John Schneider: Seahawks will try Oday Aboushi at RG, which could push Germain Ifedi back to RT
Moving Germain Ifedi back to right tackle is indeed a possibility in the Seahawks’ eyes, according to general manager John Schneider.
That seemed apparent over the first two weeks of free agency, when the Seahawks made a strong run at T.J. Lang and then signed Oday Aboushi. Schneider confirmed as much while speaking with reporters at the NFL owners’ meetings in Phoenix on Tuesday. He said Seattle will first look at Aboushi at right guard, the position Ifedi played as a rookie in 2016.
When the Seahawks made Ifedi their first-round pick, the initial indication from the team was that he’d play right tackle, where he had finished his career at Texas A&M. But coach Pete Carroll announced days later that Ifedi would actually be playing right guard. He missed Seattle’s first three games because of a high-ankle sprain and started the remaining 15 there, including playoffs, once he returned.
Carroll said after the season that while the Seahawks would prefer to keep Ifedi at right guard for continuity’s sake, they’d be open to moving him back to right tackle at some point. And they are open to that possibility in light of Aboushi’s addition, according to Schneider.
“Yeah, there’s a chance,” Schneider said, according to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times. “The thing we loved about Ifedi in college was he had played guard, some left tackle, right tackle. We all thought he was a heck of a right tackle. So he’s got the ability to go play both.”
Garry Gilliam, Seattle’s primary right tackle last season, remains an option to reclaim that starting job. The Seahawks gave him the lowest tender as a restricted free agent, which is worth $1.797 million for one season. That money isn’t guaranteed, though, which means the Seahawks could cut Gilliam and not be on the hook for that salary if he doesn’t win the stating job. Bradley Sowell, who briefly replaced Gilliam in the starting lineup late lats season, is an unrestricted free agent.
The Seahawks gave Aboushi, 25, a one-year deal reportedly worth $975,000 with $200,000 guaranteed. A fifth-round pick by the Jets in 2013 out of Virginia, he made 10 starts as a rookie with New York and eight starts over the last two seasons with Houston. He’s played both guard spots.
According to Condotta, Schneider said Aboushi graded out favorably in some of the analytics the team studied.
“Just all these different reports people throw at you, he was just really efficient,’’ Schneider said. “And so he just stood out. With all the analytic stuff we do, it’s kind of about asking more questions and going back to the film, and that’s what we did with him and just talking to a bunch of people that he has been with just led us to a really good place with him. Came in that day and had a great visit and we have a good relationship with his agent and he was ready to roll, so he wanted to do it.’’
According to Condotta, Schneider was vague about Seattle’s plans for Luke Joeckel, the other offensive lineman the Seahawks added in free agency. All indications have been that the Seahawks will play Joeckel at either left tackle or left guard, which would displace George Fant or Mark Glowinski. Joeckel began his career at left tackle, starting there for three seasons before moving to left guard in 2016. Schneider did note that Joeckel “played a little but better at (left) guard last year” compared to left tackle.