In light of The Sporting News releasing their annual offseason grades, I thought I’d look back the entire offseason and try and establish a grade for the Seahawks. Unlike the Sporting News, I’ll actually have a clue what I’m talking about (They list Marcus Trufant as a “key loss”).
Before we even mention any of the players coming and going, it has to be mentioned that the Seahawks were able to retain Marshawn Lynch, Red Bryant and Michael Robinson. All 3 were vital contributors in 2011, and losing them would have been a disaster for the Seahawks. The fact that all 3 are returning is a huge victory for the Seahawks.
The Seahawks addressed their pass rush needs with the signing of Jason Jones and the drafting of Bruce Irvin. The Irvin pick was generally hated by the national media types, but the actual NFL teams had him ranked around where the Seahawks picked him. Grading the Seahawks down for getting the draft’s best pass rusher at a point where’d you would have had to pick him if you wanted him just makes no sense.
The Seahawks took a chance that one of the Matt Flynn/Russell Wilson duo will end up being an upgrade on Tarvaris Jackson. It looks like Flynn is going to be so, but it was a huge risk to pick up a pair of “maybes” and not go out and find a sure thing for the game’s most important position. That said, the contract that Flynn signed wasn’t a huge risk. (The Sporting News saying the Seahawks went “all in” with Flynn is a real facepalm comment). Hopefully that risk pays off.
The loss of David Hawthorne should be countered with the addition of Bobby Wagner and Barrett Ruud. Wagner is raw, but has the physical abililties eventually be a huge upgrade over Hawthorne. In a similar fashion, John Carlson’s departure is mitigated by the addition of Kellen Winslow. Winsow isn’t the blocker that Carleson is, but he is a better receiver.
The Seahawks cut Robert Gallery and never found a major upgrade for that position. Deuce Lutui might end up working out in that spot, but it was a big risk to neglect the offensive line in such a way. This is especially true after having to spend so many high picks in recent years to try and fix that unit.
It is also tough to ignore the fact that the Seahawks didn’t address their wide receiver position. The Seahawks have a large number of players vying for roster spots at the position, but the Quality just doesn’t seem to be there. The Seahawks are taking a big risk in hoping that either Mike Williams can rebound to his 2010 form, or the Kris Durham is ready to take over that split end job. In neither player can step up, the Seahawks passing game may not be able to take the step forward that it needs to.
Overall, I give the Seahawks a solid B. They retained their best players, found replacements for all of the key players they lost but 1, upgraded their pass rush, and hopefully found a low risk upgrade at QB.
Not too shabby. Now we just need the season to get here. It really is time for football.