The NFL has officially reached its dark period, with the most notable transaction of the past week being a kicker getting released. With the seemingly constantly active league hitting a lull, it's a good time to leave the NFL world and enter a hypothetical world. A world where last offseason's big addition, Jimmy Graham, fails to live up to his expectations in 2016. If you'll allow me to, let me set the scene for you; it's March 2017, Jimmy Graham has been released after a disappointing season and the rumor mills are a churnin'. Who could be the next star to potentially land in Seattle following the failed additions of both Percy Harvin and Jimmy Graham? Here's some possibilities:
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears
Jeffery and the Bears have until July 15th to negotiate a long-term deal; after that, the star wide receiver will have to either play out 2016 under the franchise tag, or sit out the season. While the odds of a deal getting done are better than others, Jeffery to the Seahawks seems as possible as any on this list. With 2015 first round pick Kevin White fully healthy, there's a strong possibility the Bears let Jeffery play out the year and then walk in free agency. If that happens, could the Seahawks strike and add a true number one receiver to their offense? The 6'3", 216-pound receiver would be able to fill the role of the big receiver Seahawks fans have craved for years, apparently more so than the front office, while also being a deep threat for Russell Wilson's sexy deep ball.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos
The best number-two receiver in the NFL, Sanders has quietly been as consistent as any receiver in the league over the past two seasons. Fresh off of back to back 1000 yard seasons, Sanders and the Broncos are reportedly talkingabout a new deal, but with just one year left on his current deal, 2016 could be his last in orange. At 5'11" and 186 pounds, Sanders fits the mold of the type of receiver Seattle and Russell Wilson have enjoyed deploying the past couple seasons. If Sanders plays out his contract in Denver, perhaps Seattle would be interested in pairing Sanders with Doug Baldwin in Seattle.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
Eifert established himself as one of the league's premier red zone targets this past season after missing almost all of 2014 due to injury. An absolutely ridiculous eleven red zone touchdowns on just sixteen red zone targets last year, Eifert was the perfect big target in a stacked Cincinnati offense. His 5th year option was picked up by the team this offseason, tying him to the Bengals through 2017. With big money already tied up elsewhere in Cincinnati, the Bengals may elect to move Eifert next offseason, rather than adding another big contract to the offensive side of the ball. If Jimmy Graham is released, would Seattle be ready to pull the trigger for another oft-injured touchdown maker?
DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington
While the thought of adding a player like Alshon Jeffery or Tyler Eifert is tantalizing, it's also incredibly unlikely at this point. But in March 2017, Jackson will be hitting the open market and could be a legitimate possibility for the Seahawks. He would be a cheaper addition than any of the previous three players, and would immediately become the deep threat Paul Richardson presumably never became. Despite playing in a career low ten games in 2015, Jackson is still averaging close to twenty yards per reception in Washington. Jimmy Graham or no Jimmy Graham, I think Jackson is a legitimate option for Seattle next offseason.
At this point it's all just filler for the slow period of the NFL offseason, but are there any players you would like Seattle to target should Graham not work out in 2016? Here's hoping he posts double-digit touchdowns next season and renders this conversation irrelevant. Come back to us, NFL.