Moore: Seahawks need D-line help, and both Michael Bennett and Ndamukong Suh are available
This might be an idiotic suggestion, but for a Seahawks team that needs upgrades along the defensive line in the worst way, particularly if Jadeveon Clowney leaves, Michael Bennett and Ndamukong Suh are interesting options in free agency.
First off, they’re available options, let’s just start there. Secondly, they’re veterans who have been solid to spectacular throughout their careers. Yes, they’ve also been controversial. But they’re in the twilight now, making them cost-effective candidates for general manager John Schneider to consider.
I thought the idea of bringing back Bennett might border on ridiculous, but in a Twitter poll, 38 percent voted “Why not?” OK, 47 percent don’t want him back, voting “No chance, too disruptive.” I think that’s how the 15 percent who voted “Are you outta your mind?” felt too.
One more poll: Michael Bennett's a free agent. How desperate are you for pass rushers? He's 34 but still effective with 6.5 sacks last year, 2.5 more than any Seahawk in 2019. Cheap option at this point in his career. And maybe he's mellowed. Would you bring him back? #GoCougs
— Jim Moore (@cougsgo) February 6, 2020
But 38 percent was more favorable than I thought, and it’s probably because we saw the Seahawks record a shockingly low 28 sacks in 2019, an average of less than two a game.
As we recall, Bennett was traded to Philadelphia before the 2018 season and has played with three teams since leaving the Seahawks – the Eagles, Patriots and Cowboys. With New England and Dallas, he had 6.5 sacks last year, proving he’s still effective at getting to the quarterback at the age of 33.
Can he be just as impactful at the age of 34? I would think so, and even if you think he’d be disruptive, I’ll ask you this: Didn’t it work out fairly well with Marshawn Lynch this year? I know it wasn’t a case of Beast Mode Returneth because he wasn’t the same guy anymore, but it proved that the Seahawks will bring back anyone if they feel it can help them win a Super Bowl title. Lynch, remember, did not leave on the best of terms with the team when he supposedly retired.
So I would think that leaves the door ajar for Bennett’s return. Meanwhile, this is the second straight year I’ve pushed for the Seahawks to sign Suh in free agency. All of his issues are in the distant past now. That time that he was suspended two games for pushing Green Bay offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith’s head into the ground three times while stomping on his arm? We’re nine years removed from that incident.
If you still think he’s a dirtbag, couldn’t the Seahawks use some of that anyway? Here’s a more tangible reason to sign him – Suh anchored a Tampa Bay defense that was No. 1 against the run this year. The Bucs allowed only 73.8 rushing yards a game, 13 fewer than the Jets, who had the second-best run defense.
Suh’s a Portland native, and maybe I read too much into these things, but if I’m from the Northwest, maybe I’m more inclined to return to my roots to finish out my career. Suh is 33 and fits into what Schneider has done in the past, signing veteran tackles to bolster his defensive lines. And it’s a line that will really need help if free agents Jarran Reed, Quinton Jefferson and Clowney depart.
Plus there’s this – Schneider has always liked the idea of bringing in former first-rounders who have not met expectations elsewhere. Barkevious Mingo and Luke Joeckel are two examples, and yep, you’re right, they didn’t work out, but maybe Suh will because he’s already had a good if not terrific career already.
I’m game to see the Seahawks do something, even if it’s out-of-the-box like signing Bennett or Suh or both. You can’t have another season with 28 sacks. And you can’t have a third consecutive season allowing 4.9 yards a run. Carolina (5.2), Jacksonville (5.1) and Cleveland (5.0) were the only teams worse than Seattle in yards per carry allowed.
It might be a crazy thought to sign Bennett or Suh, but you know what’s crazier? Letting this defense continue to be one of the worst in the league.
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