Seattle Seahawks: free agency has opened up holes

The Seattle Seahawks’ failed courting of Jared Allen was likely their last hurrah in free agency, as the pickings are now slim. This year’s free agency period in general, on its face, seems like a failure for Seattle. Many of their own free agents departed to other teams, leaving some holes that must be filled. This year’s draft however, is stuffed with talent, and John Schneider’s drafting success has a great likelihood to continue this April. Despite free agency being more of a failure for Seattle, by the end of the draft Seattle’s lineup will be set for another Super Bowl run.

Seattle Seahawks

John Schneider needs to solidify the offensive line and receiver corps for Russell Wilson.

I definitely contend that this last month can be deemed unsuccessful for Seattle. Golden Tate, Paul McQuistan, Breno Giacomini, Red Bryant, Chris Clemons, Clint McDonald, Chris Maragos, O’Brien Schofield, and Walter Thurmond are all gone. True, Bryant and Clemons were released by Seattle, but there had still been the possibility of them returning with smaller deals with less cap hit. That possibility was erased soon after their release, though. Looking at these departures, one can see gaps left in the starting offensive and defensive lines, as well as special teams. Seattle’s depth, one of their defining features of the past season, took a major hit this month. The personnel the Seattle Seahawks have right now doesn’t have enough to get back to where they were in February.

Alvin Bailey and Michael Bowie may be able to replace Giacomini, but Seattle’s guards aren’t fantastic. James Carpenter hasn’t produced like Seattle hoped, and J.R. Sweezy is a toss up. Some people have faith in his abilities, some don’t; his performance on the road against St. Louis certainly helps the skeptics’ point of view. These holes on the O-line have influenced some writers on CBSSports.com to switch Seattle’s first round pick from a receiver to an offensive lineman.

After the season ended, I was convinced there’d be no way Seattle wouldn’t take a receiver with the 32nd pick. Now I can kind of see those writers’ logic. Seattle is indeed a run-first team, and so solidifying that line of blockers is a must. I’m still unsure about passing up on a wide receiver in the first round. Golden Tate and Sidney Rice are gone, and Seattle needs a tall flanker to balance the slot options of Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin. As a result, I especially agree with NFL.com’s mock draft, which has Seattle taking Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State.

The defensive line starters are set, with Michael Bennett, Brandon Mebane, Tony McDaniel, and Cliff Avril. But I thought Seattle’s ability to rotate fresh, hungry pass rushers who all had great talent was an incredible asset, and now that depth seems to have vanished. And with Seattle likely to focus on receiver and offensive line early in the draft, I’m hoping there can still be a diamond in the rough for Schneider to snag, and thus increase the depth of the defensive line.

Overall, I’m concerned with how many guys departed Seattle. Holes have definitely opened up in the starting lineup, and Seattle needs a very successful draft in order fill those holes and put another complete team on the field. So, as of right now I’m a very concerned fan, but then I have to remind myself that the deep talent pool of this year’s draft and John Schneider’s past success should console me.

  • Hawkman54

    Clemmons and Thurmond are the only two that bother me . They do open up holes . But there are some guys that have been injured and have already played ready to see if they can step up. Am truly glad they did not overpay for anyone , but was hoping they would have gotten ONE Guard in FA. There Biggest weakness last year was the o-line and still is . It is the main area that needs to be addressed this year if they want to continue on a high level.

  • randoni

    solid insightful analysis-randoni

  • Mike

    The truth is that Seattle has showed remarkable restraint in Free Agency. To the talent that has departed, I say “good for you”. I’m just glad that we weren’t the ones overpaying to retain them. True to what got them to the Superbowl, Seattle will fill in through the Draft, by picking specialists off the waiver wire during pre-season, and by promoting talent from within. What got us there will keep us there, for at least one more year.