Seahawks Insider

Seahawks trade John Moffitt to Cleveland

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 19, 2013 at 3:03 pm with 62 Comments »
August 19, 2013 3:12 pm
Seattle Seahawks' John Moffitt heads off the field Monday, June 3, 2013, after an NFL football organized team activity in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seattle Seahawks’ John Moffitt heads off the field Monday, June 3, 2013, after an NFL football organized team activity in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The Cleveland Browns announced that the team traded defensive lineman Brian Sanford for Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman John Moffitt.

The Seahawks have confirmed the trade.

Moffitt was battling for the starting right guard with converted defensive lineman J.R. Sweezy.

However, comments from Pete Carroll last week seemed to hint that Sweezy was ahead in the competition. Sweezy also started against Denver last week.

“John’s been battling,” Carroll said. “He’s had a good chance to compete. He’s been mixing time with Sweezy with the 1s, and it’s a competition that’s ongoing.

“Sweeezy’s done really well. J.R.’s well ahead of where he was a year ago, and he’s trying to hold him off. But John’s working hard at it.”

The Seahawks also worked rookies Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey at guard the past week in practice.

Drafted in the third round of the 2011 draft as the team’s answer at right guard, Moffitt started nine games there his rookie season before suffering a MCL and PCL tear in his left knee that required surgery.

Last year, Moffitt had elbow surgery during training camp, opening the door for Sweezy to start the 2012 season opener at Arizona as a rookie. The two continued to battle for playing time last year, with Moffitt starting six games as he dealt with lingering elbow and knee issues.

Moffitt also had issues to deal with off the field. He violated the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs for not pre-clearing a drug he regularly takes for hyperactivity. Moffitt served the four-game suspension while on the injured reserve in 2011.

And this summer, he pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct in Bellevue District Court. Moffitt had to pay a fine of $1,407, and received a suspended sentence of 24 months in jail.

Moffitt initially faced two misdemeanor charges of criminal trespassing and obstruction of a law enforcement officer after three separate incidents at Bellevue Square mall in 2012.

At 6-2 and 280 pounds, Sanford signed with the Browns as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2010, and spent most of his first season on the team’s practice squad.

In three seasons with Cleveland, Sanford appeared in six games, with three tackles and no sacks.

Leave a comment Comments → 62
  1. Well, I guess we finally have an answer on who the starting RG is.

    It’s not like Moffitt’s going to be a full time starter in Cleveland, though. It look like both of the Browns’ starting Gs are out 4-6 week for various injuries, but are expected back. Unless they feel Moffitt is better than one of those guys.

    Either way, I wish him well.

  2. chuck_easton says:

    I’m still guessing they told Moff he wasn’t starting, he requested a trade to a team that would play him, they granted his request.

    Why else do you give a guy that is a starter, or at worst, a solid backup Guard away for a guy that has played 6 games in 3 years and has a grand total of 3 tackles?

    Sanford isn’t coming in here to make the team. Seattle asked the Browns for a warm body and they got one.

  3. The Seahawks might end up getting very little out of picks 1-4 from that 2011 draft class.

  4. grizindabox24 says:

    chuck, think you are wrong. Sounds like Moffitt was very surprised by the deal and was told by coaches that they needed bodies on the d-line and he was a valuable piece they could move. I also do not see PC/JS making a deal for a player if they do not think the guy can possibly help. They like something about Sanford or they do not do the deal.

  5. Dukeshire says:

    If Moffitt requested a trade because Sweezy wasn’t starting, if it meant that much to him, I believe he would have taken far better care of his body and conditioning.

    I’m officially bummed. As most here know, he was one of my favs. Thanks for all the good humor, John and best of luck in Cleveland.

    Sweezy, congrats.

  6. chuck_easton says:

    MOff was a favorite of mine as well. But if Sweezy beat him out congrats to the kid.

    Oh well, he’s going to start in Cleveland at least until one of the other Guards comes back from injury. If he plays to his potential he likely will be starting for the entire year there.

    He wouldn’t have had that chance here.

    And I don’t buy a guy who has only played in 6 games being somebody JS/PC ‘have had their eye on’.

    He won’t be here next week after the first cuts.

