Moore: Top 10 free agents that Seahawks should bring back for 2020
Jan 14, 2020, 10:41 AM
The Seahawks have 22 unrestricted free agents, players who can sign with other teams and leave Seattle in the offseason.
Some we wouldn’t miss at all. I’d put Ziggy Ansah, Jaron Brown, Akeem King, Kalan Reed, C.J. Prosise, Robert Turbin, Dekoda Watson and Geno Smith in that group.
Others, such as Marshawn Lynch and Josh Gordon, aren’t likely to return. And even if Gordon wanted to come back, he’s been suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating policies on performance-enhancing substances and substances of abuse.
And with two of the Seahawks’ unrestricted free agents, put me on the fence whether they’re valuable enough to bring back: Neiko Thorpe and Al Woods. Thorpe is a good contributor on special teams, and Woods, who will be eligible to play in the first game of the 2020 season after serving a four-game PED suspension, is a good run-stopper on the defensive line. But he’s getting up there in age and might choose to retire to his farm in Louisiana anyway.
That leaves a top 10 of unrestricted free agents I hope the Seahawks will keep, and to help general manager John Schneider, I’ve prioritized the list from 10th to 1st.
10) DE Branden Jackson: Rotational defensive lineman had 3.5 sacks this year and could be a decent enough role player at the right price.
9) TE Luke Willson: I’d like to put him higher because I love the guy, but what he means to the team on the field compared to others on the list warrants a No. 9 ranking. But tight end is definitely a position the Seahawks need to address in the offseason.
8) C Joey Hunt: Filled in pretty capably for Justin Britt after the starting center suffered a midseason ACL injury. Question is, was Hunt good enough to pencil him in as the starter in 2020? If so, they could move on from Britt and his $8.25 million salary.
7) OT George Fant: I’d rate the offensive tackle higher, but based on his comments Monday, it sounds like he wants to go to a team where he could start at left tackle. That won’t happen here with Duane Brown in front of him.
6) OG Mike Iupati: Good free-agent addition this year to replace J.R. Sweezy, but injury concerns put the starting left guard on the bubble to return unless they can work out a low-budget deal.
5) DT Jarran Reed: I’m guessing you’d probably have him higher on your top 10 list, but what did Reed do in his 10 games this season that made you feel like you want to pay him double-digit millions to keep him? I didn’t see the player who recorded 10.5 sacks in 2019, and was he all that great as a run defender? Not double-digit millions great, I know that. Then again, maybe a full training camp next year would return him to 2019 form. Interesting decision looms for Schneider here.
4) DT Quinton Jefferson: Looks like a keeper to me. Not a great defensive tackle, just a scrappy one who always seems to be around the ball. And would likely return for a team-friendly deal.
3) OT Germain Ifedi: OK, I know, you’ve got him on your Bottom 10 list, and on the off-chance you have him on your top 10 list, he’d be at No. 9 or 10. But he played every snap at right tackle this year, and don’t you think the Seahawks would have made a change if he was as bad as you thought he was? We can agree to disagree on this one, but I’ll stick with Ifedi at No. 3 and hope he’s retained.
2) LB Mychal Kendricks: He’ll be coming off a torn ACL, but he’s such a good linebacker that the Seahawks will no doubt make every effort to keep him. And I think the inside trader will be loyal to a team that took a chance on a convicted felon. Then again, Cody Barton might be ready to replace him.
1) DE Jadeveon Clowney: No-brainer at No. 1. Can you imagine where the Seahawks’ defensive line would be without him. One of the best run-stopping defensive linemen in the league and he disrupts passing games too. Is he worth $20 million a year? Still not sure about that, but I think Schneider might have to bite the bullet and hope it’s enough to beat out other free-agent offers around the league. Positive signs: Clowney is more effective in a 4-3 defense, and he said he wants to play for a contender. Loves being on a team with Russell Wilson too.