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Published: Friday, April 29, 2011, 12:09 p.m.

Seahawks offensive line taking shape?

With their first-round pick Thursday, the Seahawks hope they found a long-term answer at right tackle in James Carpenter, and if they did, that is another piece in Seattle's biggest and perhaps most important puzzle: the offensive line.

Thanks to the absence of free agency, the Seahawks came into the draft with only one sure thing on their line next season: Russell Okung at left tackle. Max Unger will almost certainly start somewhere next year, most likely at center, but even if we assume for a minute that Unger is the starting center (last year's starter, Chris Spencer, is a free agent, and GM John Schneider has said they view Unger, who started last season at guard, as a center longterm) that only covers two spots on the line.

On Thursday Seattle hopes it added a third starter in Carpenter. So now the question is who will play guard. The Seahawks have options on their roster, including Mike Gibson, who started eight games last season. They could also look to add another lineman in the draft, though I wouldn't expect that to happen in the second round when they have so many other needs. Assuming free agency happens eventually, there is also a good chance the Seahawks could land former Raiders LG Robert Gallery. Gallery, the former No. 2 pick who moved from tackle to left guard in the NFL, is a free agent and has indicated that he doesn't plan on going back to the Raiders. Given his relationship with Seahawks OL coach Tom Cable, Oakland's former head coach, Seattle would seem like a natural landing spot for Gallery.

So while we're still a long ways from know what Seattle's line will look like, one possibility is LT Okung, LG Gallery, C Unger, RG Gibson/rookie/free agent/someone else already on the roster and RT Carpenter. Still a long ways to go before the line is set, but it is at least starting to take shape after Thursday's addition of Carpenter.

Also, it's worth noting that former starting RT Sean Locklear, who is a free agent, is almost certainly gone now that Seattle added Carpenter, and Stacy Andrews, who played right guard last year but prefers right tackle, will have to take a big pay cut (he's due $5.25 million in 2011) or he too will be gone.


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