The Seattle Seahawks continued to get bigger along the line of scrimmage, signing versatile offensive lineman J'Marcus Webb away from the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday after agreeing to deals with former New England Patriots defensive tackle Sealver Siliga and Arizona Cardinals blocker Bradley Sowell.
With a two-year deal worth a reported $6.25 million, Webb is now the highest paid member of Seattle's offensive line. He has experience at both guard and tackle positions (including left tackle) and at just 27 years old already has 61 starts (in 71 games) under his belt.
Webb shockingly earned a starting role at tackle for Chicago in 2010 as a 7th round pick out of West Texas A&M and ultimately went on to start 45 games in all for the Bears before signing with the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent. Webb struggled in Minnesota and jumped to the Oakland Raiders last season, where he started all 16 games, again splitting duty between tackle and guard. Though he ended up at a small school, Webb was a highly recruited prep prospect and initially signed with Texas.
It will be interesting to see where Seattle tries Webb first. The Seahawks' incumbent left tackle, Russell Okung, of course, remains a free agent and given the number of moves Seattle has made, there is mounting evidence that general manager John Schneider has simply moved on.
For a man with his great size (6-7, 330 pounds), Webb is surprisingly agile and so his remaining inside at guard is no sure thing. A source within VMAC confirmed to SeahawkFootball.com over a month ago that last year's right tackle Garry Gilliam is a potential option to replace Okung at left tackle but Webb could also be in the mix for this role. Consider that while Russell Wilson vision and classic over-the-top delivery make him a much taller passer than his 5-10 frame would suggest, throwing over Webb at guard could be difficult. Webb is taller than any guard Seattle has used during Pete Carroll's tenure in Seattle. He's an inch taller than Justin Britt, who struggled a bit with the acclimation to guard himself a year ago, in part because his height leaves him vulnerable to the shorter, quicker defensive tackles in the closer quarters of playing inside.
Siliga signed just a one-year deal worth 1.05 million with up to $350,000 in incentives. At 6-2, 325 pounds, he possesses a similar frame to former Seahawks' standout nose guard Brandon Mebane and is used to taking on double-teams in the middle of the Patriots' versatile defensive alignment. Stumpy and powerful, Siliga is well-suited to this role. He's not as quick or as gifted a pass rusher as the much smaller (6-1, 303) Jordan Hill.
Ahtyba Rubin will likely start as Seattle's three-technique defensive tackle position, as he did a year ago. Siliga, Hill and perhaps a rookie from this year's stacked defensive tackle class will likely rotate as the starting nose guard and with Rubin inside. With their contrasting styles and strengths, Siliga and Hill should complement each other nicely.
It doesn't look like the addition of Sowell, Siliga and Webb have John Schneider slowing down any time soon. Another former members of the Bears - versatile linebacker Shea McClellin - is reportedly in town visiting. A former defensive end at Boise State turned stand-up edge rusher for the Bears, McClellin would seem like a solid and inexpensive replacement for Bruce Irvin at strongside linebacker.