BY Art Thiel 06:31PM 03/22/2016

Schneider says Gilliam, Sowell will fill for Okung

Seahawks GM says at NFL meetings that no more cap space is available for a big signing, and that Garry Gilliam and newcomer Bradley Sowell are likely to compete to succeed Russell Okung.

Garry Gilliam (79), here shoving along Marshawn Lynch, will be moving from right tackle to left tackle. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Any Seahawks fan waiting for a new left tackle to replace departed Russell Okung . . . well, he’s already on the roster. General manager John Schneider said Tuesday Garry Gilliam, the former right tackle, will compete with newcomer Bradley Sowell for the job of protecting QB Russell Wilson’s blind side.

“It’d be a good battle between Gilliam and Sowell,” Schneider told the Seattle Times after being asked who would start right now. That was the first public confirmation of a plan to move Gilliam, who played tight end at Penn State, to the left side. Sowell, a free agent who started 12 games at left tackle for Arizona in 2013 but barely played the past two seasons, seems like the back-up.

Schneider also told reporters at the NFL meetings in Boca Raton, FL., that the Seahawks are close enough to the salary cap that acquiring any more big salaries is highly unlikely.

“Where we are at right now,” he said, “we can’t be doing anything. We just have to be very responsible.’’

That explains why the Seahawks were never serious about returning Okung to Seattle. He finished a six-year stint making $48 million, but his injury history combined with a probable request from the Seahawks to take a pay cut meant he was done here.

After visiting three other teams, Okung signed a non-guaranteed deal for $5 million with Denver, plus four years at $48 million at the team’s option, which the Broncos are unlikely to exercise.

There was no effort made once Okung began his visits elsewhere.

“Not really,” Schneider said, “because he made a lot of trips (to visit other teams) really quick. So whenever that happens you know people have strong interest.’’

He said Okung’s decision a year earlier to represent himself in negotiations, instead of hiring an agent, made no difference.

“I don’t think it affected it,’’ Schneider said. “Russell is a very intelligent person. He has his personal beliefs. We had a good talk before the season started, so we knew that he was going to be representing himself and Russell knew where we were coming from.

“It’s just hard — those conversations are hard to have. Russell was the first player we selected (in 2010) so that was difficult.’’

Losing Okung and RG J.R. Sweezy, who left in free agency for Tampa, means Seattle needs another new starter. Apparently that will be J’Marcus Webb, a free agent signed from Oakland for two years and $6 million. He likely will start at Gilliam’s old spot on the right side, while second-year vet Mark Glowinski will advance to Sweezy’s position. LG Justin Britt and C Patrick Lewis, for now, will hold their spots.

“I think signing our two guys in Sowell and Webb, that was big for us,’’ Schneider said. “They are kind of unique signings, kind of prove-it signings.”

Of Gilliam’s move, Schneider said, “He’s a heck of an athlete. He’s played there in college, too, and he’s just such a good athlete. He can play wherever you want. He can play tight end — you have seen him catch the ball. He’s extremely talented, as is Sowell. Sowell is very quick and athletic and again very, very confident in his abilities.’’

The Seahawks have nine picks in the draft that begins April 28, so the Seahawks could find more competition for O-line jobs there.

Or they could ask a few D-linemen to visit the other side.

 


YourThoughts

  • The Cane

    “It’d be a good battle between Gilliam and Sowell,” Schneider told the
    Seattle Times after being asked who would start right now.

    You bet it will. One is a former tight end and the other has not played in years.

    “Schneider also told reporters at the NFL meetings in Boca Raton, FL.,
    that the Seahawks are close enough to the salary cap that acquiring any
    more big salaries is highly unlikely. ‘Where we are at right now,’ he said, “we can’t be doing anything. We just have to be very responsible.’”

    Responsible? Sounds like he does not have a choice, given the top-heavy construction of the Seahawks, a construction designed to please the fans after a one-and-done Super Bowl win but not necessarily designed to lead to sustained success. But people measure success differently. Some might call a four year run that includes getting blown out bad in two divisional playoff games, arguably blowing a Super Bowl, and losing regardless, but winning a Super Bowl a very successful run.

    • Debbiefmattson


      “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….


      two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now c over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Hereo!286➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsJobs/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:::::o!286…….

