Projected Lineups: Seattle Seahawks
Closing out our review of every team’s lineup as it currently stands, it’s time to cast our eyes over the roster of the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Seattle Seahawks. Deserving winners of the Lombardi Trophy, they know they face a tough challenge in their division once again, with the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals both having strong years in 2013.
Fortunately for the Seahawks, the have an incredibly talented roster, but they do have some issues they need to address with a couple of key contributors scheduled to be free agents. Their defense has five players considered to be high quality or better, and nobody considered to be below average at this stage in their careers.
– Player markers are colored per class on a six-step ‘Poor’ to ‘High Quality’ scale based on their overall performance and the league’s elite are marked separately in blue.
– Colored outlines suggest a potential change in class.
– Underlined players will be 30+ years old for the 2014 season.
– Red player names suggest injury risks.
– Click on the image to enlarge.
Lineups for every team can be found here
– Russell Wilson had a late season dip in form for the Seahawks, but he remains a very good quarterback with a bright future. Dangerous with his legs and with an arm to match, the Seahawks are set at the position for the next decade it seems.
– They may not be able to bring Golden Tate back in the end, but the prognosis for the Seahawks wide receivers is good once again. Percy Harvin took his time to get on the field, but when he did his impact was felt. Perhaps the most dynamic offensive player in the game, Seattle will be expecting big things in 2014.
– The weakest area on the team is the offensive line, where James Carpenter and J.R. Sweezy have struggled at guard. Sweezy did have some good performances down the stretch however, and that will give the Seahawks some encouragement that he is continuing to improve.
– With Tony McDaniel and Clinton McDonald, both who impressed last year, scheduled to become free agents, the Seahawks are short on players on the defensive interior. Jordan Hill looks like the most logical choice and, while it’s hard to judge a player on just 65 snaps, he did finish with a positive grade on them.
– The defensive backfield is amongst the most talented of any positional group in the league. Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas are elite, while Kam Chancellor played at that level in the playoffs. An increased role for Jeremy Lane looks likely but he hasn’t looked out of place when he’s been on the field so far.
2014 Cap Situation
At $850k over the cap, only two teams are in worse shape than the Seahawks. That’s not great news when you’re looking to plug a couple of holes created by some impact players and sign a draft class. They have benefitted by not having to spend big at quarterback and defensive back in recent years, but big contracts for Wilson and Sherman are likely looming too. Thankfully there are some big savings to be made.
Cutting Sidney Rice would save them $7.3m straight away, with the money better spent elsewhere. Chris Clemons would free up another $7.5m, allowing them to very quickly put themselves in a much more favorable cap position with just two moves.
Opportunities from the Roster
Byron Maxwell looks like a more than capable starter opposite Sherman at cornerback now, while Lane’s success when he’s been on the field should limit the expected loss of Walter Thurmond. It’s a similar story at wide receiver, where Doug Baldwin’s level of play in 2013 will make the team confident that they can handle the potential loss of Tate. Don’t forget that they spent a second round draft pick on running back Christine Michael, and despite playing sparingly, he did look impressive at times, forcing four missed tackles on nine carries against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3. It gives them some solid depth at the position behind Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin and may even see some teams come in with trade offers to try and pry one of the backups away from them.
Projected lineups by team:
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