O’Neil: Will the Seahawks shake things up with a free-agent splash?
Used to be the Seahawks didn’t just wade into free agency so much as they performed a cannonball.
Four years ago, the Seahawks were coming off a breakthrough season in which they were half a minute from playing for the NFC title and they traded for a receiver they didn’t really need before signing two pass rushers that they did.
Two years ago, Seattle was coming off a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance when it traded for a tight end it hasn’t ever truly figured out how to use.
And now, after two seasons in which the Seahawks have been dispatched in the same round of the playoffs in largely the same way, as free agency starts: crickets and a visit from Jamaal Charles.
That’s not necessarily a surprise. It’s not even entirely disappointing.
I don’t know if guard Ronald Leary is worth the $8.5 million a year that Denver is going to pay him. I do know that Leary is not $8 million a year better than Mark Glowinski. I definitely don’t think Seattle should have guaranteed $15 million to a 35-year-old tackle like the Rams did for Andrew Whitworth.
I do think the Seahawks need to do something, though. Something significant to change the makeup of this team. Something that would alter the chemistry and provide a jumpstart to a locker room that has gotten a little bit stale, and at times, salty.
The Seahawks have not plateaued so much as they’ve tapered off. Consider the arc Seattle has traced, going from winning 11 games in 2012 and coming within a minute of reaching the NFC title game to earning the NFC’s No. 1 seed in 2013 and 2014 and reaching the Super Bowl each season to winning 10 games each of the past two years and losing in relatively lopsided fashion on the road in the divisional round of the playoffs.
And instead of reprogramming, the Seahawks appear content to reboot.
They’re taking the approach that injuries explain why they failed to finish strong a year ago. That it was circumstances, not the ingredients, that are the problem.
This team that got to the top with aggressive, unexpected moves is now standing pat and believing that patience is the virtue that will keep Seattle there, which explains why we’re all waiting for the Seahawks to do something – anything – significant in this free-agency period.