Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Mailbag: Backlash against QB desperation
By Mike Sando
Frequent hand-wringing over the Seattle Seahawks' quarterback situation has struck a nerve with some.
"After seeing the 'Why not trade up for a QB' piece, I have to say I am getting a little frustrated with all the talk of how Seattle HAS to get a QB," Javier from Renton, Wash., wrote.
Javier then ran through all the first-round quarterbacks drafted from 1998 through 2007, noting that only about one-third of them met expectations.
"My question to you is, would you make a trade for a 34 percent chance on getting a franchise QB?" Javier asked.
There's no sense in taking the wrong quarterback just to say you addressed a need. But would you rather have a 34 percent chance or a zero percent chance? At some point, a team has to risk failure for a shot at success.
History might ultimately vindicate Seattle for drafting James Carpenter over Andy Dalton last year. Which one would you rather have right now? Only one of them has a shot at becoming a top quarterback.
The Seahawks haven't drafted even one quarterback since Pete Carroll became head coach. That has actually helped them build up their roster in a short period of time.
Instead of taking a chance on quarterback Ricky Stanzi in the fourth round last year, they found a starting linebacker in K.J. Wright. Instead of using a fifth-round pick for quarterback Nathan Enderle, the Seahawks found a terrific cornerback in Richard Sherman.
Instead of taking a chance on Tim Tebow in the 2010 first round, the Seahawks found a Pro Bowl safety in Earl Thomas. They took Golden Tate when Colt McCoy was available. They took Walter Thurmond when Mike Kafka was on the board. They went with Kam Chancellor when they could have had John Skelton.
Most of those moves were the right ones under the circumstances. The team does need to find a quarterback, however.
Hashem from Palestine thinks the Arizona Cardinals should cut ties with Kevin Kolb and go all in for Peyton Manning. He thinks Skelton would benefit from working under Manning, and he thinks the Cardinals are built to win now.
Mike Sando: What if Manning isn't ready for minicamps or training camps? What if he never plays again? What if he plays one more season and never recaptures previous form? Those scenarios seem plausible given Manning's long layoff and repeated surgeries.
The risk would be worth taking if the Cardinals thought Kolb would be no better than Skelton. If Arizona does think Kolb can become a top player, however, it's tougher to part with him amid serious questions about Manning's health.
Arizona must make a decision on Kolb by March 17. What will teams know about Manning by then?
Brian from Visalia, Calif., wonders whether the St. Louis Rams would consider trading Sam Bradford to Cleveland, where Bradford would be reunited with Pat Shurmur. Under this scenario, the Rams' new leadership would draft its own quarterback.
Mike Sando: We discussed this during the regular season, before the Rams made a coaching change. The Browns have additional picks this year, giving them leverage for trading. They need a quarterback. Bradford would fit with Shurmur.
I do not think the Rams would do this, however. Salary-cap implications would come into play. To my knowledge, the team still thinks Bradford will become a top quarterback.
These are fun scenarios to consider, but in my opinion, Bradford will stay put.
Bill from Clearwater, Fla., wants to know which direction the Rams might go in the draft with Jeff Fisher and Les Snead in place.
Mike Sando: Bill asked this question a few days ago. I honestly did not see it before putting together an item addressing this very subject.
Fisher and Snead have worked for teams that never (Fisher) or rarely (Snead) used a first-round choice for an offensive lineman. Fisher and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will want to add swagger to the defense. Fisher and Snead will want to add a playmaking element to the offense.
What the Rams do in free agency will influence their draft plan. I lean toward thinking the Rams will wind up with Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon, figuring they need help for Bradford. But it's still too early to have a great feel.
Steven from Lakeville, Minn., wants to know which players, besides their own, the San Francisco 49ers might target in free agency. He thinks New Orleans Saints guard Carl Nicks would shore up the line for years to come, allowing them to target receivers and defensive backs in the draft.
Mike Sando: I'm thinking the 49ers will target middle-tier free agents. Carlos Rogers was one of them last offseason, and a good one. Nicks would be a luxury signing and more expensive than the free agents San Francisco has targeted recently. I would expect the 49ers to develop their younger offensive linemen instead. Daniel Kilgore is a candidate to start at right guard if he develops this offseason.