  7. JMSeaTown says:

    Too much bacon n beer in the offseason. Good guy & wish him the best of luck.

  8. That’s messed up man.. From contender to Cleveland.
    Cleveland does not rock.

  9. grizindabox24 says:

    Chuck, JS/PC do not trade for guys at random…something in Sanford peaks there interest.

  10. FleaFlicker says:

    100% concur with Duke. If Moffitt couldn’t figure it out after three seasons, maybe he’s just not cut out for this team. But he was a pretty colorful guy off the field.

  11. Chuck, Why you don’t you tell that to Stephen Williams. He hasn’t played in too many games before coming here.

  12. RDPoulsbo says:

    Moffitt should be bummed to be shipped off to the Mistake on the Lake.

    I’m just having a hard time figuring out what the value is in the guy they got in return. A 6th or 7th round pick seems more valuable.

  13. tchristensen says:

    This probably has a lot to to with Bailey and Bowie. I’m with Duke, this sucks.

  14. Though I do hate to lose Moffit, more due to who he is, than to what he has done on the field, I don’t understand the value of trading for a DE that is unlikely to make the team?

  15. grizindabox24 says:

    Anyone think that the Hawks traded Moffitt because he was not going to make the final 53?

  16. yankinta says:

    Yes, all,,, It has a lot to to with Bailey and Bowie playing extremely well. This Sanford guy has been playing very well for the Cleveland during Preseason. He was going to be in the regular rotation to play a ton of time for Cleveland.

    Now let’s see what we get, maybe this Friday. Maybe this is our 2nd coming of Chris Clemons…. :)

  17. snoopy123 says:

    pretty sure he was going to be cut. guy seems like he has been over hyped around here because of his off-field personality and attitude. Seahawks don’t mess around when it comes to competition. looks like its Sweezy, McQuiston, and oft injured Jim Carpenter.

  18. I said last year that I couldn’t understand why Sweezy was ahead of Moffitt. It just didn’t seem to make sense to me and I wondered allowed what else was happening. It just felt like the coaches didn’t like something about Moffitt or his game. This trade just continues to make me wonder what has happened that we don’t know about.

    If Sanford doesn’t make the team I’ll be shaking my head even more. It doesn’t feel like we are short handed on the d-line. And even if we are, I would have thought we could have gotten a little more for Moffitt. It just makes me curious as all hell to know what has happened behind the scenes.

    Wish I could have been a fly on the window sill at the VMAC.

  19. Could this be a trimming the salary cap move by cutting Moffits pay out, not like he was breaking the bank but the Seahawks will need some $ to keep people and with late round pics and rookies appearing to be as good savings in the bank for next year.
    Also would rather trade for draft picks than a nobody but the management knows what they are doing
    Go Hawks!!!

  20. grizindabox24 says:

    MauMau, Sanborn’s cap number is pretty much equal to Moffitt

  21. Great, at G we have a converted DT who still cant pass-pro worth a shit, and McQ, a guy who is only starting because we cant find a starting-caliber NFL G for love nor money…gar, this pisses me off!

    Moffitt was good enough to be challenging for a starting job here, but not good enough to command even a seventh round pick from a team dying for O-line help?! Not good enough to get anything better than a guy who runs as slow as Refrigerator Perry at only 280 lbs?!

    3 Tackles in 3 years, on a team as lousy as the Browns have been. Oh yeah, greaaaaaat pickup!

    Why didnt we just cut him so we could help out poor JAX, the Raiders or Jets?!

    I propose trading Percy Harvin and Carpenter for a one starting caliber RG–not even a Pro Bowl alternate, just a guy who can start….we might as well throw in a fourth round pick too…

  22. RDPoulsbo says:

    Moffitt was making close to the rookie minimum, so it’s definately not salary shaving. In the end, he might not have made the team. They want guys to compete and Moffitt never seemed to embrace that mentality. His personality may have clashed with Cable’s.

    I guess people will be waiting for PC’s next press conference to find out.

  23. Not bummed at all about this move. Moffitt never impressed me nor amused me. I am all for a jokester, but you better take your job seriously and be in top shape to compete, if not, see ya. Hello Cleveland, Moff, here is to hoping you take this opportunity a little more serious

  24. grizindabox24 says:

    I think the “Moffitt was challenging for a starting job” is entirely overblown. I do not think the competition between him and Sweezy was anywhere near close in the eyes of the coaches and in reality, there are many players challenging for a starting job, it is the entire mantra of the staff.

