JAKE AND STACY

Heaps: Seahawks should shift focus now to Pro Bowl C Rodney Hudson

Mar 16, 2021, 1:39 PM | Updated: 2:08 pm

The Seahawks may have missed out on 2020 first-team All-Pro center Corey Linsley in free agency, but another star center has surprisingly hit the open market in Rodney Hudson.

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Hudson, who turns 32 in July, was released by the Las Vegas Raiders on Tuesday in a surprising move that caught the NFL world off guard. A three-time Pro Bowler and a 2019 second-team All-Pro, Hudson was signed through 2022 and was at one time the NFL’s highest-paid center.

The Raiders have had one of the top offensive lines in football over the last few seasons, and Hudson, who has missed just four games since joining the Raiders in 2015, was a big reason why.

The Seahawks have two holes to fill on the offensive line as starting left guard Mike Iupati retired and starting center Ethan Pocic is a free agent. Pocic had a solid 2020 in his first year as a full-time starter, but Hudson would certainly be an upgrade. Additionally, adding a player of Hudson’s caliber to the line may help the Seahawks’ relationship with star quarterback Russell Wilson, who made it clear earlier in the offseason that he’s upset with how the team has protected him throughout his career.

Shortly after word came out that Hudson was on the open market, former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy made it clear he thinks the Seahawks should do whatever they can to bring Hudson to Seattle.

“I desperately want them to sign center Rodney Hudson because he is the best center available on the open market and he is one of the best centers in the game,” Heaps said on his show Tuesday afternoon. “Just to give you a little perspective, in the last six seasons, he has only given up three sacks. I mean, this is one of the premier pass protectors, he is one of the premier all-around centers in the league.”

While last offseason was centered around the defensive line and the pass rush for Seattle, the focus this offseason seams to be on whether the Seahawks will be able to add to the offensive line and better protect Wilson, who has been sacked 40 or more times in eight of his nine NFL seasons. Adding Hudson to the mix would certainly beef up Seattle’s pass protection.

“Opportunities like this don’t happen often where you see truly one of the game’s best at whatever position it is available on the open market and just cut out of nowhere,” Heaps said.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Seattle may have competition in its own division in trying to land Hudson.

Heaps doesn’t want to see that happen.

“I would hate to lose that player within the division,” he said. “The pain would be too much.”

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