Dec 6, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; A Seattle Seahawks helmet against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Seahawks defeated the Vikings 38-7. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
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The Seattle Seahawks are coming off a season where they struggled to play consistently. They showed they are close to being super bowl favorites once again for the NFC but need improvements. The defense needs a little work, but considering they finished the regular season ranked 5th in total defense, the focus should be more on offense. Seattle clearly was not the same team when it comes to the ground game in 2016. They finished the regular season ranked 25th in rushing, which is a HUGE drop from 2015 where they were ranked 3rd. Some think they have the talent at running back but protecting Russell Wilson and opening up holes for those backs must improve. They are currently 21st in available cap space with roughly $25,600,000 to sign available free agents. But which players should they sign and who can they actually afford?
Russell Okung: Offensive Tackle – Okung played for the Seattle Seahawks from 2010 through 2015. He struggled somewhat with consistency for the Broncos last season. But, he is a player that has solid chemistry with the team and they could sign him for a fair price. The Seahawks must improve the offensive line as a whole and Okung would certainly be an upgrade from what they had last season. He is a solid run blocker and would be a good fit at either right or left tackle. George Fant played decently last season but did struggle with protecting Wilson’s blind side. They could consider moving Fant to the right side and putting Okung at his former position which was left tackle.
Ronald Leary: Offensive Guard – Leary is an interesting option for many teams to consider but Seattle needs to work hard to sign him. It’s not every day that you would hear that a backup offensive lineman would be considered a top 25 free agent. Leary filled in for the Cowboys after La’el Collins was lost for the season in week 3 to a foot injury. He played brilliantly and showed he deserves to be a starter. Both Seattle and Dallas are heavy run style offenses which make Leary a perfect fit for the Seattle Seahawks offensive scheme.
Malcolm Smith: Linebacker – Another former Seahawk? Absolutely! Smith signed with Oakland in 2015 after Seattle won super bowl 48. The Raiders have struggled on defense considering they were ranked 26th overall last season. Smith was the super bowl 48 MVP for Seattle but hasn’t panned out in Oakland’s 3-4 defense since arriving. Bringing the former Seahawk back could help improve the left outside linebacker spot for Seattle’s 4-3 defense. His sub-par numbers for Oakland the last two seasons will put him in a price range Seattle should be able to afford. This is a move that makes perfect sense financially, schematically, and also with team chemistry.[Sean2]
Eddie Lacy: Running Back – Lacy has struggled with injuries and staying in shape. That will all lead to him being a cheap but valuable red zone option the Seahawks should consider adding. Seattle did see flashes of potential out of Thomas Rawls, CJ Prosise, and Alex Collins but injury and inconsistent play have left doubt in the many fans minds. Lacy isn’t a third down back but when inside the 20-yard line he could be incredibly valuable. His strength and quickness would give Seattle a real weapon inside the goal line. If the price is right, Lacy should be on the Seahawks radar if he can stay in shape.
Kenny Stills: Wide Receiver – The former one-dimensional deep ball threat with inconsistent hands proved last season he can be a consistent red zone threat. Stills hauled in a career high 9 touchdowns and only had 2 drops for the entire season. The Seattle Seahawks need to give Russell Wilson more receiving weapons outside of Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham. Stills would be a great fit for them as a rotational player and could give them another deep ball threat outside of Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson.