The 2020 Seahawks ended with a thud with their first home playoff loss since 2004. What hurts the most is that Seattle made a flurry of moves that suggested it was "Super Bowl or bust" this season. Well, it was a bust. It was, perhaps, one of the most disappointing in franchise history.
Re-visiting the previous offseason, could the Seahawks have done anything to avoid their early exit? Should the Seahawks have mortgaged so much of their future to roll the dice in 2020? Looking back it's easy to say no. Let's review the offseason prior to the 2020 season and redo some moves that either could have made a difference this season or salvaged some of Seattle's future.
These are strictly moves that happened before the 2020 season started.
Signed TE Greg Olsen
Olsen came to Seattle with high hopes, after being selected to three Pro Bowls and being one of the most productive tight ends in recent memory in Carolina. The reality is he was not much of a factor in 2020. He caught 24 passes for 239 yards and one touchdown. They brought him in to be a threat in the red zone and he virtually was nonexistent for much of the year, some of that due to a big injury in the middle of the year. He ended up playing in just 11 games.
Seattle could have used that money elsewhere in free agency. They could have had Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister carry the load at tight end for less money.
Redo scenario: Do not sign Olsen. Save $6 million in cap space for other moves.
Signed C/G B.J. Finney
Finney was brought in from Pittsburgh to replace Justin Britt at center. Ethan Pocic entered fall camp and took control of the center position right away, however, not giving Finney any chance at establishing himself. He became expendable and Seattle ended up using him to trade for former Pro Bowl defensive end Carlos Dunlap from Cincinnati. Finney headed to the Bengals along with a 2021 seventh round pick for Dunlap's services.
Given Dunlap's immense production with 5.0 sacks in eight games, Finney at least brought a standout pass rusher in return.
Redo scenario: Sign Finney, trade him for Dunlap
Traded a 2020 fifth-round draft pick to Washington for CB Quinton Dunbar
This trade might be one of the biggest failures of the John Schneider era. At the time, it seemed like a great deal. Seattle sent a fifth round pick to Washington for Dunbar, who was trending towards being a Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback.
Instead, Dunbar caused all sorts of headaches with his legal trouble and when he was actually healthy enough to be on the field, his play was subpar. He played just six games, allowing a career-high 9.1 yards per target and a lofty 111.0 passer rating. At the end of the season, the Seahawks opted for waiver-claim D.J. Reed with Dunbar staying on injured reserve and undergoing knee surgery, more damning evidence of this deal gone sour.
What hurts the most now is that Seattle possesses just four draft picks for this spring's draft. And that fifth-round pick could have been used back in April on another player or packaged to net future picks.
Redo scenario: Hold onto the fifth round pick, have Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, and D.J. Reed as the outside corners
Signed T Brandon Shell
Shell came to Seattle from New York without much fanfare. It was assumed he would throw his hat into the ring to compete for the starting right tackle spot. All he did was take the job from basically day one and never relinquished it save for when he was hurt late in the season. Plus, when he was missing due to a high ankle sprain, it was noticeable. He played in 11 games and was penalized just five times compared to the 15 penalties Germain Ifedi was charged with his final year in Seattle.
Pro Football Focus gave Shell a favorable 72.1 rating in 2020. He was a pleasant surprise and looks to be the solution at right tackle next season as well.
Redo scenario: Keep Shell as starting RT
Signed WR Phillip Dorsett II
As disappointing as Dunbar was on defense, Dorsett was his equal on offense, except that Dunbar actually saw the field. Dorsett was brought in on a one-year deal and was promptly put on injured reserve with a foot injury in September. He never took a snap.
At times, Seattle lacked depth behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett at receiver and could have used Dorsett. They definitely still needed to address the position in free agency but there were better options.
Redo scenario: Use money saved from Olsen and Dorsett deals to sign WR Randall Cobb
Signed DE Benson Mayowa
The Seahawks were desperate for pass rush help after losing Jadeveon Clowney last offseason. Seattle made a flurry of moves to help cope with that loss and one of them was Mayowa. He ended up with 6.0 sacks, third-most on the team. This one doesn't require much thought.
Redo scenario: Sign Mayowa
Signed LB Bruce Irvin
Along with Mayowa, Seattle brought in Irvin to aid the pass rush. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn ACL in his second game of the season, prematurely ending his 2020 campaign. This one is tricky. In the redo scenario, do we get a guaranteed healthy season? If we do, then obviously you still sign him. But since this is my scenario with my rules, I am going to go ahead and say there are no guarantees and save the $3 million to be used elsewhere. Perhaps for another proven defensive tackle at the start of the season. Former Seahawk Quinton Jefferson signed a two-year, $13.5 million contract with the Bills. He played in all 16 games and had 3.0 sacks.
Redo scenario: Do not sign Irvin, use $3 million and money saved from Olsen and Dorsett deals to help bring back Quinton Jefferson
Released C Justin Britt
Britt started at center for Seattle for the better part of four seasons before being cut ahead of the 2020 season. As mentioned before, the assumption was the newly acquired Finney was to assume that role. However, Pocic emerged and took control of the position. Frankly, Seattle did not miss Britt much in 2020 and he didn't play for anyone last season.
Redo scenario: Stick with Pocic at center
Traded S Bradley McDougald, 2021 first and third-round draft picks and a 2022 first-round pick to the N.Y. Jets for S Jamal Adams and a 2022 fourth-round draft pick
This is the doozy. The Seahawks paid a handsome fee to the Jets for Adams' Pro Bowl services at safety, sending three draft picks, including two first rounders. The ultimate question is, was it worth it? The Seahawks were one-and-done in the playoffs after the Adams move looked like a "Super Bowl or bust" transaction.
The truck here is that Adams still is under contract for one more season in Seattle and it seems like both sides are interested in keeping him in a Seahawks uniform long term. Is that worth not having a first and third round pick in the upcoming draft? I think with his age, ability, and production, that yes, it is absolutely worth it.
He set the single-season record for sacks by a defensive back. It was clear this defense was different and worse when he either wasn't in the lineup or played hurt. With how infrequently the Seahawks hit on top draft picks and how desperately they need pass rush and reliable defensive pieces, Adams is worth the price. He is a proven commodity while the draft in some ways is still a crapshoot. Bank on the proven commodity.
Redo scenario: Make the trade for Jamal Adams.