He is versatile. He is familiar with the zone-blocking scheme installed last year by Tom Cable. He was available.
Now, Frank Omiyale has agreed to terms to join the Seahawks, it was announced Wednesday.
Omiyale, 29, started 31 games the past three seasons for the Chicago Bears, but was released March 1 in a move to free space under the salary cap. That allowed him to visit Virginia Mason Athletic Center and take a physical on March 5, nine days before the free agency period began.
The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Omiyale entered the NFL in 2005 as a fifth-round draft choice of the Atlanta Falcons and also was with them in 2006 – when Cable, the Seahawks’ assistant head coach/offensive line coach, was the O-line coach with the Falcons. Omiyale then spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons with the Carolina Panthers before signing with the Bears as an unrestricted free agent in 2009.
It was his size, experience, versatility and familiarity with the offensive scheme that made Omiyale attractive to the Seahawks – who have released linemen Robert Gallery and Jarriel King in the past week.
While with the Bears, Omiyale started at left tackle, left guard and right tackle, and was the starting left tackle in 2010 when Chicago made a run to the NFC Championship game.
“Cuts are never easy, but are part of the evaluation process,” Bears general manager Phil Emery said when Omiyale was released. “We appreciate all that Frank gave the Bears organization, on and off the field, during his time in Chicago.”
With the Seahawks, Omiyale joins an offensive line group that saw three starters end the 2011 season on injured reserve – left tackle
The Scouts Inc. breakdown on Omiyale entering the 2011 season included the following: “Omiyale is big, strong lineman with good short-area quickness and agility. He is a good knee-bender who can roll his hips to unload and leverage run blocks. He has a quick kick step to get out and pick up speed rushers on the edge.”
Now, he’ll be bringing all that – as well as some needed depth and versatility – to the Seahawks.