Pro Bowl guard Jahri Evans to visit Seahawks
By Dan Viens
The Seattle Seahawks continue to explore ways to shore up their offensive line, scheduling a visit with veteran guard Jahri Evans Friday.
Just as it was beginning to appear that the situation at offensive guard is better than many expected, the Seahawks are set to bring in decorated veteran Jahri Evans for a visit.
Evans spent his entire career in New Orleans after the Saints drafted him in the 4th round of the 2006 draft. He quickly established himself as one of the most talented guards in the league. In 2010 he signed a 7 year, $56.7 million contract which at the time made him the highest paid guard in NFL history. He’s been voted to the Pro Bowl six times and named 1st team All Pro 4 times.
He was released by the salary-cap-strapped Saints in February.
Whether Evans has anything left in the tank at the age of 32 may only be of secondary intrigue here. The big question is whether this serves as a sign that Seahawks coaches don’t like what they see after the first week of training camp.
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Evans has spent his entire career at right guard, a spot now held by first round pick Germain Ifedi. Early reports on Ifedi are good so…….why take a look at Evans? With no other offers on the table, is Evans content at this stage of his career to take a backup role while mentoring the rookie and taking a shot at a Super Bowl ring?
Or could there be more to this. Specifically concerning the play of free agent import J’Marcus Webb, who has been holding down the starting right tackle spot so far in camp.
Is it possible that Ifedi has impressed coaches so much that they’re already contemplating moving him to tackle? That seems to be the consensus from those who have been observing practice every day. The idea when he was drafted was that starting him inside at guard would take some of the pressure off him while he cleans up some technique issues, but eventually he would be the long-term answer at RT.
Perhaps that time has already come.
If that’s the case, it doesn’t necessarily mean Webb would be cut. His versatility and ability to play guard and tackle is something the team values. But he’s also the highest paid offensive lineman on the roster, and releasing him would actually count an additional $50,000 against the salary cap. Webb could end up being a hedge against Ifedi or Evans faltering, and end up being the teams latest version of Alvin Bailey. He has experience at every spot along the line except center.
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This may all come down to Evans health. If the Seahawks feel like he can still play at a Pro Bowl level, and Ifedi is indeed ready to assume the right tackle spot, it could get the team one step closer to putting a greatly improved offensive line on the field when they open the season against Miami on September 11 at CenturyLink Field.