Tom Cable may be gone, but the lingering effects of his meritocracy these past few seasons may still be around. It is quite possible that his inability to protect Russell Wilson has resulted in years taken off his longevity. While this may be considered a brash assumption this early in his career, a look at other tenure quarterbacks currently in the NFL help support the claim.
When we think of injury prone quarterbacks, people usually think of Sam Bradford, Jay Cutler, anyone who is the quarterback for the Browns, and Tony Romo. But what many of these players had in common is they did not take many sacks.
Our extreme outliers can both make great arguments for being labeled “Mr. Glass”. In his 9-year tenure in the NFL, Sam Bradford has only 2 complete seasons. It seemed like the entire nation was screaming at their television when Bradford signed his monsterous rookie deal with the St. Louis Rams knowing a breath of air resorts in an injury. While he doesn’t have the size anywhere comparable to Russell Wilson, he still tells the story of how detrimental it is to protecting a quarterback. Quarterback Tony Romo also fits the case of being frail. 13 years in the league, Romo was mirroring Bradford in injuries and completed seasons, or lack thereof. The irony is that Romo had one of the greatest offensive lines to protect him, something Bradford never really had. The hits that these defensive tackles make on a quarterback are designed to make a statement and hurt the player. Unfortunately for both, their careers would be myraid with injuries, resulting in a very limited career.
Besides the 2010 season, Jay Cutler never eclipsed 40 sacks in a single season. Ever since his infamous 52-sack season, Cutler struggled to maintain being healthy, despite the improvements of his offensive line. Aquiring 322 sacks sounds like a lot. But over a 12-year span, it averages out to 26.8 a season. Not too bad, but it’s a decent benchmark to compare Russell Wilson with.
So how does Wilson fit all of this? Entering his 7th season in the NFL, Wilson has accumulated 248 sacks in the regular season (thanks Germain Ifedi). To put into perspective, he ties Romo with less years, and has more than Jay Cutler in the same time span and Sam Bradford does for his career. Averaging 41.33 sacks a season in the last six years with Tom Cable has to have cut off some valuable time on Wilson’s playing clock. By the way, almost no other starting quarterback in the NFL has that same statistic. Wilson already had an early season scare with an ankle injury when Dolphins Ndamukong Suh (alledgedly) stepped on him, causing a significant sprain. If the offensive line under Mike Solari does not improve, expect Wilson to be on the sideline more frequently.
Wilson is a champ, and there is no arguing his intestinal fortitude. But there is no sense of urgency with the offensive line to protect their quarterback. If Seattle wants to hold on to their star as long as the Packers, Patriots, and Saints have had theirs, they will need to start investing in new players and new coaches. Otherwise, we may see one of the best quarterbacks in the game end his career early. It may be too early to predict, but 2018 may be his last complete season if something doesn’t change.