The Seahawks' options for trading for help on their offensive line appear to be dwindling.
The NFL trade deadline is now just a little over a week away, arriving next Tuesday (Oct. 31) at 1 p.m. Seattle time.
The Seahawks always try to be as active as possible if it makes sense, something general manager John Schneider reiterated in his weekly interview on 710 ESPN Seattle before Sunday’s 24-7 win against the New York Giants.
“Just continuously in talks with as many people as we possibly can be,’’ Schneider said.
The Seahawks, in fact, have already tried to make moves to address the team’s most obvious need, the offensive line.
As reported last week, the Seahawks talked to Buffalo about left tackle Cordy Glenn, Houston about left tackle Duane Brown and brought in free agent left tackle Branden Albert for a visit that lasted roughly a week.
But none of those avenues proved successful, and with the deadline nearing it appears trade/signing options may be getting even more scarce, with two news events Monday shrinking the pool.
First, Brown — who had been holding out, which is what had led to trade talks — showed up to work in Houston and told reporters there he doesn’t want to be traded. And with Houston suddenly featuring one of the more exciting offenses in the NFL and appearing a legitimate playoff team, the Texans would have had less incentive to deal him, anyway.
Next, Cleveland left tackle Joe Thomas was ruled out for the year with a triceps injury suffered Sunday.
It hadn’t necessarily been considered that Thomas was going to be available for a trade — Thomas has said repeatedly he wants to stay in Cleveland and the team has appeared to resist any trade offers for years. But with the Browns’ season again going down in flames, maybe they would have been more open to considering it as the deadline loomed.
But that won’t happen now with Thomas suffering the first significant injury of his NFL career.
As for Glenn, reports are Buffalo has a high asking price, one that may be even higher now that the Bills are also suddenly in the thick of things in the AFC East (Glenn was thought available due to his big salary and that the Bills seem to have a surplus of tackles).
Thomas, Glenn and Brown all have hefty salaries, and with the Seahawks having just a little under $2 million in salary cap space available Seattle has limited avenues for making a trade.
Specifically, Seattle couldn’t trade just draft picks for anyone making anything significant and would instead have to deal a big salary in return. Tight end Jimmy Graham is often mentioned in fan/media speculation since he has a $10 million salary and will be a free agent at the end of the season. But someone would have to want Graham, and the Seahawks likely value Graham more than fans who grow frustrated by some of his drops may think. Even in a game when he has some struggles, such as Sunday, he can still be a difference-maker, something the erratic Seattle offense needs (in other words, trading Graham for a left tackle might be trying to solve one problem by creating another).
Albert, as a free agent, would be the easiest acquisition and the length of time he spent in Seattle illustrates that the Seahawks were serious about signing him.
But the salary cap issues means the Seahawks couldn’t have offered all that much, and for a player who will turn 33 next month and has had some recent injuries they likely would have only wanted to offer a one-year deal at close to the veteran minimum, anyway ($1 million, in Albert’s case).
It’s possible that wasn’t all that enticing to Albert, who has made roughly $52 million in his career.
There are rumblings that Albert, who retired briefly in August before then being released by Jacksonville and becoming a free agent, may again be leaning toward retirement.
Anything, of course, can theoretically happen. And while the Sheldon Richardson trade was an example of a time when a trade that had been discussed for months actually happened, more common is for trades to happen that no one knows anything about.
But particularly in terms of big names who some thought might be available and would make the biggest potential impact on the offensive line, the options appear to be drying up some.
And that would mean the Seahawks maybe having to continue to dance the rest of the season with those who have brung them this far.
The good news there is that some of Sunday’s performances were promising.
Pro Football Focus judged Sunday’s game as the best of the year (and therefore, the career) for starting left tackle Rees Odhiambo, who is in his first season starting. The left guard tandem of Mark Glowinski and Ethan Pocic also appeared to grade out pretty well (PFF assessed that they allowed just one quarterback pressure). And PFF also judged that right guard Oday Aboushi did not allow any QB pressures.
Right tackle Germain Ifedi had more obvious issues, though he appeared to settle down in the second half when the Seahawks scored 21 of their 24 points
As Schneider said, expect Seattle to keep looking. Getting something done, though, is starting to seem even trickier.