Seasons come and seasons go, and so do many of our beloved players through free agency. Which one will leave Seattle Seahawks fans with the biggest regret in this year?
Last year the answer was about as difficult as this season, although I’m going to wager the impact won’t be as big in 2023. Last season the team moved on from both Bobby Wagner and D.J. Reed, both of whom excelled with their new teams. The Reed departure was particularly unenjoyable because he didn’t sign for outlandish money, apparently would have loved to stay in Seattle, and dominated across from Sauce Gardner instead of opposite Tariq Woolen.
Entering 2023, I’m looking at either Ryan Neal or Rashaad Penny as the biggest pain points this year. None of the other players move the needle that much, including Cody Barton.
What’s especially interesting is that the Seahawks covered up both of these departures quite well - a stark contrast from 2022 when both linebacker and corner remained huge questions heading into the season.
Both Neal and Penny were massive contributors last season. Do not forget people, Ryan Neal had an All-Pro vote last year. However, as a safety, Neal’s impact on the other side of the country/league won’t be felt as much by the average fan as running back, with one caveat.
Neal is effectively being replaced by both Julian Love and the return of Jamal Adams. However, Neal built his career here by other safeties not being available, and then surprising us all with his play. If Adams can’t go or gets hurt again, chances of “I miss Ryan Neal” sentiments skyrocket.
But barring injury, the chances are high that on some random week Kenneth Walker will have a bad game on the same day Rashaad Penny has a good one, and the fans - both fantasy and real life - will be sure to notice and lament.
The Philadelphia Eagles are ranked No. 1 on a bunch of stupid summer offensive line rankings, something that the Seahawks are...well, not. Even though Zach Charbonnet seems like a huge get for them in the second round, and perhaps even a better stylistic counterpart to Walker, he’s a rookie behind an lower-end yet improving line with yet more new parts this year. Furthermore, quickly discovering a powerful RB1 / RB2 tandem has not been a strength of Pete Carroll offenses.
In fact, going all the way back to 2013, the best running back duo from a yardage standpoint was Chris Carson and Mike Davis in 2018. Davis had 514 yards to Carson’s 1,151. Most every other year, the second running back topped out in the low 300’s.
Meanwhile, just two seasons ago, the Eagles were able to get a running back above 750 and a second above 400 yards - and that’s after team-leader Jalen Hurts rushed for 784.
I was sad when he left, and I’m fully expecting at some point this season Rashaad Penny to make me (still happy for him tho) sad again.