UPDATE: So, apparently Jeremy Lane failed his physical somehow. So now Seattle gets All Pro Left Tackle Duane Brown and a 2018 fifth round pick. Houston gets a 2018 third round pick and a 2019 second round pick. I have no idea what this means for the salary cap, or if the Seahawks plan to keep Lane, but stay tuned I guess.
The Deal: Seattle gets All Pro Left Tackle Duane Brown through 2018. Houston gets Jeremy Lane, a 2018 fifth round pick, and a 2019 second round pick.
Duane Brown is unquestionably an upgrade at the left tackle spot, as Rees Odhiambo is nearly the worst in the entire league, so that’s pretty big. Considering the O-Line is one of the few weak spots on this team, this trade helps a good team become even better.
Jeremy Lane, as has been noted countless times, was on his way out. If not now, then at season’s end for sure. I was never in favor of just getting rid of him for the sake of salary relief in a vacuum, but when that salary relief goes towards a contract like Duane Brown’s, then that’s absolutely fine. Shaq Griffin has more than proven himself capable of starting opposite Richard Sherman, and I think we’ve all been very happy with what Justin Coleman has provided in the slot. When you tack on Bradley McDougald’s coverage ability (when he’s not starting for Earl Thomas, which it appears he’ll be doing this weekend), and you tack on DeShawn Shead’s imminent return in the next few weeks, losing Lane isn’t much of a loss.
I think it’s important to point out that Lane was a fantastic Seahawk, and I’ll always appreciate what he brought to this team. Unfortunately, I think he’ll be remembered most for getting injured in that New England Super Bowl – with his loss proving critical to our blowing that fourth quarter lead, considering how the rest of the secondary was dealing with injuries of their own – but ultimately I have more positive memories of Lane than negative ones.
The loss of draft picks SORT OF hurts, I guess, but the more I think about it, the more it just makes sense that the Seahawks will be trading down their first round draft picks every single year until the end of time. I mean, it’s what they love to do, right? We’re always drafting super late, so those late first round draft picks aren’t quite as good, ergo you might as well ship them off to an eager team willing to throw around extra mid-round picks, which is where we tend to find our best value guys.
Also, I would argue that our last couple drafts have been really fucking good, providing a lot of starters and a few stars, so we’re not totally robbing Peter to pay Paul, or however that saying goes.
The question that remains is: what else will the Seahawks do? They’re right up against the salary cap, Duane Brown will count a little over $5 million for the rest of this season, and Jeremy Lane only accounts for maybe half of that? It’s my understanding that they’re not restructuring Brown’s existing contract. And, literally as I’m writing this paragraph, it’s been reported that the Seahawks converted some of Russell Wilson’s salary to a signing bonus, to open up just enough room under the cap to make this work. The First National Bank of Russell Wilson is open for business!
Okay, so with that out of the way, I’ll throw this at you: why didn’t the Seahawks do this sooner?
They’ve obviously been aware of George Fant’s injury since the pre-season, and they’ve also been aware of Duane Brown’s holdout with the Texans since around that same time. It’s been reported that this deal has been bandied about since then, but why did it take 8 weeks to do this? Did the price (in draft picks) really go down that much from what the Texans were asking for him in the pre-season? Maybe! I obviously have no idea. Maybe it comes down to Brown’s contract issue. Obviously, if he wanted a re-worked deal before this season with the Texans, he certainly would’ve wanted one from the Seahawks, and I don’t know if we were in a position to give it to him. Maybe AFTER this year, but I guess we’ll see.
You could argue the Seahawks would be a win better right now if Brown had been on our roster from Week 1. I think we were a flat out mess in that Titans game, both offensively and defensively, so it’s hard to make the case we would’ve won that one; but I very much believe we could’ve beaten the Packers with Brown over Odhiambo’s first-ever start at left tackle. So, that kinda sucks, I guess.
A lot of people are speculating what this means for the future of this offensive line. I think it’s WAY too early, but if you put a gun to my head, I think Brown and Ifedi are locked in as the left and right tackles, respectively, with Britt at center. I think Pocic is guaranteed to start at one of the Guard spots (probably from last week on, considering how well he played in pass protection). The rest depends on Luke Joeckel. If Joeckel returns from injury on time, and finishes the year strong at left guard, I could see the team giving him a modest, incentive-laden deal. Which would then bump Pocic to right guard. But, if Joeckel doesn’t return, or doesn’t look good, or gets re-injured, then I think either you see Pocic stay at left guard, or you make Odhiambo your left guard and bump Pocic to right. I think Glowinski is completely out of the picture as anything but a backup. I also think there’s an outside chance that Oday Aboushi continues to play well this season and nets a modest contract extension of his own to continue playing right guard (that’s obviously only if Joeckel doesn’t return). I think Fant will get all of next year to get 100% healthy and learn behind one of the greats, with an opportunity to win the starting job in 2019, assuming Brown’s contract doesn’t get re-worked this off-season.
Like I said, though, way too early to lock this down. There are SO MANY variables at play, it’s almost not worth even thinking about.
Because this is a deal for right here, right now. Are the Seahawks a left tackle away from being a Super Bowl team? Honestly, maybe! I actually like the rest of this line an awful lot compared to what it’s been the last couple seasons, and Brown just solidifies everything. He’s the best left tackle we’ve had since Walter Jones! I think he’s better than Russell Okung, and more durable, though obviously his age (32 years old) is a pretty big concern. But, you’re not bringing him in here to be your left tackle for 5+ seasons. Ideally, if he gets through this year and nets the Seahawks a championship, it’s all gravy after that! Really, I think you just want him to get through next year and deal with 2019 when it comes.
The pass protection obviously improves by leaps and bounds, but I think the hope here is that he’ll get our running game going again. I don’t know what Odhiambo has to offer in that department, from a left tackle perspective, but I know it can’t be much with the way he’s getting his ass whipped around on a regular basis.
This is only good. Bring on the Redskins!