Wilson stands alone after Seattle waived Trevone Boykin earlier this week in the wake of a domestic violence allegation that resulted in a charge of aggravated assault. The Seahawks got to work on finding a backup quarterback by bringing in Geno Smith for a free-agent visit, sources told ESPN's Jordan Raanan.
Really, though, the Seahawks were already going to be in that market before moving on from Boykin. Last year's No. 2, Austin Davis, remains unsigned. And Boykin was so erratic during his first two seasons -- on and off the field -- that there was no way the Seahawks were going to feel content with him as their lone backup option. They were going to add at least one more option by the time organized team activities begin in late May, be it a low-cost veteran and/or a rookie.
But waiving Boykin brings the backup quarterback conversation to the forefront.
And that conversation includes buzz around whether Colin Kaepernick could be an option. The Seahawks brought the former 49ers starter in last May for what remains his only known visit since he became a free agent earlier that offseason. They opted not to sign him for reasons that still aren't completely clear and instead signed Davis a week later.
Also uncertain is whether the Seahawks would entertain the possibility of signing Kaepernick now, but indications are that another veteran, such as Smith or Davis, is more likely.
That wouldn't preclude the Seahawks from drafting a quarterback or signing one as an undrafted rookie. Surprisingly, Wilson is the only quarterback the Seahawks have drafted under coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider. But given the current situation, this might be as good of a year as ever to do it. That Wilson is a year away from what has the potential to be a tricky extension negotiation could only give the Seahawks more incentive to have a young quarterback in the pipeline.
As far as veterans, something to keep in mind is that Wilson has been remarkably durable in his career, never missing a game in his six seasons. Because of that, the Seahawks may not feel compelled to spend as much on a backup as a team less certain in its starter's availability might. It would be a surprise if they spent much more than $1 million on one, especially with the bargain-shopping approach they've taken in free agency this year.
Here are four names to keep in mind, three of which have strong ties to new Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer:
Geno Smith. The 2013 second-round pick threw 28 touchdowns and 36 interceptions during a four-year career with the Jets that never really got off the ground. He spent last season backing up Eli Manning with the Giants on a one-year deal worth $1.2 million. His minimum salary for 2018 would be $790,000. Smith, 27, hasn't worked with Schottenheimer in any of his five NFL seasons, but he does have one connection to Seattle's offensive coaching staff in new line coach Mike Solari, who was with the Giants the past two years.
Austin Davis. He spent his first three seasons with the Rams while Schottenheimer was the team’s offensive coordinator. The 28-year-old Davis made eight starts in 2014, one of which was a victory over the Seahawks. He beat out Boykin to be Wilson’s backup last season after a strong and steady performance over the summer. His deal with Seattle was worth $855,000.
Mark Sanchez. Schottenheimer was the Jets’ offensive coordinator when they drafted Sanchez in 2009 and made consecutive AFC Championship Games in his first two seasons. Carroll was Sanchez’s college coach at USC, and while there may have been some awkwardness over Carroll publicly disagreeing with Sanchez’s decision to turn pro early, that hardly seems like something that would get in the way of a reunion almost a decade later. Sanchez, 31, has bounced around since his time with the Jets. He made 10 starts with the Eagles between 2014 and ’15 and has been with the Cowboys and Bears since then. His deal with Chicago last season was worth $2 million.
Kellen Clemens. He spent his first five seasons (2006-10) with Schottenheimer in New York and two more (2012-13) with the Rams, meaning they’ve been together for seven of Clemens’ 12 years in the NFL. Clemens, 34, made nine starts for the Rams in 2013 and hasn’t started a game since then. He has spent the past four seasons with the Chargers and made $1 million in 2017.