Questions on Russell Okung and Cliff Avril in the latest Seahawks' mailbag.

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Time for another set of reader questions and our answers, with topics consisting of the future of Russell Okung and Cliff Avril’s playing time.

Q: @54Enthusiast asks: What is the future of OT Russell Okung and the left tackle position in general?

A: Great, and probably somewhat underrated, question. With all of the focus on the contract negotiations of Russell Wilson, and to a lesser extent Bobby Wagner, it may be easy to forget that Okung can also be an unrestricted free agent in 2016 as this year marks the final season of the original six-year, $48.5 million deal he signed after being a first-round pick in 2010.

So far, there has been no indication the Seahawks are working on a new contract for Okung, meaning this is one issue the team will probably wait to settle until after the 2015 season. One thing that figures to be a big factor in Seattle’s decision is how Okung — who turns 28 in October — makes it through the season physically. Okung has been beset by a variety of injuries that have caused him to miss 21 games in his career and at least one game in each season. When Okung has been healthy, though, he’s played well — when he started a career-high 15 games in 2012 he also made the Pro Bowl.

Another factor is that the Seahawks don’t appear to have an obvious heir apparent at left tackle. Garry Gilliam, an undrafted free agent last season, worked as the backup through much of the off-season, and when Gilliam was out briefly, undrafted rookie free agent Jesse Davis was the backup left tackle. The three OLs drafted by Seattle in 2015 are all slated at the moment to play inside, at either guard or center.

Of late, Seattle hasn’t seemed worried about letting veteran OLs go, deciding not to re-sign Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan following the 2013 season and James Carpenter last year while also trading Max Unger, confident that it could find younger and/or cheaper players to take their place. How well that plan works this season, with Alvin Bailey stepping in for Carpenter and potentially Lemuel Jeanpierre taking over for Unger might also go a long way toward determining Seattle’s approach to its offensive line in the off-season next year.

Also recall that guard J.R Sweezy can be a free agent following the 2015 season. Given his durability and quick rise from seventh-round pick to starter, he will be a big priority, as well.

For now, it seems unlikely Seattle will commit long-term to Okung while it waits to try to get deals done with Wilson and Wagner

Q: @54 Enthusiast also asks: If Cliff Avril were to have his base package snaps eaten into for run situations, who might be the one to do it? Ahtyba Rubin as a four-tech? Cassius Marsh as a five?

A: Before answering, it’s worth noting that Avril — like Michael Bennett — saw a pretty big uptick in playing time last season as Seattle’s depth up front was depleted in the off-season and then tested greatly throughout the year. Avril played 53.2 percent of the snaps in 2013 and 73 percent in 2014 (he did miss one game in 2013, the opener at Carolina, which impacts those stats, but doesn’t completely negate the overall increase). Avril’s snaps played were the sixth-most of any defender for the Seahawks last year, trailing Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, K.J. Wright, Kam Chancellor and Bennett (in that order).

Avril played well, earning a four-year $28.5 million extension in December as a result. So I don’t necessarily see the Seahawks looking for reasons to drastically cut his snaps. But a slight decrease would likely be ideal, in large part because it would signify a deeper defensive line. Rubin has so far been described more as a tackle. But he could definitely be part of a run-defense line that would also feature, say, Bennett, Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel. I think the Seahawks will still want Avril out there in run downs as often as possible, though (and one reason is that offenses can obviously tailor what they do to the personnel they see).

As for Marsh, recall that during the team’s one-day mini-camp practice, he was used quite a bit as a strongside linebacker. Pete Carroll portrayed it as just an experiment for the future. But with Marsh’s best playing weight possibly in the 250-range (Carroll mentioned his weight after the mini-camp as an explanation for trying him at linebacker) Marsh’s future might not be doing a lot of run defending on the line.

One player who could figure more into that kind of role is 2015 second-round pick Frank Clark. Clark weighs a listed 273 pounds and might be as good of a fit as any of the young players for taking on that kind of a role.