Huard: Why Seahawks can’t be done adding at cornerback in free agency

Apr 4, 2021, 4:58 PM
Seahawks Chargers Casey Hayward...
Free-agent cornerback Casey Hayward fits what Brock Huard wants in Seattle's secondary. (Getty)

The Seahawks have made a lot of moves since free agency began, especially when it comes to their defense. So are they essentially done?

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On the most recent edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk Podcast, Brock Huard was adamant that there’s one spot on defense the Seahawks can’t be done adding to.

“What is the next move they need to make this offseason?” Mike Salk asked his co-host and current NFL on FOX color commentator.

“Corner,” Huard responded matter-of-factly.

Cornerback is a position the Seahawks addressed pretty quickly in the first week of free agency last month, signing Ahkello Witherspoon away from the San Francisco 49ers, whose defense features a lot of the same principles in the secondary as Seattle’s. Witherspoon filled a hole left by starter and one-time Pro Bowler Shaquill Griffin, who went to Jacksonville on a three-year, $44.5 million deal.

“They got Ahkello Witherspoon – nice player, fits the body type, comes out of the system, but you need more than that,” Huard said. “You’ve got D.J. Reed and Ahkello Witherspoon and what?”

Huard went on to explain why he doesn’t expect Tre Flowers to be an impact player at the position going forward, and in fact thinks Seattle stills needs a cornerback who would even be an upgrade from Griffin.

“I need somebody that can play the ball. This defense has to have that,” he said. “Shaq wasn’t that so I never would have paid him what Jacksonville ultimately paid him. This defense – a zone defense – is at its best when you have guys who understand the game, understand technique. I think that’s why Witherspoon was attractive (to the Seahawks) because at least he’s been in this system, learning it, and knowing the details of it.”

So who could the Seahawks turn to? One option is a familiar name, albeit maybe a long shot due to his history with the team.

“(Richard) Sherman is a fascinating conversation at this juncture where the market is so soft for his services, where his tail is probably between his legs a little bit,” Huard said of the former Seahawks superstar who is still available a few waves into free agency.

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Huard has another player on his mind, however: Casey Hayward. A 31-year-old two-time Pro Bowler, Hayward spent the last five seasons with the Chargers after playing his first four with Green Bay, who selected him in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Vanderbilt. Heyward had an interception, eight passes defensed and 41 combined tackles in 2020, and he’s made 23 career picks, including a league-leading seven in 2016.

“Whether it is a Sherman, whether it is a Hayward, a veteran guy that can play the football is next on my priority list,” Huard said.

You can hear the full discussion in the Blue 88 segment of the Brock and Salk Podcast beginning around the 46:30 mark at this link or in the player below.

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Huard: Why Seahawks can’t be done adding at cornerback in free agency