It’s the end of an era in the NFL. Not the Ed Hochuli Era, but the Legion of Boom Era. The news broke during yesterday’s show that Michael Bennett had been traded to the Philadelphia Eagles and truthfully, even though those reports had been building for a while, it still seemed weird when it finally happened.
So weird that I wasn’t going to believe it was real until I heard it from Jungle legend and Seahawk fan Duff McKagan, but then I saw Duff’s tweet: ‘Thank you Michael Bennett! A true man of integrity, grit, humor, and brains. Good luck in Philly!’
That’s when you knew it was over. When Duff McKagan says it’s over, it’s over. And it is over. Because it isn’t just Bennett who’s on his way out. According to multiple reports, Richard Sherman will be released in the coming days. Earl Thomas may or may not return. Kam Chancellor might not be back. Cliff Avril might not be back. They’ve already gutted the coaching staff.
You can cue up Boyz II Men, becomes we’ve come to the end of the road, but unlike other teams at other times, the Seahawks knew it was time to let go. It was a great run. But it’s over. And like a smart team, they know it. John Schneider and Pete Carroll built a team with guys who were cast off from other teams or overlooked in the draft and turned it into a monster. One of the most intimidating defensive secondary’s you’ll ever see. One dude after another who would lay the lumber and came within a play of winning back-to-back rings.
It is a brutal, physical game and nobody played it more physically than the LOB, but this is the NFL and unless you’re Bill Belichick and the Patriots, that window doesn’t stay open long and it closes fast. So often, this is how eras end. Not with a bang, but with a trade for low draft picks, a few cuts, and then it’s over.
Sure, they could’ve tried to patchwork it together, the way they’ve attempted to do with their offensive line for years. Swap out an old part or two for a new one, but that didn’t work on the offensive line and it wasn’t going to work on the whole roster. This isn’t a redecoration, this a renovation. Not quite a full demolition, but they’re definitely taking it down to the studs and looking to redo that open plan kitchen.
Don’t get it twisted. They’re not done as a team. They’re not going to turn into the Browns overnight. Or even the Dennis Erickson Seahawks. Not when they still have Russell Wilson. But this run is over.
They’ll be a different team, because they have to be a different team. This roster was getting older. It was breaking down. And the division was changing. The two doormats are no longer walkovers. The Rams are building a bully and the Niners might have something brewing. It’s not just the division that’s changing, the NFC is changing. The Seahawks just made the Eagles stronger by giving them Bennett, the Vikings are building a bully of their own and might add Kirk Cousins, it’s a different world. One that won’t have the LOB in it. One that will be safer for wideouts and tight ends. But damn it was fun while it lasted. The LOB is dead, long live the LOB.