NFL Free Agents 2012: 5 Players Seattle Seahawks Must Target
With Matt Flynn now in the fold, the Seattle Seahawks have filled the need at QB but still have other weaknesses on the roster that must be addressed if the Seahawks are to return to the playoffs in 2012.
Chief among the concerns for the Seahawks is acquiring an impact pass-rusher and finding replacements at LB should David Hawthorne and LeRoy Hill sign elsewhere. Although free agency has been underway for almost a month, there remains a host of players that could help the Seahawks in their quest to return to the playoffs.
This slideshow takes a look at five remaining free agents who didn’t play for the Seahawks in 2011 that warrant consideration from John Schneider and company.
Jonathan Goff, LB
The only potential significant departures from the last year's Seahawks defensive unit are at LB. If either LeRoy Hill or David Hawthorne leave Seattle, the Seahawks could find a replacement in the free agent market.
One interesting option that is still available via free agency is former New York Giants LB Jonathan Goff. Due to a torn ACL that sidelined him for the entirety of the 2011 season, Goff has flown under the radar thus far in free agency.
In his one season as the starting middle linebacker for the Giants, the former Vanderbilt star registered a respectable 80 tackles.
Wallace Gilberry, DE
Now that the QB position has been addressed, the Seahawks glaring weakness is the lack of an impact pass-rusher. For as good as last year's defensive unit was, the Seahawks lacked a true sack threat and as a result finished tied for 19th in the NFL in sacks.
With the Seahawks holding the 12th pick in the upcoming NFL draft, the team could add a pass-rusher via the draft. While this would certainly be a start in addressing the Seahawks anemic pass rush, there are also players still on the free agent market that could boost the Seahawks pass rush.
Wallace Gilberry is one DE that could be targeted in an attempt to bolster the Seahawks defense. Gilberry in his four-year career has been used as a situational pass-rusher and has shown promise, including seven sacks in the 2010 season.
Ronnie Brown, RB
With last year's backup RB Justin Forsett likely moving on, the Seahawks have a void at tailback behind Marshawn Lynch. With the top-flight free agent RBs already signing, the Seahawks could target a mid-tier prospect like Ronnie Brown.
Although Brown was underwhelming in his only season in Philadelphia, he could still provide value to the Seahawks as a receiver and in pass protection.
Other RB options that the Seahawks could consider include Ryan Grant and Tim Hightower.
Visanthe Shiancoe, TE
Even though the departure of John Carlson isn’t a major loss for the Seahawks they still need to acquire a second tight end behind Zach Miller. Former Minnesota Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe has been linked to the Seahawks and would make sense for Pete Carroll and company.
Despite being past his prime—he will be 32 years old at the start of the 2012 season—Shiancoe had a solid season in 2012 as recorded 36 receptions for 409 yards while splitting time with Kyle Rudolph. As the second tight end, Shiancoe could provide the Seahawks with a solid option in the passing game and a decent blocker along the line.
Barry Richardson, OL
Offensive line isn’t a major need for the Seahawks as the starting rotation appears set, but based on last year's run of injuries, the Seahawks would be wise to ensure solid depth behind the starters.
The Seahawks are in good shape, along the interior with backups Paul Mcquistan and Frank Omilaye, but face question marks behind the starting tackles.
Targeting a solid reserve offensive tackle like former Kansas City Chief Barry Richardson would give offensive line coach Tom Cable insurance against more injuries in 2012.