The Seahawks bring in dozens of free agents for examination every season--just in case. GM John Schneider explains it like this: “We’re always trying to get better.”
NFL Network first reported Thursday that four-time All Pro guard Jahri Evans, a mainstay for the New Orleans Saints for 10 seasons, would visiting Renton today. In the second year of a three-year contract, Evans was cut in February. His agent reported at the time that Evans refused to take a pay cut to stay in New Orleans.
Evans turns 33 later this month, and missed five games last season with arthroscopic knee surgery. But he’s a vastly accomplished veteran. If he looks physically sound and is willing to play at a cap-workable salary in Seattle, he’d bring top-level experience to a line with precious little of that.
Since Evans’ career experience is at right guard, it would be logical to plug him in there, especially since he’d already be learning a new system on the fly.
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But promising rookie first-round Germain Ifedi has already been impressive in his first five practices at right guard. Would the Hawks want to disrupt his progress there to make room for Evans? Well, yeah, if it created an overall upgrade to the quality of the line as a whole.
Ifedi has shown himself to be both savvy and tough. He was so sharp with his study of the playbook coach Tom Cable had him lead an installation session of a new package -- something he’d never done with a rookie. Notably, Ifedi has been measured with 36-inch arms, which is considered perfect for an NFL tackle.
Thus far, free-agent J’Marcus Webb, who is getting the start at right tackle, missed a lot of time in the off-season with a calf injury. His assimilation there has been slowed because of it.
The addition of veteran free agent offensive linemen doesn’t have a legacy of success in Seattle. Bringing in guys like Ben Hamilton, Robert Gallery and Eric Winston hasn’t been effective in the long term. It’s unlikely the Hawks will throw big money at Evans, too. Many variables exist in whether Evans and the Seahawks connect. But it’s intriguing to consider.