Think what you want of a Seahawks offensive line that tends to be as heavily criticized as any position group on the team, but coach Pete Carroll said he mostly liked what he saw in 2019.

Enough so that when the season ended he said an offseason goal was to keep as much of it together as possible.

“I hope we can keep our guys connected,’’ Carroll said in his year-end news conference. “I don’t want to see a big change there.’’

But that may be easier said than done (and obviously it can be debated if that’s the preferred course).


Three of the top six offensive linemen when the season ended are unrestricted free agents — left guard Mike Iupati, right tackle Germain Ifedi and backup and eligible lineman extraordinaire George Fant — while center Joey Hunt is a restricted free agent. There has been rampant speculation about the future of center Justin Britt, who has one year left on a hefty contract and is recovering from an ACL injury suffered Oct. 27.

As we continue our review of Seahawks’ position groups heading into the offseason, here’s a look at the offensive line.



Left tackle

Duane Brown

Age: 34.

Snaps played in regular season: 793 (of 1,107 total.)

Contract situation: Two years left on a deal that will pay him a base salary of $8.75 million with a cap hit of $12.3 million in 2020.

2019 number to know: Seahawks were 3-2 in the five games he missed (one in the playoffs).

Left guard

Mike Iupati

Age: 32.

Snaps played in regular season: 1,015.

Contract situation: Unrestricted free agent.

2019 number to know: After starting the final 15 games of the regular season, Iupati missed both playoff games with a stinger.


Justin Britt

Age: 28.

Snaps played in regular season: 504.

Contract situation: One year left on a deal that will pay him a base of $8.25 million in 2020 with a cap hit of $11.4 million.

2019 number to know: Britt had missed only one regular-season game in his six-year career before suffering ACL tear against Atlanta.

Joey Hunt

Age: 25.

Snaps played in regular season: 613

Contract situation: Restricted free agent.

2019 number to know: Hunt played just 181 snaps in first three NFL seasons


Right guard

D.J. Fluker

Age: 28.

Snaps played in regular season: 863.

Contract situation: Under contract for 2020 with a $2 million base and $3.437 million cap hit.

2019 number to know: Snaps played in 2019 were the most he has played since 2016.

Right tackle

Germain Ifedi

Age: 25.

Snaps played in regular season: 1,107.

Contract situation: Unrestricted free agent.

2019 number to know: Aside from Russell Wilson, the only player to play every snap for the Seahawks in 2019.

Key backups

George Fant

Age: 27.

Snaps played in regular season: 472.

Contract situation: Unrestricted free agent.

2019 number to know: Seahawks were 2-2 in the four games Fant started this season at left tackle, including the playoff win over the Eagles.

Jamarco Jones

Age: 23.

Snaps played in regular season: 317.

Contract situation: Under contract for two more seasons.

2019 number to know: Played every snap in four games as the Seahawks went 2-2, including the playoff win over Eagles.

Ethan Pocic

Age: 24.

Snaps played in regular season: 91.

Contract situation: Has one season left on rookie contract.

2019 number to know: Played in just three games and started in the opener against the Bengals at left guard.


Others on the roster in 2019: Jordan Roos (is now an exclusive rights free agent); Kyle Fuller (didn’t play in 2019 but under contract for 2020); Phil Haynes (rookie saw first playing time late in season and has three years left on deal); Chad Wheeler (late-season call-up is under contract for 2020).

2019 review

So how did the line, a veteran group that entered the season with some of them saying they thought they could be the best line in the NFL, play in 2019?

Carroll’s opinion — the only one that really matters — seemed fairly positive much of the season as the Seahawks finished among the league leaders in points per game (25.3, ninth), yards per play (5.7, 11th), rushing yards per game (137.5, fourth) and yards per game (374.4, eighth).

But Pro Football Focus, which has become one of the more often-cited analytic sites, ranked Seattle’s line a measly 27th at the end of the regular season, writing: “Since entering the league, there has been no quarterback that has been more accustomed to pressure than Russell Wilson. He has faced pressure on 42% of his dropbacks since entering the NFL, and he is the only qualifying quarterback since 2012 with a rate over 40%. Wilson has been able to succeed despite the pass protection from his line, but that doesn’t change the fact that it has often been an issue — and it was a problem again this season. The Seahawks’ pressure rate allowed in 2.5 seconds or less of 26.7% this year was third worst in the league, ahead of only the Jets and Dolphins.’’

Injuries were an obvious factor, especially losing Britt at midseason and Brown having to gut out knee and biceps issues much of the year. The Seahawks used eight different starting offensive-line combinations in 18 games.

The injury risk tends to get worse as players get older, which will put the onus on the Seahawks to continue to develop young players going forward.


2020 preview

The Seahawks will either have to re-sign Ifedi, Iupati and Fant or find replacements — either from outside or within. The offensive-line market always seems to yield a contract or two that surprises observers, and Ifedi could be in line for one those this year, with his durability a sellable attribute. placed a value on Ifedi of $5.6 million for the 2019 season, but it’d probably take more than that to keep him.

Seattle could re-sign Fant as a replacement, though Fant indicated he’d like a shot at left tackle. At the least, he made it clear at the end of the season he wants a chance to play every down after being used in a sixth-man/eligible-tackle role the past two years.

Jones would seem an obvious replacement for Iupati, and Hunt can be kept in the fold as insurance for Britt if the Seahawks want to keep stability at center.

Pro Football Focus listed just four offensive linemen among its top 45 potential free agents, and it would go against Seattle’s usual M.O. to spend big on a free agent OL. But if the Seahawks really wanted to make a splash it could try to sign Titans’ right tackle Jack Conklin (though he has expressed an interest in staying put).

The early assessment of the draft is that it’s good and deep in tackles but not so much in guards/centers.

Up next: Defensive line.