  25. Overhyped would be James Carpenter, the guy who hasnt started two games in a row without limping and/or sucking. In going on three years.

    I am absolutely disgusted with our situation on the O-line. I am tired of Cables picks who just arent good enough for the NFL–at least not yet: Breno, Carp, Moffitt, McQ, Sweezy, I’d trade them all for a hotdog and give Bailey and Bowie a try…

    Seattle’s unsettled O-line, entering its what? Seventh straight year of disarray?! I have absolutely lost patience with Cable, the ZBS, and all of our lineman not named Okung and Unger.

  26. Dukeshire says:

    Skavage – Couldn’t agree more. As I too have said, if we’re going simply with on the field performance, Moffitt is far ahead of Sweezy. If Sweezy continues to develop then all that changes, and apparently the staff feels he’s shown enough. But as of right here and now? Moffitt’s the better guard.

  27. grizindabox24 says:

    STTBM, you are correct, the running game totally sucked last season

  28. grizindabox24 says:

    Moffitt wasn’t “dirtbag” enough

  29. tchristensen says:

    You can pencil in Bailey and Bowie on the final 53 man roster.

  30. Griz–The credit for the run game has mostly–and, IMO, unfairly–been given to the O-line. Without Lynch this line doesnt even crack middle of the pack–especially since they flat arent very good in pass pro. As I said, smart playcalling, like designed rollouts and playaction, and RW’s quick feet made a below-avg line look far better than it really was.

    Im tired of Cable trying to make guys who just cant pass pro into lineman. You can teach a guy with pass pro skills and quick feet to run block like a mother, but Im not so sure you can teach a slow-footed gigantor of a road grader to pass pro worth a damn.

    Sweezy may turn out to be a fine lineman, but he isnt squat right now. He still stinks in pass pro, and is inconsistent as all hell. Never mind the total debacle that is McQ/Carp The 340 lbs Sideline Lawn Ornament at LG…Someday, before I die, I want to see a complete O-line in Seattle, with an actual Pro Bowl LG and a solid RT and RG to boot….seven years since we’ve had that….

  31. Just saw the cap numbers 150k ish savings with the trade so not so much a $’s thing

  32. grizindabox24 says:

    STTBM I think arguing the merits of Sweezy or Moffitt is like pissing in the wind…no matter which side you take, you are going to get some unpleasant spatter back at you. What is boils down to is that every team has to make some choices, as there is no way to have all-pro players at every position. Until they line up week 1, no one really knows how it will all go. JS/PC decided to move on from Moffitt.

  33. Dukeshire says:

    Dirtbag? Mora is long gone, thankfully.

  34. Excellent thread, guys; good to know so many of you like me really study the O & D line play.

    Two things to add: 1) Have a hunch Moffitt was an OK-enough team guy, but just not a good-enough strength & athletic upside (as Sweezy, etc.; 2) Bailey & Bowie despite their youth have already clearly shown enough off-setting strength & athletic upside. And I’d bet that Cable prefers first & second-level, adaptably agile maulers even at guard. Maybe Carpenter hasn’t had time to demonstrate that well-enough yet, but his dominating strength potential clearly outweighs anything Moffitt could likely offer.

  35. grizindabox24 says:

    Duke, you can not tell me that Cable does not like a “dirtbag” attitude in his lineman. He is just not going to come right out and say it.

  36. I thought it was very telling when Sweezy, a 7th round defensive player, started in front of higher draft round pick OL Moffit seemingly right off the bat in regular season games.

    There were only 2 possible explanations I could think of for that: (1) they were unhappy with Moffit (whether on the field or off-the-field), or (2) Cable was/is invested so heavily in his Sweezy “project” that he forced him into the starting rotation to quickly get him experience. I’m guessing the latter explanation is correct but who knows. I think Cable prides himself on finding and/or developing hidden talent. And Pete has pretty much given him carte blanche in regards to the OL/run game. Moffit was Cable’s hand picked draft choice but so was Sweezy. I also wonder how much personality plays into it with Cable. Something tells me that “nasty” guys like Breno mirror his own personality more than guys like Moffit. But that’s just a guess.

