The Seattle Seahawks believe they're still a team on the rise following their NFC Divisional Round exit in the NFL playoffs, but retaining their top talent—including offensive tackle Russell Okung—will be key to remain elite.
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Okung Expected To Test Free Agency
Monday, Jan. 18
Okung is among 17 Seahawks set to become unrestricted free agents, including nine in the starting rotation, and is expected to test the market, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
Okung’s consistency has been hampered by injury—most recently Sunday, when he suffered a dislocated shoulder in the Seahawks’ loss to the Carolina Panthers, per Tony Drovetto of the Seahawks' official website.
Even though Okung should fully recover before next season, the injury puts him in a compromising position, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports pointed out:
Timing of Russell Okung's injury today could be brutal. SEA tackle headed into free agency. Injury looked significant— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 17, 2016
Okung announced in July via a lengthy essay in the Players' Tribune that he'd represent himself and denounced the need for agents.
"And because I know I’m more than adequate without representation, I’m betting on myself,” Okung wrote.
The 28-year-old has been the anchor of the Seahawks offensive line since Seattle selected him with the sixth overall pick in 2010 and is arguably the team’s best after it dealt All-Pro center Max Unger to the New Orleans Saints in the Jimmy Graham trade.
The Seahawks may be enticed to bring him back, but even at a reasonable rate, Seattle has a slew of other free agents to account for—not to mention quarterback Russell Wilson’s $11.5 million cap increase that will kick in next season and only elevate through 2019, per Spotrac.