On what became a busy first day of the free-agent signing period Wednesday for the Seahawks, there were three more pieces news that broke following the revelation that the team had agreed to terms with Bruce Irvin.
The Seahawks were reported to have agreed to terms with offensive linemen Brandon Shell, who spent the last four years with the Jets, and Cedric Ogbuehi, who played for the Jaguars last season.
It was also reported that safety Tedric Thompson has been “given permission to seek a trade.”
Here’s a quick look at each:
Seahawks add Shell as likely Germain Ifedi replacement?
The Seahawks made two moves to the offensive line Wednesday, agreeing to a two-year deal worth up to $11 million with Shell, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, and agreeing to sign tackle Ogbuehi, according to reports from Jordan Schultz of the Schultz Report and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. Ogbuehi was reported to have signed a one-year deal worth up to $3.3 million after playing last year in Jacksonville for $895,000.
They are potential replacements for free agent Germain Ifedi, the Seahawks’ first-round pick in 2016 who is not expected back.
Shell started 40 games over the last three seasons for the Jets, almost all of them at right tackle. Ogbuehi hasn’t started a game the last two seasons but started 15 games at both tackle spots for the Bengals in 2016-17.
Shell’s salary suggests the team may consider him the favorite for the right tackle spot. The signing comes two days after the Jets agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal with the Seahawks’ free agent George Fant, making this something of a trade.
But Ogbuehi is getting just enough of a salary to make you think the Seahawks will throw him into the competition. They could see him as a replacement for Fant and the backup swing-tackle role he has held the last few years, if not also the eligible tackle/big-tight-end role Fant had. In fact, ESPN’s Brady Henderson noted that Orbuehi played 56 snaps for the Jags last year as a tight end, seeming to further validate the idea that Seattle envisions him having a Fant-like role.
Ogbuehi was a first-round pick by the Bengals in 2015 out of Texas A&M, where he was teammates for a few years with Ifedi. Last year, he played in 14 games with the Jaguars as a backup tackle and was on the field for 155 snaps.
Shell entered last season as the team’s starting right tackle. He was benched for a while at midseason but returned to start the final five games of the year, playing just under 80 percent of the team’s snaps.
Shell, a fifth-round pick in the 2016 draft out of South Carolina, is the great nephew of Hall of Fame offensive lineman and former Raiders coach Art Shell.
Shell was graded 54th among offensive tackles last year by Pro Football Focus, judged to have allowed seven sacks, tied for the ninth most in the league.
He actually graded better as a pass blocker (64.7 by PFF) than run blocker (59.1), but he had a reputation coming out of college as being better in the run game.
Wrote NFL.com in its scouting report of Shell in 2016: “He may be best at right tackle, a spot which he held down for three years, but he did flash athleticism to pass protect on the left side when he took over the blind side spot as a senior. Either way, if you want a strong run blocker (he will take smaller defenders 10 yards downfield once locked on) who can reach second-level defenders as well, then Shell’s your man.”
The Seahawks agreed to terms Tuesday with former Steeler B.J. Finney, who can play guard or center but appears likely to be considered as a replacement for free agent Mike Iupati at left guard.
That could mean the Seahawks views their offensive line this way heading into the season: LT Duane Brown, LG Finney/Jamarco Jones/Phil Haynes, Center Justin Britt/Finney/Joey Hunt/Ethan Pocic, RG D.J. Fluker/Jones, RT Shell/Ogbuehi/Jones. That would leave players such as Chad Wheeler and Jordan Roos competing for depth spots.
The one big unknown there is the future of Britt, who is coming off an ACL surgery and who has a cap number for 2020 of more than $11 million. The team is able to save $8.5 million if he is released, or more likely, the Seahawks could a restructure his deal.
That they tendered Hunt and still has Pocic — a second-round pick in 2017 — and that Finney can play center gives the team some options.
The Seahawks also could continue to add to the line, but with obvious needs to beef up the defense and still negotiating with Jadeveon Clowney, any other moves might be more secondary in nature.
Seahawks looking to trade Tedric Thompson?
The Seahawks could be trying to trade Thompson, a fourth-round pick in 2017, according to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Rapoport reported that the team has “given permission” to Thompson to seek a trade and noted that it would be at best for a late-round pick and the immediate reaction is to wonder if the Seahawks will even be able to get that much.
Thompson had a chance to make the free safety spot his own last season when he entered the year as the starter. But he struggled in some early games and was placed on injured reserve and lost for the season in late October with a torn labrum.
That happened right as the Seahawks traded with Detroit to acquire Quandre Diggs, who moved into the starting lineup at free safety with Bradley McDougald at strong safety.
Diggs and McDougald are under contract for 2020 and the Seahawks also have 2019 second-round pick Marquise Blair waiting in the wings while Lano Hill also remains on the roster, making it unclear where Thompson would fit into things once he returned.
In January, Thompson qualified for one of the league’s proven performance escalators which increased his base salary for 2020 from $735,000 to $2.13 million with a cap hit of $2.3 million.
As the Seahawks try to find ways to scrape out a bit more salary cap money as free agency continues, unloading Thompson’s contract would obviously help. Rapoport’s report appeared to be a way for Thompson and the Seahawks to let the NFL know he’s available with the Seahawks hoping to trade him before they may just end up releasing him.