It’s a 1-year deal most likely with incentives built in to get it up to $8 million if he hits them all.
Now, obviously, there isn’t much to get excited about here. For starters, he has a massive knee injury he’s recovering from, so we don’t even know if he’s going to PLAY this year. You’d think, with modern medical advances and whatnot, he’ll return to the field in some capacity, but that’s certainly no guarantee. Beyond that, he’s been a humongous bust since being drafted #2 overall in 2013 by the Jaguars. In addition to being injured last year, he suffered a massive injury his rookie year to his ankle. When he was healthy, he was among the worst left tackles in all of football. He was so bad, they moved him to left guard to try to salvage some value. With a limited sample size there, it’s tough to say if he’s even worth a damn at a lesser position like that.
As I wrote about yesterday, the Seahawks are pretty limited in what they can do in free agency. They can’t afford to go out and sign the best free agent left tackle on the market. Honestly, they can’t really come close to what these other teams are able to dish out. So, they’ve got to find value in other areas, not unlike the whole Moneyball craze in baseball. Again, you’d LIKE to think there are guys out there willing to come to a contender on a more reasonable deal, but this is the NFL, and business is booming.
At the same time, it seems like A) this is a bit rushed & B) they could’ve gotten someone better for a reasonable pricetag. Hell, they could’ve gotten someone with two legs at the very least!
This really smacks of the underwhelming signings of Bradley Sowell and J’Marcus Webb. This isn’t fishing in the bottom of the barrel, this is skimming the top of the barrel for a fish that’s been dead for a week. It’s also another sign, to me, that the Seahawks have already made up their minds about the O-Line: and that is to keep it almost exactly the same as last year’s. You don’t bring in Sowell and Webb because you think they’re viable starters – those guys have been terrible their entire careers! You bring them in because you have younger, cheaper guys you want to play, and you want to make them look good by comparison. You can’t do nothing, even if you’re strapped financially, so you make these nominal moves to make it look like you’re focused on improving the team. But, in reality, you’re banking on young guys getting better with experience and time together, while the Luke Joeckel’s of the world are there as injury insurance and nothing more.
Part of me wants to at least dream a little bit on the potential of Joeckel. I mean, he was a #2 overall draft pick for a reason, right? He must’ve had good measurables and whatnot. You figure getting him in a new situation, away from all the pressure and disappointment in Jacksonville, let Tom Cable work with him, and maybe we can make it work. Maybe he can push Gilliam or Fant and give us another solid piece on the line to go with Britt at center.
But, then I go right back to his injuries, and I have to wonder how much athleticism he has left. Does he have the lateral movement required to be a tackle? Are we simply plugging holes in our offensive line with TNT and a lit match?
Obviously, we’ll have to see everything the Seahawks do in the offseason before we pass too much judgment. So far, pretty underwhelmed though.