Weird Free Agency: Wideouts

Scene: a sports bar, partially empty.  Two dudes are sitting at a counter, separated by a single seat.  They exchange a casual glance…

Dude the First: So, Free Agency starts tomorrow.  Kinda exciting, amirite?
Dude the Second: Ha!  No.
Dude the First: ?
Dude the Second: Imma Seahawks fan.
Dude the First: Oh no, I’m so sorry.

As long-suffering Seahawks fans, we all know how miserable the first day of free agency is.  It is a feeling not unlike being a penniless child in a candy store, full of an immutable certainty that every other fucking kid has got endless amounts of cash.  It is a forum of exchanges in which every transaction, every sensation even, is an affront. Of course, we console ourselves with pragmatism: first-day free agency signings are typically too costly to be beneficial, and presumably there’s some good reason why the players available weren’t retained by their team.  But that pragmatism doesn’t taste anywhere nearly as good as candy, and it never will.

What does taste better than candy, though: the Taste of Victory.  No, the true consolation prize of the patient is the third-wave of free agency, when the shiniest wrappers have long since been claimed and discarded for the choicest morsels that are fiercely, desperately hoped to be present on the inside.  Pete Carroll wants grit, not shine, and grit candy is disgusting; John Schneider is the dumpster-diver of the League, an oracle whose vision, missile-like, locks onto talent obscured by pointless flaws.

But even the Seahawks can, and ought to, get weirder.

This series considers those parts of the roster that are still potentially lacking, or that are at least unsettled enough that upgrades could be beneficial, and how the Seahawks can construct the strongest and most bizarre appendages to make their 2019 roster truly invincible.

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First, we consider the receiving corps, whose situation is dire.  Yes, Tyler Lockett appears to have completely recovered from his previous injury, and yes, DK Metcalf is probably half-Titan.  But expecting No-E to produce at the same level as last year seems unwise, and expecting a rookie to match the production of a historically talented wideout is far more so.  For verily, ADB has left us and, talent notwithstanding, his departure has removed both the Promethean fire and the Sisyphean boulder-sized chip he imbued unto that brotherhood.

Of course, one could put Lockett in the slot, but that would deprive Russell Wilson of his best route (the one where he gets wide open past the safety/ies), a connection so successful that it was essentially perfect last year.  And the idea of Metcalf in the slot is so funny that it isn’t. Indeed, even if one expects that Reynolds or Ursua can step in, to whom would such a corps look for its zeal, a burning light to destroy the shadows of mediocrity from under which it has long toiled, a perambulation that has long since outrun its critics.

Sadly, we must admit that in its current iteration, that wide receiver room is now a soulless husk, a temple without gods or icons.  What it needs is not just a slot receiver; it also needs heart. It needs … Captain America.

No, not that Captain America.  The new one! He has all of the heart of that strange time-traveling dude without all of the bizarre notions about individualism and free will.

Samuel Wilson Scouting Report

Bio

Enlisted in the United States Air Force, and was assigned to the 58th Rescue Squadron as a Pararescue Airman.  After serving two combat tours, he began working for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs as a counselor for vets suffering from PTSD.  Wilson’s involvement with the Avengers began by aiding Steve Rodgers’ efforts to remove the HYDRA element from within SHIELD. As a result of his assistance and the departure of others members, he was initiated as a full-time member of the Avengers team shortly thereafter, only to depart with the Rodgers’ faction during the Avengers’ Civil War.  Finally, after being an active participant in both Infinity Wars, he was nominated to be the second Captain America after Rodgers’ retirement and, presumably, death.

Overview

With literally explosive movement, Sam Wilson is a True American Hero, who didn’t selfishly bury himself in ice to avoid the horrors of war.  His experience in both planning and executing rescue missions gives him a tactical advantage over most players on the field, which should translate to a capacity for winning against both man and zone coverage.  While his athleticism is less than you’d like in a receiver, and his age is at the wrong end of the spectrum, the presence of an actual rocket-pack and wings should more than make up for his deficiencies and lack of polish or actual football experience.

Strengths

  • Jet-fueled wingpack gives him the speed and power to excel against all forms of coverage, particularly tough press at the line of scrimmage (plus we know how much Petey Carroll loves him some jet fuel)
  • 14-foot wingspan
  • Can fly
  • Facility with acrobatics can substitute for light feet, which means that he get open and work all three levels of the field
  • Can use wings to decapitate opposing defenders
  • Natural twitchiness and burst will probably translate to incredible separation and catch radius
  • Vibranium Shield

Weaknesses

  • Many, but all offset by rocket-powered speed, ability to fly, and vibranium shield.

Analysis

Doug Baldwin scouting reports probably erroneously adduced as a reliable comp some other human wideout, when the truth is that the most accurate comp is a hyper-intelligent bird of prey, the mind of a Stanford grad implanted in the body of a peregrine falcon*.  So it only makes sense to recruit that man with the actual frame of a falcon. Sam Wilson is the perfect fit to complement the Seahawks’ receiving corps, particularly with a wingspan more than double what is even humanly possible, and the ability to fly, so that RW cannot possibly overthrow him.  And yes, sure, he can’t run any routes, but recall, he can literally fly to wherever RW throws the ball, so it really doesn’t matter.

* The world’s fastest bird of prey, capable of diving speeds of up to 240 mph

But his fit on the Seahawks wouldn’t just be a question of physicality.  As someone with experience counseling and treating PTSD, the Falcon will definitely be able to help Russell Wilson combat the phantoms of his years playing behind a Tom Cable line.  He will recognize the signs of panic, and possesses the patience and calmness to talk down his QB1, who’s probably dealing in secret with crushing insecurity and just wants his receivers to like him, really.  He also possesses the kind of leadership qualities that the Seahawks need on offense, and can hold RW accountable on the field in a way that Brian Schottenheimer desperately needs.

Being honest, we should recognize that most of Wilson’s snaps will probably focus on run-blocking, he has a Vibranium Shield, which means that he can pancake any defensive player in the entire game.