At the end of any NFL regular season, football fans get to read about all kinds of rumors that could affect the upcoming offseason. The Seattle Seahawks will have plenty swirling around them, especially if they do not beat the Arizona Cardinals in Week 18 and miss the playoffs. Just last week all Seattle had to do was win their final two games and they would have clinched a playoff spot.
But Seattle got run over by the Pittsburgh Steelers and their postseason dreams grew darker. But while the problem for Seattle against Pittsburgh was not the quarterback, there appears to be a rumor being spread that involves Seattle trading for a quarterback. There should be no reason for this rumor to come to reality either.
This started with ESPN writer Dan Graziano posting an article about Week 17 overreactions. In the article, Graziano suggested that the Chicago Bears, who currently hold the top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft due to a 2023 draft trade between them and the Carolina Panthers, could trade quarterback Justin Fields. The Panthers wanted to take quarterback Bryce Young last year and in return, they gave Chicago their 2024 first-round choice. Because Carolina will finish with their worst record in the NFL, Chicago is going to get the first pick in 2024.
Seattle Seahawks trading for Justin Fields makes zero sense
Chicago has had Justin Fields for three years and his contract is about to get huge because he is 1) a quarterback, and 2) his rookie deal is over in 2025 at the latest. The Bears could instead take quarterback Caleb Williams, for instance, with the first pick in 2024. That would mean parting ways with Fields. So where to send Fields?
Graziano does not even mention the Seattle Seahawks as part of a potential trade for Fields. But lots of sites have run with the idea as if he did. Assuming the idea of Fields to the Seahawks had any merit, Seattle should definitely not make the move.
Seattle does need to find a long-term quarterback, though they may not need a quarterback in 2024. Geno Smith is still under contract and while Seattle could easily end up 8-9, Smith has not been one of the bigger issues with the team. The offensive line and overall defense are more pressing problems. But adding Fields and releasing Smith likely does not make the Seahawks better. Plus, getting Fields hurts the Seahawks cap room in two years and for a long time thereafter.
Fields has not proven he can be an accurate passer in three years and his career quarterback rating is only 82.0 which is terrible. His overall QBR in 2023, and this year has likely been his best season in the NFL, is 46.3. In the two seasons Smith has been QB1 for Seattle, his QBRs are 62.8 and 59.0, respectively. Not only is Fields not better than Smith, but he likely is no better than whoever the Seahawks could choose in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft should they take a quarterback.
If Seattle does choose a quarterback early in 2024, that quarterback would be on a rookie deal for four years and possibly under team control for five seasons. Trading for Justin Fields simply does not make the Seahawks better on the field and cripples the team financially long-term as Fields would likely need to be extended. If he isn't, what was the use of trading for him in the first place?