August 17, 2016

Your 2016 Seattle Seahawks Jersey Buying Guide

The Seahawks host their first preseason game of 2016 Thursday night, and I'm sure many of you are agonizing over what new jersey you want to snag and show off on gameday. Thankfully, I'm here to help! While it's perfectly cromulent to go with a #12 Fan jersey, I don't like to have that as the only jersey in my closet - Doing that makes me feel like I'm not sufficiently invested in the players who are currently on the team. I'm in the market for a new jersey myself this year, so let's look at the players you should avoid, and the ones that'll make your fellow 12s say "Damn. That's bad-ass." First, the general information and admonitions...

As usual, let's start with the 1st Commandment of jersey ownership: NEVER PUT YOUR JERSEY IN THE DRYER! Dryers kill jerseys! Don't do it under any circumstances. If you abide by this decree your jersey(s) should hold up for a nice, long spell. If possible, wash them on the delicate cycle in cold water by themselves. I also feel strongly that there's no compelling reason to opt for the more opulent Nike models. The $100 replicas ("game" jerseys) are plenty expensive enough, and will look sharp for years with proper care. If you are lucky enough to fit into a "youth" size, those are only about $70.

Like many of you, I've felt the sting of buying a jersey just to see that player get seriously injured (I for one have a weird thing about not wanting to wear an injured player's jersey) or leave Seattle a year (or less) later. My hope is that with this guide, I'll help you get a jersey that A) will be a good investment for years to come and B) will make you stand out from the crowd a bit.

I love me some Michael Bennett, but his continued (and frankly justified) grousing about his contract situation, coupled with PCJS's fearlessness about cutting loose ANYONE who fucks with their plan or with team chemistry, would make me wait on buying Black Santa's jersey at the moment. I'd also stay away from Brandon Browner. He's not a supreme lock to make the 53-man roster, he's a free agent after the season, and I'm not entirely over the fact that he helped beat us in XLIX. Other notable pending free agents include Steven Hauschka, Luke Willson, Tharold Simon, Christine Michael, Marcus Burley, and Deshawn Shead. I'm excited about Paul Richardson, but I'd still be hesitant to buy his jersey coming off a 2nd consecutive season-ending injury. I have similar concerns about Jimmy Graham. Finally, I just have a general principle against buying rookie jerseys, so I'd avoid snaring any of those at this point. OK - Who SHOULD you buy? Here's the Top 10:

10. Russell Wilson

The face of the franchise. Unquestionably an elite quarterback after the way he scorched the league in the 2nd half of last season. But... if you don't already have a Russell Wilson jersey, you probably don't actually want one all that badly, do you?

9. Kam Chancellor 
I adore Bam Bam Kam. He saved us against Detroit. He caused the takeaway that led to the playoff win in Minnesota. He's the baddest, toughest, most intimidating player around every time he steps onto the field. However, he's injury plagued. He's a free agent after 2017 and his long-term future in Seattle is unclear at this point. Be a bit wary here.

8. Cliff Avril
Unlike his pass-rushing linemate, Avril is under contract through 2018. He racked up nine sacks last season, and remains one of the most fearsome defensive ends in football. As a bonus, Seahawks Stadium isn't at all saturated with #56 jerseys yet - So you'll stand out sporting an Avril jersey.

7. Richard Sherman 
Still the best corner in the game. Still outspoken. Still on a trajectory that ends in Canton, Ohio. Under contract through 2018. Only problem? A LOT of 12s already have his jersey.

6. Earl Thomas
Finally, it looks like Ken Easley might get his bust in the Hall of Fame next year. Someday, Earl Thomas will be the 2nd Seahawks safety to be inducted. He's under contract through 2018 so this is still a great time to buy in on the quiet leader of the Legion of Boom.

5. Bobby Wagner 
Our all-world middle linebacker is at his career peak and is under team control until 2020. If you haven't snapped up a #54 jersey, this is a perfect time to make that leap.

4. Tyler Lockett
Flash was not just a spectacular kick returner in his rookie campaign, but also a shockingly reliable and productive wideout. Big things are rightfully expected of him in 2016 and beyond, and with him under contract through 2018, his jersey would be a wise investment.

3. Thomas Rawls
Contradiction time! You know how I said earlier to steer clear of players coming off injuries? I'm making an exception for Rawls. The kid was an absolute MONSTER in just a handful of starts last season, and I'm convinced that if it wasn't for his ankle injury in Baltimore, we would have advanced to our third straight Super Bowl. He won't be asked to carry the entire load of the running game this season, but he WILL hoist the Lombardi Trophy next February. The ankle issue is the only reason he's not higher on this list.

2. Jon Ryan
Before he got chased off social media by bigots, he was a great follow. He's LGBT-friendly. He's one of the very best punters in the game. He throws touchdown passes in playoff games and taunts the opposing team afterwards. He's Canadian, and thus probably my fake boyfriend Justin Trudeau's favorite NFL player. What's not to love? :)

1. Doug Baldwin
Angry Doug has been a fan favorite for a long time. He burst onto the scene back in 2011 as an undrafted free agent and quickly endeared himself to the 12 Army. I'll never forget an early social media post where he took a picture with a Twelve at Target and was wearing a Seahawks sweatshirt - He wears free clothes he gets from work! NFL players! They're just like us!

He's always been a solid performer, but in the 2nd half of last season he leveled up - He became Russell Wilson's favorite target and scored 14 touchdowns while also notching his first 1000-yard campaign. Now he's locked up until the 2020 season, and I expect us to see him deliver a lot more moments like that game-winning touchdown against Pittsburgh last season. Thus, he's my top choice for a new jersey purchase this season.

Did I miss anyone obvious? Let me know in the comments!

What do you think, sirs?


Paul Pendlebury said...

Welcome back to football season and welcome back to Dave Krieg's Strike Beard. Looking forward to your commentary this season.

I bought my Baldwin jersey before the 2014 season started, wore it with overflowing pride last year, and plan on wearing it for years. Go Doug!

Jean said...

I'd want Rawls, personally, if I were one to spend the money. I like him. But I'll probably be borrowing your Russel Wilson jersey for most games this season, so I don't need to. ;)

it's all in D Hans said...

I picked up a Wolf Grey Tyler Lockett jersey from the Seahawks Pro Shop when I was visiting Seattle in June. Another one for the collection.