Rost: The good and bad of free agency for Seahawks so far

Mar 14, 2023, 9:45 AM
Seahawks Dre'Mont Jones...
Sam Darnold throws under pressure from Dre'Mont Jones of the Denver Broncos on Nov. 27, 2022. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
(Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The NFL’s legal tampering period opened Monday, during which time teams can negotiate deals with agents. While nothing can become official until the start of the new league year on Wednesday, several moves have already been reported. There’s been just one for the Seahawks so far, but it’s not the only move that impacts Seattle’s offseason.

Panthers trade for No. 1: Good news… if you want defense

Before the weekend, two teams ahead of Seattle were in need of defensive talent: Chicago (No. 1) and Arizona (No. 3). Most mock drafts had the draft’s top two defensive linemen – Georgia’s Jalen Carter and Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. – off the board by the time the Seahawks were up at No. 5 overall. Would the Seahawks go with the next-best choice, or take a quarterback? Gamesmanship or not, both Pete Carroll and John Schneider made it clear at the combine that they were open to the idea of selecting a passer.

Then two things happened. First, Jalen Carter was charged with reckless driving in a fatal crash that occurred in January. Carter, mocked as the potential first overall pick were the Bears to stay put, suddenly faced falling out of the top-5. ESPN’s Adam Schefter believes there’s a chance he’s now available at No. 9… where the Bears can still select him. Which brings us to the next event: Chicago’s massive trade with Carolina.

The Panthers sent four picks and wide receiver D.J. Moore to Chicago in exchange for the first overall pick and the chance to find their franchise quarterback. That makes three quarterback-needy teams ahead of the Seahawks and a real chance one of the best two defensive players in the draft become available for Seattle at No. 5.

Related: How Panthers’ trade up to No. 1 spot in NFL Draft impacts the Seahawks

“One of those guys really should be there for them,” The Ringer’s Sheil Kapadia told Bump and Stacy Monday. “Because the Colts I think are probably going quarterback at No. 4 unless they just decide they don’t like any of these guys. So you real could see three, four quarterbacks go ahead of the Seahawks and so they have a chance to add a blue chip defensive player. They have a chance to move back in the draft, acquire more draft capital and fill more needs. The wild card is do they make a move at quarterback and surprise everyone and take an Anthony Richardson if he’s still there at No. 5. So, they might be the most interesting team there in the top-10 of the draft.”

Cody Barton signs with Washington: Bad news… if the Seahawks don’t add another ILB

I already know what most of you are thinking.

Barton, who’d spent his career as a backup, got his first chance as a full-time starter last season and while he impressed at times and improved, overall he was an imperfect follow-up to what had been a top-tier position group for a decade. His final outing – a wild card loss to the 49ers – was his worst of the year. So yes, I’m sure many Seahawks fans are ready and willing to move on.

But an imperfect solution is sometimes the only option, which was the case for Seattle at inside linebacker following Jordyn Brooks’ surgery to repair a torn ACL.

With Barton reportedly heading to Washington, Seattle is facing even greater depth concerns.

There’s a chance Brooks beats the odds and can return for most of a full season, but for now Seattle will need more insurance at ILB. Bobby Wagner remains available and Schneider has had talks with the former Seahawks star about a possible reunion (Dallas is also reportedly courting Wagner). Lavonte David and Devin Bush are two of the best remaining options, though also two of the priciest.

Seattle bulks up the DL with Dre’Mont Jones: Great news

Seattle is badly in need of help at defensive tackle and with Javon Hargrave heading to San Francisco (bad news!) they got one of the best interior pass rushers remaining with 26-year-old Dre’Mont Jones.

Reports: Seahawks make splash in free agency with DT Dre’Mont Jones

Jones and Seattle have reportedly agreed to a three-year deal worth $51 million, according to The Score’s Jordan Schultz.

Jones had 6.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hits, and nine tackles for loss last season for Denver. He ranked sixth among defensive tackles in ESPN’s pass rush win rate metric (16%).

The Seahawks are still widely projected to draft a defensive lineman with their fifth overall pick but adding a (still young) veteran on the interior further bulks up the Seahawks’ greatest area of need.

Report: Seahawks release veteran D-lineman Quinton Jefferson

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