Seahawks Takeaways: Focus stays on OL, not defense, with reported addition of Chance Warmack
That the Seahawks haven’t a splashy move yet in free agency shouldn’t surprise fans – Seattle rarely makes blockbuster trades or signings this time of the year. But there’s one aspect of Seattle’s free agency that has raised a few eyebrows.
Of the team’s first four outside free agent acquisitions, just one – pass rusher Bruce Irvin – is an addition to a defense that ranked near the bottom of the league last year.
The others have all been offensive linemen, and that trend continued Sunday afternoon when Seattle reportedly agreed to terms with 28-year-old guard Chance Warmack.
There are two big takeaways from Seattle’s free agency so far. First, with the signing of four offensive linemen, the team has added depth to a unit whose struggles were overshadowed by an uncharacteristically bad season on defense.
The second takeaway is a lingering question on defense – but before we get to that, here’s what fans need to know about Chance Warmack.
Warmack is a former first-round pick
The 6-foot-2, 323-pound Warmack was selected 10th overall out of Alabama by the Tennessee Titans in 2013. Coincidentally, he’d drawn comparisons to former Seahawks Steve Hutchinson and James Carpenter leading up to the draft. Warmack, who played at right guard, missed just two starts in his first three seasons. The Titans declined Warmack’s fifth-year option in May 2016 – and unfortunately for Warmack, the former first-rounder landed on the injured reserve just a few months later.
Warmack hasn’t played since 2018
Warmack spent his last two seasons in the league – 2017 and 2018 – with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he saw three starts (this time at left guard) in 20 appearances. He sat out the 2019 season in what was apparently a health-related decision.
This is a short-term signing
According to ESPN’s Brady Henderson, Warmack and the Seahawks agreed to terms on a one-year deal.
It's a one-year deal for Warmack, I'm told.
— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) March 22, 2020
The signing reunites Warmack with an old college teammate
Not only were Warmack and current Seahawks right guard D.J. Fluker teammates at Alabama from 2009-12, they were back-to-back NFL Draft picks in 2013. Warmack was selected 10th overall by Tennessee and Fluker was taken 11th overall by the Chargers.
Warmack would become the latest of several former 2013 first-round picks to play for Pete Carroll’s Seahawks, with others including Fluker, Luke Joeckel, Dion Jordan, Ziggy Ansah, Barkevious Mingo, and Sheldon Richardson.
With Fluker still under contract for 2020, Warmack’s signing – along with the addition of guard/center B.J. Finney – provides depth at left guard should Mike Iupati depart in free agency.
Back to that second takeaway…
How long will the Seahawks wait before making a move on defense?
News regarding a landing spot for edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney is likely what most Seahawks fans – and, frankly, the rest of the NFL – are waiting for. But as of Sunday afternoon, there hadn’t been much movement on that front.
The COVID-19 crisis is playing a role in part of that. With facilities barring visits through at least March 31, teams have been unable to conduct physicals.
Clowney, who had offseason surgery to repair a core muscle injury, may be hoping a clean bill of health can boost his contract offers. According to the NFL Network’s Mike Garoffolo, those offers have so far fallen short of Clowney’s expectations.
It’s worth remembering the league is only a few days into free agency, which kicked off March 18. But as negotiations continue, the chase for Clowney becomes riskier for Seattle – and the idea of another season of defensive struggles more real.