BY SPNW Staff 01:18PM 01/27/2016

Free agent Okung to have surgery, ready by June

Seahawks LT Russell Okung has e-mailed all NFL teams advising them that he will undergo shoulder surgery, but expects to be recovered by June.

LT Russell Okung will undergo shoulder surgery. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

According a series of tweets from, Seahawks LT Russell Okung, who will become an unrestricted free agent March 9, will soon undergo surgery on his left shoulder. Okung dislocated it during Seattle’s 31-24 divisional playoff loss to the Carolina Panthers 10 days ago.

Okung sent an e-mail to all 32 teams announcing the surgery, explaining that the recovery time is five months. Okung said he expects to be healthy by June. The surgery will be performed by specialist Dr. Robin West.

Okung, 28, Seattle’s first-round draft pick in 2010 (sixth overall) out of Oklahoma State, will represent himself in free agency. If a team contacts Okung before March 9 by responding to his e-mail, it could be construed as tampering because he is still under contract to the Seahawks.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk said Okung already erred as agent. In a post Wednesday afternoon, he quoted NFL policy:

If a club is contacted by a player (or his representative) who is under contract to or whose negotiating rights are held by another club, and such player had not been given permission to deal with other clubs, or such player is not in a permissible negotiating period under the terms of an operative collective bargaining agreement, then the contacted club is prohibited from talking or otherwise dealing with the player or his representative, and the contacted club must immediately report such contact to the owner or operating head of the club which holds the player’s rights.”

Asked about Okung after Seattle’s season-ending 31-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers,  coach Pete Carroll praised the six-year veteran, who played in 13 games this past season, but has suffered numerous injuries since he became a Pro Bowler in 2012.

“He’s been a great factor in our team,” Carroll said. “Really sick to see him get hurt in that game. It was a very unusual accident that happened. But he’s been a leader, and stellar for years. Really consistent. Been a great kid.”

Okung has started 72 games, but was hurt in the second quarter attempting to block Panthers DE Mario Addison, who forced QB Russell Wilson into an interception that led to a Carolina field goal and a 24-0 lead.

He and RG J.R. Sweezy are unrestricted free agents in a unit that under-performed in a slow seasonal start. The injury is a blow to Okung’s hopes to land a top-shelf deal. The Seahawks could re-sign him before he goes into the market, but that has been considered unlikely, even though he may be the best left tackle available.

The Seahawks under Carroll have drafted two offensive linemen in the first round, Okung and LG James Carpenter, the latter signing a free agent deal with the Jets a year ago, and used a second-round choice on LG Justin Britt.

There’s a possibility that the Seahawks could fill Okung’s spot with Garry Gilliam, who finished his first full year as a starter at right tackle, then move Britt back to right tackle, where he played with mediocre results his rookie year.

A Pro Bowl shunning

Safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are skipping participation in the Pro Bowl in Honolulu Sunday, ostensibly to rest. Chancellor had a tailbone injury late in the season.

The Seahawks had seven named to the event, tying a team record set  in 1984 and 2005. Also included were DE Michael Bennett, return specialist Tyler Lockett, CB Richard Sherman, LB Bobby Wagner and QB Russell Wilson.

Arizona and New England also had seven named.  Carolina led with 10, all of whom will be otherwise occupied. No other Seahawks have been named as replacements.

Unrestricted free agents

Player Pos. Age ’15 Cap Hit 2015 Season
Russell Okung LT 28 7,280,000 Started 13 games, 2 more in playoffs
Brandon Mebane DT 31 5,700,000 Made 15 starts, 24 tackles, 1.5 sacks
Bruce Irvin OLB 26 2,895,542 2012 No. 1 pick 15 starts, 5.5 sacks
Ahtyba Rubin DT 29 2,600,000 16 starts, 36 tackles, 2 sacks
Jermaine Kearse WR 25 2,356,000 49 catches, 5 TDs, 2 more in playoffs
J.R. Sweezy G 26 1,556,212 Started 15 games, 2 more in playoffs
Tarvaris Jackson QB 32 1,500,000 Mopped up in four games, all big wins
Jon Ryan P 34 1,500,000 47.3 yards per punt with a long of 73
Michael Morgan OLB 28 1,000,000 Played in 14 games with 2 starts
Jeremy Lane CB 25 691,279 Played in six games after injury return
Will Tukuafu FB 32 665,000 Played in 14 games, scored 1 TD
Demarcus Dobbs DE 28 665,000 Reserve played in 11 games, no starts
Ricardo Lockette WR 29 660,000 Season-ending neck injury at Dallas
Deshawn Shead FS 27 660,000 Started 5 of final six games, 1 INT
Fred Jackson RB 34 615,000 Played in 16 games, 2 receiving TDs



  • 1coolguy

    Trade Graham for a high first and draft the best LT, saving $$$ and hopefully gaining a player who is not as susceptible to injury.

    • John M

      Can’t disagree with the logic, but they like Graham and he may be a better fit next season. But, yes, the O-line is very iffy at this point . . .

    • SeaRaays

      I don’t think you can get a high first for Graham.