By John Boyle
For the first time in several years, there is absolutely no question about who will start at quarterback for the Seahawks heading into a season. As for who will back up Russell Wilson, that has been very much up in the air since the Seahawks traded Matt Flynn to Oakland a week ago.
The Seahawks already have signed Josh Portis, the team’s No. 3 QB in 2011 and a member of the practice squad for most of last season. Nobody heard about that signing, however, and assumed Seattle had found its backup to Wilson. Instead, Portis will likely compete with a veteran and perhaps a rookie for the job, and this week, the Seahawks are going to look at a few of the available veteran options.
The Seahawks will bring in for workouts former first-round picks Matt Leinart and Brady Quinn as well as former Bills backup Tyler Thigpen and former Seattle backup Seneca Wallace, who was traded to Cleveland after Pete Carroll and John Schneider took over in Seattle. Carroll is obviously familiar with Leinart having coached him at USC, and the Seahawks pursued Leinart in 2011 before he ended up signing with Houston. Thigpen and Wallace, meanwhile, have the athleticism to run the read option if the Seahawks are looking for a backup who can do some of the same things as Wilson.
Leinart, 29, was the No. 10 pick in the 2006 draft but never lived up to his draft status in four seasons in Arizona. He then spent two seasons in Houston and one in Oakland as a backup. In his career, Leinart has started 11 games and completed 57.1 percent of his passes for 4,065 yards, 15 touchdowns, 21 interceptions and a 70.2 passer rating.
Quinn was the 22nd overall pick in 2007 and after three seasons in Cleveland he was traded to Denver, where he spent two years before going to Kansas City last season. The 28-year-old started eight games last season, but threw just two touchdowns and eight interceptions. Quinn has started 20 games in his career, completing 53.8 percent of his passes for 3,043 yards, 12 touchdowns, 17 interceptions and a passer rating of 64.4.