The Seahawks enter NFL free agency today with a plan to lock up as many of their contributors from last season as possible without overpaying. A veteran offensive tackle like Donald Penn could fit with the team.
As I’m writing this, the Seahawks, like all other NFL teams, are in the middle of the annual frenzy known as free agency. As of today, teams can officially sign free agents from other teams to new contracts. The Seahawks, in need of a start-able left tackle, or at least a viable competition candidate in the Tom Cable School of Pancaking, should be eying veteran left tackle Donald Penn.
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First, let’s run down what we know of free agency so far for the Seahawks. They already resigned Ahtyba Rubin to a three-year deal. Rubin was a solid contributor on the defensive line last year. They lost Bruce Irvin, as expected, when the Raiders overpaid for the underachieving outside linebacker early this morning. They are also reportedly in talks with Brandon Mebane on a new deal. Russell Okung and J.R. Sweezy haven’t officially signed with new teams yet, but it seems they won’t be returning to the Seahawks’ offensive line in 2016.
Okung struggled with injuries in recent years and Sweezy has been inconsistent at times, but these are still two solid starters at worst and Pro Bowl-level players at best leaving their starting positions on the offensive line for the Seahawks. They need start-able players to protect Russell Wilson and block for Thomas Rawls next year.
Donald Penn slipped slightly last year in his play and he’s 32 years old. Still, he’s a veteran presence on a line that could be even more of a liability if Okung and Sweezy make their expected departures in the coming hours/days. Penn has started every game of each season of his career since his second season in the league with Tampa Bay.
Plugged into Tom Cable’s Pain Academy, Penn could be the piece that gets the Seahawks over the hump as offensive linemen Mark Glowinski and Kristjan Sokoli develop. I’m sure John Schneider has something up his sleeve…