The Seahawks have some glaring needs on the offensive line. Is it possible they could have even bigger holes to fill on defense?
In a word, yes. Yes, it’s entirely possible the Seahawks will need to address bigger needs than the offensive line this offseason. Who would have ever thought that was possible?
First, let’s look at the injury situation. Cliff Avril wants to come back, but he may never play another down. Kam Chancellor also expects to return, but his injury is potentially as serious as Avril’s. Then we have Richard Sherman. While he made it clear he expects to be back for camp, he has decided to act as his own agent with the Seahawks. That could throw an entirely different wrench into the team’s plans.
So that’s three key players right there, two of them key players in the Legion of Boom. Let’s check the free agent situation. The Seahawks could lose two more starters, and one who filled in as a starter.
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That fill-in was Bradley McDougald, who subbed for Chancellor, but can play free safety as well. Hmmm…seems someone wrote months ago about just how important McDougald would be to the Seahawks. I expected 600 snaps, and he was in for 675. I expect you all to forget I predicted Eddie Lacy would also play a big role for Seattle. At least I was in good company, right Mr. Schneider?
Seahawks could lose big starters to free agency
Back to those starters. Sheldon Richardson will be out there, of course. We just discussed his situation in depth the other day. Cornerback Byron Maxwell might test the market, too. Considering how his return to the Seahawks rejuvenated his career, he’d be wise to re-sign.
He wasn’t what we typically think of as a starter, but linebacker Michael Wilhoite had nine starts and took just over 300 snaps on defense. And we have DeShawn Shead. Yes, he missed almost the entire 2017 season, but was solid opposite Sherman in 2016.
So that’s five no-doubt starters, plus McDougald, Wilhoite, and Shead. All three could play major roles for Seattle in 2018 as well. We haven’t even addressed Earl Thomas Jr.’s possible holdout, or if the Seahawks will try to move Michael Bennett. That’s a lot of talent to replace.
Will they have to replace all of them? Of course not. For example, if Avril can’t return, that frees up at least $6 million. A big chunk of that could wind up in Sheldon Richardson’s pocket. How the dominoes fall, we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m not too worried, but could we see some huge roster changes? Sadly, we could.