John Schneider: Seahawks aren’t done along their offensive line

Mar 29, 2016, 1:03 PM | Updated: 1:31 pm
The Seahawks are reportedly looking to trade onetime starting center Patrick Lewis. (AP)...
The Seahawks are reportedly looking to trade onetime starting center Patrick Lewis. (AP)
(AP)
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If the NFL season were to start today, the Seahawks’ offensive line would look like this: either Garry Gilliam or Bradley Sowell at left tackle, Justin Britt at left guard, Patrick Lewis at center, Mark Glowinski at right guard and J’Marcus Webb at right tackle.

Of course, there’s more than five months until the start of the season, which means there’s still plenty of time for the Seahawks to add pieces to what is still considered the biggest question mark of any position group on their roster. General manager John Schneider made that point during an interview with “The John Clayton Show” that aired on Saturday, giving a few reminders that things can change between now and then.

Like this one: “We’re not playing tomorrow,” Schneider said, “but the way we look at it right now, before the draft, is that Bradley and Gilliam would compete on the left side.”

Related: What Seattle sees in Webb, Sowell | Sowell on joining Seahawks

There may not be a single spot along Seattle’s offensive line that is set in stone at this point. The Seahawks assigned Lewis the low restricted-free-agent tender worth $1.617 million, but that money isn’t guaranteed. Glowinski showed promise when he made a spot start late last season, but that was his only meaningful playing time as a rookie. The results were mixed for Britt last season after moving from right tackle to left guard.

The free-agent deal that Seattle gave Webb includes $2.45 million guaranteed, which suggests that he will be a starter. But his experience at guard gives the Seahawks some flexibility if they’re not sold on Glowinski and/or Britt.

Recall that Seattle shook up its offensive line in the middle of training camp last year. That was in August. It’s not even April yet.

“We’re going to be continuing to tinker our way through free agency here a little bit with the offensive line,” Schneider said, “and obviously the draft.”

The Seahawks hold nine picks in next month’s draft, including four among the first 100 selections. Schneider answered in the affirmative when asked if this year’s crop of talent aligns with Seattle’s offensive-line needs.

“It looks like it,” he said. “Every draft is different. There’s just different shelves of players all the way through the draft. This year, there doesn’t really seem to be as many dropoffs, if you will, on the offensive line. It looks like a good group.”

The draft won’t be the Seahawks’ final chance to add to their offensive line.

A key offseason date is May 12, after which newly-signed free agents will no longer come at the expense of a future compensatory draft pick (here’s a more detailed look from last year). That cutoff point could spur some action with any offensive linemen who remain on the market.

Another key date is June 1, when teams sometimes wait to release higher-priced starters for the purpose of spreading out the dead money that’s left on their contracts. That was the case last year with Evan Mathis, whom the Seahawks then brought in for a visit.

All of that means that while Seattle’s offensive line has undergone a number of changes over the first three weeks of free agency, the Seahawks aren’t necessarily done remaking it.

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John Schneider: Seahawks aren’t done along their offensive line