At Small Cap Hit, Ethan Pocic Deal Doesn't Hinder Seahawks From Continuing OL Overhaul

Despite reuniting with their starting center from the 2020 season, the Seahawks can still do more to address their offensive line if they so desire.
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The fan response to the Seahawks re-signing center Ethan Pocic has been mixed at best. Coming off an inconsistent 2020 season capped off by a disastrous performance in Seattle's 30-20 wild card loss to the Rams, it's easy to see why many are put off by Pocic's return. But on a one-year, $3 million contract that's projected to carry a mere $1.5 million salary cap hit, Pocic's valuation is no better than most other depth pieces at his position.

In essence, it doesn't limit the Seahawks from addressing their offensive line further. For now, Pocic is penciled into a starting spot by circumstance; however, he's not making enough money to guarantee him the job—especially not when Week 1 is still a little under half a year away.

He should have the chance to compete, sure, but this move shouldn't deter fans' expectations from the realistic notion the Seahawks could have new blood snapping to quarterback Russell Wilson this fall. 

Currently projected to be over the salary cap limit following their latest moves, the Seahawks still have an abundance of needs to address—particularly at edge rusher. If they're able to create more financial flexibility for themselves as expected, most of their involvement in free agency will likely be spent there and at receiver. 

With the center market shrinking, options have become incredibly limited for Seattle. It needed a safety valve in the event the draft or the remainder of free agency yields no results; hence, the Pocic signing.

The 2021 NFL Draft now appears to be a more likely spot for the Seahawks to find competition for Pocic, but this always felt like their most appropriate strategy: Fill one of the holes at left guard or center with a quality veteran piece, then draft and develop a prospect at whichever spot goes unaddressed. They've established that veteran piece with their trade for ex-Raiders guard Gabe Jackson, and they've given themselves some insurance with Pocic if they swing and miss at center the rest of the way.

If their 2021 starting center is still yet to be acquired, then Pocic would serve as solid depth for a team whose line fell apart due to late-season injuries last year. He can promptly fill-in at all three interior spots and give Seattle's offense a good enough chance to at least get by. That's a role his contract properly reflects. 

Landing on Pocic should not be considered a failure—not yet, at least. There are still plenty of opportunities for them to continue bolstering their center position over the coming weeks. 

Depending on where else they invest and what the end result of that looks like, retaining and starting Pocic may be just fine under their current financial circumstances. They could do far worse than maintaining continuity within their offensive line.