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NFL Free Agents 2012: Sports Illustrated Breaks Down Seahawks Offseason

The Seattle Seahawks have many questions to be answered during the offseason this year, and our friends over at Sports Illustrated have come up with some possible answers.

Make the jump to see for yourself.

First off, here's a look at some of their key free agents: DE Red Bryant, DE Raheem Brock, RB Justin Forsett, LB David Hawthorne, LB Leroy Hill, RB Marshawn Lynch, OL Paul McQuistan.

SI feels that the players Seattle needs back the most are Marshawn Lynch, Red Bryant and David Hawthorne, and would be fine if they let Justin Forsett and Leroy Hill walk this season.

As to how to deal with their free agents, SI notes that Seattle certainly doesn't have many easy options with their players:

I'm on the fence about Bryant, even though Seattle wants him back. He's a hard guy to analyze, because he is a sensational run defender but, at 6-foot-4 and 323 pounds, he doesn't bring anywhere close to the level of pass-rushing you'd like to see from a defensive end. Still, losing him would substantially hamper the Seahawks up front.

Seattle might take its pick between Hawthorne and Hill at linebacker - both are due big raises over the salaries they had in 2011. The team might choose Hill, since K.J. Wright could take over Hawthorne's spot in the middle. Allow me to throw my hat in the ring for Hawthorne, who has led Seattle in tackles for three straight seasons, is three years younger than Hill and does a better job in coverage.

Lynch could wind up with the franchise tag. There's little to no chance Seattle lets him get to free agency.

As for a future outlook of the squad, much of the team's success will depend on whether Lynch returns or not:

Lynch and the linebackers, that's where Seattle will land most of its attention. Bringing back "Beast Mode" is the key to the offseason, but the Seahawks could have upwards of $12 million to spend in free agency, so they'll have to decide how much of that to throw at their defensive players.

For more on the Seahawks, head over to Field Gulls.