Seahawks sign Justin Britt to an extension: A reaction

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 22: Wide receiver Tyler Lockett (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 22: Wide receiver Tyler Lockett (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

The Seattle Seahawks decided the time was correct to sign an offensive lineman they drafted to a second contract. That they chose Justin Britt helps set the future of the franchise.

Not too long ago I wrote that the Seahawks would not sign center Britt to an extension. Seattle had let other offensive linemen go in the recent past instead of extending them. Players like James Carpenter and Russell Okung. Plus, Seattle had drafted Ethan Pocic this year to replace Britt. There was no way Britt would be with the Seahawks long-term.

I really am OK with being wrong. Especially in this situation.

Just two years ago Britt may have been on his way out of Seattle. He was a second-round draft pick from Missouri in 2014 and had not performed overly well. Then the Seahawks moved him to center in 2016 and Britt excelled. He called the line plays and blocked well. He was originally an alternate for the Pro Bowl. Britt may have surprised many 12s by how well he transitioned to center.

The offensive line was not good in 2016. That is, everyone except Britt did not play well.

Now Britt is the first Seahawk offensive lineman to get a second contract after being drafted by Seattle in the John Schneider/Pete Carroll era. Reportedly, Britt will get a three-year extension worth $27 million. The $9 million average ranks Britt tied for third among highest-paid centers. Going from his original $891,000 of 2017 to an average of $9 million dollars means Britt is probably having a really nice meal with family and friends tonight. And he is paying for all of it.

Coach Pete Carroll said, “I think (Britt’s signing) is just a recognition and acknowledgement of the player and the teammate that he’s become for us.” I think that last part might be key. Britt has made himself into an indispensable member of the team. He is the most reliable player on his unit. He is its leader, unquestionably.

Britt’s signing also signals that the Seahawks are willing to spend on a group that has at times appeared to be undervalued. Seattle says they want to get back to run-first. Last year in the playoffs against the Detroit Lions, Seattle ran behind Britt and Germain Ifedi time and again with Thomas Rawls. Britt mauled the Lions. Seattle won easily.

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If Britt can get the kind of play this year from his line mates that he himself showed last year, the Seahawks will become that run-first team again. And possibly get back to the Super Bowl.

Seattle should be better in 2017. Britt’s signing helps make the Seahawks competitive for the next several seasons.