The 2014 NFL Draft is officially a wrap, which means offseason additions are just about complete. There will be some small free agent additions here and there, but training camp rosters are just about set. With that in mind, we are back to review each of the 49ers 2014 opponents. Each team has gained and lost numerous players, so this series will help get you more familiar with the rosters of each opponent.
The Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl last year. I think I can finally come to terms with that now. It, well, it took a long time. Frankly, I'm not even sure I'm totally ready, but I think I'm excited enough by all the new players, by the fact that we have a franchise QB locked up forever, and by how good our team is looking. With all these facts flooding my brain full of happy endorphins, I am okay admitting that the Seahawks won. It took me a while, but now I can be a good sport.
But, now we need to look ahead at the Seahawks, noting their strengths and weaknesses as their primary obstacle to a repeat of their Super Bowl victory. By and large, we need to realize, this is a strong, deep team. Their strengths are numerous, particularly on defense, and their weaknesses are lesser-and the team is darn good at covering up for whatever weaknesses they do have.
Probably one of their biggest weaknesses continues to be the offensive line. Though the Seahawks did take steps to overcome some of these problems, there continue to be a questions. Luckily for the Seahawks, the big issue is pretty contained to just the guard position. In reading over a few 2014 NFL draft grades, I noticed that people were simultaneously celebrating the addition of a tackle while criticizing Seattle's inattention to the guard position, even though options were available.
But this is a small problem for an otherwise really strong team. I anticipate that the rivalry will continue in full, with both of our teams being very competitive.
(Brief side note for discussion: if there are any Seahawks fans out there who think there might be a greater weakness than the guard position, speak up. I'm interested in your perspective given how strong the team is).
Additions: WR Taylor Price, OG Greg Van Roten, CB Phillip Adams, DT Kevin Williams
Losses: WR Golden Tate, DT Clinton McDonald, DE Red Bryant (cut), DE Chris Clemons (DE), OT Breno Giacomini, LB O'Brien Schofield, S Chris Maragos, CB Brandon Browner, CB Walter Thurmond, G Paul McQuistan.
What most Seahawks fans likely care about is the name that does not make either list, Michael Bennett. Bennett was a free agent, but reached a deal with the Seahawks earlier this offseason. Besides keeping Bennett and giving Richard Sherman an excuse to nonsensically get defensive when other players do the same thing he does by calling themselves great players, the Seahawks have had a pretty quiet offseason. By and large, though, they seem content allowing their younger players to grow into themselves, replacing older players who might be too expensive. With Russell Wilson up for a new deal next offseason, this seems to be the smart decision.
45. Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado
64. Justin Britt, OT, Missouri
108. Cassius Marsh, DE, UCLA
123. Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama
132. Kevin Pierre-Louis, OLB, Boston College
172. Jimmy Staten, DT, Middle Tennessee State
199. Garrett Scott, OT, Marshall
208. Eric Pinkins, S, San Diego State
227. Kiero Small, FB, Arkansas
The Seahawks did some wheeling and dealing, trading their first round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for a second and a fourth. Seattle has to hope that Britt can step in and play well at tackle. He tore his ACL in 2012, but bounced back to start all 14 games for Missouri in 2013. The lack of a guard addition remains puzzling.
One additional note concerns running back Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks start running back reportedly might skip minicamp due to contract displeasure. There has been some hint he might retire, but odds are that is a simple negotiation ploy. He has apparently saved a lot of money, so I suppose it's possible, but I would be surprised if he went through with retirement.