Seahawks Offseason To-Do List
With Seattle’s season over, it’s time to focus on the things that need to be done to get this team back on track for the upcoming season, as well as the years ahead. Despite the fatally flawed offensive line, this is a team that is overall pretty solidly constructed. However, I’m writing this piece right now and not in February for a reason. I’ll offer my input and outlook on every position. Very little here is final in my mind; I’ll likely revisit this closer to draft/free agency time. But for now:
QB: Not much to do here. Maybe sign a veteran backup if the team feels moved to do so.
FB: Marcel Reece is good; really good. Definitely re-sign him if he’d like to stay, maybe draft a fullback for depth.
RB: There’s work to be done here. While Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise are very talented players, they’ve shown to be about as durable as a mountain of stale graham crackers. Alex Collins isn’t very impressive, but if he can improve, that would be nice. Definitely draft at least 1-2 running backs, of which one needs to be a power back. Thomas Rawls can’t be the only guy built to get tough yards between the tackles. If Seattle can hit on this position in the draft, it will go a very long way towards resurrecting a run game that sat towards the bottom of the league. I’m hoping that Rawls and Prosise going into the offseason healthy will be a big help for both of them in terms of improving their durability. We’ll see.
WR: Maybe a little work to be done here. Should probably add a receiver for depth, with Lockett recovering from a broken leg, and Jermaine Kearse being awful. I’d look for Paul Richardson to get a lot more play going forward, even after Lockett is 100%.
TE: Not much to do here. Hopefully get Luke Willson re-signed at a decent rate. Otherwise, draft another TE and just chill out.
If you thought I’d have a lot to say about the offensive line, you’re damn right. This group was a problem for the entire season, and they have ranked among the worst units in football for several years. Russell Wilson has been one of the most-frequently pressured quarterbacks in football for his entire career. It’s time to seriously address this. With that said, I’m not exactly looking for the team to pull off a complete overhaul; lack of continuity has been an issue too. Changes definitely need to be made, though. And no more acquiring defensive linemen to convert to OL. Not a one. No.
OT: The tackle group was the biggest liability on the team this season, and I say this after having watched Devonta Freeman juke Steven Terrell out of his soul in space. Garry Gilliam played a lot better after being benched late in the season, and George Fant does have potential to improve substantially, but you’re on peyote if you think I’m trying to watch those two hold down the offensive edges for another season. It is past time for the team to make a big move for an offensive lineman in free agency. I’d love to see Seattle aggressively push for Baltimore’s Ricky Wagner or Detroit’s Riley Reiff (while Reiff could play LT as well, I’d be shocked to see the team go after both) to really hold down the right tackle spot for multiple seasons. Gilliam is a better fit stylistically at LT anyway; let him, Fant, and maybe even Rees Odhiambo fight it out for the left tackle position while establishing legitimate stability on the right edge. With a more physical presence on the right side, the Seahawks can get back to doing some real work in the run game. In the very, very least? Draft a right tackle on day one.
OG: The performance on the interior was not very good, but nowhere near as bad as in years past, which says a lot. Mark Glowinski at left guard was… okay. Germain Ifedi at right guard was erratic. Some good plays and a lot of bad, including some penalties that were far less than ideal. There’s been talk of moving Ifedi out to RT at some point and I think that shouldn’t happen. Not just for the sake of continuity, but because I’ve seen little to nothing about his play that justifies forcing him to deal with more athletic defenders WHILE opening a hole at RG. If a proven talent becomes available in free agency to compete for a spot on the interior, then I’m all for it. NOT at the expense of improving the tackle situation, though. Maybe spend a pick on a guard for depth.
OC: Joey Hunt wasn’t so bad in limited action. Justin Britt was Seattle’s best offensive lineman by a country mile. Get Britt signed to a long-term deal immediately. That’s it. Maybe draft a center for depth. No real need here.
DE: I’ve heard this is supposed to be a good draft for edge rushers. Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril are both in their early thirties. Frank Clark is great. No other defensive end has really done much to warrant job security though. I’d hope Seattle drafts at least two DEs, with one more of a speed rusher in Avril’s likeness. Hitting on a couple of edge rushers here would be lovely for depth, as well as the years ahead. The last time this group was deep, Seattle euthanized the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, 43-8. Good times.
DT: Seattle needs a 3-tech pass rusher badly. Michael Bennett and Frank Clark like to rush from the interior on occasion, but they’re not true DTs. The last time Seattle had a legitimate presence here, the team went to the Super Bowl. There are some prospects on IR, but this is a position that absolutely needs to be addressed in free agency. I want to see Seattle make an aggressive play for Calais Campbell. Pulling that off not only gives the defense an all-around presence at DT, but would strike a major blow against a division rival. That would be sensational. Anyway, this is a position that needs to be filled by a veteran, and it is a true need, sack numbers be damned.
LB: Not very much to do here. Re-sign SLB Mike Morgan for cheap, maybe add a couple of young linebackers in the draft. Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright are firmly entrenched at the Mike (middle) and Will (weakside) positions. The Sam (strongside) LB doesn’t get too much play in this defense.
CB: This is suddenly a position of concern. DeShawn Shead has torn his ACL and will likely miss a good chunk of the next season. Unlike the other positions, I think this is a draft matter only. Head coach Pete Carroll seems to have a bit of a funky time integrating free agents into his system. With that said, he is, in my opinion, the best secondary coach in the game, and if the right tackle position is properly addressed in free agency, this frees up that first-round pick to spend on a top CB prospect. Either way I expect to see at least one or two corners added in the draft.
S: I definitely expect to see at least one safety drafted. Kelcie McCray is a free agent, and while Steven Terrell did his very best, watching him play made my eyes bleed at times. Earl Thomas is still recovering from his broken leg, and while I’d love to see him ready before preseason, I wouldn’t want to see him hurried along one bit. Plus, while Kam Chancellor had an outstanding season, the simple fact is that you can’t count on him to be available for 16+ games every season. It happens. Just need to prepare and adjust. None of the backup safeties have the penchant for big hits that the starters do. I’d love to see Seattle draft a backup safety who can really lay the wood. Maybe a slot cornerback/safety hybrid in the likeness of Tyrann Mathieu? A player like that could be fun while filling multiple needs. Who knows?
K: Steven Hauschka will probably be back. While he’s had his struggles, there aren’t many reliable free agent kickers out there. Moving on.
P: Jon Ryan is under contract until 2020.
LS: The long snapper position has been… not very consistent. I’m not sure what Clint Gresham did to warrant a release but I will hope current LS Nolan Frese can improve his craft before next season.
The Seahawks typically draft very well, save for a shaky history of adding talent on the offensive line and defensive line. I won’t jump to conclusions on this most recent draft class, but I will say I get the feeling this team is primed to add some studs in this upcoming draft, especially on the defensive side of the ball. An effective offseason can absolutely get this team back into the Super Bowl; I certainly hope that happens.