Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Reviewing the Charlie Whitehurst trade

By Rob Staton
It's being reported that the Seahawks have agreed a trade with San Diego for quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. The price is believed to be a 2011 third round pick and a switch of second round picks - meaning Seattle gives up the 40th overall selection and will now pick 60th overall. Whitehurst will allegedly sign a contract worth around $10m over two years. He was originally a third round pick in 2005 out of Clemson and has worked with one of the best offensive coaches in the business (Norv Turner) in his time with the Chargers.

On paper it's quite an eye opening deal in that Seattle have given up a fair price if they were just looking for an adequate back up. They could've signed Derek Anderson for no compensation and Brady Quinn joined Denver for a lot less, despite originally being taken in the first round. Clearly the Seahawks view Whitehurst as more than simply a clipboard holder for Matt Hasselbeck. We could see an open competition in camp for the starting role, or Whitehurst might be viewed as the 2011 starter consider Hasselbeck is in a contract year. Either way - this isn't the kind of deal you make for a token backup.

Does it make drafting a quarterback early any less likely? It's unclear at the moment. On one hand - you could say that. There's a lot of money tied up in Hasselbeck and Whitehurst this year. Reportedly, $5m for Whitehurst in 2010 and an extra $5.75m for Hasselbeck. Alternatively, the two year contract isn't a grand commitment and Seattle's latest acquisition could merely be seen as a 'holding position' in preparation for introducing a newly drafted prospect. It would afford the Seahawks flexibility as to when they wish to introduce the new guy. John Schneider was part of a similar situation in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers. Signing Whitehurst also offers some flexibility if both Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen are off the board by the 6th overall pick.

Perhaps the most identifiable change from this deal is the greater difficulty in which Seattle will be able to trade for Brandon Marshall without paying a high price. If Seahawks fans were optimistic in hoping to get the Broncos wide out for the #40 pick, it seems unrealistic to think the 60th overall pick will get it done. This could be a sign that Seattle have lost interest in Marshall, or it could suggest a willingness to pay a high price.

Some options at #60? If the Seahawks are looking for a running back - Ben Tate (RB, Auburn) and Joe McKnight (RB, USC) are options. Need a replacement for Deon Grant at safety? How about Reshad Jones (S, Georgia) or Major Wright (S, Florida). Defensive lineman such as Geno Atkins (DT, Georgia) and Corey Wootton (DE, Northwestern) may also be available.


Anonymous said...

Rob, if this trade is for the guy who becomes the starting quarterback that leads the Seahawks back to their winning ways, it is a real bargain. What do we know to make us think this might happen?
- Both Arizona and Seattle preferred Whitehurst over Anderson or Quinn. Seattle obviously preferred Whitehurst over other potential QB's they could obtain in the 2nd round, such as McCoy.
- According to John Clayton, both teams had bid 2yrs/$8 mil and then Arizona upped the bid late last night, upon which Seattle trumped it with 2/$10 mil.
- When Whitehurst chose Seattle, Arizona went to their second choice, Anderson.
- Why would the Seahawks prefer Whitehurst over the other options? His tape shows him superior to Clausen, McCoy, Quinn, etc, in arm strength, release and foot speed. This will be a wait-and-see for us Seahawks fans, but will be very interesting!

Michael said...

I suspect that the Hawks will try to trade down for their second 1st and recover a 2nd rounder and maybe next years 3rd rounder back. It is also possible if both QBs and DTs are taken by the 6th pick, we could maybe trade down there as well depending on the interest in Berry, Okung or Haden. It appears we paid too much for Whitehurst, but I am thinking that PC was coaching in Southern Cal and maybe he saw Whitehurst more than we know. Also our GM is not a babe in the woods so hopefully this will work for us.
The proof will be in the pudding. (sorry for the tired cliches.)

Mike Kelly

CLanterman said...

So far, I haven't liked a single move we've made.

ChavaC said...

Ruskell.... please come back.

Chris said...

I understand that with regime change it is helpful to make your purges as close together as possible, and I want to patient with the new leadership team, but I am really struggling after the last few days.

For the money/picks involved and the state of the market it is hard to argue we did not overpay. I guess what I am wrestling with is the idea that: if Whitehurst is starter quality why has he been a third stringer his whole professional career? If Hawks do not view him a starter why pay such a high price for a backup when the team is not playoff caliber? If they choose a quarterback in the draft this trade looks even worse.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand a lot of posters that worry about the money being spent on players aquired, after all it's chump change to Paul Allen and is especially irrevelant in an uncaped year.

Anonymous said...

No way they draft a quarterback at 6 now, even if Bradford and Clausen are there, and that is great news.

Michael said...

If Clausen or Bradford were available at #6 we could reap a bonanza to move down. "Then I woke up."

akki said...

If you play with the draft value charts, we gave up around a late 2nd rounder for Whitehurst, whereas we gave up a early-mid 2nd rounder for Hasselbeck back in 1999. But Hasselbeck played for Holmgren in Green Bay so there was a familiarity that put us at ease. Plus Holmgren was Holmgren, a qb expert, while Carroll is a defensive guy. I hope it comes out that someone in the current Seahawks staff was a mole who watched Chargers practices, otherwise it looks bad because there's no pro-Whitehurst evidence out there beyond the interest of 2-3 teams.

Don't be surprised if we still take a qb in the 5th-7th rounds. Schneider's old boss in Green Bay liked to take qbs late, and drafted both Brohm and Flynn one year.

ChavaC said...

Not to mention he will be 28 next season.

akki said...

The age actually doesn't bother me much, even though he probably doesn't start until he's 29. You can become a starter at 28 and still start for 5 years, or even more if you're Trent Green or Kurt Warner.
become What does bug me is that in 2008, Whitehurst had been with the Chargers for 2 years, and they still extended Volek's contract.

