Earl Thomas is expected to move on via free agency, making 2019 the first season since 2009 when not a single founding member of the Legion of Boom will likely be on Seattle's active roster heading into the season.

Share story

The 2019 season figures to mark a rather melancholy passing for the Seahawks, or at least their fans — the first season since 2009 in which not a single founding member of the Legion of Boom is on the roster.

Technically, Earl Thomas remains on Seattle’s roster. But that figures to change on or sometime closely after March 13, when players can begin officially signing as free agents with other teams. Kam Chancellor also remains on the roster, but also likely won’t by the time training camp rolls around.

The Seahawks, of course, have lived life without the LOB, playing the final 12 regular season games of last season as well as the playoff against Dallas without Thomas, who was the last remaining playing member of what will always be one of the most famed groups in Seattle history (and yes, I didn’t just say sports there).

But if life wasn’t the same without the LOB last year, and won’t ever be again, life also goes on.

The question now is whether the Seahawks truly believe they have what they need on hand to make life work after the LOB, or if some major changes will be in store this offseason.

Here’s our review of the secondary, with contract details from OvertheCap.com and Spotrac.com.

2018 REVIEW

The story of last offseason was the holdout of Thomas, who recall was never with the team in any capacity from the end of the 2017 season until he reported the week before the 2018 regular season began, not wanting to miss out on $500,000 per week game checks.

Thomas proved he hadn’t lost a step during the three full games he played with the Seahawks, making three interceptions — which finished tied for the team lead for the season (Bradley McDougald also had three).

Once Thomas was lost for the year with a broken leg suffered late in week four against Arizona, Seattle went with second-year player Tedric Thompson at free safety and McDougald at strong safety.

The Seahawks went 6-4 in the games started by Thompson, who missed the last two regular season games due to injury, games in which Delano Hill moved into the starting lineup at strong safety with McDougald at free. Overall, Seattle was 8-4 in games after Thomas was injured, and while some of the stats weren’t LOB-esque, that the Seahawks were successful enough without Thomas obviously is playing a role in how Seattle is handling the secondary going forward.

The cornerback story was no less interesting as fifth-round pick Tre Flowers made a quick transition from college safety to earn the starting right cornerback spot, which made it irrelevant that veteran Byron Maxwell was essentially a flameout, hurt throughout camp and then waived early in the season (same with veteran free agent Dontae Johnson, also waived early on). Pro Football Focus, though, noted that Flowers allowed a 111 passer rating in 2018, highest of any of Seattle’s cornerbacks.

Shaquill Griffin made the move to left cornerback in his second season, Richard Sherman’s old spot — a hard act to live up to. Griffin had some struggles and seemed to be increasingly targeted by opponents as the season wore on. But coach Pete Carroll said at the end of the year he thought Griffin was “very consistent’’ and “really solid’’ and that “he’s just going to continue to get better,” appearing to indicate that for now, the team will go with Griffin at that spot.

Justin Coleman manned the slot and didn’t make the highlight-reel plays as he had in 2017 and now is an unrestricted free agent and it’s uncertain if he’ll be back.

SAFETIES

STARTERS

TEDRIC THOMPSON

Key stat: Was rated the number 52 safety in the NFL in 2018 by Pro Football Focus.

Contract status: Entering third season of four-year rookie contract with a base salary of $645,000 in 2019.

EARL THOMAS

Key stat: Had he had enough games to qualify, would have been number two on PFF’s rating of safeties in 2018.

Contract status: Will become an unrestricted free agent on March 13.

BRADLEY MCDOUGALD

Key stat: Tied for team lead in picks with three and second in tackles with 78.

Contract status: Entering second of a three-year deal worth $13.5 million overall with a base salary of $2.9 million in 2019.

BACKUPS/OTHERS ON ROSTER

DELANO HILL

Key stat: Started final two regular season games and finished with 23 tackles.

Contract status: Entering third year of his four-year rookie deal with a base salary in 2019 of $678,000.

SHALOM LUANI

Key stat: Played 10 defensive snaps in 2018.

Contract status: An Exclusive Rights Free Agent.

MAURICE ALEXANDER

Key stat: Did not play a snap on defense in 2018 but did have 133 special teams snaps.

Contract status: Will become an unrestricted free agent on March 13.

