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Seahawks Offseason: 3 free agents who could be Seattle’s next signings

Everson Griffen could be a Seahawks target to help their pass rush. (AP)

Seahawks fans are still on Clowney-watch as the NFL heads into its third week of free agency, but the 27-year-old edge rusher may not be the only target for Seattle.

Rost: Answering your burning free agency questions

If the Seahawks can’t get a deal done soon with Clowney, here are a few other players who could be a fit.

DE Everson Griffen

If the Seahawks can’t afford the contract Clowney is seeking, or aren’t willing to part ways with the draft picks it would cost to acquire Yannick Ngakoue from the Jacksonville Jaguars, they could go with an older and cheaper option: 32-year-old Everson Griffen.

Griffen’s last contract was a four-year, $58 million deal signed with the Vikings in 2017 (a clause in the contract allowed Griffen to opt out in 2020). He recorded a career-high 13 sacks following the extension. And while 2018 saw a dip in that production (5.5 sacks), Griffen’s eight sacks and 24 quarterback hits in 2019 were still second among all Vikings and would have led all Seahawks defensive linemen.

It’s worth noting there could be mutual interest. Chris Tomasson, a Vikings reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, tweeted Monday that Griffen “definitely has interest” in signing with Seattle, though any decision will likely depend on where Clowney decides to sign.

 

Even though Griffen would carry a lower cap hit compared to Clowney or Ngakoue, the four-time Pro Bowler would still eat up a not-insignificant portion of Seattle’s remaining cap. That issue was alleviated, at least a bit, when the Seahawks released tight end Ed Dickson and waived safety Tedric Thompson Monday.

Edge rusher Markus Golden

My co-host Jake Heaps is a fan of this potential signing and first brought it to our attention late last week.

The 29-year-old Golden had 10 sacks, 72 tackles, and 27 quarterback hits last year for the New York Giants. That recent production is encouraging but could also be behind his availability. Golden suffered a torn ACL in 2017 and recorded just 2.5 sacks in 2018. As a result, the Giants acquired Golden on a bargain of a deal in 2019: one year, $3.75 million.

Are the Giants holding out because they’re hesitant to pay him significantly more in 2020? The Seahawks may be willing to take that risk if they can’t land Clowney or another veteran rusher.

Wide receiver Paul Richardson

This one’s a little out of left field given Seattle’s needs on defense, but head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have previously given preference to players who have familiarity with their program (see: tight end Luke Willson).

The Seahawks needed wide receiver help behind Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, and they have added to that depth by signing former first-rounder Phillip Dorsett and tendering David Moore and Malik Turner. More help wouldn’t hurt – especially at a low cost.

Richardson has struggled to remain healthy but is still just 27 years old and at his best he provided Russell Wilson with a deep-threat target. Richardson’s 16 yards per reception led all Seahawks wide receivers in 2017, earning Seattle’s 2014 second-round pick a five-year, $40 million contract with $20 million guaranteed with Washington. Richardson was released just two years into the deal in February.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Stacy Rost on Twitter.

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