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Bumpus: Why the Seahawks will really miss Justin Britt in 2020

The Seahawks released veteran center Justin Britt earlier this offseason. (Getty)

If the Seahawks’ roster stays as it is heading into the season, it’s likely that defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will be the player that Seattle will miss the most who was on the team’s roster last year due to his ability to take over games at a position that is still considered a weakness for the team.

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But aside from Clowney, who is a departed player that the Seahawks could find themselves really missing in 2020? Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus pointed immediately to the offensive line when he was talking to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant last Friday.

“I think you’re going to miss D.J. Fluker because he’s the muscle, he’s the attitude, right? But there’s somebody else I think the Hawks are going to miss the most and that’s Britt, Justin Britt,” Bumpus said.

Both Fluker, who started at right guard the last two years, and Britt, the Seahawks’ starting center since 2016 after starting at tackle and guard the two years prior, were cut on the same day earlier this offseason in order to save cap space. The Seahawks have a lot of guards ready to replace Fluker, including 2020 third-round pick Damien Lewis, who was set to compete with Fluker while he was still on the roster, but center is a different ballgame, Bumpus said.

“(Britt) was the center for the Seattle Seahawks, only played eight games last year (due to a torn ACL), but when you lose your center, you lose the captain on that offensive line, you lose a guy who checks out of things, who makes sure guys are in the right protection,” Bumpus said. “And we already know what the carousel is like for these Seattle Seahawks when it comes to offensive lines. It’s always somebody in, somebody out, and that doesn’t change this year. But if you can have one constant, you’d probably want that to be your center because when you can’t make the calls – I’m talking about Russell Wilson – when you can’t make the checks, you depend on your center and you have a great relationship.”

Likely replacing Britt is B.J. Finney, who signed with the Seahawks in free agency after starting his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It especially seems that way after the team announced that Joey Hunt, who started the rest of the season after Britt’s injury, was cut, saving Seattle over $2 million.

“Finney’s been in the league a bit and got some experience, but it’s chemistry,” he said. “It’s just like when a quarterback is throwing to a receiver – there’s chemistry there. Now, when Russell Wilson can’t get in the right protection, he depends on the center to make the right calls and communicate with the other four guys up there. We always talk about protecting Russell Wilson, how important he is, he’s going to have to adjust again and learn a new center.”

Listen to Bumpus with Danny and Gallant at this link or in the player below.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Michael Bumpus on Twitter.

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