Clayton: How Seahawks’ effort to re-sign Fluker, Sweezy impacted by Glowinski extension with Colts

Jan 30, 2019, 2:28 PM | Updated: 2:33 pm
seahawks, jr sweezy...
J.R. Sweezy gave the Seahawks consistency at guard in his return to Seattle in 2018. (AP)

The Indianapolis Colts signed former Seahawks guard Mark Glowinski to a three-year extension Tuesday believed to be worth $18 million.

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That deal has a significant impact on Seahawks – both good and bad with starting guards D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy unrestricted free agents following strong seasons on one-year deals at $1.5 million for 2018.

What is good for the Seahawks is that this could max out the free agent guard market and give the Seahawks a chance to re-sign both Fluker and Sweezy. Believe it or not, despite Glowinski’s release from the Seahawks and his quiet landing in Indianapolis, he was considered to be one of the top two guards available in free agency. Rams guard Rodger Saffold is the other top guard, but he’s now in his 30s.

If the cap for this group of free agent guards does turn out to be $6 million per season, it gives the Seahawks the chance to work out something for Fluker and Sweezy in the $3-4 million range. That’s important. Fluker and Sweezy added so much to the line with their physical attitudes and willingness to play with pain to keep continuity along the line, and as a result the Seahawks were the best rushing team in the league as they thrived by overpowering opposing defenses.

Because both Fluker and Sweezy have a style that is so physical, though, it’s questionable that each could stay healthy for 16 games. Fluker missed six games in 2018, and while Sweezy missed only one he finished the season playing on a broken foot. When they are active the line prospers. One way to make up the difference of $1-2 million a year would be through employing playing time incentives.

Look at their value, though. Sweezy was a Pro Bowl alternate. Fluker pancaked defensive linemen.

The bad news about the Glowinski signing for the Seahawks is that it could enhance the values for Sweezy and Fluker. It’s not considered a good draft for interior offensive linemen, with only seven interior offensive linemen getting early first- and second-round gains.

Losing Sweezy and Fluker would create holes. What the Seahawks need is veteran guards until they develop good, young replacements. The Seahawks think they have a good, young guard in Jordan Simmons, and they have the option of moving Germain Ifedi to guard and starting George Fant at right tackle.

Fant is starter-worthy. Even though he was a backup tackle last year, he was so valuable in the blocking scheme that they used him more and more at tight end. Early in the season there were some thoughts Fant could replace Ifedi at right tackle, but Ifedi had a solid season and grew as the starter.

Let the negotiations begin.

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I talked to agent Leigh Steinberg on Wednesday about the Seahawks’ signing of one of his clients, quarterback Paxton Lynch. He said the Seahawks were a nice fit because they have an offense that throws the deep ball well and likes a running quarterback. That wasn’t the case in Denver.

The 6-foot-7 Lynch is a first-round talent with a big arm. Steinberg said the Seahawks liked him coming out of college. Instead they worked a trade with the Broncos, who moved up in the 2016 NFL Draft to take Lynch in the first round. Out of that trade, the Seahawks got Ifedi and tight end Nick Vannett.

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Clayton: How Seahawks’ effort to re-sign Fluker, Sweezy impacted by Glowinski extension with Colts