Seahawks have multiple money moves to be made

Beau Baily | Evergreen columnist

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The Seattle Seahawks are poised to become the NFL’s next premier dynasty, the likes of which the world has not seen since the New England Patriots won three Super Bowls in four years at the turn of the last century.

Now, with one Super Bowl down and virtually the whole team returning, the Hawks are in a prime position to add on to that number. But now it is the offseason, and believe it or not the Seahawks can actually get better.

The team will take care of Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas, and Richard Sherman when the time comes, but right now they have other issues to manage.

Such as what to do with soon-to-be free agents Michael Bennett and Golden Tate. Both were key players in the Seahawks’ success this year. Bennett was brought in on a one-year deal for some depth on the defensive line, and turned into their most consistent lineman.

Tate, according to Pro Football Focus, has caught 144 of 149 catchable passes thrown to him since 2011. His 3.9 percent drop rate is the lowest in the NFL among receivers with at least 100 targets in that span. In addition, Tate said he would give Seattle a hometown discount to stay with the team.

Despite the Seahawks’ recent success, there are still holes to fill. Many will point to the wide receiver position as an area of concern, and especially after the team’s last loss to the Arizona Cardinals in December. Tate, along with the rest of the receivers, failed to gain any separation against Arizona’s physical defensive backs, and the offense sputtered for just 10 points.

However, what has been overlooked throughout this season is the absence of Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice. Rice is gone. He can’t stay healthy and hasn’t caught more than 50 balls a year in three years with Seattle. But Percy Harvin on the other hand proved his electric playmaking ability in the Super Bowl. If, and that’s a big if, he can stay healthy, and if the Seahawks can re-sign Golden Tate, then the receivers are not an area of concern.

The biggest area the Seahawks need to address this season is its offensive line. It’s mediocre with pro-bowler Russell Okung in there, and it’s abysmal without him. Images of Russell Wilson scrambling to keep plays alive and Marshawn Lynch dragging three defenders forward for a three-yard gain while the defense kept the team in the game will define this past season.

James Carpenter is a bust. It remains to be seen what J.R. Sweezy can do, and Breno Giacomini is nothing more than an intimidator who is good for at least one personal foul penalty a game. A guard or right tackle would do wonders to solidify the Seahawks offense.

But given cap space and a plethora of mediocre free agency talent, the Seahawks would be best off taking an offensive lineman in the draft. If available, a guard like Stanford’s David Yankey would be a good fit on the Seahawks.

One issue that isn’t prevalent yet but could arise is what the Seahawks are going to do with Zach Miller. The tight end has been instrumentally valuable to the Hawks the past few seasons, and losing him would be detrimental. However, he is scheduled to make more than $5 million next season with incentives, according to Miller’s contract.

Miller’s impact to the team as a sixth offensive lineman has been greatly overlooked because he hasn’t been a huge threat in the passing game like many thought he would, and some media members predict the Seahawks will release him because of his contract. Some hope that Austin Seferian-Jenkins will fall in the drafts for the Hawks to swoop up.

All in all, the Seattle Seahawks don’t have too many areas of concern. They are the best team in the NFL, and they could potentially head into next season with the exact same team. However, why not make the product better anyway? You can never have too much talent, and given the Seahawks history in the draft and free agent market, they will be even better next season.