The Seahawks tendered Garry Gilliam at the lowest possible level, for a little under $2 million, with an Original Round designation. That means any team could offer Gilliam a contract and the Seahawks would have the right to match it. That also means, if the Seahawks refused to match it, they’d get no draft pick compensation in return, because in this case Gilliam was an undrafted free agent, and as such there is no “Original Round” pick to recoup.
Which is precisely what happened. The 49ers offered Gilliam approximately $400K more total money on a 1-year deal – after he’d turned down a couple of their multi-year offers – but the rub is that the 49ers guaranteed $1.4 million of his 2017 contract, which is approximately $1.4 million more than the Seahawks wanted to guarantee him. Today, word came down that the Seahawks officially declined to match the contract, so Gilliam is now a member of the 49ers.
Pretty good bargain on their part. Gilliam has starting experience, which is always helpful. I don’t know if he’s going to be starting for them, necessarily, or thrown onto the pile, but either way he’s a good depth piece, and a guy I wouldn’t have minded seeing in a Seahawks uniform. But, I understand why the Seahawks did what they did.
This all but guarantees that Germain Ifedi will be the starting right tackle for the Seahawks in 2017 (barring injury, of course). I don’t really know how to feel about that, other than totally scared shitless. As it was, Ifedi was pretty bad as a guard, and that’s a position that frequently sees the center helping in double teams. As a right tackle, Ifedi will mostly be on an island. With zero experience at the NFL level as a tackle, I’m less than convinced he’s going to somehow be an improvement over what he was last year.
You could argue all that matters is that he’s an improvement over Gilliam, which shouldn’t be TOO hard, as Gilliam was pretty bad in his own right. But, why set that bar so low? With Gilliam in the fold, we have experienced depth and someone to really push Ifedi to earn that spot. Without Gilliam, we’ve essentially handed the job to an unproven 2nd year player. If Ifedi struggles, or gets injured, guess where that leaves the Seahawks! See: 2016 Seattle Seahawks, only probably worse.
Nothing about this offseason plan, as it pertains to the O-Line (our greatest weakness the last two years), instills any confidence whatsoever that the Seahawks actually have a plan. In free agency, they’re piling on a lot of crappy, unwanted players from other teams and seemingly settling for less at every turn.
What’s the line looking like? Either Joeckel or Fant at left tackle, either Joeckel, Glowinski or Odhiambo at left guard, Britt at center, Aboushi at right guard, and Ifedi at right tackle. Aside from Britt, and maybe Aboushi, that’s a real Who’s Who of God Fucking Dammit Here We Go Again.
I can’t wait for the O-Line to be all anyone ever talks about for the rest of 2017 and beyond until the end of time because we’re living in some bullshit Groundhog Day universe where every day brings a new opportunity to complain about the O-Line.