The Seattle Seahawks have a very good roster, but what's especially nice and hopeful about their team is that the vast majority of current Seahawks are young and signed through 2017, at least. This series leading up to the regular season opener on September 11 will take a closer look at 30 such players, all of whom won't be turning 30 this year.
Player: Jeremy Lane, CB
How acquired: Sixth round pick (172nd overall) in 2012 draft
Free agent: 2020
I had sort of forgotten that Lane was only a sixth round pick. I know that Pete Carroll and John Schneider are among the best in the biz in finding late-round, undrafted value, but even then the hit rate is pretty low. I mean, even Lane was taken only nine spots ahead of Winston Guy. At the time, there was no way to tell if Lane or Guy or both or neither would go on to have successful NFL careers.
Four years later, Guy is with his third team (the Colts) and Lane just signed a four-year, $23 million deal to remain with the Seahawks despite the fact that he has missed 19 games in the last two seasons. But Seattle has seen enough to know that they feel comfortable with Lane as a starting cornerback when healthy and that’s pretty high praise for an organization that has let Byron Maxwell, Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond, Ron Parker, and others in the secondary walk away. To Pete and John, Lane is someone they couldn’t let go, which is why they’re really paying him for what they think he can do not what he’s already done.
Now he just has to stay healthy and prove them right because if Lane struggles or gets injured, Seattle can let him go after 2017 and save over $10 million. If he proves to be a great outside/inside cornerback, not only will Lane earn a $6 million base salary in 2018 and 2019, but he’ll be hitting the free agent market again at 30, which leaves plenty of time for a starting defensive back to get another long-term deal.
There was a clear upgrade last season when the Seahawks finally transitioned from Cary Williams to Lane. If they can remain healthy for most of the year, Carroll might just have the best secondary of his career right now.
Most of the videos on YouTube of Jeremy Lane are of his horrific Super Bowl injury. Instead of that, here’s a clip of him being honored in his hometown after Super Bowl 48: