What if Seahawks started rebuild in 2018 with Josh Allen?
By Lee Vowell
The Seahawks are rebuilding in 2022 but what if Seattle had decided to do the retooling in 2018 and drafted quarterback Josh Allen? What would have happened with Russell Wilson?
The idea isn’t that far-fetched. As most 12s know, Seattle not only sent a small scout team to Josh Allen‘s pro day at Wyoming in 2018 but Seahawks general manager John Schneider went there himself.
Of course, this bothered Russell Wilson who at the time still had two years left on his deal. Why would the Seahawks be thinking of taking a quarterback in round one if they already had the best QB in franchise history on the team? Because that’s the kind of things Seattle does.
Seahawks rebuild in 2018 would have meant a better 2022 and beyond
Obviously, Seattle didn’t choose Allen, and kept Wilson and Seattle has had diminishing results overall sense. That isn’t Wilson’s fault really but if Seattle had chosen to bite the proverbial bullet and not been great in 2018 and let Allen learn how to be an NFL QB, Seattle might be in a lot better position now. Here is why.
Frank Clark could have been paid and stayed
Entering his fourth year in the NFL in 2018, Clark already had 22 sacks but had 19 of those in 2016 and 2017 along with 39 quarterback hits. 2018 was the last year of his rookie deal and he was going to deserve to get paid a lot of money. Russell Wilson’s contract made it so Seattle didn’t have tons to spend on another high-end free agent, however.
Clark then had a tremendous season in 2018 – 13 sacks, 27 quarterback hits and 10 tackles for loss – and his price tag went even higher. Seattle ended up franchise-tagging him for 2019 but only with the intent of trading him to the Kansas City Chiefs. Seattle then had to look for another edge rusher to take Clark’s production and they still haven’t found that.
Had Seattle taken Allen, their quarterback would have been on a rookie deal which would have freed up tons of money and allowed the Seahawks to re-sign Clark long-term. Also, Seattle tried to replace Clark to some degree with first-round choice L.J. Collier in 2019 and that hasn’t worked out.
Where would Russell Wilson have gone?
This is a pretty easy answer: The New York Jets. New York always seems to need a QB and they drafted one in 2018 with the third overall pick: Sam Darnold. That didn’t work out well. Wilson might have been joining a bad team in the Jets but he also would have been going to New York. Making the Jets into a winner again would have made Wilson the king of New York.
Seattle could have then picked up New York’s first-round choice in 2018 (taken Allen), first-round pick in 2019 and multiple later-round choices. Again, this also would have ended up saving Seattle a lot of money for the next few seasons and the team could have rebuilt sooner.
Wilson signed a $140 million extension in the offseason of 2019.
Seattle’s offensive coordinator was Brian Schottenheimer. Schottenheimer wasn’t the greatest at calling plays but he was good with quarterbacks. Pairing Allen with Schottenheimer would have not hurt Allen and allowed Seattle to run the same kind of offense it had been. Sure, 2018 would have been rough.
But with the money saved with Allen playing on a rookie deal and more draft picks, Seattle could have potentially been a Super Bowl contender in 2020 and beyond. Instead, every season seems to have gotten a little worse (yes, Seattle won the NFC West in 2020 but then lost its first playoff game). Now Seattle doesn’t have Wilson or Allen.