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Waiting on One: A (Pre-Clowney) Seahawks Free Agency Recap


Before we get into the new faces of the 2020 Seahawks roster, I want to wish every reader health and happiness during this time. Often during periods of fear and unfamiliarity, sports can offer comfort. Though we are without that comfort as we deal with a larger responsibility, I offer you these few moments as a return to scheduled sports.

While leagues such as the MLB and NHL have been forced to cancel or postpone their seasons indefinitely, the NFL is operating on its original schedule for the time being. Coaches and executives are operating remotely, players are training at home, and the league year began as always on March 18th. Since that day, the Seahawks have added nine new players to their roster. Here’s what you can expect from each of them.


OT Brandon Shell

The addition of Brandon Shell marks the end of Germain Ifedi’s stay in Seattle. The Seahawks could’ve offered a contract extension to their 2016 first-round pick after the 2019 season. However, his mistake-prone style of play led to him being replaced instead of retained. The replacement is Shell, a former New York Jet who will become the starting right tackle for Seattle’s 2020 campaign.

Shell has not started a full season since being drafted in 2016, but his two-year, $11 million contract means the Seahawks value him as a starter. His blocking skill is comparable to Ifedi’s, except he commits fewer penalties. Expect Shell to be a passable starting right tackle who will impede the offense much less than his predecessor.

TE Greg Olsen

Tight end has suddenly become a position of strength for the Seahawks. Greg Olsen, a former Carolina Panther, joins Jacob Hollister, Will Dissly, and 2020 draft pick Colby Parkinson to form an impressive group of targets. The 12-year veteran posted three +1,000-yard seasons with Carolina but has battled significant injuries since 2017. Seattle has only signed Olsen to a one-year contract, expecting him to shake off his prior ailments and immediately contribute to the offense. If he can stay healthy, Olsen has the skill and experience to form a very productive partnership with quarterback Russell Wilson.

DE Bruce Irvin

Seattle’s 2012 first-round pick has found his way back home. After brief tenures with Oakland, Atlanta, and Carolina, Bruce Irvin will return to the Seahawks in an effort to boost a lacking pass rush. Although exiting the prime of his career at 33-years-old, Irvin racked up 8.5 sacks for the Panthers in 2019. The Seahawks are hoping to see similar production in 2020. Pass rush is still a weakness for the Seattle defense as Jadeveon Clowney remains unsigned, but the addition of Irvin is a step in the right direction. Expect him to make significant contributions off the edge.


WR Philip Dorsett

Philip Dorsett is a former 2015 first-round draft pick, spending time in both Indianapolis and New England before finding his way to Seattle’s receiving corps. He is a reliable veteran with good hands, but is known for his feet. Seattle already boasts speedsters Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, but Dorsett might now be their fastest wide receiver. He will compete with David Moore for the Seahawks’ third-string receiving role, and his solid 2019 statistics (397 yards, 5 TDs) suggest that he has what it takes to win the job. He’ll be a productive and potentially explosive piece of this year’s offense.

OG Chance Warmack

A first-round pick in 2013, Chance Warmack enjoyed a 3-year stint with the Tennessee Titans before injuries halted his career. He’s fulfilled backup duties for the Eagles at right guard since 2017 and is almost guaranteed to play the same role in Seattle. Warmack sat out the 2019 season to heal his injuries and train for a comeback, so he’ll be able to fill in at the guard spot if needed. Don’t expect to see him on the field unless a starter gets hurt.

DE Benson Mayowa

Much like Bruce Irvin, Benson Mayowa is a former Seahawk returning to the squad in an effort to boost the pass rush. He has been a journeyman since his 2013 departure, spending time in Dallas, Arizona, and most recently Oakland in 2019. Even though Mayowa has bounced around the NFL, he remains a very productive pass rusher. His seven sacks as a Raider last year were a career-high, and Seattle is betting on him continuing this upward trend. Mayowa, much like Irvin, is a quality piece of a pass rush that is still incomplete. If the Seahawks can eventually sign a superstar like Jadeveon Clowney, they’ll boast a formidable trio of edge rushers.


OG/C BJ Finney

BJ Finney spent four years in Pittsburgh as a backup offensive lineman, able to play both center and guard. However, he will be expected to come into Seattle and be a full-time starter. Due to the notable size of Finney’s two-year contract, it is widely believed that he will start at center. With the recent release of Justin Britt, this belief is all-but-guaranteed. Finney was a reliable backup in Pittsburgh and played well when given his chances. Count on him to be a reliable anchor for the Seattle offense.

OT Cedric Ogbuehi

Cedric Ogbuehi (pronounced og-boo-ey) is essentially the replacement for George Fant, who left to New York earlier in the offseason. The former first-round pick will primarily be a backup offensive tackle and extra tight end in OC Brian Schottenheimer’s heavy packages. Ogbuehi hasn’t started a game since 2017, so don’t expect to see him in the huddle very often. When he is, he’ll most likely be lining up as an eligible extra tackle, a role he played often during his previous seasons in Cincinnati and Jacksonville.

CB Quinton Dunbar

We end our recap with the most exciting addition of Seattle’s offseason. The Seahawks acquired Quinton Dunbar, a former Washington Redskin, in exchange for a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft. He comes to Seattle after an incredible 2019 season in which he was Pro Football Focus’ second highest-graded cornerback in the NFL. Dunbar will most likely replace Tre Flowers at right cornerback, allowing him to play on his preferred side. He will drastically improve Seattle’s secondary, forming a dynamic duo with 2019 Pro-Bowler Shaquill Griffin. Dunbar has drawn numerous comparisons to Richard Sherman as a former wide receiver who combines instincts and physical gifts in coverage. Expect great things from this trade acquisition.

Player Departures

With additions come subtractions, and during this offseason, the Seahawks have lost some notable players. Along the defensive line, both Al Woods (Jacksonville) and Quinton Jefferson (Buffalo) have left Seattle for a bigger salary. Along the offensive line, George Fant (New York) and Germain Ifedi (Chicago) have done the same. Another two offensive linemen, veterans DJ Fluker and Justin Britt were released on April 26. Additions through free agency and the NFL Draft should counteract these losses.

It’s likely that the Seahawks aren’t done adding to their roster. The recent cutting of both Fluker and Britt suggests that a big-name free agent is on their way to Seattle. Many are hoping that name is Jadeveon Clowney, but reports say that Clowney might not sign with a team until June or July. Pete Carroll and John Schneider usually like to have their roster complete by then, so it’s possible they’ll look elsewhere for a premium pass rusher. Keep your eye on Everson Griffen, a former Minnesota Viking and 4-time Pro Bowler who played for Carroll during his college days at USC.

After assessing the numerous acquisitions and departures of the 2019 offseason, it’s clear that the Seahawks are set for another playoff run. Carroll and Schneider have given Russell Wilson more weapons and increased protection. They’ve also deepened their pass rush and added a potential superstar in the secondary. Despite the unusual circumstances, Seattle is primed and ready for another successful season.

Coming Soon: A pick-by-pick analysis of the Seahawks’ 2020 NFL Draft Class!

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