  37. Griz–Exactly, which is why Im so pissed. Im pissed to have Sweezy starting at RG, because he sucks. Not that he wont be good SOMEDAY, but right now he SUCKS. Im pissed to get a bag of poop in trade for Moffitt. IM pissed Cable wasted picks on Carp and Moffitt. Im pissed that for the seventh straight year we have issues at both G positions.

    Im pissed because we kept the ZBS after hiring Solari, the best O-line coach of all time, then ran him off when he couldnt do the damned ZBS with our talentless lineman…then the Niners sign him and now he’s fielding the damned best offensive line in the NFL..and its not a freaking ZBS!

  38. freedom_X says:

    I see no clear evidence that Moffitt was better than Sweezy *at the end of the 2012 season.* It’s easy for Moffitt to look better comparing his play to Sweezy’s 1st 5 games – the 1st 5 games Sweezy ever played at guard in his life. (since high school anyway.) At the end of the year, they were pretty much even, with tradeoffs.

    With Sweezy having a grand total of 1 year of experience at *offensive line*, and showing a sharp upward trend of improvement – if Sweezy and Moffitt were even, Sweezy’s leavin. (Moffit behind.) Why keep the guy who’s played the position for his whole life and isn’t getting noticeably better? Who isn’t working as hard and isn’t as dedicated, vs. a person who is already nearly as good if not better and continuing to show improvement?

  39. grizindabox24 says:

    STTBM, did I just miss your outrage prior to this deal?

  40. Griz–Ive been trying not to freak out over the line all offseason. I am not among those who thought we had a great line last year, and this just blew the lid off it. Its a long-running sore spot for me, and Im still a ZBS hater of the first degree.

    I was drinking the kool-aid and trying to like it, but I just spat it out. The stuffs just nasty, any way you look at it…

  41. freedom–Dude, in the ATL game, Sweezy couldnt figure out that he isnt supposed to double team the DT with the RT if a LB blitzes up the middle…it was one of the big plays that cost us the game. He still didnt know what the hell to do in our last game last year….Moffitt was far better in pass pro in that game, and overall a better player. I hadnt seen anything to change that in preseason.

    So much for ComPete…the best player at RG at the moment just got traded for a bag-o-doo-doo…

  42. yes, I think this has to do with Bailey playing so well, and also with McQuistan being a better G than Moffitt will ever be, and Carpenter having more upside potential than Moffitt will ever have. (It has nothing to do with Bowie, Bowie is a tackle who is just practicing at G so they can teach him some things.)

    Cable doesn’t want OGs who are technicians. He wants brawlers and mashers.

    Too bad we didn’t get much in return for him. I think they did him a favor by trading him now and giving him a chance to catch on with his new team. After Sweezey’s performance against the Broncos, Moffitt was about to start competing with Rishaw Johnson for a backup spot.

  43. I’m reminded scouting reports I read before the 2011 draft, calling Wisconsin’s O linemen the “most over-rated bunch in the country”. So far that’s coming true, with Carimi and Moffitt disappointing, though Konz is looking better.

  44. Stevos–I thought Johnson was also a T? All I know is he got a penalty every other play…but good points, a lot more measured than my freakout rants!

  45. freedom_X says:

    I doubt Moffitt was assignment correct either last season. I’d bet that Moffitt has made some major blocking mistakes too in the last few games of 2012. If the number of mistakes made in the last 8 games (normalized by number of snaps taken) is anything close for Sweezy and Moffitt, then the choice is clear. Especially when you factor a lifetime of O-line play by one, and 1 year of O-line play by the other.

    If there were a chart of individual lineman, that could establish this stat. But I would think that would be a hard chart to compile, since you’d have to know how each play was originally drawn up by the team. But I’ve seen crazier things out there.

    Yes, it’s also clear that Seattle values their current backups equally or more than Moffitt. So they’re getting what value they can, and (though he may not realize it) giving Moffitt an opportunity. If a team pays something for someone, they’ll give him more of a look than a played who costs them nothing but a waiver wire fee.

