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Breaking Down the Seattle Seahawks Depth Chart After the Peak of Free Agency

Todd PheiferAnalyst IIIMarch 24, 2013

Breaking Down the Seattle Seahawks Depth Chart After the Peak of Free Agency

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    The Seattle Seahawks went into free agency with needs, and some of those were met with authority. There is still work to do, but Seattle was certainly an active franchise when the top players hit the market.

    The Seahawks still have the draft, and they will add a number of players in order to continue developing a championship-caliber team. It will be interesting to see how the Seahawks prioritize their needs. Fans certainly have their opinions, but management may feel a bit different about how to upgrade the team.

    On paper, the depth chart has not changed a great deal for many position categories, even with some of the bold free-agent moves. Still, there has been a bit of reshuffling, and more moves may come.

    Here is a breakdown of the Seattle Seahawks depth chart after the peak of free agency.

Quarterback

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    Are the Seahawks set at quarterback? Yes.

    Granted, nothing is guaranteed in the NFL. Russell Wilson could get hurt or suffer through the “sophomore slump” that has plagued so many quarterbacks. However, not many people expect that to happen.

    The free-agent talk has surrounded backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who has been the subject of trade rumors for quite some time. However, as noted by The Seattle Times, the trade partners for Flynn may be dwindling.

    For the Seahawks, free agency has not impacted the depth chart at quarterback. Barring a major move, that is unlikely to change.

Running Back

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    Similar to quarterback, the Seahawks are set at running back. Seattle did not come out of free agency with any new running backs, nor were they expected to make any alterations at that position.

    A team can always look to the future, but right now this is a position where the depth chart should remain the same for this year and perhaps 2014 as well. Much depends on the health and productivity of Marshawn Lynch.

    However, it seems unlikely that Robert Turbin will unseat “Beast Mode” anytime soon. Turbin will continue to play a key role, but that role is as a contributing backup.

    If the depth chart at running back were to change, it would most likely change through the draft. Perhaps Seattle will get another running back to replace the occasional use of Leon Washington at running back.

     

Wide Receiver

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    One of the bigger depth chart shakeups was felt at wide receiver, now that the dynamic Percy Harvin has been acquired from the Minnesota Vikings. Seattle suddenly has an intriguing weapon on offense that will go straight to the top of the depth chart.

    Is Harvin the always desired but hard to define “No.1” receiver? Has Sidney Rice been demoted from that role? Regardless of labeling, Harvin is suddenly a go-to target for Russell Wilson, who will now have an electric athlete to go along with Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin.

    Ben Obomanu was let go to make room on the receiving corp, and the eventual depth chart may be determined by how much Pete Carroll decides to spread the ball around.

    Need at wide receiver: Addressed.

Tight End

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    This is the time of year when salary cap space (via spotrac.com) is scrutinized, and Zach Miller’s number is a bit glaring at $11 million in 2013. Still, Miller remains on the team and barring a drastic change, the Seahawks will go into the season with Miller and Anthony McCoy as the top two tight ends.

    Some fans have hoped that the Seahawks would go after a free-agent tight end such as Jared Cook, but Seattle did not make any moves that suggested a desire to change the depth chart through free agency.

    Perhaps the Seahawks will draft a tight end, but it might have to be high pick in order to impact the depth chart for the team. It seems reasonable to assume that the ‘Hawks will consider themselves set at tight end, even if McCoy is not a compelling backup.

Offensive Line

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    Did the depth chart for the offensive line change as a result of free agency? Well, the Seahawks did not sign any offensive linemen.

    Does that mean the depth chart is unchanged? A better question is, what is the depth chart at offensive line?

    It is interesting that the depth chart on ESPN lists John Moffitt as the starter for both right guard and left guard. Talented guy.

    Is J.R. Sweezy a viable starter? What about the future of James Carpenter? Then there is someone like Breno Giacomini, who has both defenders and ongoing critics.

    Andre Smith of the Cincinnati Bengals is still out there, but Seattle may be hesitant to throw a lot of money at a lineman at this point. There is also the draft, where the Seahawks may attempt to mine another gem in the later rounds.

    Depth chart? Beyond Russell Okung and Max Unger, a little difficult to judge.

Defensive Line

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    Free agency has arguably had the biggest impact on the depth chart of the defensive line. Seattle has not spent crazy dollars, but it has been aggressive.

    In: Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril

    Out: Jason Jones

    Uncertain: Alan Branch

    Like the offensive line, it is hard to create a depth chart for the defensive line. In theory, the Seahawks now have five guys who can play defensive end when you factor in Avril, Bennett, Chris Clemons, Red Bryant and Bruce Irvin.

    However, the Seattle defensive scheme is unique, and there may be some additional “creativity” (via SI.com) with the current bevy of pass rushers. Bennett may play inside on some schemes, and there may be additional rotations depending on health.

    Of course, Clemons will be coming back from an ACL injury and apparently Michael Bennett has a torn rotator cuff (via NBC Sports).

    Stay tuned on a depth chart that may be a work in progress.

Linebacker

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    Free agency has not had a great deal of impact on the depth chart at linebacker. About the only impact has been the fact that free agent Leroy Hill remains unsigned, which theoretically means that a starting outside linebacker position is up for grabs.

    It seemed unlikely that the Seahawks would go after a free-agent linebacker, and so far that has held true. Perhaps a low-priced veteran will eventually be added for depth, but so far that has not been the case.

    Based on the strategy of the Seahawks in the last couple of seasons, it seems unlikely that Hill will return. Malcolm Smith may move into that position, or Seattle may spend one of their 10 draft picks on a linebacker.

Secondary

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    The depth chart of the secondary has not changed as a result of free agency, nor was it really expected to based on the talent already on the roster. Seattle has rebuilt their secondary through the draft, and that was unlikely to change this offseason.

    There was talk of Seattle adding (via NBC Sports) someone like Charles Woodson, but that has not happened thus far. Theoretically the ‘Hawks could still add Woodson, but this does not seem to be an urgent concern since Charles is still on the market.

    Beyond Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, the depth chart will depend on health and productivity when camp begins. Perhaps the Seahawks will draft more depth but they may also develop the existing young players.  

Special Teams

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    The depth chart for special teams has changed, but in different ways.

    Steven Hauschka remains unsigned, and it is unclear whether Seattle’s 2012 kicker will return. There are not a lot of options on the market, but the Seahawks do not seem to be in a particular hurry to deal with the kicking duties.

    In terms of return duties, the depth chart is very different. Pro Bowler Leon Washington is gone, and Seattle needs a new return man. Will that be Percy Harvin? Or will the Seahawks have a different philosophy on returning kicks?

    Harvin obviously makes sense, and he wants to return kicks (via Seahawks.com). It just depends on how Seattle wants to use Harvin’s talent.

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