Seattle Seahawks: Paxton Lynch signing offers second chance

The Seattle Seahawks recently signed 2016 draft bust Paxton Lynch to back up Russell Wilson.

The Seattle Seahawks recently signed Paxton Lynch to a reserve/future contract to back up Russell Wilson and add depth to a thin quarterback room. Brett Hundley was Wilson’s backup in 2018 after the Seahawks traded a 2019 sixth-round pick to get him from the Green Bay Packers.

Hundley is going to be a free agent, so Seattle needed to secure a backup for 2019. Seattle did have 2018 seventh-round pick, Alex McGough on the practice squad for the 2018 season as well, but he signed a reserve/future contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Lynch and Wilson are the only quarterbacks on the Seahawks.

Lynch was hyped up as one of the best prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft. The 6-7, 244-pound quarterback was taken 26th overall in the draft by the Denver Broncos. Denver hoped the promising youngster could take over after Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler signed with Houston following the 2015 season.

Denver was right to be excited about Lynch. Besides his large build, Lynch had many other endearing qualities. His great improvements and performances over three seasons with Memphis in college had scout and executives raving.

In his senior season, Lynch completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 3,776 yards, 28 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. For comparison, Sam Darnold completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 4,143 yards, 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his final collegiate season. Darnold was the third overall pick in last year’s draft.

But potential didn’t translate into success in the NFL. Lynch played in three games his rookie season, starting two of them. He didn’t look like the savior Denver was looking for. He completed just 59 percent of his pass attempts for 497 yards (165.7 yards per game), two touchdowns and an interception.

Trevor Siemian, a seventh-round pick out of Northwestern in 2015, started the other 14 games for Denver in 2016 and he held onto the starting job for most of 2017 as well. Lynch made two starts again in 2017 and lost both. He completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 295 yards (147.5 yards per game), two touchdowns, and three interceptions.

Early on in September 2018, the Broncos faced their mistake head on and cut Lynch after just two seasons. While Siemian was no longer with the team, Lynch was bested by free agent signee Case Keenum and Chad Kelly, a seventh-round pick. Cutting a player after just two years is a rare move to use against any first round pick, especially a quarterback.

Lynch sat out the 2018 season, but now he’s with the Seahawks. Interestingly enough, Seattle traded the pick used on Lynch to the Broncos back in 2016. In return, the Seahawks got the 31st overall pick which they used on their own underachieving first-rounder, Germain Ifedi, and the 94th overall pick, which turned out to be Nick Vannett.

Wilson hasn’t missed a start in his seven-year career despite constantly playing behind porous offensive lines. For Seattle’s sake, he’d better not get hurt in 2019 because a multi-game stretch with Lynch as the starter could be disastrous.

Signing Lynch was a smart move. At least now the Seahawks are guaranteed to have a backup quarterback next season, but the team should be far from complacent with this move. Look for the Seahawks to add another signal caller to compete with Lynch this offseason.