Now that the Hawks have seemingly solidified the left side of the line, what are they going to do with the right side? I have some ideas. First, for those of you believe we should sign another guard, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense. You have Walt and Wahle both making a lot of money on the left side, plus Chris Spencer was a first round pick, so he is making decent money too. It is probably safe to say the backups are even overpaid. So instead of sinking even more money in, lets look at what we have.
There are 8 linemen signed for next year that are expected to make the roster. Those would be: Jones-Wahle-Spencer-Simms-Willis-Wrotto-Ashworth and Gray. In looking at past rosters, the team consistently has carried 9 offensive linemen. The one exception being 03′, when they only carried eight. Well what does this mean?
Unless the team cuts someone (Ashworth 2mil), they only have one more spot. If they resign Lock, that would be it. As it stands right now, Grey is probably the back up at guard and center. Holmgren mentioned this was the goal in his post season presser. If Lock re-signs, Wills is probably in the mix at right guard, plus he is the backup tackle (Lock would move to the left side if Walt missed time). If they let Locklear walk, I have to believe Willis is the favorite at right tackle. This is the last year of his rookie deal, and the team needs to find out what they have. It helps him that he is a Ruskell pick.
Wrotto is in the mix at RG, but probably spends another year developing. If Lock is gone and Willis is going to play right tackle, the team almost has to keep Ashworth. They would probably then sign a versatile lineman like Womack. If Locklear re-signs, Ashworth’s 2 mil salary is probably going to make him a cap casualty.
There was also an ESPN article that suggested we move Lock insider..
Walter Jones is still playing at a very high level, but RT Sean Locklear is an unrestricted free agent and probably fits the guard position better. He is not the powerful drive blocker most teams want on the right side and the Seahawks’ running game has suffered due to a lack of a dominating tackle on that side.
This makes little sense, because to keep Lock, they are going to have to pay him tackle money. That is likely how the rest of the league views him because he has been successful and durable there. Either way, Lock or no Lock, one has to assume there will be a big open competition at right guard. Simms, Gray, Willis, Wrotto, Vallos, and either a versatile vet or a draft pick will all be in the mix. However, any draft pick is going to be a late rounder or undrafted because the team is light on picks this year, at least 1 or 2 have been traded away.
I think the team would like Simms to step up and show he is the man. Ever since they drafted him, Holmgren has said he is going to be a starter in this league for a long time. He can’t keep regressing though. The other factor is Solari, the winner of the right guard spot may be the player who fits his system the best. Obviously, it benefits the team is Simms plays much better than last year, because then the team has two good young building blocks on the line, which is what we believed coming home from Chicago in 06′