A few days ago I started a poll that would allow us to determine the priority of all the needs for the Seattle Seahawks this offseason. We’ve only had about 200 votes so far, but the results seem pretty clear and they don’t look like they’re going to change. I have to say, I think I agree with almost all of the results.
Obviously, this team desperately needs to find its next franchise QB; it’s next Jim Zorn, or Dave Krieg, or Matt Hasselbeck. There is a lot of pressure on the front office to find that player, and ultimately most fans will determine the success of this offseason solely on their ability to fill this one need. I actually think people are focussing on this one position too strongly, but that’s a topic for another blog post.
DE is next on the list, and I mostly agree. Seattle’s defense has had one major weakness this season, and that has been the pass rush. There just hasn’t been anyone who’s been able to pressure the QB besides Chris Clemons. The problem with putting DE this high is that both starting DE are already in place. Anyone picked in the draft or signed as a FA will be a part time player. Still, the need is great, though the answer may lie in the next position on the list.
And that position is LB. This is one of my problems with the priorities that the poll has generated. I’d place LB above DE. Both LeRoy Hill and David Hawthorne are free agents. Even if you assume that they are re-signed, doing so should be at or near the top of the offseason to-do list. On top of that, the pass rush problem could be fixed with a LB, instead of a DE, as long as that LB can move up to DE on passing downs. I’m envisioning a Julian Peterson type player here, someone who could play weakside LB on running downs and then play with a hand on the ground on passing downs. That kind of player fills both of these needs at once. Complicating the this position group is that the depth is really poor. The Seahawks could come into next season with as many as 6 out of 7 new linebackers.
After that, you come to 2 positions in which the Seahawks have some players already. The O-line has depth issues, especially with 2 starters in the early stages of recovering from major knee surgeries, but all 5 starters are in place. CB is another position where the Seahawks have players. Richard Sherman is a rising star, and both Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond are serviceable. Depending on your opinion of those 2 guys, the Seahawks either need a starter, and thus CB should be high on this list, or they only need depth, in which case it might belong lower on the list.
The rest of the list are really minor needs, and thus those positions didn’t get many votes. DT maybe, but only if you’re looking for a pass rush specialist. WR is a really deep group right now, but if you make the assumption that Mike Williams and Deon Butler are cut then maybe a receiver is needed. a 3rd TE is needed to upgrade over McCoy, but that’s a luxury at this point, especially with re-signing John Carlson being an option. I think the same goes for FB, where Michael Robinson seems to be getting better as the season goes on.
The one major beef I have with the results in this poll is the one position left to talk about: RB. How this is down at the very bottom is unexplainable. I really wonder if Seahawk fans don’t realize that Marshawn Lynch is a free agent. Justin Forsett isn’t getting it done, and is likely gone. Leon Washington is a kick/punt returner and 5 carries per game change of pace back. The Seahawks need Lynch to be re-signed, and they need a backup. And if Lynch takes a big payday elsewhere, then there’s 2/3 of the RBs on the roster who must be replaced, including a 20-25 carries per game starter. This is a big deal, and as it stands right now it’s a huge weakness for this team going forward. Of course, IF Lynch is re-signed, then the Seahawks only need a backup which isn’t a big deal. But that’s a big if at this point.