The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Seahawks could be back in Super Bowl soon

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson may have come up short Sunday, but he has a roster around him that can return him to the Super Bowl. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

The Seahawks ended the Super Bowl one yard away from establishing a dynasty, or at least what passes for one by the standards of the modern NFL.  They could have become the first team in 10 years to win consecutive Super Bowls, and the shame of it for them is, they may have missed their chance to become the first team ever to win three straight.

The Patriots’ comeback and their Seahawks’ own inability to pound the ball into the end zone from the 1-yard line decimated Seattle on Sunday night. But if they can set aside the emotional bludgeoning of that game, they should have another opportunity to win a Super Bowl. Soon.

The Seahawks lost Super Bowl, but their roster is set up for them to go back again next year.

The Seahawks, in adherence with one of Carroll’s roster-building principles, had the youngest roster in the NFL this year, with an average age of 25.2. Those players will become more costly to keep, but their affordable contracts have also left the Seahawks with flexibility – they should have the 14th-most salary cap room in the NFL this offseason. They’ll need it as Russell Wilson becomes eligible for a contract extension and Marshawn Lynch enters the final year of his deal. It won’t be easy, but it’s doable. The Seahawks aren’t about to break apart.

The Seahawks have stars all over their roster, and almost all of them should come back next season. Their four most prominent unrestricted are guard James Carpenter, cornerback Byron Maxwell, wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and Malcolm Smith, who was last year’s Super Bowl MVP. Their savvy drafting has landed them Wilson in the third round, Richard Sherman in the fifth round and Kam Chancellor in the fifth round.

It also has enabled them to build one of the deepest, youngest rosters in the league. Their Super Bowl loss may have crushed them Sunday, but it couldn’t wreck what remains a bright future.

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