With training camp set to kick off soon, one story is dominating the national narrative surrounding the Seattle Seahawks.
The failure to negotiate a contract with quarterback Russell Wilson has been the primary story for much of Seattle’s offseason. It appears that talks will spill over to next offseason and that rumors will continue to swirl, even if there is only a miniscule chance Wilson leaves the Seahawks.
But Wilson isn’t the only player with a looming payday. With some pricey extensions already in place and a number of upcoming free agents, the Seahawks will have some tough decisions to make regarding who should be kept long-term.
A few players stand out as potential candidates to sign extensions before the 2015 regular season begins.
While Wilson in the clear extension priority, Wagner isn’t all that far behind.
Wagner doesn’t get the headlines of a Richard Sherman or a Earl Thomas, but is just as valuable to a Seahawks’ defensive unit that is cementing its status as one of the best ever. The fourth-year middle linebacker has used his tremendous speed and great instincts to play well against both the run and pass.
Seattle’s defense felt the impact of losing Wagner for nearly a month last season. He would be very difficult to replace, so the Seahawks may want to get a deal done sooner rather than later.
Out of any potential extension candidate, the Seahawks may face the most difficult decision with Okung.
Okung has played like a franchise left tackle at times since being selected sixth overall in 2010. In particular, the 27-year-old was very good in 2012, when he deservedly started in the Pro Bowl.
Unfortunately, Okung has been unable to reach his full potential due to inconsistency and injuries. He’s likely going to be a good, but not great, offensive tackle moving forward, and that’s the type of player the Seahawks may have to think about letting go.
Okung would be worth keeping around on some sort of discounted deal due to his upside. If it comes down to choosing between him and someone like Wagner, it may be time for the Seahawks to move on when Okung’s current deal is up.
The Seahawks have shown they won’t hesitate to move on from veterans in favor of youth. After the 2013 Super Bowl run, both Chris Clemons and Red Bryant were cut despite being productive players for the franchise for a number of years.
Now the longest tenured Seahawk at 30 years old, it’s getting to the point where it might be time to move on from Mebane when he becomes a free agent next offseason. However, the Seahawks also aren’t afraid to sign defensive line veterans for a reduced price – Kevin Williams was a nice member of the rotation a year ago.
There isn’t a ton of proven defensive tackle talent on the roster and both Mebane and Tony McDaniel will be free agents. Adding Mebane for another two or three years on a cheap deal might be an intriguing possibility.
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