Donald Duck said...

I chose to hope that the new management knows what it is doing. I hope Michael is right and PC saw him in San Diego.

At least we got the QB that the Cards wanted. What is not to like about that?

So who do we want at #6?

Donald Duck

c-hawker said...

You don't give up that much for him,not to start. He better start next year. Who knows, he may have to start this year...
I think a #4 this year and a #3 next year should have done it. They overpaid in my opinion. He better be good or they will never hear the end of it.

Pool Ninja said...

If Spiller is available at #14, here's my proposed trade:

#6 Gerald McCoy

#14 Trade w/SD for #28 and #40 (points do added up)which SD takes Spiller

#28 Trade to Denver for B.Marshall

#40 RB Jonathan Dwyer/Georgia Tech

#60 FS Nate Allen/South Florida

I think with the two 4th rounders, you'll see Gibbs get his boys. A bit complicated but could happen...

Louis Phan said...

@Pool Ninja

Honestly, i dont see McCoy falling to #6.

and Jonathan Dwyer at 40? Bleh...lot of experts arent high on Dwyer. I hope we dont draft him

Austin said...

My problem with the trade is that they lost a lot by trading back from 40 to 60. This years 40 is almost first round value because of the depth in this class. I was hoping for a guy like Best at 40. This also probably kills any chance at Marshall unless they can pull off a draft day trade down with another team and then use the extra pick for Marshall. I think Whitehurst is intriging and I've liked the idea of signing him since the talks came up but I think we gave up too much. This is a huge gamble and I hope it works out. Not excited about losing that 4oth pick though and I think they overpayed for him. Ehh.....

Rob Staton said...

I do understand why people are looking at the deals these past few days and wonder what is happening. However, personally I'm happy to let the new regime do what they think it takes to get the Seahawks competitive again. Rest assured, this was never going to be a job where a few changes were going to make a major difference. Neither the Whitehurst or the Tapp deal may work out in Seattle's favor, but sometimes you have to roll the dice and try to make things work. There's a plan in motion here that we likely won't see the full extent of until opening weekend.

Seattle still owns two very good picks in round one. They now own another quarterback who is a former 3rd round pick and comes from a team that owns a great offensive mind in Norv Turner (although he wasn't with the Chargers when Whitehurst was drafted - but neither was Phil Rivers).

I also remember over the last two off seasons Seattle making big moves in free agency and doing a lot of things that 'made sense' at the time and got a lot of approval by fans and media alike - but the team still recorded a 9-23 record.

This could be a painful rebuilding process. It could be a surprisingly swift and pro-active process. But the new regime deserve the time to install their ideas and they shouldn't be fully judged before even their first training camp.

Rob Staton said...

I will also say - I don't think there's a great deal of difference between picking at #40 and #60. There's a lot of guys I had going in between those picks in my last mock draft that weren't really viable options. There's also guys I really like that might have been a stretch at #40 but make logical sense now. I'm thinking about Ben Tate, Major Wright, Corey Wootton - there's going to be good value at #60 and Seattle could always use one of their two fourth round picks to potentially move up a few spots.

Ben said...

The way I see it, the Seahawks are hedging their bets at the QB position at the expense of a late 2nd-rounder. I don't see the appeal of Whitehurst, but there was obviously something there that interested the FO. He may turn into a franchise QB or he may just be a journeyman, but we haven't invested a ton in him (probably less than it would take to get McCoy or Tebow).

We did this because (a) we don't think Bradford/Clausen will be there at #6 or (b) we don't think they're worth the pick and (c) we don't think any of the 2nd-tier QBs could start in their rookie year. Right now, we're still in position to draft a 1st-tier or a 2nd-tier QB in 2010, but we might also hold off until 2011 to grab Locker or just start Zoltar for the next 5-6 years. If we do grab a Tebow or McCoy, we have the flexibility to sit him for 2-3 years behind a more seasoned veteran.

Whatever happens, we only invested the equivalent of a 2nd-round pick and a bag of Uncle Paul's money in an uncapped year. We don't have to draft a QB, but we still can if we want.



Rob Staton said...

I understand the frustration DUWORKSON, but it's a double edged sword. Whitehurst could be a steal if he ever surmounts to anything. If he doesn't - it doesn't necessarily have any lasting impact on the team anyway. It's a calculated gamble that hasn't cost the team that much. The worst case scenario is - Seattle lost a third rounder and dropped down in round two. The best case scenario is Whitehurst enjoys success as the Seahawks starting QB. The Seahawks still own three picks in the top 60 and have a chance to turn this 9-23 team around.

camanoislandJQ said...

It seems obvious to me that the results of PC's evaluations of Whitehurst have indicated that Whitehurst was a better "future QB" option than either Bradford or Clausen, et. al. in this years draft. We must keep in mind that neither one of the two top rated QB's have thrown an NFL pass either and they are both weak armed passers. With the Marshall thing and now this, I think PC wants to open up the passing game for some downfield long passes & bombs (for an change), that should keep the box from being stacked and help the running game & defense as well.

Looking at the positive side of things, we didn't have to spend a #6 and a bazillion dollar contract on Bradford or Clausen (both of which may not have been available at #6 anyway). So we got off cheap.

As to the 5-million/yr. contract, that's chump change to Paul Allen. Additionally, we have only seen one portion of the "master plan" to improve the team, I think there is a lot more coming soon.

micah said...

I agree that it feels like we gave up more than we needed to for Whitehurst, but there must be something about him for everyone to be so interested. The fact is, we didn't give up any picks this year. The new regime said they are trying to win now, so they needed an adequate backup. They didn't think Seneca could fit the bill, but Whitehurst did. Personally, I much rather have a veteran than a rookie. Veterans have seen how much faster the game is and tend to understand more of the complex defenses. I would hope whitehurst has broken down a lot of NFL game film, while a rookie doesn't necessarily have that work ethic. the team isn't finished being shaped so we'll see what happens. remember, the mariners gutted their team to fit the mold of types of players they wanted. so, we'll see.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh the master plan may get worse. I think the technical term for todays spectacle is "sucks".

