Sometimes you’ve just got to go out there and get the job done.
The Seahawks have certainly done that here.
The defensive line, such an issue at times in 2022, threatened to undermine the blossoming positivity that emerged during last season. It needed to be addressed.
The Seahawks are typically not big spenders in free agency but they couldn’t stand around waiting for value to come to them this year. The cheap, $4-5m contracts of previous seasons wouldn’t take this team to where it needed to go. Neither could they rely on rookies to solve the problem — nor should they back themselves into a corner needing to take defensive linemen in the draft to fill a need.
They needed to do something like sign Dre’Mont Jones — one of the big ticket free agents in a thin class of talent.
Now the wind is in their sails. The off-season continues to gather momentum. Seattle’s two big moves so far seem like home-runs:
— Signing Geno Smith to such a team-friendly contract that basically allows the Seahawks to do anything they want at the position for the long-term future, while dangling an enormous financial carrot in front of Smith as an incentive to excel
— Landing a top defensive lineman at a good age (he’s only just turned 26) to address the biggest need on the team
The impact of the signing is huge.
Firstly, getting this done on day one means Seattle can quickly move on to other positions. There’s no waiting around like in the Jadeveon Clowney pursuit, then being left with the remaining free agents. They can be in attack mode now — looking for value where they can, looking for opportunities. There’s far less pressure on the team because the biggest need is ticked off, even if there’s more to be done.
Secondly, it’s an attention grabbing signing. The Seahawks mean business. They’re not sitting around. On the day that Javon Hargrave signed for the 49ers, Seattle didn’t sit on the sidelines. Both teams made good, quality additions. Could the positivity of this signging lead to other players being tempted to jump on board? It can’t do any harm.
Finally, it steers the Seahawks towards the draft. I firmly believe the options at #5 are limited to the four quarterbacks and Will Anderson. I don’t think Jalen Carter (character) and Tyree Wilson (scheme fit) are as likely as large sections of draft media are suggesting.
As we’ve noted a few times, it’s a stretch to think Schneider and Carroll would speak so passionately about the importance of character with the 2022 draft class — and the ‘no compromises’ approach they took — then draft Carter with a top-five pick weeks later. Equally — Jones is 6-3 and 281lbs. Are you really going to draft a 6-5, 271lbs defender in Wilson to play next to him? That would be an open-invitation to run on the Seahawks unless they steer away from the 3-4. It just seems extremely unlikely — and Wilson is an ill-fit as anything other than a power-end in a 4-3.
Putting Anderson on the field with Jones would be exciting. If he’s off the board, putting Jones on the field with Will McDonald or Keion White or Calijah Kancey or Mazi Smith or one of several other defenders will also be a real step in the right direction. They have options. Signings like this create options.
The Seahawks have had some difficult off-seasons in recent years but last year was a success with an A+ draft, getting great value from the Russell Wilson trade and landing a player like Uchenna Nwosu as a free agent. Now, with the Smith deal and the Jones signing, the Seahawks are off to a good start.
It’ll be interesting to see what their next move is. I’d be very interested in an A’Shawn Robinson or Greg Gaines signing, to add some power and run-stuffing force to complement the addition of Jones. Or perhaps old blog favourite, Calais Campbell?
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