I think it's fair for us, as San Francisco 49ers fans, to take a moment before we review the Seattle Seahawks' last season and early free agency action and just laugh about that horrible play call. Go ahead. Take a moment. Have a nice laugh. Remember Richard Sherman's face as he watched it all go down. You deserve it.
I've got to admit - that laughter that I would have really enjoyed last year rings a bit hollow now. I may be in the slightly more pessimistic camp, but it's hard to dislike the Seahawks as stridently as I did the last few seasons now that Jed York and Trent Baalke have basically gutted the team (nota bene: Baalke is still doing a pretty nifty job in free agency, especially considering the random retirements, etc. I am also excited for the upcoming draft in which we draft approximately 17 CBs.).
Sans Harbaugh or not, the 49ers still have a rival, and that rival is still the Seahawks. Let's recap their season: in case you didn't notice, the Seahawks went to the Super Bowl last year. They lost it at the last second in a heartbreaking fashion. The New England Tom Bradys were the victors.
The Super Bowl appearance was after an interesting season for the Seahawks. They actually had a bit of a rough start to the season, all of which culminated in the trade of Percy Harvin. It's rare that an offense can get rid of a player like Harvin and still make the Super Bowl, but not every offense has Marshawn Lynch.
The Seahawks went on a tear to finish the season, winning their last six games, ending the season with a 12-4 record and first place in the NFC West.
The start to their offseason has been a bit crazy too, particularly in respect to the TE position. Having cut TE Zach Miller and re-signed TE Anthony McCoy, the Seahawks traded for TE Jimmy Graham from the New Orleans Saints. In addition to Graham, the Seahawks gained a fourth round pick. They, in turn, gave up C Max Unger and a first round pick.
Free Agency (courtesy of NFL.com):
Unrestricted Free Agents:
James Carpenter, G; Kevin Williams, DT; Jeron Johnson, S; Anthony McCoy, TE; Tarvaris Jackson, QB; Byron Maxwell, CB; Malcolm Smith, OLB; O'Brien Schofield, OLB
Restricted Free Agents: Jermaine Kearse, WR
Additions: CB Cary Williams, LB Mister Alexander, DB Will Blackmon
The free agency class this year is small for the Seahawks. But, free agency is going to become an important area for the Seahawks going forward. The fact of the matter is that Russell Wilson is about to get very expensive (likely), and retaining other big name players is going to be a challenge for the Seahawks. Recently, the team has been pretty competent at drafting (in as much as drafting is inherently a crap-shoot and they always seem to find some annoying player somewhere), and this will likely be the key for them going forward.
This roster is pretty stacked. We can't deny it. That's part of their strength in Seattle. But, there are definitely areas in which the Seahawks can improve. WR in particular is an area of need. That position is really quite tenuous for the Seahawks (no disrespect to Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, but they simply aren't cutting it alone, but would be excellent complimentary pieces). The addition of Graham should help, but the Seahawks could benefit from another WR.
On the other side of the ball, look for the Seahawks to add depth at CB. With Byron Maxwell leaving for the Eagles, the so-called legion of boom is looking a few centurions short of a full legion.