2023 NFL free agency: Ranking 6 offensive line options for the Seahawks
In 2022 the Seahawks offensive line was weakest on the interior, where starting center Austin Blythe struggled more often than not. Finding an upgrade with either a better vet or a highly-ranked rookie to lead this unit should be a priority this offseason.
Let’s start with the free agent options. Here are six potential offensive line targets for Seattle this year. As it happens they all play center, or at least have some experience doing so.
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At 35 years old, Kelce is nearing the end of his incredible run in the NFL. He’s still playing at a remarkably high level for his age, though. In 2022 only Creed Humphrey of the Chiefs posted a higher overall PFF grade among centers. Then again, it’s unlikely Kelce will want to leave Philadelphia if he decides to return for another season. After all, there’s only one other team who gives him a better chance to win a second Super Bowl and they already have Humphrey. Still, it couldn’t hurt to call if he hits the market.
(AP Photo/Terrance Williams)
After a rough rookie year in Green Bay, Tretter (32) became one of the best and most consistent centers in the league from 2015-2021. For some reason he didn’t find a home last season, which probably has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with his position as the president of the players union. Whatever it was it’s a market inefficiency the Seahawks can take advantage of. Since his arrival in Cleveland in 2017 Tretter never posted a PFF grade lower than 69.1 and only missed one game. He excels particularly well in pass protection, which could help lift the ceiling for Seattle’s passing attack.
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Another great center who’s nearing the end of the road is Hudson, who will turn 34 years old in July. Word on the street is that Hudson will likely decide to retire. Then again, being offered a genuine alternative to the ongoing dysfunction in the desert might be enough to lure him back a while longer. Hudson’s experience would be a tremendous asset for the rest of the offensive line.
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There are certainly a few better centers than Bradbury on this list, but most of them are on the wrong side of 30, some of them very much so. Meanwhile, Bradbury has just the right mix of youth, experience and ability. He’s also coming off a breakout season, improving nearly 25 points in PFF’s pass blocking grades from the previous year. Bradbury is 27 years old and wouldn’t break the bank to sign.
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McGovern will turn 30 soon, but that shouldn’t frighten teams away from wanting to sign him. He has steadily improved every season since the Jets picked him in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL draft. That’s the kind of thing that bodes very well for his future in this league.
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Signing Blythe was always a bit of a weird flex. Outside of his experience with the scheme there wasn’t much to like and it’s hard to believe he had any other teams interested for more than the veteran minimum. Nevertheless, Seattle signed him to a one-year, $4 million deal. It didn’t go well. By the end of the season Geno Smith was visibly frustrated with Blythe, who wound up ranking No. 33 at his position. The only reason to bring him back would once again be familiarity.