The Seahawks’ strong moves in free agency have been matched by other teams in the NFC West. (Getty)
Seahawks general manager John Schneider takes care of business.
Rost: Three thoughts on the Seahawks’ big D-line change
He fixed the offensive line first. He rehired center Ethan Pocic and traded him in for guard Gabe Jackson, then filled in the backup roles by bringing back guard Jordan Simmons and tackle Cedric Ogbuehi. That box is checked.
This week, he dealt with pass fever. He rehired defensive ends Carlos Dunlap and Benson Mayowa and signed teammate DE Kerry Hyder. Making all those moves had a price, he thought. They couldn’t afford to keep defensive tackle Jarran Reed and instead replaced him with Al Woods, 34, who agreed to a one-year, $ 3 million deal. It’s not out of the question to bring Reed back if he can’t get a good deal elsewhere, but Schneider checked the box on the defensive line.
It was an interesting decision. Dunlap wanted $ 10 million a year, which was too rich in this market. However, the Seahawks stepped up and gave him maybe around $ 8 million. Say what you want: Dunlap was one of the main reasons the Seahawks’ defense improved so much in the second half of the season. After a horrible start, the passing race became one of the best teams in terms of sacks after Dunlap debuted in Week 8.
Now the Seahawks go deeper as a defensive end. They can start Hyder, who had 8 1/2 sacks last year, at the five-technique position. Dunlap can start as a Leo, and he will have plenty of backups that will be in the rotation.
The only drawback is that the defense is higher. They lost two of their youngest defenders to cornerback Shaquill Griffin, who left in free agency, and Reed. However, without question, the Seahawks are gearing up to try and return to the Super Bowl, and their roster is solid.
However, it is better that it be so. The NFC West continues to get more aggressive. The San Francisco 49ers are having a great offseason. They rehired four of their key free agents, then traded to Miami on Friday to move to the third pick in the draft. They could easily take the third quarterback in the draft, who most people think could be Trey Lance. Trevor Lawrence is expected to be No. 1 at Jacksonville and Zach Wilson may have secured the New York Jets’ backing for the No. 2 pick with his strong pitching training on Friday.
The Los Angeles Rams traded for Matthew Stafford. The Arizona Cardinals have been aggressive with signings and trades, adding big names like JJ Watt and Rodney Hudson. How competitive are you in the NFC West? Due to roster swaps, the Rams and 49ers don’t have first-round picks in 2022 and 2023, and the Seahawks don’t have one this year or next.
To stay ahead in this division, Schneider needed to take care of the business.
What are the Seahawks losing by leaving Jarran Reed?