JAKE AND STACY
Seahawks Free Agency: Heaps on OLs, DLs who could help in 2022
The Seahawks’ roster appears mostly set heading into the 2022 season, but could more help be on the way?
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Seattle addressed many positions of need in last month’s draft, but former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps thinks that there are players still available on the free agent market who the Seahawks should consider adding to fortify the trenches.
Here’s what he had to say about some offensive and defensive linemen during Tuesday’s Jake and Stacy on Seattle Sports 710 AM.
A trio of D-linemen
“If you look at the current free agents that are still available that I think would make good fits here in Seattle, there’s a couple of defensive linemen that stand out,” Heaps said.
The first player Heaps brought up is someone he’s discussed a few times this offseason – veteran defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, a 10-year veteran who played the last six seasons in Chicago for the Bears. It’s worth noting that current Seahawks defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt was with Chicago during Hicks’ first year with the Bears. Additionally, new associate head coach Sean Desai was one of Hicks’ coaches during his six seasons with the Bears, including as Chicago’s defensive coordinator in 2021.
Hicks, 32, was a Pro Bowler in 2018 and has been a consistent force on the defensive line during his NFL career. So why is he still a free agent?
“Because there are question marks about his health,” Heaps answered. “His age, his health and durability at this stage, it’s much in question.”
Don't underestimate Akiem Hicks' importance to the @ChicagoBears defense. 💪 @The_Dream99 pic.twitter.com/uknbgnCmEN
— NFL (@NFL) July 20, 2021
Hicks would be a boost for the interior of Seattle’s defensive line, but the next two players Heaps brought up would be helpful on the edge.
The first of those two pass rushers Heaps mentioned is Mario Addison, a 34 year old who has had at least five sacks every season since 2014. Addison, Heaps noted, actually had a free-agent visit with the Seahawks prior to the 2022 NFL Draft.
“He got seven sacks last year as a contributing pass rusher with Buffalo. He could be another edge rusher that you bring to the table to add to this overall pass-rushing rotation,” Heaps said. “I think that that could be a nice addition for the Seattle Seahawks if they chose to go that route.”
Let him eat. 😈@HIT_STIQ4 | #GoBills pic.twitter.com/8LCcDcF0zc
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) March 19, 2020
The other edge rusher? Old friend Jadeveon Clowney, who played in Seattle in 2019 but didn’t re-sign. Should the Seahawks think about reuniting with the 29 year old?
“I just don’t see that happening. I don’t see them bringing in Clowney or wanting to do so at this point,” Heaps said.
Competition at center
On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks appear pretty set at four of the five offensive line positions after last month’s draft.
The Seahawks drafted left tackle Charles Cross and right tackle Abraham Lucas in the first and third rounds, respectively, and starting guards Damien Lewis and Gabe Jackson are both set to return.
The Seahawks did sign center Austin Blythe, who has experience playing for offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and offensive line coach Andy Dickerson in Los Angeles for the Rams, but Heaps thinks another veteran on the market could be intriguing for Seattle.
“I would be curious as to what their perspective is on J.C. Tretter,” Heaps said.
“People don’t understand that he did not miss a game and battled like crazy.”
JC Tretter fought through injury to never miss a snap this season, and that didn't go unnoticed by his teammates.
🎥 Watch » https://t.co/JWkwaYK0sB pic.twitter.com/vjAwRFAw64
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 15, 2019
Tretter, 31, has started 16 games in each of the last five years for the Cleveland Browns, and Heaps called him one of the most consistent centers in football.
“He currently is still sitting on the market right now. He’s been durable, he’s been available (and there) hasn’t really been much of an injury question for him,” Heaps said, “so I am wondering why he is still available on the open market. But if you’re talking about solidifying that center group and that center position, I know that they have a lot of confidence in Austin Blythe and his experience in the system, but someone who has performed at a high level as a starter on one of the best offensive lines over the last three years, J.C. Tretter, why not?”
Jake and Stacy airs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on Seattle Sports Station 710 AM. You can find podcasts of each day’s show an hour after it concludes at this link.
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