  46. STTBM – I don’t know their plans for Rishaw Johnson, but I’ve seen him practicing at G.

    And I don’t think Moffitt was bad, but he was out-competed, and that’s a fact. It may be more about the kind of skills he has versus what Tom Cable wants. Sweezy is a tougher cut blocker, and Bailey might be more fleet of foot than Moffitt.

    He was one hilarious dude though. I’ll miss his interviews.

  47. According to the awesome hawksblogger, Moffitt’s cap hit was $784K while Stanford’s is $630K so the hawks are savings a couple of (NFL) pennies.

    He also points out that JS/PC don’t trade for players just to have bodies, they see something in him.

    Cleveland has a ton of D’line depth plus with Irvin and Clements missing the first quarter of the season (at least), Sanford is probably making the team and should be a decent stop gap. Looks like one of those low risks, possible high rewards for both teams.

    When it comes to Seahawks insider info, I trust him more than people on this board. He actually knows things/people on staff/players and is able to say a bit more than he should because he doesn’t work for the ‘hawks.

  48. STTBM, by all accounts, Sweezy has been outplaying Moffitt for nearly a year now. I’m not sure what you like so much about Moffitt? He admittedly doesn’t even workout. Sweezy is now and will be a much better player than Moffitt. Yes, Sweezy makes mistakes, he’s had all of 12 starts under his belt and STILL outperforms a healthy Moffitt. The Seahawks only gave up two sacks during that ATL game, including scoring two plays later on the only sack in the 2nd half. How did Sweezy cost them that game?!? While I agree it would appear they didn’t get much in return I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt to PC/JS over your talent evaluation any day of the week.

  49. Waldo–By whose accounts?! Many of us–including Dukeshire–would disagree with that statement.

    It isnt that I liked Moffitt so much, its that I feel he was let go for nothing, a wasted draft pick, Im sick of the line sucking, and Sweezy isnt ready to start at RT IMO. He still pretty much sucks–he’s below avg, esp in pass pro.

    On third down at the 20 at the end of the first half, Sweezy blew his assignment and gave up a sack that ran so much time off the clock we didnt get a chipshot field goal and the half ended. You could claim that was the difference in the was certainly a major factor.

    As for my talent eval, Ive never heard of this Sanford dude. I know Moffitt wasnt garbage though, and I know Sweezy is a below-avg player right now.

  50. giveneq–Hope youre right. But then again, they saw something in Evan Moore…

  51. Sanborn has already been traded to GB for a DT named Cherilious!

  52. The Hawks also cut K Wiggs!

  53. grizindabox24 says:

    osbrey, without a link saying Sanborn has been dealt by the Hawks, I think you are confused. The Hawks did sign another DT named Cherrington, a move that had nothing to do with Sanborn

  54. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    STTBM, who says sweezy starts game one? or keeps hid job?

  55. STTBM honest to god STFU. Where were you ever a GM? Don’t bring Dukeshire into this he liked Moffit but he would never have confused him with even a good NFL starter. The truth hard for u to accept is was never in shape. Do I think we got value, yes because Moffit was not going to make the team. I have not been happy with the guard play since Hutch got screwed by Ruskell but for god’s sake u are making my eyes bleed with your whinning….drink a beer.

  56. From ProFootballFocus (PFF) stats:
    2008-reg season, OL coach Mke Solari (man), J.Jones starting RB
    SEA rushing offense ranked 15th in ’08.

    2009-reg season, OL coach Mke Solari (ZBS), J.Jones starting RB
    SEA rushing offense ranked 26th in ’09.

    2010-reg season, OL coach Alex Gibbs/Pat Ruel (ZBS), M.Lynch starting RB
    SEA rushing offense ranked 15th in ’10.

    2011-reg season, OL coach Tom Cable (ZBS), M.Lynch starting RB, Carp & Moffitt drafted in 1st (#25) & 3rd rds (#75).
    Moffitt had had a really good Sr Bowl & practices, was LG & team captain @ Wisc. Scouts applauded his run-blocking but questioned his quickness and pass-pro. Moffitt started 9 games @ RG for SEA, got injured (MCL & PCL tears) 7 plays into the 9th game vs BAL and his IR coincided with a 4-game PED suspension.
    Moffit’s overall performance ranked 76th of 78 nfl guards.
    SEA rushing offense ranked 27th in ’11.

