Saturday the Seattle Seahawks will take hit the field at Lumen for a training camp scrimmage. The simulated game will be the first opportunity for many fans to see the pair of rookie tackles the Hawks added during the first two days of the draft, Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas, in person. And, fittingly, the scrimmage comes on the six year anniversary of the Seahawks signing six-time Pro Bowler and four-time All Pro guard, Jahri Evans.
Part of the reason it’s so fitting is that 2016 was also the last time the Seahawks spent two picks in the first three rounds on offensive linemen, and there’s no debating how that turned out for Seattle. Also, mentioning 2016 and the selection of Germain Ifedi and Rees Odhiambo allows for the use of this banger, which is likely to get pulled out frequently during the 2022 season.
Bringing the discussion back to Evans, however, the question that many Seattle fans still ask is why the team released him less than a month later and started inexperienced nobodies at guard during the 2016 season. Now, six years later, that answer is a little clearer and a little easier to understand.
Specifically, to gain a clear understanding of the “Why?” behind the decision to release Evans, think back to the second matchup between the Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams during the 2017 season.
The Rams came into the game with a high-powered offense powered by the fiery young coach Sean McVay, while the Hawks entered as a battered bunch that had already lost Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Bobby Wagner was playing through a hamstring injury. The NFC West lead was on the line, and the visiting Rams left no doubt as the Hawks were soundly whooped in every facet of the game. Los Angeles opened up a 34-0 first half lead and was up by 40 before the Seahawks scored. The shellacking was so bad that Russell Wilson was pulled in favor of Austin Davis for the final offensive series of the game for Seattle.
Now, the reasoning behind the release of Evans has nothing to do with the actual on field performance of the Seahawks against the Rams in Week 15 of the 2017 season. Rather, what is important to understand is how long ago that game was played. Fans can feel free to think back to wherever they were when that game was played, and while it was some time ago, it was an ugly enough game that most fans should be able to recall where they were when it was okay to go ahead and close the book on the Legion of Boom.
The reason how long ago that game was played is important is because at about the same time that the Rams and Seahawks game was getting started, on the other side of the country in Charlotte, Jahri Evans was walking off an NFL field for the final time during his playing career.
In contrast, since Evans last played in the NFL the starters at guard for Seattle in 2016, Mark Glowinski and Ifedi, have started a combined 112 games and played 7,304 regular season snaps and are both still kicking around the league. This offseason Glow signed a three year contract with the New York Giants and is widely expected to be one of the starting guards for the G Men. Meanwhile, Ifedi signed with the Atlanta Falcons where he is expected to compete with 2019 first round pick Kaleb McGary to be the starting right tackle.
And beyond just what they have done in the time since Evans last played, both Ifedi and Glowinski likely have multiple years left in their careers. Glowinski just turned 30 in May and, as noted, is entering the first year of a three year career and Ifedi only turned 28 in June.
What this all has to do with the 2022 Seahawks is that it’s a reminder that young offensive linemen, such as Damien Lewis, Charles Cross, and whether it’s Jake Curhan, Abe Lucas or Stone Forsythe who gets the nod, it’s very likely there will be growing pains, and lots of them. As noted in July, the Seahawks are an injury to Gabe Jackson away from starting a younger, less experienced offensive line than the 2016 group, and while there’s no questioning the potential of the group, there will almost certainly be fits and starts along the way to reaching that potential.