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Don’t expect Seahawks to be in on former Saints G Larry Warford

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

When the New Orleans Saints released three time Pro Bowl Guard Larry Warford, fans across the league took notice. Fans of the Seattle Seahawks, particularly in the wake of the release of 2019 starting right guard D.J. Fluker, who quickly signed with the Baltimore Ravens.

Seattle fans are, of course, excited about the potential of 2020 third round pick Damien Lewis and 2019 fourth round selection Phil Haynes when it comes to the guard position going forward, but the opportunity to add a three time Pro Bowler does not come along everyday. The question, then, becomes whether Warford and the Seahawks are a fit for one another.

Warford has shown a high level of durability during his seven NFL seasons, never playing fewer than 13 games in any given year, including playing in 44 of 48 regular season games during his three years with the Saints. On top of his durability, Warford is the bigger bodied guard that offensive line coach Mike Solari loves, weighing in at 332 at the 2013 combine, but might not have quite the foot speed the teams looks for from its guards.

In particular, almost every guard currently on the Seattle roster has a 40 time that falls into a tight range, along with 20- and 10-yard splits that are all also remarkably similar.

Speed of Seahawks guards

Player 40 time 20 yard split 10 yard split
Player 40 time 20 yard split 10 yard split
Larry Warford 5.58 3.20 1.85
Mike Iupati 5.31 3.06 1.84
Damien Lewis 5.24 3.03 1.83
Phil Haynes 5.20 2.97 1.78
Kyle Fuller 5.24 3.03 1.81
Ethan Pocic 5.12 3.02 1.82
Demetrius Knox 5.33 (est) N/A N/A
Kahlil McKenzie 5.15 2.98 1.78
Jordan Roos 5.22 2.97 1.82
Jordan Simmons 5.21 3.05 1.83
Chance Warmack 5.49 3.17 1.90

Warford, obviously, has the short area quickness that is necessary for guards when pass blocking in the phone booth that is their area of operations. However, his 20- and 30- yard splits are far, far higher than those of the other guards. While that may not seem like a huge difference, one of the staple runs of Mike Solari’s gap scheme involves pulling the guard through the hole to clear the way. Sometimes it’s a quick five yard pull, and sometimes it’s a fifteen or twenty yard pull across the field and up through the hole, depending on the defensive run fits.

In any case, according to reports, Warford is looking for $7M per year, which is likely higher than the Seahawks would bid. Even a two year deal at $7M per year would be the largest contract Seattle has given to a free agent offensive lineman under Pete Carroll and John Schneider. Now, could the Hawks make a two year, $14M or three year $21M deal work with the salary cap? Absolutely. The question, however, is whether that is what they would like to do at a position where they have one side set to be handled by Damien Lewis, while 2019 starter Mike Iupati and Phil Haynes are set to duke it out on the other side. Add in that Ethan Pocic, Demetrius Knox, Jordan Simmons and Chance Warmack are likely to be in the competition as well, and there doesn’t seem to be a pressing need at the position.

So, while there are certainly some fans who have expressed an interest in adding Warford to the Seattle offensive line, at this point it does not seem to be a great match. That’s not to say the Seahawks wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to bring Warford in if he was willing to play for league minimum, or something approximating that, but at this point that seems unlikely. If he’s still a free agent once training camps have opened come August, then it might be worth circling back.