    2012-reg season, OL coach Tom Cable (ZBS), M.Lynch starting RB
    Moffit missed the first game of ’12 with left elbow injury, started @ RG weeks 2 & 3, then started @ LG weeks 9 & 10, played @ LG weeks 12 & 13, started @ RG weeks 14 & 15, and then played @ RG in both postseason games. The rest of the games he was injured (ankle vs SF out 5 games, and knee vs GB out 2 games).
    Moffit’s overall performance ranked 59th of 81 nfl guards.
    SEA rushing offense ranked 1st in ’12.

    2013-preseason, OL coach Tom Cable (ZBS), M.Lynch starting RB
    Moffitt has been healthy, played RG in 36.7% offensive snaps in both SD & DEN games, total 44 snaps, 19 run-blkg and 25 pass-pro. Hasn’t been credited with allowing any sacks, QB hits, or QB hurries, has been average at run-blkg and hasn’t been called for any penalties.
    Moffitt’s overall performance currently ranks 27th of 147 nfl guards; McQuistan ranks 38th, Rishaw Johnson ranks 44th, Sweezy ranks 53rd, Bowie ranks 87th, and Ryan Seymour ranks 105th so far in ’13. These performances are preseason and PFF doesn’t account for or adjust for changes in strength of defense, especially during games. Even Football Outsiders wouldn’t do that, if they even looked at preseason games.

    An OL wants to have continuity, probably more than most other positions on the team (maybe excepting the QB/WR connection). Maybe Moffitt’s occasional indiscretions and injuries put too much doubt in coaches minds that he will stay healthy and available for an entire season(?) Maybe the knee situation slowed him a little beyond Cable’s tolerance – OK for vs 2s & 3s, but not for 1s(?) I haven’t heard anything, but maybe Moffitt had some kinda technical glitches in his game that effected his health, like waist bending, over-reaching, footwork, off-balance or whatever, that he wasn’t changing to suit Cable(?) Okung had some tech stuff that he corrected and he’s been fairly healthy since (knock on wood). Or, maybe DE Brian Sanford is some kinda superhero in disguise?

  57. bbnate420 says:

    dvaldez, I was thinking the same thing, though I wouldn’t have posted it.

    “The Seahawks might end up getting very little out of picks 1-4 from that 2011 draft class.” -pabuwal

    pabuwal, the Hawks drafted Sherm with the 5th round pick that they received from trading their 2011 2nd round pick. They also drafted KJ Wright with their 2011 4th round pick. So they have certainly gotten more than very little out of those picks regardless of how Carp turns out.

  58. bbnate420 says:

    Cable and PC obviously don’t think Moffitt was good. Dave Boling and Eric said the same on the game chat.

    “Dave Boling:
    I do not think that Moffit looks like the better guard in any regard.”

    “Eric Williams:
    I wouldn’t even say that Moffitt looks like the better player right now.”

    STTBM, when you can show that you’ve coached any football above pee wee or HS, I might consider going with your opinion over Boling, Williams, PC, and Cable.

    The Hawks were 3rd in rushing yards and 5th in yards an attempt in 2012 under that idiot Cable. They ran the ball very well the second half of 2011. Seems his ZBS is working.

  59. tealskin says:

    Much as I liked JM’s fun-loving personality, maybe he didn’t know how to turn it off and get serious. The writing was on the wall if he was able to read it. He wasn’t getting much better and it wasn’t good enough.

  60. whoa dvaldez. I don’t think he’s said anything that deserves a STFU.
    He’s entitled to his opinion, and expressing personal opinions about the Seahawks, that’s exactly what this blog is about. Part of what makes this blog special is that we all bring to the table differing viewpoints and perspectives.

    I liked Moffitt too, but more for his personality than his play.
    It seems he’s better at pass pro than Sweezy, but then again Sweezy is more of an athletic specimen and more aggressive in the run game.
    I’m willing to trust PC/JS on this one. I think they’ve earned a little slack with their previous moves.

  61. tazzmann says:

    I just don’t think moffit was putting the effort expected of him ?

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