When the Seahawks acquired Duane Brown in a trade midway through the 2017 season, general manager John Schneider made it clear that they were planning on keeping the left tackle in Seattle for the foreseeable future, even though Brown only had one year remaining on his contract at the time.
"We want him to finish his career here and have him be here for several more years," Schneider said last October.
On Saturday, the Seahawks made sure Brown will indeed be a Seahawk for years to come, signing the four-time Pro-Bowler to a multi-year contract extension.
Since joining the Seahawks, Brown has done nothing but impress his coaches and teammates, and with a full offseason with the team, he is establishing himself as one of the leaders of the offense. Only a day before this deal was finalized, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll raved about the impact Brown has had on the team.
"Duane made an immediate impression on us when he got here," Carroll said. "This is a real leader. He's a real man in that huddle and in the locker room, and we're very, very fortunate to have him. A great worker, a really astute ballplayer, he's got a great voice and perspective that's going to help other guys. Last year was right in the middle of everything, he couldn't have the effect that you could see the potential for, and he has just taken off this offseason and done a great job. He's a big factor for us right now, we love having him on our team."
That leadership has been on display for the Seahawks in several ways since his arrival last season, in everything from helping mentor Houston native Germain Ifedi to showing on Friday that, even in his 11th season, he's willing to put in the effort to out-run his fellow linemen in post-practice wind sprints.
Brown, a first-round pick in 2008, started 132 games for the Houston Texans from 2008 to 2016, then missed the first seven weeks of last season while holding out in hopes of getting a new contract. He played one game for the Texans, coincidentally against the Seahawks, then was traded to Seattle. Despite missing so much of the season, and despite playing through a high ankle sprain almost the entire rest of the season, Brown helped solidify the left side of Seattle's line and played well enough to be a part of the NFC Pro-Bowl squad.
"Just who he is," Carroll said of Brown playing through an ankle injury last season. "We hadn't been through the battles with him, but his first indication of 'Is he going to be tough, is he going to push?' all that—he did all that stuff and never even left a doubt. He's all you're looking for. Fantastic football player, fantastic team member."
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has also seen what a difference Brown has made to the Seahawks.
"I think that in terms of his presence, his leadership, his confidence is as good as it gets," Wilson said. "It makes a big difference. I think the offensive line, those guys have taken on the challenge and done a great job all offseason. Coach Mike Solari is a tremendous football coach with the meetings we have and the communication that we have, it's as good as it gets. It's an exciting time. Like I said, you take it one day at a time. Duane Brown is a big part of that and how he's playing and making a difference. He's so in shape and he runs so well. He's so strong, he's mentally tough. Like I said, he's a great communicator, great leader and so that's crucial."