The NFL year begins in a month, and the rumors and speculation are heating up across the league as free agency and the trading period approach.
In addition to the usual free agency chatter, there is a lot of speculation about what the Seahawks are going to do with veterans Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett — all signed for 2018.
Barring value trade offers, we expect all three to be back — Thomas with a new deal and Sherman and Bennett likely playing their final seasons in Seattle.
Here’s the latest scuttlebutt on Seattle’s top pending free agents and some players who have been mentioned in connection with the Seahawks:
Continue reading Latest free agency rumors & tidbits
As Luke Joeckel returns to Jacksonville to face the team that made him the No. 2 pick in the 2013 draft, the Seahawks finally have put together a quintet of blockers that could carry them the rest of this season — and perhaps for the next few.
The crew of (from left) Duane Brown, Joeckel, Justin Britt, Ethan Pocic and Germain Ifedi looks like the best Seattle has had in two seasons. It should be, based on draft pedigree — Brown, Joeckel and Ifedi were first-round picks and Britt and Pocic second-rounders.
Continue reading Hawks finally found their five O-linemen
Three-quarters of the way through the season, the Seahawks are finally starting to look like the Super Bowl contender we all expected.
Well, not exactly like we all expected.
Having lost three star defenders and their preferred starting running back, while dealing with a variety of other injuries and issues (penalties, offensive line shuffling, etc.), they have had a lot to overcome and have changed in unexpected ways. That explains why it took them 12 games to look like one of the NFC’s top teams.
Continue reading Key guys playing big roles in contract years; who might be back?
John Schneider and Pete Carroll know they have wasted two years of their great defense because of a poor offensive line — one that is even worse than the middling units they had as they reached the Super Bowl in 2013 and 2014 — and the team’s chiefs apparently have had enough.
Fans have been calling for them to add a good left tackle since Russell Okung left after the 2015 season. After using Bradley Sowell, George Fant and Rees Odhiambo over the past two seasons, they finally did it — Schneider pulling off his second blockbuster deal in two months to add another Pro Bowl player.
Some think Schneider is selling the future for one last hurrah, but he’s really just making sure the Hawks don’t waste this window any more than they already have. And he’s doing it at little cost to the future.
Continue reading Hawks finally tired of wasting a great defense
The Seahawks’ $8 million gamble failed.
Luke Joeckel made it five games before hitting the shelf again. He’s out at least a month, and it could be a lot longer. He’s just the latest big-money addition that hasn’t turned out for Seattle.
In eight offseasons in charge of the Seahawks, John Schneider has paid 11 outside veterans at least $4.8 million a year. For a variety of reasons, just two of them — Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril — have turned out to be worth it.
Unless Joeckel returns for the final five or six games and helps steady the offense through the playoffs, he will end up joining the likes of Sidney Rice, Zach Miller, Robert Gallery, Matt Flynn, Percy Harvin, Cary Williams and Jimmy Graham as big-money busts.
Continue reading Another lost vet bet, and we’re on O-line No. 3
Talking about it is tiresome, but it’s really the only thing hindering the Seahawks from winning another Super Bowl, so, until the Seahawks fix their offensive line, it will remain the topic du jour.
People can talk all they want about Kam Chancellor’s 2015 holdout or Earl Thomas’ 2016 injury being major factors in the Seahawks not advancing far in the playoffs those years. But the simple fact is: If the Hawks’ offensive line had been anywhere close to average in those seasons, the Hawks would have had a great shot at winning the Super Bowl — even with the issues in the secondary.
So now here we are again, coming off a significant opening loss to one of Seattle’s top NFC rivals, and the offensive line remains the biggest hindrance to Seattle’s success. And we have no idea if it will become any good, despite the insistence of Pete Carroll and Tom Cable that it will.
Continue reading When will Hawks’ O-line investments pay off?
Even as John Schneider extends core players and fills roster gaps this preseason, it is clear he is already looking intently toward the 2018 offseason.
With a bunch of players on one-year deals and half a dozen key extensions to consider next year, Schneider and contract expert Matt Thomas need to create as much financial flexibility as possible.
That explains why they used a rare (for Seattle) structure in Justin Britt’s three-year, $27 million deal: an option bonus.
Continue reading Britt’s deal shows eye toward 2018 contracts
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?