Seahawks lose Russell Okung to the Broncos

The Seahawks are expected to replace Okung with free agent addition J'Marcus Webb, current right tackle Garry Gilliam or perhaps a rookie.

The Russell Okung free agency train has made its final stop apparently and it is in Denver.

According to multiple reports - the first of which came from ESPN's Josina Anderson - Okung has agreed to a five-year, $53 million dollar deal with the defending Super Bowl champion Broncos.

It remains to be seen who Okung will be protecting in Denver as the Broncos currently have just Mark Sanchez and last year's seventh round pick Trevor Siemian at the position after Brock Osweiler signed with the Houston Texans and Peyton Manning retired but a talented offensive line is not something general manager John Elway has to worry about any longer.

The opposite may be true in Seattle where gifted young quarterback Russell Wilson may be left running for his life even more in 2016 following the free agent loss of a third Seahawks' blocker this spring.

Thursday's news is particularly disconcerting given that the now Los Angeles Rams re-signed underrated defensive end William Hayes in the off-season (and, of course, still have Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn) and the Arizona Cardinals recently pried talented edge rusher Chandler Jones from the New England Patriots.

Okung joins former starting right guard J.R. Sweezy and swing tackle Alvin Bailey - Okung's primary backup - as Seahawks offensive linemen who have taken big money to play elsewhere next season.

Though Okung was a frequent target of complaints from Seahawks fans due to his struggles to remain durable, he was viewed inside and out of the Virginia Mason Athletic Center as clearly Seattle's top offensive lineman. As such, his loss is significant.

The Seahawks do have some potential replacement candidates already on the roster with last year's starting right tackle Garry Gilliam perhaps the in-house favorite to succeed Okung at the critical position.

At 6-5, 306 pounds, 25-year old former Penn State tight end has the length and agility required of left tackles and he should prove stronger in his third NFL season.

Free agent addition J'Marcus Webb is also a potential candidate to return to left tackle. He impressed at this position early in his career after surprising as a late round pick out of West Texas A&M with the Chicago Bears but struggled with the Minnesota Vikings and played his best ball last season at right guard with the Oakland Raiders.

At 6-7. 330 pounds, Webb boasts ideal size and is surprisingly agile. Given that Seattle is such a run-oriented team, the club has prioritized physicality rather than the elite quickness typically required of more pass-happy offenses.  Whether it be at left or right tackle, Webb looks like a candidate to play on the perimeter.

The other clear-cut option, of course, comes with drafting a left tackle this spring, perhaps as early as at No. 26 overall.

The 2016 class of left tackles is as good as the NFL has seen in years with Mississippi's Laremy Tunsil the odds-on-favorite to go No. 1 overall, Notre Dame's Ronnie Stanley a legitimate top 10 prospect, himself, and Michigan State's Jack Conklin a top 20 candidate, as well.

Should these three be off the board (as many expect), there are some very intriguing so-called second-tier candidates who are likely to come off the board in the next 30 selections - such as Ohio State's Taylor Decker, Indiana's Jason Spriggs, Texas Tech's Le'Raven Clark, Texas A&M's Germain Ifedi and Auburn's Shon Coleman.

All but Ifedi have played the critical "blindside" position throughout much of their respective careers. Ifedi did not play at left tackle but the 6-6, 324 pounder is used to moving around after splitting duty between left guard, right guard and right tackle, offers a remarkable blend of light feet, long arms (36"!) and tenacity. Further, he blocked for a mobile quarterback throughout his time with the Aggies.

Now that it appears that the Seattle will, indeed, be replacing Okung at left tackle, will be breaking down each of these potential first round candidates in much more detail.

For now, you can check out their full strengths/weaknesses profile at

Here are the full profiles for Decker, Spriggs, ClarkIfedi and Coleman.

In other Seahawks-related news, the club re-signed running back Christine Michael on Thursday, pairing him with Thomas Rawls as the new "faces" at running back following the retirement of Marshawn Lynch. Given the turnover among the blockers in front of them, at least Seattle has some continuity among the skill positions. Top Stories