Earl Thomas' injury led to an uncharacteristic year for the Legion of Boom.

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Many of the names of the players in the group were still the same in 2016.

But by the end of the season, some wondered if the group name itself – the Legion of Boom — still fit.

“The Legion of Boom is no more,’’ wrote Jason Cole of Bleacher Report following Seattle’s 36-20 loss to Atlanta in the divisional playoffs.

The Seahawks could protest that by that point, the Legion of Boom wasn’t whole — free safety Earl Thomas suffered a season-ending broken leg on Dec. 4 and missed the last four regular season games and both playoff contests.

And if anyone had ever doubted Thomas’ value to the LOB, the six games he missed made it more evident than ever.

Among other stats, the Seahawks gave up 34 or more points in three of the six games without Thomas after having not allowed more than 24 in the first 12 games (a stretch that included wins against each of the Super Bowl participant, each held to exactly 24 points).

And Seattle did not have an interception in any of the six games after Thomas was injured, the longest drought in team history, and leaving the team with just 11 for the season, the fewest of the Pete Carroll era.

The news got worse during the Atlanta game itself as cornerback DeShawn Shead suffered an ACL injury in the third quarter that will likely threaten his availability for the beginning of the 2017 season.

It left coach Pete Carroll saying the team has two specific goals heading into the offseason.

“We’ve got to get Earl back,’’ he said. “We have to get that corner thing squared away. We’ll certainly be looking at that in the draft.’’

Here’s a closer look at the secondary in 2016 and going forward as we continue our post-season review of Seahawks’ position groups.



Richard Sherman

Snaps played: 1.054 of 1,080, 97.59 percent (per Pro Football Reference).

Contract situation: Signed through 2018.

Stats: 58 tackles, four interceptions.

DeShawn Shead

Snaps played: 919 of 1,080, 85.09 percent.

Contract situation: Restricted free agent.

Stats: 80 tackles, one interception.

Jeremy Lane

Snaps played: 771 of 1,080, 71.39 percent.

Contract situation: Signed through 2019.

Stats: 46 tackles, zero interceptions.


Earl Thomas

Snaps played: 694 of 1,080, 64.26 percent.

Contract situation: Signed through 2018.

Stats: 46 tackles, two interceptions.


Kam Chancellor

Snaps played: 732 of 1,080, 67.78 percent.

Contract situation: Signed through 2017.

Stats: 81 tackles, two interceptions.



Neiko Thorpe

Snaps played: 97 of 1,080, 8.98 percent.

Contract situation: Unrestricted free agent.

Stats: 10 tackles, no interceptions.

DeAndre Elliott

Snaps played: 29 of 1,080, 2.69 percent.

Contract situation: Signed through 2018.

Stats: One tackle, no interceptions.


Kelcie McCray

Snaps played: 338 of 1,080, 31.30 percent.

Contract situation: Unrestricted free agent.

Stats: 35 tackles, no interceptions.

Steven Terrell

Snaps played: 384 of 1,080, 35.56 percent.

Contract situation: Restricted free agent.

Stats: 23 tackles, no interceptions.

Jeron Johnson

Snaps played: 17 of 1,080, 1.57 percent.

Contract situation: Unrestricted free agent.

Stats: Three tackles, no interceptions.


Seattle entered the season with a stable secondary that included nothing but homegrown players among its starting five (if you include the nickelback spot as a starting position).

That was in contrast to the 2015 season when Seattle signed veteran Cary Williams and installed him as a starting boundary cornerback.

But when Williams flopped and was released late in the season, it influenced the Seahawks to re-sign Jeremy Lane last March to a four-year, $23 million deal including $11 million guaranteed.

In something of a surprise, though, Shead won the starting slot at right cornerback opposite Richard Sherman with Lane filling the nickel role.

That foreshadowed what was ultimately something of a disappointing season for Lane.

“Jeremy played a lot of football this year,’’ Carroll said in what was a noticeably plaudit-free assessment of Lane’s season. “He was in the middle of a lot. He battled. I always want him to tackle better. I thought he missed some chances in his tackling. He competed his tail off.’’

It was a different sort of year for many of the rest of the group, as well. Chancellor missed four games at mid-season with a groin issue, Sherman had two notable sideline dust-ups, and then Thomas suffered the first injuries of his career that forced him to miss playing time.

Kelcie McCray filled in admirably for Chancellor, but Steven Terrell — who stepped into an especially tough spot being asked to fill in for Thomas having never started a game before — struggled.

Ultimately, the full Legion of Boom was intact for just seven of 18 regular season and post-season games.

GRADE: B-minus. When all healthy and accounted for, the Seattle secondary was generally as salty as ever. But all too often, that wasn’t the case.


For the first time in a while, the secondary is a spot the Seahawks need to seriously address in the offseason in a manner other than simply trying to re-sign its own players.

The Thomas injury shows that the Seahawks need to add some competition at safety.

And the Shead injury means the Seahawks need to address the cornerback spot significantly, either via free agency or the draft (and happily for Seattle it’s considered a pretty good year for defensive backs).

Shead also is a restricted free agent and McCray unrestricted, and Seattle will likely keep each in the fold.

Seattle also will consider giving Chancellor — whose contract runs out after the 2017 season — an extension, which could provide some salary cap relief in 2017 while assuring he stays with the team a few more years (something more heavily detailed here).

NEXT: Special teams.