Top 5 Quarterbacks in Seahawks History

Looking back at over 40 years of history, which signal callers rank among the best to wear a Seahawks uniform?

In 42 years of existence, the Seahawks have 28 different quarterbacks line up under center and attempt a pass in a regular season game.

Luckily for Seattle, most of those quarterbacks weren't forced into extensive playing time. Aside from a rough patch in the 90s highlighted by multiple first-round whiffs on Dan McGwire and Rick Mirer, the organization has had great stability at the position over the past four decades.

Which signal callers rank among the franchise’s all-time best? Here’s my final ranking for Seattle’s top five quarterbacks in franchise history.

5. Warren Moon

Seahawks Tenure: 1997-1998

Career Stats: 5,310 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, 81.3 QB Rating

Moon, who entered the Hall of Fame in 2006, spent most of his illustrious, ground-breaking NFL career with the Oilers. But after being released by the Vikings in 1997, the Washington Huskies alum returned to the Pacific Northwest and performed well after signing a two-year deal with the Seahawks.

Showing he had plenty left in the tank at 41 years young, Moon threw 25 touchdown passes in his first season as a starter for Seattle and earned MVP honors in his ninth and final Pro Bowl. He started 10 games the following season before giving way to Jon Kitna, finishing his brief Seahawks tenure with 36 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.

4. Jim Zorn

Seahawks Tenure: 1976-1984

Career Stats: 20,122 passing yards, 107 touchdowns, 1,491 rushing yards

Entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent on a talent-starved expansion team, Zorn inherited an unideal situation to start his career and his statistics suffered. As a rookie, he threw a league-worst 27 interceptions and completed less than 50 percent of his pass attempts as the Seahawks won only two games in their inaugural season.

Zorn ultimately ended his nine-year run in Seattle with 133 interceptions in comparison to 107 touchdowns, but he was the first quarterback in franchise history to throw for over 3,000 yards in a season, doing it three consecutive times from 1978 to 1980. He also was a dynamic presence as a runner, rushing for 1,491 yards and 17 touchdowns in 126 games.

3. Dave Krieg

Seahawks Tenure: 1980-1991

Career Stats: 26,132 passing yards, 195 touchdowns, 82.3 QB Rating

After signing with Seattle as an undrafted free agent in 1980, Krieg had to wait patiently behind Zorn during his first four NFL seasons, making 11 spot starts during that span. But he finally became a full-time starter in 1984 and made the Pro Bowl, throwing 32 touchdowns and leading the Seahawks to a 12-win season.

Though he battled through several significant injuries, Krieg remained Seattle’s starting quarterback for the next seven seasons, returning to the Pro Bowl two more times in 1988 and 1989. When he departed as a free agent in 1992, he held franchise records for passing yards and passing touchdowns, which have since been surpassed.

2. Matt Hasselbeck

Seahawks Tenure: 2001-2010

Career Stats: 29,434 passing yards, 174 touchdowns, 82.2 QB rating

After sitting behind Brett Favre in Green Bay for two seasons, Seattle acquired Hasselbeck with hopes he’d develop into a franchise quarterback. Though he struggled during his first two seasons and battled for playing time with veteran Trent Dilfer, he finally started to fulfill his promise in 2003, passing for a then-franchise record 3,841 yards and leading the Seahawks to an NFC West division title.

Hasselbeck led Seattle back to the playoffs four more times in seven seasons as a starter, including guiding the franchise to its first-ever Super Bowl appearance in 2005. In nine seasons with the Seahawks, he surpassed Krieg as the team’s most prolific passer with nearly 30,000 passing yards, currently ranks third on the team’s all-time list with 174 passing touchdowns, and played in three Pro Bowls.

1. Russell Wilson

Seahawks Tenure: 2012-Present

Career Stats: 25,624 passing yards, 196 touchdowns, 3,651 rushing yards

Like Zorn long before him, Wilson became an immediate starter as a rookie in 2012, beating out free agent signee Matt Flynn. Since then, the third-round pick hasn’t looked back, guiding the Seahawks to six playoff appearances in seven seasons, including reaching back-to-back Super Bowls in 2013 and 2014.

Wilson already owns franchise records in passing touchdowns (196) and completion percentage (64.2 percent) and became the first quarterback in team history to surpass 4,000 passing yards in a season in 2015 and 2016. He’s been selected to the Pro Bowl six times, currently ranks second among qualified passers for career passer rating behind only Aaron Rodgers, and has amassed over 3,600 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground, emerging as one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in NFL history.

Comments (4)
No. 1-2
Dan Viens
Dan Viens

Editor

I feel like the Stan Gelbaugh era was severely overlooked.

smms198
smms198

I agree with this list