Seahawks are trading away their future for players with no future.

JohnnyB said...

You can bet all of your farms that the Seahawks knew way more about Whitehurst than any of us. The Chargers were like a used car salesman, telling the Seahawks and Cardinals every little positive detail about Whitehurst, what he has shown in practice, how he has improved, why he is sitting third in their depth chart, and on and on. There may be a few negatives they don't know about, but whatever they know, it was enough to convince the Cardinals to offer as much as the Seahawks did, we know that too. And the beauty of it all is that it is very very low risk compared to drafting a QB in the first round with a huge long term contract that would require.

I'm pretty sure that they will still look at a few other low risk QB options. Why wouldn't they?

Rob Staton said...

I still maintain that if this deal doesn't come off - the Seahawks essentially lost one pick in the draft. If it works, the benefits are obvious. It's a calculated gamble and not much of one at that. The best case scenario far out weighs the worst case scenario.

Jon said...

Wouldve been nice if we gave up a little less pickwise but it's still better than rolling the dice on anyone other than Bradford this year.
For a guy who'll be your starting QB next season at the latest they didn't give up much at all.

When we played the Bolts in the preseason last year I noticed 2 things about Whitehurst: this guy looks like Jesus, and he looks like a seasoned vet who doesn't fit as an extra QB on a playoff team with a Pro Bowler under center already.
I'm calling him Soap Opera Jesus.

ChavaC said...

I think we got taken for a ride by the Chargers and Cardinals. I mean, Leinart was going to start anyways and you don't drop a 3rd rounder for competition at camp. I find it hard to believe that Aragorn was some wonderful hidden gem, and yet the only other team with interest was our division rivals.

And I doubt we pick up another "low risk, high upside" QB because that's essentially what Teel is, and we aren't going to carry 4 QBs.

Anonymous said...

ESPN is reporting that we are getting their 2011 3rd round pick not giving our 3rd round pick next year.

Rob Staton said...

You've got to admit though, Chavac, that if this doesn't pan out it's not such a great loss is it? But if it works out - it'll be labelled a steal.

Austin said...

Rob-Actually your explanation of the deal makes sense and now that I've had time to look at the trade and think about things I think it makes sense. They don't lose much if it doesn't pan out and if it does they basically get a starting quarterback for a third round pick. I think its less of a risk than taking Clausen at 6 if your not 100% sure he is a franchise type quarterback. We still have two first round picks and more flexability to take the bpa at both spots. Thats why I love this site! Keep up the great work.

ps what about Hardesty at 60 and any chance of the wide receiver from Georgia tech at that spot as well since he's still hurt?

Anonymous said...

...did we really pay too much? The tender for Whitehurst was a 3rd round pick (chart value of about 265 points). That was the set price when he went on the market. So, the Seahawks swapped #40 (500 points) for #60 (300 points), for a net of 200 points to the Chargers. So, they still owed them 65 points to meet the sale price. And what else did they trade? A 3rd round pick in 2011 (which the chart equates to a 2010 4th rounder)- trade value of 65 points. Total payment to the Chargers? Exactly 265 points, the very amount of the sale price! This is how a general manager looks at it. far as what do we know about Whitehurst? We know as much about him as we know about Bradford, Clausen or McCoy. What we know about them is from their college careers, and that is the same as what we know about Whitehurst. Except we actually know more; we know that he is stronger and more mature and has 4 years learning under Norv Turner. And what do the college tapes reveal? Whitehurst is bigger and faster, with a more powerful arm and superior release, than Clausen or McCoy. And Clausen would have cost 1600 points of value plus $40 million, or McCoy would have cost 500 points, and probably $10 million. Instead, they get a better prospect for 265 points and $10 million. So, they have all that value they would have paid for a higher price QB that they can now use on other players. How is that a bad deal?

Rob Staton said...

Austin - I really like Hardesty but I think he'll be available well after #60. He's 23 years old and suffered a bad knee injury in his career. He did absolutely nothing for Tennessee in four years but was granted a 5th year due to the injury. In that final season, he had success. But he's coming into the league later than normal and isn't a particularly explosive back that you rely on. Some people have started to over rate him due to the combine forty yard dash, but I think he'll be there in rounds 4-5.

Ben Tate and Joe McKnight are more realistic options at #60. I think Demaryius Thomas is hard to judge because of the offense they use at GT. He could go in round one based on physical potential.

Kip Earlywine said...

I agree with some of you that so far, all 3 trades have been unimpressive- mostly on the basis of value received vs. given up. Whitehurst is a long shot. He was a 3rd round draft choice with an up and down college career who never impressed in the preseason.

However, if the FO is banking on Whitehurst, I think its important they get a deal done for Marshall. Whitehurst has 0 chance of success if we don't give him at least 1 true weapon in the offense. Marshall has about the same career window and Whitehurst, and he could help soften Whitehurst's landing.

Only problem is, based on the horrible value we've gotten in these trades, I really fear for what these guys might end up agreeing to for Marshall.

JohnnyB said...

"And I doubt we pick up another "low risk, high upside" QB because that's essentially what Teel is, and we aren't going to carry 4 QBs."

Sure we pick up more! Cut the worst of the four or five or however many we try. Carry three and put one on the practice squad. Cut Teel if he's not as good as whomever we try.

ChavaC said...

Sure it wasn't a huge risk, but we still overpayed big time.And in 2 years, if we find out Whitehurst is just a clipboard holder, we'll probably be looking at starting a rookie. Or if we keep this up we can just draft Locker next year with the #1 pick.

