Moore: Seahawks trending towards a poor D-line we’ve seen before

Mar 18, 2020, 9:20 AM

Seahawks DE Jadeveon Clowney...

The Seahawks appear all-in on Jadeveon Clowney, which Jim Moore doesn't understand. (Getty)


I’m not sure what I’m missing here, and maybe you can help me out. It seems like there is growing anxiety about Jadeveon Clowney and a continuing hope that he remains with the Seahawks.

Clayton: Dominoes have fallen in Hawks’ favor in Clowney pursuit

The longer he stays unsigned, chances improve that he stays in Seattle. Or so the thinking goes. And it makes sense. Some teams have dropped out of a Clowney pursuit by signing other pass rushers, increasing Seattle’s odds of keeping him.

And with so many free-agent pass rushers off the market, it leads you to believe that the Seahawks are now in a Clowney-or-bust mode. But they’re really not. There are still lower-cost options out there, and if you’re more interested in a bigger splash, the Seahawks have been mentioned in connection with trades involving Matthew Judon of Baltimore and Yannick Ngakoue of Jacksonville.

Still, let’s say you’re all in on keeping Clowney. Can you explain that one to me? If they do make it happen, Clowney and Jarran Reed will return as the headliners on the defensive line.

But haven’t we seen this before? And since we have, why would we want to see it again? In 2019 the Seahawks recorded 28 sacks. Know how many defensive linemen came up with? That would be 19, including 3 by Clowney and 2 by Reed.

And to those who say sacks aren’t everything and that it’s typically difficult for defensive tackles to register sacks, I’d say, yeah, I get all of that. But when you go from 9 in 2018 to 3 like Clowney did in 2019 and Reed went from 10.5 in 2018 to 2 in 2019, it doesn’t make me want to bring them back for a combined $30 million or more.

If we’re arguing about this in front of an arbitrator, you could tell him that Clowney would have been more impactful if he hadn’t suffered a core injury midway through the season. With Reed, you’d say he was hurt by not having a training camp and missing six games because of a domestic-violence suspension.

You could be right. But Clowney was inconsistent before the core injury. And did you note how many tackles for loss Reed had in 2019? Zero.

I know they were only two pieces on the defense, but I think we can agree that it was a below-average unit against the run and the pass. So why would you want to run it back all over again?

Another consideration: If they sign Clowney to a team-friendly $18 million to $20 million annual deal, it would force them to make moves to give them more operating room under the cap to address other needs. If they lose Germain Ifedi, they’ll need another starting right tackle if you don’t think Jamarco Jones or someone else on the roster can replace him.

A Clowney signing would have ramifications for Justin Britt and K.J. Wright, two candidates to have their contracts restructured or outright released.

Could things get worse without Clowney? Sure. But couldn’t they get better too? I’ll cite that old saying about the definition of insanity, hoping the Seahawks are forced to go in a different direction after another team signs Clowney.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jim Moore on Twitter.

O’Neil: Seahawks in same spot as 2013, but it’s not as easy this time

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks Jamal Adams...

Brandon Gustafson

Injury Report: Adams back vs Giants, but Seahawks have lengthy list

The Seattle Seahawks will have Jamal Adams back for Week 4 against the Giants, but there are lots of question marks with the injury report.

9 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks Jake Bobo...

Brandon Gustafson

Bumpus: Seahawks may have unlocked new red zone target in Jake Bobo

Do the Seattle Seahawks have a new weapon in the red zone? Michael Bumpus thinks they do in undrafted rookie receiver Jake Bobo.

10 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks Quandre Diggs...

Stacy Rost

Rost: Will a healthy Seahawks’ secondary help the defense click?

For the first time this year, the Seattle Seahawks will be able to have their starting defensive backs on the field at the same time.

1 day ago

Seattle Seahawks Jamal Adams...

Brandon Gustafson

Carroll discusses Adams’ return, Seahawks’ rookies ahead of Giants game

Before the Seattle Seahawks face the Giants, Pete Carroll discussed the return of Jamal Adams and the rookies heading into primetime.

1 day ago

Seattle Seahawks...

The Associated Press

Seahawks will try to stay perfect at MetLife when they face Giants

The Seattle Seahawks face the New York Giants on Monday at MetLife Stadium, where the Hawks are a perfect 5-0, including in Super Bowl 48.

1 day ago

Seattle Seahawks Geno Smith...

Brandon Gustafson

Huard: 3 numbers show how well Seahawks’ Geno Smith is playing

Brock Huard breaks down a few numbers that illustrate how Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith is among the NFL's top quarterbacks this year.

2 days ago

Moore: Seahawks trending towards a poor D-line we’ve seen before