It’s hard to muster any real emotion about Seattle’s start to free agency.
Looking at most of the mega-deals being completed across the league, there’s not a lot to be jealous about. There isn’t really one particular move elsewhere that warrants any kind of envy.
Yes it would’ve been nice to sign a J.C. Jackson or Carlton Davis, for example. Yet those two players have signed for contenders intending to win a Super Bowl. The Seahawks can’t compete with that when they’ve just traded away their best bargaining chip in terms of 2022 ambition.
Perhaps the closest thing to a sigh I’ve had so far is Austin Corbett signing with the Panthers. It’s still hard to get too worked up about a guard with a 68.8 PFF grade going somewhere else.
Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen stayed with the Rams. I’m not sure the Seahawks had much of a chance. Crossing the NFC West divide and going from Super Bowl champs to likely fourth placed also-rans isn’t attractive, whatever the offer financially.
Free agency is often an over-hyped disappointment. Bryan Bulaga was just cut after playing 11 games for the Chargers. It cost them $19m.
When you sign your own at least you know, to an extent, what you’re getting.
That said, what they have been able to do (which isn’t much) has provoked some chin-rubbing over the last 24 hours.
What exactly is the approach? I’m struggling to work it out.
Re-signing Quandre Diggs, Will Dissly, Al Woods and Sidney Jones suggests Pete Carroll was serious when he said he thought the team was in a good place after the Arizona win. They weren’t the typical moves of a rebuilding team, especially given how much the four players cost.
Yet at the same time, the Seahawks haven’t upgraded in any way.
So far they’ve simply lost D.J. Reed — their best cornerback. Reed was also a good age (25) and while three-years for $33m sounds a lot, it’s arguably a better investment than Dissly’s three-years for $24m.
Now they have a hole at cornerback, just as they did a year ago. While it’s possible they address the position during the draft — that simply means another one of the various other holes won’t be addressed. They don’t need to add to their list of priorities right now.
The offensive line is in flux with no solution yet at left tackle, center or right tackle. You can’t address those vital needs and get a pass rusher and a cornerback and a linebacker in the draft so something has to give.
The running game is so important to Seattle and we’ve seen how inept the offense is without it. Yet Rashaad Penny remains unsigned and what happens if he moves on?
Then there’s the quarterback position. I figured there was a plan when they dealt Wilson and it’s too early to say there isn’t. They might, after all, have their sights firmly fixed on one of these rookies.
If not — they’ve either been rejected by or weren’t really interested in Deshaun Watson (depending on which report you read). Kirk Cousins is off the table. They’ve not added a hedge like Pittsburgh did with Mitchell Trubisky.
Maybe Drew Lock is their hedge? I’m not sure anyone’s buying that though. He has, sadly, the misfortune of being considered a step down from even Trubisky.
Amid all of this — the Seahawks have committed over $30m a year to the safety position and stocked up at tight end (where they notoriously spend a lot for very little return).
One of my biggest complaints about this team is their penchant to invest in non-vital positions. There’s at least a small part of me that’s already worrying it’s happening again.
However — if you asked me what I want to see happen, I’m not sure I could give you an answer.
The list of available free agents contains a lot of ageing players.
I guess if they made some bold moves on the O-line such as signing Terron Armstead and J.C. Tretter it’d be somewhat exciting. Yet Armstead has major durability concerns and will be expensive. Tretter was just cut by the Browns so they can press on with Nick Harris.
Eric Fisher is younger than Duane Brown but would it excite you to sign him to what would likely be an expensive deal?
I fear we’re going to be subjected to another year of Ethan Pocic.
I’d like to see them throw a pick Dallas’ way to take a chance on La’el Collins but even then, Collins’ career has hardly been plain-sailing. I wouldn’t want to give up anything before round five for a player who might be cut.
I want the Seahawks to spend #9 on a pass-rusher and that opinion won’t change between now and the draft. They’ll need a hedge of some kind but that likely means adding one of the available players approaching their mid-30’s.
Seattle needs a Jermaine Johnson or Kayvon Thibodeaux. They’ve said they want a game-wrecker. Post-Wilson trade I don’t want to spend a fortune on Chandler Jones, only to use #9 on one of the overrated offensive linemen or Sauce Gardner.
I found out yesterday Johnson ran a 1.55 10-yard split at the combine. Thibodeaux (1.59) and Amare Barno (1.54) were the only other two players to do so. Anything in the 1.5’s is elite.
Cliff Avril famously ran a 1.50 split. Johnson and Thibodeaux aren’t quite in that range but they’re not far off.
Granted, there is part of me that wonders if either will even be there at #9. The only thing worse than spending big on someone like Chandler Jones at age 32 will be not spending big and then missing out in the draft too.
A big reason for being at peace with the Wilson trade was the opportunity to create the kind of pass rush that has shown in recent years to be just as vital as a franchise quarterback. Not having either would be a crushing blow.
And no — pumping draft resources into the secondary and hoping Benson Mayowa can chip in with more sacks is not a viable alternative.
I’d be interested in Akiem Hicks or Calais Campbell for the right price but Al Woods’ return makes that less likely. I’m not sure why Stephon Gilmore would want to come here other than for an over-inflated contract.
According to PFF, Dante Jackson allowed just 120 receiving yards on 140 snaps of man coverage last season in Carolina. He’s 26. Is he going to be as expensive as Reed though, with more question marks in terms of fit?
At quarterback they could still add Marcus Mariota but Tyrod Taylor is joining the Giants. Admittedly I’m pretty fearful of what is to come at the position. I can live with being bad in 2022 to set yourself up for the 2023 draft. I can’t live with a horrible investment in someone this year — either via trade or using the draft.
The more I study the quarterbacks in this class the more convinced I am that Jack Coan is a better option in rounds 3-4 than any of the bigger names in rounds 1-2.
The complete lack of a steer so far is the anxiety-creating problem. It’s hard to get a handle on what they’re doing. They’ve made moves that go against ‘major rebuild mode’ and yet have so many glaring roster holes, including now at quarterback, that it’s impossible to imagine how anyone could see this as anything but a major rebuild.
When they’ve missed out on players in the past, that’s when they’ve started making trades and getting a bit desperate. I hope that doesn’t start happening now. This is a draft class where the more stock you have the better.
So I’ll settle for this, I think. I want to leave the draft without a glaring weakness this time. No more Ziggy Ansah and last-minute Jadeveon Clowney in 2019. No more desperation Jamal Adams trade in 2020. No more ‘figure it out when the season starts’ at center and cornerback like 2021.
Whatever the plan is, just make sure you have an actual functioning roster by the end of the draft.
On top of that, drafting some of these gold players would be nice:
Click to enlarge the image above.
And finally — if you missed my interview with Leo Chenal, you can check it out here:
If you enjoy the content on Seahawks Draft Blog then please consider supporting us via Patreon (click the tab below)…