The Seahawks officially announced the signing of a new, free-agent offensive lineman.
No, not that one.
Seattle on Saturday made official what became known two days earlier on the first day of NFL free agency: The team signed 25-year-old tackle Luke Joeckel from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Meanwhile, T.J. Lang left Seattle on Saturday afternoon, after the 2016 Pro Bowl guard with the Green Bay Packers had an overnight visit with the Seahawks and general manager John Schneider. Schneider was Green Bay’s director of football operations when the Packers drafted Lang in the fourth round in 2009 — and, in a potentially intriguing twist for Seattle, then made Lang a tackle for parts of his first four years in the league.
Jordan Schultz of the Huffington Post reported the Seahawks’ meeting and pitch went “great” and Lang may have an answer by Sunday. He’s also believed to be interested in possibly re-signing with the Packers.
For what it’s worth — and in these social-media days, it may be something — Lang began following the Seahawks’ official Twitter account.
Lang’s visit assuredly included a medical examination by team doctors. He had arthroscopic surgery on his hip soon after Green Bay lost to Atlanta in January’s NFC championship game. Packers coach Mike McCarthy said at the time he didn’t expect Lang to be on the field until training camp in late July. Lang also broke his foot in a game last season at Tennessee, and re-injured it against the Falcons in that conference title game. Those injuries are why Lang did not play in the most recent Pro Bowl, the first time he’d been selected for the game.
Signing Lang, with his experience of 16 playoff games, a Super Bowl and four seasons as an every-game starter for the Packers would be a Seahawks coup. It would show more than the one-year deal for Joeckel that Seattle is serious about upgrading its offensive line that was so iffy and inexperienced in 2016.
For Joeckel, the team didn’t specify contract details for the league’s second-overall draft choice from 2013. But he’s believed to have signed for one year and up to $8 million, including incentives.
The most popular incentives around the NFL lately are per-game bonuses, giving the player extra money to bet on himself that he’ll be on the roster each week and the team the option to lower their liability if the player doesn’t pan out.
Joeckel had season-ending surgery in October to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, a torn medial collateral ligament and meniscus in his left knee. That’s why he had to settle for a prove-it, one-year deal on the open market.
The Seahawks had undrafted rookie George Fant as their left tackle last season, a development that general manager John Schneider described with “holy cow.”
“Yeah, look at us with George Fant last year,” Schneider said last week at the NFL scouting combine. “God bless him, but holy cow, man. The guy was playing basketball, and now he’s out there playing against (Los Angeles Rams pass rusher) Robert Quinn. So, good luck …
“I think we got in a position where we probably got a little bit too young. … We’d like to add some experience at that position.”
Lang would give them that. And elite quality.
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle