The deadline is, what, Halloween? A quick Google search determines that to be accurate. Anyway, in recent weeks, there’s been a lot of rumors and conjecture flying around the Seahawks. The Seahawks brought Branden Albert in for a looksee; he’s an offensive tackle who played in Kansas City and most recently Miami, who retired or something and then unretired I guess? Forgive me if I don’t care about the life story of Branden Albert. I think we all took a look at him – a 2-time Pro Bowler, as recently as 2015 – and we took a look at Rees Odhiambo, and we thought, “All right, he could help.”
Then, there was speculation that the Seahawks only brought him in as a way to drive down the price of Duane Brown. He’s one of the best left tackles in the league for the last decade. He’s on a contract that pays him over $9 million per year this year and in 2018. He’s 32 year old, he doesn’t have a lot of time left in the league, and as such he wanted a restructured contract for more money. So, he held out for the first six games of the Texans’ season, which I guess is the most he can hold out while still accruing a season under his contract? I dunno, again, I don’t need to know his life story. All I know is, there was talk of the Texans trading him to the Seahawks, which would’ve cost a high draft pick or multiple draft picks, depending on who you ask. It would have subsequently cost the Seahawks a lot of money in a restructured deal (a la the Percy Harvin trade we all know and love). In the end, Duane Brown returned to the Texans this week, probably just in time to start against … you guessed it, the Seahawks.
Right after all of that died down, the Seahawks went and brought in Dwight Freeney to be a backup defensive end, what with Cliff Avril hitting the IR and everything. We don’t yet know what that contract is going to cost, but either it’s for a very minimal amount that the Seahawks can afford, or it’s for a costlier amount that the Seahawks can’t afford, and will need to make a subsequent roster move to fit him in under our cap.
This also, not for nothing, coincided with the return of Jeremy Lane from a groin injury that’s kept him out of commission the last few weeks. We learned of his return thanks to a set of Tweets where he announced he’d been demoted, presumably because Shaq Griffin is not just the future of that position for this team, but also good enough to be the present as well. With Justin Coleman looking pretty solid in the slot, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for Jeremy Lane, outside of the Dime package, which we really don’t get to run all that often.
People have been talking about trading Jeremy Lane since the offseason. I guess he didn’t have the greatest year last year, though I still contend people are making that out to be WAY worse than it actually was. He was no Cary Williams! He made some plays and I thought played all-around solid. He probably shouldn’t be your team’s #2 – particularly opposite Richard Sherman, meaning he’ll get all the balls thrown in his direction – but he’s a fine slot corner and one I’d happily roll out there against any opponent (when he’s healthy). Nevertheless, at this point, he sort of feels like a luxury. Do we really need that fourth piece of cheesecake? DeShawn Shead is coming back in a matter of weeks, we appear to have really hit upon this Shaq Griffin kid, and Coleman is certainly competent (if not a diamond in the rough). You can only employ so many cornerbacks on a roster, and unless we run into a situation where we get hit by a ton of injuries, I think we’re all good there this season.
And, let’s not forget, that regardless of how this season went, it was pretty unrealistic that the Seahawks were ever going to keep Jeremy Lane around in 2018. I think the minute he signed his contract, it was silently understood that he’d be gone after the 2017 season.
So, here we are. Lane’s salary is guaranteed, so cutting him generates zero cap relief. The only way we can save some money is by trading him. Also, not for nothing, but the Seahawks traded away a number of draft picks for next year. We no longer have a 2nd rounder, thanks to Sheldon Richardson. We swapped our 6th for a 5th with the Raiders in the Beastmode deal. We traded away one fifth rounder to the Eagles for Matt Tobin, and got one fifth rounder back from the Patriots for Cassius Marsh. We swapped 7th rounders with the Jets in that Richardson deal, and we swapped 7th rounders with the Patriots (sending one away for Coleman, getting one back – maybe the same one? – in the Marsh deal). On top of, I guess, having no 2nd rounder & no 6th rounder, I’m almost positive that the Seahawks won’t qualify for any compensatory picks, which has been their bread and butter the last few years. Swapping Lane for an extra 3rd or 4th could be quite advantageous for next year and beyond (particularly when Jeremy Lane himself was a 6th round pick originally).
Beyond the draft capital part of it, I think a lot of people are looking at the salary cap relief as a means to bring in another offensive lineman, most likely via trade. But, I dunno.
For starters, you want someone who is familiar with the zone blocking scheme, otherwise it’s going to take longer to acclimate this hypothetical newcomer into our system; so that limits your trade base. And then what? You throw away all the work you’ve put into propping up Odhiambo this year? Who is coming off of his best game as a pro, I might add? Granted, it’s the Giants, and they’re dealing with a ton of injuries. But, again, I dunno.
I think we’re all beyond pleased with how well Ethan Pocic looked against the Giants, injuries or no injuries. With him, you could very well be talking about your Left Guard of the Future. If he comes back this week, blows Glowinski out of the water, and holds down that spot for the rest of the year, then great! You’ve now solidified 4/5 of your offensive line, with Britt at center, with Ifedi looking MUCH better than expected at right tackle, and with Aboushi looking like a competent veteran at right guard. That leaves the aforementioned Odhiambo, with the wrinkle that is Luke Joeckel whenever he returns from his cleanup surgery. What are we looking at? Mid to late November? Where does that place him if we give his job to Pocic?
I would argue, that puts him in competition for the left tackle spot. I know we all like him as a guard, and that appears to be the spot where he’s the best fit, but he was obviously originally drafted to be a left tackle, and still has a ton of experience there. “Ton” being a relative term, but you know what I mean.
So, if we trade for a starting left tackle, where does that slot everyone else (barring injury, of course)? It just doesn’t make a ton of sense right now.
If “continuity” is supposedly the most important factor in a successful offensive line, then how does bringing someone in during the middle of the season help you?
Now, maybe I’ll be singing a different tune after this Texans game on Sunday. Granted, they’re dealing with some injuries of their own, but they still have a pretty stout pass rush. And maybe Rees Odhiambo follows up his very best game as a pro by getting tossed around like a ragdoll. But, if he is improving, and he’s able to hold his own against the likes of Jadeveon Clowney and Co., then I think the last thing you want to do is trade for an offensive lineman.
Of course, if you recommend trading Jimmy Graham for a competent tight end who isn’t the softest, powderpuffiest wide receiver in the league? Let’s just say I’m listening.