In one swell foop Thursday, the Seahawks reset their offensive line for 2019 — bringing back D.J. Fluker and swapping in Mike Iupati for J.R. Sweezy (basically a trade with Arizona).
The Hawks now have four former first-round picks and one second-rounder as their line starters. You can hardly get better draft pedigree than that.
They also will return four starters to the line that led the league’s top rushing attack in 2018. They just have to hope Fluker and Iupati can stay healthy for Mike Solari — or at least combine with Jordan Simmons to put together 32 man-games at the guard spots in 2019.
Then John Schneider needs to work up a plan for beyond next season.
Continue reading 2019 line set, but what about the future?
Right after the Seahawks’ season ended prematurely, we put forth an offseason to-do list that included extending Frank Clark, improving the defensive line, addressing the future of right tackle, re-signing guards, deciding the fate of their linebackers, adding a vet safety and, of course, extending Russell Wilson.
Earlier this month, we also outlined the projected market for Seattle’s free agents — predicting the team would franchise Clark and keep at least one of the guards while probably/possibly losing Earl Thomas, K.J. Wright, Justin Coleman, Mike Davis and Shamar Stephen.
We also listed pass-rush options beyond Clark — as a No. 2 pass rusher should be Seattle’s top outside priority.
If the Seahawks wanted to, they could retain Clark and at least one guard; extend Wilson, Bobby Wagner and Jarran Reed; and still have around $20 million for other moves.
Here’s a detailed look at how Seattle could accomplish all of that:
Continue reading Hawks have roster flexibility: Here’s a detailed budget
Just as they seemed to be getting healthy, the Seahawks reportedly suffered another big injury.
With two and a half weeks remaining until roster decisions must be made, Pete Carroll and his coaches are making their midway tweaks and setting timelines for injured players. And now word comes that J.D. McKissic is out 4-6 weeks with a broken foot.
Among the other big developments Tuesday, based on Carroll’s comments: George Fant will move to right tackle to challenge Germain Ifedi; Doug Baldwin and Rashaad Penny might play next week and will definitely be ready for the opener; Amara Darboh has a new injury that could land him on IR; and Dion Jordan is probably not going to be ready for the opener in Denver.
On top of that, both kickers released Monday were picked up and the Hawks brought in another pass rusher, troubled Junior Galette, for a tryout.
Continue reading McKissic out 4-6 weeks, Fant to RT, Darboh to IR? And more updates
Richard Sherman is recovering from another Achilles surgery but expected to be ready for training camp, Chris Carson and George Fant are both on pace to return healthy and there are no new updates on Kam Chancellor, Cliff Avril or Malik McDowell.
Those were the major injury updates from Pete Carroll at the Combine today.
Continue reading Sherman, Carson, Fant expected to be ready
Pete Carroll isn’t ready to move Luke Joeckel to left tackle yet — he is holding out hope that Rees Odhiambo will play with confidence and consistency, letting his physical talent take over.
In the wake of George Fant’s season-ending ACL injury, Carroll indicated Monday that Odhiambo will get first crack at replacing Fant, Joeckel will remain at left guard and Mark Glowinski will remain at right guard.
The Seahawks also traded for versatile lineman Matt Tobin, who started 20 games at guard for the Eagles since coming into the league undrafted in 2013. Tobin started for the Eagles at right tackle last weekend, and the Seahawks surely see him as a versatile backup.
Continue reading Carroll hopes Odhiambo can hold left tackle
When Luke Joeckel signed with the Seahawks in March, it seemed like the logical move would be to make him the left tackle — he had much more pedigree than the undrafted George Fant.
But coaches thought Joeckel was better at left guard and Fant had promise at tackle, and that’s how they had lined up — and were set to line up in the opener at Green Bay — until Fant was injured Friday vs. Minnesota.
Now Fant will have to wait to prove his improvement and Joeckel probably is headed to tackle, where he was drafted to play by Jacksonville with the No. 2 overall pick in 2013.
As rough as Fant’s injury is for him, we don’t really know how much it hurts Seattle’s fledgling line. The reshuffled unit hadn’t proven a thing yet, even if Pete Carroll and Tom Cable had been excited about Fant’s performance. And you can’t really miss something you never had. Continue reading Fant not a huge loss with Joeckel here
We learned a lot about the Seahawks’ offensive line over the past couple of days — and we’ll learn a little more tonight when the Hawks host the Minnesota Vikings.
On Wednesday, Tom Cable announced that three-fifths of the line is set for the season opener, and Thursday the team announced that one of those three is set for the next four seasons — Justin Britt signing a three-year, $27 million extension.
It’s the only second deal for a Seattle starting lineman since 2012, when the team re-signed Breno Giacomini and extended Max Unger. As everyone knows, those two and the rest of the 2013 Super Bowl line were all gone by 2016 — none of them meriting what the market dictated the Hawks would have to pay.
His first two years, it certainly didn’t look like Britt would buck that trend. But he found a home at center last year and benefitted from the departure of J.R. Sweezy, becoming a technician rather than a Sweezy-style brawler.
“He has been a fantastic leader for us up there,” Pete Carroll said. “He had an excellent (2016) season and (has) played three spots and started at tackle, guard and center now. We really think he is in the best spot for him. I think it’s a recognition and acknowledgement of the player and teammate he has become for us.
“And also the fact that we are able to do it in the offensive line — I think it is important to note.”
Continue reading Will any other O-linemen be as worthy as Britt?
Michael Bennett and Richard Sherman both backed Russell Wilson in the wake of rift reports.
Bennett also shared more of his life philosophies (most of which make great sense).
Sherman came across as happy and ready to be a team player again.
Sherman’s attitude was one of several reasons Pete Carroll called it a “very successful offseason.”
Carroll said Jimmy Graham and Earl Thomas were the most impressive players this offseason.
The Seahawks have made a lot of errors regarding their offensive line in the last two years, and John Schneider admitted another one Wednesday at the Combine.
“We probably got a little bit too young,” he said of the 2016 starting crew that included neophyte George Fant, fellow first-year starters Mark Glowinski and Germain Ifedi, first-year center Justin Britt and undrafted right tackle Garry Gilliam.
Schneider told reporters he regretted not keeping veteran guard Jahri Evans — that probably would have been smarter than keeping J’Marcus Webb, who ended up starting three games at right guard (when Ifedi was hurt) and was later released.
The youth mistake of 2016 follows on the heels of trying to use untested Drew Nowak at center for too long in 2015 — an error Pete Carroll later lamented.
Schneider surely will try to do better with veteran linemen this offseason. He is expected to contact Russell Okung next week about a possible return. Okung reportedly is going to remain his own agent — that netted him a one-year deal worth $5 million with Denver last year. Schneider probably won’t be interested in paying anything more than $7 million a year on a short, incentivized contract.
Schneider officially can talk to Okung on March 7. Free agency begins March 9.
Continue reading Schneider admits O-line error, expected to contact Okung
A year ago, the Seahawks’ obvious priority was to build an almost entirely new offensive line. They ended up with three first-time starters, a fourth in a new position and a fifth who was only in his second year at his spot.
Everyone hoped against hope that bunch of neophytes would not be this Super Bowl contender’s undoing. But, along with a few key injuries, it was.
Despite the apparent lack of progress, Pete Carroll thinks they have set a foundation and the continuity will help the group improve even if the club does nothing to add to the unit. He also made it clear they do not plan to spend much money on the line.
Continue reading Don’t expect any big additions on O-line