New faces: DE Ezekiel Ansah, G Mike Iupati, DT Al Woods, DE L.J. Collier, DE Cassius Marsh, FB Nick Bellore, K Jason Myers, WR D.K. Metcalf, S Marquise Blair, QB Geno Smith, WR Gary Jennings
They’re gone: S Earl Thomas, DE Frank Clark, WR Doug Baldwin, CB Justin Coleman, G J.R. Sweezy, RB Mike Davis, QB Brett Hundley, DT Shamar Stephen, DT Malik McDowell, K Sebastian Janikowski
2019 snapshot: Taken as a whole, the departures of Thomas, Clark, Baldwin and Coleman were rather jarring, especially after Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor all departed just a year earlier. But as the Seahawks showed last year, they excel at weathering storms.
Thomas (who missed most of last season) and Coleman were never expected back. Clark (franchise-tagged) was, but things pivoted when his price tag skyrocketed, and Seattle got first- and second-round picks in return for him.
The first-rounder turned into Collier, a crafty type who should replicate some of Bennett’s inside-outside versatility, but a training-camp injury could slow his development. Ansah’s arrival will also make Clark’s departure easier to stomach, assuming he can return to form following a shoulder injury.
The team might not have a like-for-like replacement for Baldwin, but Metcalf (recovering from a knee scope) impressed in the offseason, and Jennings could compete for snaps. Meanwhile, Seattle kept K.J. Wright (two years, $14 million) and D.J. Fluker for cheap (two years, $6 million), while adding Iupati and Myers to shore up a few holes.
Of course, the Seahawks also handled contract extensions for Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner, the franchise’s two remaining cornerstones. Both deals set the market at the position, but that was to be expected. As long as both are around, Seattle should remain in contention.
Get to know… WR D.K. Metcalf.
Anyone with social media accounts knows Metcalf’s guns. He’s a modern-day David Boston at wide receiver with muscle on muscle, but he isn’t here for a posedown. Before a knee injury set him back in August, Metcalf looked to be climbing into a starting role.
Worth the investment?
–In the last four seasons, Seattle has three 10-win campaigns and one with nine victories. We’re tempted to lean toward the under on their 9-win total this season, but it might be best to just stay away.
–Wilson has never won MVP, coming closest with a scorching finish to the 2015 campaign. He’s not a bad bet at +2000, but he’ll need more volume than Seattle’s run-heavy attack offered him last year.
Bottom line: It was another bumpy spring in Seattle, but the Seahawks again landed on their feet. As usual, they’ll go as far as Wilson can take them.