When Will O-Line Finally Be Addressed?
The NFL free agency period is set to begin next week. We’ve already discussed the Seahawks own free agents and what should or should not happen with them. Who might the Seahawks choose to target from outside their own organization?
Here are a few areas I expect to see the hawks deal with via the crazy world of NFL free agency.
With J.R. Sweezy a free agent himself, the Seahawks have an opportunity to improve at the right guard position, a position that has seen its most impressive play the last couple of years being equal to a spaghetti strainer. To address that glaring hole in the line that protects Russell Wilson, I don’t see any reason why the Seahawks should not take a serious look at Kelechi Osemele.
Osemele has been a most impressive young guard for the Baltimore Ravens the past four seasons. The Ravens are in a financial situation that makes it unlikely that they can afford to re-sign their free agent. That paves the way for the Seahawks to snatch him up in free agency.
The best projection I can come up with on contract numbers say Osemele is going to fall into a contract that is a 4-5 year deal at $7-8 million per season. It would probably take some shuffling but it is possible the Seahawks could come up with a deal for Osemele in that range.
Another likely departing free agent for the Seahawks is Bruce Irvin. Irvin made no secret about the fact that he wanted to go to Atlanta to play with former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Sure, I heard him reverse that statement as the 2015 season got underway, but I really don’t buy it.
Letting Irvin go opens up the door for Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vincent Rey to join the team. Rey was the top tackler on a much improved Bengals team in 2015. He’s also a guy that fits into the Seahawks system as an outside backer in a 4-3 scheme better than he does with the Bengals a 3-4 guy.
Imagine a linebacking corps featuring Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, and Vincent Rey. The Seahawks already have the Legion of Boom in the secondary. That potential trio could easily be named the Legion of Pain.
Would I like to be writing about Josh Norman in this spot? Sure, but let’s be a bit realistic. The Seahawks live in a world with a salary cap and they can’t just sign everyone they want to because Paul Allen has that much money.
A good compromise for the Seahawks that would improve their corner spot opposite Richard Sherman would be to go out and get Green Bay Packers corner Casey Hayward. Last year the Seahawks turned to free agency to resolve the right corner position and wound up with Cary Williams.
Calling the Williams signing anything short of a disaster would be an understatement. The Seahawks had to cut Williams midway through the season because his play was so bad. Hayward would be a more talented, younger, and better option but those things do come with a price tag.
Signing Hayward would likely cost the Seahawks at least $8-9 million per season. Can they take on that much more salary and stay under the cap? Thankfully, that’s John Schneider’s job to figure out, not mine. The retirement of Marshawn Lynch does save the Seahawks some money but more shuffling would be required to make this deal happen.