A position group that has been the subject of much offseason conversation — the Seahawks’ offensive line — may now be complete as Seattle has re-signed center Ethan Pocic. A source confirmed to The Seattle Times the move is expected.
The NFL Network first reported that Pocic will get a one-year, $3 million deal to return.
So, with the trade on Wednesday for guard Gabe Jackson, Seattle may have a projected starting offensive line.
Jackson, acquired for a fifth-round pick from the Raiders, will fill a guard spot left open by the retirement of Mike Iupati, while Pocic figures to return to his spot at center.
That Pocic did not sign a significant deal led to speculation Seattle could still look to add competition at center. Conversely, the team’s cap issues mean having a relatively cheap player at that spot would help quite a bit.
Seattle had returning starters already at left tackle (Duane Brown), right tackle (Brandon Shell) and right guard (Damien Lewis). Jackson has played both left and right guard and so the assumption is he will go to left guard, though that remains unclear.
Pocic, 25, was Seattle’s starting center last year in his first year at that position after spending his first three at guard and tackle after arriving as a 2017 second-round pick out of LSU.
Pocic missed two games at midseason due to a concussion but started the other 14 at center.
Seattle has five other offensive linemen under contract — guard/center Kyle Fuller, guard/tackle Jamarco Jones, guard Phil Haynes, center Brad Lundblade and tackle Tommy Champion.
It’s also thought Seattle will try to bring back guard Jordan Simmons, who started six games last year as an injury replacement. Simmons was not tendered as a restricted free agent.
The offensive line became the focus of much discussion when quarterback Russell Wilson said last month he was frustrated being hit as often as he has in his Seattle career and that the team needed to get better up front.
With Pocic in the fold, that could leave Jackson as the only significant new piece to the line, barring the team using one of its three draft picks — the highest of which is a second-rounder — on an offensive lineman.
With the additions on Wednesday of Jackson and tight end Gerald Everett, the Seahawks were already over the salary cap before adding Pocic, so Seattle will also have to make some moves shed some salary, be it through contract restructures or expenses or cuts and releases of players.