A versatile player who has seen time at every position on the line but center, Womack has had a frustrating career derailed by a series of nagging injuries.
Ironically, he started 29 straight games at tackle for Mississippi State. The Seahawks selected the 6’4”, 330-pound road grader in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft. After a few opening seasons brimming with potential, Womack has missed more games (12) than he has started (10) over the last two seasons. The unrestricted free agent had visited with the Falcons and Steelers.
Active for six games in his rookie year, Womack played in five and saw time on special teams at tackle on the field goal units. In 2002, Womack started his first game at left tackle against the Raiders in place of Walter Jones, who was participating in what was then one of his annual contract disputes with the team. Womack started 10 of the 11 games in which he played that season, at both tackle positions.
2003 saw him flex more versatility, as he spelled Jones, right guard Chris Gray and right tackle Chris Terry in four starts and 10 total games. However, he missed six weeks with a toe injury.
Womack’s marquee year with Seattle was 2004. When Terry was placed on injured reserve halfway through the season, Womack stepped in and anchored that side of the line well enough. He was able to play in a career-high 15 regular season games, and started eight. It was thought at this time that the Seahawks had found their right tackle for the next few years … and while that was a correct assumption, it wouldn’t be Womack.
In 2005, Womack suffered a triceps injury in the third preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, allowing second-year man Sean Locklear to replace him at a near-Pro Bowl level. Locklear’s ascent would prove to be the anchor in what would become the best offensive line in the league, and the finest in Seattle history. Womack was the utility man, playing all line positions but center. However, he also missed five regular-season games with that same triceps injury and a quadriceps issue.
Coming into the 2006 season, Womack was tabbed as the future at another position – Steve Hutchinson’s replacement at left guard. It never happened. He suffered a knee injury in the season’s second game against the Cardinals, and was replaced by Chris Spencer. He returned five games later against the Raiders, stayed in the lineup for the next six weeks, and then missed the games against the 49ers and Chargers in mid- and late-December with a groin injury. When he returned for the regular-season finale against the Buccaneers, rookie Rob Sims had taken his spot at left guard, and Womack played on the right side. Sims kept that spot through the playoffs.
For the second straight season, Womack’s inability to stay healthy on a consistent basis (he missed a total of seven games in 2006) brought forth a potential “keeper” on the line that wasn’t him. Racked by injury and inconsistency, the Seahawks’ offensive line plummeted as their offense did. Fairly major personnel changes are forthcoming, most notably with the retirement of stalwart center Robbie Tobeck. With a one-year contract, Seattle is obviously viewing Womack as a depth option – they know that the chance of his being healthy for most of a season at this point is not enough to rely on.
After losing the Kris Dielman sweepstakes, and despite the fact that former Ravens guard Edwin Mulitalo has a visit scheduled in Seattle, the Seahawks are expected to look at the guard position in the draft. Stay tuned to Seahawks.NET for comprehensive draft analysis and exclusive player interviews!