Seahawks bring back George Fant, providing much needed insurance up front

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The Seattle Seahawks have reportedly agreed to terms with free agent George Fant, reuniting the veteran offensive tackle with the franchise that originally signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2016.

Fant signed a lucrative free-agent deal with the Jets in 2020 and spent three seasons in New York before signing with the Texans as a free agent last offseason. He was No. 105 on The Athletic’s free-agent rankings.

How he fits: Fant’s fit in Seattle is interesting. One of the reasons he left Seattle after the 2019 season was for a chance to be a starting left tackle, something the Seahawks couldn’t offer because they already had Duane Brown (oddly enough, Brown signed with the Jets in 2022). Fant is right back in the same situation in Seattle, as the Seahawks have left tackle Charles Cross under contract for at least the next two seasons (with a fifth-year option as well). If Fant’s goal is to play on the left, he’ll have to settle for being Cross’ backup.

2024 impact: Fant struggled as a right tackle in Seattle, but he’s looked more comfortable on that side in recent years (although he did give up four sacks last year, according to TruMedia). That could be where his services are needed this year as Abraham Lucas recovers from knee surgery to correct an issue that limited him to just six games last season. Fant played more than 800 snaps at right tackle for the Texans in 2023. Last year, Seattle had to use Stone Forsythe, Jake Curhan and Jason Peters at right tackle in Lucas’ absence, with mixed results. If nothing else, Fant gives the Seahawks a more competent swing tackle.

History: Fant was Seattle’s starting left tackle opposite fellow rookie Germain Ifedi on the right side in 2016. The results were not good, though the team believed Fant would be better in 2017 after having a year of experience under his belt. Then Fant suffered a torn ACL in the preseason, which prompted the trade for Brown, who cost the Seahawks a pair of Day 2 draft picks. With Brown, Fant and Ifedi all healthy in 2018, Seattle used Fant as a sixth offensive lineman in jumbo personnel packages. He also had a 9-yard catch that season. Brown eventually signed a three-year extension with the Seahawks, leaving Fant as the odd man out. He signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the Jets in March 2020.

Cap update: Fant’s contract details are unknown, but having Cross and Lucas on team-friendly deals will likely prevent Seattle from spending significant resources on a swing tackle who will turn 32 in July. Fant’s deal with the Texans last year was worth $3 million.

Outlook: The Seahawks didn’t re-sign Peters, nor did they tender Curhan as a restricted free agent, so there was technically a swing tackle need. Adding a familiar face to be insurance for Lucas makes sense. A significant portion of Seattle’s offensive struggles last season can be attributed to having an unreliable offensive line once Cross and Lucas went down. They shouldn’t have that problem after signing Fant.

(Photo: Bob Donnan / USA Today)

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