The Seattle Seahawks shook up their offensive line in a big way this week, giving fans exactly what they’ve been screaming for, technically.
The line will be at least 60% different in 2020 than it was last year. It’s a legitimate possibility that four of the five OL that Seattle trots out will be new starters.
Even though the Seahawks didn’t spend the $10-15 million on the likes of Bryan Bulaga or Jack Conklin, no one will be able to say that Seattle didn’t address their line.
Now, it could very well be a complete train wreck, but at least they haven’t ignored it.
Justin Britt is the most recent departure from the Seahawks. He was preceded by D.J. Fluker by about an hour. Finally, fan-favorite Germain Ifedi left in free agency for the Chicago Bears.
Furthermore, Mike Iupati has been re-signed to a one-year deal, but it’s only worth $2.5 million max. It’s also a one million cap hit if they cut him at any point before the season. He’s been highly injury prone for years, and is either a cheap casualty or a moderately overpriced bench player if he’s beat out by promising sophomore Phil Haynes.
The line this season could therefore take a couple of different forms, both vastly different than 2019.
Last year’s offensive line:
LT Duane Brown
LG Mike Iupati
C Justin Britt eight games / Joey Hunt eight games
RG D.J. Fluker
RT Germain Ifedi
2020 Option A:
LT Duane Brown
LG Mike Iupati, with Phil Haynes hot on his heels this summer
C BJ Finney and hopefully not Joey Hunt, ever
RG Damien Lewis
RT Brandon Shell
2020 Option B:
LT Jamarco Jones if Brown gets hurt
LG Phil Haynes if he wins the job or Iupati gets hurt
C BJ Finney and hopefully still not Joey Hunt
RG Chance Warmack? Though I’d rather see Jordan Simmons here
RT Brandon Shell because they really don’t have more tackles
Realistically, Haynes, Lewis, and Jones should be the only three functioning as next-in-line or else this line will be taking a significant step back. If Haynes beats out Iupati, that may end up being the best iteration of the offensive line for Seattle.
Which may not make fans confident whatsoever, but should give them plenty of variety to feast upon.
It also could result in a much younger line than the Seahawks have had in years.
Brown-Haynes-Finney-Lewis-Shell would be 27.4 years across the line, compared to a little over 29 for Brown-Iupati-Britt-Fluker-Ifedi.
For some unknown reason, Seattle had at one point accumulated 18 offensive linemen. Then they signed another as an undrafted free agent.
Without George Fant there’s clearly no reason to run a six-man heavy set, but they’ll probably do it anyway while they’re in some kind of five linebacker defense. That leaves a whole slew of guys to provide competition in what I sincerely hope will be a slightly more mobile and less injury-prone wall in front of Russell Wilson. Either way, there’s only a couple of candidates who are legitimately able to contend for play time.