The Seahawks released center Justin Britt Monday, ending his run as one of Seattle's longest-tenured offensive players.
A 2014 second-round pick, Britt was a starter throughout his six-year run with the Seahawks, beginning as a rookie right tackle on an NFC championship-winning team, and finishing his time in Seattle as a center who was one of the leaders of the offense.
Britt moved to left guard in his second season, then made one more switch in 2016, finding a permanent home at center where he became one of Seattle's top linemen over the past four seasons, being named a Pro Bowl alternate in 2016.
Britt proved to be very durable throughout his career before an ACL injury cut his 2019 season short after eight games. Prior to that injury, Britt had missed just two games in his first five seasons.
After Russell Wilson, a 2012 draft pick, Britt was the longest-tenured member of Seattle's offense—Luke Willson was drafted a year ahead of Britt, but spent a season in Detroit before re-signing last year. As a long-serving veteran, he became one of Seattle's leaders not just on the line but the entire offense.
"He has been a fantastic leader for us," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after Britt signed a contract extension in 2017.
Wilson took to Instagram to say thanks and farewell to the man who served as his center for the past four seasons.
"Thanks for all the focus and hard work and love you brought to the game," Wilson wrote. "You laid it on the line for many years together and I will be forever grateful for your work ethic, passion, and love for the game, but most importantly others."
As for who starts at center now, the Seahawks have a number of options, including Joey Hunt, who took over for an injured Britt last year and started the final eight games of the regular season and two playoff games, doing so despite playing through a stress fracture in his leg late in the year. The Seahawks signed former Steelers lineman B.J. Finney, who has experience at center as well as both guard spots, and they return a few players who can play there as well, including Ethan Pocic, who spent much of his college career at center, guard Jordan Roos, who practiced at center last year and was the backup behind Hunt, and Kyle Fuller, who was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster late in the season.