BROCK AND SALK

Who is new Seahawks OL Laken Tomlinson? Huard weighs in

Apr 15, 2024, 4:44 PM | Updated: Apr 21, 2024, 5:03 pm

Seattle Seahawks Laken Tomlinson...

Laken Tomlinson of the New York Jets celebrates after a win in 2022. (Elsa/Getty Images)

(Elsa/Getty Images)

After the dust settled from free agency, the biggest hole that remained on the Seattle Seahawks’ roster was their interior offensive line.

Wyman highlights UW Huskies LB as Seattle Seahawks draft target

Seattle took a major step toward addressing that need by signing veteran guard Laken Tomlinson on Friday. The 32-year-old Tomlinson inked a one-year deal that’s worth up to $4 million, according to ESPN.

Tomlinson spent the past two seasons with the New York Jets before he was released in February in a salary cap-saving move. He was one of several veteran guards who recently visited the Seahawks, along with Cody Whitehair and Greg Van Roten.

“One of those three was going to be signed before the draft came,” former NFL quarterback Brock Huard said Monday on Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk. “And maybe (there was) a little leverage or a little play between them and their agents over the last few weeks. And ultimately, (the Seahawks) do settle on Tomlinson.”

Tomlinson made 138 starts with three teams over the past nine seasons, playing almost exclusively at left guard. The 6-foot-3, 323-pounder enters Seattle as the front-runner to replace Damien Lewis, who was the Seahawks’ starting left guard for the past three seasons before signing with the Carolina Panthers last month.

Tomlinson, the No. 28 overall pick by the Detroit in 2015, spent two seasons with the Lions before being traded to San Francisco. He was the 49ers’ starting left guard for five seasons, capped by a Pro Bowl selection in 2021. He then signed a three-year, $40 million deal with the Jets in 2022.

Tomlinson has been extremely durable, missing only one regular-season game in his nine-year career.

“He’s still a pretty good run blocker,” Huard said. “He can still move people. He was 34th out of qualifying guards when it came to (ESPN’s pass block win rate). Those numbers don’t sound great, but they were better than (Anthony) Bradford and Phil Haynes … and some of the other guys that started for (the Seahawks in 2023).”

Bradford, a 2023 fourth-round pick, is another candidate to start at one of the two guard spots for Seattle. Bradford started 10 games last season while helping fill in for Haynes, who missed nine games with injuries. Haynes, last year’s season-opening starter at right guard, remains unsigned this offseason.

Former Los Angeles Rams backup Tremayne Anchrum Jr., who signed with the Seahawks last month, also is expected to compete for playing time at guard.

“So you bring in just another veteran piece,” Huard said. “We’ve got a few of those on the interior of this offensive line. It should not preclude them from making a move 10 days from now in the draft as well.”

To hear the full segment from Monday’s Brock and Salk, listen in the podcast near the top of this post or at this link.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

Huard reacts to Seahawks GM’s comments on drafting QB
Turbin on why the Seattle Seahawks should draft a QB
Huard: Where Michael Penix is better than other QBs in NFL Draft
What style of lineman fits new Seahawks OC Grubb’s scheme?
Bump’s best-case scenario for Seattle Seahawks QB Sam Howell in ’24

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