NFL Rumors: Seattle Seahawks Tackle Russell Okung Too Expensive For Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL rumors have been swirling around Russell Okung as he ventures his way through free agency. The veteran tackle has generated interest from the New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks, and San Francisco 49ers, but no contract has been signed yet. The free agent market appears to be drying up for Okung. According to Fox Sports, Okung is considered too expensive by the Steelers, so they have decided to move on.

In a rather unorthodox move, Russell Okung has decided to represent himself in free agency. Without an experienced agent telling him how much NFL teams are willing to pay, Okung has decided that he’s worth around $11 to $13 million a year. The problem for Russell is that the amount is very close to what the Dallas Cowboys are paying Tyron Smith. Okung is nowhere near the same level as Smith, whom many consider to be the best tackle in the NFL.

Dallas Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith

There are only six offensive lineman in the NFL that are making more than $11 million per season. That list includes Dallas Cowboys star Tyron Smith, Philadelphia Eagles star Lane Johnson, Cleveland Browns star Joe Thomas, Oakland Raiders star Kelechi Osemele, Washington Redskins star Trent Williams, and Buffalo Bills star Cordy Glenn. Russell Okung is a good tackle, but he’s not on the same level as those guys.

The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t agree with Russell Okung. After meeting with the longtime Seattle Seahawks player, the team decided that it would be best to sign Ryan Harris, who won the Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos, to a two-year deal that’s only worth $3.9 million. The total value of the deal is less than what Okung is hoping the Steelers will pay him per year.

Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Ryan Harris

The New York Giants were said to be interested in Russell Okung. They’re hoping that he can be the right tackle to complement left tackle Ereck Flowers. Unfortunately for Okung, the Giants felt that his salary demands were bit too high. That’s why management decided to focus on Donald Penn, who became available because the Oakland Raiders spent an enormous amount of money on former Baltimore Ravens star Kelechi Osemele in free agency.

Since they are hoping for continuity, the Seattle Seahawks are hoping that Russell Okung changes his mind and stays with the team. Obviously, the Seahawks are hoping that he backs down from his salary demands. To protect themselves from Okung leaving via free agency, the Seahawks signed J’Marcus Webb. The former West Texas A&M Buffaloes star normally plays guard, but Seattle has the option of starting him at tackle as a replacement for Russell.

Detroit Lions tackle Riley Reiff

Though he’s unlikely to get more than $10 million a season from them, the Detroit Lions remain an option for Russell Okung. The team really wants to move Riley Reiff back to right tackle. He’s in the final year of his rookie deal. The Lions would save millions of dollars if Reiff was playing right tackle instead of left tackle. Okung would enable them to make that happen because he would be able to start at left tackle for Detroit.

A lot of NFL players are keeping an eye on Russell Okung because they want to see if it is possible for them to represent themselves in free agency. Thus far, it has not been working out for the former Oklahoma State Cowboys star. The National Football League does not agree with him on what he’s worth. A reality check is coming for Okung unless one of these teams decides that they would much rather overpay for a tackle instead of looking for someone from the college ranks in the NFL Draft.

[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]