Kip- I agree on Marshall. The thing that really irks me is that this guy's big upside is a big arm. Who the hell is he going to throw it to? All we have are YAC receivers... nobody can really stretch the field and high point the ball. And now that we're picking at 60, nobody is going to fall to us in the second.

JohnnyB said...

"Sure it wasn't a huge risk, but we still overpayed big time"

The Seahawks got 265 trade points and gave up.......265 trade points.

Where did they overpay?

ChavaC said...

Where are you getting 265 trade points from? We gave up a third and traded out of the quality talent in the 2nd, for a third string quarterback who has never attempted a pass in the NFL. He couldn't even beat out Volek. And on top of that he's going to cost us TEN million over the next two years. Find me a precedent for that that doesn't involve Al Davis.

And in terms of bringing in more guys, you're either talking about bringing in left over FA's for training camp (everyone does this), or spending draft picks and then somehow getting them to clear waivers to make the practice squad.

JohnnyB said...

Run the numbers. Be sure to give Whitehurst his value, where he was taken in the draft. In reality, he's shown himself better than that or the Seahawks wouldn't have wanted him, but put him where he was drafted. Also, be sure to count the 2011 3rd round pick as 65 pts, the value of that pick a year away. 265 for 265. If Rob is right and there isn't a big drop off from 40 to 60, then they actually got a good deal, nevermind overpaying. And we haven't even talked about how good Whitehurst turns out to be. The FO obviously thinks he has a chance to be the long term starter. If that turns out to be the case then of course it becomes the steal of the offseason.

Kip Earlywine said...

Personally, I don't buy into the idea that a pick next year is worth a round less than this year. It should be worth less, because its an unknown, but a round less is ridiculous.

The difference between #40 and #60 is the #78 overall, the 13th pick in the 3rd round.

Next year, San Diego gets our 3rd rounder.

So we basically gave up two 3rd rounders for a RFA with a 3rd round tag. If we had our 3rd rounder this year, we could have kept #40 and next years 3rd rounder. That's the part that kind of stings for me.

JohnnyB said...

Okay, in the Kip Earlywine method of valuing trades, the Seahawks got stiffed.

In the method the NFL teams use though, it's an even trade.

Jon said...

It seems more and more likely we'll trade back from 6 if at all possible. If that happens it would make the Brandon Marshall trade more realistic. Cuz if we trade back to close or behind the 14 pick it would be easier for us to part with and it's still a first rounder to Denver that no other team is going to offer.

HawkCity said...

Rob can you put any truth to this on the trade with Whitehurst.

I have heard people say that ESPN has reported that the Chargers have swaped the two 2nd round picks 20 and 60 also they are saying that we gave up our 3rd round pick in 2011 for their 2010 3rd round pick this year. So if this is true it would look like this,

Chargers get
# 20 this year
& a 2011 3rd round pick next year

Seahawks get
# 60 this year 2nd round
# 91 this year 3rd round
and they get Whitehurst

akki said...

The one round later valuation of next year's picks is only a rule of thumb. I'm sure teams adjust it for round and quality of draft. The difference between an average 1st and 2nd round pick is much greater than the difference between a 6th and 7th round pick. So I wouldn't say that this year's 2nd rounder is ever as nearly valuable as next year's 1st rounder. Bobby Beatherd proved that. But I think this year's 6th rounder is equal to next year's 5th rounder. The 3rd vs 4th question is in the middle of that somwehre.

However, if you also adjust to how this year is supposed to be a very above average draft, then it's possible that a 4th rounder this year is more coveted than a 3rd rounder next year. It seems like more trades than usual this year are involving next year's picks.

You know what sucks? You go to ESPN and Fox NFL pages and the Derek Anderson signing is in the headlines, but Whitehurst isn't. That must be a combination of the Seahawks not being newsworthy of late and not having anything substantial to write about Whitehurst.

Anonymous said...

If McCoy is not there at number 6 maybe Seattle could work out a draft day trade for Marshall. 6 pick and 60 pick to Denver Marshall and 11 pick to Seattle. I like this option but we will see. I still think Branch get traded for a 5th rounder in an capped year he not worth a pick but in an uncapped year I think you could get a 5th for him, could be some slot insurance for the Pats nobody knows how Welker will return. If the Marshall trade doesnt go down I would except us to take a long look at Dez Bryant at 14.

Kip Earlywine said...

Addicts saw the same thing. ESPN sometimes gets things wrong and the deal is not official yet, but this trade makes a ton more sense if San Diego gives us their 3rd to even things.

D said...

Honestly, if the Chargers gave us their 3rd in 2011 then that would make this a steal.

Aragon (thumbs up, great nick) couldn't even become 2nd string QB so the whole 265 points is pretty debatable I think. I think this is a risk deal driven by the front office plan to air it out more...

I'll go on the reckord as not liking the Tapp and Aragon deals but also giving the new powers that be kudos for having some stones.

Steve in Spain said...

From what I´m reading there most likely won´t even be a 2011 draft, so you have to discount the value of that 2011 3rd rounder even further.

Steve in Spain said...

I was referring to the labor situation and the troubled negotiations for a new CBA in my previous comment, by the way.

I see this move as saying that we aren't prepared to trade up into the top 5 to get Clausen. That is, we won't get into a bidding war with the Redskins and Browns to jump up to the Lions or Bucs spots. We can go forward with Hasselbeck, Aragon and Teel, if need be. But I do think we still snap Clausen up if he falls to 6 and then cut or trade Hasselbeck. That way we could go into 2010 with Aragon, Pickles and Teel, which I think is the preferred situation.

Ghost Mutt said...

