The Seattle Seahawks have experienced some of the usual perks of winning a Super Bowl. The parade, the sudden interest shown by media in the team’s players, etc.
Another result of the Super Bowl win has been a number of teams taking interest in the Seahawks’ free agents. Other teams are/were looking to take some of the Seahawks’ exceptional depth. The team has already lost supporting players Chris Maragos, Paul McQuistan and Clinton McDonald to free agency while key players like Golden Tate, Red Bryant, Walter Thurmond and Chris Clemons have also left town.
In addition to those players, the team also lost cornerback Brandon Browner and tackle Breno Giacomini, while players such as Sidney Rice and Michael Robinson could be brought back, but nothing is certain.
All of these losses will be felt in one way or another, but the team’s superb player development will help them sustain their winning ways.
Pete Carroll and friends find diamonds in the rough. Players like Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. Players who were late-round draft picks or undrafted. These players soon develop into starting players, as evidenced by Sherman’s meteoric rise to elite status.
Developing late-round/undrafted players also gives Seattle a huge boost in terms of the salary cap and money. These players’ rookie contracts are much cheaper than a first or second-round picks’ contract. All of this adds up, thus the team can target more players in free agency to supplement the team.
So far, some of the Seahawks’ more prominent losses in free agency are easily replaceable with much cheaper players who could develop into better players.
For example, Tate’s will be replaced by Jermaine Kearse, while a healthier Percy Harvin will improve the offense even more so. The two should more than make up for the former Notre Dame standout.
Kearse is still on his rookie deal, while Tate signed for five years and as much as 31 million dollars with Detroit. This will save the Hawks lots of cash to funnel into players like Harvin or complementary veterans on shorter contracts.
On the offensive line, McQuistan and Giacomini will be replaced by younger players like Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey. The team showed confidence in the latter pair last season and could also draft a lineman or two come April. Former first-round pick James Carpenter could also start.
Cornerback Byron Maxwell is another young player who will find himself starting again next year. The former Clemson Tiger filled in admirably for Browner during his suspension and in the process left no doubt that he was the better player for the role, as opposed to Thurmond. Maxwell, as well as young, cheap and talented corners Jeremy Lane, DeShawn Shead and Tharold Simon, will make up for the loss of the departed players.
All in all, players like Kearse, Bowie and Maxwell may or may not turn into star players. Their impact probably won’t be the sole reason the Seahawks turn into a dynasty. What will propel the Seahawks into a dynasty is their ability to continually find and develop under-valued players into impact performers.