WYMAN AND BOB

Wyman & Bob: Top free agents the Seahawks should target this offseason

Feb 7, 2023, 4:29 PM | Updated: 7:40 pm

Seahawks Daron Payne...

Densive tackle Daron Payne of the Washington Commanders reacts after recording a safety on September 25, 2022. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

(Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

While a lot of attention has naturally been on the upcoming draft and what the Seahawks will do with the No. 5 overall pick, NFL free agency is coming up soon and Seattle can certainly make a splash there.

Currently, the Seahawks are seventh in the league in available cap space. And while a lot of that is earmarked for a deal with quarterback Geno Smith as well as the upcoming draft class, Seattle is still in position to add to the roster.

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When looking at the upcoming free agent class, Bob Stelton and Dave Wyman of Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob shared some of their favorite free agents from other teams they’d like to see the Seahawks go after during Tuesday’s show.

Commanders DT Daron Payne

“I think Daron Payne would be most people’s pick,” Stelton said. “It’s not sexy – it’s a defensive tackle … It’s not those flash positions, so to speak, but he’s a very good player who addresses a pressing need for this team, and he’s a young guy, and he’s a productive guy. So that was my No. 1.”

“He’s a homewrecker, man,” added Wyman. “And the thing is that I think that (need for a defensive tackle) came became very obvious (for the Seahawks) during the playoffs. That the kind of guy they need.”

Payne turns 26 in May and is coming off a Pro Bowl season that saw the fifth-year pro record 11.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss. He was a first-round pick in 2018 and has 26 career sacks and 40 tackles for loss. Payne has also been durable in his career, missing just one game.

Payne would certainly help a Seahawks defense that struggled mightily to stop the run in 2022, including in their playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Cardinals DL Zach Allen

Another player both Wyman and Bob would like the Seahawks to go after is a division foe, Zach Allen.

Allen, 25, was a 2019 third-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals. The 6-foot-4, 281-pound defensive lineman has 11.5 career sacks in 35 games, including 5.5 last season. He also has batted down 15 passes in his career.

Wyman thinks he’d be a good fit schematically for the Seahawks.

“He’s a good defensive end that can hold that edge if you have a 3-4 (scheme), and that’s what I like about him, too … (Improving) that D-line, that’s really important,” he said.

Chargers LB Drue Tranquill

In addition to improving the defensive line, Wyman says the Seahawks need to figure out the inside linebacker spot. They will likely need to add two players as 2022 starter Cody Barton is a free agent and key starter and on-field play-caller Jordyn Brooks tore his ACL in Week 16, so he may not be ready come Week 1.

“You know what’s becoming really more glaringly important to me, anyway, is linebacker,” he said. “Drue Tranquill, looking at that kid going into the Chargers game … he made a lot of plays, a lot of passes broken up. He’s a really good second-level linebacker.”

Tranquill, 27, played all 17 games last year and had 146 tackles, five sacks and 10 tackles for loss for the LA Chargers.

Buccaneers LB Lavonte David

Sticking with inside linebacker, Wyman would love for the Seahawks to target longtime Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David, but he ultimately doesn’t see it happening.

“He’s been in Tampa the whole time. He’s not going anywhere,” he said of the 33 year old. ” … I put him in there just because I would love to have him … He’s still one of those guys that’s like, ‘If I have to sprint all the way outside the tackle, dive and take out a fullback so somebody else can make a play, I’m going to do it.’ He’s a tough guy.”

David is a three-time All-Pro and was a big part of the Bucs’ 2020 Super Bowl title. And despite being an older player, the 2012 second-round pick played in all 17 games for Tampa last season.

Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki

On the other side of the ball, Wyman went with Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki, who is 27 years old. His reasoning is, well, interesting.

“Mike Gesicki. And one of the reasons why I put him on there is because I really hate him,” he said.

Huh?

“This guy is just all over the place. I mean, he’s one of those guys that kind of gets under your skin,” Wyman said.

Ahh.

Gesicki is heading into his sixth NFL season and he’s been in Miami the entire time. He has been a productive pass catcher despite just 31 starts in 81 career games.

“2020 is when I really noticed him because the Seahawks played the Dolphins (and he had) 700 yards in that season and six touchdowns, and he had five touchdowns the year before that,” Wyman said. “So I just think he’s one of those guys who’s kind of nasty, like he’s a jerk, but he’s our jerk, right? And so that’s kind of what I like about him.”

Gesicki has 231 career catches for 2,617 yards and 18 touchdowns. His production took a big hit in 2022 under new head coach Mike McDaniel as he had just 362 yards after posting 700-plus-yard seasons in 2020 and 2021.

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