Huard: Seahawks’ 4 re-signings were ‘easy pitch’ — now comes the hard part
NFL free agency kicked off Monday morning, and while some players are reportedly heading to new cities and teams, the Seahawks focused on bringing back key players from their 2021 roster.
Seattle reportedly reached agreements with Pro Bowl free safety Quandre Diggs, tight end Will Dissly, cornerback Sidney Jones and defensive tackle Al Woods to bring them back. That came less than a week after the Seahawks released All-Pro middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and reportedly traded star quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos.
“How do you get better if you only sign the guys that were on your 7-10 team last year?” Salk asked.
“You don’t, but you also don’t take a step backwards,” Huard replied. “I think that’s the key. It’s not necessarily, ‘OK, these are going to be the moves to move us forward and move the dial.’ But, ‘These are going to be the stopgaps to make sure we don’t go backwards. These are the guys that we really do believe are difference makers in our system.'”
Huard said that re-signing those four players signals that the Seahawks are not going to be as bad as some believe.
“I see that more as ‘This is not going to be a 3-14 team,’ right? We’re not going down to the absolute studs,” he said. … “This is, ‘OK, let’s stabilize it, let’s get big people at the line of scrimmage, let’s keep our big people there. Now go attack a Rashaad Penny deal. Go attack the other moves that you’ve got to make and even some of those outside (the organization). You have the cap space to do that.”
Salk said he understands why the Seahawks wanted to keep the four players they re-signed, but he wanted Huard’s take on why those four opted to return.
“What do you think the pitch was in order to keep them? Because if I’m Quandre Diggs and you say, ‘Hey, I want to sign you,’ my immediate response is, ‘Cool, who’s the quarterback?'” Salk said.
“Well obviously it wasn’t and the pitch was pretty easy to hit. It was like right over the middle of the plate,” Huard replied. “I think that speaks to what we really talked about at the end of last year, what you talked about maybe as much as anybody in the market in really going to bat for the culture that Pete Carroll built – that these guys wanted to play. That they didn’t shut it down.”
The Seahawks were out of the playoff race with a few weeks to go in the 2021 season but still played hard and finished strong, winning four of their last six games.
“They continued to play and fight and played some of their best football in December. So I think it was a pretty easy pitch,” Huard said. “Quandre Diggs has been in Detroit, he’s experienced the NFL and is like, ‘Nope, don’t want any piece of that again.’ Will Dissly loves this place and this is his home and he got paid, I think, very handsomely for his skillset… So it was obviously a pretty easy pitch to those guys.”
That won’t be the case with three of Seattle’s remaining free agents as well as outside players, Huard said.
“The more difficult pitch is I think the ones coming up right now to (left tackle) Duane Brown, in particular, to (running back) Rashaad Penny in particular. We’ll see (about cornerback) D.J. Reed,” he said. “I think the more difficult pitches (are to come with those three) and then certainly with guys that are new to the batter’s box and don’t know the culture here and don’t know how good it is and need the Quandres and (Jamal Adams) to sell this place.”
You can hear the full discussion between Huard and Salk in the final segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below.