    • art thiel

      No obligation in in the NFL to refuse gifts. Hell, they gave one to Belichick.

    • richardfg7

      At first I wondered why you would be bashing a front office that has brought us the best team in Seattle history. Then I looked at your other comments. You don’t have anything good to say about anything . Go Seahawks !

  • Jeff Shope

    Hope they draft something

  • MacPhisto92

    I cannot believe Gilliam could possibly be playing LT….he couldn’t block anyone on the right side…now he’s supposed to protect Wilson’s blindside??? I’m calling it now…if Gilliam does in fact play LT, Wilson will suffer his first major injury this coming season. I can’t even believe Gilliam is still on the roster after last season…he was a disaster. This is how you protect your franchise QB??? Just, wow.

    • art thiel

      After last season, every fan is entitled to skepticism on the O-line judgments. But Gilliam was, in the second half, minimally credible.

      • 1coolguy

        If it was ANYONE other than Pete, I’d call BS, BUT in Pete and JS we trust, right?

        The LT spot – It’s a big deal to protect a RH QB’s blind spot, which I understand, YET when I look back at film of Montana, perhaps the Greatest QB, and Bradshaw, not a great QB BUT a HOF and 4 ring guy (I know, the D was awesome, but still) both of them dropped back with their shoulders facing the line of scrimmage, not to the side as most QB’s do.

        So if RW faded back the same way, it would reduce the critical need for a top LT, opening up the potential LT’s the Hawks can use.
        What say you?

  • jafabian

    Repeat of last season. Already you can tell there will be O-Line problems. They lost their best 2 linemen. There’s at least going to be continuity issues in the first half of the season.

    • art thiel

      But they have Drew Nowak still on the practice squad. Feel better now?

    • Barbara Munoz


      “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….


      two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Hereo!407➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsJobs/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:::::o!407………..

  • Bill Doerr

    Gilliam graded via Pro Football Focus as one of the worst OTs in the NFL & that was on the right side, so now SEA thinks he is going to magically get better throwing him on the left side where he face far better pass rushers?? SEAs other 2 additions are horrible as well, Sowell didnt rank as one of the worst he ranked as the worst LT in the NFL in 2013 & 2014 & the writer is wrong when he says he barely played the last two years (14/15), he hasnt played tackle at all. I think he came in as a FB for 4-5 snaps maybe but I am not sure however he hasnt played along the line. As for Webb , he ranked as one of the worst OGs in the NFL last season ranking as one of the bottom 5 worst OGs, the season before he ranked as one of the worst OTs as a RT. I am sure Wilson is very glad the Hawks have his interests at heart when they are out making as SEAs GM put it “Big” signings….

    SEAs offensive line is going to even worse than 2015s O-Line , much, much worse. With the Cardinals having a vastly upgraded Elite pass rush and with AZ still very likely to add to it drafting another top tier OLB in round 1 , AZs front is going to blow Wilson up big time next season. With Chandler Jones behind Big Elite pass rushing 3-4 DE Calais Campbell teams can no longer double team him , and when Campbell has an Elite pass rusher behind him and is single teamed all year, he is a 9-11 sack DE. Paired with Abraham he had 10 in 2013. Chandler Jones is an Elite Edge Rusher who should have no issue picking up 12-15 sacks, especially facing SEAs O-Line 2X a year and excellent pass rushing OLB Markus Golden & 6″5/305 DE Rodney Gunter are going into their 2nd NFL seasons….. I dont see how Wilson is going to be able to move the ball with no protection as AZs defense is going to destroy SEAs sad, saaad excuse of an offensive line……

    • Tyler Josephson

      Hey Bill maybe try not to be such a pessimist and just wait this out until the season. I don’t think PCJS have given anyone a reason to doubt their ability to judge talent.

    • richardfg7

      Bill , it’s obvious as hell you have nothing better to do but offer your opinion to Seahawk fans but we really don’t care what you think. The Hawks make a habit of embarrassing the Cards and I’m quite sure they’ll find a way to do it again this year.

  • richardfg7

    Coach Carroll and John Schneider have done an amazing job with this franchise . In six years they’ve been to the playoffs five times , winning at least one game each time with two NFC titles and a Superbowl win. Yet every year we have guys like Bob here predicting their doom . Idiots.