Three years ago, the San Francisco 49ers
imploded, after the team fired head coach Jim Harbaugh, who had been the most successful head coach they had had in over a decade. Their NFC West rivals, the Seattle Seahawks, benefited from the 49ers demise as they continued to be a very successful franchise in the wake of San Francisco’s demise.
Next season, the 49ers are expected to be a much improved unit, thanks to the team’s acquisition of Jimmy Garoppolo last season. Garoppolo led the 49ers to five consecutive wins to end the season and has been given a long-term contract, giving the team stability at the quarterback position.
With Garoppolo locked up, the 49ers plan on bringing in more new faces either through the NFL Draft
or free agency, and the 49ers odds with new players have them as one of the playoff favorites in the NFC.
While the 49ers are trending up, the Seahawks are trending in the opposite direction.
Despite a 9-7 finish, the Seahawks failed to make the playoffs this past season, making it the first time since 2011 that Seattle didn’t play in the postseason.
With the offseason still at an early juncture, it looks like Seahawks time as the best team in the NFC West is officially over.
The Seahawks went in to the offseason with a lot of questions surrounding them because they have a lot of players they need to resign and need to create some cap space.
This week, the team announced that they have traded Michael Bennett, who has been one of their best defensive players, to the Philadelphia Eagles
. The team also announced that they plan on releasing former All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, who suffered an Achilles injury late last season and might not be available at the start of next season.
Unfortunately for the Seahawks and their fans, the roster purge is only just beginning. The team still hasn’t decided what they will do with safety Earl Thomas, who has already indicated a willingness to be traded to the Dallas Cowboys if the Seahawks don’t want to keep him around.
In fact, Thomas actually chased Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett down last year after the Seahawks defeated the Cowboys, asking him to come get him.
Kam Chancellor, who was considered the heart of the Legion of Boom, is also likely to be moved if the team can come to terms on a new contract, while tight end Jimmy Graham will likely be in a new uniform since the Seahawks decided not to use the franchise tag on him, making him an unrestricted free agent.
If the Seahawks lose all those players, don’t expect the team to finish with a winning record. In fact they are more likely to finish with one of the worst records in the NFL, despite having Russell Wilson in the lineup.
Since they still have Pete Carroll as their head coach, their decline might not be as bad as San Francisco, who had Jim Tomsula as their replacement for Harbaugh. However, even with Carroll on the sidelines, the lack of talent on the defensive end and their bad offensive line, only spell disaster for the Seahawks this coming season.