A uniform of a favorite player or team is a must have accessory for any diehard fan. With the NFL set to kick off training camp in about a month, it’s time to start thinking about which Seattle Seahawks jersey you’re going to invest in. Many of us, myself included, have never even acquired such a piece of fandom. After all, they are quite expensive, and it takes a certain amount of unknowing reliance on a complete stranger. Jerseys have become too pricey to simply purchase on a whim. There are questions that must be asked and answered to the best of our abilities first. Will the player whose name is on the back of my jersey forever even be on the team next year? Will they be any good? Will they still be likeable? Will they be out of the league and rotting in jail because of an impending murder trial? Sports are unpredictable. We can only make educated guesses on who to root for and who to trust with the time honored tradition of jersey donning.
The Seahawks have come a long way since the beginning of the Pete Carroll era. For the first time in recent memory, the roster is chalked full of exciting players and even a few who are jersey-purchasing worthy. Here’s a little advice on one of the most important decisions a fan can make. Without further ado, here are five Seahawks who would be well worth the purchase price of a uniform.
5. Richard Sherman
Make no mistake. Richard Sherman is an agitator and an instigator. To the rest of the NFL, he’s Cortland Finnegan. But he’s our Cortland Finnegan, and he’s turned into one of the very best defenders and talkers in the NFL. He thinks he’s the best corner in the league and has no problem telling the world so. Most of us would agree.
He’ll remain on his rookie contract through next year before most likely demanding an early negotiation on his next deal much like all young stars who are grossly underpaid. All indications are pointing towards the Seahawks making resigning Sherman a top priority. He’s a decently safe bet for the long run. For some, the only downside is his on-field antics and his propensity to talk a bit too much. But as he is trash-talking on behalf of the Hawks, we can look the other way. Plus, a lot of fans dig that sort of thing anyway.
4. Earl Thomas
Thomas is already arguably the best safety in the NFL and at 24 years of age, he is only getting better. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro. Thomas was the first defensive player taken under the Carroll regime, and he marks the beginning of the Seahawks’ defensive resurgence.
If signing Richard Sherman is a top priority for the Seahawks defensive plans, looking towards the future then signing Earl Thomas is the top priority. Thomas’ jersey will have definite longevity which is important when making such an investment. A sentiment anyone who’s closeting a Terrell Owens or Matt Flynn Seahawk jersey can attest.
3. Marshawn Lynch
Beastmode. Or Skittles if you prefer. Lynch has been the most important player on offense for the last few seasons and will remain an indispensable cog in the machine for the next couple. He’s approaching ultimate wear-ability status even if he plays for another team in the future. One of the greatest runs in NFL postseason history will do that for a player. He’s also been tremendously durable and productive at a time when there wasn’t much going right for the Seahawks offensively. Lynch plays and runs harder than anyone on the field, and we fans can definitely appreciate the effort. He also seems to enjoy the game with a youthful vigor which is becoming ever more uncommon with professional athletes of today.
2. Percy Harvin
The Seahawks seemingly never-ending search for a dynamic playmaker is over. According to Football Outsiders, Harvin led all pass-catchers in broken tackles last season even though he only played in nine games. He might be the most electric player in the entire NFL; someone who is must see TV every time he touches the ball. The Seahawks have never had a player with such physical gifts. There were some questions about his maturity in Minnesota, but I’m going to attribute that to his frustration with a lackluster offense/quarterback more than anything else. He is going to a perfect situation with a coach who will demand his high involvement in the offense and a quarterback who is more than capable of executing. Russell to Harvin for six sure has a nice ring to it. Here’s to hoping we hear that over and over for the next decade.
1. Russell Wilson
The no-brainer. Wilson has franchise quarterback potential and in one year has made the 12th man as excited as they’ve ever been. Wilson is the hardest worker in the NFL. Harvin said in an interview just after signing with the Seahawks that during his first visit to the facilities, it was Wilson who found time to greet him in between the weight drills and the endless film sessions. It was six o’clock in the morning. Wilson’s offseason regiment has become that of folklore. In an interview earlier this week with John Clayton, Wilson stated that 13 hour days at the Seahawks practice facilities last offseason were routine. This sounds like a guy who I want playing the most important position in professional sports for the team I just so happen to root for. But it’s more than the meticulous preparation. He does and says all the right things. He’s a model citizen on and off the field. In a lot of ways he’s like Tim Tebow. He’s the guy we want our sons to be and our daughters to marry. But unlike Tebow, he can actually play quarterback. Wilson threw 26 touchdown passes as a rookie in one of the most run-oriented offensives in the NFL. He shares the record for most touchdown passes in a rookie season with some guy named Peyton Manning. If he’s half the quarterback that guy is his jersey might not ever get taken off.
Ultimately the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back but it’s a much richer experience when there are players that make you care even just a little bit more. Russell and company are well on their way to accomplishing such a feat. Let’s hope it lasts.
Zach Beehler is on Twitter. Follow him at @ZachBeehler