Why Jimmy Clausen is still an option for the Seahawks
With less than a month to go until the NFL draft teams will start to become more and more agressive in their approach to put themselves where they want to be.
The quarterback position is always going to get teams riled up, sometimes even too much to the point where a team will overbid for a certain player.
Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford and Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen head this years quarterback class. Both could possibly become top five picks in the draft should St. Louis make the franchise choice of Sam Bradford and Washington turn the page on the Jason Campbell era to Jimmy Clausen.
However, with Bradford being the conscious No.1 overall pick to the St. Louis Rams, who have passed on several quarterbacks in recent years with Matt Ryan in 2008, Mark Sanchez in 2009, Jay Cutler in 2006 (traded back to No. 18 with Denver), Aaron Rogers in 2005 as well as others in past memory.
Jimmy Clausen becomes the next best available quarterback in this years class with four teams in the top 10 after St. Louis that could wind up being the Notre Dame products home in the NFL.
The Washington Redskins (No. 4 overall), Seattle Seahawks (No. 6 overall), Cleveland Browns (No. 7 overall) and the Buffalo Bills (No. 9 overall) are all potential landing spots for Clausen come April 22nd.
If the Redskins were to pass-up the opportunity to take Clausen at No. 4 overall the Seattle Seahawks, led by Pete Carroll would be the next team inline to select him.
Now some might ask, why would Pete Carroll spend a top-ten pick on a rookie quarterback after trading, and signing restricted free agent Charlie Whitehurst?
Competition and long-term outlook.
As of now the Seahawks have four quarterbacks on roster. Matt Hasselbeck (one-year left on contract), Charlie Whitehurst (two-years left on his contract that will pay him $4 million anually) and Mike Teel (seventh-round selection under the Jim Mora/Tim Ruskell regime).
Since arriving on scene in Seattle Pete Carroll has stated over and over that Matt Hasselbeck is “our guy in the program”. After the Charlie Whitehurst acquisiton Matt Hasselbeck was “our guy, but Charlie is coming after him”.
Slowly but surely the 34-year old’s role in Seattle has started to dwindle lower and lower while still holding onto his title of “starting quarterback”.
So how does Jimmy Clausen fit into the Seahawks quarterback situation?
When you examine the Seattle Seahawks depth chart at quarterback you discover a lot of variety.
Matt Hasselbeck, traded to Seattle in 2001 has been the face of the franchise in Seattle leading the Seahawks to their first ever Super Bowl appearance in 2005 an setting, and breaking many Seahawks passing records along the way in his nine seasons in Seattle.
Hasselbeck is by far the most experienced quarterback on the Seahawks depth chart, while having the most success of any of the three quarterbacks.
Charlie Whitehurst, a third-round pick of the San Diego Chargers in the 2006 draft has never attempted an NFL pass in the regular season and has scored one rushing touchdown during the regular season.
The Seahawks dropped back 20 slots in the 2010 draft, while surrendering a third-round pick in the 2011 draft and eight million dollar over the next two years to boot.
By giving Whitehurst only two-years and eight million the Seahawks didn’t go “all in” like most people think they did. Some people had compared this Whitehurst trade to the Matt Schaub back in 2007 which saw the Falcons swap first-round picks (8,10) as well as Houston sending their second-round picks in 2007 and 2008.
When you compare the two trades there is no comparrison, the Schaub trade was much greater in both comensation and contract.
Matt Schaub received a six-year, $48 million dollar contract to finalize the trade and that not only made him an increasingly richer man but also the immediate starter and franchise quarterback in Houston.
Charlie Whitehurst received a two-year, $8 million dollar contract with incentives that could push it slightly north of $10 million.
Also Whitehurst is not even close to being named the starter in Seattle, Pete Carroll acknowledged a few days ago that he is looking to add another quarterback in the draft, namely Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen or Colt McCoy.
So with Pete Carroll stating that the Seahawks are still looking to add a long-term quarterback that can become the face of the franchise for years, outside of Sam Bradford going No. 1 to St. Louis, all signs point to Jimmy Clausen as that franchise player.
Now there are a few hurdles the Seahawks and Pete Carroll have to go through first.
One, if Mike Holmgren is willing to spend the resources and trade up past Seattle at No.6 and Washington at No. 4 then Seattle is out of luck because Pete Carroll values the No. 6 and No. 14 picks and doesn’t show any signs of wanting to trade up in the draft to acquire Clausen.
Two, if Cleveland stays pat at No. 7 and doesn’t trade up the Seahawks still have to play a waiting game against the Washington Redskins and Mike Shanahan who have already brought in Clausen for a throwing session in recent days. If Washington passes on Clause then Seattle becomes next in line.
Three, if Washington passes on Clausen at No. 4 the Cleveland Browns only have to jump up to No. 5 where the Cheifs pick. So Seattle would have to either trade up to No. 5 if they wanted Clausen or hope that Holmgren is eating a brat when the Chiefs pick at No. 5.
So there are at least three obsitcals for the Seahawks should the team, and Pete Carroll want to draft the Notre Dame signal caller with the sixth overall pick in the upcoming draft.
Seattle has already expressed interest in offensive tackle Russell Okung and already had a workout visit in Seattle with the left tackle.
Expect Seattle to “recruit” Tennessee safety Eric Berry, Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen, Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, Iowa offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga and Oklahoma offenisve tackle Trent Williams in for private workouts.
The Seahawks already set up a workout for Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and could add Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, who Pete Carroll watch at the Texas pro-day in for visit as well.
No Matter the name expect Pete Carroll’s quarterback “class” to continue growing into the off-season mainly through the NFL draft.
- Sean Morey’s contract is for three years and each year he will receive the league minimum. Morey was a standout on the Arizona Cardinals special teams unit and a pro-bowler in 2008.
- Seahawks restricted free agent Rob Sims signed his one-year qualifying offer suggesting the team is in the final stages of a trade, however nothing is confirmed on that front.
Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver and Cleveland have all been interested parties for Sims’ services.
- Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill received a 12-month probation for pleading guilty to marijuana position last off-season when he was stopped at a red light in Atlanta. Hill could face a one-game suspension or fine from the NFL.
Hill is the second member of the Seahawks linebacking corps to be charged for a DUI or pot position. Lofa Tatupu was busted for a DUI at McDonald’s after he signed his new six-year deal.