As a follow up to my 'When Need Matters' post, here are my thoughts on Seattle's most pressing positional needs.
Defensive tackle: Starter Rocky Bernard will sign elsewhere as a free agent. Red Bryant played in only four games as a rookie. Depending on where Seattle sees Brandon Mebane's future, Seattle needs starter capable depth at right or left defensive tackle.
Potential FA Fits: Shaun Cody, Jovan Haye and Albert Haynesworth
Safety: Seattle could target a free safety, attempting to replace Brian Russell, or a strong safety, attempting to replace Brian Russell with Deon Grant. Seattle foolishly attributed 2007's sorta success from its secondary to the entire secondary, ignoring stellar contributions by Marcus Trufant and Deon Grant and utter failure by Brian Russell. Available free agents are either long in the tooth or a poor fit. Look for Seattle to draft a safety and open the position for him to win, but don't look for Seattle to cut Russell.
Potential FA Fits: Jermaine Phillips, Mike Brown, Jarrad Page
Offensive Guard: Tim Ruskell is content to draft power and potential and hope Mike Solari makes them something special. That philosophy makes Seattle an attractive destination for defamed retreads looking for a second chance. A powerful mauler with the intelligence to maneuver a zone block would do wonders for Greg Knapp's power rushing attack. I'm partial to Duke Robinson. That's unlikely. A thin free agent class and recent exorbitant free agent contracts will force Seattle to address this need through the draft.
Potential FA Fits: Stacy Andrews
Wide Receiver: Seattle has assembled ridiculous depth at wide receiver and from that depth there's a reasonable chance it will find its starting two. Deion Branch is a lock at flanker. Nate Burleson and Courtney Taylor should be in the running for split end. Mike Hass, Jordan Kent, Logan Payne, Billy McMullen, Michael Bumpus, Ben Obomanu and Trent Shelton will battle for the scraps. Only Branch and Burleson are safe. Seattle doesn't need numbers, but a boost in talent would help.
Potential FA Fits: TJ Houshmandzadeh, Bobby Engram, Koren Robinson
Seattle needs depth but no definite upgrade at offensive tackle, center, outside linebacker, running back, defensive end and backup quarterback. I think Seattle addresses defensive tackle through free agency. A low cost, high upside pickup like Shaun Cody makes a ton of sense. Cody bottomed out in Detroit, but is just 25. He doesn't block Bryant if Bryant steps up and wouldn't kill Seattle if forced to start. Safety and guard are best addressed through the draft. Seattle could sign a steady player like Houshmandzadeh or just as likely do nothing. It's worth mentioning that Seattle's wide receivers looked much more capable in Seneca Wallace's starts.