Webb looms as a big part in the line’s makeover, as the Seahawks envision the 6-foot-7, 331-pounder taking over at right tackle. That allows the Seahawks to move Garry Gilliam to left tackle, where they think he can be a long-term replacement for Russell Okung.
With the Seahawks set to report for training camp July 29 (practices begin the next day), it’s time to look at the players I feel are most pivotal in 2016.
Call it “16 for ’16,’’ as we count down the 16 most important Seahawks in 2016, unveiling one new player each day until the team reports.
Today’s countdown reaches No. 8, right tackle J’Marcus Webb. Among outside unrestricted free agents, he received the richest contract from the Seahawks in 2016.
Player: J’Marcus Webb.
Position: Right tackle.
2016 contract status: Webb is entering the first of a two-year contract worth $5.75 million overall with $2.45 million guaranteed. He has a base salary of $1.25 million in 2016.
Expected 2016 role: Starting right tackle.
Webb looms as a big part (literally and figuratively) in that restructuring, as the Seahawks envision the 6-foot-7, 331-pounder taking over the right-tackle spot. Installing Webb at right tackle allows the Seahawks to move Garry Gilliam to left tackle, where they think he can be a long-term replacement for Okung.
Webb, 27, played mostly guard last season with the Raiders. But he has extensive tackle experience in his six NFL seasons. He was the primary starting right tackle for the Bears in 2010 and the left tackle for them in 2011 and 2012.
He didn’t play much in 2013 and 2014 before resurrecting his career last season with the Raiders, for whom he started all 16 games. Webb has talked openly about overcoming an alcohol problem following the 2012 season, and the Seahawks feel he might be a better player now than he was with the Bears.
“We really like J’Marcus,’’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We saw there were three games last year where he played tackle, and he’s been a tackle in his past. We see him playing there, knowing that he can play inside and play guard, he played most of the season there at guard. But we think he’s a right tackle with potential to play on the left side also, which he has done in his past. So that flexibility, it really attracted us. He’s an extraordinary athlete, huge guy, and he’s physically perfect for the spot.
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“In his career, he’s been knocked around quite a bit, but we think that he’s really made a big turn. He’s made a big turn as a young man in his last couple years. We really think that we may be catching him at a really good time. So we’re excited about him.”
If Webb lives up to that billing, some of the many questions that loom about Seattle’s offensive line could be answered.
On the right side, Webb will team with rookie Germain Ifedi, who is listed at 6-5 and 325 pounds. That would give Seattle one of the NFL’s more immense guard-tackle tandems.
The Seahawks say they weren’t necessarily looking to get a lot bigger than they had been a year ago (Gilliam is listed at 6-5, 315 and Sweezy 6-5, 298) but that it just worked out that way.
But Seattle also seems intrigued by how that size will play out this fall. The Seahawks didn’t get a great look at Webb during OTAs and minicamp, as he battled a calf injury.
But they liked the early glimpses they got of Webb and Ifedi and hope they will stabilize a line that has undergone much shuffling the past few years.
“Both those guys are very similar athletes,’’ Carroll said of Webb and Ifedi. “And I am hoping they will really grow together on that right side of the line.’’