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Old 18.01.2016, 06:53 AM
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Default Looking Towards The Offseason

After the valiant comeback effort that just fell short against the Panthers, it is time to look ahead into the off-season.

There are some huge decisions to be made.

The most immediate one is what to do with Marshawn. Lynch has been the figurehead of the organisation since going Beastmode in 2010 but it has become increasingly clear that he is now an ageing running back with injury issues. This, combined with his personality that does not appear to be mixing well with the rest of the locker room, surely means Seattle will be looking at him as a cap casualty. (Of course this is easier to say with Thomas Rawls looking like a number 1 running back of the future).

The question will be whether there is any trade value in him. We all know he is going to want to go to either Oakland (assuming the Raiders still play there) or Dallas but his cap number is going to be considerably off putting. The only benefit we may have is that the running back draft class is relatively weak.

We also face questions over who will want to get paid. We all know Kam Chancellor and Michael Bennett held out for varying lengths of time last pre-season/season. Both will want paying. Surely Earl Thomas will also be on that list as well. Even with the cap increase, appeasing all three is going to be difficult

Then there are the free agents.

A big decision needs to be made on Russell Okung. He has been up and down during his career but he has been our most consistent lineman throughout the past couple of years. However is value on the open market is going to be difficult to match. JR Sweezy and Lemuel JeanPierre are also free agents so we could see a major reshuffle on the O line.

Then there is Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse. I think it is obvious that Pete and company will move heaven and earth to bring 'the Angry One' back but Kearse is a difficult one. He has made some absolutely clutch catches but he has never been a player who gets much in the way of separation. With Paul Richardson returning and the emergence of Tyler Lockett he may be expendable. Of course he may also not attract much interest so we may be able to get him back on the cheap.

Up front there is also likely to be casualties. Brandon Mebane has been a stalwart of the run defence but will surely be looking for a pay day that we cannot match. Rubin is another who may go although there have been signs that a deal with him is in the offing.

Bruce Irvin is the only notable linebacker up and he appears to have already committed to Dan Quinn and the Falcons. I believe that is not the biggest concern as a situational pass rusher is something that can be found.

Finally Jeremy Lane and DeShawn Shead need to be looked at. Its hard to invest much more in the secondary but Lane made a big difference. Shead also replaced both Earl and Kam with aplomb and we may be facing next year without one of those if they cannot be paid.

Its going to be a difficult off-season with some big decisions but there is still a great core there.
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