Seattle has already signed two veteran kickers to compete to replace Blair Walsh.
The Seahawks couldn’t have acted more quickly to make it clear that Blair Walsh would not be back in 2018, signing Jason Myers to a free agent contract roughly 72 hours after the end of the 2017 season.
Not that Myers has a lock on the job — the Seahawks then signed veteran Sebastian Janikowski to a free agent deal in April.
The Myers-Janikowski (and maybe someone else?) battle to replace Walsh — whose critical misses in three games might have meant the difference in Seattle going 12-4 as opposed to their actual 9-7 — looms as one of the most interesting in training camp.
It also looms, at the moment, anyway, as the biggest question hovering over Seattle’s special teams units in 2018, which otherwise could be mostly intact from 2017.
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Here’s a quick look at the special teams corps as the draft nears Thursday.
Jason Myers, Sebastian Janikwoski.
Key offseason departures: Walsh was not re-signed and remains an unsigned free agent.
OVERVIEW: As noted, the competition between Myers — 64-79 in three years with Jacksonville before being released in the middle of last season — and the 17-year-veteran Janikowski looms as maybe the most intriguing one-guy-wins, one-guy-loses position battle of camp.
But every other spot could be status quo.
The 36-year-old Ryan has two years remaining on a contract that includes cap hits of $3.2 million and $3.6 million the next two years, with dead money of $1.2 million and $600,000, which has led to speculation that he could be in danger of being a cap casualty. But so far, Ryan remains on the team.
Ott was re-signed after settling into the snapper’s role last season.
Lockett has one year left on his rookie deal and the Seahawks could look to draft a player with a return background as depth and possible options down the road. But figure Lockett to hold down the job in 2018.
DRAFT NEED (on scale of 1-10): 2.
Seattle wouldn’t seem to need to draft a kicker or punter — teams rarely do anyway and the Seahawks have taken a combined 10 in their history.
POTENTIAL DRAFT FITS
Punter Michael Dickson, Texas: If Seattle were to draft a possible replacement for Ryan, Dickson would figure to be the best option. The Australian native is figured to be the one kicker/punter almost certain to get drafted and it was memorably reported that he met with the Seahawks at the Combine and was asked to engage in a staring contest. Regarded as the best punter in college last year, averaged 47.4 per attempt.
Kicker Daniel Carlson, Auburn: Carlson, who hit 13 field goals of 50 yards or longer the last four seasons, more than anyone else in college football, is generally regarded as the kicker most likely to get drafted. But the signings of Myers and Janikowski would logically seem to leave Seattle more likely to add a kicker through undrafted free agency rather than the draft itself.
Dante Pettis, Washington: Could the Seahawks just look across the lake for a possible complement to Lockett — if not option down the road? Pettis had an NCAA record nine punt returns for a TD and Seattle might have to add a pick on the second day (second and third rounds) to have a chance to get him.