I can't really understand why people don't think we got hosed in this trade. If we did in fact get a 3rd rounder from San Diego as well (which I doubt), I completely retract all of this, but if not we severely overpaid. Seneca went to Cleveland for a 2011 7th, Quinn went to Denver for a 6th. That's the established market for backup QB's, with some good game experience and pedigree. Just because the chargers placed a 3rd round tender on Whitehurst does not mean that that's his worth in the current trade market. The guy couldn't even beat out Billy Volek for a 2nd string job. I'd like to stress that I'm fully aware that the organisation knows far more about Charlie Whitehurst than I do, and I'm not saying that he can't turn into a decent QB or questioning the acquisition. My problem, as was my problem with the Tapp trade, is that we're getting zero value out of these moves. I'm with Rob in saying that this is a long process and that the front office should be given time, but it hurts when we seem to overpay so much.

Rob Staton said...

Hawk City - I've seen about ESPN saying we got a third rounder too. Neither team has confirmed this deal - despite the fact it's all over the media - which suggests negotiations may not even be complete between the teams. We'll have to wait and see.

Ghost Mutt - The way I look at it, there were two teams fighting for Whitehurst. Arizona had a third rouner and would've just signed an offer sheet. Seattle didn't, so had to offer a deal that San Diego wanted. Clearly, both teams initially thought Whitehurst was a better option than Derek Anderson and had him as the backup option.

There probably wasn't any other interest in Wallace. If the Seahawks had decided they wanted Whitehurst, they had to move Wallace on. Cleveland showed interest and we got a small return for a player who may have been cut anyway. Brady Quinn is a big name and a former first round pick - but it wasn't just the Seahawks who didn't think he was worth more than a couple of 6/7 rounders. There were two teams chasing Whitehurst at least with Arizona and Seattle.

I do keep thinking back though to the number of times Seattle filled holes under Ruskell through free agency that always got the fans seal of approval - but it never worked out. I truly believe that even if the Tapp/Whitehurst trades don't work out, it doesn't mean the Seahawks won't be succesful under the new regime. They're making some moves to change the teams fortunes and quite frankly - after 9-23 the past two years I think they should get carte blanche to do whatever they want.

As we've already discussed - the worst case scenario for Seattle is they lose a 2011 third round pick and drop deeper into round two. That won't haunt a franchise. The best case scenario is the Seahawks get a starting quarterback. The best case far outweighs the worst case here and for that reason - it was worth rolling the dice.

Nick said...

Rob, by that logic, the Seahawks should have just used a 7th rounder this year to draft their QB of the future - if it doesn't work out, they didn't give up a lot, but the upside is tremendous.

You have to look at value of what you gave up and the expected return - not just the potential return. The Seahawks got hosed (assuming the initial reports were correct).

Nick N.

Brendan said...

Great Trade!

Maybe we overpayed slightly? But even if we did it was not by much.

Also, you have to compare the risk of Whitehurst to say Clausen. We are risking essentially a third round pick on a guy that could become a very good quarterback and the face of the franchise. Even if you think Clausen is better (Which clearly I don't) How much better is he than Whitehurst? Is he 70 picks better than Whitehurst? What are the chances of success? Do you add any value to him being in the league for four years? I think so.

This may or may not work but as of right now this is great. It also gives us great flexibility.

As far as Whitehurst being third string? I would think that the reason he is third string is because SD is already good and they don't need to take a risk on a guy to see his upside. They are happy with playing Volek until Rivers comes back. I believe they just never saw the need to start an unproven player. I worse team would absolutely start Whitehurst over Volek.

You have to look at a situation and the context of that situation. SD didn't need to play Whitehurst because they are already set at QB now and in the future.

This is a great move for the hawks.

Rob Staton said...

Nick - But a 7th round rookie wasn't drafted in the third round orginally and hasn't worked with one of the best offensive coaches in the NFL (Norv Turner). A 7th round rookie hasn't got that experience of being part of a NFL team, playing behind one of the game's top QB's and learning what it takes to get to that level.

The Seahawks have taken a calculated gamble on a guy they think could be a starter in the NFL. If it doesn't work out, then the price isn't going to truly affect the franchise in a negative way. A 7th round rookie isn't comparable. There's a four round difference between the range they were picked for starters - and Arizona appeared to be more than willing to spend a third round pick on Whitehurst too.

Ghost Mutt said...

Rob - It's true that the Cards were also willing to sign him to an offer sheet, but with the 25th pick in round 3. That's only 11 picks ahead of our 4th round pick. My issue isn't with the acquisition of Whitehurst, it's that we most definitely overpaid. The difference between the pick San Diego could have acquired from Zona and our 4th is a mere 11 spots, and yet we move down 20 spots in a far more valuable round AND give up what will probably be a higher 3rd round pick next year? Surely us giving them our 4th this year and 3rd next year would still present a far better package than Arizona were offering, and as I said when put together with the negligible return on the Tapp trade, the new front offices inability to secure better value is more than a little worrying

Brendan said...

Overpayed? Maybe so. But you guys are worrying about pinching pennies when the upside is much larger. It would have been a far bigger loss to loose Whitehurst than it is to pay up a little (If you even think that is true).

Plus, look at comparables? It is funny to me that the same people that want to trade the 6th pick overall for Clausen don't see the value in getting Whitehurst for the 70th pick? Very weird. I personally think that Whitehurst has a greater chance of success than Clausen. Plus you have to love the entry point. Whitehurst is ready to start now. He has already been in the league. Clausen would have to wait. This is also huge cause now we can focus on other needs.

I can't believe that the hawks got this done. This is such a good move and to worry about a couple of pennies when the upside is so big is just being narrow-sighted.

Go hawks. Let's go get Marshall now!

Anonymous said...

Wallace out - Whitehurst in. Shuffling clip board holders on the Titanic. Clausen for director of passenger activities.

JohnnyB said...

"It's true that the Cards were also willing to sign him to an offer sheet, but with the 25th pick in round 3."

