The winner of the Seahawks’ backup-quarterback competition between Austin Davis and Alex McGough is...
The Seahawks have agreed to trade a sixth-round draft choice in 2019 to the Packers to acquire Hundley, Green Bay’s backup to Aaron Rodgers the last two seasons. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the deal was not yet official done as of early Wednesday afternoon but that his team expects it to be so soon.
Later Wednesday afternoon Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst made the deal official in a statement issued by his team. Green Bay said only that it received “an undisclosed draft choice” from Seattle.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Seattle was giving a sixth-round pick to Green Bay for Hundley.
The trade had been pending travel by Hundley from Wisconsin to Washington, plus a physical examination.
Hundley started nine games for Green Bay last season when Rodgers was out with a shoulder injury, going 3-6 while throwing for 1,836 yards and nine touchdowns, with 12 interceptions. The Packers drafted him in the fifth round in 2015, out of UCLA.
Carroll said the nine games Hundley started for Green Bay last year were “a big part of” the Seahawks wanting him. It showed Seattle Hundley can play now, if needed. Or at least after his imminent crash course in the Seahawks’ offense before the team begins the regular season Sept. 9 at Denver.
“We’ll be cranking, to get him ready as soon as possible,” Carroll said following Wednesday’s walk-through practice for Thursday’s preseason finale against Oakland.
“He’s going into his fourth year now. He’s played quite a bit; he started a bunch of games last year. We’ve been able to see him, how he’s really developed. And we liked him coming out of college, as well. He’s big. He runs well. He’s got a good arm. He’s got good vision of the field. He’s made big throws and big plays.
“He really gives you the thought he can come into a game and keep it moving. So, we just thought it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.”
Green Bay traded with Cleveland for quarterback Deshon Kizer this offseason. Apparently Kizer beat out Hundley this month. Hundley is entering the final year of his rookie contract. It calls for a base salary of $705,000 this season.
A sixth-round pick for Hundley seems to be value for the Seahawks—and for the Packers. That’s one round later than Green Bay drafted him just two years ago, and he’s already has more than half a season of experience as a starter in the league, can run to escape pressure and is just 25 years old.
The Packers get something for a backup quarterback they seemingly were about to cut this weekend, to keep Kizer behind Rodgers.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider is a former Packers personnel executive who grew up minutes from Lambeau Field. He undoubtedly has had his eye on Hundley since the Packers traded for Kizer months ago.
Hundley has played well this preseason. He’s completed 62 percent of his passes for 263 yards with one touchdown, one interception and a passer rating of 81.3.
Almost every team has a clear starter and a drop in quality with his backups, but the Seahawks’ situation the last couple years has been extreme. Keeping Russell Wilson healthy and on the field has been absolutely vital to any chance of winning. That became even clearer this month with veteran NFL journeyman Davis struggling in limited chances in both practices and preseason games, and rookie seventh-round pick McGough first struggling to master the playbook then having a hard time throwing passes to the correct team.
McGough’s late, high throw across his body over the middle in the second half against Minnesota last week was particularly horrid, and resulted in the Vikings’ tying touchdown of a preseason game Seattle’s defense was controlling. That pass alone could have cinched Schneider trading for Hundley.
The most likely scenario remains Seattle waiving McGough on Saturday’s cut day to the 53-man regular season roster, no one claiming the rookie and him going onto the team’s practice squad for further, long-term development.
Carroll said early in training camp this month McGough was overwhelmed by all the information he was trying to absorb and compute. When I asked Wednesday how McGough has progressed since then, Carroll said: “He’s been up and down some. He’s shown really bright spots. He’s shown the athleticism and good arm and all that stuff. It’s not hard to tell that. But he just needs to try to embrace the offense, handle and take care of the football the way we need him to. He’s made some really big plays and some great throws. You can see the upside. And we can also see the newness. It’s just going to take some time, to keep developing. But he’s made good progress.”
Now, apparently, it will be Hundley instead of Davis as Wilson’s backup who has at least started NFL games in previous years.
Wilson has yet to miss a game in his first six NFL seasons. He has two years remaining on his $87.6 million contract the Seahawks intend to extend beyond the 2019 season.
The price of that extension may have become clearer Wednesday when the Packers gave a bonanza to Rodgers: a record four-year, $134 million extension with a maximum potential value of $180 million and $103 million guaranteed. That makes Rodgers the league’s highest-paid player.
That could be the market, or floor, for the younger Wilson, also a Super Bowl-champion QB, in his negotiations with Seattle this time next year.