By: Joe Harris/Oregon Sports News
The offseason is a time for wheeling and dealing, and some of the biggest trades in NFL history have already gone down in the last few months. Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Russell Wilson, and Matt Ryan are massive names that have made their way to new teams.
The Seahawks have pulled off some epic trade heists over the last three decades, bringing future Hall of Famers, MVPs, and franchise legends to Washington via trades. With the draft quickly approaching and the Hawks feeling like they could be in a position to upgrade a roster that has seen a lot of turnover in recent months, let’s break down the top five trades in Seahawks history that benefited the team.
5. Mike Holmgren
Many people forget that Mike Holmgren made his way to Seattle via trade. The Hawks traded a second-round pick in 1999 to get their head coach. He served as much more than that, acting as the executive vice president of football operations and the general manager. Holmgren is in the Seahawks Ring of Honor and the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame.
His impact was felt immediately, taking the Hawks to the playoffs in his first season, which broke a 10-year drought. Seattle won 56 percent of their games under him and went to a Super Bowl, won an NFC title, and won the division four times. His 2005 team led by Matt Hasselbeck was one of the most successful in franchise history. Although they never won a ring, Holmgren was responsible for a complete turnaround in culture and winning.
4. Shaun Alexander
A big part of that success during the Holmgren years stemmed from their strong running game, which was led by Shaun Alexander. Although he nearly played his entire career with the Hawks, they were able to select him in the draft with a pick that was traded from the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for star wide receiver Joey Galloway.
Alexander was one of the most dominant backs of the 2000s. In 2005, he won the league’s MVP and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year award. He was a maniac in the backfield, rushing for 1,880 yards and compiling 28 total touchdowns. He holds Seahawks records for most rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, rushing attempts, and longest rushing play. Alexander was crucial to the turnaround of the Hawks and gave them a legitimate star to give fans to cheer for.
3. Matt Hasselbeck
Of course, we can’t leave Alexander’s quarterback off this list who truly rounded out the Holmgren years and was a key to making it to the Super Bowl during that 2005 season. Hasselbeck was in Green Bay with Holmgren in the late 90s, and his old offensive guru saw something special in him. As Holmgren came to Seattle, he made sure to bring his new quarterback with him. The QB was involved in a picks trade with the Packers.
Hasselbeck spent most of his playing days in Seattle, from 2001 to 2010. He ranks second in nearly all passing categories to only Russell Wilson. Hasselbeck was named to the Pro Bowl in three separate years and was named to the Seahawks Ring of Honor. He helped lead the Seahawks to five postseasons in a row, and the Super Bowl in which they lost is known for being poorly officiated, with a referee even later apologizing to Hasselbeck for how that game turned out. While Russell Wilson stole the show just a few years later, Hasselbeck is one of the all-time great Seahawks QBs and built Seattle into what it is today. While he is not a Hall of Fame QB, he certainly is to Hawks fans.
2. Marshawn Lynch
There are so many important Seahawks figures in the franchise’s history, and “Beast Mode” deserves his spot right at the top of that list. From his infamous touchdown run against the Saints during a playoff game the Hawks really shouldn’t have been in, to the unforgettable time when he didn’t get the ball at the goal line, or just his endearing self that could be seen eating Skittles on the sidelines, Lynch is an all-timer. After some off-the-field trouble in Buffalo, the Hawks were able to trade for the running back for just a fourth-rounder and a conditional draft pick, a total steal.
He made his way to Seattle after a trade with the Buffalo Bills. In his first stint, he spent six seasons with the Hawks, making it to five Pro-Bowls, a first and second All-Pro team, and was the NFL rushing touchdown leader twice. Of course, he is a part of a group that brought a championship to the city and scored a touchdown in the game. After a brief stint with the Raiders, Lynch finished his career in 2019 with the Hawks, appearing in just one game.
1. Steve Largent
When you think of the Seahawks and the Hall of Fame, one of the first names that come to mind is Steve Largent. He is the most successful and decorated wide receiver in the franchise’s history, holding nearly every record you can think of by a fairly large margin. The Hawks got him from the Oilers for an eighth-round pick, yes, they used to exist. The Oilers were set on releasing him but pulled off the trade at the last second.
Largent went on to play 14 seasons with the Seahawks and tore up the league during his time in Seattle. He led the league in receiving yards in two different years, made his way to seven Pro Bowls, was a First-Team All-Pro once, and a Second-Team All-Pro four other times. He was also named the NFL Man of the Year in 1998. He’s been named to NFL All-Decade Teams and has his number retired in Seattle. He is so meaningful to the franchise that every year, the Steve Largent award is given to the player who represents what it means to be a Hawk the best.