Earl Thomas. Richard Sherman. Kam Chancellor. The three most feared men at their respective positions in the NFL. The three keys to another successful season in Seattle. Before the draft, everyone talked about the importance of adding depth to the offensive line, the necessity of filling the void created by the departure of Golden Tate, and the loss of Chris Clemons and Red Bryant. Nobody spoke of the talent the Seahawks already possess.
Before a single snap of the pre-season, most critics have the Seahawks as the favorites to win it all once again. The legion of boom is their fallback reason as to why. Both Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman signed long-term extensions this summer, and last year it was Kam Chancellor who decided he would call Seattle home for the forseeable future. It was a concern of many Seahawks fans that the team simply would not be able to afford the big three, or that one of them would choose a team willing to pay them a larger sum of money. All three are to remain in the Emerald City for quite some time.
The Seahawks were able to afford the salaries, but at a cost. As mentioned before, Golden Tate, the team’s go-to receiver from last season, departed and took his talents to Detroit. The Seahawks remained relatively quiet during the free agency period. The two big rumors were that Seattle was targeting Jared Allen and Jermichael Finley. Allen ended up in Chicago, and Finley has been unable to join any team due to health issues.
The question has been asked; are Sherman, Chancellor, and Thomas worth letting certain players walk, and passing on others during the summer? Well, if you ask me, I say that they are key reasons why the Seahawks dismantled Denver during the Super Bowl. They were key contributors to sending San Francisco home in the NFC Championship game. They allow Russell Wilson to take a few more risks on offense, because he knows there is a good chance that should he turn the ball over, those guys will go get it back for him and the offense. So yes, it is worth all of the other sacrifices.
Seattle has gone the opposite path of the usual Super Bowl team. Most of the time, after winning the Super Bowl, teams are forced to cut key players they would like to keep for salary cap reasons. Not this team. They are clearly willing to spend big to keep this elite group of players together. Let all of the doubters keep doubting. Let them argue that Sherman is not the best cornerback in the league, and that Thomas’ size will eventually bite him. Let them continue to accuse Kam Chancellor of riding his teammates’ coat tails to success. If there is anything we have learned about the legion of boom, it’s that they love people to doubt them. They use criticism as fuel to their fire, and the rest of the league suffers by being forced to feel their heat.