Left tackle Russell Okung, the first draft pick of the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era in Seattle, and the Seahawks’ starting left tackle since that 2010 season, signed a five-year contract with the Denver Broncos Thursday, ending a six-year run in Seattle.
Okung, who was the No. 6 pick in the 2010 draft, is the second starting offensive lineman Seattle has lost in free agency this month along with right guard J.R. Sweezy, who signed with Tampa Bay last week. Okung started 72 games over six seasons and earned Pro Bowl honors in 2012.
As for what comes next at left tackle, the Seahawks obviously can still make additions in free agency and the draft, but in terms of in-house options, Garry Gilliam, last year’s starting right tackle, has the athleticism to be a possible fit on the left side. The Seahawks also signed two tackles this week, adding J’Marcus Webb and Bradley Sowell.
With Okung leaving, and with Bruce Irvin signing with Oakland last week, All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas, the No. 14 pick in the 2010 draft pick, is currently the only first-rounder on Seattle’s roster.
Okung is Seattle’s fourth starter from the 2015 season to leave in free agency along with Irvin, Sweezy and Brandon Mebane, while the Seahawks have been able to keep key unrestricted free agents Jeremy Lane, Ahtyba Rubin, Jermaine Kearse and Jon Ryan.