The Seattle Seahawks appear to finally have a new starting center as the team agreed to terms with former Chiefs offensive lineman Austin Blythe. The new Seahawks center is signing a one-year, $4 million contract, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
Whoever ends up being the Seahawks QB1 will likely have a stronger offensive line than we have seen Seattle have in recent years. Blythe played in four games for the Chiefs last season but spent the previous three seasons as a starter for the Rams.
The center earned just a 60 grade from Pro Football Focus in 2021 but performed much better during a full 2020 season with 69.3 score.
“Austin Blythe was a name floated as a possible midseason signing last year when Kyle Fuller was out there blocking the air. Went to KC instead,” Field Gulls tweeted. “Now the Seahawks actually get Blythe with a full offseason.”
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Blythe Is Reunited With the Seahawks Offensive Coordinator
Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron has some familiarity with Blythe from their time together with the Rams. Blythe is expected to take over the starting center role from Ethan Pocic.
“Blythe was with the Rams from 2017-20 and started 48 games in that stretch, leading to a thought that he’d be an option for the Seahawks last year after they hired Shane Waldron and Andy Dickerson away from LA,” ESPN’s Brady Henderson noted on Twitter. “That reunion comes a year later. An option to replace Ethan Pocic.”
Seattle Has Been Linked to a Mayfield Trade
The more pressing question is who Blythe will be hiking the ball to in 2022. During their first comments on the Russell Wilson trade, general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll both praised newly acquired quarterback Drew Lock. The Seahawks also indicated Jacob Eason and Geno Smith (if he re-signs) could compete for the starting position as well.
Seattle may also address the position in the draft. With Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield requesting a trade, the Seahawks have been linked to the former No. 1 pick.
“I’m told the Seahawks have discussed exploring acquiring Baker Mayfield at quarterback, per league sources,” CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reported on March 17.
Lock Is in the Mix to Be the Seahawks QB1
The Seahawks are clearly higher on Lock than many analysts and do not view the quarterback as just a throw-in addition to the blockbuster trade for Wilson. Carroll was asked if he believed the Seahawks could compete for a Super Bowl with Lock as their QB1.
“If he plays like he did early on, I think you got a shot,” Carroll responded during a March 16 press conference. “If you go back to his first year when he was ballin’ as a rookie, when he was 4-1…His third down numbers were terrific, taking care of the football really well and all that.
“It just didn’t [work] for whatever reason, the coordinator left after that time. Times changed for him, and he didn’t play to that same level. So, exactly what we had evaluated, John’s [Schneider] process has evaluated, he showed.”