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ESPN says Seahawks have best long-term future in the NFL

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 02: (L-R) John Schneider, General Manager of the Seattle Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll celebrates after their 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

SEATTLE – Don’t make any plans during the NFL playoffs for the next few years.

If ESPN’s experts are to be believed, the Seattle Seahawks are going to be in the thick of things for a long time to come.

The network asked three of its experts – Mike Sando, Field Yates and Louis Riddick – to grade every team in the NFL based on a series of metrics aimed at determining long-term success.

Guess who came in at No. 1?

The Seahawks were given high marks based on their roster (a score of 86.7 out of 100); QB (89.0); coaching (91.7); draft (86.0)); and front office (90.0) for an overall average of 88.5.

It’s worth noting that even the category in which Seattle scored the worst – the draft – it still had the best score of any team in the league:

“So it’s all good as far as I am concerned with how this organization approaches selecting and developing young talent. The Seahawks have hit on an incredible number of players in the mid-to-late rounds, all while keeping the number of early-round busts to an absolute minimum. This speaks to the philosophical alignment between coach and GM that has to exist in order to have sustainable success.”

ESPN judged coaching as the team’s top strength, and said the most crucial thing the Seahawks can do is sign general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll to contract extensions.