BROCK AND SALK

Who could be Seahawks trade options with Nwosu out?

Oct 24, 2023, 2:19 PM

The Seattle Seahawks’ defense has been enjoying a strong turnaround this season, and their pass rushers and edge setters have played a big role in that.

Booger McFarland: Seahawks, 49ers ‘mirror images of each other’

Seattle is tied for fifth in the NFL with 23 sacks this season, a number that is actually more impressive considering the Seahawks have already had their bye week, meaning they’ve played one less game than every team ahead of them in that category. The Seahawks are also sixth in the league in rushing yards allowed per game with 87.2.

Here’s where there is suddenly an issue. The Seahawks seem to have just lost their best outside linebacker, Uchenna Nwosu, who suffered a pectoral injury in Sunday’s win over Arizona and is likely headed for season-ending surgery.

Seattle Seahawks’ top OLB Uchenna Nwosu likely done for season

How will the Hawks address the loss of Nwosu to keep their defense moving in the right direction? One potential answer is via trade, though that would need to happen soon – the NFL trade deadline is set for 1 p.m. on Halloween (Tuesday, Oct. 31).

With that in mind, Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk spent some time this Tuesday going through a list of four pass rushers who the Hawks could target over the next seven days, all of whom would be rentals set to be free agents after this season. Let’s take a look at what former NFL quarterback and current FOX football analyst Brock Huard had to say.

Potential Seattle Seahawks trade targets

Brian Burns, Carolina Panthers

6 foot 5/250 pounds, 25 years old

Brock Huard’s Take: “(Burns and Carolina) did not get a contract done this offseason. He wanted to get paid like an elite pass rusher. They picked up his fifth-year (rookie contract) option, first-round pick out of Florida State. If you remember our draft profiles years ago, I liked this dude a lot. He was lean, so he’s leaner than your other three guys (in Seattle’s pass-rush rotation). So what you ask him to do is play some of that edge, some of that run support. He is much more like Darrell Taylor than he is Uchenna Nwosu.

“He can play this scheme, he can do what’s asked, especially holding down the edge and rushing the passer, and we’ve seen him – Seahawks have faced him, he was No. 0 this year (for Carolina), and you felt his presence on the field. But as far as replacing Uchenna, because that’s really what we’re talking about here, that hole that (Nwosu) fills amongst the four-headed monster that you rotate in and play, by far Uchenna is the most powerful of those four.”

Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings

6-5/263, 28 years old

Brock’s Take: “He’s different. He is a 4-3 end so he is a little different cat. Longer – long and lean, kind of a Cliff Avril-like end, but even longer and leaner. An injury history in the past with a neck, it’s why I think Minnesota a little reluctant to give him huge, huge money. That was a problematic deal for a couple years and kind of a scary injury, to be honest with you. But I don’t know as far as holding down the edge, doing what you’re doing in the run game, things that you would ask of him – to me, he’s much more of like a four-down, Miami Dolphins edge rusher.

“So just fit-wise, of these guys (on the list he’s) probably the least fit (for Seattle) to me, but they make that move, he’s an absolute game-wrecker, game-changer, nickel edge rusher – yes, yes, yes. Awesome. … Once again, just think of Uchenna. Think of what he brings, think of how stout he is. … I’m just saying that is not nearly (Hunter’s) strength. He’d be playing more to his weakness than his strength, which is really rushing the passer.”

Montez Sweat and Chase Young, Washington Commanders

Sweat: 6-6/262, 27 years old
Young: 6-5/264, 24 years old

Brock’s Take: “Montez, he is long. … He was a very impressive combine guy. You just kind of wonder, is it play in, play out, game in, game out, season in, season out? Or is there a lot more flash than substance there? I think over the last year-plus, maybe contract has something to do with it – wants an enormous payday, hasn’t had that yet – and has been motivated to absolutely perform.”

“Chase Young, to me, is the most intriguing of these players, but he also (has an) injury history, and there’s a reason that all of these teams have not extended those players. … I think for Chase in particular, golly, that guy is one of the most unique, top-five drafted talents. And coming out of Ohio State, there’s just there’s not many humans like him. There’s just not many that are capable of doing what he’s doing, but injuries have really derailed his long-term viability. Short-term trade, short-term get him motivated, short-term you’ve got to prove that you’re worth big, big money. Very intriguing, because he is a powerful, strong dude. But his availability is a real question mark.”

Who makes the most sense for Seattle?

Huard goes with Burns, in part because Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider has an established relationship with Carolina’s GM, Scott Fitterer, who was in Seattle’s front office before joining the Panthers.

“I think Burns is my No. 1. You have a relationship in Carolina, you know Fitterer inside and out, they are absolutely going to be sellers,” Huard said.

Listen to the full segment from Tuesday’s Brock and Salk in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks showing signs of a defense that can win games
Carroll: Seahawks’ Witherspoon ‘left his mark’ again in Week 7 win
Carroll: Bobby Wagner ‘having a blast’ as D develops
Seahawks Injuries: Latest from Carroll on DK, O-linemen and more
Rost: Is Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith’s play a cause for concern?

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Who could be Seahawks trade options with Nwosu out?