Laken Tomlinson Signed

SPOHAWK

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I don't understand why they didn't pursue Dalton Risner, still fairly young...LG which we really need...weird...maybe after the draft they'll get him...save the comp picks! I hope they get Barton in the draft!
 

Pandion Haliaetus

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Edit before post: Pretty much forgot to post this after my first sarcastic post before I ate, so this post pretty much echoes what others have said in that time.



Seriously though I’d have to imagine the hardest QBs to block for the last two seasons are both named Wilson. And Zach is probably 2-3x worst than Russell at making his Oline look pedestrian on the surface or just hopeless altogether in terms of pure physical and mental motivation.

And Tomlinson has been average to above average for most of his career before going to the Jets.

Either way Seahawks have an opportunity for a guy who can be a leader, mentor and/or another veteran presence along with Fant that Huff can lean on.

But the best thing to me with Tomlinson is he’s been an Iron Man. I feel like after last season with this Oline perhaps the best skillset/ability is truly availability. Tomlinson has 6 straight seasons playing 97-100% of the snaps, making 105 starts in all 105 games his team played (including the post-season).
 

Scout

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I don't understand why they didn't pursue Dalton Risner, still fairly young...LG which we really need...weird...maybe after the draft they'll get him...save the comp picks! I hope they get Barton in the draft!
Risner isn't what they are looking for if the want to pound the rock inside. Tomlinson is closer to probably what they want to accomplish in Grubb's offense.
 

RiverDog

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He was a pro bowler in 2021

But that was three years ago. His performance in 2022 and 2023 was well below par, which is why the Jets cut him. Plus, he's 32 years old. He's a patchwork solution at best, and certainly doesn't justify passing up a guard in the draft if one is available.
 

Wolfiegrrl

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There are a ton of things that go into our Scouts looking at talent. Do we know the entire formula? No, we don't. I'm not going to judge any signing or move this year as everything is new and different. Remember gentlemen, one man's trash...

2024 is going to be a breath of fresh air for this club. I won't even be mad if we only get the projected 7.5 wins. I want these guys learning and giving 100%.

I'm looking forward to seeing 90 men in training camp give it their all. I want to see discipline, cohesiveness, and team first mentality out there. No lazy tackling. No lazy route running. No lazy blocking. No half-hearted efforts. I want every man to work for their spot on the team and feel proud of their accomplishments.
 

sutz

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Fill the roster in free agency so you can draft the best available player regardless of position
And JS says this every year in his pre-draft interviews. One can argue how well he does that, but he certainly espouses that strategy as a core belief.
 

nanomoz

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He's not good. At best, we're looking at the next Gabe Jackson. We should have made a run at Zeitler if we were looking for
He's a draft hedge that doesn't affect the comp picks formula. It does seem that Schneider is paying attention to that this year.

There will probably be some better hedges in training camp, if they don't get someone in the draft. It's a loaded class. Some better vets will probably lose their spots.
 

HawkRiderFan

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I wonder if this makes it more likely to go d-line or trade down at 16. I would prefer still drafting a lineman but then the guy wouldn't have the pressure to immediately step in
 

sutz

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I still think they will trade back from 16 and try to pick up a 2d. JS likes to bring in 10 or more guys if he can.
 

jammerhawk

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This is another inexpensive signing of an experienced player who has been pretty durable. He is however close to the end of his career.

JS has biases in terms of Oline valuation at C and G, as he has indicated in terms of G's. We haven't had much luck with the C's he's drafted though we don't really know what we have with Olu Olu. In fact, to me at least, he seems to be somewhat less able to identify the trench players that are difference makers, or he has not had luck in finding the right guys.

I'd like to see a draft that focuses upon the trenches. This is good draft for both sides of the ball.
 

Pandion Haliaetus

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Clearly not as good as he was in 2020 or 2021. It's hard to say if he's in decline or just suffered from playing on an overall terrible offensive line the last two years with the Jets. I don't fault JS for the signing. We clearly didn't have cap space for a more expensive player, and Tomlinson comes pretty cheap for a proven vet.

