Seahawks gearing for an offseason full of changes

Still fresh off of their 31-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers, the Seattle Seahawks are gearing up for an offseason that should be filled with changes. For starters, Seattle will have 31 players set to hit free agency when the period opens up in early March. Among those players are the likes of Russell Okung, Brandon Mebane, Bruce Irvin, and Jermaine Kearse. Kearse, of course, was in the news this week after declaring that he would not be giving the Seahawks the benefit of a home town discount (Kearse is from the Seattle area). This news follows after Bruce Irvin, the outstanding linebacker, said that he would consider giving Seattle a discount.

Whether or not these two players decide that they would like to stay in Seattle or not for a discount is the least of the Seahawks issues. As stated earlier, Seattle will have 31 players that will be up for grabs, and while some will not return in 2016, there are others who definitely consider a look. Okung is one of them. Seattle’s early season offensive line woes are well documented, and it reared its ugly head again during the first half of the divisional game (Okung included) but Russell is the most important piece among that line, and if the Seahawks are unable to resign him, they could have bigger issues.

If the idea of trying to keep your center piece lineman wasn’t enough, there is more. The team still has the lingering issue that is Kam Chancellor’s contract. Although his holdout only lasted for two regular season games, the matter was never solved. Look for the two parties to try and come to an understanding during the offseason. 

Speaking of contracts, Marshawn Lynch’s is also in need of some attention. As the final seconds ticked off the clock in Charlotte and the players walked off the field, there was a universal sense that this could be the final time beast mode would be seen in a Seahawks uniform. Set to make 11.5 million in 2016, the Seahawks would prefer that Lynch take a pay cut in order to stay with the team. This is an idea that Lynch is most likely not too fond of, which could force the two to go their separate ways. While this would not be ideal, it would not be that big of a hit for Seattle as they have two young backs in Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael waiting to take over.

The final item on Seattle’s offseason list will be to decide whether or not if they would like to keep Jimmy Graham. He was a big acquisition last offseason, but the Seahawks failed to consistently find ways to adapt his game to their offense, and as a result, their production suffered early on. It wasn’t until after his injury that they finally found a rythme that fit them.

With an offseason full of questions, expect a lot of moves over the next few months as Seattle tries to recapture the magic that helped them reach two straight super bowls.  

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Sean Mitchell

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