Whatever you might think about what the Seahawks have done so far during the offseason, what you can’t say is that they have ignored the offensive line.
Of the eight veteran players added to the Seattle roster since free agency began (and we’ll include tight end Greg Olsen, who signed in February), four are offensive linemen.
None of the four comes to the Seahawks with Pro Bowl resumes, and some Seattle fans were undoubtedly hoping the team might have made a run one of the more highly regarded free agents available such as tackle Jack Conklin.
But the addition of four veterans means Seattle now has 15 offensive linemen who are either under contract, have been tendered as free agents and appear likely to return, or have agreed to terms. Another, Jordan Simmons, is expected to re-sign with the Seahawks soon, bringing the total to 16.
Seattle had 15 offensive linemen when training camp began last year, so at this point the Seahawks have enough depth.
The Seahawks, though, will likely continue to make some moves up front, almost certain to add a lineman or two in the draft or as undrafted free agents, which could mean having to make a cut or two to make room.
All the activity makes it a good time to review Seattle’s current allotment of offensive linemen.
Here is the list of those signed/tendered/agreed to terms, in alphabetical order, with comment.
Justin Britt: There remains much conjecture about the future of Britt, who has a cap hit of $11.4 million this year, fifth-highest on the team, with Seattle able to save $8.5 million if he were released (though the fact he is rehabbing an ACL injury could complicate things there). Or, Seattle could restructure his deal. But if on the roster and healthy, he’s still the likely starting center in 2020.
Duane Brown: Brown is signed through 2021 as the starting left tackle, the most certain thing there is on the offensive line.
B.J. Finney: Interestingly, Seattle lists Finney, a former Steeler who signed a two-year deal, as only a center on its roster. But the main thought is that he will plug in at left guard to take the place of Mike Iupati.
D.J. Fluker: Fluker has one year left on a two-year deal signed last spring, and his contract is worth noting. While no one would suggest he’s not in the team’s plans, all of the loading up on guards indicates the team could at least explore options if Fluker were to struggle in camp. Fluker has a $4.187 million cap hit this year but only $500,000 is in dead money, meaning Seattle would save $3.687 million if it were to release him.
Kyle Fuller: It’s easy to forget that Fuller ended last season on the team’s 53-man roster. He’s on a one-year minimum deal and will vie for a backup spot at guard and center. He made two starts with Houston in 2017.
Phil Haynes: A fourth-round pick last year, Haynes appears firmly in the team’s long-range plans as a guard.
Joey Hunt: Hunt, the starting center at the end of last season, was given an original-round restricted free-agent tender. That means he has until April 17 to accept offers from other teams that the Seahawks can then match, or if he signs with another team Seattle would be due a sixth-round pick in return. Most likely is that he stays with Seattle on a $2.1 million cap hit. The salary, though, is not guaranteed, and Hunt appears likely to have a battle to keep his job with the addition of Finney, unless a move is made with Britt.
Jamarco Jones: A fifth-round pick in 2018 out of Ohio State, he got starts last year at both guard and tackle. Seeing exactly where he fits will be another intriguing thing to watch when camp begins.
Demetrius Knox: Another player easy to forget as he spent last year on Injured Reserve with a quad injury. But he was a two-year starter at guard for Ohio State, and the Seahawks seem intrigued by his potential.
Cedric Ogbuehi: Another former 2015 first-round pick, he signed a one-year deal for $2.3 million overall and $500,000 guaranteed, indicating it’s a decent shot he makes the team as a swing tackle and maybe in the George Fant big tight-end role.
Ethan Pocic: Seattle’s 2017 second-round pick out of LSU, he is entering the final season of his four-year rookie deal, but the team could save just $1 million against the cap if he’s released. Seattle lists him as a center/guard, but he can also play tackle.
Jordan Roos: Roos has played in 14 games in three years with the Seahawks and is back on a one-year deal to again try to win a job as a backup guard.
Brandon Shell: Shell is the big-ticket OL signee so far for the Seahawks, agreeing to a two-year deal for up to $11 million (though the exact details are still unclear). After starting 40 games for the Jets over the last four years it’s anticipated he’ll step into Germain Ifedi’s spot at right tackle. But expect Ogbuehi and maybe Jones and Wheeler to also get a shot there, and maybe even Pocic.
Jordan Simmons: Simmons started three games at guard in 2018, with Seattle rushing for 214 yards or more in two of those contests, indicating that he might have a bright future with the team. But he missed last season after having knee surgery and was not tendered as an exclusive-rights free agent. However, a source confirmed to The Seattle Times that Simmons is expected to eventually re-sign with the Seahawks as a free agent.
Chance Warmack: A first-round pick out by Tennessee in 2013, he had three decent seasons starting at right guard from 2015-17 before injuries derailed things, and he took last year off to get healthy. He’s on a one-year deal, and he’ll obviously be one of the more intriguing players to watch in camp.
Chad Wheeler: Probably the easiest player on this list to overlook. But Wheeler was called up to the 53-man roster during the playoffs after spending almost three months on the practice squad, and he has lots of experience with offensive-line coach Mike Solari, having started five games for the Giants in 2017 at tackle when Solari was the OL coach there. He then started 14 more for the Giants in 2018 and was an All-Pac-12 pick as a left tackle at USC in 2016.
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