The Seahawks offensive line is doing a better job of blocking this team’s path back to the Super Bowl than they are opposing defensive lineman. It is time to start looking for ways to upgrade the unit and hope a mid-season patch job can be good enough to allow the offense to operate. John Schneider has been one of the most aggressive GMs in football when it comes to executing trades, and I think he will explore that same option here. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities.
Consider this a first pass list. These are players who caught my eye due to their performance so far this season or because they have played well in the past. The hardest part of making a deal, especially for offensive lineman, is finding a willing trade partner. I immediately screened out any player on a good team. Another problem is finding a player the Seahawks can afford to take on. Good lineman cost lots of cash. Seattle does not have cap space. I chose to keep expensive lineman on the list since teams can choose to cover so much of the cost.
I only looked at guards and centers for this go around because that appears to be where the primary issues are.
Drew Nowak has been put in a really tough position. Taking over the middle of the offensive line for a team that is expected to challenge for the Super Bowl is not easy. Replacing a former All-Pro center who was a leader in the clubhouse and knew every call, seen every defensive front, and played in every stadium, is even harder. On another team, we might be looking at Nowak’s performance so far as encouraging.
He has had some promising moments, but betting the season on his coming of age is incredibly risky. Seattle could have gone for a more experienced player in Lemuel Jeanpierre, but chose Nowak’s power and higher ceiling instead. Interestingly, there is not a lot of great center play across the league.
An All-Pro who has a contract to match is a pipe dream. He makes the list only because he is so good and playing on a team that just fired its coach and might choose to rebuild.
Smith had been a good center for the Packers, but he was allowed to move on in free agency. He has an ankle injury right now, but could be made available by a very bad Bucs team.
Zuttah just signed a new deal, so he’s probably not going anywhere. Baltimore may also not consider themselves a seller quite yet.
A player who made a free agent visit to the Seahawks this offseason, Wisniewski eventually signed a one year deal with Jacksonville. We know that front office values draft choices and will work with Seattle. He’s not a great player, but definitely has more experience than Nowak and could be a decent stop gap.
Jones plays for a surprisingly bad Texans team. They have a zone blocking scheme that is similar to what Seattle runs.
Mack has been one of the best centers in the league, but has not been playing that way. His Browns team is in the familiar position of being a non-contender. He just signed a massive deal, so don’t expect him to go anywhere, but including him here for completeness.
Kelce has been a great center in Philly. That whole Eagles line is struggling and the team is off to a 1-3 start. Chip Kelly has shown a willingness to make trades but parting with a guy he just gave a long-term contract to last season seems unlikely.
Justin Britt deserves a ton of credit for being willing to switch to left guard just a couple weeks before the season began after playing right tackle all last year. He is really struggling, though, with the transition. If the Seahawks added a new left guard, I’m not sure what that would mean for Britt. He struggled a lot in pass protection at right tackle last year, so moving him back out there is not necessarily an improvement over what Garry Gilliam is doing there.
Yanda is an interesting one. He is in the last year of his contract, and makes a boatload of cash. Baltimore may not be ready to pay him what he wants next season and after a 1-3 start, could consider netting some nice draft picks for him. The higher the draft pick, the more of the salary Baltimore would pick up. He is a four-time Pro Bowler and one time All-Pro. He is the top rated guard in the league, per PFF. One minor issue here could be that Yanda is a right guard. It’s not clear how well he would fit at left guard. I’m fairly certain it would be better than anything Seattle has now.
Brooks is an unrestricted free agent after this season and the Texans stink. He is young (26), and could be a nice chance for Seattle to kick the tires on a player who could be part of their long-term plans.
All 49ers eventually end up as Seahawks right? Boone is another player on the last year of his deal playing for a terrible team. Unlike Brooks or Yanda, Boone plays left guard already. Seattle is very familiar with him within the division.
Would you believe Ramirez is another guard in the last year of his deal? It is true, and Seattle just got a chance to see him up close with the Lions. Detroit is winless, and would have to listen to any offers right now.
The former Bronco was rumored to have the Seahawks interest when he became a free agent, but the team never acted on it. He signed a long-term deal with the Jaguars, but has no more guaranteed money on his deal after this season. Jacksonville is not great, and has done business with Seattle before.
Mankins was a former All-Pro lineman in New England who got traded away to Tampa. The Bucs are losing and Mankins is not playing well. A return to a contender might be just what he needs to find that former glory.