The Seahawks Need to Sign Justin Britt to an Extension. Now.
By Lee Vowell
If the Seahawks want to continue their successful run, the offensive line needs to have Justin Britt
Justin Britt will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2017 season. This season he will make almost $1.1 million. Britt’s cap hit in 2017 ranks 31st in the NFL. Not among all players; the cap hit ranks 31st among centers only. Is Britt the 31st best center? No. For reference, former Seahawks and current New Orleans Saints center Max Unger has a cap hit of $7.4 million. Unger’s hit ranks sixth among centers.
Let’s be honest, if Britt has another season as good as 2016, he will prove he is better than Unger at their respective stages in the careers. In fact, according to Pro Football Focus, Britt graded better than Unger in 2016. Slightly better at 83.9 to Unger’s 83.8. Overall, Britt’s grade was 10th in the league. (Matt Paradis of the Denver Broncos was first at 90.7.)
The future of Britt and the offensive line
Britt got off to a slow start in his time in Seattle, but after moving to his new position last year, Britt was very good. He called out the assignments to an extremely young group of linemen. Those linemen were mostly overwhelmed. Britt also started to form a tandem with guard Germain Ifedi that opened holes for Seattle’s run game. The best example of this was the playoff game against the Detroit Lions when running back Thomas Rawls rushed for 161 yards on 27 carries.
Ifedi appears to be moving out to his more familiar position of tackle for this coming season. Britt will stay at center. Rookie Ethan Pocic might take Ifedi’s place at right guard. Pocic has the ability to be a great run-blocker. Sandwiched between Britt and Ifedi, Pocic could do very well. None of this would be possible without Britt’s calm and ability.
Britt will be only 26 years old in the 2017 season. He conceivably has seven-to-eight very productive years left. At least. The Seahawks need to take the opportunity to sign Britt this offseason to an extension. Seattle should sign Britt for multi-years for around $8 million dollars per year. This is the going rate for a top five center. This needs to be done because Britt will cement the consistency needed for good offensive lines. He will call out the assignments for years. He will play a position that will not be a concern because he will be a very good player.
In other words, he will be to future Seahawks teams what Unger was to the Super Bowl teams. Signing Britt is a step towards keeping the Seahawks relevant for the next five years.