by Prince Bolin, Seahawks FTFN Writer
When this offseason started, I had very low expectations when it came to free agency. In the past, the Seahawks have been very tentative with top free agents. They love to bargain which is fine, as long as those bargains pay off. Low cost, high reward is the unsung motto for this organization and that’s exactly how they’ve approached this offseason again. Although, this time things seem a bit different. Just about two weeks ago, Mina Kimes made fun of “Seahawks Twitter” for freaking out about the team’s unwillingness to participate in the first round of free agency. I was one of those angry fans. Now, I’ve done a complete 180 with just a few nit-picks. These few problems are still quite significant, but this offseason has been wildly successful for many different reasons.
As you might know, the Seahawks had a major free agent class this year. They’ve resigned eight of them. Carlos Dunlap, Benson Mayowa and Poona Ford for the D-line. Ethan Pocic, Cedric Ogbuehi and Jordan Simmons for the O-line. Then, Chris Carson and Nick Bellore for the backfield.
They also signed four free agents: DE Kerry Hyder, CB Ahkello Witherspoon, DT Al Woods and TE Gerald Everett, which is sure to make some LA Rams fans mad. Lastly, Schneider displayed his mighty trade skills when he acquired a very good guard from the Raiders, Gabe Jackson, for only a fifth-round pick.
The Seahawks made it clear that they wanted to solidify the defensive line and they did just that by bringing back Dunlap, Mayowa and Ford, all starters last year. Before Dunlap arrived last year, the Seahawks were on pace to be one of the worst, if not the worst defense in NFL history. He helped ignite the pass rush which was pretty much non-existent. He recorded five sacks, 15 QB hits, six tackles and four defended passes in the nine games he played. It’s also important to note that he was extremely clutch last year, recording a game-winning sack and always being in the thick of things late.
Ethan Pocic was important since he is the starting Center, while Simmons and Ogbuehi add depth and security to their respective positions.
Although the value of the RB has been depleted over the past couple of years, it still doesn’t hurt to have one of the best in the NFL. Resigning Chris Carson means bringing back a 1,000-yard rusher with that nasty, physical power-running style that he and Marshawn Lynch are known for. When healthy, Carson can really elevate this offense.
As Witherspoon and Woods will most likely add great depth to the defense, the two big free agent signings are easily Hyder and Everett. Hyder recorded 8.5 sacks and 19 assists with the niners last year, so he was quite disruptive. Chances are you already know who Everett is, due to the fact that he has been on the other side of our dreadful Rams games since 2017. He adds depth and reliability to the TE room, which is something that the Seahawks haven’t had consistently for a few years now. He doesn’t have gaudy numbers, but he is an all-around TE and I believe Shane Waldron can get extremely creative with him and Will Dissly.
Lastly, Gabe Jackson was the Russ-appeasing trade the Seahawks needed to make to at least calm him down. Schneider traded a fifth-round pick for a guy who has started 99 of his last 100 games played. The Raiders were top 10 in fewest sacks allowed for four of his seven seasons and he was even a pro bowl alternate in 2016. Most importantly, he didn’t allow a sack last year which he also achieved in 2016. He’s solid, aggressive and pretty reliable.
As the Seahawks have had quite the offseason, there are still a few things that they absolutely have to get done. I’m talking about K.J Wright and Jamal Adams. Adams has just this next year left on his contract, which means that we need to sign him sooner rather than later. He is arguably the best safety in the NFL which means that he’ll get more expensive with time.
K.J Wright doesn’t seem to have a pool of teams vying for him, so it’s possible that we get him to come back for a discount.
Next, the hawks lost 3rd option David Moore so they’ll either need to entertain a free agent or draft a wide receiver. Establishing that 3rd option is important because defenses seemed to hone in on Lockett and Metcalf successfully in the second half of last season. It also makes sense to draft another offensive lineman to please Russ. It’ll be interesting to see how much Gabe Jackson changes the offensive line for the better. Oh, and I know you’ve heard about Richard Sherman. This is a perfect storm for the Seahawks, as long as he doesn’t have any lasting animosity towards Russ. We’ll see how this plays out.
by Prince Bolin, Seahawks FTFN Writer