These are five Seahawks who have the potential to form a new core and continue the success the team has enjoyed since 2012.
If the Seahawks are to continue the success they have had since the 2012 season — which was capped with losing a divisional playoff game at Atlanta — they will need to replace some of their current core players with new ones.
Here’s a look at five players who have the potential to become new core players and in the next few years sign significant contracts with the team.
Justin Britt, center
Switched this year to center after playing guard and tackle his first two years, Britt has become the team’s best player at that spot since Max Unger. The Seahawks might have to consider signing him to a long-term extension this offseason, which would make him the first offensive lineman signed to a second contract by the team since Unger in 2012.
Frank Clark, defensive end
The drafting of Clark in the second round was controversial for reasons related to his on-field play (questions about his consistent production) and off-field issues (a well-publicized domestic violence arrest). But Clark had 10 sacks this season to tie for 15th in the NFL. Clark also has shown he’s not simply a one-dimensional pass-rusher, finishing with 47 tackles, sixth on the team.
Thomas Rawls, running back
The Seahawks entered the season thinking Rawls could step in seamlessly for Marshawn Lynch. Injuries prevented that from happening, but the 161-yard game against Detroit illustrated again why the Seahawks think Rawls can carry their ground game. But they’ll need to see it game in and game out to know for sure.
Germain Ifedi, right guard
The first-round choice in the 2016 draft, Ifedi has started all but the first three games (high ankle sprain). How well he’s played is a matter of much debate — Pro Football Focus called him “one of the league’s worst offensive lineman.” The Seahawks, though, still see him as capable of joining with Britt and left guard Mark Glowinski as a power trio in the middle of the line for years to come.
Tyler Lockett, receiver
Lockett had taken over for Jermaine Kearse as the team’s other starting receiver in the base offense before suffering a broken tibia and fibula against Arizona on Dec. 24. Assuming the expected full recovery, Lockett should enter the 2017 season ticketed for an even larger role than he had in 2016.