Only 7 teams have won back to back Super Bowls, a testament of how tough it is to be the champs. With Denver splashing the cash and a huge number of draft selections (in a deep draft) for San Francisco, it leaves Seattle with work to do to retain their crown.
Offseason priority: Keeping their house in order
Seattle has made their mark by turning low round picks into stars. The problem is those cheap low round picks then want to be paid like stars. Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman both got big contracts locking them down and allowing Seattle to space out the big 2017 contract year which includes Bruce Irvin and Russell Wilson to name but a few.
Michael Bennett was the highest interest free agent of 2014 demanding a big deal. As a team that relies on its front 4 to keep the pressure on opposing offenses it was vital for Seattle to keep it intact.
However to cover it Seattle put a few older players out to pasture with Red Bryant and Chris Clemons on their way to Florida to join Gus Bradley, their loss helping to keep the Seahawks approximately 10 million under the cap.
Their priority wasn’t a tough task as Seattle is where every player wants to be; but a job well done nonetheless.
Free Agency – Understandably quiet. Seattle didn’t make a splash but with big contracts coming up for key players it wasn’t really in the cards.
Losing Walter Thurmond, who is certainly one of the better nickel corners in the league, is a blow but Seattle was ultimately right not to overpay. Nevertheless especially with Brandon Browner also hitting the road a lot rests on Byron Maxwell next season.
Best Signing: Steven Hauschka – Though this really comes under keeping your house in order the signing of Stephen Schilling is hardly going to get the heart pumping, though the competition on the interior line can only be good for Seattle.
The Sidney Rice deal was a good bit of business but considering he is coming off an acl and has missed 25 games in 4 years in my head it was maybe time to move on. That being said a 1 year contract is good proving ground for a wideout who has flashed at several points in his career.
Hauschka on the other hand can’t be argued with. 33 of 35 with a 3 of 3 from over 50 yards is great however you look at it so locking him down for another for another 3 years is as exciting as free agency was going to get.
Just as a note we will be ignoring 6th round versatile lineman Garrett Scott which though now a waste of a 6th rounder for the seahawks is just a tragic bit of bad luck that could not be avoided. We shall only wish the best to him and his family and hope it will not end his football career before it begun.
It’s amazing how nobody dare criticise the Seahawks any more, trade for an extra 5th and watch them turn him into Richard Sherman.
That being said I’ll have a shot at it. The Seahawks traded too easily in this draft. They had needs in the interior offensive line, at wide receiver and you could argue at corner and there was talent at each to be had. Marquis Lee or Xavier Sau’Filo at 32 could have provided the team with a top tier talent at a position of need and been a lock for years to come.
In my opinion this squad already has good depth through and adding a top quality talent to your o line or receiving core could only be a benefit. Considering the board at 32 Seattle could easily have picked up a top quality guard and wide receiver in the first two rounds.
Still watch them turn Kevin Norwood into Julio Jones and me eat my words.
Favourite pick: Kevin Pierre Louis (Pick 132)
This guy is going to be a great player in the nfl. He was one of my sleeper prospects through the offseason running a 4.4 at 230 pounds with room on his frame to grow. Put him in an nfl conditioning program and let him work on his strength and he could be a real asset on the outside with the speed to match rbs and tight ends whilst also ranging sideline to sideline in the run game. The guy can do everything and with time he could become a staple of the seattle linebacking core. At worst he is a speedy gunner on special teams that won’t miss a tackle.
Week 1 starter – Paul Richardson
Seattle did what they always do, took impressive physical players that need developing, add them into the Seahawks coaching set up and somehow create pro bowlers.
Despite weaknesses on the o line I feel Britt may take time to become an NFL calibre right tackle and even longer to become a guard considering he has never played there before whilst the majority of the Seahawks draft raised the standard of their rotation players and added more potential to a star studded squad.
Richardson alone has the ability to start straight away especially with Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice injury prone. With his sheer speed and already polished route running skills he could make an impact week 1 especially on deep routes which I feel may be the best way to introduce him especially with his propensity for injury. Deep go routes play to his strengths whilst reducing the chance of him being lit up across the middle until he gets a bit more bulk on his frame.
Top UDFA signing: Jackson Jeffcoat – I think we will hear this guys name a lot this year even if we only see him one snap a drive. It’s 3rd and 8 with the best secondary in the nfl in coverage and 4 men rushing, Jeffcoat will have a chance to shine. As a tweener he doesn’t have the size to play at the line or the movement skills to be an outside linebacker but he is perfect to be a situational pass rusher. Arguably the best udfa who should have been drafted and he is now in the best coaching system in the nfl. Score for both parties
Overall Grade: C – Though it is difficult to grade such a quiet offseason Seattle didn’t make a splash but they passed with flying colours. They locked down their guys, added some potential to the wide receiver core and offensive line and depth to the defensive line. A solid offseason was all round.