No, the Cards were offering picks equal to what the Seahawks offered. How do I know? Because the Chargers accepted both offers and let Whitehurst pick between the two. They wouldn't have done that unless they were equal.

And read up a little higher in the comments. The trade balances out using the trade value numbers. No overpaying, no raping, no hosing, no nothing. Just a balanced trade. Depending of course on how good Whitehurst is. If he's great, the Seahawks win. If he sucks, the Chargers win, just like all trades.

JohnnyB said...

"This is such a good move and to worry about a couple of pennies when the upside is so big is just being narrow-sighted."

The people who are complaining about the money are even crazier than the people complaining about the draft picks. We pay him 5m in an uncapped year, which basically has zero negative impact on the teams ability to become competitive, we have a year to evaluate him. If the cap comes back next season and he doesn't make the grade, cut him before the start of next season. Zero negative impact. Except maybe to Paul Allen's heirs.

Brendan said...

I wasn't referring to the money - I was referring to people being petty about losing a small amount of value (which you and I both disagree with).

Ghost Mutt said...

Johnny B - Whitehurst was tendered at the 3rd round level, as they had possession of a 3rd round pick, they didn't have to work out a trade. If they made Whitehurst an offer comparable to Seattle's 10 million, and the Chargers decided not to match, then they would have no choice but to let him walk for a the 3rd rounder. On the money issue, I couldn't care less that it's costing Paul Allen 10 million, my only concern is with the picks we surrendered which are directly related to the long term future of this franchise

Brendan said...

"This is such a good move and to worry about a losing a small amount of value when the upside is so big is just being narrow-sighted."

Sorry - that is what I meant to say

ChavaC said...

How exactly are you figuring Whitehurst has a better chance than Clausen? We're talking about a guy who came in to the league four years ago and still hasn't shown enough to even be a 2nd stringer. He hasn't even thrown a pass, despite the Chargers having had several meaningless to rest starters and evaluate talent. His preseason stats are pathetic. From where I'm from, we call that a bust.

And I would like to hope our front office saw something "special", but I mean what tape has Carroll been watching to make him think this guy has any potential? Have they been hitting up Charger training camps for the last couple years? Because afaik the only other evidence to go by are bad preseason outings and 5 year old Clemson tape.

CLanterman said...

Someone posted this on FG, but here are Whitehurst's preseason stats. They don't exactly inspire confidence:

2006 – 25/47 53.2% 1TD 4INT 37.4 rating
2007 – 19/37 51.4% 1TD 1INT 62.4 rating
2008 – 26/53 49.1% 1TD 0INT 69.0 rating 3Fum 1Lost
2009 – 34/60 56.7% 2TD 2INT 73.3 rating 3Fum 2 Lost

Brendan said...

Chavac - please read all the posts I have already explained why Whitehurst was a third stringer.

The reason he has more upside is because he has a big arm, quick release and is in the shape of a prototypical NFL QB. That is my understanding which I cannot confirm so take it for what it is. But I think that siting under Rivers and Norv Turner is very valuable. Plus I think that I guy like this is gonna have a better chance at locker room success than a rookie who just scored a big payday

Al the Kiwi said...

Gotta say that I love the difference between the posts here and those on field gulls. It's almost identical to the difference between the journalism and clientel of the soccer media coverage here in the UK; reason v hysteria. I'm hoping no-one's burnt down Qwest Field or jumped from the bridge over this yet.I've got nothing useful to add other than keep up the good debate.

Ghost Mutt said...

Brendan - Your explanation for why Whitehurst was a third stringer is merely your opinion and doesn't even make sense. It's not like they would have been throwing Whitehurst into high pressure situations, just garbage time. And if they really felt they were sitting on a hot commodity with value to teams with an unstable QB situation, why wouldn't they put him in, allow him to prove himself, and then attract a higher trade value?
You say you find it funny that people who wanted to spend pick 6 on Clausen have a problem with the trade. I find it funny that prior to this trade being made, absolutely no Hawk fan was clamouring for us to make a move for Whitehurst. Why? Because Charlie Whitehurst, after 4 years of evaluation, was deemed to be less capable than Billy Volek.

JohnnyB said...

"If they made Whitehurst an offer comparable to Seattle's 10 million, and the Chargers decided not to match, then they would have no choice but to let him walk for a the 3rd rounder."

Um, so then the Chargers match? The Cardinals had to offer as much as the Seahawks or they weren't going to get him. Period.

Ghost Mutt said...

"Um, so then the Chargers match? The Cardinals had to offer as much as the Seahawks or they weren't going to get him. Period."

Conceivably, if Whitehurst preferred the Cards then San Diego could match the contract and then force a trade to Seattle. Not likely that they match a 5 million a year contract for their 3rd stringer but I take your point. My point is that the Cards offer of pick 25 in round 3 HAD to be accepted, so the front office should have come up with a more comparable offer in value instead of being ransacked.

JohnnyB said...


Whitehurst wouldn't even have been given the choice if the Seahawks were offering way more than the Cards. The Chargers didn't have to actually match, they can just threaten to match and this would force the Cards to match the Seahawks offer. This had to have been all worked out before they even gave Whitehurst the choice of where he wanted to go. If the Seahawks offer was way more than the Cards offer, he would have just been traded and not given a choice.

Anonymous said...

Really enjoy the different veiwpoints. I agree its hard not to have a knee jerk reaction to the PC ran office.TR wasn't bad but when you get stuck with low picks in the draft 5 years in a row it hurt you from a over all talent perspective. I think the longer a team is a winner the more drafts you need to become competitive again. This draft is so strong you should be able to convert to a winner with 2 first round picks. It does seem like it's going bad for PC. Last year I marveled at how bad the NFL network understood good moves on the part of the bronco's and bad moves by the bears. Its a game about depth of talent. This year the bears look awesome in the off season again and people think the ship is burning down in denver. I hate the bronco's but their really understand how to manupulate a roster to gain talent. This is the worst free agent class ever so smart money stockpiles picks more than over the hill prospects. Bummer we may lose a chance at a once a decade player to have three second string Qbs on the roster. Is it too late to rehire Ruskell?

