It’s generally smart to stay out of the first flush of free agency, where good players get great salaries and average players get good contracts.
The Seahawks have taken this approach virtually throughout the Carroll and Schneider era. The only real exception was 2011 — when they added Sidney Rice, Zach Miller and Robert Gallery in the closest thing to a ‘splurge’.
Big, bold, flashy signings when the market opens generally end up looking like bad deals very quickly.
However, I also think there are times when you have to be active. You can’t go into every free agency with a pre-existing mentality of ‘we are not going to spend’.
I think it’s obvious to say there have been big missed opportunities over the years, when the Seahawks have been closer to contention than they are now, to really ‘have a go’ and push towards success.
In 2023, the Seahawks have a critical need on the D-line. They know it, we know it. There’s a distinct lack of talent and quality up front. They have no true difference makers. Nobody who scares an opponent.
They’re not going to be able to nickel and the dime their way to glory with a Quinton Jefferson here and a Benson Mayowa there. Been there, tried that, got the T-shirt.
Right now, their defensive front is weaker than it was in 2022 because they’re releasing Shelby Harris to save money.
Therefore, it’s difficult to see your division rival, already sporting the best defense in the league, finding a way to land the best available defensive free agent on the market in Javon Hargrave.
It’s an aggressive, bold move by the 49ers. It’s hard to see what the downside is.
They’re going to be utilising a cheap quarterback contract in the coming years. They have limited cap space in 2023 but ample in the coming years. They are loading up their defensive front, while we sit and hope for the best.
That’s the type of quality signing needed to super-charge Seattle’s defense. And he’s going to the Niners? It’d be easy to accept if he’d followed the cap space in Chicago or Atlanta. But your biggest rivals?
How can you not look on with complete envy?
There’s nothing to say Hargrave would’ve ever come to Seattle. The 49ers are a glamour team at the moment. It’s an attractive destination. A contender.
Players like Hargrave are drawn to the opportunity to contend. Who wouldn’t want to play next to Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead?
I’m eager though, as I’m sure you all are, to see what Seattle’s plan is. They need to do something. They can’t just rely on the cheap dregs of free agency again — a thing they’ve become accustomed to doing. Rookies are not going to sort this out alone.
They have to step up to the plate here and get some quality in.
They deserve the opportunity to make moves without too much judgement in the first few days of free agency. I’ve had a prolonged concern, though, that ‘this is what the Seahawks always do’ is a statement we hear a lot. ‘Is it the right approach?’ is a question we hear far too infrequently.
They shouldn’t be beyond challenge. Free agency is vital to avoid having to draft for need. They have picks but you don’t want to be backed into a corner with them. That’s how they’ve made mistakes before.
I hope they are able to properly take steps forward with the defensive front seven and not put all their eggs in the draft basket. We need to feel like they can do anything at #5, #20, #38 and #53. The aim should be ‘add talent’ — not ‘fill needs’.
It’s much harder to get to that position if you wait around for the perfect deal in free agency and end up with lesser players as a consequence.
— It was interesting to see Jimmy Garoppolo sign with the Raiders. I don’t think this rules out a trade into the top-four for a quarterback. What I do think it means, however, is Las Vegas bought leverage. Arizona at #3 can’t use desperation as a bargaining tool. The Raiders can walk away if the deal isn’t right. It’s also possible they’ve bought an opportunity to wait on the position — perhaps adding a Hendon Hooker or Stetson Bennett later on. So this probably isn’t good news for the Cardinals if they wanted to move down. I’m suspicious of Arizona’s interest in doing that anyway, unless they get an amazing offer (which I think is less likely now).
— The Texans basically announced today they’re drafting a quarterback at #2. They reportedly missed out on Jimmy G and have instead signed obvious backup Case Keenum. We’re unlikely to see them draft Will Anderson.
— The fact that Dallas are also ‘checking in’ with Bobby Wagner and not rushing to do a deal, like Seattle, speaks volumes to me. If he is such a good player still, why — for the second year in a row — is nobody knocking down the door to sign him?
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