Number 1: Seahawks acquire Jimmy Graham from the New Orleans Saints, 2014
Seahawks trade center Max Unger and a first round pick for Graham and a fourth round choice
There is one huge reason why I have Jimmy Graham number one on this list. That said, I do want to note that Graham wasn’t bad in the locker room. Graham seems like a decent human being and did not create a problem on the team. He played for Seattle from 2015 through 2017 and was decent but not great.
In fact, a lot of the reason Graham is first on the list has nothing do to specifically with Graham. He wasn’t completely ineffective as a tight end. That said, here is the reason he should have never been with the Seahawks:
Seattle was greedy and overextended themselves so much that it affected the future success of the team.
After going to back-to-back Super Bowls (yes, they should have won back-to-back Super Bowls), Seattle thought getting someone who could be another option for Russell Wilson was a great route to take. What they needed was to keep a person who was very good at protecting Wilson while also opening holes for the running game.
John Schneider and Pete Carroll must have wrongfully thought that Unger only playing 6 games in 2014 was a sign of things to come. But it wasn’t. Unger ended up playing 63 of a possible 64 games over the next four seasons with the Saints. He made the Pro Bowl in 2018. This after making the Pro Bowl with Seattle in 2012 and 2013.
Centers are more important than simply blocking. Most of them call out the line plays and that communication can be the difference between a quarterback having time to throw and not. Unger’s line around him was much better at run blocking but if Unger had stayed on the team when Seattle added pieces like left tackle Duane Brown, imagine how good that line would have been.
Seattle has been playing musical center ever since Unger left seven seasons ago. I get that Justin Britt played the position for three years but he wasn’t very good for most of that time. Not having a good center has hurt the chemistry of an offensive line that has been bad for several years. And Seattle still has no answer at center and may not have one at any time soon. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson keeps getting hit and therefore the offense is limited.
Seattle trading for Jimmy Graham created a problem that wasn’t there before and that is Management 101: Don’t create problems, fix them. The Seahawks are still dealing with the mess they created by trading Unger for Graham and there is no known answer when the problem will be solved.