NFL Rumors: Russell Okung Leaving Seattle Seahawks For San Francisco 49ers

NFL rumors have been swirling around Russell Okung now the top free agent offensive lineman, Kelechi Osemele has signed with the Oakland Raiders. The New York Giants and Detroit Lions were the first two teams to express interest in the veteran left offensive tackle. Now, there’s a chance that Okung stays in the NFC West. According to the Sacramento Bee, the San Francisco 49ers are interested in signing Okung to upgrade their once dominant offensive line.

A couple of years ago, the San Francisco 49ers were legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Many believed that then head coach Jim Harbaugh was going to be the savior of the franchise. A big reason why they were able to dominate NFL teams was because they had a suffocating defense, led by Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman. The other big reason why the Niners were successful was because they had one of the best offensive lines in the National Football League.

San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Joe Staley Joe Staley [Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images]The San Francisco 49ers had Mike Iupati and Alex Boone mauling defensive tackles and linebackers on the inside. Iupati is now with the Arizona Cardinals, while Boone just recently signed a free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings. The Niners had tremendous bookend offensive tackles as well in Anthony Davis and Joe Staley. Davis abruptly retired at a young age, while Staley remains the sole survivor for the 49ers.

It’s not a coincidence that the demise of the San Francisco 49ers and the regression of Colin Kaepernick came during a period of time where the offensive line went from being dominant to being barely adequate. In 2010, general manager Trent Baalke spent both of his first-round picks in the NFL Draft on Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis, so he understands the importance of the offensive line and is not afraid to use valuable resources to upgrade the unit.

Minnesota Vikings offensive guard Alex Boone Alex Boone [Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]Russell Okung would be an upgrade for the San Francisco 49ers offensive line. At 28 years old, he’s reaching the peak years of his career. Okung wasn’t exactly discarded by the Seattle Seahawks. The team is very much interested in bringing him back. The Seahawks are simply letting Russell check around the NFL to see what his value is. Seattle is hoping that he goes back to them with a figure that makes sense for both sides, but the Niners are hoping to steal him away before he does that.

If Russell Okung signs with the San Francisco 49ers, then he will more than likely be required to move to right offensive tackle. Joe Staley currently occupies the left offensive tackle spot. He made the Pro Bowl again this season, despite having a little bit of a down year. Okung and Staley would be one of the best offensive tackle combinations in the NFL. It surely would make life easier on running back Carlos Hyde and whoever the Niners start at quarterback next season.

San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Anthony Davis Anthony Davis [Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images]Russell Okung might not have too much leverage in negotiations with the San Francisco 49ers, though. Anthony Davis is reportedly looking to come out of retirement after taking last season off. He has already expressed interest in rejoining the Niners. However, the team hasn’t expressed mutual interest just yet. Of course, that could just be Trent Baalke trying to leverage himself into a position to get Davis to renegotiate and reduce his contract.

Whether it’s Russell Okung or Anthony Davis, the San Francisco 49ers would have a much better offensive line than last season. Improving that unit this off season would go a long way towards helping the team climb out of the NFC West cellar and back towards the top of the division.

[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]