Eric Winston makes sense for Seattle Seahawks

By Gil Alcaraz IV
Eric Winston
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, the Seattle Seahawks offensive line has a glaring hole that must be patched before the 2013 season gets under way. It’s at right tackle, where Breno Giacomini is currently penciled in as the starter.

One potential fix for the Seahawks is former Kansas City Chiefs right tackle Eric Winston, who has been wading in the free agency pool for some time. Although several teams have kicked the tires, no one has been able to work out a deal with the former third-round pick out of Miami (FL).

Despite other teams’ apparent hesitance to sign Winston, who was released by the Chiefs back in early March, the Seahawks seem like a great fit for the seven-year NFL veteran. More than anything, it’s because he would send Giacomini to the bench and give the Seahawks some capable blocking on the right side.

Pro Football Focus graded Winston as the No. 26 tackle in the NFL last season out of 80 qualifiers. Meanwhile, Giacomini landed at No. 69, among the likes of Gabe Carimi, Nate Potter and Doug Free. When considering that type of company, it’s easy to understand why upgrading at right tackle is a must.

While Giacomini was solid in run blocking, his weaknesses were highlighted in pass protection. Throughout the year, he gave up five sacks and 36 pressures as rookie quarterback Russell Wilson spent a significant portion of his snaps under heavy pressure. Giacomini was also one of the worst tackles penalty-wise in 2012, having flags thrown because of his actions on 12 separate occasions.

With Winston at right tackle, the Seahawks would see an immediate increase in consistency and reliability. He graded out positively as both a pass blocker (8.0) and run blocker (7.2), although he did also struggle with penalties. In 16 starts on the right side, though, he gave up only three sacks and 25 pressures. If the Seahawks want to see Wilson play past age 25, they’d be smart to replace Giacomini with a player of Winston’s caliber.

Winston has started 96 consecutive games, so durability isn’t an issue. The one lingering concern is the reasoning as to why he’s been released by two teams in the last two years despite his capabilities. Even if it is a character issue, the Seahawks aren’t exactly afraid of taking a risk on a poor personality in order to make their roster better.

It seems unlikely. However, if the Seahawks can get Winston at the right price, a one-year “prove it” deal for the talented right tackle makes sense.

Then again, maybe it’s just wishful thinking…

Gil Alcaraz IV is a Content Planner/NFL Featured Columnist for Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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