PFF grades over Tomlinson's career:

View attachment 65862

Warning: Long Post that took me handful of days to fully process. A lot of words for one player that might not matter but the Shenault thread kind of woke me up and I’m just rolling with it and putting in the work since there’s not much to talk about.


D. Lewis’s grades (obviously we should take all grades into context and not the be all end all):

2020: 70.2
2021: 57.1
2022: 71.8
2023: 59.6

I think it shows in comparison that Tomlinson at his best can just be as good as Lewis at his best. And at Tomlinson’s worst he around Lewis at his worst.

But Tomlinson showed a very consistent 5 year play that really no other player has proven since Duane Brown, a very similar run of consistency that got guys like Kevin Dotson and Robert Hunt big contracts.

Zietler was another one too but being 34 and probably wanting to play for a legit contender plus the rumored preference to stay near to the east coast as possible probably took the Seahawks as well as a lot of other teams out of his market even though he signed a modest 1 yr, 5.94m deal with the Lions.

Diving deeper and reiterating what I said upthread, I think the Seahawks are taking the gamble that Tomlinson having his two worst years just after having his two best years was more a product of the QBs and possibly the coaches Zach Wilson like Russell Wilson both play a style of QB that puts a lot of extra stress and duress on O-line which may cause a lot tension leading to uninspiring performance. And Zach Wilson despite Russell Wilson’s decline is a much more worse QB in every way having to have that guy be your QB for 21 games, I couldn’t imagine the pure unadulterated hopelessness those guys felt and endured.

However, diving deeper like I did with Shenault, when Robert Saleh took over the Jets in 2021 he brought SFO O-Line Coach John Benton with him, and then signed Laken Tomlinson in 2022.

Benton was fired after 2022 along with OC Mike Lafleur bringing in Oline Coach Keith Carter and OC Nathaniel Hackett.

Lafleur quickly landed back on his feet becoming McVay’s OC and helped lead a young Rams team everyone thought would be one the worst teams to the Postseason. Benton for whatever reasons (maybe for personal reasons) went jobless in 2023 but could be performance related too. Currently he’s the Saints Oline coach.

Which being us to Keith Carter, on the surface he looked pretty good, you know as he helped orchestrate the Titans Oline and run game from 2018-2022 where he was fired. However, this is where it gets juicy as retired former Titans Oline Taylor Lewan in talking about Mike Vrabel’s Titans departure specifically went out of is way to say on Instagram, "Loved [Vrabel] as a coach (except 2018) loved his coaching staff (besides Keith Carter)..." Seemingly throwing shade twice at his former Oline coach. Then current Jets RB Bryce Hall took this post to X and replied with 5 hysterical laughing emojis causing many to wonder if it was in agreement or disagreement but since the post was deleted it seemed like he was throwing more shade on a member of his current staff. Then current Jets free agent OL Mekhi Becton replied to Lewan’s instagram post by saying “Ain’t nothing BUT Facts. 100.” Also, deleted. And finally as Carter coached RBs for the Falcons in 2017, his former FB, Patrick DiMarco would also comment on Lewan’s post “Keith Carter was nobody’s favorite coach and I can say that with a lot of confidence.”

That’s important because it’s kind of rare to see a coach get thrown under the bus in such a way where it was two former OL one a current FA that more or less minimized his chance to get re-hired. As well as two RBs, with one of them still under contract on the same team with the coach he was throwing shade at.

Furthermore, the Titan’s Oline seemed to improve in 2023 in Carter’s absence and the Titans seemingly felt in this coaching cycle it was important as they might have known in hiring Brian Callahan they could also secure his father, Bill Callahan, a legendary OL guru.

