Schneider: What Seahawks envision for new LBs Dodson and Baker

Mar 21, 2024, 4:58 PM | Updated: 7:22 pm

Out are Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks and in are Tyrel Dodson and Jerome Baker as linebackers for the Seattle Seahawks.

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Wagner and Brooks started for the Hawks last year, but both are on new teams with Wagner joining a few of his former coaches in Washington while Brooks, Seattle’s first-round pick in 2020, signed a three-year contract with the Miami Dolphins.

In turn, the Seahawks signed Dodson and Baker to one-year deals in free agency. Dodson is 26 years old and spent the first four years of his career in Buffalo, while the 27-year-old Baker just wrapped up his sixth NFL season, all of which have been with Miami.

During this week’s John Schneider Show on Seattle Sports with the Seahawks general manager and president of football operations, he first had a little fun with hosts Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton when asked about his two new linebackers, who were not signed at the time of last week’s show.

“Both of you guys (last week) were freaking out about the linebackers at the time, and I was like, ‘Well, there’s one upstairs (in Dodson) and there’s another one flying in tomorrow night (in Baker). I really want to tell these guys. I really want to tell them, but I don’t want the other guy going to the other club and the guy upstairs leaving to get on the plane to go where he was supposed to go,'” Schneider said.

Per Schneider, both Dodson and Baker have worn the “green dot,” meaning they received play calls from their defensive coordinator and relayed that information to teammates on the field. He also shared where they likely will fit in positionally.

“Jerome right now would be the WILL (weakside linebacker) and Dodson will be the MIKE (middle linebacker). That’s the way the coaches are seeing this,” he said.

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Schneider also dove into what the Seahawks like about Dodson and Baker.

“(Director of pro personnel Willie Schneider) and the pro staff, they really had identifed Dodson — (assistant general manager Nolan Teasley) and those guys did as well — as a guy that’d be a great fit for us,” Schneider said.

Schneider said he and his staff got great insight from former NFL linebacker Dan Morgan, who is now the general manager of the Carolina Panthers. Morgan spent eight years in Seattle’s front office before spending 2018-20 with Buffalo, which signed Dodson as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2020.

“(Morgan) has always bragged about him and being a huge fan of the instincts,” Schneider said. “He’s slightly undersized but has great eyes, great feel for flow, being able to find the ball inside … and then the coverage stuff is really, really, really impressive. So, it was just a matter of time. (Morgan) always talked about when this guy gets to play — because (the Bills) had some pretty good linebackers playing in front of him — and he’s been a (darn) good special teams player. So he was really a guy we had identified like, ‘OK, if this doesn’t happen, that doesn’t happen, then we should probably make a move.’

“He’s 26 years old. He came in, (head coach Mike Macdonald) and (defensive coordinator Aden Durde) and (assistant head coach Leslie Frazier), the whole defensive staff did a great job recruiting him because he had significant interest from another club. That’s what I was saying about we were trying to not let him leave the building and go get another flight. We’re really excited about him.”

As for Baker, he wasn’t slotted to be a free agent this offseason but was released by the Dolphins. Schneider said the Seahawks have had interest in him since he was cut.

“We’ve been working on Jerome since the day he was released, really,” Schneider said. “I met with his agent down at the combine and we were kind of presenting our case and (how) we think it’d be a great spot for him. Baker, he’s worn the dot, he can fly, we really liked him in college. He’s just a run-and-hit guy. He’s had a lot of production — a lot of sack production, too. The one thing that stands out about him is his range. He can really fly around the field. Dodson as well.”

“We’re trying to obviously get big up front and get really strong down the middle of our defense and then try to build from there,” Schneider later said.

Listen to the full John Schneider Show at this link or in the player near the top of this story. 

More on the Seattle Seahawks

• Bumpus: The Seahawks’ starting center in 2024 is on the roster
• Could Jamal Adams return to Seahawks? Huard thinks so — as LB
• Salk: The NFL’s big QB problem that Seahawks must learn from
• Rich Eisen: QB Sam Howell takes pressure off Seahawks in NFL Draft
• Seahawks Mock Draft Roundup: UW’s Fautanu remains popular pick at 16
• Seahawks add big defensive tackle in free agency, per reports
• Seahawks make an addition at safety in free agency, per report

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Schneider: What Seahawks envision for new LBs Dodson and Baker