Russell Okung: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation Surrounding Free-Agent LT

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent III

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 27:  Russell Okung #76 of the Seattle Seahawks addresses the media at Super Bowl XLIX Media Day Fueled by Gatorade inside U.S. Airways Center on January 27, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Free-agent left tackle Russell Okung is representing himself on the open market this offseason, according to an email he sent to all NFL teams Wednesday.

Continue for updates.

Okung Reveals Free Agency Plans, Timeline for Return 

Wednesday, Jan. 27

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported on Okung's status and also indicated the 28-year-old is aiming to return to action in June following offseason surgery.  

Okung dislocated his left shoulder during the Seattle Seahawks' 31-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers in the playoffs. He has never made it through 16 full games in a season since Seattle brought him aboard as the sixth overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft.

Due to Okung's injury history and the fact he'll be coming off surgery, it's unlikely he'll stick around in Seattle. The Seahawks have a lot of marquee players they're paying a lot of money to and could well find Okung's successor in the upcoming draft at better value.

It also helps that Seattle has a dynamic, dual-threat quarterback in Russell Wilson who doesn't even need a lot of pass protection due to his unique elusiveness and uncanny ability to escape pressure.

Although he's one of the better left tackles in the NFL when he is on the field, Okung is going to present a difficult dilemma for potential free-agent suitors as he prepares for the next phase of his career.

If he manages to stay healthy, whichever team gambles on him on the open market could be rewarded in a big way.

No one can sell Okung harder than he can sell himself, but he'll be hard-pressed to secure a long-term, lucrative contract in free agency. The more feasible outcome is signing a shorter prove-it type of deal of one or two years so his new team can see how he holds up following his recovery from this latest injury.