Opinion: Seahawks will need to make some changes


Ben Wheeler, Online Editor

After surprise playoff appearance, Seahawks’ offseason looms large

The Seattle Seahawks were able to the flip the script on a season that looked lost early on and qualify for 2018-2019 NFL playoffs. Despite a wildcard round loss to the Dallas Cowboys, optimism concerning the team is substantially higher than it was after the first couple weeks of the regular season.  What is the Seahawks squad going to do next? The answer to that probably won’t be available until this September, but we can get a rough idea by looking at the roster to see who will definitely be with the team heading into the next season, and who may be putting on a new helmet and jersey when next season begins.  All of the following information is courtesy of www.spotrac.com.

Offensive Backfield (Quarterbacks, Running backs and Fullbacks)

Overall, the situation here is good in the short term, but some players and positions will raise some questions moving forward.  Russell Wilson is under contract for another season, but he will be an unrestricted free agent in the 2019-2020 offseason, as it stands now. The Seahawks of course will be working on getting Wilson a new deal before he hits the open market, but quarterback contracts are getting exceedingly expensive and historically some player-team relationships in the NFL have been permanently damaged by the free agent policy. . Plus, the Seahawks are still looking for a trusty back-up for Wilson, a luxury that has been absent for years since the departure of Tarvaris Jackson. Their newest signee is Paxton Lynch, the former Denver and Memphis (college) quarterback who was cast aside in favor of Case Keenum this year.

Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny are contracted to continue to pound the rock for Seattle through 2020-21 and 2021-22 respectively, but the hard charging Mike Davis is an unrestricted free agent. J.D McKissic, who was seldom used this season as he is recovering from an injury, is a restricted free agent. The almost-forgotten C.J. Prosise is under contract for another year, but there are fans that want the team to move on from the often-injured ball carrier.  The team’s only fullback, Tre Madden, is a restricted free agent, so the Seahawks don’t have a guaranteed lead blocker for next season out of the backfield.

Pass Catchers and O-Line

For pass catchers, the situation for Seattle is very good. For tight ends, Nick Vannett and Ed Dickson are under contract for next year. As is Will Dissly, who had a promising start to the season this year before he suffered a significant knee injury. Wide receivers Doug Baldwin, Jaron Brown and Tyler Lockett are all under contract for next season. David Moore, who had some of Seattle’s greatest catches and most devastating drops, is a restricted free agent, but I’m betting the Seahawks will get him under contract after he flashed this season.

O-Line is a little more mixed; Duane Brown, Germain Ifedi and Justin Britt will all be on the field next season for Seattle, but road-grading guards D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy are both unrestricted free agents. We Seahawks fans know what happens when money is not invested in this offensive line, so this is a position group to keep an eye on.

Needless to say, the Seahawks outlook this offseason is a bit mixed. They have some stars under contract, but a fair amount of other significant contributors and starters are either free agents this year or next year. The Seahawks also  have only five draft picks for this year as of now, which means there is a lot of pressure to make sure each pick is a good one. This is a little scary with the alternating peaks and valleys of the Seahawks draft classes since Pete Carroll became head coach. However, of the players the Seahawks have under contract for 2019-20, the average age is roughly 25, and to have a young team is always a chance to be very good down the road. The Seahawks also have the 8th most cap space available, which means they have a chance to keep their more expensive free agents or bring in skilled players to replace significant departures.