Rost: Top free agents who could fill Seahawks’ biggest needs for 2022

Feb 8, 2022, 9:30 AM | Updated: 9:35 am

Seahawks Stephon Gilmore...

Cole Beasley of the Buffalo Bills carries the ball after a catch against Stephon Gilmore of the Carolina Panthers. (Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)

(Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)

In just over one month the Seahawks and 31 other teams will be vying for the services of the league’s best free agents, but unlike many other teams, Seattle has quite a bit to spend. The Seahawks have the eighth-most cap space (just under $40 million, per OverTheCap).

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Obviously, that doesn’t tell the whole story of Seattle’s flexibility this offseason. So before identifying some of the top outside free agents, two quick notes:

• The Seahawks appear set on prioritizing their own free agents. Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk that he believes Seattle has the nucleus of a championship team.

“We have a lot of players that are going to be free agents that need to be on this team next year, and so that money goes real very quickly there,” Carroll said in response to a question about spending big this offseason.

At the same time, Carroll didn’t rule out making a big move to acquire talent from outside the organization.

“Don’t cancel us out on that,” he said. “We are wide open.”

• The Seahawks have quite a few holes on the roster, but three of the biggest are cornerback and offensive line. By seasons end, it was also clear Seattle didn’t get the pass rush help it was hoping for when it made several 2021 free agent additions.

So those three positions – edge, interior offensive line, and cornerback – will be the primary focus of this list.


Three of the top defensive linemen are 32 years old, or quickly nearing 32, and most recently played in a 3-4 base defense.

OLB Von Miller

Could there be a reunion for Miller and ex-Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell? It’ll be a long shot to pry Miller away from a team that went to a Super Bowl in 2021, but his production makes the sales pitch worth the effort. Miller has five sacks since being traded to the Rams and has 9.5 this season, his most since 2018. Spotrac assigns him a contract market value of two years, $21 million.

DE Chandler Jones

The second reunion here! Only this one would be between Chandler Jones and Russell Wilson, a quarterback he’s sacked 17 times over the course of his career. The most productive – and priciest – free agent of the trio listed here, Jones will turn 32 at the end of this month but hasn’t slowed down in Arizona. He registered 10.5 sacks this year and 12 tackles for loss. He could command a deal exceeding $14 million per year, which would make him Seattle’s top-paid defensive lineman.

DL Akiem Hicks

A move that could bolster the interior of Seattle’s defensive line. Pro Football Focus graded Hicks out below Chandler Jones, a fellow free agent, but Hicks is a few years younger. Truly, either would help Seattle’s struggling defensive line.

Potential departures: Rasheem Green, Al Woods


J.C. Jackson

Jackson, one of this spring’s top targets, is also one of the youngest free agents in this pool at just 26 years old. He finished the season with eight interceptions and a career high 23 passes defended, earning himself Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro nods. Jackson would be one of the costlier signings at a projected $20 million per year. Would Seattle be comfortable having the league’s top-paid safety, a pricey veteran corner, and potentially another big safety deal in Quandre Diggs?

Stephon Gilmore

The 31-year-old, who drew plenty of interest from hopeful Seahawks fans last year, is projected to command around $14 million. Gilmore’s stats in 2021 are a bit misleading; he played just half the season with Carolina after being traded there and working his way back from a quad injury. But he improved as the season progressed, added two interceptions, and was a Pro Bowl alternate.

Darious Williams

Younger than Gilmore and cheaper than Jackson, Williams is the second defender listed here from the L.A. Rams. Important note here, though: Los Angeles used a first-round tender on Williams last season, but his 2021 season (no interceptions, nine passes defended) was quieter than 2020 (four interceptions and 14 passes defended).

Potential departure: D.J. Reed


Two options here from two of this year’s highest-graded offensive lines.

C Ryan Jensen

The 30-year-old was originally a sixth-round pick by Baltimore and allowed two sacks in 2021 as part of the second-highest graded OL with the Buccaneers. It would be hard to pry any Super Bowl-winning center away from his team, but does the market become more tempting without Brady in Tampa?

C Brian Allen

A bit more under the radar than other top-line centers, Allen was nonetheless a Pro Bowl alternate this year. The interior was the weakest part of the Rams offensive line, but Allen still graded out higher (80.1) than soon-to-be Seahawks free agent center Ethan Pocic (68).

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