Heaps: Why the Seahawks aren’t done making significant additions to roster
We’re just over two months away from the start of the 2021 NFL season and for the Seahawks, expectations are high after a 12-4 season in 2020 and a quite but successful 2021 offseason to date.
Seattle won the NFC West last year before falling in the first round of the playoffs to the Los Angeles Rams, but the Seahawks have improved much of their roster this offseason.
Seattle will have to deal with the losses of cornerbacks Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar as well as the loss of defensive tackle Jarran reed, but the Seahawks were able to add some notable players like defensive ends Kerry Hyder Jr. and Aldon Smith, as well as cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and tight end Gerald Everett, who reunites with one of his former coaches in new Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. Additionally, Seattle was able to re-sign defensive end Carlos Dunlap and running back Chris Carson.
On paper, there’s a real possibility this Seahawks team is better than the 12-4 team from a year ago. But does that mean Seattle is done making notable moves this offseason? On Thursday’s edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy, former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps explained why he thinks the Seahawks will still make at least one more big move this offseason.
“No, they’re not done adding specific pieces to this roster because they still have holes that they need to fill,” he said of Seattle’s current roster. “No. 1 is defensive tackle. That’s one I’m going to consistently preach about.”
As noted, Reed is no longer with the team after he was cut in order to allow the Seahawks to re-sign Dunlap. Currently, the Seahawks have Poona Ford, Bryan Mone, Al Woods, and Robert Nkemdiche as defensive tackles on the roster who have previous NFL playing experience.
Defensive tackle isn’t the only area of the defensive line that Heaps thinks Seattle could improve.
“Also, the Aldon Smith experience. What does that look like?” Heaps said, referencing Smith getting arrested for an alleged battery in Louisiana shortly after signing with the Seahawks. “Does he show up for training camp actually in shape and ready to go and actually ready to contribute to this team?”
If not, there are two veteran edge rushers in free agency that Heaps thinks Seattle could bring to town: Melvin Ingram and Justin Houston.
“Those are additions they could possibly make,” he said.
But there’s one big-name player available via trade who Heaps thinks could be an incredible get for the Seahawks as they look to contend for a Super Bowl in 2021, and he’s a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year. That would be New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who’s been a subject of trade rumors this offseason as he’s entering the last year of his contract.
“He’s still on the trading block, nothing has been resolved in terms of his situation with the New England Patriots,” Heaps said. “And when (safety) Jamal Adams’ extension gets done (with Seattle) it will open up even more cap space and room for the Seahawks to maneuver.”
It may be later in the offseason as we approach training camp at the end of July, but Heaps said Seattle has a history of making big splash moves late in the offseason.
“We have seen this team over the last couple years continue with (general manager) John Schneider to be aggressive (between) this time (of year) and the trade deadline constantly looking and seeking pieces that can help upgrade this team,” Heaps said. “… I think Stephon Gilmore is certainly that guy you keep an eye on and circle and highlight.”
Listen to the second hour of Thursday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.