Moore: The top 10 free agents the Seahawks should go after
With so many needs, I suspect that Seahawks general manager John Schneider will be active in free agency. But if he isn’t, it’s because he highly values compensatory draft picks that are awarded to teams who lose more free agents than they sign.
I hope he doesn’t worry about compensatory picks this year. Schneider has as much as $60 million in salary cap room to work with, and I’m starting to think he might be better off letting Jadeveon Clowney go and signing pure free-agent pass rushers instead.
As disruptive as Clowney was this year, the Seahawks’ defense was still ranked 26th in the league and gave up 6 yards per play. Only Cincinnati and Houston were worse, allowing 6.1 yards per play.
The offense could use some help too, especially along the offensive line and at wide receiver, maybe even at running back. With that in mind, here are the top 10 free agents I’d like to see the Seahawks pursue. I’ve intentionally left out some of the bigger names, such as pass rushers Yannick Ngakoue of Jacksonville and Shaquille Barrett of Tampa Bay, because of franchise-tag potential or exorbitant cost to sign them. All of the players are listed in NFLTradeRumors.com’s top 100 available free agents and their ranking is in parentheses:
• 10) Randall Cobb, wide receiver, Dallas (78): Seahawks are looking for a third receiver behind Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. Neither David Moore or Jaron Brown have proven to be the answer. John Ursua might be a candidate, but Cobb would be a nice veteran addition who has 525 receptions for 6,352 yards and 44 TDs in his career. He’ll be 30 when the season starts.
• 9) Demar Dotson, right tackle, Tampa Bay (56): You got me, I’ve never heard of him, but if he’s good enough to be 56th on somebody’s top 100 list and third-best right tackle on that list, sign me up for Dotson to replace Germain Ifedi, who is expected to sign elsewhere in free agency. He’s bound to be an upgrade over Ifedi, who isn’t mentioned on the NFL Trade Rumors list.
• 8) Carlos Hyde, running back, Houston (99): Rushed for 1,070 yards on 245 carries for the Texans. Nice insurance policy if you have questions about Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny returning from their injuries. Could be a lead back, a No. 2 or provide solid depth at the age of 30.
• 7) Michael Brockers, defensive tackle, Rams (53): If Jarran Reed leaves in free agency, Brockers could fill in nicely. One of the best defensive-tackle prospects in the 2012 draft. Could help the Seahawks improve their poor run defense.
• 6) Darqueze Dennard, cornerback, Cincinnati (56): As with Dotson, I’ve got sketchy research on Dennard, but if he’s a starting slot corner with an NFL team, even if it’s the Bengals, perhaps he’d shore up a position that was problematic for the Seahawks this year. Especially if you have questions about Ugo Amadi moving forward.
• 5) Dante Fowler, outside linebacker, Rams (19): Might be too pricey, but we all know how badly the Seahawks need a pass rusher, and Fowler had a breakthrough season with 11.5 sacks for the Rams. Had 16 in his first three seasons, which might bring his asking price within Schneider’s range.
• 4) Hunter Henry, tight end, Chargers (18): If you’re not sold on Will Dissly being 100 percent coming back from a torn Achilles the year after he came back from a torn patellar tendon, then Henry could be an option. Former second-round choice out of Arkansas, Henry had 55 receptions for 662 yards and five TDs for the Chargers in 2019.
• 3) Kenyan Drake, running back, Arizona (45): Like Hyde, another possibility at running back, but an even better option. We saw him run for 166 yards and two TDs in Arizona’s 27-13 win over the Seahawks in December. Rushed for 817 yards and eight TDs last year.
• 2) Joe Thuney, left guard, New England (30): Seahawks aren’t expected to re-sign Mike Iupati, leaving an opening that could be capably filled by Thuney, the best left guard on the NFL Trade Rumors list. Another expensive guy, but wouldn’t you like to see some improvements on the O-line? Plus Thuney’s only 27, making him a possible fixture for years to come.
• 1) Arik Armstead, defensive end, San Francisco (13): He had 10 sacks for the 49ers this year, and I like the idea of weakening a division foe while strengthening your own team. Sacramento native but played at Oregon, might be interested in heading back to the Northwest and helping the Seahawks get more than 28 sacks next year.
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