Seattle Seahawks: 15 best free agent acquisitions of all time

Cliff Avril, Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Cliff Avril, Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Howard Ballard, Seattle Seahawks
Howard Ballard, Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Allsport/Getty Images) /

Right Tackle. 1994-98. Howard Ballard. 6. player. 36.

Howard Ballard was amazingly healthy in his career, especially for an offensive lineman. In the last 10 years he played in the NFL, Ballard missed just six games. All of those games missed came in just one season in 1997.

Ballard did not make any Pro Bowls during his five years in Seattle. He simply went about his business, efficiently and well. Ballard was a huge lineman even if he played in today’s NFL.

He stood 6-foot-6 and played at about 340 pounds. In other words, he would fit perfectly with what current Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer wants to do: Grade the road for the running backs.

Ballard was signed as a free agent prior to the 1994 season after he played six seasons with the Buffalo Bills, going to four Super Bowls with them. His teams would not enjoy nearly the same kind of success in Seattle as Ballard did with Buffalo. This may be one reason Ballard did not get more self-acclaim.

Without a doubt, though, Ballard’s presence made Seattle a better football team, even if they were not going to Super Bowls then. Ballard broke his leg during what would be his final year in Seattle and he never played football after doing so. He currently coaches high school football in his home state of Alabama.