The Seahawks made several good moves in free agency; improving the roster, and setting themselves up for a successful 2017 season.
Seahawks’ fans went into the free agency period with lofty expectations of landing a top offensive lineman. This excitement and hope was crushed, though, when TJ Lang, who was very interested in Seattle, decided to play for his hometown of Detroit.
Instead, the Seahawks signed former #2 overall draft pick Luke Joeckel and a lesser-known guard, Oday Aboushi. Although, these aren’t the type of players that will have fans overflowing with excitement, they are players that will bring much needed help to the offensive line.
Joeckel can play both left tackle and left guard and will be an upgrade over last year’s starters from those respective positions. He was a disappointment in Jacksonville, but a lot of the frustration that fans had, seemed to stem from the unrealistic expectations that come along being a #2 overall draft pick. He’s still a very good player and will help the Seahawks right away.
Oday Aboushi seems to be a solid player, and the Seahawks found great value in signing him to a relatively cheap deal. He plays guard, and Pete Carroll recently said that he will start out on the right side. Texans fans seemed to really like him, and were disappointed when the Seahawks signed him. Aboushi also has valuable starting experience with 18 starts over the last 3 seasons.
Eddie Lacy Can Be a Star in Seattle
The free agent pick up that I am most excited about is Eddie Lacy. It’s a one-year deal, with a lot of incentive money packed into the contract. Looking at Lacy’s highlights, it’s clear the running back he is capable of being: one that can punish defenders and make them exhausted by the time the fourth quarter come along, similar to what Marshawn Lynch did.
No one will ever come close to what Lynch did in Seattle, but Lacy is similar to him in the way they finish runs with authority. Look for Thomas Rawls to come off the bench with energy and take advantage of exhausted defenders. The running back trio of Lacy, Rawls, and CJ Prosise has the potential to be really dangerous. Remaining healthy has been the only recent concern for this group.
The Seahawks also ended up with a really good safety in Bradley McDougald, who previously played with the Buccaneers. Seahawks fans may remember him from the frustrating game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, when he picked off Russell Wilson in the 4th quarter.
He’s started 31 games over the past two seasons, and he looks to be an improvement in depth in the secondary, compared to last year. He can play both free safety and strong safety and gives the Seahawks some insurance in case Earl Thomas or Kam Chancellor get injured. Look for the Seahawks to get creative with different formations in order to get McDougald on the field.
The Seahawks only lost special teams and role players in free agency, which is a nice change from last year’s offseason when they lost Bruce Irvin, Russell Okung, Brandon Mebane and JR Sweezy.
Brock Coyle is a notable role player who signed with the 49ers, and the Seahawks will certainly miss his special teams presence. They should be able to replace his snaps, though, with a combination of newly signed linebackers Arthur Brown, Michael Wilhoite, and Terence Garvin.
The Seahawks were also able to bring back Luke Willson, DeShawn Shead, and Neiko Thorpe without breaking the bank. These are the type of moves that might be swept under the rug, but they go a long way in keeping some much needed continuity on the team.
Overall, the Seahawks did a good job in free agency, making a lot of solid moves and filling team needs. The draft is coming up, which will be the teams last major chance to make improvements to the 2017 squad. Look for the Seahawks to draft heavy on defense, playing to the strength of the draft class.