Brendan said...

Hold on a second, the reason why they wouldn't play Whitehurst in Garbage time is because you have to look at where the team is at. SD is a couple bounces away from winning the super bowl. If Rivers goes down - I would imagine that the coaching staff would prefer to throw an experienced QB into the game that gives them the best chance to win that day or that year. Because of that, they want to keep Volek as sharp as possible.

Conversely, if Whitehurst and Volek were on say Cleveland or Detroit in the last 3 years - who do you think would start?

It is not always about who is better there are different metrics. You have to look at the variance of the outcome. Volek obviously gives you less variance because you know what you are getting. Where as Whitehurst could be better it just may take longer and in SD's eyes it is not worth it to take that risk when they are knocking on the door of a Super Bowl

Ghost Mutt said...

Brendan - I see where your coming from, my only issue with it is that after having 4 years of time to look at what Whitehurst could do, if he was a significant upgrade over Volek (which we all hope he is)they would have made him 2nd choice. I'm not saying you're wrong, it comes down to opinion and I would just have hoped that San Diego would have thought that a guy that we'll most likely be starting soon gave them, in the possibility of Rivers going down, a better chance of making something happen than Volek.

Johnny B - Also see your point. The point I was making though, is that if we really wanted Whitehurst then we should have been confident about throwing more money at him than Arizona would have with Leinart already on their roster. In that case, the only offer we needed to match up with was 3-25, and I feel that through better negotiation, we could have got him for less than we gave up.

Brendan said...

Not saying this to anyone specifically but I just read the Seattle Times reviews of the trade and they are pretty off - in my opinion. These people don't know what they are talking about and I would not take what they say as truths.

akki said...

I tend to agree with Brendan on the Volek/Whitehurst relationship. I wish that they'd given Whitehurst the last start of last year when Rivers was resting, but they had to keep Volek sharp since he'd only thrown one pass all season.

Reading up a little, it also seems like the Chargers were willing to let Whitehurst be the #2 a couple years ago, but Volek resigned with them for less than what other teams were offering because he liked the staff and wanted to stay in his native California.

I'm still waiting to hear if John Rumsdell has anything to say on Whitehurst, since his stamp of approval would go a long way. This guy's coached up Trent Green, Kurt Warner, Marc Bulger, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Philip Rivers.

Frankfrog said...

I'm not a fan of this trade but it is by no means the worst move of any team this offseason. Billy Volec is year in and year out considered the best back up in the league. I swear I've seen him put up two near four hundred yard games when he does play. Volec should be a starter but lacks the will or ego to pursue that role. Again I dont like this move Clausen has the feel of a future Hof.The Bradford/ Clausen reminds me very much of Alex Smith vs Arron Rodgers all over. Clausen is a pro style Qb with a much stronger arm, great feet in the pocket and that chip that lets you get creamed by a 300 plus # monster and get up smiling. Locker for argument sake is a robot that cant move in the pocket. He may get you alot of wins in the regular season but when the weather goes bad in december, January you need ball control a pocket mobile QB short yardage back and dfence to win Championchips. I'm gettin to into to much here. Whitehurst can move side to side in a pocket and he can throw. We may have overpaid but not alot. If we draft someone we like more, he still has a value and can be traded without monotary harm in a uncapped year. Thx for help trying to understand PC moves Rob, keep up the great work.

BW said...

Didn't read the last few comments in the thread but so this may be redundant, but the trade info I saw had the Hawks swapping second rounders with the Bolts and getting Whitehurst AND the Chargers 2011 3rd rounder. I like this trade for a number of reasons - It shows decisiveness and a willingness to take chances that the old Ruskell regime didn't. The Hawks have been horrendous the last 2 years and have glaring needs at MULTIPLE key positions. The last couple of years they lacked playmakers on both sides of the ball and are weak in the trenches. They NEED a complete rebuild and they MAY have taken a gamble on a future QB - any QB drafted would also have huge bust potential - but they got another pick for next year. I like this regime - at least they're trying to get better.

Brendan said...

"Seahawks gamble on obscure QB" - that is the headline from the Seattle Times from page

What a bunch of morons.

Can someone explain to me why this is such a gamble and drafting Clausen at 6 is less of a gamble?

People are terrible at assessing risk.

Griffey Mays and Largent said...

First time poster, please don't take my head off. Just tryin out my postin' legs.

As far as trade value goes, I see nothing wrong with this trade. The similiarities to the Hasselbeck deal somewhat put me at ease. I can recall scratching my head on that deal as well and it brought us the greatest quarterback in franchise history. i've heard phrases like "diamond in the rough" a lot in reference to Charlie. His age doesn't bother me too much. Many qbs (Warner, Hasselbeck, Gannon) didn't get their breaks until later in their careers. Quarterback is a huge risk to draft high for every team, every year. Personally, I've had serious doubts about the Hawks taking Bradford or Clausen. Surgeries on throwing shoulders always scare me and Jimmy may have the face but seems to lack the voice to command a National Football League offense. Let me explain that a little bit better...
Jimmy Clausen comes from Norte Dame and despite their recent struggles that still means something. ND is a recruiting powerhouse. Any ND starting qb is going to have NFL-ish physical abilities. However, watching the Tebow Saga has reminded me that what makes a great NFL qb is the fire. The passion to be the first one in and the last one out. They have to crave improvement and never settle. Look at Drew Brees and Tom Brady. Both came into the league with questions about their arm strength. Now, according to Madden 10 :) they now are some of the strongest in the league. I'm not saying that makes Tebow a better selection than Clausen, not at all. I'm just saying that a high profile guy like Clausen could have shown that a lil more throughout his career.
The question I want to ask is does this move mean anything when thinking about Jake Locker. I know, I know. We are talking about this year, but IF the Seahawks had their eye on Locker, aren't they in perfect postion to stockpile draft picks for next year in preperation to trade up for Locker? Believe me, being from the Crimson and Grey side of the state I've tried to downplay Locker ever since he trucked his way over Prosser for the state title (he played qb, safety, and punt returner that game btw.) But I've become a full believer. Plus, the Sark/Carroll connection is just too juicy to pass up.

