Seahawks preview: Richard Sherman, Eddie Lacy add intrigue

The Seattle Seahawks open the 2017 NFL regular season on the road, facing off against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

1. Sherman is still a Seahawk

The juiciest offseason story line for the Seahawks amounted to nothing. The team considered trading star cornerback Richard Sherman for months, but the right offer never materialized. When the draft finished with Sherman still on the roster, he showed up for offseason workouts. Both sides claim it was just business and there won’t be any awkwardness. But it’s interesting that Seattle would consider moving a player of Sherman’s caliber while he’s still in his prime.

2. There are still questions along the offensive line

Ask Seahawks fans about what should be the team’s top priority, and the vast majority would say repairing the offensive line. It’s unclear whether that weakness has been properly addressed this offseason. Seattle signed two free agent offensive linemen — tackle Luke Joeckel, the No.2 pick in the 2013 draft, and guard Oday Aboushi — but let tackle Garry Gilliam leave as a restricted free agent after he signed an offer sheet with the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks also missed out on signing guard T.J. Lang, who landed with the Detroit Lions. The Seahawks used two draft picks on linemen, including second-round center Ethan Pocic. But until a starting five is set and the Seahawks can see if that group can protect quarterback Russell Wilson better, the offensive line will remain Seattle’s biggest liability.

3. The secondary could have improved depth

When safety Earl Thomas broke his leg in early December, the Seahawks struggled to replace him. The injury to irreplaceable Thomas revealed a lack of depth in the secondary, particularly at safety. Fast-forward to April. The Seahawks drafted three safeties, including Delano Hill of Michigan in the third round. Seattle also used a third-round pick on cornerback Shaquill Griffin, a big, physical corner who should fit right in with Sherman and Co.

4. The outlook at running back is still unclear

Running back might be the most interesting position on the Seahawks roster, with at least four players fighting for playing time. Thomas Rawls, when healthy, has a bruising running style and once appeared to be the most natural successor to Marshawn Lynch. But Eddie Lacy was signed in the offseason and could take on a lead role. Those two also will face challenges from 2016 draft picks C.J. Prosise and Alex Collins. A consistent running game would help make up for weaknesses on the offensive line and help ease the burden on Wilson, but will any back will emerge as the consistent No. 1?

5. Lockett looks for big return

Thomas wasn’t the only important Seahawks player working on a comeback. Wide receiver and kick returner Tyler Lockett broke two bones in his leg on Dec. 24 and couldn’t suit up for the playoffs. Lockett might not be the Seahawks’ top receiver (slot receiver Doug Baldwin is consistently Wilson’s favorite target), but he might be the most dynamic. If Lockett heals according to schedule and rejoins his teammates on the field during training camp, the Seahawks' offense will look a lot more explosive in September.

Follow Lindsay H. Jones on Twitter @bylindsayhjones.

© 2017 KING-TV


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