The Seattle Seahawks certainly have holes on their roster, notably on the offensive line. But according to coach Pete Carroll, those holes will not be fixed in free agency.
Not in a big way, anyway.
.@PeteCarroll: We're not going to go out and spend a ton of money on free agency. That's not how we do that.
— Dave Boling (@DaveBoling) January 16, 2017
Many of Seattle’s problems resulted from injury. For example, the defense was badly exposed against the Falcons in the divisional round, but it was depleted, notably by the absence of Earl Thomas.
The offensive line, however, was a mess all season. If it’s not revamped during the offseason, it will continue to be a mess in 2017. With that, another year of a group of players in their primes that once looked like a potential dynasty will be wasted.
One of those players, of course, is Russell Wilson. The Seahawks allowed 42 sacks in 2016, tied for the league’s third highest total. Frankly, the number was only that low because of Wilson’s mobility and pocket presence. He has to be protected better.
Not wanting to spend a great deal in free agency is partially understandable. While the 2015 Denver Broncos partially defied this, successful teams generally build through the draft — not free agency.
But teams have to be able to add on. That’s what free agency is for. The Seahawks have an outstanding group of established players in the locker room already. They just need to add some up front.
If Seattle doesn’t spend big on its offensive line, one of two things will happen.
One, the offensive line in 2017 will look strikingly similar to 2016’s version. Does anyone with the Seahawks want that?
Two, they’ll draft several new pieces to the offensive line, meaning that a series of mid-late round rookies will be protecting Wilson. That may be produce slightly better results than 2016, but not markedly.
Seattle may not traditionally spend a lot of money in free agency, which is generally understandable. But this is a team coming off of back-to-back divisional round losses, immediately after making two straight Super Bowls and winning one. That’s a downward trend.
If such an important part of the roster isn’t revamped, the downward trend will continue.