When it's all said and done though, it still comes down to what Whitehurst can do with the opportunity he's been given. I'm pleased that Matthew is still our man this year. In my opinion he is still a great field general and he will keep us together during this "rebuilding" year.


cysco said...

I seriously doubt that Locker played any part in this decision. If the dude is truly "all that" he will go #1 overall next year.

Does anyone really think we're going to be in the running for worst team in the league? We're talking 1-2 wins. So you're right, we'd have to trade for the #1.

You're talk'n Ricky Williams, trade every draft pick, type deal if Locker is really the next football Jesus.

You just plan around Locker if you're the Hawks.


Curt said...

Good post TBC and agree with you cysco.
Rob the only thing that gets me about the trade is going from #40 to #60 in the second round. That bites. I noticed your (Rob) list of players that should be available at 60. Can you show a list of players that would be available at #40. We have a better chance of hitting on a draft choice if we have a BIGGER pool to draw from. I would bet the quality between the two is quite noticeable.
I am not very confident so far with their trades but we need to see how they pan out.
I doubt we get Marshal now because even though they only want a 1st round player from the other 31 teams they will will want a 1st and 2nd from us. I just say this tongue and cheek and I really want this regime to succeed NOW. I keep hearing we are in rebuilding mode and not to expect very many wins this year. I thought that was the reason Ruskell and Mora were gone. Mora was only given 1 year to succeed. Didn't Carroll say we were going to win NOW during his presser? Isn't that why he was brought in?

Curt said...

Good post TBC and agree with you cysco.
Rob the only thing that gets me about the trade is going from #40 to #60 in the second round. That bites. I noticed your (Rob) list of players that should be available at 60. Can you show a list of players that would be available at #40. We have a better chance of hitting on a draft choice if we have a BIGGER pool to draw from. I would bet the quality between the two is quite noticeable.
I am not very confident so far with their trades but we need to see how they pan out.
I doubt we get Marshal now because even though they only want a 1st round player from the other 31 teams they will will want a 1st and 2nd from us. I just say this tongue and cheek and I really want this regime to succeed NOW. I keep hearing we are in rebuilding mode and not to expect very many wins this year. I thought that was the reason Ruskell and Mora were gone. Mora was only given 1 year to succeed. Didn't Carroll say we were going to win NOW during his presser? Isn't that why he was brought in?

Curt said...

Sorry about the double post, the 1st post said there was an error.

TBC said...

Thank you Curt. And cysco I agree that there is almost no chance that Locker's name was even mentioned during the Whithurst deal. Though he may have been in the back of a few minds. I assume, and I hope I'm not wrong, that the new regime will NOT pull a Mike Ditka. There is no way ANY team can afford to give up their entire draft for ANY player, no matter how "biblical" his powers;) But I am hoping to spark a discussion as to how my dream (or would fantasy be more appropriate ha ha) might become a reality? We've already given up one draft pick for next year, to the best of my knowledge, but what would it take? Just like Curt said, and I'm guessing every single person who visits this awesome site feel the same, I do not want another "rebuilding" year. We want wins. But more than that I want staying power. I want core guys in place to lead us to the promised land. And keep us there. Right now, with my limited scoutig resources, I strongly feel that Locker gives us the best chance out of any qb to do just that. A hometown megaathlete, who has grown in front of our eyes playing in the Seahawks former stomping grounds, developing in a prostyle offense that happens to come from the Seahawks current head coach, AND he wants to be here. I read an article (Seattle Times?) that said after the hiring of PC, Jake Locker second guessed his decision to stay in school. I'd like confirmation on anything I say, just because the more knowledge we know the better, but like I said I just want to hear some possible scenarios in which to get him. Or if the rest of the 12th man agree with me or not?

As far as Brandon Marshall goes, I think the doors almost shut on that one. He is a beast and in my opinion might warrant a 1st rounder, but if I were a GM (and I'm not ha ha) I would not be willing to swap it straight across. Now if some deal presents itself around the 14th pick to maybe trade down in the 1st and add some picks for next year (2nd or 3rd?) then I would be more willing and pleased with the deal.

BTW, I read the article predicting the Whitehurst deal and I think I like your proposal much better than what really went down.


Anonymous said...

Reaserch Billy Volek, and decide who you would start if your team leader and one of the elite QB's in the league were down.

Volek is a proven commodity. He's why you sign a veteran back up.

If a 3rd round pick had developed to a point he had value and was coming up on a new contract would you not deal him while you had leverage?

Ruskell ran our franchise into the ground by playing it safe. When you have 2 1st rounders how many long term contracts can you really afford once the cap comes back at the top of the draft?

Anonymous said...

I would love nothing more than to get Locker to the Hawks but it will never happen. The team at the top of the draft next year will not let that opportunity pass.....not even Al Davis.....

Arizona may suck this year. Pittsburgh may also tank this year( I think Ben is in real trouble)
and the usual suspects at the bottom of the barrel will all be in the Jake Locker Sweepstakes.

But the Hawks, I don't think so. Even if you don't think PC is the man. The coaching staff around him is 5 games in our own div. We'll be 7-9 at the worst.