Since free agency opened March 11, front offices around the league have been busy retooling rosters and getting ready for next season. Here at CSNWashington.com, we’ve kept a watchful eye on the moves made by teams who appear on the Redskins’ 2014 schedule.
So who’s gotten better? Who’s gotten worse? Let’s take a closer look.
Up today …
Opponent: Seattle Seahawks
2013 record: 13-3 (First place in NFC West)
Key additions: None.
Key losses: WR Golden Tate (Lions), CB Walter Thurmond (Giants), CB Brandon Browner (Patriots), DE Red Bryant (Jaguars), DE Chris Clemons (Jaguars), OT Breno Giacomini (Jets), FS Chris Maragos (Eagles), DT Clinton McDonald (Buccaneers), LB O’Brien Schofield (unsigned), WR Sidney Rice (unsigned).
Best move: Re-signing DE Michael Bennett, who racked up 8.5 sacks and, according to ProFootballFocus.com, 17 quarterback hits and 51 hurries.
The bottom line: Pete Carroll and Co. have yet to sign a single starter in free agency (though DE Jared Allen was reportedly weighing their offer as of Friday morning). Meantime, the reigning champs have lost five players who started Super Bowl XLVIII and several others who played a important role.
Despite the defections, the Seahawks still boast an impressive lineup on both sides of the ball. It’s just not as quite as deep as it was in 2013.
On offense, there’s QB Russell Wilson, RB Marshawn Lynch and WRs Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin. On defense, they’ve still got Bennett, DE Cliff Avril, LB Bobby Wagner, CBs Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell as well as safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.
But that’s not the only reason Seattle fans can sleep well at night. GM John Schneider and his scouting staff are the reason. They’ll draft wisely, as usual, and uncover gems like Wilson, who was selected four spots after Josh LeRibeus in the third round of the 2012 draft, and Sherman, who was taken in the fifth round in 2011.
There’s no doubt Seahawks have taken a hit in free agency. But if there’s one team that’s built to sustain its success, it’s this one.