T.J. MUTCHERSON

Key stat: Free safety from Central Florida spent the season on Injured Reserve.

Contract status: Is now an Exclusive Rights Free Agent.

MARWIN EVANS

Key stat: Has played in 32 NFL games with Packers. Was signed to practice squad in January.

Contract status: Signed to a futures deal in January with a one-year base salary of $645,000.

NOTE — Kam Chancellor also remains officially on Seattle’s roster, recently having $5.2 million in base salary guaranteed for 2019 season.

CORNERBACK

STARTERS

SHAQUILL GRIFFIN

Key stat: Rated 111th out of 112 cornerbacks with enough snaps to qualify by Pro Football Focus.

Contract status: Entering third season of four-year rookie deal with a base salary in 2019 of $680,000.

TRE FLOWERS

Key stat: Rated 67th by PFF.

Contract status: Entering second of four-year rookie deal with a base salary in 2019 of $570,000.

JUSTIN COLEMAN

Key stat: Had 10 pass defenses, second on team to the 11 of Bobby Wagner.

Contract status: Will become an unrestricted free agent March 13 after playing last season on a one-year restricted free agent tender.

BACKUPS/OTHERS ON ROSTER

NEIKO THORPE

Key stat: Played 29 snaps on defense this season and has 218 in three years with Seahawks, during which he has been primarily a special teams standout, playing 62 percent of snaps or more on special teams each year (snap counts via Pro Football Reference).

Contract status: Will become unrestricted free agent March 13.

AKEEM KING

Key stat: Played 145 snaps on defense, most late in the season when he took on a role in specialty packages covering bigger receivers.

Contract status: A Restricted Free Agent.

KALAN REED

Key stat: Was on active roster for final eight games but did not play.

Contract status: An Exclusive Rights Free Agent.

SIMEON THOMAS

Key stat: Spent the season on practice squad.

Contract status: Signed one-year futures deal with a base salary of $495,000.

JEREMY BOYKINS

Key stat: A training camp standout in 2018 who ended season on practice squad.

Contract status: Signed one-year futures deal with a base salary of $495,000.

OFFSEASON OBJECTIVES

Carroll consistently praised the progress of the young players in the secondary. But just how much faith Seattle has in those players will be determined by — and will determine — the moves they make this offseason.

Seattle has to make at least one significant decision – whether to re-sign Coleman, and if not, then figuring out who plays the slot corner.

Seattle also has to decide what to do with King — it seems unlikely he’d get tendered, turning him then into an unrestricted free agent. But it’s thought the team would like to keep him.

Seattle could also perceive itself as having a good corps of safeties, with McDougald, Hill and Thompson all under contract for at least two more years, Luani easily retainable, and having signed Evans, who played 547 special teams snaps in two years with Green Bay and could project as a serviceable backup.

POSSIBLE FREE AGENT TARGETS

The roster construction in the secondary — young players available at every starting spot, along with McDougald — seems to argue against Seattle spending a lot of money for free agents in this area.

Also, while McDougald has proven to be a good signing, Seattle’s success with veteran free agents in the secondary has been mixed overall — recall the failed Cary Williams experiment in 2015 when he was released after playing just 10 games after signing a three-year, $18 million contract. Seattle hasn’t paid any outside free agent at any position that much money since then.

If the Seahawks are looking for a veteran who knows the defense there’s Ron Parker, who played four games for Seattle in 2011 and 2012 before going on to be a fulltime starter with the Chiefs from 2014-18 before being waived in January.

DRAFT OUTLOOK

Since drafting Thomas with the 14th overall pick in 2010 the Seahawks have taken a defensive back higher than fourth round just once — Shaquill Griffin in the third in 2017.

But more than a few mock drafters have thought that — with the LOB now apparently gone — Seattle could break that trend this year.

Two defensive backs commonly mocked to Seattle include LSU cornerback Greedy Williams, who at a listed 6-3, 184 fits the Seahawk mold, and Alabama safety Deionte Thompson and Delaware safety Nasir Adderly.

Two local players may also be available at 21 — or maybe even a little later should the Seahawks trade down — cornerback Byron Murphy and safety Taylor Rapp.

This is regarded as a particularly strong draft for defense with the secondary being no exception so Seattle will have some options to improve the back end if it desires.