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.