How the Seahawks can fix the offensive line this offseason

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 15: Justin Britt #68 of the Seattle Seahawks in action against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 15, 2019 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 15: Justin Britt #68 of the Seattle Seahawks in action against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 15, 2019 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Step 2: Free agency

There are two positions I think would be best served shoring up in free agency. The first is left guard, and the second is right tackle. Fortunately, there are a handful of very promising players that are slated to hit free agency this year. Its simply up to Seattle to be aggressive in their pursuit.

Gain some star power at the left guard

The left guard spot was home to Mike Iupati last season, he played well, but not well enough to warrant a second contract. Between injuries and hiccups in pass protection, Seattle would be wise to look elsewhere to man this position next season. This brings me full circle to Seattle cutting Justin Britt to ensure a chance to pursue a premier offensive lineman. I believe that player should be Joe Thuney. He is the real deal, would be an instant upgrade and bring the star power that Russell Wilson has asked for.

Thuney is 27 years old and a 4-year starter. There are two aspects of his game that make him a perfect fit for Seattle. First, he is incredibly durable, he has yet to miss a game since entering the NFL. Durability was one of the biggest issues Seattle had on the offensive line this last year. By bringing Thuney in, Seattle should know who will be lined up at left guard all year long.

The second lure, he allowed only 1 sack (and wasn’t penalized a single time) last year despite playing the second most offensive snaps in the NFL at 1,140. Talk about consistency in health and on the field production, this is something Seattle desperately needs.

Unfortunately, it won’t be cheap. There are rumors that he will likely receive interest from at least 20 NFL teams in free agency. I think despite the massive interest that will be generated a deal in the ballpark of a 4-year, $64 million deal should get the job done. The lure of playing with Russell Wilson, playing for a playoff team and top tier money at the guard position should be enough to ensure the Seahawks land a gem on the offensive line.

Replacing Germain Ifedi at right tackle

The second signing would be replacing Germain Ifedi at right tackle. As much hatred as fans showed Ifedi, he is being listed as the second-best right tackle in free agency due to his growth and potential. After Jack Conklin signs, Ifedi will likely command a massive contract in the realm of a $13-15 million per year deal. This is far too rich for a team that turned down his 5th year option just a year prior.

Meanwhile, George Fant wants to play left tackle, and more importantly receive left tackle money, which may have priced him out of Seattle. The route the Seahawks should go, would be to draft a player with potential and sign a stop-gate veteran to man the spot this year. This would allow the rookie a year or two to learn behind a proven entity as opposed to being thrown into the fire and forced to protect the NFL’s highest paid quarterbacks in Russell Wilson. The player I want Seattle to target would be the former Packer, Bryan Bulaga.

Bulaga is 30 years old and a 10-year veteran. He would be an instant upgrade as he plays both the pass and run well. Last season he finished with the 16th highest offensive tackle grade at 77.9, per PFF. He has had some injury issues in the past, however, played he played all 16 games last year for the Packers. This shows he has enough juice left in the tank to finish out a season when healthy. Green Bay has yet to have contract talks with their veteran tackle. It seems like the classic case of the grass is always greener analogy applies here. This is where Seattle should swoop in.

I can see Seattle signing him to a short-term deal. I think a contract in the ballpark of 2-year, $18.5 million deal would get the job done. There will likely be some protections in the contract in case Bulaga has injury issues in his first year. This would allow the Seahawks an opportunity to release him with minimal dead cap and move on for the 2021 season. However, if he plays well, Bulaga will get a decent payday entering his age 31 season (at the start of the season) and give him a chance to win a ring alongside one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.