Cost too great for Seahawks to go for Heisman winner

Jan 12, 2012

The NFL draft isn't until April, but a lot of Seahawks fans are talking about it this week. That's because Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III announced he's skipping his final college season to enter the draft. 

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Seahawks have a very slim chance of drafting Griffin, if they make a bunch of concessions to move up in the trade order. But he says it's not worth it.

No doubt Griffin is a star

Art says Griffin definitely would be a big upgrade for the Seahawks.

"He's one of the great athletes I've seen. And he has all the qualities from a physical standpoint as well as intellect and a psychological standpoint to manage an NFL team right from the start."

Art says he's the second-best quarterback in the draft. Ahead of him is Stanford's Andrew Luck, who the Indianapolis Colts have said they will select as their No. 1 pick.

High cost

Griffin is expected to be one of the top five players selected. The Seahawks won't pick until 11th or 12th. Their position will be determined by a coin toss with Kansas City, who had the same 7-9 record this year.

Art says it would cost a lot for the Seahawks to move up in the draft to get Griffin.

"It would take this year's first-round draft choice, next year's first-round draft choice and probably one, two or three premier players off of this year's roster. And it's my take that it's not worth it."

What about Green Bay's backup?

There's been a lot of talk among Seahawks fans this week about Matt Flynn, the backup quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. reports he had a spectacular game on Jan. 1, setting franchise records with 480 yards passing and six touchdowns.

Flynn is a free agent. Art agrees he's a very good quarterback, but...

"The cost factor is very similar to what they would have to surrender to get Griffin, in order to get Flynn from Green Bay in a trade."

Hawks expected to lock-in Lynch

The biggest star this past season for the Seahawks was running back Marshawn Lynch. He's an unrestricted free agent. Art expects the Hawks to sign him to a new contract and not use him as trade bait.

"I think their attention is focused on getting Lynch back. He's only 25 and he's in the prime of his career. Without him, they are a much less viable team. I don't think they'd ever trade him."

Quest for quarterback a tough call

Art says Seahawks fans need to look beyond the team's record to see their potential.

"The Seahawks were 7-9 this year but I think a lot of fans forget that they lost five games by six points or less. Which means that in just three of those games if they just scored one more touchdown, they would have won, they would be 10-6 and we'd be talking about them this weekend in  the playoffs. So they were close to being a very good team. And to take players from that roster and sacrifice them to get this quarterback, I think, is asking a lot. And probably too much."

He expects the Seahawks to resist the urge to "go big" in the draft.

"They might find somebody later in the second round or elsewhere in the draft who could do as well or better than Jackson without having to sacrifice anything. So, it's a really tough call but I think the Seahawks probably will be conservative about this and not squander treasure on leaping ahead and trying to get everything resolved at once."

You can find Art Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwest.