The Seattle Seahawks are coming back to town.
The Seahawks officially kick off their preparations for the 2019 season this week when training camp opens Thursday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton. Practices are open to the public through Aug. 15 (they’re all sold out), including an off-site practice on Aug. 3 at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell. Seattle’s first preseason game is Aug. 7 against the Denver Broncos at CenturyLink Field, and the regular season begins Sept. 8 at home against the Cincinnati Bengals.
And while it was a relatively quiet offseason for the Seahawks, Seattle enters training camp with some significant questions worth monitoring over the course of camp. Among them:
How will Bobby Wagner’s contract situation play out?
Seattle’s All-Pro middle linebacker and defensive captain is entering the final year of the four-year, $43 million contract he signed in 2015. Wagner is one of the last remaining pieces of the Legion of Boom defense that won the Super Bowl in the 2013 season, and he continues to play at an elite level at the age of 29.
However, he and the team have yet to agree on a deal to keep him in Seattle beyond the upcoming season. All indications during the offseason were that negotiations are amicable and that both sides expect a deal to get done, but it’s a little concerning that we’ve reached the start of camp without anything being announced. And just how much should Seattle commit to a player who wants to be the highest-paid player at his position, but is at an age when players typically begin to decline?
Wagner was present for all offseason activities, but did not participate. There’s been no suggestion of a holdout, but there was no indication safety Kam Chancellor was going to hold out in 2015, either.
We’ll know right away whether there’s any contentiousness in the situation.
Will the Seahawks be able to generate a pass rush?
Seattle had 43 sacks last season, which put the Seahawks in the middle of the NFL pack. However, Seattle lost by far its top pass rusher from last season when defensive end Frank Clark was traded to Kansas City in a salary-saving move.
So who’s going to provide the pressure off the edge this season? That’s a good question. Will it be veteran Ezekiel Ansah, a former Pro Bowler who was signed to a discount deal during the offseason, but comes into camp still recovering from a shoulder injury? Will it be first-round draft pick L.J. Collier, who in college was more of an every-down defensive end rather than a pass-rushing specialist? Or can someone else step up?
What happens at receiver with Doug Baldwin gone?
Quarterback Russell Wilson’s favorite target didn’t officially announce his retirement, but the two-time Pro Bowler is gone for good after the Seahawks terminated his contract this offseason after Baldwin failed a physical.
So how do the Seahawks replace Baldwin’s production? Tyler Lockett had a fantastic season as Seattle’s No. 2 receiver last season, and no doubt he’ll be asked to take another step forward. Hulking rookie second-round draft pick D.K. Metcalf was the talk of offseason activities, and he’ll no doubt be given every chance to make an impact. Veterans Jarron Brown and David Moore are also candidates to see their roles grow.
But will they be able to emulate what Baldwin gave the Seahawks?
There are other important questions, too: Who starts at safety? Who will be the back-up quarterback? Does Jason Myers stick as the kicker? And so forth.
So with training camp beginning this week, what do you think is the Seahawks’ biggest issue? Vote your opinion here, and if you choose “other,” let us know what you think in the comments section: