In addition to stating that Kam Chancellor will return to the Seahawks this year, John Schneider on Tuesday confirmed the Seahawks’ offensive line situation is indeed as shaky as we all think it is. He also discussed the plan for replacing Bruce Irvin and waved off any silly concerns that Marshawn Lynch is not really retiring.
With Russell Okung and J.R. Sweezy gone, the Seahawks’ line projects (from left to right) as Garry Gilliam, Justin Britt, Patrick Lewis, Mark Glowinski and J’Marcus Webb. If the Seahawks entered the season with that group, they would be in worse shape than they were with the 2015 line.
At the league meetings in Florida, Schneider confirmed that is where they are right now. And he hinted that the team might not add anyone before the draft.
As the line is constituted, Gilliam would battle career backup Bradley Sowell at left tackle while Webb would step in at right tackle, where Gilliam started in 2015. Schneider admitted they are grasping at straws, calling Sowell and Webb “prove-it signings.”
“That’s kind of the stage we are at right now,” the GM told The Seattle Times.
Schneider said the Seahawks are not alone in their line woes.
“Besides three or four offensive lines throughout the league, it’s a concern for everybody,” he said. “So you are constantly working at it. There is a reason we are converting defensive linemen to offensive linemen. There is really a shortage of talent at this point in the league.”
Schneider also made it seem like the Seahawks would not be adding any more free-agent linemen. “Where we are at right now,” he said, “we can’t be doing anything. We just have to be very responsible.’’
But the Hawks actually have around $9 million to spend on free agents and still seem likely to add a tackle before the draft.
Just as the Seahawks are juggling to replace Okung, they will be moving people into Irvin’s roles.
Schneider said Frank Clark, who apparently is about 20 pounds lighter this year, will take Irvin’s spot as LEO — that would give the Seahawks a pass-rush quartet of Clark, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Jordan Hill. Schneider reiterated that the Seahawks drafted Clark last year with the thought that they probably would lose Irvin this month.
Mike Morgan and Cassius Marsh will compete at strong-side linebacker, Schneider said.
The Seahawks have looked at other linebackers and pass rushers, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they added one before the draft — and then again in the draft.
Chancellor and Bennett have been kept apprised of the Seahawks’ cap situation, and the Seahawks seem confident both understand.
Pete Carroll told NFL Network: “We have a lot of stuff that we’re dealing with in putting our roster together. Those guys know that. We’ve been in contact with these guys throughout so they know what’s going on, and we’re going to do everything we can to keep them with us for as long as they’ll play football.”
The last part of that statement is BS– neither player is likely to complete his career in Seattle, not when a nine-year vet like Brandon Mebane didn’t. But the rest of it can be taken at face value.
As for the players’ stances, all signs indicate Chancellor will not be a problem again this year. Bennett is another question, although his new agent, Doug Hendrickson, worked with the Seahawks on Marshawn Lynch’s contract situation in 2014-15 — a potentially good sign.
Speaking of Lynch, Schneider addressed concerns that the running back has not officially retired.
“We just haven’t received his papers yet,” Schneider said. “He’s been out of the country riding camels and stuff.”
As we pointed out the other day, the Seahawks could merely release Lynch as a June 1 cut to add $2.5 million on this year’s cap (it would move to 2017).
“Yeah, it would create some cap room,’’ Schneider said. “I’m not sure we’re at the point where we specifically need that. We just haven’t decided whether or not we’re going to wait until then to do it.’’
As for Lynch’s replacement, Carroll said he hopes Thomas Rawls (broken ankle) will be ready for camp. Carroll also said he hopes Graham will be ready for the start of the season.