McClendon Curtis

Latest On Seahawks’ Offensive Line

Though the Seahawks’ path forward at offensive tackle seems secure, the team has lots of questions to face concerning the interior line. The situation should lead to a few position battles worth watching this summer.

At offensive tackle, the situation is simple: 2022 first- and third-round picks Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas are set to continue manning the starting spots they’ve held since their rookie season. The only questions mark here comes with Lucas’ health, after the 25-year-old missed all but six games last year as he struggled to come back from offseason surgery on his shoulder. Even if either player misses some time, Seattle brought back a former tackle of theirs in George Fant after four years away from the team. Most recently, Fant started 13 games for the Texans last year and should provide an improvement to the backup options utilized last season in Seattle.

At guard, the team inked veteran free agent Laken Tomlinson, who should slide into the starting job at left guard. At right guard, the Seahawks return Anthony Bradford, who started 10 games as a fourth-round rookie last year. The team also utilized a third-round selection this year to draft UConn’s Christian Haynes, who played exclusively at right guard throughout college. Bradford wasn’t a world-beater last year, with Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranking him as the league’s 62nd-best guard out of 79 graded players, so Haynes will likely be given every opportunity to compete for the starting job opposite Tomlinson. Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times points out depth guard McClendon Curtis as another under the radar option. Though listed on the roster last year as a tackle, he’s now listed at guard, where he started 30 games in college.

The real questions come at center, where the Seahawks have stacked up a number of inexperienced options. Currently, the depth chart holds Nick Harris, Olusegun Oluwatimi, and Mike Novitsky. Harris, a 2020 fifth-round pick for the Browns, only started four games over the course of his rookie deal, though he earned plenty of snaps on special teams or on overloaded lines in Cleveland. Oluwatimi started one game as a rookie fifth-round pick for Seattle last year, though he also got plenty of special teams experience. He also played over half the team’s offensive snaps in two other games last season. Novitsky is a long shot to make an impact in this conversation. An undrafted rookie out of Kansas, Novitsky doesn’t trail the others much in experience but lacks the drafted pedigree.

Three spots are generally set: Cross at left tackle, Tomlinson beside him as left guard, and Lucas opposite the two at right tackle. You could even say four spots are set, if you decide to count Fant’s job as a swing tackle. At right guard, Seattle knows Bradford can handle the job, if necessary, but they will hope that competition with Haynes will either push Bradford to improve or reveal a better option in Haynes or even, possibly, Curtis. Center is where things remain dire. The team may strike gold in the three unlikely options they hold, but external additions may be on the horizon if no one takes hold of the starting job convincingly.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/8/24

Today’s minor moves:

Seattle Seahawks

The long list of Seahawks signings are mostly formalities. Each of the players were previously tied to the organization either via restricted free agency or exclusive right free agency.

Among the players who officially re-signed, Jackson had the most significant role in 2023, starting four of his 17 appearances. The former fifth-round pick started all 17 games for the Seahawks in 2022, finishing with 75 tackles and one interception.

Seahawks Place RT Abraham Lucas On IR; CB Devon Witherspoon Expected To Play In Week 2

SEPTEMBER 15: As expected, the Seahawks will be without both starting tackles on Sunday. Carroll confirmed that Cross will be out for Week 2 while he recovers from a toe injury. He added, encouragingly, that the blindside blocker made progress in his recovery during the week, meaning he might be available come Week 3. With Peters not ready to play so soon after signing, though, Seattle will be notably shorthanded along the O-line for the time being.

Lucas underwent knee surgery this week, Carroll said. It is not known if the second-year tackle will be back when first eligible (Week 6). Forsythe and Curham will start at tackle Sunday, per the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta.

SEPTEMBER 13: As the Jason Peters signing foreshadowed, the Seahawks will be shorthanded at offensive tackle for a stretch. The team announced on Wednesday that Abraham Lucas has been placed on injured reserve.

As a result of the move, Seattle’s right tackle starter will be sidelined for at least the next four weeks. Lucas, part of the team’s highly impactful 2022 draft class, was a first-teamer right away as a rookie. He partnered with first-round selection Charles Cross to give the team a young tackle tandem with the potential to give the offense a consistent presence up front for both the short- and long-term.

