The Seahawks traded a would-be slot defender for a would-be slot receiver. Neither worked out, which is why this deal is all about the upside, even if they cut the new player.
A week ago, our beloved Seahawks moved on from defensive back Ugo Amadi, trading him to the Eagles for receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. As Lee Vowell wrote when the deal was made, this wasn’t exactly a huge pickup for the Hawks. The former second-round pick has one more career reception than letters in his last name. That’s in three years of play, 12s.
So why in the name of Steve Largent am I saying this is a good deal? I would have named Doug Baldwin, but he’d probably hunt me down and slap me for mentioning him in the same article as Arcega-Whiteside. Because as disappointing as he’s been, J.J. A-W still has some potential.
For the record, he failed so miserably at the slot that he put on some mass and was trying to make it as a tight end in Philly. As for Amadi, the Hawks discovered over the past three seasons that Amadi didn’t live up to his potential in the slot or as a safety.
Seahawks can’t trade draft picks for other teams’ projects
Amadi had plenty of opportunities with the Seahawks. The Hawks believed in him by drafting him in the first place. Those opportunities amounted to 1,318 defensive plays over the past three seasons. That snap count includes 691 snaps last year, just over 54 percent of all defensive plays, barely less than Sidney Jones’ 57 percent.
It wasn’t a matter of chances, it was all about performance. I’m happy to say that Ugo Amadi, by all accounts, is an excellent human being. Whether he’s putting on football camps, supporting his teammates, or just promoting Girl Scout Cookies, Ugo Amadi deserves the best. We wish him well in Philadelphia.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside ran out of chances with the Eagles, the same as Amadi. He had ample opportunity to succeed and simply didn’t come through. But there’s an excellent reason the Seahawks traded for him, the same reason the Eagles took Amadi. It’s all about that potential.
Maybe Amadi will be better for the Eagles under a different scheme. That’s the Hawks hope for A-W as well. Instead of just cutting the players and getting nothing, each team at least got a chance at a reclamation project. Even a poorly performing player has a better chance at coming through than an empty roster spot. There may not be much upside, but there’s zero downside to the deal.
While it’s true that this deal might not matter to the Hawks – okay, almost certainly won’t – it’s much better than some of the ideas I’ve seen floated on social media. My favorite is the deal where Seattle gets a reject for a draft pick, as in the idea that Arizona should move Andy Isabella north in exchange for a seventh-round pick.
Frankly, this is almost as bad as the constant flow of Sam Darnold to Seattle trash. As Alex Kay writes in his piece for bleacherreport.com, Isabella only saw the field for 30 snaps last year and caught one pass.
Now, the problem isn’t Isabella’s terrible production. Just as with Arcega-Whiteside, a change of venue could help him tremendously. After all, we’re banking on the same for Drew Lock. No, the issue is giving up that draft pick. Sure, we’re talking about just a seventh-round pick. Odds are, a seventh-rounder won’t even make the practice squad.
But what about those rare times that they do come through? All good 12s have fond memories of David Moore, let alone Chris Carson. I’d say that the odds of a seventh-round pick coming through for the Seahawks and being at least marginally productive are greater than the odds of Andy Isabella working out. He’s had three seasons to show what he can do, and so far, it’s been almost nothing.
I’d never trade a draft pick, even a low one, for a project. Trade one of our own players that haven’t performed, absolutely. You give up nothing in that instance, as they were just going to be cut anyway. This is why I’m okay with Amadi – Arcega-Whiteside trade. It may not amount to anything at all, but at least it cost the Hawks nothing to find out.