Clayton: Seahawks checking off offseason boxes with Dunbar, O-line
Slowly but surely, Seahawks general manager John Schneider has been checking off the boxes for team needs.
The pass rush remains the main focus. He’s waiting on Jadeveon Clowney but might opt to land 33-year-old defensive end Everson Griffen. The next option would be a franchise tag trade with either Baltimore or Jacksonville. The wait continues.
In the past day, Schneider took care of the offensive line and the cornerback position. The Seahawks have been looking for a veteran cornerback to compete against Tre Flowers. On Monday, Schneider made a trade that might have made the position that much better.
The Seahawks traded a fifth-round pick to the Washington Redskins for Quinton Dunbar. Dunbar was the Redskins’ best cornerback, but he wanted out of the organization and asked for a trade. The Redskins signed Kendall Fuller to a four-year, $40 million contract in free agency, so for a fifth-round pick, the Seahawks acquired a cornerback who can start and be a good one.
What is it about the fifth round that has so worked so well for this team at cornerback? Richard Sherman was a fifth-rounder and is having a Hall of Fame career. Now, the Seahawks get a good corner at the low cost of a fifth-round pick.
Dunbar checks the boxes of what Pete Carroll and Schneider like. He’s 6 foot 2, 202 pounds. He has the 32-inch arm length that Carroll likes. He has 4.44 speed. What pleases Schneider is that he’s 27 years old. Schneider likes to get players in trades or free agency who are in their mid-20s.
Dunbar also comes to the Seahawks with a low cost. He’s on a three-year, $10.5 million contract. He will count only $3.421 million under the salary cap. He’s also in the last year of his contract.
Last fall, the Seahawks made a steal of a trade in acquiring safety Quandre Diggs from the Detroit Lions for a fifth-round pick. His play brought back some memories of Earl Thomas, and while he’s not Earl Thomas, he helped the Seahawks get back with better play with their Cover One, Cover Three defense.
The Dunbar trade took the Seahawks down to seven draft choices, but don’t worry. Once Schneider resolves the issues at defensive end, you figure he can trade down from the 27th pick in the first round and get more picks. After he made the Frank Clark trade last year, he kept trading and got the Seahawks from four draft choices to 11.
On Sunday, the Seahawks reached an agreement with guard Chance Warmack to complete the shopping to help the offensive line. Warmack, who didn’t play in 2019, is believed to have signed for the NFL minimum so it’s a low-cost game. This agreement pretty well assures the Seahawks won’t bring back Mike Iupati.
The Seahawks now have 14 offensive linemen on the roster and it’s possible they might cut center Justin Britt. Including Warmack, Seattle has made four recent additions to its O-line. B.J. Finney will compete for a starting job at center or guard. Brandon Shell is expected to start at right tackle. Cedric Ogbuehi could be a backup tackle and be a candidate to be a blocking tight end like George Fant was.
One thing didn’t work out for the Seahawks on Monday. This was the first day XFL players could come to agreement with NFL team. Quarterback P.J. Walker, who was the best player in the XFL, agreed to a deal with the Carolina Panthers. The Seahawks were in the mix on Walker along with the Arizona Cardinals. On Sunday, the Cardinals realized they weren’t going to get him so they re-signed Brett Hundley. Now we will see if the Seahawks re-sign backup QB Geno Smith.
More Seahawks offseason coverage
• Why Seahawks would have ‘zero hesitation’ in bringing back Josh Gordon
• Groz: Hawks telling familiar story in free agency, so why are some mad?
• If Clowney considers short-term deal, does that favor the Seahawks?
• Bumpus: After Clowney, Seattle’s priority should be nickel corner
• 2020 offseason tracker: Signings, departures and more
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