Rost: Answering your burning Seahawks free agency questions
NFL free agency kicked off Wednesday and the Seahawks have already made a few additions – though perhaps not the big one fans are hoping for.
Here’s a quick collection of a few of your free agency questions so far:
Outside of Jadeveon Clowney, who are available pass rushers that make sense for the Seahawks?
We discussed a few potential fits during our free agent preview on Tom, Jake, and Stacy, including Robert Quinn, Yannick Ngakoue, Dante Fowler Jr., Vic Beasley, Shaq Lawson, Gerald McCoy, and Matthew Judon. But as is the case with any free agent period – even exceptionally unprecedented ones – those players don’t stay available for long.
Quinn has since signed with Chicago, Fowler with Atlanta, Beasley with Tennessee, Lawson with Miami and McCoy with Dallas Ngakoue and Judon were both franchise tagged, which means they could be available – but only at the right price. Adding either would require a trade parting with high draft capitol in addition to a new long-term deal.
A few players are still available. Everson Griffin could be one target. At 32, he’s a few years older than Clowney, but it also means he’ll be seeking a less expensive deal than the $20-million per year contract Spotrac estimates Clowney will command.
Griffin had 8 sacks, 41 combined tackles, and 24 quarterback hits with the Vikings last year, all of which would have led Seahawks defensive linemen in 2019.
Ndamukong Suh, who has been linked to the Seahawks before, is also still on the market. Benson Mayowa (7 sacks in 2019) is a younger option at 28 who will draw interest from teams as well.
The Seahawks signed C B.J. Finney and tendered C Joey Hunt. So, what’s up with Justin Britt? Do they typically carry three centers on the roster?
Seattle doesn’t like to carry three centers on the roster so much as they like plenty of versatility with their offensive line depth pieces. Ethan Pocic is a prime example; he played center at LSU, but has taken snaps at both guard positions in Seattle.
Finney played well for the Steelers in place of starting center Maurkice Pouncey last year. But he’s also played at left guard and right guard, making him a possible option to replace Mike Iupati, who also hit free agency Wednesday.
Despite Hunt’s impressive performance in eight games last year, Britt remains the best option at center. But he also carries the fifth-highest salary cap hit on the roster. The Seahawks, who have already seen their $60 million in cap space dwindle to $20 million or so, could add another $8.5 million by cutting Britt.
It’s that cap savings – rather than any experience brought by Finney or Hunt – that makes it worth questioning whether Britt will remain a part of Seattle’s plans, and it’s certainly something to keep an eye on. But before fans start calling for Britt to be cut, remember that solving one problem could come at the expense of stability elsewhere.
There’s a reason Britt carries that cap hit – he’s been one of the Seahawks’ most consistent offensive linemen.
What do Seattle’s tackle signings mean for Germain Ifedi?
The signs on this one are a bit more clear, mostly because Brandon Shell – who reportedly signed a two-year, $11 million deal with Seattle Wednesday – has two years’ worth of starting experience.
Shell has been the starting right tackle for the New York Jets since 2017. He doesn’t have Ifedi’s durability; Ifedi has missed just four games in four years for Seattle and was the only player outside of Russell Wilson to appear in every snap for the Seahawks last year. But Shell could be a more affordable option.
Outside of signings and all things Jadeveon Clowney, is there anything else I should know this week about the Seahawks?
Two quick news bites:
First, safety Tedric Thompson has been given permission to seek a trade, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The 25-year-old Thompson, who was a fourth-round pick by the Seahawks in 2017, started the 2019 season at free safety, but ended the season in injured reserve after the team traded for Quandre Diggs.
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that currently-suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon intends to play in 2020.
While the league’s new CBA has loosened its rules on some substances of abuse, like marijuana, Fowler reports that Gordon is “beholden to the old rules” – meaning he will still have to await reinstatement by commissioner Roger Goodell.