The Seahawks are bringing back left guard Mike Iupati in another move to bolster the offensive line, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. This marks the sixth offensive lineman the Seahawks have signed this offseason, but just the second player that was on the roster in 2019.
Iupati initially signed with the Seahawks last offseason after playing the previous four seasons for the Cardinals. Iupati started in 15 games for the Seahawks last season and is expected to compete at starting left guard in 2020. The Seahawks began free agency by signing four new offensive linemen, but also declined to bring back Germain Ifedi or George Fant. The Seahawks’ starting offensive line will look different next season. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll praised the veteran guard after the team brought him to Seattle last offseason.
“Mike Iupati is a very well-versed guard in terms of pass-rush pickups and the stunts and stuff,” Carroll told USA Today. “He and Duane [Brown] have been clicking stuff off really nice and you can see that awareness.”
The Seahawks Have Mostly Focused on the Offensive Line in Free Agency
With the exception of a few signings, the Seahawks have mostly focused on the offensive line in free agency with four new signings and bringing back two additional players. After last season, Pete Carroll praised the unit emphasizing that they wanted to have continuity going into 2020. Yet, the Seahawks clearly wanted to add competition at the majority of the positions to help keep Russell Wilson upright.
“We have made good progress,” Carroll told The News Tribune at the end of the 2019 season. “We have really good young guys, a couple guys got banged up this year that you haven’t seen a whole lot: Jordan Simmons, Knox, those guys coming back, the competition will really be good. Jamarco did well. To see Phil play like that, too, that was really, really helpful for us going forward. I think the whole group could be a really solid group coming back. I would like to see the guys who have been playing for us to stay with us.”
The Seahawks Still Have Major Holes on the Defensive Line
It is commonly noted that great teams are built in the trenches with great lines on both sides of the ball. While the Seahawks have overhauled the offensive line, the opposite side of the roster is lacking. The Seahawks defensive line continues to have holes as Jadeveon Clowney remains unsigned. Seattle has made smaller moves bringing back Benson Mayowa and Bruce Irvin, but it would be surprising if there is not more to come.
The latest news on Clowney has not been promising for the Seahawks, but the team has yet to make a major signing to move on from the pass rusher. Everson Griffen and Markus Golden are two potential defensive ends that the Seahawks could look at as backup options for Clowney. There are also players available on the trade market such as Jaguars’ Yannick Ngakoue, but they will come with a much higher price tag.