Seahawks shopping for stars?

Jul 18, 2011, 10:07 PM | Updated: Jul 19, 2011, 10:25 am

By Mike Salk

According to a recent list compiled by NFL players, the Seahawks do not have a single player on their roster that cracks the top 100 players in the league. Zero. Not one.

They share that dubious distinction with one other team: the lowly Buffalo Bills.


That isn’t exactly the kind of company they want to keep.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that they can change it…quick. There are available free agents already on the list (like Nnamdi Asomugha and Logan Mankins) and others (like Sidney Rice) that could certainly find their way into the top 100 over the course of their next contract.

Logan Mankins, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, could fill the Seahawks’ need at left guard. (AP)

But do the Hawks actually want to go that route?

I think it depends on the position.

While there is no specific formula, winning in the NFL typically requires stars at the right positions. I think those positions are (in order of importance):

1. Quarterback

2. Defensive end

3. Offensive line (from the outside in)

4. Wide receiver

5. Middle linebacker

That’s not to say that you don’t need good players at the other positions, just that these are the positions at which stars can truly make the most difference. If I were running the Hawks, I’d spend my money and resources on those groups first. I’d make sure my secondary, outside linebackers, running backs and tight ends were good, but I wouldn’t be looking for stars there. So, which stars are out there? Let’s look.

1. Quarterback

The Seahawks are unlikely to find a star this year. Matt Hasselbeck is a good player, but not a star. Kevin Kolb is a wild card.

2. Defensive end

John Clayton said Monday that Osi Umenyiora could be interested in coming to Seattle if he can force his way out of New York. How many times have we seen a marquee player try to leave the Big Apple to come here?!? He may not be on the Top 100 list, but he’s got to be close.

3. Offensive line

Patriots guard Logan Mankins is a top 100 player and could be available. Robert Gallery certainly is available (and has a great relationship with Seahawks assistant Tom Cable), though he falls just short of being among the NFL’s best. So does former Cardinal Deuce Lutui . Fortunately, Russell Okung might be the Seahawk closest to elite status so a very good guard might be enough to make that group great.

4. Wide receiver

If the Hawks want to spend some money, this is the group with real options. Santonio Holmes is a stud, but unlikely to come here. Sidney Rice is more likely. And while he may not among the top 18 at his position, he is likely in the top 25. He is a legitimate top receiver who could allow Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu to thrive in complimentary roles. Could Lance Moore develop into a top guy? Malcom Floyd?

5. Middle linebacker

Every year, I hear that linebackers shouldn’t be drafted early in the first round. And it seems like every year I see a great defense led by a stud in the middle. Ray Lewis, Patrick Willis, Jonathan Vilma, Jerod Mayo, David Harris and Jon Beason. These guys range sideline to sideline and make their team better in the process. Is Lofa Tatupu on that list? Injuries have kept him off of it for two years. If he can regain his form, the Seahawks are set here. If not? You know how this story goes…

If the Hawks do want to experiment in free agency here there are a few options. Stephen Tulloch is just 26 years old and recorded 160 tackles last year with the Titans. Stewart Bradley was a budding star with the Eagles before injuries took their toll on him. Paul Posluszny had 151 tackles last year in Buffalo, nearly twice as many as Lofa recorded here.

Happy shopping!

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