Jake and Stacy: Positions Seahawks should target in free agency instead of the NFL Draft
Mar 3, 2021, 8:15 AM
Entering the offseason, let’s just say the Seahawks have some work to do.
Seattle has 24 players hitting unrestricted free agency, multiple players are looking for long-term extensions, and there’s also a seemingly unhappy quarterback. Oh, and there’s not a ton of room under the salary cap and the team has just four draft picks in April, including none in the first or third rounds.
If that’s not enough, there are still a number of positions the Seahawks need to address and improve this offseason if they hope to continue to be a true NFC playoff contender. The draft is obviously a place to add young, cheap talent, but free agency is another place where teams can score big by adding established players to the roster.
The hosts of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy each believe there are positions of need that the Seahawks need to address this offseason in free agency rather than the draft. Here’s what they had to say on a recent edition of the show.
Jake Heaps: Offensive line and cornerback
Quarterback Russell Wilson ruffled some feathers by making it public that he is upset at the amount of times he’s been hit and sacked in his career. That has put Seattle’s offensive line in the spotlight.
Jake Heaps has said he wants the Seahawks to do something they don’t typically do, which is spend big on offensive linemen in free agency. Seattle will have a new starting left guard next year since Mike Iupati has retired, and center is another position where something needs to be done as Ethan Pocic is hitting free agency.
“I think particularly at the left guard position, I would love to see them add in free agency,” he said.
Adding to the line will be especially critical as the Arizona Cardinals added three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt to their defensive line, giving them a potent pass rush combo between Watt and Chandler Jones. The 49ers and Rams also have elite pass rushes as well. That makes protecting Wilson all the more difficult, and Wilson now has arguably the toughest divisional games of any quarterback in the NFL.
On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks have their two Week 1 starting outside cornerbacks hitting free agency in Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar. Rather than drafting a young player and trying to play them right away, Heaps would like an established player to come to Seattle.
“I really would love to see them add a good veteran presence at corner,” he said.
Heaps thinks Dunbar could return, especially if Griffin signs elsewhere, but he’d prefer the Seahawks to sign someone different.
“I would love to see them add somebody who has a little bit less injury history than Quinton Dunbar if they could … but I don’t think that’s going to be the case,” Heaps said.
Stacy Rost: Wide receiver and running back
Rost focused on the offense with her selections.
The Seahawks have an elite receiver duo in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but after that, it’s less clear with David Moore and Phillip Dorsett hitting free agency. Rost thinks that’s a position that deserves some attention this offseason by the Seahawks.
“I said potentially wide receiver because I’d like to see you take a shot at a cheap free-agent wide receiver since it’s such a deep market and maybe (draft one) because it’s also a deep wide receiver class, so see if you can stock up on some cheap weapons,” she said.
Her other choice was a little more surprising: running back. The Seahawks have Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde hitting free agency, while three young guys in Rashaad Penny, DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer still remain on the roster for next season. Seattle also just re-signed veteran Alex Collins, who played three games in 2020 after time on the practice squad.
“Do I know that running backs who are younger have less wear and tear on their bodies? Absolutely,” she said. “But the No. 1 problem the Seahawks’ running back room is going to have right now if they lose Carlos Hyde and Chris Carson is inexperience. What do you need to bring into that room? Experience.”
Rost said the Seahawks don’t need to sign a true No. 1 back in free agency because the hope is that Penny can be that guy since he was Seattle’s 2018 first-round pick, but she said running back who’s more established than the three currently on the roster.
“Penny has limited snaps and limited playing time because of his injury history – he missed most of last year – and you have two guys who have played mostly special teams or as third running backs in DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer,” she said. “All three are going to be great parts of that running back room, but the part that you’re missing is experience.”
Listen to the discussion at this link or in the player below.