RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks opened 2021 NFL training camp Tuesday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Here's a closer look at a few storylines:
Those two questions are very much related. The Seahawks and Wilson are in a much better place than they were during their drama-filled start to the offseason, but whether or not his frustrations return depends to some degree on what happens this season. More specifically, whether Waldron's system proves to be as good of a fit for Wilson as it appears.
He likes its increased reliance on quick tempo, a style he has long favored and one reason he endorsed Waldron as Brian Schottenheimer's replacement. Wilson should also benefit from a greater emphasis on short-to-intermediate throws (assuming those reduce the number of hits and sacks he takes). Pete Carroll will still want to run the ball, so don't expect Wilson to lead the league in pass attempts. But there's still a lot about this offense that can keep him happy.
What's up with Jamal Adams' contract situation and will they extend him before the season?
That's still their plan. The Seahawks have remained confident that they'll get a deal done with Adams at some point, whether it's during training camp (when they usually do big-budget extensions) or if it takes all the way until right before the season. The team excused Adams from mandatory minicamp to tend to a family matter, so his absence wasn't a sign of frustration over the lack of progress towards a new deal.
It could get tricky if Adams and his agent, Kevin Conner, demand a deal making him one of the NFL's highest-paid defenders as opposed to "merely" its top-paid safety after setting the single-season sack record for a defensive back. But the Seahawks knew when they traded for Adams that the positional argument could be a sticking point in negotiations.
Does Seahawks GM John Schneider have another big summer trade up his sleeve?
He's made one in three of the last four years -- Sheldon Richardson in 2017, Jadeveon Clowney in 2019 and Adams last year. And that's not counting the trades he made at the deadline for Duane Brown in 2017 and Carlos Dunlap II last October. The man is not afraid to take a big swing. If he takes another one, cornerback is the most logical target. Schneider knows that it's the Seahawks' iffiest position group. They've got nice depth and some intriguing players between D.J. Reed (who emerged late last season), Ahkello Witherspoon (who looks the part of a big Seattle corner) and Tre Brown (their fourth-round pick). But there's no established blue-chip talent among them.
Stephon Gilmore would fit the bill, but that would presumably require a new deal for an over-30 player in addition to whatever draft capital Seattle would have to give up.
Do the Seahawks have the players and coaching to get over their playoff hump?
They've made the playoffs five times in six seasons since they nearly repeated as Super Bowl champions, success that most organizations would happily take. But not getting past the divisional round in that stretch is a disappointment for a team with one of the game's top quarterbacks. They pieces are there to get well beyond that hump, even with their questions at cornerback.
They have an elite QB and a system that should suit him, an improved (even if at only one spot) offensive line and plenty of weapons. Their pass-rush is as deep on the edge as it's been since their 2013 Super Bowl team. Their linebacker corps looks more athletic than it was last year and their secondary is strong at safety and nickelback. They return most of the core pieces from one of the NFL's best special-teams units a year ago.
The key for the Seahawks is playing at home in the playoffs -- and, unlike last January, doing so in a packed Lumen Field. They were the NFC's No. 1 seed when they reached consecutive Super Bowls (and also when they went in 2005).