Seahawks right tackle Sean Locklear, a third-round draft pick in 2004, has agreed to restructure his current contract in a move that probably keeps him on the team, according to Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network. Locklear has started 63 regular-season games for Seattle and was the starting right tackle in Super Bowl XL, but his performance has dipped drastically in the 2010 preseason he was visibly beaten by edge rushers darting inside and outside in exhibition games and in practice.
Locklear signed a five-year contract extension in February of 2008 worth $32 million with $12 million guaranteed and incentive clauses for time spent at right tackle. The idea during the Tim Ruskell administration was for Locklear to eventually replace Walter Jones at left tackle, and he did so in ten games in 2009 before injuries shortened his season, but that overall concept took a dive when the new regime, led by head coach Pete Carroll and John Schneider, took Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung with this year’s sixth overall pick.
Okung suffered a preseason ankle sprain, and the Seahawks have been alternating Tyler Polumbus and Chester Pitts on the left side. In addition, Seattle traded a 2011 seventh-round pick for ex-Philadelphia Eagles lineman Stacy Andrews on September 4. Andrews has been filling at right tackle, giving the coaches another option at what had become a very porous position.
The restructure will eliminate the final two years of Locklear’s contract (making him a free agent in 2011), and reduced his base pay from $5.4 million to $3.25. La Canfora also reports that Locklear does still have performance incentives build into the restructure, but it’s clear that at this point that Locklear is just trying to hold on to the roster spot he used to own without contention.