It’s also important because I don’t think Tomlinson just fell off a cliff because he turned 30. Players don’t just go from their two best years to their two worst years without a real tangible reason. Usually it’s injury related but he started all 34 games for them. So I have to believe he hated his job. Change of scenery going from San Fran to New York probably sucked. Going from a quality team in the 49ers to a mid team like the Jets, probably sucked. Going from an elite LT in Trent Williams to some of the worst years in terms of personal grades from Duane Brown (‘22) and Mekhi Becton (‘23) although the ladder was returning from injury. But the money was good and Benton was there. But unfortunately so was Zach Wilson, Tomlinson would trade one pretty boy QB for another but Wilson showed real quick he was neither a franchise QB, capable starter, or even a low-end starter that can merely manage a game. Definitely not someone an OL is going to want to battle and sacrifice their body for. And the Jets line didn’t in 2022, probably part of the reason they went All-In for Aaron Rodgers. The Rodger gets hurt, and the team has to turn back to Wilson. Not only that Carter’s OL just like with the Titans would suffer substantial injuries where there most consistent player that started more than 4 games was rookie OC, Joe Tippman, graded about average at 61.0 (22nd out of 36 players) but not as good as Connor McGovern was in ‘22 (69.6) and ‘21 (75.9) but he fell off big under Carter grading at 48.6.

But Im looking at Tomlinson now, while there is no guarantee that’ll he right his ship and return to form in being a solid to good LG. I like the fact that he kind of chose the Seahawks meaning this is a place he wanted to be, and he probably met with Huff and felt like he could fit in with what they Seahawks wanted to do. You know it wasn’t a situation like with the Jets where he was kind of chasing money and had that familiarity with Benton.

However, on the Seahawks side it does seem like a hedge contract as they gave similar contracts to Blythe and Haynes to fill an immediate need. But neither of those players had the starting pedigree/dependability and track record of consistency Tomlinson had before going to the Jets.

But it’s also a better contract for the Seahawks than a lot of the hedges I’ve seen in the past. Reminds me of Geno’s deal where the player is truly betting on himself. Tomlinson only has a $1.21 cap hit, in order to earn the full $4m, Tomlinson has to play 95% of the snaps to get up $2.04m, help lead this team to a play-off win to or bye to earn another 500k, and a Pro Bowl berth earns another 250k.
I think it all boils down is a reasonably low cost gamble. It seems with Tomlinson you are getting a roll of the dice:

1, Tomlison continues to fall off and becomes a depth player
2, better than Bradford (51.7) and Haynes (52.0) was last year
3, just as good as Tomlinson was in the last 2 years which is on par with Jackson (55.0) and Haynes (57.1) in ‘22 or Lewis (57.1) in ‘21.
4, somewhere in between Lewis (59.6) in ‘23 and Jackson (63.6) in ‘21.
5, somewhere between Gabe Jackson in ‘21 (63.6) and Lewis (70.2) in ‘20. Pretty much where Tomlinson has fell in line with for a majority of his career
6, just as good as or better than the best of Lewis (71.8) which Tomlison has topped twice

33% chance Tomlison is either going to be a depth player or just replace one of the OG performance we got last year with Bradford/Haynes.

33% chance Tomlison is on par with a majority of the Seahawks guard play in last 4 years. Re to

33% chance Tomlison is just as good as or better than the rare instances where we got average to above average guard play.

But I’m going to adjust with optimism and project that the change of scenery, going back to the west coast, back to a city with similar vibes to San Fran where he was thriving, with better QBs than Zach Wilson and perhaps with better coaching with the possibility of collaborating with a newer coach like Huff, with the opportunity for a experienced Tomlinson to take the starting job and prove he’s better than the last two years and has more to offer.

15% he’s had good as or worst than the worst graded guards in the last 4 years. 54.9 or lower.

20% chance he’s somewhere between 55-59.9.

20% chance he’s between 60-64.9

20% chance he’s between 65-69.9

20% chance he’s between 70-74.9

5% chance he’s between 75-79.9

The best thing though even in the worst case scenario he’s either cheap but solid depth player that can help mentor or he completely falls off a cliff and the Seahawks just cut him and lose out on 500k.

Best case scenario he’s Pro Bowl type guard earning all of his incentives which I think comes out of next years cap counting as NLTBE incentives but in all only earns $4m. Which would be considered a huge bargain and he might figure into next season’s compensation formula or might be easier to be brought back as another stopgap.

All in all, Seahawks continue to make moves that make sense.
 
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