Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll offered thoughts on how each of the team's free agent signees --- J'Marcus Webb, Bradley Sowell and Sealver Siliga --- will fit in with the team during the NFL league meetings Wednesday.
The Seahawks have acquired three outside unrestricted free agents during the free agent singing period — meaning, players who were with another team last year.
Two are offensive linemen — Bradley Sowell, who has been with Arizona in his previous four NFL seasons, and J’Marcus Webb, who spent last season with Oakland and has also played with the Bears and Vikings in a career that dates to 2010. The Seahawks have said they envision Webb stepping in at right tackle, allowing Garry Gilliam to move to left tackle, and Sowell competing at left tackle and also maybe serving as a backup at both spots, as well as guard.
The other is defensive lineman, tackle Sealver Siliga, who has played largely nose tackle for the Patriots since 2013 after a brief stint with the Seahawks that season (Seattle acquired him from Denver in a trade for John Moffitt but he was never on Seattle’s active roster for a regular season game). Siliga,who signed a one-year deal worth $1.095 million, is expected to compete for the nose tackle spot vacated when Brandon Mebane signed with San Diego, and provide depth if he doesn’t win the starting job.
The two offensive linemen have drawn particular scrutiny from Seahawks fans due to the apparent needs at that position and that neither Webb nor Sowell were exactly at the top of the list of the offensive line free agents available. Webb signed a two-year deal worth $6 million while Sowell signed a one-year contract worth $1 million.
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But while fans may have wondered who the two were, Seattle coach Pete Carroll said at the NFL league meetings Wednesday the Seahawks think each can be significant factors next season.
“Always in our program, we’re looking to give the guys an opportunity to compete, show us where they fit,’’ Carroll said. “Both of these guys, we think have a chance with their versatility and their health and all that, they can be good factors for us. Whereas maybe not everybody saw it that way, that’s the way that we see these guys, and so we’re excited about them.’’
Here’s a scouting report from Carroll on each of Seattle’s new players:
J’Marcus Webb: “We really like J’Marcus. We saw him 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 (6-7, 333), and he’s physically perfect for the spot. 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 (likely a reference to Webb’s public admission of previous issues with alcohol). We really think that we may be catching him at a really good time. So we’re excited about him.”
Bradley Sowell: “Sowell is a guy that played a lot of spots. He’s been very flexible. He’s played both on the right and left side, could jump in at guard if we needed him to. The flexibility that he brings is pretty unique. We cherish the guys that have some versatility to them. We got a lot of play out of Alvin Bailey (who signed with Cleveland) in the last couple years, being able to jump around, play a lot of spots. We think that he can take that spot and compete for playing time.”
Sealver Siliga: “Sealver’s a guy that we had before. We know him. We had a good background with him. He’s played a lot of football for the Patriots. He’s a run stopper is what he is. He’s a big dude. He’s probably 340-something pounds, kind of in the mold that we like. We’ve had terrific play out of Brandon Mebane over the years, just stuffing up the middle. And that’s where we bring Sealver in to do that. And hopefully he can take that role over and complement what Rubin’s been doing for us. We thought that Ahtyba, re-signing him was really important. He had a very good year last year, and again he has versatility to play both tackle spots. He played terrific football for us, we thought was the best three-technique that we’ve had in the years we’ve been there so to get him to come back and to find a complement in Sealver, was necessary as Brandon took off. So that’s where we see those guys fitting in.”