Seattle Seahawks: Defensive Reinforcements a Priority
The Seattle Seahawks season ultimately came down to a matter of inches. Had they have scored the touchdown to beat the San Francisco 49ers in Week 17 then they could have been hosting a playoff game instead of having to take the long road to Miami. Their season ended disappointingly in Green Bay, but there was a lot to be excited about.
2019 saw the emergence of a second receiving threat for Russell Wilson in the form of D.K. Metcalf. The play of the defense remains something they need to improve, but their offense took a huge step last season.
General Manager: John Schneider
Head Coach: Pete Carroll
Carroll and Schneider have not seen a losing season in Seattle since 2011, winning double digit games in seven of those eight years. Just one Super Bowl victory and only two conference championship appearances is somewhat disappointing however. Then again, this team is seemingly written off every year and yet they are always a part of the playoff conversation. That is something that both of these two should be commended for. The big question mark for their situation is how long does Carroll wants to keep coaching for?
Cap Space: $51.6 million
This is a fantastic amount of cap space for a team that fell just two wins short of making the Super Bowl. Given that their quarterback is counting $31m against the cap that situation looks even better.
They can also open up more space if desire, but the cuts will not be easy decisions. The could open up over $8m by cutting left tackle Duane Brown, but a top end left tackle costs a lot more than that on the open market. Linebacker K.J. Wright is set to count $10m against the cap, but the Seahawks could free up $7.5m by moving on. Wright was solid without being impressive in 2019, and could be someone the Seahawks consider letting go.
Then we come to the defensive backs. Safety Quandre Diggs would leave no dead cap for the Seahawks while freeing up over $5m. However, he is too talented and too cheap relatively for the Seahawks to move on from this offseason. Bradley McDougald is a different story. His play has been underwhelming and the $4m they can open up could help them target someone more talented to help them at corner.
Impending Free Agents
The Seahawks have some really tough decision to make this offseason. We have discussed the decisions surrounding the cuts, but the decision about what to do with Jadeveon Clowney is perhaps their biggest of all. Clowney is extremely talented and the Seahawks have the cap space to make it work, but finding the right value for both sides could be tough. The franchise tag is an option, but they would like to avoid that.
Clowney is just one of many decision along the defensive line. They also need to make decisions about defensive tackles Jarran Reed, Al Woods, and Quinton Jefferson. They then also have another defensive end in Ziggy Ansah to make a decision about. Ansah should be an easy decision to move on from, but Reed and Jefferson will be much tougher decisions.
Offensively the main two decisions are right tackle Germain Ifedi and Mike Iupati. Neither is a slam dunk must sign, but both have enough experience that the Seahawks will consider it long and hard.
Major Need: Defensive End
This need becomes super critical if they allow Clowney to leave. However, even if they sign Clowney they really need to add a talented pass rusher opposite him to take advantage of the attention Clowney commands.
Major Need: Cornerback
This is perhaps the biggest need on the roster. A good pass rush can only do so much if your corners cannot stop quick passes and hold up in coverage. If they release McDougald, which they absolutely should, then this need becomes even greater. It is a good job there are plenty of corners expected to be solid options in the NFL Draft this year.
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