Heaps: ‘Not fully convinced’ Seahawks are done adding to starting O-line
After the Seahawks re-signed 2020 starting center Ethan Pocic to a one-year deal, it ensured Seattle would return four of its five starting offensive linemen from last season.
Before Pocic re-signed, starting left guard Mike Iupati retired and the Seahawks traded for veteran guard Gabe Jackson. With Pocic’s return after testing free agency, it appeared to signal that the Seahawks would have a lot of continuity on the offensive line from 2020 to 2021.
But are the Seahawks actually done addressing the starting offensive line?
“I’m not fully convinced that they are,” former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps said on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy Thursday afternoon. ” … I’m not fully ready to be convinced that that’s (the starting five linemen) they’re going to end up with.”
The offensive line has been a key offseason storyline for the Seahawks as quarterback Russell Wilson made it clear he’s been unhappy with Seattle’s pass protection and the regularity he has been hit and sacked. With Pocic coming back, it’d be easy to assume that the starting offensive line is set, but Heaps thinks center is an area that will still be addressed going forward.
“Now is Ethan Pocic maybe going to be the answer and he will be the starter on day one? Possibly,” Heaps said. “But there’s still a lot (of time) left in this offseason.”
Heaps said there are three key reasons he thinks the Seahawks could start someone aside from Pocic at center come Week 1.
“One, you still have the draft remaining,” Heaps said. “Two, Ethan Pocic’s contract (one year, $3 million) isn’t one where you can’t afford not to play this guy. It screams competition at the center position.”
The third reason, Heaps said, is that June 1 is a key day in the NFL year. Some players can be cut after that date while their team has less of a dead salary cap hit, and that could cause a number of veteran players to hit free agency in just a few months.
“The Seahawks might have a lot of players available to them and they’ll see,” Heaps said. “I’m sure they are anticipating some candidates that might be available at that time. I don’t know exactly at what positions, but I still think it’s very early on in this process to assume Ethan Pocic is for sure, without question going to be the (starting center Week 1), and I would love for the Seahawks to continue looking through those options and continue to keep looking to add competition for Ethan Pocic and Kyle Fuller, who are on this roster currently.”
You can hear the full conversation in the Four-Down Territory segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below.
Jake & Stacy