Taking a look at Seattle's offensive line after additions made in free agency.
When the NFL free agent signing period began 14 days ago, what seemed like the biggest no-brainer in the league is that the Seahawks would try to add to their offensive line.
And while Seattle may not have made the two most high-profile offensive line signings in the NFL, the Seahawks did ultimately acquire two players with some significant starting experience who each figure to battle for starting jobs in 2017 — Luke Joeckel and Oday Aboushi.
The signing of Aboushi — he agreed on Friday to terms of a one-year deal that became official Monday — gives the Seahawks 12 offensive linemen on their current roster.
The Seahawks are likely to add a few more offensive linemen by the time camp starts — 15, 16 is roughly the usual number for training camp — either via free agency (both potentially signing another veteran or going the undrafted rookie route) and the draft.
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Of the 12 offensive linemen on the current roster, only one may have a set position on the team heading into the season — center Justin Britt.
Each of the other four starting spots appear likely to be up for grabs, as also appears likely to be the case for the last few roster spots.
Here’s a look at each of the 12 offensive linemen on the current roster and how their situation lays out heading into the season.
Justin Britt: As noted above, Britt appears to be the one sure thing on the line after making a successful transition to center in 2016. The Seahawks also may assure he is the center not just of the present but of the future as Britt could be due for a contract extension entering the season — which is the last on his initial four-year rookie deal. In fact, the way that the offensive line market blew through expectations during free agency may motivate the Seahawks that much more to try to get a deal done with Britt this off-season, though it’s worth noting that the market for centers specifically was a little tepid. That, though, could also just be a function of who was available. Regardless, if Seattle is serious about feeling good about the young players it has on its line and letting them develop, then securing the future of Britt seems a must.
Germain Ifedi: Seattle’s first-round pick in 2016 started all of last season at right guard. But while the team said it had no intentions of moving Ifedi back to the tackle spot he played in college, the moves during free agency — specifically, making a big play for T.J. Lang — indicate otherwise. Don’t be surprised if the Seahawks at least consider the idea of trying Ifedi at right tackle again this training camp.
Luke Joeckel: Joeckel played mostly left tackle at Jacksonville and it’s natural to assume that’s where he goes with the Seahawks to compete/take-over-for George Fant. But coach Pete Carroll emphasized how impressed the team was with Jockel’s play at left guard last season, and he could get a look there, as well — something else that also seems to indicate a willingness to explore options with Ifedi.
Mark Glowinski: Glowinski started all season at left guard. But that’s also where Joeckel played and where newly-signed Oday Aboushi has played, as well. Glowinski appears solely a guard, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team try him at both sides as it gets a sense of the best overall five.
George Fant: Adding a veteran left tackle doesn’t necessarily mean the team is throwing in the towel on Fant. But it does mean the team wants to have more options — and if it turns out that maybe Fant gets something of a redshirt year to develop further, that might not be the worst thing ever, either.
Garry Gilliam: Gilliam is one of the most interesting cases on the team. Having been tendered at just under $1.8 million, he is for the moment the second-highest-paid OL on the team after Joeckel. But the money is not guaranteed and should someone else emerge Gilliam could easily be cashiered, as was center Patrick Lewis a year ago when he was also tendered as a restricted free agent at $1.6 million. If Joeckel can fill the left tackle spot, and Ifedi right tackle, Gilliam could find himself in a precarious spot.
Robert Myers: A practice squad player last year, the Seahawks apparently envision Myers as mostly a right tackle though he also has played guard. Myers has a little bit of NFL experience, and was on Denver’s 53-man roster when it beat Carolina in the Super Bowl.
Rees Odhiambo: A third-round who played sparingly last season — 33 snaps to be exact. But the Seahawks envision Odhaimbo taking a significant leap this season and he could factor in to the battles at both guard, his listed position last season and tackle — recall he played nine snaps at left tackle in the win over the Eagles when Fant was injured. The two drives he played ended in a touchdown and a field goal.
Oday Aboushi: Aboushi has played mostly guard in a four-year NFL career. But he was a tackle at the University of Virginia and drafted originally by the Jets as a tackle, and the Seahawks apparently may look at him as either a guard or a tackle and see where he fits best.
Joey Hunt: Hunt was the backup center last season in his rookie year, getting one start at Tampa Bay. Hunt doesn’t really project at any other spot so his entre to a roster spot this year would again appear to be as Britt’s backup.
Ross Burbank: Burbank, who was a teammate of Aboushi’s at Virginia for two years, was signed to the practice squad late in the season and then re-signed in January. Though listed by Seattle fully as a center, Burbank started full seasons at Virginia at both guard and center and that versatility could make him a contender for a roster spot since the Seahawks will want someone other than Britt who has experience at center.
Will Pericak: A former defensive lineman at Colorado, Pericak — who has been on five different NFL rosters since 2013 — has been on the practice squad the last two years, making clear the Seahawks see something they like. Pericak is listed by the Seahawks as both a guard and center. And like Burbank, that versatility could prove intriguing for a final roster spot. At 27, Pericak also holds the distinction of being the oldest offensive lineman on Seattle’s current roster.