The Seattle Seahawks failed to show up in their biggest game of the year.
Needing a win to stay relevant in the NFC West race, Seattle found itself down 34-0 at halftime against the juggernaut Los Angeles Rams. The team’s first seven possessions resulted in a fumble, punt, punt, punt, punt, fumble and punt before Wilson took a knee to mercifully end the first half.
The Seattle Seahawks suffered their most embarrassing loss in recent memory on Sunday, and it left fans wondering what has happened to one of the most feared defenses in NFL history. In reality, that defense is gone, and it may never be coming back.
Both Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor have suffered season-ending injuries, which is part of the reason Seattle allowed the Los Angeles Rams to score 42 points. But Seahawks fans who are hoping things will go back to normal next season when Sherman and Chancellor return could be very disappointed. Why? Because they might not be back.
The Seahawks are likely to move on from the “Legion of Boom” this winter. Sherman, who tore his Achilles in November, is set to count $13.2 million against the cap in 2018. Seattle already gave serious thought to trading him this past offseason, so there’s a good chance the four-time Pro Bowler will be traded or released after the 2017 season.
The same goes for safety Earl Thomas, who contemplated retirement at this time last year but has returned to have solid season. Thomas is signed through 2018, but reports that those familiar with his thinking believe he could seek a raise that will pay him close to what Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry makes, which is $13 million per year.
If Sherman is gone, the Seahawks could also think about trading Thomas. Chancellor, who will turn 30 in April, suffered a season-ending neck injury last month. The safety signed a three-year, $36 million extension in August, but his playing future is suddenly uncertain.
Another piece who could become expendable is pass-rushing specialist Cliff Avril, who appeared in only four games this season before suffering a season-ending neck and spinal injury of his own. His career may also be in jeopardy. The same can probably be said for Michael Bennett, who signed a three-year, $31.5 million extension last year. The defensive end is also 32 and has created some headaches for Seattle this season.
There’s a growing belief that the Seahawks kept their once-feared “Legion of Boom” intact for a season too long. Given the salary cap situation and the health of the aforementioned players, fans in Seattle could be in for the dreaded “rebuilding” phase starting in 2018.