5 Available Free Agents Still Within the Seattle Seahawks' Reach
The Seattle Seahawks have had a solid showing in free agency thus far, but there are surely more players out there that can help them. The vast majority of top-shelf players are already signed, but they could definitely add some quality depth throughout their roster with some of these veteran free agents that are still available.
They may also be looking to add a familiar face in Sidney Rice, who was medically cleared on Monday (according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk). Given the departure of Golden Tate, Seattle needs some help at receiver, and bringing Rice back would be a smart choice.
They should still draft a talented receiver if one is available, but having Rice definitely wouldn't hurt. If they don't decide to target Rice, there are other pass-catchers that could also possibly fill the void at receiver. There are many names to consider, but only a few are truly worth a look.
The Seahawks won't find any studs in what's left of this free-agent group, but they could certainly find some solid veterans to help plug the holes in their roster.
Sidney Rice, WR
Losing Golden Tate to the Detroit Lions in free agency drastically changes the landscape of Seattle's receiving corps, and it's something it should definitely address sooner than later. The team will likely try and do so in the draft next month, but as we all know, rookies are no guaranteed commodity in this league.
They would be better off supplementing any receiver they draft with a veteran receiver who can—at the very least—act as a bandage while the draftee gets his NFL bearings.
Sidney Rice would be a great option, especially now that he's medically cleared. Overall, re-signing Rice would just be an all-around smart move. He's familiar with the system, healthy and a talented receiver in his own right.
Rice also adds the prototypical big-bodied receiver that will complement guys like Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin very well, as he has before.
There's an obvious risk that comes along with signing a player with an injury history such as Rice's, but if he stays healthy, he's one of the more dangerous receivers in the league and would bust Seattle's offense wide open.
Kevin Williams, DT
Although its defense was stellar overall, Seattle did give up an average of 101.6 yards per game on the ground, which means the middle of its defense needs a fix. The Seahawks could opt to find a run-stuffing defender in the draft, but they might want to take a look at Kevin Williams.
He's an 11-year vet who has certainly seen better days, but he would be a nice addition to their defensive line rotation and could help hammer out some of their issues against the run. They did re-sign Tony McDaniel, which will definitely help, but Williams could add some solid depth behind him.
If nothing else, Williams would be a space-eater in the middle of their defensive line.
Miles Austin, WR
If Seattle does miss out on re-signing Sidney Rice, bringing in Miles Austin would be the next best thing. Austin is a veteran receiver who, while not a dominant receiver, is still a good option in the passing game.
He would be a nice receiver to have while Doug Baldwin and Percy Harvin draw the lion's share of the defense's attention, and he could definitely contribute in a smaller role.
At 6'2", 216 pounds, Austin isn't exactly the big-bodied receiver that Rice is, but he is much better than most other free-agent receivers. Given Seattle's position in the top end of the draft (32nd and 64th overall), it may not be able to land the ideal receiver for their system, leaving Austin as a solid option to sturdy up its receiving group.
We also can't forget that he will be surrounded with a more talented offense than he had in Dallas, which should also boost his production. Austin would be a solid signing and could turn out to be better than expected as a Seahawk.
Eric Winston, OT
It's no secret that Eric Winston had a down year in 2013, but there are good reasons as to why his production dropped off as much as it did.
For one, it's not like he had a terrible year in the first place—he allowed just seven sacks the entire year. However, he did give up a lot of pressure on the quarterback. That being said, it is known that Bruce Arians' offense does take a little longer for things to develop on most passing plays, which could be the reason why Winston struggled at times.
The Seahawks should sign him for a simple reason: insurance. At the very least, Winston would be a stop-gap solution for this coming season while they find a long-term replacement.
They could find their future right tackle in the draft, but as I mentioned earlier, there's no guarantee he'll be ready to start right away. Bringing in Winston wouldn't be a sexy signing but would shore up the right side of the line and give them some solidity while they search for a replacement.
He's nowhere near great, but he is someone who could help Seattle in the meantime.
Andre Carter, DE
A major part of Seattle's vaunted defense last season was Red Bryant, a big-bodied defensive end that helped keep the engines of their defensive line churning. Now that Bryant will be lining up for the Jacksonville Jaguars after signing with them in free agency, it adds a bit of a need at defensive end.
Granted, they'll be fine at the top of their depth chart with Michael Bennett and Chris Clemons, but adding another pass-rusher would be great for the team's depth.
Enter Andre Carter.
On paper, he's a 13-year vet who has had a nice career but is clearly past his prime. That being said, he can still contribute to the Seahawks' success. It's been two short years since his 10-sack season with the New England Patriots, and he could surely bring some of that defensive spice to Seattle.
His last two seasons have left much to be desired from a sack standpoint, but Carter did miss 11 games between the 2012 and 2013 seasons. He also wouldn't be expected to play a major role, but rather hold things down as a rotational player.
Bringing in Carter would be a cheap fix at a position that could use some depth, and that would only further solidify Seattle's great defense.