Like Lucas, Cross is banged up following the Seahawks’ Week 1 loss. His status moving forward is also in question, so it comes as no surprise that the team added tackle depth in the expected absence of both its left and right tackle starters. Seattle signed Raiqwon O’Neal off the Buccaneers’ practice squad, and added McClendon Curtis from the Raiders’ taxi squad. Both players are undrafted rookies, so they have less experience than incumbents Stone Forsythe and Jake Curhan. The latter two, likewise, have far less service time than Peters.

Having not taken part in spring workouts or training camp, Peters’ most recent team practices came during his time with the Cowboys last season. The 41-year-old would thus be a longshot to suit up on Sunday, as head coach Pete Carroll noted (via ESPN’s Brady Henderson). Cross being unable to play, coupled with the timeline of Peters’ ramp-up period, would leave the Seahawks particularly thin up front for Week 2.

In more positive injury news, Carroll said earlier this week that first-round corner Devon Witherspoon will be a full participant in practice in the build-up to his NFL debut, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Taken with the No. 5 pick in April’s draft, Witherspoon was held out of Week 1 with a hamstring injury but playing him on Sunday will give Seattle’s secondary a notable boost when they look to rebound from their season-opening defeat to the Rams.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/14/23

Today’s minor transactions:

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed off Raiders practice squad: CB Sam Webb

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed off Raiders practice squad: G McClendon Curtis
  • Signed off Buccaneers practice squad: OT Raiqwon O’Neal

With Jaycee Horn being placed on IR, the Panthers added some cornerback depth by snagging Sam Webb of the Raiders practice squad. The former UDFA got into all 17 games for Las Vegas in 2022, finishing with 36 tackles. He was cut by the Raiders at the end of the preseason before landing back on their practice squad.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: AFC West

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These BroncosChargersChiefs and Raiders moves are noted below.

Denver Broncos

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Kansas City Chiefs

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Las Vegas Raiders

Placed on IR: 

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Los Angeles Chargers

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Reverted to IR:

Released from IR via injury settlement:

Raiders Reduce Roster To 53 Players

The Raiders cut down their roster to 53 players today. However, in the process, they were forced to move on from a handful of veterans:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

  • OT Dalton Wagner

The Raiders signed Jaquan Johnson early during free agency, and there was hope he’d provide some experienced depth to their secondary. Ultimately, the team decided to go in another direction, but that doesn’t mean the safety won’t quickly find another gig elsewhere. Johnson got into 60 games for the Bills over the past four years, including a 2022 campaign where he finished with a career-high 32 tackles and one interception.

On the other side of the ball, the organization moved on from some notable offensive weapons. Keelan Cole Sr. got into 14 games for the Raiders last season, collecting 10 receptions for 141 yards. Phillip Dorsett II joined Las Vegas this offseason after spending the 2022 campaign with the Texans, where he hauled in 20 catches. Damien Williams has close to 500 touches in the NFL, although he only got into one game for the lowly Falcons last season.

Raiders Add 10 UDFAs

The Raiders announced that they’ve added 10 undrafted free agents plus one player from the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program:

The Raiders were busy adding some defensive line help. Brock Martin started 34 of his 62 games at Oklahoma State, compiling 145 tackles, 40 tackles for loss, and 16 sacks. Adam Plant had a career year in 2022 at UNLV, finishing with 62 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, and three forced fumbles in 11 games. George Tarlas had 25 tackles for loss and 19 sacks in 45 career games at Weber State before transferring to Boise State.

The team’s two OL additions got chunks of cash. Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets that McClendon Curtis got $210K in guaranteed money, while Doug Kyed AtoZSports tweets that Dalton Wagner got $225K in guaranteed money. Curtis earned an All-American nod at Chattanooga last year and Wagner was a two-time All-SEC selection.

Jaydon Grant is the most accomplished of the team’s UDFA additions in the secondary, with the Oregon State product compiling nine interceptions in 51 games. Azizi Hearn spent time at Arizona and Wyoming before transferring to UCLA for the 2022 campaign.