Russell Okung keeps on trekkin’ -- to seemingly most places except back to Seattle.
The Seahawks’ two-time Pro Bowl left tackle and most coveted offensive lineman remaining in free agency spent Friday representing himself in talks during a visit to the New York Giants. He spent Saturday doing the same outside Detroit with the Lions. The San Francisco 49ers are also reportedly interested in signing him.
And now he’s on his way to visit the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to a report Saturday by NFL Network’s Mike Silver.
It’s the second half of simultaneous contingencies between the Steelers and Seahawks. Pittsburgh is talking to Okung in case left tackle Kelvin Beachum leaves in free agency. Seattle has reportedly talked to Beachum in case Okung leaves.
One factor the Seahawks -- and Steelers -- are considering: The 26-year-old Beachum had reconstructive knee surgery after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament during a game in October. July would be the nine-month mark since that injury, the low end of typical recovery time from knee reconstruction. Training camps around the league begin at the end of July.
Okung, 28, has not played all 16 games of a regular season since he entered the league as Seattle’s sixth-overall draft choice in 2010 because of numerous injuries. He has 72 career starts in the regular season plus two Super Bowls. Beachum has 39 career starts.
The Seahawks aren’t stopping at Beachum as a possible back-fill if Okung leaves. Oakland Raiders free-agent offensive lineman J’Marcus Webb tweeted Saturday he is headed to talk to the Seahawks.
Colleagues and friends of mine from my days in Oakland gave me a rundown Saturday on the 27-year-old Webb, who has 61 career starts. He has played both guard and tackle, most recently right guard last season while starting all 16 games for the Raiders. That could come in handy for Seattle, which lost J.R. Sweezy to Tampa Bay on Wednesday when the free-agent market opened.. Last season was Webb’s first as a guard.
The analysts at Pro Football Focus killed him for his blocking, but the Raiders ran decently to his side of the line in 2015. His pass blocking, however, isn’t exactly renowned. And that’s what the Seahawks need most for franchise quarterback Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks still hope the facts general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll made Okung their first draft pick in Seattle six years ago, that Okung has put down social and community-service roots in the Seattle area and that the Seahawks’ locker-room is so tight with Okung as one of its proven leaders will ultimately sway him back to them.
But, obviously, the more teams Okung visits, the more potential bidders Seattle has to compete with to sign him. Not to mention the fact Okung is well aware the entire league -- players, coaches and executives -- are watching his agent-less negotitations to see what a player can get by going on his own in free agency.