Bumpus: 3 free-agent defenders the Seahawks should pursue

Jan 31, 2023, 2:53 PM
Seahawks Daron Payne...
Daron Payne of the Washington Commanders reacts after recovering a fumble against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 30, 2022. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

The Seahawks surprised many by going 9-8 and making the playoffs in 2022, but their defense was a big issue throughout the season.

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Not only can it be expected that the Seahawks address needs on that side of the ball in April’s NFL Draft, but they’ll likely make some moves in free agency, which kicks off on March 15.

When looking ahead to the upcoming free agency cycle, former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus thinks there are three defenders who the Seahawks should target in the open market. He shared those names during Tuesday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports 710 AM.

Broncos DL Dre’Mont Jones

“So I’m gonna go on the cheaper end to start … I’m gonna go Dre’Mont Jones from the Denver Broncos,” Bumpus said.

Jones, 26, enters free agency after spending the first four years of his career in Denver, which took him in the third round in 2019.

The 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive end has been very consistent in his career, recording at least 6.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hits and seven tackles for loss in each of the last three seasons. Jones also shined in a more advanced statistic.

“He had a 15.9% pass rush win rate – that’s No. 6 in the league,” Bumpus said. “He’s 26 years old, he’s probably only going to be about around $4 million. If you want to go on the cheaper end for a guy who produces, that’s the guy you look at.”

Commanders DT Daron Payne

If Jones is someone who the Seahawks could get on the cheaper end, the opposite is true of Washington Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne, a first-round pick in 2018.

Payne, 25, has 26 sacks to his name in 81 career games, and had far and away the best season of his career in 2022.

“He had 11.5 sacks, he’s 6 foot 3 and 320 pounds, and this guy can move and he’s powerful at the same time,” Bumpus said. “He had a 12.7% pass rush win rate, that is 12th in the league. He’s probably going to be valued around $14 million. You want to spend some money on a guy in the box? You go and get him.”

Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds

In addition to needing help on the defensive line and on the edges, the Seahawks need help at inside linebacker in their 3-4 defensive scheme they debuted in 2022.

That position group is extremely thin as Jordyn Brooks tore his ACL at the end of the season and Cody Barton is a pending unrestricted free agent after an up-and-down campaign.

Bump’s answer to that? Buffalo Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, a first-round pick in 2018 who has made two Pro Bowls.

“I love this dude over there in Buffalo. He’s great against the run, he plays downhill. You want violence in a football player? You look at the film on Edmonds and you’re gonna see that,” Bumpus said. “He had 66 solo tackles, one interception. He is valued at $12 million.”

Listen to the full second hour of Tuesday’s Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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