Trading for a 27-year-old career backup quarterback whose never taken a regulation snap is a risk. But last month's swap for Charlie Whitehurst just might have kept the Seahawks from taking an even bigger chance with Brandon Marshall, the mercurial (and talented) wide receiver just sent packing by the Denver Broncos.
Supremely talented. But not worth the asking price.
To get Whitehurst, Seattle had to give up a third-round pick and close to $10 million guaranteed. That's a big commitment for a guy who couldn't even crack second-string in San Diego, luscious locks or not. And while Seattle's gutsy play can't be properly judged until Whitehurst gets a chance to make his mark, it can be measured by how it affected the Seahawks decision not to go after Marshall.To get the "alpha-dog" receiver they were said to covet, the Miami Dolphins had to part with a pound of flesh. Or, more specifically, two second round picks (one this year and one in 2011) and $47.5 million over four years, a sum that makes Marshall the highest paid receiver in the league.
Because of its dearth of playmakers, Seattle was long thought to be the lead dog in the Marshall hunt until the last minute, when the Fins pulled ahead. But would that have been a good thing?
As Greg Johns points out, Marshall's history as a troublemaker probably wouldn't have mixed with the Seahawks' current rebuilding mode. And since this team wasn't one sullen superstar away from contention to begin with, it's probably best to hoard picks and hope for the best.
Especially since Miami was reportedly asking for Seattle's highest pick, the sixth overall. And especially especially since troubled wideouts can be had for much cheaper than that these days. (See: Holmes, Santonio)
Trading for an unknown quantity like Whitehurst is the kind of gamble that still has the potential to haunt the Seahawks for years to come. But if, as a side effect, it meant passing on Marshall, Seattle may have found an unexpected way to hedge its bet.