The Seattle Seahawks have been one of the more consistent franchises competing in the National Football League in recent times, reaching the playoffs in each of the last five years. Under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks have been to the Super Bowl twice; winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy once, with a dominant performance against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos back in 2013.
Unfortunately, it just wasn’t to be for Seattle in 2016. A string of long-term injuries hindered their chances of going all the way to the Super Bowl in Texas but the Seahawks will bounce back next year. Despite their woes, predominantly at offensive line and wide receiver, the NFC West champions showed enough glimpses of quality to suggest that they still have what it takes to go and win the biggest prize in football.
In free agency, Seattle moved quickly to sign former number-two overall pick Luke Joeckel, as well as guard Oday Aboushi. Neither player is a “set the world on fire” pick but they offer some much-needed support to a struggling offensive line. Supporters were gutted to hear that TJ Lang, apparently keen on a move to the west coast, decided to play for his hometown of Detroit.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks acquired Eddie Lacy from the Green Bay Packers on a one-year deal and the financial incentive for the former Alabama star to get back to his brilliant best is certainly there. In terms of guaranteed earnings, this is a low risk, high reward effort from the Seattle franchise and his bonuses will be well worth it if Lacy is able to regain the kind of form that saw him named as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2013.
Richard Sherman’s situation, as we previously reported, is a unique one in the sense that his future at CenturyLink Field is still uncertain. According to various news reports, Sherman was up for grabs this season, but only if a rival offered significant leverage to force a deal. Prior to the draft, there was talk of Sherman leaving in exchange for a first round pick but nothing really materialised.
In the draft, Seattle traded not once, but twice to move out of the first round. While most fans were left disappointed at the decision not to select an offensive lineman in the earlier rounds, they were able to acquire defensive tackle Malik McDowell; an immensely gifted, physical football player. With additional presence upfront, the Legion of Boom could flourish again in 2017.
As of May 16, Seattle look well placed to once again dominate the NFC West. In years gone by, this was widely regarded as the toughest division in football but it is now more or less a straight up battle between the Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals. Seattle, currently +700 to win the Super Bowl in NFL odds on bet365, will be quietly confident of finishing atop the division for the fourth time in five years.
But have the Seahawks done enough to challenge for the Vince Lombardi Trophy? In theory, yes. A couple of offensive line additions in free agency will certainly help their cause and the decision to pick up extra picks by trading down may benefit Seattle in the longer term. Right now, they look well equipped to compete in the latter stages of the postseason and we may see Carroll’s side competing at the Super Bowl in Minnesota come next February.