Could Seahawks keep this O-line intact?

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At this point, extending J.R. Sweezy seems like a no-brainer. He’s a Cable favorite, and he’s been the Seahawks most consistent lineman. Letting him go in his prime seems like the exact opposite of what the team should do. He stays and holds down RG long term.

Gary Gilliam has been one of the feel-good stories of the Seahawks season. A converted college tight end, Gilliam struggled early on but has gotten better with every game. From the outset, his strength has been his athleticism for the position. He still struggles some in the power run game but his pass protection skills are impressive. Against the Ravens Sunday he completely bottled up Elvis Dumervil. Can he play the left side? It’s pure projection on my part, but if he could that’s a savings of $6.7 million at the position (Gilliam is signed for $604,000 in 2016).

Know what that money could get you? Alex Mack perhaps. Cleveland’s perennial Pro Bowl center is expected to opt out of his deal and become a free agent at season’s end. There were reports that the Seahawks were poking around Mack at the trade deadline before he announced that he would NOT waive his no trade clause at the time.

Left guard is a toss up. Britt’s improvement has been nothing short of phenomenal the last two months, but the Seahawks drafted Mark Glowinski in the 4th round last year, and he’s always looked like a long-term starter to me. Cable is on record as saying he’s been ready all year and could step in and play right now without missing a beat. Maybe he gets a chance to compete at LG and beats out Britt next year. No problem. Britt then becomes exactly the kind of backup swing lineman capable of playing inside or outside that the Seahawks love.

So this scenario leaves us with the following configuration:

  • LT – Gilliam
  • LG – Britt/Mark Glowinski 
  • C – Mack
  • RG – Sweezy
  • RT – ????

So there’s a void at right tackle, but here’s the thing. Right tackles might be the easiest thing to find. You can get a bargain on the free agent market, or draft a plug-and-play kid in the first couple of rounds. You could even just hand the job back to Britt. The point is, there are so many more options….affordable options…when looking for a RT versus a LT.

Next: Seahawks playoff chances continue to improve

So essentially, what we’ve done here is keep continuity at the guard spots, save nearly $7 million (for now) while grooming an enticing talent at LT, add an All Pro in his prime at center (made possible by the $7 million you saved letting Okung walk), and presumably plug in a rookie at RT who can hold down that spot for years to come. Now you’re better AND you’re set for a few years.

Oh… AND you would get a compensatory draft pick for Okung, perhaps in the 4th/5th round range depending on the deal he signs.

Is this what the Seahawks have in mind? Who knows, but don’t think they’re willing to stand pat just because this current O-line configuration is playing well right now.

It’s never that simple when you’re talking about this Seahawk organization.