The Seahawks are re-signing veteran guard Mike Iupati, which was first reported by Tom Pelissero of NFL Media, adding to an already-stacked offensive line room.
A source confirmed to the Seattle Times that the move, which will give the Seahawks 17 offensive linemen on their current roster, is expected to happen.
Iupati, 33, has agreed to come back on a one-year deal, though no financial terms were immediately available.
Iupati, who played at Idaho and later had stints with the 49ers and Arizona, started 15 games last season for Seattle at left guard in his first year with the Seahawks but then missed the playoffs with a stinger/neck injury. However, that the team is re-signing Iupati indicates there are no urgent concerns about Iupati’s health.
Because Seattle already had 16 offensive linemen either signed, agreed to terms or having been tendered, it was unclear if Iupati was still in the team’s plans.
But Iupati is a favorite of line coach Mike Solari, who also coached Iupati when each was with the 49ers from 2010-14, and the team perceived him as playing well last season when he was healthy. He started the final 15 regular season games after missing the opener with a foot injury and his 1,015 snaps were the second-most of his career.
And bringing back Iupati could potentially foreshadow a pending move with center Justin Britt, especially in light of Seattle also having signed B.J. Finney as a free agent last month.
There was much speculation when he signed last month on a two-year deal worth up to $8 million that Finney could be in line to take over for Iupati at left guard.
But Finney has also been viewed as a possible candidate at center — the Seahawks, in fact, list Finney solely as a center on their current roster.
Britt’s future has been a matter of rampant speculation for a while now as his release would save the Seahawks $8.5 million against the salary cap if done either before or after June 1. Britt is also recovering from an ACL injury suffered in a game at Atlanta on Oct. 27. He would likely have to be released with an injury designation.
Seattle also lists Joey Hunt as a center — he has been tendered as a restricted free agent — and Ethan Pocic and Kyle Fuller as guard/centers.
So, the team has plenty of potential candidates at center, and that much more depth at the interior line positions with Iupati now back in the fold.
Iupati will likely again be atop the depth chart at left guard heading into camp. But others who will compete there include Pocic, who started the first game of last season at left guad when Iupati was still recovering from a foot injury, as well as Jamarco Jones, who filled in for Iupati for the playoff games, and Phil Haynes, who then took over in the divisional playoff loss at Green Bay when Jones was injured.
Warmack also figures to be given a shot at one or both guard spots — 48 of his 51 career NFL starts are listed as having come at right guard, according to Pro Football Reference. Seattle also last week re-signed Jordan Simmons, who can play guard or tackle.
D.J. Fluker returns as the presumptive starter at right guard.
But Fluker also has just one year left on his contract and he the Seahawks could save $3.687 million against the cap if he is released either before or after June 1.
Lots of bodies, and lots more intrigue, with Seattle’s offensive line, with Iupati’s return Tuesday only adding to it all.