The Seahawks’ latest move to backfill their in-flux offensive line appears to be in preparation for the possible loss of their cornerstone left tackle.
Oakland free agent J’Marcus Webb agreed to a two-year contract with Seattle on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Seahawks free agent left tackle Russell Okung was still mulling offers from three teams.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Webb’s deal is worth $6.5 million with $2.5 million guaranteed for a veteran who has played more tackle than guard in his six-year NFL career.
Webb confirmed he was a Seahawk just after 6 a.m. Tuesday with a Seahawks banner on his Twitter feed. The team announced the signing in the afternoon.
The reported money would make the 27-year-old Webb the Seahawks’ highest-paid offensive lineman, though that’s not saying much with the way Seattle has cobbled together guys up front as undrafted free agents and converted defensive tackles. Starting center Patrick Lewis will return once he signs his one-year tender offer as a restricted free agent for $1.67 million. He and Webb would be the only Seahawks offensive linemen scheduled to make over $1 million in 2016 — at least for now.
Webb’s guaranteed cash suggests Seattle line coach Tom Cable may see him as a potential starting tackle, as well as a guard. Webb started 16 games last season for the Raiders, all at right guard. Those close to the Raiders said Oakland ran “decently” to Webb’s side the first half of last season. His pass protection, however, has been suspect throughout his career.
Webb, at 6-foot-7 and 335 pounds, was a seventh-round draft choice of Chicago in 2010. He started 12 games his rookie season at right tackle, then two full seasons at left tackle for the Bears. Before the 2011 season the analytics folks at Pro Football Focus rated Webb the worst pass protector among all right tackles in the league.
Chicago eventually didn’t like his pass blocking, either, and put him on waivers at the end of training camp during the 2013 season. Minnesota signed him, and he started one game in two seasons for the Vikings at right tackle. The Raiders signed him last spring and made him their one-year starter at guard.
Incidentally, Webb wore number 76 with Oakland. That’s been Okung’s number in Seattle since he was the sixth overall draft pick in 2010. Okung was considering offers from the Lions and Giants on Tuesday, as well as a standing offer from the Seahawks, in his self-guided free-agency tour.
The Steelers dropped out on Tuesday after signing free-agent tackle Ryan Harris to a two-year contract, eliminating its need for Okung.
As the Seahawks wait for Okung’s decision, they’ve signed former Arizona offensive tackle Bradley Sowell (one year, $1.5 million) and the seemingly versatile Webb in the past two days.
The Seahawks lost starting right guard J.R. Sweezy to Tampa Bay (five years, $32.5 million) last week on the opening day of free agency. Mark Glowinski is poised to start at guard this coming season after impressing Seahawks coaches as a rookie in 2015.
The additions, subtractions and position shuffling on Seattle’s offensive line will likely continue through next month’s draft and into summer’s training camp -- as evidenced by more news Tuesday.
REPORTS: MCCLELLIN, SILATOLU IN FOR VISIT
Free-agent defensive end and linebacker Shea McClellin plus offensive lineman Amini Silatolu visited the Seahawks Tuesday, according to ESPN reports.
McClellin was the Bears’ first-round draft choice in 2012 out of Boise State. He started 31 games the past three seasons for Chicago at end, outside linebacker and inside linebacker.
In that way he is like Bruce Irvin. Irvin, Seattle’s former No. 1 pick, rush end and strongside linebacker, who signed last week with the Raiders.
Silatolu has been a left guard for his four seasons with the Carolina Panthers. The 27-year old has started only 13 games over the last three seasons combined because of injuries. Those include two torn ACLs in each knee, the most recent one in November. A normal nine-month rehabilitation for knee reconstruction would keep Silatolu out until at least August, so he’s likely to be inexpensive in this free-agent market.
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle