Russell Okung‘s free agency will be a case worth watching closely this offseason, since the Seahawks tackle is set to represent himself, opting to head to the open market without an agent. While teams – besides the Seahawks – aren’t permitted to talk to Okung until March, the left tackle contacted all 32 clubs today, per Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).
According to La Canfora (Twitter links), Okung sent an email to all 32 teams, letting them know that he’ll be undergoing surgery to repair his dislocated left shoulder, an injury he suffered during the Seahawks’ divisional-round loss to Carolina. Okung said in the message that he expects to be fully cleared in five months, which would put him on track to participate in training camp. The 28-year-old also expressed a desire to talk to any interested teams ASAP.
Of course, as La Canfora notes (via Twitter), Okung technically remains under contract with the Seahawks for a few more weeks, so there likely won’t be any teams replying directly to today’s email. Okung won’t officially be allowed to talk to interested teams until March 7, when 2016’s legal tampering period begins.
In the most recent edition of our free agent power rankings, Okung ranked ninth overall. However, PFR’s Dallas Robinson cautioned that the former sixth overall pick isn’t in the same class as left tackles like Trent Williams and Tyron Smith, who have signed mega-deals within the last couple years. With shoulder surgery looming and no agent to go to bat for him, Okung will face a challenge this offseason as he seeks a lucrative long-term contract of his own.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.