks trades: the deals they wish they’d never made
The Seahawks built their team with great draft picks, smart free agent pickups, and trades. But those trades didn’t always work out.
While it’s true that every successful team is built on draft picks, free agents and trades, sometimes even the best organizations get it wrong. To be fair, if we’re going to revel in the greatest trades the Seahawks ever pulled off, we need to talk about the ones that…eccch. Do I have to? Oh…alright. Let’s get this trainwreck going.
Number three turned a future Pro Bowler into a zero
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We return again to the Seahawks inaugural season, 1976. Wide receiver Ahmad Rashad was signed as a free agent. Rashad was an All-American at Oregon and would have injected some nice local flavor. He was also an NFL veteran with three seasons under his belt, two with the St. Louis Cardinals and one with the Buffalo Bills. He was even O.J. Simpson’s roommate. There is no record of him receiving any hazard pay for this role.
Rashad had 95 catches for 1342 yards and 10 touchdowns in his three previous years. He was coming off a lost 1975 season due to a knee injury, but he was the number two wide receiver for all three of his previous teams. Since when can an expansion team afford to let that go?
Well, shortly before the end of training camp, that’s exactly what the Seahawks did. They traded him to the Minnesota Vikings for a fourth round draft pick. That pick was used to select Larry Seivers, who never played a down for the Seahawks. Rashad of course made the Pro Bowl four times for Minnesota. Trading a guy who already had 95 catches and added 400 more for a player with exactly zero production will not win many football games. Seivers was a tremendous college player, but zero catches in the NFL is zero catches.
Number two replaced a steady team leader with utter ineptitude
The Seahawks were faced with a problem in after the 1987 season. Dave Krieg had been a reliable starter for them at quarterback for a few years, but he missed four games in 1987 and his play slipped a bit. Seattle felt they needed an upgrade. It turned out that the t. Louis Cardinals just happened to own the rights to the sixth player taken in the 1987 draft, quarterback Kelly Stouffer. The Cardinals tried to lowball Stouffer on his contract. At least that’s what Stouffer thought, so he held out for the entire season.
The Seahawks decided this was their man, so sent the Cardinals their fifth round pick in the 1988 draft along with their first and fifth round picks for the 1989 draft.
In his entire four year NFL career, all with Seattle, Stouffer threw for just over 2300 yards, seven touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Stouffer appears on numerous all-time NFL bust lists. There’s a great article here from top10busts.com that details the ineptitude of this trade.
Turned out the Seahawks didn’t have a problem after all. Luckily Seattle hung on to Krieg, who merely added another 131 touchdowns to his career totals after the trade for the man who was supposed to be his replacement.
Number one brought nothing but migraines to the Seahawks
When Seattle made the deal for returner/wide receiver Percy Harvin, it looked like a gamechanger for Seattle. Well, it was certainly that. Just not in the right direction.
Harvin was one of the most dangerous return men in the NFL in his first four seasons in the league. He returned 114 kickoffs for a 27.9 yard average, and chipped in five touchdowns. He’d also hauled in 280 catches for over 3300 yards and another 20 touchdowns. My bad, almost forgot he tacked on another 683 yards rushing and four touchdowns. On average, Harvin pumped in just under 996 yards of offense per year in addition to his almost 800 yards of field position in kickoff returns. Of course Seattle wanted an impact player like that! The Seahawks bundled their first and seventh round picks in 2013 with their third rounder for 2014.
They got an impact player, alright. Low impact, like the kind your orthopedic surgeon says is great for your bad knees. In 2013, Harvin caught exactly one pass for 17 yards and returned one kickoff for 58 yards. He did score a phenomenal touchdown on an 87 yard return in the Super Bowl, but the Seahawks were already up 22 – 0 over the shell-shocked Broncos. Seattle went on to win 43 – 8, so it wasn’t exactly a critical play. Not bad for $11 million, right?
Explosive, but not the way he was supposed to be
Harvin was definitely better in 2014, but with a season-best return of just 46 yards and just one touchdown in 45 touches, he wasn’t the explosive player Seattle thought they had signed. Well, not on the field. The Seattle Times reported that Harvin had altercations with teammates Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin. As a result, the Seahawks cut bait, so to speak, and traded Harvin to the New York Jets for a conditional pick. That trade wound up being a sixth round pick. So the Seahawks gave a first, third, and seventh round pick to get him. Then paid over $19 million to a player who amassed a total of 750 yards and two touchdowns in about one and a third seasons. And wound up with a sixth round pick.
Hey, there’s a happy ending, though. The Seahawks packaged that lowly sixth rounder with their third, fourth and fifth round picks to the Redskins to move up and get Tyler Lockett. You know, the guy who does everything Harvin was supposed to, but better.
See 12s, even when the Seahawks make terrible trades, they manage to salvage something great out of it.